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929271 No. 929271 ID: 5a5548

THIS QUEST MAY OR MAY NOT CONTAIN: adult content, gay and lesbian content, gore, asphyxiation, nonconsensual immolation, necromantic life drain, vivisection by way of mideival weaponry, full on cannibalism through swarms of sapient insects, cube-based dissection, and vaginal fingering.

a girl entered the tavern about a half ago, beaming from ear to ear, and strapped for war.

"a mug of your finest, sir!" she said, "you're looking at the newest initiate of the Crawler's Guild!"

Select a Race:

GARGOYLES: stout of body, stout of soul. gargoyles are as unmoveable as the mountains.

MURDERSCRUBS: Death begins, death ends. Murderscrubs are masters of the fine art of killing.

FURIES: anger within, fury without. Furies burn with a righteous and uncontrolled rage.

ZENLINGS: fleet of foot, fleet of mind. Zenlings move like a cold breeze, and strike like a sandstorm.

LUDELINGS: perfection of self, perfection of the world. Ludelings walk like men, and think like wolves.
176 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 936927 ID: 977456

>Ludelings that don't do what they're told don't go to Elysium Fields
>I was going to teach you
>Expedition leader soon and he wants me to buy a new sword because his old one broke while we were on the adventure so I can't come with you
Ouch. I can't help but think that a good ludeling would hold the commitments it makes above the orders it is given, but I'm no expert in the matter. It does feel like two steps back on the Free Dea project. There must be SOME limits to what she is supposed to obey. Contradictory orders are a thing...
No. 936931 ID: 787abc

Potential healer just left not too long ago. Call Harvess back and say there was a change of circumstances. Seems like she's trying to find some sort of redemption or absolution through the healer gig, may as well be with you. She's already shown good results, all things considered, plus her gear and militant background suggest that she probably won't need as much babysitting as the usual squishy caster type. One would assume anyone with military history knows how to keep themselves out of trouble at least a little better than their civilian contemporaries.
No. 936934 ID: b1b4f3

Hey you should apologize to Dea for passing out last night. Does she want to try again later?
No. 936952 ID: 5a5548
File 156129605242.png - (907.46KB , 2000x2000 , 0041.png )

that Armada. Emerald supposes she could be an Immortal. it would explain where she got so much Pax Electrum. if she's an Immortal it's possible she was alive when the stuff was getting produced in bulk. if she is an Immortal, though, that's plenty of reason for Emerald to stay the hell away from her. Immortals serve the high priesthood directly, from birth until they finally go mad and are sent to wander the desert for eternity. Harvess was certainly not mad, which means if she's an Immortal, she's an agent of the Temple.

Emerald flicks Dea's ears playfully, "hey, Dea. I'm sorry I fell asleep during the fun last nihgt. I guess that Sunshine was a bit too heavy for me."

"hmm?" Dea's ears flutter away from Emerald's fingers, "oh. oh we didn't do anything last night. I didn't know if it was going to be ok with you. you were really drunk. I just tucked you in and we cuddled for a while."

"oh Gaud." Emerald groans, "I must have ruined your whole night!"

"oh no it was great!" Dea smiles, "you kept telling me how happy you were and how much you like me. it was really cute! you uhm... you also told me some stuff about your dad... but mostly it was the first thing!"

"I don't remember any of that." Emerald mutters as she places her palm against Dea's cheek, "well... maybe we can try for round two sometime later? I'll uh... try not to get so drunk this time."

"Okay!" Dea beams as Emerald caresses her, "I'd like that! you're a really good friend, miss Emerald! usually people stop talking to me after we have sex."

feel free to continue voting. the previous party member votes are still counted
No. 936953 ID: ad51b8

>which means if she's an Immortal, she's an agent of the Temple.
or an immortal that went rouge... or did go crazy and some how wound back up sane again. But yeah, either way, if you run across her again I suggest trying to stay on her good side... or at least don't try and piss her off without a good reason. And by good reason I mean more then just what she is.
No. 936955 ID: b0b724

Aw, I can't imagine ever wanting to stop talking to Dea.

The Armada was very strange. Mysterious, even. What was she hiding? There's only one way to find out, and that's to get her to trust you. And the only way to do that is to keep her around, to work with her. It's a bad idea, you take her on and it'll be much more difficult to hire anyone else.

Try to hire Harvess. Risk and reward often go hand in hand, and she's so interesting besides that.
No. 936992 ID: 977456

I... would like to know more about Dea's party. It is probably nothing, party members go on fetch quests all the time, and crawlers tend to be an independent lot, but she was left alone in ill-health and the whole "fetch me a sword before you drop dead" thing seems like a low-commitment relationship. And if there is one armada around then there might be more, or just slavers in general, and I am sure they would offer coinage for a ludeling. We need to check up the local Crawler scene anyway for potential recruits, so it isn't out of the way.
Glance around for prospective crawlers while spying on Dea.
No. 937015 ID: b0b724

It's clearly not nothing, but we'd have to be prepared if we're planning to poach Dea for our team or something. Having an almost full team and a spot for her ready would probably be best. Assuming teammate poaching isn't a bannable offense or something.

So I guess to add on to my other comment, ask Dea what her role is, so we can keep it in mind.
No. 937042 ID: afdebc

>usually people stop talking to me after we have sex
Well that just seems rude.

>who find
Well, you're a manager/warrior, Dea seems like a warrior, and if you're desperate enough, the Armada is a healer.

So even if you need all 4, let's start by trying to cover a discipline you don't have an option for at all yet. Speller.
No. 937078 ID: 5a5548
File 156138398524.png - (1.01MB , 2000x2000 , 0042.png )

Emerald raises her concerns to Dea, but Dea assures her she's going to be fine. she's been Crawling for years, and she's in no danger of getting snagged by a slaver or hamstringed by her Expedition Leader. she explains that the Guild keeps the Crawlers safe, discounting the inherent danger in trudging through dank dungeons. she's not a snipe, afterall. she has a Ghost Lattice if she needs to call for help, and the Guildhall has a bunch of Leyline readers ready to track her down if she gets nabbed. Emerald feels a little bit better. it makes sense that so many Ludelings that escape from Armistice end up Crawling, she supposes. there's a certain security in it. Dea also assures her that the hard part of the adventure is over and they just need to finish off the Nightwitch before she raises an army of swamp zombies, which she assure Emerald is the easy part.

Emerald relents. Dea is sure she'll be alright, and Emerald just has to trust she knows what she's talking about. Emerald asks her about the party members she needs to collect, and Dea explains the four roles in detail for her. Emerald keeps her descriptions memorized. she asks what role Dea would play in the party. Dea explains she's too high level to really fit into a rookie party, but if she were to call herself anything, she supposes she would be a Rogue. she says when she first joined the guild she got snagged by a high level party because her fuckbuddy was the Expedition Leader and somehow she managed to survive long enough to rank up in the guild. she tells Emerald that the different roles get kind of muddy when you start to rank up in the guild and people tend to study the areas they have a deficit in. high level Crawlers usually learn some form of Sorcery or Hymn because high level threats require arcane solutions and the mortality rate for high level Crawls is high. she smiles saying she's always wanted to learn how to Ghosttalk like her ancestral bitches but she's never had the time.

Dea realizes the time as more patrons begin to fill in the bar.

"Oh darn it!" she yelps, "I really need to go, I'm sorry! I'm really sorry, I promise I'll be back soon and we'll get all kinds of teaching done and it will be great and we can fuck too if there's time."

Dea hands her a Ghost Lattice and gives her a quick kiss on the cheek, "I'll see you again soon, ok? if you need to get ahold of me just tap the stone and whisper my name. I'll be listening, ok?"

Emerald nods, nervously. "yeah. yeah I know. I'm not worried. I'll see you soon."

Dea begins to leave the bar, waving at Cinder as she goes.

"oh. Dea." Emerald says as Dea turns to the door, "um... that Armada. do you really trust her?"

she furrows her brow, thoughtfully. she stares down pensively for a good few seconds before replying. "I do."

"well then, I'll try to trust her, too." Emerald sighs.

"hey, that's the spirit!" Dea says, her ears jumping happily, "we're all Crawlers! that means we're all friends!"

Emerald wanders around town for a while, rolling the Ghost Lattice around in her knuckles. it took Cinder a while to wash her shirt. he did it for free, though. Emerald was pretty sure he was too embarrassed to ask for his shirt back, so she now has an incredibly small Fury shirt in her possession. the occasional rattle of her scabbards and the low twinkling crinkle of her chainmail feels rather therapeutic right now. it's something she can expect, and something she can effect, if she really wanted to. dealing with that Armada has really dredged up some shitty memories. she hopes that will subside eventually, especially if she's really considering partying up. she can't spend this whole adventure moping around. she's the Expedition Leader, probably. unless someone else decides to do it. maybe she could find a Speller or a Fighter with a big ego that will demand the reins of the adventure and tell Emerald to shut up and do her job. Gaud, what she wouldn't give to have someone tell her what to do. Emerald is good at swinging the Drakkunmesser. she's no good at telling other people what to do.

the shadows on the ground begin to creep ever further. if she doesn't get a move on, Emerald's not going to have time to find anyone. she swallows her pride and taps the Lattice against a cobblestone wall, whispering the name Harvess into it.

"um. Harvess? it's Emerald. the Gargoyle from earlier. from the bar. my other Healer bailed on me. would you be interested in coming along on a Crawl? Dea will be there, too, and some other Crawlers. it will all be Crawlers, if you were worried about that. they won't be uh- well... I don't think you'll have to worry about anybody being unkind. just let me know if you're interested, ok? this message is getting long, so I'll just leave it at that. ok. uh... bye?"

she taps the stone a second time. real smooth. she sounded like she was recruiting for a children's Gausenbaum pageant. a natural born leader, she is. Emerald lets out a gruff laugh. Dad used to call her the High Priestess of Bullies when she was a Goyling. she had her own little gang of toddlers she would boss around and lord over as the oldest and meanest in her prayer circle. she kind of longs for that talent into adulthood.

her thoughts are interrupted. the Ghost lattice blinks insistently. she knocks it quickly.

"Emerald. busy." the Ghost says boredly. Emerald sighs. part in frustration, part in relief. she tried. nothing she can do but try to find a healer elswh-

"have a patient. serious case. will be free soon. will return to the guildhall. perhaps discuss terms then? keep Lattice near. will contact soon."

huh. well that's... probably the outcome she should have been hoping for. she pockets the stone, sighing. she supposes she'll need to look for some Crawlers while she waits for Harvess. first thing's first. she needs to find a Speller. she tries to remember what Dea told her about Spellers.
No. 937079 ID: 5a5548
File 156138417504.png - (796.47KB , 2000x1748 , 0043.png )

"Spellers! they're really cute! they can read, usually! I've seen some of them write, too! Crawling is a job that puts you in the direct way of a lot of weird things that don't make sense. stuff that you can't really figure out. that's Spellery! floating rocks that shoot lasers! skeleton snakes that bite you and make you forget your locker combination! one time I saw a guy who could piss six feet straight up in the air and not get wet! the world is full of magic and Spellers are the people that study it. when you are looking to recruit a Speller, you want to look for someone with experience. it can be a college education, or an apprenticeship with a master Sorceror, or even experience in Spell duels! the more they know, and the more they can identify, the better off your expeditions will be! consider their skill set. there are loads of disciplines of magic! maybe more than we have names for! definitely more than I have names for!"

right. find someone with experience. Emerald guesses she should just go down to the Guildhall and see about finding a Speller.

she enters the Guildhall. the main hall is a massive wooden room flanked with oak log pillars. at each side of the central path is a long table. sitting at the tables are the many Crawlers of the guild. Emerald has been here a few times before but she really didn't take the time to look around. she was busy worrying herself sick about the exam. now that she has the time to sit and appreciate the scenery, she takes a few moments to take it all in. the guildhall is certainly centuries old. the wood is weathered and darkened by the passing of countless Crawlers before her. the low murmuring din of aimless conversation makes Emerald nostalgic for the cafeteria hall of her Burg's cathedral. she feels as though she could sit by anyone and simply become part of the dialogue. there is an atmosphere of camaraderie that flavors the air around her.

she walks down the way to the other end of the hall. there is a sturdy wooden desk in front of a large set of shelves filled with parchments and scrolls. several men rifle through the papers, handing them around silently, sometimes foisting them into the waiting arms of an impatient Crawler. sitting atop the desk, upon a small leather cushion is a Ludeling pup. a young looking boy, who sees Emerald approach and perks up, happily wagging his tail.

"OH! Hi! Hello! welcome to the Crawler guild!" he speaks in a voice that is much too excited and he runs out of breath before he finishes. he takes a few breaths and slows his tail before resuming, more calm, but still clearly very happy to see her.

"welcome to the Guild, ma'am! are you here to put in a request or are you taking a quest as a Crawler?"
No. 937086 ID: 7fb87a

Hold onto your professionalism with both hands so you do not use them to pet the receptionist for the rest of the day.

"I am here to form my first expedition"
No. 937088 ID: 787abc

That's the goodest of boys right there, give the little guy a headpat. Also see if there's maybe any sort of info packets or listings available to look through instead of just tossing a LFG into the ether, as it were.
No. 937091 ID: b1b4f3

Don't headpat the Lude, he'll get the wrong idea.
Tell him you're forming a group to take a quest, and you're looking for a Speller at the moment.
No. 937096 ID: 977456

I am perfectly willing to believe that Ludelings can read... but that one? Eh, stranger things.

Take a look around the room and try to guess what the newer crawlers' professions are. A good leader has good judgement!
No. 937099 ID: b0b724

"And the first step is finding a Speller. Is there an official form for that or a way to identify those looking for a party?"

Or as close to that as you can get. Remember, the key to speaking with authority is to act as a character that has the authority you need! It's all acting, until eventually it isn't. You had the talent for it once, it'll feel natural again with time.
No. 937111 ID: ad51b8

building a team and hoping to start by finding a speller.
No. 937127 ID: f9b5d6

"I'm an entry-level looking for an expedition to join. You know, 16-party team, extremely low payout, gain an understanding of the layout of these meat grinders so we know how to prepare for them in actual runs."

Pet the Lude! Pet the Lude!
No. 937396 ID: 8eaf98

FULLY on board with operation pet the exited lude. except for the part where that is probably wrong. =/
No. 937554 ID: 9c15a7

Don't pet this lude, save your pets for the lude you just left she needs them more.
No. 937562 ID: 0fae41

Pets aren't a zero sum game. Just be sure to wash your hands before and after.
Looking for Spellers counts as the former, right?
No. 937601 ID: 977456

They're good ludes Saggestion.
No. 940384 ID: 7fafab

You better be giving him headpets.
No. 940491 ID: 5a5548
File 156414585361.png - (857.54KB , 2000x2000 , 0044.png )

"c-can I pet the scribe on duty?" Emerald says, against her better judgement.

No. 940492 ID: 5a5548
File 156414586793.png - (971.04KB , 2000x2000 , 0045.png )

"Yes!" the Ludeling beams.
No. 940493 ID: 5a5548
File 156414605940.png - (672.00KB , 2000x2000 , 0046.png )

Emerald puts her hand forward and scratches the grateful Lude behind his ears for a few seconds before shaking her head, "er... uhm! I am an Expedition Leader! and uhm I am looking for some Crawlers!"

"an Expedition Leader!" the Ludeling gasps, "so exciting!"

"it's not so exciting!" Emerald pleads, "I'm just looking to do a rookie level adventure!"

"oh wow! rookie level Expedition Leaders are very brave! you should be proud!"

"oh, well, I don't think I-"

"most Crawlers can't take the pressure, you know, having the lives of so many people in their hands." the Ludeling continues, "ma says that Expedition Leaders must have a second dick in their pocket. she said that most Crawlers can't fuck a housefly, but Expedition leaders may as well be packing sausages like god damned tree limbs."

"UH!" Emerald replies, "your mother has... an interesting dialect..."

"we're from the north!" the Ludeling replies happily, "Ma says there's fuck all to do up north but watch the Sevflings buy all the land and wave their fuckin' dicks around, though. that's why we moved to the south. Ma says that I'm as sharp as a Murderscrub's cunny and half as big, so I'd be a good scribe!"

"what's your mom do?"

"she's a Crawler! an Expedition Leader, too." he is obviously quite proud of his mom, "Ma says she's only good for fighting and fucking and her tits are sagging so's she's got to put blade to bastard for us to have anything worth eating on the goddamn table!"

"I should mention, I am looking for a Speller. level one, preferably." Emerald says, trying to move the Ludeling child's attention from his rather provocative mother.

"WOW! a speller!" he continues to be very excited as he digs through the shelves behind him for Crawler records, "my Ma is a speller. she's a Ghost Talker. she used to be the Chieftan of our tribe but she said the small minds of the Confederacy only cared about what went in her cunny lips rather than what came out the other pair, so she came down south to make her fortune working the shit jobs that southerners are too pussy to try. let's see if I can find what you're looking for! here we... uh. oh. uhm..."

the Ludeling gets a worried expression on his face as he thumbs through the papers. "uuuuuh. there doesn't seem to be... that's doesn't make sense. there are no low level Spellers! oh crap I forgot!"

he covers his mouth ashamedly, "I mean. darn it. our spellers were all sent north to Ravencliff to help put out a Linefire. it was the low level spellers mostly, so they could learn to deal with Linefires in a controlled environment. I'm sorry."

"it's fine, it's fine." Emerald sighs.
No. 940494 ID: 5a5548
File 156414615921.png - (934.96KB , 2000x2000 , 0047.png )

"hey, fido." a Fury slaps down a set of papers beside the Ludeling, "got your test done. gimme my coin now."

"ok let me see your results." the Ludeling skims over the papers, "wow! your scores are great! you should be proud!"

"expect nothing less." the Fury huffs smugly, "now let's get that coin. I've got crypts to crawl and bitches to brawl!"

"yes ma'am!" the Ludeling beams, "here's your coin. it's bronze! bronze smells really weird and it means you're a level one Crawler!"

the Fury takes the coin and chuckles smugly as she pockets it.

"oh hey." Emerald speaks up, "you wouldn't happen to be a Speller, would you?"

"who wants to know?" she replies shortly.

"my name's Emerald. I'm leading a first level expedition."

"oh. an Expedition leader? you should have said so! name's Corona, Devoted of Atrue." she says, "and I'm not just some Speller. you're looking at the champion of the last three Invoker Games."

"oh wow!" Emerald gasps, "thats-! that means nothing to me..."

"it means I'm the best." she crosses her arms, "no Speller can best me in a duel."

"is an Invoker some kind of Sorceror?"

"huh!" Corona puffs smugly, "Sorcerors. a bunch of posh schoolboys. I've never studied a day in my life! how is it then that I manage to force those wizened educated narcissists to bow their bearded heads so easily? it's because when it comes to spellery, the only thing that really matters is who's best at flinging fire and fury! I might not be the sharpest at identifying the difference between a Bootscafe and a Dalkaff, but that doesn't stop me from making all those prissy college boys call me-"
No. 940495 ID: 5a5548
File 156414636112.png - (760.72KB , 2000x1852 , 0048.png )

"DADDY!" the two of them nearly collide with a Zenling as she barrels through the hall. behind her, an aged Fury, "Daddy, please! I can take care of myself!"

"you've no experience with these Crawlers, my little sugar cane." the Fury speaks with a voice like a sledgehammer crashing through Emerald's skull, "I've played their games, drawn from the cards they deal. these are scoundrels first and foremost."

"they are worldy, Daddy!" she cries, "more that I could ever be in that dank tower!"

"the tower is safe, and its libraries contain more knowledge than you'd get crawling through the muck with these savages. if you simply sit and listen to my lessons you could someday be the greatest sorceress that ever lived!"

"and it'll be worth naught if I can not use it to help those around me!" the Zenling crows back, "all those lessons, all the knowledge in the world and yet I've no reference! nothing to hold on to! I'm adrift in a sea of theories and rules and and-"

"uhm... excuse me." Emerald snakes her way into the conversation, "I couldn't help but notice your uhm... daughter? is a Speller?"

the Fury looks at Emerald for a few second before turning back to the Zenling, "Speller... Sugarcane, these are hillbillies. you may as well spend your time playing with bugs in the forest."

"I'm sorry, I meant to say Sorceress." Emerald says, brushing off the hillbilly comment, "as I was saying, if you want your uh... Sugarcane here, to learn about the world in a safe and controlled environment, I have a fantastic proposal! you see, I'm leading a newbie expedition. with my guidance, the guidance of a 10th level Crawler, at that, she'll be totally safe, and she'll get the world experience she's looking for."

"hrmm..." the Fury rubs his chin thoughtfully, "a level 10 Crawler, you say?"

"uh... yeah!" Emerald lies through omission, "this whole operation will be under a very experienced eye. I can promise you that!"

"hmm..." the Fury nods, putting his hand on the Zenling's shoulder as she steps forward awkwardly, "Dance, talk to the lady while I get some paperwork sorted out."

"yeah. hi." the Zenling says, "uhm. so you're a Crawler? wow. I uh. this is the first time I've ever met one. my name is Dance. uhm. Dances-Nude, that is."

"Uh?" Emerald perks a brow.

"It's not what it sounds like!" she say defensively.

"huh. right." Emerald smirks, "so you're a Sorceress? what kind of skills do you have? any specific schooling? what kind of Sorcery do you practice?"

"Oh I'm a Line Writer." she replies, "I read and write Leylines. I can affect aspects of the world by selecting a Leyline and rewriting its coding. it's complicated, but in short, I can make things that aren't supposed to happen... happen. in a small area. for a short time. under certain circumstances dictated by where the Leylines happen to run."

"and how about your schooling?"

"I learned from the great Pyre himself!" she beams, "Daddy has been teaching me Sorcery since I was able to walk. he taught me everything I know, actually. all about math and science, history, society. Daddy is a great teacher."

Emerald nods and pulls away noncomitally. she needs a Speller, and it seems like if she doesn't jump on this opportunity, they'll be shipped up north to deal with a Linefire, so she needs to make a decision now. one of these girls is going to be coming with her. Emerald reasons that she should interview the two of them to figure out who the best fit would be.
you may submit a question to either Dance, Corona, or both. you may ask as many questions as you like, but afterward, you must make a decision between the two.
No. 940497 ID: ad51b8

the Ludeling said we should look for someone with experience and the description he gave of spellers made them sound like the guys we turn to find out what weird shit does what and how to deal with it.

From what I can tell from the first glance Corona seems to be a better fighter seeing how it sounds like she knows how to handle a fight but seems a bit lacking in the other part of the job while dance seems to have almost no real experience out on the field but does seem very book smart so she'd probably be better at identifying any weird magic things we may come across.

As for questions ask them more about the sub-class(?). As in what kind of tricks can a line writer pull off? Can it be used in a fight or is it not really viable to use during battle? If you aren't near a layline how does it affect you ability to cast? What kind of schooling did you receive as in were you taught how to fight, how easily can you identify unknown magical items, those sort of things?

and for our Devoted of Atrue, care to fill us in a bit more on what the invoker games are? What kind of spells do you know? Seeing how you just got done with a mission what are some other missions you've been on? How well do you think you could figure out what some random magic do-dad we may come across does?

right now I'm leaning more towards Corona since she seems to have some real experience under her belt but Dance seems like she'd actually be able to figure out if the magic sword we found along the way is actually useful or if it blows up if you put it back in it's sheath without telling it a bedtime story or something.
No. 940505 ID: 4854ef

It'd be nice to see what sort of abilities they have in their repertoire. One seems more knowledge based but dependant upon leylines and one is able to do a fair bit on her lonesome but is headstrong.
No. 940515 ID: 9876c4

Grab sugarcane, crack the surface, apply heat and pressure until its a lovely cinnamon roll.
No. 940517 ID: 977456

Dance. Glasses. Do you need them? What would break them? How easily can spares be acquired?
Also do the box test, where you ask someone to put their hand into something they can't see while you assure them that it is safe buy make disturbing implications at every opportunity. The point being to see if she will shy away from the unknown or face potential danger at the command of the leader. Do not let anyone put anything bad in there.

Corona: Can you demonstrate any sensory magic? Please provide an estimate of Dance's dangerous strengths and vulnerable weaknesses as a combat opponent.
No. 940536 ID: 8eaf98

first impressions the fury seems a bit headstrong and hard to control (might just be racial) and ultimately growth limited due to shuning traditional learning, the Zenling seems like it will be able to better learn and expand their coverage, and seems much more directable as a team member.

First impressions TL;DR:
Fury poor team member high start strength low growth.
Zenling lower start strength better team member better growth.
No. 940542 ID: 0fae41

Dances: You ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
What's the subject you're weakest in?
Corona: You have any experience putting out fires with your magic instead of starting them?
The interview's a formality, unless her weakness is too great to ignore I'm going with the zenling.
No. 940544 ID: 094652

Brash and unruly, but the 'talented' are the kids who build their fundamentals early on through their own will, and get solid training about teamwork and real-world skills as their egos are chipped. If her psyche survives a few major blows, you could lower her arrogance and make her a powerful asset in the long -
>I've never studied a day in my life

Well learned, extremely talented, but has no real-world self-defense experience. And more importantly, her father will crush your skull with his bare hands if anything happens to her.

Sadly, my vote's for Corona. She has a higher probability of survival due to her self-defense training, we just need to show her that Crawling is no place for the arrogant and she can learn so much more if she takes the time to read. As for Dance, consider taking her on an exp-run when the rest of your party is 3 levels higher. Later on, if you can get Dance to convince Corona to learn, and Corona to teach Dance some basic training techniques, you might be capable of hiring them as a duo. But not now, while only one party member is high level and the rest are just begging to trip a single deathtrap.
No. 940567 ID: 7fafab

So far, Dance seems like the much better choice.

-Corona has outright rejected education on magical subjects, while Dance clearly desires some combat experience, meaning she'll become more well-rounded
-On a first-level crawl, it's doubtful you'll be facing anything that'd require advanced combat tactics and a cool head under ridiculous pressure.
-Corona isn't trying to convince someone she can Crawl, while this may be once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Dance, given her father's insistence she shouldn't.
-Everyone needs to learn to fight, but she mainly needs to be good at what a speller is needed for, and Dance clearly has the advantage in magical education. Having some combat experience is useful, but that doesn't matter if you're all dead before you can fight due to picking up some terribly accursed item or do something that causes an anomalous magical shitstorm.
-Corona -> "Devoted of Atrue" -> Highly religious -> Almost certainly not compatible with our Armada friend.
-Gooder girl
No. 940570 ID: 7fafab

Also, being inexperienced and probably a bit more timid means she's more likely to tolerate an Armada teammate - she won't be as likely to fight against it.
No. 940572 ID: 977456

I would really like Corona, mostly because she seems like she more immediately needs someone who won't try to take advantage of her(which is ironic considering she is probably less naive about other people). We could probably get-by by looking for someone else with expertise (like a thief who dabbles in runes or something). End-of-the-day though, Dances just seems like the better choice. 'm just hoping she stay cinnamon roll and doesn't turn try-hard bad-girl as soon as her father stops looking (Personal preference 'course. If you want that then go for it.).
Although for now we are asking question. I will reserve final judgement until we have answers.
No. 940585 ID: 2df440

My genre experience is telling me to vote Dances. The education she has will only be strengthened by real world experience.
No. 940593 ID: b5bc34

I do want to ask what it actually is of her name isn't what it sounds like
No. 940601 ID: 5a5548
File 156422779975.png - (468.90KB , 1500x1500 , 0049.png )

Emerald doesn't need to make a decision just yet. she reasons that right now she should focus more on coming up with a good set of questions for these Spellers, rather than try to figure out which of the two to recruit right now.
No. 940610 ID: 4854ef

Dances-Nude: How often do Leylines come up that your specialty comes into play often enough to see use? You say you can direct things, but how far can you push them would you say?

Corona: How much power can you direct outward? You say your the best, but that doesn't give me much indication of how much strength you can output into your spells, or how long.
No. 940614 ID: 094652

Question 1: Suppose you accidentally trigger a trap and don't dodge in time, wounding you. What would be the first three things you would do?

Question 2: Are you willing to stay in close contact with anyone for extended periods of time, even if they are the most disgusting person you have ever met, if your leader orders you to use them as a meatshield?

Question 3: How many days are you willing to starve yourself on partial rations and drops of water?

Question 4: If you see a strange object, what will you do first?

Question 5: BOO! Alright, calm down. As fast as you can.
No. 940615 ID: 9876c4

Swimsuit, eveningwear, and talent segments.
No. 940620 ID: b1b4f3

Ask them both how interested they are in putting out Linefires.
Also ask them both if they have any knowledge about monsters. You're probably gonna be fighting some.
Ask Corona if she does anything other than blow things up. Does she have any utilitarian or buff/debuff spells?
Ask Dance how reliable her sorcery is exactly. It sounds like her magic changes depending on where she is. Is she guaranteed to be useful in any location? Can she do a variety of things at all times, or only one thing depending on location? We'll need some examples of what her magic can do exactly, her description is very vague so far.
No. 940629 ID: 7fb87a

have either of you defended yourselves before? Magic or not.
No. 940792 ID: 7dc36a

If you need a test for this impromptu job interview, just take out your big ol' familiar sword:

Dance: What can you tell me about this?

Corona: If I swing at you with this, what would you do?
No. 941167 ID: 7fafab

Well, I feel like I don't need any special questions.
Dances seems to me like she'll be the far better choice in the long run.

Corona seems hot-headed (totally original joke) and arrogant, plus has rejected magical education.

Those are much harder problems to solve than "lacks experience" and "timid".

Our warrior's the one for whom in-field experience is most important, I'd say, as no amount of training will teach you to keep from cracking under pressure when something is stabbing at you, even if you're in armor, the way experience does.
No. 941168 ID: 7fafab

Oh, one question:
"Are you willing to work with members of any race?"
No. 941557 ID: b5bc34

honestly, figuring out how open-minded and brave they are would probably be the most important thing, considering the circumstances. though i also want to know how useful the different schools can be in both combat and non-combat situations, more than we already can infer.
No. 941693 ID: 5a5548
File 156518495237.png - (482.39KB , 1500x1500 , 0050.png )

Emerald begins interviewing Corona.

>care to fill us in a bit more on what the invoker games are?
hah. the Invoker games. real barbaric shit. it's a week long tournament held between Spellers of all kinds. Hellfire Invokers started it, so it's called the Invoker Games. the games are split into several brackets. there are the trials, which are really more of an entertainment for the kids, there's rarely much blood spilt there, it's just a lot of hopping over obsticals and casting your way out of traps. the doubles, in which two teams of two Spellers are pitted against each other. then there's the grand melee. that's the big event. it's six rounds. the first two rounds are 30 man brawls. the spells fly like hunks of spit and fuckers get KO'd left and right. you have to be quick and stay low or you're liable to get your skull rattled by a necrosiphon or a severbolt. after that, the top 16 are put together and the next 4 rounds are duels. those are the real tests of mettle; and thrice now I've come out on top. past the Necromancers, and the Bleeders, the Gorepriests, the Dragonspeakers, the Paladins, the Elementalists... every school comes down to the games and no one is treated unequal. at the end of the day, the victor is the better caster.

>What kind of spells do you know?
huh? well I don't really cast spells. I invoke Hellfire. I can pull Hellfire from hell and will it to the shape, temperature, and size that I want. Invokers know a few tricks with Hellfire that we use to make it do what we need it to. I can wreath my hands in it, that's called a Wrathshroud, and I can use it to deal with melee combatants; the fire creates a bubble of pressure so I can turn blades if I need to. if I shape the fire into a dart and send it flying we call that a Malicespike, and we normally use it to poke someone between armored plates. a Spiteblossom, that's just when I cause a small eruption of Hellfire, that can originate on any surface or living creature so we usually use it to disperse crowds of people. if I create a small pocket of it and blast that outward in a cone, we call that Grieve Flechette, and it's how I get people to back off if I need them to. I've been looking into more tricks but those are the ones I can do no problem. there is a trick I've been meaning to learn called Spitemare but it's pretty risky, and I'm just as flammable as anyone else.

>Seeing how you just got done with a mission what are some other missions you've been on?
oh that was just a starting mission. some test Crawlers need to pass to earn the coin. mine was clearing out a crypt of some ghouls. I just rang the dinner bell and got them all close together before roasting them. the other chick who was on assignment with me mostly set up behind me and picked the more resilient ones off with her throwing knives. that was my first Crawl, but I've done a bit of dungeon crawling here and there, nothing too major. I mostly just do these dives to pass the time between Invoker Games or Atrue Services. if you're asking if I know what I'm getting into going down there, I'm well aware of the risk.

>How well do you think you could figure out what some random magic do-dad we may come across does?
that's not really my skill set, but if you need someone to identify a spell, I'm pretty good at that. I've dealt with enough Spellers that I can pretty easily size up a spell just by seeing and hearing it get cast. that kind of skill is important when you're in the Grand Melee or Doubles. in Doubles if your partner can trust you will know what they're casting without them having to spell it out for you beforehand that's a few seconds you don't have to waste while dodging Power Words and Cinder Sigils. of course, magic items are just normal items with a spell cast on them, so if I fool around with it for a bit I could at least narrow down the enchantment.

>Can you demonstrate any sensory magic? Please provide an estimate of Dance's dangerous strengths and vulnerable weaknesses as a combat opponent.
nah I can't really cast a spell that makes me see better or whatever. you want me to size up that Zenling you were talking to? sure. I'm guessing she's a Linewriter. the glasses are likely crystal lenses, and that's something only Linewriters tend to use. if that's the case... it's not really fair for me to size her up as an opponent. Linewriting is a slow and tedious kind of magic. not something you use in combat a whole lot. if she's quick with her writing she could try to Linebite me, but that's hardly a match for a Hellfire Invoker's combat abilities in a one-on-one scrap. then again, I did see a Linewriter make it to the finals one year, but that guy is maybe the best Linewriter there ever was, and he was still knocked out in the last round by an Invoker. if she were to want to fight me, her best bet would be to prepare ahead of time and set some Leyline traps, but if I just jumped her and starting hucking fire, nah. forget about it.

>You have any experience putting out fires with your magic instead of starting them?
hmm... maybe I could do that. something like a firebreak. Hellfire doesn't need fuel to burn but I think it still consumes the fuel it comes in contact with. I know that I can start normal fires with Hellfire if I will it to burn cold enough. I'll say I haven't tried it, but it's definitely possible.

>How much power can you direct outward? You say you're the best, but that doesn't give me much indication of how much strength you can output into your spells, or how long.
I can make a Hellfire as big and as hot as I want, but if I go too far I start to get burned since I am the conduit to Hell that the fire is coming through. same thing happens when I manifest for too long. I can keep a fire hot enough to melt steel and make stone glow, but I can only make it so big and hold it for so long. that's why I usually channel that into a dart and toss it through armor plates. that's also why the big explosions I can manifest are usually a bit colder.

>Suppose you accidentally trigger a trap and don't dodge in time, wounding you. What would be the first three things you would do?
well I assume we'll be taking a healer along with us, I'm thinking that they will be the one to handle injury. I've taken a few blows before so I'm not too worried I'll start panicking or go into shock over a caltrop or something. if there isn't a healer around, I've cauterised a wound a few times before. it's not exactly my favorite way to spend the day but it works.

>Are you willing to stay in close contact with anyone for extended periods of time, even if they are the most disgusting person you have ever met, if your leader orders you to use them as a meatshield?
I'm not a big fan of meat shields to be honest. I don't like having to lob malicespikes over their heads. honestly I don't have much trouble dealing with anyone. if they get out of line, start acting like a shit head, I'll remind them of the pecking order real fast.

>How many days are you willing to starve yourself on partial rations and drops of water?
oh now we're getting into the real shit, Horns? I was wondering when you'd quit with the softball. I can outlast any of the chuckleheads you put in front of me. most of these preppies in the hall here are used to mommie's fresh baked bread and thick sliced bacon. they'd likely keel over if they went a night without a flagon of midshelf wine. I grew up in the gutter, I spent days and weeks eating what I could catch and kill in the sluices and drinking what little clean water I could forage for in that shit bowl of a city. before I started claiming my winnings at the Games I lived like a rat. now that I do have money, I live like a rat in the clothing of a churchmouse. I still go without, because I know one day it might not be something I can choose to do. let me ask you, how many days do you think you could go without food and water?

>do you have any knowledge about monsters? You're probably gonna be fighting some.
I've picked some things up. I know that undead don't take kindly to fire. I know that Daemons can't be hurt directly by Hellfire but you can certainly choke them out by burning up all the air in their lungs. I know that most every bandit, beast, and bastard creeping around in those dungeons would very much not like to be immolated. most of my knowledge comes from fighting the various cretins I've faced off against. I've not got much scholarly information though. don't expect me to know the Estrus cycle of a Scythedrake, but if you need me to roast one I can.

>Ask Corona if she does anything other than blow things up. Does she have any utilitarian or buff/debuff spells?
huh. none yet. I know there are a few Hellfire tricks for buffing party members. I can Wrathshroud your weapon if you don't mind having Hellfire that close to your face. there is an other Trick I'm trying to get down where I can use the Hellfire to heal minor wounds, but it's a tough one, and it's not easy finding volunteers to help me practice.

>have you defended yourself before? Magic or not.
get a load of this chick. asking me if I can defend myself. yeah tough guy, I'm easy pickins, go ahead and throw a jab.

>If I swing at you with this, what would you do?
I'll fuck up your face pretty bad. but seriously, let's see here. a longsword like that is pretty heavy, so I'm not going to want to try and parry it with a Wrathshroud. I'd probably either want to pop your noggin with a Malicespike before you got in swinging distance, or, if I couldn't do that, I'd dodge the swing and spray you with a Grieve Flechette. that'd either kill you or knock you on your ass so I could finish you off. really, swinging a sword at an Invoker is a bad idea. it's like bringing a knife to a hand grenade fight. not to say that you couldn't outplay me with that blade of yours. it looks pretty well smithed and you don't exactly look like a rookie when it comes to swinging it around, but I'll say you're going to be at a disadvantage.

>"devoted of Atrue"? are you religious?
huh. you've not met many Furies, I guess. yeah, I have a Patron. I don't worship her, though. I'm courting her. when I eventually burn out, Atrue is going to take my fire to her realm, and when she does, if I impressed her, I'll get her hand in matrimony. really I could care less about the living happily ever after part, I just want a handful of that ass. the ass of the original flame. the oldest fire. the first light that once illuminated the world. that, my friend, is the most heavenly of asses to sink one's fingers into.

>what do you think of Armada?
what kind? are we talking about a Bleeder? a Gorepriest? some kind of other Speller? or are we talking about a boring one with no magic? I like Bleeders a lot. I used to do Doubles with a Bleeder. he was a firecracker. you would hear him throwing out those dumb ass poems and then suddenly he'd be chucking little needles of blood from his fingers like shuriken. Bleeders don't give a fuck about their own safety. little dude would jump in the way of spells all the time and just keep spitting lines and psalms like it was nothing. I think he had a crush on me, but I'm pretty sure most Bleeders get their cocks cut off. as far as Gorepriests go? eh. I'll pass on that. I've seen enough people get turned inside out. they're certainly effective combatants, but I was not sad to see them go when I found out they would be banned from the Invoker Games. the Games aren't supposed to be fought to the death. sure, sometimes when the spellcraft is flying about an unluck sod buys the farm, but Gorepriests? nah. they put you underground like you're nothing. well, the put most folks underground. I had little trouble with them. it's not so easy popping my ribs out when you're sucking in as much hellfire as air.

Emerald thanks Corona for her answers and then interviews Dances-Nude.
No. 941694 ID: 5a5548
File 156518505492.png - (603.29KB , 1500x1500 , 0051.png )

>what kind of tricks can a line writer pull off?
oh well. like I said I can rewrite the code of a Leyline. where the Leylines intersect I would be able to change the physical properties of that area. for instance, there are Leyline intersections down your spine. those are called Chakras, and I can change the properties of your chakras to make physical changes to you. uhm for example I can select your heart chakra and change the properties of it to make you stronger, or dull your pain, or uhm... I'm sorry I am trying to remember the code for it, but I could change the code of your heart chakra to do several things that would make you a bit stronger. same goes for the mind chakra, or the spirit chakra. I can also effect other intersections that aren't attached to people. any magical item has an intersection, there are static intersections in the world, there are intersections everywhere, and I can change the code to , for instance, reverse gravity in an area, or create a magic bubble that nullifies other spells in the area. there's no limit to the codes I can learn. of course, I am still learning, so I don't know a lot of codes, and I still have to memorize a few before I can start writing them freehand, without my books.

>Can it be used in a fight or is it not really viable to use during battle?
uhm... well, it is not very easy to use Leylines offensively. when people move around, their chakras become harder to track, and writing these codes take some time. I would have trouble, for instance, using someone's heart chakra to stop bloodflow and make them pass out. the main way that Linewriters can cast offensively is through a Linebite. I will write garbage code and attach it to their chakras, and when the Leyline tries to run that code, it will be unable to, and will expunge it from its directory, which will cause damage to that chakra. it isn't as effective as a Firebolt or a Necrosiphon, and it's still slower than many other offensive spells, but it is something that any Linewriter can do without trying to keep a bead on a shifting chakra while writing code.

>What kind of schooling did you receive as in were you taught how to fight, how easily can you identify unknown magical items, those sort of things?
Daddy taught me all about the Magical theories. he wants me to become a Sorceress Supreme, like he is. you know, master all the schools of Sorcery. I'm an apprentice Linewriter right now, but I plan to learn the other schools as soon as I can. can I identify magical items? sure! some of them! Daddy taught me some Artifice. I know a lot of common enchanments. I can usually identify if an item is enchanted or cursed, unless it has a strong glamour or is something foreign, but Daddy has a large library of exotic cursed items. he has a pair of vintage Fuck Up Boots, a Howling Headsman's Axe, a Sword of Shearing, Meatclown, and loads of other knick knacks. he... uhm... never taught me much in the way of fighting, though. he said that only fools and farmers fight their own battles when Daemons are so cheap.

>Glasses. Do you need them? What would break them? How easily can spares be acquired?
o-oh. these? uhm. yes I need them. they're crystal lenses. I use them to see the Leylines, and also to read. th-that part's not an enchantment, they're corrective lenses. they are pretty hardy. Daddy forged them from sand he got from Hell. they're not easy to replace, though. I should be able to get a new pair from Daddy, but I'd be unable to Linewrite until I got them back.

>You ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
oh! uhm. aheh. well... Daddy has a lot of Daemon summoning equipment and I... it's perfectly normal, you see. Daemon pacts are not anything to be ashamed of! of course, if that pact had anything to do with dancing, that wouldn't be weird either! heheh... heh...

>What's the subject you're weakest in?
Daddy has tried to tutor me in public speaking. I'm afraid I'm talentless there. he says that strength of personality is vital for a Sorceress. I hope he's wrong...

>so... Dances-Nude. not what it sounds like?
uhm! w-well. you see... I uh. Zenlings collect names as we grow older. my full name is Snow-Upon-Fresh-Earth Sugarcane Reads-From-Kings Dances-Nude. so, you see... Dances-Nude isn't even that relevant of a name! it is in fact, completely irrelevant. m-meaningless. h-has no meaning. none!

>How often do Leylines come up that your specialty comes into play often enough to see use?
Leylines are everywhere, and so Leyline Writers have utility anywhere they go. we mostly see use in the civilian sector, though. there, you have all the time you need to write out codes. Leyline Writers are the reason why the Ghost Lattice works, we are the reason why enchantments can be placed upon items, we are the reason why the mail can get delivered so quickly. in combat, Layline Writers usually prepare ahead of time. they rewrite the chakras of their allies to give them an edge, and they set Linetraps on the battlefield to try to disrupt the enemy.

>You say you can direct things, but how far can you push them would you say?
right now I have to make the changes sort of small. if you push the code too much without proper syntax, you could risk getting Linebitten yourself, so novice Linewriters have to keep the code simple, and therefore the effects are less powerful than a more experienced Writer.

>Suppose you accidentally trigger a trap and don't dodge in time, wounding you. What would be the first three things you would do?
o-oh! uhm. I uh! oh no. I would uhm. first thing to do would be to try to uhm. elevate the wound, apply pr- E-elevate the wound, apply pressure, staunch bleeding. I would uh... alter the heart chakra to lower my heartrate, which should...make me pass out. no that's no good...

>Are you willing to stay in close contact with anyone for extended periods of time, even if they are the most disgusting person you have ever met, if your leader orders you to use them as a meatshield?
oh! uhm... I would hope I would get along well with everyone! do you think I would have a problem with one of the party members? did they say they didn't like me? I will try to be good to them if that is the case!

>How many days are you willing to starve yourself on partial rations and drops of water?
oh no! I would... if you need me to I would go without for a while. I uh, I've never done that before, though. I can't say for certain. I uh... Daddy has always provided me with food. Zenling metabolism is quite high, so I should hope that we won't run too low. if needed, I could go without as long as you need, though. m-ma'am

>If you see a strange object, what will you do first?
I would, uhm. I would read the Leylines. it might have some code on it that could be referenced. that's how I normally Identify enchantments. the Item will have a code that binds the enchantment to it. once that's done I can try to figure out what the enchantment does.

>do you have any knowledge about monsters? You're probably gonna be fighting some.
oh yes I have studied several Monster Manuals. I know a good amount about Undead, Daemons, and Dragon-alikes. they come up a lot in Sorcery. I know a lot of miscellaneous facts about many creatures as well. mostly what kind of reagents you can obtain from them; that's important for Alchemy. I'm not so good at actually fighting the monsters, but in theory I should be able to point out weaknesses or warn you about natural abilities of many monsters.

>What can you tell me about this sword?
o-oh is that the Drakkunmesser? made by the blacksmith Drakkungall? where did you get that sword? Daddy told me about it. he said that it was considered one of the most powerful nonmagical weapons ever crafted! it's a shame that the blacksmith died, he made some really amazing pieces... uhm. are you okay? you seem upset. d-did I do something wrong? I'm sorry! it's uhm. it's a bluesteel bladed longsword. bluesteel is a little heavier than steel, but it holds its edge incredibly well, and can be shaped to be much sharper than traditional metals. this means that Bluesteel swords have a lot of shear strength and don't require as much maintenance.

>Are you willing to work with members of any race?
oh. hum. I think so. that's really more of a question of whether the individual is someone I'd wish to associate with. I've only ever had much interaction with other Zenlings and Daddy. I am interested in learning more about the various races of Alt, though.

>even an Armada?
an Armada? oh. those are the southern people, right? Daddy told me about them. I was told not to associate with them. they take Zenlings as slaves. I... suppose, hypothetically, I would be ok working with an Armada... would they be a Crawler? I would hope a Crawler wouldn't have any interest in working with slavers... r-right? I've got nothing to worry about, right?

Emerald thinks about the responses she's gotten so far. she thinks she might be ready to make a decision, though she might have a couple last minute questions.
if there are any followup questions posted there will be a quick update to answer those, otherwise now is the time to vote for a party member.
No. 941695 ID: ad51b8

so from what I'm getting Corona is a MUCH better fighter and while not to great at figuring out whatever magic thing we may come across is or be able to tell us what kind of monster we're fighting she can at least be able to tell us how to deal with fighting any possible enemy spell users and can probably fight any monster quite handily as long as it needs to breath and isn't hell fire proof.

Dances on the other hand sounds like she'd be almost useless in a fight but if given some for warning could at least boast everyone else in the party to make them all better fighters. So basically a buff/debuff spell user whoooo happens not to be so good at the debuffing part of her job. However she does sound like she is VERY knowledgable so assuming she has some time to study something their would probably be very little we wouldn't be able to figure out.

So Corona is a better fighter but her spell list seems a bit more niche as their is only so much you can do with fire. Dances on the other hand is very much a support member and since she is being pushed to become sorcerer supreme will probably have a lot more options available to her in the future then Corona.

Honestly since this is our first run leading people I'm honestly leaning towards Corona as she seems much more capable then Dances-Nude and I would very much hate to see what would happen to us if daddy's little girl got hurt.

As for questions 1 for Dances. "Why doesn't she just call herself snow instead of Dance's Nude?"
and 2 for KultKanser. "are these team mates permanent members to our team or we go our separate ways once the mission is done and unless we find them available for future missions won't run into them again? Also if we don't pick someone now might we be able to see them again in the future when building a different team... or at least trying to replace fallen members?"
No. 941710 ID: b1b4f3

This seems like kindof a blowout for Corona honestly. She's no support caster and is somewhat more likely to cause party friction, but is extremely good in a fight, is good enough at dealing with magic and magical items, and can easily tolerate hardship.

Also Dances hasn't even passed her entry exam, she needs to do that before she can join. How long would that take?
No. 941715 ID: 0fae41

Dances would summon demons, buff allies, and has an interest in multiclassing? Yes please and thankyou. Don't worry, we won't be working with any slavers. (This run, at least...)
No. 941720 ID: 977456

>I'll remind them of the pecking order real fast.
This sounds like a problem, voting Dances. We're new at this leadership gig and she sounds like she has already decided that she is the most important member of the team and will resort to violence to prove it. We're just too green to handle her. Also, it sounds as though Dances could pull off some crazy stuff if we can lure monsters into a prepared trap. Maybe we can set up some portable traps? A low-quality magic shield with a reverse-gravity code on it that can be tossed into a passage to mess up anyone who steps on it?

I have this weird feeling that the invoker games are fought while wearing elaborately-painted masks and making speeches mid-battle.

>I use them to see the Leylines
I wonder if it is possible to train to see leylines without lenses. It'd be something I would like her to look into. Maybe we could get her a corrective monocle and a cheap crystal monocle and she could train to adapt to blurry leylines and...
No. 941722 ID: 094652

At this point, I think we should hire Corona now, but plan to frequently hire Dances in the long term.

Corona is independent and has high survival skills, at the cost of being slightly shortsighted. If things go pear-shaped she will survive long enough to get everyone out of a few sticky situations, just enough time to retreat. She also has real Crawler experience, so she'll keep herself from making rookie mistakes, which means her arrogant short temper isn't a real threat in the short-term.

Dances, on the other hand, is an all-round improvement with high maintenance. If she's well protected and given time to learn, she'll be an outright force multiplier and overall intelligence boost to your party. That's essential in the long run, when starvation and bad decisions are exponentially more of a threat than a horde of murderhobos. But right now, she's simply too under-prepared to act independently; all it would take is one bad turn to get her killed. Level up first, then grind her levels until she's your second brain.
No. 941724 ID: 10c408

Alright, I like Corona. Lots of experience fighting other spell casters, decent knowledge about determing what type of creature she's targetting before killing it with fire and unlikely to freak out.

HOWEVER, we're dungeon crawling. We're not signing up to fight casters in an arena or going into a hostile area to neutralize enemy combatants. For those tasks sure I'd pick Corona in a heartbeat but I'm voting for dances for the following reasons.

1: Corona admitted that she's never studied and her best method for determining spellwork is hearing it being cast. Good for fighting casters, bad for literally everything else we probably will come across. No point in one person on the team knowing that we've accidentally set off an explosives rune trap right before it frags everyone in the group.

2: friendly fire isn't actually very friendly, and as she so clearly stated, she doesn't give a crap about causing it. And considering that anyone on the frontline is most likely going to be wearing full body armor, getting splashback because the fire mage didn't care at all is far too much trouble to take along.

3: authority issues. We are the expedition leader and we have to make the hard decisions. Corona doesn't sound like she'll respect this at all and if there's any in-fighting on the crawl, she'll probably win it decisively. And that's not something we can afford.

So, for those three reasons I'm voting for taking the Dances. Yes, she's inexperienced but it sounds like she can do some amazing shit with ample prepr work and in a pinch she can still attack while we defend her.
No. 941738 ID: 8eaf98

Dances hands down. My original reasoning still stands and is reinforced by the interviews
No. 941748 ID: b5bc34

I mean, first off tell Dances-Nude that her idea about the heart-rate would only be a problem if she was alone. Slowing the bleeding by lowering the heart-rate would be really useful, on her or on others. She's got good instincts.

And you asked about the sword, it's not her fault she knew more than you expected or that it affected you, she should be told it's okay.

This decision is super difficult. Corona is an excellent fighter and you need that, but you have yourself, and maybe the Armada as capable fighters, and you really need someone with a lot of knowledge on your team.

I'm convinced we need Dances-Nude. You're not really in a position to hire someone who's such an investment, but your whole M.O. at this point is hiring hidden potential, so go for it.
Just make sure she agrees ahead of time to not tell Daddy about the Armada on the team and we're good to go.
No. 941773 ID: 7fafab

Corona can fight, but so can everyone else. She would only be useful in combat, unlike Dances. For example, if you were doing recon or setting up an ambush, Corona could only describe the appearance of an unaware enemy. Dances could tell you far more than that by looking at their "code", and perhaps even perform subtle chakra manipulation to make them less effective if/when you fight them.

Dances will get better at combat with time, while Corona has rejected education.
Dances has stated her desires to improve where she is lacking, while Corona has outright refused to do so.

Corona seems more egotistical, which is never a plus in a group-based activity. Dances has established that she's friendly.

Corona points out that Dances would be useless in an ambush, but I believe the insect would be quite useful in preventing an ambush. If she can manipulate things in the way she says she can, she could make your eyes see with far greater precision in the darkest of caves.

In the end, Corona is a magical fighter. She doesn't bring anything particularly special to the group.
Dances brings a unique set of skills with their own application that other team members are unlikely to be able to cover.
Dances is my choice. I doubt our first run will be one that involves starvation and amputation.

"I just want a handful of that ass. the ass of the original flame."
Dick Souls

No. 941775 ID: 0091dc

How long do leyline buffs last?
No. 941793 ID: 5a5548
File 156523427838.png - (389.95KB , 1500x1500 , 0052.png )

>are these team mates permanent members to our team or we go our separate ways once the mission is done and unless we find them available for future missions won't run into them again? Also if we don't pick someone now might we be able to see them again in the future when building a different team... or at least trying to replace fallen members?
the character that is unselected will not be appearing later in this story, but they may be seen again sometime in an other story. the character that is selected will be participating in the adventure hopefully to its conclusion. they will at least be an active participant until their personal conclusion...

"why don't you go by Snow? if Dances-Nude is a problem." Emerald asks.

"y-you want me to go by my birth name?" Dance replies confusedly.

"is that a problem?"

"it's a bit tacky." Dance explains, "Zenlings don't generally go by their old names. it's a social faux pas. we usually go by our most recent name. unfortunately until I do something noteworthy, I'm just... Dances-Nude."

Emerald nods unsurely, then asks "how long do Leyline effects last?"

"until the Leyline purges itself. it's usually every couple of minutes that the Leyline resets its code to the unmodded state, though some codes are designed to be self replicating and permanent. I don't know any of those yet, but those codes are how the Ghost Lattice is set up."

"have you done your starting crawl yet?" Emerald wonders.

"oh. uhm. I was talking to Daddy about it when I came in. I had just gotten through the exam and Daddy felt that the Skirmisher I was working with was trying to take advantage of me. we had a bit of a miscommunication about it and I was just explaining to him my stance that having a jury of Daemons beat the crap out of her was an overreaction. b-but the point is that I have my coin, or I will when Daddy gets back from dealing with the Scribe."
No. 941794 ID: b1b4f3

Wait, can she summon demons to help with fights too?
No. 941798 ID: b5bc34

We heard that Linewriters can make traps in the environment to catch enemies in, what are those like and which ones can you do?

I still want to pick her but I'm curious about this too.
No. 941810 ID: af0014

I'm gonna ask a few more questions just for curiosities sake since I already voted.

Exactly how close would you have to be to a leyline in order to write with it? If you and the line are close enough but your target is elsewhere, what are your immediate options? And if we came across a room full of, say, floating rocks shooting lasers at intruders, how would you handle it?
No. 941812 ID: 864e49

Can "one-trick" Corona find and disarm hidden traps or read ancient text? If no then go with Dances.

I mean we're going dungeon crawling not to war, and anyway we already have two blades for dealing with demons and spirits, a claymore for anything else, a healer who is a blood mage and quit possibly once a high level member of her armada clan and we still have to find a Rogue and a Warrior. We do not need another fighter.

Also Dances cute and needs the experience.
No. 941816 ID: 864e49

>pair of vintage Fuck Up Boots
HAha ha wait waht

Also should we inform her that she looks really hot in that school uniform? And why is one sleeve different?
No. 941817 ID: b1b4f3

I think our rogue is gonna be dealing with the traps, not the speller.
No. 941820 ID: 864e49

But what if hidden MAGIC traps!?
No. 941821 ID: d6afc2

This is pretty much the question if we want JoCat or Zee Bashew be our wizard.
No. 941827 ID: 7fafab

"Well, three of your fellow teammates aren't Zenlings, so if you're more comfortable with Snow, I'll address you as such and ask them to do the same. Fair warning: I can't guarantee that losing the lewd name will stop me from teasing a cutie like you."

"And yes, your teammates - you're welcome aboard, if you would have us alongside you."
No. 941828 ID: 7fafab

Do Zenlings have an equivalent of Ludeling petting? If you don't know, ask her; if so, do it.
No. 943376 ID: 5a5548
File 156654531614.png - (602.64KB , 1500x1444 , 0053.png )

"I think I'm going to go with the Sorceress. I'm sorry." Emerald says to the Fury after some thought, "you seem powerful, but I'm looking for someone with more book smarts right now. maybe some other time we could group up?"

"sounds like a date, horns." Corona says seductively, "I'm probably going to be off somewhere else pretty soon, though. say, how about you come down to next year's Invoker Games? you could watch me do my thing. if the door guy gives you any shit, you tell him you're with me."

she punctuates this by clapping a hand on the small of Emerald's back affectionately. her tail springs up in response to the sudden touch. Emerald realizes that Corona has been coming on to her this whole time, she starts to blush as Corona waits for her answer, eyes narrowing.

"yeah! s-sure. I'd love to see more of you- to see more of what you do, that is. heheh."

"yeah, same." Corona flashes a genuine smile before turning away, "see you around, Horns~"

Emerald gulps down her nervous stutter and tries to lose her blush as she returns to Dance, "uhm. ahem. I have decided to take you on as our party's speller."

"really?" Dance beams back.
No. 943377 ID: 5a5548
File 156654551573.png - (541.18KB , 1500x1500 , 0054.png )

"yes. after some thought I decided that you wou- ACK"

Dance wraps her arms around Emerald and squeals in excitement. for a scrawny girl, Emerald can't help but notice she's got some serious grip. Emerald eventually wriggles out from Dance's grapple.

"s-sorry!" Dance gasps, "I got too excited. I'm really sorry!"

"it's ok. before you go to get your paperwork sorted, could you answer just a few more questions? they'll be quick, I swear."

"yes, of course!" Dance beams, "no one past Daddy has been so interested in me! it makes me feel a bit conceited, if you must know."

"you said you could lay traps?"

"oh yes!" she nods happily, "I only know a few right now. I can make a Siphon Trap which makes all magic in the area fizzle out, a Gravity Trap which can increase or lower gravity in the area enough to either ground or levitate those who enter the area, and I can also make a ghostfire trap which will cause a small explosion of heat in the area which can singe skin and burn flammable objects. the trigger for these traps is based on Leyline ripples, which means that the closer they are to the intersection I put the code in the better."

"interesting." Emerald says, "you said you have summoned Daemons before?"

"oh yes, but I wouldn't be able to do it again without a stocked laboratory." she explains, "truenames are long and complicated so I need to read them out of a special tome until I can memorize them, I need a lot of supplies to prepare for the ritual as well. Daemonists eventually learn how to summon Daemons without salt circles and anitholy artifacts by bartering souls with them, but Daddy hasn't taught me how to do that yet. he says Daemonism and Necromancy are too dangerous for apprentices to meddle with. actually, if he asks, I never went into his laboratory and summoned a Greater Daemon of Song, ok?"

"how far away from a Leyline can you still affect it?"

"I have to be able to touch a Leyline to write its code, but Leylines are very long and intersect everywhere. the longer the code has to travel on a Leyline the more likely I will get packet loss on the new code, so I would say optimal range would be... 20-30 meters before some of my codes begin to fizzle out. and uh, obviously I need to see where the intersection is. trying to write coordinates blind is tricky, and Linebites hurt a lot!"

"well. that's all I can think of for now." Emerald says, rubbing her chin, "welcome to the team. is there a Zenling equivalent to petting a Ludeling?"

"uhm? you mean f-foreplay?" she stutters, "w-well yes we h-have a certain uhm. ah, r-ritual that..."

"what? no I meant like a friendly gesture!"

"OH!" she turns beet red, "mnnn. sorry. I misunderstood. y-yes we have several gestures of endearment. usually we sing for our friends. that, and dancing. Zenlings dance for many occasions."

"you sing for your friends?"

"yes! like this." she clears her throat, "Emerald caldi evne akku ie veraika talvikkii!"

it's a short little diddy, but Dance sings it incredibly sweetly, and with a volume that Emerald did not expect from her.

"it's in old Zeni, sorry." she mutters, rubbing the back of her neck apologetically, "usually we sing in old Zeni."

"what did you say?"

"Emerald the Gargoyle, stout and stoic, Crawler queen." she says, "oh it sounds so dorky in Commoner Tongue! I'm sorry Zenling songs are usually better I promise."

"it was good!" Emerald laughs, "you've got a much better singing voice than I do. I'll have to work on mine and give you a song of my own, how's that sound?"

"sounds lovely!" she giggles, "I'll work on my lyrics as well, maybe we can make a duet together?"

Emerald watches her as she trots away to finish her paperwork with her father. was... was Dance also trying to flirt with her? Emerald is beginning to worry that everyone is secretly trying to fuck her. she banishes the thought. she needs to find a Warrior and a Thief. she quickly checks her Ghost Lattice. it seems Harvess is still busy for now, so she should still have some time to find more companions. where to next?
No. 943379 ID: b1b4f3

Let's find us a big ol warrior.
I'm guessing you can find one at a training hall or blacksmith?
No. 943381 ID: ad51b8

might as well go warrior. Figure if we can grab one now it will let us figure out what kind of skill monkey we want for our thief.
No. 943383 ID: 0fae41

Let's get ahold of a rogue before they're all 'called away' to deal with the aftermath (i.e. looting) of that runaway wildfire.
No. 943387 ID: 094652

See if you can get a sniper-class long-range archer for your rogue slot. With Dances-Nude laying traps and your 'Paladin' Harvess scaring the ^&*( out of the opposition, most of your higher-level threats are going to stay the @#$% away from your killzones and take potshots until you stop moving. Hire someone who can take potshots at them first.

Rounding out this party, get a Defender who focuses more on mass-defending the team than aggro-tanking.

Suggested Crawler re-name: Killzone.
No. 943401 ID: b5bc34

I don't know if Dances-Nude was flirting but she seemed really ready to be flirted with and at that point the distinction isn't that important.

Okay, let's check out the Rogues. A fighter is a fighter, as variable as that can be, but a rogue is variety as a job description. Don't want to miss out on any possible members by waiting too long.
No. 943484 ID: 10c408

Dea was going to meet up with us when she was done with her current adventure and help ensure that the expedition goes as smoothly as possible since we're a rookie at leading them.

And since there's quite possibly two warriors or at least one warrior and one unarmoured bruiser in the party...

Look for a thief next. We've got any assortment of weird magical shit covered
No. 943485 ID: 32b5ec

I don't believe Dances is flirting with us. To me, she simply seems very earnest and friendly.
This, however, should not stop us from being friendly and flirtatious with her when given an effective opportunity.

I'd say we find a warrior first. You've got a more passive spellcaster; we need to find a big ol' fleshwall-in-training.

Also, is Dea coming with us? What role is she covering? Have I mis-interpreted/remembered things?
No. 953338 ID: 5a5548
File 157893743677.png - (1.79MB , 1943x1704 , 0055.png )

a Rogue! I'm one of those! sort of! the thing you want to look for in a good Rogue is adaptability. they need to be ready to handle any kind of situation, and keep a cool head when doing it! their role in a party is both combat and support. they skulk around the sidelines of the fight, keeping the rest of the group safe from hidden threats and dispensing targets in a more precise way than a fighter or Speller. there are a lot of kinds of rogues, too. thieves and acrobats, assassins, scouts, brigands; there are all kinds, my first group called me a uh... Brawler? maybe you can find one of those! when you shop around for a Rogue always remember to look for adaptability, applicable skills, and self reliance! it's the cornerstone of good Roguery.

Emerald thinks on what Dia told her about rogues as she walks down the hall and out into the Guild courtyard. the courtyard is quite big, just like the guildhall. Emerald thinks that it's odd that a smallish city like this one has such a massive guild. maybe this is just a central location for Crawler related activities? she shrugs it off and refocuses on the task at hand.
No. 953339 ID: 5a5548
File 157893745866.png - (510.39KB , 1500x1500 , 0056.png )

"now just where am I going to find a Rogue?" she thinks aloud, rubbing her chin. as the words leave her lips, a rumbling overtakes the ground.
No. 953340 ID: 5a5548
File 157893749585.png - (879.00KB , 2000x2130 , 0057.png )

"you need a rogue?"

"hey Rogue here!"

"Rogue looking for group!"

"hey I'm a Rogue! please! Please!"

Emerald gets bowled over by a mass of Cutpurses and Backstabbers as they all vie for a spot in her party.
No. 953341 ID: 5a5548
File 157893763919.png - (927.32KB , 2000x2000 , 0058.png )

"hey there, sis!" Emerald hears a voice as someone grabs ahold of her collar and yanks her out from under the crowd, "you've look like a proper mark, calling out for Rogues to come to you, eh?"

Emerald stands and dusts herself off. the person who pulled her free from the mob is a Gargoyle. shorter by a bit than her, and about half as wide, sporting a grin and a thick coastliner accent.

"Yeah, we've got a reputation for eagerness." The Zenling cuts in. Emerald looks the two of them down. They both look young. Good looking, too. She had always thought of rogues as shifty, unsettling figures, grown old prematurely from hard lives in the gutters, but these men seem almost like school boys. she supposes it only follows logic. Dia is a Rogue as well, and she looks more like a dancer or a fancy noble lady, when she's not bruised and battered...

"But, hey. 'long as we've got you here... Word is you're looking to hire." The gargoyle smiles as he holds out his hand to shake, "name's Flynt. Strauss clan."

Emerald shakes his hand, her palm clammy from flynt's warm gaze. he really is a rather charming man. his demeanor is disarming.

"And you can call me Red-feather." The zenling says, "it's been a while since Flynt and I had a partner. And a lady of high blood no less."

"High blood? No I'm just a village girl."

"Village girls don't carry around Bluesteel choppers, m'lady" Flynt mockingly tips the brim of a mimed hat. Emerald turns to show the blade on her back.

"This? Oh thats just-"

"Drakkunmesser" Red-feather finishes, "yeah, that's a fine thing. Who'd you nick that from? You know you could fence that thing and retire from it?"

"I didn't steal it!" Emerald Huff's, "it's mine! And I'm not looking to sell it."

"So you're Drakkungart, then?" Flynt rubs his chin, "alright. Whatever you got brewing, I'm in."

"Hey now, friend. The lady's not looking for rogues. She looking for a rogue. One. That means you're redundant." Red-feather sticks his togue out derisively as he says so.

"I'm redundant eh?" Flynt scoffs, "s'that's your expert opinion, then? you're gonna turn this into an other contest, then?"

"may as well." Red-Feather gloats, "I always win anyway~"

"you've Dementia, old timer." Flynt counters, "last few times as memory serves I was on top and you were eatin' shite."

"then you're delusional. you've contracted a head sickness from your constant whoring and carousing."

"Aye and you've contracted a parasite in your mush filled insect brain."

"and you've had a concussion in your bald, empty head."

"And your cock has rotted off."

"And your arsehole has fallen out."

"and you-"

"Guys!" Emerald barks. the two of them jump and turn back to her, "how about instead of you two fighting like Goylings, I just decide? let's start with your class, ok?"
No. 953342 ID: 5a5548
File 157893766705.png - (436.30KB , 1500x1500 , 0059.png )

"right." Flynt grins, "I'm a Brigand. grew up as a pup in m' dad's raider clan. we would skulk up to unsuspecting merchants and preppy richfolk as they set up camp for the night and pull 'em off their horses and drakecattle, then have off with their tatt as quick as we came. 'course, I'm not in the raidin' life no more. I'm a legitimate sanctioned throat slitter these days. I do most of my work side by side with your warrior. while they keep the riff raff occupied I find m'self a foe that's suitably froggy and I make an opening, then when they're off balance, I bring up m' hatchets and find soft meats. if things get hairy, I'm no wilting daisy, either. I can take a knuckle to the jaw as good as any knight or merc you can find in the guild house. 'course, I know my way around the tools of the trade as well. I can pick locks, pop traps, and skulk about as well as keep my head down when our travels get hairy. also, not to brag, but I've not met a better cook 'round any campfire I've been in."

"and you?" Emerald turns to Red-Feather, who has been making mocking gestures the whole time Flynt has been talking.
No. 953343 ID: 5a5548
File 157893774564.png - (498.98KB , 1500x1500 , 0060.png )

"hehehe. well, since he set the bar as low as he did, let me just say, it's not totally his fault. I would be the better choice even if my opponent was half decent."

"aye, I'm decent enough to polish the cobblestone with your teeth, beanpole." Flynt retorts.

"my, how disrespectful." Red mocks, "well, let's see. where do I start... I'm a classically trained Velagunn Autendelaide. that's a long and complicated Zenling way to say I'm a Ranger. I have been to and killed people in every province in this continent. above ground, I am imperceptible as I fly from tree branch to tree branch, tall grass to sand dune, rocky outcrop to snow drift. in a dungeon, I am a ghost, flying silently through the hewn stone hallways and stalking the hapless beast guardians like a specter. I'm most comfortable with a bow in my hands, and an enemy at my front to skewer, but if it's a close encounter I've got my daggers, and the sharpness of mind to push them through the gaps of my foes' armor. if it's a trap or a blocked door, I'm just as capable as my friend here. outside of such filthy shitholes and into the wide world of nature, I can keep the party from stumbling into trouble, or having trouble stumble onto us as we sleep. let's be honest, the choice is obvious."

"maybe to you." Emerald replies, "but I need a minute to think about it.
just like last time, Emerald may ask the two questions before she decides between them.
No. 953346 ID: 2202fb

So he seems like the obvious choice, however one question we must know the answer to: can he cook?

That is a main selling point of our other candidate. As an outdoorsman and a ranger I would imagine that while his cooking may not be as great, he is probably experienced with scavenging and cooking with wild ingredients, not to mention hunting.

So, can he cook (also hunt and/or scavenge)?
No. 953353 ID: e7c7d3

You seem to know each other quite well. What would you say is the other's best feature?
No. 953358 ID: b1b4f3

Sword's not visible. You do still have it, right?

I'm pretty set on Red since we picked the support caster and thus need someone who can do reliable damage at range, but I guess we may as well look closer at their abilities.
Ask Flynt if he has any ranged options, and how good he is at dealing with mages or monstrous opponents. Does he have any other special tools or tricks or is it just the one-two combo he described?
Ask Red if he can take a hit. What kind of opponents is he used to?
No. 953362 ID: 0fae41

Brigand's made a good first impression, but talk is cheap. The Zephyr has some catching up to do.
On a scale of one to rogue, how quick are you to cut and run if the raid starts going downhill?
Seems they have a bit of a friendly rivalry going on. Ask both of them to name one good quality about the other guy.
No. 953364 ID: 5b0071

"Tell me about me."

A good test of their perception and a good way to filter out ass-kissers.
No. 953368 ID: 2aa5f0

So Flynt seems more like a duelist. He can sneak and find and disarm traps but also can get into a fight and not crumble like a wet paper bag. Sounds like he works better when fighting with a partner since it sounds like he good at taking advantage of openings and also seems found of ambushes. And since I don't know if we can cook having someone able to cook could actually be good for party moral.

Red on the other hand seems to be your more typical rouge and he sounds better a being able to stay hidden and attacking from the shadows and so far seems to be the only person we've come across that can attack at range.

Guess you could ask Flynt how good he is in a ranged fight and red if he knows how to cook. And seeing how our healer is someone that people might have trouble with ask how they feel about Armada. If they're going to be in the party it's best to make sure everyone can get along.
No. 953369 ID: 094652

"If I paid you a princess' ransom to kill your friend right now, how would you go about it?"

Hire the one that doesn't try to kill the other, or kills the other in a split second, or manages a feat of skill (ninja teleportation or sniper shot) while bragging about it.
No. 953397 ID: cfc80f

Have 'em tell you about their greatest achievements and worst failures. What was the largest contributing factor to the victory and what could have been done to avert the loss?

Try not to entertain the notion of having them make out with you or each other and awarding the job to the one who can go the longest without coming up for air.
No. 953417 ID: 0efe8e

No. 953418 ID: 37896a

Maybe prompt them to also respond regarding fighting, but the question is good even if that part is a wash.
No. 953438 ID: 9876c4

The skillsets of a ranger and a rogue have some overlap but not a lot. Let's just hire them both and keep the sexual tension sizzlin'.
No. 953487 ID: 977456

Ask if they are willing to return your stuff.
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