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944457 No. 944457 ID: 4075a1

Welcome
155 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
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No. 949449 ID: e5e15e
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949449

I’m hoping, if I’m sneaky enough, I can drop these things off and not have to deal with the chef again.
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No. 949450 ID: e5e15e
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949450

...Ah shit.
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No. 949451 ID: e5e15e
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949451

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No. 949452 ID: e5e15e
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949452

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No. 949453 ID: e5e15e
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949453

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No. 949454 ID: e5e15e
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949454

Well, Pole’s pissed.
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No. 949455 ID: e5e15e
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949455

I head straight over to the quarry Junkyard has been working in the last few weeks and spot her doing all the hard work like normal.

Sometimes I look at tats or sticklers struggling to pick stuff up and I wonder how they can live being so weak. Junkyards gotta think that all the time about the rest of us lankies.
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No. 949456 ID: e5e15e
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949456

“Where’ve you been?” She grunts. “I sent Fingers to find you an hour ago and that boy ain’t slow, outta everything else he is. Was he fuckin’ around playing or some shit?”
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No. 949458 ID: 0fae41

He wanted to go see the old bastard Red get hung. He was too fat for it and they had to bring out the meat cleaver.
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No. 949460 ID: b1b4f3

>>949458
Yes. Say this.
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No. 949464 ID: 015bf2

>>949456
Some shit and he wanted you along for it - the hangings. Didn't mention the meeting until after. You get the impression he's troubled, our boy Fingers. You'll talk to Ma'am about it later, see what she thinks - if there's aught anyone can do for him.

Anyway, thanks to that detour you're liable to have pissed off both Pole and Mash before the day is done. What can you do for her, lest you make it three?
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No. 949469 ID: 094652

Tell her they finally whacked Redkho, but they used the execution as a sham to show that nobles don't follow the same rules as commoners, and that nobles trying to help commoners makes them even more guilty than commoners.

So yeah, what do we need to do today?
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No. 949470 ID: 8d4593

Fuckin' around? Sure. He thought it important though. He'll take whatever you wanna dish out at him well enough.

What's up?
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No. 949702 ID: 15a025

He was hanging around the executions. Thankfully not on the other end of it.
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No. 949883 ID: 9e04c9

I don't think Fingers would want you to tell her where he was. Or you for that matter.

Tell her that you were busy training so that you could be as strong as her someday. Or something like that. An excuse mixed with some flattering.
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No. 949949 ID: e5e15e
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949949

“Redkho was getting hung. He only told me after it was done.”

“So he did exactly what I told him not to and went to the execution.” I nod and Junkyard clicks her tongue.

“I think he needs to talk to Ma’am about it. He started sayin’ some uh-” I cut myself off. “He’s got some troubles.”

“I’ll box his ears in, then we’ll see what kinda trouble he’s in then.” She snarls.

“Maybe don’t do that until I talk to Ma’am?” Junkyard gives a grunt that means she’ll do what I asked but doesn’t want to say it out loud.

“What did you need me for, anyway?” I ask

She glances around before answering. “I’ll tell you later. Just go up there and tell the roc- Ikthiss I’m done for the day.”

“Your shift done?”

“I do four times the work of anyone else, so I say I’m done. Just go make sure she doesn’t write me up or anything for ‘skipping work’.”

“We could go talk to her together. She’s not as bad as you think if you say the right things.” I say.

“If I have to see her smug fucking face one more time today I’m gonna to put my fist through it. Just say I got sick or something. She’ll believe you and she’s too lazy to check. I’ll meet you outside.”
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No. 949950 ID: e5e15e
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949950

“Ikthiss Silverlock, can we-”

“‘Of Silverlock’, Asher. I’m not literally this dumb mountain. Are you even on my crew today? Whatever, they’re whining in hole three so go help those dorks out.”

“I-”

“I swear every other day there’s some sermon or barbaric ritual of yours that takes up half the day and a third of my workers. No idea how they expect me to get anything done. What was it this time?”

“Th-”

“Wait, no. I don’t care. Just get down there and pick up the slack.”

She’s usually pretty lenient but she’s not in a good mood today. Leaving work without permission is a really bad charge if she decides to submit it, and when she’s like this she’ll probably do it. I can make up a lie, but if she does check it’ll blow up in our faces. I could say we’re going to the execution but I don’t know when it’ll end and if her workers come back and we’re not with them we could still get in trouble. Telling the truth might satisfy her, but since I still don’t know where Junkyard wants to take me it’ll sound really weak. Worst case scenario I can call in a favor but that’s… only if absolutely nothing else works.
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No. 949955 ID: b1b4f3

>>949950
If she's in a bad mood she'll probably check. Tell truth, say something like Longyard wants you for something important. Offer favor if that doesn't work.
Maybe you can soften her up by asking her what's gotten her grumpy? Anything you can help with?
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No. 949966 ID: e7c7d3

She's not even aware if you're in her crew or not. Say you're going to the execution and if you don't come back with the others she probably won't notice.
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No. 949997 ID: 8d4593

>>949950
Belive me, I would love to but [Insert a Scary Crew Boss's name here] is in the same boat as you. Everyone is. He's got me by the nose to bring back Junkyard and says he'll [Insert most insane nonlethal punishment you've heard of happening] if I come back empty handed.
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No. 950001 ID: 7e1c22

Throw Junkyard's immediate coworkers under the buss.

Those are people you CAN deal with and do favors to to make up for the inconvenience later (and they can't hang you on a dime). And stay as technically true as you can when saying what you and Junkyard are doing, as well as try to avoid upsetting Ikthiss too much further. Even if she discovers you mislead her, as long as her own impatience can be construed to be at fault at least you won't have directly lied to an authority or skipped work and earned a bad charge.

Sketch a bow or whatever you do to be respectful. Make it seem like you're sweating and uncomfortable at being put so on the spot (to be fair, you probably are).

"Ikthiss of Silverlock, I'm very very sorry, but today I am only here as a messenger and have other errands besides."

Junkyard's messenger, mind you, but it sounds official enough. And you sure seem to have your plate full today.

"Some issue has come up and Junkyard will be going to take care of it. I was not told what it was about, unfortunately, so I do not know how long she'll be kept."

Let Ikthiss assume what the issue is, which is actually whatever Junkyard wanted to do, and as Junky told you jack all about it you know nothing about it.

"You would know best how to plan for absences, but perhaps you could move a few of those working with Junkyard to hole three? She's at least done the work of several today, so that could balance the shortfall a little more evenly."

Give her the backup solution she needs before she has to spend time and energy thinking one of her own up or investigating your claims - and she might just be more inclined to grab your idea as the easiest way out of this situation. She does seem rather impatient presently.

One more thing. You should probably not tell many people about the hangings (+beheading) if it's not common knowledge yet. It pegs you as having been at and witnessed them, and if you weren't supposed to that's a tad bad... isn't it?
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No. 950011 ID: 9e04c9

Tell her that she seems to be in a bad mood unhappy and ask if she wants to talk about it. Depending on what it is, you could offer to help her with it. Basically, if you can talk her into giving you a task that would require you to leave, you'd be solving all your problems.
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No. 950558 ID: e5e15e
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950558

>Maybe you can soften her up by asking her what's gotten her grumpy?
Only if I want to listen to her complain for an hour.

>Throw Junkyard's immediate coworkers under the bus.
That’s also not a great idea. Even if I say I’ll make it up to them having bad blood with someone you’re lifting rocks with is a good way to get crushed.

“Ikthiss of Silverlock, I'm very very sorry, but I’m only here as a messenger and have other errands.” I blurt out before she can cut me off again. I get off the ladder and circle around her rock to get away from the edge.

“Then what’s the message?”

“Not for you, it’s for Junkyard. Sh-”

“Uggggghhh. Her?” Ikthiss flops over and puts on an ill-fitting gruff voice. “The hole isn’t big enough Ikthiss, we should have more safety ropes Ikthiss, blah blah blah. I don’t know how you stand hanging out with her.”

“She’s not as bad as you-” I start.

“Well go tell her and take a message from me too. ‘Get some dirt on your claws and stop goofing off!’”

“I actually already told her the message. She’s not going to be working the rest of the day.” She cranes her head up.

“The hell do you mean she’s not working? Who’s going to be taking my best worker when I’m already low on them?!” She yells.
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No. 950559 ID: e5e15e
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950559

“It’s… well, you know, I mean…” I make sure not to meet her gaze but I can hear the sneer in her voice.

“It’s Thysin isn’t it, suck-up. Wants to boost his numbers when everyone’s low. And If I complain he’ll just go whine to dad. Ugggghhh.” She waves me off. “Just go, I gotta think of how to get him back for this.”

“But-” I begin, knowing she’ll interrupt me.

“I said go, Asher. And if you see Thysin spit in his eye for me.” I scurry away.
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No. 950560 ID: e5e15e
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950560

“I think you’re clear.” I tell Junkyard. “She thinks Thysin grabbed you and she’ll never think different even if he tells her to her face.”

“Finally, the rock she calls a brain comes in handy. Let’s hurry up, it’s only a few minutes away but they’ve already been waiting too long.“

“Who’s waiting?” I ask.

“Diamond. One of their personal sticklers was looking for you and found me instead. They want to see you.”
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No. 950561 ID: e7c7d3

What would someone need you for? No offense, but why you and not some other lanky?
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No. 950562 ID: 2aa5f0

>Diamond. One of their personal sticklers was looking for you and found me instead. They want to see you.
why?
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No. 950563 ID: 86794b

Any idea why someone wants to see you?
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No. 950564 ID: b1b4f3

>>950560
What's so special about me?
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No. 950582 ID: 9e04c9

This sounds like bad news. But if they needed you, why did Junkyard have to escape work for it?
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No. 950592 ID: 15a025

What would someone with a name like Diamond want with you? Who are they even?
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No. 950602 ID: e7848c

They get off work just to back you up?
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No. 950692 ID: e51896

"why me?"
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No. 950880 ID: c6c213

Uh. Why are you coming along then?
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No. 950906 ID: 470289
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950906

I freeze up. A preceptor? “What! Why me?”

“Don’t know, but this is an opportunity. If a diamond wants you for something, that’s an in.”

“B-but, I ain’t done nothin’! Do you think I’m in trouble?”

“Hey, calm down.” She says as she puts a hand on my shoulder. “This could be a good thing. Besides, I’m not about to let you go into a room full of diamonds or sticklers alone. I’ll be right behind you.”

“W-which diamond is it?”

Junkyard shrugs. “Stickler was real cagey about that. One of the younger ones, I figure. Maybe Copper or Zinc. Actually, your bethel is with Brass, right? Probably him.” Bethel is the weekly service everyone attends to learn about Nine Eyes, taught by the preceptors. “If we get a good roll of the dice we could turn this into a permanent spot on farming detail up top for you, me, and Mash. Seeing the sun everyday and not slumming it in holes for Ikthiss would be pretty nice, right?”

“You think it’ll work out like that?” I ask.

“We’ll make sure it does. Now come on.”
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No. 950907 ID: 470289
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950907

“There he is.” Junkyard says after leading me down an out of the way alley.

Is that… Narko? It’s been years since I’ve seen him. I was hoping for decades. He’s a show-off and liked rubbing m- people’s faces in the dirt last I saw him.
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No. 950908 ID: 470289
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950908

“‘Bout time, lank. Thought your orders dropped out of your fucking head. Now fuck off.” He turns his head towards me. “You’re Asher? Get your ass down the hole. You got a fucking meeting.” He says ‘meeting’ like ‘execution’.

“I’m staying with her.” Junkyard states as she crosses her arms.

He arches an eyebrow and I fight down an instinctive flinch. That was always my warning before I lost a tooth or got a new black eye. And now he has a knife and spear! Sometimes if I stroked his ego I could head it off, but it didn’t always work.

Junkyard is more stubborn than any toiler has a right to be. She’ll push to stay with me if I don’t tell her I’ll be fine. And if Narko is here I want her to stay. Maybe if I ask in the right way? It’s been years, he has to have mellowed out. But... I don’t want her to get hurt.
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No. 950909 ID: e7c7d3

Since you're stuttering so much from nervousness, maybe say that you have a speech impediment and need Junkyard to help you with your words.
Not far from the truth that you need her here so you doesn't freak out.
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No. 950910 ID: 56076d

>>950908
Raise a hand; interrupt, and then softly apologize to Narko. You weren't late on purpose and it wasn't Junkyard's fault either, multiple errands and obligations is just the toiler life. You're missing schedule right now just to be here.

Seem a little worn and tired as you say it. Add a dash of trepidation, on account of the maybe someone's getting stabbed up thing, and an ounce of backbone, to show you're not quite the easily bullied girl you once were.

Then brighten up a little. Smile wryly, begrudgingly, as you assess his clothes and gear. Say he on the other hand seems to have come a fair ways ahead in life. He probably still wants to go further though, and being a very dutiful sort, would insist on you going alone.

But here's the thing.

Junkyard's one of the strongest and most dependable people you know. Whatever task this meeting is for, you'd probably need someone's help with it anyway - not much work for lone lankeys - and there's no-one you'd rather have with you than her. By allowing you to bring her along, Narko's boss gets two for the price of one, which should at least make up for the delay a little.

>Symbol on Narko's arm
What is that symbol? A Stickler thing?
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No. 950911 ID: 56076d

>>950910
Actually he'd get five for the price of one, since Junkyard's worth like four of you.

>If Narko appears to continue considering beating/stabbing Junk
Say work detail bosses would get real furious if she got sent on involuntary sick leave given how good for their qoutas she is.
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No. 950912 ID: b1b4f3

>>950908
>and now he has a knife and spear!
That means he's trusted with those. He's not gonna stab Junkyard for wanting to escort you.

Ask if it's against the rules, or his orders. If it is, there's nothing you can do about it and you'll need to get Junkyard to back down. If it's not against the rules, then request that she escort you.
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No. 950918 ID: 9e04c9

>with her
What. Asher is female? Oh. Yeah. Of course she is, ha ha... I totally knew that... anyway!

Tell Narko that Junkyard is your wife and that Nine Eyes teachings give you the right to prevent being separated from your spouse.
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No. 950925 ID: 91ee5f

>>950918
Making something up about a religion sounds pretty blasphemous. We might end up in line to get hung at the next execution!
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No. 950934 ID: 9e04c9

>>950925
But what if it's true?
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No. 950939 ID: 094652

You're totally not a CRPG protagonist and you don't need a wingman to act for support skills that will help you negotiate a better outcome, its fiiine, go through.
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No. 950943 ID: 977456

>>950940 +1! It is very not fine. It is dangerous to go alone; take a Junkyard.
I'm hoping that the others make their roll on diplomacy, but if a fight breaks out, help Junker. Go for the full-body headbutt-charge. They never expect someone's forehead to hit them at a full sprint!
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No. 950952 ID: 91ee5f

>>950934
It’s not.
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No. 950955 ID: 9e04c9

>>950952
Please quote the part of the story that supports your claim.
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No. 950967 ID: a9af05

>>950955
Where in the story does it support your claim?
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No. 950977 ID: 0fae41

Tell this Nark she is coming with you, and if he cares enough to protest he can care enough to explain why he held you up when you're already running late!
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