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File 157966232803.png - (76.51KB , 500x700 , 11-1.png )
954051 No. 954051 ID: c70ff4

Chapter 11
+18 Adult content

First thread: https://tgchan.org/kusaba/quest/res/860238.html
Wiki: https://tgchan.org/wiki/Moot_Point
Previous chapter https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/940228.html
Expand all images
>>
No. 954054 ID: c70ff4
File 157966257645.png - (107.00KB , 614x700 , 11-2.png )
954054

he burns and scars are gone from the walls of the white room. The flat, shadow-less light casts tricks on the eyes, making the dimensions of the room seem uncertain and strange. The table is set for two and seated at one end is the devil.

Rodwin leans forward, his branded tongue drooping above his steepled fingers. His expression is patient and serious. “It’s been a little while, hasn’t it? Three months, I believe?” His voice is soft and not unfriendly. “I apologize for coming to you in this way, but I was curious if you have made any progress on your search...”
>>
No. 954058 ID: 015bf2

Well. It’s good news of a sort, we found ONE undying lord hanging about as a ghost. So it appears entirely possible their lord could, as well, be found somewhere. Tracking the movements of centuries-old events involving mythical heroes - one of whom was a teleporter - is, unsurprisingly, challenging, though.

The spiritual forms of two mediums who lived during Augustine’s era but lost their bodies blowing up a mana well have been found, and they have been helpful.

You’ve been looking into mana alternatives for them, as well. There’s an unbroken mana well that may get fixed up - but that’s only if the natives permit, and as descendants of a people enslaved by the undying ones, they may be leery of having one’s servants hanging about. And that’s not including puzzling out the mana technology to get things up and running again.

Oh, and you stumbled across a descendant of Augustine Moot, so if her powers are needed, if in diminished form, that option is now on the table.
>>
No. 954061 ID: e7848c

>>954054
Slow but certain. There's definitely leads we can follow, but any further insight or records on your end wouldn't hurt.
>>
No. 954062 ID: 1d7c77

Why, I'm sure once the celebrations were done, we went back and took elaborate sketchings of that old tech we found!... Right?

Also here's this guy that got caught in a crystal.
>>
No. 954063 ID: b1b4f3

>>954054
We found a living relative of the woman, and the former master of a mana well that she conquered. Pretty good progress following her tracks, I'd say.
>>
No. 954068 ID: 3ed3c3

>>954054
Monumental progress insofar as finding leads.
Augustine was unbelievably influential to the world, so it's no wonder we find her touch wherever we look.
Of course, that's all they are at the moment: leads. We've been tripping all over them recently such that it's left us little time to pursue any of them. We'll likely have more definitive answers before long.
What about on your end?
>>
No. 954069 ID: 10c408

"Er. pardon my appearance, you've caught me with my pants down. Literally and figuratively."

Tell him everything, except that we found moot's descendant.
>>
No. 954076 ID: 9fad0d

>>954054
No harm in mentioning what happened at the library and on the mountain expedition (omitting certain details you might not want to reveal just yet or at all, of course, such as the descendant thing)

Also ask if he's got any suggestions/intel on likely spots to check out.
>>
No. 954085 ID: a0dfd2

Refresh my memory, everyone, but ... what WERE we searching for, again?

Was it the mana well, or something else?
>>
No. 954086 ID: 3ed3c3

>>954085
We were investigating what happened to Lord Hekal after Augustine Moot made off with him.
>>
No. 954090 ID: 10c408

>>954086
We don't know what exactly what went down. We know she forcibly teleported away Rodwin and then history becomes a bit of a blank spot for Hekal and Moot.
>>
No. 954100 ID: cdabe3

more than we'd expected, but less than we hoped for
>>
No. 954113 ID: 056fa1

"We met another lich. The dickish kind who enslaves the living and refuses them the gift of undeath. We were wondering how we could mine information from him, since he's still an ass."
>>
No. 954126 ID: c70ff4
File 157974359374.png - (97.53KB , 700x637 , 11-3.png )
954126

Kol blinks away surprise at the sudden meeting and dredges up all that’s happened over the last few months.

“Quite a lot, actually. For one, we’ve found someone we think is the living relative of Augustine Moot. She’s currently learning more about her powers with the help of the Sender Academy. I’ve heard she’s making good progress.”

“Does she have any knowledge of her ancestor?” Rodwin asks.

“Unfortunately not, but she may be of help yet. We also uncovered a hidden series of chambers Augustine and the first guardians used as well as two disembodied mediums who were her contemporaries. Together, we were able to piece together madam Moot’s plan. It seems she was working with the first guardians to close as many mana wells as they could. According to Rufus, Augustine wanted to end the Wild Age and the reign of the immortals over the mortal realm.”

Rodwin nods, “That would have put her at odds with Hekal. He was among the most powerful of the vampire lords. How unimaginably bold...” He muses to himself, “Mana wells... interesting.” The fae addresses Kol directly, eager to know more, “Do you believe she defeated my lord?”

Kol shrugs, “Possibly, We... don’t know. We have found the spirit of another vampire lord: Muir. Supposedly, she gated into his stronghold along with two others: Tuvara-malli, a fae binder and an unknown medium. They defeated Muir, sealed his mana well and left him bodiless. Its possible something similar happened to Hekal.”

“Hmm... when she appeared in my lord’s court, it was alone. Muir, I remember him. He had little interest in leaving that mountain of his but had agreed to an uneasy alliance with my lord. Quite possibly the most obstinate and wily person I have ever met.”

“No argument there...” Kol sighs, thinking of the silent, brooding spirit trapped in his prison. “We have a lot of leads, but aren’t sure which ones to follow. Gabe’s up in the mountains helping repair Muir’s quicksilver machine and Casey said she was going to help with translating the book we found in the chamber of the first guardians. I... actually where am I?”

“Asleep. In bed.” Rodwin’s hand traces a lazy circle. “I apologize for the intrusion, but my avenues for communication are limited.”
>>
No. 954144 ID: 83bf07

>>954126
Limited, but interesting. How is this achieved?
>>
No. 954167 ID: b1b4f3

>>954126
Tell him this is fairly convenient, honestly. Saves time taking a portal to the barghest. Makes me wonder how else it could be used... I suppose portals would be about as fast for most long range communication, but it could be useful for private communication among friends, or in situations when no Senders are available. Is he willing to explain how it works?
>>
No. 954178 ID: 3ed3c3

>>954126
Well, that's convenient.
Honestly, that's the whole story for now. We've been uncovering more and more of Augustine's history, but it's all that you'd expect: adventures, magical shenanigans, heroic nonsense, and no shortage of contextless discoveries. No surprises or pertinent revelations, and unfortunately, no hints as to the fate of Lord Hekal.
It's strange. You'd think there'd be something - anything - mentioning the battle between one of the greatest heroes to ever live and an ancient, powerful vampire.
>>
No. 954189 ID: 9fad0d

>>954126
Ask if he's got any ideas/suggestions on where to go next, maybe narrow things down a bit?
>>
No. 954205 ID: 5b0071

>>954126
"Do you know anything about Muir that would help get him talking? Letting him possess someone is not an option, of course."
>>
No. 954213 ID: ce39da

"A picture is starting to form - Moot brings her allies together to seal up the wells, defeats Muir and others, but... then she faces Hekal alone for some reason. I get the feeling that the "whydunnit" of this will be central to answering for Hekal's fate. Furthermore, all records indicated that Moot had no children. I can quickly come up with several simple, unrelated reasons why she would want to keep as much of her direct family a secret as possible. Still, if there's even the smallest of chances that it's connected to the answer of that whydunnit..."
>>
No. 954253 ID: 015bf2

>>954126
We've pursued a bunch of leads related to Augustine, but I feel as if we're missing a side of the equation: Lord Hekal's.

Are you sure there aren't any further leads on your end that could help? Could you tell us more about what kind of person Lord Hekal was? What motivated him? What he was after with all that immortality and power? Do you have any suspicion of where he could have gone or tried to go to ground? If Muir was an ally - kind of - did he have any others he might've sought succor with, assuming he escaped his encounter with Augustine? Or someplace he would've gone to ground, waiting for, say, the basis of his influence, the mana wells, to be restored?

See, we've kind of been presuming Augustine beat him and trapped him or something, but... if she DIDN'T have either spirit binder or medium with her he'd still be around as a ghost - or a possessed body - wouldn't he? Just like Muir, who escaped that fate until now. You honestly weren't sure how vampire lords operated, but your encounter with Muir has opened your mind to some of the possibilities.

Speaking of which, do you think YOU could get anything sensible out of speaking to Muir? You're pretty much the closest thing he has to a contemporary in this day and age. He may open up a little to you! And hopefully he knows more about the events of the time. Besides, however stubborn he is, you hope to show him that the world has changed into a better place after those of his power and influence passed. Imagine, his old servants, the kobolds, spent the centuries since his fall holed up in his mountain in order to keep their hard-won freedom, fearing that the outside world was still ruled by those of his ilk.

You very much hope to show them that's not the case anymore!
>>
No. 954381 ID: c70ff4
File 157992376314.png - (127.95KB , 645x700 , 11-4.png )
954381

“Oh! Well that’s actually rather convenient.” Kol admits, “Can you use it to contact anyone? Or is it just me?”

“You, your relative and sir Opinel. Possibly any others that share your spirit magic, as long as they aren’t too far from the bargast.” Rodwin gives a little shrug, “It would help if I met them first.”

“Hmm, that could be useful. I’ll keep that in mind.” Kol nods and continues, “So currently we have a lot of puzzle pieces with a big hole in the middle around Hekal. You’d think that a battle between madam Moot and a vampire lord would be something better recorded.”

“You’ve made more progress than I had anticipated, at least. Hekal was a very private individual who trusted very few people; its no surprise there is little known about him.”

“But he trusted you.” Kol presses, “Is there anything you can tell me about him that might help? What do you remember?”

The devil leans back in his chair and thinks, “He was... tired, which was odd. He blazed with power, a literal force of nature; and yet, you could see a toll being taken on him. For years all we had known was war between rival powers and each new conflict frustrated him.”

“What about Muir? Any idea how to get him talking?”

He waves a hand. Kol gets the sense that if Rodwin’s pupils were visible they would be rolling. “All he ever cared about was his mountain and his... devices. Clever, and insufferably arrogant. He hoarded information with one of those machines. I imagine if you put him in front of it for long enough, he won’t be able to resist tinkering with it.”
>>
No. 954382 ID: c70ff4
File 157992379090.png - (134.36KB , 700x541 , 11-5.png )
954382

The room begins to waver around the devil. “Ah, I think that’s my cue. Best of luck. Let me know if you find anything else.”

Rodwin and the room fade away as something shifts. Kol’s eyes open and adjust to the morning light. He is laying in bed, being gravitationally drawn towards a heavy shape next to him. A massive hand scratches a thing under the covers as the occupant sighs gently in his sleep.
>>
No. 954387 ID: b1b4f3

>>954382
Ah, spending some time with the big selkie eh? Why don't you give him a good morning?
>>
No. 954390 ID: e7848c

Quick, now's your chance. Become the big spoon
>>
No. 954391 ID: cdabe3

>>954390
Yes, spoon time! be careful about running against him too vigorously~
>>
No. 954400 ID: 10c408

If you aren't too hungry, just snuggle up against Caleb's back for now. Don't get crushed.
>>
No. 954473 ID: c70ff4
File 158001316675.png - (140.93KB , 500x700 , 11-6.png )
954473

Kol sinks into the well of bedding and puts his arm around Caleb’s waist. The sailor grumbles appreciatively, “Mmm, mornin’ you.” He pats Kol’s thigh with a paw and give his butt a gentle squeeze. “Stay like dis fer a bit, will ya?” He mumbles sleepily.

Spooning the great selkie, Kol runs his palm over the fey’s powerful core and traces his chiseled curves. He leans his cheek against the long scar on Caleb’s back. The slow rush of air in and out of the giant’s lungs rock him back and forth. His mind drifts back to the tiny hammock in which he and Caleb spent nights at sea curled together.

Kol’s hand trails beneath the sheets, finding something hard stirring between Caleb’s legs.
>>
No. 954475 ID: e7848c

>>954473
Ah yes. The morning sailor's mast. Shall we raise the flag?
>>
No. 954476 ID: 3ed3c3

>>954473
Give him a comfy, lazy morning handjob.
>>
No. 954548 ID: 094652

Time to suck the plank. You're going to get wet!
>>
No. 954553 ID: c70ff4
File 158009491410.png - (134.12KB , 500x700 , 11-7.png )
954553

Carefully, the mouse wraps his fingers around the shaft and gives it a few slow pumps. As it grows in his grip, Kol bites his lip, trying to keep quiet. Within moments the selkie’s cock is fully exposed, the tip just barely visible under the sheets.

Kol slinks down under the covers, circumnavigating the sleeping fey until he’s nose to navel. The mouse sneaks a glance up at Caleb: still asleep.

Satisfied, the medium leans forward and runs his tongue along the underside of the pink shaft. He tries a few experimental kisses, and is rewarded with a trickle of salty liquid.

>>
No. 954554 ID: c70ff4
File 158009500881.png - (102.27KB , 700x500 , 11-8.png )
954554

Kol tucks his lips and tongue over his teeth and takes a breath before slipping Caleb into his mouth. The selkie makes a happy sound, rolling back slightly to give the mouse more access. Kol bobs his head, sucking happily as Caleb sighs and smiles.

Kol wraps his hand around the base of the cock, giving it a snug grip. He pauses to take a breath, pumping his hand to keep the fey stimulated. As he does, a massive hand reaches around behind his head.

>>
No. 954555 ID: e7848c

CAPTAIN
HE'S FAST APPROACHING
>>
No. 954557 ID: 3c81bb

thanks for being super scarce with the resolution of the files you upload :)

(Thanks for passive-aggressively harassing a quest author providing free content on the internet.)
>>
No. 954563 ID: 094652

Pink whale does whale thing
>>
No. 954754 ID: c70ff4
File 158026866699.png - (95.46KB , 700x546 , 11-9.png )
954754

Kol takes a deep breath as the selkie presses on the back of his head. The sleepy sailor bucks his hips in short, gentle arcs as momentum builds. Kol hangs on as the shaft drives deeper and deeper, until his nose is bumping against Caleb’s belly.

“Mmm, that’s it. Get it all in there.” The fae mumbles, a look of bliss on his face.

Kol takes quick breaths when he can as things speed up. The selkie’s hips bob back and forth in his vision as the sailor starts openly fucking his face. He does what he can to keep up: running his tongue under the pumping shaft, working his jaw, clutching his partners hips. He feels the tip jabbing against the back of his throat as stars blossom behind his eyes.

The shaft pulses in Kol’s mouth and he tastes salt. Caleb thrusts twice more and hilts himself in the mouse’s mouth, holding him there with a powerful hand. The sailors cum sprays against the back of Kol’s throat, pooling at the base of his tongue. He sputters desperately, feeling the sticky fluid fill his mouth and leak around his lips as the flow starts to taper off.

>>
No. 954755 ID: c70ff4
File 158026867485.png - (130.92KB , 603x700 , 11-10.png )
954755

Caleb slowly pulls his sensitive cock loose and Kol swallows, coughing a little bit as he tries to breathe. He feels the selkie’s hand rubbing the back of his head affectionately, trailing his claws between his dreadlocks.

>>
No. 954756 ID: c70ff4
File 158026868511.png - (105.80KB , 500x700 , 11-11.png )
954756

The sailor sighs, “Mmm. Missed your little ‘good morning’s, Adrian.” He peeks between sleepy eyelids and blushes with sudden realization. “Oh... right... “
>>
No. 954757 ID: e7848c

>>954756
I suppose you can take that as a compliment. You reminded him of better times.
>>
No. 954758 ID: 2cb369

>>954757
This
>>
No. 954762 ID: 094652

Da feelz

Now for Nixie
>>
No. 954803 ID: 3ce8ff

>>954757
>>
No. 954823 ID: b1b4f3

Ah, hope that doesn't make him sad. Be there for him if it does.
>>
No. 955041 ID: c70ff4
File 158043912849.png - (133.67KB , 500x700 , 11-12.png )
955041

Wiping the excess cum from his lips, Kol shimmies up next to Caleb. “Its fine. A compliment really: its nice to be compared to someone you loved so much.”

“Yeah...” Caleb stares off into space for a bit, his arm idly cradling the mouse.

“Hey...” Kol pats the big guy on the chest, “You okay?”

“Mmm, sorry. That just brought me back for a minute.” The selkie blinks and focuses on the present. “Thanks, Kol. I- uh... I think I needed that. I wasn’t too rough with you, was I?”

“Heh, nah. I like it when you’re rough.”

A deep chuckle rumbles through Caleb, “Killed the mood a bit though, didn’t I?”

“Heh, says who?” Kol pulls himself up to share a kiss; giving the seaman a taste of his own semen. The salty tongues intertwine as the two enjoy the moment together.

“Well what now?” Kol asks, his tail whipping with anticipation.

>>
No. 955046 ID: f35c56

I would think taking time for breakfast at least to let Caleb to break his feast. Oh and with a good amount of cheesy flirting for good measure
>>
No. 955047 ID: 9fad0d

>>955041
So are we going to be using Caleb and his boat for something ocean related or are we just here because we miss him? (not that there's anything wrong with that)
>>
No. 955065 ID: b1b4f3

Guys I think Kol wants more sex.
What I want to know is, does Caleb ever bottom? Or power bottom?
>>
No. 955074 ID: 8063a3

>>955065
While I'm curious about that as well, I also believe we haven't seen enough Kol getting wrecked......hm, this is difficult. Or just take advantage of their current position, frot and rub with Celab's huge hands (which I heard he's good at)?
>>
No. 955154 ID: c70ff4
File 158053045326.png - (171.59KB , 612x700 , 11-13.png )
955154

The fey grabs Kol around the waist and plops him in the middle of the bed. Caleb looms over him, blotting out the mid morning sun with his broad body; his cock still rigid and eager for more. “You think you’re ready for me?”

Kol nods, spreading his legs, welcoming the sailor closer. Caleb tilts his hips forward, letting his shaft slide parallel to Kol’s, teasing the mouse. “Well? You got me all worked up, you naughty mouse. How about it? What do you want?”

>>
No. 955160 ID: cdabe3

“Shove it up the bum~“
>>
No. 955179 ID: e7848c

His worst. We want Del here running recovery.
>>
No. 955199 ID: 9fad0d

>>955154
Time to see how powerful the big man's power bottoming skills are, for science.
>>
No. 955301 ID: c70ff4
File 158069586934.png - (132.24KB , 700x500 , 11-14.png )
955301

“I- I want you...” Kol grins, unused to being the sub but enjoying himself.

A long slow grind against his pelvis. “You do? Come on, then. If you want it, you gotta show me where.” Caleb leers with lidded eyes.

Kol arches his back and plants his toes, lifting his rear off the bedspread. Balanced on his shoulders, the mouse reaches down and spreads himself for the horny seaman. “Caleb, fuck me! Don't hold back!" he pants.

>>
No. 955302 ID: c70ff4
File 158069587545.png - (149.95KB , 700x558 , 11-15.png )
955302

Caleb leans back and admires the presentation with a grin on his face. “That’s what I wanted to hear. Come ‘ere you.” The fey scoops a shovel-sized hand underneath the mouse and holds him at crotch level. He lines himself up with the spread tail-hole and presses forward; the tapered tip sliding in easily.

Caleb watches his cock slowly disappear into the mouse. “Merciful Fates, I missed this. That’s a tight ass.”

Kol swallows and nods, feeling himself spread around the slick shaft. His head rolls against the pillows as inch after inch of fey cock spears deep inside. He feels the flat thump of Caleb’s hips meeting his and gasps wordlessly as the tip shifts inside him.

“That’s it. I love that expression when you take it all.” Caleb grins, rocking his hips experimentally. “Now, lets see what noises you make, little mousey.” He slides out and slams back in. Unable to stop himself, Kol squeaks.

>>
No. 955303 ID: e7848c

Get'em
GET'EM
>>
No. 955305 ID: cdabe3

time to get that squeaker squeakin'
>>
No. 955365 ID: c70ff4
File 158077693255.png - (119.81KB , 526x700 , 11-16.png )
955365

“That’s it!” Caleb laughs, a booming sound that rattles the windows. “Yeah, let me hear it!” Caleb thrusts again; his one arm holding Kol in place like a toy.

Kol squeaks again, feeling the air hammered out of him from behind. He blushes deeply, unable to stop the high pitched chirp as he’s pummeled with pleasure. Instinctively he reaches up to cover his face as more embarrassing sounds are driven out of him by the selkie’s cock.

>>
No. 955366 ID: c70ff4
File 158077693734.png - (164.72KB , 500x700 , 11-17.png )
955366

“Oh no you don’t.” Caleb reaches down with his free hand and grabs Kol’s arm. “Don’t you go hiding from me.”

Kol feels himself being hauled up out of the bed and propped against the selkie’s broad chest. He wraps his arms around Caleb’s shoulders and hangs on as he’s pistoned up and down.

Caleb’s face bobs up and down in his vision and he hears: “There we go. I wanna see the expression on your cute face when I fill you up.” A huge hand claps Kol on the ass and he lets out a very loud noise somewhere between a yelp and a moan. His blushing face burns pink as Caleb's laughs.

"Oh, you like that?" Kol's ass jiggles as the sailor slaps another oar-sized handprint on it.

>>
No. 955489 ID: de3d9f

>>955366
Remember your safeword, just in case.

You two *did* set a safeword for yourselves, right?
>>
No. 955549 ID: dc2f8e

The safeword is safeword. Have fun, you two. Try not to make him too sore though, he'll have to sit down later.
>>
No. 955553 ID: c70ff4
File 158095796419.png - (0B , 500x700 )
955553

Kol hears the pitch of his own cries rising, as frantic messages flare across his nerves. He rolls his hips desperately, guiding Caleb’s shaft to where its most needed. His dreads flop against his face as the pace increases. The mouse wraps his shaking legs around the sailor and in a breathless voice, cries out; “Caleb! Ah- I’m cumming!”

“Do it! Cum for me, Kol!” Caleb nods.

“Ah! Ah! O-ooohh fuck! Oh fuck! Ahh!” Bliss wracks his body as thick ropes of cum jet across Caleb’s chest. Kol digs his grip into the fey’s scarred back as his nerves fire uncontrollably.

Caleb growls in his ear, “Yeah! That’s it! Fuck!” He hilts himself in Kol’s ass, feeling the ring of muscle clenching tight, and lets go. The selkie watches realization dawn on the mouse’s face as cum pours inside him: going from satisfaction to amazement as he’s filled.

“You like that?” Caleb grunts, giving the medium a few more thrusts, pumping out the last few drops. “Been saving up for ya. You’re gonna feel me in you all day.” He gives Kol a one last gunshot of a spank for emphasis and is rewarded with a squeak.

>>
No. 955554 ID: c70ff4
File 158095797820.png - (112.69KB , 700x359 , 11-19.png )
955554

Caleb lets the mouse flop back on the bed and keels over next to him. The pair share a couple of sticky laughs as their weary bodies drip and ooze onto the bedsheets.

"Heh, I wasn't too rough on ya. Was I?" Caleb asks.

Kol shrugs bashfully and admits, "Nah. That was- that was awesome. There aren't a lot of people who can get really rough with me. Its nice to get really, heh, plowed like that sometimes."

"Heh, you don't get to bottom a lot do ya?" Caleb grins. "I like a good switch. I wouldn't mind letting you top me sometime." The selkie pats him on the shoulder and sighs happily.
>>
No. 955555 ID: c70ff4
File 158095798242.png - (117.33KB , 700x583 , 11-20.png )
955555

A knock at the empty doorframe interrupts the train of thought. Nixxy sticks her head in and beams. ”Good morning, Kol!”
>>
No. 955556 ID: cdabe3

*player 3 has entered the game*
>>
No. 955565 ID: b1b4f3

>>955555
Hi nixxy, what's up?
>>
No. 955568 ID: 094652

Make Fae cookies
minus the cookies
>>
No. 955569 ID: 10c408

>>955568
Unless Nixxy wants to make a mortal sandwich, I'm sure sexy times are over with.
>>
No. 955571 ID: 3ce8ff

>>955569
that sounds suspiciously like something nixy would like
>>
No. 955574 ID: 83bf07

Is it nap time already?
>>
No. 955583 ID: 9fad0d

>>955555
So is Delilah and Fennel here too? Just making sure we have all our water specialists around and all that...
>>
No. 955649 ID: c70ff4
File 158104477636.png - (117.50KB , 500x700 , 11-21.png )
955649

Kol looks between his knees and over his cum-splattered chest. “Heh, Morning Nixxy. What’s up?” He brushes some of his fur, trying to wipe up the worst of the mess. “If you’re looking to fool around, we’re gonna need a minute...”

”Yes, Nixxy sees! You were very noisy!” Her dark eyes go wide with realization. ”Oh! You probably could not hear! There was a knock at the door! A man in a hat came knocking.”
>>
No. 955650 ID: 18ccc0

Aw man, no nixie sandwich for now :(

Better freshen up and answer the door.
>>
No. 955652 ID: b1b4f3

In a hat? ...I don't remember anyone with a hat. Anyway tell Nixxy you'll clean up and be right there.
>>
No. 955654 ID: 386daa

>>955652
Kol's uncle wore a cool hat. Let's go greet him after we clean up.. Nixxy can help with a proper cleaning later, yeah?
>>
No. 955691 ID: 9fad0d

I do wonder what Kol's uncle thinks of al the bonds he's made with all these people both magical and not.

I also wonder if Uncle's been in/still gets involved in similar sexual escapades.

Might as well say hi, talk things out and figure out what's going on on this ship in general.
>>
No. 955769 ID: c70ff4
File 158113261743.png - (163.75KB , 588x700 , 11-22.png )
955769

Kol sits up and runs his hand through his hair. “A man in a hat? What kind of hat?”

”A hat with a shield on it!” She smirks.

Kol and Caleb share a glance, and the mouse asks, “A shield? Sounds official. Did he say what he wanted?”

”Oh, no. Nixxy could not turn him away! Nixxy let him wait in the sitting room. Told the man in the hat: Kol would see him shortly.” She beams proudly. Having conveyed her message, she retracts her long neck from the doorway and heads downstairs.
>>
No. 955770 ID: b1b4f3

Wash up and go see what he wants.
>>
No. 955772 ID: 3ce8ff

>>955769
I guess we gotta go figure out what hat man wants
>>
No. 955775 ID: e7848c

>>955769
Give Caleb a smooch for the good morning. Let's go get ready to adult for the day.
>>
No. 955806 ID: 77a8ed

Call Nixxy back to help clean you up real quick.
>>
No. 955931 ID: 8063a3

>>955554
Just want to make a comment on how cute this pic is. They are so adorable. “hat with a shield"......Sir Opinel? (or someone new)
>>
No. 955961 ID: c70ff4
File 158139435172.png - (135.28KB , 500x700 , 11-23.png )
955961

Realization looms out of the post-coital haze like a ship in the fog. Kol and Caleb scramble out of bed and attempt to make themselves presentable.

A few too many minutes later, they hurry downstairs and find themselves in front of the man in a hat.
>>
No. 955962 ID: c70ff4
File 158139435911.png - (161.84KB , 700x500 , 11-24.png )
955962

The fire ward pinned to his chest in the form of a badg.e identifies him as the station 3 fire chief of the Moot Point Fire Brigade.

Sitting next to him, with a smile on her face and soaking gently into the couch, is Fennel. “Kowl! Caweb! Gwad you couwd join us! I was just tawking to chief Waweigh hewe.”
>>
No. 955964 ID: 2ec2a2

I'm thinking that their guest likewise heard all the ruckus as well. oh my, how embarrassing!
>>
No. 955965 ID: 9ccf8c

>>955962
Oh? What do we owe the pleasure of the meeting, Chief? ..Is the bakery alright?
>>
No. 955966 ID: 10c408

"Er, hello chief. To what do we owe the pleasure of your company?"
>>
No. 955971 ID: 48ce40

>selkie, kelpie, elemental
Uh oh. We're not single-handedly responsible for lowering the water pressure for the town or something, are we?
>>
No. 955972 ID: 3ed3c3

>>955962
Welcome, chief! What can we do ya for?
>>
No. 955973 ID: 10c408

>>955971
One of these is not like the other. One of these just doesn't belong. Leave Caleb out of this, he did nothing wrong.
>>
No. 955974 ID: 094652

"Need some help putting out a fire?"
>>
No. 956030 ID: c70ff4
File 158148057181.png - (171.17KB , 547x700 , 11-25.png )
956030

Kol’s mind, running on adrenaline, translates Fennel’s W’s. “Nice to meet you Chief Raleigh. Kol Bardo. What can I do for you?” Kol extends a handshake, trying to pretend he wasn’t having extremely noisy sex a moment ago.

“Uh, nice to meet you, Mr. Bardo.” The fire chief shakes his hand, also pretending he wasn’t privy to the sounds of extremely noisy sex. “I didn’t mean to intrude, but your kelpie friend was extremely insistent... Ah- your partners, are they?-“ He leaves the rest of the question unsaid, but his eyes dart towards the upstairs bedroom meaningfully.

“Oh, no.” Kol waves a hand and blushes, “Uh, Gabe is on a trip: spirit guide related business. And Casey is up at the Sender Academy today, assisting the archivists.” He sits down opposite chief Raleigh, trying to ignore an oozing sensation under his tail. “Is there something I can help with?”

“Well, I’ll cut right to it. We got a report this morning about fire related damage in certain parts of the city: scorched flagstones, a partially melted public bench, a city fountain cracked and boiled dry. None of it is major, but we realize we’re dealing with a magic user or magical being capable of powerful fire spells. We were hoping you’d be able to help us find them and keep them from setting the town ablaze.
>>
No. 956036 ID: 3ed3c3

Sure, we'll help.
Odds are it's either some out-of-towner getting a little too rowdy, or Miki and Raithe are having a "hot date."
>>
No. 956045 ID: b1b4f3

Sure we can take a look into it.
Hmm, if we need to put out some fires out there we could use Fennel's help. Ask if she wants to come along. Should we bring a bucket or...
Alternatively we could get Miki and Raithe, who are both immune to fire.
Nixxy might want to come along just because everybody's going out and it's fun. Or maybe she'll be carrying Fennel.
>>
No. 956046 ID: 9ccf8c

>>956030
Looks like we have the right crew for it. We're going to have to to hoof it the old fashioned way though. Give us some time to prepare and we can get started.
>>
No. 956047 ID: 10c408

>>956045
Fennel can join so long as she uses her magic sparingly and only as directed. Excessive water usage can be just as damaging to the city as the fire.

Miki would be a good pick as well. Caleb and Nixy can come along if they desire as well.
>>
No. 956052 ID: 9fad0d

>>956030
So this blazestone thing has left the fire department shorthanded, I assume, thus they need you to create an impromptu fire force of your group and figure out and deal with what's causing these fires.

Sure, do it. Kick fire ass, get paid and probably laid.
>>
No. 956059 ID: a0dfd2

>>956030

inb4 our friends at the bakery went on a date~
>>
No. 956063 ID: 91ee5f

>>956030
Sounds like it could’ve been someone that’s not aware of the fact that they’re causing the damage.

>scorched flagstones
Could be from simply walking around.

>a partially melted public bench
>a city fountain cracked and boiled dry
Both of these could be from sitting on them.

>>956059
If that’s true, then Miki somehow managed to convince Raithe to go near a fountain. Or Raithe was being brave for Miki and convinced himself to go near the fountain.
>>
No. 956117 ID: a9af05

If someone's body is made out of fire, then they'd be accidentally causing all this damage.

And since Raithe is the only person that we know of that has a body made of fire, he's currently a suspect in being responsible for all of the accidental fire damage.
>>
No. 956140 ID: c70ff4
File 158156060542.png - (135.41KB , 700x500 , 11-26.png )
956140

Kol and Caleb share a glance, both sharing the same thought. Caleb speaks first, “Not Miki or Raithe, right?”

“Couldn’t be.” Kol agrees. “They’re both extremely careful about their abilities.”

“Right. Spite me, Raithe rarely even touches the ground: the poor boy’s too worried he’ll start a blaze.”

“They run that bakery, right? Oh, we get their jam filled croissants sometimes...” Chief Raleigh gets a faraway look on his face before snapping out of his pastry-filled reverie. “Er, where was I?”

“Miki and Raithe?”

“Oh, right. Couldn’t hurt to check on them. We’re keeping our eyes out for whoever did this, but if you get a lead, do let us know.”
>>
No. 956141 ID: 3ed3c3

>>956140
Does Raithe have any visiting family? Does he have any family we should know about?
Now, I don't want to racially profile, but starting this fire-related investigation with the guy made of fire is an understandable first step.
It's much more likely that some elemental from out of town is going around and being careless.
>>
No. 956142 ID: 48ce40

Hmm. There's no report of people being hurt, so it's not being used with hostile intent. And no report of any witnesses? Fire magic isn't exactly subtle. Which also suggests it's either not accidental or the user has gotten very, very lucky.

Could someone have gained fire powers and is trying to test them out without anyone knowing? The things they've used them on are distinctly non-flammable. The fountain even suggests maybe a conscious decision to have water on hand. Or maybe some magic artifact that produces fire?
>>
No. 956144 ID: 10c408

Surely there'd be witnesses, right? If no one has seen anything then..

Ask Bardo if he happens to know if there's
been any large and unfortunately tragic blazes in the city for the last few decades.

I'm thinking ghost. Can't be seen, still causing damage wherever they go"
>>
No. 956146 ID: f57349

Maybe ask Raithe to check out the scene of the crime, see if he recognizes the specific type of fire involved?
>>
No. 956158 ID: b1b4f3

>>956140
Haha what if they adopted a fire elemental and the child isn't as good at avoiding burning things?
>>
No. 956164 ID: 9ccf8c

>>956140
We should check out the closest scene. See if the fire had left any clues
>>
No. 956178 ID: 8063a3

Are these damages occur at the same area/district/neighborhood of the city? Anything special about that area?
>>
No. 956223 ID: 5b0071

>>956140
Maybe Raithe has a sense for other heat sources.

.. come to think of it we don't actually know that much about his life before he ended up in Miki's oven.
>>
No. 956521 ID: c70ff4
File 158190616211.png - (163.14KB , 700x500 , 11-27.png )
956521

“Chief, if you’re shorthanded dealing with these fires: what if Nixxy and Fennel lend you a hand?” Kol suggests.

“Uh- really?”

“Yeah, Nixxy’s fantastic at tracking people by scent and Fennel is perfect for fighting fires. Meanwhile Caleb and I can check on the bakery and make sure everything’s alright.”

”What if Kol needs Nixxy’s help?”

“I’ve still got your pearl. I’ll call you if we need help, okay? You two are gonna do great.”

Chief Raleigh stares at the elemental and the fey, his cheek all twisted up in thought. “I... suppose that makes sense. Never thought to work with a kelpie and an elemental but, spite me, you sound helpful.” He nods decisively, “All right, we’ll give it a shot.”

Nixxy bounces in place, and Fennel glubs happily. ”Yes! Fun! We help the man-in-the-hat, Raliegh!”

Before they turn to go, Kol reminds the fey, “I know this might seem fun, but remember: people’s lives could be at stake. And don’t let Fennel fall behind; remember to give her a hand if she needs some help. Okay?”

Nixxy gives Kol a smooch on the cheek. ”No worry, Kol. Nixxy is helping today! You call Nixxy if you need a help too.” She scoops up Fennel and deposits the elemental on her shoulders like a soggy feather boa.

“Fen, make sure Nixxy stays on task. Are you going to be alright out there?”

One of the elemental’s eyespots squishes and stretches in an otherworldly wink. “Wewwl be fine, Kowl. Oh, if we do good do you think wewwl get hats?”

“Heh, if this works out, hats are the least of the thanks you’ll get.” The firefighter stands to leave. “Nice to meet you both, let us know if you learn anything. I’m certain whoever did this won’t be too hard to find.” Chief Raleigh nods to Kol and Caleb and heads out, followed by the new volunteer firefighters.
>>
No. 956522 ID: c70ff4
File 158190616911.png - (124.10KB , 700x500 , 11-28.png )
956522

“Do ya think they’ll be alright?” Caleb confides.

“Mmm, probably. You’d be surprised by how well they’ve adjusted, especially when they’re together. Nixxy’s pretty good at helping Fennel around and describing stuff she has trouble seeing. And Fen’s good at helping Nixxy stay focused and is pretty level headed.”

“Huh, who woulda thought.” The selkie smiles. “You think he heard...?”
>>
No. 956531 ID: 9fad0d

>>956521
Kinda wanna focus on the faegirls in their adventures in firefighting, might be fun.
>>
No. 956541 ID: cdabe3

>>956522
Smirk; he definitely heard~
>>
No. 956545 ID: c09fb4

Yeah, he heard, along with the neighbors and half the block; We were far from quiet. Though, he didn't seem to mind one way or the other hearing you two. But why are you wondering if he did hear, Caleb?

Anyway, before Kol heads out he ought to get something to either plug himself up or clean himself out, otherwise he's gonna leave a oozy mess in his drawers. That and change his underwear too.
>>
No. 956552 ID: 3ed3c3

>>956522
Oh, absolutely. You two are the antithesis of subtle when it comes to lovemaking.
>>
No. 956559 ID: fa2754

>>956522
Almost definitely. Now that we are for sure home alone, we can get cleaned up however loud we want
>>
No. 956603 ID: c70ff4
File 158199358969.png - (0B , 700x571 )
956603

“Y-yep.” Kol nods.

“Yeah I’d say he heard.” Caleb mentions conversationally. “I, uh, mention it because: I couldn’t help but notice you were at half mast there, the whole time.”

Kol swallows, unable to deny the statement but unwilling to verify it. He remains seated, his knees together.

“In fact, I’d be willing to bet you like being heard, Kol.” The selkie’s brows dance up and down suggestively.

The mouse takes a breath and tries to calm his body. “M-maybe we should get cleaned up first... then...” He bites his lip.

“Good idea.” Caleb leans over and mutters into Kol’s blushing ear, “While we're in there, how about I make sure everybody can hear you.”

“F-fuuck.” Kol breathes.

“That’s the idea.”
>>
No. 956605 ID: c70ff4
File 158199359413.png - (144.15KB , 500x700 , 11-30.png )
956605

"O-oof!"
>>
No. 956606 ID: c70ff4
File 158199359992.png - (172.78KB , 638x700 , 11-31.png )
956606

Caleb's hands spread against the wall, boxing the mouse in as water pours off of his broad back. A hum of satisfaction resonates deep in his chest and he grins. "Now, where were we?"
>>
No. 956612 ID: fa2754

SOUND THE FOG HORNS
>>
No. 956613 ID: 3ed3c3

>>956606
"You were flattening out my ass like a hydraulic press."
>>
No. 956615 ID: c2f1f6

Singing in the shower?
>>
No. 956625 ID: cdabe3

>>956613
Yes yes get to it big guy

>>956612
Time to make some noise!
>>
No. 956627 ID: 094652

"You were going to teach me how to make temporary water boobs. I'd ask Nixie, but she's going to be bored out of her mind with this standard protocol-filled firefi-"

MEANWHILE
>>
No. 956687 ID: c70ff4
File 158208095822.png - (176.38KB , 700x500 , 11-32.png )
956687

“You were just about to teach me how to sing in the shower...” Kol’s smirk goes slackjawed as he feels himself being spread open. He braces his elbows against the wall as Caleb leans into him.

Fully hilted, the selkie growls in his ear, “We have the place to ourselves. Don’t you hold back, now.” He then proceeds to fuck the mouse into the tile with all his strength.

A cacophony of slaps and squeaks echo off of the tile as music to the selkie’s ears. Caleb closes his eyes, savoring the sound of Kol gasping and moaning.

“Gah! Fu-h! Ah- ah! AH! OH! Fuc- GAH!”

Caleb chuckles, “Heheheh. You like that?”

“Y- Yus! AH!”

He slams forward again. “Listen to you: you can barely even speak. Huh-“ His hips slap against the mouse’s ass. “Getting caught like that really turned you on. You’re right on edge aren’t you?”

“Fu-ucck! Ca-leb! Uh! Uh!” Needy whines rise in tone.

Caleb feels the mouse clenching around him as the last pre orgasmic moments slip away. “Let me hear it then! Cum for me, mousey!” His hips swing into a blur as he jack-hammers Kol’s ass.

“AHH-AH-HAH AAAAAAAA-ck!” Kol crashes over the edge. His voice rises in a shriek of pleasure that ends in a gasp as his lungs run empty. Unable to truly speak, he manages to half- breathe, half squeak as his body jerks helplessly in the fey’s grip. Warm spatters of cum flick against the tile walls as his cock flails freely: jetting untouched as the mouse feels himself spent.

>>
No. 956689 ID: cdabe3

Hmmm did caleb cum? Kol needs to be sure caleb cums, otherwise Caleb will be stressed all day, and it’s kol’s duty as a Sender to help him.

(Caleb keep plowing the mousie till he just can’t take it~)
>>
No. 956692 ID: e7848c

Now the most important part, aftercare. Get that boy an ice pack, a soft pillow and a towel. He's probably going to need to be astral projecting to get any errands done today.
>>
No. 956805 ID: c70ff4
File 158217308584.png - (132.19KB , 700x477 , 11-33.png )
956805

Caleb hangs on tight as Kol writhes beneath him. He drives himself into the tight mouse, his thrusts getting harder and faster. The kelpie leans forward, seeking his own satisfaction now that his partner has cum.

Kol feels himself bounced back and forth between the wall and Caleb’s cock, his whole body limp and wobbly under the constant pounding. A groan warns him of the imminent end as the hot shaft starts to pulse within him.

The mouse is suddenly whirled around, his back planted against the tile. He looks up between his waterlogged dreads at the selkie. Caleb braces Kol’s head with one massive hand, his other wrapped around his dripping cock.

“As much as I’d like to give your ass another load; can’t have your tail leaking all day, now can we?” Caleb grits his teeth, trying to hold back the tide. “Now open up, will ya?”

Kol dutifully opens his mouth, presenting a pink length of tongue. Caleb pumps his hand up and down the shaft a few frantic times, opening the floodgates for the mouse.

“Gahhhhh! Thaaat’s it! Yahhhh...”

He tries his best to keep the tip aimed at the open mouth, shakily painting Kol’s whiskers with a pearl lacework. He bucks hungrily into his palm, feeling the last few trickles spatter forth.

>>
No. 956806 ID: c70ff4
File 158217311614.png - (138.01KB , 700x500 , 11-34.png )
956806

The pair sag, panting heavily in the humid shower. Kol swallows as much of the cum as he can collect, running his tongue over his muzzle to wipe up the last few drops before they harden. Hot water batters down on him as his sore muscles complain.

Caleb sits down in the narrow tub next to him. “Hah- you alright?”

Kol nods, “Gonna... be... sore...”

“Yeah.” Caleb nods. “That was good. Sea and salt that was... hah- oh man that was good. I had no idea you were so into that. Getting caught like that really does it for ya, doesn’t it?”

“Hah- yeah.” The mouse blushes. “I- I guess so.”

The selkie laughs, clapping a huge hand on his shoulder. “Hah! You’re so fucking cute when you’re flustered. You know that?” He leans over, giving the mouse a quick kiss on the cheek. “Come on, lets get you cleaned up...”

>>
No. 956827 ID: fa2754

>>956806
Properly this time! Before the water turns cold.
>>
No. 956881 ID: 015bf2

>>956827
Or a certain Selkie recovers their stamina again.
>>
No. 956952 ID: ce39da

Yeah, can't be dirty for the whole day, can you? You gotta take breaks sometimes.

>>956902
Uh...? Is- Is this spam? If it isn't, I'm sorry for misinterpreting it. If it is, can someone report it? I don't know how to do that.

>>
No. 956982 ID: c09fb4

>>956952
It is spam (you can usually tell it is when they have a link in them.) The way to report a post is to tick the checkbox on the left side of the post, then scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the "Report post" section in the lower right; There'll be a "reason" text field and a "report" button. Tick the checkbox on the post, fill in the reason you're reporting the post in the "reason" text field, then press the "report" button.

>>
No. 957178 ID: c70ff4
File 158249537315.png - (218.20KB , 700x637 , 11-35.png )
957178

"How's the legs?" Caleb asks. "You holding up alright?"

Kol blushes, his tail feeling well tenderized. "Uh, might be better to hire a ride."

A quick scrub later and the pair hustle out the door. Kol locks up the house and flags down a carriage for hire. The driver pulls over and opens the door for them. “Where am I taking you?”

“You know Hearthfire Bakery?”

“Miki’s place? Sure thing.” The mana powered drive charm lurches slightly and the vehicle takes off over the cobbles streets.
>>
No. 957179 ID: c70ff4
File 158249537872.png - (135.52KB , 700x517 , 11-36.png )
957179

Kol settles back, bouncing on the well worn seats. “Heh, not used to hiring a ride. I’m too used to Gabe just taking us places immediately.”

Caleb squishes up against him in the cramped cabin.“Ahh where’s the fun in that? Traveling is half the fun.”
>>
No. 957180 ID: c70ff4
File 158249538565.png - (160.12KB , 700x500 , 11-37.png )
957180

A short trip later and the carriage pulls up on front of Hearthfire. The suspension slings back and forth as the selkie climbs out, offering Kol a hand down. The mouse hands off a handful of coins to the driver and checks out the bakery.
>>
No. 957182 ID: e7848c

>>957180
Oh? New lighting? Raithe probably had some interior design ideas. Head on in maybe grab some breakfast if they're around too
>>
No. 957189 ID: ce39da

Ooh, fancy. Best to announce yourself and indulge in some pleasantry before easing the pair into the "just wanted to make sure you aren't suspects, oh, and BTW, do you know anyone who might also be suspect" topic.
>>
No. 957193 ID: b1b4f3

>>957180
Are the colors symbolic?
>>
No. 957273 ID: c70ff4
File 158259902471.png - (99.47KB , 384x700 , 11-38.png )
957273

Miki looks up as the shop bell jingles, “Kol! Caleb!” The chinchilla welcomes them. She turns to the back of the shop and calls, “Raithe! Come say Hi! We haven’t seen you in a while. What can I get you?”

Kol basks in the warmth of the bakery for a moment, soaking up the ambient heat from Raithe’s stove. “Actually, we were just coming by to see if everything is alright.” He waves as Raithe peeks his head around the corner.

“Well, yeah! I guess? Business is good, things are going well. Why? What’s up?” Miki blinks, slight concern wrinkling her fluffy brow.

“We just got a visit from the fire department, asking if we knew anyone with fire magic. Apparently they’re dealing with some damage around town that they think is magical in nature. We wanted to check up.”

“Great Fates!” Miki squeaks, “Nothing major, I hope! What kind of damage?”

“He mentioned some scorched flagstones, a melted bench. Sounds like it happened last night.”

“Woah. I mean, we were in bed pretty early, and our mornings are pretty much all baking prep. It couldn’t have been us. Do you have any ideas, Raithe?”
>>
No. 957274 ID: c70ff4
File 158259902994.png - (95.28KB , 700x571 , 11-39.png )
957274

The elemental scratches behind a head spike and shrugs, “Not a clue. I know a few fire elementals but none of them live around here.”

“Hey Miki,” Caleb points a massive hand, “What’s with all the lanterns? They don’t look like your usual oil lanterns.”

“Oh those,” Miki smiles, “they’re for our wedding. It’s a thing Raithe wanted to do called a ‘truefire’. We’ve been reaching out to some of his elemental friends to send us bits of flame. The idea is: when you combine them all, it makes a special kind of fire that burns hotter in the presence of honesty.”

Raithe chuckles. “Its a very old form of magic. It used to be more for...” he waves a claw idly, “legal matters and trials. But its also used to tell vows to one another for marriage.”
>>
No. 957278 ID: b1b4f3

>>957274
Well maybe it's someone new in town, doesn't know how to behave? If you find them and do them a favor maybe they can give you two a new color.
>>
No. 957280 ID: 0c55e7

>>957274
Are the individual flames special in any way? just in the offchance one has a property that could have allowed it to catch nearby and cause the issues in town
>>
No. 957282 ID: 094652

>Lie-Detecting Lantern
This is totes going to be essential in the near future because plot reasons.

And may include accidentally birthing a fire elemental because sex-themed universe.

>Wedding
Suggest they give out free baked goods for one day (while supplies last).

It's cheaper than the wedding planners.
>>
No. 957361 ID: 4f3683

Any chance its a visitor coming for the wedding?
>>
No. 957371 ID: 864e49

>>957361
Oh god dammit! It could be one or more of his friends here for the wedding or to throw him a bachelor party.
>>
No. 957410 ID: c70ff4
File 158277826041.png - (95.09KB , 500x700 , 11-40.png )
957410

Caleb raises a finger, “Uh, these elemental friends you mentioned: would they be, perchance, coming here to the city?”

“What? Noooo.” Raithe flaps his wrist dismissively. “They all live hundreds of miles away. They wouldn’t-“ He pauses. His head swivels rapidly from lantern to lantern as he does a mental tally. “Oh, brimstone...”
>>
No. 957411 ID: c70ff4
File 158277826506.png - (120.95KB , 500x700 , 11-41.png )
957411

“What? What is it honey?” Miki asks.

“Uh, we never got a flame from Cauldera, did we?” He asks.

“No, I don’t think so? Who’s Cauldera?”

“Uh...” His wings sag, “She’s kind of... she was, uh... we kind of dated for a while...”
>>
No. 957415 ID: b1b4f3

More information, please.
>>
No. 957417 ID: 9fad0d

>>957411
I can see where this is going: Enraged ex on a firey rampage.
>>
No. 957420 ID: 10c408

>>957417
If they were enraged and actively trying to destroy moot point, I think there'd be more destruction other than a park bench, some flag stones and a fountain.

That said.... Walk and talk. We can gossip about this particular story while trying to track down the fire chief.
>>
No. 957421 ID: 015bf2

>>957410
Ah, an old flame. You think they’ve come to Moot Point?
>>
No. 957422 ID: 094652

Get Miki's reaction.

Ask about the lack of a flame shard. Will it cause leaks in the spell? Can you get more from others? Is there any other magic you could do with these shards? Actually, could you use the arson fires as a replacement if they're magical in nature?
>>
No. 957438 ID: fa2754

>>957411
Old flame, eh? Seems that fire won't go out
>>
No. 957493 ID: f35c56

Yes we get that its an old flame but it can be hard seeing someone you loved again even after moving on. They could just trying to organize their feelings, considering the damage was a bit more controlled.
>>
No. 957494 ID: c70ff4
File 158285715250.png - (152.95KB , 700x534 , 11-42.png )
957494

“Oh?” Miki cocks an eyebrow, “I don’t think you ever mentioned her. I don’t suppose she’s the jealous type?”

“I mean...” he shrugs, “Not when I knew her. It was just one of those things that we tried, but didn’t work out. She is a bit, uh... unpredictable though.”

“Suddenly, I feel a lot better that I’m fireproof...” The baker fiddles with her ring. The flame ward burns from within, clasped in the hands of a golden dragon.

“Ooookay, so what should we do?” Kol asks.

“I- I don’t know. I don’t think she’s used to, you know...” Raithe shrugs and waves a hand, indicating the shop and city, “...mortal things. Where we’re from, things are a lot more... fireproof.”

“Oh fuckin’ lichfire...” Caleb mutters. “We better find her quick. You two wanna come with?”

Miki runs her fingers through her dense fur, mentally debating. She sighs, walks over to the door and flips the sign from open to closed, tucking a piece of paper in place to apologize. “I hate to miss out on today’s orders, but this kind of is our mess. Raithe, are you gonna be okay coming with us?”

“I- yeah. Sorry everyone, I had no idea she might, you know, show up.” He sighs. “I hope she’ll listen to us.”
>>
No. 957501 ID: ce39da

"To stop burning stuff by accident? I don't think she'll need much talking about that. But she will need talking to about other stuff, I imagine. We should probably head to the scene; no matter how well you know her, she's a stranger in (to her) a strange land, so we'll need to do some good ol' fashioned detective work."
>>
No. 957515 ID: fa2754

>>957494
Wonder if she's just scare and confused..
>>
No. 957521 ID: 10c408

>>957515
Judging from the dialogue, she's been trying to get a grip on the idea that raithe is getting married to someone else.

....And hasn't yet realized that Moot point isn't flame retardant. (at least, the first few times anyway
>>
No. 957565 ID: c70ff4
File 158294884994.png - (166.42KB , 700x595 , 11-43.png )
957565

“We’re going to need to track her down. Chief Raleigh mentioned a fountain being damaged: maybe he meant the one over by Minerva’s Temple of Reflection. We’ll start there.” Kol leads the way for the others. He winces slightly as his hindquarters complain after a full morning of strenuous activity. “Really wish Gabe were here right about now...”
>>
No. 957566 ID: c70ff4
File 158294885497.png - (177.85KB , 648x700 , 11-45.png )
957566

“Ah—CHOO!”

Gabe wrenches himself up, trying not to disrupt the delicate flow of magic. His nose twitches irritatingly under the protective mask. In front of him a thin stream of quicksilver dribbles out of his portal, ever so slowly filling the ancient basin.

“Careful!”
>>
No. 957567 ID: 3ed3c3

>>957566
"Sorry. Don't know what that was. Did it cause any problems?"
>>
No. 957576 ID: 91ee5f

>>957566
“I think someone is talking about me. Hope they’re saying nice things about me!”
>>
No. 957578 ID: 094652

"Who is res... ACHOO! Responsible for mixing dried herbs in the gas canisters? That's not how plague masks work! And did plague masks work back then?"
>>
No. 957582 ID: 0d979e

Good to see that Clio's training has been going well.
>>
No. 957583 ID: fa2754

>>957566
Oh man we need transportation. When your legs fail, you at least have your spirit!
>>
No. 957615 ID: c09fb4

Safety gear that is causing potentially dangerous distractions due to irritation or ill fit should be dealt with right away, before it causes a disaster. Better take a break to check over and adjust your gear and see about stopping your nose irritation. Might be skin irritation that needs balm, or inhalation from a minor gear leak irritating your nose.
>>
No. 957736 ID: c70ff4
File 158311203961.png - (118.34KB , 500x700 , 11-46.png )
957736

Next to Gabe, Clio holds her hands up, channeling her own gate. The runes around the edge flicker slightly but the overall shape remains steady. In the short time of her tutelage, the young sender seems to have learned a lot.

“Sorry, this thing is driving me crazy.” The mouse nods his head, indicating the mask. “I wish this could just go faster.”

“We could take a break if you need to.” Clio suggests.
>>
No. 957737 ID: c70ff4
File 158311204558.png - (125.90KB , 700x500 , 11-47.png )
957737

“Ugh, yeah.” Gabe admits, “I could really use a minute to recharge.” The pair count off and shut their gates simultaneously. Gabe lets his arms sag as he finally relaxes. “Ugh, I hate this continuous casting. How’re you doing?”

Clio stretches, clenching and unclenching her fingers. “Okay I guess. I usually don’t have my gates open this long, but I could keep going.”

Gabe shakes his head, amazed. While Clio still had a lot to learn in terms of technique, her skill was undeniable. Additionally, her natural mana reserves seemed tireless; letting her open more gates in a day than any two or three senders Gabe could think of. He says a silent thank you to the Fates that Miki was able to talk the young thief into cooperating when she did. Had the chase continued, Clio would have easily left the mouse behind.

“Nah, take a break.” He suggests. “We can’t have you burning yourself out. Besides, I’m sweating up a flood in this thing.”

The two of them retire to a nearby corridor and shuck their protective gear. They collapse against the wall and pass a canteen back and forth.
>>
No. 957742 ID: b1b4f3

Ask her how she's enjoying her new life so far.
>>
No. 957746 ID: e7848c

>>957737
Wonder if she ever tought of herself living a more comfortable life like this
>>
No. 957750 ID: 9fad0d

>>957737
Time to get out of those outfits and into something more comfortable, and if that something happens to be nothing that's more than fine.

So how's the academy life treating her anyway?
>>
No. 957751 ID: ce39da

>>957750
It's just a short break; in other words, too soon to change into a new outfit.
>>
No. 957758 ID: 3ed3c3

>>957737
"So! How's it going? Academy life agreeing with you?"
>>
No. 957807 ID: c70ff4
File 158320389503.png - (118.22KB , 500x700 , 11-48.png )
957807

“Aw I sneezed all over the inside of this thing...” Gabe sighs and pulls a handkerchief out of his storage portal. “Ugh, I hate these things.” He wipes off the spray of spittle and takes a moment to finally scratch his nose. “How’s the academy treating you Clio?”

“Pretty good,” she admits, “everyone’s very nice, though I catch people staring every once in a while. Its a bit like being a bug in a jar.” She sighs, straightening her hair after being confined in the leather mask, “You never warned me there’d be so much math.”

Gabe shrugs, “Sending is mostly math; but you seem to already have a pretty natural grasp of it. Learning it is just a good way to make your gates safer.” He leans back and stares at the ceiling, “Believe me, if I’d known there was so much work to being a sender, I probably would never have enrolled and I’d be stuck on the ol’ apple orchard with my brother.” He gives her a goofy, bucktoothed grin.
>>
No. 957808 ID: e7848c

>>957807
Country boy Gabe is a funny mental image. Stealing sips from the hard cider. But truth be told, there was probably a lot of adventure missed if that was the route you took.
>>
No. 957813 ID: b1b4f3

Has she made any new friends? Cute boys? Cute girls?
>>
No. 957815 ID: cdabe3

>>957808
>>957813
both good thoughts
>>
No. 957828 ID: 094652

Ask if the cape is itchy or constraining. The guild usually frowns on attempts to adjust it like a conqueror's cape, but for Clio in particular, they might make an exception.
>>
No. 957835 ID: ce39da

“To be fair, it’s been years since anyone has seen someone capable of using the Claíomh Solais, and even just the possibility that Moot herself has at least one descendant when she had no documented kids is a little eye-opening. Doesn’t make them justified for staring, but at least they can be understood.”
>>
No. 957844 ID: c3e059

>>957813
This
>>
No. 957866 ID: c70ff4
File 158329054762.png - (116.70KB , 500x700 , 11-49.png )
957866

She chuckles, “Good point.” She clenches a hand loosely and summons up the Claíomh Solais. “Of course, everyone is curious about this...”

Gabe catches himself staring into the crimson-white blade, despite his best efforts to be polite. The legendary spell crackles slightly as air flows over it, creating the signature pang of ozone. He shakes himself back to attention. “Uh, so have they found anything out about it yet?”

“They did a lot of tests just establishing its volume. They seemed pretty excited about its shape.” She shrugs under the leather protective gear.

“Yeah, normally gates don’t actually have volume. They’re totally flat. Supposedly, if you intersect two gates you can end up with a gate with volume, but from what I’ve heard its an extremely bad idea. Tends to explode.”

“They also wanted to look into what happens to things that pass through it. I’ve never actually used it as a gate, so I don’t really know where it sends things.”

Gabe perks up, “Did you learn anything?”

“No, I haven’t been able to get anything back yet. I’m working on it though.”
>>
No. 957867 ID: c70ff4
File 158329055469.png - (100.49KB , 700x500 , 11-50.png )
957867

“Have you met any new friends, at least?” Gabe asks.

“Uh, yeah. I suppose?” Clio shrugs and smiles. “I’ve been going to this study group with a couple people. They’ve been real lifesavers, since I have sooo much catching up to do.”

“Heheh, anybody cuuuute?” Gabe presses further.

“What? Oh, I dunno.” The cat blushes, her eyes darting around. “Maybe? I’ve mostly been just trying to give a good first impression. I haven’t really been... you know.”

Gabe nods sagely. “Ahhhhhh! Well don’t forget to have a little fun every once in a while. There’s still plenty of time for experimenting, if you catch my drift.”

“Hah!” She chuckles. “From what I’ve heard you used to run all kinds of experiments.”

“Oh really? What’ve you heard?” Gabe mugs, enraptured by rumor.

The cat rolls her eyes, “Just that gates weren’t the only holes you had expertise with. I mean, I know people talk about me and that sword spell, but you’re practically a legend.”

“Not to brag or anything...” Gabe twiddles the golden seal on his sash, “But there are one or two rules that they had to add to the school charter thanks to yours truly. Honestly from what I remember: everybody in that school is so pent up from studying, sex-capades like mine are only to be expected.”

“Really? To be expected? The skydiving incident?”

“Okay! That was on a dare!” He points, indignantly. “I can’t believe my legacy is being tarnished with such slander!”
>>
No. 957868 ID: c70ff4
File 158329055978.png - (112.19KB , 340x700 , 11-51.png )
957868

A pair of heavy footsteps coming up the stairs interrupts their discussion. A bronze head pokes around the doorframe and speaks with a slightly metallic ring. “We noticed the gates closed. Everything alright up here?” The white stripes and uncertain tone identify the occupant as Pezzi.
>>
No. 957869 ID: a0dfd2

>>957868

Oh, nice! Our buddies got some bodies!
>>
No. 957870 ID: cdabe3

>>957869
Hooray!
>>
No. 957871 ID: b1b4f3

>>957868
Everything's fine. Just taking a break. How's the new shell working out?
>>
No. 957872 ID: 8327ee

>>957868
Sweet bod. Clarify we're just taking a break here. Might as well ask him of his opinions of the senders from his days. Were they as pent up as the senders nowadays?
>>
No. 957882 ID: 9fad0d

>>957868
Didn't know the academy built automata bodies.
>>
No. 957906 ID: e3e505

Heck yes! Glad they're settling in. And yeah, you're just taking a break. Not good to deal with volatile chemicals and dangerous slices of spacetime when you're fatigued.
>>
No. 958072 ID: c70ff4
File 158346604344.png - (115.54KB , 700x500 , 11-52.png )
958072

“Yeah, just taking a break. How’s the mercury level looking?” Gabe asks.

The medium nods encouragingly. “Getting there: at least a foot or two left though.

The mouse sighs, realizing there would still be another hour, at least, of painstaking gate channeling. “How’re the new bodies treating you and Rufus?”

“Taking some getting used to.” Pezzi shrugs, a creaking affair. “We’re definitely looking into doing some modifications. There’s also the weird rules built into these things, like they won’t work in certain parts of the mountain. Still, its better than floating around for all eternity.”
>>
No. 958078 ID: cdabe3

>>958072
What kind of functionality does it have?
>>
No. 958079 ID: b1b4f3

>>958072
Anything under those shorts?
>>
No. 958081 ID: 3ed3c3

>>958072
Have they considered looking into paint? A new paint job could snazz them up a bit.
>>
No. 958083 ID: 91ee5f

>>958072
>modifications
*cough* Sex mods *cough*

>There’s also the weird rules built into these things, like they won’t work in certain parts of the mountain.
Question: Can they leave the mountain or do their bodies only work in the mountain?

So what’s going on with the kobolds? Are they still getting used to all of these outsiders showing up around their home? Are they helping in any way? Have any of them left the mountain? Have any of them shown an interest in learning any of the magic they’ve seen us using?
>>
No. 958104 ID: fa2754

>>958072
How's gravity feel?
>>
No. 958115 ID: ce39da

"By the way, back when you first met us... you know you could have just asked if you wanted some stimulating release, right? Yeah, I figured out that it didn't matter whose turn it was to be the liar; after all, ensuring that both of you would give the same answer is the entire point of the 'right' question~."
>>
No. 958291 ID: c70ff4
File 158355422472.png - (130.48KB , 500x700 , 11-53.png )
958291

"That's true. I bet its nice to have a body again. Especially after Kol lent you his.” Gabe chuckles, remembering the shared fun of screwing three mediums in one body. “You and Rufus get around to... ya know, upgrading the hardware?”

The mechanical body clatters and suddenly glances down to the rather conspicuous pair of shorts around his waist. Despite the lack of a blush response, Pezzi definitely looks a little embarrassed. “Uh, heh, we’ve um, well- Rufus and I... we’ve had a lot of catching up to do.” He explains while, at the same time, remaining vague.

“Well, if you two are ever up for it, you should show me what those bodies can do.” Gabe grins toothily, his eyebrows bouncing like excited puppies. “I’m wondering how much sensation they let you feel.”

“Heh, we, eh- um, m-maybe!” Pezzi manages before running off with the sound of bronze feet stumbling on stone.

“Wooooooow.” Clio clucks, “ Did I hear that right? Are you really gonna fool around with those metal guys?”
>>
No. 958292 ID: 9fad0d

>>958291
Definitely invite Clio with you when the usual sexy antics inevitably happen, I'm sure she'd want to enjoy the experience as much as anyone else you've had shared these antics with so far. :V
>>
No. 958293 ID: e7848c

Hey, flustering folks is an art. Following up on it is act of passion.
>>
No. 958304 ID: f88a6c

"I already did, before they even got bodies"
>>
No. 958312 ID: bb78f2

"Who's foolin'?"
>>
No. 958314 ID: 3ed3c3

If you can't find smooth, shiny surfaces and intricate, detailed workings attractive, get outta my face.
>>
No. 958337 ID: 3ce8ff

>>958314
if you can't find people attractive even when they have no bodies get out of my face
>>
No. 958338 ID: a0dfd2

>>958291

Did it with their ghosts, so boinkin' the new robot bodies is only the polite thing to do!
>>
No. 958340 ID: 04b0ba

"You're right Clio, I should have asked them to go skydiving first."
>>
No. 958365 ID: ce39da

"I haven't tried it, so I'm not knocking it just yet! Pezzi, if you're ever up for some experimentation on that front, all you gotta do is ask. No need to make something up about forgetting who the liar was supposed to be in that riddle this time."

("I mean, the whole point of the 'right question' in that riddle is to make the liar and the truth-teller's answers line up, so it shouldn't have mattered.")

... Apologize profusely if it turns out that genuinely didn't occur to them and you just made him feel stupid.
>>
No. 958455 ID: c70ff4
File 158363559772.png - (126.71KB , 700x500 , 11-54.png )
958455

He chuckles and shrugs. “Heh, call it an experiment. They’ve spend the last couple of centuries all pent up. Just thought they’d like a little help testing things out. You’re welcome to join in, if you’d like.”

“An experiment, eh?” A gloved hand paps against his chest jokingly. “You did say to have fun every once in a while, didn’t you? Come on, lets get back to work; unless you'd rather take them skydiving first?”
>>
No. 958459 ID: e7848c

>>958455
Only if it's a dare~
>>
No. 958461 ID: b1b4f3

>>958455
Business before pleasure.
>>
No. 958466 ID: a9af05

>>958455
Let's get this work done and over with, then we can figure out how were gonna be doing these "experiments".
>>
No. 958481 ID: 9fad0d

>>958455
So whilst they're getting the business done not knowing how long that'll take, should we shift the view to another group for a little while in the meantime, we could always cut back to them once they're off the clock.

Maybe see how Nixxy and Fennel are getting along with the fire brigade, or see how Casey is doing with mastering those new spirit wings and that book?
>>
No. 958523 ID: 136ff0

[Cut to mid-air orgy]
>>
No. 958542 ID: a0dfd2

>>958455

But has anyone ever set up two oversized gates, perfectly stacked, so that you can freefall indefinitely while you --

nevermind, that's a horrible idea.

Yeah, let's get back to work. We've had enough of a break, and it's not like we can't keep chatting.
>>
No. 958601 ID: c70ff4
File 158371520924.png - (77.30KB , 500x700 , 11-55.png )
958601

Gabe side eyes her and scratches his chin. "Oh yeah? Is that a dare?"
>>
No. 958602 ID: c70ff4
File 158371522577.png - (185.05KB , 700x500 , 11-56.png )
958602

"Fates, I can't believe this. Are I really doing this?" Clio blushes. Her eyes dart between the glowing disk of light and the pair of amiable robots behind her.

Gabe extends a hand for the nervous cat. "Only if you want to, Clio. I can promise you'll be perfectly safe."
>>
No. 958603 ID: c70ff4
File 158371523457.png - (155.23KB , 700x500 , 11-57.png )
958603

Kol turns the corner and hurries down the stairs leading to the temple of Minerva. A large stone basin sits empty, one side visibly blackened and cracked as if subjected to intense heat. Milling around it, a small crowd of curious citizens mutter and poke at the broken fountain.

[I don't do this often, but why not? You can suggest for either Kol's group or Gabes group]
>>
No. 958604 ID: 094652

Clio: Smooch-Push Gabe into the portal.

Kol: Analyze scorch tracings.
>>
No. 958607 ID: e7848c

>>958603
Clio, you're adorable. Want to witness the others go on the first round and then hop in?

Kol, catch your breath and then head in to get the people's input
>>
No. 958614 ID: bb78f2

Gabe Group: Start with a celebratory fist pumping chant going "Mile High Club! Mile High Club! Mile High Club!"

Kol: Go "Wassup! What'ya got here?"
>>
No. 958616 ID: b1b4f3

>>958603
Kol go say hello, are they here to investigate the incidents? Examine the burn marks yourself, see if they would match any known types of fire elementals. Or is there only one type?
>>
No. 958621 ID: ac10e5

Kol: Is that a pattern that the scorch marks made there? Did anyone see what happened?

Gabe/Clio: Establish safeword protocols, and then heck with it. Give her a slow start, she can ramp things up from there.
>>
No. 958637 ID: 864e49

>>958602
Flying foursome?

>>958603
>>958604
This
>>
No. 958690 ID: c70ff4
File 158378781060.png - (104.65KB , 700x500 , 11-58.png )
958690

“Yeah... let’s do this.” Clio nods.

“Okay,” Gabe takes her hand and readies himself next to the glowing disk. “On three.”

“One.”

“Two.”

“Th-“ A pair of lips cut him off as Clio pulls him close, carrying them into the gate.
>>
No. 958691 ID: c70ff4
File 158378781428.png - (139.04KB , 700x500 , 11-59.png )
958691

As they pass through the boundary, Gabe rolls her over. The cat gasps as she lands in a nest of down sheets and fluffy pillows. She looks around in surprise as Gabe flops next to her with an impish grin on his face.

“What? What happened? Where are we?”
>>
No. 958692 ID: c70ff4
File 158378781801.png - (127.53KB , 700x500 , 11-60.png )
958692

“I told you we’d be safe.” Gabe chuckles and rolls over onto his belly. Behind him, Pezzi and Rufus land in the bed with a pair of heavy thumps. Gabe sighs, “Okay, confession time: freefall fucking is... pretty awful. Its super cold and windy, and its hard to hang on to one another. I only ever managed to do actual sky sex for the, ya know, finish. Everything leading up to it was pretty vanilla.”

“I knew it! I fucking knew it! So where are we, then?”

“Its my storage space. Not nearly as nice as Vivian’s, but I’ve been working on expanding it so I can fit a bed inside.” Gabe pats the bedspread. “I just thought it’d be a nice place to get comfortable and have some fun first.”
>>
No. 958693 ID: c70ff4
File 158378782108.png - (93.46KB , 572x700 , 11-61.png )
958693

A pillow plops down on top of the mouse’s head, well aimed but without much force. Down feathers flutter about as Clio’s giggles fill the pocket dimension. “Fates, I just remembered how annoying you were when I first met you. Has anybody ever told you how insufferable that smug little face is?” The cat flops back against the pillows, and rolls her head as giggling fits rack her body.
>>
No. 958694 ID: c70ff4
File 158378782505.png - (122.53KB , 700x500 , 11-62.png )
958694

The crowd murmurs and takes a sudden interest in the group as they approach. They seem wary about the appearance of the elemental, but relax as they recognize Miki.

“Hey, Miki! Didn’t recognize you and Raithe out of the shop!”

“Morning, Mr. Tomas!” She waves brightly. “Kol asked us to help out today.”

“Oh! You’re one of those spirit guides we’ve heard about?” The man eyes the mouse critically. “Any word on the...” He cocks his head meaningfully in the direction of the slumbering bargast.

“We’re making progress.” Kol admits, “My partners are actually following a couple of leads at the moment.”

“Good to hear.” He nods. “I realize we’re all asking you to move mountains; or a mountain at least. What can we do for you?”
>>
No. 958699 ID: 297592

Kol: Well, for now, we're trying to track down the source of all the fires. Don't want to make hasty assumptions, but did they see any other fire elementals or mysterious burn marks around?

Clio: Smug mouse needs to get pounced by a cat. Pillow fight would be fun but probably less for the two recently embodied spirits.

Gabe: It's true, your face is the smuggest. ... Also how did you safely stop falling afterwards?
>>
No. 958736 ID: 3ce8ff

>how did you safely stop falling afterwards?
this
>>
No. 958737 ID: e7848c

>>958694
Clio: lay back and feel the hands of three other people working at your every muscle.

Kol: get their input about this. Anything they know or have seen could be of use
>>
No. 958742 ID: b1b4f3

Gabe, investigate robot ass.
Kol, ask if there's been any sightings of new fire elementals in town. Or anyone new in town in general.
>>
No. 958764 ID: ecd116

gabe . ask Pezzi & Rufus if they are able to move parts of their spirit outside while still in and operating their robot body

kol . reply to Mr. Tomas comment and say you went into a literal mountain to find a way to move a metaphorical mountain if that help make you feel better and also ask tomas plus the others where and what they were doing at the time before, during and after the fountain was broken and if they see anything unusual.
>>
No. 958810 ID: c70ff4
File 158388201640.png - (105.21KB , 500x700 , 11-63.png )
958810

Kol steps forward and addresses the group, “We heard about the fountain and a couple of other small fires: we were wondering if anyone here saw or heard anything about it.”

Mr Tomas takes his hat off and scritches his feathers, “I was just tellin’ these folks about it. I live across the square, you see, and I was up early this morning. Looked out my window and saw a big plume of steam from the fountain. There was someone sitting on the edge carrying a lantern. Seemed an odd thing to have because they looked like they were glowing. They were looking at something in their lap and didn’t notice the steam at first, before looking up and then flying off.”

“Did you notice which way they went?” Kol asks.

“Well, they kind of darted back and forth for a minute before setting off towards the harbor. Looked like they were lost, to be honest.”

Kol stoops to examine the damaged fountain, finding the concrete cracked and vitrified by extended contact with the elemental. Looking inside, he spots something glowing. “Hey...”

“Oh, watch yourself, young man!” Mr. Tomas warns as Kol pulls back his singed fingers.

“Here, let me.” Miki reaches in to grab the glowing shape and twists it lightly in her fingers. The feather shimmers in the sunlight, arcing off into little prominences of flame and sparks.

Raithe sighs, “Ash and slag... Yeah, that’s Cauldera’s.”
>>
No. 958811 ID: c70ff4
File 158388202145.png - (111.76KB , 700x500 , 11-64.png )
958811

Clio pushes herself up out of the comforter and swings her leg over the mouse. Pinning Gabe’s shoulders, the cat grinds herself against his hips and leers. “You are such a little tease! Getting me all worked up!” The underside of his shaft glides smoothly through her cleft. Clio’s feline teeth bite into her lip as she squirms hungrily, “Mmph, you deserve a little teasing yourself. You want this?”

Gabe nods, “I do.” His hips buck slightly, eager to play along. “But I think we’re forgetting a few people.”

>>
No. 958812 ID: c70ff4
File 158388202863.png - (175.11KB , 500x700 , 11-65.png )
958812

Clio gasps as Rufus and Pezzi shimmy up and sandwich her between their metal frames. Surprisingly warm fingers trace their way across her curves as the two automatons massage her body.

“How’s she feel, guys?”

“So sooooft.” Pezzi croons, his hand gently squeezing Clio’s breast.

Rufus’s fingers spread out through the fur on her hip, snaking beneath her, “Ahhh, incredible.” Padded fingertips press against the warmth of her inner thigh. “These bodies... they feel everything.” His chin tucks into the crook of her neck and nuzzles her.

The cat purrs, leaning back against the mediums. Lost in the sensations, she melts happily under all the attention. “Oooh yessss.”

“Pezzi mentioned upgrades. Got anything she might enjoy?” Gabe sprawls against the sheets, thoroughly enjoying the show.

The lights glowing inside the robotic body flicker and something buzzes.

Clio’s knees clench together out of surprise as his finger slides between her legs. “-haa-aaah!” Her voice rises in pitch as the vibrations pulse through her. He carefully brushes her clit and she arches back ecstatically.

>>
No. 958818 ID: e7848c

It's come to my attention though we never found out what kind of fire elemental We're dealing with. Is this a Phoenix? Can we even keep up with that?

Clio, I hope you're mentally prepared for this. It's going to be some serious sensory overload here
>>
No. 958834 ID: c09fb4

Kol's group: Is Cauldera is phoenix, right? Hm... Her being a phoenix may present a new danger to the city. If she molts feathers like she did here while flying over the city, then they'll float down and possibly start fires all over the place. Better ask Raithe if he knows if she tends to lose feathers under certain circumstances, like being stressed or surprised.

Ah, but if she regularly loses feathers while in flight it may also present another way to track the general route she took in the air by noting the location and time of unexplained small fires around the city and charting a path based on them, on the assumption they're from her feathers. ...But that only works if there's little to no wind today.

With no other hint of direction at the moment, head in the direction of the harbor, look for more signs of fire damage and ask the locals about any odd fires. ...And Raithe ought to fly upwards, if he can, and get a good look over the area for any scorching from fallen feathers or even Cauldera in flight. She may even see him flying and come up to him, which would greatly simplify finding her.

Gabe's group: Impressive upgrade. I can only assume their penises were similarly improved, correct? Now, what other parts of them got a vibration upgrade too? Their tongues? Pezzi's tail tip? And how adjustable is the intensity and pattern?

Oh, and can they adjust their body temperature to specific body parts too? 'Cause Clio might like them being a bit warmer, (her being a cat and all,) especially when playing with her breasts. Or their tongues being warmer when they're performing cunnilingus.

Also, did they get anuses to complete their "anatomically correct" parts package? ...Or tongues? Are are their mouths fully functional? With saliva and lips and all? (And kudos to whoever crafted their bodies. Top notch work.)

And since Clio is a cat, either Pezzi or Rufus should test whether or not she has a sensitive spot at the base of her tail by petting her there.

Ah, but before things progress further, better ask Clio what she isn't down to do, the foremost question being about anal. 'Cause her being the middle in a spit roast with double penetration on one end is the most obvious way to include everyone at once, but if she's not into anal then that's out. Oh, and set safe words and direction signals as well.

Now, that out of the way, y'all give Clio all the attention she wants, exactly where she wants it. Hm... Would the three of you kissin', nibblin' and feelin' her all over to start work for her?
>>
No. 958886 ID: c70ff4
File 158397685070.png - (170.24KB , 500x700 , 11-66.png )
958886

“Having fun?” Gabe asks the purring feline.

Clio laughs and gasps as Pezzi and Rufus’s hands roam over her body. “I- oh man- yeah, I’ve never had this much attention. Oh woooow.” Her head lolls happily.

“I always wondered: is it true what they say about cats?” His fingers trail to the patch of fur above Clio’s tail and give an experimental brush.

The response is immediate and electric. Fur rises up along Clio’s back as as she shoots up straight. A feral “Rrrroaw!” Erupts from the feline which is coaxed higher under further stimulation.

Pezzi stops and Clio flops backwards as she catches her breath. He shares a quick fistbump with Rufus that rings like a bronze bell. “I’d say thats a yes.”

>>
No. 958887 ID: c70ff4
File 158397685458.png - (82.71KB , 700x588 , 11-67.png )
958887

Gabe clambers over the overstimulated cat and smiles. “You okay?”

“Ah- yeah!” She pants. “Great...Fates.”

“Heh. Why don’t you lay back for a bit and let us take care of you?”

“Y-yeah, sure.” Clio nods and lets her head sag.

The mouse slides down her body, peppering kisses down her breasts and belly. “Anything you like specifically? Between the three of us, there’s a lot we can do.”

The feline looks down at the mouse hovering above her hips and blushes, “I -uh I’ve never done-“ She blushes further, “You know: butt stuff.”

“Would you like to?”

“Um... maybe?” She mumbles, “That tail thing felt [i]really[/g] good. It, uh might be nice.”

Gabe gives her another kiss just below the naval. “We can work our way up to that if you want. Just let us know if its too much. Right now is all about you.” With that, he disappears below the curve of her mons pubis.

>>
No. 958888 ID: c70ff4
File 158397685986.png - (133.46KB , 500x700 , 11-68.png )
958888

Clio gasps as she feels his practiced tongue go to work; pushing past the folds of her labia to dive into her needy entrance. Warm, wet muscle paints across her sensitive nerves and hungrily curls up into her. She moans her appreciation and Gabe withdraws to suck and tease at her clit. One finger, then two, slip inside and pump slowly in and out, feeling the clench and shudder of her soaking pussy.

Pezzi and Rufus flop down beside Clio, running their sofly vibrating hands up and down the curve of her sides; holding her close as she murmurs pleasurable nonsense. Rufus props himself up, his gleaming new cock hanging in front of her. “Do you want this?”

The cat nods, reaching for his hips. The Medium obliges her and leans forward, throwing his head back as she bobs back and forth across his shaft.
“Oh fuucking Fates. That’s so good. Yeah, just like that...”

Clio nods what little she can with her mouth full. The shaft is pliable but firm, with just enough texture to stimulate while still smooth enough to easily penetrate. The craftsmanship indicates someone with a lot of experience helped design it. Clio sucks and laps at the shaft, eager to have it inside her in any way possible.

>>
No. 958889 ID: c70ff4
File 158397686425.png - (120.34KB , 700x500 , 11-69.png )
958889

“Raithe, is Cauldera a phoenix?” Kol asks, watching the feather gleam.

“Yeah. Sorry, I guess I could have mentioned that.” Raithe shrugs, “I didn’t really think it was important.”

“Is there any reason she’d be losing feathers?”

“Oh, well... I guess phoenixes do molt from time to time. Usually before they, you know, get reborn.”

“What happens then?”

“Uh... usually they shed all their remaining feathers and... oh nooooo.” The elemental moans.

Caleb grunts, “Yeah, thats about what I figured. We gotta find her before the whole city burns down.”

“Raithe, see if you can spot her! Get up above the city and check the harbor!” Kol points skyward desperately.

The elemental flaps his wings with a blast of hot air and swings high over the city. He does a pass around the square, his long neck craning this way and that before diving back down to the assembled group. “I saw smoke! Over by the fishmarket!”
>>
No. 958897 ID: b1b4f3

>>958889
Oh god we need a fireproof place to put her- OH, bring her to the bakery! There's fire-warded rooms there, right?

Clio get ye some lube and take that golem dick.
Gabe grab some golem ass for yourself. One of them always bottoms, after all.
>>
No. 958901 ID: fa2754

Miki, Raithe, get airborne and get over there ASAP. Kol, Caleb. Start hoofing it. I have the feeling we're going to need a boat..

Gabe, did Mr. Ochre design these upgrades? Anywho, keep one hand on her tail base. That's the wow button and you should be ready to press that whenever she doesn't expect it.
>>
No. 958911 ID: 2f28aa

So the robot bodies have usb drives. Do they also have ports for recieving info?
>>
No. 958924 ID: c70ff4
File 158406620580.png - (124.12KB , 406x700 , 11-70.png )
958924

“Doing okay?” Gabe asks.

“Mmmph, mm-mm.” Clio mumbles back to him.

“What’cha think, Rufus? Wanna give the lady what she wants?” Gabe roots around under the sheets and tosses him a small bottle of lubricant.

“Oh absolutely. How about this?” The medium slips free from her, helping her up onto all fours. He slips a pillow under her and gets to work prepping under her raised tail. One hand scratches lightly at the sensitive base as the other softly probes beneath, spreading lube inside and out. “Is this okay?”

Clio nods carefully, purring under her breath. “Ah! Ye-yeah...” Her fingers grip the sheets as new sensations cause her to squirm excitedly.

“Do you think you’re ready?” Rufus asks as he lubes up his shaft.

“Mmh, yeah.”

>>
No. 958925 ID: c70ff4
File 158406621108.png - (180.38KB , 700x560 , 11-71.png )
958925

The automaton kneels behind her and angles himself between her asscheeks. “Okay, just relax. Stop me if its too much...” He carefully nudges forward, applying gentle pressure to the ring of muscle. With further scratches to the base of her tail, he coaxes the tip in and she starts to stretch.

“Ah! Ah! Slow- slow!” The cat yelps as her legs shiver uncontrollably.

“Maybe this’ll help.” His eyes flicker and a gentle hum buzzes from inside her. The cat gasps and a line of fur stands up along her spine. Inch by inch, she allows him in; gradually adjusting to the fullness as he leans forward. As his hips come flush to her tail, Clio reaches back in amazement, touching his thigh to confirm the new experience.

Rufus gently takes her hand in his and she squeezes it with shaking fingers. “Are you okay?”

She nods wordlessly: tiny fang tips visible from where she bites her lip.

“I’m going to start moving a bit, okay?” Achingly slow, he draws in and out a precious few centimeters. He focuses on adjusting the angle inside her, letting the vibrating cock drum against different areas. Slowly, she starts to purr.

>>
No. 958926 ID: c70ff4
File 158406621844.png - (95.80KB , 700x440 , 11-72.png )
958926

She gasps as Pezzi flops down beside her, tail held high for Gabe. “You doing alright there?” He asks.

“Mmm, ye-ah. S’good.” Clio breathes.

“Heheh. You’re doing great- Ah!” Pezzi shudders as Gabe finds one of the upgrades to the mechanical body.

“I wondered how you guys would make this work...” Gabe admires the soft opening made of tightly pinched rubber. With a little lube, he’s able to slip a pair of fingers in and out. “I take it you guys hit up the one of the guys Cecil commissions for his collection. Quality work, my friends.”

>>
No. 958927 ID: c70ff4
File 158406622384.png - (139.09KB , 500x700 , 11-73.png )
958927

“We need you to get down there!” Kol yells to Raithe. “We’ll catch up!”

“Wait!” Miki hops up into his arms and kisses him on the cheek. “They might need someone fireproof! Lets go!”

Raithe launches himself skyward, cresting the roofs and coming down just above the wharves.
>>
No. 958928 ID: b1b4f3

>>958927
Oh there she is, and with most of her feathers still intact. Looks like it's not the worst case scenario, thank goodness. She's holding a map? Probably just lost, then. Go introduce yourself, put out the fire, and guide her to the bakery so she can rest somewhere fireproof.
>>
No. 958929 ID: fa2754

Ever made out with a robot? This is much better. Probably. try resting your heads against each other at least.

Miki, Raithe, get her attention. Use her name. It might help. Alert her that she's about to ignite something behind her.
>>
No. 958940 ID: a0dfd2

>>958927

Chicken butt.
>>
No. 958942 ID: a9af05

>>958927
Looks like she's looking at a map.

Quickly, get her attention before she flies away!
>>
No. 958955 ID: 015bf2

>>958942
"Yoohoooo! Cauldera!"
>>
No. 958957 ID: c70ff4
File 158415260942.png - (153.25KB , 700x585 , 11-74.png )
958957

Clio props herself up on the pillow, letting her reach back with a free hand to tease between her legs. By applying little pressure, she’s able to feel the thrumming vibrations radiate through to her fingertips. She rubs deliriously at her clit, enjoying the pleasure inside and out.

“Feels like you’re nice and relaxed back here. I’m going to start going a bit faster, okay?” Rufus grips right above her tail, using the leverage to gently piston himself back and forth.

Clio moans, rocking on her knees as Rufus eases into genuine buttfucking. The soreness in her ass fades as the smooth shaft finds sensitive spots she’s never known, while constant tail stimulation keeps her relaxed and happy.

>>
No. 958958 ID: c70ff4
File 158415261397.png - (171.43KB , 700x500 , 11-75.png )
958958

“Aren’t you glad Rufus and I didn’t get the deluxe-sized models?” Pezzi asks, bouncing forwards and back in her view.

Behind the medium, Gabe lines himself up and pushes himself in. “Ohhh yeah... That’s fantastic. How’s that feel for you?”

“Ahhhnngh!” Pezzi’s moan rises into a whine as his synthetic tailhole is stretched. “Ah- Fates! Wow! Gabe, I can feel everything. You have a really nice dick!”

“Why, thank you!” Gabe basks in the praise. “I’m quite proud of it myself. Now, you’ve spent long enough pent up: I won’t keep you waiting.” He thrusts forward, finding a slight give to the mechanical rear.

Pezzi hangs on, trying to stay upright under the new barrage of sensations. As he and Clio come face to face, the cat takes his chin and leans in for a kiss.

Clio pushes her tongue into the mechanical mouth, finding a synthetic partner to her own. They tangle with one another as the pair are shoved back and forth by the reciprocation of their partners. The former thief muses briefly on the oddness of her situation: sandwiched between a pair of centuries old spirit guides in borrowed bodies, getting her ass fucked for the first time and finding herself loving it. She giggles dreamily into the kiss and sighs.

>>
No. 958959 ID: c70ff4
File 158415261811.png - (166.01KB , 634x700 , 11-76.png )
958959

“Cauldera!” Raithe yells, waving towards the blazing figure.

The phoenix looks up from what appears to be a thin sheet of metal etched with a map. Looking around for the source of the sound, she notices the elemental and waves back with a hand holding a lantern. “Blazing skys, Raithe! I’ve been looking all over for you!”

Raithe points frantically at the pallet and Cauldera checks behind her. Long scorch marks mar the wood from brief contact with her tail feathers and a small fire burns at the corner.

“Ack!” The bird rolls up the map and attempts to beat the fire out, creating a series of hollow, tinny clangs. With some effort, she extinguishes the fire and a dribble of well roasted cashews tumble out of the burned container. Cauldera sighs and turns back.
>>
No. 958960 ID: c70ff4
File 158415262474.png - (118.91KB , 500x700 , 11-77.png )
958960

“What’re you doing here? I thought I was going to surprise you!” She poses, arms at her hips in mock disbelief.
>>
No. 958961 ID: b1b4f3

>>958960
I don't know any delicate way of phrasing this. How about Raithe introduces Kol, and Kol can tell her the fire department took notice and asked for help.
>>
No. 958963 ID: 91ee5f

>>958960
Ask why she didn’t ask anyone for directions? If she was lost, she could’ve asked someone to point her in the right direction.

And then gently explain that we think she may have accidentally been scorching various things around town.

>>958961
>Kol
He’s not here yet. Miki is the one that’s with Raithe right now.
>>
No. 958964 ID: b1b4f3

Oh right, uh... that makes this even more awkward.
Yeah, I guess we could just say you found out about the burnt stuff and you put 2 and 2 together.
>>
No. 958977 ID: fa2754

>>958960
Well it seems you needed some direction from a local! Raithe is practically one now. You look good.

Clio, ride the full feeling right to the end there. You'll know when you race off that proverbial cliff.
>>
No. 958978 ID: 094652

"How long has it been since the last time you... molted."
>>
No. 959011 ID: 365ffb

Be nice to her!
>>
No. 959170 ID: c70ff4
File 158449046530.png - (150.42KB , 582x700 , 11-78.png )
959170

“We heard about some, er... small fires...” Raithe sighs, letting Cauldera fill in the rest of the sentence mentally.

“Oh! Well, I hope everything was alright!” She shrugs, “I tried to stick to... less flammable places but I’ve been all over looking for your shop. Is this your partner?” Cauldera waves at Miki. “She’s so tiny! Nice to meet you dear!”

“Couldn’t you have just asked a local?” Raithe asks.

“I suppose, but where’s the fun in that?” The phoenix pivots on her heel, rotating to take in the whole of the city. “I wanted to see the sights! Its so busy here! I travelled all the way from the Razor Sea and I just needed to experience the city!”

“Uhh.... but aren’t you molting?”

Cauldera stops and eyes her plumage. “Am I?”

Miki holds up the blazing feather. “Uh, we found this over by the temple of Minerva.”

She sags, “I guess it has been a while since my last molt. What can I do about it?”

”Why don’t you come back to our place?” Miki chimes in, “We have a fire ward in the kitchen and you can just wait things out there!”

“What!?” The phoenix clucks, “No offense, dear: but cooped up like a hearth-fire for days on end? I’d go crazy!”
>>
No. 959172 ID: c70ff4
File 158449052632.png - (159.40KB , 546x700 , 11-79.png )
959172

Clio moans deeply as the mechanical medium pounds away. A pleasant soreness aches up her spine but she smiles to herself, lost in the moment of pure fun and passion.

She’s surprised when the pounding stops and she finds herself being lifted from behind. Powerful arms cradle her and spread her legs, leaving her balanced carefully on Rufus’s humming cock.

“Sorry, just though you might like a little more action.” The robot remarks, “Just another one of the perks of these new bodies.” Hoisting her for the others, he asks “Either of you want to join in?”

Gabe pulls himself free of Pezzi’s rear and steps up, grinding his very real dick against her opening. The cat watches hungrily as precum drips from the tip and soaks into her soft fur. “How about it? You ready for me now?”

>>
No. 959173 ID: 015bf2

>>959170
Oh, boredom? Hardly! There's always a few ways to 'pass the time', as it were.

Wriggle your eyebrows...

... before you admit you're nerdy enough to have acquired a few fireproof board games.

Also, as long as the molting isn't TOO bad yet, having Mitzi around to siphon the heat out of the worst of it could be doable, so sightseeing isn't entirely out of the question. They just need a few careful chaperones!

Oh, and you do know, like, three water-aspected fey you could call on to help keep the situation under control. As long as they're okay with mischievous and/or cute-ass fey critters being part of their chaperone crew, that is!

If she's not okay with that, well, back to plan board games! She can always sightsee after her, uh, rebirth, right? Or does she... like, forget things?
>>
No. 959175 ID: b1b4f3

>>959170
Well it should be safe enough to give her a tour of the town before she starts getting low on feathers...
>>
No. 959177 ID: 91ee5f

>>959170
Well, if she doesn’t want to be stuck indoors, then we could just give her a tour around town instead. We can even keep an eye on her and make sure any feathers she loses don’t start any fires.

But we should at least wait for Kol and Caleb to catch up. Then we can all go together.

>>959172
Clio: Tell Gabe you’re ready for him.

Pezzi: Come up behind Gabe and introduce his ass to your dick.
>>
No. 959191 ID: 094652

>Needs to stay indoors for a few days
...

Start by purchasing some games, rations, water, and any sex toys you can get your hands on. Keep her inside as long as possible, and if not, direct her somewhere relatively isolated. Or ask the Undead if they need something cancerous burnt.
>>
No. 959200 ID: ce39da

"Well, do you have any other ideas for how to make sure you won't burn down multiple city blocks when it finally gets going for real?"
>>
No. 959236 ID: a9af05

>>959177
This
>>
No. 959334 ID: c70ff4
File 158467117390.png - (178.56KB , 563x700 , 11-80.png )
959334

Gabe nudges her again, this time lower. "How about it? You want this?" He feels the warmth radiating off of her as he glides back and forth between her legs.

Exasperated, the cat groans, "Gabe! Stop teasing and fuck me----aah!" Clio goes breathless as the sender sinks in smoothly. She's barely given pause before the mouse goes to town, giving her what she wants. Gabe's swift hips fuck her up against Rufus's immovable body, bouncing her up and down on top of both cocks. Stars flash in front of her eyes and she shivers with pleasure under the assault.

Gabe works himself sore, plowing away at the former thief with gusto. The happy sounds coming from her giving him all the pleasure he needs: her tight pussy and muted vibrations from Rufus's dick only adding to the experience. His buckteeth gleam in a goofy grin as he enjoys his favorite thing in the world: helping someone let go and have fun.

>>
No. 959335 ID: c70ff4
File 158467118479.png - (220.29KB , 629x700 , 11-81.png )
959335

The mouse turns as he feels the mattress shift behind him. Warm, metal hands grip him by the hips as something long and slick slips into his backside. Gabe gamely hangs on, trying to keep his rhythm.

Pezzi's voice comes from over his shoulder, "Relax, Gabe. Let us take care of you two."

A moment later thrumming, buzzing, vibrations strike the mouse in his core, rendering Gabe mute with bliss. His muscles surrender and he flops back against the pistoning mech: letting his hips be driven into Clio and focusing entirely on not cumming outright.

>>
No. 959336 ID: c70ff4
File 158467121450.png - (163.83KB , 700x500 , 11-82.png )
959336

Kol and Caleb jog up to the docks, breathing heavily and coughing a little from exertion. “Fuckin lichfire, I still need more training with Del. Everybody okay?” Kol glances at the fiery elementals and concerned baker.

‘Er, hello? Who are you?” Cauldera asks.

“Friends of ours.” Raithe explains, “Kol’s a spirit guide. Without his help, Miki and I would have... well I don’t know if things would worked out.” The pair share a quick, meaningful handhold.

“Oooh! A spirit guide? You know I’ve never met one!” Cauldera addresses him, blazing with fascination. Maybe you can help!”

Kol nods and coughs, “Thats what we do... What... er what can we help you with?”

“Well...” she starts, “Obviously, I’m here to deliver a flame to our happy couple here. But I’ve come all this way and I just must see the city!”

“But you’re molting, right? Sounds kind of dangerous.”

“Oh please!” She begs, “I’ve just barely started! I still have plenty of plumage left! It could take a week or more before its done!”

“I...” Kol shares a glance with Caleb, who shrugs stoically, “...guess we could give you a quick tour, as long as we keep your feathers from causing any damage.”

The phoenix’s flames glow happily at the concession. “Yes, wonderful!”

“Okay, uh what to go see?” Kol thinks to himself, scratching idly under his dreadlocks. “I only moved here a couple of years ago. To be honest, Gabe mostly takes care of our transportation: I’m not sure what’s nearby to show you.” He looks up, "Uhh... there's the statue..."

"I see the statue! Its very nice, but I meant more..." one hand swivels absentmindedly as she hunts for the right words. "Culture! Life! Experiences!"

“Caleb, any suggestions?”

“What?” The question catches the selkie by surprise and he stares blankly for a minute, wracking his brain for ideas. “Uh, well I’ mean, I know the fish market pretty well.” He waves a shovel sized hand at a fellow sailor passing by, “There’s the gardens just up the coast, of course. Uhh... there’s a small fey quarter Adrian and I went on a couple of dates there. I'm down for any other suggestions too.”
>>
No. 959338 ID: b97e03

>>959336
Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up a fire/welding blanket and a ceramic pot and tongs to put the feathers in, maybe call into the fire station to see if they have supplies or a volunteer to monitor your group?
>>
No. 959345 ID: 823b5e

>>959338
Request assist from the firefighters sounds like a wise choice.

As for possible tour route, this is also a good opportunities for us readers to learn more about the city as well as local life. Things I could think of:

1) Historical sites; center of governance / religion / education (the Sender Academy that we know nothing of?); or other places of cultural significance (fay quarter might be fun).
2) local shopping / dinning districts, perhpas try some local dishes?
3) we've already seen the fish market, but how about other major businesses? What's the major industry of this town?
4) places with less crowd and/or less wooden structures to avoid accidents; probably not the gardens (unless any of local floras are particularly fireproof).
>>
No. 959348 ID: 3c7186

>>959336
Gardens will be a bad idea until you have fire supplies. Let's try the fey quarter.
>>
No. 959355 ID: fa2754

>>959336
Oh man, Del's spa house would be cool but the water might just boil away. I don't think the opera house is fire warded either. There's always the sender academy.
>>
No. 959359 ID: b1b4f3

I mean, she can go to the spa and the opera house, so long as she's careful.
I wonder if we can get some kind of fire-proof cloak for her to wear? Then she can't accidentally brush up against things, and the only concern is the occasional dropped feather. Not sure how we'd manage that.
>>
No. 959369 ID: 376a29

Seems like everyone here could do with some sight-seeing and experiencing more of Moot Point off the beaten path. Well, everyone but Miki, since I assume she's a native to this city and knows more about its culture and such. ...Actually, does Miki have any suggestions of where to go that epitomizes the people and culture of Moot Point?

I think the best way to experience a city is to just stroll off where you haven't gone before and check out what you find along the way. But if we're gonna do a tour, lets hit the places we know personally first.

So, y'all walk on over to Miki's bakery first to drop off the lantern Cauldera brought and get that out of the way. Then, either the Academy, the opera house or perhaps Mr. Ochre's estate. And if you go to the opera house, Vivian and her fellow actors and crew would probably know of plenty of cultural things to see in the city. Mr. Ochre likely knows of cultural places and people to see and meet in the city as well. Plus, if you visit him then Cauldera'll get to meet a genuine ancient god too.
>>
No. 959432 ID: ce39da

>>959355
> Opera house.
That reminds me of our Fey friend. For the issue of 'who has us covered if she enters the final stages,' maybe we should call her up and ask if her "private space" is fireproof?
>>
No. 959435 ID: a0dfd2

>>959336

"Burning Down the House" plays in the distance.
>>
No. 959436 ID: c70ff4
File 158484652306.png - (84.61KB , 572x700 , 11-83.png )
959436

“Maaaybe not the gardens.” Kol sighs, “Let’s head back to the bakery first and drop off that lantern. There’s plenty of shops around though we can take a peek in along the way.” He leads the way, taking the group out of the fish market. Surreptitiously he takes a black pearl out of his pocket and murmurs to it, “Nixxy are you there?”

The iridescent shine shifts and pulls back to reveal the kelpie’s eyes. She winks at him and smiles. “Kol! Hello! Nixxy and Fennel are learning and being very helpful! How is your search?”

“Doing good, Nixxy. Uh, can you tell the chief that we found the source of the fires and things are under control. I’ll call you if we need any help, okay?”

”Oh yes! Nixxy will pass along this message. Call Nixxy anytime, Kol!” the surface shimmers and returns to an inscrutable black polish.
>>
No. 959437 ID: c70ff4
File 158484652838.png - (168.01KB , 700x437 , 11-84.png )
959437

Just outside the bustle of the market, a long broadway traces the curve of the bay. Lining the street are rows of shops selling goods offloaded from the harbor.

They stop outside an open store selling blown and stained glass to admire the craftwork. Cauldera stoops to admire a display of impossibly small, hand crafted glass figures.

“Ooh, they’re so delicate! We have a lot of glass where I’m from, but nothing like these.” She reaches out as if to touch but stops herself.

“Say, where are you from, Cauldera?” Kol asks.

“Ronnak. Its on the edge of the Razor Sea.”

Caleb cocks an ear curiously. “Where’s that? I’m a sailor and I’ve never heard of a Razor Sea.”

“That’s what the locals call it. Its not actually a sea: its a desert... Well, was a desert but an ancient fire elemental turned it to glass. They call it a sea because the people there sail across it on skiffs with diamond skates.”
>>
No. 959438 ID: c70ff4
File 158484657247.png - (113.17KB , 500x700 , 11-85.png )
959438

Just as Kol and Caleb share a tiny, concerned glance; Miki appears holding a large earthenware pot.

She lifts it over her head with some difficulty and a “Ta-dah!”

“Where’d that come from?” Kol taps the jar.

“I bought it! Just over there!” She twitches her ears, indicating an elderly potter waving amiably. “Its for feathers!”

“Good thinking. Allow me.” Caleb takes the cask off of her hands, tucking it under an arm. “I’ll let you and Raithe handle actually grabbing them.”
>>
No. 959439 ID: c70ff4
File 158484658469.png - (147.27KB , 700x500 , 11-86.png )
959439

“Aahh!” Gabe shudders, urgency leaking through his voice. “Gonna cum! Gonna cum!” He and Clio look into each other’s eyes, both right on the edge. “You ready?”

Her eyes screw shut, and she yells, “Do it!”

>>
No. 959440 ID: c70ff4
File 158484660096.png - (207.55KB , 459x1200 , 11-87.png )
959440

The world falls away, leaving the clear blue sky and the roar of the wind. Pezzi and Rufus grab onto each other, pinning the flesh and blood mortals together deeply. Rising screams of delight fill the air as Clio and Gabe climax, pressed together in a whirlwind of adrenaline. They whoop ecstatically in the thin air as the ride of a lifetime flashes by them in a blur.

Amid the cold and clouds, warmth pulses between Clio and Gabe. Nothing they can say can encompass the world spinning beneath them; and so they kiss until they are lost entirely in one another.

>>
No. 959442 ID: e7848c

Oh hey, maybe a grooming session later down the line?

How do you like that adrenaline, Clio? Welcome to the Mile high club. Hope you enjoyed flying Air Sender.
>>
No. 959444 ID: b62489

I'm amazed by Gabe's concentrating skill. Guess he will never worry about missing a concentration roll amid action.
>>
No. 959722 ID: 365ffb

Glass desert sounds incredible. Ask her more about it and definitely go down the WIDE paths. Stand on either side of her to protect people from errant feathers!
>>
No. 959729 ID: b1b4f3

>>959437
What kind of people live there? Mostly fire elementals, or what?
>>
No. 959796 ID: c70ff4
File 158527861735.png - (97.05KB , 355x700 , 11-88.png )
959796

Riding the hazy afterglow, Clio yells above the wind, “That was amazing!”

“Glad you think so!” Gabe bellows back. “We’re not quite done yet!” He points at the rapidly approaching landscape.

“What do we do next?!?”

“We need to shed all this momentum!” Gabe explains at full volume. “You know about adjusting gate direction, right!?!”

“Yeah!”

“Okay! You take it from here then!”

“Are you sure?!?” Clio checks down again: confirming the impending doom.

“You’ve got this! I’ll be here to back you up!”

Clio reaches out a hand and makes a series of halting gestures as she mentally calculates, adjusts and then swipes open a door in the sky.
>>
No. 959798 ID: c70ff4
File 158527862824.png - (163.88KB , 400x800 , 11-89.png )
959798

As the foursome passes through, the sudden shift in gravity pulls at them. They rocket into open air on a slowly arresting slingshot, reaching their apex and hanging for a moment in perfect stillness.
>>
No. 959799 ID: c70ff4
File 158527863439.png - (157.06KB , 700x500 , 11-90.png )
959799

Kol leads Cauldera down the main boulevard, making sure the tour sticks to wide, well spaced boulevards. “A glass desert sounds amazing! What’s it like there?”

“Oh very interesting, in fact much of the glass used for light-etching plates comes from the Razor Sea. Also, Ronnak is host to a large academy dedicated to the astronomical sciences. They've been working to make a telescope by silvering a large curved glass set at the bottom of a deep well.” Cauldera explains offhandedly. “They say there are other worlds out there beyond the stars, and possibly life beyond the known planes. Very odd and excitable people...”

“Are there many more fire elementals there?” Kol asks.

“A few. There are many brass and iron smiths in the city so fire elementals are fairly welcome. Though, powering a forge for hours on end can be so boring. Raithe and I hit it off working in a blast furnace for one of the larger foundries”

“Huh, I didn’t know you worked in a forge, Raithe!” Miki's eyes go wide at the thought of her fiancé smelting metal. “What was that like?”

“Boring is one word for it; loud is another. All the drop hammers and rollers and chains... ugh I had to get out of there.” He sighs, "The bakery is so much nicer."

“Well were all so surprised to see you leave!” Cauldera turns, walking backwards to chat. “You always were such a cautious, shy fellow. No one expected a hearthfire like you to travel so far.”
>>
No. 959803 ID: 91ee5f

>>959799
Someone should watch where Cauldera is going, since she’s not all that interested in doing it herself. Make sure she doesn’t trip and land on something flammable! Or worse, make sure she doesn’t trip and fall into any kind of water!
>>
No. 959805 ID: 365ffb

Hey you four, what's the plan for where you're going to reappear to? A warm hot spring, a beach, or that big ol' bed?
>>
No. 959806 ID: 9fad0d

>>959798
Definitely set your next portal before you start dropping again, preferably somewhere where you'll have a soft landing like a body of water or some other safe place like that.
>>
No. 959812 ID: e63147

>>959799
She shed a feather! Catch it safely!
>>
No. 959819 ID: c84ff4

>>959812
good catch!
>>
No. 959823 ID: fa2754

Equilibrium! Land on Three-Horns's place. Surprise, we're ready for a lunch break.

Catch the feather! Isn't it ironic the Phoenix questions the salamander on how far they spread their wings?
>>
No. 960035 ID: c70ff4
File 158553091790.png - (106.26KB , 800x444 , 11-91.png )
960035

“Hang on!” Gabe flips his wrist and opens a gate below them. A moment later they pass through the threshold of light and land back inside the storage space. They roll out into a sticky pile, laughing and panting, arms and legs splayed over one another in a tangle.

“Fucking Fates. That was amazing! I think a mid air orgy tops any of my antics at the academy. I officially pass the crown on to you.” The mouse mimes tipping an invisible hat with a giggle.

Clio laughs and flops back onto the sheets. “Oh what crown is that? Fuckmaster-general? Lord of lewness? King bend-me-over?”

“I wouldn’t mind being called fuckmaster- general too be honest.”

The cat sighs happily. “I don’t know if I’m exactly going to carry on your legacy...” She grins impishly and continues, “But I might be open to having a bit more fun now and then.”

“Atta- girl! Don’t forget to let go and have a good time every once in a while.” Gabe pats a tired hand against Pezzi’s robot form. “And you to were great! Thanks for helping us out there: those attachments really hit the spot!” He notices the still buzzing phallus, “Did you two get off? Do we need to give you a hand?”
>>
No. 960036 ID: c70ff4
File 158553092178.png - (161.33KB , 800x444 , 11-92.png )
960036

“Oh we did: a couple of times actually.” Pezzi’s voice comes back to him. “The way these bodies work, we can just keep going. That was a lot of fun though! You felt realllly nice.”

“Yeah if you two need a rest, Pezzi and I might go for a few more rounds.” Rufus admits, sidling up to his partner. With an easy motion, he slips himself under Pezzi’s tail and eases him down onto all fours.

Gabe and Clio find a nice corner to cuddle together in as the mediums start fucking. As the adrenaline wears off, the pair find themselves drifting off to sleep. Gentle murmurs of affection and soft, rhythmic movements fill the tiny dimension as they close their eyes for a few hours.

>>
No. 960037 ID: c70ff4
File 158553092455.png - (111.71KB , 700x587 , 11-93.png )
960037

“Ah! Feather!” Miki points at the flicker of light caught in the wind.

Raithe swoops in, grabbing the flame before it gets too far and dunking it into the heavy, stone pot.

“Nice catch, you two.” Caleb grunts, dropping the lid in place.

“Oh sorry! That one just slipped out, didn’t it?” Cauldera checks her tail, running her fingers through the dense blaze. “I’ll have to be more careful!”

“Yeah, you should probably watch where you're going, actually.” Kol sighs. “Sorry. Its just safer in general.”
>>
No. 960038 ID: c70ff4
File 158553093014.png - (182.81KB , 700x688 , 11-194.png )
960038

“That’s faaair. Ooh what’s that?” Cauldera perks up, pointing to a large, important looking building at one end of a square.

“Oh, that’s the Guild Council Hall. The various guilds meet there to elect leaders and discuss city business.” Kol explains. “There’s a lot of different craftsmen and industries in Moot Point, so they’ve banded together into guilds. They hold a lot of sway over the city council, enough that even we have to deal with them from time to time.”

“Ahhh, a guild system. Then, do the bakers have a guild?” Cauldera asks.

“Sure do!” Miki nods, “They’re very strict about quality control when it comes to bread. I get surprise inspections from time to time just to make sure I’m not cutting my flour with something gross. Of course, I always pass.” The baker beams proudly, “A couple of years ago someone got caught stretching their flour with chalk dust, of all things.”
>>
No. 960039 ID: 094652

Ask how many times someone tried cutting with expensive narcotics just to get a laugh.
>>
No. 960040 ID: b1b4f3

>>960038
You wanna get some bread?
>>
No. 960043 ID: 9fad0d

>>960036
Seeing as we're done with Gabe for now, do we check on Casey?
>>
No. 960067 ID: 864e49

>>960036
Ahem I think you may need to remind them.
>>/questarch/935115
>“Pezzi, I’m officially a switch now. If we ever get corporeal bodies again I want you to fuck me in the ass. Okay?”
>>
No. 960593 ID: c70ff4
File 158587862420.png - (194.31KB , 660x700 , 11-195.png )
960593

The tour winds back to the bakery and Miki beams proudly. “Well, here it is!”

Cauldera eyes the sign: a draconic shape wrapped around the words Hearthfire Bakery. “Its So cute! It suits you both!”

She hands off the lantern to Miki, who takes the scarlet flame inside to hang with the others.

Miki comes back out with a bag of treats to take with them. “I thought that if we’re out and about, we might get hungry!” She offers the phoenix a glazed bun, “You wanna try one?”

Cauldera takes it and the air immediately smells of toasted bread. By the time it reaches her mouth, its a blazing lump of carbon, which she chomps into happily. “Ohh, lovely! Very flaky.”
>>
No. 960594 ID: c70ff4
File 158587863437.png - (164.71KB , 700x500 , 11-196.png )
960594

“Alright, where to?” Miki asks.

“I actually have never checked out the fey quarter, you want to lead the way, Caleb?” Kol suggests.

“Yeah, you kind of don’t notice it unless you know where to look.” The burly seal shrugs and waves them on. His stocky land legs take them into one of the older parts of the city. Before long, the buildings become simpler and stranger, until they resemble hills more than houses.

“Caleb where are we?” Kol looks around, trying to find the statue of Augustine and failing. “Is this the Feywild?”

He waves a hand, “Nah. Though if you keep going, there's a road that’ll take you there. This is more like the outskirts. Mostly traders living here, bringing goods back and forth. The city’s full of craftsmen, and fey can’t get enough of that stuff.”
>>
No. 960595 ID: c70ff4
File 158587863861.png - (111.16KB , 700x500 , 11-197.png )
960595

Somewhere far above the city, in a warded room a page turns ever so carefully
>>
No. 960602 ID: fa2754

>>960594
Take note, these are new grounds! Be tourist-y.


How goes, it, Case?
>>
No. 960607 ID: b1b4f3

>>960594
Like a between-lands?
Check out some fey trade goods.
>>
No. 960609 ID: c84ff4

red circle what does it mean!
>>
No. 960664 ID: a0dfd2

>>960595

Somebody is learning about gates with noodle-arms
>>
No. 960673 ID: a9af05

>>960602
This, but don't be one of those asshole tourists that leave trash all over the place.
>>
No. 960914 ID: c70ff4
File 158614009396.png - (158.93KB , 500x700 , 11-198.png )
960914

“Shall we check out some of the shops?” Kol suggests.

“Yeah, sure.” Caleb nods, “Careful what you touch, though. We’re not under fey law here, but the some of the vendors might have some... odd prices.”

“Odd how?” Miki cocks her head curiously.

“Let’s just say: ‘you break it, you bought it’ can mean an awful lot of things to a fey salesman.”

“Are you sure its safe to be here?” Kol’s eyes dart back to the two living fires traveling with them.

Caleb gently pats him on the shoulder and the mouse stumbles. “Eh, you’re fine as long as you’re with me.”

He takes them to a storefront erupting from a grassy knoll run by a grinning gnoll. He looks at them from behind a jewelers loop and spreads his hands to display his wares. “Why hello honored guests! Please, let me know if anything strikes your eye!”

Spread across a layer of black velvet, an array of luminous crystals and metals glitter like a strange galaxy. Everything is uncut and unfinished, as if pulled directly from the earth in its native form.
>>
No. 960915 ID: c70ff4
File 158614009988.png - (124.48KB , 500x700 , 11-199.png )
960915

Deep within the Sender’s Library, Casey’s binding spell flips holds the page suspended for her to examine. She scribbles at her notepad, dutifully copying down as much of the poorly written text as possible. Once transcribed, it can be analyzed without further damaging the book.

The sound of lightweight wheels on stone cause her to look up as Ashe, the head librarian, approaches.

“You look tired, want to take a break?” Ashe suggests. There’s a small pop as she reaches into a gate and pulls out a sandwich on a plate. She places it at an empty table, away from any of her precious collection.
>>
No. 960916 ID: c70ff4
File 158614011250.png - (0B , 500x700 )
960916

Casey sighs, “Yeah. I don’t know if my eyes are getting tired, or if the handwriting is getting worse at this point.”

“Yes, its certainly a... unique text. It requires a certain amount of abstract thought just to decode it.”

“And that’s just the first section...” Casey joins her at the table, taking a seat next to the sandwich. “Its not one book: its three books!”

Ashe nods. “Have you learned anything yet?”

“Just bits and pieces. Its clear that each one is a kind of primer for a different school of magic. The first was definitely written by Augustine, although ‘written’ is a bit generous.”

“Yes, she was definitely not very familiar with putting her words down on paper.”

“Yeahhhh, its more like a loose collection of notes and scribbles. Half the time she addresses the reader directly as though she was writing a letter or something. Also looooot of old timey profanity. Augustine sure had a mouth on her.” Casey looks at her notes. A section stands out that roughly translates to “Don’t let me catch you pig eared, tail-lifting, sailor’s wives sticking your dicks in gates lest you lose them.

“Judging by what I’ve heard, that sounds about right.” Ashe admits. “She always seemed to be a very outspoken person; even going so far as to declare her distaste for the monument built in her honor.”

“The second part is written by Tuvara-Malli, that much is clear: its a classic fey poetic-contract detailing the art of aura shaping.” She sighs, but wistfully rather than frustrated. Casey closes her eyes, thinking of the long, looping strokes of ink. “Its so beautiful to read. 'I sat among the trees and watched the blaze of sun chasing moon. Vines came to claim me and tree as one, and reflected in my eyes were a thousand soft, green shoots. Coiled through my fur they became as iron: binding flesh to wood. I knew then the form of the vine, taking its strength and weaving it into my own.'”

“Mmm....” Ashe agrees dreamily.

“Its just so dense. Fey poetry has hardly changed in the last 500 years, but it still takes time to translate. It could take months to sort through it all.”

“Most troubling, but not insurmountable.”

“And the third book...” Casey checks ner notes again, examining the strange scrawls. “I don’t know who the author was, or what the language is, but do know one thing: the lexicon is identical to the runes found in Muirs fortress.”
>>
No. 960919 ID: e7848c

>>960916
Oooh inspect the floating one the on the far left.

Speaking up Muir, have we convinced him of any sort of deals to help learn something?
>>
No. 960921 ID: 91ee5f

>>960914
>“Let’s just say: ‘you break it, you bought it’ can mean an awful lot of things to a fey salesman.”
Let this be a warning, do not touch anything! Hell, you might even need to be careful with looking at something!

It’s not that I doubt Caleb’s ability to protect us while we’re with him, it’s just there’s so many unpredictable things that could happen when it comes to the fey.

Also, make sure you keep an eye on Cauldera and watch for any feathers that come off her! We really don’t want to accidentally set this place on fire!

>>960916
>“I don’t know who the author was, or what the language is, but do know one thing: the lexicon is identical to the runes found in Muir’s fortress.”
Did you manage to convince him to help or is he still mad at you guys for catching him?
>>
No. 960927 ID: 015bf2

>shop, strikes your fancy
Buy the rock so shiny that it feels like it punched you in the eyes except in a good way.

>Casey
Hey, Casey. While there’s not a lot to do about the first book (other than to start translating at the end and at select places backwards to see if you can’t pin down the specific point in time relevant to the vampire lord’s disappearance), but don’t you have a reader of yon Vampire Lord runic ancientspeak available? Two, in fact, is likely. Muir and the devil in the hill.

And you definitely have fey available who might be helpful in the translation of the third book.

If you can find it in you to trust them, why spend months doing it all yourself?

If you’re worried about the fragile state of the books, is making accurate copies an option?
>>
No. 960929 ID: b1b4f3

>>960914
Ask what kind of minerals these are. Also, the cup stands out as different.
>>
No. 960950 ID: a0dfd2

>>960916

> Misuse of gates for sexy fun
> Clio, Descendant of Augustine Moot

Well, Gabe just kinda like, uh ... really stuck his dick in all of that. Pun thoroughly intended.
>>
No. 960952 ID: a9af05

>>960921
This. Especially that part about watching Cauldera and her feathers!
>>
No. 960957 ID: 864e49

>>960916
Isn't Gabe friends with a fey thespian? Can she not help?
>>
No. 961207 ID: c70ff4
File 158640030769.png - (1.11MB , 527x700 , 11-201.png )
961207

“What kind of gems are these?” Kol asks, eyeing the selection.

“Gifts from the earth.” The gnoll giggles slightly. “Asked for and received by root and stone. We have lapis, opals, chalcedony, rubies. And for more discerning customers: warding gems of fire and frost, memory stones, and a portable scrying gem.”

“Whats this one on the end? The floating one?” Kol points, but is careful not to touch.

“Ah, a gust stone. It can be used to call winds at a moment’s notice and makes the wearer a bit lighter.”

“What about the cup?” Miki asks.

“A travelers cup. Has a water stone in the base: will always provide fresh water as long as the cup is held upright.” To demonstrate he pours out the liquid and then rights it, showing that its once again full.
>>
No. 961208 ID: c70ff4
File 158640032262.png - (97.86KB , 507x700 , 11-202.png )
961208

“Sure, we know a couple of fluent fey speakers: Caleb, Nixxy, Vivian... The vampiric runes are going to be trickier.” She takes a bite of sandwich and thinks. “Muir hasn’t sounded cooperative, although maybe we just haven’t found something that interests him enough to help yet.”

“Do you think Rodwin might be able to help?”

“Its possible... Though getting the text to him might be tricky. Its hard to tell how corporeal he is.” She thinks aloud, “Although even if he can’t translate it, maybe he knows someone who could. The bargast is full of dead soldiers...”
>>
No. 961214 ID: b1b4f3

>>961208
Muir could be pretty interested in reading what amounts to the personal diary of one of his enemies... Asking Rodwin can't hurt though.

>>961207
I like the cup. Find out if you can afford it. A fire warding crystal could be nice too but ultimately everyone who needs it already has it (also fire wards are expensive iirc so you probably can't afford it)
>>
No. 961216 ID: 10c408

The scrying gem has potential, though it may be out of our price range. Ask anyway.
>>
No. 961225 ID: 91ee5f

>>961207
Wait, there’s a catch here. Either these things are crazy expensive or you need to pay with something that isn’t money.

What would fey accept? Hopefully not something drastic like a part of your body or an emotion or a part of your soul or something.

>>961208
The problem I see with having Muir translate is that he doesn’t have a reason to truthfully translate. He could lie and we’d be unable to check if he’d telling the truth.

I’d rather have someone more trustworthy do the translations.
>>
No. 961226 ID: c78948

>>961207
Whoa, this picture is HUGE. What happened?

And I suggest ask Rodwin. Someone on the bargast is bound to know the language. Too many bargain with Muir doesn't sound like a good idea. Shouldn't let him feel that we are in his debt.
>>
No. 961227 ID: b1b4f3

>>961225
It's basically impossible to translate runes in a false way that isn't immediately found out from attempts to consolidate knowledge and translate other samples of the language.
>>
No. 961235 ID: 10c408

>>961227
That still wouldn't stop the attempt, and we only have one person (at the moment) and one set of samples to compare and contrast with.

I vote Rodwin.
>>
No. 961284 ID: 4c7fcd

I wonder if it'd be possible to get a Traveler's Cup in the shape of a teakettle. That way it'd be easier to pour and easy to warm water for tea. Hm, perhaps with a heating gem or rune or somesuch in the base as well to warm the water just right for tea. Eh, having a separate hotplate would make more sense than integrating them, since it could be used for more than heating water.

Rodwin seems to be your best (and pretty much only) lead right now. Better figure out how to meet him safely. As for how to get the text to him, well, you have loads of folk here who can make portals. Either open one for him to view it or even pass it through to him. But failing that, is there someone who, or something that, could transcribe a copy of the runic text real fast?
>>
No. 961352 ID: c78948

Oh and there is a fire ward gem in the mix? If it's not too expensive they could really use one right now.
>>
No. 961584 ID: c70ff4
File 158665464816.png - (109.50KB , 500x700 , 11-203.png )
961584

“We should ask Rodwin. He’ll have to know some way to get it translated.” Casey decides.

“Do you want me to take you up there?” Ashe offers.

The mouse chews thoughtfully for a moment. When she’s done she says, “We should probably get Kol first. We need a medium in order to talk to Rodwin, and Kol seems to be the one on best terms with him. Although... Sir Opinel should be standing guard up there: it might be worthwhile to talk to him.”
>>
No. 961585 ID: c70ff4
File 158665465406.png - (132.37KB , 700x500 , 11-204.png )
961585

Kol leans down, squinting at the gems. “What are you asking for the scrying stone?”

“Would this be a gift, perhaps?” The salesman grins back.

“Uh- I- I guess so?” Kol stammers, having throught about how the clear crystal could help with Gabe’s gatecasting. “How’d you know?”

“I know many things...” The gnoll grins back with bear-trap teeth.

Caleb grunts and folds his arms. “Cestus, knock it off. We don’t need the whole song and dance.”

The hyenid makes a strangled noise and sighs, “Fine, kill the whole performance why don’t you? You call yourself a fey?” He lifts the jewelers loop away from his eye, revealing a glittering multi-faceted gem of many colors. “I’m half leucrocotta. I can see a lot of things people don’t realize.”

“Huh...” Kol looks at his own reflection in the strange gem. “So, you still haven’t named a price...”

Cestus scratches his chin and stretches his mouth back into a slow smile. “If its for a gift, how about the memory of your first night with that person.”

Kol shifts uncomfortably, his mind flashing back to the first night he and Gabe spent together. “Let me think on that... What about the cup?”

The merchant stares off into the middle distance for a second. “There’s a woman sitting at a table by herself at a cafe down the road with a red door. The price is a sign of her favor.”

Kol shares a glance with Caleb, who shrugs. “Who’s the woman?”

“I have no idea, I just know she’s there. That’s what makes it fun!” Cestus giggles again.

“What about the fire wards?” Miki asks. “We could always use another one of them.”

“Hmmmm...” Cestus’s grin vanishes into a flat, thin line. “They’re hard to get. Quite expensive.” He adjusts the loop over his eye and proposes, “However, I can tell you have something that might interest me. I’d be willing to trade one for a kelpie’s pearl.”
>>
No. 961597 ID: ce39da

Only the second offer is at all palatable, and even then, I’m not sure if we’re up for that kind of detour. Let’s move along on the tour.
>>
No. 961617 ID: b1b4f3

>>961585
Ask Cauldera if she wouldn't mind a detour to see if you can get the cup. The other two prices seem too steep.

Also, there goes another feather.
>>
No. 961619 ID: 91ee5f

>>961585
There goes another feather.
>>
No. 961621 ID: e7848c

>>961584
Maybe he could point us in the direction of some the graves of the scholarly types. Maybe someone still kicking around over there?

Watch that feather! See what you can get for two lose Phoenix feathers
>>
No. 961623 ID: 567477

This is a marketplace, isn't it? You're supposed to be able to haggle! Part of the fun. What a price for that scrying stone, now, come on, how am I supposed to help someone see clearly if I can no longer see them clearly? A memory like that is a key part of your ability to see someone for who they are to you!

Maybe that price is an eye for an eye
but says I oh my, too high.

Civil are we so from you to me
a thing I want you won't much miss,
and to not dismiss reverse, a kiss?
A kiss from memory (or real),
or more and maybe add a feel,
smaller things and more replaceable,
but in number, perhaps embraceable?
>>
No. 961659 ID: c78948

Scrying stone: if it's only sharing memory, why not?

Cup: may lead the crew into unexpected places. If Cauldera is up for it, go for it.

Fire ward: I really do think this can come in handy right now, so how about give Nixxy a call to come over while we are working on the favor?

If we are supposed to choose one from all three, I'll say fire ward, since it's really needed at the moment.
>>
No. 961726 ID: bb5949

I agree that only the price for the cup seems bearable, neither of the other options seems worth sacrificing such a precious memory or token thereof for (especially if Gabe or Nixxy were to find out).

On the other hand, only the scrying stone actually looks like it'd be really useful going forward: the cup is unnecessary when we have Gabe's pocket dimension for storing supplies, and we already have two fireproof folks (Miki and Raithe) to handle Cauldera.

Unless we're able to haggle Cestus regarding the scrying stone (in some way that Kol gets to keep his first memory of Gabe, which is backstory I WOULD love to see), I fear we've reached an impasse. Thank him for his time and continue your tour.
>>
No. 961727 ID: bb5949

Ooh, I forgot to add, we should ask Cestus if he has any familial connection to Tuvara-Malli? Fey lifespans are much longer than ordinary mortals', right? They might not be too distantly related, depending on how uncommon leucrocotta are...

Maybe we can garner some intel that'll help poor Casey decipher the second book in that volume, or otherwise shed light on the assault on Muir's Mountain by Madame Moot and her fellow Guardians, and the wider mana well-sealing campaign it was part of.
>>
No. 961735 ID: b1b4f3

I assumed using a memory as currency would mean losing it.
>>
No. 962096 ID: c84ff4

>>961623
all these prices are a bit much, what about the price being the memory of giving the gift itself for the scrying glass. Definite no on the other two though. (also feather)
>>
No. 962327 ID: c70ff4
File 158717335992.png - (136.58KB , 562x700 , 11-105.png )
962327

“Why don’t we check it out? We should be looking at the bargast as an asset, rather than something to be scared of. I’m sure there’s got to be someone up there who can help us.” Casey nods and polishes off the sandwich. “Why don’t you gate me up there?”

Ashe waves her hand, opening a person-sized hole in the universe, “Sure thing. I’ll let Mari know you’re up there, I’m sure she’d like the chance to poke around such an ancient site.”

Casey steps through the gate, finding herself in a field of gravestones. Scrubby weeds choke the spaces between graves, having exploded in growth due to the warmer climate.
>>
No. 962328 ID: c70ff4
File 158717336497.png - (115.89KB , 539x600 , 11-106.png )
962328

“Say, you wouldn’t happen to be related to the leucrocotta Tuvara-Malli, would you?” Kol asks.

“What, the old teacher?” Cestus sniffs. “Probably. Wouldn’t surprise me if we were cousins or something. There aren’t a whole lot of us around, you see.”

“Would you happen to know anything about her past? There’s some important history she was wrapped up in.”

“Yeah, the whole founding of Binding Circle, right? Not much, to be honest. They say she returned to the Feywilds after the wild age ended. Pretty bold, if you ask me. I can’t imagine that went over well with the courts.”

“Do you know what happened to her?”

“From what I heard, she up and disappeared. Went deep into the wilds and no one has ever found her.”
>>
No. 962329 ID: c70ff4
File 158717336917.png - (84.13KB , 428x600 , 11-107.png )
962329

Miki’s eyes flicker sideways at the small curl of flame and she hops up to snag it out of the air.

Cestus raises an eyebrow, “What was that all about?”

Miki gives him a bashful smile. “Don’t worry about it, its nothing. Saaay what about if we were to give you a couple of phoenix feathers and let Kol keep his memory for the scrying stone?”

The gnoll assesses the offer and twists his muzzle up, unimpressed. “You’re gonna have to do a bit better than that, no offense. Not that they aren’t fine feathers, but I’d need quite a few more.”

Cauldera suddenly looks self conscious, covering her breast with a hand. “What? Now you want me to molt? I’m not about go pulling out feathers just for a bauble.”

“We’d never expect you to do something like that. Maybe we’ll come back when you’re done molting. How about we go check out that cafe, instead?” Kol suggests.
>>
No. 962330 ID: c70ff4
File 158717337429.png - (89.29KB , 700x388 , 11-108.png )
962330

They trek down the winding street, passing rough burrows carved into the earth itself. Caleb stops at one and points. “Here we are.” The outside is rather plain and small, with a red flag fluttering from a post.

“How can you tell?” Miki asks, craning her neck to peek into a doorway that is essentially a hole in a hill.

“Stones told me. Also, it smells like coffee.”

Their noses twitch and take in the rich smell hanging in the air and beckoning them inside.

“Are we going to be alright going in there?” Raithe floats anxiously in the doorway, “I don’t want to cause trouble.”

Caleb grins and waves them in, “Should be fine. Why don’t you see for yourself?”

Kol crosses the threshold and stops with surprise. Despite the tiny appearance, the interior opens up to a rather large, cavernous space. The walls are shaped with strange curves that funnel light into the rafters. Private tables sit recessed inside arches built into the walls, creating darker, cozy spaces for patrons.
>>
No. 962331 ID: c70ff4
File 158717337817.png - (153.97KB , 388x700 , 11-109.png )
962331

A spindly woman sitting on a pillow gives them a gobliny smile as they approach. With one hand she drags a long-handled copper pot through a bowl of hot sand, causing it to froth and boil. Earthy-sweet steam curls up from her work as she pulls the coffee out of the sand just before it boils over. “Come for a drink, my lovelies?” She cackles.
>>
No. 962337 ID: 86eb65

Yeah a round for everyone.
>>
No. 962340 ID: 015bf2

>>962331
And to drink in the ambiance. Quite the space, this place.
>>
No. 962342 ID: e7848c

>>962331
Prepare for the best coffee of your life
>>
No. 962343 ID: 91ee5f

>>962331
Ok, what’s the price? Hopefully not another memory.
>>
No. 962399 ID: dbd72b

That's a very interesting technique. Ask about it, and get an introduction while you're at it.
Don't agree to any deals without knowing if there's a price.
>>
No. 962886 ID: c70ff4
File 158749685893.png - (146.70KB , 700x500 , 11-110.png )
962886

“What’ll it cost?” Kol asks, leaning forward to watch the liquid settle in its pot.

The vendor sets out an array of saucers and cups, small enough for a single mouthful, with a pair hammered from metal for the elementals. Matter of factly, she states: ”My trade is a performance. Something as memorable as the flavor, so that we might treasure meeting one another.” With a practiced hand, she pours out a measure of coffee for each visitor, perfectly filling the cups without a stray drop.
>>
No. 962887 ID: c70ff4
File 158749688081.png - (151.02KB , 700x500 , 11-111.png )
962887

Taking his cup, Kol asks, “Do you mind if we wander a bit first?”

“I insist...” She shoos them away to enjoy their beverages.

Saucers in hand, they amble through the cavernous space, peering left and right and listening to the echoes of their feet. Further inside, a larger arch frames a raised stage, which looms in the dark.

“Wooow, I’ve never actually seen fae architecture. How do they build like this?” Kol asks, keeping his voice low.

Caleb chuckles, the resonant sound bouncing off of strange curves in the wall. “Ya gotta learn to talk to stone to shape it like this. Fae talk to things and can hear the ebb and flow of the world. Course, I’m more at home with tides and currents, myself.”
>>
No. 962888 ID: fa2754

>>962887
Oh now there's a familiar face. Introduce your new friend to Viv.
>>
No. 962895 ID: 9fad0d

>>962887
Kol's turn to meet an opera star, it seems.
>>
No. 962896 ID: cdabe3

>>962888
Great idea!
>>
No. 962950 ID: b34040

Have you met Viv yet, Kol? Or did Gabe not introduce you?
>>
No. 962952 ID: 688568

Make sure you actually reconize them properly first. It would be rude to just assume any kitsune is Viv.
>>
No. 962957 ID: 91ee5f

>>962952
I agree with this. We don’t want to offend someone by thinking they’re someone else!
>>
No. 963013 ID: 094652

This ninetales needs to take on a fire element!
>>
No. 963468 ID: c70ff4
File 158777964194.png - (161.26KB , 500x700 , 11-112.png )
963468

“Guys!” Miki tugs on Kol’s sleeve. Trying to not draw attention to herself, the baker squeaks as she tries to control herself. “Over there! That woman reading... is that...?”

The others glance sideways at the lone figure and confer with one another. “I think so. I’ve never actually seen her in person though.” Kol remarks.

Cauldera glances back at the kitsune. “Who is this person?”

Miki vibrates with glee and explains, “Its Vivian! She’s a famous opera singer!”

“What do we do?” Raithe asks.

Kol shrugs. “Well, Gabe’s a friend of hers. We should go introduce ourselves.” He heads towards the table and half turns back, “You guys coming?”
>>
No. 963469 ID: c70ff4
File 158777964915.png - (155.01KB , 700x623 , 11-113.png )
963469

With the group in tow, the mouse moseys up to the booth and stops a polite distance away. “Um, hi! Sorry to bother you, but-“

One of the kitsune’s ears flicks with irritation. Without looking up from the folded script, she remarks, “I’m not doing autographs today, sorry.”

“Oh, no its not about that, I guess. Uh, my name’s Kol. I’m a spirit guide: a friend of Gabe’s?”

Vivian immediately takes notice, her attitude brightening at the mention of the senders name. “Gabe? Ohhh, how’s he doing?”

“Off helping the senders in the highpeaks.” Kol mentions, mentally adding “and probably getting laid somewhere”.

“It’s been ages since I’ve seen him and Delilah.” She says airily, “They’re such fun. Anyway, what can I do for you? Is this some kind of guide business?”
>>
No. 963471 ID: 91ee5f

>>963469
>Anyway, what can I do for you? Is this some kind of guide business?
“Not really. Just kinda walking around and wanted to try some coffee. Although, now we’re kinda stumped on how to pay for it. We were told that it had to be ‘something as memorable as the flavor, so that we might treasure meeting one another.’ Would you happen to have some advice for us?”

Also, don’t forget to watch for more feathers falling off of Cauldera!
>>
No. 963472 ID: 015bf2

>>963469
Not truly, no. Friend favor business.

(Introduce everyone properly.)

The lovely baker couple over there, friends of yours and Gabe, are getting married soon, and this fine Phoenix came to visit them. You’re showing her the sights about town - and catching the sights of the fey quarter for the first time yourself. Does she have any particular recommendations for someone of a tourist-y bent?

(Sip coffee.)

In all honesty, you were being a bit star struck. Apologies seem to be in order for interrupting her private time, you can swiftly move on if she desires, no autographs required.
>>
No. 963478 ID: cdabe3

>>963472
this
>>
No. 964116 ID: c70ff4
File 158809891639.png - (183.70KB , 700x572 , 11-114.png )
964116

Kol chuckles, "More like regular guide business. Just doing some friends a favor and showing a visitor around. Let me introduce you."

"These are my friends Miki and Raithe, they run the Hearthfire bakery in town."

Raithe waves back and Miki makes an excited squeal.

"Is that the place everybody is talking about?" Vivian cocks her head. "I've been meaning to check it out."

Miki's squeal raises in pitch.

"And their friend Cauldera, who's visiting from out of town." Kol continues.

"Uh, hi!"

The kitsune smiles back, her expression full of interest. "Hello, yourself. I do hope you don't plan on leaving too soon."

"I- oh!" The phoenix blushes but rallies herself to fire back, "I might stick around a bit, since its so friendly here."

Finally, Kol introduces-
>>
No. 964118 ID: c70ff4
File 158809892266.png - (124.78KB , 700x500 , 11-115.png )
964118

Vivian stands up suddenly. “Caleb? Is that you?”

The selkie avoids her gaze, having lurked at the back of the group, hoping to go unnoticed. “Heya, Viv...”

“Root and Stone, how long has it been? Ten years? Fifteen?” The group parts as she stands to welcome him. “How have you been?”

“You know each other?” Kol asks, amazed.

“Oh we go way back. Before I was such a big deal. Ive known Caleb for- oooh fifty years?” She shares a gleaming, sharp-toothed smile. “I heard you got married! Where’s your partner?”
>>
No. 964120 ID: fa2754

>>964118
Oof.
Unfortunately no longer with us..
>>
No. 964186 ID: ce39da

"Er- You missed him, Viv. He's uh... no longer with us."
>>
No. 964189 ID: 91ee5f

>>964118
>"I heard you got married! Where’s your partner?”
"Unfortunately, Adrian is no longer with us. However, his spirit lingered here for a while because he wanted to return Caleb's skin before passing on. Gabe, Casey, and I helped them and we were able to Send him peacefully."

Kol, you might want to leave out the part where Adrian was a lich. Unless Caleb decides to bring it up, then you can talk about it.
>>
No. 964190 ID: 015bf2

Gone. Mortals, y’know? Had a fine goodbye, so don’t worry about it. Wish it’d been longer but... a lot of good came from it. Memories you wouldn’t trade for the world.

In fact, Adrian managed to introduce you to Kol before he passed on.
>>
No. 964252 ID: 812ad3

Open mouth, insert foot.
>>
No. 964273 ID: c84ff4

>>964190
>>964252
Both of these are good options.
>>
No. 964378 ID: c70ff4
File 158821234649.png - (106.57KB , 700x500 , 11-116.png )
964378

“He...” Caleb grumbles, unable to finish his sentence.

“Sorry, bit of a sore subject.” Kol explains. “We helped Adrian... move on a while back.”

Vivian nods solemnly and then stops as realization hits. “Fates, that was you, wasn’t it? With the lich? Oh, Caleb...” She drapes her arms around him as the selkie appears to crumble from within.

“I- I just needed a bit more time...”

“I know, dear.” The kitsune croons. She pats the broad, scarred back sympathetically. “He was your first mortal lover, wasn’t he? Its cruel, I know.”

“I- Viv, I couldn’t save him...” The titan’s voice breaks as he sags against her, trying to hold back the tide within himself. “If I’d had my skin on me, I coulda done something.”

“I know.” The singer lifts his head to share a gaze of total understanding. Through salt-blurred eyes, Caleb stares back. “I have seen one hundred and seven summers, Caleb. Barely yet have I walked this world and the ones beyond. Just as I hear the Root and Stone and the dreams of the One, I feel the scars left by love each and every day.” She sighs and lifts a tear from his waterproof cheek with a graceful finger. “The Fates are vicious bastards, aren’t they?”
>>
No. 964379 ID: c84ff4

>>964378
that they are. we do our best to deal with it.
>>
No. 964390 ID: b1b4f3

No. They just are.
>>
No. 964391 ID: fa2754

>>964378
We should take a step back and let those two have a moment. Our guest might have questions, yeah?
>>
No. 964394 ID: 015bf2

Perhaps, but... better to have lived and lost, than never have lived at all. Adrian very much wanted Caleb to achieve future happiness as well, and one thinks that includes in memory. Kol would hope the same of any long-lived friend or lover of theirs - that his death be bitter in passing, perhaps, but his life sweet in memory.

But it’s certainly fine to grieve! Shall you leave the two for a bit and figure out how to pay for your coffee while they catch up on old times?
>>
No. 964446 ID: 365ffb

Let them talk.
>>
No. 964968 ID: c70ff4
File 158863124246.png - (111.00KB , 500x700 , 11-117.png )
964968

“If, uh- if you guys need a minute,” Kol mutters, feeing awkward, “we’ll get a table and... er, yeah.”

Vivian nods sagely, letting Caleb rest his grief on her shoulder.

Miki and Kol take a seat in one of the alcoves while the elementals hover nearby.

“What was that all about?” Cauldera asks, sipping her coffee.

Kol lets out a long exhalation as he rewinds back to their first encounter. “We met Caleb a couple of months ago while searching for a ghost ship. It turned out his husband, Adrian, was haunting his boat and Caleb was using a natural source of mana to sustain him.”

“Woah! What happened?”

“Miki and I helped Adrian find Caleb’s selkie skin and move on the etherial sea. We’ve just tried to be there for him since.”

“Awwww. I didn’t realize guides took care of stuff like that.” She looks over at the shuddering hulk of a sailor and sighs, “Looks like he’s been holding a lot in.”

“He doesn’t really talk about it much.” Kol admits, “But he called me Adrian this morning.”
>>
No. 964969 ID: c70ff4
File 158863124621.png - (128.42KB , 700x500 , 11-118.png )
964969

“Poor guy.” Miki looks into her coffee with her lip pouting. “If anything happened to Raithe, I don’t know what I’d do.” She suddenly looks to the elemental, concerned. “Wait, how long do elementals live anyway?”

The salamander scratches behind his horns and shrugs. “Hard to say, but longer than the fae. Although after a couple of hundred years, most elementals settle down somewhere and fall asleep and become part of the world itself.”

“So you’re gonna marry me even though, you’ll outlive me by hundreds of years?” Miki stares at her fiancé with watery eyes.

“Well, yeah.” Raithe floats down to pat her on the hand, “I want to be with you for as long as we can have together.”

“Aww. That’s sweet, dear. Still unfair, though.”

“Yeaaah, we’ll probably have to talk about it at some point.”

Raithe catches Cauldera’s eye and notices the expression on her face. “What?”

The phoenix chuckles. “Nothing. Its just... its nice to see you so happy. When you left I remember just how nervous you were. Can’t help but feel a tad jealous."
>>
No. 964984 ID: b1b4f3

>>964969
I'm sure she'll find someone special someday.

>>962327
WHOOPS left Casey hanging. Go looking around for someone who's aboveground. You could also ask one of the buried undead.
>>
No. 965016 ID: fa2754

>>964969
If Moot Point is any indication, there's plenty of love to be found..
>>
No. 965133 ID: 028f23

>>964969
Cuties.

Nervous about what, though? I mean, he certainly was when we first met him. I hate to bring up an old relationship that didn't work out, but they both seem amiable enough and willing to talk about it.
>>
No. 965880 ID: c70ff4
File 158898878240.png - (174.73KB , 619x700 , 11-119.png )
965880

Casey skirts around the edge of the graveyard, wary of treading on any of the resting undead. She threads her way towards the head of the supine bargast, looking for one person in particular.

She finds him reclining against the log bridge with a stalk of wheat between his crooked teeth. The soldier perks up at the sound of her approach and hails her.

“Ah good to see you, miss. Here to see master Rodwin?” Sir Opinel’s voice booms enthusiastically against the trees.
>>
No. 965881 ID: c70ff4
File 158898878773.png - (126.32KB , 500x700 , 11-120.png )
965881

“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find someone.” Kol nods. He reaches out to pat Cauldera comfortingly but stops himself. “Especially here.” He chuckles to himself.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Just that in the last year or so, I think we’re responsible for more than a few fresh relationships.”

‘Heh, no kidding.” Raithe and Miki share a blushy glance.

“By the way,” Kol says, glancing at his still untouched coffee, “what do you think the barista meant when she said we owed her ‘a memorable performance’?”

The others return a trio of shrugs.

“I’m not much of a performer. Every time I sing, my flame breath tends to come out.” Miki giggles.

“Its true, you should see her in the kitchen.” Raithe nods. “I -uh... I don’t know about performing. I’m not exactly comfortable on a stage.”

“I’m a pretty good dancer.” Cauldera twitches her hips and her flames crackle. “I don’t know if its memorable enough.”

“I suppose we’ll figure it out.” Kol sighs and takes a sip of coffee.
>>
No. 965882 ID: c70ff4
File 158898879127.png - (107.82KB , 700x500 , 11-121.png )
965882

As the earthy-sweet taste hits his lips, the lights dim, leaving only the cavernous stage illuminated. A single figure stands on the floorboards, his hands covering his chest.

Caleb’s gravelly voice warms up as he begins to sing, stuttering, but gaining strength. He begins to truly project as he loses himself in the song.

Désolé
Désolé, quand tu mens
Désolé
I'm a long way from land
Désolé
I don't know what to do
Désolé, désolé
Try to hold on to you

>>
No. 965883 ID: c70ff4
File 158898879589.png - (144.03KB , 500x700 , 11-122.png )
965883

Kol closes his eyes, and a rush of memory floods through him. Caleb’s voice comes through, but it joined by another. The familiar sound echoes back from nowhere and everywhere. The back and forth forms a warm nostalgia: of time spent close, of setting out together.

Désolé, désolé
But dear, I don't wanna die
Désolé
I'm gonna have my lamé
Désolé, désolé
Désolé
Désolé, désolé
I'm gonna have my lamé

>>
No. 965884 ID: c70ff4
File 158898880021.png - (240.02KB , 700x500 , 11-123.png )
965884

Memories rise up like dark waves across the deck of the ship. Under strain, the rigging groans with deep bass notes as the wind bows back and forth. Rain drums a savage snare against the sails. The sea pitches back and forth in a heaving crash.

Désolé
Désolé, compliqué
Désolé
I don't know what to say anymore
Désolé
While everyone on their own
Désolé, désolé
I'm tryin' to hold on to you

>>
No. 965885 ID: c70ff4
File 158898880711.png - (153.62KB , 500x700 , 11-124.png )
965885

There’s a gunshot snap as something in the rigging gives way. A large, heavy shape swings out of the darkness and there is a flash of pain.

Désolé, désolé
But dear, I don't wanna die
Désolé
I'm gonna have my lamé
Désolé, désolé
Désolé
Désolé, désolé
I'm gonna have my lamé
Désolé
Désolé

>>
No. 965886 ID: c70ff4
File 158898881365.png - (223.27KB , 700x638 , 11-125.png )
965886

There is a rush and a splash. Icy teeth chew their way into every nerve and spread a hungry numbness. A distant voice bellows a name somewhere above the churning surface. The consonants battle with the roar of the waves, becoming murkier as consciousness slips away.

Désolé
Désolé, quand tu mens
Désolé
C'est une longue file d'attente
Désolé
Tous mes fantômes sont bleus
Désolé, désolé
Try to hold on to you

>>
No. 965887 ID: c70ff4
File 158898881953.png - (120.76KB , 674x700 , 11-126.png )
965887

Kol gasps, taking the first breath in, what seems like, forever.

The last lines of Caleb’s song finish and silence spreads its thoughtful fingers through the quiet cafe.

Lyrics by Gorillaz. Apologies but it just seemed a bit too perfect
>>
No. 965897 ID: fa2754

>>965887
Hope no one's feeling Busted and Blue..

Kol, can your spirit dance better than your physical body?
>>
No. 965899 ID: 91ee5f

>>965887
Looks like you got some of Adrian‘s memories when you let him in your body.

Clap your hands and applaud Caleb’s song.

>>965897
>dance
It’s too late for that, the song has already ended.
>>
No. 965933 ID: dbd72b

>>962886
Just pointing out she never named a performer. Price paid?

Maybe look around and see if anyone else was affected, especially Caleb
>>
No. 966178 ID: bb5949

Nice (mice?) latté (ratté?) art. I feel even worse for poor Caleb and Adrian now though. I assumed it was just a case of fey-mortal lifespan mismatch that separatedthem, but now we know Adrian died suddenly and violently, and that it seems they only got to enjoy a few brief years together...

‹spoiler›If this is foreshadowing something tragic happening to separate Miki and Raithe I swear I'm going to cry‹/spoiler›

Kol, is Caleb actually on the stage, or is he still with Vivian and all that you just saw a coffee-fuelled vision? Can you see the barista's reaction?

Casey, jokingly demand to know where Sir Opinel's courtly manner is? Surely a knight shouldn't allow himself to be found in such a state of relaxation and neglect of duty, especially not by a fair maiden such as yourself?
>>
No. 966311 ID: 028f23

>>965880
There's something inspiring about seeing an undead soul with so much life in them. Guess there's nothing quite like a good bit of rest and relaxation, whichever side of the grave you're on.
He's not half bad on the eyes, either.

>>965887
Oh boy.
The past never really lets go, huh. Even if we try to ourselves. And it's clear that it has its hooks in both of you.
I think you gotta think about how you both see your relationship. Maybe not now, maybe not tonight, maybe not this week. But soon. Caleb is still mourning, and his closeness to both of you is starting to blur. Heal or harm, you're both going to have to confront how you see what's between you, and what that means.

Otherwise, you should speak to your uncle about this. Either this is a well-understood side-effect of sharing bodies with another, or sharing your body, mind, and soul with a being so desperate to live, so hungry for life, left more than passing mark on you.
I'm gonna guess it's that second one though.
>>
No. 966754 ID: c70ff4
File 158959177772.png - (152.92KB , 700x546 , 11-128.png )
966754

“Sir Opinel!” Casey hails back. “So odd to see a knight in repose. Shouldn’t you be guarding something?”

“Ever vigilant, my dear.” The stitched together soldier chuckles. “Hardly necessary at this point. After the first couple of weeks, the number of looky-loos having a peek around dropped off.“ He mumbles to himself jokingly, “I wonder if the grave-fleas got them all.”

He stretches his shoulders with a creak of ancient joints and comes to attention. “Anyway, what can I do for you this fine day?”

“I’ve come because I’ve found a historical source we’re hoping will help us figure out what happened to Lord Hekal.” Casey explains. “The problem is, its written in a runic system I can’t read. The only other example I’ve seen is in the lair of the vampire lord Miur.”

“You visited Miur the Miserable’s lair?” Opinel’s eyes perk up. “Not an easy task for an air breathing mortal. Spite me, even for a bone soldier like myself it was a pain in the backside.” His fingers drum on the pommel of his sword thoughtfully. “Never was one for the quill myself, but there should be someone around we can dredge up. Good thing you showed up, it was getting dull around here.”
>>
No. 966755 ID: c70ff4
File 158959178317.png - (142.14KB , 700x500 , 11-127.png )
966755

The world comes back into focus as gentle, but genuine applause fills the air. Kol looks around him at the others, who chatter to one another in surprise.

“I had no idea Caleb could sing like that!”

“Very moving!”

“Ohhh that was lovely.”

“Very memorable, wouldn’t you say?”

The fey barista leans over a counter and grins toothily at Kol.

Feeling called out, the medium gets up to join her at the counter. Keeping his voice low, he asks, “All that... did you see it too?”

Her eyes twinkle mischievously but she says nothing.

“Did... did anyone else see?” Kol asks.

“I don’t know what kind of bond you share, but it must be quite strong to have a memory so vivid.” Her eyes narrow. “You’re handling it quite well. I take it this is not the first memory of death you’ve encountered?”

Kol’s breath rattles loose. “Y-yeah. But nothing so... violent and sudden. In my own memory, its something I’ve prepared for. Nothing like this.”

“You saw what you needed to see, I hope it can guide you.” She gives him a sympathetic pat on the hand.

“Hooboy. I guess Caleb and I should talk, shouldn’t we...”
>>
No. 966767 ID: 028f23

>>966754
They have kinda been sittin around for three solid months, aye? The restful dead folks probably don't care, but I imagine after the excitement of our first visit, Sir Opinel's probably hankerin to get out and about. Hmm. Probably not safe for them to come into town to chat and relax. Not just cause of how folks would react, but cause we don't know whether his bindings will remain stable outside the bargast. The big reason we can be chill with these guys is they don't need to feed on living things' mana. It would suck if we accidentally messed that up for them.

Might be worth mentioning to the others, though. Don't know if we can count the good knight as a friend per se, but it's never a bad idea to make one.

>>966755
Abso-lutely.
Even if it was just Fae magic amplified by your bond, that's heavy stuff for both of you to be carrying around on your lonesomes.
>>
No. 966768 ID: 567477

Well, you might want to take a little while to come up with a way to present it. "I remember what it was like for him to die" is sort of a sensitive subject.
>>
No. 966824 ID: 365ffb

Selkie's cried today already. You can tell him sometime later. Obviously you should, but wait until you're someplace a little more private.
>>
No. 966830 ID: dbd72b

>>966754
Dredge!

>>966755
Thank the lady. Then give Caleb a hug. Make a mental note to have a discussion with him next time it's appropriate
>>
No. 967420 ID: c70ff4
File 159010358295.png - (141.04KB , 700x500 , 11-129.png )
967420

“Now I just gotta figure out what to say to the guy...” Kol muses to himself.

“You’ll know the words when its time.” The fey barista nods sagely and shoos him back to his table with a friendly waggle of her fingers.

On his way back, Kol nearly bumps into Caleb returning from the stage. The selkie clears his throat and stammers, “Oh! H-hey, Kol. I- uh...”

“Caleb, hey! T-that was, um- really good. I didn’t know you could sing like that.”

“I mean... s’ been a while, but Viv insisted. It- it wasn’t too much?” The sailor shifts awkwardly on his powerful legs.

“No! No, it was... it was really incredible.” Kol sighs, letting the full emotional weight of Caleb’s loss settle on his shoulders. “Caleb, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were carrying all that inside all this time.”

“What?! I mean... ” The fey scratches self consciously at the small of his back: the blunt clawtip scraping pale scar tissue. “I guess. Its been... a lot to deal with lately. I dunno. M’not good at this kind of stuff.” He admits, through a twisted grimace.

“We should talk: about everything. I want to hear more about you, and about Adrian. I’d like to help you... I don’t know... just get all this off your chest.” Kol places a hand on the sailor’s broad shoulder.

Caleb nods back at him, finally letting himself look the medium in the eye. “Y-yeah. Next time we... get some time to ourselves, okay?”
>>
No. 967421 ID: c70ff4
File 159010358617.png - (84.52KB , 500x700 , 11-130.png )
967421

They rejoin the rest of the tour group at the table and Caleb shimmies into the bench seat.

Miki beams and gushes, “Caleb, that was fantastic! I had no idea you were a singer!”

“Heh. Thanks.” He grumbles warmly. “Been a while since I did anything like that.”

“So what now? Should we keep moving?”

Caleb shakes his head and grins, “Oh no. You’re gonna want to stick around for this...”
>>
No. 967422 ID: c70ff4
File 159010359006.png - (112.38KB , 500x700 , 11-131.png )
967422

“Sounds good.” Casey steps up her pace to follow him, “Where are we going?”

“I think I remember where a scribe or two is buried. They mostly dealt with accounting the lists and supplies. Odds are one of them ought to be able to read the old tongues.”

“There are accountants buried here? I thought it was all ancient warriors like you.”

Opinel chuckles. “Lord Hekal always said: that the secret to war was to sow confusion among the enemy and order among your forces. The tallying of battle is as much a weapon as a blade.”

“Huh, I had no idea...”

“To be fair, its not like bards sing the praises of legendary quartermasters. In reality, most of war is dull and tedious.” He sighs.

“Sir knight, if I didn’t know better it sounds as if you’ve been bored to tears.” Casey teases. “Is there some way we can brighten up your un-life?”

The knight shakes his head in astonishment. “M’lady you cut me to the bone. In truth: yes. For the first time in centuries I am surrounded by life and cannot take leave to enjoy it. The biggest thrill in the last few months was sparring with your partner, Kol.”
>>
No. 967452 ID: ce39da

Kol: "We'll want to stick around for what, pray-tell?"

Casey: "Looking for an escort, are we? Of course, I can't make any promises - a day-trip into Moot would need signing off from several parties that aren't me, so I'll have to ask around. If you had something more intimate in mind, I'd like to know just how well that body functions before I commit to doing anything with you."
>>
No. 967453 ID: f7c8e0

Ever since Sir Opinel's reappearance in this chapter I sense a strong signal suggesting that he's available for some actions.

I guess this is what people's looking for since his entry, right?
>>
No. 967471 ID: 6c227a

>>967453
I mean look at that smile. look at that hot dog bod. listen to that slam dunk of a conversational opening. How are we supposed to NOT proposition the dead pupper?
>>
No. 967482 ID: 028f23

>>967421
oooh, further Fae performances?

>>967422
Really is nothing quite like a good sparring match, eh? Matching wits and wills, feeling the fire in your veins and the thrill of willful strife with a worthy foe! No loss, no tragedy, no fear, only the singing of thundering hearts and jolly pugilism!

Pity that out of all our fellows, only Kol seems to have any experience with martial arts. That said, I'm sure there are martial artists, boxers, or other athletes in town who would leap head over heels at the chance to study centuries-old techniques from a professional fighter of a bygone era.

....there are, of course, other ways to feel alive and get some exercise.
>>
No. 968062 ID: c70ff4
File 159051960026.png - (159.75KB , 500x700 , 11-132.png )
968062

“Oh really? Who else has to perform?” The lights dim as Kol asks and he turns back to the stage.

A glowing orbs flicker in the darkness as the next act steps into center stage and begins to sing.

A flame!

A burning bright, spark alight
A twisting, wild, pyre threatens
To spill across the skyyyyy


Vivian’s fingers twirl, sending mana writhing around her form.

“Is that fire magic?” Kol whispers.

Caleb responds in a hushed tone, “Nah, just foxfire. She’s showing off with some glamour.” He chuckles again.

These burning depths tear
At me
And yet I loooong for
Thee.

>>
No. 968063 ID: c70ff4
File 159051960494.png - (135.30KB , 700x500 , 11-133.png )
968063

As the kitsune continues with Firebird (reprise, act 2 scene 4), she descends from the stage, stalking towards her audience.

Won’t you take my hannd
My love?
Lead me through the niiiiight.


My fingers outstretched
Scorched by the sun.
Eyes wide yet blind and
Ever seeeeeeking light

>>
No. 968064 ID: c70ff4
File 159051961335.png - (113.21KB , 562x700 , 11-134.png )
968064

“Nothing like a sparring match to get the blood pumping eh?” Casey smirks.

The knight rolls his eyes and sighs wistfully, “Some things never dull with age. There’s something so personal, so intimate about a good duel between friends.”

The mouse rolls her neck, feeling the bones complain. “Well, I’ve been stuck inside reading all day. I might be able to indulge you a bit.”

The undead smiles with a mouth full of tombstone teeth. “Oh you’d be doing these old bones a treat. What style of combat do you prefer?”

“Grappling, actually. Binders learn to restrain even before they learn magic.” Casey stretches her arms, limbering up a bit. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a match, though.”
>>
No. 968065 ID: fa2754

>>968063
I hope this bird can sing.
Urge her along!

I admire your enthusiasm Casey but keep in mind your partner here might be a bit more.. brittle then most others. Things might break and he could use that as an advantage against you.
>>
No. 968099 ID: 028f23

>>968063
Pffffft. That's some fairly overtly flirtatious conduct, if I do say so myself.
Damned fine work, Viv.

>>968064
Ooh! That makes sense, actually. Teaching magic probably works better when you have the right mindset, and mechanical leverage works just as well whether you're usin arms and legs or mystical soul-tentacles.

Aw yiss, time for some righteous rough-housing.
>>
No. 968103 ID: 015bf2

>>968063
Twine those fingers in-between hers like a lover's.

(Also should someone warn Vivian the phoenix is presently molting? Uh... maybe a certain piece of fire-retardant jewelry can be lent in a pinch.)

>>968064
Warm up proper before the match, then! Ask if he's ever had problems with being... stiff, considering his state.

(And definitely stick out your tongue irreverently at THAT tease!)
>>
No. 968178 ID: ce39da

>>968063
If Caldera seems up for it, make sure to whisper to the kitsune: "Remember to watch out for feathers."

>>968064
"I'm not gonna rip your stitches if I twist you the wrong way, I hope?"
Also, even if it doesn't change whether you're going through with it, make sure it's clear whether or not magic is allowed.
>>
No. 968184 ID: 36784c

>>968063
Someone encourage Cauldera to take Vivian’s hand!

Miki and Raithe, both of you make sure you keep a look out for any stray feathers! Since you guys are the only ones that won’t get burned, it’s up to you to grab the fiery feathers!

>>968178
>whisper to the kitsune
We can’t do that. She’s on stage and going up there to whisper to her would interrupt her performance, which I’m sure nobody wants to do!
>>
No. 968191 ID: ce39da

>>968184
She's not on stage at this moment, though - she stepped off into the audience to approach Caldera. I'm sure we're naturally close enough at this point (and far enough from the acoustic stage) that a quiet word of advice wouldn't be untoward.
>>
No. 968210 ID: bb5949

Where did that fire-ward choker around Vivian's neck suddenly appear from? Does she carry it on her at all times just in case, perhaps as a result of her near-death experience with the giant flaming bird prop in Chapter 5? In any case, good thing she came prepared!

Shame we missed scene 2-4 when dealing with Cliff last time, otherwise we could whisper Cauldera her lines...

Miki, since you recognised Vivian first, I don't suppose you're enough of an opera afficionado to know how the rest of the scene goes?
>>
No. 968248 ID: 028f23

>>968210
Nice spot! That's totally a fire ward!

Also folks, this is Viv. She probably wouldn't stop singing if the building caught fire. We can't interrupt, it would probably upset her and I genuinely don't think it's necessary.
Watching out for stray feathers is a damn good idea, though. I doubt they'll notice if they're flirt-dancing that hard.
>>
No. 968641 ID: c70ff4
File 159097854446.png - (140.18KB , 700x500 , 11-135.png )
968641

“Grappling! Excellent choice!” The knight unbuckles his breastplate and sets it aside with his belt and sword. “What’d you say: first to three pins?”

Casey starts limbering up, doing a little jog in place to get warmed up. “Works for me. Are you sure you’re going to be alright in your condition? I don’t want to pop a stitch or anything.”

Opinel shimmies out of his shirt, revealing a motley patchwork of scars and stitches. “Oh, I’ll be fine. Nothing that I haven’t dealt with a thousand times before.” The footman grins, his face bursting with enthusiasm.

The two square off: crouched low and sizing each other up.
>>
No. 968642 ID: c70ff4
File 159097854969.png - (156.44KB , 500x700 , 11-136.png )
968642

Cauldera looks around with momentary disbelief before carefully twining her fingers between Vivians. There’s a momentary shock of energy as the fire ward around the fey’s neck activates and absorbs the overwhelming heat.

The phoenix is pulled up on stage by her partner and feels herself spun around. Unsure of what to do, she tries to match Vivian’s pace, trying not to step on any toes. “R-Raithe! What do I do?” She stammers.

“Just follow along!” Miki calls back, “Its part of Magara’s solo!”
>>
No. 968643 ID: c70ff4
File 159097855419.png - (130.19KB , 700x500 , 11-137.png )
968643

“Uhhh, guys...?” Kol eyes the little pinpoints of flame dancing away from the flustered elemental. “We might have a problem...”

Feathers rapidly shake loose and start to spiral around the stage, threatening an uncontrolled conflagration.

“I got it!” Raithe launches into the air, flapping left and right as tries to catch as many feathers as possible. “Uh, this is actually kind of a lot!”
>>
No. 968644 ID: 094652

Get Vivian's attention, ask her to do something with all the exploding feathers. She can manipulate fire, she should be able to incorporate it into the dance.
>>
No. 968646 ID: b1b4f3

>>968643
Welp we can't interrupt a Fey during a performance. Maybe Kol can use some of his body puppetry to move quickly enough to catch feathers in the pot. Miki can just focus on grabbing feathers since she's warded.
>>
No. 968680 ID: 36784c

>>968643
With this many feathers, you might be able to go back to that gnoll and get that scrying stone!

Raithe, focus on grabbing the feathers that are in the air. Miki, grab the ones that get close to the ground. Caleb, you use the pot to try and catch the feathers. Kol, you use the pot’s lid to catch the feathers.
>>
No. 968683 ID: 015bf2

If the group's still a little overwhelmed with everyone pitching in, Miki should ask if there are any elementals or the like in the crowd who'd care to help out.

Baked treats will be provided later in exchange.

(bribing the fey with treats is usually a good way to go about things)
>>
No. 968711 ID: ce39da

>>968641
Remember, grappling isn't quite as fast as other duel forms, so it's usually the first one to make a move that loses, especially if you're starting at this distance.

>>968643
Guys, I think she's close to the endgame. Maybe ask that people step away from the stage. Count your blessings that this establishment is carved out of the earth. Do you know if a fire-warded person can walk away from taking a phoenix's rebirth at point-blank? If not, now might be the point where you try to address her.
>>
No. 968778 ID: 829346

Too bad I'm not familiar with grappling terms. Hope someone else knows more. I guess Casey should try using some more modern techniques, that Opinel may not have seen before?
>>
No. 968874 ID: b1b4f3

I think part of grappling is to get within lunging distance, lunge, grab the opponent and try to get them off balance. Tendrils could be used here to get extra leverage or grab a leg to pull it off balance.
>>
No. 968902 ID: 365ffb

Uh. Oh. Okay. So you're going to want to try to lead the dancers outside, is there any way you can do that? You're going to need to get them out of this room, she looks like she's about to molt so much she'll burst!
>>
No. 968905 ID: 6e258a

If she somehow gets stimulated into an early resurrection, can we contain the explosion?
>>
No. 968928 ID: 028f23

Good lord, we're gonna be fluttering around like a flock of bloody cherubim catching these feathers.
Huh. Viv might be able to make that work with the performance, actually.
>>
No. 968989 ID: dbd72b

>>968641
This isn't a striking match, see what he does, take what he gives you and turn it back on him.
>>968643
Everyone with fire resistance or a big pot: all hands on deck!
Everyone else: hope Fae buildings are up to fire code. Check for any extinguishing equipment and get it ready.
>>
No. 969002 ID: bb5949

Kol, I think it might be time to use your pearl and deploy Honorary Firefighters Fennel and Nixie, since I assume non-magical firefighting will be ineffective against phoenix feathers. As a stopgap, we might be able to smother them with the sand our goblin barista was brewing coffee in, though I wouldn't be surprised if the heat rapidly turns it into glass.

On the plus side, as well as hopefully having enough feathers to barter Cestus for the scrying stone once we've got the situation under control, this serenade must count as a sign of Vivian's favour, right, so hopefully we can grab the traveller's cup at the same time?

Casey, do you have any way to use Sir Opinel's opening test-attacks and fake-outs against him? I'm kind of tempted to recommend an immediate full-force lunge precisely because it's not the expected opening gambit against an unknown opponent and might throw him off balance if he's assuming you'll be as cautious and assessing as he is.
>>
No. 969007 ID: c70ff4
File 159141291004.png - (181.00KB , 700x700 , 11-138.png )
969007

Casey and Opinel sidle crabwise across the scrubby grass; neither wanting to make the first move.

Noticing an impatient bounce to the knights steps, Casey smirks. “Boy, this really does it for you, doesn’t it?”

“Ah, it shows doesn’t it?” Admitting his feelings, Opinel drops his guard in a moment of embarassment.

Seizing her chance, Casey closes the gap and tackles him. Knocking the knight off balance, she wraps her arms around his waist and attempts to heave him into the dirt.

Opinel staggers and laughs with surprise before landing on his side: prone but not pinned. “Ha-ha! Well done!”
>>
No. 969008 ID: c70ff4
File 159141292075.png - (131.96KB , 500x700 , 11-139.png )
969008

“Hang on, we’re coming!” Kol, Miki and Caleb scramble out of their seats and rush to help.

Kol steps out of his body, letting his spirit float up alongside Raithe. Using spirit puppetry he adds his speed and dexterity to the elemental, helping grab more feathers out of the air. He grimaces, “Fates, thats hot! I can’t keep this up for long!”
>>
No. 969009 ID: c70ff4
File 159141292508.png - (130.81KB , 700x500 , 11-140.png )
969009

“Just a bit more!” Miki hops around, grabbing loose feathers as they float low to the ground. “I think this is the last verse!”

Caleb stamps about, trying to catch stray sparks in the giant pot. He scoops a few feathers into place with a bare, callused hand and hisses as they blister his palm. “This is madness! They just keep coming!”
>>
No. 969010 ID: c70ff4
File 159141293345.png - (168.74KB , 700x500 , 11-141.png )
969010

“I’m sorry guys! I can’t stop it!” Cauldera frets, watching the molting feathers swirl loose in a tornado of flame. “I can’t-“

The phoenix stops as Vivian dips: ending her performance with her lips locked on the elemental’s beak. Arcs of light cascade off of Cauldera’s form as a volcanic rumble echoes through the cafe.

Raithe groans, “Oh- brimstone...”
>>
No. 969027 ID: 094652

Grab civilians and anything expensive. Run.

Bill Vivian later.
>>
No. 969029 ID: b1b4f3

>>969010
We are way too far away from the restaurant to get Cauldera there. Does Caleb know of a fire warded area nearby? Or simply a large outdoor area that wouldn't be too badly harmed by being on fire?
Or does Vivian's pocket dimension have a fire warded room?

>>969007
Gotta pin, uh... are the rules that both shoulders have to contact the ground? Could try lifting his leg and sitting on his chest, since you're already halfway there.
>>
No. 969037 ID: ff6df5

Everybody that isn't fireproof, get out of the building! That includes Vivian and Miki, if their fire wards can't withstand the heat of a phoenix's rebirth. Caleb, grab Kol's body and run! Raith, swoop down, grab Cauldera and get her into one of the stone seating alcoves; All the rock will hopefully soak up at least part of the coming heat and contain most of the feathers.

Kol's spirit, swoop in by Vivian's ear and very quickly ask her if she has a fireproof room in her pocket dimension that could withstand the heat of a phoenix's rebirth. 'Cause if she does, we need to get Cauldera in it immediately!
>>
No. 969039 ID: 3ed3c3

>>969010
IMMINENT DETONATION
EVACUATE
>>
No. 969116 ID: 028f23

>>969007
...oh.
I feel quite silly for not picking up on the fact that he go excited in more than one way by the prospect of physical contest. As a fellow fightsexual, I don't see how I missed that.
Nonetheless, don't let up yet! I doubt he'll take this lying down, and you still haven't pinned him! He'll likely try to throw you, so consolidate quickly before he breaks your hold.

>>969010
Pfff, well then. Time to make an orderly line to the exit.
I wouldn't worry about the building. This place is apparently all stone and earth, underground enough that we don't need to worry about fire spreading. Find cover and move far enough out of line of sight that we can swoop back in and check on them both after the fireworks are over.
>>
No. 969121 ID: 829346

For future reference, how does Opinel smell? I doubt Casey would want to get too close if he smells like a zombie...

...and I guess we are going to learn about one of the two things: structural stability of Vivian's heart; OR fey law regarding property damage...
>>
No. 969232 ID: de3d9f

>>969010
WARNING! INTEGRITY FIELD CRITICAL, CORE BREACH IMMINENT. EVACUATE IMMEDIATELY.
>>
No. 969236 ID: 028f23

>>969121
I mean, probably something like grave earth or myrrh. He's either old enough to not smell bad or magically/alchemically preserved with something. I'd guess the latter cause he's still fleshy and Kol mentioned he was heavy when he fished him outta the river. Either way, probably more of a curious smell than an unpleasant one.
>>
No. 969248 ID: 829346

>>969236
Wasn't he in full armor at that time?
>>
No. 969546 ID: c70ff4
File 159192560969.png - (166.81KB , 700x500 , 11-142.png )
969546

As the song ends, Vivian seems to come out of a trance. She helps the flustered phoenix back upright and looks around at the whirlwind of feathers on the stage. “Uh- excuse me, what’s happening here?”

“I’m molting! Its all happening so fast! I’m sorry!” Cauldera clings to herself as her plumage starts to come apart. “I need to get out of here! I’m going to explode!”

“But that could take out the Fey Quarter!” Caleb groans.

Vivian sighs and pulls a sheet of red silk from her sleeve. “I know this is going to give me heartburn. Come with me dear.” She throws it and as it flutters, it frames itself across an invisible doorway.
>>
No. 969547 ID: c70ff4
File 159192561560.png - (167.86KB , 500x700 , 11-143.png )
969547

She grabs Cauldera by her searing hot wrist and pulls her through the gateway. The silk slides shut, sealing the path behind them.

A moment later, a gout of flame rolls out from beneath the curtain; singing the edges and leaving long, sooty scars across the stage.
>>
No. 969548 ID: c70ff4
File 159192562370.png - (200.40KB , 700x700 , 11-144.png )
969548

Opinel tries to push himself up with an uncanny strength. Before he can right himself, Casey hops onto his chest and grabs his leg; using it as a lever to force the soldier back to the ground.

“Well done!” The knight huffs as his shoulders hit the turf.

“I hope you weren’t underestimating me, sir knight.” Casey straddles his patchwork chest and peeks back over her shoulder to wink at him.

With Opinel momentarily at her mercy, she takes in her first physical contact with an undead. Casey steadies herself on his chest with one hand, feeling a toughness to his skin like an overly starched cloth. Beneath his rather thin fur, heavy staples and stitches pull his flesh into strange ridges bereft of pulse or breath. The undead has an earthy smell to him, like old leather, which has a strange warmth to it.

His chest rises as he takes in air to speak, rather than breathe, bringing Casey out of her reverie. “I wouldn’t dream of it. I merely let my guard down for a moment. Next time you won’t find me such an easy target.”
>>
No. 969549 ID: 36784c

>>969547
“Vivian? Cauldera? Are you guys ok in there?”
>>
No. 969555 ID: fa2754

>>969547
I feel they probably burnt off every single piece of cloth in Vivian's heart.. but ooph was that hot.
>>969548
Is that a promise, sir knight? Can't make it too easy on Casey. Won't work up a sweat like that.
>>
No. 969632 ID: c70ff4
File 159201607093.png - (174.52KB , 678x700 , 11-145.png )
969632

“Cauldera? Vivian? Are you okay?” Kol slips back into his body and tweaks at the curtain to investigate. The spell on the silk seems to reject him for a moment, blocking any entrance into Vivians heart. He turns and shrugs.

As he does, the kitsune pops her head out from between the singed curtains.

“Oh, thank the Fates,” Kol exhales and sags, as his anxiety fades. “Are you two okay?”

Vivian smiles and nods, “I may have to redecorate after that explosion, but we’re alright. Cauldera’s going to need some time to recover but, if its all the same to you, I don’t mind having her as a guest for a bit.”

“Are you sure?” Raithe asks. “We don’t want to impose...”

“Oh, I insist.” Vivian’s voice hints at an unspoken interest. “I don’t normally do this but, since you’re a friend of Gabe’s, you can have the silk sash: just in case you want to pop by and check on her.”

Miki beams, “Would that be alright?”

“Any time, darling! Wonderful meeting you all! Caleb, let’s catch up some time!” The kitsune grins again and dips back into her sanctuary. As she does, the spell holding the sash breaks and it flutters into Kol’s outstretched hands.
>>
No. 969633 ID: c70ff4
File 159201607521.png - (152.68KB , 700x500 , 11-146.png )
969633

“Is that a promise, sir knight?” Casey teases, “Don’t make it too easy on me.” She lets him go and stands up to dust herself off.

Casey takes a few paces away to square off for round two and turns as she hears, “Perish the thought, my dear.”
>>
No. 969634 ID: cdabe3

Oh man, gotta grapple the knight! Might need to wrestle him into a lock

This may require getting handsy :3
>>
No. 969637 ID: 9fad0d

>>969633
Definitely time to get extra handsy. Any clothes that happen to be removed as a result of excessive handsiness is just a byproduct.
>>
No. 969654 ID: fa2754

Hey nice, another fae summoning item. Try not to lose Nixxy in there..
>>969633
Quick, duck and use his momentum against him so you can flip him over your back and pin him again.
>>
No. 969659 ID: dbd72b

If he's bringing his center of gravity up that high, he must wanna get thrown. Good thing he likes it rough.
>>
No. 969661 ID: 10c408

>>969654
Or just duck and then pin him before he recovers. There's no need to try and grab him in mid air when his momentum will leave him vulnerable when he hits the ground.
>>
No. 969665 ID: ce39da

Judo throw.
>>
No. 969668 ID: 5b0071

>>969632
Well, you definitely have a sign of Vivian's favor, now, though this clearly isn't something to trade away. Maybe the merchant simply meant showing him proof over trading it to him?
>>
No. 969681 ID: 36784c

>>969632
Look on the bright side, you’ve probably got enough feathers to trade for that scrying stone now!
>>
No. 969710 ID: cf9844

He's coming in high and off balance; step to the left, grab his right arm (doesn't matter if it grabs your arm as well) then twist it around as you step across his front to the right and yank his arm down real close to the ground as you use his own strength and momentum to flip him onto his back. Remember to keep constant tension from his wrist, to his elbow, and to his shoulder, or he'll be able to force his way out of it. (Ude guruma, if you want to look it up)
>>
No. 969723 ID: c70ff4
File 159218332669.png - (124.26KB , 700x500 , 11-147.png )
969723

Avoiding the spear tackle of her opponent, Casey tries to stumble backwards, only to find the fabric of her top caught in Opinel’s grasp. “Wha-? Hey!” Thankfully the fabric doesn’t tear but is pulled down to her midriff, forming a perfect handhold for the knight.
>>
No. 969724 ID: c70ff4
File 159218333127.png - (136.45KB , 500x700 , 11-148.png )
969724

She’s dragged off her feet by the soldier’s momentum and lands with her back on the turf. Pinned with her arms over her head and chest exposed, Casey blushes as Opinel looms overhead.
>>
No. 969725 ID: c70ff4
File 159218333641.png - (122.86KB , 500x700 , 11-149.png )
969725

Kol lets the silk settle in his hands and turns to the rest of the group.

“We just met VIVIAN!” Miki explodes, unable to contain herself at last. An uncontrolled plume of flame roars out of her mouth and she snaps her lips shut.

“S-rry!” She murmurs through pursed lips.

“Its fine. Here, maybe you should hang onto this for now: so you can check on Cauldera.” Kol hands off the silk to Miki.

The chinchilla rubs it against her cheek in adoration. “I can’t believe it! I’m gonna cry, you guys!”
>>
No. 969726 ID: c70ff4
File 159218334160.png - (172.36KB , 700x680 , 11-150.png )
969726

"You know, that probably counts as a 'symbol of love' if we wanted to trade it in." Raithe points out.

"What?! Are you crazy? No way we're trading this away!" Miki grips the cloth tighter and glares at her fiance.

"Just saying, is all!"

Caleb holds up the ceramic pot, “Well, we got a lot of feathers, we might want to check with Cestus if this is enough for a trade.”

“Good idea, we should head back.” Kol scuffs at the scorch marks on the stage and sighs. He turns to the barista and calls, “Sorry about your stage!”

“Are you kidding? That’s what I call a memorable performance.” She wags enthusiastically, leaning on the counter with both elbows.
>>
No. 969727 ID: cdabe3

Mmm, time to see how much life is left in Opinel
>:3
>>
No. 969728 ID: e7848c

>>969726
So what's the chances of getting another cup?
>>969724
Point taken. But two can play that game. He has pants but for how much longer?
>>
No. 969730 ID: b1b4f3

Wait a minute... "sign of her favor" is how the merchant phrased it. What if you got her autograph?
>>
No. 969733 ID: 9fad0d

>>969724
Shifting to the tried and true sport of lewd wrestling i see, strip each other bare then try to pin your opponent.

Shame there isn't any massage oil to make it even more interesting...
>>
No. 969793 ID: c70ff4
File 159226977843.png - (103.46KB , 500x700 , 11-151.png )
969793

“Not very sporting, mr knight,” Casey accuses, “but it got the job done.” She smirks back up at him.

“What’s this? I believe you told me ‘don’t go easy on me’, is that correct? Sounds like the words of someone who bit off more than they can chew.” Opinel teases back.

“Oh that’s it. Let me up.” Casey insists.

Sir Opinel helps her back up and the mouse steps back. With a few deft motions, she shimmies out of her clothes and kicks them aside. “You’re in for it now stitches.” She goads, taking a fighting stance.
>>
No. 969794 ID: c70ff4
File 159226979226.png - (134.77KB , 500x700 , 11-152.png )
969794

“Very good!” The knight undoes the cinch on his ancient trousers and pulls them off. The nude warrior squares off against Casey eagerly. “Just like the old days! Nothing but two fighters evenly matched!”
>>
No. 969795 ID: e7848c

>>969794
You know, this raises questions of blood flow but, I think he's got things of his own raised. Bait and counter!
>>
No. 969801 ID: de3d9f

>>969795
Power Word: Viagra
>>
No. 969807 ID: 3c4fd8

>>969795
I'm surprised that it's still attached and intact.
>>
No. 969808 ID: b1b4f3

>>969794
Okay I suspect Casey is not going to use her tendrils for this at all, since they're not *technically* grappling?
Hmm, winning isn't really the point here. Try some defensive movements, draw the match out a little. See if you can get him to pop a full boner before the end.
>>
No. 969809 ID: 3f8173

>>969795
Angel Lust
>>
No. 969810 ID: 9ef252

Knights get the deluxe necromancy, it seems. Got to preserve as much original functions as possible. Maybe vampires sharing a little of their "I'm dead but hot and able to use it" mojo. Good for him.

Comment that he's well preserved, and his countrymen must be jealous. He's not got any magic enhancement going for him, does he? Ask, because if so then it's only fair for you to get some magic going. Then get your greek urn wrestle on.
>>
No. 969836 ID: dbd72b

>>969810
This. When he answers, just tackle him.
>>
No. 969899 ID: c70ff4
File 159236266645.png - (105.01KB , 700x423 , 11-153.png )
969899

Casey casts an admiring eye over the scarred warrior. “You’re in pretty good shape for a dead guy.”

“Oh well, I try to-“

Opinel braces as Casey lunges at him, having expected the ruse and countered it. “-take care of myself, “ he grunts.

The pair thread their fingers together as their feet struggle for purchase in the soft loam. “You don’t say?” Casey grunts back at him.

“As a member of my lord’s personal guard,” his crooked teeth grind like a broken zipper, “I’ve had stronger preservative magics to keep me going. Of course, spending all those centuries up north in the ice and snow helped.”

Casey tests his grip, trying to steer the grapple one way and then another. He’s strong, but feels lighter than she would expect. “Sounds a bit dull, if you ask me.”
>>
No. 969900 ID: c70ff4
File 159236267552.png - (124.01KB , 500x700 , 11-154.png )
969900

“Heh, if its one thing you have to learn to cope with as a guard: its dullness.” He shifts suddenly, spinning Casey around and pulling her up to his chest with her arms crossed in his grip. “But nothing gets the old blood pumping like a good fight.”
>>
No. 969903 ID: e7848c

>>969900
Oh good, he is within range of your tail. Like a true binder use that to distract him enough so you can buckle your legs and kick back and throw his balance off.
>>
No. 969904 ID: b1b4f3

He's good at this. You're probably gonna lose, but you're not even on the ground yet. I'm sure you can get him off balance somehow and get your hands free to tussle. He certainly can't pin you via this position, so you have a chance to react to his next move, or interfere with it.
>>
No. 969905 ID: c70ff4
File 159236808790.png - (121.91KB , 700x500 , 11-155.png )
969905

Casey's tail snakes behind her, wrapping around the knights legs.“Do you even have blood?”

“Not really. Its more a manner of sp-eeeeech!“

Casey kicks off the ground, throwing Opinel off balance. They topple over backwards, landing on top of one another. As the world pivots around them, Casey lands on the knight's spear and feels it slip inside her. She lets out a cry of surprise, which pitch shifts into a moan as its length fills her.

Opinel looks down at the point of contact between them in shock. Warm pleasurable signals trace their way up long disused nerves. In a moment of confusion, he asks the mouse impaled on his shaft, "Are.. we still wrestling?"
>>
No. 969906 ID: b1b4f3

>>969905
Maybe... or if he would rather do something more like this you'd be happy to oblige. Or mix the two up a bit. Wrestle a bit during the act to see who gets to be on top at any given moment.
>>
No. 969907 ID: fd5772

>>969905
nyet, wrestling is over, we move to a new phase of exercise.

or maybe give him a little something till you're in a position where you can pin him. Surprise is the ultimate weapon.
>>
No. 969912 ID: 422cea

...So if he cums will it be a dry one?

I don't think I'd condone getting a load of whatever is inside a zombie's coin purse.

>>
No. 969916 ID: cdabe3

>>969907
yes, gotta "pin" the guy

>>969912
it'll probably either be dry, some kind of magic, or normal cum, since the quest hasn't really hewed towards being gross or anything so far. i think it'll be fine
>>
No. 969917 ID: 53560f

We can multitask, wrestle to see who gets to be on top.
>>
No. 969918 ID: 9fad0d

>>969905
The answer should be both at once, of course. Whoever finishes first wins. (the loser also "winning" soon after)

Constantly mounting and pinning one another does make for decent training, let's just call this extra motivation to keep going and maybe Casey could end up learning a few new moves to try out on her boys later...
>>
No. 969919 ID: 10c408

>>969907
Yes, but this was a friendly competition that may transition to sex. Suddenly switching things back to wrestling while he's preoccupied is a big dick move and he's done nothing to deserve it.
>>
No. 969922 ID: fa2754

>>969905
Maybe..but this is most definitely an illegal move, Sir Knight. Gonna need to penalize him for that. Take your sweeeeet time sitting up though. Throw in a butt wiggle for good measure. You're not as used to dry settings as he is.
>>
No. 969923 ID: 028f23

>>969905
Oh no, he's adorable.
Think it's time for a more intimate type of wrestling, dear. Nothing wrong with a bit of horseplay.
>>
No. 969925 ID: 3ed3c3

>>969905
I'm so torn.
On the one hand, he's a nice, sweet, cute guy with a big dick who's in need of some love.
On the other hand, he's a living corpse being held together with magic, stitches, and sheer determination.
Not that he's spectacularly gross or anything, but this does raise some questions. Is Casey a necrophile? Opinel isn't the first undead person she's had a go with. Does it even count as necrophilia if he's undead?
I should probably just relax and see how things play out.
>>
No. 969926 ID: dbd72b

"We can if you want, but I'm not complaining"
>>
No. 969927 ID: dbd72b

>>969925
He passes Harkness, we good.
>>
No. 969929 ID: 9ef252

If you're still up for it, sir knight. Sorry to alarm, this sort of thing just tends to happen these days.

>>969912
I imagine either some spectral substitution, since he's basically a ghost in a shell, or else he's one of those deluxe warcraft-deathknight-type undead who's reanimated so well as to basically be fully alive but a bit slower in biological function. It'd be sensible to add some limited or conditional healing ability, for a warrior, and then things would start working normally again by themselves.

Or maybe all the magical creatures the mice have messed with, in Casey's case especially the high-energy mana deposits from a certain coatl, have granted magical restorative properties. Maybe she's literally resurrecting his junk! That'd fit with him being confused about his nerves being active again.
>>
No. 969931 ID: 9f24de

>>969905
Mr Knight hasn't done this in a long time? I think our binder is wining. Pin him to the ground and show him a move or two!
>>
No. 969942 ID: 864e49

>>969903
The most important question now is: Can he finish? Cause we don't want to give him eternal blue balls.
>>
No. 969974 ID: c70ff4
File 159244760523.png - (126.06KB , 388x700 , 11-156.png )
969974



"Only if you're still up for it." Casey feels the shaft shift inside of her and her breath catches for a moment. "Been a while since you've wrestled like this, hasn't it?"

"It's been a bit." He admits, testing the sensation with a few shallow pumps. "I uh- may have some trouble... staying up, if you catch my drift. No blood you see?"

"You're not even fully hard?" Deep inside, Casey feels herself already stretched by the well hung knight in ways she's not used to. The semi-erect shaft fills her in a way that is satisfying but could easily be uncomfortable if not careful.

"Here, let me help." She twitches her hand and a glowing band of mana encircles the base of the shaft and holds it at the right angle. "Now come on. You still haven't pinned me yet." She grins.

>>
No. 969975 ID: c70ff4
File 159244761055.png - (135.31KB , 800x444 , 11-157.png )
969975


Opinel yaps with delight, driving his hips into her and practically knocking her breathless. He rolls her over, grinding down on top of the moaning mouse. Letting go of her arms, he grabs her legs and pulls them up against her chest as he piledrives her pussy.

>>
No. 969978 ID: 9ef252

Fascinating. Says he has no blood but if that was the case things would be different in... a lot of ways. Something else flowing in his veins, then? Magic? Some sort of alchemical substitute?... If you could use your magic to tighten around other parts of his body, it would increase available pressure. You should be warmed up a bit further, now. It's been a long time for him and might be a long time after; wouldn't it be nice for this poor knight to be able to fully unsheathe his sword for once? You can take it, Casey.

Also is it just me or are those stitches starting to get more of a cute teddy bear look to them?
>>
No. 969983 ID: 3ed3c3

>>969975
Squeak like a good, little mousy and let the nice doggy know he's doing a good job.
>>
No. 969989 ID: fa2754

Casey, he's got you on the ropes! In the wrestling department anyways. I think you might have the edge over him in sexual experience. How do we turn this around?
>>
No. 969990 ID: cdabe3

>>969983
this
>>
No. 969991 ID: 864e49

>>969974
Gabe is defiantly gonna want a go.
Heck he and Kol still haven't gotten a ride on Flashing Feathers.
>>
No. 969992 ID: 36784c

>>969991
>Heck he and Kol still haven't gotten a ride on Flashing Feathers.
Gabe got his turn with Flashing Feathers at the end of the previous thread. Kol is the only one that hasn’t had a turn yet.
>>
No. 970018 ID: 864e49

>>969991
>defiantly
>Definitely
FUCK

>>969992
Oh yeah, it was that one image at the end.
I'm kinda hoping Kol and Opinel get into a competition to see who can pound Gabe into the floor better.
>>
No. 970023 ID: 179067

How much fine control does Casey have in her tail? She could try to enter him and see if she can overstimulate him.
>>
No. 970043 ID: b1b4f3

Could try some other pin-like positions, like the wheelbarrow or anvil.
>>
No. 970065 ID: 10c408

>>970043
Casey's arms are stuck under her legs from the looks of things. No need to interrupt the forward thrusting dog position that the two of them are enjoying.
>>
No. 970085 ID: 4f51b2

>>969983
This
>>
No. 970087 ID: 8fab7a

>>970065
Oh, one could always try to shake and wriggle one's butt a bit. Maybe something will come loose?

(and hopefully not the stitching)
>>
No. 970095 ID: c70ff4
File 159262372039.png - (132.57KB , 412x700 , 11-158.png )
970095

Opinel drills her with a steady, measured pace; letting his balls slap leisurely against Casey’s mound with every thrust. Each time he bottoms out, he elicits a squeak from the mouse beneath him. As he gets warmed up, he feels himself getting harder; tightening her passage around him. “My Fates, its been a long time since I felt this good. You sure you can take all this?” he taunts, filling her to the hilt.

“Are you kidding?” Casey gasps with false bravado, already unsure if she can take any more of his girth. “Is that all you’ve got?”

“Oh? Well, what do you think of this?”

She’s amazed as the dog plants himself and dead-lifts her into the air. The mouse finds herself folded in half and her legs held behind her head in a full nelson. Her pussy clenches at nothing, feeling exposed and hungry to be filled.

Opinel grunts with exertion and drops her onto his dick: letting gravity impale her on the full length of his shaft.


>>
No. 970096 ID: c70ff4
File 159262372664.png - (44.76KB , 700x500 , 11-159.png )
970096


Casey shrieks a wordless swear and bucks in his arms; her legs convulsing as she rides the shock of orgasm. Her cum comes running down his cock in a river, dripping onto the matted grass below. She feels Opinel stir himself around inside her and twitches with delightful aftershocks.


>>
No. 970097 ID: c70ff4
File 159262373123.png - (125.87KB , 624x700 , 11-160.png )
970097

“Say uncle?” He suggests.
>>
No. 970099 ID: dcbdbe

NO SURRENDER

GOTTA FINISH HIM OFF >:D
>>
No. 970101 ID: b1b4f3

That's as good a safeword as any, but no not yet. Tell him you won't yield.
>>
No. 970102 ID: de3d9f

>>970097
Go for the pin.
>>
No. 970115 ID: fa2754

>>970097
Mayhaps a truce can be made..
>>
No. 970116 ID: 8fab7a

Wriggle and test his hold on you.

"You... appear indeed to have me at an advantage."

Grin.

"Do continue to."

At some moment when he drops his guard, see if you can't turn the tables and take charge.
>>
No. 970120 ID: dbd72b

"did you feel a tap out? I'm not done yet"
>>
No. 970182 ID: c70ff4
File 159271097512.png - (167.93KB , 552x700 , 11-161.png )
970182

Casey’s chest heaves for breath. She looks over her shoulder at the soldier and demands, “Fuck you. Don’t you dare stop.”

So he lifts her up and does it again.

Casey squeaks again and again as shes bounced up and down on the knights dripping shaft. In her jostling vision, she looks down and watches a slight bulge pressing forward from within her every time he slams home. Unable to tear her eyes away, she watches as he hammers another orgasm into her.

Opinel grins, enjoying the gasping squeaks coming from the mouse in his arms. He feels her walls tighten around him again in a warm, inviting shiver of lust. This feeling of life, forgotten for so long suffuses through him like a glow. He’s quickly lost in the enjoyment, as urgent signals work their way up from his cock.

“Opinel,” Casey manages between hammered breaths “What- what happens when you cum?”

The soldier grunts, keeping his pace as he inches closer to finishing. “Umf- No idea-ah.” A worried look knits between his scars.

Casey reaches back, threading her fingers behind his neck and hanging on. “Ah! Do it! You’re close, right?”

“Are- umph, you sure?”

“Ye-ah!” She squeaks, “I want it!”

Opinel squares his shoulders and starts pumping. His shaft slams in and out of her as he builds up speed; his sac slapping forward with every thrust.

Casey pants a steady, “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” As she watches the rhythm. She bites her lip as the battering ram inside her thumps away at her walls.

Muscles clench and Opinel groans as he hilts himself inside her. A long, gravelly “AHHHHHh ha! Ahh! AHH!” Roars out of the knight’s lungs as he lets out a climax pent up over centuries.

“Yaaaaaas!” Casey moans along with him, feeling herself filling and shivering as she milks him for more. “Give it to me! Fuck yessssss!” She sighs and lays back against him, her hands clutching at stitches. “Give me all of it. Oh fuck! I can feel it...”

What pours into her is clear and watery: not unlike her own cum. A faint, tell-tale tingle of mana radiates through her: although not as powerful as cum from an elemental. She releases the binding spell around Opinel’s cock and it slips out with a wet sound, followed by a cascade of spent cum as the tight seal is finally broken.

>>
No. 970183 ID: c70ff4
File 159271098143.png - (0B , 700x631 )
970183

“Ah, my lord...” The knight staggers, letting Casey down carefully: one leg at a time. He lays back on the grass with a drained expression on his face, his half erect cock poised like a flag of surrender. “So... tired...”
>>
No. 970184 ID: dcbdbe

I guess this means Casey won >:3c
>>
No. 970186 ID: e7848c

>>970182
Literally drained his magic essence. Casey, you legend.
>>
No. 970205 ID: 179067

Might want to check and make sure he didn't lose too much mana.
>>
No. 970210 ID: 36784c

>>970183
Now is your chance Casey! Pin him to win!
>>
No. 970212 ID: 8fab7a

Hah, nice.

Maybe some oil from a certain deep fish can be a pick-me-up for Opinel? Even if it tastes like ass.
>>
No. 970216 ID: dbd72b

sit on him to pin. and maybe rest/cuddle before you do what you came here for.
>>
No. 970243 ID: c70ff4
File 159279416366.png - (144.23KB , 498x700 , 11-163.png )
970243

“Hey Stitches, are you alright?” Casey leans over him with a mix of concern and interest. “You’re not dying are you? Well... you know what I mean.”

Opinel responds with a croak. “That... took a lot more out of me than I expected.” If he were the breathing type, he would be panting.

Casey steps over him with a smug grin. “Well no kidding: you spilled all that mana keeping you going down my leg.”

He sighs, quietly saying, “This would be a wonderful death...”

“Oh no, you don’t.” Casey kneels and straddles his face, bringing his handy-work within easy reach. “I beat you and that means you don’t get to die until I say so. Now get to work cleaning me up: I still need your help out here.”

The knight nods and laps softly at her dripping cleft, running his tongue up and down in search of every spent drop of mana.

“Thats it, get it all up.” Casey sighs and sits back to watch him work between her thighs. The mouse squeaks as his tongue twists and curls inside her; scooping up as much as it can reach and swallowing it down. “Ah! Mmm- next time we wrestle I’ll have you start with this. I can’t believe I beat you with just my pussy.” She chuckles to herself and enjoys the little electric shivers of pleasure as he eats her out.

>>
No. 970244 ID: 9ef252

Maybe the trick you should learn when next you see Flashing Feathers is how to feed someone mana, huh? Though I suppose that's more Del's department. Maybe we should set her up with some communion with the divine. Well, don't waste any of what you can find, there. Perhaps you could turn around and clean him up, then come back with a kiss? Just to be sure he gets as much back as possible, of course.
>>
No. 970245 ID: cdabe3

can we make a pun about how casey is so sexy, she made the dead rise?

>:3c
>>
No. 970248 ID: e7848c

>>970243
Oh yeah, don't be afraid to turn around and clean him off too. Relax your jaw.
>>
No. 970277 ID: 028f23

>>970244
That'd be a really nice trick to learn. Of course, judging from the ghost Casey had fun with a while back, her mana tendrils can transmit the energy of an orgasm fairly well.
>>
No. 970698 ID: c70ff4
File 159313719096.png - (103.21KB , 500x700 , 11-164.png )
970698

When she feels well and fully licked clean, Casey lets the stricken knight up. “Feeling better?” She asks.

Still looking kind of exhausted, Opinel nods. “Sorry, I had no idea that I would be weakened so much. After all of these years, the magic sustaining me must be wearing thin.”

“Well, there might be a way or two to top you up if we need to.” Casey extends her aura a bit to demonstrate.

He sighs dryly, “If only it were that simple. I appreciate the offer, but I have seen what happens to those that become accustom to feeding on living mana. You forget who you are, until all that matters is the hunger.” Opinel stands up and gives her a crooked smile. “Lord Hekal gifted me with a second life, and when its time is done, so am I. I only wish I could fight once more in his honor.”
>>
No. 970699 ID: c3e8e8

I don't suppose there's... "non-living" mana? Like, what was the difference between the power that originally animated him, that's still in him now, and other sorts of power?
>>
No. 970703 ID: 3ecb5a

Run a finger up his dick to collect most of the mana collected there and bring it to his lips to lick off.

"That does rather require you not just sticking around 'till we find Lord Hekal, but having enough mana left to fight. So, no more encounters like ours, unfortunately. I do hope that this was more than adequate for what'll probably be your final fuck."

Perhaps you could ask Caleb to dive for another one of those abyssal reapers to get mana oil for Opinel so he'll be in fine shape for when y'all find Lord Hekal.
>>
No. 970704 ID: b1b4f3

Well don't argue with him about it. He's lived long enough to be well-set in his desires.
Tell him you hope he doesn't have to fight anytime soon, since that would most likely mean something went horribly wrong.
>>
No. 970715 ID: 028f23

Fair enough. I'd forgotten that's a side-effect of consuming living mana.

>>970699

I'm betting that means mana from a mana well. That's probably the only natural source of pure life energy that doesn't count as coming from something living. Until we find a mana well, we're shit out of luck for topping off his reserves.
So yeah. No more nookie till then. At the very least.
>>
No. 970717 ID: 36784c

>>970715
>Until we find a mana well
We’ve already found one, remember? It’s in the mountain where we found the kobolds.
>>
No. 970722 ID: fa2754

>>970698
Should the Fates decide it, fighting with him at your side would be an honor.
>>
No. 971140 ID: c70ff4
File 159357721452.png - (162.88KB , 700x600 , 11-165.png )
971140

Casey picks up her scattered clothes and shimmies back into them. “Fair enough. I hope that was a fun enough romp to keep you satisfied for a while. We’ll need your help if we’re ever going to solve this mystery; we can’t have you running out of steam now can we?”

“Oh absolutely. That was..” Opinel chuckles and shakes his head, “quite unexpected. Its been centuries since I’ve had such an intimate experience. “ He slips back into his pants and raises a point, “Uh, we can still wrestle though, can’t we?”

Casey laughs and rolls her eyes. “Single minded, aren’t we? If it doesn’t use too much mana, I suppose. Now, let’s go find that dead accountant you mentioned.”

The knight brightens up considerably and leads the way through the still graveyard.
>>
No. 971141 ID: c70ff4
File 159357721968.png - (141.45KB , 700x500 , 11-166.png )
971141

After some travel, he picks his way through the trees until he finds a small cluster of stone crypts encircled by a rusting iron gate.

“Here we are. If I remember right, they were set aside in a private tomb. Hopefully the grave fleas haven’t gotten to them.”
>>
No. 971176 ID: fa2754

>>971141
Speaking of grave fleas, what other sort of nasties come up around here?
>>
No. 971177 ID: 10c408

That first tombstone in the middle row is ajar.
>>
No. 971181 ID: b1b4f3

Can you open the gate? Doesn't look like it has a lock but it could be stuck. Could hop the fence with your MAGIC WINGS and look around.
>>
No. 971182 ID: ac70ae

Well, start in one corner and work your way across and down the rows. Put a mark on the top of each one that's done so you can check from the air you got 'em all.

You do hope that all these graves are marked with who is in 'em and what their job was, otherwise this is gonna be a pain waking each occupant up to ask 'em who they were.

Out of curiosity, ask Opinel who his previous memorable sexual encounter was with, all those centuries ago.
>>
No. 971183 ID: 10c408

>>971182
We're not looking for one that's placed next to the others. We're looking for a tomb that's been excluded and has it's own spot.

Still, flying is a good idea to get a better view so we know where it is.
>>
No. 971189 ID: 9fad0d

>>971141
A bit off topic but might as well ask the dead guy what heaven/ghostrealm/whatever you call the hereafter is like, just to get that out of the way.
>>
No. 971197 ID: a0dfd2

>>971141

Probably looking for a mausoleum of some description, given their likely assets. Or perhaps something as humble as a singular headstone.

Though "private tomb" implies the former, and more than just a burial for one.
>>
No. 971210 ID: b13dfe

>>971189
I don't believe undead have ever been to the ghost zone. They're created from spirits that haven't yet passed on.
>>
No. 971315 ID: c70ff4
File 159373376366.png - (122.20KB , 700x549 , 11-167.png )
971315

Casey opens the gate and the metal squeals in protest. She pauses for a moment to listen for any reaction, but stillness fills the graveyard.

“What ever happened to the grave fleas?” Casey asks, “I was surprised we never got any reports of them in the city.”
>>
No. 971316 ID: c70ff4
File 159373376755.png - (0B , 500x700 )
971316

Opinel leads the way through the overgrown path between the tombs. “Ah, I believe your guardian friends came and took care of that problem.” He sighs, “I wish I could have gone with them, but I was needed on guard. I believe Sir Sifir wanted to capture one intact for study. Just as well: they were parasites, draining mana from the bargast and stealing headstones.”

“What? We never heard about that! I would have loved to see them in action!”
>>
No. 971317 ID: c70ff4
File 159373377257.png - (127.88KB , 500x700 , 11-169.png )
971317

“You and me both.” He grins back at her and winks. He stops in front of a set of tombs stacked into a sort-of apartment for the dead.

He knocks on one of the stone panels and a crabby voice squawks back from within, “What? Who’s there, what do you want?”
>>
No. 971323 ID: fa2754

>>971317
Knock knock it's knuckles
Hello spirit guide Casey and Sir Opinel. Could they be available to help with an ongoing investigation?
>>
No. 971325 ID: b13dfe

Their name is "Graves". Definitely don't say anything about that, they're almost certainly very tired of hearing it.

Introduce yourself politely and ask if they could help you read a very old book.
>>
No. 971351 ID: de3d9f

>>971317
Rise and shine, Misssster Graves, rise and...shine. Not that I wish to imply that you have been...sleeping, on the job. No one is more deserving of a rest, and all the effort in the world would have gone to waste until...well.

Let's just say your hour has come again.
>>
No. 971423 ID: c70ff4
File 159383431974.png - (115.27KB , 700x500 , 11-170.png )
971423

“Rise and shine, Graves.” Sir Opinel retorts. “We’ve need of you.”

“Opinel!” The voice scoffs, “What’ve you destroyed this time?” Graves grumbles something about inconsiderate soldiers, mostly muffled by the stone slab.

“Now, now don’t be like that.” Opinel levers the tomb open and reaches inside.

He fishes around for a moment and pulls out... a skull. The undead snarls and curses. “Blazing lichhfire! Too bright!”

“You haven’t got eyes, Graves.” Opinel chuckles and holds the skull up level with his face. Two pinpoints of mana fire burn defiantly in the sockets.

The skull is momentarily distracted from his predicament by the sight of Casey. “Here, who’s that? One of the living?”

Casey bobs her head slightly in greeting, “Nice to meet you. Casey Leander: I’m a spirit guide. We need your help reading a very old book.”

“Spirit guide? Never heard of it. What’s this about a book?”

“Its written in three different languages. One of them appears to be related to vampiric runes, but we don’t know how to translate that.”

“Is that it? Opinel, you wake me up after 300 years to do a bit of light reading? Anything else you want me to do while I’m at it? Shine your sword for you? Might need a hand for that.” The skull rattles.

“He’s always like this when he wakes up.” Opinel says as an aside. “Or when he’s busy, or whenever.”

“Whenever I’m around you!” Graves sputters in protest. “Blasted oaf...” The outrage wears thin as the undead simmers down.
>>
No. 971430 ID: b1b4f3

>>971423
It's a very important book. Related to the First Guardians. Interested now?
>>
No. 971436 ID: 9fad0d

>>971423
Should we give him a moment to get the rest of his bones together or is he just a skull? It'd be interesting if we could get a skeleton as a party member option.
>>
No. 971437 ID: ac70ae

Ask Graves what's his history with Sir Opinel that's cause for his consternation.

Would it help Graves' motivation if he knew his skill would be important to the project of figuring out what happened to Lord Hekal and where he went?

There anything Graves would like to see or do since he's gonna be out and about anyway helping you all?
>>
No. 971464 ID: fa2754

>>971423
Make no mistake, your transition will greatly help us. What can we do to make your time helping us more comfortable?
>>
No. 971591 ID: c70ff4
File 159407088407.png - (103.45KB , 700x500 , 11-171.png )
971591

“There seems to be some history between you two. Are you guys going to be able to work together?”

Opinel shrugs and explains, “He’s still a little bitter that I was afforded a body...”

“Wasteful!” The skull shrieks, “He barely takes care of it! Do you know how much time and magic has been spent stitching him back together? How many time’s he’s thrown himself into battle to get hacked to pieces?”

Casey eyes the longitudinal scar running up Opinels face. “Uh, no?”

“Seven! Those aren’t even the fool’s original teeth! They kept getting knocked out! Its why his mouth looks like a quarry!” The skull rants, the fire within it glowing with each accusation.

Opinel tosses the dead accountant into the air and catches him in one hand. “Hey, now. That’s a bit much. Everything I did was in service of Lord Hekal.”

“More like blind folly!” Graves whines, “The motley fool can’t catch a wink of sleep unless he’s had a fight. You know he gets off on it, don’t you?”

“No comment.” Casey giggles to herself. “So what happened to your body?”

Graves sighs, “Stored in the ossuary to save space. Piled in with the other bones. Thousands of them!”

“Spite me... I don’t suppose you would know where to find them?”

“Of course I can! I know exactly where they are: at least the important bits. A lot of the little fiddly pieces are just piled up, I’d take anything that fits.”
>>
No. 971621 ID: 3ed3c3

>>971591
We chuck him in the ossuary, he pulls himself back together, then he helps us. Fair deal?
>>
No. 971625 ID: ac70ae

Oh, boy. Looks like you and Opinel are gonna be pickin' through a bone pile 'till y'all get Graves' skeleton together. There goes the rest of your day. Well, on to the ossuary. Opinel, lead the way.

Ask Opinel if there's anything that is or was up on the barghast that may have taken, disturbed or destroyed the contents of the ossuary. The grave fleas, perhaps? Or even just the ossuary's ceiling falling in or rain getting in.

Ask Graves if he... Er. What pronoun would Graves prefer you use? Anyway. Ask Graves if Graves could borrow another person's major bones from the ossuary if some or all of Graves original ones were destroyed or missing. Failing that, you'll just have to have somebody else carry Graves while Graves does the translation work.

Think you could call in some more help to pick through the ossuary to speed things up? Any folk up on the bargast that could lend a hand? Oh, Ashe said Mari wanted to poke through such a ancient site, so maybe Mari could lend a hand too.
>>
No. 971631 ID: b1b4f3

>>971591
Well alright that sounds simple enough.
>>
No. 971669 ID: e7848c

>>971591
As long as this doesn't take a lifetime.
Pun intended.
>>
No. 971850 ID: c70ff4
File 159434416312.png - (189.00KB , 700x500 , 11-172.png )
971850

“Alright, as long as it doesn’t take too long. I’m hoping to get some more analysis done on that book today.” Casey shrugs and nods to the knight to lead the way.

Opinel tucks the skull under his arm, provoking some muffled protest, and sets off further into the graveyard. Hunting back and forth, he finds what he’s looking for tucked between a pair of towering tombs.

He holds up Graves and asks, “In here?”

“Yeah, thats the one. Come on, get moving, then.”

Opinel rolls his eyes and clambers down the steps into the crypt.

Casey follows, having to duck slightly to fit in the narrow passage. Icy blue flames illuminate a series of tunnels dug through the graveyard. In the dim light, she can see shelves lining the walls piled high with bones: each shelf seemingly dedicated to a specific body part.

Having never seen burial practices like this, Casey pokes around with interest. Having forgotten the original purpose of the bargast, she realizes the scale of its potential.

“So... Graves... actually, what do you prefer? He? She? They?”

“Mmm, hardly matters at this point.” Graves stares unblinkingly at a wall of bones, directing Opinel as he points with a finger at a thousand identical femurs. “When I was alive, I was a man.”

“How many bodies are there?”

“Just here? Or on the whole bargast?”

“The whole thing, if you don’t mind.”

The undead pauses to remember, “Oh, 30... 35 thousand. At the height of its power, it could carry some 50 thousand troops into battle.”
>>
No. 971851 ID: 3ed3c3

>>971850
A good number. Though, now that there is no war to fight, what becomes of all these people? Eternal rest? Or something else?
>>
No. 971852 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm, lots of bodies... but wouldn't it take a long time for them to ah... assemble? They're all in what is essentially cold storage.
Also it sounds like they might run out of mana during a war, and literally fall apart.
>>
No. 971854 ID: 365ffb

This is genuinely hella fascinating. Nerd out to your heart's content.
>>
No. 971858 ID: fa2754

>>971850
Is there enough magic around to animate all these people back into battle?
>>
No. 971887 ID: 4a9aa5

You really wish you'd thought to bring your notebook to record this stuff. Something to remember to do every time you come up to the barghast.

So, how old is that 30,000 to 35,000 head count? Do they still do a regular census to determine how many of those folks' spirits are still around, mentally together enough to fight and if they have damaged or missing parts?

Assuming those troops were stored in the same or similar way to Graves, how'd they go about assembling the troops and how long did it take? Because it seems like it'd take quite awhile to get all those people's bones to the right person. That'd be a detriment if the barghast comes under a sudden major attack. Hm... If the newly assembled troops also assemble more troops and so on, the assembly speed would scale almost exponentially. Then the limit would be space in the ossuary tunnels for them to move about. Though, in this case it'd make more sense to keep each person's bones all together for speed of assembly. Packed properly they'd take up hardly more space.

Hm... Why aren't there teams of historians and archaeologists up here? Getting first-hand accounts of history from those present would be something historians would love, and archaeologists would love to get a chance to work on a actual barghast. It seems like such a rare opportunity that such academics would be chomping at the bit to take advantage of.
>>
No. 972230 ID: c70ff4
File 159476056713.png - (187.63KB , 527x700 , 11-173.png )
972230

“Fucking Fates...” Casey mutters to herself, “Its a good thing there aren’t really any more wars to fight... hopefully.” She adds.

“True.” Opinel agrees, “The wars of old were terrifying, especially once things started to fall apart.”

Casey stops and turns to the knight. “What was that like? Our accounts of what happened don’t really tell us much.”

“Panic.” He shrugs and continues, “After Lord Hekal went missing, Rodwin returned from where ever he had been sent by magic. He tried to take the reigns over what was left. Some of the generals had carved up the kingdom into their own territories, but lacked the mana to field standing armes. It wasn’t long before they lost control.”

“And we weren’t alone. All over the mortal realms, thrones were toppling. Leaders of great factions going missing, their wells of power being sealed. The hunger for what was left led them to lash out in fear. But the people saw that, for once, they were vulnerable and struck back.”

He chuckles, “Rodwin did what he could, consolidated the undead still viable and took them north to await our lord’s return.”

Casey nods along, “Well, we know what caused that upheaval: Augustine Moot and the first guardians. From what we’ve uncovered, they were the ones sealing mana wells.”

“Hmm, a prudent tactic.” Opinel nods approvingly. “A means of sowing disorder among your enemies with minimal loss of life. Lord Hekal discussed similar strategies but lacked the means to execute them.”

“We really have to get a historian or archivist up here to document all of this.” Casey runs her fingers over a wall of ossuary, feeling the age pouring off of it. “It would really fill out our understanding of the end of the Wild Age.”

“Heh, it would certainly help pass the time.” The knight’s grin is a bone white saw in the dark. “Do you know any?”

Casey sighs and rubs her forehead. “I... might know a couple...” She jabs a finger at the undead and demands, “but you can’t tell them about our uh- ‘wrestling match’. Got it?”

“Fates forbid it.” Opinel promises.

“Wait, what’s this about wrestling? I missed something, didn’t I?” Graves mutters. Opinel raps on his forehead with a knuckle and shuts him up.
>>
No. 972232 ID: 365ffb

All the parts here pretty much the same, or could you mix and match parts?

It's probably a good thing all that happened. The world is sooo much better without all the fighting.
>>
No. 972513 ID: c70ff4
File 159495401590.png - (141.72KB , 500x700 , 11-174.png )
972513

“How’s the bone hunt going?” Casey asks.

“Eh, getting there,” Graves mutters, “could be faster though.”

“How much can you mix and match these?”

“A little bit, but I’d rather not be stomping around with two different sized legs, thank you very much.
But there should be some piles deeper inside for all the little fiddly stray bones. If you go grab a couple of handfuls, I can start piecing everything together.”

The binder dutifully heads off into the dark. She extends her aura to give the gloom a slight glow. The stones down here are cold and drip with a condensation that shines like seed pearls on velvet.

Something crunches unpleasantly underfoot and sends calcified shards tinkling in all directions. Casey holds out her hand to see and illuminates a pale, white cone made of tiny bones.
>>
No. 972514 ID: fa2754

You don't want to touch this with your bare hands. Will your magic accommodate holing a bunch of little things?
>>
No. 972519 ID: b1b4f3

>>972513
Moisture? How do they keep the mold out?
Oh well grab some of dem bones dem bones dem slightly wet bones
>>
No. 972530 ID: 3ed3c3

Ooh, actually. Just a thought, but be careful when picking out vertebrae. You get the wrong section in the wrong place and the whole thing collapses.
>>
No. 972531 ID: 36784c

>>972513
Normally places like this would have some kind of guardian, right? You should be careful, you never know where something would jump out at you in here.
>>
No. 972533 ID: 7dd242

"Sorry, whoever's bone that was."
>>
No. 972565 ID: 365ffb

Maybe the moisture isn't water? Either way, you're probably fine. If there weren't any problems having fun with opinel you probably don't need to worry super hard about it. Just try to get a good spine and set of legs.
>>
No. 972570 ID: 8fab7a

>>972533
and
>>972514
>>
No. 972847 ID: c70ff4
File 159528241764.png - (146.07KB , 700x500 , 11-175.png )
972847

Casey murmurs a quiet apology to the owner of the bone she stepped on and approaches the pile carefully. Extending her aura, she scoops into the surface and tries to collect a decent variety for reconstruction.

Despite her care, the top of the mound shifts and clatters to the floor in a cascade of ancient remains. Casey winces while she waits the rattling to fade away, yet strangely it seems to get louder.
>>
No. 972849 ID: b1b4f3

>>972847
Looks like someone mustered up the backbone to confront you!
Tell them you have permission to be here! Try to get back upstairs to rejoin your guide.
>>
No. 972850 ID: 1a04af

Yeah, this is no time to get boned.
>>
No. 972853 ID: e7848c

>>972847
Don't look now, looks like someone has a bone to pick
>>
No. 972906 ID: 422cea

Anyone else feel a chill going down their spine?

...

Boner.
>>
No. 972907 ID: 36784c

>>972847
It’s getting louder because the bones are animating behind you! Quick, use your aura and whip it away!
>>
No. 972914 ID: 62e4df

You were invited down here, I'm sure they would have warned you if there were something dangerous down here. Still, you can't help but feel on edge. This place is kind of creepy.
>>
No. 972945 ID: 9fad0d

>>972847
Look's like Casey's about to enter the BONE ZONE.

Or rather, the BONE ZONE is about to enter her.

Sorry, not sorry.
>>
No. 972978 ID: c70ff4
File 159546902640.png - (150.43KB , 700x500 , 11-176.png )
972978

The rattle of bones echoes behind Casey and she turns curiously. A long rope of vertebrae snakes its way out of the dark, blindly reaching for her. She stumbles backwards with a yelp and lands in the bone pile with a clatter.

Instinctively, she whips out her hand and lashes at it with an aura tendril. The magic bats away the top third of the spinal column, sending bones rolling like dice into lost corners of the crypt. The remaining undead construct advances towards her, seemingly unaware of the attack. Casey blinks at it disbelievingly for a moment before feeling more rattling from the bone pile.
>>
No. 972983 ID: 094652

Calm down; you are the guest, they are the residents. Maybe they just want to play. Just calmly state you are here under the permission of their lord and you're here to get spare parts for Sir Graves' new body project.
>>
No. 972984 ID: b1b4f3

If it's ignoring your actions maybe it isn't here because of you.
Collect yourself and get out of its way. Try not to step on any more bones.
>>
No. 973006 ID: 365ffb

Get back up near the door and just... watch. Maybe it'll be something good! And if not, you'll have Opinel nearby to uh, assist.
>>
No. 973012 ID: 028f23

>>972978
Huh. Maybe it's a housekeeping construct.
Best bet's to distance yourself and observe. It might just be trying to clean up the mess.
>>
No. 973020 ID: adb916

Get back to the stairs, should be able to grab a bit of bones from there anyway.
>>
No. 973025 ID: fa2754

On your feet! Brush yourself off, scan surroundings. Is it just the one skeleton forming?
>>
No. 973026 ID: 36784c

>>972978
Call for Opinel! He’ll be able to call off whatever that is so that you don’t hurt it and it doesn’t hurt you!
>>
No. 973097 ID: c70ff4
File 159564123696.png - (194.68KB , 500x700 , 11-177.png )
973097

Casey scrambles out of the pile and up the stairs, scooping up a load of bones in the process.

She emerges back in the upper crypt, panting and flushed. She drops the small pile on the floor and glares.

Opinel pauses from his task of laying out the collected skeleton.

“What’s the matter with you?” The skull stares back impassively from its place on the floor.

“What was that down there? Why didn’t you warn me?”

“Warn you about what?” Opinel asks, his hand going to his sword.

She points, double fingered at the lower crypt. “Some kind of... I don’t know, I went to collect some bones with my aura and they started animating: they were coming at me!”

“That... shouldn’t be possible...” Opinel says slowly as he stands up.

“Wait, you said you were spell casting?” Graves remarks out of genuine surprise.

“Just some simple auramancy.” Casey points to the seals on her arms. “So I could carry things easier.”

“Ohhhhhh...” the skulls voice trails off and it clicks a non existent tongue. “That explains it: they must have been drawn to the mana.”

“You didn’t mention that when you sent me down there!”

The brief break in conversation allows the distant rattle of bones to echo up from the depths of the crypt.

“Uh, we might want to hurry...” Graves barks.
>>
No. 973128 ID: 028f23

>>973097
Oh.
I guess without the actual souls attached, they're just going to act like mindless undead.
We should go, then, yes.
>>
No. 973139 ID: fa2754

Would they have been given enough juice to completely form? Maybe Dog knight should lead and keep them at bay with pure physical means.
>>
No. 973164 ID: 3ed3c3

>>973097
Oh, Graves, if we get out of this, I am using you for a kickball.
Piece his body back together and get the Hell out.
>>
No. 973168 ID: b1b4f3

>>973097
Ok no more magic. Physical only.
>>
No. 973170 ID: 83bd82

Better ask Graves just how bat it is that Casey fed mana into those bones and what we're gonna be facing. We talking a few mindless self-assembling bones flopping about, seeking out her as a source of mana, a big Katamari ball of bones rolling up the stairs to run us over or some big-ass mis-matched bone horror rampaging up to drain Casey's mana?

Considering that pretty much all of Casey's attacks are magic based and thus the mana she gives off would end up fueling those self-assembling bone things down there if they came up here after her, she ought not to be on the front line. She should trade places with Opinel, since his purely physical attacks would not end up feeding the undead bones mana.

Opinel will stand guard at the archway while Casey hunts down and collects Graves bones. She can use her aura magic to carry Graves' bones, since adding more mana to him isn't a issue. (She could even use her aura to make a assembly frame to piece him together on the go.) She definitely should not use her aura to pick bones out of the piled bones, since that's gonna animate even more of 'em. Once all Graves' bones are collected, the assembly ought to be done on the surface, where it's safe.
>>
No. 973453 ID: c70ff4
File 159598185037.png - (127.34KB , 700x500 , 11-178.png )
973453

“You two go. I’ll hold them back.” Opinel draws his blade and steps forward.

“...Really?” Casey cocks an eyebrow at the knight. “The exit’s right there. You can just come with us.”

“This isn’t some noble sacrifice crap is it, Opinel?” Graves accuses, “He’s always doing this! Needlessly throwing himself into danger for no reason!”

Opinel sighs and leans on his sword. “Hey, I haven’t done a noble sacrifice in like... four hundred years. Besides: its a bunch of half-formed skeletons. They have no strategy or tactics, they’re just hungry. Plus I have the high ground and a bottleneck. Barely qualifies as a last stand if you ask me.”

Casey points out, “Yeah but didn’t we just talk about not exerting yourself too much?”

The knight rubs his forehead, kneading the line of stitches. “Well what do you suggest? Any more magic and we’ll have the whole crypt awakened.”

“You guard our rear then. Graves, do you have enough here to put yourself together?”

“I can make do.” The skull admits, “Might take a minute.”

The crack and tinkle of bone in the basement galvanizes them. “Fine, let’s get it done. Opinel, guard the door.”

The soldier turns back to the portal just in time to slap a stray femur back down the stairs. “Alright, have at you.” He barks back at the undead in challenge, but without much enthusiasm.
>>
No. 973460 ID: b1b4f3

Well, he can definitely handle that.
Help gather any bones that might still be missing.
>>
No. 973475 ID: 365ffb

Yeah he should be good for at least a little while. Try to assemble Graves nice and quick, do your best to limit your mana use so you don't stick out like a giant beacon screaming "eat me!"
>>
No. 973476 ID: fa2754

>>973453
Sorry Casey, seems like you're just going to have to get your hands dirty and reach into another bone pile
>>
No. 973500 ID: c70ff4
File 159608066179.png - (185.23KB , 700x500 , 11-179.png )
973500

“Okay, what’s left?” Casey picks up the skull and hurries over to the wall of bones.

“Errrr... shoulder blades, annnnd some of the arm bones. The smaller one, I don’t know the name for them.”

Casey finds a hollow space filled with shoulder blades and traces with her finger as Graves seeks out his missing skeleton.

“There, third one back.” The mouse shoves her arm in up to the elbow and feels around, pulling out a wide, flat slab of bone.

A few minutes of work later and she plops the remaining pieces down on the floor.

“Not enough for a proper tail, but I suppose I’ll ‘live’” Graves mutters. Various smaller bones start to rattle and drag themselves into position, forming hands, feet, shoulders, knees and spine. The undead slowly threads himself together with bits of magic until he’s standing for the first time in centuries. “That... oh that’s much better. Fates I’ve missed having legs.”
>>
No. 973502 ID: fa2754

>>973500
Make sure everything's aligned and get your stretching in, Graves. Casey, how's Opinel?
>>
No. 973503 ID: b1b4f3

What would be needed for a proper tail? We might have time still... depends on how bored Opinel is.
>>
No. 973601 ID: c70ff4
File 159624642937.png - (137.64KB , 700x542 , 11-180.png )
973601

“ We better use them, come on.” Casey waves towards the exit. “Opinel, you coming?”

The knight parries a few enthusiastic vertebrae and shrugs. His sword dances in the dim light as they make their escape, keeping a flurry of tiny bones at bay.

“Why are they so active? You said this shouldn’t be possible!” Casey asks as she stumbles back into the daylight.

“I don’t know. Normally the horde is content to sleep until called into battle. The bargast is supposed to keep them sustained.” Opinel sheathes his blade and joins her.

The various bones clatter to a halt at the entrance of the crypt before retreating.

“That must mean the bargast isn’t able to sustain them.” Casey kicks at a stray finger bone and frowns. “If this keeps up, we may not have to wait a year before there’s a whole undead army on our doorstep.”
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No. 973602 ID: e7848c

>>973601
Well that's concerning news. That means we'll need Graves all the more
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No. 973603 ID: cdabe3

oh dear, that's not good. we should probably bring this up to rodwin when we have a chance
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No. 973604 ID: 8fab7a

>>973601
Odd. Mmmaybe the issue is something different?

How do you communicate with 'the horde'? Normally, like. I mean, it's... still individuals right? Not some singular massive amalgamated conglomeration of souls.

... right?
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No. 973606 ID: b1b4f3

>>973601
Well... let's hope the leads we have pan out.
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No. 973608 ID: 8959f6

Well, this is bad news. Better bring it to everybody involved in the project of finding out what happened to Lord Hekal ASAP, as well as to Rodwin's attention. We're all gonna need to adjust our plans and timetables.

In the mean time, blocking up the crypt exits and sealing up any sleeping undead not in the crypts would be prudent, so they can't just wander out on their own, off the bargast and down into Moot Point.

Who or what could take a measure of the barghast's mana level and output as well as the mana drain of the sleeping undead hoard? We need that plus what the normal, stand-by levels of those are to figure out how much time we got left 'till they get hungry enough to wake up fully. Also to figure out how much of a mana deficit it's running. We might be able to delay things by adding more mana from outside, but we need a idea of just how much would buy how much time.
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No. 973610 ID: b1b4f3

Didn't we have a deadline of less than a year anyway?

...wait a minute. If Rodwin can't control the wild undead maybe that's why he's looking for Lord Hekal? In order to prevent an undead invasion?
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No. 973611 ID: 028f23

>>973604
I think the problem is that these are the bits of those people that aren't still connected to their souls.

Just like Graves wasn't connected to all of his bones. They were sleeping like he was, but separate from his body. They're supposed to stay dormant till they get reattached, but obviously they're not, so we have a bunch of mindless, soulless body parts flopping around looking for mana.
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No. 973612 ID: 8fab7a

>>973611
But there must be an animating force that's starting to leech ambient magic. I presumed it was spirits because, uh, what else would it be? They'd need the Barghast's magic to keep existing. If that's starting to not feel like enough they might just... start lashing out, instead of seeking, well, reasonable alternatives or going back into slumber.

Maybe the Barghest's supply still IS enough, even, it's just... well, richer stuff suddenly became available. So right now they're just acting a bit like magnets, going straight for the greatest attractor ('eyyy).

Maybe while still in slumber modus.
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No. 973845 ID: c70ff4
File 159658985352.png - (129.78KB , 500x700 , 11-181.png )
973845

“Casey!”

They turn to see a red robed figure waving at them from across the clearing. A gate opens and the figure hops through with a clap of thunder.

“Hey, I’ve been scrying all over. Ashe sent me by to give you a hand.” Mariana of the spirit guardians chirps brightly as the gate closes. “Sir Opinel, right?”

“Yes, I believe we met briefly before you went hunting the grave-fleas.”

“Such amazing constructs. We’d never heard of naturally occuring parasitic constructs like that.” She offers a hand to shake, “Mariana Rue-Larrey: guardian sender.”

“Well met.” They shake and Opinel grins, “You have good timing. We... have concerning news.”

“Oh?” The bird cocks her head.
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No. 973846 ID: e7848c

>>973845
Commence info dump. Casey, share notes. Graves, take your body through its paces
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