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File 158984216935.png - (661.04KB , 800x800 , 1.png )
967024 No. 967024 ID: 9f39fb

It's humid today, and the river's flow toward the sea feels more sluggish than usual.

Your name is Olvir. You're a mirelop. And today, after 20 years, you're finally going to leave your tiny swamp town.

You're going to learn magic.
Expand all images
No. 967025 ID: 9f39fb
File 158984222683.png - (465.92KB , 800x800 , 2.png )

You've spent the last several months carefully preparing for this, trading this and that for more valuable items until you finally got enough to buy yourself some more useful stuff. After all, you're coming of age. No-one's expected to look out for you anymore. And you're determined not to let them.

There's an hour left before you can leave town.
No. 967026 ID: 9f39fb
File 158984228518.png - (451.38KB , 800x800 , 3.png )

The town square is still open, though it's quiet. You've got enough currency to get something from each of the stalls, if you choose.

No. 967028 ID: b1b4f3

Check Inventory.
No. 967029 ID: 2aa5f0

check inventory.
No. 967030 ID: d6551e

check out the middle stall!
No. 967031 ID: c1eaac

check inventory!
No. 967033 ID: 0fae41

Check kitty.
No. 967034 ID: 9f39fb
File 158984941542.png - (108.52KB , 800x800 , 3_1.png )

No. 967035 ID: 9f39fb
File 158984950363.png - (257.13KB , 800x800 , INVENTORY 1.png )


(1) Charmed satchel
(10) Basic rations
(5) Bone crests
(9) Wooden crests
(1) Small hammer
(1) Stormcoast map
(1) Bedroll
(1) Woven poncho
(1) Leather gloves
(1) Lucky charm
No. 967036 ID: b1b4f3

I guess the crests are money?
Check status, then let's browse the stalls.
No. 967037 ID: 9876c4

check stalls with a blatant disregard for our status
No. 967041 ID: a34b8a

lets take a look at that scroll
No. 967047 ID: 110d61

What's special about the satchel?
No. 967049 ID: 0fae41

How much is a lucky charm worth?
True, fluffy tails lose their lustre when you all have one. But that stall full of shiny things doesn't! Go there now, while you still have funds!
No. 967058 ID: 9f39fb
File 158985631578.png - (292.12KB , 800x800 , STATUS 1.png )

No. 967059 ID: 9f39fb
File 158985635623.png - (197.21KB , 800x800 , 5.png )


A while ago, you nabbed a map from the town hall of the Western Stormcoast - the area you're smack-bang in the middle of, and eager to get lost in. You've been unfurling it so often that the ribbon has worn a little, so it keeps opening up of its own volition in your satchel.

This satchel is the one bit of magic you've been unequivocally allowed to keep. It's charmed so that it's thrice as big on the inside, while the weight of all the objects inside is halved.
No. 967060 ID: 9f39fb
File 158985639847.png - (181.53KB , 800x800 , 6.png )


As for the lucky charm, it's worth too much to sell. You'd never part with it, anyway. You've had it since you were six years old, and you're certainly not about to let go of it now.
No. 967061 ID: 9f39fb
File 158985644827.png - (681.47KB , 900x900 , MAP.png )

You give the map a final once-over, feeling your excitement and impatience building again. You still haven't decided where you'll go first. It's what makes it so thrilling. Grinning to yourself, you roll it up again and tie it, placing it carefully in your satchel.

(You can check the map anytime by typing [MAP CHECK], or any variation of that!)
No. 967062 ID: 9f39fb
File 158985649501.png - (257.11KB , 800x800 , 4_3.png )

Whoever's managing the charms stall seems to have ducked out for a minute, so you wander over to the middle stall and get the attention of the shopkeeper, who reacts with surprise when he sees you.

"Afternoon, Olvir," he says, placing his hands squarely on the table and looking at you with some suspicion. "I thought you'd be gone the moment you officially turned twenty."

"Still an hour to go, Rudy," you reply, a little nervous. "Can I see your price list?"

Rudy's eyes narrow. "You got anything for me in return?"

"Bone and wood crests." He gives you a distrustful look, and you shrug. "I've been working hard!"

"Don't touch what you're not buying," Rudy grumbles, fishing out a piece of paper from behind his stall. You take it from him and squint down at the page.

Rudy's Apparel
Spectacles - 1 WC
A pair of goggles charmed to fix any vision problems the wearer may have.
Hair ribbons - 1 WC
Set of 4 thin, silky ribbons.
Scarf - 2 WC
Warm knitted wool scarf.
Simple shirt - 3 WC
A simple shirt made of porous material.
Simple pants - 3 WC
Simple pants, woven from breathable fabric.
Hooded cloak - 3 WC
Long, dark cloak made of crocodile leather.
Fur-lined hooded cloak - 5 WC
A crocodile leather cloak with a warm fur lining.
No. 967064 ID: 9876c4

Pants, Basic Cloak
No. 967065 ID: b1b4f3

How many wood crests is a bone crest worth? ...which town are we at? Shin Da? It's either that or Slillituph.

Hmm, get a cloak.
No. 967072 ID: 9f39fb
File 158986203276.png - (145.69KB , 800x800 , 7.png )

Rather than having a hierarchy of value, crests have value based on what the material is, how rare it is in the area, and what it can be transmuted into.

Wood is abundant in Shin Da, so it's less valuable.
Bone is a little harder to get, and can be transmuted into more complex things, so it's more valuable.

If a person wants to transmute their crests into goods, they can take them to a mage-merchant. The more crests of a single type that a lop has, the more variety they have in what they can have transmuted. Traders will often re-sell what they transmute.

The other types of crest are metal and mineral, which are much rarer in these parts and would have more value than wood and bone.

Anyone can make crests very easily, so there are no lops that suffer in poverty, and no lops may abuse the economy - because there isn't one!

And yes, we are in Shin Da.

These are all things you, Olvir, are thinking about right now. You've been staring into space for a while. You'll stop when you're ready.
No. 967074 ID: f8f0e9

hair ribbons but only if they're rly pretty
No. 967081 ID: 094652

Buy a tail scarf for the road.
No. 967084 ID: d63ea8

I'd say go for a shirt, some pants, and the cloak.
It really pays to have an extra set of clothes when travelling on the road.
No. 967085 ID: c1eaac

hooded cloak!! and spectacles!
No. 967094 ID: 6e6f32

Grab the Spectacles. A little price for a little short sightedness.
No. 967116 ID: cadb36

Spectacles and hair ribbons. Might be worth coming back for the cloak but I want to see the other stores first.
No. 967118 ID: dbd72b

specs, ribbons, pants.
We got a poncho, so we're probably better off getting a hat later than a cloak
No. 967136 ID: 9876c4

everyone trying to sanitize my main man's mane, mang.
No. 967139 ID: ec5060

Buy the spectacles, tip for useful information
No. 967215 ID: 9f39fb
File 158994775347.png - (259.89KB , 800x800 , 8.png )

The spectacles immediately catch your eye, so you pick those out alongside a simple cloak to protect you from the elements. You cast a longing glance at the hair ribbons, but you want to see what's in stock at the other stores first.

"Four wood crests, if you please," Rudy grunts, and you fish them out of your satchel, placing them on the table. Seemingly satisfied, the shopkeeper hands you your folded cloak and your spectacles. You shove them into your bag.

[SPECTACLES added to inventory.]
[CLOAK added to inventory.]

You now have 5 BC and 5 WC.
No. 967216 ID: 9f39fb
File 158994782048.png - (289.83KB , 800x800 , 4_1.png )

A look over your shoulder informs you that the charms stall is manned once again, and you rush over there, excited to greet the owner. She sees you coming and smiles.

"You're not off already?" she remarks wryly. "Changed your mind, I suppose."

"I was born late in the day," you reply gravely, and she nods with mock solemnity.

"A tragedy, I'm sure," she says, making no effort to hide the grin on her face. "What do you want from me, guy?"

"Oh, just your price list, please, Ivanna," you casually respond. She gives you a long look.

"Alright," she finally says, pushing a carved piece of wood toward you. Her stock is engraved on it with glowing gold text.

Greenmages Charms and Spellcraft
Beast repel - 2 WC
Repels any wild beasts in a 500m radius. 5 uses.
Lure - 2 WC
Attracts any wild bests in a 500m radius. 5 uses.
Health potion - 2 WC
Restores 5 health.
Simple water rune - 3 WC
Upon activation, causes the wearer's body and clothing to repel water for 1 hour. 8 uses.
Truthstone - 1 BC
Glows bright blue when someone tells a lie. Only works while being held by its owner. Uses 1 point of energy every 5 minutes.
Stealth rune - 1 BC
Upon activation, causes the wearer to become entirely invisible. Uses 2 points of energy at a time.
Glamour - 3 BC
Upon activation, can change the wearer into whatever form they choose, up to 50% larger than the wearer's original body. Lasts 12 hours at a time. Uses 1 point of energy every 4 hours.
No. 967218 ID: b1b4f3

Health potion, Truthstone.
No. 967220 ID: 9876c4

Stealth rune lets us avoid 3 encounters a day. That's wonderful.
I too would like a helf potion.
No. 967222 ID: 094652

health and stealth
No. 967243 ID: c1eaac

health, truthstone, and stealth!
No. 967245 ID: 6e6f32

Health Stealth and Lure.
Lure can easily provide 5 days of food, and if used cleverly can be just as good as repel.

Ask where she learned to craft these charms. You want to learn magic.
No. 967248 ID: 9c48ac

Y'all are sleeping on the amazing that is the Glamour. Disguise ourselves as ANYTHING for half a day? Sure, is expensive, but it's worth it!

Also, yes, health and stealth.
No. 967355 ID: 9f39fb
File 159004290261.png - (275.71KB , 800x800 , 9.png )

You're pretty familiar with Ivanna's stock, but you're still excited by the new things she has listed.

"I'll definitely need a health potion," you say slowly, still scanning the page. "And the stealth rune, please. Maybe the truthstone? Mm, but the glamour is so cool..."

"Try not to buy me out," Ivanna warns you. "I shouldn't be selling to you anyway. You're lucky you're of age."

"Yes! Yes, I am of age. I'm twenty." You look Ivanna in the eye. "Which means... maybe you could give me some pointers on where to start with magic? Teach me how you make stuff like this, perhaps?"

An uncomfortable look comes across Ivanna's face, and she averts her gaze. "Look, kid..."

"I'm of age," you remind her insistently, and she sighs.

"I can't. Your mother will have my ass if I start you on that again," she admits guiltily. You groan, and she gives you a sharp look. "Don't you disrespect her wishes, now. And don't ask that of me."

"Ivanna, I'm going on my pilgrimage in half an hour," you protest. "Wouldn't it keep me more safe if I just had some basic knowledge? Why not learn a little from someone I know and trust?"

Ivanna looks at you for a long time. You can't figure out her expression. It seems somewhere between irritation, sadness, and pride.

"I'll be honest, Olvir. I don't know." She folds her arms. "But you're still your mother's child, and the rules she's set for you apply to all of us. I'm sorry." She leans in, dropping her voice to a whisper. "If I could've taught you, I would have. I know you'll make a great student."

You sigh heavily, reassured by Ivanna's words despite your rekindled anger at your mother - at this whole town - for keeping you from your greatest passion. "Thanks," you mumble. Ivanna leans over and rubs your shoulder, a kind expression on her face.
No. 967356 ID: 9f39fb
File 159004296698.png - (170.64KB , 800x800 , 10.png )

"When you come back, you'd better show me some good stuff," she says firmly. "But until then, I'll let a couple of my things go missing. Your mother doesn't have to know." A familiar, cheeky grin spreads across Ivanna's face once more. "I won't say no to tips, though."

You nod, unsuccessfully fighting back a grin as you hand over two wood crests and a single bone crest. She takes them and then pointedly turns around, looking exaggeratedly at anything but her stall as you nab a stealth rune and a health potion.

[HEALTH POTION added to inventory.]
[STEALTH RUNE added to inventory.]

You now have 3 WC and 4 BC.
No. 967357 ID: 9f39fb
File 159004300297.png - (341.63KB , 800x800 , 4_2.png )

"Well, looks like there's nothing here for me," you loudly announce, surreptitiously shoving your items in your satchel.

"I'd never sell to you anyway," Ivana declares at equal volume, whirling around to face you. "Hurry up and go on your journey, scoundrel. You'd better not show your face around here again!"

You grin at her, and she winks before shooing you away. You turn around and walk off, heading for the last stall in the square, whose owner is staring intensely at you.

"Olvir," she says, as soon as you're within earshot. "You shouldn't cause trouble with that old lady. She'll put a hex on you."

"Oh, I know. She terrifies me," you respond politely. "Thanks for the warning, Kiah. You got a price list?"

She nods and taps a sheet of parchment on the opposite end of her table. "Right here."

"Thanks." You reach out for it, but Kiah grabs your arm, shaking her head.

"It's sharp. I wouldn't pick it up."

You stare at her. "Did you sharpen it?"

She nods again. You decide to just peer over the table at it.

Kiah's Gear
Bone dagger - 2 WC
A light dagger with a wooden handle. Inflicts 3 points of damage.
Bone spear - 2 WC
A durable spear with a sharp bone blade. Inflicts 3 points of damage.
Shield rune - 3 WC
A rune that upon activation will shield the user from physical blows. Must be held or worn on the skin to be used. Negates up to 3 damage points at a time.
Quartz dagger - 1 BC
A heavy dagger with a wooden handle. Inflicts 4 points of damage.
Quartz spear - 1 BC
A formidable spear with a white quartz blade. Inflicts 4 points of damage.
Earth dagger - 3 BC
A charmed bone dagger that draws power from the earth to slice, stab and poke more effectively. Inflicts 5 points of damage, +1 in wooded and rocky terrain.
Water spear - 3 BC
A charmed bone spear that draws power from water to attack, defend, and find its target more effectively. Inflicts 5 points of damage, +1 in wet terrain and near/under water.
No. 967358 ID: b1b4f3

>she sharpened the parchment
Uh... does she have a compulsion?

Shield Rune, Quartz Spear. Or dagger, whichever you're better with. A spear is generally a better idea due to increased reach but skill matters more.
No. 967359 ID: 9f39fb

Olvir has very little skill in any sort of combat, so whichever weapon is chosen (and used), he'll get better at. :)
No. 967367 ID: dbd72b

Hm. Spear is a better combat weapon, but our goals aren't to go around killing shit, we're here to learn magic. And a dagger makes a better tool, and synergizes well with the stealth rune we got.

And since "magic is cool" is our core philosophy here, we should get the magic dagger. Also, woods/rocks seems more useful than the water, though i wonder how swamps count (both?)
No. 967372 ID: 6e6f32

The Shield Rune is a literal life saver.

Were going on a journey but we didn't pack a knife. We need one. Preferably a quality one.
The Quartz Dagger should do.

As for a primary weapon...
>...attack, defend, and find its target more effectively...
Since we have no weapon expertise, that line alone sells me on the Water Spear.
No. 967373 ID: 9c48ac

>Sharpened parchment

Anyway, not dying is good, so get the shield rune. A knife is an important tool, but a basic bone one should do for that. (Assuming she can make change.)
Get a quartz spear for any actual combat we might need to do, and save the rest of your money. Presumably we'll need some wherever we're going.
No. 967376 ID: ce39da

Something tells me we want to stick to spending whatever's most valuable in the current region, and save what's not worth as much currently for someplace down the road where they're worth more. However, since this is our first time stocking up, we'll want to splurge a bit.

Invisibility runes won't help much against stuff that hunts by sound or smell, so we want to buy the Shield Rune first with our WC. Next, we want a weapon that can provide some immediate oomph for our first leg of the journey, so buy a Water Spear. Finally, buy a Quartz Dagger with our remaining BC - it's useful as a tool, and - oh, don't forget to ask if it's easier to be stealthy with it. (Maybe we can even turn it into Mineral Emblems, in a pinch.)

... Come to think of it, why do we have a hammer? We don't have a tent and pitons, so... What, is it for alchemy? Either way, spend your last WC on the Hair Ribbons, assuming they're the closest thing to rope or string these stalls have. Having something to tie stuff with can be quite handy.
No. 967412 ID: c1eaac

shield rune, quartz dagger, and water spear!!
No. 967583 ID: 9f39fb

A small correction - I wrote last update that we had 3 WC and 4 BC, but I accidentally put that we have 4 WC in the image itself. Sorry about that.
No. 967584 ID: 9f39fb
File 159020943479.png - (283.99KB , 800x800 , 12.png )

After spending a moment looking over the prices, you gingerly step away from the parchment and take a look over the weapons themselves. Kiah's unblinking gaze is starting to make you nervous.

"Um, shield rune," you begin, and she slides it towards you. "And, uh..." You take a look over the daggers, with no real clue what to watch out for. You're sure Kiah's weapons are all fine, but you don't know what their individual purposes are, and you're embarrassed to ask. Your eyes end up falling on a long white dagger, its heavy blade bright in the afternoon sun.

"Yeah, I'll grab that one," you decide confidently, pointing at it. Kiah raises an eyebrow at you, but pushes it toward you anyway.

"Just those?" she asks, leaning over the table and speaking in a hush. "You do know what's out there, right?"

You swallow. "...What's out there?"

Kiah looks you dead in the eye. "Gnomes," she hisses, with such gravity that it completely short-circuits your brain.

No. 967585 ID: 9f39fb
File 159020943690.png - (224.45KB , 800x800 , 13.png )

She nods once, a grim expression on her face. Frantic now to get out of this conversation, you glance over at the spears and pick one at random.

"Th-that one. The, uh, spiral-looking thing."

Kiah seems satisfied by this, and plucks the spear out of its barrel, whirling it once at her side. To your surprise, the long shaft retracts into itself as it moves, and by the time it's upright in Kiah's hand again it's only a little longer than your dagger. She whirls it again the opposite way, and it extends back out to its full size.

"Backwards to retract it," she explains gruffly, shoving it towards you. "Forward to extend."

You take it from her, tilting it in curiosity. After a moment's hesitation, you twirl it backwards in your hand - and it retracts, fitting neatly into your hand. Upon closer inspection, you can see that the spiral engraved in the shaft is actually a wave.

"Thanks!" you say earnestly, all your hesitance forgotten in the excitement of this new toy. "Here, let me just..." You dig around in your satchel and pull out all your remaining crests, save for a single bone crest. You place them on the table and don't stick around to watch her put them away as you grab your stuff and hurry away, haphazardly throwing your weapons in your satchel.

[SHIELD RUNE added to inventory.]
[QUARTZ DAGGER added to inventory.]
[WATER SPEAR added to inventory.]

It's been dawning on you that you've got everything you need.
No. 967586 ID: 9f39fb
File 159020943987.png - (391.33KB , 800x800 , 14.png )

The sun's where it was when you were born, twenty years ago.

It's time to go.
No. 967587 ID: 9f39fb
File 159020944267.png - (219.35KB , 800x800 , 15.png )

Your last bone crest is still in your hand, and after a moment's thought, you figure you might as well get something a little less practical. You look back at Rudy's stall, and notice those hair ribbons you were thinking of coming back for. You also notice he's ducked away for a minute. You make some considerations.

You've already said goodbye to everyone. You're not planning on coming back. Might as well make some trouble on the way out.

You run as fast as you can toward Rudy's stall and bodily crash into it, rattling the entire structure. You slam your final bone crest on the counter and grab the hair ribbons and a pair of pants, scrambling to your feet and breaking into a sprint as you hear him yelling from a few meters away.
No. 967588 ID: 9f39fb
File 159020944693.png - (399.58KB , 800x800 , 16.png )

Ignoring Rudy's shouting, you stuff everything in your satchel and run back through the town square, cackling with glee as you bound up onto the bridge and leap off onto the other side.
No. 967589 ID: 9f39fb
File 159020945028.png - (471.66KB , 800x800 , 17.png )

The sounds of the town you grew up in quickly grow distant as you run through the trees, delighted just to be free. It feels right to be here, running just because you can. A stream crosses your path and you leap from stone to stone through it, using your tail to balance and landing with only a slight stumble onto the other side.

Finally, you stop to take in the world around you. The trees are the same, and the river still runs as slow as ever - but it's behind you now. You're on your own.

[HAIR RIBBONS added to inventory.]
[PANTS added to inventory.]
No. 967590 ID: 9f39fb
File 159020945364.png - (320.52KB , 800x800 , 18.png )

Taking a deep breath, you decide you'll head the way you were already running. The southern region of the Stormcoast is spread out before you, and you're the only one who gets to choose where your journey will take you now.

Check commands:
No. 967591 ID: b1b4f3

Did you drop your glasses or just take them off?
Access MAP. Let's choose a destination.
No. 967592 ID: d63ea8

[Check Status]
Hopefully we're happier this time.
No. 967593 ID: 887abe

map check! while it’s up, can you tell us what you know or have heard about nearby areas?
No. 967602 ID: 9f39fb

The spectacles were added to Olvir's inventory! You'll have to specify in a suggestion if you want him to put on any specific items of clothing.
No. 967604 ID: 9876c4

Plants out, Pants out.

I don't think we need specs for running.
Let's head in the direction of the nearest settlement, and look for clues along the way.
No. 967613 ID: ce39da

[Check Inventory] for a refresher on what our final starting inventory is, then [Check Map]. Do you know where you are on it?
No. 967638 ID: 6e6f32

Hmm. We should probably bind the shield rune to our-self. Perhaps fashion a necklace and put it under our tunic, or bandage it around an arm. It's not useful if it's stuck in the bag.

Likewise, the spear should also not be kept in the bag if we are traversing the wilds. That and we need to get a feel for it. Best way to do that I think would just be to fiddle with it whilst we travel.

Check the Map. I'm feeling West to Marge. There's no unfamiliar terrain along the way until we near our destination, and we got to see The Ocean!
No. 967765 ID: 9f39fb

Having some trouble uploading things in the right order - apologies for any inconvenience!
No. 967766 ID: d63ea8

((No worries!))
No. 967767 ID: 9f39fb
File 159037796759.png - (663.27KB , 800x800 , MAP 2.png )

You didn't run for too long, but you're definitely out of Shin Da territory for good now.

Knowledge of the outside world is notoriously limited in your home town, but that hadn't stopped you from asking as many people as you could about the major cities on the Western Stormcoast. There had been a few mirelops who'd gone on their pilgrimages recently enough that you'd been able to coerce some information out of, and you've got it all committed to memory.

Tarnano is a tiny lushlop outpost, and there are only a few lops that actually live there permanently. It mainly serves as a stop-over town, but since its residents are previously nomadic lushlops, it tends to be a great hub for information. You'd like to go there someday, but doing so now would defeat the purpose of your journey. You want to see things for yourself. Still, you're reassured that you can go there if you ever feel stuck.

Slillituph is the nearest mirelop city, and as a kid, you used to dream of going there to study magic. It's regarded by the entire Western Stormcoast as the epicentre of magic, and those who learn there are said to be some of the best mages in the country. You'd been planning to go there yourself until you were told by the Shin Da mage in no uncertain terms that a town like Slillituph would not accept anyone into its gates but student magicians who'd already begun their training. Looking at it on the map, you just feel embittered. Maybe you'll come back to it later. You're kind of sick of mirelop towns right now.

Nagis, from what little you've heard, is a sprawling hub for travelling lops and generations of aqualops alike. You're incredibly excited to go there, which is only bolstered by the fact that most of the people who knew about it told you to avoid it if you value your personal belongings. You've heard that lops of all kinds will venture through there, and you're determined to meet as many of them as you can.

You weren't able to find a lot of information on Pirkuss, but after speaking to one of the elder mirelops in town you learned it's a town for artisans and craftspeople, populated mostly by bosklops and cloudlops. The most interesting thing going on there, apparently, is the gambling. Those who don't live there don't tend to stay long.

The nearest city to the south is Marge, a sealop town made up primarily of coast-dwellers. It's quite a welcoming city, bustling with events and trade, and those who've been there spoke of it quite highly to you. As much as you're thrilled by the idea of such a huge community with so much happening, you're also a little intimidated by it, coming from such a quiet and tiny town. You're not sure what to expect from it, but you're certain that such a highly populated town would have something to offer in terms of learning magic.

Finally, Sevand lays to the south of you. You weren't actually able to find out any information about it, other than it being a springlop town with a reputation for being very guarded. You've been determined for a while now to go there and find out what exactly their whole deal is. You have a sneaking suspicion that they've got powerful knowledge in the walls of that town, and you're certain that if there's any place that you could find a proficient magic teacher, surely it would be hiding in this tight-knit community.
No. 967768 ID: 9f39fb
File 159037797373.png - (175.12KB , 800x800 , 19.png )

While you're stopped, you figure you should equip yourself for the trip ahead. You pull the pants out of your bag and tug them on, then take out the shield rune.

You consider making your hair ribbons into a sling to hang the rune around your neck in, but after a quick look around, you realize some of the long stems sprouting off the nearby ferns would be a lot more sturdy and durable. You spend a little time weaving stems together, until you finally have a pouch big enough to hold the rune.

You slip on your new sling, carefully placing it over your clothing so that it doesn't touch your skin and activate itself. You don't see the point in using it unless you're actively in danger, and besides, you're tough. You can handle yourself just fine.

After a moment's thought, you fish the spear out of your bag, too. Now you can handle yourself just fine.

The only thing left to figure out is whether to go west or south.
No. 967769 ID: 9f39fb
File 159037798018.png - (353.07KB , 800x800 , INVENTORY 2.png )


(1) Charmed satchel
(10) Basic rations
(5) Bone crests
(9) Wooden crests
(1) Small hammer
(1) Stormcoast map
(1) Bedroll
(1) Woven poncho
(1) Leather gloves
(1) Lucky charm
(1) Hooded cloak
(1) Spectacles
(1) Health potion
(1) Quartz dagger
(1) Hair ribbons (in pocket)
No. 967770 ID: 9f39fb
File 159037798972.png - (333.47KB , 800x800 , STATUS 2.png )

No. 967775 ID: d63ea8

Hmm. As tempting as it would be to go to Marge right off of the bat, we might want to start with somewhere a bit smaller.

Lets head towards Slillituph, it'll be really cool to see some mages in action.

((Also yay! Olvir's delighted! Let's keep it up!))
No. 967783 ID: b1b4f3

Silly lop, you don't have those anymore.

Go south. Let's investigate the mystery of Sevand.
No. 967793 ID: c1eaac

hmm, let's check out sevand! and equip our spectacles perhaps.
No. 967795 ID: 9f39fb

((Silly lop creator. Never write quests while sleepy.))
No. 967797 ID: b34040

Check out Sevand. If they don't let you in, you've lost only a little time, and you can go to Marge. Put on your ribbons before you go into town, but not before. You don't want to get them dirty.
No. 967801 ID: 9c48ac

Wait... That map goes from tundra to rainforest. What's the scale, here? Is it going to take days or weeks to reach any of these cities?

They won't even let you in the gates? As in, of the city? Wow. That is advanced snobbery.
I really want to become a famous mage without ever going there, just to spite them.

I mean, I guess it might be better to lose all our stuff now, rather than later, but never would be better yet.

I somehow doubt any mage you find here would be willing to teach you. There might be other things of interest, but it probably won't further your main goal. So maybe later.

Despite the intimidation factor of going straight to a big city, is probably our best bet. It doesn't hurt that it's a welcoming city, so we can get accustomed to the way of the urban in a friendly environment.
No. 967802 ID: 9876c4

Agree with sevand, in the interest of map completion.
No. 967816 ID: ce39da

Start with Sevand, and if that's a bust, go straight to Marge. I want to see all there is to see on this map before going off it. And yeah, equipping the glasses might help us notice trouble before it pounces on us.
No. 972080 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159463067710.png - (496.81KB , 800x800 , 20.png )

For a while you wander aimlessly through the wooded wetlands, considering your options. You're tempted by the idea of heading straight to Marge; it's practically made for mirelops on their first pilgrimage. But something about Sevand intrigues you. If they're that secretive, they're probably hiding something. The more you think about it, the more convinced you are that there's definitely an insanely powerful mage hiding in there. That's where you would hide, if you were the most powerful mage in the Crest.

Of course, you have no idea if there's actually an all-powerful mage in Sevand. You don't actually know if there's any mages at all. But the pull of the mystery is just too strong.

Emboldened by fantasies of surpassing a wizened old springlop in magical ability, you look to where the sun's slowly sinking and start to follow the glow through the trees. Sevand is to the south-east, and while you don't have a compass, you know you can just keep right of the sun and look for grasslands. On foot, it shouldn't take more than a day or so.
No. 972081 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159463069447.png - (660.27KB , 800x800 , 21.png )

Trudging through the wetland forest, your thoughts are mostly preoccupied with the excitement of being somewhere new. Within the hour, the familiar willows and cattails start to thin out as you get closer to the rainforest. You do your best to keep to the drier patches, skirting around pools and streams flanked by strange trees whose roots push them up from the mud. The trees are getting thicker and taller the further you walk, and you wonder how difficult it would be to clamber up one of the strange trunks wrapped tightly in roots.
No. 972082 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159463072446.png - (548.18KB , 800x800 , 22.png )

No. 972083 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159463074849.png - (552.54KB , 800x800 , 23.png )

Curiosity gets the better of you. You dump your bag on the ground without a second thought and start climbing, using the roots as footholds. It's so easy! This thing is so tall and you're already halfway up it without even jumping! You could probably quite easily use this as a lookout, or a hiding place.
No. 972084 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159463076444.png - (446.35KB , 800x800 , 24.png )

No. 972085 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159463079417.png - (408.19KB , 800x800 , 25.png )

Oh fuck.
No. 972087 ID: b1b4f3

Go back down! Get your dagger, and your shield rune out. Hope it doesn't actually attack you and stays in its tree. Try not to get separated from your pack.

Any idea what this thing is?
No. 972100 ID: e51896

usually hissing is a warning sound that animals make when they want others animals to leave them alone or face consequences. Just climb back down and leave this thing's territory and it wont attack you. Dont forget your bag.
No. 972184 ID: 62e4df

Back away slowly quickly.
No. 972185 ID: 6e6f32

Yeah those are deffo climbing claws not hunting-
Down, Down! Get Down!
No. 972322 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159481065699.png - (311.28KB , 800x800 , 26.png )

Alright. Slowly. Slooooowly. You're going to climb down the tree very slowly, and you're going to get away from this extremely mean looking creature, and
No. 972324 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159481073341.png - (694.88KB , 800x800 , 27.png )

No. 972325 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159481075854.png - (549.95KB , 800x800 , 28.png )

You scramble to grab your bag just as the creature lands with an earth-shattering THUMP behind you, its hissing quickly turning to a deep, rumbling gurgle of rage. You push yourself to your feet and dart into the rainforest, frantic to get away from the creature crashing through the underbrush at your back.
No. 972326 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159481077865.png - (524.42KB , 800x800 , 29.png )

A cold wind rushes past the back of your neck as the creature swipes its massive claws at you, right as you duck beneath a low branch. You speed away, leaping and bounding wherever the terrain allows, and you feel like your heart is beating so fast it's about to push right out of your chest. You can still hear it following you. You've never been this terrified in your life. You put all your faith into your agility and keep running as fast as you can.
No. 972327 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159481080677.png - (703.34KB , 800x800 , 30.png )

The beast lets out a gurgling roar and you realise it's right behind you-
No. 972328 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159481082672.png - (244.36KB , 800x800 , 31.png )

It leaps upon your back and sends you both sprawling into the moss and dead leaves, and you shout in agony with a mouth full of dirt as its claws rip into your back, cutting deep.

Your vision blurs, and the last thing you hear before blacking out is the creature's primal bellow of triumph, and the distant echoes of a strange, dissonant song.
No. 972329 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159481084458.png - (66.32KB , 800x800 , 32.png )

No. 972330 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159481085462.png - (141.54KB , 800x800 , 33.png )

When you eventually wake up, you feel like you got in a fight with one thousand swamp rats. It's not a pleasant feeling, and you elect not to open your eyes for more than a second, quite satisfied to lay where you are.

You can, however, still hear music. It strikes you as odd, hearing a slow whining instrumental melody in the middle of the rainforest. Groggily, you start to realize that you're not on the forest floor anymore. You're lying on what feels like your bedroll.

And most importantly, you're pretty certain you're not dead.

[STATUS checks are currently limited.]
[INVENTORY and MAP checks are currently unavailable.]
No. 972345 ID: 5c39f2

Hey guess what you are?
A weak, pained goggle is in order!
No. 972347 ID: 8fab7a

Hear hear!
No. 972432 ID: 6cc1d3
File 159486050298.png - (234.36KB , 800x800 , 34.png )


In order to celebrate not being mauled to death by a territorial nightmare beast, you award yourself a short, quiet groan. As a treat.
No. 972433 ID: 9876c4

Ur a groan boy.
No. 972436 ID: 6e6f32

Bandages. Music.
Someone has helped you.
Can you see them?
No. 972437 ID: b1b4f3

Make a note to yourself that when something that big is chasing you, your stealth charm may be a good thing to use.
No. 972438 ID: 8fab7a

Oh yes. The eyes. They need open.
No. 972468 ID: 9c48ac

Also, the shield rune.
No. 972469 ID: 6e6f32

Make a note that when alone in the jungle, equipping your stuff instead of putting it all in a bag on the ground, might be helpful.
No. 972960 ID: 08b8d8
File 159541893789.png - (206.18KB , 800x800 , 35.png )

For a while you allow yourself to lay there, processing what just happened. You're not sure what that creature was. You'd heard plenty of stories about vicious, territorial beasts living in the less-inhabited parts of the rainforests and wetlands, but you were never warned about anything like that thing.

You think to yourself that it's possible things might have gone a little better if you'd remembered to actually use all the stuff you bought back home. In your panic, you'd kind of just forgotten about them, and now you're paying the price. You grimly resolve to learn from this.

It's this resolve that makes you realize that you're not even wearing your forgotten shield rune at all, nor a shirt. You can feel bandages across your back and shoulder, slightly easing the burning of the gashes there. You certainly don't remember bothering to pack anything of that sort.

Figuring out what's happening seems like a good idea.
No. 972961 ID: 08b8d8
File 159541895040.png - (406.93KB , 800x800 , 36.png )

You open your eyes and see the thick rainforest canopy above you, though no sunlight shines through now. There's light to your left, though, and you blearily look over to see a bonfire about 10 feet away, with three lops sitting around it. One of them is playing an instrument you've never seen before, and seems to be responsible for the slow, keening song you've been hearing since you came to. The other two are talking quietly to each other, and when one of them notices you're awake, she looks relieved and starts to get up.

"Hello! Don't move around too much!" she calls out, walking over to you. "Stay right there. I'll come to you."
No. 972962 ID: 08b8d8
File 159541896428.png - (303.83KB , 800x800 , 37.png )

You watch warily as she approaches and sits on the ground beside you, looking quite pleased. "It's good to see you awake," she says, smiling. "Don't worry, we're friendly. Are you comfortable?"

"No," you croak out, and she nods sympathetically.

"I understand. If you'd been conscious, we would've given you one of our healing potions, but... well." She gestures to you laying prone on your bedroll, then grimaces apologetically. You stare back at her, still a little dazed, and after a brief pause she continues.

"I'm Rook'na. I'm the one who bandaged you up. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them."

[STATUS checks are currently limited.]
[INVENTORY and MAP checks are currently unavailable.]
No. 972965 ID: 3ed3c3

What happened to the monster?
No. 972969 ID: 8fab7a


Also, your stuff. You don't mind paying them back for the rescue, but hoo boy please tell you you didn't lose your gear.
No. 972970 ID: b1b4f3

Where's my stuff, and what the hell was that thing?
No. 972973 ID: df76b1

You're not a mirelop. You're my size, but you've different.
No. 973175 ID: 08b8d8
File 159572720148.png - (178.42KB , 800x800 , 38.png )

Despite how groggy you're feeling, you still have a lot you want to know. Starting with the most pressing of issues, you clear your throat and ask, "Where's my stuff?"

"Oh, uh, my companion over there put it all in your bag," Rook'na replies, glancing around for it and then grabbing something out of the darkness of the bushes nearby. "Here, I'll put it right by you." She places your satchel down by your arm and you open it with one hand, pawing around frantically until you're satisfied that you can feel your lucky charm in amongst everything else you bought. It seems like everything's here.

"Thanks," you mumble. "Um... do you want me to... pay you back somehow?" Rook'na peers at you cluelessly. "For rescuing me from the..."

"Ah! The greever? No, no. It was honestly kind of an accident," Rook'na sheepishly explains, gesturing at the lops at the campfire. "We were using our music to ward off any greevers thinking of attacking us, and I suppose yours didn't want any musical accompaniment while mauling you." She grins at you, but you don't laugh. Shrugging to herself, she sits back and crosses her legs. It's quiet for a minute as you process what she's said.
No. 973176 ID: 08b8d8
File 159572723041.png - (307.08KB , 800x800 , 39.png )

"So, the... greever?" You look at her for confirmation, and she nods her approval. "What the hell was it? Is it gonna come back for me?"

"Mmm... I don't think so," Rook'na replies ponderously, idly tracing a pattern in the dirt. "They're territorial, but they're filter feeders. That guy just wanted some bugs and some alone time."

"They don't eat lops?"

"Nope. We're too crunchy." You grimace as she chuckles to herself, apparently very pleased with her own joke. If all those teeth aren't for eating lops, then you guess the claws aren't solely intended for attacking them either. Maybe they use them to attack trees and stuff, too. Satisfied with your sleuthing, your mind wanders back to something else Rook'na said about greevers.

"Do they hate all music?" you ask, and Rook'na considers it for a moment.

"Yes and no," she answers eventually. "They're less likely to attack you if they know you're nearby, so it's good to make a lot of noise in general. Snake rules, y'know?" You nod. You've lived in the wetlands long enough to know about snake rules. "But they especially don't like high-pitched noise. So, we play stuff that makes them leave us alone."
No. 973177 ID: 08b8d8
File 159572726231.png - (300.16KB , 800x800 , 40.png )

The idea of such a terrifying beast being driven off so easily by weird sounds is absurd to you, but it seems to have saved your life, so you choose to believe it. You look at Rook'na to thank her, and notice for the first time her horns and her short little ears.

"You're not a mirelop," you say slowly, your tone of uncertainty making it a question. "You're my size, but you're different."

"...Yes?" Rook'na looks a little offended. "Have you never seen a cloudlop?"

Embarrassed, you avert your eyes. "I didn't want to assume," you say defensively. "I thought only bosklops had horns."

"...Yes?" Rook'na looks a little offended. "Have you never seen a cloudlop?"

Embarrassed, you avert your eyes. "I didn't want to assume," you say defensively. "I thought only bosklops had horns."

"They have antlers, sometimes. Cloudlops have horns." She looks at you thoughtfully. "I thought most mirelops were pretty worldly types."

Begrudgingly, you decide it's only fair that she gets to learn from you, too. "It's my first pilgrimage," you explain, still avoiding her eyes. "I've never been outside of my village before, and we've only ever had lushlops visit. I plan on seeing everything there is to see, but it hasn't even been a day since I left."
No. 973178 ID: 08b8d8
File 159572728378.png - (312.58KB , 800x800 , 41.png )

"Everything there is to see, huh?" Rook'na repeats, almost to herself. "Hmm. Hey, I didn't catch your name."

"Oh, uh... I guess it's Olvir." You see concern on her face and hastily add, "I know my name! It's just that in my culture, our names change once we go on our first pilgrimage. Usually they become whatever people end up calling us, or a combination of that and the previous name. But, um, just Olvir is fine."

"Alright, Olvir." Rook'na pats your arm. "Well, there's a little extra health potion in your bag there. Take that, and when you're ready, come talk to us. We might have a way to help you see everything there is to see."

She winks at you and gets to her feet, strolling back over to the campfire and leaving you to your own devices.

[STATUS and INVENTORY checks are now available.]
[MAP checks are currently unavailable.]
No. 973181 ID: 62e4df

Well, doctor's orders. They gave you that potion for the express purpose of using it now, so take that advice. Then get yourself dressed properly and head on over and find out who "us" is.
No. 973189 ID: 037ed9

Let's drink that potion, do a status check, then go talk to the others by the fire. I'm curious what they're up to.
No. 973190 ID: b1b4f3

Status check, then drink potion, and see how your status changes.
No. 973195 ID: 8fab7a

No. 974907 ID: 9c6850

Continue thy journey!
No. 975703 ID: 78edbd
File 159929277891.png - (305.46KB , 800x800 , STATUS 3.png )

No. 975704 ID: 78edbd
File 159929279275.png - (212.97KB , 800x800 , 42.png )

The vial of health potion is sitting on top of your neatly folded shirt in your satchel. You grab it, take out the cork and gulp the potion down. The edges of your wounds start the strange, nauseating process of crawling back together, and you can't help but cringe at the sensation until it's finally over.
No. 975705 ID: 78edbd
File 159929280306.png - (305.76KB , 800x800 , STATUS 4.png )

No. 975706 ID: 78edbd
File 159929281817.png - (280.02KB , 800x800 , 43.png )

You sit upright and stretch, testing your body. You're still very tired, and your muscles ache somewhat, but you don't feel any gashes on you anymore - or any pain where they used to be.

You pull your shirt out of your bag, pleasantly surprised to find that though the fabric was clearly torn, it's been stitched back together quite well. You wrangle it over your head, and once you've got that figured out, you give standing up a try. It's a lot less of an effort than you thought it'd be, but you're still a little sluggish as you walk over to the group of lops talking among themselves by the fire.
No. 975708 ID: 78edbd
File 159929286596.png - (384.25KB , 800x800 , 44.png )

As soon as you're in earshot, the lop next to Rook'na looks up and gives you a small, polite wave. You wave back, and the others stop chatting and turn to look at you.

Suddenly, you're unsure of yourself. You've heard that some lops have specific greeting customs, but you never actually learned what they are, and you weren't prepared to be standing in front of three lops whose customs you have little to no knowledge of. Rook'na seems like she's perfectly comfortable with you, but what about the other two? What should you say?
No. 975721 ID: ce39da

Well, saying hello, introducing yourself, and "thanks for saving me and sorry for the inconvenience" seem like safe bets. If you're unsure beyond that, ask them directly about it - even if these don't go over well, I'm sure Rook'na will cover for you. Oh- and if they call you out for seeming unenthused, truthfully confess that you're still a bit groggy.
No. 975731 ID: e51896

Maybe give some gifts? like the hair ribbon or a few crests?

Actually, what is our inventory status? might want to make sure we didn't drop anything after getting attacked.
No. 975734 ID: dbd72b

Rook'na at least knows about other kinds of lops, and you're kinda young and new. Just use whatever customs are appropriate for your town. If this causes a fuss, apologize and explain yourself.

If you have to ask about what a better greeting is, do so, and use that one.
No. 976034 ID: 4b5651

Greet them as is customary for your town, yeah!

You won’t look worldly, but you’re not and there’s no reason to give off that impression when instead you can just be willing to learn!
No. 976117 ID: 0e149a
File 159989871859.png - (372.13KB , 800x800 , 45.png )

You take a deep breath, and rehearse your words a little in your head before finally breaking the silence.

"Hi," you cautiously begin, glancing around at everyone's faces to check their reactions. "Um, thanks for saving me. Sorry for the inconvenience."

"Don't worry about it," the lop next to Rook'na cheerfully replies, resting her chin on her hands. "Your little shirt is just so cute. I made sure to stabilize it for you. So, you're welcome."

"Oh! You're who fixed my shirt?" As you look more closely at her, it makes sense. Now that she's not leaning back, you can see she's a fair amount taller than the other two, and certainly a lot taller than you. Her squat, round ears are just like those of the lushlops that would occasionally visit your town, and the tassels and purposeful rips in her clothes match their fashion styles, too. You wonder if she's a seamstress by trade.

"Thank you so much," you say earnestly, feeling a little more comfortable knowing that at least you've not done anything that lushlops specifically hate. "I don't have any crests, but I have, um..."

"You don't need to give me anything, kid. It's cool. Just tell everyone you meet that Dove Holloway's the genius who saved your life and your look." She gestures to the log the other lop is quietly sitting on, regarding you with reserved curiosity. "Come sit for a while, if you're not too tired."
No. 976118 ID: 0e149a
File 159989875901.png - (291.91KB , 800x800 , 46.png )

Part of you definitely feels like just going back to your bedroll and falling asleep for the next twelve hours, but there's another part of you that's increasingly excited about hanging out with other lops you've never gotten to meet before, so you head over to the other lop and smile politely at them as you sit at their side. They don't tower over you quite as much, and their short tail and stiff ears tell you this one's probably a springlop. They give back a less-than-enthusiastic smile, then turn to fiddling with their musical instrument. You peer inquisitively at it, leaning in closer to get a better look.

"What's in there?" you ask, reaching out to touch it. The lop looks at you with such sudden animosity that you immediately draw your hand back and place it firmly by your side, clamping your mouth shut.

"It's a viola," the lop quietly informs you, sounding rather annoyed. "It is very delicate and helped save your life. Don't touch it."

"Oh, be nice, Glib. I bet he's never seen one before," Dove interjects. "Have you, Olvir?"

"Uh, no-"

"It's basic manners not to touch other people's belongings without asking," Glib replies crossly. "Whether you know what they are or no."


"This is his first time outside of his village, so he's probably never seen a viola case before," Rook'na chimes in. "Also, we still haven't ruled out a concussion, which could interfere with his memory. You took that potion I left with you, right, Olvir?"

"Yeah, I-"

"He's definitely seen a string instrument before," Dove said confidently. "I've been to a million mirelop villages. They all have music n' stuff. Just different instruments. You don't need a concussion to feel curious. I mean, Olvir, do you feel like you have a concussion?"
No. 976119 ID: 0e149a
File 159989877617.png - (222.65KB , 800x800 , 47.png )

No. 976120 ID: 0e149a
File 159989878908.png - (348.04KB , 800x800 , 48.png )

"Good! See, he's fine," Dove cheerily dismisses the issue. "Now, Olvir. Rook'na was telling me that this is the first day of your pilgrimage. Where you headed?"

You wait for a good few seconds, glancing around at everyone to make sure you're not going to get interrupted. Once you're absolutely sure, you finally reply, "I'm going to Sevand. I want to see what's hidden there."

"Sevand? That one trade town that never lets anyone in?" Dove probes, and you nod. "Why there, of all places?"

"They let some people in," Glib corrects her, conspicuously shifting their viola case out of your reach. "Just not us."

"Barely anyone else, either."

"I want to learn magic!" you pipe up before anyone can talk over you.

A sudden silence falls over the rowdy group before you've finished speaking. Even Glib is looking at you, which is starting to make you a little nervous.

"You do come from a mirelop village?" Rook'na questions you. Confused, you nod your confirmation. "They didn't teach you magic there?"

"No!" you reply, suddenly outraged. "They didn't teach me anything because my mother thought the odd couple of accidents I had when messing with magic as a kid would end up killing me, and if she says something doesn't go, the whole village knows it. I only had one friend who let me watch her practice magic, and she never came back from her pilgrimage. It's a wonder I even know about magic at all!"

"How did you have magical accidents if you weren't allowed to use magic?" Glib points out. You sigh, annoyed with their attitude.

"Other people still used it in the village," you explain exasperatedly. "When you're a kid, you put random stuff in your mouth, including half-finished charms thrown away by students. I didn't even get cursed! I would've understood if I'd eaten a hex charm, but no, apparently turning blue for a month is enough reason to ban me from magic forever."

Dove looks at you thoughtfully, and you notice Rook'na has a slight grin on her face. Glib is watching the two of them, seeming to be in the middle of assessing their body language.

"You know," Rook'na eventually says, looking you in the eye, "if you really want to learn magic, there might be a way for you to be taught by the best of the best. Crown-level education, I mean."

"Crown-level...?" You try to recall what that means, and why it feels like it's so important. You remember being told as you grew up that the name of your country is the Crown of Storms, and that there was some kind of prince that helped manage nation-wide matters. "You mean the best teachers in the whole country?"

"Better than the best," Dove agrees. "The Archmages. Have you heard of them?"

"Yes," you lie, extraordinarily eager at the idea of there being mages that are so powerful they get to have a whole extra word tacked onto their occupation. "Are they looking for students?"

"No," Dove snorts. "They're way too lazy to do it themselves."

"We've been hired to spread the word along the coast that the Archmages are looking for five pupils to be taken to Cemerit, trained, and then take their place so that they can retire," Rook'na explains. "We're balladeers, when we're not saving lops from the perils of the southern rainforests."

"They specifically want lops that don't know any magic," Dove says pointedly.

"Well, actually," Glib interjects, "each individual has to have specific traits. Our job was not just to advertise, but to carefully select each and every candidate for the positions available."
No. 976121 ID: 0e149a
File 159989880652.png - (232.54KB , 800x800 , 49.png )

You're awestruck by your good luck, and it takes you a while to figure out how to even respond. The others, strangely, don't talk all over each other like they were just moments ago. They're quiet, though they all seem to be having a conversation with their eyes that you're not privy to and frankly don't really care to be.

"Could you... tell them about me?" you hesitantly ask, looking at Dove, who you now assume to be the leader of the group. "I think I would be a really good candidate."

Dove is silent for a minute, her face thoughtful before she speaks. "Tell you what," she begins. "I'll strike you a deal. You're on your pilgrimage, right? Gonna go exploring the whole Stormcoast, if my Rook'na is correct?"

"I am, dear," Rook'na says sweetly. You listen raptly as Dove proceeds.

"How about this: if you can find four lops in your travels that are suitable for the Archmages, you can be the fifth. That's a guarantee. If you take this offer and go with the other four candidates to Cemerit, you will become an Archmage. The only conditions are that it has to be done by wintertime, and you can't let the Archmages know that we're not involved. We've got more interesting things to do than a recruitment drive."

She doesn't break her gaze, staring you down as she grins. "So, are you in?"
No. 976125 ID: f8fa51

Some people say "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", but this is important: Why do they want trainees who don't know any magic?

Are you sure this isn't some practical joke? It's not likely, seeing as they would have had to come up with it between themselves on the spot (they didn't know about your desire until just now), but neither is getting to be an archmage.
No. 976126 ID: b1b4f3

Specific traits? Hold on, find out what those traits are. Even if you *did* agree and find the four lops, the Archmages could always bar you from entry, and these lops could have spent some of their free time finding a fifth. Or they're lying and only need four! Then again, you could retaliate by spilling the beans about them offloading work onto you. Maybe I'm being paranoid.
It just seems too good to be true. How difficult is this mission? Do an estimate in your head about how long exploring the region would take-- can you easily finish your tour by wintertime? Also, how are you supposed to deliver the candidates to them, and won't the candidates also need to keep this arrangement secret? Have they made this deal with anyone else, which would mean you've got competition? Aren't they putting themselves at risk here as well, by giving this job to you? What if you fail, what will they do then? Ask for more time?

...too good to be true... like a stroke of luck? Is this what your lucky charm does? I guess you should accept if that's the case. Lastly it occurs to me that you don't actually lose anything by accepting and carrying out this mission. It's a little extra work, but you're traveling anyway and by searching for candidates you'll be meeting interesting people and learning things. If you fail, then all you're missing out on is the chance to be an Archmage. Unless these lops decide on a penalty for you.
No. 976127 ID: 8fab7a

Well... yeah? Duh? It sorta sounds like the offer of a lifetime!

And even if it doesn't pan out it sounds like it'd be an adventure.

Uh. Will things be okay for them if it doesn't pan out?
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