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973331 No. 973331 ID: f56a2b

You did it. Against all hope, against the stars themselves, you did it.
What did you do? You can't remember clearly; you are at odds with yourself and all of your elements are against each other.

Previously: https://questden.org/kusaba/quest/res/961754.html
Wiki: https://questden.org/wiki/Blue_Star
Discussion: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/132526.html

This quest contains scenes of graphic violence.
Expand all images
No. 973332 ID: f56a2b
File 159588051767.png - (415.03KB , 800x600 , 002.png )

Your fire rages, its final direction to simply LIVE! even if it would mean burning yourself with it.

Your waters crash against the confines of your vessel, some manner of soulless husk. They are in turmoil; a master must divert their chaos into flow.

Your air rattles in its cage, turning stale and begging for release. Soon it will rot, and take the vessel with it in its despair.

Your earth stays true to its convictions. It knows no master, and so will not act; to sink into the ground for eternity would suit it just fine.

This will not do. The four must know their master, their animating spirit. You have but a smidge each of Water, Air, and Fire to your constitution, but that is just enough to have conscious conviction to command. This is all you need for your existence, but without Earth you will never hold sway over a physical vessel... and an existence unsecured is no existence at all.

Before, you had a master. You were a slave to the dreamer, but now he is awake, and his world is yours. His last act was to command you to bring Earth into your grasp. This will come to pass, surely, but... what of the rest? And what of you? When you assimilate the elements into yourself there will be more of them than there is of you, for now anyways. You must play them against each other; manipulate their natures to make them do your bidding.

You must have them do your work for you, as you rule their actions and, over time, bind them -- and any other primal energy you may capture -- into your Animus.

You must take up the mantle of first amongst equals.

You must become chief in the ways of the Prime Material Plane.

You must become a Prince.

As such, you must decide what is relevant and irrelevant to your rule.

What shall be given primacy in exchange for loyalty, and what will be left to prove itself worthy later.

Take stock of the four great elements and decide which you will hold close and which will remain weak.
No. 973333 ID: f56a2b
File 159588059512.png - (126.25KB , 800x600 , 003.png )

By making one element a powerful ally, and keeping the others weak, you can assure your rule. You will enjoy the full strength and weakness of your strongest element, as well as a strong ability to control the material it is associated with.


The Golem:

You invest yourself in Earth, giving you control over physical earth and total immunity to invocations; magic (arcane or divine) can not affect you directly. This does not extend to evocations, however, so you can still be scorched, crushed, zapped, or attacked by a summoned being. Anything that would try to change your nature magically is a no go.

You have access to a novice degree of Earth magic, being able to shape, direct, and manipulate earth. As a nascent Prince, your Earth will turn against you if it is influenced by a stronger, older Earthen influence. Such is the nature of young earth obeying the old.


The Djinn:

You disperse your power into all but solely Air, giving you control over the wind and ability to communicate and influence all living things; beasts can be pacified and mankind can be charmed. You can also leave your vessel behind to take on an incorporeal form, and even take over another vessel if you can reach its insides! Even if the vessel has greater Earth, Fire, or Water however, you must use your statistics instead. You are vulnerable when outside of your native vessel in this state.

You have access to a novice degree of Wind magic, being able to shape, direct, and manipulate air. Being so invested in Air, you are vulnerable to a stronger influence of said element, but not nearly so much as Earth would be. Air may be chaotic, but it still follows in its own wake.


The Ifrit:

You link your power into little more than pure, burning Fire, giving you control over flame and a source of immense physical power. Your vessel's strength is at the peak of, and perhaps may even exceed, that of ordinary mortals. This strength does not come free; when you push your limits your vessel will suffer for it.

You have access to a novice degree of Fire magic, being able to shape, direct, and manipulate flame. The nature of flame being to simply grow and burn, your will cannot be usurped, controlled, or altered, whether by magic or by other elemental influence. On the other hand, such willpower should not be taken for granted: when your vessel is physically neglected, your Fire's power will be limited.


The Nymph:

You decide to rule primarily by conscious will alone, giving a great deal of trust to Water. You of course control the fluid itself, but you also have supernatural perception and insight as a result of the element. You are all but immune to magic, and unlike Earth you can even understand spells that interact with you. Your insights, however, are mostly internal: while you have amazing understanding of your self, none of this talent extends to communication with other spirits or souls.

You have access to a novice degree of Water magic, being able to shape, direct, and manipulate liquid. While your adept control of your mind's flow makes the subtleties of magic all but powerless against you, you can be overwhelmed by brute force if under enough influence. While you have no special ability to communicate with Air, you can analyze the water of a subject by touch, getting a read for their mind. Only the dullest will not notice you doing this, however, and only the freshest of corpses will have enough water intact for meaningful analysis.
No. 973334 ID: f56a2b
File 159588062850.png - (32.51KB , 800x600 , 004.png )

By distributing your power you will appease all the elements, but enjoy the full and true support of none. Your rule will be secure -- which is the important part -- and you will perhaps benefit more from a lack of weakness than you suffer from a lack of unique strength.


You decide to evenly empower all four elements. Your vessel is tough and its mind sharp.

You have one point remaining to invest, however, with some significance:


The Adept:
You invest an additional point in one of the four elements, unlocking somewhat stronger influence but with no additional downside. That means power for Fire, empathy for Air, sense for Water, or endurance for Earth.


The Druid:
The vessel's previous soul may be gone... but a fragment remains, in the knife he carried with him wherever he went in life. This knife can be folded into your rule, making for a powerful and subtle tool wherever you go.


The Blood Prince:
A sword was being carried by the vessel when its master left. This sword is attuned to a fragment of another being's soul, and like the knife can be usurped and turned into an aspect of your rule. It will not be nearly so subtle, but can make for a very powerful weapon... and, of course, your martial skill with your bonded weapon will be remarkable.


The Deprived:
A skull is in the vessel's backpack, containing a piece of someone's remains. The remains have been gnawed on until all that is left is but a scrap of animus, but it is deprived and tormented. Such darkness could help you gain power, but hunger can turn inwards as well...
You will gain another element, the Deepest Hunger, as a satistic.
No. 973335 ID: f56a2b

Vote for which vessel type you would like to incarnate as first. These statistics are fully mutable, of course, and if you climb in this world you may reach a point where you look down upon all of them.

If Adept is chosen, all "Elemental Primacy" votes will go towards choosing its +1.

Thank you, and please have fun.
No. 973338 ID: e7c7d3

I vote for the Golem and the Druid
No. 973342 ID: f56a2b

Please note, you are only choosing one! The two categories are there to separate the single element focused choices from the choice to balance your elements, which comes with a additional minor bonus.
No. 973344 ID: e7c7d3

Oops! Golem then
No. 973345 ID: ce39da

No. 973358 ID: 0fae41

Awaken, my hunger.
(Failing that, an Ifrit would be strong.)
No. 973364 ID: d63ea8

Golem, with a strong foundation, you can build up to new heights.
No. 973374 ID: 6e6f32

Oh my, what multitudinous horrors such hunger could bring...
No. 973464 ID: 6c81cc

Air! Invasion of the body-snatchers.
No. 973593 ID: f56a2b

Good afternoon, wherever you are! Voting on the starting vessel will be open until 12:00 AM Monday CST. After that, any tie will be arbitrated and the quest will update.
No. 973623 ID: 014f5b

I vote druid or blood prince
No. 973624 ID: d63ea8

I'll change my vote over to Druid, they seem interesting as well.
No. 973723 ID: f56a2b
File 159645851793.png - (107.25KB , 800x600 , 005.png )

You've deliberated long enough. To be an Animus is to act, and this vessel will not hold forever without Earth... you have drawn up your plan, and you're putting it into motion.

You need to diversify your power base, not only to ensure the loyalty of your elements but to be secure from external threats as well. It occurred to you that it would be worth it to go even further, to take in an outsider and empower it to assist you...

You turn your attention to the skull, more specifically the void behind its gnawed, shrinking spiritual remains, and it turns its attention back. It would love nothing more than to be a part of you, and join in your rule. It can behave. It will be loyal. It just does not want to be left behind.

You trust this insidious force the least of all the elements, and that's counting Air, a born traitor and sympathizer if there ever was an aspect that would go along with outside influence.

A Prince doesn't rule by trust, however. He rules by power. What power could you hold over this beast? He begs for scraps now, but where will he be when you come into real power? You do not need such ambition in your property.

You instead turn to one of the other scraps of spirit near the vessel. The dreamer must have used this knife of his quite a lot: it even still sings of his name and believes itself to be part of him. You reach out to the tool, and bind it to your Animus.

Earth recognizes you as its master the moment you empower it at all, and is all too happy to follow your rule. It cares not one whit how you arrange the others.

Air is pleased to see you give it an equal stake, but it begs you accept its council and empower it further. At least, it frets, do not consider giving that stupid knife any more influence than you would give to your own breath.

Fire is appeased with its newfound influence, and between its fair treatment and the strength in numbers of your league... it decides it is not worth it to challenge your decisions. Today.

Water is all too happy to have its flow back, and be spared from chaos. It is wary of your decision to bring the knife into your fold, however, and some current in its mass still tries to convince you to reconsider.

You disregard their obviously selfish desires.

You reach out to the fledgling spirit in the knife looking for its old master, and give it a taste of power.

It barely has enough presence of mind to recognize you. That is fine for now.

No. 973725 ID: f56a2b
File 159645856275.png - (57.30KB , 800x600 , 006.png )

Enough rumination. Earth is secured, your rule has been partitioned, and it is time to get a grasp on the situation...

You're lying on the road, between the dwelling of a witch (who just zapped this vessel's previous occupant out of this world) and a cage with a prisoner in it (who was used as a conduit for said zapping).

The vessel's right arm has a physical wound, but it's nothing your Fire and Earth together can't compensate for. It won't heal unless you give it a rest, though.

The witch remains in their cottage, and that wretch remains in their cage.

There's something wrong here... your Water reminds you: the area is warded, and your Air cannot communicate with the wards up.

Whatever you decide to do, you're going to do right.
No. 973726 ID: f56a2b

Earth is "Awakened".
Your vessel's constitution is robust, and magic courses slowly through its veins. Your stamina has quite a deep reserve, and you can sustain level 2 power augmentation from Fire without deterioriation.

AIR: **
Air is "Awakened".
Your communication with other life is quite clear. You can often bring across your point if not convince them, and you understand their emotion and body language very well.

FIRE: **
Fire is "Awakened".
Your vessel's drive is very strong, and you hardly need to warm up before doing your best work. You can push your abilities at will, acting with a great deal of power and speed, and due to Earth's power, this will not deteriorate your vessel.

Water is "Awakened".
Your vessel's mindflow is very self aware, and it knows the difference between your own thoughts and the influence of others. Your senses are clear and your awareness is quite good. You even have a bit of a sixth sense for the magical and otherworldly.

Magic Knife is "Fledgling".
The magic knife is basically unaware, and has no real influence or ability. With your empowerment, however, it is now empowered to embrace its nature as a knife. It will never dull, and it unconsciously tries to reinforce any cutting, prying, or piercing it's used for.

When extra power is captured, it can be distributed to any of these stats.
No. 973763 ID: 014f5b

Use fire on the knife to heat it and cauterize your womb with the flat of the blade...after all a knife can be used for more than the obvious, if you're particularly desperate, it can be even used for surgery.
No. 973764 ID: f56a2b

The wound was already attended to in the past, I should have remarked. Unfortunately, I did not give enough to Fire to enable myself to manipulate flame.
No. 973772 ID: 0fae41

Time to mess with wards and steal their magic power for your own. The witch is an unwitting aid in your ascension, right?
No. 973777 ID: d63ea8

This witch caused the swift downfall of your Vessel, best to disempower them before confrontation. Test the Knife's strength against their wards.

Keep the skull with you, while it may not serve as binding for your Animus, it might be worthwhile for a companion.
No. 974292 ID: f56a2b
File 159711065461.png - (210.46KB , 800x600 , 007.png )

You have it now: the wards will go first, freeing your air and empowering you!

You feel *something* examining you, a strange presence-- you start acting evasive on instinct and as you slip through the trees, a shining red ray narrowly misses you!

You don't know how it would affect you if it hit the vessel now that the dreamer Haradsson has been removed, but you aren't keen on finding out.
No. 974293 ID: f56a2b
File 159711066785.png - (42.61KB , 800x600 , 008.png )

The ward surely does have power of its own, because while your knife slips right through the ropes, it's a struggle to bring your arms to cut it. None the less, you get the job done.

There is but a scrap of appreciable power left in these. Strange, how they could hold so much back with so little power of their own... you certainly couldn't do what they did without great ability.

[You have recovered a miniscule amount of power from the warding bones.]
No. 974294 ID: f56a2b
File 159711069114.png - (534.74KB , 800x600 , 009.png )

A moment to let you access your Air and take stock of things...

You have destroyed the wards, and the trees are now crowded with the spirits of hunger. You feel a sort of piercing cold, but you aren't being destroyed or paralyzed by the spirits, not yet anyways. Had you opted for a composition of elements with minimum Fire and Earth, this would be a far more pressing danger.

The prisoner is yet unaffected by the spirits... curious, but one less problem to deal with would not have hurt. It has a glowing eye symbol on its head, and as it stares in your general direction you feel that perverse examination wash over you. Stronger water would allow you to understand this feeling better.

There is no movement from the distant witch's dwelling.

You make a conscious decision to keep the skull around. Perhaps it will make a companion of sorts.

Your Air is infiltrated and numbed by the spirits around you, but your Awakened Water lets you recognize that it isn't your own influence, and your vessel succesfully resists it.

Consider your next moves carefully. Do you approach the prisoner, or the witch's cottage? Do you run for it? What should you do? How will you do it?

Come now, the hunger speaks from within the skull. Those scraps you got from the wards are nothing to you, but they would mean so much to me! Even if you don't get much out of them yourself, I have a great talent for getting every last drop out of the barrel, and I know how to stretch those resources. I can still be useful to you even if I'm not a part of your vessel proper!
No. 974298 ID: b1b4f3

Sure, give the Hunger skull some scraps.

Remember, the prisoner is a relay for spells. If you can harvest their essence do so, otherwise avoid them.
No. 974300 ID: d63ea8

Agreed, such a minor amount of power would be negligible to us. Better to fortify this companion and build a rapport.

If the prisoner is the relay, than a sufficient enough distraction might break the witch's connection to it. Circle among the trees, avoiding the further rays, and break the next bone ward along the line. With the Hunger flowing into their territory, the witch will need to focus on their personal defense.

Once the second ward is down, observe the prisoner from a sheltered position, does it maintain the same instinct to examine us?

If that instinct is gone, we should approach it.
No. 974303 ID: 0fae41

Sure thing, hunger! I have a feeling this is the start of a beautiful relationship.
Prisoner's closer than the other ward, so check him out.
No. 974377 ID: 014f5b

No. 977003 ID: 913dff

Do make sure the Hunger you give the power to is the skull in your pack, and not the spirits in the trees. You might be able to tell them apart from yourself, but telling them apart from eachother could be a different matter.
No. 977026 ID: 6e6f32

Destroy the Skull
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