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File 159943361193.png - (454.02KB , 900x700 , 00.png )
975777 No. 975777 ID: a8ec2e

This is a reboot of the original Eth Quest. No prior knowledge is required, and this will likely be a lot better. Enjoy!

First thread
Expand all images
>>
No. 975778 ID: a8ec2e
File 159943386169.png - (133.58KB , 900x700 , 01.png )
975778

You find yourself adrift in a vast nothing. Consciousness slips in and out of grasp, like flotsam and jetsam rocking on the waves of your cerebral cortex.

Your mind grasps loosely at concepts of ego and self, but find no hold, even as you become aware of the comfortable warmth surrounding you growing suddenly cooler. A dull longing for the feeling to return tugs you towards waking, quite rudely.
>>
No. 975779 ID: a8ec2e
File 159943403851.png - (67.94KB , 900x700 , 02.png )
975779

In a few moments you will wake up in the Tower of the Stars, the royal palace. You will be lying in a bed near the top of the tower. The smell of the bed's owner, your lover, is already filling your mind; once you wake, you will forget ever having been in the vast emptiness of tonight's sleep.

Do you want to give in and let yourself wake up?
>>
No. 975780 ID: 8fab7a

Linger a moment.
>>
No. 975781 ID: d32d73

a few more minutes can't hurt. stay in bed and chill
>>
No. 975783 ID: a8ec2e
File 159943471816.png - (168.21KB , 900x700 , 03.png )
975783

You attempt to hold on to the nice emptiness, but it proves ephemeral.

Your name is Eth. You are lying in a very large and very soft four poster bed. Morning light is filtering into the room, but you're not really processing anything beyond the confines of this nice bed right now. It smells wonderful. You grasp at the spot next to you, but find a warm dent in the sheets, and a complete lack of felines of any sort. It appears you are alone.
>>
No. 975784 ID: bb78f2

Listen groggily for any noise that she may be nearby, probably give a look for those noises that you'll probably hear. If you're still comfy and don't want to get up, you don't have to.

Those sheets look wonderful why would you get up. Hope they're just going to a late night chamber pot visit and coming back to bed. You should be able to get warmer by wrapping more of the thicker blankets around you until they returns.
>>
No. 975785 ID: 470289

Perfect chance to investigate your lovers room for any secret diaries or something you can rib them with.
>>
No. 975786 ID: f56a2b

Lie down, bury yourself in the covers. Lay on your lover's vacant spot and enjoy the warmth left behind. Let yourself doze off again, waiting for them to return.

Well, you're awake. Sit up and get your bearings.
>>
No. 975787 ID: ff3732

Try to fully awake, but remain in the bed.
Unless you can remember a good excuse for you to be up and about for some important reason.
Who are you exactly, Eth?
>>
No. 975788 ID: a8ec2e
File 159943700172.png - (409.64KB , 900x700 , 04.png )
975788

After listening for a moment, you start becoming aware of things beyond the confines of the bed. There's a gentle clink, then pouring.

You sit up and peer through the drapes. There she is, Reno, slender and beautiful, pouring two cups of coffee, framed like a portrait by her plants.

Eth is a canine. As such, she perceives the world differently to you or I, making heavy use of her olfactory senses. Whenever she's groggy, tired, injured, or in low light conditions, she will rely primarily on senses other than sight. These will be represented by vibrant colours.
>>
No. 975789 ID: f56a2b

"hi"
>>
No. 975790 ID: a0dfd2

>>975788

Time to make a piteous little whine because the bed is warm and so is Reno (who is clearly due for some snuggles)~

>>975777

Welcome back, and an excellent start! Really enjoying the highly stylized art and textures.
>>
No. 975791 ID: 470289

Sneak up on her.
>>
No. 975792 ID: 4f51b2

Check out if there are lizards nerby.
>>
No. 975793 ID: d32d73

say something gruff and rude, like "hey sugarbuns, you gonna give me some sugar with my coffee?"
>>
No. 975794 ID: a8ec2e
File 159943914244.png - (99.73KB , 900x700 , 05.png )
975794

>>975792
Absurd. There aren't any lizards in this part of the kingdom.

>>975790
You whine, like a little whelp calling its mother. She giggles from across the room, then picks up her tray, and approaches.

Tired and bedraggled, her unkempt hair bobbing along as she walks over to the bed, the thick blanket pulled up tight around her elegant form, Reno is as beautiful as ever. The sun catches in her golden fur, gleaming gently.

R: "Morning, my poor sleepy puppy. I hope I didn't wake you."

She offers the tray.
>>
No. 975795 ID: 470289

lap up tea like an idiot and burn your tongue.
>>
No. 975796 ID: e51896

Invite her to join you under the covers with that tray.
>>
No. 975797 ID: 5c1acd

>>975794
sit up and accept coffee
>>
No. 975798 ID: b1b4f3

>>975794
Morning smooches are mandatory.
>>
No. 975799 ID: d32d73

pull her in and smooch that pussy
>>
No. 975801 ID: a8ec2e
File 159944177465.png - (155.48KB , 900x700 , 06.png )
975801

You accept the coffee. Reno sets the tray down on the bed and lets herself slump against you. She's very warm.

She begins rubbing your bicep, planing a little kiss on your neck.

R: "Take it easy, Eth. You have the day off."

You feel a little spasm of guilt at being given more free time; The other trainees are going to hate you for this.

R: "Did you sleep okay, my little collie?"
>>
No. 975804 ID: ff3732

"I had a weird dream... I was super self conscious about everything that i am... and there was nothing surrounding me."

Also, what kingdom is this, and where is this kingdom?
>>
No. 975805 ID: 470289

the other trainees should know that you are working the pussy 24/7, which is no easy job.
>>
No. 975806 ID: d32d73

"hey if two bodyguards for the royal family were trapped in a cave and one killed the other with a rock would that be fucked up or what?"
>>
No. 975809 ID: a0dfd2

>>975801

Trainees? Collie? Buppy?

Wait, Eth ... who and what are you?
>>
No. 975816 ID: 094652

"I dreamt that we are all equal and nothing and alone in death.

So no, I am not okay. Will I really lose you one day?"
>>
No. 975817 ID: b1b4f3

Yes you slept quite well.
>>
No. 976273 ID: 37f38f
File 160003686442.png - (162.75KB , 900x700 , 07.png )
976273

>>975804
You're gazing into the eyes of the future Highest Priestess and Queen of the Davna'Ria Greater Fiefdom. It occupies most of the northern known world, from the Nisṣa mountains to the Nvi'Ia It ashlands, all the way down to the Little Sappara peninsulae. It is bordered by the terrible sea and the occidental desert. But you knew all that.

>>975805
They know. They resent you even more for it. The male ones are furious with you, though you can't deny a degree of pleasure at their annoyance.

>>975809
They're the future Queen's pet names for you. She has a litany of others; Reno has a seemingly limitless talent for coming up with little word-plays on your species and status. As to that: you're in training to become her future bodyguard, personal attendee, and first-most servant, alongside a handful of other trainees; you're training to one day be her BitkhaSépa, literally 'towerblade'. Assuming she chooses you, of course.
The warm coffee in your hands is making any anxieties on that front seem unrealistic, however.

>>975806
You recall a faint memory of early sleep, of a cave and the scent of fish. You discard it.

>>975816
You ponder the empty feeling. It didn't seem all that sinister; just fluffy nothingness for your mind to drift on. Like floating in a warm salt bath with your eyes closed and cool winter air on your wet nose. You'd feel silly telling her about it.

You're about to open your mouth to tell her anyway, when there's a rustling sound from the window, and the clicking of wood on polished wood.
>>
No. 976276 ID: bc4729

From the window? what floor are you right now? Also what do you smell?
Get ready for trouble.
>>
No. 976277 ID: 37f38f
File 160003726659.png - (123.59KB , 900x700 , 08.png )
976277

Your mind takes a quarter of a second to process the noise, and by then you already know what's coming next; a dull, thumping twang. Firmly twisted horsehair rope releasing all its terrible stored energy, freed from its point of highest tension, seeking a state of inertia, almost accidentally propelling forth a bolt- probably obsidiac or glazen, possibly ivory- directly at its beautiful target.

You don't have time to turn and look. Your mind freezes the world around you, and you can see the bolt directly in front of you - in truth it's likely barely left the crossbow - and you can see where it's going to enter Reno's face, where it's going to pierce her between the eyes and extinguish her like a candle.
You have less than half a second.
>>
No. 976278 ID: 021568

push her out of the way and charge the archer
>>
No. 976280 ID: b1b4f3

Safe option: tackle her out of the way.
Bad option: move self in between bolt and princess.
Badass option: catch bolt out of midair.
>>
No. 976281 ID: 32881b

>>976280 What if the attacker has a knife? We're naked and probably unarmed.
>>
No. 976282 ID: f56a2b

Catching a bolt by hand is nigh impossible, catching a bolt with your body is a trick you aren't going to be able to do more than once.

Hand straight to her neck/jaw, push her head out of the way so the bolt won't hit her brain. Aim to push her all the way down so she doesn't get hit at all, but at the very least get her head out of the way.
>>
No. 976285 ID: 3d5d68

>>976277
no time to think, pure protective instinct moves faster than logical thought, hurl yourself at her and hope the bolt strikes either nothing or your back, which is not AS lethal as it would be to her.
>>
No. 976288 ID: 470289

grab all that beautiful hair and yank her out of the way and behind you.
>>
No. 976293 ID: 094652

Rush forward towards Reno. As you do, try to hit the bolt with your arm or your body. Don't stop to calculate, just focus on making contact with the arrow before it reaches its target.
>>
No. 976299 ID: bc4729

Take her away from the bolt trajectory, look for your equipment. Your sword and shield, no time for clothes.
>>
No. 976300 ID: bb78f2

>>976277
Catch it like a badass
Listen, that's stupid and risky but like, I don't know if you have the time to do anything else like push her or get in the way.

Also, come on, the universe is setting you up for this catch anyway. It wants you to catch it with your bare hands.
>>
No. 976306 ID: d32d73

gotta take the shot bb. that's medeival bodyguard life.
>>
No. 976317 ID: f8fa51

Push her out of the way. Hopefully it won't hit either of you, but there's no way to redirect the bolt so you'll have to move her. There really isn't any other option here. However, be aware that if the first strike takes you out of the fight rather than killing Reno, the assassin is likely to succeed anyway. Be ready to fight even if you take a hit.
>>
No. 976327 ID: 496e6f

>>976288
My thoughts too. Easy to grab, no aim necessary, just an apology required after you save her life.
>>
No. 976328 ID: a0dfd2

>>976277

Yank her down atop the bed; the bolt should sail by nigh harmlessly (and ruin the curtains and probably a section of wall).

Then, with ourselves between Reno and the origin of that shot, determine whether we should confront her assailant or flee to safer quarters with her (possibly whilst calling for the guards proper -- we are only a trainee).
>>
No. 976334 ID: 8fab7a

>>976328
'tis true, the best landing is to swing the body back into the bed. It follows the natural curvature - and gravity - and provides a soft landing to an abrupt move.

But pulling by the hair, methinks, is unnecessary. Shove or yank by the shoulder with your free right arm.

Then deliver a hot cuppa to the assailant who dared.
>>
No. 976430 ID: 651ae0

You don't have to move her much. Just enough. Shove with all your might as fast as you can.
>>
No. 976432 ID: a4fca1

Well it’s a crossbow bolt, so even if you could move fast enough to catch it you wouldn’t be able to stop it, too much power, c it would fly right through your grasp. Honestly, I doubt anything can be done given how fast it is, but try to get your hand in the way of the bolt, your flesh and bone might be enough to slow it down.
>>
No. 976443 ID: a0dfd2

>>976432

My dude, crossbows were made for stopping power. They often had less range than a bow, but could penetrate armor with ease due to the absurd force with which they were fired (to say nothing of the draw of a crossbow). Their lethality was not from the head lacerating flesh upon entry and removal, as with a traditional arrow, but from the sheer damage they could wreak on impact and the depth to which they could puncture a body.

A hand would be lucky to not be pierced through completely. Eth would be even luckier to have use of it afterward.
>>
No. 976586 ID: 28ed98

>>976443
A crossbow has a less energetic projectile than a proper warbow, at least one that isn't made out of modern materials. A crossbow's sometimes extreme draw-weight is counteracted by its much shorter draw-length. While a warbow will have its relatively piddly 200 lbs of draw-weight accelerating a heavy arrow upwards of two feet, a 1000 lbs draw-weight crossbow will have around and probably a little over half a foot to accelerate its shorter projectile. Even if the relationship between energy imparted and the draw-length was linear, it'd still be a quarter as efficient of imparting its draw-weight into the projectile.
For that matter, a powerful bow can punch through most things up to well-made metal armour.
But that's irrelevant. The fletching is for a bow; crossbows have two fletches as it would otherwise get ruined by getting forced against the body of the crossbow, rendering the arrow completely inaccurate. It's likely a small bow, to be more easily carried up to the window and loosed.
Kick the princess out of the way; it's the fastest motion, and doesn't put her at-the-moment only protector in danger. Yell "Assassin". Use the momentum from kicking the princess aside to launch yourself towards the window, grabbing whatever's nearby to use as a weapon. An actual weapon would be preferable.
>>
No. 979386 ID: f2320a

>>976277
Push us both or punch the arrow
>>
No. 979405 ID: 5b93d3

Your cup is ceramic or glass? A crossbow bolt is sharp and has a lot of force behind it, but the tip still need to cut to pierce. A cup in its path will catch, blunt, and hold that point. The cup and bolt will continue forwards at speed giving Reno a nasty smack to the head, but it will not be a fatal one.
>>
No. 981492 ID: 3e8537
File 160591049003.png - (55.74KB , 900x700 , 09.png )
981492

Distracted momentarily by ideas of throwing yourself in front of the bolt, you instead simply barrel into Reno, throwing her down onto the bed, grunting as her shoulder drives into your throat. You smell blood, and hear a cacophony of clattering and rustling as your cups smash to the ground and Reno's blanket flutters around the pair of you.

You have mere seconds.
>>
No. 981493 ID: f56a2b

>>981492
Interpose yourself between Reno and the direction of the shot. Do you sense a presence behind you? Come up swinging.
>>
No. 981495 ID: b1b4f3

>>981492
Face the intruder and grab... something to use as a weapon.
>>
No. 981496 ID: 491843

Let hope that is just a scratch! Get between her and the assaulter, grab something to defend yourselves! Where is your sword?
>>
No. 981500 ID: 094652

Shove Reno underneath the bed, then throw something at the assassin before they can reload.
>>
No. 981504 ID: 8ac9ea

>>981492
The threat is still active, if your gear is to hand grab your sword, if not, the plate your coffee was on might do for a decent distraction to toss at the attacker as you close the distance with them.
>>
No. 981525 ID: dbd72b

Get up and grab a weapon, or whatever's close enough. Be ready for a follow up attack, this isn't over.
>>
No. 981536 ID: f8fa51

Scream. Whatever else you do, you should make enough noise that backup will be on the way in case you fall. Even if you win, it might be a good idea; you have no idea if Reno is seriously injured and no time to check right now, so help with her injuries might be required.
>>
No. 981898 ID: 156101

>>981492
Try to shield Reno and get out of shoot angle while sreaming "GUARDS, INTRUDER"
>>
No. 982213 ID: 50697f

Scream for the Guarda as you face your opponent, while shielding Reno. Keeping her safe if your #1 priority, and reinforcements is necessary
>>
No. 984738 ID: 8b3eff
File 160970662413.png - (32.50KB , 900x700 , 10.png )
984738

A sort of trance washes over you, and you feel your instincts take over, painting the world in vivid colours. Reno is safe under you, under a blanket, and you feel like she's not dead. In the heart of your heart you know Reno can never die, will never die, not while you're here. Or what's the point?

You bark for help, an echoing, bellowing noise that rings in your own ears. Your snout tastes blood on the air, fresh hot blood, coffee, and a strong, musty smell; a steppe smell, sun-baked soil and heavy herbs. Seems like having to bear that stench for long would give you a headache, that stale and ugly smell, standing water in a puddle in the great and terrible and barren bariia.
Your hackles raise. Your mind races. You don't have a weapon in here. Stupid not to bring one, but it's forbidden to take arms into the chambers of royalty unless bidden to do so directly. Not that Reno would have cared... Shit. You can feel time crumbling away. How long until that creature shoots again? Are there more than one?

You can think of only three options. You could assault that thing with nothing but your claws and teeth, you could attempt to dislodge and launch one of the ceramic bedside succulent-baskets, or you could try to locate and throw the coffee-tray. Either way, you'll have to move fast. If anyone heard your barked order, they'll take too long to mobilize.
>>
No. 984742 ID: e8bee9

Swiftly dislodge one of the planters, and throw it.
>>
No. 984744 ID: bb78f2

Coffee Trays make good shields and boomerangs!
>>
No. 984745 ID: b1b4f3

Coffee tray was right next to Reno.
>>
No. 984747 ID: 46e8b7

Take the coffe try, attack the one confirm assaulter, push him of the window, or beat the fuck out off him.
>>
No. 984763 ID: f8fa51

Searching for the coffee tray will waste seconds you don't have. Throw the plant to delay the assailant, even if only for a moment. Use that time to gather more information: Can you see the coffee tray? Is the assailant armed, armoured? Can you disarm them if you rush them now?
>>
No. 984772 ID: 62e901

Go for speed and use claws and teeth, the other items aren't much of an improvement but much slower.
>>
No. 984773 ID: a0dfd2

>>984738

Honestly, moving on your own might be the best bet. It'll keep Reno shielded and your assailant may be thrown off-balance by having you launch at them. Go for their helmet when you do.

Shield your princess. Take no prisoners.
>>
No. 984789 ID: 3e8537
File 160972679241.png - (44.13KB , 900x700 , 11.png )
984789

You clamber off of Reno, and grab one of the planters from the bedpost. You're about to launch it, when a clatter catches you off guard and look up in alarm.

Immediately, something feels off. The assailant, whatever it is, has dropped its gastraphetes, a second bolt already nocked. It rolls from the string when the bow hits the ground. It's a steppe nomad, that much is clear, an ibex or a goat, with coarse matted fur and deepset eyes. Its face is hidden by a rag, a tshadra, and there are strings or strips of hide decorated with beads tied around its curled horns. It looks at you with an illegible expression. Is it hatred? Disgust? Envy? You can't say.

Its chest is bare, and you can see a few deep gouges and patches of raw skin. It looks lean and strong, like an old knotted root, complete with the clumps of clay still clinging to it.

It stands in the open window, looking at you, saying nothing. You feel blood rushing through you, parts of your body shivering. It isn't making any moves at all now; Just looking at you. It doesn't have any other weapons to hand, that you can see anyway.
>>
No. 984795 ID: b1b4f3

>>984789
Go smash his face in and take the crossbow. Then when he's good and disabled you check on Reno.
>>
No. 984797 ID: f8fa51

Get that weapon away from it, then we have some options. The "safest" would be to disable this assailant before any accomplices can show up. Alternatively, we can hold the assailant at crossbow-point and wait for more guards to show up. This would allow us to question our assailant or their motives, but would risk us losing control of the situation if more turned up.

I prefer simply disabling the assailant as quickly as possible, then we'll have time to think about questions like "why did it drop its weapon rather than follow up." This one in particular disturbs me: Why would an assassin drop its weapon? Maybe it believes its job is already done, and that Reno is already dead. It might have seen more of the injury that Reno took than we did. We need to get that blanket off her and inspect her wounds, ASAP. And ASAP means as soon as the assassin is disabled.
>>
No. 984798 ID: 2e15a9

Throw your weapon at his face, drop-kick (or otherwise throw) him off the balcony while he's dealing with that.
>>
No. 984799 ID: b1b4f3

Oh, and try to keep him from falling out of the building, I feel like an interrogation is in order here.
>>
No. 984802 ID: 46e8b7

>>984798
I like this, not sure if we can interrogate him.
>>
No. 984804 ID: bb78f2

>>984789
that thing looks like a zombie
>>
No. 984823 ID: 094652

Walk up to the assassin. Ask why he's doing this. Get as close as possible while talking, then throw the planter when he draws his weapon.
The closer you get to a ranged attacker, the better.
>>
No. 984829 ID: 3e8537
File 160976624222.png - (44.41KB , 900x700 , 12.png )
984829

>>984798
You ready the missile. The hoarse one doesn't budge.
You launch it. Your muscles tense. Your aim is excellent; the heavy earthware pot, the soil, the pebbles, the succulents, they all hit it square in the stomach.
>>
No. 984830 ID: 3e8537
File 160976637043.png - (42.38KB , 900x700 , 13.png )
984830

The pot shatters against its chest. It staggers backwards, and makes a rough grunting sound, slipping off the stonework, plummeting down the tower. A lethal drop.

You feel burning in your veins, and there's a knot in your throat, heavy and hard. But you feel like the threat has passed, for now.
>>
No. 984833 ID: dbd72b

No one's that calm after a miss. Whatever his job was, he didn't think it still needed doing. Need to check for poison. Doctors, now!
>>
No. 984834 ID: 094652

>>984833
Agreed, whatever was in that arrow could finish the job. Make sure to pocket the arrow used as well, it could give clues as to what the assassination was intended to accomplish.

A sapient assassin does not just stand there waiting to die. They keep fighting, flee, gloat, or even commit suicide to prove their dedication to their cause, but nobody just stands in place waiting to be shot down without an explanation or a final act of dedication. I'm thinking this was a manchurian agent - programmed to perform this one task and shut down entirely.
>>
No. 984836 ID: 46e8b7

We need to check on Reno now, put on some clothes on and take her to the doctors, if we are lucky it was just a scratch. Take the arrow as well.
>>
No. 984837 ID: 19a984

There is an unused bolt right by their crossbow. That bolt will provide more conclusive evidence on whether they were poisoned or not.

Take both bolts and the crossbow in case you need them. Save at least one bolt.
>>
No. 984861 ID: f8fa51

You need to get the royal physician now! Seconds matter!
>>
No. 984886 ID: a0dfd2

>>984829

Something feels ... wrong.

Why would he just stand there and take the hit like that? Any would-be assassin should have fled once he knew his mark was either finished or no longer assailable.

... and in this case, he already had a second bolt prepared.

Either the other suggestions are right -- and the bolt was laced with a poison or similar -- or he wasn't necessarily acting of his own volition. Could dark magics explain this?

(To Deer: This latest sequence was excellent. Really love the tension in the lines and shading, as well as the use of color for emphasis!))
>>
No. 984887 ID: e8bee9

>>984834
>manchurian agent
took the text right out of my post


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