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File 161539918671.png - (11.03KB , 522x757 , Falling.png )
990568 No. 990568 ID: 9c1ef3

Where did I go wrong?
Expand all images
>>
No. 990569 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161539923892.png - (38.24KB , 522x757 , falling2.png )
990569

The question haunts you, a weight about your soul as you fall from the tallest tower. A storm rages. Your body, broken, beaten, scatters its pieces like a falling comet, you watch your hands disintegrate. You did make that castle quite tall, you reflect, but that wasn't the mistake. Nor was it your people, reliable, confident, capable. Though, strictly speaking, not actually people. Not that you ever cared about any of that. It wasn't your lair, it wasn't your minions. It wasn't your weapons, or your tools, or your abilities.
>>
No. 990570 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161539928334.png - (13.19KB , 522x757 , falling3.png )
990570

So what was it, you ponder? Was it the scope of your plans, you ponder. An arm shakes free, spiraling away, a leg, you find yourself caring less and less. Your Mana is spent, no spell can save you now. So much power, even in these old bones that you feel cracking and breaking away as you think, and those heroes - you still laugh at the term, heroes! - had destroyed you. Your power had failed you, your abilities found no purchase, and weakened, wearied, you had been cast from your great castle.
>>
No. 990571 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161539932409.png - (18.41KB , 522x757 , Falling4.png )
990571

You pass the clouds, now barely a ribcage and a skull. Really went overboard with the hieght of the damn place. But to see most of the world - at least half of it - all at once, stretched out before you, ready to be taken, almost as if you could reach out and touch those distant hills! To feel the thrill again, to give it another go! Your soul reaches out, it yearns for another chance...

>To take it all over, to run the world RIGHT, to show them they've been doing it all wrong...

>To have it for myself, to finally be safe, to righteously claim what is mine...

>To destroy it all, to have revenge, to wipe the smiles from their faces...
>>
No. 990572 ID: ccba83

>>990571
We're here to run things right. There will be one superior order and no more of this petty bickering by foolish mortals.
>>
No. 990573 ID: abddbb

>>990571
option 1

anyone else would get it wrong
>>
No. 990574 ID: 0fbdcd

To run it right.
>>
No. 990576 ID: afe7de

Option 1, we’re not only gonna be the best overlord ever we’re gonna ACTUALLY rule the world
>>
No. 990581 ID: 07ed53

Definitely option 1
>>
No. 990582 ID: 031458

Option 3.
Sometimes you can't fix what is broken.
No, when the rot and corruption is this deep, it's best to burn it all, so you can start anew.
>>
No. 990585 ID: f8fa51

You like to think it's option 1, but it's option 2 when you're being really honest with yourself.
>>
No. 990587 ID: 5f4030

Option 1, we will be better!
>>
No. 990594 ID: 0fae41

I will destroy it all!
>>
No. 990690 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161548023454.png - (25.50KB , 522x757 , falling5.png )
990690

>>990572
>>990587
>>990581
>>990576
>>990574
>>990573

Yes... That's what would be the best. To have another go at running this damned world properly.

And then you impact, sending up a cloud of dust and debris. You hear your castle crumbling, shaking the earth itself. It's all over, anyway. It's... done.

... No.

I had one last ace in the hole...
>>
No. 990691 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161548084693.png - (15.29KB , 624x470 , Angela.png )
990691

>>990690
A deal with a demon. While she lived, so would I, and while I lived, so shall she. A temptress, immortal, unstoppable, she agreed to the pact thanks to my unbounded charisma and way with words, taken with my vision. She who brought an entire paladin order to chaos and infighting with her charms alone, she who had ended empires (by her own telling) with the same.

My soul, trapped in a skull, lives on. It lived when I sacrificed my flesh for power, and it lived when I severed my connection to the circle of life and death, preventing me from making any true children and barring me from any afterlife. Why would it die now? Yes! Ahaha! The fools, they think me dead, but I continue on!

Granted, it's under a pile of rubble that is, probably, the size of a small mountain, but there are worse starting points. Categorically speaking, you are completely immortal, simply housed in a terrible vessel. Distantly, you can hear grunting, and moving stone. You can feel the shriving of power - semi-permanent loss in exchange for immediate results, in big way. Someone is expending themselves, digging, digging - and the rocks crumble away to reveal an imp.

Imps being the least of demons - troublemakers and barely-sentient things, often used as disposable messengers, iffy spies, and meager annoyances.
"My lord and master! You yet live! Thank all the Pits!"

...Angela?!

Indeed, it's her, but... Much reduced. Not even humanoid. Just a flying ball of elemental evil.

"So good to see you, Angela, but it appears we are both at something of a poor position. I'm not sure what more to do from here."

"Well, my lord, I have a solution!" her voice, soft and warm like poisoned honey, is the same, which is somewhat incongruous. You're used to hearing these words from a body that would make even the most pious of knights blush and stammer. "Unfortunately, only... one..."
>>
No. 990693 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161548166330.png - (37.83KB , 623x542 , MINIONS.png )
990693

>>990691
"You see," she continues, "I myself was trapped in your throne room when the whole place came tumbling down. Stuck inside a magic circle of binding. When the last of the last finished falling, I dug out the ruined throne room, and found my way to you."
She lands on top of your scalp, and capable claws fasten about the eye sockets and the back of your head. Or body. More or less the same. She begins to fly, and you have been plucked from a smaller pile of rubble - she leads you to a much larger pile that has fallen into a stable pile that forms a cave. Within the cave, half of your throne room - the half with the throne - remains. She deposits you there.

"I have just enough power to restore one of your minion races. They were trapped too. Some burrowed deeper, some slumbered, and others simply... stopped functioning. But all of your minions yet live! ...Rather, all the races live, the individuals are likely very, very dead. But the races, deep underground, are there. I can release one of them. The others will have to wait for some time - sealed as they are by powerful divine seals. TO sacrifice more of myself would be to end us both, my lord. So... select one. One to start anew. One to begin again. One to... reset."

>Kobolds
>A combat-avoidant race of miners and burrowers. Very capable with expanding the Lair, laying deadly traps, and extracting resources from the earth, but pitiful combatants anywhere but the Lair itself. Their hatchery was sealed, but if you select them, Angela will free it, allowing them to breed and expand their population... and your armies. Some say that kobolds have a little dragon in them, and every now and again a champion is born...

>Skeletons
>Useful constructs of spirit and bone, skeletons are average in most respects. They lack any inventiveness or agency outside of self-defense, and most are not even truly sentient - wholly bound to your will, they are nothing more or less than your own arms, legs, eyes, and swords. Unsealing the Necromancy Workshop will allow you - with materials you currently lack - to make more, and research stronger necromantic forms.

>Goblins
>The mighty fungal annoyance, the Goblin. Strong in arm, though not in mind, goblins are excellent raiders and frontline defenders. Creatures of mischief, they excel at raiding civilized lands, through their ability to work is minimal. Unsealing their fungal culturing room allows for experimentation of various materials with their spores, allowing for more powerful and varied breeds of Goblin.
>>
No. 990694 ID: e7c7d3

Kobolds. I prefer to be more defensive in our weakened state
>>
No. 990695 ID: 164e20

Also voting kobold for the cuteness
>>
No. 990698 ID: ce39da

Kobolds. We need to lay low until we're ready, anyway, so I foresee that any raiding we do in the first weeks will be covert in nature.
>>
No. 990701 ID: 5b0071

>>990693
Kobold is the clear choice.
We are in a ruin
not enough materials for skeletons
the goblins might be fungis on the battlefield but we'd end up having to establish ourselves with raiding

who knows, maybe the kobolds can make restoring the other two labs easier
>>
No. 990703 ID: e51896

Goblins, they're underrated.

Lets be an annoying mischief making asshole
>>
No. 990706 ID: 0fbdcd

Fortune favors the bolds. We don't have any resources, so our best bet is to go digging.
>>
No. 990707 ID: ecb66f

>>990693
you need to rebuild your powerbase rather literally, the kobolds seem to be best suited to that.

afterwards I think re-establishing your necromantic chops would be in order since I'm guessing you've got a heck of an aptitude for it, but a well-defended base of operations and good workforce makes for the kind of industrious foundations that can support those future plans
>>
No. 990711 ID: afe7de

Kobolds. You need resources and miners to do it.
>>
No. 990712 ID: 07ed53

kobdodles
>>
No. 990720 ID: d2408a

Skeletons! Unsleeping, untiring bags of bones!
>>
No. 990729 ID: f8fa51

Kobolds are the obvious choice here. We'll need resources. While we're still getting ourselves off the ground, so to speak, drawing attention to ourselves by raiding for those resources seems foolhardy, especially when the world and its champions already know of our existence and fear us. Better to have a functional resource extraction operation so we can be a bit... quieter.
>>
No. 990730 ID: a9af05

>>990693
Kobolds

If you're lucky, one of them might give birth to a champion and that would help out quite a bit.
>>
No. 990813 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161556860760.png - (40.07KB , 753x656 , He-Who-Mines-Heads.png )
990813

"I will have need of defenses and infrastructure before I will have need for combat. I must remain quiet, lest I am discovered and sealed more properly. The Kobolds will be my first allies."

You're not so much speaking as you are thinking a little loud at Angela, who flutters over to the Seal over an orderly and well-made entrance to a hewn mining cavern. It is a series of chains - made in a spiraling, runed sort of alloy of gold, iron, and silver - that hold tight a stone inscribed with an angelic rune. Angela's magic erodes a few links of that chain, a massive effort that almost causes her to wink out entirely. She recovers, however, as the magic fades from the seal, and the whole thing falls to the floor. It crumbled into useless slag and broken stone immediately, a fine smoke rising from the ruins.

Heavy steps rise from the cavern, and out of the darkness step two Kobolds. They are small - barely three feet tall at most. But to us, they are giants. One is larger than the other, covered in plates of iron. On closer inspection they are scavenged shields and bits of armor banged into shape for his wide-shouldered and stout form. He holds a mattock that has one end broken off and fastened onto the other, and straps on his arms and legs further give the impression that this is not one of the typical, cowardly sorts of kobolds.

The other is elderly. His scales are worn, grey, and a scar along his back describes a wound that had removed several of them. He walks with a surety that his milky eyes would have you believe is despite a blindness, and needs no cane. The only iron on his body is strapped along his arms, small short plates that form two armgaurds covered in strange runes.

The smaller one approaches the throne.
"This one is Sees From Darkness." he introduces himself, "Guided and protected by He Who Mines Heads." he gestures at his guard, who grunts, smacking the haft of his weapon into his palm. "This one remembers the ancient pacts and deals we made with the Lord Above. This one remembers the days of bondage that the Lord Above freed us from. This one hopes you will do the same again."

"...Again? Your people are again chained?" I ask, concern leaking into my words. You had freed them, earning their loyalty, from one of the darker human kingdoms. Kobolds are strong, but dislike conflict, making them excellent slaves. They were thus chained when you recruited them to your side - their freedom to mine and craft in peace in exchange for their work for you. "Who has done this thing? Who has clapped you in irons again?"

"No kingdom endorses slavery in this day and age. That time is... supposedly... over. But in the dark, as this one knows, things not worthy of the light often hide." Darkness states. Mines grunts angrily. "Us two and a group of capable youths escaped one such camp, only to find our hatchery here sealed. A holy place, chained by the Beings Of Light. The oil of our hope had burned low. And then the hatchery was freed. This is the doing of your servant, Lord Above, and of you."

Mines grunts angrily, slamming the short, broken end of his mattock against the stone floor. He points at you, slamming the mattock again twice, pointing at the direction they came. His free hand slaps his chest, three times, and he lets out an impressive cry of anger.
"Mines-Heads desires the freedom of our people, and asks the question I wish to ask more directly: Will you free our captured people?"

>I am limited in my capability, as you can see. But it is a worthy initial goal. We will turn our eyes to the slavers - a good way to begin my campaign.
>Your people shall be freed in the fullness in time. I wish to revive the old pacts and deals. Will you carve the earth for me once more?
>I cannot yet free your people. When we are stronger, more powerful, we shall descend on these slavers like a collapsing mine shaft. For now...I have need of you.
>Something else to say?
>>
No. 990816 ID: 07ed53

Option 1. Might as well earn their loyalty properly by turning your efforts toward solving their immediate problem.
>>
No. 990819 ID: e7c7d3

3.) Gotta be honest to our allies when we are so weak. We will free the kobolds, but we yet have the means.
>>
No. 990831 ID: afe7de

3, gotta be honest when we’re just a skull and fuzzy bat
>>
No. 990835 ID: 217b17

>>990813
2
>>
No. 990848 ID: ce39da

3

Honesty is the best policy to take. We'd like to get this out of the way immediately, but we need their help if we're going to get strong enough to do anything about it.
>>
No. 990850 ID: b1b4f3

>>990813
1. It's an initial goal. We obviously can't do it immediately, and I don't think they're asking that of us.
With the hatchery, we should be able to manage it fairly quickly.
>>
No. 990852 ID: ecb66f

>>990813
1
limited though we currently are, working towards this as the initial goal makes sense, gotta look after our peeps
>>
No. 990853 ID: a9af05

>>990813
Go for option 1
>>
No. 991040 ID: c58093

Option 1 is most honest sounding
>>
No. 991148 ID: 0fae41

Best to deal with it now before such insignificant matters are below your attention.
>>
No. 991318 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161576638803.png - (31.70KB , 753x656 , Seesexplains.png )
991318

You allow silence to briefly fill the void as you ponder the possibilities. Honesty seems the best policy here.
"I am limited in my capability, as you can see. But it is a worthy initial goal. We will turn our eyes to the slavers - a good way to begin my campaign."

Mines-Heads approaches in shockingly few strides, knocking aside Angela and picking you up. His eyes meet yours, dark, deep eyes that on anything else would be soulful and gentle. This kobold looks about ready to spike you into the ground, immortal-esque soul be damned. You feel the paw tighten about your scalp. The bone stresses, creaks.

But an old hand is placed on the giant kobold's arm.
"Easy." the old kobold says softly, taking you with great care. "Look about you, Heads. Where is the lie within his words? Do they not ring with truth? We came here because the seal was broken. The holy hatchery is ours again." he replaces you back upon the throne, the whole of his face filling your vision. "There are few things a kobold hates more than deception, noble Lord Above. And these chained fellows of mine, they were bought with deception. Words of 'indenturement', whispers of 'freedom by thine own hands'. Rivers of paper, oceans of words, clauses and para-clauses to drown in. What is a bit of ink, upon a line? What is a scrawl 'pon parchment?"

"We came to learn, dear Lord Above." he says bitterly, "'tis a soul."
>>
No. 991319 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161576646193.png - (40.00KB , 753x656 , SEAL.png )
991319

(AN ASIDE ABOUT ANGELIC SEALS)

Angelic Seals are barriers to your progress. You know this because when one is touched by beings of evil, or those in its thrall, they are subjected to enormous pain. It takes significant power to break one.
Ah, you think, surely one can merely tunnel around it? Nay. The Angelic Seals are always placed quite cleverly at intersections within your old halls - such that if one were to simply mine into the room it guards, the Seal would detect it, and punish the interloper accordingly. After all, you have some very dark knowledge in these halls! It wouldn't do for it to fall within the wrong hands. Therefore, be careful as you Dig. More space will grow available as you empower Angela to break seals and as you dig.

Just understand: Don't try to game the system.
>>
No. 991320 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161576654285.png - (14.12KB , 753x656 , MAP.png )
991320

This is your current base of operations. It is, by most accounts, utterly invisible. Areas sealed by a contiguous line are impassable barriers formed by a Seal. The dotted passages indicate that I cannot see any further. After some sniffing at walls, tapping with the double-mattock, and grunting between them, a pair of proposals is... well, proposed:

Option 1. A small barracks near the hatchery and a direct line outside. The direct line is lined with terrible traps of all sorts of cunning. Mostly involving wicked spikes and triggered falls of stone. This will provide housing, adequate defense, and little else.

Option 2. A large barracks opposite the hatchery, and a large meeting hall and dining area. Keeps morale high, and chews through a lot of area (possibly resulting in the discovery of some metal!) but might offer little in terms of defense... However, the two kobolds note that by the time defense becomes an issue, they could easily have built more fortifications and traps.

Keep in mind that the only entrance or exit to the area is the tunnel passing the Hatchery, a secret one that only the kobolds know of.

>Option 1
>Option 2
>... Propose another method?
>>
No. 991321 ID: e51896

Option 1. Always good to build defenses early on
>>
No. 991327 ID: f8fa51

Option 2. We need to grow our strength within these halls before we are ready to attract attention and risk retaliation anyway. For now, obscurity is our security, which we will replace with stronger defences before we strike out at our enemies.
>>
No. 991329 ID: b1b4f3

>>991318
Huh, Heads wasn't expecting an optimistic response? Alright then.

2. Proper infrastructure comes before defenses. Nobody's gonna attack us before we have things they want!
>>
No. 991340 ID: afe7de

2: Infrastructure time! If you dig out the hall too early and mess up that just means you're boned just as early.
>>
No. 991349 ID: ce39da

2: Infrastructure. We'll make our first operations covert ones to ensure our obscurity. It's too early to make any overt moves either way.
>>
No. 991434 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161582382254.png - (23.82KB , 753x656 , STRIKETHEEARTH.png )
991434

rolled 31, 36 = 67

Rolling on Excavation.
Each roll is separate: One for each large room, hallway doesn't count.
Higher is better.
Excavation will always yield some stone and another resource.
>>
No. 991504 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161585218380.png - (12.56KB , 753x656 , MAP1.png )
991504

>>991434
You have gained two units of stone, two units of clay, excavated from the cave that is - essentially - the compressed stone and earth of your failure. You're sure that somewhere in these grounds is bits and pieces of your old endeavors - old magic items, artifacts, and perhaps old pieces of yourself.

Artisans go to work hewing beds, tables, benches from the stone. Apparently kobolds can sleep comfortably on almost any surface. Kobold beds are basically big cups, in any case, they curl up into a ball to sleep. The work is the first time you meet the assorted forces that Sees and Mines had brought - about three dozen kobolds. Half of them carry small swords and daggers in their hips. Of the other half, half of them are artisans and trap engineers.

Eighteen soldiers. They post up at doorways and mill about in rooms, probably still highly strung from their recent escape.
Nine engineers. They get to work discussing what can be done with current supplies. One of them looks ready to talk to me.
And nine... Nine of them wear robes and carry clay tablets with stone carving tools. They are busy as the rest, examining the walls with great care, conferring in the hallways.

>Speak with an Engineer.
>Speak with one of the... Who are these?
>Speak with a Hero (Mines or Sees) (About what?)
>Speak with Angela (About what?)
>Wait for time to pass.
>Something else?
>>
No. 991506 ID: ce39da

Talk to the engineer. Maybe you can ask him what those others are doing while you discuss what they wanted to talk about?
>>
No. 991534 ID: 9cc8fa

Speak with Angela about good next moves. You’ve been asleep for a while but she seems to have been around for at least a little bit, maybe she has some good advice that past you might’ve done or messed up on initially
>>
No. 991551 ID: f8fa51

Speak with the engineer. If an engineer needs to speak to someone in charge, it's probably important.
>>
No. 991555 ID: b1b4f3

>>991504
Talk to the engineer. Ask how construction is going.
>>
No. 991621 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161591967993.png - (39.65KB , 753x656 , needwoodnosheep.png )
991621

Speaking with the engineer reveals that his primary issue is that we're lacking a critical resource: Good, sturdy wood. The area outside can provide it readily, ho notes, but doing so could either diminish the armed guards we currently have - setting them back to labor - or would slow the construction of other items of furniture, pulling artisans for labor. He has no comment either way, simply stating clear facts. Hm. He says that good wood would allow for more complex traps and mechanisms, and that a steady supply of it might be needed later, should we find ore. Though he adds that coal, mined from the earth, would likely work better for mass production. Either way, the matter isn't of critical importance just yet - but it will probably crop up in a few weeks.

Another unstated problem is that the trees vanishing might be noticed. It's not terribly likely - if you don't mindlessly clear-cut it's possible to thin a forest in a way that's hard to notice.
>>
No. 991622 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161591971503.png - (28.62KB , 753x656 , OnlyMagicCanPRODUCEMagic.png )
991622

You ask who the fellows with the tablets are, and he shrugs.
"Leyline surveyors. Some magic hokey, looking for a place to properly set up a lab or some other. Best not to interfere, I find. But we are all in service to you, Lord Above, of course."

I had indeed built my castle on a significant leyline convergence. It helps with the flow of energy and makes research simpler and more efficient. If the kobolds are hunting for a lab locale, they are certain to find it soon. What sort of magic they use, and what they will need for it, I can find out later. For now...

>Assign artisans to cut down trees.
>Assign Warriors to cut down trees.
>Ask Sees about kobold magic.

>>Regardless of your choice, time will pass after this update.
>>
No. 991643 ID: b1b4f3

>>991622
I feel like other items of furniture aren't terribly important. We can put artisans on woodcutting duty.
Do we need to worry about them getting attacked by wild animals? Could put some guards in the mix in that case.
>>
No. 991644 ID: e7c7d3

Put the soldiers to work. Help make their arms big and beefy
>>
No. 991699 ID: 894419

>>991644
Gotta agree, lets build up some creature comforts for our forces first, let the soldiers do the wood cutting while the artisans work the furniture
>>
No. 991717 ID: afe7de

>>991644

I'm okay with the soldiers doing the work, manual labor for soldiers is a good thing and will give them even that smaller boost when they actually will need to fight.
>>
No. 991912 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161608909334.png - (34.37KB , 753x656 , ChipChop.png )
991912

Through Sees, you order half the military to take up axes and get to work. He directs them, at your orders, to thin the forest but not to clear-cut it. Not to mention your limited processing abilities: You only take down a few trees before one of the engineers calls it enough for the moment. The warriors are a little demotivated to work such a simple chore, but Mines disciplines the one that voices this opinion swiftly with a sharp glare and some rough gestures, causing the one who spoke up to cower a bit.

You have gained 3 units of wood.
At the end of the week, all things said and done, you're down to 1 unit of stone and clay and two of wood. Mines-heads reminds you - in his own way - that there are still kobolds trapped out there, by taking a chunk from the top of your throne. Sees reminds you that it's not as urgent as his partner thinks, by returning it. He does, however, impress the importance of the goal.

You're starting to worry about Mines' stability.
>>
No. 991913 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161608917055.png - (15.03KB , 753x656 , MAP2a.png )
991913

And thus we return to excavation planning to finish the week. This time, the kobolds would like you to choose TWO of the possible projects. Now that they're settled, they itch to dig. According to Sees, this is a natural reflex, and once this floor is to my satisfaction, well, there's always down, as he puts it.

For now...

The first proposal (1) is to smooth out and reinforce the secret entrance and hatchery, allowing for just enough room for a few more eggs, some traps, and the aesthetic value. Sees and some of the engineers assure you that this would only be the start - they aim to restore the entire throne room, and other branches you unseal as well, later. Further, an area that is reinforced like this can hold more and better traps. Something about concealment and the like.

Another engineer doggedly brings up the main, highly trapped and fortified entrance again (2). Much of the original benefits remain from the previous proposal.

A stockpile (3) is proposed. A simple room to hold your resources, it will make it easier to keep track of what you have - and to guard it, as well.

A training hall (4) is brought up by a soldier and quickly sketched out. While not terribly well-equipped, a training hall will allow your soldiers something to do while not specifically assigned to a room or hall, and will allow Mines to work out some of his increasingly apparent temper. Furthermore, hatchlings can be taught how to fight here, something Mines is very adamant on.

Finally, the leyline surveyors have found a good spot for a lab (5). Aside from the obvious benefits of magic research, it gives you something to do - allowing you to possibly build a new body if suitable parts are found. Further research possibilities include item creation, larger-scale spells, and the training of talented kobold hatchlings into leyline technicians - the closest thing that kobolds have to spellcasters. Sees likes this.
>>
No. 991914 ID: b1b4f3

>>991913
2,4. Perfect for our goals.
>>
No. 991915 ID: 0fbdcd

I think we should focus on infrastructure and planning until we know a hostile force has eyes on us.
We must rescue the 'bolds from slavery- but to jump into a fight without enough prep first would be bad for all involved. More time in slavery is terrible, but a botched rescue leading to deaths is much worse. Hopefully Heads can follow with that.
I vote 1 and 4.
A reinforced hatchery increases general QOL for everyone, and provides some basic level defense in the form of traps. A training room will keep Mines from killing anyone and show that we're starting to move towards our goal.
>>
No. 992014 ID: f8fa51

Agreed. 1 and 4. In addition to construction projects, we should also enter into early planning stages for the liberation of enslaved kobolds. Nothing serious just yet, but we should at least take a look at identifying possible targets. Once that's done, we can think about sending out scouts to gather information. Ideally, propaganda would long precede any actual attack, and ideally we could make the liberation look like an internal uprising.
>>
No. 992018 ID: ce39da

Definitely (4). Mines needs an outlet, and we'll want to train up more fighters soon if we're planning to do any large-scale operations.

As for the other project, I'm torn between (1) and (5). We don't have enough resources to really worry about storage, and... do we really even need a "main" entrance when the secret entrance does the same while also being hidden? It just sounds like it'd just be adding another possible battlefront to the dungeon for... what, lots of room for traps and defenses? You can accomplish the same with (1), although getting the lab installed will allow us to get ourselves (and, by extension, Angela) back in fighting condition.

>>992014
I agree with at least trying to determine the options for achieving the kobolds' objective.
>>
No. 992043 ID: 9c1ef3

>>992018
>>992014
>>991915
>>991914

Rolling for finds...
>>
No. 992044 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161618538195.png - (10.51KB , 425x360 , StrikingEarth.png )
992044

rolled 81, 84, 95 = 260

>>992043
For real this time...
>>
No. 992045 ID: 9c1ef3

>>992044
hahahahaha holy shit way to go you motherfuckers, this is gonna be a bit.
>>
No. 992053 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161619079642.png - (11.84KB , 597x541 , itemgets.png )
992053

>>992044
It turns out that digging out the training hall has resulted in the discovery of some magical items. Only problem is, you don't really recognize them. Oh, you know tyou had them at some point - tributes and gifts and creations of minions and the like - but you don't think you ever got around to actually using them. Angela's excited, the kobolds are anxious, but pleased that you're pleased.

One of them is a black skull of crystal. I think it's some kind of transformed human skull, but whatever it is, it exudes evil. Elemental evil, in fact, I get the feeling that channeling energy into it would render the area unpleasant for anyone who serves holy beings. Not strong enough to break Seals, unfortunately.

A lantern with an eye design for its hooded lens, full of oil, and positively bursting with magic of minor divination. Likely it can reveal invisible entities. Probably we could hang it somewhere and light it steadily when we have a ready source of oil for it. Presently there's just what's in the lantern.

And finally is the black cloth. It's a portable hole. You've seen them everywhere. The kobolds are really excited about it, especially when they learn that you enchanted this one to be activated not by unfolding, but also with a word of command. The same word turns it off. Once the kobolds empty it of stone - giving you four more stone on top of the two you just excavated along with the one you had before (total of seven, it's starting to take up space in the throne room) you find the space inside to be ten feet deep and six feet around.

With these, especially the skull, your defenses have grown significantly in power. The kobold engineers get to work trapping the newly reinforced and smoothed entrance. Sees looks anxious to speak with you, and Mines trundles off into the training hall to overlook its outfitting.

>Talk with Sees.
>Activate the Skull.
>Talk with another Hero? (Who, about what?)
>Talk with a kobold? (Job, about what?)
>Talk to the... skull?
>Something else?
>>
No. 992054 ID: b1b4f3

>>992053
Do not use the skull just yet. That kind of large scale magical activity will surely draw attention.

Talk with Sees.
>>
No. 992056 ID: ce39da

If Sees already has something he wants to talk to you about, then speak to him. And if not, I imagine he'll be able to apprise us of our actual options vise a vise kobold liberation.

Agreed on the "don't activate the skull" bit, but trying to talk to it might be funny.
>>
No. 992083 ID: 0fbdcd

Don't turn on that skull. We don't want to broadcast BIG EVIL HERE until we're already big and evil.
...how big is the portable hole, when unfolded and laid flat on a surface? Because I think we may have a wonderful new rug for the throne room. We just have to get a hero positioned over it, monologue at them, then speak Power Word: Loony Toons to send them into the floor. The lantern should also probably be hung in the throne room, but not yet lit until we have infrastructure.

What's Sees up to? And speak to the skull if we have time, just in case.
>>
No. 992544 ID: 0fae41

Hello, skull!
>>
No. 992615 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161644011057.png - (9.88KB , 779x694 , Craniumvskull.png )
992615

Attempting to communicate with the Darkskull gets you a lot of vulgarities in a lot of languages along with a whole cachet of insults, most of them referring to your defeat and lack of not just a reproductive system, but also a pelvis within which to theoretically house them.

It is not a productive endeavor, but Sees is patient.

Once you get Angela to move you to face him, he speaks up.
>>
No. 992617 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161644066555.png - (36.97KB , 779x694 , HUMANspotted.png )
992617

>>992615
"We've spotted a human scout at the edge of the forest." Sees cuts to the chase right away. "Likely not hunting for you, Lord Above, but for us. He hasn't shown any sign of spotting us - we are very good at hiding - but he is persistent, and owns a good deal of magical equipment. Likely he is meant to find our base and show the way to more powerful or numerous recapture efforts."

He crosses his arms.
"On the one hand, were we to corner him, we could probably defeat him without issue. Doing so would likely yield a goodly amount of equipment, and an assurance of safety for a moment. But his absence would be noticed. Turning him to our cause would be another option, if we could get them listening. Unlikely." he sighs. "Capture is another avenue, though what we would DO with him is another question."

A long sigh. Angela speaks up.

"If he is human, acquiring his skeleton would be ideal." she says, "As it'd be similar enough to give you a basic, simple body again. Probably wouldn't last very long, but it'd be something."

"We also have the resources to seal the entrance completely and hide it for about two weeks." Sees adds, as a final option.

>We should kill him.
>We should talk to him.
>We should capture him.
>We should avoid him completely.
>Something else?
>>
No. 992618 ID: 19da02

Let's avoid him completely for now. I'd like to build up a bit more before we start attracting actual adventurers to start raiding.
>>
No. 992619 ID: 7ec5c0

Avoid! A scout that powerful will definitely be missed and attract attention. You can build up your power base in the meantime to make one big move instead.
>>
No. 992733 ID: f8fa51

Definitely hide out. Getting discovered eventually is inevitable, but we want to ensure stronger defences when that happens. We can use the time to dig more living space and shore up our defences.
>>
No. 992746 ID: b1b4f3

I don't think hiding is a real option. There's evidence out there already. The cut trees. This scout will find the cut trees and report back, resulting in a larger party arriving, even if the scout doesn't find the entrance to our base.

I vote capture, then try to recruit him. If he cannot be reasoned with then we just take his stuff as loot and keep him prisoner until our succubus grows strong enough to brainwash him.
>>
No. 992768 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161652040016.png - (27.18KB , 779x694 , WayTooClose.png )
992768

>>992733
>>992619
>>992618
You order the passage sealed posthaste. There's a mad scramble to put things together, but the disguised bit of stone is set in place. Everyone in the hideout sighs a sigh of relief.

Funny, you thought Mines would have something to say about that. Oh well. On to the matters of expansion...
>>
No. 992770 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161652082242.png - (14.13KB , 753x656 , MAP3a.png )
992770

First of all, (1) the ever-persistent engineer slaps down a new design for the entrance hallway - now with guard posts and, he confidently notes, NOT opening to the surface just yet. He wants the hall in place, properly trapped and gaurded, BEFORE you open it to the surface. He seems quite confident.

The storage room is re-proposed (2). As a reminder, this will allow you to more easily keep track of your items, supplies, and other things you own. Easily sealed against intrusion.

The leyline surveyors press their need for a lab (3), as this will allow them to work their magic - and possibly yours as well.

The beginning of an actual mine is put forth (4). This will allow you to expand for an additional floor, if you need the space, and simply mine for minerals and other items.

An expansion to the barracks (5) is put forth as future-proofing. Once this week finishes - that is, when the excavation is done - you will have a new brood hatching. More space may be needed.

A forge has been requested (6). You don't have any ores to smelt presently, but you might find some with this excavation - and you can melt down metals claimed from enemy invasions.

Since you are trapped in the lair for two weeks, this week's productivity is higher.

>Select THREE projects for the kobolds to work.
>>
No. 992777 ID: 0fbdcd

Trap hall, barrack, leyline boys. We need defense, housing, and a way to work our mojo in that order.
>>
No. 992781 ID: ce39da

[1] and [3] are musts. We don't really need [4] or [6] just yet - not until we finish mining out what we have up here and get some smeltable ore, respectively. That just leaves [2] and [5]; which of these you'll want is determinate on whether the new brood will need to move out of the hatchery immediately. If not, then priority goes to the room that fixes the storage issue that's been encroaching recently.

> Funny, you thought Mines would have something to say about that.
UM. Guys, it's time for a quick head-count. (Let's hope he's just putting the training hall to good use.)
>>
No. 992787 ID: 19da02

1, 3, and 5 should be priority.

Also yeah check on Mines.
>>
No. 992822 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161654556557.png - (12.60KB , 529x462 , earthstrikeyouknow.png )
992822

rolled 88, 28, 77, 44, 85 = 322

>>992787
>>992781
>>992777
Rolling for excavation results.
>>
No. 992833 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161654959690.png - (8.28KB , 820x482 , TheLab.png )
992833

>>992822
You've unearthed a pair of rings - unidentified, but not strong - three units of ore, ten units of stone (for a total of seventee- no, wait, fifteen, you used two for the seal), and 4 clay, (for a total of ten?) resulting in a veritable pile of resources. The kobolds celebrate the finished projects by conking out in their barracks.

All of them except the Leyline surveyors. They spend their time setting up The Lab, speaking in hushed capitals as they carefully set up desks and benches and worktables. The one you rest on at the moment is the working bench, where the leylines converge under. It's kind of like sitting on a slightly warm stove.

Here, Kobolds will research runes, empower them with the leylines, and apply them to equipment to empower them. You can research spells here, etching them to memory on the inside of your skull...
>>
No. 992835 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161654965259.png - (37.54KB , 1891x862 , SPELLBOOK.png )
992835

>>992833

Which brings us to a disturbing problem. Not only was your body unmade, but your memory of spells has as well. You remember your most basic utterings and spells - especially those with only verbal components - but everything else has either been forgotten or has been barred from use, thanks to your loss of a body and especially your arms. Magic needs to flow in a specific way and shape for more complex spells, and fingers and arms are necessary for that.

I mentally create a way to display what I know, what I don't know, and what is kept from me. The spells bordered in grey are locked from me. Those I have forgotten - more complex spells - are to the right of my initial knowhow. The singular spells I do know are present here: Bind Spirit, Create Darkness, and Unmake.

Binding Spirits is the most basic of necromantic studies - trapping ancient scraps of energy that are the detritus of the recently and not-so-recently deceased and either immediately putting them to use, or placing them in a prepared vessel to use later. Spirits are used in the animus of all sorts of constructs and even more advanced bindings.

Darkness Creation is wonderfully simple. By blocking light with simple lensing of magical force, one can easily create a zone of darkness. For you, this can encompass about half your throne room. Total darkness is often needed for more advanced spells.

And finally, unmake allows one to revert some processes of construction. It can't unforge a sword, but it might be able to seperate it into its component parts just before completion, like hilt and blade, if it needed to be fitted together. Or unsewing a shirt, perhaps. It's versatile, but not very offensive.

Currently, we lack the ability to progress here. We need a stable body to unlock more of the spells outside of current reach.
>>
No. 992836 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161654970128.png - (34.56KB , 779x694 , INTRUDER.png )
992836

>>992835

Which brings us to the new brood. Nine new kobolds have hatched and will be ready to work in about three weeks. Until then, they will be housed in the Barracks - the room furthest from the entrance, and specially guarded by the females, raised communally.

...Wait a moment.
...Do you hear that?
>>
No. 992837 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161654986828.png - (36.53KB , 779x694 , INTRUDER2.png )
992837

>I don't think hiding is a real option. There's evidence out there already. The cut trees. This scout will find the cut trees and report back, resulting in a larger party arriving, even if the scout doesn't find the entrance to our base.

You are now controlling Mines-Heads.
You are very. Very. Upset.
While anger is more of a continuum rather than a single state for you
This tall one is making you especially ENRAGED with how CLOSE he is to your NEW FAMILY.

Your friend is at your side. You have the advantage of both height and surprise.

WHAT DO YOU DO
>>
No. 992838 ID: 12b116

Get him! Try to take him alive though. At this point, we need to find out who he is, who his allies are, and if he's already reported the cut trees and stuff to other people.
>>
No. 992839 ID: e7c7d3

Mine his head for the precious brain ores
>>
No. 992840 ID: b1b4f3

>>992837
Jump directly on top of him. Smash his legs if possible. Priority one is preventing his escape. Priority two is protecting yourself and your friend. Priority three is capturing him.
>>
No. 992842 ID: 610dc7

>>992837
time for the sacred technique known as the goomba stomp
>>
No. 992847 ID: 0fbdcd

Strike the earth! The earth colored hood. With your claws.
We can kill him, but we need to either disappear him or make it look like natural causes to throw off the backup party. You know which you're best at.
>>
No. 992907 ID: f8fa51

The scout getting back with the location of the cave is worse than the scout not getting back at all. Make sure he doesn't escape, first and foremost.
>>
No. 992936 ID: ce39da

Yeah, he's examining that spot too closely for it to be a coincidence; he officially knows too much.

Your highest priority; incapacitate him.
Your second priority is; you survive.
Third priority; capture him alive.

To those ends, we start by jumping him with our weapon - notably without giving a battle-cry. Kobolds, even champions, aren't as likely to fare well in a fair fight as other minion species.
>>
No. 993531 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161694573494.png - (23.21KB , 753x656 , STRIKEHISFACE.png )
993531

You would have screamed, if you could. It's a specific kind of scream: Not "here I am", but "here is your nightmare". Intended to shock, not alert.

But you don't scream anymore. Or talk, for that matter.
Another notch on the list of things They stole. You'll get it back. For now...

>Don't kill! Capture!
A human can live without its legs. ...! How- How did he - You were SILENT!
>>
No. 993532 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161694582456.png - (25.38KB , 753x656 , NOHISFACE.png )
993532

>>993531
Another swing, even before feet touch the solid earth - wild, but it connects with something, it rips, but there is no blood. Shallow.
>>
No. 993533 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161694615007.png - (23.33KB , 753x656 , BOSSTIME.png )
993533

>>993532
You land, steadying yourself, and the Scout shifts out of his slide, smoking something magical from his hood where it was ripped. They eye you from the dark hole that is their hood without a word, a blade under their cloak, and out of nowhere, a bow in the other. They stand right in front of the sealed entrance.

Still, the geography here is thick with trees and the Scout's back is to the wall. They are not untouchable - simply fast. Cool calm flows over you like gentle water and focus slides in where power flees.

What is the plan of attack?
>We need to finish him faster. All out. Don't give them space to retreat.
>Defensive. We need to know more. Force them into initiative and retaliate.
>Get reinforcements. Shatter the seal with your own power and throw him to the traps and allies within.
>>
No. 993535 ID: 610dc7

>>993533
damn their quickness, he's perfectly positioned to get tackled right through into the tunnel, where you could hurl them onto a trap and get reinforcements
>>
No. 993553 ID: 12b116

If our plan is to capture him, we might as well go with option 3.
>>
No. 993554 ID: b1b4f3

>>993531
>But you don't scream anymore. Or talk, for that matter.
You seemed perfectly capable of bellowing at the lich. ("an impressive cry of anger")

>>993533
Drive him inside.
>>
No. 993566 ID: f8fa51

It is most important he not escape. We can give up on capturing him to secure that objective if it seems uncertain. Go all-out.
>>
No. 993674 ID: 0fbdcd

Don't give him the opportunity to get a hit in. Tackle him through the wall into a trap. We can always get a new wall.
>>
No. 993762 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161706774918.png - (17.01KB , 753x656 , DigDeep.png )
993762

>>993554
Probably your last. At least until you take it back. Their hands were clumsy. Their knife was imprecise. They wanted you quiet.

>>993566
>Go all out.

Oh. You should have said that to start with.
>>
No. 993763 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161706781339.png - (18.83KB , 753x656 , Doordiscussion.png )
993763

>>993762
You are now in control of [The Lich].

You're discussing options with Sees at the seal. You could tear the matter down within a few days, but it wouldn't do much good for a Mines who is in trouble, or possibly even captured. Sees hems and haws, mentioning something about being Mines' words to Sees' eyes. Sees knows Mines-heads is intelligent beyond the scope of what I've seen - a belligerent pile of muscle and scale - and that his vocal cords were haphazardly removed at some point. Sometimes he can mange simple sounds, but even that is taxing. His outburst earlier must, then, have been important.

"Fear not. I'm sure that whatever-"

There's a pounding at the seal. A scream and cry for help. In the language of the woodspeople? At first clear, then more strangled. Coherence is lost as the beating continues, until finally the seal sunders inwards.
>>
No. 993764 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161706783955.png - (24.64KB , 753x656 , Doordiscussionover.png )
993764

A body is tossed in through the opening, skidding on many wounds. It's alive - if only just - with a mattock in its back and wounds all over.

Mines-heads steps to the opening and indicates the cloaked figure with a single claw. He's accessing some well of power I've seen a few times. It's similar to the power that funnels through the Darkskull - a fury beyond berserking, a primal, elemental sort of magic that reinforces the body with elemental anger.
Sees sighs.
"I suppose that's one problem sorted, and perhaps three more in the reckoning."

Stepping inside, Mines-heads shrugs as if to indicate that yes, we have more problems now, but that is a different problem. This one is solved.

Looking at the shivering, bloodied mess on the floor, you're somewhat bound to agree.

>Well, let's get it to the lab, get it dead, and see what is to be done with the remains.
>Save them, chain them, put them in some sort of cell. Make sure they wear nothing with any runes. "
>Seal this damned hole!
>Take the mattock and toss it back out. Maybe a bear got them.
>Something else?
>>
No. 993772 ID: 894419

>>993764
Nothing fancy, finish him off and fix the door.
>>
No. 993812 ID: 437c84

Kill it and fix the door. We can get the leylinebolds to dissect it.
I feel like interrogation isn't all that important. It's an adventurer. They just crop up and wander into the wilderness, usually in packs.
>>
No. 993816 ID: 19da02

Definitely interrogate it. We need to know who it is, what it is, who it knows, and why it was wandering around here. If it's just a lone adventurer, fine. If it's a scout for a party because there's a job in the tavern or a rumor floating around, we want to prepare adequately.
>>
No. 993897 ID: f8fa51

While capturing it alive was not the most important objective, we should take advantage of the situation while we can. Capture, disarm, study and interrogate. This thing might not be entirely human. If it isn't, we might be able to learn something from dissecting it, but after we have learned what it knows. Thank Mines-Heads for his initiative in protecting the den.

The seal will need to be replaced, of course, since undoubtedly there will be more coming in a matter of days at most. Don't bother trying to frame bears for the kill, I doubt anyone would fall for it. Better to leave them guessing altogether.
>>
No. 993933 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161716280525.png - (20.70KB , 753x656 , StitchedThing.png )
993933

>>993897
>>993816
>Interrogate and capture.

You quickly have the best (and only) medic in the lair take it away after disarming it. The other kobolds are quick to recreate the seal.

"Mines-heads." you call. The hulk looks at you. "Thank you. Your initiative is appreciated."

The giant tilts its head, then shakes it, waving his mattock at Sees and the other leyline workers. Thumping his chest once, he wanders away, back to the training room. 'I didn't do this for you.' is the message you get. Just as you begin to discuss the next steps with Sees, those working on the Scout are quick to return to you. You're handed off and Angela roosts on Sees while you're rushed into the Lab.

This... is a 'golem'. A Stitched Thing, to be specific. It's not a True Golem, which requires a connection to the divine to make and is bound to either a location or a faith. A Stitched Thing is an automaton that runs on spirits or a soul engine. This one is the former, thank heavens. A Soul Engine is a forbidden thing, and for good reason. Even at your height you wouldn't have gone to such lengths.

Anyway.

The good news is that all the breaks of bones are clean, all the damage is easily repaired, and it had spent all its energy trying to repair itself and flee, so it's completely harmless and practically whole. And once you and your leyline workers are done - being very careful not to give it any fuel - it grows apparent that this was built by someone who is very good at making them.

But what to do with it?

>Make it ours. A complicated task with a chance of failure (About a 70% chance of success)
>Disassemble it and use the skeleton for your own body.
>Disassemble it, store the skeleton for later use.
>Destroy it. It might be a trap of some kind.
>Something else?
>>
No. 993935 ID: b1b4f3

>>993933
Disassemble, use its skeleton for our own body. Time to be mobile again!
>>
No. 993954 ID: 0fbdcd

Make it ours. Unless there's a booby trap, we can always rip the skeleton out of it if we fail.
By runs on spirits, do you mean... alcohol? Is this golem powered by booze?
>>
No. 993956 ID: 36784c

>>993935
This!
>>
No. 993966 ID: f8fa51

Make it ours. If successful, we will not only learn all it knows and gain an asset, we may be able convince whoever sent it that nothing is here.
>>
No. 994008 ID: 19da02

Is there a way to check and see if it's feeding information back or something of that sort? Can we check it for traps? If not, try to make it ours.
>>
No. 994009 ID: 9c1ef3

>>994008
>>993966
>>993954
writing/drawing now
>>
No. 994012 ID: 9c1ef3

rolled 99 = 99

>>994009
. . .
>>
No. 994013 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161720948770.png - (26.13KB , 753x656 , whereami.png )
994013

>>994012
Less a concern for traps or hidden gotchas, it's more of a fact that the whole assembly is quite fragile. A misstep and the whole thing becomes inert materials. However, there's a small chance it becomes improperly programmed as well.

Well, here goes nothing. Golemetry was never my strongest calling, but crafting servitors is essentially similar from one sort of job to another. And if the original creator jump-started this with a Soul rather than a spirit, well, all the easier-

Something goes sideways.
>>
No. 994014 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161720965825.png - (25.10KB , 753x656 , whoami.png )
994014

>>994013
The remains of the soul used to power the Stitched Thing's existence fuse with the spirits bound to it and it sucks in others in this very room with a feeling like a gasp, creating an entirely new soul from the mishmash.

In short, you accidentally created a whole life out of nothing.
>>
No. 994015 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161720981648.png - (34.19KB , 753x656 , IHAVEAVAGUELYDEFINEDMOUTHANDIREALLYREALLYWANTTOYEL.png )
994015

>>994014
A very confused new life in a body mostly suited to creating soldiers and assassins, rendering it incapable of expression beyond its gestures, as well as a total lack of anything approaching human characteristics save for arms, legs, and opposable thumbs.

Oh, dear.

>Attempt comfort? Communication?
>Oh god shut it down immediately! This is an abomination against all things normal!
>Fascinating. Let's see what it does next.
>Something else.
>>
No. 994018 ID: 19da02

See what it does next!
>>
No. 994020 ID: 12ecef

>>994015
Comfort, then observe
>>
No. 994024 ID: b1b4f3

>>994015
Comfort, communication.
Welcome to life. We'll see about improving that body over time, don't worry.
>>
No. 994035 ID: 906744

>>994015
poor thing, attempt comfort and observe.
we need some chalk and slate asap so it can properly talk back.
>>
No. 994036 ID: f8fa51

Comfort and observe. Golemancy isn't really your deal, but perhaps you could learn to make some modifications, in time?
>>
No. 995547 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161807220624.png - (23.22KB , 753x656 , Calm.png )
995547

There's an inherent problem with all this, and it's that you're a very old lich and you're attempting to comfort what amounts to a small child. After a few moments of panic, Angela flies over you and lands on the thing's head.

"I've got this, Master." Angela says, more clear than recently.

A wave of suppression washes over the Stitched Thing, calming it, as Angela perches like an owl on its 'scalp'. She sighs. "We can probably count on this one, if we like, to serve us. I can guide it to a proper development. The problem, though, my master, is that we have lost an opportunity to rebuild you. I had hoped by this point that we would have unearthed some bit or part of you, or some old bone cabinet, something. But... We haven't."

"Have plenty of capable followers, even more, now."

"You do, this is true. But a legion of kobolds and what amounts to a very strong child, along with a Succubus reduced to an Imp in form, do not really project strength. The problem is one of recruitment and loyalty, sir." she explains. "We still aren't strong enough to besiege a camp of slavers. With your body and some clever tactics, it would be no problem..."
>>
No. 995548 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161807223661.png - (16.43KB , 753x656 , flappa.png )
995548

>>995547

"... But as it stands, our primary military force will grow antsy and act without us. The young Mines-Heads is a Berserker, a real one, infinitesimal portal to Elemental Fury and all within his soul. And Sees is capable and a decent enough secondary leader to these creatures. But we lack the power to strike out, and that wouldn't be a problem, except we are steadily showing a hand with no cards."

"What can I possibly do?" I find it hard to find the end of this line of reasoning. "There are no bones for me."

"There are plenty, sire." she intones.
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No. 995549 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161807226565.png - (10.52KB , 753x656 , EVIL.png )
995549

"They're just wearing flesh at the moment, and happen to be a bit hunched. But we can work with that. We can definitely work with that."


This vote contains actions with the tag [EVIL]. These represent shifts in alignment and sometimes can risk betraying allies or committing disturbing acts for greater power. The more [EVIL] actions you take, the stronger your magic becomes and the more powerful your link to Angela grows - you become harder to kill with finality.

[EVIL] actions require a supermajority vote.

>Absolutely not. These kobolds have pledged their loyalty, not their bodies, to me.
>I don't see the point in losing so much trust for a modicum of power. It's not significant enough for the cost/benefit ratio to make sense.
>[EVIL] Very well. Let us see who is willing to sacrifice for the greater good, and accelerate the freedom of their brothers and sisters.
>[EVIL] I am sure an accident can be arranged. It doesn't matter how I get these bones...
>Something else...
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No. 995551 ID: ce39da

>>995549
Absolutely not. The kobolds have put their trust in us. To be honest, I suspect that indulging in these sorts of acts had contributed much of the reason the world denounced us in the way that it did. If I am still 'evil' to that world, then at least pray I don't also alienate those who would side with me.

All is not lost on this front, Angela; I doubt we could tear down that entire kingdom in a single stroke even with my body restored. If the kobolds are willing to begin with more clandestine operations which will scout and weaken, we can have them capture a suitable vessel for me while they're at it.
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No. 995554 ID: 3d5d68

>>995549
Ah, was waiting for this to pop up.
Absolutely not.

The morality of it is immaterial, and honestly if we were to ask we would doubtlessly have volunteers, but we look after our own.

Besides, what we'd gain in personal power and advance in timescale would probably not be worth worsening relations with Mines Heads.

These recent developments have given me an idea however: the slaver camp itself might be too hard a target but between Mines, our new friend here and the warriors we do have we should be able to take a caravan of them or their buyers as they transport their slaves.
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No. 995556 ID: b1b4f3

>>995549
I don't see the point.
This is impatience. There will be spare bodies in time, ones that do not belong to loyal subjects. Once all our defenses are set up we may even... encourage the slavers to attack.
Or maybe we can take down a traveler along a nearby road?
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No. 995568 ID: f8fa51

"I don't see the point in losing so much trust for a modicum of power. It's not significant enough for the cost/benefit ratio to make sense."
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No. 996724 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161876439418.png - (20.00KB , 753x656 , argument.png )
996724

"Absolutely not."

"But-"

"You have forgotten. Perhaps it is your reduced state. Perhaps it is your starvation for souls. Perhaps it is simple boredom of the many years you sifted through this rubble. I don't know which." The air about yourself darkens. It's an old habit - growing upset, you'd leach the light from the air around you, dark magic leaking from your soul itself. Many magi, even living and lacking your enhancements, experience similar phenomenons. "We have but several dozen loyal servants, including a child-soul within a construct, an imp, and an animated skull. Our position is incredibly precarious. It is not worth endangering for short term bursts or gains of power. Even with access to my full body, yes, I could devastate a slaver camp - but what of what follows? Am I to build again on such lack of trust? Am I to value my people so little?"

"What does it matter? we are immortal! In a thousand years they'll all be dead, either way. And we will be stronger."

"Certainly. But here and now is what matters. And here and now, they are alive - and working for me. Now go. I must coordinate with Sees and Mines."
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No. 996725 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161876448313.png - (37.11KB , 753x656 , Herounits.png )
996725

>>996724


It doesn't take long to get them to the table.

"Sees. Mines. I have summoned you here to discuss what we spoke of when we met."
Mines instantly perks up - Sees looks worried. "And it seems I'll have to, on some level, disappoint the both of you. You see, I have an idea. Mines-heads, you are growing impatient. This is normal, understandable. You are a being of action, and you tire of being held here and waiting. And Sees, you fear that very action will bring danger upon your heads. But any operation has a weak point. Ours is our limited numbers."

Sees perks up, he's a few steps ahead. Mines tilts his head in confusion.

"The slavers have greater numbers. Their weakness is the difficulty of efficiently transporting their cargo, or keeping it in place." you explain. "Recently another servant has expressed that I am severely diminished, and were this remedied, I could lay waste to these camps with ease. She is not... entirely incorrect. Thus, a proposal: We waylay a caravan. Using your natural capabilities, we find some location where the entire caravan can be ambushed, their guards defeated, servants freed. We take from them one of their men. Even if we cannot secure every slave, this mission's main hope is trifold:
First, we secure my real power - a body of real bone, which which to channel my power, cast spells, and so on. Second, we free other kobolds, disrupting their operation. And third, we frighten them - their reaction to this will be most telling."

"And what if they retaliate?"

"With me at my full power, it won't matter. A small slave trader cohort?"

All those bones, all that meat and souls. Equipment. Possibly even recruits. "Gentlemen, this is an opportunity. This is a chance! Now, then..."

>Sees-In-Darkness, I trust you to handle this. Your caution and planning will be of great use, and I trust you to succeed above and beyond.
>Mines-heads, I trust you to lead this. Put the fear of whatever God they worship in them.
>Postpone this action - for a later date, perhaps after the children mature.
>Cancel this action. (You'll need to write up something to say.)
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No. 996739 ID: b1b4f3

>>996725
This doesn't require subtlety past the initial ambush, which Mines has shown to be proficient at. Have him lead the mission.
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No. 996827 ID: e7c7d3

Mines Heads should lead
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No. 996879 ID: f8fa51

I'm sure Mines-Heads is more than capable of commanding an ambush party.
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No. 996910 ID: 894419

>>996725
Mines head should lead
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No. 996920 ID: ce39da

This is not a solo-op - we will be relying on a group to succeed where an individual (besides ourselves) would almost certainly fail. Mines is strong, yes, but he makes up for his brethren who are otherwise weak in direct combat. He'd shore up their main weakness, for sure. Sees, meanwhile, would play up their strengths in ambushing, traps, and autonomous tactics.

We send Sees.
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No. 998528 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161982318891.png - (45.92KB , 817x749 , AMBUSH.png )
998528

"Mines-heads, this will be a simple matter. Put the fear of whatever god they follow in them."

Mines-heads nods, and steps away, Sees following alongside him. You learn of the discussion a little later:

"This will be a simple enough mission, as our Lord Above has stated. The route of the slavers is used quite rarely - to bring in and bring out their cargo, and that is all. It is not well-traveled. We will need three others aside from you, Mines. They will dig out two divots. We all remember the length of those carts, yes? The width of the wheels?
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No. 998529 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161982325036.png - (25.18KB , 817x749 , IMMOBILIZED.png )
998529

Good. We will make use of that.
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No. 998530 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161982328696.png - (27.83KB , 817x749 , RESULTS.png )
998530

Once the cart is immobilized, we move quickly to free our brethren. The guards try to stop us. But even chestplates and maille do little to impede what has seen its way through the toughest rock this realm has to offer.

One is merely decapitated.

He will be for out Lord Above.

You have acquired:
::Five adult Kobolds. They will require a week of rest to be fit for labor. One of them seems different from the rest...
::One human male adult body, sans head. Neck is damaged (crushing force) but otherwise in fine condition...
::Something about Mines' soul feels different...


The recently freed kobolds are taken to the barracks to rest, the body is moved to the lab and divested of equipment.
Mines trundles off to the training area, but the other kobolds from the operation actively avoid him. Regardless, spirits are high - progress has been made and captors slain. There is still much to do. While nothing is urgent, many things press on my schedule - what should take priority?

>Need to look at those rings I dug up, and prep the skeleton for use.
>I need to take a closer look at Mines' Soul. Something changed about him, and it might not be for the best...
>Talk with Sees about the newcomers, especially the odd one out. What sets him apart? Something about him tingles at the edge of your perception.
>Something else entirely?
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No. 998534 ID: b1b4f3

>>998530
Investigate the strange kobold first. If it's a spy using some kind of disguise, you need to find out ASAP.

Next on the priority is getting your new body, since after that everything will be easier.

Then check on Mines, make sure he's okay.
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No. 998575 ID: e7c7d3

Check out Mines
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No. 998587 ID: f8fa51

If Mines-Heads is unstable, it would be a disaster. But a spy or weapon in our midst could be just as bad. We must prioritise checking on the condition of these two kobolds before anything else. Mines first.
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No. 998747 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161997560547.png - (20.48KB , 817x749 , ABeing.png )
998747

You bid Mines-heads into the leyline room. He's antsy, you can tell. Ready to be out again, in the blood and the action.

But first of all, a refresher on the anatomy of a Being.

A Being is anything that is born, not created, and is considered alive. Stitched Thing, for example, is not a Being as such, it's a construct. And a statue is not a Being, it is an object. Even yourself does not count as a Being, for various, complicated reasons. A normal Being is three distinct parts: A Body, the solid structure and mechanical composition of its self. The Mind, the seat of consciousness and perception as well as memory. ANd the Soul, where the spark of life originates, the Self is defined as different from the rest of the world, and wherefrom the blueprint of the Body is kept and retrieved.

Thus, each part is linked to the others, influenced by the others, and reliant on the others. Without the Mind, the Soul and Body become an automaton. Without the Soul, the Being loses identity and often its life (there ARE exceptions, rare as they are), and without the Body, naught is left but an ethereal, tortured thing, a living 'exposed nerve'.

Thus it is that the health of the Trinity is just as important as the health of the singular parts, any Necromancer would tell you.

And our dear Mines-Heads, well...
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No. 998748 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161997566908.png - (19.30KB , 817x749 , ALookAtASoul.png )
998748

>>998747

His Body is fine - mostly. The damages seen there are reflective of Soul damage, so... We can ignore it for the present, and focus on the mind and the soul.

From here we have a picture of his health, and it's no wonder he felt different. Mines-Heads is a legitimate, honest to goodness Berserker. Within his Soul is a miniscule, almost invisible portal to the elemental plane of Fury. Such a force as is on the other end of this portal that is beyond mortal capability of anger - it is a primal thing, a force that both focuses and energizes.

However, Mines is untrained, and worse, he is legitimately still full of his own anger. He has not learned the detached nature that allows one to access such power without polluting their self. His vocal glands, once merely damaged - his roar at you earlier had been haggard, but strong - are now on the cusp of destruction. His hands seem to be growing damaged in a similar way - fine motor control may elude him.

Worst of all, his mind is also beginning to suffer from contact with the portal in his soul. There is no telling how many rages and fights are left in him. Nor how his mental state will degrade over time, or where further damages will occur.

Mines-Heads has become a ticking time bomb.

>He must be benched.
>We must destroy the portal in his soul.
>We must reinforce his soul against the corruption, somehow.
>We need to find him a mentor in the art of Berserking.
>He is a lost cause. Throw him into the largest pack of our enemies as we can find and hope he dies at least nobly.
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No. 998749 ID: b1b4f3

>>998748
>We must reinforce his soul against the corruption, somehow.
>We need to find him a mentor in the art of Berserking.
One of these two. Possibly the first one first, then the second one when we can manage it?

Don't spend too much time on the reinforcement, he'll probably only get worse when he fights so we can check on the strange kobold as our next priority.
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No. 998751 ID: e7c7d3

Find a mentor, and then Mines can be a mentor to other kobolds
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No. 998754 ID: f8fa51

A mix of reinforcing his soul, benching him except for when he's needed most, and looking for a mentor, which will be our actual goal the other two methods are stalling for.
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No. 999633 ID: 9c1ef3
File 162066385649.png - (17.45KB , 817x749 , SOULhealing.png )
999633

>>998749
>>998751
>>998754
Alright.

Necromancy, the art of death and life, of course has rituals for the healing and bracing of the soul using spirits. The results are better the smaller the wounds. I focus on his mind and his hands, then work on his neck. There is the minor, tiny issue that this may introduce mutations from the parts of the spirit binding to his soul, but that's quite unlikely.

Just need to replace the broken soulmass with spiritual essence I've bound and-

oh n o
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No. 999634 ID: 9c1ef3
File 162066416807.png - (12.78KB , 457x442 , OVERLOADED.png )
999634

The spirits...

It is rare but not impossible that a necromatic working involving especially dense amounts of spirits can result in a backlash. Most times this backlash is relatively harmless. At worst, one can expect some physical pain and and, oddly, a sharp memory. Some believe that this is due to the connection between Mind and Soul, but current theory posits that the Spirits are binding to the Soul itself and reinforcing specific memories.

You're recalling... random bits of your initial studies...

- - - -

The skull clatters to the ground, unbroken, but seemingly lifeless. But it's very hot to the touch, and the kobolds leave it be.

END OF THREAD ONE


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