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1077945 No. 1077945 ID: 9ea24b

Short VN game in this setting: https://tippler.itch.io/march-time
Discussion: https://questden.org/kusaba/questdis/res/135483.html

Gore and violence warning. No onscreen sex. No chance based events.
435 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 1082636 ID: 15cb56

They tried to challenge us, so we put their skills to the test, and they failed.

A useless soldier is only good for raw materials. So we decided to carve them into a monument to your raw, stripped majesty. Do you like it?
No. 1082638 ID: 5ebd37

They demanded more than their fair share of food, when we tried to reason with them they attacked and we defended ourselves.
Such undisciplined soldiers, since they couldn't follow your example in life I thought they might in death. Do they not now look the part?
No. 1082687 ID: eb0a9c

"Is their death not the point of all this? You sent two feeble yet fecund messengers to a literal back-water village as 'messengers'. They were clearly sacrifices, appeasements to slake the bloodlust of my villagers."
No. 1082699 ID: 9ea24b
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I was originally planning to say the soldiers’ deaths were an accident, but the voices seem to be in favor of a more direct approach.

“They asked for too much food so my citizens killed them, sir. I collected them afterwards, look here.” I gesture at my monument. “Did you not expect them to die when you sent them here? Especially since you would know George has taken residence in Pliny.”

Icher grinds their gray teeth together. “I told you failure would result in punishment. This is failure. You will be punished.”
No. 1082700 ID: 9ea24b
File 170727074146.png - (27.88KB , 500x500 , p145.png )

“Yes but–” I reach my free tail for the cat corpses and have them trot around in a circle. “Look at this! Look what I can do in mockery of the dead! Isn’t it amusing, sir?”

Icher watches me manipulate his soldier’s bodies in silence for several minutes. I make the slippery paws of the top cat swing a short sword, have the bottom cat rear up on its hind legs, and even make both cats salute. I run out of ideas eventually and let the bodies flop onto the ground again.

“That is very amusing.” Icher admits. “Meodin did mention you controlling a dead man in lieu of hands.”

His eyes narrow as he looks around my impromptu cemetery with its occasional protruding limbs. I need to distract him and loosen the sword before he becomes suspicious. What did Smit advise me to do again?
No. 1082702 ID: c5c93c

Smit advised that the self-centered love to hear themselves talk.

"The decay you leave in your wake is most pleasing to we of the rot. We would love to hear of your manifestation, the violence from which you were born." Behave like a fawning sycophant.
No. 1082703 ID: c5c93c

Oh, and the sirs. Don't forget the sirs.
No. 1082708 ID: 5ebd37

You could have your lonely friend demonstrate wielding a sword(badly), then praise Icher's clearly much superior swordsplay. surreptitiously get closer to one of your secret tunnels.
No. 1082717 ID: 273c18

Ask him how he came to lead the army in the first place. Was he born in their camp, like you were born in your city?

Oh and complain about how your citizens don't like you because you smell and spread filth, and there's no way you can think of to stop being that way.
No. 1082814 ID: 9ea24b
File 170736128145.png - (20.69KB , 500x500 , p146.png )

I cannot spit up my lonely friend while I am impaled which means I must distract Icher with idle, self-centered chatter. I gesture to my well with my tail and they snap to track the motion.

“That is my hole, sir. I was born when the city was already destroyed and most had fled. How was such a powerful spirit like yourself born if the army is still intact?”

“Naive, young Pliny. I was created with intention, by my commander on Vishelt soil. After uniting the various nomadic tribes of the land he went to the great ogre shaman and learned a ritual to raise me from a battlefield. I rose from my bloodstained hole to a great swell of chanting.”

While Icher talks, I subtly wiggle my head to loosen the blade.

“Afterwards we burned the shaman in her home with her many fetishes of power, then scattered or recruited her apprentices.” he continues. “We began the conquest that would spread my influence over great swathes of land so that I could grow from a weak filly into my current form.”
No. 1082815 ID: 9ea24b
File 170736129658.png - (22.23KB , 500x500 , p147.png )

“Do your soldiers like you, sir?” I ask, slight bitterness entering my tone. “My citizens think I smell and spread filth, after all I do for them.”

Icher chitters for several seconds. “How sad. I am regarded with great respect. I have my own regiment and I am invited to meetings on tactics and strategy.”

My list of reasons to hate Icher grows once more. I have worked the sword out of the ground though I am gripping it within my head flesh to keep it in place. I can dart for my holes and begin my attack or ask further questions.
No. 1082817 ID: df60a9

Do you sense the others in position? If so, we may begin the attack.
If not, we should distract him further. We should ask what he intends to do when his conquest of the soil is complete. Will his power grow until he sprouts wings with which to conquer the sky?
No. 1082818 ID: eb0a9c

Ask him how long spirits last. You wonder what will happen when there are no bodies left to stab and no bacteria left to infest.

Wait for your moment.
No. 1082821 ID: 273c18

Ask if he has ever felt remorse for his actions.
No. 1082831 ID: a7a180

Waste not your time on more questions, and strike while the dirt is, uh... cold.
No. 1082841 ID: 5ebd37

Heave the sword as far as you can, preferably against something loud, and lets get this corpse pile rolling.
No. 1082842 ID: f2320a

>"Oh are you a girl? If not the word is colt for a young male horse that then grows into a stallion"
No. 1082945 ID: 9ea24b
File 170750905089.png - (17.57KB , 500x500 , p148.png )

Based on Icher’s word choice, it seems he may be a girl in the same way Telarin considers me to be one. The irrelevance of gender to spirits continues to inspire me. I do not think Icher feels any remorse for their actions, spirits do what is in their nature.

I decide not to ask about all that, but I do have other questions. I assume the adventurers are waiting for the fight to break out before they rush over so I do not need to stall for time.

“If the war gives you power what will happen to you when it ends?” I ask. I am a little concerned about what will happen to me when the city is fully rebuilt and I am consigned to stay in my well permanently.
No. 1082946 ID: 9ea24b
File 170750907028.png - (12.56KB , 500x500 , p149.png )

Icher thinks about my question before speaking. “Conquered lands are never fully peaceful. Perhaps I will grow weaker as my affinity with this soil lessens, but I should not fade entirely.”

That sounds like a smart fancy word. “What is affinity?” I ask.

Icher laughs again. “Has your parasite wizard not told you? It is a measure of how much of the surrounding mana resonates with oneself. It applies to all things, but is a mortal term.”

They keep snickering. “Poor innocent Pliny. This punishment will grant you a small mercy.”

I roll to the side when Icher reaches for his sword, flinging it against the piles of stones as I dive into my well. How should I attack Icher?
No. 1082948 ID: eb0a9c

Unleash the swarm of undead in waves to attack and distract him, then dart in and constrict a leg until you can rip it off.
No. 1082964 ID: 273c18

Gather up a bunch of corpses, use them as a multitude of arms to grapple and wield whatever weapons you have available to deal damage. Hurl rocks if you have to. Basically, overwhelm the opponent with sheer mass and quantity of offense. You will be protected by your corpse shell so we don't have to worry about defense so much, and the corpses can carry you around so movement is taken care of as well.
If you can get that sword away from Icher then you have a huge advantage.

Be on your guard for any tricks Icher has up their sleeve. They should have some sort of special ability too.
No. 1082993 ID: 5d63ad

I realize something. Icher has a dead corpse on it, and we have some control of the dead... can we maybe perhaps possibly conceivably take control the dead guy on its back and have it like, choke or punch it or something?
No. 1082995 ID: 5ebd37

Send in bodies first, to pen him in. Let them wear him down, then pop out and constrict him. Your metal plates should keep you safe from any tricks.
No. 1083004 ID: 28c488

Use the corpses as traps to ensnare and grapple him. If we can, drag him to the ground or pry away his sword. If he gets free, use our holes to keep him confused about where we are.
No. 1083052 ID: 9ea24b
File 170759973681.png - (27.51KB , 500x500 , p150.png )

I hear Icher retrieve his sword as I get into position in the network of tunnels. I have to strain to extend my power through the lines of corpses for an all out attack, but it is worth it when Icher makes a startled bark followed by sounds of clashing metal.

The other downside of this method is that I cannot see what I am doing. I make sure Icher is buried under my waves of undead before I squirm through a tunnel up to the surface, spitting up my lonely friend and my short sword.

I am already feeling tired, but I cannot pause the offensive. I dive into the mass of bodies, sending the pile into a roil of twitching limbs. I find one of Icher’s legs and start hacking at it wildly.
No. 1083053 ID: 9ea24b
File 170759976794.png - (21.64KB , 500x500 , p151.png )

By the time I cut through the limb, I have to expel my lonely friend and half of my treasure as I shrink. I am less able to influence the surrounding bodies as well, and I have to throw myself at Icher as he moves to right himself. The retaliating longsword strike clanks off my loose armor and we fall back into the mass, tearing at each other.

Icher does not display any new powers. He shrinks for the first time when I cut off another leg, wounds bursting into more delicate appendages as his mass recalibrates. I am healing perhaps a touch faster than he is, but we are both taking so much damage that it might as well be negligible.

I distantly hear the adventurers arrive and squawk when an arrow pierces my side. Icher and I are so intertwined that any attack will hit both of us. I could let go and trust the adventurers to handle things, or I could hold on to make sure Icher cannot escape while weakening alongside him.
No. 1083058 ID: 5ebd37

Hold fast, Icher cannot be allowed to escape.
Trust your citizens to help you recover after.
No. 1083067 ID: e51896

Keep holding. if you can grab hold of the corpse on Icher and control it in some way, do so too.
No. 1083073 ID: 15765f

Focus on restraining Icher and exposing his body to the adventurers. Allow them to do the damage.
No. 1083074 ID: a7a180

Hold that horse with a dead man's grip.
No. 1083120 ID: 273c18

Hold fast. If you both shrink small enough then the adventurers can finish off Icher without your help. Try to conserve energy, and let your armor plates protect you.
No. 1083121 ID: 273c18

Oh, and if you have to throw up the Secret Corpse, put it underground so you don't break that wish. Though, at this point, I doubt anyone will recognize it.
No. 1083156 ID: 9ea24b
File 170768674252.png - (24.55KB , 500x500 , p152.png )

I am confident that my armor will give me the defensive edge, meaning that the sacrifice of holding on will be worth it to defeat Icher. I am able to make this decision with ease; I do not think spirits have a strong self-preservation instinct.

We continue to grapple as George shoots and Erogalf knocks us around with glowing magic projectiles. Eventually, Icher is forced to withdraw their rider-like growth into their body to conserve mass, dropping their sword in the process. I spit the last of my treasure and Smit’s partner to the side, hoping that the secret will go unnoticed in the large pile of bodies.

The attacks die down as I curl tight around Icher under my largest armor plate. He grips me loosely with pudgy baby fingers, silent.
No. 1083157 ID: 9ea24b
File 170768675553.png - (15.87KB , 500x500 , p153.png )

I hear a thump and a clatter as George and his bow hit the ground. Footsteps. Flint lifts the armor plate with the blade of her ax and I peer out at her. She’s holding a little metal tin. Icher jolts beneath me.

What is this? I have moments to act before Flint reaches us. I will not let go of Icher, and with one last effort could force him against the exposed blade or trust in what Flint is planning to do.
No. 1083159 ID: 19ca09

They have probably knocked George out so that Erogalf can capture Icher for research or mana. End him yourself if you must. This is for Pliny's vengeance!
No. 1083165 ID: 5ebd37

This seems likely, do whatever you can to end Icher. If they wanted to change the plan they should have said so. Not your fault you don't know what they want you to do.
No. 1083172 ID: f2320a

Swallow the hand
No. 1083202 ID: a7a180

Force him against the blade. For Pliny!
No. 1083229 ID: 9ea24b
File 170775852639.png - (24.32KB , 500x500 , p154.png )

If the adventurers spare Icher, then the spirit will have a chance to escape and wreak havoc in the future, not to mention they did not tell me about this aspect of the plan. I will end my hated foe myself!

I heave Icher into the sharp point at the top of Flint’s ax. The spirit melts against me into reddish soil without another word.

I immediately feel better and start to thicken as the ground’s mana flows up through the bodies and spilt mud into me. I have defended my city and proven myself the superior spirit.
No. 1083230 ID: 9ea24b
File 170775855039.png - (15.03KB , 500x500 , p155.png )

Flint plucks me up with her callused fingers, turning me over and rubbing away the loose dirt. As a legendary war hero, I tolerate this remarkably well, especially since it interferes with my regeneration.

“Bring the light over.” she tells Erogalf. “I can’t find Icher.”

“I have defeated the enemy.” I say proudly, once the two elves are huddled over me. I will have to tell George once he wakes up.

Telarin and Erogalf look horrified. The wizard turns away and kicks a severed head, cursing, while Telarin sighs.

“Good job Pliny.” she says. “Let’s get you back in your well.”
No. 1083232 ID: 69ab37

A well deserved rest, after a job well done.
No. 1083244 ID: 8f9bc4

Be as proud and smug as the dog who helped hunt the ducks by scaring them all off into the sky.
No. 1083245 ID: 8511a9

Maybe warn that as long as war still exist, a new spirit could be born to take Icher's place (if the spirits of seasons are anything to go by) and they should always be ready to protect their city, and youll be ready to help defend it if need be.
But yes, rest is what we need.
No. 1083262 ID: 273c18

Heh. They didn't complain out loud. It really must have been something we wouldn't agree with.

Once you're back in your well and out of her hand, ask what they were going to do. Capture the tiny Icher and use them as a mana battery? That would have worked fine until someone stole the spirit from them, at which point it would become another disaster. Tell them you will still give Erogalf mana, whenever they stay here, so long as he's gentle.
No. 1083271 ID: 91afc1

Let's not be too hasty in letting on that we knew they were planning something and acted to prevent it. Not while we're too weak to deal with an angry Erogalf if he decides to be a little bitch. But we should be certain to convene with George about what mysteriously happened to him when he wakes up.
No. 1083281 ID: e51896

No. 1083282 ID: eb0a9c

Tell them that it was a triumph to defeat a war-spirit as strong as Icher, and that nobody here could imprison them for more than about a week.
No. 1083286 ID: 273c18

Honestly it's kindof amazing that Pliny is this strong. I guess city spirits must gain strength through the quantity and quality of offerings, and the well was full of them ready to feed a newborn spirit. Though, it's also possible that all the vengeful spirits of slain townsfolk helped empower her...
No. 1083287 ID: 273c18

Well, okay it can wait.
No. 1083288 ID: 273c18

It occurs to me that Pliny being very small has an advantage: she could control a corpse from within. Even a rat corpse. Maybe if we can get our hands on an elephant corpse or something, that would work as an easy vehicle at larger sizes.

Oh, we can use that to get both special corpses back into the well. Dig a tunnel up, sneak inside it and simply have it crawl/walk over and fall into the well.
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