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File 170699145822.png - (10.78KB , 800x600 , 1991.png )
1082380 No. 1082380 ID: 46e818

Expand all images
No. 1082381 ID: 46e818
File 170699161619.png - (19.89KB , 800x600 , 1992.png )

We've arrived at last at the sacred glade where the supernatural guardian of this forest dwells. I was almost expecting more trouble finding Him, but it appears He's come right out to meet us.
For a godlike creature, I was also not expecting... this kind of presence.

>"It's been a while since I've had guests! Please, feel welcome in my domain! Tislomer, can I get anything to offer you and your friends? Perhaps a drink?"
No. 1082382 ID: 46e818
File 170699164040.png - (14.69KB , 800x600 , 1993.png )

"...is anyone else fighting the sudden urge to strip completely nude?"
>"Oh good, so it's not just me, then."
No. 1082384 ID: 1ab976

Um, is this like a custom or normal for being in the presence of the seer? As long as it goes no further than casual nudity, any further than that and we might have problems.
No. 1082388 ID: aebd26

Tislomer seems to be unaffected. Curious.

Actually, can you send us over to Tislomer? I think it's better we provide our suggestions to her directly, since she seems to be in the Seer's good graces.
No. 1082389 ID: d5982b

Ok, three theories for why Tislomer seems unaffected. First theory, it's because she encountered Mr. Lollipop first when she was young, and she can still process his aura in a childlike way, rather than how an adult would. Like, there's some sort of love energy that has to earth itself somehow? You could try reminiscing on whatever childhood experiences of love and wonder you have and see if that helps channel the effect differently. Second theory, it's because Tislomer is the only one here who is in a romantic relationship, so she's more in tune with this aura and it doesn't affect her as strongly. Third theory is it's just... innocence, maybe? Not quite the right word, but like... we've seen how the kobolds have a different mindset about things compared to, say, the goblins, and we've seen how they have a different relationship with this person. They're kind of more... open? Unburdened?

Anyway yes we should probably let Tislomer take charge here if we can. Aside from that... well, following the rules of hospitality is generally a good idea with these sorts of beings. And do what you can to 'feel welcome'! I doubt he expects nudity, since he's got something on himself, so maybe you'd be all right just getting down to underwear.

Tislomer! Tell him a drink would be very nice thank you, you've all been doing a lot of walking!! Tell him it's great to see him again! How is he doing??
No. 1082390 ID: ce619a

There's also the possibility that since we were just in a dark uninviting murky swamp before Tislomer introduced us that this aura/glamour/whatever is purposely aimed at people that are unknown or perceived to be potentially hostile to Mr. L here.

Either way, uh... introduce yourselves kindly and continuing resisting???
No. 1082391 ID: b3eab7

The weird part is the see himself isn't completely nude. The urge to strip to full nudity would make more sense this way.
No. 1082392 ID: dd3fe0

Maybe stripping only to smallclothes and close undergarments would be sufficient?
No. 1082393 ID: 8e4f60

Fourth theory, Tislomer was getting boned by a goblin a few minutes ago so isn't feeling as horny.

So, a drink? To accept seems risky, but then, to refuse even more so...
No. 1082402 ID: eb0a9c

I'm not wearing any pants, but I'm buried in cloth. Does that count?

>Why is Tislomer not affected
Maybe Ms. Bojack got a restraining order from the other Divines for using aphrodisiacs on minors.

Salutations and stuff, but we just want to ask one question before you spend the rest of the day talking to Tislomer:
Why are you not godding with the tribes?
No. 1082403 ID: 3f3d5c

We're good, thanks.
Maybe he would be pleased to know that the nearby village is already doing that. I feel as if we shouldn't dawdle.
No. 1082413 ID: 2f41db

Probably best to keep little muschio safely holstered for the moment. You could pull off that look for sure, A monarch carries themselves with dignity at all times. Buuut it would be impolite To disrobe without invitation
No. 1082416 ID: 8f9bc4

Why has the guardian gone missing? He's right here! Why was it so dark and awful before?
No. 1082466 ID: ce619a

Oh right, before we forget, give him the candy.
Personally from you, if possible.
No. 1082467 ID: 04b6f1

Quick, offer the candy!
Also, state your name and intent, in royalty names carry power. We need to let him know that we have inside us blood of kings, yeah.

♪I have no rival, no man can be my equal
Take me to the future of you all♫

No. 1082471 ID: d0cff5

Offer the candy first! If you want to avoid a potentially strange drink then use His offering of a drink to segue into giving Him the candy. Ask about the nudity feeling. You should totally disrobe if it's the tradition here. At least a little. What kind of royal cannot play by another's rules while still holding oneself proudly? His loincloth might be a formality that comes off in more casual atmospheres. Casual atmospheres make for great diplomatic meetings! Probably.
No. 1082480 ID: 46e818
File 170708748059.png - (15.78KB , 800x600 , 1994.png )

>"And you brought your friends!
>Well, I know you! Finesse seng Barr! You lived in these woods for a while. I hope you've been well since you left!"

No. 1082481 ID: 46e818
File 170708751182.png - (11.38KB , 800x600 , 1995.png )

>"Hey, don't worry. Your secret's safe with me."
No. 1082486 ID: ce619a

Say... how long to goblins live?
>Previously a hermit
>Lived near a graveyard
>Old enough to have seen Muschio's great grandfather
I think Finesse might be a necromancer
No. 1082488 ID: 3f3d5c

Girl, it's barely a secret.
No. 1082490 ID: eb0a9c

Finesse, spill.
We need drama to satisfy this sitcom quest.
No. 1082493 ID: 4d8b77

Don't worry tall fella, Finesse let that one out of the bag in the old 'near fatal poisoning' incident.
No. 1082494 ID: aebd26

Okay, hypothesis: Seer can read thoughts or is at least aware of thoughts if they are connected to romance somehow.

Finesse: deny, disaffirm, distract.
No. 1082498 ID: 46e818
File 170709644553.png - (15.88KB , 800x600 , 1996.png )

>"Now you, I don't know! But you are very beautiful!
>What an impressive bust you have! Good for you! Would you like to take your top off and show me?"

>"Uh. No. I'm not doing that."
>"Very good! That's fine!"
No. 1082502 ID: 46e818
File 170709707348.png - (16.51KB , 800x600 , 1997.png )

"Pardon me, great Seer, but I have brought you mint candy as an offering, on behalf of the goblins of Ihnesh-Nayevh. I understand--"
>"Well! Look at this! If it isn't Big M! How have you been?"
No. 1082505 ID: 8f9bc4


Big M? Is he talking to the mints? Do the mints have an opinion about the current circumstances?
No. 1082508 ID: ce619a

"Not great, a bunch of people have been trying to kill me recently and a demon tried possessing me the other day. But enough about my troubles, how have you been? The tribes of your forest tell worrying tales of your disappearance. We thought you might be in trouble."
No. 1082510 ID: d5982b

Well now, are there any previous circumstances in which you've been called 'Big M'? I think you can let him know that you honestly haven't been that great recently, though you hope the worst is behind you and you're happy to have found a warm welcome here.
No. 1082530 ID: 347191

Well if you wish to skip the formalities, we shall. However before we discuss myself, we have to discuss yourself.
No. 1082532 ID: ebae20

Big M? Could he mean Senor Muschio?
No. 1082533 ID: 04b6f1

Told you, Big "M", Muschio is the blood of kings, it carries weight and gravitas. Also flew in a dragon the other day and that was cool.
No. 1082534 ID: 2f41db

Now, just cause he's familiar with you probably means he's been tokd stories.

You made a big impact on his favoured forest folk after all.
No reason to assume he's READING YOUR MIND!!!
Quickly! Dont think about imposing, huge dragon ladies looking down their strikingly beautiful, ample noses at you!

Aw, i'm just messing with you. Big M.

Maybe glance at finesse, raise a perfectly groomed eyebrow and whisper "secrets?" Questioningly.
How she reacts will tell you if its one to worry about or something amusingly embarrasing
No. 1082535 ID: 273c18

Have we met?
No. 1082536 ID: a3fe2e

This guy gives me the heeby jeebies, some serious bad vibes. He seems harmless enough but he makes me feel gross.
No. 1082540 ID: ce619a

Hey. You know what? Yeah.
Something's not right; the initial dark bog, the tribes saying the seer abandoned them yet here he is, the weird manipulative aura and that EYE. He's giving me the same vibes as the demon we purged.
But, it's not like we could meaningfully do anything about it if he was hostile. He's a godamn reality warper with control over time.

Just don't make any deals with him in case he is some kind of demon.
No. 1082541 ID: eb0a9c

No. 1082542 ID: 04b6f1

You know what, It really was a good decision NOT to bring Dom and Geps this time around.
No. 1082545 ID: aebd26

I'm starting to get the feeling we're not going to like the Seer's idea of "having guests".
He'll probably resist, but cut to the chase and ask the questions we came here to ask. I'd like us to get off of his home turf as soon as possible.
No. 1082548 ID: 1f2a1c

Oh, so he's heard of you? Offer him one of the candies as a gift.
Ask him how about the situation with his seemingly-abandoned followers. If he's ever cagey, offer some candy. That doesn't work, say you'll take a piece of clothing off. It's a game of "strip for information", I suspect.

Also holy shit I can't believe DiveQuest is alive again. One of the few quests on go on hiatus then actually return! I didn't get to participate in it originally - I was too late to the Questden community.
No. 1082549 ID: 1ab976

Offer the candies again, but yeah keep your suspicion up.
No. 1082554 ID: 2f41db

That makes sense.
Explains behaviours and would match as a reaction to any currently known causation.

Probably too early in the meeting to approach that angle but worth being alert for other corroborating actions and traits.
Random thought.
He is a seer.
Perhaps hes seen something bad coming that hes powerless to avert.

Dont mind me big M!
Just jabbering away.
No. 1082558 ID: 8f9bc4


You did remember to groom your eyebrows this morning, didn't you?
No. 1082604 ID: 46e818
File 170717264496.png - (18.13KB , 800x600 , 1998.png )

"It has been difficult, of late. We hope these mint... I'm sorry, Big M-- are you referring to me?"

He leans down, his enormous face close to mine.

>"We've met before, haven't we?"
No. 1082605 ID: 0bbd56

... No?
No. 1082606 ID: d4d22b

Remember, this guy has warped time in front of us once already. It's possible Muschio has met him another time, another place, and just doesn't know it. Maybe he was someone else. Hopefully not a certain demon because that would suck a lot.
No. 1082607 ID: eb0a9c

I think he's talking to us, Muschio.

Though, of all our adventures, I can't recall meeting "that heroine" or her fabulous magical talking steed in person.
No. 1082622 ID: b4b488

Perhaps He is mistaking you for your father? Try not to think about the stripping nude compulsion and why your dad might be called Big M! Or do. If He did mistake you for your father then maybe His seeing isn't perfect, that's probably important to know. Offer the candy! Don't forget the rule of three! Strip naked!
No. 1082623 ID: 273c18

Think hard, Muschio. Do you remember any time in your childhood where you went exploring in this forest?
No. 1082626 ID: 6c605b

Think back - and try to recall; does this entity seem familiar?
d̶o̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶s̶t̶r̶i̶p̶ ̶n̶a̶k̶e̶d̶
If not recently, then further back?
d̶o̶ ̶n̶t̶ ̶s̶t̶r̶i̶p̶ ̶n̶a̶k̶e̶d̶
Is it possible there's a latent memory or something of the sort where you experienced this entity's presence?
d̶o̶ s̶t̶r̶i̶p̶ ̶n̶a̶k̶e̶d̶
No. 1082627 ID: 2f41db

Occams razor says he knows your father.
Well thought of by the forest peoples
Prominant figure regionally
As mentioned by kobolds, has visited the area before.
Mortal species faces must start to blend over the years to such long lived creatures as the seer, especially those with familial resemblance

Politely inquire if perhaps he had met your father.
Do NOT think about the seers propensity for inspiring impromptu nudism and how your father could have earned the nickname "big M".
No. 1082628 ID: 4d8b77

Oh god, was the orb of psyche his other giant googly eye before someone ripped it out?
No. 1082637 ID: 3f3d5c

He might be thinking of your father? Dad united the villages once, they probably met. That sounds plausible? ... Maybe?

If he's talking to us, then I sure don't remember it. And I'm pretty sure I'd remember someone this fabulous.
Like, girl, who does your hair, because the Boss needs that kind of volume.
No. 1082640 ID: d4d22b

Oh God, it makes too much sense, doesn't it. That's why we saw through whatever that time/reality warp was.
No. 1082654 ID: 8f9bc4

touch eye

pet eye
No. 1082659 ID: dd3fe0


Resist, but say his eye is very mesmerizing.
No. 1082660 ID: 43c156

Ask if he wants to see your dick
No. 1082662 ID: 2f41db

That thought inspires other questions such as was it given freely or taken. If the latter, by whom?
The answers could be worrying.

Still, until we see under that beautifully voluminous hair we wont know if hes missing anything.

Big M!
Deliver his minty offering.
Could buy you a moment to observe him and the glade closely.
Oh, and resist the temptation give that big ol' eye a good poke, no matter how proddable it looks.
If you cant hold back though, i totally understand.
No. 1082671 ID: 04b6f1

Our path has been an eventful one. "Interesting times" as it's said.
No. 1082677 ID: 46e818
File 170725712447.png - (13.85KB , 800x600 , 1999.png )

"No, I don't think so. Are you perhaps thinking of my father?
Where was it you think it we met?"
No. 1082678 ID: 46e818
File 170725712846.png - (19.02KB , 800x600 , 2000.png )

No. 1082679 ID: 3f3d5c

Okay, you know what? I'm getting real ‘does not understand what boundaries are’ vibes from this guy. He's clearly expecting something to happen and it's clearly not happening.
Just shove a mint candy in his face. Put it in his nostril if you have to.

Then politely but firmly tell him, "Hello, we're here to talk to you about the neighboring villages."
No. 1082680 ID: e715a5

... Er Tislomer is this normal?
No. 1082681 ID: ce619a

Give candy.

Ask Tislomer if he's always been like this.
No. 1082682 ID: 20c050

This. Let’s not be here any longer than we need to.
No. 1082683 ID: a7a180

...What happens if we say yes?
No. 1082684 ID: e715a5

...Oooooor perhaps Muschio was simply too young to know what was going on at all? Was he a baby or a toddler at that stage?
No. 1082685 ID: d4d22b

This dubious little creature is no good. Let us purge this adventure from our memory the second he is out of our hair.
No. 1082688 ID: 181c01

I think he's talking to us

Hello Seer, we don't recall meeting you.

We would be happy to be reminded.

We've been aiding this Volto, Muschio in his efforts to help the more oppressed species, such as those that live in and around this forest.

Please help and be kind to him and his. We value them.
No. 1082690 ID: dd3fe0


...Plausible. A god that includes 'horniness' among their domain WOULD be aware of us, we do have well-known patterns to our behavior!

Ahem! No, we don't remember meeting you. There's a lot of different individuals in this group. Perhaps we are but one group of many that's been subtly suggesting things to people? This particular set of mortals doesn't know about us existing, please don't mess with our gig?
No. 1082692 ID: 46e818
File 170726763056.png - (12.38KB , 800x600 , 2001.png )

>"Well! You've all traveled far to see me, and I'm sure you have very important things to discuss.
>But I would be remiss as a host not to serve appropriate entertainment and fanfare for your arrival!"

No. 1082693 ID: 46e818
File 170726770938.png - (17.28KB , 800x600 , 2002.png )

The Seer sharply claps his hooved hands twice, and immediately the sound of drums, clapping, and low strumming come from the underbrush.
No. 1082694 ID: 46e818
File 170726781449.png - (21.16KB , 800x600 , 2003.png )

Several robed figures in cute masks march energetically from the treeline, playing instruments, beating drums, and singing a simple, catchy, deeply rhythmic chant of la la las.
No. 1082695 ID: 1ab976

Wow, he deflected hard there... Okay let's just try to finish this up as fast as we can.
No. 1082696 ID: 063e9c

Do not eat anything he offers you, I'm getting really big vibes that say that this is all an illusion and we're seeing the happy versions of some very unhappy things. Please for the love of god if you bite into an apple and it's a human heart I will hold it over your head.
No. 1082697 ID: 82e021

Take refreshment. Only an enemy would refuse refreshment offered in good faith to an acknowledged guest. I don't know why this god has our hackles up so much but it seems like angering them by NOT playing along a little bit is a terrible idea. I have a sneaking suspicion it doesn't want the candies though.
No. 1082705 ID: 6c605b

Despite the fears others have,
We are a guest and we should not shame our host.
Staying in their graces is paramount when dealing with someone of their magnanimity.
Enjoy what we can and revel, respectfully.
No. 1082706 ID: eb7ce4

lean over to tislomer and ask if he's always like this but quietly, STRESS THAT TO HER
No. 1082707 ID: eb0a9c

Mr. Lollipop, we have OP superpowers. You need to tell us what is wrong, or we're going to waste our window of opportunity for a major win.

You are a god. You don't get to be as cowardly as us.
No. 1082709 ID: 2f41db

I think you might be right.

Also, yes, the other voices are correct.
Refusal of hospitality just isn't the done thing and you, Big M, are nothing if not a creature of social grace.
There's a little less clothing on the host than usual, but it's garden party first and foremost.
No. 1082710 ID: 3f3d5c

I am neither for nor against refreshment.
There's nothing physically here, though. He just asked earlier if we wanted something. I mean, I'm sure he could conjure something, if we asked. Does the Boss have a preference?
Can he conjure mint soup?

Just as long as there's no... eugh... dancing.
Do not start dancing.
I absolutely refuse to dance during this very serious meeting with a giant magic pink pony who is also a god.
No. 1082711 ID: dd3fe0


It'd totally end up in a huge song and dance number where everyone inexplicably knows the words and the moves!
No. 1082718 ID: fbbdfb

Guessing you've never heard "When in Rome do as the Romans do"? We may be serious but the host is... well... unserious.
No. 1082722 ID: 8f9bc4

If the Seer doesn't want to bring up certain painful memories involving the right side of his face, it's certainly not something we need to press him about. You need to tell him that the goblins are afraid they did something to offend him and trying to earn his forgiveness, and that all the people of the forest are being pressured by outside incursions and struggling to survive. If something's wrong, we need to know it, if we are going to be of any help at all.

Also ask him if he ever heard of a flayed demon known as The Spider.
No. 1082723 ID: 04b6f1

Boss, It may be a gamble, but if offered refreshments, state that you've been feeling under the weather and ask for something to "restore your constitution". After all, you have been having a rough time with little rest and if we can get a new hand out of this the better.
No. 1082726 ID: 1f2a1c

"The denizens of your forest, goblins and kobolds, fear you may have abandoned them. Is there a reason for this supposed withdrawal?"
No. 1082729 ID: 421554

His eye feels like it's the only thing that's... real, so to speak. Ask to see the other one?
No. 1082730 ID: 273c18

How is that wind instrument being played? Is there a hole in that mask?
No. 1082732 ID: 273c18

Hold on a minute. He saw us when we came in, but only became friendly when he heard Tislomer. He's blind isn't he? He thinks Muschio is his father, because he SOUNDS like his father.

Love is blind, and seers are often blind as well...
No. 1082733 ID: 273c18

Well, he could see that Ashedel had big boobs so maybe he can see, just not very well. His eyesight failing might be why he stopped answering his worshippers. Depression!
No. 1082734 ID: 273c18

Further evidence: he touched Finesse's face to identify her.
No. 1082735 ID: dc4bad

That's... pretty compelling. And those masks look like they might blind the wearers too. Huh.

Well, no sense bringing up anything that might put a damper on the mood for the moment, follow along and embrace the good cheer, no notthatmuchkeepyourclotheson!
No. 1082736 ID: 273c18

Well, we might want to tell Ashedel, in case she gets suspicious. She's our security, after all. She might also be able to rescue him in case there's a threat he doesn't recognize due to being nearly-blind.
No. 1082743 ID: 46e818

I don't know about her bust but Ashedel did speak before he turned to her.
No. 1082759 ID: 2f41db

For a creature with so little clothing on, theres a lot about him hidden.

even if there are unknowns now, Big M's goal is clear.
Resolve the troubles of these forest peoples so they can focus on more significant endevours. Namely his.

The kobolds worry about the mr lollipop in his absence.
The goblins fear they have offended him in some way.
His people miss him.
Convey this.

If he does continue to evade, then its likely he knows anyway and will need to be pressed upon as to the reason for his retreat. Gently so as i suspect the other voices are correct in their speculation regarding his mental state.

Also, if you really do have to poke that eyeball, its understandable. Try to be gentle.
No. 1082769 ID: 46e818
File 170735140642.png - (19.94KB , 800x600 , 2004.png )

>"Now! Excuse me, down to what you came here for.
>May I have those mints, please? Before I get distracted again."

I place the bag in his open palm, and he digs a few out to eat.
No. 1082770 ID: 46e818
File 170735152744.png - (21.14KB , 800x600 , 2005.png )

The Seer returns to the center of the clearing, clapping again, and a large, bushy hedge of verdant growth springs up, resembling for all the world an enticingly-cushioned bed, upon which he makes himself comfortable.
No. 1082772 ID: 46e818
File 170735159797.png - (35.60KB , 800x600 , 2006.png )

a greasy beast
heaving in a field of sticky black mud
No. 1082773 ID: 46e818
File 170735164213.png - (23.36KB , 800x600 , 2007.png )

>"Now then, we have refreshments, we have music. So, at last, to matters at hand! Please, I'm all ears. You have my undivided attention."
No. 1082774 ID: eb7ce4

aw man we hallucinating
No. 1082776 ID: eb0a9c

You are hurting, and we are here to help. You do not get a say in this. You became the god of the nations living within the weald, and they are suffering from your dereliction of duty.
Man up, you fucking celebrity, and TELL. ME. WHERE. IT. HURTS.
No. 1082777 ID: eb0a9c

(oh, and yell at the left side of the rock)
No. 1082780 ID: b89a2b

It looks like there might be swords sticking out of him so it could be less dereliction and more "dying slowly and agonizingly a bit too much to attend to duties." Who hurt you Mister Lollipop? Was it the elves, is that why the "impetuous brother" said it's not protected anymore? I bet it was the elves. They already lied and hunted wastefully, and they've hunted in the woods here before. Come on Mister Lollipop, we're here to help! Especially if it's against some racist elves who ruin everything.
No. 1082781 ID: dc4bad

well that's not good, especially since this confirms that this was not our observer from earlier.
That single orb is vast and predominantly pupil, a distant cry from the bright pair of dots that greeted us in the dark.

Keep your wits about you, and inform Ashedel to be on guard as you ask what is going on.
No. 1082782 ID: ce619a

Ok. So.
We need to play this cool and be careful what we tell him. This "thing" is very powerful and apparently in distress. Calling attention to that haphazardly could make him hysterically upset and trap us in that dark bog we keep seeing or do all sorts of other unwanted things to us.
We do not need a repeat of that demon fight.

Have Tislomer tell him the tribes of the forest are worried about him since they haven't seen him much lately and ask if there's anything we can do to help.

As an aside, if things start to go south and he starts freaking out with more of this dark bog stuff happening have Tislomer start singing her bathtime song about him.
No. 1082783 ID: fdf2eb

Tislomer must be given the mint candy she was promised before we can proceed.
No. 1082784 ID: a001ce

Sound solid, lets go with this
No. 1082787 ID: d4d22b

I knew this was all fake, though it seems like his trickery is less dangerous and more trying pathetically to keep up appearances. He's hurt bad, and I don't know that we're equipped to aid a god, much less one in denial that they need help.
No. 1082789 ID: 3f3d5c

"Are you okay?"

Hey. Not to put too fine a point here or anything, but I'm getting the vibe that something's really off. Maybe it's him? Maybe it's us. Regardless, Boss? I really need you to stand firm and pay attention here. Walk forward, y'know? Just... Just keep trying to do the thing we're trying to do, okay? Muschio, okay? Can you do that?

My other voices are correct. Boss. Please, please, please, pay attention, okay?
No. 1082790 ID: 2f41db


But also it gives an excuse to check she is seeing the flashes of the dark glade too and if so, gauge her reaction to it. Is it something she's seen before?

I dont exactly think were seeing an illusion though.

Its possible both glades could be real.
Mr lollipop and the glade could well be entwined.
Emotional or physical state reflected upon one by the other.
We know he can shape the glade
We know that its not entirely controlled at the moment by the jarring changes.

This means the caution advised by other, wiser voices in how Big M broaches any subject could be very well founded.

I shall put aside my eyeball jokery pokery for now as, in honesty, im a little worried for mister lollipop and by extension tislomer.
No. 1082792 ID: 04b6f1


It seems we got a glimpse at the real state of things.

Agree, we must!

Finnie, you're in the court of a "god" of love. You better take advantage of this opportunity, so help me.
No. 1082796 ID: 1f2a1c

This guy's suffering from something. I don't know what to call it, but something is clearly wrong here.

"Mr. Lollipop, your followers - the kobolds and goblins of the forest - fear you have abandoned them. Is there a reason for your apparent withdrawal?"

Check with your allies - except for the kobold - whether they're seeing the dark flashes as well or just the twink.
No. 1082798 ID: 58eb36

Eyeball is always covered... singers/musicians in >>1082694 have eyes on robes... >>1082692 Shows a hint of the eye... Feels like his second eye may be crucial.
No. 1082800 ID: 6c605b

Are... those ribbons and streamers? Or is that ...barbed wire?

Things are unwell, but confirmation and consent is paramount before taking rash action.
Especially when we are the guest, and our host is... in such dire straits.
No. 1082811 ID: 82e021

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh i fukken knew it it was all wrong and horrible and too thin and teeth and rot decay ABOMINATION.

I'm ok. Ok. Ok. Play it cool, the important question here is WHAT could do that to a local deity.
No. 1082828 ID: 8f9bc4

We have to make this right. Forget the world, forget the whole world, something must be done here. What do we do though? You're not a healer. You're not a healer of gods! You're a warrior and a king. Find out what you can from him, then promise you'll bring help. Then make good on that promise. That's all I can think.
No. 1082830 ID: 4ea2e9

Hey, Boss? You know how every time we ask about the orb, you tell us it's a long story for another time?

Out of curiosity... Does that long story happen to involve an eyeball harvested from a wounded swamp god? Y'know, just sounds like the kind of cursed material a swamp hag might use. Food for thought. Not literally. Ew.
No. 1082832 ID: ae74ff

…. Ask if he’s ok.
No. 1082839 ID: d5982b

Wow, poor guy. Ok, he's hurting, people don't 'heave' when they're feeling god, and we already suspected he'd been attacked or hurt some other way. But he doesn't want Tislomer to know. Oof, it would hurt her so much. He's being nice. Probably as much as he can, he might not be entirely together mentally. I think he let slip as a result of relaxing too much, a moment of particular weakness as he let himself lie down again, but there is a chance he deliberately let us see that as a quiet little message about his condition. You'd better play along as much as you can with this whole pretense he's got going here, while you ask how he's been and what you can do for him.
No. 1082844 ID: b11d2d

>Spider demon lost his left eye in our dream battle https://questden.org/kusaba/questarch/res/1072212.html#1075461
>Says he will claw his way back one day
>Local deity disappears
>Seems to be in great pain in at least one version of reality
>Its dream version never shows its right eye
>The deity says we've met before, even though we have no recollection of the event
>"The Seer Returns"

If we are dealing with the amalgamation of a god and a demon, we're in trouble.
If this is an intentional red herring, I applaud the execution.
No. 1082847 ID: 273c18

The demon's wounded eye is the one the Seer is using. I'd say that's a point *against* him being possessed, if that was even possible.
But yes, I'd say Weaver expected at least some of the suggesters to suspect the demon. If you look at the title image for this chapter, the seer is posed such that he forms half of the demon's sigil.

Oh, another thing I just went back and checked- the eyes in the dark we saw? Two eyes, not one.
No. 1082856 ID: b3eab7

Be very careful about the ground you step on. I don't trust this sticky mud one bit.
No. 1082858 ID: f722b4

... >>1082847

... Oh. Oh my word. What if it's a separate demon that got Lollipop? Just because we got one means little. How many more might be out there?
No. 1082863 ID: c45a2f

Is it possible to poison a god?
Try one of the candies. Maybe they've been drip-feeding him bad stuff.
Actually, how do we know this is even Uuragg?
The kobold said he had been missing for a while and this would be the first place they'd check.
No. 1082868 ID: 46e818
File 170742616773.png - (12.85KB , 800x600 , 2008.png )

"Oh that's right, Tislomer, we were going to save a candy for you too--"

>"Oh that's okay I'm already eated it"
No. 1082870 ID: 46e818
File 170742633477.png - (18.02KB , 800x600 , 2009.png )

"Well, then.
Please forgive me for being so forward, and I do not intend any offense or accusation, but I am here on behalf of your faithful followers. It seems they are in quite some distress at your... perceived absence."

>"Ah, yes! I see many things that happen in this forest. Not everything, but many things.
>And I have seen the plight of my blessed people.
>What a faithful bunch! They really are putting their hearts into it, and then some. I'm so lucky to have them supporting me!"

No. 1082871 ID: 46e818
File 170742652454.png - (14.49KB , 800x600 , 2010.png )

>"The truth is... I am not feeling quite myself lately. My power is not what it once was.
>I want to be their trusty guardian, as I love them all, as much as they love me -- more, even!
>I haven't abandoned them, forgotten them, or anything!
>I just... don't have the power to protect them as they should.
>...But you mustn't tell them that! It will be our secret, as new friends, agreed? I'm sure my strength will return soon!"

No. 1082872 ID: 3f3d5c

I mean, if we told them, it'd probably be a cause for concern. They might get desperate or start to lose faith. Probably better that we don't.

That said, there's kindof a situation right now, what with the humans encroaching? We can't just wait for him to get better. There's gotta be something we can do to speed his recovery, right?
No. 1082873 ID: ce619a

Ask him if there's anything you can do to help him.
We're sitting on a literal mountain of magic foci back at the base. Maybe that could help him.
Maybe that amulet we have could do something, or at least the seer might know something about it.
No. 1082874 ID: c45a2f

Ask why his powers are waning.
Is it outside action or just age?
Can we help?
No. 1082876 ID: 8f9bc4

Muschio can be very tactful and discreet. He understands how dangerous and humiliating it can be to have your strength taken from you. He does have strength though, if nothing else the strength of his arms and his own two feet. Is there anything he or his forces can do to help? Or at the very least is there anything that must not be done, that would make the problem worse? And has the Seer heard of a flayed demon known as The Spider?
No. 1082880 ID: 2d9601

Hey guys? When we fought the demon, we gouged out it's right eye...

... May we check his right eye...?
No. 1082881 ID: debc82


Is there something we could do to help restore the Seer to their former glory? Surely there must be some way to infuse them with a measure of divine (or eldritch) power.

Why, we've a stockpile of mana back at base and even the odd artifact or two.
No. 1082882 ID: 2aa5f0

who's that hooded guy and where'd he come from?
No. 1082883 ID: 273c18

If you love someone, then you should be able to love them when they are weak. Do not lock yourself away and wallow in the mud.
No. 1082884 ID: 273c18

That's the summoned entertainment. Maybe you missed an update.
No. 1082885 ID: d4d22b

I'm starting to get big "beyond saving" vibes. Obviously we should get more info before we write him off but we either may need to find him a successor or figure out a way to break the bad news without crushing everyone's hopes and dreams.
No. 1082893 ID: 47c854

Of course but what is concerning is your power waning while you should have added power from ... shows of devotion ... so we should investigate. We have to tell them that we at least did help without lying.
No. 1082899 ID: d5982b

Of course it will! These things go in cycles. But is there anything we can do to make it easier? Or that others can do? If we had something to show your people as proof we had spoken to you, we could help them rest easy and carry a message for you to guide them. Perhaps we could guide them in alleviating some of your worries and work so that you can rest better.

And, perhaps, is there anything that would help you personally? Some special food or drink or something that would help you relax and recuperate? Some entertainment or trinket to soothe your mind? There are all sorts of wondrous magics and medicines and special things in this world. We have come across a few items ourselves, and recently discovered our own home well supplied with a certain magical resource.
No. 1082902 ID: 4d8b77

To cut to the chase, unless there is an outside influence for us to stop, this might be beyond our ability to help with. Unless you have something specific you'd like us to do to give you a bit of a boost.
No. 1082903 ID: 2f41db

That's our tislomer. Eye on the prize, focused on the goal.
No. 1082905 ID: eb7ce4

why are u hiding your pain?
No. 1082906 ID: 1f2a1c

Can't wait for him to get better - there are issues that require quick addressing. Does he know of any reasons his power might be waning?
No. 1082907 ID: 2f41db

May we enquire as to the cause of this waning?
If it is an awkward topic let me assure younof our discretion. Perhaps in our own wanderings beyond these woods we may have stumbled upon something that could offer some aid.

Say something like that big M. But in your own charming way.
Causation is important we need to know.
No. 1082909 ID: eb0a9c

Good. Admission of weakness. We're making progress!

You don't want to let your followers down. But sometimes, the worst thing you can do is not show up. They're getting concerned. Desperate. They're breeding like rabbits in your name. The longer you stay away from them, the more crap they're going to make up.

There's no realistic way of presenting yourself as an omnipotent and omniscient master without the strength to back it up... and based on our research, the unrealistic ways always end in tears.

They need to learn that their god is fallible... and that he genuinely cares for them because of that.
No. 1082913 ID: 273c18

Wrong, it was the demon's left eye.
No. 1082916 ID: 1ab976

I put up the image of the eye being gouged out in the discussion thread unless I’m missing something it looks like the right side eye.
No. 1082942 ID: dd3fe0

Maybe there's two mystically linked entities? Hate/Love?
No. 1082949 ID: 46e818
File 170751484202.png - (16.37KB , 800x600 , 2011.png )

"Is there any particular symptom? Are you... somehow injured? Have you suffered some ailment?"

>"Oh, no! I'm the very picture of health and virility, thank you for asking!
>It's only my influence, my totemic power, which has waned. The reasons are rather involved, so I'll make it simple."

No. 1082950 ID: 46e818
File 170751495594.png - (14.11KB , 800x600 , 2012.png )

>"My current decline began with the death of a powerful acolyte named Red Fang.
>You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?"

No. 1082951 ID: 24ce25

MMMM- Shit.

Okay, the question is now, do we be honest with him or lie? If we tell the truth we might get a peek behind the veil of whatever is happening here but I don't think we should try to seek that if possible.

However I do have one work around solution, us or one of our followers must become the new acolyte for him.
No. 1082952 ID: a3fe2e

There's a nonzero chance he already knows. He knows Finesse's secret, he almost definitely knows yours. Come clean, because lying is only going to make it worse.
No. 1082953 ID: eb0a9c

"...You have bad taste in acolytes. The tribes posted a bounty on Red Fang for terrorizing them, and I delivered."
No. 1082955 ID: 3f5b59

Feels sus. He should have known red fang was hated. Why would a beloved seer put a hated figure as a high-level acolyte? Seriously why not use local shamans? Ones familiar with the seer and pillars of their communities?
No. 1082959 ID: dc4bad

...I'm not buying it.
RED FANG, Ravenous Gnollboss of exactly 2 permanent minions, with a den adorned by blood & probably-people-skins, and wanted dead by all his immediate neighbours. That Red Fang is a powerful Acolyte of a love god?

Nah, either he or we are getting messed with on that one.
Not that we really trust everything we were hearing right now, but up till that point I figured his words were at least probably his own and the sentiments somewhat trustworthy, but this casts even that into doubt.
No. 1082960 ID: fdf2eb

I vote we don't bullshit him.
No. 1082962 ID: 273c18

Erh, what? Red Fang was an acolyte of LOVE?!

Anyway just tell him the truth. I'm guessing that mystery charm is needed to become an acolyte and generate power for The Red One, and the acolyte receives blessings in return. Which would be why it's being sought after.
No. 1082963 ID: 456aa4

Why are you obscuring the fact that you know that I killed him? What's your angle here? It was a duel to the death and he lost.
No. 1082965 ID: c45a2f

Don't even try to plead or weasel.
Make no move or signal to your crew.
He knows.
And as if it wasn't bad enough to have a potentially quite angry god close enough for him to pulp you with a swing of his arm, his thralls are among you now. None of you are making it out if he doesn't want you to and death might not be the worst thing he can do.
Ask what you can do to undo the damage you've done.
No. 1082966 ID: 296672

My vote is also for honesty. Explain what we did and why, apologize for the indiscretion, and ask if there’s a way to make it up to him.
No. 1082967 ID: b89a2b

Come clean about, but question his taste in acolytes. For a devout follower, Red Fang wasn't very loving. Unless it's lust, he seemed to be lusting for power. Real hard. Offer to find a new acolyte! What does an acolyte need to do, exactly?
No. 1082968 ID: 8b8c72

If Red Fang was his idea of a good acolyte, then BOY FUCKIN'HOWDY, things are more fucked than we thought.
No. 1082969 ID: ce619a

Yeah, >>1082953 >>1082955 >>1082959 all have it right. Red fang was a raider harassing the tribes of the forest. They celebrated his death and slaying him gained us favor with them all.
Either this is a test or Red Fang went rogue... or he's talking about a different Red Fang.
Ask for confirmation on who this Red Fang was; race, location, etc.
If it's the same one we killed then inform Mr. L of Red Fang's trespasses against the peoples of the forest and that you slew him.
Maybe we can offer ourselves or one of our followers to be his new acolyte.
No. 1082970 ID: 6c605b

If Red Fang's death was the beginning of this, then we are responsible, and it is up to us to rectify this.
Truth is the only thing that can help mend this.

It was not an error that he was killed, but it was not without reason, when the death was called for by his other followers it seems.

So it falls on us to either become or find a successor for the acolyte of Mr. Lollipop.
To strengthen the people we've united.
No. 1082973 ID: 4d8b77

Wow, that is a wicked sense of humor.
No. 1082974 ID: 2f41db

Agreed completely.
Confirm identity, then provide qualified reason for vanquishing him.
Do not dissemble in any way Big M.
It could be a test, and if it is not, he needs to confront the truth of redfangs behaviour.

Something to consider while we wait for that to be answered.
Red fang was a terror.
His absence makes the woods a safer place for the forest peoples.
A safer forest is one that prays less to a guardian over time.
We know he loves his people by his own words but...
Love is a rather vague domain.
It can benign or malignant depending on how it is expressed.
If his love for them is due to the worship without regard to what inspires it
It would be like loving his people the same way a farmer loves his chickens...

Not like that big M,
You have a filthy mind.
No. 1082975 ID: 46e818
File 170752730392.png - (14.72KB , 800x600 , 2013.png )


>"Why yes, I am just having a little joke.
>Don't worry. I know it was you who ended Red Fang.
>He was a very mean man. I don't blame you for what you did.
>Unfortunately, he was also very devout, and very superstitious."

No. 1082977 ID: 46e818
File 170752751105.png - (16.34KB , 800x600 , 2014.png )

>"You see, this is the way the totem turns. Faith, worship. I am a being of belief.
>And I don't know why, but Red Fang was the strongest believer I ever had. I didn't care for him. He was never ordained.
>No, that gnoll was mean and nasty to the children of these woods, and as selfish can be! But he was so fearful, so eager. His belief was powerful."

No. 1082978 ID: 4ea2e9

Oh, you! I, for one, am coming to like this Red One fellow.

Boys, he is DEFINITELY on to us. Remain calm. REMAIN CALM
No. 1082979 ID: 0f4fb5

Doesn't add up. Lots of shows of devotion now. Still his totemic power wanes? WTF is going on here?
No. 1082980 ID: cacfc5

So what’s being lost in translation here?
No. 1082981 ID: 273c18

The problem is that his devotees in the goblin camp are acting out of desperation, doing things out of character for them. They do not truly believe in debauchery or free love. Action without belief is pandering, and pandering does not give strength to a god.

The question now is, what did Red Fang love so much? It was not the kobolds or goblins, so... who was it? Was he in love with the assassin that came to claim the charm? Or the ruler who paid the assassin? Or someone else? Did he just love FOOD? It is a good question to ask The Red One.

I wonder if Geppa's love for Dompag would make her a good acolyte? Also a good question to ask-- who could be a new acolyte?
No. 1082984 ID: 273c18

Wait, fearful? What was Red Fang afraid of?
No. 1082987 ID: dd3fe0

Our communications are being intercepted.
No. 1082989 ID: 2f41db

He could have loved the fear and power over others.
No. 1082990 ID: 2f41db

I think youre right.

Whether through some kind of surface telepathy or other deific means...
He can probably -hear- us.
No. 1082991 ID: 04b6f1

Podemos comunicarnos de otras formas, si eso ayuda a nuestra privacidad.

In matters of faith, there's an Axiom:
"by their fruits you shall know them."

How does Mr. Lollipop has impacted the overall structure and formation of the communities of the forest? The rubric of the ethos, as one would say.

Once we can pinpoint these fundamentals, we can star working into reigniting the faith of the flock and proselytizing beyond the woodlands.
No. 1082992 ID: 1f2a1c

"Is the massive 3-day orgy in your name not a sign of belief from the goblins?"
No. 1082994 ID: 6c605b

Ah - as a guest of a metaphysical being,
it makes sense that they would be able to communicate with another incorporeal more directly...
So our discussion is less filtered through M with this deity.
Just like with the other... outsider we encountered.

And so finding another believer, or rather... inspiring another would be ideal perhaps. To help, as an emissary of good will?
No. 1082996 ID: 4ea2e9

I know how we can settle this- the harder you try to suppress laughing at a joke, the funnier that joke is, right? So if we think of one, he has to resist laughing, since only he and big M can hear us!
Quick, someone think of something funny, like, uh...
It sounds like the Seer needs our help. Maybe Muschio could... lend him a hand? (Boss, unscrew your prosthetic hand it'll be funny trust me)
No. 1082997 ID: dd3fe0

Why did the half blind man fall into a well?
He couldn’t see that well.

A woman is sitting at her recently deceased husband’s funeral. A man leans in to her and asks, “Do you mind if I say a word?”.

“No, go right ahead”, the woman replies.

The man stands, clears his throat, says “Plethora”, and sits back down.

“Thanks”, the woman says, “that means a lot”.

How do you think the unthinkable?

With an itheberg.
No. 1083000 ID: 810441

So what if he can read us? He seems an unskilled liar if he is lying. Of course if he is impersonating Lollipop his wisest move is to abandon his previous power domains. Only effective way to supplant Lollipop is to be Lollipop. Otherwise his ruse is far too easy to see through. Sure would be an easy solution where everybody wins.
No. 1083001 ID: ce619a

Red Fang was the one that originally had that amulet.

or at least the replica of it and ask him about it and if the real thing could be what's empowering him.
No. 1083003 ID: 46e818

The replica was left at the kobold village with the ceremony master.
No. 1083007 ID: 8f9bc4

Does... does the Seer grow more powerful from fear?
No. 1083008 ID: 2f41db

Etch it into the floor with a stick.
Embellish on details as needed.

Maybe try visualising it mentally.
See if he latches on to that.
No. 1083010 ID: 7c85fb

O, for many years, we have observed, we have given thought. But for the first time, someone is observing us.

Mr. Lollipop, we must see your right eye. Unless, is it closer to us than we think?
No. 1083011 ID: a3fe2e

I think he can just read minds in general.
No. 1083012 ID: 04b6f1

If we remember/recall it.
It would be very likely for Mr. Lollipop see it too.

Can we post images of it?
No. 1083015 ID: 46e818

If the power of belief is what you need to restore your power, would getting new followers help? Could we perhaps proselytize for you in a new land where you don't have any acolytes?
No. 1083016 ID: dc4bad

yeah, we see each other

I don't buy it Boss, these words seem meant to confound us directly. On the surface the notion makes sense, but it doesn't really add up does it?

If Red Fang's belief was truly so powerful because of fear and superstition, then the desperate powder keg of carnal fervor that was the goblin village should far outweigh it. Unless their devotions are directed to the wrong entity of course.

After all, I think the actual Mr Lollipop's most powerful believer would likely be Tislomer, and I trust her character to not have faith in something actually kinda terrible.

Not sure this will hide my words from the creature's sight but worth a try.

So, with the current information we have I think we are not currently talking with Scfarr-Uuragg, that may well be the Seer's body before us, but this dialogue and illusion are from something else

The eyes in the dark from before, either a servant of, or the actual manifestation of, the one that uses our little mystery bone talisman as it's sigil.
I'm willing to bet Red Fang WAS in fact a believer of that spirit, sent to oppress this region in it's name and weaken the defences of the local deity to some end. Perhaps so that the entity could claim a divine but mortal body or gain a new cult and base of operations, who knows, however us killing Red Fang disrupted that plan, so the entity had to act immediately and made a play for taking control of Mr Lollipop, which seems like it might not have worked outright but has caused the regular blessings, boons and protections to cease as he tries to fend off the invader
No. 1083024 ID: 181c01

Our base is a focusing point due to the mass of magic crystals in it.
(Our new mage was speculating on how powerful an effect the base could be.)

Could the crystal be empowering the worship of Lolipop? Since the devotee was thinking devout idea which in a focusing cave?

If we do that, or host a session there, might it empower Lollipop once more?
No. 1083027 ID: 2f41db

Thats a good point.
Maybe the location amplified it somehow.
Worth clarifying something though.
Do we know if the arcane has a direct effect on creatures of belief?
Faith and the need for it may be a seperate form of power even if it fuels magical effects.
No. 1083031 ID: ebae20

No. 1083044 ID: ce619a

Damnit, well then tell him about the amulet and ask if he has any physical totems of power such as that.
No. 1083047 ID: 273c18

Oh, that's probably it isn't it. That would explain why Red Fang was so powerful an acolyte despite his behavior.
No. 1083056 ID: 5af148

I mean, believer doesn't mean follower, right?
Someone can strongly believe in Death and fear it with all their might.

RedFang might've believed and FEARED the spirit, but their strong fear and belief, the measures to protect themselves, the care not to cross path, AND being ina powerful magic-focused location, could easily feed a totemic god, couldn't it? That wouldn't mean RedFang was -good- or supported this god, just that it FEED it, in a way?
No. 1083057 ID: c45a2f

Zeal and faith aren't the same. Neither is knowledge and belief.
Uuragg pointed to his superstition and fear and eagerness.
To Red Fang Uuragg was an all encompassing force present in every moment and detail of life.
In his supersitions he shaped his habits in accordance to what he knew would please or displease God.
His fear was that failure to adhere to his superstitions would anger God.
And his eagerness would have been to observe His will and shape his life around it.
Come belief come faith come belief.
Very circular. But that's sort of what sets the devout apart from everyone else.
No. 1083059 ID: 46e818
File 170760335055.png - (16.56KB , 800x600 , 2015.png )

"If Red Fang was so--"

>"I see you're still confused. Let me put it... another way."
No. 1083060 ID: 46e818
File 170760346049.png - (12.65KB , 800x600 , 2016.png )

>"Once upon a time, when the woods were colorless and dangerous, the people were scared and alone.
>They felt things in the forest with roots deeper than the trees."

No. 1083061 ID: 46e818
File 170760360434.png - (12.56KB , 800x600 , 2017.png )

>"They prayed and they pleaded for protection. And they were heard.
>A rain of black petals sustained the oldest, knotted roots."

No. 1083063 ID: 46e818
File 170760379147.png - (10.56KB , 800x600 , 2018.png )

>"But one day a man came to the woods, and he brought quiet and protection. The gasping winds grew quieter, and with less to fear, the people forgot the old ways.
>Their worship dwindled, and my powers waned. I was... smaller.

>But for this, I did not cry.
>My people were safe and happy, and I was content to be a small deity, to bring comfort and happiness to a weathered people."

No. 1083064 ID: 46e818
File 170760394865.png - (12.79KB , 800x600 , 2019.png )

>"One day, the man and his legacy returned to the mud, as all men do. And my people were alone again.
>In the space left behind, a cruel soul began to terrorize the woods. And once more they prayed to the tarry soil."

No. 1083065 ID: 1618fb

So what I'm getting at is when the nature of the prayer affects the deity. Is this correct?
No. 1083066 ID: 46e818
File 170760435934.png - (14.59KB , 800x600 , 2020.png )

>"But none prayed as hard as the cruel man.
>He was a terrible soul, bitter and without morals. He did not follow My teachings.

>And yet he and his followers gave power to me and others, with which even the shamans of the woods could not compete. His worship was potent, though from an unloving heart.

>Despite his offerings, he felt our anger with him. He foresaw one of Us would set in motion the wheels of his death.
>And though We saw him returned to the soil, we are weaker without his devotion."

No. 1083068 ID: 46e818
File 170760471747.png - (16.44KB , 800x600 , 2021.png )

>"This is the way of the totem. We are sustained by belief.
>My power waned when the King ruled. It changed me. So the totem turns.

>With Red Fang's terror and worship, I breathed the incense with renewed devotion, but with his death I am weakened again. So the totem turns.

>The people have returned to their offerings, and in great number. But it will take time, and for now, I am weak, and I cannot protect them as I once did.
>And if they feel I cannot protect them, I fear they will lose faith in me, and that worship will die.
>And one day I may die with it.

>They need me now, not when I have had more time to gather strength. And I am failing them."

No. 1083070 ID: ce619a

So this is a being created by fear and desperation that only gains power when people suffer. No wonder it's true form looks like a rotting beast wallowing in a black bog. Make no mention of it's real form, I'd imagine that would piss it off.

Ask if it's only prayer and belief that sustain him or if other sources of power could give him strength. Maybe that amulet could empower him.
No. 1083077 ID: 1618fb

So his belief has strengthened the totem. Are there physical totems that we can destroy in order to stop the corruption of belief that is polluting your power and influence?
No. 1083079 ID: 890083

Well if that's the case... We can help. We just have to put on a show. Whether through actual magic or stage magic we show "signs" of your influence. Let them attribute it to your activities. Surely the odds can forage and drop off close by at minimum as a show.
No. 1083081 ID: eb0a9c

I vote we get Geppa. Ultimately, Red Fang was hollowed out by his brother Yellow Fang, so we may be able to supplant the process with a modified Orange Fang.
No. 1083082 ID: c45a2f

It sounds very much like the much less prestigious form that we glimpse every now and then is the ur-Uuragg.
No. 1083093 ID: 2f41db


So, close to a farmers love for his flock.
Maybe a little more nuanced, but still one of protection and sustenance.

The totem has turned, probably because of the encroaching elves and men.

It does seem hes under an existential threat then.
A downward faith spiral, cumulatively worstening as prayers become more frequent, desperate and remain unanswered.

A partial solution does present itself Big M.
Little more than a bandage but if hes bleeding faith it may be enough.

Contextualise his absence to his faithful as him facing threats on a spiritual level.
In seclusion to confound and befuddle the encroaching threats and face those things that are beyond the sight of his forest peoples.

Mr lollipop is clearly very aware regarding what happens in his domain.
In a way he and the woods are one creature.
This would provide a massive tactical advantage in the future.
In that sense he would be protecting his people and earning their faith.

Of course, for this to work one would have to speak with his authority.
As the other voices say, he may need to annoint a new acolyte to spread this message.

Moral issues that come to mind...
He strikes me as detatched. Somewhat amoral. A little unempathic. Perhaps thats simply his nature though.
However, we would be helping this relationship to continue and if it became more callus again that would be on us.
Secondly, we would be lying in the short term to many people that trust big M quite a lot.
That feels somewhat wrong.
That said, in terms of pure self interest
If it came to light it could be damaging to Big M's reputation and credibility.
thats quite the sword of damocles to eagerly plonk yourself under.
No. 1083094 ID: 1f2a1c

"We'll do what we can to assist this forest - ensuring its safety while encouraging its denizens to keep worshiping you.
Some sort of display that you are with them would greatly reassure your followers. I'm not expecting a spontaneous slaughter of all elves (even if that is an optimal end result), but just some signs that the tribes would interpret as your support would undoubtedly help in returning your power. I'm sure Tislomer's testimony alongside something simple will be more than enough for the kobolds. Are there any specific activities I should encourage among your followers when I return to them?"
No. 1083105 ID: ebae20

Maybe we can help their problems in his name? Say it is through the will of Mr Lollipop that we have the ability to help them
No. 1083112 ID: 799e80

Well, I think of it like so. We came to the forest seeking wisdom, and allies, and the promotion of peace between people. We are not as great as the last man to try bring quiet and protection, though. We rule our own small domain, not a large one. We cannot claim to be as idealistic. In time, perhaps, we would like to extend our protection to the forest and its people fully, but in the time until then, and likely even if so, we will likely need the forest people to play a greater part in their own protection. Ideally it would not be so, but realistically it will, and our goal is to coordinate in order to minimize hardship. So, they are likely to still face dangers, and fear - and, one hopes, the fellowship and courage that comes against them, which I might hope are just as strengthening to someone like our host if his presence is part of what gives them strength. Ultimately, we're here out of a wish to help the folk of the forest, and be helped in turn. Is Mr. Lollipop not also, enough for this purpose, one of the folk of the forest? Do we not include him in our outstretched hand of alliance? He is certainly part of the lives of the kobolds and goblins. If he shows a little self-interest in his commitment to them, are we in any position to judge him?

So. How do we get him a quick, strong supply of devotion? It seems the powerful faith of a single being can do more than the gentler love of a larger group. That kind of devotion, I feel, only comes from a drive to fill something lacking in oneself, though one likely doesn't admit it. Unfortunately, it can be hard to identify such people, and harder to point them at a target expecting them to latch on. I doubt we could do much pretending - if nothing else, I'm sure the kobolds and goblins are smarter than we give them credit for. I think the top thing we can do is think whether we can find a potential priest. I don't think our own gnoll would do, she's quite happy. Though she can be a little ignorant of social graces sometimes, so perhaps she and Mr. Lollipop would at least, uh, have something in common. Hm. Who else do we know who might like one of the philosophies of the forest and has the soil in their soul for devotion?
No. 1083113 ID: 799e80

I want to add - I think Mr. Lollipop is somewhat extending us an opportunity to shape who he will become next, or at least part of it. All his previous aspects seem to be there in him. I think he's putting forth the perception the kobolds, particularly Tislomer, had of him in 'the foreground', as it were - a fun friend, the welcoming smile, a little mischief, the sort of deity he would have been through the eyes of someone who knew him in a time of peace, through old festivals remembered for the cause of celebration. But he also still has the old unknowable mystery, the deep knowledge of the woods, from before that. The goblins, likely with longer memories, seem to carry more of that in how they tried to worship him - more desperate, primal and carnal, appealing to sex as something that would be seen in the wild fecundity of the forest. There's that sensual aspect to be seen in him. Finally, there's a bit of what Red Fang put in him as well - I think he's trying to suppress it, but there's an edge of violence to him. Not violence in the physical bloodletting sense so much, but in the intrusiveness, the hint of disregard for boundaries, the games he's playing. If we want to help him regain his strength, we'd better think hard about what kind of character we want to colour him with.
No. 1083119 ID: 729625

There is no perfect answer. This is a creature created by fear and desperation. In time, we should hope to reduce its role just as the king did. Hopefully it will be happy when its people are. We should seek his aid and endorsement, not to empower him.
No. 1083125 ID: 05fc82

I feel it is important to mention that one of those totems looks very similar to the wooden cross seen in High Roller Copal's collection a long time ago.
which is a reference to nan quest
now on that note, with all this religious fanaticism, will the cult of the barbed wheel become important somehow?
No. 1083129 ID: b3eab7

I feel like what he needs now is borrowed power. A temporary power boost until his own power grows to match it.
No. 1083130 ID: 273c18

It sounds like we just have to tell the kobolds and goblins that the Red One is indeed angry with them for their lax worship, and will withhold his blessings for a time, but if they stay faithful their punishment will soon end. And in the meantime, Muschio can protect them.

To really sell this, it would be best for the Red One to give Muschio the sign of a prophet or something. Some proof of authority so that they will believe this and stay faithful until the Red One's power returns.
No. 1083139 ID: 2f41db

So, he is shaped by the belief of others albeit not uncontrollably so.
That would explain the flash of the tarry grounds earlier. His earliest form.
In the story he mentioned that as the first form of worship and repeated it again.

He needs a new acolyte.
Annointed and as official as it gets.
Strong of faith and pure of belief.
To give him form to latch on to and to set that form in the beliefs of the people.

Big M
How do you feel about being horse Pope?
Im kidding.
Tislomer is the only candidate at hand.
Being the daughter of the kobold religious leader, its almost the family business.

Oh god.
Hes going to end up so -weird- if he goes for this.
No. 1083146 ID: 4d8b77

Okay, the all the fucking is helping though? Can we just do more of that? That is one of the three things Muschio is good at, aside from grandstanding and hair care.
No. 1083148 ID: 2f41db

Oh yeah.
Probably best if that stops.
The only thing the goblins will be praying for by now is protien rich snacks, energy drinks and barrels of lube.
No. 1083152 ID: debc82


You need a vassal or priest, someone to serve as your proxy and provide ever greater strength through proof of your power.

Someone who has met and known you, and moreover will be trusted and believed by the peoples of these woods.

Someone like Tislomer.
No. 1083155 ID: 04b6f1

I wonder if belief alone powers him. Or if the forest itself works as the monster portal and the collective unconscientious longing of its inhabitants, is what brought/channeled Mr. Lollipop into being.
No. 1083161 ID: fe12b4

well, clearly the solution here is shenanigans.

we put together a convincing costume of mr. lollipop, have him show up while we do our thing of solving problems, and then claim it not as protection, but as brokering new agreements for our new friend here.

That achieves three things: maintains faith in his power as we fix this, maintains a certain level of fear necessary to maintain the worship he needs, and benefits us by still taking some credit for our deeds as befits our political aspirations.

After that it's simply a matter of building up infrastructure for his faith, though hopefully in such a way it won't blossom into something ugly. Larger church organizations tend to get pretty grim for the people subjected to them.

My suggestion would be potlucks and festivals, community cohesion events, with a distinct focus on sharing over sacrifice. Rather than giving up something important for the care of others, it is encouraged to give up small tokens to be kind in a more sustainable way.

This is an important touch, as it will act against shooting for the logical extreme where sacrificing each other for the benefit of the whole results in fascistic rule.
No. 1083163 ID: 2f41db

Some kind of day specifically.
Set aside for the celebration of lov-...
Why does that ring a bell?

<eyes date suspiciously>
No. 1083182 ID: 46e818
File 170770945055.png - (17.42KB , 800x600 , 2022.png )

"This is... quite a lot to consider. I have made it my mission to protect and care for the people of this forest, and as a dweller here, that includes you.
I suppose our best course of action would be to restore you to your power, for the good of both yourself and the people you protect."
No. 1083184 ID: 46e818
File 170770974327.png - (20.65KB , 800x600 , 2023.png )

"However, in the interest of honesty, I must confess that it is my intent to bring these woods under my royal control and protection. And according to your story, this may diminish your influence, as it did under the rule of my father.
Weakening your grasp is not my intent, but I would not hide the possibility from you."

>"I know what you're about, Big M.
>I am happy to again become a small figure in their belief. I do not mind being a luck charm, a relic of fertility, a symbol of love.
>As long as my people are safe and happy, I am content.
>My waning power only pains me when I cannot protect them."

No. 1083187 ID: 1ab976

So let's brainstorm here. A good way to spread faith is through stories, and through stories we gain belief and power. So what is a story we can spin the people of the woods that will strengthen the both of us, bettering our and the seer's influence? And as a keynote, it must be a POSITIVE story, no dark offerings or sacrifices here.
No. 1083188 ID: 53560f

Alright, then we have the foundation for an alliance, now we just have to figure out a plan to cement it. Before we go, ask lollipop to dispel the illusion he’s placed us under so we can know things as they are. Keep Tislomer affected though, we don’t want to traumatise her.
No. 1083191 ID: ce619a

>I am happy to again become a small figure in their belief. I do not mind being a luck charm, a relic of fertility, a symbol of love.
Wait. This implies he's not really a "god of love" and that it was a title forced on him. What aspect is he actually a god of then?

Whatever, it's not important I guess. What matters is our original mission of protecting the people of the forest to gain their allegiance.
So, ask him what threatens his people currently. Maybe we can deal with it ourselves then claim we did it as acolytes of the seer to boost belief and confidence in him amongst the tribes.
No. 1083192 ID: 3f3d5c

Boss, I'm gonna be honest. This doesn't seem like the kind of thing we can just fix as part of a quick side quest. This is, like, a multi-stage ongoing story beats kindof thing. Now, I'm all for that, really, but the point is, it's sounding more and more like we're gonna have to do the heavy lifting with this whole protecting the forest project ourselves.

That said, while I'm sure we can just say we've got his blessing and we're the carrying on the will of Mr Lollipop and all that jazz to boost the village morale, I'm kindof with >>1083094 over here.
There's gotta be something a little more concrete we can offer besides pretty words to get the goblins on board here. Otherwise they're just going to keep fucking each other. And that's fun and all, but it doesn't make for a very effective army.
Which is kindof the reason we're here...?
Surely even with his waning power, he can give us something.
No. 1083197 ID: 2f41db

I suppose to an immortal the waxing and waning of power is less concern
If youve got forefer, you can afford patience.

Ahhh, maybe i was judging him a bit too harshly.
Especially if i was right about faith shaping him as much as it sustains.

Help the guy out Big M.
Suggest the new acolyte.
Offer to claim you were summoned to bring aid in a vision sent by mr lollipop. To be his champion of the woods.
You could wear a crown with stag horns.

I still think tislomer, if shes amenable to the idea, would make a good acolyte too.
No. 1083200 ID: dd3fe0


Yea, it's important to know his original aspect. Most every aspect of a god *should* have something ethical that can empower them, if one is creative enough.
No. 1083201 ID: 8f9bc4


Yes strap the antlers to your head and announce yourself to the goblin village as their new Deer King
No. 1083204 ID: 275adc

hmm, perhaps there can be compromise here
you have the power to protect, but this does not mean you will know when and where to do so
BUT, as a totem who can (presumably, and I assume much) hear prayers, he can, just, tell you
and if praying to him results in you helping, this may inspire belief, which would be a win-win
No. 1083205 ID: 04b6f1

We need to assess the situation, Boss.
With the resources we have at the moment. What can we do?

And specially with the power he has right now. What can Mr. Lollipop actually do?

Specially for us. 'Cause now that we have declared our alliance, we need synergy.
No. 1083206 ID: 04b6f1

Maybe he can give us something for our monster portal. So we can get more minions/tools to help the forest folk.
No. 1083207 ID: eb0a9c

We could turn him into a holiday folklore celebrity, like Santy Claws.
But, uh... that guy's weird and we don't like to talk about him. Likewise, we could end up turning The Red One into The Mad One.
No. 1083208 ID: 4d8b77

Well, fake it 'til you make it. So what is it you actually are expected to do that you aren't living up to? That's the stuff we can probably actually do something about anyway.
No. 1083212 ID: 273c18

We were already planning to protect them, so let's do that. Considering half of the elves we've spoken to so far don't ACTUALLY consider kobolds to be animals then maybe there's hope for peace between their peoples without much threat of violence. Hell, maybe we can form some kind of agreement to allow elves to hunt in kobold/goblin lands in exchange for not building any more settlements near them. Or some kind of... game sharing thing? The elves wanted specific parts from the deer, maybe whenever they hunt to gather those parts they can give the rest to whoever's land they're on.
No. 1083214 ID: 2f41db


Elves et al are going to push back on that.
Peaceful resolution is preferable and i hope we get it.
Still suspect there'll be degree of conflict, but hopefully non direct.
Making the woods more trouble than they're worth kind of thing.
We're probably going to have to teach the kobolds and goblins how to spike trees when the lumber crews start arriving.
No. 1083220 ID: bf3f10

Can he at least explain the flashes of that weird shit happening?
No. 1083228 ID: ce619a

Probably his original/true form that was born of fear and desperation. Judging by what he's said his current look was formed from the tribes' perception of him in recent, happier times.
We could ask for clarification on that, but it might not be a good idea. Although, he seems very cognizant and forthcoming of what he used to be and his current status, so maybe he won't freak out if we ask???
No. 1083231 ID: 2f41db

It's a good idea to ask.

Give it a shot Big M.
Ask if he's reverting to more rudimentary forms as he weakens.
No. 1083235 ID: 46e818
File 170776405472.gif - (12.46KB , 800x600 , 2024.gif )

"I suppose then that their desperate rituals aren't helping."
>"Oh no, they are! The festival you saw is quite potent. Hard not to feel invigorated when all the people are..."
He gestures.
No. 1083236 ID: 46e818
File 170776408851.png - (13.16KB , 800x600 , 2025.png )

No. 1083237 ID: 3f3d5c

No. 1083238 ID: 739bc0

You really gotta talk to him about how the vibe here does not match the aesthetics. Despite the garish whimsy of this place and himself, it somehow feels rotten and tragic.
No. 1083239 ID: 744eaa

Right... So what else can we do or what message can we bring them?
No. 1083240 ID: 8b8c72

Yes, well, the problem with that particular arrangement is, to quote a less-than-admirable captain, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is spongy and bruised."
They're killing themselves to try and win back your favor, and it seems that instead of hearing their pleas, you're out here feeding from their faith with no returns.
No. 1083242 ID: ce619a

Ask if that's the reason he's able to hold such a cheerful demeanor/form right now, because we've seen the "black bog."
Then ask if it would help if the kobolds started doing their own festival, too. Or perhaps the two tribes could alternate to alleviate the problem that >>1083240 brings up.
No. 1083243 ID: bfabaf

Ok, we'll uh... we'll encourage that then but we gotta tell them to pace themselves a little. It sounds like this little lull of yours won't be that little so its gotta be a marathon rather than a sprint right? Is there anything else that makes you feel invigorated?... Oh that reminds me. How do you feel about the elves hunting and such? Are you in any danger? Like if we knew some creepy amateur wizards or creepy professional wizards or cultists or demons or such is there any possibility of them coming after you while you're under the weather?
No. 1083260 ID: 2f41db

Big M.
How do you resist just hugging that adorable, sweet kobold?
You have a will of iron.
No. 1083265 ID: 3aff85

It sounds like the way to help him is to help the people. As long as the goblins and kobolds and stuff are safe then he's happy. All we gotta do is to keep them from worrying about him. Let's tell them we met with him and that because his power is waning he's enlisted us to aid them on his behalf.
No. 1083270 ID: 8b1abb

if what the goblins are doing helps, we could get the kobolds in on it too, in moderation of course. They seem mostly down, judging by the elf's experiences.
No. 1083272 ID: 6c605b

I think there's quite a bit to be gained here when considering the possibility.

A divine backing is not to be scoffed at - and to be able to help one and be helped in kind is no small thing.

Proposal - a way to show the communion with Mr. Lollipop beyond just word to the tribes, and potentially strengthen belief in him as a symbol would be... powerful for all parties.

And since his domain is love, carnal and hunt, perhaps there's further we can do in his name? Something to enhance his strength and our own at the same time?

Pacing the festivities out between the two villages into beyond a single fevor, and instead a longer bacchanal between the two would perhaps be potent... hell, even making it a holiday would be good.
No. 1083273 ID: dd3fe0

Still want to know what his original aspect was, even if it's dark, there still might be an ethical way to include, even metaphorically, it in some 'once in a while' holiday. It also might be the reason why the jerk provided so much power.
No. 1083289 ID: ebae20

Finesse this is your chance, bang the boss in the name of love
No. 1083290 ID: 2f41db

On the one hand theres the moral issue taking advantage of a horny aura and it could lead to awkward situations when you're out of it.
On the other hand, that would be hilarious.

I cant wait till dompag finds out he missed the orgy.
No. 1083293 ID: 5ea742

>>1083290 OMG Dompag would be a great acolyte.
No. 1083300 ID: 1f2a1c

"Perhaps it is uncouth to ask, but... what are you providing your followers at the moment? They are most fervently worshiping, desperate for you, yet you do not appear to be doing much."

"And what is this strange black bog I keep seeing flashes of in your presence?"

"But if that is all, I shall be off to reassure your flocks that you may be weakened, but are recovering. Again, showing them some sort of sign would greatly help as well."

Perhaps the weird black bog thing might mean that there's a group of people with a profoundly different view of the deity.
No. 1083301 ID: 46e818
File 170787119017.png - (19.41KB , 800x600 , 2026.png )

>"The problem is that my strength is not returning quickly enough for me to fix things in time.
>And if I can't help them, why would they worship me? Would I even deserve it?"

No. 1083304 ID: 46e818
File 170787148461.png - (29.94KB , 800x600 , 2027.png )

behind a veil of silver scars
the pull of an inverted star
No. 1083306 ID: 46e818
File 170787190370.png - (17.53KB , 800x600 , 2028.png )

>"Maybe it is time to return to baser actions.
>I have loved this form, but if it does not help me protect those I love, what good is it to me?
>The totem has turned before, it can turn again."

No. 1083307 ID: 2f41db

Big M!
Gotta move quickly.
Get tislomer front and center.

"Look at her. Feel her belief. Can you destroy that by becoming something other? Right in front of her?"

You need to stop this guy slipping into something more primal and potentially uncontrollable.
No. 1083308 ID: cacfc5

That could either work wonderfully or horribly. But fuck it (not literally)!

Tislomer, we choose you!
No. 1083309 ID: eb0a9c

Argue that a more complex form is required. Civilization is coming, and anything primal will be a hinderance.
Namely, you'd like his black hole to become your new weapon component for a Legendary.
I like legendaries.
No. 1083310 ID: ce619a

His current form may not be suitable to direct action, but it's great for interacting with his flock. And a lack of interaction with worshipers is the number one way gods lose their faithful.

Ask if these problems can be fixed by mortals hands, perhaps it's time to willfully take on acolytes and delegate out these problems.
If nothing else, a closer relationship to his followers will bolster faith more readily.
No. 1083322 ID: 5c1847


Time to make a gamble, the forest is Mr. Lollipop center of power, that's true. But his stationary position makes him ineffectual.

The hand you lost. It's made of wood. Wood from this forest's trees, let him project his power through it, like a lantern for which you're the carrier.

In the brightest day, in the blackest night. No threat shall escape your sight. Let those who aim to do forest's folk harm. Beware your power, Love's hand might.
No. 1083330 ID: bfabaf

How well can you regain strength in a form you don't love? Is loving yourself not one of the roots of growth? Besides, if the issue is strength, what makes one form better than another? At the very least, I think in this form you speak clearer to us than in the other. You may not be as forthright as we'd like, but we've learned a lot. Some of the people of this forest call you Seer. Is knowledge not strength, and one that does not strain as much as action? Don't you need to be able to interact with others in the form they can best understand, for them to best receive your wisdom? The black bore is powerful, but it cannot give a light to guide.

... Perhaps we speak from ignorance, though. Perhaps we should see all sides of the matter. Perhaps we should send Tislomer and... Ashedel, I think, to escort her, so that she can start passing on something of what we've already learned, or just say that we will be coming back soon with some messages. She is trusted by the forest people, and getting the chance to speak to them without us around will give her words about us a little more feel truth. Then we can stay here and talk a little more. Perhaps about things that would be too... dull, for Tislomer.
No. 1083331 ID: 273c18

Ah, he is returning to a deity based on fear. Tell everyone to remain calm, especially Ashedel. Do not attack the weakened god no matter how scary he gets.
No. 1083341 ID: 53560f

You are love and it is admirable that you would willingly change for your people but you are in danger of becoming hate or even fear. Though you would undoubtedly be more capable of protecting your people in the short term, such a reckless course may very well doom them in the long term.
I will act to protect your people so such a sacrifice is unnecessary but should I fail, I understand that you will do what you must for them.
Just make sure the love they feel for you is not replaced by fear of you.
No. 1083345 ID: 05fc82

Maybe this is a bad idea, but we should have Mr. Lollipop define what love is while he is still being nice to us. I am becoming increasingly concerned that what we will hear will either sound more like fear than love or a definition of love that is more possessive than emotional.
No. 1083355 ID: fe12b4


>deity of fear and love

...ah shit we're going to have to introduce kobolds and goblins to S&M aren't we
No. 1083367 ID: dd3fe0


The whole bdsm thing, ya. And also things that cause wholesome fear, like carnival rides and extreme sports and the like. And encourage a night of spooky stories and haunted mazes and stuff done in the god's name.
No. 1083371 ID: 6cd673

What we want to do is take on his burden, and he is fine with the consequences of that. The problem lies in convincing the kobolds and goblins.

Acting as his agent or pope is shortsighted. We will be expected to commune with and answer to him. Eventually, this could cause unrest.

He will inevitable have reduced power, so let's get them used to that. A charm for good luck. He can make the forest safe for us to secure then leave it to us to keep safe.
No. 1083376 ID: 46e818
File 170793197556.png - (16.15KB , 800x600 , 2029.png )

>"I have many names. I have had many before.
>Some as old as the woods.
>Once I was The Marrow.
>The Briar Ghost.
>The Heartless One.
>The Drowner.

No. 1083377 ID: 46e818
File 170793200895.png - (21.73KB , 800x600 , 2030.png )

>"All of these I have been.
>And can be again."

No. 1083379 ID: 8f9bc4

It's time! Shove us in his eye hole!
No. 1083383 ID: ce619a

Ask what he wants to be know as, what he wants to be. Not for the sake of the forest, but for his own sake.
He's had all these names and domains assigned to him and talks of "not minding" being what he is, but he's made no mention of what his desires are for himself beyond protecting the people of the forest.

Does he even have personal desires? Or is he just an amalgam of the forest tribes' desires?
No. 1083385 ID: ee5f64

But do any of those forms appeal to you as this one does? To return oneself to a status quo that one hates is unacceptable. Should there be another way, we will find it; we will help you protect your people, and we will ensure they continue to pay tribute to you.
No. 1083387 ID: 2f41db


"Have you ever chosen what you are? Can you? Wouldn't you wish to?"

Ask him something like that big M.
He may never have had the chance to control which way the totem has turned before.
No. 1083390 ID: 739bc0

If he switches roles like this, that's a double-whammy for you. Not only do the forest dwellers lose a god of love, which could diminish their trust and cooperation, but they also gain a protector, making you redundant, which means you lose leverage.
No. 1083392 ID: 8b8c72

I'm not sure this guy is even listening anymore.
No. 1083395 ID: d0cff5

Quick, strip naked and distract him with invigorating vigorous displays! Remind him of love! And also have Tislomer help by being Tislomer.
No. 1083397 ID: d4d22b

He never was, I reckon. Gods are weird like that.
No. 1083405 ID: 7b9b16

No. 1083408 ID: eb0a9c

This! His core form is some kind of creature in the bog! Power through the avatar and shove the Orb into the eye socket of the creature that's stuffed within the boulder he was just sitting on!
No. 1083409 ID: 3f3d5c

... You'll always be Mister Lollipop to me.
No. 1083413 ID: 05fc82

Has he ever been called the barbed wheel?
No. 1083415 ID: 0d4c43

I don't think running will help. Tactically it would be in your mortal interest to encourage him to not adopt a persona which could be described as "The Drowner".
Not that it's clear talking will even help. Is there a act of devotion you can attempt?
No. 1083417 ID: 5c55e7

I second this. By his own admission, he claims to have enjoyed this form. The past can't be changed, but it does not dictate the future either.

It also sounds like he kind of wants us to do what we were going to do anyway - take responsibility of protecting his people from out of his proverbial hands while he recovers, so we're still not at odds with him there.

On another thought: would expanding his cult's influence by introducing it to populations outside of the forests help? The elves in this universe at least seem pretty open to the concept of fuck-till-you-drop orgy rituals. Could we pull a Hare Krishna by sending priests or worshipers to sexy-dance in nearby towns and villages (or at least their airports)?

Heck, if this whole train of thought isn't too silly, maybe we could somehow use this to create a cultural exchange program of horny nerds from neighboring civilizations to improve foreign relations with the tribes of the forest or something.
Literally, "Make Love, Not War: the religion".
No. 1083423 ID: df1de2

We should take a step back and think this through.

We can't promise to convert people and we really shouldn't seek to manipulate them to have faith.

We want to protect this forest, but we've already shown mercy on this journey. If this god takes direct action, there will be no mercy.

We have to free the god from this burden. He can prove himself worthy of worship in this form.
No. 1083424 ID: 6c605b

The people of these forests want a sign from their God that he is listening. They beg for divine intervention from their God of Love, Hunt, and Fear. And he is desperate to answer, with whatever power he has.

Mark your hand with a symbol of him. His eye. If he wants to protect the tribes, your hand, made of wood from his forest, will be his.
Unite them, and protect them. You have seen his power and cannot deny it, and you can use it. In his name and in your own.
No. 1083426 ID: fe12b4

his form is based on perception, he wants and enjoys being a small friendly god of boinking and smooching so we should focus on that and that alone.

trying to minmax this is likely a bad idea, not because it's too dangerous or anything but because we won't get anything we want out of it. His characterization is fluid based on what people believe his nature to BE, and that fluidity WILL quickly get out of hand. Plus, the more power he holds, the more likely his nature is to change as people try to exploit that power.

Imagine what this dude would be like if cults worshiping him were in conflict on the doctrine?

The best we can really achieve here is stability, and to do that we need to make the branding dead-ass simple or any encounter with the outside world is gonna quickly mutate him again.
No. 1083427 ID: 51acc5

We are about to witness a primal god revert to a much older, less benevolent form. We're getting glimpses of that form already. We know what that form feeds off of and draws power from. And we're sitting discussing the finer points of belief and how to debate with a being as old as these woods themselves who can apparently see US.

Think for a moment. What would the first act of a god of fear be to restore belief (and therefore power)? It possibly might involve horribly rending and mutilating the small party of mortals it is conversing with and dumping their remains in the village of its followers. Or, easier yet, choosing one member of said party to live and spread the story of its return, or just choosing one to sacrifice.

Stop talking. RUN. NOW.
No. 1083429 ID: 46e818
File 170800906501.png - (13.52KB , 800x600 , 2031.png )

No. 1083430 ID: 46e818
File 170800914341.png - (12.40KB , 800x600 , 2032.png )

>"♫ I love Mister Lollipop,
>He's the best, He's my friend
>I hope he brings me candy soup tomorrow ♪"
No. 1083431 ID: 46e818
File 170800915398.png - (20.54KB , 800x600 , 2033.png )

No. 1083432 ID: 46e818
File 170800915768.png - (12.38KB , 800x600 , 2034.png )

No. 1083433 ID: 46e818
File 170800919987.png - (22.04KB , 800x600 , 2035.png )

>That is a name I've grown quite fond of, after all."

No. 1083434 ID: 2aa5f0

... I'm starting to think that part of the problem is that he's kind of been alone out here for the most part and would probably be doing better in the head if he had people to talk to... or you know, friends.
No. 1083436 ID: 2f41db

Good reactions big M.

We all love mister lollipop a lot more than the, uh , other fellers.
No. 1083438 ID: dc4bad

okay so, might regret the answer but are the singing/dancing attendants real people ooooor..?
No. 1083439 ID: ce619a

You know what?
Maybe we should switch to Tislomer and coach her through interactions with this guy. Because every time Muschio interacts with him he starts going all edgelord on us...
Probably because Muschio is a 19 year old edgelord.
No. 1083440 ID: 3b124c

Or Tislomer could use charm and it's super effective. That works too i guess.
Cutebold prophet anyone?
No. 1083441 ID: e5bdce


Tislomer, how would you like to be the new prophet of Mr. Lollipop?
No. 1083442 ID: 2f41db

Who can resist that adorable lil' 'bold?

I'm starting to feel more sympathetic towards mister lollipop. My earlier judgement was harsh.
His is not an easy situation to be in, on reflection.

Other, wiser voices have noted he is a denizen of land big M intends to protect.
We upset a status quo, rightly so, but unintentionally that led to this depowering at a time of greatest his greatest need.
Therefore, we have a duty to help.

A lot of solid suggestions were made earlier regarding how to achieve this but i'd like to add a caveat.

Can we find a way to achieve this while helping mister lollipop keep himself? To retain a form he has grown fond of? Or perhaps the form he desires.
He strikes me as a powerful creature but one very much robbed of agency.

Maybe i'm projecting mortal perspectives onto something truly alien in thoughts and goals, but someone so paradoxically powerless may deserve to know what choice feels like rather than watching his totem spin to see who he is to be.
No. 1083443 ID: c1fc43

>>1083442 Good observations. Have to say though, he likely likes being Mr. Lollipop. Were that not the case that song and cutebold would have no effect at all. For all we know this is the first form that people have genuinely loved. Just probably feels good to be loved. Especially compared to how things were. Perhaps it's just myself but always did like this "never too late to change and be redeemed" thing.
No. 1083448 ID: cb2d4f

I wonder if by reintroducing Tislomer to him we have unintentionally been producing a disciple (apostle?) like Red Fang all along, except that she firmly believes in this incarnation as "Mr. Lollipop".

Thinking about keeping him in this present form: this could work like how the cult of Aphrodite in ancient Greece established itself via maritime trade.
TLDR: sailors and traders introduced a foreign love/fertility/war goddess known as Ishtar from an even older Mesopotamian pantheon to the trade cities and port towns of the Aegean islands, which then took off in popularity until she became an incredibly influential goddess in the mainland as well, changing over time into "Aphrodite" (and then later Venus during the Roman empire).

"Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future" was a great quote.
No. 1083449 ID: eb0a9c

Now will you jam us in his eye socket?!
No. 1083459 ID: 831c0e

Now I need tislomer singing this
No. 1083468 ID: 8f9bc4


No, no. Tislomer killed the mood. We don't even want to be jammed into his eyesocket now.
No. 1083471 ID: bfabaf

Look, here's an action plan. What can protect the people of the forest from outsiders? If those outsiders consider them more valuable as friends than enemies. It needs a carrot and a stick, stick to threaten against being attacked, the carrot something people want to attract them and make them overlook the threat.

The stick is simple, if not easy, they need to show they have a military force to defend them. The show is the thing more than the actuality: walls for their villages, watch towers on the highest ground uniformed patrols, a few visible checkpoints where the main paths enter the forest, people will get the idea and it will look very... 'civilized'. As for the carrot, that's easier - trade. We just recently discovered all this valuable magical ore in our mountain. There are surely many who would wish to purchase it, but those who want it are probably wizards and witches and such - wealthy individuals who don't like to do their grubbing in the ground themselves. If we secretly supply the forest people with it so that they can sell it, and they show enough force to keep people from just trying to take it, then outsiders will be forced to deal with the forest folk as, well, people. The forest itself is something of a protection as it is - it doesn't hold out poachers or small groups of raiders, but any large military force will have a very hard time.
No. 1083473 ID: 46e818
File 170811093955.png - (13.90KB , 800x600 , 2036.png )

"If you'll allow me, your-- holiness...? My apologies, I've never held audience with a deity before. I don't know any honorific that would be sufficient."
>"'Mister Lollipop' will do."

"Very well. Mister Lollipop... I helped to settle a civil war this month. I brokered with a dragon. Though this situation is quite serious, I think it's also quite simple.

In sum: your people have a material, immediate crisis that needs resolving.
Were it resolved, the people would continue believing long enough for you to regain your full power, at which point your faith would again become self sustaining.
All you need is for whatever's sent them into this spiral of desperation fixed and you can handle the rest."
No. 1083475 ID: 46e818
File 170811102749.png - (10.91KB , 800x600 , 2037.png )

"What, exactly, is the immediate crisis? It's not merely your absence.
The encroaching territories? Hostilities? Over-hunting?"
No. 1083476 ID: ce619a

I... really hope it's not a fertility issue, because I don't think we're up to the task of fixing that.
No. 1083478 ID: beec32

Like hell we aren't. Close our eyes and think of Sadie.
No. 1083479 ID: 974495

At the moment it is the encroaching of other races of men on these woods and interrupting the local ecosystems. We wish it to be known that these woods are under our protection as well as being blessed by you of course.

And uh, Finesse? Ash? Are you two good?
No. 1083480 ID: 02f0b4

...Well, here's a fix for after this crisis. Just make shrines/temples that also sell candies. How popular would that be? ♫ Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew ♪...
No. 1083482 ID: c45a2f

What if The issue Uuragg is concerned about isn't their physical intrusion, but their metaphysical one?
If the beliefs of the natives are reflected in the local deities it would seem reasonable that the outsiders would either bring their own gods with them or alter the extant ones.
No. 1083483 ID: 3f3d5c

I mean... the primary issue the villages keep mentioning is just that Mister Lollipop isn't around. All the other stuff is concerning, but they mostly seem distraught that their resident god isn't here to give them moral support.

Look, not to force anything, but what if Mister Lollipop just... came with us back to the villages? Blessed some unions, oversaw the... festivities... and then say he's entrusting us to take care of the humans for, I dunno, reasons. We can do that. We can shoulder that responsibility, no problem. It's not like we're not already planning to do that.

I think they're just a little freaked out about the abrupt rebirth of an Old God that we very narrowly just avoided.
Thank all the stars Tislomer was here.
Whoever kept insisting we bring her was surely an underappreciated genius.
No. 1083489 ID: 2f41db

Big M.
Based on what he's already told us before, whatever the problems are, just solving them won't be enough.

If you stride in and solve the issues, which we know you can do, some may begin to wonder why prayers unheard by mister lollipop were instead answered by the new monarch. Then question the value of such worship.

Whatever we do for the forest people, it is of equal import we ensure mister lollipop is seen to have a hand in it.
Gah, you know what i mean.

If they come through this crisis and feel they were ignored by their god during, it could be the final cut to mister lollipops already frayed tether to existence.

You could not hold a throne that was gifted to you by another with the same authority as one you were seen to have claimed.
Mister lollipop is the same in this.
he must be seen by his people to be the guiding force behind their salvation, even if his active participation is temporarily restricted.
No. 1083490 ID: eb0a9c

I think this one's pretty straightforward. We receive a boon from Mr. Lollipop and use it to kick ass. We make it clear that champions do the complicated and risky parts, but they need the support of the people to get anything done.

Muschio has an inanimate hand and we would appreciate working bioware for his wooden prosthetic. Doesn't have to be this specific piece of wood.
No. 1083493 ID: debc82


After all, they seem to have the canoodling kissing part down, so it's gotta be some kind of outside force that's harshing their mellow.
No. 1083497 ID: 2f41db

I do like the idea of muschio being stuck with the "hand of love" if only for the potential awkwardness.

Though, if im honest im also imagining sonething "dr strangelove" adjecant.
No. 1083499 ID: 8f9bc4


> "dr strangelove"

could it be? the prophecy is at hand??

No. 1083505 ID: 04b6f1

Give Lovehand™ a try, I'm sure you can come around to the idea.
No. 1083506 ID: 2f41db

The more i think about it the more perfect it becomes.

Sigil carved into a hand of living wood.
An annointed hero bearing his mark championing his faithful.
A literal hand in solving the problems.

Anoint your champion mister lollipop.
No. 1083509 ID: 46e818
File 170818670521.png - (23.21KB , 800x600 , 2038.png )

there's a hole in my chest
No. 1083510 ID: 46e818
File 170818673841.png - (10.84KB , 800x600 , 2039.png )

>"Big M.
>They took the children.
No. 1083511 ID: afe7b2


Who dey? Where dey? Want dey die?
No. 1083512 ID: a46d9e

Oh. Well that makes things simpler. Kindly tell us who took the children and we'll handle the rest.

No. 1083513 ID: 3f3d5c


Well then.
It looks like we're out for blood, doesn't it?
No. 1083514 ID: 9793d7

... Who. Who would dare. For their sakes those kids had better be alive and unharmed.
No. 1083515 ID: 2f41db

We don't know who they are.
We don't know what they want.
If they are looking for ransom they're not going to get it,
what we do have is a very peculiar set of skills.
Skills that make Muschio a nightmare for people like them.
No. 1083529 ID: ce619a

No. 1083531 ID: 1ab976

Who took them and where? By our right as the prince of this land we will bring them back.
No. 1083532 ID: debc82


... this will not stand.

Who? The elves? The humans? Tell us, so that we shall met out vengeance upon these evil-doers!
No. 1083533 ID: 8f9bc4

No. 1083535 ID: a46d9e

Suddenly the desire of Mr. Lollipop to revert back to an older, less civilized form makes a great deal of sense.
No. 1083543 ID: eb0a9c

Hmmmmmmmmmmm... no.

We are totally the kind of scum that would slaughter an entire fortress and then forcefully adopt the children in there and treat them like fluffy pets for the rest of their lives.

So! Who do we have to pummel into submission to get the kids? Because I've been waiting too long to turn the Czar into a quibbling mess that even Katia Morgan would pity.
No. 1083555 ID: 8f9bc4


T-they're not children, they're Odds born—I mean—generated from the Monster Portal!
No. 1083557 ID: dd3fe0


Isn't any recently instantiated entity of a sapient species a child, though?
No. 1083561 ID: 5f976d

So what I'm hearing is:
It is time to assemble an order of crusaders.
No. 1083562 ID: eb0a9c

That's trademarked and you know it. We may as well call ourselves the Housedivers, with a logo of Muschio slamming a two-story brutalist wood farm cabin on an archmage's flat... torso.
Oh, I got it. Muschio in house-shaped shoes drop-kicking Olber.
No. 1083576 ID: 46e818
File 170827236687.png - (17.16KB , 800x600 , 2040.png )

"If that is so, then the course is clear.
Allow my party and I to act on your behalf, as envoys of your power, and we will do all in our power to return the abducted children.
All in your power, too, if you would be willing to grant us some manner of boon, of your holy will."

>"Oop -- hold on now marshmallow!"
No. 1083577 ID: 46e818
File 170827241188.png - (17.31KB , 800x600 , 2041.png )

>"Let's not bother the entertainment, all right? Hm? That's a good girl! Hey, why don't you play with this toy in the meantime, okay? Yeah, let's leave them alone, now."
No. 1083578 ID: 46e818
File 170827250909.png - (14.41KB , 800x600 , 2042.png )

>"Big M.
>I appreciate that you are here... for a reason. And I know you're trying to help.
>But I can't give my holy blessing to just anyone.
>If you are to act in MY NAME, I have to be sure you're right for the job. That as you move, as you act, you will embody all which I stand for."

No. 1083579 ID: 2f41db

That IS a rather anatomically correct toy horsie.
I guess it's, uh, educational.


Lets not get talking about love big M.
I remember your words regarding that.

Love is a wide domain as we fragments have mentioned already and whatever you may eschew in terms of romance...
YOU, big M, are most surely a paragon of PASSION.
It BURNS in your heart like an ember of dragonfire, ready to ERUPT forth should the circumstances stoke it.

Maybe that's what drew the eye of Sadie who you were on top of a few nights ago?

Muschio Malto, Prince of Passion, Hand of love!
Has a nice ring to it.

All you need is a long swishy loincloth and an antler crown.
No. 1083580 ID: eef602

does that toy horse have a penis?
No. 1083581 ID: ee5f64

You know what that means, right, Muschio?

You'll have to embody Love. And not just in name alone; you'll have to *mean it.*

Maybe it's time to face the fact that you really do feel love? Romantic or platonic, there's only one explanation for throwing yourself into danger to save someone else. You sacrificed part of yourself to save Finesse. Do you regret what you did? Or would you do it again without a second thought if you had the chance to change it?

Whenever your allies have come under attack, you've rushed to their defence, time and time again. Because you don't view them as your lackeys, but as your trusted friends.

Because for all your bluster and bombast, you know that you love each of them in your own way. Don't fear your love, Muschio: make it the greatest weapon in your arsenal, just as your father did.
No. 1083582 ID: bfabaf

I mean, you probably don't NEED his blessing, as such. Like I think he's overall benevolent and all but Muschio, you already made one deal with a powerful magical creature recently, you know? Plus he's already weakened so you don't want to strain him. You don't need an actual blessing sort of blessing, it'd be nice to tell his followers he materially helped, just like... some evidence to show you talked to him and he's agreed you're on side with him to show the other forest people, that'd be handy. Or like. Some more specific info, that'd be good, too. Whens and wheres and what direction and so on.

Still, might as well ask what he considers himself to stand for. I assume he doesn't really mean ALL he stands for, since he has that multilayered divine identity thing going on and it'd probably be hard to stand for the ideals of like, Red Fang's god and Mr Lollipop the candy-bringing at the same time.
No. 1083583 ID: 19ea25

It'd probably help if you stripped down.
No. 1083584 ID: ce619a

This is a very good point. I don't think you're the right fit for this considering you don't believe in love and you're fairly cynical and bitter.

Have Tislomer be the boon-holder.
She's the daughter of one of his shaman, she's currently in a lovey-dovey relationship, she fully believes in what Mr. L here is about and most importantly: Mr. Lollipop is enraptured by her enough to halt his primal regression for her sake.
She's perfect to be his avatar and champion.
No. 1083586 ID: 273c18

No thanks.
No. 1083587 ID: 47c854

...Go get Dompag.
No. 1083588 ID: bfabaf

Ooh, yeah! Dompag would probably be able to represent Mr. Lollipop really well! He's mainly a lover, capable of the fierce protector thing, smart... though he'd probably be a lot easier to convince if Mr. Lollipop was Mrs. Lollipop.
No. 1083591 ID: 04b6f1

Tall order for you, Boss.
You have declared love to be a folly of the gullible.

But we can work it out if we recontextualize it.
Not as the romantic aspect of it, as you have come to understand it before, or how carnally Mr. Lollipop seem to represent it.

We must embody Love, in deed and in truth. With unrestricted affection and care for all the little things. And everything that grows.

We have aimed for evil before, now we aim for power. But in the end, it is all for the sake of our kingdom and allies. Our loved ones.

Boss, what can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the reaper man?

Be the gentle hand even if carrying the scythe.
No. 1083598 ID: d4d22b

Oh no he's going to put us in a vibrant outfit like that one Sylvando segment in dq11 isn't he
No. 1083605 ID: eb0a9c

I saw that. Tch, Tislomer's an adult. Technically.

Once again, I vote we get Geppa.
Red Fang has proven that the Fangs' bastardized ideology is extremely compatible with Mr. Lollipop's core aspects. In this case, we would be adding the acceptance of forest fires as a natural process - one which invokes both fear and deterrence, while also allowing new growth for those prepared to weather the flames.
No. 1083606 ID: 3f3d5c

So, like, what.
More fucking?

Because there's this dragon chick we met recently, and if you think it would help we could-
No. 1083609 ID: 04b6f1

Now thats a good point.
If what Mr. Lollipop wants is for us to engage in carnal intimacy, then he can help us be (even more) alluring, specially with those of the draconic persuasion.
No. 1083614 ID: 6c605b

Tislomer is... the most devout and truest believer of Mr. Lollipop.
Her belief is an anchor for him, and stabilizes his form and action, far better than we can currently.

Dompag is a potential candidate, but we don't know if he's a true believer like she has proven multiple times.

The Boss... does not embody or follow the ideal himself.
We can ask him to try, and follow through, and while he's lusted for power...
He would need to work to claim the right to hold the banner of Mr. Lollipop himself. If he does, he would be even more powerful, and while he's already begun work in uniting the villages of the forest, he would have divine right to protect them and the king were he to wear that mantle. But heavy is the head that wears the crown.

Regardless if the Boss becomes an emissary or one of the crew wears it themselves, getting those children back is not optional.

̶ ̶I̶ ̶t̶h̶i̶n̶k̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶r̶i̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶n̶ ̶w̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ ̶b̶e̶n̶e̶f̶i̶t̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶d̶o̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶o̶
No. 1083639 ID: 5f976d

It seems that we need to find someone to represent Mr. Lollipop in all that they do. We need someone...
to represent the Lollipop Guild.
No. 1083640 ID: 8f9bc4

Do you stand for the ugly wretch in the black mud, who hides behind a joyous and noble veneer? I mean yeah, that's totally you. You love pulling misshapen beasts out of the mud and giving them a chance. Is that what Mister Lollipop is alluding to? Your whole life has been a struggle to overcome those who judge not on intents, but appearances. You cared for the Odds; the paladins tore them to shreds.

Or is he referring to your stalwart will, and capacity for murdering things? You may not be heartless, but you know how to kill when needed.

...he wants a new glass eye? Nudge nudge, wink, wink?
No. 1083651 ID: 1f2a1c

"Can't promise I'll be holding orgies in your name, but I'll give your people the security to do so as they wish."
No. 1083657 ID: e2e905


Seconded on Tislomer, she's pitch perfect for the job.
No. 1083660 ID: 2f41db

I love that adorable kobold as much as anyone else here and I'm reluctant to underestimate her.
...but knowing the stakes more clearly now, we have to be a tadge more analytical in regard to her capabilities.
She will need more guidance in the heroing part of the job and keeping focused on what needs to be done, but her faith is absolute.

If she is the chosen one, we just have to hope shes willing.
No. 1083680 ID: 1f2a1c

Yeah, I think Tislomer declared his herald'd be great. A true devotee who'll keep his image quite clean.
No. 1083701 ID: 46e818
File 170838148510.png - (12.24KB , 800x600 , 2043.png )

"I believe Tislomer would make an ideal candidate to carry your boons and embody your teachings."

>"I agree! Her qualifications are already understood.
>But I want to know about the rest of you. If you are acting in my name, it must be all of you."

No. 1083702 ID: 46e818
File 170838151073.png - (12.07KB , 800x600 , 2044.png )

>"What about you, Ms. Barr? How do you embody love?"
No. 1083703 ID: 46e818
File 170838157216.png - (13.16KB , 800x600 , 2045.png )

>"Well, I...

>I suppose everyone knows by now that I-- I'm...
>in love with Master Muschio.

>Very much so."
No. 1083705 ID: f7d131

Single-minded obsession based on a twisted sense of gratitude towards your crush's dad is the TRUEST form of love.
She is already better than Tislomer.
No. 1083706 ID: c0cc6b

We admire you very much Finesse, I think I speak for many of us here that believe you would make a fine pair with Muschio but we are only one part of this equation. Muschio's romantic feelings are his and his alone. Nevertheless, we wish you all the happiness in the world.

As for ourselves, we must love all our citizens when we retake the throne. Ours is a duty to the people and they must love us, not as a man, but as a king. We must place ourselves not above our people if we are to love them as citizens of kingdom, we love them in the way the shepherd loves his flock for they sustain him with wool in the cold, the way a parent loves their children, for they guide them on the rough journey into adulthood. We must be a guide into a new age of prosperity and love.
No. 1083713 ID: eb0a9c

I wouldn't call it healthy, any more than Muschio's obsession with dragons. If I understand correctly, Finesse has been obsessed with the Malto bloodline, not Muschio himself. But Baron Malto is dead, and his bloodline's heroism died a long time ago.

Geppa's 'love' is even less healthy, but it ascribes to the aspects of Mr. Lollipop; to feel fear of loneliness in the dark, to feel the suffering of loss through one's own strength (which is fire), and to enforce psychotic violence as a counterbalance to the preservation of fragile bonds. It was this philosophy that gave Red Fang such faith, and it will be this philosophy - renewed and refined - that can give Geppa the title of Fangpriest.
No. 1083718 ID: d4d22b

I don't think you guys are quite getting it, it's not enough for one of us to be a qualified priest, we must all embody love. Muschio's going to have to bullshit some definition of love that he can warp to fit his needs. A love for your family name maybe??? A love for power??? A love for dragon ladies (with power???)
No. 1083725 ID: 2f41db

Yearning yet selfless.
True to the love they hold for another even if it is unreturned.
Willing to carry that pain, sharp as it may be, but never follow the urge to smother that love and bury it deep away where it can no longer hurt her so.
True to her own heart, even if the road it chose is path of thorns

That is Finesse.
That is her aspect of love.

The call of love is not always answered.
It takes fortitude to still give voice to your heart when you know silence awaits.
No. 1083726 ID: 8f9bc4

Alas... her snout. Her snout just isn't...
No. 1083727 ID: 2f41db

He is wounded by love.

If he had none, he would not feel the loss of his family,people and home.
Nor the fierce passion he displays in pursuit of addressing this injustice and cruelty which wrought such pain upon him.
A passion which sonetimes manifests in the defense of others.

His is a scarred heart that will always bear the mark of wounds that exist in evidence of the love that was and mayhap the love that again will be.
Grown strong again, healed by time and deed.

Love led to a grevious wounding for muschio, but he persists.
Maybe one day he will heal.

Yes, i know the two most recent utterings from my little corner of this peanut gallery were schmaltsy.
overly flowery and reeking of amateurish poetry even...
but what better place and time for it than this?
Moreover, what better audience than mister lollipop?

I dunno...
Maybe the lovehorse fumes are getting to me.
No. 1083730 ID: debc82


Yo Big M. This is the part where you inwardly swoon (but actually sweep up the girl and give her the most dashing of affections).
No. 1083736 ID: 1f2a1c

"It may not be romantic or sexual, but I love my companions, and care deeply for all of them."
No. 1083776 ID: 04b6f1

Love has many faces, and the one that burns within Finnie, burns intensely and quietly. Like the flame that feeds the crucible.

But Dear Mr Lollipop,

Mushio Malto, blood of kings.
He was brought here by the strength of love, the passion of love stands behind his every word. Because he was born and raised from and in love.

The flames in his chest roar as a firestorm. The passion of a love betrayed. That anger, that zealousness, is still love born nonetheless.

The righteous indignation for what was lost.

The relentless will to resurrect the dream of the heritage. In the name of Mother. In the name of Father. In the name of our grandparents, forefathers and all our ancestors to the first one.

The furious loyalty, for our subjects and allies. For all that bleed with us, we'll call family.

Love brought us here, and love will carry us to a bright future.
That, we believe, that we know.

If You are to judge the love in our hearth. Do so please, for the passion of our actions.
No. 1083798 ID: fe12b4

our love is more paternalistic than romantic. a genuine desire to see our kingdom prosper and improve the lives of our subjects. It isn't romantic love, but it is still love.
No. 1083801 ID: 04b6f1

Quick Boss kiss the Goblina!
No. 1083811 ID: 46e818
File 170846066103.png - (13.00KB , 800x600 , 2046.png )

>"And what of you, stranger? What love do you bring?"

>"Uh, well...
>I... suppose I really quite enjoy lovemaking. And good revelry. And fine drink. And good food. I'm ah, quite passionate. About. Those things. Sometimes."
No. 1083813 ID: 46e818
File 170846076074.png - (9.88KB , 800x600 , 2047.png )

>"(By the way when we get back to base you and I need to have a very intense debriefing after all this.)"
No. 1083814 ID: ce619a

When we get back?
Hell, why not right now? It'd be a good way to prove our devotion to Mr. L's cause, after all.
No. 1083815 ID: d3e473

No. 1083817 ID: bfabaf

That would be a little inconsiderate to Finesse.
No. 1083819 ID: 6c605b

̶A̶s̶k̶ ̶F̶i̶n̶e̶s̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶j̶o̶i̶n̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶A̶s̶h̶'̶s̶ ̶c̶o̶o̶l̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶i̶t̶
No. 1083826 ID: 2f41db

Big m.

Set your jaw and grit your teeth.
This must be done for the good of all.
No. 1083830 ID: 2f41db

She embraces hedonism but not at the cost of her well-being or that of others.

She is the joy to be found in fully embracing the moment you are in.

She has both keen insight and foresight. She is dedicated and true to her duties, but when the time is right she can still these thoughts and wholly focus on the fulfilment found only in the now.

Ash is the love of a life well lived and the joy found and shared within.

Seriously Mister lollipop, you gotta get big M to tell you the story of how they met one day.
Its positively dashing.
No. 1083844 ID: 2da956

Send her to Ridder because he wishes to court Ashedel. Seems two birds one stone.
No. 1083887 ID: 5f976d

Hold the phone: I second this. Ridder is both loyal to us, and much less of an edgy boy like our Big M. He shares our desire to protect these lands, but hasn't given up on Love as a virtue just yet.
I say we convince him to turn his forces into tHE LOLLIPOP GUI ahem, a representation of Mr. Lollipop's continued investment in His people, in a more physical sense.
No. 1083890 ID: 6c605b

right now is good
let's all party to show how we're devoted to mr lollipop
No. 1083911 ID: bfabaf

Focus. What can Muschio put forth for his credentials? Well, he's passionate. He is moved by powerful desires. He reacts strongly to his followers being in danger. So if he can certainly feel lust, and friendship and loyalty and possessiveness and protectiveness, do all those amount to love? Not quite, perhaps. But Mr. Lollipop has been showing us that there's more to him than this outward love and loveliness. If Muschio does not have love, he has the ashes of it. His bitterness has faded a little, I think - sunken into the black of the mire, perhaps to become food for new growth, perhaps not. It still suits, though, does it not? The legacy of a dark and painful past, the capacity and temptation to become dark and painful in turn, the hole in the chest looking to be filled? If he stays that way, that represents something of Mr. Lollipop. And if it is overcome, and heals, and something greater grows in its place, that represents a hope of his as well.
No. 1083968 ID: 46e818
File 170854794497.png - (8.69KB , 800x600 , 2048.png )

>"Finally, then. What about you, big M?
>How much do you embrace love itself?
>Who do you love?"

No. 1083969 ID: 46e818
File 170854797385.png - (7.58KB , 800x600 , 2049.png )

"Well... I, uh.
Love is a... a very...
Love is like..."
No. 1083970 ID: 46e818
File 170854801137.png - (15.28KB , 800x600 , 2050.png )

>"Come now.
>I know you didn't step into the garden of the God of Love with no love in your heart."

No. 1083971 ID: ee1b5b

We love ourselves and our potential. Self-love is important after all, and being able to love oneself is what makes us capable of loving others.
No. 1083972 ID: eef602

im wondering if its possible to extrapolate and find a way to figure out how mush's desire to lead = love
maybe he loves his... comrades? like protectively, as in hes a father to his men (and women)
No. 1083973 ID: f14228

Love is something to be desired. Wanting love, wanting adoration, and working for it, being worthy of it, that is also something that is well in the eyes of a God of Love - is it not?

You think highly of yourself, but you also wish others to, and to prove them right in doing so.
No. 1083974 ID: 1f5e25

Well, there is a certain dragon lady we've met recently, but obviously we'll have to broach the subject carefully lest we break Finesse's heart. Again.
No. 1083975 ID: eb72c7

Oh no. Last time the pink things were at his neck was... OH NO. Select your words VERY carefully for your life may depend on what is said.
No. 1083976 ID: ce619a

Huh, I wonder if this is the moment where Muschio grows up and gets over his whole angsty teenage "love is for poopyheads" shtick.

But anyways, be honest and tell the love god about how you feel about the concept of love. Not forcefully or anything, but as a point of conversation.
Maybe a literal god of love can help you process and give some insight on your emotions. Hell, just outright ask what "love" is and what value it has to the world. You're never going to get a better answer than now.
No. 1083977 ID: 3f3d5c

Love is complicated, and we're a complicated guy.

What kind of love do you want?
We love our people. I don't think we're ashamed to admit that. We do really, genuinely, truly want them to be happy and safe with us. We are actually trying to find a way to help them, and find a way to where they'll accept our help, and help us in turn. Is that a form of love?
We love these friends we've gathered. And they are definitely our friends. We're not some distant ruler, even if we might like to play the part. We try to do right by them. We get pissed off when they're hurt. Isn't that a form of love?
If I had to define it, I'd say it's more like... a familial type of love. Found family. Friends and lovers, all working together, and protecting each other, and caring about each other. And in that scenario, we're kindof like... the dad. Sure, we're in charge. But there's room for love there, too.
No. 1083978 ID: b11d2d

Well, we are already about to break Finesse's heart by not saying we love her back, that damage is unavoidable. Saying that would be lying, and Mr. Lollipop would see right through it.

I also don't want to bullshit him and do mental acrobatics to make our lust for vengeance and power seem like love.

So say like it is. You are attracted to power. On both emotional and, if a majestic enough dragonness presents herself, physiological level.
No. 1083980 ID: 273c18

You have a strong desire to protect your minions. Your love is paternal, in a way.
No. 1083981 ID: b7d216

Oh really now? Love the only domain you have? Well all the unfeeling... "kissing"... would do nothing, since lust is not love. So would what Ashedel said. So if you are a god of lust as well there is a girl we've got lots of lust towards...
No. 1083982 ID: 46e818
File 170855061379.png - (8.65KB , 800x600 , 2051.png )

I'm tired of people telling me I don't love the right way!

Maybe I just don't feel it the way you all do!"
No. 1083983 ID: 46e818
File 170855065295.png - (12.47KB , 800x600 , 2052.png )

"And I'm tired of being treated as defective or immature over of it!
Because I do care about my crew! I care about my people!

I may not feel the same way about Finesse as she wants me to, but I like having her around! And maybe it's not romantic, but it still means something to me! I enjoy her insights and her observations! When we opened the portal together, I wanted to see the look of satisfaction on her face!
Damn it, I sacrificed my hand for her! I threw myself into fire to protect her, and I'd do it again!

I want her to be safe and happy! And not just her -- everyone under me!"
No. 1083984 ID: 46e818
File 170855067632.png - (9.49KB , 800x600 , 2053.png )

"And is this feeling not, in its own way, ALSO a form of love?!"
No. 1083985 ID: 46e818
File 170855069655.png - (17.00KB , 800x600 , 2054.png )

No. 1083986 ID: 273c18

Yeah like I said, paternal love.
No. 1083987 ID: 46e818
File 170855082169.png - (17.50KB , 800x600 , 2055.png )

>"Yes, of course it is. Love comes in many forms. There is the love among siblings. The love of a parent for a child! The love of two inseparable friends.
>Even, I hope, the love of a king for his people. After all, there is surely the love of a God for His.
>My domain is broad and happy."

No. 1083988 ID: 3f3d5c

You tell 'em, Muschio!

Well, I guess he's telling you now.
You have love in your heart, too!
No. 1083989 ID: ce619a

Also, there was that point where you tore a demon apart with your mind because it dared to harm your subjects.
That's kind of a big deal.

Maybe we should ask the god how we were able to do that. Because that feels like a capability that people normally shouldn't have.
No. 1083992 ID: 3f3d5c

Obviously it was The Power of Love.
No. 1083993 ID: 4d8b77

Probably could have gotten through this waxing lyrical about girls you can delivery federal mail to, Muschio. But, uh, important lessons and personal growth is good too, I suppose.
No. 1083994 ID: 273c18

Yeah this seems like a good time to bring that up.
No. 1083995 ID: d32499

Good job Muschio!
No. 1083996 ID: debc82


Well, that was validating.
No. 1083998 ID: d4d22b

You did it Muschio, you fell in love. When is the wedding.
No. 1084003 ID: 2f41db

Toldja mister lollipop

There is FIRE in our big M.
The prince of passion.
No. 1084008 ID: 657ff2

Poor Finesse, she got Subjectzoned.
No. 1084010 ID: eb0a9c

Great combo, now let's rip the band-aid off while the pleasure is acting as an anesthetic.

Mr. Lollipop. We need to treat your core form. The one in the muck. Describe how it works in detail so we can scrub some barnacles, re-arrange some ligaments, rewire some code.

Let us help you love yourself again.
No. 1084011 ID: d4d22b

He might just look like that. I wouldn't be too pushy, don't wanna come off as judgemental.
No. 1084027 ID: 04b6f1

Indeed, the Boss love is vast.
But also greedy, it manifests itself in grandiose ways. But only for those who place their trust and faith in him/us.
No. 1084028 ID: 04b6f1

We need a close up of Finnie's face RIGHT NOW!
No. 1084029 ID: 8ecce3

About the face you make when you get the "I love you as a friend" line, i imagine.
No. 1084068 ID: b11d2d

And in such an off-hand way, too. Muschio wasn't even talking to her when he said that.
No. 1084070 ID: 2f41db

It could be kinda nice.
I mean big m did say he doesnt love her in the way she loves him, but he did give voice to a true, passionate care that she may have doubted existed at times.

Also, grabbed by her crush, held close during an empassioned speech in defence of her value to him?
One word.
No. 1084072 ID: 90645e

That's nice and all, but it's still him basically saying 'I don't like you romantically', you know. And like previously said, not even directly to her.

Again, 'I love you as a friend' is still 'I love you', but you would hardly feel good if someone said that in response to your confession.
No. 1084122 ID: 2f41db

Weeeell, under normal circumstances id say your right, though she may have started to think he still hated her after the whole poison thing way back when. Reassuring to hear so passionately its not the case.

Just, i have a feeling being in the glade of love, having the object of your affection manhandling you and being feircely protective, while being in the aura of the near nude orgylord.
She might not be focused on the real implication of his words, more trying to resist the urge to start dry humping his leg.
Okay, slight exaggeration there, but...
Theyre already fighting the urge to, uh, vigorously debrief after all.

Lovehorse fumes.
No. 1084125 ID: dc4bad

good on you boss
well, seems we all have an understanding now
No. 1084153 ID: 46e818
File 170863507686.png - (11.45KB , 800x600 , 2056.png )

>"Well then! I think you're all set to be my envoy for this task.
>Many of the children have been taken farther than I can see, but there are still some in need of help within the borders of these woods.

>A camp of men at the very edge of the forest holds over a dozen small souls captive, ready to transport beyond. In my name, you will bring the children home."

No. 1084154 ID: 46e818
File 170863509456.png - (27.13KB , 800x600 , 2057.png )

my light pours out of my mouth
No. 1084155 ID: 46e818
File 170863527612.png - (12.38KB , 800x600 , 2058.png )

>"Here. Take this as my boon.

>Do not kill them. You will not do violence in My name.
>But, if they absolutely refuse to see reason, simply hold this icon aloft, offer it to them, and speak the phrase 'Stop in the name of love!'

>But please be careful not to look into it yourself when you do. You seem like a busy man, and I don't think you'd appreciate spending the next two weeks trying to come down off a love high."

No. 1084157 ID: eb0a9c

>You will not do violence in my name.
...That's a deal-breaker.

We were hoping you'd slobber all over Muschio's wooden hand and turn it into a magical version of the Phantom Limb.

Go on. Suck the bit.
No. 1084159 ID: 0ec851

We can't kill them but we can subdue them right? Knock them upside the head for doing bad things. Tough love, right?
We're surprisingly good at defeating enemies without actually killing them. (Never mind the fact we were actually trying to.)
No. 1084160 ID: 04b6f1

Violence. Violence is the unjustified use of force, and by extension Mr. Lollipop has deemed death as unjustified by any means.

So we proceed in an unconfrontational manner, stealth, sabotage and subterfuge. Those are our tools for this mission.

Maybe we can pull some cartoonish shenanigans and get away with it.
No. 1084167 ID: 7c0da2

It's probably unwise to twist a god's words. Beside, if we do violence in his name, who know what effects it could have on him ? If people start to believe he his a "love makes you crazy" kind of love god, it could become true.
No. 1084185 ID: 05fc82

if the villages we visited have a kidnapped children problem, why were we not told?
No. 1084189 ID: 065ad8

Always follow the rules for this sort of thing! You'll need to make sure Ashedel is updated on the subject of prompt self-defense she asked about earlier.
No. 1084192 ID: d4d22b

Aw yeah baby we're going to make kidnappers procreate mindlessly in front of children in the name of god. Ok well ideally we should do it out of sight of any stolen children, now that I say it out loud.
No. 1084194 ID: 273c18

No violence, but we have a way of completely debilitating our opponents? Doable.
No. 1084198 ID: 2f41db

We dont know whose children.
Could be some forest folk we dont know yet.
Could be animals.
For all we know they could be saplings.

As to the violence.
Not in his name.
That we can do.

We'll just have to be very clear whom were acti g on the behalf of so any freelance violence doesnt get mistaken for sanctioned.

Big M!
You need a love hat and an angry hat!
No. 1084220 ID: 6c605b

I think he's being very specific about not doing violence in his name.
If we want to stay in his good graces, we need to keep the spirit of his wishes true, despite the aborrent nature of those we seek.

We should avoid bringing harm to the kidnappers, as much as we want to and as much as we wish to see justice done upon them, I think it's being clear that physical violence is not the answer Mr. Lollipop wants done in his name, especially if we are acting in his stead.

...Can the icon be used multiple times?
What other methods of debilitation and subdual do we have?
A stealth mission seems apropos, if diplomacy is not available.

While we are not the god, when we accept his boon, we are acting in his stead, and we defacto become his hand, for this act.
By doing this, we will bring the people of the forest together.
No. 1084232 ID: 6c605b

Would there be a way to contact or consult with him in case of an emergency?
I don't think leaving someone here to maintain connection would be prudent if that's the case.
No. 1084234 ID: 2f41db

If his voice cant reach us by another method thats a good idea.

Who to leave and who to take though...
Ash may be a calming presence, in that fear of fighting her
Tislomer is a skilked huntress and woodwise.
Sneaking and pathfinding are her strengths both of which would be very useful.
Finesse is a clever and cunning. Both talents of value for such a rescue.

The only on id imagine reluctant to stay would be ash. Itd be a derelictionm of duty.
No. 1084257 ID: 8f9bc4

Thank him for his light! We will do our utmost to stop this travesty from coming to pass, through means other than violence! Investigation, understanding, negotiation, then the flower if all else fails.

Quite honestly our group is not well suited to violent encounters. Easily outnumbered and ambushed, 2 capable warriors, and 2 capable at... not being warriors, who would need protecting. We're here to investigate, not to battle. If you do need a violent solution, you should retreat and come back with an army. Or at least Dompag.
No. 1084297 ID: 46e818
File 170872136982.png - (9.47KB , 800x600 , 2059.png )

Yes I agree, it's best I think not to try and bend the rules. Following the spirit of the order, rather than the letter, would avoid any disrespect of the deity.

"Ashedel, for the duration of our dealings with this group, please avoid using any physical violence."
>"I understand. But don't hesitate with that boon, if we're in danger."
No. 1084301 ID: 46e818
File 170872177570.png - (14.45KB , 800x600 , 2060.png )

"Very well, I think we're ready to undertake this task. Where should we begin looking for these individuals?"
>"Worry not, Big M. I will guide you there."
No. 1084302 ID: 46e818
File 170872178566.png - (10.75KB , 800x600 , 2061.png )

"Oh, will you be coming with--"
No. 1084303 ID: 46e818
File 170872179436.png - (22.22KB , 800x600 , 2062.png )

The world streaks away into a sharp pink smear.
No. 1084304 ID: 30818a

"Wheee!" ^^
No. 1084305 ID: 8b8c72

No. 1084306 ID: ce619a

No. 1084307 ID: dae182

Boop. And away we go!
No. 1084322 ID: 2f41db

Adventure ho!
Get ready to make an entance big M.
No. 1084328 ID: 8f9bc4

No. 1084333 ID: eb0a9c

Let's get our lucky dice for this one!
No. 1084411 ID: 3f3d5c
Audio Zeldawarp.mp3 - (97.33KB )

No. 1084419 ID: 46e818
File 170879950768.png - (14.08KB , 800x600 , 2063.png )

>"Master? Master Muschio, are you-- can you hear me?"
"Ah? Uh. Y-yes. Sorry. I... yes, I'm here. Just a little-- are we there?"
>"Yes, we've just arrived."
No. 1084420 ID: 46e818
File 170879967653.png - (20.43KB , 800x600 , 2064.png )

A small camp. Not permanent, but looks like they've been here for a few weeks.
>"I count 28, maybe 30 men. I can see the prisoners. Look to be children. Mostly they're tied around the camp at posts, but there's a few cages as well.
>A few horses and a cart, but not nearly enough for everyone.
>And they've got racks of weapons, so well defended enough."
No. 1084421 ID: 8b8c72

Take a minute to recover from...that.
No. 1084423 ID: 3f3d5c

Man, I really want to stab some people.
This is gonna be hard.
No. 1084427 ID: ce619a

Once we go meet these guys we might want to leave Finesse and Tislomer behind. These are slavers going after goblins and kobolds so having them in our company might immediately have these guys go hostile or at least less willing to listen to us.
No. 1084429 ID: 64faaa

No. 1084432 ID: 3f3d5c

Do you think it's wise to leave them unattended? Neither of them are fighters.
No. 1084435 ID: debc82


Be wary that there might be more who are not in camp. Whatever we do, we must be quick, decisive, and full of LOVE.
No. 1084436 ID: 8f9bc4

A stealthy approach might be wise. If you can sneak in there under the cover of darkness and free everyone tied up and caged, you won't have to be violent at all. Then again, if you get caught, it's very unlikely their captors will be willing to negotiate with you.

A diplomatic approach might be playing the role of travellers who happened upon the camp and want to know what all the fuss is about. Which you are. And you really don't know much about this situation.

Still it seems very unlikely there's any good reason for having these children in cages.

Mister Lollipop aside, there is no violent solution here. You do not have the forces to take this group head on.
No. 1084437 ID: 8f9bc4

Oh, or you could set their camp on fire. Does fire count as violence?
No. 1084439 ID: 1618fb

Not a bad idea but I don't think we should leave them be. If anything while we try to get the children out, Tislomer should work on taking away their weapons cache.
No. 1084440 ID: eb0a9c

I think this one's pretty straightforward:
Attempt to buy the slaves. If they draw swords, use the boon; that's what Mr. Lollipop specifically gave it to you for.
No. 1084441 ID: 1618fb

Bad plan. That would only finance their next expedition for more slave gathering. And plus, do we even have that kind of money?
No. 1084442 ID: 273c18

Alright let's get started. Advance towards the camp, ask to parley. Most importantly, you need to be attention-grabbing, so that the charm will affect all of them. You can make threats if you want; in fact that may be useful both for encouraging them to let the children go willingly, and for getting their eyes on you for the charm to work.
No. 1084452 ID: 6c605b

In this case, actually paying them is not beneficial. They need to know that these people are protected and their actions will not be stood for. Nor ignored.

If the direct approach is chosen, the boon will have to be used and they'll basically get love flashbanged. And then our crew would need to work fast freeing the kids and GTFOing.

The subtler route is less likely to get every one of the camp in the blast if the boon is used. But it would also be less likely to incur violence.

Of note with these kidnappers, our only stipulation is no violence.
Subterfuge, sabotage, dishonesty, diplomacy and intimidation are all tools we can use.

But also consider, we need to make sure they don't repeat the offense - just letting them walk away is not ideal either. We want to prevent a war. We don't know who they are or why they're doing what they have. Nor on whose payroll they're on. Regardless, we need to send a message, and one that will make this problem go away.
No. 1084459 ID: 2f41db

Quicky big M.
Check your nose for residual magical effects.

Not good.
Not good at all.

Other voices have wisely stated a sound course of action.
Everything but violence is fairly used.

I would also advise against paying.
It reinforces this as a profitable expedition and risks the cads thinking "why not the money AND four more slaves?"

They need to leave this place with a loss lest you want this to be a regular event.

Also, Keep an eye out for those two elves.
Something makes me think they werent entirely forthright about their presence here.
No. 1084461 ID: ce619a

It would be fantastic if we could get through this without having to use the boon and save it for something like the czar and his goon, but I severely doubt we're going to resolve this with diplomacy. So, just try to attract the whole camp's attention then flashbang them with the boon.

Also, most importantly, we need to come up with a code word or signal that let's out group know we're about to use it so they can avert their eyes.
No. 1084465 ID: 2f41db

The timing could be the code.

"STOP!......in the naaaame of love!"
No. 1084468 ID: fdf2eb

I suggest getting a head count on the abducted children before things get messy.
No. 1084473 ID: 5c1847

Time to do reconnaissance, we act at night.
No. 1084491 ID: 4d8b77

This is not a terrible idea, actually. At least as a cover, it might let us get close and figure out what exactly is going on. If this is not just a one off incident, then we need information about what's really happening here, who is buying children as slaves. We probably shouldn't actually pay them anything though.

Although, if we don't use the boon now, do you think the Seer might let us keep if for later?
No. 1084499 ID: 46e818
File 170888426207.png - (14.67KB , 800x600 , 2065.png )

"My friends... your thoughts?"

>"I think intimidation would be a good route. Throw your weight at them; you have the station to tell them what to do. But they are unlikely to recognize your authority, and this many hands backing them up will make it difficult to impress your power. Some way to thin their presence in advance would help. Ultimately, you need to make it clear that this behavior won't be tolerated."
>"You can't just talk to them! They're stealing people!! Maybe we can't use violence but we could scare all of them off! They need to get out forever!!"
"You and Finesse may need to stay behind, for your safety."
>"Master, I'm not sure it's wise to approach with even smaller number than we have."
>"Muschio. Unfortunately, their position makes stealth untenable. Too much open ground, too many guards. We'd never get close. Honestly, there's a good chance they may see us already."

I've had similar thoughts.
I'll advance and ask for audience with their leader. I'll avoid using the boon unless it's necessary, but I find it hard to imagine it won't come up at some point.
No. 1084500 ID: 46e818
File 170888430633.png - (18.09KB , 800x600 , 2066.png )

I suppose we ought to proceed, then. We will do our utmost.

We descend toward the camp.
No. 1084501 ID: 46e818
File 170888437588.png - (24.20KB , 800x600 , 2067.png )

They're surely aware of us a good distance away. Many turn their attention to us as the work in the camp comes to a standstill.

A small armed group detaches from the rest, heading a short distance to meet us.
>"That's quite close enough."
No. 1084502 ID: dd0587

What you are doing is wrong! Why do you do this thing?
No. 1084503 ID: b11d2d

Yeah no, I don't think intimidation is a reliable option. They're starting this conversation ready to use force, and seem to be much better armed.

Let's politely inquire first: where are these captives from? What were they taken for? If it's simply for sale, then what's the going price?

I'm not sure where I'm going with this - other than "let's not open with accusations and demands".
No. 1084504 ID: 456aa4

Inquire about how long they've been running here? Imply you're in the market to possibly buy. Inquire as to why they're snatching children as surely they don't make good slaves. (Do they already have a buyer buying kids?)

Let's try and plug these guys for some answers first before we get to the banishment.
No. 1084505 ID: ce619a

Make no sudden actions. Do nothing that would alarm them.
Introduce yourself and ask why they're abducting the children of the forest. What reason would they have for such hostile actions.
No. 1084509 ID: 2f41db

Show no fear big M.
Project assured confidence as only you can.
All predatory creatures are wary when prey does not act as expected.
To these rogues you have all the appearance of prey.

Your goal is to have everyones attention so if you have to use the boon, it hits them all at once.
Open with something formal, because manners matter, though stay aloof.

If you think an insult will gather more attention, mostly others wanting to watch what happens to you, i'd suggest;
"I'm here to speak with what passes for leadership in this-"
Pause for effect and look across the area with a faint air of distain, then say
With the same tone you'd use for "shambling hovel"
If the elf in the middle claims leadership, remain unimpressed.

Nothing draws the attention of a rabble more than the chance of seeing a highborne brought low.

If we could act as we feel, I'd be exactly with tislomer here, they deserve little respect and less mercy.
... but we gave our word to refrain from violence.
No. 1084512 ID: fdf2eb

We'd be suspicious as prospective buyers. This is a camp, not a market, and we're accompanied by a kobold and a goblin.
Ashedel is right; the slavers must fear us. If we use the boon now, we can incapacitate several of them while leaving the rest awestruck and open to negotiation. We can bluff that we'll do it again.
No. 1084527 ID: 273c18

Introduce yourself, demand they release the children.
No. 1084529 ID: 46e818
File 170890473265.png - (10.96KB , 800x600 , 2068.png )

"My name is Muschio Malto. I've come to speak with the leader of this group."
>"That's me. So I'll tell you myself, this is a private camp. You're not welcome here. Leave."
No. 1084530 ID: eb0a9c

1) Ask them where they plan to sell the slaves.
2) Ask if they had a buyer for children, or if they just caught the low-hanging fruit.
3) Grandstand about Inzare Citta and how all their population has been forcefully mutated into tiny, grabbable, simple-minded sprites, ripe for the taking.
At this point, if the leader realizes you are not lying, they'll be enraptured by the opportunity. Then you sucker punch them, retrieve the kids, and let them try their luck raiding Inzare Citta.
No. 1084531 ID: 1ab976

No violence. Let’s start small.

Ask him if he saw two young elves in the woods.
No. 1084532 ID: 2f41db

"Im surprised understand the concept of private property seeing as you have a number of my things bound in your camp."

Or words to that effect.
No. 1084533 ID: 8f9bc4


That's... a brilliant idea. Would explain why you have a goblin and a kobold among your ranks. And technically true, since these lands are (in theory) under your protection. Would provide a reason you'd be marching up to them, and put the leader off guard. He might explain just where he got those kids then, and why, just to prove you're lying.

It'll get you killed of course, but it's still a brilliant idea.
No. 1084534 ID: ce619a

Not a bad idea.
We need an ice breaker to start dialogue with them that doesn't end with them attacking us and asking if they know of the two hunters we met is a good angle for that.
No. 1084535 ID: debc82


That is very interesting, seeing as it would seem that several of our people are already here against their will.

Which would necessitate having come into lands which are most assuredly private and NOT within the elven dominion.
No. 1084555 ID: 04b6f1

The way to use the boon more effectively, is to lure the attention of as many of them as possible to a single point/event.

For this purpose, we have some options:

1/ "We are a traveling troupe, let us put on a show for you."

2/ "I'm appalled by your actions, I challenge you to a one on one duel."

3/ "Look over there! There's a fire/enemy."
No. 1084593 ID: 46e818
File 170896919145.png - (9.16KB , 800x600 , 2069.png )

Though it's tempting to play into their game with subterfuge, I have no intention of indulging them any further, even as deception.

"You are unbidden in these woods, stealing children. You have no claims to privacy."
No. 1084594 ID: 46e818
File 170896940545.png - (21.67KB , 800x600 , 2070.png )

>"Look, I don't really care who you are. We've got out letter of permit, and you have no business with me.
>I'm not here to discuss this. Get the fuck out of my sight."
No. 1084595 ID: 421554

A: letter of permit from who? Who claims authority for this?
B: they seriously are fine with stealing kids? KIDS? Even if they’re the most immoral group of mercenaries around, there’s bound to be a few who aren’t sure that’s a good thing.
No. 1084596 ID: 3f3d5c

Hey, Boss?

I want you to make a scene.
I want you to give the biggest, most grandiose declaration you can. I want you to fucking scream, alright? I want you to make sure absolutely everyone turns to look at you and see what the hell you're doing and everyone, everyone, comes to see what this rando fucking pomp with a monster harem is going on about. I want this to be a spectacle. Understand?
I want everyone to see.
I want all eyes on you.

And then, only then, that's when I want you to pull out the flower.
And tell them,
"Stop in the name of love!"
No. 1084597 ID: ce619a

Welp, not the right choice of words if we wanted to resolve this with diplomacy. This is going south real fast.

If you think you can get another question in without them attacking ask who gave them the permit.
If not and all of them haven't already gathered, try to make up some excuse to have them all gather to hear what you have to say. Something about an official proclamation from the lord of elves in the region or some bullshit like that.
Then tell them you have a writ or document they need to see and slowly pull out the boon use it.
No. 1084598 ID: 2f41db

I approve.
They're only deserving of contempt and a quick dance at the end of a short noose.
Our word given.
No violence.

As such i agree with the others.
Make a scene if you have to.
The boon must hit them all.
Tactically, its the sound move.
No. 1084599 ID: fdf2eb

If consensus is to use the boon now, then discreetly signal your party not to look.
No. 1084600 ID: 551906


And then this.
No. 1084714 ID: 04b6f1

Boss, We NEED to know who's wanting for child slaves.
No. 1084715 ID: fe12b4

"Oh, you have paperwork! yes, I will need to inspect that, as the wording is very precise and again these are my people from my land you are abducting. It's possible some obscure treaty is being invoked, but nobody sent communications to me or my people that I'm aware of."

if we can get eyes on that it'll probably have a name for us to follow up on later AND we can use it to pull in more people for the lovebomb strat.
No. 1084716 ID: 273c18

Looks like you've got everyone's attention.
Find out what the letter of permit is about, then use the flower. But uh, don't make any sudden movements when taking it out; they have crossbows aimed at you.
No. 1084728 ID: 6c605b

Well, with letter of permit that means that someone ELSE is giving them permission to come to our land and take our people. That means that they're lower on the chain of command, and we should be working our way up to deal with this problem at the source.

...And it's probably best to not share that information with them. Oh and we should probably warn our allies we're gonna flashbang the camp before we do so they don't get caught in the burst.
No. 1084732 ID: 53560f

Do not use the flower here unless you are going to die.
Doing it here will barely solve the problem. Save it for the source and much more strategic opportunities will present themselves.
No. 1084738 ID: 6c605b

Saving the boon is important. We do not need to play our hand yet. We need to fish for more information...
No. 1084749 ID: e2e905

Look, we aren't allowed to use violence, but does the THREAT of violence count? On a related note, is Ashedel quick and precise enough to destroy those crossbows and give them a good scare?
Disarming them doesn't count as killing them after all.
No. 1084752 ID: debc82


Letter of permit? You mean someone has enabled this atrocity?

We demand to see it (to know the name of Lollypop's enemy)!
No. 1084757 ID: d01d94

You gave them a chance, now flower these fools before they get itchy with the crossbows!
No. 1084800 ID: dd3fe0

Save the boon, we're still gathering info.
No. 1084815 ID: 46e818
File 170914471628.png - (22.15KB , 800x600 , 2071.png )

"These woods are under my authority. What power dared issue that letter? I must see it."
>"No. We're not doing that."
No. 1084816 ID: 46e818
File 170914480897.png - (20.46KB , 800x600 , 2072.png )

>"The only thing you're going to say is how you found our little camp. And then you're going to leave. Or you're going to regret it."
No. 1084817 ID: 3ef2c1

What's the big commotion about I wonder
No. 1084818 ID: ce619a

Uhh... what are those guys in the back running from?
Look behind you and check the treeline if you don't immediately see something.
No. 1084820 ID: 58dd24

looks like the guys in back are talking and abandoning. If it was something behind us, the guys in front would see it too.

Tell them you located their camp because the peoples and spirits of the woods asked their prince for aid and pointed you straight here.
No. 1084821 ID: 89b4f4

Something is going on back there behind these guys.

"It seems some of you men may be going awol."
No. 1084822 ID: 065ad8

"I found your camp with the guidance of the forest itself - and if you don't understand what that means, perhaps your wiser companions can tell you." Look over at the ones fleeing. If that doesn't start some extra runners, then you can go on: "If you really want to find out from me, you can see the signs I was given in this flower..."

If any are left after they see their companions running, or if they call to them and any stop, then I doubt there's anything to be done diplomatically about the ones that remain. They seem hardened, and Ashedel did ask you to not be too cautious with it. Use the flower and be ready to duck those crossbows being fired off in a panic - hopefully your companions will ready themselves once you mention the flower.
No. 1084834 ID: 2f41db

Whatever you and your cohort are doing big m, its having an effect.

Id say look but at the moment their numbers are being winnowed to more managable levels.

On the off chance its not any of you, ride the wave a little longer.
Theyre almost at a point you can ask how he intends to enforce his will upon you, then let him realise hes abandoned.
No. 1084835 ID: eef602

we can ask ashedel for information on whats goin on behin them, she is the tallest
No. 1084843 ID: 3f3d5c

would you believe we are on a mission from god
No. 1084848 ID: eb0a9c

They're losing group cohesion. And those aren't automatic crossbows. We also have patronage from a literal god so magic healing should be accessible.
Take the hits, then grab their weapons before they can reload.
No. 1084849 ID: d4d22b

Their paperwork is meaningless if they cannot provide it. I wasn't going to recommend honoring it anyway but at least if there's any legal repercussions of some kind we've got witnesses who can prove a failure to provide the proper documentation. Also, please try to figure out why they're running in terror. Hopefully nothing we also need to run from.
No. 1084850 ID: 5f976d

"You and what army?"
Then pointedly look behind them and see that everyone's ran away.
No. 1084859 ID: 6894eb

Hah ya beat me to the quip.
No. 1084863 ID: 82e021

Why are you running? WHY are you running?
No. 1084871 ID: 940726

Seems like something is messing with their operation behind their backs. Let's stall them so they don't notice!

And oh, look at that! They just gave us the perfect idea for a distraction. How nice of them!

"You want to know how your kidnapping operation came to my attention? Very well. I'll tell you just whom you've transgressed against, and I suggest you pay close attention."

Inform them that their crimes not only attracted the ire of this land's people, but of the primeval guardian deity who is watching over them. He has heard their prayers and sent us here to see that they are returned safe and sound.

Let them know we're on a divine mission. It will give the kidnappers a reason to think twice, and help Mr. Lollipop gain more faith from the victims once they're rescued. Don't be afraid to get a bit theatrical; the longer we keep their attention focused on us, the more time we give to whatever's going on behind them. I'm guessing (hoping) that's a good thing.

There's another way you might lead this conversation, depending on how it goes. You could point out that we're acting with divine authority, and ask them what authority they have for their deeds. Maybe they don't actually have a "permit", or some of them aren't sure if it's legitimate.
No. 1084916 ID: 7c85fb

Bluff a little. Tellem that your people already know of this camp, it does matter if I tell you how I found out it's location. If I go missing, many, many more will come and they'll be a lot less polite. I'm questioning if this permit is even real or if it's a bluff as well.
No. 1084918 ID: 46e818
File 170923766063.png - (8.43KB , 800x600 , 2073.png )

>"If you've no letter to present, the legitimacy--"
>"We're not doing that."
No. 1084919 ID: 46e818
File 170923770885.png - (8.59KB , 800x600 , 2074.png )

>"We're not here to convince you of our legitimacy. I don't give a damn if you believe us.
>Now you didn't just wander in at random. How did you find our camp?"
No. 1084920 ID: 46e818
File 170923773338.png - (11.45KB , 800x600 , 2075.png )

"You watched the skies that night.
You know how."
No. 1084921 ID: 46e818
File 170923777678.png - (19.24KB , 800x600 , 2076.png )

>"Does no one in this fucking forest know how to give a straight answer? You're all--"
No. 1084922 ID: 46e818
File 170923779659.png - (15.31KB , 800x600 , 2077.png )

No. 1084923 ID: 281b41


Damn right we are. Now drop the crossbows.
No. 1084924 ID: 5ab3e9

And there it is.
We don't care on who's authority you claim to operate. This forest and all of its denizens, are under our protection. You know what kind of allies we have. You know what kind of power we call upon. So now you have a choice. Tell us what we want to know, release the children, and depart peacefully.

Or come an' have a go if ye fink yer hard enuff.
No. 1084925 ID: ce619a

Confirm that you are the one that rode the dragon and name drop Sadie on them. Maybe even her old name, too, since these are elves and they might know it.
No. 1084926 ID: eb0a9c

"The magnificent air-support archon I have gained the favor of isn't as important as the accompanying army of orcs I can call in. I engaged their leadership in polite discussion, with tea and crumpets on fine porcelain, and reached a suitable accord. Now, do you realize how much reverence I inspire if I can get a gaggle of spiteful, violent, and utterly short-tempered warchief barbarians to play house?!"

Of course, you're not going to mention that those warchief barbarians already love to play house as much as they love beating each other to bits at the drop of a hat.
No. 1084928 ID: 31d213

Good to see one of you has wits. Would you care to explain the implications? While you have brains your companions value brawn more so be *very* clear if you would? Whatever she's imagining is probably worse than our words would be.
No. 1084932 ID: 2f41db

"Your astute companion is correct."
Or however you would phrase it big m.

Make sure you enjoy the realisation as it spreads from his mind to his expression.

Also, when all this is done, thank finesse.
She timed that perfectly.
No. 1084951 ID: 8f9bc4

Do not pop a boner, boss!
No. 1084953 ID: 04b6f1

The way I see it Boss, we can play it as either
we are Sadie's emissary or rule with her patronage.

Any way we play it we need to leverage it carefully, after all, the crossbows are here, the dragon isn't.
No. 1084955 ID: 85a6e8

Consider throwing in the fact that Red Fang is dead and you're the one who did him in, so unless they think they're REALLY hot shit you won't even need backup. They can walk away now because if this goes south for them, the story isn't even worth free drinks at the bar.
No. 1084998 ID: 46e818
File 170932768243.png - (19.90KB , 800x600 , 2078.png )

I don't think further qualifications would be necessary, let alone heard. The camp seems to break rapidly, most of the soldiers fleeing without even bothering to take their gear.

Their leader screams after them, her voice strained with anger.
>"You fucking cowards!
>Anyone who leaves now forfeits backpay for the ENTIRE EXPEDITION!!"
No. 1084999 ID: 46e818
File 170932787182.png - (21.93KB , 800x600 , 2079.png )

The three who remained step back further, putting distance between our groups.

>"Well I don't care who you are. You don't mess with me and you don't mess with my crew.
>We've got crossbows. You can be the devil himself for all I care, if I put this bolt through your heart, you're dead before you hit the ground.
>And you don't get to where I am without learning how to shoot.

>Don't make me prove it. Turn around and leave. Now."
No. 1085000 ID: 56382e

Flower power, go!

But maybe do it in such a way that he knows you aren't reaching for a weapon?
No. 1085001 ID: 4d8b77

You don't even have enough crossbow to go around anymore. Which one do you think is the least likely to mop you all up while you're reloading, huh? You'd think one would have learned how to cut and run to 'get where you are now' too. You don't even have enough manpower to extract the slaves. If you really are too stupid to run now, you're too stupid to lead. And momentarily, you'll be too stupid to live too.
No. 1085002 ID: 980bee

looks like its time for the power of concentrated love
No. 1085004 ID: ce619a

Tell them you'll leave, but before you do you're going to drop a message on the ground for them to have after you're gone.
Then slowly pull out the boon and use it.
No. 1085005 ID: 273c18

You don't have to be facing him to use the flower. You can turn around, start walking away, take out the flower and raise it up to use it.
No. 1085006 ID: 46e818

>Which one do you think is the least likely to mop you all up while you're reloading, huh?
definitely finesse
No. 1085011 ID: 4d8b77

Hey, that's completely unfair. Out of all of the characters we've seen in DQ so far, no one has done more damage or posed a bigger threat to Muschio.
No. 1085021 ID: 9af117

"Fine." Head back at night while they sleep. Even if one or two is awake it'd be easy to take the 3 by surprise. Which frees the captives and if we get them alive we get intel.
No. 1085023 ID: 2f41db

"The devil himself"
Amusing he should use that phrase given your original goals big m.
I know youre not aiming for evil anymore but, if you feel like it, i think you could afford yourself a good old evil smile.
For nostalgias sake.

It is looking like its flower power time soon though.
No. 1085063 ID: 940726

They're getting antsy. One of them is looking really nervous, but the other two look ready for a fight. I'm not sure if we should keep the pressure on them and risk a fight, or back off and risk looking weak.

I say leave for now, but warn them not to cause any harm to the children. We've managed to scare off all but two of her minions, not nearly enough to transport her victims, and we still have plenty of options.

Our next step is to study their camp from a distance and plan our rescue mission. We can sneak in under the cover of night to free the kids, steal their supplies, or sabotage their weapons. Then we can get the children home safe, and they'll be neutralized as a threat, all without anyone getting hurt!
No. 1085067 ID: f048c5

While it certainly seems that this could be the moment for using a boon, or entertaining their demands, I say that now is the pivotal moment for acquiring the information directly from the head of the crew! There is no more audience for her to show bravado in the face of danger to, they are technicaly outnumbered (while not out-weaponed), and the only thing that realy changed is that she is on defensive position now.

We didn't mess with anyone in her crew, we merely walked in here to know what goes on in our woods! They are hostile, but defensive - thus its in their interest to start giving US some direct answers at the very least! Remember, our job is getting the kids back AND preventing this from occuring again, and if we use the boon immediately, we sever all chances to normaly talk with her ever again, and for all we know she could be the only person to know the child slave customer herself!

Maybe knowing that we are here to purely talk and get information can cool them down and get them off guard! AND ONLY THEN give them the hippy fashion- make love not war presentation of a flower with a "blessing". We need to prove that this incident got resolved with devine intervention if we want our love god to take the credit! If we fix it ourselfs, our pacifism would be directed to us being outnumbered, and our statement of "oh god helped us do this!" can still be taken with a pinch of salt, so "saving the boon for later" seems alot more anti-productive for our present goal.
No. 1085069 ID: 2570ce

somebody should point out to them they only have three crossbows, and we have four people.
No. 1085070 ID: f14228

The backpay mustn't be very good if the mere mention of your ally can set folks fleeing. But if they are here on business... the errand you are on allows business of a sort to be done.

See, this forest is not without things of value that it can offer. Would they be interested in an incredibly rare flower? It may be one of a kind, to them. The sort of plant that could save a man's life, even.

If they can keep their twitchy trigger fingers from making a mistake, you will graciously pass it to them, and then they can decide whether they want to continue this conversation or go about their... business... elsewhere.
No. 1085085 ID: 357c79

Seconding this. We now have more leverage while still being able to assure that our methods are going to remain purely diplomatic.
No. 1085106 ID: cfd6de

math is still in their favor, after using three bolts it'd be three on one.
No. 1085109 ID: 46e818
File 170941822149.png - (10.86KB , 800x600 , 2080.png )

"Very well! We will leave peacefully.
I have a missive here in my pocket -- I am making for it slowly -- which I will leave on the ground, at a distance, for you to read when we have left. On it, find inscribed a means of reaching me, that we may continue this conversation under less violent terms."
No. 1085110 ID: 46e818
File 170941824956.png - (14.32KB , 800x600 , 2081.png )

"Stop in the name of love."
No. 1085111 ID: 46e818
File 170941825742.png - (16.30KB , 800x600 , 2082.png )

No. 1085112 ID: 46e818
File 170941829602.png - (14.52KB , 800x600 , 2083.png )

>"Ha ha ha"
>"Ho ho"
No. 1085113 ID: ce619a

Neat. Hope she enjoys getting to know her henchmen a lot better.

Keep your distance so they focus on each other and ask them where the rest of the kobolds they captured were taken. If they're too preoccupied see if any of the rest of this group is still hanging around to interrogate.
No. 1085115 ID: dd3fe0


Time to hustle and win this and get the kids out!
No. 1085117 ID: eb0a9c

What a waste. Like I said, you could have saved the boon by taking the hits and disarming a mere three shooters.

Okay clown time draw straws to see who risks turning their smooches against each other while the others untie the kids.
No. 1085119 ID: cbe262

I think they might start getting busy... Time to get the kids and go.
No. 1085121 ID: 273c18

Alright we have two hours. Get to the children and free them. Search the camp fully. Feel free to steal shit!
No. 1085122 ID: 273c18

Oh right and see if you can find that permit. The leader might've been carrying it.
No. 1085142 ID: 2f41db

Before you breeaaak my heart!
No. 1085145 ID: 2f41db

They look blissed out.
Ask to borrow their keys?
Dont think theyre gonna care what you do with them
No. 1085147 ID: 8f9bc4

I—I'm scared.
No. 1085156 ID: 065ad8

disarming would have probably counted as violence, plus allowing violence to be done on you is probably suboptimal too. plus we sorta promised ashedel we wouldn't be too slow to use it. also keeping the boon means keeping the restrictions on behavior! I'd imagine we'll be let off the non-violence thing when we're not 'on duty', as it were, though we probably should check.

Anyway, yes, time for child rescue, and probably scope that permit too. Maybe grab whatever weapons or ammo they have and either break them or haul them back for the forest people to have? Don't want these guys to have them when this wears off. Tislomer and Finesse should be the foremost faces on getting the kids out, familiarity and all. Ashedel and Muschio look for that permit and other clues.
No. 1085157 ID: 04b6f1

Better move fast Boss, we don't know if any henchmen remained in the tends. Grab keys and any other useful trinket they may carry and beeline for the kids. Hope none of them were looking this way when the flower was deployed.
No. 1085169 ID: a3fe2e

They don't look horny they just look happy. I think we've vastly overestimated the effect.
No. 1085236 ID: 46e818
File 170950055559.png - (15.62KB , 800x600 , 2084.png )

>"Ho ho ha ha"
>"Ha! Ha ha ha"
No. 1085237 ID: 46e818
File 170950058329.png - (25.77KB , 800x600 , 2085.png )

>"Ha ha ha ha ha!"
>"Hoo hoo, whee!"
No. 1085238 ID: 46e818
File 170950060771.png - (23.36KB , 800x600 , 2086.png )

>"Yay, ha ha"
>"Tickles! Ha ha ha!"
No. 1085239 ID: 1ab976

… What does the dark version of this look like…?
No. 1085240 ID: 980bee

I dont like the looks of this
No. 1085241 ID: eef602

i think they are being torn to shreds or the life is being sucked out of them
No. 1085242 ID: ce619a

>hey what would this look like without the pyrovision goggles?
Ha HA! I think it'd be a fun idea to not ask those questions! :D
Let's just be glad we stopped the seer from regressing back into a god of pain and suffering.

Also, back away from these guys. This shit looks like it might be "contagious."
No. 1085250 ID: 273c18

Try to stay away from the pink vines.
No. 1085253 ID: eb0a9c

Well. Slavers.
Muschio, do a flip-the-bird dance until they beg you to make it stop.
No. 1085263 ID: 8b8c72

Oh, this is some Pyrovision shit.
No. 1085268 ID: 1ab976

Then I suggest we grab the kids and go.
No. 1085269 ID: 2f41db


I hope that isnt barbed wire...

Well, mostly for mr lollipop and the implications.
Little sympathy for slavers, less for child abducters.

But i hope our lovehorse buddy is being true to a self he likes.
No. 1085271 ID: 8f9bc4

I hope our lovehorse buddy didn't just set us up to be framed as sadistic torturers. Whatever's happening here would make for great propaganda for the elves to raze the entire forest to ashes. I—I'm not sure we shouldn't.
No. 1085274 ID: 54780f

...Oh no. Please tell me the kids looked away from the flower before... this.
No. 1085280 ID: 46e818
File 170951263414.png - (39.14KB , 800x600 , 2087.png )

A pile of writhing selfish bliss
No. 1085281 ID: 46e818
File 170951267517.png - (24.00KB , 800x600 , 2088.png )

your life pours into my mouth
No. 1085285 ID: 46e818
File 170951279180.png - (10.36KB , 800x600 , 2089.png )

No. 1085286 ID: 2aa4b3

Oh wow, it’s horrifying. Look away, we don’t need to watch this and the children definitely don’t…
No. 1085288 ID: 980bee

Jeez. Did he consume them?
No. 1085289 ID: ce619a

>Do not kill them. You will not do violence in My name.
>I want all the violence for myself
Oh no. Anyway-
See how the kobold kids are doing. Hopefully they aren't also a pile of party streamers.
Maybe check for any lingering slavers. Something tells me if they saw any of this they're going to be a lot more cooperative now.
No. 1085290 ID: 7e2171

...Let's never do this again at all. Perhaps draw up contingencies for worst case scenarios.
No. 1085291 ID: 2f41db

Big M.
Get those kids outta here before they see the wrath of mister lollipop without bliss filters.
Leave whats left of the slavers.
I expect it will be a bit messy where they used to be.
No. 1085293 ID: 3f3d5c

Okay. It's.
Probably a good thing we didn't hit as many people as we could with that.

You should free the captives now.
No. 1085317 ID: 6c605b

Yeah no, uh
I'm glad we didn't accidentally delete all of them, because
Well, if we had who would talk about us or mr lollipop afterwards haha ha

Look for the writ of permit they mentioned, and be very very thankful that we didn't do any violence
because we have the backing and eye of someone who is very very very much more powerful than we could hope to be

Let's see if the kids are safe at least, and if they ask what happened to the elves and the humans, just tell them that the bad people are in the 'loving care of mr lollipop, and he loves you very much, he wants us all to go home'

That and we need to find any others that have been taken
No. 1085320 ID: 53560f

Check the vines to see if the letter was left behind and free the captives. Then we can return to mr lollipop to decide what to do next.
No. 1085337 ID: 04b6f1

Worth taking notes Boss, It seems if you're overwhelmed by feelings of love in (or near) the realm of a Love god, then you are free game for chow down.
No. 1085339 ID: 273c18

Oh. I guess the flower brings those who see it completely under The Red One's power, to be done with as He sees fit. I wonder if any of the children were looking?
No. 1085361 ID: 8f9bc4

No. 1085362 ID: eb0a9c

Yeah, I don't think Mr(Lollipop)'s AI subroutine could comprehend that actual people don't pop into cum when they orgasm from impossibly sized sexual organs. Or that pleasure can be fatal.

But this leads to a theory. We just witnessed the cosmic power behind a song-and-dance god. What if that's what the Czar is after? He wants to know the exact shape of his god's mask so he can rip it off and worship the eldritch superpower behind it.
No. 1085382 ID: 065ad8

Well! Let's uhhh let's assume they were judged particularly harshly and he wouldn't have done that to just anyone. And they did seem to be happy about it, sooo arguably it was still better than regular violent means...? I wonder if maybe some new masked robe players are going to turn up.

Well, you know what needs doing, still. Kids, permit, other clues, et cetera. Maybe try not to look too much at what happened.
No. 1085405 ID: 46e818
File 170958929027.png - (9.62KB , 800x600 , 2091.png )

No. 1085406 ID: 46e818
File 170958929510.png - (10.80KB , 800x600 , 2092.png )

No. 1085407 ID: 46e818
File 170958930854.png - (10.64KB , 800x600 , 2093.png )

No. 1085408 ID: 46e818
File 170958935653.png - (13.23KB , 800x600 , 2094.png )

The three of them shuffle energetically off into the deeper woods, instruments in-hand.
No. 1085409 ID: 980bee

Oh... well we should check on the children
No. 1085410 ID: 3f3d5c


No. 1085412 ID: 273c18

So that's where those guys come from.
Is the cutscene over now?
No. 1085415 ID: 46e818

lol shut the fuck up
No. 1085416 ID: d5d12c

agreed. Let just... try to ignore that.
No. 1085418 ID: 2f41db

Mr lollipop is gonna end up with a full orchestra at this rate.
No. 1085420 ID: 267563

So that's what they look like without the masks. Suddenly very obvious why they wear masks.
No. 1085421 ID: ce619a

As the other guy said, good thing we didn't blast the whole crew of them or he would've had the whole orchestra right now
No. 1085423 ID: 980bee

Wait mr lollipop said the boon lasts two weeks correct? Does that apply to these elfs?
No. 1085425 ID: 167d5c

Huh. I presumed it would just make them uncontrollably horny or something.

That was... disturbing. Lets, um, check on the captives and make sure they're okay.
No. 1085436 ID: d4d22b

Ok well that was horrible. Let's go get those children and get out of here before this gets any weirder.
No. 1085437 ID: 64faaa

Well. Since they were slavers, I don't feel particularly bad.
But it's still a bit disturbing.

Does anyone besides Muschio see behind the curtain occasionally when Mr Lollipop is involved? Or is that just us voices?

Also, yeah, free those captives pronto.
No. 1085443 ID: 04b6f1

Horrors beyond my comprehension

No. 1085444 ID: 8b1abb

The moral is even the worst thugs are one really good blowjob away from turning their lives around.
No. 1085492 ID: d3e8de

I have a suspicion we can use the boon for two weeks. I think those guys had their souls devoured by an ancient forest deity and they're not coming back. I called this btw. I knew this would be more horrible than we could imagine. You don't work for a god of rot and pain and fear that happens to be wearing a mask of joy and growth and not have this sort of thing happen. I still think we should have run away but I will admit to being a coward. We certainly wouldn't be accomplishing our goals if we had fled in (justified) terror.

Oh well, press on with the mission. Having a primal god on our side is certainly useful I guess. I really hope only we can see what's really happening and not our hosts because ha ha wouldn't that be FUN. Judging by their reactions I think reality is reserved for us. Let's pray it stays that way.
No. 1085501 ID: b11d2d

These fucking deities and their fucked up ways, man, I swear.
If this is the kind of shit the Seer does when he says he's in his God of Love phase, I don't want to know what kind of boons its darker incarnations gave.
No. 1085503 ID: eb0a9c

... I vote we depose Mr. Lollipop after the Empire reaches a specific milestone. Have him relegated to minor nobility to get him out of the way.
Seriously, there are few justified reasons for forcefully civilizing entire continents with bloody, genocidal consequences. This is one of them. I know Mr. Lollipop means well, but I think he invented a new form of Hell.
No. 1085504 ID: dd3fe0


Eh, those guys might have met oblivion not eternal torment, there's no way to know.
No. 1085505 ID: 46e818
File 170967392504.png - (12.65KB , 800x600 , 2095.png )

No. 1085506 ID: dc4bad

even if they are in some form of suffering, who would we ever condemn to hell if not child slavers who were fully willing to shoot us dead for questioning their operation too long?

Besides, having negatives vibes and potentially upsetting the nice Seer while still carrying the token that did what we just saw is unwise in any capacity.

we have more pressing matters, like freeing the kids and scouring this camp for that paperwork the leader mentioned, we need to find who is sanctioning/encouraging this at it's source
No. 1085507 ID: 46e818
File 170967416510.png - (13.43KB , 800x600 , 2096.png )

>"Hoo. Honestly, I was a little worried something horrible would happen, but that was downright cute."
>"What the heck I want an instrument too! How come I don't get one?"
"They were child slavers! I somewhat wish they had faced a little violence!"

>"Well, Master, mission accomplished, even if they did get off easy. Let's tend to the captives quickly.

>...And I'm glad to see your deal with the dragon is already paying dividends. It seems word has spread quickly after your highly visible trip."
No. 1085508 ID: 3f3d5c

> Does anyone besides Muschio see behind the curtain occasionally when Mr Lollipop is involved? Or is that just us voices?
I... believe your question has been answered.


Great work, everyone? Hey, lets buy an instrument for Tislomer later. She deserves it.
A happy ending for all, with nothing that needs to be thought about further. No trauma here.
No. 1085509 ID: 8f9bc4

Make sure the ones that fled didn't take any of the children with them when we were uh

No. 1085510 ID: ce619a

>I somewhat wish they had faced a little violence!
Uh... I'm fairly sure they just got divinely enthralled and made into soulless finger puppets of a wild god. This was a level of violence beyond something as pedestrian as physical punishment. It was something way worse and somewhat fitting considering their slaving ways.

Now, let's check on the kobold kids. Maybe look for a lingering member of this camp to interrogate, too.
No. 1085527 ID: 980bee

can we keep one?
No. 1085529 ID: eb0a9c

"They were child slavers! I somewhat wish they had faced a little violence!"
They did, Muschio.
Trust us.

Real talk: We see things around Mr. Lollipop that you don't. We're not making jokes when we say that guy's Core form is pure nightmare fuel. He's putting more effort than you think into his glamour, and we don't want to be around him anymore.

Quest complete, let's get the fuck out of here. Bring the kids with you, let them try working as apprentices for about a week before you return them to the forest. In fact, I would very much appreciate if you sent letters and nuance to get as many forest tribals recruited as possible.
No. 1085531 ID: 1f0324

Agreed. We saw it all... It was not pretty...
No. 1085532 ID: 065ad8

>we don't want to be around him anymore

Hey, speak for yourself, buddy. Mr. Lollipop's great! He's been hospitable, and put himself out there to be helpful, and has been as honest and as true to his word and as merciful as I think he's capable of being. He's in rough shape, you know? Besides, we're not ones to talk.

Now let's take care of those kids and the permit and clue sniffing and stuff.
No. 1085536 ID: 273c18

Loot the camp.
No. 1085537 ID: 4d8b77

Try to see if you can find some kind of documentation before you go at least. I'm just really curious who wants heaps of kobold children bad enough to steal them.
No. 1085541 ID: 6c605b

Agreed - they said they had a permit, and we need to find the source of this. Who thinks it right to encroach on the the forest and enslave the children of these woods?
No. 1085543 ID: 2f41db

Ha ha.
Dont worry about the weird noises from the orb big M.
We were just...
Reacting poorly to the amount of pink and lilac.
'Cause were all so gosh darn manly it was making us uncomfortable.
Thank finesse for a job well done.
Her timely interjection regarding the dragon hit their morale perfectly.

Oh, and het those kids home.
No. 1085545 ID: 8f9bc4


inb4 we find approved paperwork of the "Happy Elven Kobold Alliance Daycare."
No. 1085554 ID: 443b73

No. 1085612 ID: 46e818
File 170976855293.png - (17.45KB , 800x600 , 2097.png )

The children seem to be mostly uninjured, but have not been well treated. While I suppose this means the abductors did not go out of their way to be cruel, it suggests a businesslike and indifferent approach to the trafficking of children.

They are in mixed part grateful, lost, exhausted, and in tears. We free them expediently, assuring them of a quick return to their families.
No. 1085613 ID: 46e818
File 170976864448.png - (14.63KB , 800x600 , 2098.png )

I venture into the large tent at the center of the camp, both a barracks and command center. Not a soul remains. All but three had fled.
There are spoils here, for the taking. A locked coffer on a table, pieces of equipment, rations, personal trinkets. Nothing of huge import, but worth sorting through before we return home. What we can carry, we will make use of.
No. 1085614 ID: 46e818
File 170976873193.png - (15.19KB , 800x600 , 2099.png )

On the table, I believe I have found the writ they mentioned. A royal permit of some sort, sealed with an unfamiliar insignia and written in an elven script I cannot immediately decipher.

I will take it home to pore over carefully. Whoever authorized this trade of blood will have me to answer to.
After all, these are to be my people, and I won't stand for them being poached.
No. 1085620 ID: 0d87b2

Oh, my heart.

Take anything that looks important, any weapons, or anything that looks semi-valuable.
No. 1085621 ID: 7f4e86

You've grown a lot, Muschio. I think I speak for all the voices in your head when I say: We're glad you see your love for your subjects to be as tangible and valid as common romance, and that you treated it as such, even before our realisation.

So, you need a queen, right? When are you marrying Finesse
No. 1085625 ID: ce619a

If nothing of the spoils looks too important or valuable and we aren't too hard up for resources, then give it to the tribes as their just reparations from these interlopers.
Coming back with the children, us being blessed by the seer and these supplies will vastly ingratiate us to the tribes and make our leadership of them much more appealing.
No. 1085626 ID: 2f41db

Poor lil blighters.
Awfully cute though.

How many do you think are gonna grow up with a crush on your descendants?
No. 1085627 ID: eb0a9c

Give the slaves some food, the tent, and some candles, as compensation for their time left unattended.
But also so they learn the value of luxury and how getting a real job (not just slavery) can give them more out of life.

Take the rest, you'll divvy it up among your crew and treat it as the forest's taxes for the next XX months.
No. 1085643 ID: 7493dd

Indeed Boss, a proper king is a river to his people. Yours is the will and the way for your rule brings security and prosperity.
No. 1085645 ID: 273c18

Do they have any horses and carts? You could loot EVERYTHING if you have a way of transporting it.
No. 1085646 ID: 065ad8

Store that permit carefully, you'll want to keep the seal intact as evidence. Others may wish to learn what this person endorses... or you may wish to deny there was any evidence of an authority shielding these people. Be on guard that their slaving may have been dressed up in righteous language... hell, who knows. News can travel slowly. Perhaps someone really did think that getting such children out from under the grip of a Fang and a dark woodlands god was a compassionate thing to do, though the lack of tenderness in the children's treatment goes against it.
No. 1085687 ID: debc82


I fear we may need to seek an audience with Ridder again, that his elven liegeman might offer her insights into this script.
No. 1085689 ID: 7493dd

Careful with the "Chest" it may be "Booby" trapped ;D
No. 1085699 ID: 46e818
File 170985266925.png - (21.26KB , 800x600 , 2100.png )

That's a fantastic idea. We take the documents and the most portable of spoils, and help every able-bodied kobold and goblin with what remainder they can carry. The older and healthier children are given backpacks while the younger clutch a small satchel of loot.
All together, 21 captives are freed.

>"I think that went as well as anyone could have hoped, Master. Better, maybe.
>The villages will be tripping over themselves trying to ally with you after this."

Movement at the treeline distracts me.
No. 1085700 ID: 46e818
File 170985295481.png - (20.11KB , 800x600 , 2101.png )

>"You've done it. I knew my trust wasn't misplaced.
>Even with my power lended, to stood so bravely before a line of crossbows! Those are dangerous things, you know. Not to be taken lightly.
>And still you prevailed.

>I apologize for keeping the true nature of my boon from you, but I saw no need to worry your group when I knew sufficient precaution would be taken.

>Now, our pact is fulfilled. All that remains is to bring the children home. The festivities of Ihnesh-Nayevh will have concluded by the time you return to them.

>Tell the people you have spoken to their caretaker. Tell them the Seer has returned.
>You will always be welcome in these woods, Big M."

No. 1085701 ID: eb0a9c

How many tribes are there again? Because it's kind of strange that the two tribes you met up with weren't even more obsessed with getting the kids back.

Also, looks like Mr. Lollipop wants to do a PR move. You'll have to choose between a powerful yet fickle ally and the direct support of the worker clans.
No. 1085702 ID: 273c18

Nice. Hmm, ask if a crossbow wounded his hidden eye.
No. 1085703 ID: 8f9bc4

D'aww he's so happy!

And um, yes, good. It would have been awkward to bring the kids back to the town if they were engaging in umm "festivities."
No. 1085713 ID: 64faaa

Yeah, don't be prejudiced.
He's a bit creepy under the mask, but he seems to be a good person. Willing to do extreme things to protect his people, but that's not a bad thing when you've got slavers & shit running around.
No. 1085715 ID: dd84c0

Cool deal! Let's head back and get these kids home.
No. 1085717 ID: b11d2d

Any, uh, symbol you can give us to present to the goblins, Big S?
They were kind of mistrustful of us - aggressively so. We could use some proof that we hadn't just spent a day wandering around lost in the woods.
No. 1085718 ID: 2f41db


It turned out well big m.
Children rescued.
Slavers driven off or conscripted into a folk music band.
Loot acquired.
Mr lollipop fed and looking chipper.
Wins all round.

The only cost was you'll never be able to recieve a bouquet of flowers again without suffering flashbacks, but thats a cheap price to pay.
No. 1085719 ID: ce619a

>I apologize for keeping the true nature of my boon from you
HoohooHOO~ haha wow! So, it wasn't a smart bomb that would spare allies and just a plain ol' "everything is now my finger puppet" eldritch bomb.
Very good, very cool, very nice, you fucking dick

Ask him if he would like to come back with us to at least the kobold village so we can show him the amulet replica. If not let's get it and go back to him for advice. Of all beings he's got to know something about it.
Hell, it might be something related to him. Maybe the Czar has designs of usurping his power in some way using the amulet.
No. 1085720 ID: 8f9bc4


...I don't want to go back to him again
No. 1085724 ID: 3c4a2b

Sorta scared to ask this but what would have happened if the kids saw the boon by mistake?
No. 1085728 ID: 940726

You lied to us about the magic you gave us to use.

We do not appreciate your deception.

We were told that your flower would incapacitate them for a few weeks, not tear them to bloody pieces with black tentacles and remake them into your slaves. You told us we were on a mission of peace while using us to kill your enemies without any mention of it until after it was done.

Even if it turned out well, this time, you still deceived and manipulated us. When we make an agreement with someone, especially when magic is involved, we should know what we're actually dealing with.

If you want to maintain our good relations, you need to be more forthright with us. Show us a bit more honesty. Don't hide behind tricks like this.

Let Muschio see what you really look like.
No. 1085729 ID: 273c18

The vines came out of them. They were... caterpillars.
No. 1085732 ID: d4d22b

Hey guys let's not antagonize the weird fucked up God and just be happy his wrath isn't turned towards us. He helped us, we helped him, let's get this job over with and NEVER EVER think about it ever again.
No. 1085733 ID: 065ad8

I don't think we want to make any demands, and Muschio doesn't deserve to be forced into insight. He has us to see for him. We don't appreciate deception, it's true, but the paths of the deep woods are tangled things. I doubt it could have been any other way. Do try, though, Seer, please. There's always a chance for things to go beyond even the keenest sight, and then there is need for true knowledge. Thank you for your aid, Mr. Lollipop, and best wishes on your recovery.

(((I personally suspect that Mr. Lollipop is in so poor a shape that he's making slips, mistakes and forgetting things in what he tells us, and is presenting himself as doing it with more intention in order to save face. Hope he can't hear me say that...)))
No. 1085741 ID: ade2ab

Please stop. We know He can see us. I strongly suspect He can hear us as well. Mr Lollipop is a perfectly wonderful name to wear and that should stay the way Muschio sees him. Do not antagonize the literal God that we're talking to because while he may be weakened he's still a GOD.
No. 1085748 ID: 6d44fe

dude, why are you trying to be this kinda dick with a god of nature and love?

yeah the deception was mean, Don do that again we aren't exactly against this sort of thing, but also please ignore ragey dingwad because it really isn't that big a deal to pop a child slaver like a zit.
No. 1085775 ID: 940726

Do you really think he's so dangerous that he'd kill us as soon as we look at him funny? He didn't. The last time Muschio was unhappy with how he was treating us, he was willing to hear us out and listen to our perspective. He wants to be kind and loving. If we have issues with him, we can talk things out.

And this is very much a problem worth bringing up.

He went against the spirit of his agreement with us.. That isn't just a little thing that can be brushed aside. He gave us a deadly weapon and told us to use it while making it sound harmless. What if one of our allies thought that being in a blissed-out love haze sounded like a good time? What if they thought it was a small risk compared to the danger of getting into a fight and didn't guard themselves carefully enough? What if one of the children we were sent to rescue was caught in it?

It's not just this specific scenario that's a problem. He gave his word. Trust is vital to any sort of agreement. If we can't be confident he'll keep up his end of the bargain, what's the point of making a deal in the first place? If he offers us another boon in the future, how can we be sure it will do what he says it will? If he promises that someone will be safe, shouldn't we be able to trust that promise?

We can tell that he wants to have a good relationship with us. But for that to work, it has to be based on honesty.
No. 1085781 ID: f14228

>deadly weapon, able to affect all around
I do not believe so. Let's not make presumptions. They're a god, or something like, able to witness and judge the situation themselves, and seeing who proved worthy and unworthy, as their very own words admit. I imagine the exhortation to close one's eyes was to prevent accidental exposure to the... actuating effect upon those three hapless fools. To ease the glamour, so to speak.

And who's to say Mister Lollipop can't just restore these folks to (some) function, once penance be paid? They are, it must be said, not wholly dead, and that DO be far more merciful than what occurs to some recipients of divine-ish wrath. Perhaps more cruel too, yet there is hope in it, under the aegis of a loving god. One may even imagine them happy.

If the divine dissembles, so be it - just take it into account in the future, with respect or disrespect as events and intent and result demands, eh? This alliance will serve still.

And let's be fair, if anybody deserved some divine comeuppance it's them dudes who held their ground and threatened violence to M and his cohorts, among which were a child, even as they kidnapped others at some noble or royal asshole's behest for goodness knows what purpose. They knew their cause not welcome or righteous, which was why violence was so easily proferred.
No. 1085791 ID: 46e818
File 170994136605.png - (19.14KB , 800x600 , 2102.png )

Though my mind flashes through possible responses, the figure is gone when I blink. Finesse glances towards the treeline, but there is no sign of the Seer.

>"Oh my gosh kids are SO FUN! I want to be a kid someday!"
"Do you mean 'have'?"
No. 1085792 ID: 46e818
File 170994148908.png - (10.77KB , 800x600 , 2103.png )

>"Well, nothing left but to return these children to the villages. Should be a bit of a walk, but we know the way."
"A shame we can't simply be teleported again."

>"...Master Muschio, we weren't teleported here. You just... stared marching off in a singular direction and wouldn't answer us until we got here. We followed you."
No. 1085793 ID: 3f3d5c

Tis, you are a kid.
I don't care if you're technically of age for kobolds, you are a kid at heart.

... huh.

Well, that's not nearly as fun.
Did anyone keep track of which direction we came from?
No. 1085794 ID: df90ce

He gave us an unconventional weapon to use as a last resort, if even that if the effect really is temporary or reversible.
While I agree that we should be cautious of his intents, presuming that he is always deceiving us seems a bit too extreme. Unless of course it starts to become apparent that it is a pattern.

That said, perhaps we should ask him about the effects of his boon and the fate of those slavers we transfigured instead of giving him ultimatums yet.
No. 1085796 ID: ce619a

>Seer entranced us and made us walk here
Ugh... lollipop continues to retroactively be a dick.
Feel free to tell the group about this so they don't think you were having a stroke or something.
No. 1085797 ID: 8b8c72

Well, that's what you get when you deal with these supernatural types.
No. 1085798 ID: 065ad8

I suppose these things happen when someone finds it easier to implant knowledge into your brain rather than give you verbal directions or a map. Better start walking. Hm, don't want to lead anyone back, of course, and it wouldn't do to get ambushed. Keep an eye out to ensure all the runaways from earlier have stayed run away. And make a note for everyone who came on this expedition to compare their notes about exactly what they saw, heard and otherwise experienced during all this. Later, though. For now, focus on getting these kids back home and keeping up their morale. If nothing else, you want these children to be full of praises for you even beyond the simple rescue, so be nice to them. A king is father to his people, you know, Muschio! Let's see some parenting skills!
No. 1085800 ID: a09b09

Eh. He's underhanded but means well. Pretty much what's expected. He is a reformed eldritch being.
No. 1085805 ID: 2f41db

Shes right.
Being one is better than having one.


That didnt just hit you Big M.
That mental break affected all of us fragments too.

Mr lollipop clearly has a mind very alien to us in nature.
As such, we cannot assume ill intent.
From his perspective shunting directions and compulsion to the forefront of your entire mental process may have been the safest way to get you where you needed to be.

He could do with learning that he needs to explain and receive explicit permission before he does that as such actions can erode trust.

For a creature of faith, trust must matter.
No. 1085806 ID: df90ce

Huh. What a poor time to catch up with the thread. It seems like he doesn't lie to us directly, but instead by omission, which lead to an interesting thought:

I think "he" may not be specifically a god of 'love' per se, but more broadly relationships in general. Maybe he is not a dual-deity that switches between forms, but instead it is Muschio's own perception of him that is fluctuating back and forth. If that is true, it would imply that Muscio is deeply insecure and paranoid (duh), and account for how everyone seems to be seeing a different thing or at least their interpretation.

With that said, and if we follow that logic, then how he appears seems to be governed by how much trust we have in him, since all relationships are built on trust. Our trust in Tislomer lead to us to trust him because her view of relationships is very bright, childlike, and nonthreatening. The 'scary monster' form we occasionally see may therefore be how Muschio /himself/ sees relationships, which tracks given his history (and family's history) and relationship with betrayal.

If Mister Lollipop is still in here, would he like to w(n)eigh in on this? It's an interesting thought to have a conversation with a living concept.
No. 1085807 ID: eb0a9c

Fast Travel. It's fast.
No. 1085808 ID: df90ce

Continuing the train of thought: if what everyone is seeing is based on their own interpretations of other's actions inside relationships, it would mean that our whole party has been affected like this too: how Geppa's perception of people, especially Dompag, shifts based on how she feels about them.

That means that Finesse sees us based only on our actions regardless of the intent or context. Not only would that mean she sees us the most literally, or at least gounded-in-reality perception of us, it would also mean that her personality is at least a bit psychopathic, which given our initial intentions and methods of rebuilding the Malto empire, is pretty unsurprising, but may be a sign that she's a bit... off. That offhand comment about being a child again seemed a bit odd.

It might be worth asking if this "secret" she has is related to us within the orb of Psyche, Muschio, or at least Muschio's dynasty. While this may not be the best time, it might be worth asking her about it later. Especially since she is clearly comfortable about admitting her feelings for Muschio in public, so I don't think it was about her feelings for him.
No. 1085811 ID: 443b73

I don't think Muschio is getting glimpses at all, just us. The name in the dark vision posts is either the generic "Suggestion" or "???" instead of "Muschio". The implication is that we are seeing from Mr. Lollipop point of view, and therefor he is hearing our suggestion or at least getting glimpses of what we say. This interpretation fit with the forest becoming unnaturally dark before they've met him, before they were subject to the perception altering effect. The "greasy beast" is likely his true physical form, unless his own perception is altered in a more sinister way.
No. 1085812 ID: df90ce

I am an idiot: that wasn't Finesse but Tislomer who said that.

Still, it might still be worth approaching Finesse later on about that secret if she is comfortable sharing with Muschio, and if not, then respecting her boundaries; considering that we depend constantly on mutual trust within our group/organization to provide the defenses, support, magic, research, food and etc. that they do. She wouldn't have been the only member of our party who tried, or nearly gotten us killed at some point.
No. 1085813 ID: df90ce