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513607 No. 513607 ID: 0eef61

God above me, protect and hold me close as I walk through this accursed land. Steer from my path the beasts that harm men, and women. Remove from my tread the thorns that would entangle me.

I entreat you, God, on bent, tarnished knee, for I am in the dust and you are in the Palatine gardens of the sky. I have made mistakes, and you are infallible. I have been hurt, and you are untouchable. I have been foolish, and you are omnipotent.

But still I petition at your splendorous gate, Lord, and still I strive to bring goodness into the droughted, cracking world. Because I know no course but goodness, and no aim but its attempt, no matter how ineffectual. Because I do not know what I may do but cast a stone into the yawning pit of wickedness.

Because your love is all I have left.
Expand all images
>>
No. 513608 ID: 0eef61
File 136998163201.png - (102.84KB , 800x600 , 2.png )
513608

"It's simple." The swarthy young acolyte leans forward on his stool. He is a darting, sinuous coil of potential energy. He is as handsome as a gawky teenager may be, with the modest caveat of an impressively beaked nose. His quill taps out a staccato rhythm on the pew. Those who know him (and they are many) liken his presence to loud, exciting music playing outside your window. Sometimes when you are trying to study. "One must approach her from her blind side, inspecting the cargo as you sail her by, then you loop round, place one arm on the tavern bar, like so:" He demonstrates. His red sash, a symbol of his magical potency, folds silkily from his outstretched arm. "You raise one eyebrow, very slowly. And then you tell her: Hello there. I'm a Mage."

"And what will she say, Ferrucio?"

"Duco, please. It is improper for a lady to speak with her mouth full."

The three young mages stifle their laughter as the lecture on arcanolinguistics bores onward.
>>
No. 513611 ID: 0eef61
File 136998197105.png - (132.86KB , 800x600 , 3.png )
513611

"Quiet."

It comes from over Ferrucio's shoulder, and its effect is immediate and crystallizing.

Three heads pivot toward its source.

A young, pink girl, with a shock of red mane. A stripling mage, fresh off the boat. She isn't even out of her blue sash, yet.

"What did you say?" says Ferrucio.

"I said: quiet." Her hand is as steady as her voice. "Some of us are trying to learn the art of magery. Not whoring."

"Will you let that stand, Ferrucio?" whispers Taurilio.
Ferrucio's mouth is a thin, angry line. He certainly must not.
>>
No. 513613 ID: bf54a8

toughy, a duel would be unfair as you are far more powerful and everyone would know, no honor in beating a weak opponent. a challenge, but let them pick the contest. beat her on her terms and it would be fair regardless of how much more raw power you have.
>>
No. 513620 ID: 35edd4

Indeed, you should be careful not to overreact. You want to be seen as confident, powerful, and respectworthy, not egotistical and the sort that picks on weaker people.

Thus this calls for careful planning. Perhaps begin by advising her to remove herself from your presence if she finds it not to her taste. Plenty of other seats in the room.
>>
No. 513621 ID: 57a559

A creative mage can make both into one. And a smart mage can handle learning amongst distractions, many distractions. She looks like a smart girl, but I guess if she can't handle a distraction, well, hey, we can't all be as talented as Ferrucio.
>>
No. 513622 ID: bf54a8

>>513621
total ice burn
>>
No. 513629 ID: f2c20c

>>513611
Such rudeness won't score her any action! Proceed to give HER tips on how to pick up men.
>>
No. 513634 ID: 095c28

>>513611
i don't know, she seems to have more than meets the eye. determination, at the very least.
>>
No. 513652 ID: 0eef61
File 137003696976.png - (90.08KB , 800x600 , 4.png )
513652

"A creative mage can levy both studies into one noble pursuit." Ferrucio spins around on his stool. "And a wise mage can learn their lessons through a multitude of distractions. Now you look smart, but if you can't handle this seat there are plenty of others in the hall."

"I like this one."

"And why, pray tell?"

"In a room with this many drafts, being near a source of boundless hot air is a comfort."

"Careful, bluecloak. Such rudeness is unbecoming of a mage."

"And talking about your pecker is?" She has a slight lilt to her accent. It sounds Gandeerish. "But then I suppose that's your specialty, with such an impressive beak."

The conversation above them stops.
The lecturer stops.
The room leans in and holds its breath.

"You will answer for that," says Ferrucio. "There is no honor gained in teaching a child like you a lesson, but there is honor recovered. I will make it good with you how you dare and when you dare."

"Very well." The girl scratches her ear. "I challenge you to Duellum Potestatis."





"What?" says Ferrucio.
>>
No. 513653 ID: 0eef61
File 137003701828.png - (8.97KB , 800x600 , 5.png )
513653

My black-clad assistant, Spidrift the Butcher Mage, accompanies me to the meeting place. "How did you sleep, milord?"

"Not well."

"I slept wonderfully! Would you like me to bang my head on a wall a few times?"
"Why would I?"
"I thought perhaps you might like company in your disorientation!"
"Thank you, Spidrift, but that will not be necessary."

We arrive before the guardhouse. Calidore, town guard and Thrillant Mage, awaits me. Astrea the Advocate Mage is by his side.
"Hullo, Jerruv," he calls, referring to me by my assumed identity. "The morning's fresh and the quarry's waiting."
"Good morning, Calidore. Astrea." I touch the brim of my hat.

"What I would know is, before we set out," says Calidore, full of the vaguely annoying energy of youth with purpose, "Which bounty are you pursuing, exactly? The bloody, bawdy bandits on the roads or the roosting, rending Rootax in the hills?"
>>
No. 513654 ID: c6ff1a

I say Rootax.
>>
No. 513655 ID: f2c20c

>>513653
With Layla we can probably take the Rootax. However, she hasn't shown up yet, which is annoying and worrying. I am not sure... Let's just go fight the bandits. Better to not rely on a demon.

Say, how did the duel with Rebecca go?
>>
No. 513660 ID: 095c28

god damn it layla is inside our head isn't she

>>513653
you should get the corpses that you have slain already creator, then go for the Rootax.
also, did you dream of Rebecca? you were a cocky little one, weren't you.
>>
No. 513668 ID: da2fcd
513668

To have seen that Duellum in that distant past...
Ah well, I suppose we can't have everything.
Soooo, that...Woman...Has not arrived?
Ah well. I suspect she will arrive in due time, when we are less likly to keep her from having what those with looser morals 'fun'...
As for WHAT to fight... That is a simple question of difficulty.
One powerful opponent that has defeated all comers, but against which we are far more able to plan against, or a multitude of weaker opponents, against whom I believe the central source of difficulty will be in finding them, a quartet of mages is no simple affair to engage.
My vote is for the Rootex encounter, but let us discuss how we should engage it with the Thrilliant, he's fought it before and can give us advice on it's combat habits and what works and whatnot...
>>
No. 513774 ID: 0eef61
File 137007076026.png - (184.95KB , 800x600 , 6.png )
513774

"The Rootax is the threat more worthy of our attention, and more lucrative to kill," I say. "We'll find the corpses of the bandits from the other day to collect their bounty, then make for the hills and find it."
"Excellent," says Calidore.
"But for one point: I'm still unclear on what exactly to expect when we fight this gnashing nuisance."

"Astrea can help you there." Calidore pats her shoulder with his remaining hand. Is it my imagination that a flush comes to her cheeks? "She was in the archives researching the things all morning."

"And I found some information that could help," she says, with more excitement in her voice than I am familiar with. "Give me your scabbard, Calidore."

The young guardsman obliges the Advocate, and she starts drawing in the dirt at our feet with the scabbard's tip.
"The Crag Rootax has a thick, bludgeoning tail on one end, normally used to whack other Rootax and establish territory. I imagine it could reduce us to soggy sacks of soup with a good swipe. Its front end is about as dangerous. Enormous pincers that could cut a horse clean in half in an eyeblink. Now, Fovican traveled with a group of self-proclaimed Rootax Trappers, and he records in his Wild Annals that their weak spots are here..." she draws an arrow into the slope of the Rootax's back, "...and here." She draws another pointing directly into its chest, below the neck. "Its hide is thick everywhere, of course, but in these places it has enough vital faculties and thin enough muscle and skin to make it vulnerable. The spot on the front is obviously protected by a lashing neck and razor jaws, so. My suggestion is that we find or lure it into a spot where we have an advantage of height, then target its back from above. Somehow." She draws two swooping cliffs and a little figure on one. "That, by the way, is its scale unto ourselves."

"Is that me, or is that, say, Jerruv?" asks Spidrift.
"I hardly see how it matters," says Astrea, tersely.
"I can't tell from the drawing, and I am at least a head taller than my master!" says Spidrift. "Does it not matter?"
"It's you," says Astrea.
"Where are my arms?" says Spidrift.
"The Rootax got them," says Astrea. "Um. Apologies, Calidore."
"For what?"
"Um. Nothing." She hands him his scabbard and turns to me. "R-Jerruv, before we depart, I should like to have a word or two alone, if I may."
>>
No. 513775 ID: f2c20c

>>513774
Very well.
>>
No. 513777 ID: 0eef61
File 137007197136.png - (10.21KB , 800x600 , 7.png )
513777

"Very well, Astrea." I beckon her to one side, away from the group.

"I have been thinking about the way I acted yesterday," says Astrea, quietly, "and I believe I owe you an apology."
"Indeed?" I try not to let the surprise creep into my voice.
"I still don't fully trust you. And I certainly do not trust your black-clad minion. But..." She looks around, careful to ensure no one has heard her. "One of the reasons I am traveling with you, besides simply keeping an eye on you, is because I do believe that perhaps you are sincere. Perhaps you can change. I, well. My duty as Advocate is to bring as much goodness as I can, and I have been quick to discount it in yourself. Um. What I mean to say is that if you aren't what you say you are, you are of course the wickedest creature I have crossed paths with, but if you aren't, I was very, um, sullen yesterday, for no great cause. My spine and pride were both still smarting from our first meeting. I have tried to puzzle out a motivation for this journey you take beyond a search for repentance, and I cannot. And my duty is to help in any repentance I might find. So." She bites her lip. She is struggling with this, I can tell. "I am sorry."
>>
No. 513778 ID: 35edd4

Don't draw this out. Don't gloat. Nod, thank her, and consider the matter closed. She'll appreciate being able to move on from her embarrassment, and it'll help cement her change of heart.
>>
No. 513779 ID: 933f92

>>513777
"To err is human, Astrea. If I could smile benevolently, trust me, I would, but for now, I can simply nod." Let there be a pause. "That was a joke. Aha."
>>
No. 513780 ID: f2c20c

>>513777
Accept her apology with thanks, and... well. This might be an awkward time to bring this up, but we should tell her that the Devil came to you in your dreams last night and told you in no uncertain terms that he needed Ansirous dead.

Then he offered to give you assistance, and knowing the stakes you were forced to agree to accept his offer of a Demon warmage's help in combat. She should be showing up at some point and she needs to be forewarned.
>>
No. 513783 ID: 57a559

>>513777
There is something else we're getting out of this. Heaven I suppose, with a fiesty red lady waiting to erotically beat our fine spirit ass. Plus, I suppose vengence for forcing us into ruining our lives and soul for a chance to defeat our foe. Not to mention ridding the world of apparently the most powerful, threatening evil it has seen yet.

So, yeah, the journey we're on has a bunch of reasons to go on. We get it, loved ones taken by a great evil, wanting vengeance, wanting to destroy that evil. It's entirely why we even stand here today. If you did not take the path of advocate, and that the only path you could see for justice is, well, this Revenant form Astrea, would you have taken it?
>>
No. 513788 ID: dd287a

either way, this is my last journey, succeed or fail.
>>
No. 513817 ID: 7b7b1b
513817

A suggestion in what to say:
"If that was your sullen, then I suppose you are quite the kind individual. However... If you will believe me, our journey to stop Ansrious holds dire importantance, for both God and the Devil have a stake in us succeeding. I say this because last night, the latter came to me in a dream with an offer- a powerful Mage with her eyes on Hell's reward. She will come to our aid, to help us.
I say this, so you will be prepared... And hopefully that you can act as voice of purity to counter her temptation. For me and my companion's souls hang in the balance.
God offers his own support, a guiding force to keep us on the correct path, and redemption for all my sins, and I desire that."
>>
No. 513946 ID: f9ab82

I agree we should say something about it, but we should probably mention the message from God first.
>>
No. 514021 ID: 0eef61
File 137015668863.png - (14.09KB , 800x600 , 8.png )
514021

"I understand the anger you felt at losing what you loved," I say. "And I empathize with the pursuit of evil's destruction. But I have felt these drives. Both of them. Look at what they have done to me."
Astrea swallows.
I do my best to lighten the mood. "To err is, of course, human, Advocate. If I could give you a benevolent smile, I would. But I suppose all I can do is nod." I nod.
There is a silence.
"That was, a, uh, a joke. Ha. It takes much courage to apologize for oneself. I thank you."

"It was only proper," says Astrea. "I shall do my best to be less snippy in the future."

"Speaking of the future, there is something I must tell you. Both God above and the adversary below have contacted me."
"Really?" She tilts her head.
"Really. Expressing interest in the mission we undergo. I can tell you with confidence that the Lord approves." She smiles. "As does, well, the other one." The smile crumples around the edges. "He has offered me the help of a powerful mage in his employ, one with her eye set on Hell's rewards. And, well."
"And you refused her," supplies Astrea.
"Not quite," I say. "Knowing the stakes I had no choice but to accept her help. I tell you this," I quickly continue over her heavy, heartfelt sigh, "because I am trusting you to keep any potential temptation or taint she may offer firmly checked. God has not seen fit to bring us a material harbinger of His voice. You must play that role."

I can tell this has worked. She perks up, a little. "Well." She straightens the hem of her dress. "I shall try. For now, you have my apology."

"And we accept it!" Spidrift puts an arm around her shoulder and gives her a playful jab.

"You followed us," says Astrea. "Fantastic."
"Indeed! Perhaps when you can go a full week without threatening to kill my master I can stop."

Before we move on to the Rootax, I believe I have time to practice and commit to memory two more spells, knit from the words of power I know. Which shall they be?
>>
No. 514022 ID: 35edd4

Trasus Zephra. I bet we can fly.
>>
No. 514023 ID: 0eef61

>((A reminder that, for the purposes of spell construction, all known words of power are available on the wiki page, here:

http://tgchan.org/wiki/Revenant_Quest

>I'll get to work uploading and organizing a list of known spells soon.))
>>
No. 514042 ID: 095c28

something with Philen. i want to see if we can charm people.
maybe Philen Vomus? Philen Biblus? Philen Verbam? probably that last one if i had to choose.
or Philen by itself.
>>
No. 514045 ID: 0dcaef

Orbus Trasus seems curious- let's see what it does.
Orbus scutum for self-protecting forcefield!
>>
No. 514055 ID: dd287a

while we're at it, lets tell her our name, as fun as alias's and being referred to as 'The Revenant mage' is, we do actually have a name, Archmage Ferrucio, even if after our loss of power we probably don't qualify as an archmage anymore, but I digress.

We could try Obscurus Ferrum, for invisible sword action?
>>
No. 514056 ID: f2c20c

>>514021
Torrentus Acridum. Let a wave of acid wash over our enemies.

I am concerned for how Spidrift would handle Layla's influence, as well. Perhaps it is time to speak to him about our wish to redeem his soul, and inform him that the old rules he follows will likely get in the way? Then we can discuss with him some changes to those rules. With Astrea's input even.
>>
No. 514065 ID: da4ec6

Let's just test Acridum and Philen by themselves to determine their functions. It's pretty dangerous to fuck with spells when we're not actually certain what effect they produce.
>>
No. 514099 ID: 0eef61
File 137019730517.png - (323.89KB , 800x600 , 9.png )
514099

I excuse myself from the group for a moment to practice some spells.

Orbus Scutum brings a spherical wall of magic into being around me with an echoing crack of force. It moves with me for a few seconds, kicking up eddies of dust at my feet, then dissipates.
>>
No. 514100 ID: 0eef61
File 137019764046.png - (304.48KB , 800x600 , 10.png )
514100

"Torrentus Acridum," I say, and my mouth instantly fills with a revolting, alkaline taste.

Curling plumes of smoke rise from my feet, and a thick billow of green, caustic acid fans out before me. Where the liquid hits the ground it hisses and bubbles.

This is an effective, but close-range cone of acid, useful for causing debilitating pain and potent damage to armor or other such protection.
>>
No. 514103 ID: 0eef61
File 137019798851.png - (7.33KB , 800x600 , 11.png )
514103

The tests being complete, I call Spidrift over.

"Good morning, my lord! Wow, that is a yucky smell! Is that you?"
"A spell of mine, Spidrift."
"Splendorously repellent, milord!"
"Thank you. I wished to discuss the terms of your service. Remind me: what things have I forbidden of you?"

"Of course, milord!
I am disallowed to:
Engage in pleasures of the flesh,
cook any meat,
bathe in warm water,
show mercy not accorded by you, milord,
or take herbs to soothe pain or ache.

Also, technically, breathe. I follow that one a little more loosely and just hold my breath for a minute or two every day."
>>
No. 514105 ID: beeca1

>>514103
You might as well allow him to do all of these after careful discussion about pleasures of the flesh, just to get things straight and discuss possible problems with Layla and her titties.
>>
No. 514117 ID: 57a559

>>514103
Why.. why would any leader tell you not to breathe? Even an undead one? Okay, herbs for are fine now, and cooking meat, and warm water. And breathing. You can enjoy the pleasures of the flesh, but absolutely no rape.
>>
No. 514118 ID: beeca1

>>514117
We went over this before.
>>
No. 514119 ID: 1cf691

Allow everything except the pleasures of flesh, it's best we have our chat with Layla first.
And forbid Spidrift from cutting his beard and mustache from now on.
Also would it be possible to teach him Orbus Scutum? Currently he only has offensive words of power, if we teach him how to use his powers to protect and help others it might help him see things in a new way.
>>
No. 514121 ID: f2c20c

>>514103
Nix the no-mercy rule and the no-breathing rule, obviously.

Modify the first rule so that he is allowed to indulge in consensual pleasures of the flesh with other humans. That'll keep him from getting too distracted by Layla, since she's a demon.

The other rules we could remove, if he wants. I think he actually LIKES having rules he has to follow, though. It's a form of worship, I think.

Oh, add a rule. Do not harm innocents. Adding other arbitrary yet harmless rules might be good for his morale, if he is attached to his rules. Like, he must always wear black, or he cannot drink alcohol on tuesdays, or he must spend one hour every day practicing throwing knives. Maybe a mandatory half hour spent meditating before bed.
>>
No. 514128 ID: 601855

>>514103

Point out that since you have to breathe anyway, you're nixing the whole "you don't have to breathe" thing.

Also showing mercy and bend the whole 'cooking meat' thing to allow him to eat with his fellows. Would look rather strange if he always went out and ate something raw, now wouldn't it?

Let's... just stick with those for now. Start small.
>>
No. 514136 ID: 0eef61
File 137021279984.png - (6.74KB , 800x600 , 13.png )
514136

"That will have to change." I tap my mask, thoughtfully. "You are now permitted to, uh, sleep with any consenting human. You may eat your meat cooked, so as to keep up appearances in more civilized lands. I see no reason to forbid you warm water or medicine for pain, either. Oh, but I give you a new one to follow. You will never harm a single hair on any innocent." I think for a moment. "Or their flesh. Or skin. Or anything."
Spidrift tilts his head, hesitatingly. "Milord."

He seems strangely unsatisfied. Hmm. Perhaps I can fix that. "With that in mind, here are a few more tenets I will require of you. No alcohol is allowed on Tuesdays. You must always wear black; if there's no black clothes available must at least paint your toenails black. When you knock on a door you must knock at least four times. No more shaving your face or head without my say-so."

He beams.

"Of course, milord!" He claps his hands together and bows slightly. "Whatever you will of me, I shall do."

"Ho! Jerruv!" Calidore calls from the square. "Are your preparations complete? There's a beast to slaughter."
>>
No. 514147 ID: f2c20c

>>514136
I believe so, yes. Shall we go?
>>
No. 514251 ID: 1cf691

Couldn't Captain Willas get us some horses? Or a wagon drawn by some beasts of burden?
>>
No. 514284 ID: f9ab82

>>514251
It would be a pain to keep track of horses when we are fighting the beast, and we will hopefully be back to town to collect its bounty afterwards.
>>
No. 514353 ID: 0eef61
File 137029951616.png - (17.23KB , 800x600 , 14.png )
514353

"He slid from bed,
And kissed her head,
And laced his cloak to brave the rain,
But now he's dead
And now he's fled,
And we'll not see his like again!
"

Calidore cracks the reigns and the Lopebeast grunts as she pulls the cart forth. "You folk back there are quiet as the stones! Has the Rootax eaten you already?"

"It's a bit of a bumpy ride," I say.
"There's some hay back there, isn't there?" says Calidore.
"Would you like some hay, milord?" asks Spidrift.
"No, I- Are you eating that?"
"Now that my dietary restrictions are lifted, I thought it wise to sample my suddenly expanded palette! Or pallet. Ha!"
"You were forbade cooked meat," I whisper. "Not everything except raw flesh. Surely you didn't eat raw meat for your entire life?"
"Er. No! Of course not! That would be ridiculous."

"Anyway, Willas is sorry he couldn't spare any horses, I'm sure," says Calidore from up front, "but I suppose he isn't willing to rent much potential Rootax food to people seeking a Rootax."
"He didn't seem particularly sorry," says Astrea. "Sorry people don't laugh at you."
"Well, he was in his own special Willas way." Calidore cracks the reigns again. "Ho! Faster, Oken! Trot along! Anyway, we aren't holy pilgrims, despite Jerruv's hat back there. We needn't pass the ride in silence! We have to talk about something. How about a story? Does anyone back there have a good story?"

"Or something?"
>>
No. 514372 ID: 7e8516

Tell the story of Metal Glen.
>>
No. 514373 ID: af8333
514373

If you remember ANYTHING about Ansirious, now seems a decent time.
Aside from that? Hrrrrm...
I got one, ever hear a tale about a Journey of a lost traveller and the ruined town he found?
>>
No. 514391 ID: dd287a

we could perhaps tell a somewhat embellished story of the unbelievably handsome Archmage Ferrucio, since we were never famous and memories are hazy, there may be a fair amount of 'making shit up' but that's how all good stories go, afterall, reality was somewhat less kind to us, considering how our last confrontation with Ansirious apparantly went, Rebecca's famous so maybe we can work her in there somehow, between hazy memories and the records we looked over, we should be able to fabricate something good.

That and telling a story about ourself seems uniquely amusing, especially if it takes our erstwhile companions a while to realize it.
>>
No. 514467 ID: 1cf691

I kind of want to hear the story behind Calidores lost arm, but i can't think of a way to ask about it tactfully.
>>
No. 514617 ID: 0eef61
File 137041240982.png - (6.74KB , 800x600 , 15.png )
514617

Oh! I have one! This, my old mentor told me once, when he was quite inebriated. I'll try and do the voices.

Once there was a great king, and he had a magnificent gilded palace and inside of his palace, why, he had one of everything! He had a lion, and a suit of armor, and a dragon bone, and a woodpecker, and a knife, and a teapot, and-

“And?” I interrupt.

And just, one of everything! His subjects were a little lean in the pocket from funding his massive collection, but they loved their lord! They wanted him to be happy!
One day into this kingdom there came a funny little patchwork man with a large, golden-plumed hat, who prostrated himself before the king and said, “Milord! Have you really one of everything?”
And the king said, “Yes!”
And the man said, “Then I should like to see your kingdom's Tiss!”
And the king said, “My what?”
And the man said, “Have you no tiss?”
And the king said, “I suppose not! Where can I get one?”
And the man said, and he took off his funny hat as he said it, “From me! For I am a tissmaker!”
“Make me a tiss!” said the king, and the Tissmaker removed from his hat a long list, and handed it to the king's Court Mage Vizier.
And the Court Mage Vizier read the list and he said, “Unacceptable! You ask for all the wood in the kingdom forest! And all the iron stripped from the kingdom keep! And the entire kingdom reservoir!”
And the king said, “A small price to pay! Have I not a tree already in my grand palace, and no tiss?”
So the Court Mage Vizier sent the men of the kingdom with axes and saws and they felled the whole forest! He ordered the guards from the guardhouse with pliers and hammers to collect all the iron from the kingdom! He himself approached the lake, and cried out words of power only he and the Lord knew and, so they say, the resevoir drained itself dry as a bone and placed itself entire in a flask about his neck!
And they gave these treasured resources to the Tissmaker, who retired beneath a great tarpaulin in the town square, to work, all hoped, some wondrous weal!
That night, neither king nor townsman ate, for the animals had fled the forest and the fish had died in the lakes!

“Couldn't they just have eaten something else?” asks Astrea.

As I have just now found, Advocate Mage, non-meat food is disgusting! So they starved until the next day, when the Tissmaker gathered them before the tarpaulin and pulled it from his construction!
A great wooden scaffold, milord, atop which rested a great iron ball, heated red-hot in the Tissmaker's forge! A massive tub of iron, within which sat every drop of the reservoir's water! The Tissmaker roared with every fiber of his little body, “Now!!” and his assistants rolled the great iron ball off the scaffold and down, down it fell into the water below!

And it went Tissssss!

Spidrift laughs hard enough that he tilts over.
>>
No. 514618 ID: 0eef61
File 137041242884.png - (8.77KB , 800x600 , 16.png )
514618

I'll go next!

Now when I was younger up in the Gertßraum, this was around eight years back, I lived in a tiny village nestled just on the outskirts of the Fissure. The one your Ansirous apparently carved, hah. Now, I was already aware this was no life for me, up in the thin air of that range, and I was already doing what I could do save my lira and head for the flatlands, across the Parvyle in Old Gioriazia where the fortress-towners lived. And one of the jobs I took was looking after an old fellow's creche hound. That hound must have been as old as the old man himself was! He was off visiting relatives a few villages over and knew for a fact his dog could never make the journey, and he certainly wasn't dragging it there himself.

Now I showed up, full of piss and vinegar ready to look after this old thing, and when I get to his stilt home--There's houses on stilts up on the Gertßraum; it's the only way to keep them level—When I get there, the dog's lying on his floor, dead.

Well, what was I to do? How was I to explain this? The old man was already a day out to his family.

I decided the only good thing was to follow him.

And I certainly wasn't walking. Gertßraum isn't flat and easy like here. No; I hitched a ride on an oxcart, in point of fact, not unlike this one but a mite larger. Now folk are less stuffy up there, but that as it may be, a dead dog in your lap will bring you under some scrutiny. I thought I would be smart and stuff him in an old drawstring pack. I hail the cart, already with a few other travelers on it, and I find a seat next to a Gandeerishman with that plink-plonk accent. And you know how they are. He strikes up a conversation and eventually, he asks me what's in the bag there. I told him... let's see, I think I told him it was a bundle of bolt-shafts, all ready for the bodkin, and I was going to see what lira I could get from them in the market. He nods his orange head and we keep the conversation up until the next village, and that's when he plucks the sack from my hands and hauls ass out of the cart!

Calidore laughs.

Oh there was a great pushing and shoving and let-us-go-after-him-dear-boying, but I waved them off. I was in disbelief, but I remember laughing so hard I couldn't even explain it to them.

Anyway. I found the old man and I told him the beast had just run off. I don't know how well he bought it, given its legs were more bum than good. Naturally I didn't see a half-coin from the whole thing, but at least it earned me quite the story.
>>
No. 514619 ID: 0eef61
File 137041246396.png - (9.19KB , 800x600 , 17.png )
514619

Er, well.

Astrea shifts uncomfortably in her seat.

I don't really know what to tell.

”Oh, now you know something,” says Calidore. “Personal anecdote? Folk tale? Fairy tale?”

Well, there was the story of the dawn of magic my mother used to tell me, but all magi know that one.

”Maybe not the way you do,” I say.

All right.
In the time before the world was, and God was a fallible being, He believed that goodness was goodness always and wickedness wickedness inevitably. Those seraphim who sang His virtue He trusted entirely, and those who trespassed against Him He destroyed utterly.
So it was with his Adversary, the Orc, Great Dragon of the South and Foe of Man. None know the slight that drew God's ire, whether it was intentional or accidental, but it infuriated Him so that he drove Satan from his paradise and dashed him against the rocks of Hell.
There was an angel who beheld the powerful display, named Uziren, who began to lust for such power. Uziren was one of God's most trusted friends, his closest of courtiers. His halo was bright and radiant second only to God Himself. But it hid a heart of treachery.
Uziren did the right thing always, but he did it for the wrong reason. He preened himself in the glow of the good will others heaped upon him. And when this ebbed, and others began to accept his supposed nature with less pomp and bombast, he turned to darker ways to achieve power.
Thus did he seek out God on the high steeple of the Palace Divine, and in His blind trust God did not see his approach. Uziel lifted the resplendent deity over his head, and was about to throw Him to the very destructive abyss He had condemned so many seraphim to when Satan rose from below and drove a dagger through Uziel's traitorous heart.
God saw then that one can do good for reasons ill, and as Uziel's golden blood stained the hem of His robe, that one can do great harm for good reason. And so he entered, haltingly, into a partnership with Satan Who Is Orc, and together they spoke into existence the World with the intermingling of their great Divine language. They filled it with good, and evil, and all between, and with the spirits of men and women and animals, locked into great cycles of rebirth in many bodies for seven upon seven upon seven reincarnations.
And in that final reincarnation, in token of a lesson learned, God placed a Test. A final life, on the brink of eternal reward or eternal punishment, where a soul was given the power of the Divine Language himself. It is a power strong enough to redeem a soul black as death, or damn to Hell a soul pure as snow. One last chance for an old soul to change its path.
And it is those twilight existences we call Magi.
>>
No. 514620 ID: 0eef61
File 137041250085.png - (5.38KB , 800x600 , 18.png )
514620

I suppose it is my turn.

Well.

In a city made of gold there lived a great archmage named Ferrucio. And he... well, when he was young, well. He was a gregarious boy when he was young, and as he grew this gregariousness sharpened into a keen sense of superiority.
Eventually he became quite the, uh, the Lothario, content to use his powers in ways unbecoming and wasteful. He chased every colorful skirt that passed his vision. Yes.

Why do I remember this?

And then one day, in one of his lectures, the contents of which he ignored and derided, his rosy view of the world was challenged by a rosy-haired young girl. Of about fifteen.

With the greenest eyes. They were like peridots. Looking right into you with this intensity that made you feel like you were at sword-point, excited and defenseless and scared and brave. And...

”Hate to interrupt you, Jerruv, but we're here.”
>>
No. 514621 ID: 0eef61
File 137041277396.png - (9.85KB , 800x600 , 19.png )
514621

The crag of the Rootax looms ahead. Sharp, jutting spires of stone push from a shallow canyon like teeth in the jaw of a humongous shark.

"Now, we could get a better view of the canyon from atop one of those," says Calidore, "but the climb will be hard, narrow, and dangerous. And if the Rootax finds us while we are surmounting one, the fight will be made significantly harder. It is a cliff-dweller, and trying to kill it in a location where it has the spatial advantage and we have precious little room to maneuver is incredibly dangerous. We could simply move through the canyon itself, but then of course we surrender that high ground. Unless, perhaps, you wish to split up or have some other course in mind, those are our options, way as I see it."
>>
No. 514622 ID: 01531c

>>514619
> locked into great cycles of rebirth in many bodies for seven upon seven upon seven reincarnations.

Is that exponentiation or multiplication or addition?
>7+7+7=21 lives
>7*7*7=343 lives
>7^7^7=2.5692357752105887808861147722424e+41 lives
>>
No. 514625 ID: 14bafe

I would think that Upon would mean additive. After all, if you put seven things on top of seven things, you still only have fourteen things.
>>
No. 514627 ID: 01531c

>>514621
Our decision hinges entirely upon Astrea's archival knowledge indicating whether or not the Rootax has mountain-goat cliff-walking skills.
>>
No. 514664 ID: f2c20c

>>514621
Can't we teleport up?
>>
No. 514787 ID: 0eef61
File 137049856158.png - (10.29KB , 800x600 , 20.png )
514787

The only teleport I currently possess is a short-range blink that rapidly exhausts itself when used in succession. I can use it sparingly as we climb to surmount difficult portions, but I cannot simply will myself to the top.
"Thrillant mage, do you have any flight spell or anything to get us up those spires easily?"

"Sadly not," says Calidore. "Hope you don't mind getting earth on your gloves."

"That depends on whether the Rootax can climb or not," I say. "Astrea?"

"It's a cliff-dweller." Astrea looks to the ridge worryingly. "It can climb near-vertical rock faces, according to Fovican. We'd have to be very careful."
"I would call it worth the risk!" says Spidrift. "If only for the view. Perhaps we can use the Lopebeast as bait to distract the thing."

"Not Oken," says Calidore. "She's a good, strong beast of burden. Aren't you, girl?"
>>
No. 514788 ID: f2c20c

Eh. Let's try the climb.
>>
No. 514789 ID: 57a559

Well, we never said we'd let the Rootax actually get her, and she can run away too. Someone could stay nearby to ensure her safety, if Calidore would prefer. Someone was supposed to distract and be bait anyway, wasn't that the plan? I guess we don't need to have Oken be the bait. So... who volunteers?

Ferrucio, I say you should do it. Bait seems like easy work and your crusty body won't need to do the climb, and your all loaded with the same spells so your not the powerhouse that should be doing the DPS, everyone can have that roll. Besides, the most intelligent and reactive mind should be the bait, not to mention we can split between party members at will. And you have the demon in your mind too I assume, so it's two people down below as bait (plus Oken) while three go for the kill. You'll gain a few brownie points with Calidore and Astrea by risking your neck as well.
>>
No. 514807 ID: 1cf691

We should send two people up the spire and leave two down to keep an eye on Oken and the cart.
I suggest we send Spidrift and Astrea up since they are probably the best climbers. After we get the lay of the land we can plan an ambush.
>>
No. 514958 ID: 0eef61
File 137058669830.png - (10.83KB , 800x600 , 21.png )
514958

"Oken is entering the cavern, but she won't be alone." I pat the lopebeast's weft-coarse flank. "Calidore, you and I shall shepherd her. Astrea and, ah, Thomas, it is to you to climb the ridges above and find a likely spot to bring down fire on that Rootax."

I unsheathe my slender rapier and beckon Calidore down the hill into the gusty canyon below. He follows, saber at the ready.

Above us, the Advocate and the Butcher begin their unsteady climb up the pillars of exposed stone. We walk slowly, carefully, each step subject to unnatural and dry reverberation through the high stone walls of the canyon. Oken lows nervously behind us.

"Are you afraid, Jerruv?" asks Calidore.
"Are you?" I bring the question back around.
"I am not." Calidore picks up his pace, walking near the front. "It is a simple beast and we are four magi. We'll take him down in an instant."

If you are not afraid, Calidore, then why is the tip of your blade trembling like that?

He is very young. I keep forgetting.

We walk for around a quarter hour, our feet's variant treads intermingling with the steady grind of the oxcart's wheels. We are nearly past the thermal gape of a cave, set low in the chalkstone walls, when Calidore sharply pulls his blade up. "Hush. Did you hear that?"
"Hroak," supplies Oken.
"Hush, now, girl. Listen, Jerruv. Do you hear?"

I lower my head slightly, and focus. I feel it before I hear it.
Far ahead of us, a low, vibratory boom. A distant, echoing cry, high and blasting.
It is coming nearer.
>>
No. 514977 ID: 1cf691

Tell Calidore to take Oken inside that cave and stay on the left side while we should move to the right so the rootax has to focus on both sides of the canyon.
Tell Calidore to prepare his furthest reaching spell.
>>
No. 515000 ID: 0eef61
File 137062270969.png - (38.92KB , 800x600 , 22.png )
515000

"Calidore, take the cart into that cave," I say. "Prepare your longest-range spell."
"Will you be alright facing the beast alone in the open?" he asks.
"Yes." It sounds so stripped and free of conviction, that Yes. I want to be brave. "Go, Calidore."

From the shadow of an overhung spire of rock, it comes.
Its skin is pale and rubbery, a corpse-maggot hide stretched across bulbous, grotesque musculature. Its insectoid head bobs and snaps.

It screeches, that oily keen I heard far off magnified to physically painful levels.
>>
No. 515001 ID: 0eef61
File 137062272880.png - (18.31KB , 800x600 , 23.png )
515001

It is large.
God shield us.
It is gigantic.

The little steel toothpick in my hands feels like a grim joke.

The Rootax advances.
>>
No. 515002 ID: 5869f6

Aw, crap.
>>
No. 515006 ID: 1cf691

Wow that is like... Wow. Didn't expect it to be quite that huge.

Ok lets start with a simple Fulga Fuge to its face, but be ready to Trasus your way under it if it tries to bite you in half.
>>
No. 515009 ID: f2c20c

>>515001
And its soul?

I doubt this beast will be very quick. Hmm. Want to try a Philen Verbam to calm it before the ambush?
>>
No. 515014 ID: 796c40

Eating it's soul would also be a dead giveaway to our ZOMBIENESS! That's not a thing we want!
Hrrm, ok, no Ferrum spells-they're too small scale for this.
I'm thinking Torrentus Acridum, or Fulga Fuge to open, but after that, either Orbus Scutum or some other shield spell to protect us-we've enough bits missing as is!
>>
No. 515024 ID: e1c569

coax it close, then keep it away using Torrentus Acridum. hopefully that'll create an opening for your friends.
>>
No. 515026 ID: 35edd4

>>515009
Give this a try. If it fails, just kite it with blink. Our job isn't to kill it, but rather to keep it occupied while everyone else bombards it.
>>
No. 515027 ID: f2c20c

Torrentus Acridum is much too close range for us to use here. We'd have to be practically on top of it to hit it with the thing.

On the other hand, the smell itself would probably give the thing pause... That stuff is nasty.
>>
No. 515034 ID: 97f3be

open with Fulga Fuge
You'll need a Trasus to escape, try and get either under it (dangerous) or on top of it (slightly less dangerous) and then do a Orbus Zephra Fuge, no need to hold back.
>>
No. 515056 ID: 601855

>>515001

How about you just gnaw it's soul off whenever you need a distraction. quick bites.
>>
No. 515078 ID: dd287a

>>515001
Gigantic? you are a mage, and were once a great one, if mere size is enough to overcome us then our Quest is doomed to failure, first things first, how does it navigate? does it primarily rely on sight? the compound eyes would suggest so, let's blind it, it can be as big as it likes but if it can't strike anything accurately it'll be a lot safer.
>>
No. 515110 ID: 0eef61
File 137065417389.png - (107.54KB , 800x600 , 24.png )
515110

>>515014
>>515024

"Come here, beastie," I whisper. "Come to Ferrucio."
I cast a look back at Calidore's cave. If I can create an opening perhaps he can kill it.

The Rootax lumbers forward, more curious than aggressive. Its jaws snap open and closed hungrily. I wait until it is within the range of Torrentus Acridum, then let fly.

My gut twists as the astringent wave of acid gushes toward the Rootax. Where it connects with its blubbery leg, the acid fizzes and bites. It seems to be highly effective against the beast's hide.

The Rootax lunges backward, giving out a buzzing howl. It twists round to bring its tail to bear and crush me flat, but Calidore intervenes, firing two whistling bolts of ice from his cave. One goes wide as the Rootax thrashes its neck. The other narrowly misses the Rootax's weak point on its clavicle, crashing off of its right leg.

This damage to its legs may slow it down, but we need to be fatal. I begin to call Trasus into my brain, but I must decide where to blink. Away from the jaws of the beast, or through them?
>>
No. 515113 ID: f2c20c

>>515110
Through! Try to get a perch on the beast itself, stab with your sword and hang onto the handle to make sure it can't throw you free, then let's use our big 3-word spell! Let it die in a fire.
>>
No. 515122 ID: af8414

THROUGH
>>
No. 515141 ID: e1c569

>>515110
nono, keep it nice and safe. we have 3 snipers, we are the meatshield. the distraction. your only job is to not get killed while your friends (and minion) do their thing. move back a little and just keep it away from you while the others are pelting it with spells.

if for some reason the people above don't pelt the thing with spells they have no business being there and should join you instead.
>>
No. 515157 ID: 0eef61
File 137066061962.png - (44.58KB , 800x600 , 25.png )
515157

"Trasus!"

I slam through the air and crack into existence atop the Rootax, digging my sword into its back. It barely even feels my sting.

I prepare my most powerful attack. "Orbus Zeph-"

But the Rootax rears up, and waves its bludgeoning tail, and it is all I can do to cling to the beast's back. A three-word spell is subject to potential interruption, and will be difficult to pull off, but I can try again.

Another bolt of ice rockets past us, as Calidore struggles to hit the bucking monster.
>>
No. 515158 ID: 0eef61
File 137066062754.png - (16.06KB , 800x600 , 26.png )
515158

"What are you doing?"

I look up and see Astrea, standing atop a cliff a hundred paces ahead.

"You're on the target!" she cries.

"I can handle this!" I yell back, crouching as the Rootax flails. "Aim for the front!"

"Get it closer, somehow!" Astrea's voice buzzes with charged lightning. "If we attack at this range we risk frying you!"
>>
No. 515159 ID: f2c20c

>>515158
Ah, the opportunity for the big fry has passed. It sees us. Better get off the beast, and Trasus twice to get ahead of it and lure it forwards.

We must play our role.
>>
No. 515160 ID: e1c569

>>515158
and that, creator, is why you never get in front of your snipers. you are now less safe, in danger of friendly fire and you made this fight a 2v1 instead of 4v1 by impeding the attacks of the ones above.

try the spell again then Trasus away before it can retaliate.
>>
No. 515163 ID: 7e8516

>>515141
But the rule of cool! Through!
>>
No. 515177 ID: d99803

No rule of cool. We Trasus away and let the Advocate and Butcher make the kill.
Ice magic from the Thrilliant? Kinda unexpected, I'll admit.
But more importantly, get away, let the others finish this.
>>
No. 515194 ID: 97f3be

Trasus in front of it, then trasusFulge (line) towards the cliff and trasus one more time to groundish level

Then run. get ready for a Fulga Fuge to the front weak spot.
>>
No. 515212 ID: 0eef61
File 137068087740.png - (69.62KB , 800x600 , 27.png )
515212

"Trasus!"

I punch off of the Rootax's back and end up eight feet in the air. "Trasus!" I pop the rest of the way to solid ground. "Trasus Fuge, damn it!"

With a jolt my heels course backward through the soil, kicking up a line of flame as I skid to safety.

The Rootax chases me, screeching, stumbling from the acid and ice burns on its legs. Calidore rushes from the cave behind it to press the attack, but is forced to throw an ice wall into reality to avoid its lashing tail.

I look upward. Astrea and Spidrift stand above, ready to bring destruction down on the Rootax's back. I could lure it closer before giving the order to ensure a precise hit on the back with no waving neck to interfere, but I feel my Trasus losing its force as I cast it repeatedly. And although the Rootax is slowed, it can still outrun me.
>>
No. 515225 ID: 1cf691

Start running closer to Astrea and Spidrift and at the last moment before the rootax strikes throw up a Orbus Scutum to protect yourself, or use Obscurus to hide yourself.
>>
No. 515231 ID: 969b25

>>515212
this will have to do. shout NOW and all 4 open fire. if it defends against their attacks it can't defend against yours.
>>
No. 515243 ID: d99803

Hrrm.. Orbus Scutum might be suitable as a defense if we time it right.
But I can't think of a reason not to just call down the bombardment now, unless I'm missing some reason Butcher and Advocate can't just take another shot at the beast.
>>
No. 515250 ID: 97f3be

>>515243
They can just shoot now yes, but the odds are better if we get it closer.
I say we trasus one more time (im deliberately swinging the bar here) to get as much space as possible and then run as fast as our little legs can carry us. Rootax has maybe two more steps before it's on us, but that should be enough for them to get dat weakspot.

And seriously, Fulga Fugue dat chest weakspot before it eats you.
>>
No. 515285 ID: f2c20c

>>515212
I feel as though Orbus Scutum would be good while ordering the attack, because the Rootax will likely try to bite you and this would keep its neck busy.

Just be sure to Trasus out at a moment's notice if the Rootax decides to keep trying to bite through the shield. The follow-through could be killer.
>>
No. 515533 ID: 0eef61
File 137076244078.png - (168.48KB , 800x600 , 28.png )
515533

I break into a sprint, getting as far as Astrea's voice, but the great, three-eyed head of the Rootax lashes out and it is all I can do to bring up an Orbus Scutum as its serrated jaws close around me.

My attunement is already dangerously low from my blinking getaway. I pour every drop I can into this shield. My arms shake. My knees are buckling. I feel like a man underwater with his lungs emptied of air.

The Rootax's pincers grind into my thin shield of force. The monstrous muscles in its slobbering mouth chitter and thrash. Its breath smells of fester and decomposition.

"Now!" I scream. "NOW! NOW!"
>>
No. 515534 ID: 0eef61
File 137076250625.png - (155.67KB , 800x600 , 29.png )
515534

But the fire licks and peels ineffectually against the beast's flesh, and although the lightning lances through, and the beast keens and vibrates from the pain, and its neck slumps and drags on the ground, its grip does not slacken. Its jaws continue their crush.

My shield is cracking. It's dying.

I MUST NOT DIE HERE.
>>
No. 515536 ID: 7e8516

Well fuck. We need something that raises attunement and will get us out of there. Does trasus fuge do that, or does it lower attunement, too? Wait, can we do trasus obscurus? Might be worth a shot, if we're invisible, we can get to a better position and then rain down some fulga fuge.
>>
No. 515537 ID: f2c20c

>>515534
The shield is giving us extra time, and we've got a shitload of offensive power stored up. Let's use Orbus Zephra Fuge now!

It should be our strongest wind attack, first and foremost. That'll knock back the thing's head or maybe even blow its jaws open. Plus, fire in the eyes ain't nice.
>>
No. 515541 ID: c23ab0

This would be a good time to point out that the damage caused by explosions has very little to do with fire. In fact it is a concussive wave of force through air that makes an explosion's dramatic effects.
>>
No. 515543 ID: 1cf691

Now might be a good time to call out to Layla for help
>>
No. 515546 ID: b14973

>>515537
if he's got power for Orbus Zephra Fuge he should use it for Trasus.
>>
No. 515550 ID: 7e8516

>>515546
Not how it works.
>>
No. 515553 ID: f29aa1

>>515550
So his Attunement is his power for destruction/alteration, when it's higher/lower?
>>
No. 515574 ID: 97f3be

[b]Revnant Ougi: OZF[b]
>>
No. 515613 ID: 7e8516

>>515553
Lower attunement = more powerful attack spells, weaker defense spells, and vice-versa.

Do that brutal AoE firestorm spell, make this guy's face explode.
>>
No. 515629 ID: 5a4eb6

Hrrrm, this isn't going well...
Hey could Thrilliant pop an ice wall or something to save our butts?
Hrrm... Hey, maybe Fulga Ferrum the Rootax in the eye? We need it off us, and that seems like a rather offensive spell so the lack of attunement should work in our favor.
>>
No. 515687 ID: 0eef61
File 137081477666.png - (331.84KB , 800x600 , 30.png )
515687

"Orbus Zephra FUGE!"

The blast of flaming wind shatters my shield at the moment it blows the Rootax's jaw wide open. Fire rakes across its bulbous eyes and they fizzle and steam. It gives off a disconcertingly human scream and lets go, twisting and thrashing as greasy smoke rises from its ruined mouth.

"Torrentus Unda Fuge!" Spidrift steps forward and lets off a hissing gout of steam that melts the skin and muscle from the creature's neck.

Calidore's ice bolts resume their fusillade, sending grotesque ripples of stress through the Rootax's blubbery shoulders.
It is wavering, tilting, but none of our attacks are the final murderous strike we need.
>>
No. 515689 ID: f2c20c

>>515687
Trasus up to it, under the chest, and then show it some Fulga Ferrum. Maybe we can hit something vulnerable. Like its heart.
>>
No. 515728 ID: 0f92d5

Assuming we don't expect to be attacked, we might want to go a bit crazy and try a 4 word combo, otherwise, we need to abuse its known weakness to acid, and go for a more 'direct' hit with a 3 word spell. We also know that fire and lightning seem to be ineffective.

My suggestions would be something like [Fulga/Torrentus/Orbus] Unda Acridum. If we feel like risking a 4 word, I suggest we try for an acid sword beam with: Ferrum Unda Fulga Acridum. But as this is untested, it might go poorly. Torrentus Unda Acridum is probably the safest thing to try, but won't likely be lethal.
>>
No. 515729 ID: f2c20c

>>515728
If we're gonna make something up on the fly, a concentrated acid attack is likely best.

Something predictable like Fulga Acridum would be best, I think.
>>
No. 515746 ID: 89f029

Why don't we just devour the soul. Everyone will just assume it's the violence.
>>
No. 515759 ID: bdb3f8

Oh boy, look at it exposing its below-the-neck weak point to us. Fulga Acridum that sucker right in the vitals.
>>
No. 515869 ID: 0eef61
File 137084174398.png - (54.44KB , 800x600 , 31.png )
515869

There is no gurantee an improvised spell will work until I have learned it outside of combat.

I cast Fulga Ferrum instead, lancing my rapier toward the weak point on the Rootax's chest. But the beast in its pain rears up, and away from my extending point, its tail skidding along the ground toward Calidore

until a furry, dark projectile lances straight through its midsection, killing it instantly.
>>
No. 515870 ID: 0eef61
File 137084175048.png - (15.47KB , 800x600 , 32.png )
515870

Layla cracks her neck and straightens.

She is wearing a thick knitted sweater, as I had instructed. It would be more seeming had she elected to wear anything below it.

The Rootax's head lands heavily behind her, thick smoke leaking from its eyes.

"You called for me?" she says.
>>
No. 515872 ID: 2899b0

>>515870
"That took much longer than expected. What held you"
"Also good job choosing a landing spot"
>>
No. 515873 ID: bf54a8

yes, a while ago, but i will forgive you this time because that was a very impressive entrance.
>>
No. 515885 ID: e3aff6

Uh guys, remember that we explained her presence to Astrea but have NOT done so to Calidore. We will need an explanation before Calidore assumes that she is an enemy and/or we are some sort of cultist.
>>
No. 515888 ID: f2c20c

>>515870
I don't believe we did? But we are glad for the assist.

Calidore should be warned that she is an ally. Also, let's lay down some ground rules. First, she is not to endanger the souls of you or your allies, or any mortal for that matter come to think of it, while she is in this realm. Second, she is not to endanger our reputation either. Thirdly, for chrissakes put some pants on.
>>
No. 515890 ID: 01531c

>>515888
>I don't believe we did?
Least night, after the introductions with Hell, he woke up and called "Layla?" with no response.
>>
No. 515894 ID: bc14a3

>>515870
we called, yes. we called YESTERDAY where have you been until now? what have you been up to? and i swear if you say it took you time to find a sweater i will banish you on the spot.

also why are you not wearing any pants?
>>
No. 515897 ID: 0eef61
File 137084694291.png - (11.16KB , 800x600 , 33.png )
515897

"I don't believe I did," I say.

"Part of you did." She smiles an astonishingly jagged smile. "In the jaws of the Rootax. A small part. But my hearing is very good."

"Well I wish you had remembered pan-Calidore, no."

The Thrillant Mage's blade is at Layla's throat.
"Easy there, big one," she says. "There's no need for steel. I'm here to help."
"She's an ally, Calidore." I hold a hand out. "Put the sword down."

Calidore does not. "Who and what are you?" he asks.

I like this one.

I hear Layla, but her toothy smile does not shift.

You have a soul to eat while the young buck is distracted, Revenant.
>>
No. 515904 ID: f2c20c

The Rootax? Is its soul worth eating? Check. If not, she may be referring to Calidore, which is ridiculous. It kinda sounds like she was not, however. Obviously, don't eat the soul's seed. I don't know if people reincarnate into Rootax but I wouldn't be surprised.

Wait, she can hear us can't she? Layla, don't kill the guy, obviously.
>>
No. 515917 ID: 0eef61
File 137085046947.png - (147.38KB , 800x600 , 34.png )
515917

It's more than worth it.
It's huge.
It's radiant.

It feels very, very old. It feels momentous.

It feels amazing.
>>
No. 515918 ID: 0eef61
File 137085047545.png - (128.29KB , 800x600 , 35.png )
515918

I gorge myself. I'm shivering.
Layla is saying something to Calidore. I can't hear it and I don't care.

God's blood. I feel it.


My mind is buzzing. Something sharp and clarion is swimming from the murk behind my eyes.

>((The Rootax's soul is ancient and highly magical. You are now able to create and define one Word of Power.))
>>
No. 515919 ID: 76b151

Well, we want something we wouldn't encounter otherwise. How about Holy Magic? No one would expect a Lich to wield such and you DO have a charge from God and Heavan. As for the actual word how about Puritas after purity.
>>
No. 515920 ID: 7e8516

Oh SNAP.

We could make one that has to do with courage or inspiration. We could use it, say, to coax someone into a fight, invert with the appropriate modifying word to convince them not to, we could use it on allies to heighten morale, perhaps in combination with fulga, so we all have directed inspiration towards a single objective, etc. I like the idea of getting conceptual with this. If we use it with verbam, we could become great inspirational speakers, and deliver hella good speeches.

Alternatively, we could choose a word of power that negates or inverts, if no such word exists.

My suggestion for the first one is "tyr". For the second, let's just go with "not".
>>
No. 515924 ID: bf54a8

what about an adjective? something that can be added to any spell to make it MORE. a multiplier. like multiplus. it takes whatever the spell does and makes it more of that. fireballs become hotter an bigger. acid wave is larger and stronger, that sort of thing.
>>
No. 515935 ID: 89f029

How about Reproducing.

If we're after a mage or a magical creature, how good would it be to latch a parasitic spell that saps them dry and then drops them?
>>
No. 515946 ID: bc14a3

healing would be good. how about a word that stands for life? that way we could affect the effect with added words.

i don't have brom's gift of words but i bet it would probably start with "viv"
>>
No. 515947 ID: faef41

Two ideas. First, I'm not sure what word but something like the "negation" proposal, except that it takes the other words of the spell and creates an effect that slows it down, or calms it. Has good synergy potential with healing (slowing blood flow in wounds, slowing heart rate), putting out fires, calming down arguments. We're probably gonna need it.

In a related vein: Veritas, the concept of truth and forthrightness, used to reveal deception or affirm to others that we are speaking true and in good faith (verbam veritus?). The only downside is that it lacks synergy with our attack spells, though I am really curious what Veritas Fuge would do.
>>
No. 515949 ID: f2c20c

>>515919
Is Holy even an element? If so that's a pretty cool idea. I have some ideas too though.

>>515918
How about a forking adjective? Something that splits up an attack into several more. Call it Furcato or something.
>>
No. 515971 ID: cc2e78

How about a self body manipulation spell that would make it so you could change you physically you could regrow your skin or change your hand into a bone blade. the word would be something like Skyr
>>
No. 515972 ID: bdb3f8

>>515946
Yeah. So I just want to point out that our body is a crumbling ruin incapable of natural healing. Every tick of damage we take right now is essentially permanent. Given the state of Calidore's arm it seems likely that potent healing magics are rare. We have a chance to make them less so. Single word spells are weaker than phrases, so this is not going to be dramatic without further vocabulary, but it is a place to start.

I suggest 'Rejumium' or something like it. The word can invoke restoration and rejuvenation, turning back the ravages of a cruel word and granting wholeness. It can be invoked to knit torn flesh, mend broken objects, or just grant rest to the weary.
>>
No. 515982 ID: 89f029

>>515935
>>515972

Gonna change my vote to that. Also, I will strongly advise against going whole-hog and trying to pick up the word Genesis.
>>
No. 515994 ID: f2c20c

>>515972
That's a good point. Being able to heal ourselves would be very useful. Plus, with a strong enough healing spell we might even be able to give Calidore his arm back.
>>
No. 516002 ID: 9a7051

Healing or revivification
>>
No. 516005 ID: b14973

>>515897
creator, she can hear us. us being your phylactery. and of course she will only follow the parts she wants to. that means you must voice the parts you want her to follow as well as tell her not to follow bad ideas that are risen here. it's a chore, but she might do something bad that was suggested as a joke eventually. her not wearing pants means that she's the sort who would interpret instruction in the way that would most benefit her. this bitch is not going to be easy.

THAT'S RIGHT I CALLED YOU A BITCH WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT
>>
No. 516045 ID: 7e8516

>>515972
Yeah, I'm gonna go with this.
>>
No. 516059 ID: aaf692

Hoooo, I guess eating souls CAN be done on the sly then...
We should make it a point not to do that often, I sense danger down that path...
Anyhow, I fear our odds of achieving salvation aren't good, if it's up to us...
Well guys, best thing to do is use Layla carefully and sparingly, IF we use her at all.
Anyhow, when wearing the sweater, we'd like you to wear some sort of bottom to it. Pants or skirts, your choice, so long at it's knee-length.
>>
No. 516088 ID: 933f92

>>515972
This.

Imagine the possibilities!

WE CAN VOMIT HEALING POTIONS.
>>
No. 516170 ID: 0eef61
File 137093438161.png - (19.35KB , 800x600 , 36.png )
516170

Ferrucio has learned the Word of Power Sanctus.

He instantly may learn two spells with Sanctus as a component.
>>
No. 516175 ID: 14bafe

I recommend Orbus Sanctus and Fulga Sanctus.

Defensive Holy Shield, and Line of Holy Blast.
>>
No. 516180 ID: 07e7e3

>>516170
Scutum Sanctus and Fulga Sanctus
>>
No. 516184 ID: f2c20c

>>516170
Oh boy oh boy!

How about Torrentus Fulga Sanctus Fuge? Giant fuckoff death beam.
>>
No. 516204 ID: bdb3f8

I do want to know what this word does on its own before too much time passes.
I am then curious what Orbus Sanctus does, and I foresee the holy fires of Sanctus Fuge cleansing all before us one day.
>>
No. 516221 ID: f29aa1

>>515947
>I am really curious what Veritas Fuge would do.
True Flame? It is straight up power of chemical combustion, and would bypass magic-shields.
>>
No. 516249 ID: b5ca1e

Sanctus Scutum and Orbus Sanctum, I think.
Really hoping for healing spells!
>>
No. 516250 ID: 888df6

I want to see Vomus Sanctus for hilarity's sake, and Verbam Biblus Sanctus for spooky holy speech.
>>
No. 516258 ID: 88ef92

Verbam Sanctum and Orbus Sanctum
Healing/Holy words and Legit Sanctuary? I'm good.
Sanctum Zephra (Healing wind whooooo area effect healersand we can totally Frankenstein with the electric bit) is fine too.
>>
No. 516262 ID: 0eef61
File 137097729707.png - (104.96KB , 800x600 , 37.png )
516262

Orbus Sanctus brings forth a pulsating orb of light. I can hold it and let the light affect an area around me or throw it for a detonation.

Against purehearted enemies, the radiance will simply blind and disorient them.
To evil and unholy enemies it will do a great deal more damage.

Where the light touches my exposed flesh it burns. It hurts.
>>
No. 516263 ID: 0eef61
File 137097748698.png - (347.75KB , 800x600 , 38.png )
516263

Torrentus Fulga Sanctus Fuge is huge, blaring, and phenomenally destructive.

I do not think the purity of one's heart would save them from this.
I think the only thing that saves me when I cast it is the approbation of God. My hands become white-hot sheets of pain. My body is forked through with agony. I am in no way damaged, but it hurts so much my vision swims. Perhaps this is the price a revenant pays when casting holy magic.

It is the pain of penance. I accept it.

"Interesting fireworks, Jerruv."
>>
No. 516264 ID: 0eef61
File 137097755072.png - (8.80KB , 800x600 , 39.png )
516264

Calidore has sheathed his saber, but his body remains tense. He points at my new ally.

"Now I really must ask for an explanation."
>>
No. 516266 ID: f2c20c

>>516264
Tell him you are on a mission from both above and below to kill a threat to all of existence. So when the Adversary offered to give you assistance in the form of a demon mage for free, we accepted. Because y'know, existence is nice.
>>
No. 516267 ID: 07e7e3

>>516264
Perhaps now would be a good point to talk to him about you being a lich.
And also about you being on a quest from God.
And the Devil.
...
Well, maaaaybe not.

Perhaps tell him that she is just someone you had in your employ before she did something very evil???
>>
No. 516268 ID: ceb027

I am severely disappointed in you guys. Obviously the only answer to such a question is:
"We're on a mission from God."
>>
No. 516269 ID: 1cf691

It's a great story about guilt, redemption and salvation. Promise to tell it to him if he promises he wont go all "Duellum Potestatis" on our ass.

Also request a high five from Spidrift, we slew a rootax!
>>
No. 516270 ID: c23ab0

Hot furry babe. What's to explain?
>>
No. 516338 ID: b5ca1e

Oh dear...
Ok, mission from heaven AND hell. Lady fuzzy there is he aid of hell... But the aid of heaven is more... A general guidance, and assurance, that no matter how dark it seems, we can find a way to defeat Ansrious.
As for the recent blast of spells... We encountered a word, in our youth that was very mysterious, and have only now decided the time was right to attempt to use this word in spells, that word being 'Sanctus'... That last shot was a four word spell, and ah, very painful for you to cast, though it may not be the same for Calidore, as it is more effective on the wicked then on those pure of heart, like Astrea (I hope!)
>>
No. 516340 ID: 01531c

>>516264
Is Layla's shirt supposed to remind me of Steve's t-shirt?
>>
No. 516345 ID: 57a559

We're an old fallen Revenant who turned himself into a Revenant to kill an evil powerful enough that God would redeem a Revenant's soul for it's defeat and Satan would work with a guy working for God with less hidden strings attached than usual, well, so far as we see. We gained our old consciousness and soul back recently so we're not a bumbling sack of undead evil bones anymore.

Had to keep it on the downlow, since people are hard to trust Revenants and no one's ever heard of a repentant one before, and of a repenting evil soul who's somehow working with demons that really hopes won't prevent him from getting back into heaven to be with our true love. Or really weird rivalry love, it's pretty complex.

We just ate the Rootax's soul and made a holy spell from it. It really burns our hands. Hopefully in the future it'll get a little less painful the mroe good we get. Yes, we can guess Layla that this goody twoshoes redemption talk is probably boring but your home is a den of fire and unhappiness what do you expect people to buy timeshares there? No, there totally gonna eat any redemption they can get their hands on to stay away from a horrible eternity does that make sense? If you were human, you'd want to be goody-two shoes too if you knew Hell existed. We all can't be privileged demons, go check yourself. The room with a nice view of the lake of the damned simply isn't an option when checking into the Hotel Downunder.
>>
No. 516348 ID: 01531c

>>516268
>"We're on a mission from God."
"-to save the world, and Satan wants the credit for it. I have been granted a boon by each: a soul-bound Hellmage, and a heavenly Word of Power."
"Layla, please say hello to Calidore, the Thrillant Mage of Dorow Town. Calidore, meet Layla the Hellmage, representative of Satan, and soul-bound servant of myself alone."
"It seems that Heaven is extolling the virtues of Patience and Prudence, as that Word of Power was only granted to me upon Layla's timely arrival. I offer my apology for that sudden magical outburst."
>>
No. 516350 ID: dd287a

as much good intention as the truth would be, we should probably hold back on key details, like why we're seeking asmodius, the fact we're undead, and soul eating probably isn't something we should casually talk about.

Your on a mission from God works, and just hint that the Devil has made it clear that your his bitch if you screw this up.
>>
No. 516396 ID: 0eef61
File 137101999209.png - (14.31KB , 800x600 , 40.png )
516396

"I haven't been entirely honest with you," I say. "We are not simply pilgrims, and what we seek isn't simply knowledge."
"That much," Calidore gazes warily at Layla, "is obvious."

"Calidore, I vouch for him," says Astrea. "Calm down."
Behind her, I see the low gleam of a knife quietly emerge from Spidrift's sleeve. He is otherwise motionless and expressionless.
I trust him not to act unless I am in mortal danger.

"We are on a mission from God to save the world." I cannot see Calidore's reaction to this, obviously, but I believe I have his full attention. "All of creation. Orc has expressed interest in aiding us as well. To that end, uh, Calidore, this is Layla."

"Delighted," says Layla.

"And you chose to take time from saving all of creation to fight a simple crag dweller for a bunch of peasants." says Calidore.
"Yes?"
"Well." Calidore's fingers tap the hilt of his saber. "I suppose that unless you wish to kill some more bandits, we should collect a trophy from the Rootax and the highwaymen you dispatched and return to Dorow. With your demoness."
>>
No. 516406 ID: f2c20c

>>516396
Yes, though she will be invisible, as not to cause a ruckus. If it makes him feel any better, we rather needed the funds to pursue the next lead in our hunt for Ansirous.
>>
No. 516407 ID: bf54a8

also explain that, due to various magical things, killing it has made you stronger.
>>
No. 516409 ID: f29aa1
File 137102385798.jpg - (22.70KB , 552x248 , HADOKEN.jpg )
516409

>>516262
>>516263
It's official: we are now inverse Black Mage.
>>
No. 516416 ID: beeca1

>>516409
We're not "inverse" if it turns out the Hadoken actually does use love as fuel.

Less omnicidal, but hey. There's time for that.
>>
No. 516417 ID: bf54a8

we didn't take time off, we can't just rush the enemy an hope we can kill them. we need to gather resources and allies.
>>
No. 516422 ID: b14973

>>516396
we need a ship to continue our journey. we need money to get on a ship. the bounty gets us money and helps some people at the same time. that's why we stopped for the beast.
>>
No. 516428 ID: 9ddf68

just say in order to travel one needs money and a good way to get money would to be to do thing that get you money (point at the Rootax)
>>
No. 516463 ID: 35edd4

>>516396
Well that was embarrassing.

Point out that one does not save creation without some manner of resources.
>>
No. 516473 ID: 88ef92

>>516396
"Hey, we had to pass through anyway, so it's a win win.
Saving the world one step at a time and all that."

"Besides, one doesn't just jump out of bed and save the world, one must search out and acquire reliable allies."
"If you see where im going with this."
>>
No. 516478 ID: f2c20c

Oh yeah, let's not forget about those rules we promised to burden Layla with. The impression I get (what with the sweater thing) is that the more specific we get with the rules we give her, the more she will find ways to disobey them.

So how about we put some general standards of behavior? Or at least, talk to her about what she would even do up here unhindered. Does she even want to do bad things to people, or is she a firm believer of Hell's punishment AFTER death? Would she try to tempt people into evil, or does she actually not like it when people sin, and would strive to help mortals avoid Hell?

Basically I just don't want her to endanger the souls of you or your allies, and there is our reputation to be concerned about as well. We would also prefer it if she avoided killing people when it is unnecessary. Showing mercy to our enemies is our current modus operandi.
>>
No. 516513 ID: 77ca01

what can I say, I guess the money was really needed.

return to town.

congratulate Spidrift on not killing Calidore.
>>
No. 516543 ID: 0eef61
File 137110386016.png - (32.76KB , 800x600 , 41.png )
516543

Calidore seems to accept my story for the time being.
He was there, after all, when we discussed our need for transportation.

But on the detour to collect the ripening bandits from yesterday, and on the subsequent ride home, he displays little of the jollity he had on our approach.

Instead I focus my attention on the fuzzy little demoness bouncing in the back of the wagon, strangely unperturbed despite her seat on a gore-stained tarp covering several dead bandits.

Spidrift, Astrea, and myself all sit as far from her and her macabre perch as we can.

"You are not to endanger the souls of myself or my traveling companions," I tell her, shortly.
"Of course not." She lounges against the wall of the cart. She has still not covered herself, although her legs are crossed and her fur is thick and dark enough to spare us any visual distress. "Although some of you are more than capable of endangering your souls on your own."
"But if unhindered, would you interfere?"
"Of course not. It is not the Demonic way to bring a good man to sin. It is the Demonic way to expose the sin that was there all along. Like an inquisitor. Inquisitors are good, right?"
"No," says Astrea.
"Well, they're holy." A dipping, rolling shrug.
"You will show mercy and restraint when dealing with our enemies," I say. "Ask Thomas here what that means." I put my hand on Spidrift's shoulder. "He did a good job of it today."
"Milord," says Spidrift, the vein of pride clear in his voice. "Your power was, as always, the most supreme on the field!"
"I'll make a mental note," says Layla, dryly.
"And in towns and around civilization you will remain entirely invisible."
"Very well."
"Speaking of which," calls Calidore, "The walls of Dorow are just over this next hill, unless you have some other destination in mind."
"Why would we?" I ask.
"You've been full of surprises today," he responds.
>>
No. 516546 ID: f2c20c

>>516543
Well we cooouuuld go handle those bandits, if he wants. Are they an urgent problem? Or perhaps, if we eliminated them... would he assist us on our quest? Come to think of it, we don't know how much TIME we have. I really hope we- oh. Ask Layla if she knows how much time we have to kill Ansirous.
>>
No. 516549 ID: 9ddf68

lets cash our stuff in and if nothing else pops up head on down to wherever it was we where going and see if we can't find ourselves a ship.
>>
No. 516550 ID: b14973

>>516543
don't forget to limit her ability to pursue plots on the side. you can't see her in cities so you can't know what she'll be doing.
>>
No. 516551 ID: f29aa1

>>516543
"We only arrived yesterday. If you are offering yourself as a "native tour guide", perhaps you could fill us in on some local landmarks of historical interest?"
>>
No. 516727 ID: 01531c

>>516543
> It is the Demonic way to expose the sin that was there all along.
"You can detect such sins so directly as to read the pasts and minds of mortals? I have heard stories of Hell's expertise in blackmail, but I thought that was made possible through invisible spies who took pains to record all the evils of the world as they unfolded."
>>
No. 516797 ID: 0eef61
File 137119690449.png - (10.79KB , 800x600 , 42.png )
516797

"Can you see the sins of one's past just by looking at them?" I ask.
"Of course not," laughs Layla. "I'm simply very good at finding them out."

"Delightful," I mutter, turning back to Calidore. The Thrillant Mage has been restless and taciturn since we killed the Rootax. "I suppose it's into town?"
"I suppose," says Calidore.
"Would you come along with us if we were to go after the bandits?"
"Yes," he replies automatically, pivoting in his seat. He rests his arm on the front of the wagon. His fingers tap against the wood. "I could take you to where we think they're hiding. We'd have to camp out in the wilderness one night before we reached, but yes."

"And after we defeat them, would you come with us?" I ask. "On our mission?"

"Your mission from God?"

"That's the one."

Calidore is very still for a long time. "If you were to invite me," he says, "I believe I would."
>>
No. 516798 ID: f2c20c

Then let's kill those bandits. We need all the help we can get.
>>
No. 516807 ID: 9ddf68

should we head straight there or should we dump the bodies first just so we wont have to worry about them latter, I mean dead bodies tend to smell after some time, um no offence boss I didn't mean anything by it but we really can't smell anything so I really don't know weather or not you're excluded from that generalization.
>>
No. 516809 ID: bf54a8

>>516807
we are probably not decaying, otherwise parts would be falling off.
>>
No. 516871 ID: 82da32

visit the town for now regardless. you'll need some soul sucking, some cashing in and some shopping to do.

hey, does our fuzzy friend eat souls or just food? because we ought to warn her to also show restraint when it comes to eating if she... has an unusual method of doing so.
>>
No. 516872 ID: 82da32

also, does she have a soul herself?
>>
No. 517519 ID: 0eef61
File 137145468896.png - (11.65KB , 800x600 , 43.png )
517519

"Then after town, that's our next stop," I say, as Layla folds into the ether behind me.

"We're not ungrateful for your work, you know," says Willas as the bodies are dragged away.
"Much as it may seem with stoneface, here." Calidore walks behind Willas and gives him a little slap on the shoulder.
"Yes. Well." Willas sulkily straightens his jerkin. "If you go after the bandits, you've more bounty for your purse. And I suppose I can spare bunks for them who want it again."

"No need!" Calidore is back in high spirits. "We can start off now and bivouac in the field."
"Really, now?" says Willas, raising one eyebrow.
"Really, now?" says Astrea, with a notable lack of enthusiasm.
>>
No. 517523 ID: 35edd4

We could do with making Calidore happy. For fun, comment that you wouldn't mind a little discomfort in the interest of saving time, and ask Spidrift's opinion. When he agrees with you, declare that the majority is in favor and you have no choice but to comply.
>>
No. 517525 ID: 9ddf68

well might as well get it out of the way now, I mean we will have a long boat ride in the near future so we should have plenty of rest then, plus every minute we wast is one more those bandits get at hurting someone else.
>>
No. 517530 ID: f2c20c

I think it would be best to save time where we can.
>>
No. 517534 ID: a45e97

>>517519
any chance to get some magical training done before we leave?
>>
No. 517682 ID: 01531c

>>517519
Could we at least get a tent?
I'm intrigued by the possibilities of enchanting a tent with SANCTUS or something.
>>
No. 517684 ID: 01531c

"I think it would be better to first clean ourselves of today's toilsome bloodshed, unless you know some domestic spells?"
>>
No. 517689 ID: 0eef61
File 137151837362.png - (11.54KB , 800x600 , 44.png )
517689

"I suppose I wouldn't mind a little discomfort in the interest of saving time," I say. "What say you all? Spidrift?"

In a show of hands Calidore and Spidrift agree enthusiastically.

"Well, give me a while for a bath or something," grumbles Astrea.
"Don't worry, Astrea, it'll be a smashing new experience for you," says Calidore. "Ever been camping?"
"I can't say as I have."
"Willas will lend us a tent and everything. It'll be smashing."
"Just one tent?"
"Well, I suppose we could have two and sort of pair up, but the Dorow stores aren't exactly limitless. A little coziness is in order, but I could always sleep beneath the stars."
"No, that's quite all right." Astrea's expression is hard to read. "I just- I'll go have that bath."

>>517534
I suppose if we rest well before battling the bandits, I could spare the time to learn one new spell before we leave again for the bandit's lair.
>>
No. 517692 ID: d1d627

Santus Scutum, or Santus Trasis.
I'm for Santus Scutum, for building into the Shielding Mage, specialty-wise.
>>
No. 517693 ID: f2c20c

Uh oh. Just one tent means that you won't have any privacy for sleeping. Which means... unless you sleep in your mask and everything, Calidore might see your face. This would be avoided if he sleeps outside of the tent. Or you could, I suppose. Having the tent flap between you two would prevent another shock this early in our partnership with him.
>>
No. 517735 ID: 01531c

>>517693
Does the Revenant Mage even need to sleep?

I would be best to claim the outdoors at night for 'meditation'/'prayer', as you are now a man of God and Satan.

Any guesses on what Trasus Obscurus Sanctus would do?
>>
No. 517740 ID: c31f72

Lets try out vomus sanctus. Or sanctus vomus.
>>
No. 517742 ID: 0eef61
File 137153819552.png - (177.73KB , 800x600 , 45.png )
517742

Sanctus Scutum creates a glowing shield of pale runes in the air. Any projectile attack that strikes the shield imbues it with destructive power that buffs my next attack spell to include whatever elemental Word of Power the enemy's spell used. This also allows any allied mages to "charge" my attacks by casting at me.

It is entirely useless against physical attacks and builds a great deal of attunement when cast, but the applications are supremely interesting.
>>
No. 517750 ID: 0eef61
File 137154103517.png - (28.73KB , 800x600 , 46.png )
517750

"Why, exactly," says Astrea, "is the one-armed man the one who is setting up the tents?"
"It's all right," calls Calidore.

"I do not know how," says Spidrift.
"I was under the impression you slept in the woods a great deal," says Astrea.
"Of course! But it was usually inside a bear."
"You're joking with me."
"I am most certainly not! There is nothing better than a fresh bear corpse for warmth and shelter."
"Shelter?"
"Bears don't go near dead bears. And I would hate to have to fight a bear."

"I can help, Calidore," I say.
"No need," he says, brightly. "They're both already up."
"I won't need one," I say. "I, uh, I want to take in the stars."
"Which is also what I want to do!" Spidrift immediately stands by my side.
"Whoa, now," says Calidore. "I've only set these up for you folk. I was going to sleep outside from the start, to give the lady some space."
"Well, I'm sure I'll be perfectly fine if I have to share one," says Astrea, impatiently.
"No, I insist," says Calidore.
"I'll go in the tent!" says Spidrift.
"Which tent?"
"I shall be fine outside," I say.
"And I!" Spidrift claps a hand on my shoulder.
"Allow me," says Calidore.
"Maybe inside," I mutter.
"Well someone needs to sleep in the other goddamn tent because we brought two goddamn tents," says Astrea, hotly.
>>
No. 517751 ID: c31f72

We uh... We could put that... Whatever that thing is that we have pulling the wagon in the tent?
>>
No. 517752 ID: 933f92

>>517750
FINE

SPIDRIFT, AND YOURSELF GET A TENT.

GIRLS GET A TENT.

HELMET STAYS OUTSIDE.

NO ONE SEES US MASKLESS WHO HASN'T AND I AM FREE TO IMAGINE RELUCTANT BUT HOT LESBIANISM IF I WANT
>>
No. 517754 ID: 35edd4

Give Astrea a look for her language/tension, but don't say anything. Inform Calidore that if he's indeed content to sleeping outside--as he seems to be accustomed to, not to mention that this was his idea--then we would be happy to share one tent with Spidrift and allow Astrea the other, as is proper for a lady.
>>
No. 517756 ID: 0eef61
File 137154240102.png - (7.56KB , 800x600 , 47.png )
517756

After much wrangling ("Perhaps we could have a gentleman's tent with myself and milord and a ladies' tent with yourself and Oken!") Calidore eventually ends up outside.

I sleep in a tent with Spidrift, who wishes me a cheerful good evening, rolls over, and instantly begins to snore.

I admit that despite his unorthodox tendencies and his general air of menace, having him with me is a comfort, after a fashion. Out of all my companions, perhaps he is the only one with my best interests constantly at heart, as unnerving as that can be.
>>
No. 517757 ID: 0eef61
File 137154241481.png - (3.62KB , 800x600 , 48.png )
517757

I lie back and wait for a dream to take me.

Will Satan visit me?

Will I see Rebecca again?

Anticipation knots my throat.

But it slowly fades, and I simply grow drowsy.
Perhaps this evening will be the first night I shall simply rest.
>>
No. 517758 ID: 0eef61
File 137154245639.png - (12.95KB , 800x600 , 49.png )
517758

But outside, in the open night air, Calidore's dreams are anything but restful.

It is the same as it always is. He is running through the forest, clutching his saber in his intact right arm. His young, new-budded muscles twitch with adolescent clumsiness.

The Duke should be chasing him. He should be feeling the hunting dogs' teeth sink into his shoulder at any moment. But something is different.

Something in the air is very wrong, and he knows the Duke is not here in the forest with him.

She is.

With her jet fur and her wolf smile and the will-o-wisp eyes that pierced right through him and stared at every part of him he has hidden behind the helm and the coat and the jokes.

She is somewhere in the forest, twisting and frighting through the gnarled branches of the wood.

But why does he run? Why the sword?
Is he chasing her, or is she chasing him?

>>
No. 517761 ID: 9ddf68

>>517758
should it matter if she is chasing you or not, to chase down a demon is to chase down death itself but if she comes at you, you will show her you are no easy pray. You shouldn't fear her for if you do she has truly won.

(Also since when the hell did Calidore touch our placatory? did the Boss man just leave us in the wagon or something? In the middle of bandit country!? It's like he's trying to get us stolen)
>>
No. 517767 ID: f2c20c

>>517761
We spread to his allies, regardless of physical contact, it seems.

>>517758
I imagine Calidore would be chased, because he does not wish to have his secrets revealed. The sword is more to clear a path than it is to fight the demon, as to fight her directly would just get him in deeper shit.
>>
No. 517798 ID: 591152

>>517758
your secrets and not so dark that you must run from the demon that threatens to reveal them, are they? you know she is evil, chase her down.
>>
No. 517802 ID: d1d627

We flee, to avoid her from tracking us, the sword, is to clear our way through the tight, tangled underbrush and for general self-defense, though hopefully it won't come to that.
>>
No. 517839 ID: d59dc9

I'm not suggesting that you're gonna be running away like a little bitch. you're a mage. you're badass. deal with this shit.
>>
No. 517974 ID: 0eef61
File 137161367837.png - (7.46KB , 800x600 , 50.png )
517974

He runs from her.

The low branches tear at his clothes and the briars tangle his feet. He hacks at them with his saber, but he hears her.

He sees her.

She is in the trees, her tail switching back and forth. "Caaaalidoooore," she whispers, her voice like drizzling wax. "I see you, Calidore." She is on all fours, leaping gracefully from branch to branch. They remain perfectly still as she lights from them as if she were not even there. She is naked.

"Why are you running, Calidore? Are you afraid of me?" She laughs, low and smooth. "I can't hurt you, Calidore. I'm sworn not to, remember? C'mere."

>>
No. 517976 ID: 9ddf68

If she means us no harm then why does she chase us.

also is seems you can't outrun her so try and save some of your energy incase this turns into a fight... also you seem to be good at ice magic, can you create a fog or mist to hide yourself in? If you can't run hide, if you can't hide then all that is left is to fight.
>>
No. 517977 ID: 57a559

Why would coming there be in his best interests? We could just keep going and going and going until we're comfortable.
>>
No. 517978 ID: f2c20c

>>517974
Jerruv said she could not endanger your soul. This does not mean she cannot harm you in other ways.

Ask her what business she has in your dreams. Is she trying to expose your sin, as is the Demonic way?
>>
No. 517992 ID: 0eef61
File 137161700317.png - (9.69KB , 800x600 , 51.png )
517992

"If you mean me no harm why do you chase me?"

"Why do you run?" She laughs again, and vanishes once more into the woods.

"Jerruv said you cannot endanger me," says Calidore, gripping his saber. "You cannot endanger my soul."

"Jerruv can't see inside you, Thrillant Mage." The snap of a bramble.
"But I can."

From the dense forest, like a swooping trace of ink, she springs at him.

>>
No. 517994 ID: 35edd4

Interpose your saber and brace. She can't maneuver while in midair.

I hope.

If this doesn't turn into a fight, ask her what her point is. Don't let her get to you.
>>
No. 518000 ID: 57a559

The key here is crucial
Simply don't care
No matter how much she says you do

I could also try this
Please stop this Layla, we know you can hear us too. I don't know if Calidore can or if he thinks this is a part of him or whatever.
It's going to get annoying quick. And it's impolite.
>>
No. 518002 ID: f2c20c

>>517992
A penitent man would not fight the demon that comes to punish him for his sins.

It is time for your atonement, Calidore.
>>
No. 518006 ID: 0eef61
File 137162119933.png - (8.60KB , 800x600 , 52.png )
518006

Calidore brings the blade to bear but he is a boy. His form is clumsy. His magic is undeveloped. He can't help anyone, not even himself. He's too slow.

She pins him to the ground, crouching over him like a beast over its kill. Her grip is stunningly forceful.
"So strong," she purrs, squeezing his helpless swordarm. "So brave, you are. And so young. Younger than you want to be, aren't you, Calidore?"
She sits on his straining chest. She is soft as down, and round, and warm, and he must not think what he is thinking. "But you've been thinking it ever since you saw me, haven't you, Calidore?" she whispers. "What a burden you've placed on yourself. What sacrifices you have made to take what was yours, Calidore." She leans in and her smile is razors. He feels her hot breath on his face. "I see the blood on your hands. I know what you think. I see what you've done. I can find what you've hidden."
A hand creeps down his chest, ending at a point low enough to send an involuntary jolt across his shoulderblades.
"You're stronger than most of them. You're almost as strong as the one with the wooden mask, aren't you? You've spent so much time training and fighting and taking retribution. But you're so young, aren't you, Calidore?" Her tail brushes his stomach, back and forth. "There are things you haven't done yet, aren't there, Calidore?" Her eyes are burning. "Your masculinity. Your machismo. Your strength. You push yourself to the limit to prove yourself. You use it to take what you want. Position; power; revenge. But there are ways you haven't used it, aren't there, Calidore? There's something you've been missing, isn't there, Calidore?"

She bends down and breathes into his ear.
"I can help you."

>>
No. 518007 ID: 88ef92

>>518006
So can a number of other women.
Ones that aren't demons.

Get a damn hold of yourself Calidore, she's playing you for the fool.
You may be 'young' but you're old enough to control yourself, and your rage. Old enough to have lost an arm.

Think about your arm, find strength in it. You'll go on living until you can satisfy your needs in your own time.

Call out to god and he'll strengthen you
>>
No. 518011 ID: bf54a8

sanctus
>>
No. 518012 ID: f2c20c

>>518006
What the hell Layla! You said you were an inquisitor, not a succubus.

Calidore, you have a choice here. Get with a demon, or a fellow mage. Astrea is into you. It might be a good idea to enter a relationship with someone who doesn't want to rake you over the coals for the sins you have committed, just sayin'.
>>
No. 518013 ID: 19b3c3

Yeah, no.

Just no.
>>
No. 518016 ID: 9ddf68

"you're right, you can help me. You can get off of me"

remember what she said back on the wagon Calidore, "It is not the Demonic way to bring a good man to sin. It is the Demonic way to expose the sin that was there all along". She can't force you to sin but she said nothing about tempting someone and right now she is tempting you, don't fall for it
>>
No. 518027 ID: 0eef61
File 137162537098.png - (5.32KB , 800x600 , 53.png )
518027

"No," says Calidore.
"Yes," says Layla.
"You are not a succubus. You are an inquisitor."
"If you want me to stop," she whispers, "tell me to stop."

Calidore tries to say it. He tries to call for God.
But something black behind his tongue smothers the words before they come out. His lungs are as hollow as his waking prayers. Why can't he pray?
"You're a Sinner, Calidore Bruxhall." Layla hovers heartpoundingly close above him. His skin is hot and cold and pinpricking all at once. He is painfully, terrifyingly aroused. "I see a darkness. Hide it around everyone else, if you want, but you can't hide it from me. You don't need to hide it from me."

She inhales, and

>>
No. 518028 ID: 0eef61
File 137162538352.png - (5.34KB , 800x600 , 54.png )
518028

Calidore sits bolt upright with a drowning man's gasp.

He is covered in sweat. His heart is jackhammering against his ribs. His muscles strain. He pushes frantically with his right arm but he no longer has a right arm. There is nothing there, and no demoness before him. Only his own breath lancing out of him and the even, full-bellied saw of Spidrift snoring in the tent.
>>
No. 518030 ID: 57a559

Easy Cal, easy.
She's right, you're a sinner. Guess what? Who isn't. She's dumb. A dumb furry goat demon girl.

And if you do got a big fancy secret in your past well big deal, you can only make it a big deal so like, reflect on it, and chill about it. Maybe talk about it with someone you can trust to not turn it around in your face like Layla. We're here for you.
>>
No. 518031 ID: f2c20c

>>518028
Calidore. I think we deserve an explanation. What have you done?

Layla is around, probably. Invisible despite the party not being where she needs to be invisible. You can confess your sins, if you want. To her and to us.
>>
No. 518032 ID: c23ab0

I'm pretty sure the darkness in your heart does not coincide with your lust for a hot furry demon girl. Pretty sure. That'd be one lame sin, to pop a boner at a demon. Can you even boner as a revenant? A better sin would be like, you murdered an entire city state with agonising plagues and curses because you were wronged by your true love and wanted everyone to pay even the innocent. Now that's what I call a sin.
>>
No. 518033 ID: be05c1

off of him, layla, by word of our creator.
report back to our master for a scolding.

strength calidore. it's a test you must not fail.
>>
No. 518034 ID: 9ddf68

Calm down it was just a dream, a dream about a naked demon chick who you just so happen to be traveling with but a dream none the less.

And don't worry about what she has said, everyone has sinned and everyone is guilty of something and has some secrets they keep. But redemption is never out of reach and a sinful man can become a saint again if he tries.

Oh and if you start with that You are beyond salvation or some other bull crap along those lines I cane guarantee you that you can't even hold a candle to some of the people we've known and they have realize there mistakes and are seeking redemption and if they haven't given up then I'll be damned if you throw in the towel.
>>
No. 518061 ID: f29aa1

>>518034
She invaded his dream, perhaps with subconscious invitation, but only the Fae get a pass for that sort of lawyering.
>>
No. 518074 ID: d1d627

Take heart, you were able to resist her wiles. You could not pray then, but I suspect that dream was not entirely yours. If you seek out God, he will open the door for you, do not worry, Calidore.
>>
No. 518139 ID: 00d261

pray to God. your tongue will not be bound, and you will see that it was just a dream, and that all dreams must come to an end.
>>
No. 518158 ID: 5869f6

Do not worry,Calidore. For you have resisted temptation.
You are no sinner...
>>
No. 518718 ID: 0eef61
File 137187654885.png - (6.78KB , 800x600 , 55.png )
518718

Calidore stands up. He draws his coat around him. A walk will clear his head.

His conscience is clear. The demoness was trying to get the best of him.

Was it simply a dream? Should he tell Jerruv? What would he say?

He stops, a hundred paces from the tents. His eyes sweep the darkened horizon.

Is she out there now, watching him unseen?
>>
No. 518719 ID: 9ddf68

does it matter if she is out there? just keep your guard up and try and calm yourself. unless something life threatening come up it can wait until morning. And if you can't get back to sleep you can act as lookout for the group. I mean you are in bandit country right now so you have more to worry about then just demon harlots running around. Also on that note I suggest staying close to the tents.
>>
No. 518720 ID: 19b3c3

>Is she out there now, watching him unseen?
Would it matter? If she's not there, you're allowing your own paranoia to weaken yourself. If she is, you're letting her win by worrying about it.

There is nothing for her to see, and no reason for you to care. If she cannot or will not fight you directly, torturing yourself in this way only plays to her advantage.
>>
No. 518721 ID: f2c20c

>>518718
Your conscience is clear, eh? Well are you a virgin? If she had that right, she's probably right about you being a Sinner. Yet, what is sin, really? Do you even know? What happens to people that benefit the world and those around them, yet still wind up in Hell, hmm?

Maybe you need to find out. Talk to Layla in depth, ask her about that dream you just had. She is with the camp, that you can be sure of. Call out to her- you are far safer in the waking world.
>>
No. 518722 ID: 591152

>>518718
talk about it with jurev if you want it to stop, he can order her to stop after all.

nothing he can do about your past though, and that is something you will need to atone for yourself before this story is over.
>>
No. 518727 ID: 0eef61
File 137188165210.png - (7.86KB , 800x600 , 56.png )
518727

Calidore considers waking Jerruv, but he supposes he should wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow will be difficult, even with their new demonic follower.

He does not dare call her name.
He mutters a prayer. His voice is small and dry and muffled. It doesn't travel far across the plains.

He's on the right side. He's righteous. She's a demon.

But how did she know? About his experiences and his... inexperiences?
>>
No. 518728 ID: 0eef61
File 137188166657.png - (7.13KB , 800x600 , 57.png )
518728

Calidore's vacant sleeve flaps and flags in the night breeze. He looks to the sky.

He is trembling.

The moon is bulbous and low, crouched behind the clouds that sludge their way across the sky.
There are no stars. You see one or two sometimes, through the grey, but not with the frequency Calidore remembers in his youth.

Their fires haven't shined here for a while now.
>>
No. 518729 ID: 0eef61
File 137188167057.png - (190.75KB , 800x600 , 58.png )
518729

He wonders if that's why he feels so cold.
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