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961354 No. 961354 ID: 12b116

It's finally happened. You've taken the plunge. You're going to make something of yourself.

Now that your father and mother have passed away, you've exchanged all of your property to the Governor of Aldenhead for a note of value.

With this, you can purchase supplies and materials, hire some guards, and set out to become a traveling merchant, one of the only possible ways to move up in the world.

First, you'll have to decide what kind of goods you want to purchase for your first trip.

Gems are small and easy to transport, but they're also a very attractive target for thieves. They're essentially impossible to spoil, but it's a little hard to find good buyers for them. The return on investment is high.

Bread and grain is large and bulky, but brigands generally have no interest in them. They're somewhat easy to spoil. It's easy to find buyers, but the return on investment is low.

Fabrics are moderately bulky. They're somewhat attractive to thieves, and extremely easy to spoil. They're moderately easy to find buyers for. The return on investment is moderate.

What kind of goods will you transport? You've decided to pick only one thing, because it'll determine what else you need for your trip.
Expand all images
No. 961355 ID: 015bf2

Hum. Kinda wanna go with bread. Logistical difficulties aside, everyone needs to eat, and it’s a safer bet than the get rich quick schemes of gems and cloth. Once you have more riches on hand you could try your hand on smuggling more valuable materials alongside your cargo, with the knowledge that bandits expect you to have bread.
No. 961356 ID: 2aa5f0

So how do fabrics spoil? I mean I never really heard about silk or cotton rotting away in anything less then years?

>Bread and grain
now all we need to do is learn how to make alcohol and we can begin our journey as a beer baron!
No. 961357 ID: e51896

No. 961358 ID: a609f9

Fuck the cutie in the centre

Well, I would contest fabric being more easy to spoil than food, since if anything get to the goods, fabric could be at least somewhat clean or wash, while if dirt and and shit comes in contact with food, you can't really do anything.
But if that's the rules we're dealing with, let's go with grain. Gems are too risqué for the first voyage because of robbers and I don't trust handling something that spoils so easily on the first journey.
No. 961360 ID: e7c7d3


There are means to prevent bandits and thieves, but spoilage is inevitable loss in revenue
No. 961362 ID: 12b116
File 158653155475.jpg - (178.10KB , 1072x880 , e1m2.jpg )

>>Fabrics spoiling
If they get dirty or torn, their value goes down significantly. You can always just wipe the dirt off of bread and nobody will know!

You decide to make the safest bet and go with bread. They're large, heavy loves with a thick crust made pretty much everywhere.

You wait for the elf talking with the bread seller to leave, and then make your purchases. Elves have always creeped you out just a little.

Next, you'll have to choose where you want to go. You take out the probably somewhat accurate map you've found and consider your options.

Aldenhead is where you're living currently, at the mouth of the Alden river. People travel long distances to trade here, so by bringing goods to the smaller communities, you can charge a premium. That's the idea, anyway!

That being said, goods can be cheaply transported by river downstream from you, so there's no benefit in going down the river toward the capitol.

Croyd is upriver of you. It's a smallish farming community. it's the closest, least dangerous route with the worst return on investment for bread.

Poynton is up the road from Croyd. You don't really know much about it, because people generally don't travel down from there. It's the furthest away so it's probably an OK place to sell food?

Willow is nestled near some dense forest. The potential for brigandage along the way is high, but it's not that far and you'll be able to charge a good price for grain and bread.

Wick is past the Aubergine mountains through Gliff's Pass. It borders on a big desert and is part military outpost, you think. It's a dangerous route and fairly long, but you'll be able to get the best price for bread there.

Where do you want to go?
No. 961363 ID: d186fc

Before we decide, what is the going price for a small troupe of mercenaries? Also, what is our own degree of martial skill?
No. 961364 ID: 12b116

You'll hire mercenaries next. The price varies pretty widely. You have essentially no martial skill.
No. 961368 ID: b07f1c

I'd choose Willow and hire one of the cheapest mercenaries. Since we'll be carrying foodstuffs, brigands should be mostly uninterested in us, especially if we hire protection.

Wick carries the risk of the food spoiling and Croyd would probably not even pay for the travel expenses. Looking for new markets in Poynton also seems too risky as a starting trip.
No. 961369 ID: 015bf2

Willow. It's a short round trip that nets you a decent pirce, and unless they're starving for-profit brigands would not be keen on dying for small gains, which means a small escort should be fine (or at least give you negotiating grounds if you get outnumbered).

That said, you might want to invest in shields or anti-archery gambits for your escort. Forested areas are ideal ambush spots.
No. 961370 ID: 12b116
File 158653397251.jpg - (645.74KB , 1399x870 , e1m3.jpg )

You decide to go to Willow. It's the closest, and you're transporting bread, so it's probably mostly safe.

Next are guards. Three groups are hanging out near the edge of town, advertising their services.

Three Dwarves are hanging around. They have expensive armor and weapons and look professional. They'll probably be the priciest.

A Group of Humans are looking bored nearby. They have cheap equipment (gambesons and spears) other than the commander, who has some armor and a sword. She's tall and competent-looking, at least. They'll probably be the cheapest.

A War Wizard and her War Wolf are there too. War Wolves are constructs that the wizards create, and they're extremely powerful, but if the wizard loses control of them they're dangerous for everybody. She'll probably be between the other two, price-wise.

You have enough to hire both the War Witch and the humans, although that would leave you with almost no ready coin and no equipment for yourself, if you wanted anything.

You can also go Talk To any of them before you make a decision, which might be a good idea.
No. 961371 ID: b07f1c

I'd usually go with the hunams but... hnggg I can't say no to that War Wolf. Go talk to the War Wizard and ask her for her CV. And her experience with the wolf.
No. 961372 ID: a609f9

Obviously talk with all of them, but I am being contrarian and so far think we should go with big group, it's not ver danferous trip and we save the most. Dwarves as the second choice so far, they're probably interesting fellows to talk to and the high price is better than being torn to shreds because someone lost control of the bitch.
No. 961373 ID: 87aeb9

Talk to dwarves. See if you can hire only one of them or if they’re a group package.
No. 961374 ID: 87aeb9

Al you want is bandit deterrence, after all. A professional who looks like they could severely punish someone without getting taken out by a lucky arrow would be best.
No. 961375 ID: d88d26

Of course you have to talk to them to at least have an idea of their motives and trustworthiness.
Even if your merchandise isn't attractive for bandits you will be at the mercy of your own guards and they may decide to remove you from the transaction.
Not sure how tough merchants would be seen, but my guess is that the humans would have an easier time presenting one of their own as the merchant, the dwarfs may go either way and the wizard would look really suspicious selling bread.

As a preliminary decision the humans should suffice to dissuade bandits from stealing bread, if you can trust them.
The dwarfs look cool but overkill. Their professional air suggest they may value their reputation more than easy profit though.
The bdsm duo are tempting but you can't make financial decisions with your lower head. She might be worth if the humans sound risky.
No. 961376 ID: 12b116
File 158653743109.jpg - (139.89KB , 872x559 , e1m4.jpg )

You hadn't really considered the possibility that the guards you'd hired would try to rob you, but you're now considering it for sure. You decide to go talk to the dwarves first. You don't know much about dwarves other than they prefer hot, dry climates. You also heard a rumor that their blood is poisonous but you don't know if that's actually true.

As you walk towards them, the one on the box addresses you.

[i]"I am Aegin Bolumbas, and my company have never lost a client to bandits and raiders. We normally guard travelers going to Wick, but we will take any job currently."

You explain your business and sure enough, they're exactly as pricey as you expected. You ask about hiring just one of them.

"We are a family, and this is our source of business. My wife, daughter and I work together to protect one another and our clients from harm."

Looks like it's all or nothing, then. Since you're here, you ask about the other two groups.

"I wouldn't trust those humans to not panic in a fight. They call themselves the Skull Splitters. Their commander is Caioran Cander and she is a former soldier who knows what she's doing, but I think her companions are untrained warm bodies she could put armor on."

When you ask about the war witch, he spits on the ground in disdain and says nothing further.

Do you want to
Ask something else
Hire the Bolumbases
Talk to the Skull Splitters
Talk to the War Witch
No. 961377 ID: c2f1f6

I'm thinking talk with the humans. A safe bet, enough to deter the kind of bandit who'd attack a caravan for food, without driving you broke.
No. 961378 ID: b07f1c

Hmm. Skull Splitters would probably allow you to hire only one of them, but that one would probably not be the leader herself, since her group needs her for, well, leadership. If what this dwarf says is true, hiring a poorly equipped and untrained person would be the same as not hiring anyone at all. So it's again all or nothing.

Go talk to the War Witch. Ask her why she'd despised and stuff.
No. 961379 ID: d88d26

Numbers have a value by themselves.

Say goodbye to the dwarfs and thank for the advice. Their sale pitch is good but you can't afford for this trip. You will keep in mind for the future.

Let's hear what the Skull Splitters have to say.
No. 961380 ID: 38fa72

Maybe see if there are other travelers first, going to the same destination as you? Splitting the costs could afford the Bolumbases...
No. 961381 ID: a609f9

Yeah talk with the Skull Splitters now, tho Bolumbases might be a good option after you're more secured in funds.
Also this, plus ask about human group reputation some more
No. 961382 ID: 12b116
File 158654169207.jpg - (144.76KB , 761x585 , e1m5.jpg )

>>Ask more about human reputation before you move on
The dwarf explains that the commander has a reputation. The rest of them don't. He posits that she possibly recurited them from behind a tavern, although you feel like he's probably exaggerating. "I've travelled with Caoiran before," he says. "She's competant. I don't gossip, so I couldn't tell you why she's no longer a soldier, but she's skilled."

You consider splitting the cost with other travellers. You don't know of any, but it doesn't hurt to ask the dawrf.

You ask if anybody else has approached him, or if he knows any groups getting together to travel toward Willow. He says he hasn't heard anything as of yet.

You thank Aegin for his time and move down the row toward the Skull Splitters.

You can see her glancing sideways at the War Witch until it's clear you're walking toward her, then she turns to you.

"Yeah?" She says. If she wasn't sitting down, she'd definitely be taller than you. She's taller than the men behind her for sure.

You explain your business while she looks at you with cool, blue eyes.

"We can handle that," she says with very little elaboration, when you're done.

The price is just about as cheap as you expected it to be.

While you're here, you ask about the other two mercenary groups.

"Bolumbas and his people are incredibly skilled, but to be honest, the more people you have with you, the less likely bandits are to take a chance with you. The dwarves would definitely avenge your untimely death after a bandit arrow suddenly grows from your eye socket." She taps her cheek, just below the eye.

When you ask about the War Witch, she shudders. "I don't think any bandits would fuck with that, to be honest, but, ah," she pauses and then leans a little closer, lowering her voice. "Would you really want to travel with that thing? I hear they make them out of corpses. And magic is spooky shit. I hear it makes you sterile." She winks and then leans back.

You also ask if anybody is travelling to Willow that you know of. She doesn't know of anybody, but seems to appreciate that you asked the question.

Do you want to
Ask something else
Hire the Skull Splitters
Talk to the War Witch
No. 961384 ID: a9af05

I doubt that'll work. Because if the Bolumbases have to protect more than one client at a time, they'll end up increasing their price because it would end up being more of an effort for them to do their job.
No. 961385 ID: b07f1c

War Witch~
Let's see what she's got to say.
No. 961386 ID: 015bf2

Shrug and tell Caorian that if you took an arrow with the dwarves, you'd probably still take an arrow with her gang, but point taken. Does she have any recommendations for personal armor that a relatively inexperience fighter might want to wear to protect against such mishaps?

If we had decided to go to Wick instead of Willow, I'd have said hire the dwarves.

If we go with just the Skull Splitters or just the War Witch we can buy some personal protection.

Should probably talk with the War Witch just to see if her prices are more reasonable than we thought and ask if her control of War wolf is any good.
No. 961387 ID: ce39da

She raises some good points about the intimidation factor, especially since our product isn't very appealing. I'm thinking we might go with the human squad for this trip. Still, best to get a third opinion out of the witch before we lock in our decision.
No. 961388 ID: d88d26

That doesn't tell us much about how they work...
If she doesn't mind talking about herself ask about her line or work, her military past and the formation of this mercenary band.


No, she is saying that bandits are less likely to pick a fight with a large group than a small one. Witch is good for a squish merchant that may look like an easier target than the heavy armored dwarfs.

Her insight on what bandits are likely to do can be very useful but is also a concerning sign. Ask for advice for what you personally could do to be less noticeable to marauders.

The comment about no bandit be willing to engage with that thing also picked my interest. How does she know? What is that thing capable of doing?
No. 961389 ID: b1b4f3

I wanna talk to the War Witch, just to ask who usually hires her. What situation does she work well in?
No. 961393 ID: 12b116
File 158654654872.jpg - (221.34KB , 1121x848 , e1m6.jpg )

You tell Caorian that you're not convinced her group could keep your eyes arrow-free (even though she makes a good point,) and she just shrugs and smiles. You ask if she has any advice for personal equipment you should buy, and she says she'll be sure to offer her advice once you've hired her.

You ask about her history. She says she served the capital as a soldier for three years and chose not to continue when the most recent campaign ended six months ago. She was given a farm and a stipend, but couldn't "settle down," so she sold her farm, bought gear, hired men and has worked a few jobs guarding various things. She's a bit light on the details, but it doesn't really sound suspicious, per se.

When you ask what you could do to be less noticable to marauders, she tells you she'd be more than willing to offer her professional advice once you've hired her.

She seems disappointed and frowns slightly when you tell her you're still deciding who to hire, and even more displeased when you walk up to the War Witch, who stands up when you get close.

You the dog-smell of the War Wolf is quite strong, especially up close, although there's also some perfume that's been applied either to the witch or the wolf to try and mask it somewhat. Lavender? It smells like lavender to you.

"Well met," the woman says when you approach her. "My name is Kilbeth Tere, sanctified War Wizard." She lifts her mantle a bit, pulling out a heavy silver amulet. As far as you know, it's legit? The giant construct behind her is much better proof, in your opinion. You do notice she's wearing a metal breastplate under her mantle and tabbard.

You explain your business to her.

"I'd love to offer you our assistance," she says. The price she offers you is much cheaper than you'd expected. Only a little more than the Skull Splitters.

You can't help but glance at the thing behind her. Its heavy leather armor is covered in scrapes and gashes and its chains clink and clatter as it breathes. It stares down at you with shining golden eyes, and intense and unreadable gaze.

"Not much experience with War Wolves?" she asks. You've literally never seen one up close before.

"Buttermilk and I are connected on a spiritual level. She's essentially a little part of my soul. There's actually no danger whatsoever from her. I'm required to keep her shackled in town by law, but there's no actual risk of harm here. You can pet her if you'd like."

Why not? You ask her about the other mercenary groups.

"I don't know either of them at all. They haven't been sociable with me." She grins. "That's not unusual. People tend to be deeply afraid of a War Wizard's power. I was hired along with some others to root out a group of bandits in the mountains west of here and have successfully completed that task. I've only been here a day. They were all here when I arrived."

You ask her what kind of jobs she normally takes.

"Normally, I'm hired as part of an enforcement action, but nothing is more intimidating than a War Wolf, so I've worked as personal protection as well." She pats Buttermilk on the thigh. I've been a War Wizard for two years and have done well for myself."

If you hire the dwarves, you'd be able to afford poor equipment for yourself.
If you hire the skull splitters or the war witch, you'd be able to buy nice personal equipment, and if you hired both, you'd be able to buy medium-quality personal equipment.

Do you want to
Ask something else
Hire the War Witch
Hire the Dwarves
Hire the Skull Splitters
Hire the Skull Splitters and the War Witch
No. 961396 ID: b07f1c

Lol, Buttermilk. That would certainly be a topic for the travels.

Hire the War Witch. As it's been said, the intimidation factor of the wolf alone would be enough safety from all but the most determined bandits. Also, I'm distrustful of the Skull Splitters.

Altho, you'll probably need to keep her away from the goods due to the smell haha. Uhh, rub the wolf's chin a bit?
No. 961399 ID: a609f9

Well, I'll be boring and say we go with Caoiran and her greens, I don't trust just two years of being a war mage enough to travel with a kill machine, plus, think about it as a merchant, even mercenaries wary of her, so how's regular people and other merchants would react at you having the mage and her murder wolf tailing you around?
Tho I also would consider talking in Aldenhead's mercantile circles a bit about how you're going with Skull Splitters to Willow, so if Caoiran has shady past and unsavoury buisness practice, she would think twice about pulling any tricks and risking ruining her reputation.
No. 961400 ID: 21ac91

Skull Splitters and the War Witch (is the name of my new prog metal band).
No. 961402 ID: d88d26

A piece of her soul? So the danger isn't she losing control over a wild beast but losing control of herself.

The distrust surrounding this monster means you will arrive at your destination with a guilt by association reputation. You got no useful information from others and have no base to judge if what she is saying is true or not. Her job description sound less appropriate for guarding anything and more like a target hunting service.

The Skull Splitters seem like the logical choice, but damn I want to learn more about this war wolf.

Be a rational person and use the money you acquire by selling everything you own for a safe business model. You can't just risk everything because witchcraft look cool.
... So sad...
No. 961408 ID: 015bf2

Ask her what your options are if, perish the thought, she loses control. Run? Hide? Fight?

You're only carrying bread. You shouldn't splurge on both the Skull Splitters and War Witch.

And with the War Witch being cheaper... I'd say go with her. High intimidation factor, low overhead.
No. 961409 ID: b07f1c

Ask her why do there seem to be bad rumors surrounding War Witches.
No. 961412 ID: 12b116
File 158655199843.jpg - (432.32KB , 1405x727 , e1m7.jpg )

You're so extremely curious about the War Wolf. You even think about scratching its chin, but even if you stretched your arm all the way over your head, there's no way you could reach its chin.

You ask her what you should do if she loses control.

"Curl into a ball and don't make eye contact. Definitely don't try to run or make any aggressive gestures," she says seriously. "But that's extremely unlikely to happen.

You ask her why people seem to dislike War Witches.

"We have a mysterious power and cause massive casualties, so it makes sense." she says.

You do a big think. It seems like most people are afraid of the War Wolf, so it might not make the best impression if you come into a town with one. In the end, the human mercenaries are the best and cheapest choice.

You go back to Caoiran and she cheers right back up, especially when you tell her you want to hire her. She stands, squeezing your shoulder lightly with a gloved hand.

"You made the right choice!" she says. Only one more stop.

The dry goods store. You've known Beth your whole life. She was good friends with your parents, although she's closer to your age. She greets you joyfully when you enter.

"Finally crawling out of your cocoon?" she asks. "Let's see what kind of butterfly you turn into."

The first thing you do is explain where you're going and who you hired, and you make sure Caoiran can hear you saying it. If she or her men intend to stab you in the kidneys and steal your bread (or any gear you buy, or any loose coin you have left over) there's a reasonably good chance it will be bad for her reputation at least, if she pretends you were waylaid by bandits or something. Or if you actually get waylaid by bandits.

"Well, I've seen her around some," Beth says. "None of those boys she got are local, though, so it's smart to be cautious.

You also ask her if she's heard anything about the road to Willow.

"Fairly dangerous," she says, looking worried. "The Capitol needs to send proper soldiers down to deal with it. But it's been dry lately, weather-wise, so I wouldn't worry about the wagon getting stuck."

Now, you have some buying decisions to make.

You have a long knife and travelling clothes, a heavy cloak, bedding and a tent. You have enough food and water to get to Willow, and you have 400¤ remaining.

Caoiran reccomends a gambeson and a spear as the easiest things to wear and use. You'd also be outfitted very similarly to her men, so you'd stand out less as a target.

For Sale

An extra day of food & feed.....10¤
A padded Gambeson..............100¤
A Coat of Plates...............200¤
A hardened cudgel...............30¤
A Spear........................100¤
A Smallsword...................200¤
Spare Wagon Parts..............100¤

You can also
Ask Beth or Caoiran about anything specific
No. 961414 ID: 0fae41

Her advice seems sound, but you might want a simple cudgel too. Don't forget spare wagon parts.
No. 961415 ID: c2f1f6

A gambeson sounds good, but I'd skip the spear if you don't know how to manage it. The knife you've got is probably fine. Grab an extra day of food as well, just in case.
No. 961416 ID: 015bf2

Sounds like sound advice. Buy a gambeson, spear, two days of extra food and spare wagon parts.
No. 961419 ID: b1b4f3

Blending in with the mercs is an excellent idea. Go with that set of equipment.
Long knife is fine as a sidearm.

Spare wagon parts... might as well. Gonna need them eventually, even if this route isn't likely to cause problems.

Get an extra day of food and feed, just in case.
No. 961420 ID: b07f1c

I don't see any Holy Water, Antidote and Bandages. And Shovels. Need those to clear the blockages, otherwise the party gets a lot of stress.

Anyway, food, gambeson, spare wagon parts.

Are any of these items that you could also sell in Willow? If so, there would be no loss in getting extra.

>a big think
If people are afraid of the War Wolf, we could simply have left them outside the village. Also, we could hire them in secret and have them stealthily follow the caravan, so if something went wrong, they could jump in to assist.
No. 961424 ID: d88d26

Buy gambeson, spare parts and a little more extra food than the necessary.
I remember something about caring twice as much food as you gonna need, but just two or three days extra should be enough for most non-lethal eventualities.
Since you have guards your weapon will be mostly to gain time by paring attacks or threatening enemies. The cudgel would be nice but a long knife should suffice.
No. 961433 ID: a609f9

Obvious choice of gambeson and spare parts, plus three days of provision, just in case. Go with cudgel, since it leaves more of spare funds.
Ask more about Willow, specifically what does it produce and what can you acquire there what could sell well back in Aldenhead.
No. 961434 ID: 12b116
File 158655631830.jpg - (268.02KB , 1285x974 , e1m8.jpg )

Taking Caoiran's advice (that you're glad you asked for earlier,) you purchase the following:

A Padded Gambeson
A Spear
Wagon Parts
Two extra days of food and feed

That leaves you with 80¤ in coins.

You make sure one is a 20¤ coin, and stuff it in your boot, just like your momma told you. That way you can hand over your money pouch and still have something left is worst comes to worst.

And now it's time to set out! It's still morning. All of your chores and business didn't take more than a few hours, so there's plenty of daylight left.

Caoiran helps you put the gambeson on, and it sort of reminds you of your mom helping you get dressed when you were a kid. It feels a little bit demeaning, especially considering she's taller than you, and you think you see a few of her men snickering.

She helps you up on the wagon and then introduces everyone. The five spearmen are named Daliann, Croft, Kevwar, Solim and Willin and you think you know which is which, although with their gear on, they look fairly similar.

As you begin to travel through town, the heavy gambeson becomes increasingly uncomfortable, and you start to sweat almost immediately. Better than being killed, you suppose, and the cool weather helps somewhat.

You and your men leave the town and set out through the feilds, taking the eastern road to Willow. You and your hired guards, and your wagon full of your bread, are about to travel further than you've ever gone before. You see the tall tree that you were told not to go past as a child, and your heartbeat quickens.

This is the beginning of your grand adventure!

You think about how you want to spend your time as you travel.

You can
Be vigilant and keep your eyes on the men
Chat with the men and get to know them better, which neccessitates lowering your guard somewhat. You'd also have to think about what you'd try to talk with them about.
Chat with Caoiran but keep your distance from the men. You'd also have to think about what to talk with her about.
Just zone out and enjoy yourself as you travel. It'll be a few days before you get to the forest anyway. Enjoy the scenery while you can!
No. 961435 ID: 12b116

You know Willow relatively well. Pelts are probably the best thing to buy there.
No. 961436 ID: 12b116

Probably pausing here for now! Feel free to suggest in the mean time!
No. 961438 ID: b07f1c

Ask every guard for a full disposition dump, on every person they know and every moment of their life and their opinion on every subject from politics to religion.

Nah, just zone out. Lest you get hemorrhoids from clenching your butt too much due to worries of your first travel.
No. 961441 ID: a609f9

Well, with pretty big group and because otherwise it would be too boring one might relax a bit and chat with the men a bit, perhaps about lives as mercenaries and about their captain.

Also obligatory Inspect Pants, so we'll know whenever pester you to let us stick in the next character thread will fancy or be sticked in by them.
No. 961442 ID: d88d26

If you stay on guard all the way you may avoid one of the guards stealing food, but if they turn against you there is nothing to be done.

Your priority should be developing a friendly relation with those people. Talk to the men, laugh at their jokes ask what they like to do.
The friendly talk include Caoiran, of course. Continuing your previous conversation ask abut why she couldn't settle as a farmer, if she does have any advice in dealing with bandits and what does she know about that weird war wolf.
No. 961446 ID: 015bf2

Chat with Caoiran about what she knows of these lands. Surely a soldier like her has a story or two, and has garrisoned a town or three.
No. 961452 ID: 2aa5f0

>Chat with the men

Ask what made them become mercenaries and how they met their leader?

Figure if we're going to be doing any talking now is the time to do it while we're still close to town as later on I don't think it will be wise to distract our men since bandits might be afoot.
No. 961455 ID: ce39da

Maybe apologize about considering the war wolf over her; you wanted to interview all potential hires before making a decision, and you wanted to make a point of being thorough since it’s your first time.

Meanwhile, ask around about if people have been to Willow, and if so, what are they known for producing?
No. 961464 ID: 0fae41

Chat with Caoiran about Willow.
No. 961469 ID: d63ea8

Whichever choice you make, keep an eye on your surroundings.

You'll need time to react if the weather changes or figures appear on the horizon.
No. 961497 ID: 386f86

Talk with Caoiran awhile, ask to hear some stories from her time in the army, maybe see if she’s willing to offer any advice to help if you ever get in a fight.
No. 961598 ID: 15a025

Chat with the group and ask them about Willow. See if any of them know what the place is like or if by chance they know what the economy is there.
No. 961703 ID: 12b116
File 158673035626.jpg - (217.82KB , 1000x608 , e1m9.jpg )

You spend a little time enjoying the scenery, but mostly you talk to the men and get to know them.

Willin is from Arlesden, a place you aren't familiar with. He survived a sickness that swept through recently, but most people there didn't. He left, and signed up with the Skull Splitters when he saw they were recruiting. He's fairly reserved.

Solim is a farmer's son from Croyd. Mercenary work seemed a better option than continuing on as a farmer's son. His positive attitude is infectious and makes everyone feel a little better.

Kevwar is from Rawtry, which is apparently further west past Wick. He readily admits he was a shiftless drunk, and was politely encouraged to leave after his third time in the stocks. He signed up with the Skull Splitters somewhat shortly thereafter in another town. He says he's sworn off liquor since he joined and his life is much improved. You can never quite tell if he's being sarcastic or not, he just has one of those voices.

Croft was living in Hadley when he joined, another place you've never heard of, although he says he's traveled extensively. The other members of the band inform you that he signed up to get out of Hadley surreptitiously after the mayor discovered Croft's things in his wife's bedchamber. He has the good grace to pretend to look embarrassed when they tell the story.

Dalian's father was a soldier. Rather than follow in his footsteps, as soon as she was old enough, she looked for mercenary work. She says she has a lot more freedom than she would as a soldier. She seems good-natured, but a little nervous.

All of them say they chose Caoiran over anybody else because she provided equipment and literally took anyone who applied as long as they had all their limbs and most of their digits. Plus she's nice and has kept them all safe so far. A few other people have joined and left for various reasons, and you learn that, indeed, although they've done jobs before, they've never had to actually kill anyone and their fights have consisted of drubbing drunks while guarding various places and persons at festivals. Caoiran has personally trained them all to be competent with their weaponry.

You ask everyone about Willow. Croft has been there before and says it's a smallish community and their economy consists mostly of hunting and curing hides. Most people there have a dispensation to hunt freely in the forest, and they're rather strict with poachers. It looks like you'll do very well selling bread there, and you'll be able to trade for hides and leather, which tend to be fairly valuable and easy to sell.

Kevwar says there's a lot of elves there and proceeds to talk about elf eggs, which you're pretty sure aren't a thing.

Caoiran also chats with you, although you spend more time getting to know the others. Caoiran echoes what Croft said about Willow: hunting community mostly. She says that the forests are incredibly dangerous, mostly from banditry, but they're mostly looking for easy marks and with a wagon of bread and seven armed folk, you won't be a prime target.

"If we do get attacked," Caoiran says when you ask if she has any advice, "Just hide under the wagon and let us do what you're paying us for. No sense in getting killed. That's our job." and she winks, grinning.

You ask her about why she couldn't settle down, and she says that firstly, she doesn't know the first thing about farming, and secondly, she just feels like she's doing what she's meant to do when she's got a weapon in her hand and metal strapped to her body.

You ask her for stories from her time in the war, and also ask about the weird war wolf. It's night time when you're talking, campfire glinting off the sword in her lap while she sharpens and oils it.

"That's a normal war wolf," she says, getting uncomfortably close to you as she talks. "I've seen them in action more than once, and they're horrifying. They heal almost instantly from most wounds. You can hear their flesh knitting back together, a wet, sick sound that's a whole lot like the sound they make when they tear people apart with their teeth or whatever's strapped to their hands." Her eyes are wide, and you can smell her sweat. You shudder involuntarily.

"The War Witches feel what the Wolves feel. The bloodlust and thirst for living flesh that possesses their monsters belongs to them. Even when they're not controlling their monsters, I've seen a look in their eyes, like the people around them are so much meat. Otherwise, why would their monsters go berserk if they lose focus? It's their own hunger for flesh and thirst for blood that they're suppressing!"

You feel slightly sick, jumping at every little sound, before she slaps you on the back, laughing.

"No worries though. Bandits don't have War Wolves." Her face becomes serious again, "but all that stuff I just told you is one hundred per cent true."

And that's mostly what happens while you travel.

Is there anything else you would have wanted to ask anyone in particular?
Is there anyone you want to spend more time with or focus on?

I'll leave this to percolate since it's just a massive infodump. There might be another short update during the week.
No. 961709 ID: b07f1c

You should make your mission to destroy all the elf eggs in the world.

I don't doubt Caoiran saw War Wolves in action, but the way she talks about them sounds like she doesn't personally know any War Witches, so the info that she knows was probably told to her by some 3rd person. In other words, it's likely not 100% true as she claims.

I'm not sure if there's much value in getting to know these guys personally as we'll probably hire a different bunch sooner or later. I would assume they're only hired to protect you while traveling, not waiting in town for us to sell our goods, which could take days or even weeks. I certainly wouldn't pay them to do that heh, so it makes sense for them to find someone else to protect right away.

However, it wouldn't hurt getting on their good side. If you have some skills, you could use them to impress them, for instance, if you're good at cooking, you could cook a nice warm stew for them or something. But in general try to treat them as well as possible, even at the slight loss of profit.

I wouldn't really focus on anyone, but I'd try getting past Willin's silence since he looks smarter than the rest.

You could also ask Caoiran more about her life as a soldier. And if she could give you a few blade-handling tips.

(hardly an infodump at all, but update at the pace you're comfortable with; also it's fine as long as events happen and the story keeps progressing at a reasonable rate)
No. 961718 ID: 2aa5f0

well since we're in bandit territory now it might be wiser to keep an eye on your surroundings just to be safe. While you might not be a prime target to an outside observer you may look like a military escort which someone might mistake your cargo as something more valuable than bread. After all I'm sure your product is sealed in creates and you yourself are dressed as one of the mercs you hired to protect you sooo... Still unlikely to get hit but still possible you might be targeted by someone desperate or foolish.
No. 961734 ID: d88d26

If the trip is complete uneventful you should buy those guys some drinks.

How frequently are the guards employments and the traveling merchants comings and goings in general and in Willow specifically? Can they expect to find new employment soon after completing this job? Will there be guards available for hire when we decide to depart?

I understand that the change of cargo from bread to pelts will increase the danger for the return trip, so it make sense to look for more combat capable guards, but we will have to trust our life to yet another group after our current guards prove themselves trustworthy. We should confirm our options before finalizing our cooperation.
No. 961775 ID: 12b116
File 158678255745.jpg - (236.47KB , 1000x628 , e1m10.jpg )

You choose to take what Caoiran is saying with a bit of skepticism. She probably don't know what War Witches think and feel, not being one and all. And the one you met certainly didn't seem like she was barely containing an overwhelming bloodlust.

You do know the folks you hired had been waiting a few days before you hired them, so if you use the same routes over and over, you'll probably end up seeing them again if they stay in the area.

You think about trying to impress them with your skills, but unfortunately, your skills, although incredibly useful, aren't particularly flashy.

You can read and write extremely quickly and well, you can do figures and mathematics, and your memory is fairly sharp. You're especially good with remembering names and faces, and tend to have a fairly good sense of direction.

You ask Caoiran for any blade-handling tips, and she shows you how to hold your spear properly, which you'd pretty much understood already. She reiterates that you should actually just hide under the wagon if your party gets attacked by bandits, though.

Your breads are all actually just sat in the back of the wagon. They're big, with thick, rock-hard crusts. You do have the big piece of oilcloth you use for your tent strapped over them though. In case it rains. You've mostly just put your bedroll under the wagon and slept there. The weather has been very nice.

You consider spending a little money on the Skull Splitters if your trip to Willow is uneventful. Even if you never hire them again, it'll probably help your reputation as a reliable employer.

You think about what you know about guards and traveling merchants. Generally, toughs and mercenaries are hired to protect groups of travelers, most of whom aren't merchants, at least not in the same way you are. The artisans in a town would all pitch in to hire some guards if they (or more likely, their apprentices) need to travel elsewhere to sell their goods for a better price and purchase things that aren't easy to buy where they live. They'd also be hired to protect wealthy people who travel alone, although many of those people could have their own personal guards or mercenary groups on retainer.

Anyone traveling to or from Willow will definitely hire guards, so there should be an array of people to hire when you get there. It's probably likely that you'll be able to rehire the Skull Splitters if you want to.

As you near the forest, something happens

A lone figure rises from the tall grass on the side of the road, very very obviously an elf. The elf waves frantically and smiles, addressing you as your group moves closer.

"Well met, traveler!" the elf says in a smooth, silky voice, somewhere in between the pitch and tone you'd think of as masculine or feminine.

You can see a bit of tension at the corners of its mouth though.

"I have an unfortunate problem. The group I was traveling with to Willow left me behind before they entered the forest. I expected them to wait for me here, but when I arrived, I learned they'd already departed. I don't think they waited at all!" The elf's smile becomes even more forced, despite the attempt at a cheery tone.

"As I've heard the forests here are quite dangerous, I've been camping here for most of a week waiting for some travelers who would be willing to let me accompany them. I'd be happy to pay you for your service," the elf cuts its eyes away for a split second, "After we reached Willow. Because I don't have any coin on me whatsoever, and it is instead in Willow, so there's no reason to do anything other than take me with you or leave me be." Ok, so the elf clearly has some concerns about being murdered by you or your people.

Do you want to
Ask the elf anything
Take the elf with you
Leave the elf alone
Something else

All of your companions seem rather neutral. When you look at Caoiran, she shrugs, clearly unconcerned.
No. 961778 ID: b07f1c

Ask Caoiran if elf meat fetches good price. If so, tell her to slaughter the elf and cut it into a thousand pieces.

Alternatively... ask the elf, if their group was going to wait for it, why is it naked? And to take off its cloak. Need to check it for any weapons, after all.
No. 961780 ID: b07f1c

Actually, this is something that we, as a mechant, should know. Do we recall knowing anything about the market price of elf meat?
No. 961784 ID: 2aa5f0

ask the elf why they wouldn't travel to Aldenhead and try to hop aboard a group heading towards willow there? Sure it's a bit more of a trip for the elf but willow is infamous for it's bandit problem and camping outside of the woods asking to join a passing carven does make it look a bit sketchy.

Also why were they left behind.

pretty sure that killing the elf would be considered murder and would more than likely put a bounty on our head at the very least. What, seeing how we saw one back in the village we were at when we were deciding if we wanted to ship grain, fabric, or gems... and how Willow was said to be primarily an elf settlement.
No. 961787 ID: ce39da

Ask what he has under that cloak. If he's got literally nothing, then he clearly wasn't telling us everything about his "companions," and is likely fearing for his life for a different reason; next, simply ask "could you point out where they're hiding?"

If he does have a weapon, simply ask if it's okay to confiscate it, and use that to determine whether you take him along.
No. 961788 ID: d63ea8

At this point it is difficult to whether or not his forced cheerfulness is just him trying to be polite in a bad situation or that he's trying to lead us into an ambush.

I agree that we should confiscate his weapon.

Let's take him with us for now, but keep an eye on how he acts.
If the looks relieved then it was just stress.
If he starts to get more tense, then we might have a problem.
No. 961802 ID: b1b4f3

Well, we're already going on a preset route, so the elf can't lead us anywhere. However, if the elf is a bandit they could potentially backstab someone as combat starts. So yeah, offer to take them along, but disarmed. You can carry its weapon yourself, and hand it over as you hide at the start of combat, so that everyone is alert by the time it's armed. Or just keep the weapon in the cart, should take long enough for the elf to reach it that the mercs will get a warning.

If the elf refuses to hand over its weapon, then tell it to just stay at the edges of the group so that someone can see it at all times.
No. 961805 ID: d88d26

Please don't make weird comments. Even in a joking tone you will sound like a psycho if you talk about butchering a person.

They (gender neuter, not plural) are almost naked camping near the road in an open field. Unless this is a cultural thing this look like someone who got robed of everything but a blanket. Assuming this is abnormal, either they are lying or the thing they were doing when they though their group would wait was bathing. I can't be sure because the other elf wasn't wearing pants either.

If this is an ambush how would join the group help? They (gender neuter, not plural) would be in very vulnerable position if a fight started. Would the effort be worth compared to attacking with the rest of the group?
I would understand if this conversation was a distraction and the bandits were hiding near ready to attack (keep your eyes on the nearest trees), but in this case I wouldn't expect this elf to be in an open space.
They could be planing to sabotage your wagon so you would have no choice but stay immobile or abandon your belongs. How would they damage the wagon under the surveillance of so many guards I don't know. Maybe they will try something when you sleep. If they get cough doing so this would be a very vulnerable position to be. Probable not worth the effort when a similar result could be achieved by hiding a trap capable of damaging the wheels.

It's probable fine to let this elf tag along. Confiscating their (gender neuter, not plural) weapon is an option. Alternatively they could follow ahead or behind the group.
No. 961808 ID: b07f1c

Well, killing the elf was clearly a joke. That's why I provided a more serious "alternative" suggestion to that.
No. 961809 ID: d88d26

I get it. I'm just afraid the protagonist would say it aloud.
No. 961830 ID: 12b116
File 158681781163.jpg - (259.54KB , 1000x959 , e1m11.jpg )

You aren't particularly shocked by the elf's state of (un)dress. Apparently, elves are much more tolerant of heat and cold, and you've never seen one scuffed or scarred up, so they mostly walk around wearing very little. You've heard that they don't wear anything in elf-only communities (which, thankfully, Willow is not.)

But you still need to see what's under the cloak. When you ask, the elf is quick to comply in a perhaps over-dramatic fashion. You know elves don't have nipples or navels, so that's not shocking, and so you continue to have no idea if this one is male or female.

You do see the rather nice sword, which the elf doesn't hesitate to hand over when you ask. You also notice the bedroll and backpack sitting in the tall grass behind the elf, and definitely sized for an elf. You're only looking this one in the eye because you're sitting on the wagon.

Upon reflection, given the circumstances and what you know of elves, you think it's fairly unlikely that the elf is part of a nascent ambush, especially considering there's no ready concealment out here, and such a trap would be more effective in the forest itself. That being said, you and your men keep your eyes on the nearby trees.

Elves are tall and strong, but you feel that it would definitely be suicidal to attack armed and armored people barehanded. You'll keep the sword near you on the cart, so you can quickly hand it over if you need to, but the elf won't be able to just snatch it at any time.

You inform the elf that it can walk in the front of the group, but you'll be fine bringing it along as long as there isn't a problem with you keeping the sword while you travel.

"Sirrah is most gracious," the elf says, bowing and fluttering its long eyelashes at you, golden, slit-pupilled eyes shimmering in the sunlight.

You can tell the elf's smile is still forced, although you can tell the elf also notices something in your expression as well.

"My name is Rhaina," an eye twitch, "I'm a male, if that's helpful to know."

Several of your guards mutter and you can hear the clink of coins changing hands. It looks like Kevwar was right and Caoiran definitely wasn't, but it's hard to tell who else bet what.

The elf is obviously irritated when your guards do this. You figure it's probably something elves have to deal with fairly often.

You introduce yourself as well as your companions, and then ask why the elf didn't just travel back to Aldenhead instead of waiting for somebody to come along. It seems at minimum a little sketchy. And dangerous.

The elf's forced smile slips completely for once. He blinks.

"Because I'm an idiot, apparently. Honestly, after being left behind, I didn't even consider walking back to join with another group. I'm still quite irate, to tell the truth."

You ask why he was left behind in the first place.

The elf's eye twitches again, much more noticeably.

"Hard to say," he says through grit teeth. His (you've heard venomous) fangs quite visible. "There was some personal business I had to take care of, and I didn't expect them to wait in the middle of the road while I took care of it, but I told them I'd catch up with them at the forest entrance. They definitely, deliberately hurried on as fast as they could. The only tracks I could find were days old by the time I got here." He suppresses a snarl, then takes a deep breath.

"But sirrah seems much more of a gentleman. And again, I'll be happy to provide compensation in Willow once we get there." He manages to regain most of his composure.

You've decided that Rhaina is coming with you, so no sense waiting around. You head out.

You camp at the very edge of the forest that night to have the most daylight possible in the morning. The elf doesn't ask for any food or water, and keeps to himself at the edge of camp when it's time to sleep. Everyone is still alive and intact in the morning, so you and your party move out of the sunlight and into the oppressive gloom of the forest.

Do you want to
Ask Rhaina anything in particular?
Talk to anyone else about anything?
Do anything else?

There is absolutely no way to move silently, so there's nothing wrong with talking. Being vigilant the whole entire time will tend to make people nervous and stressed, although it will obviously increase your chance of spotting something amiss. Chatting will make people less nervous, but they'll be more likely to miss something or be caught unawares. That being said, it'll only distract the person you happen to be talking to at the time if you are ambushed while you happen to be talking.
No. 961831 ID: d63ea8

((Do elves usually have tails?))

Maybe ask Rhaina about the business he has in Willow.
No. 961836 ID: b1b4f3

Ask Rhaina if he's got any family in Willow. What's his business there?
No. 961837 ID: cdabe3

Say that if he's frustrated, he doesn't have to keep forcing a smile; if you were left behind by your group, you'd be pretty upset too.

Ask him if he's been able to see anything unusual while he's been waiting here.
No. 961838 ID: ce39da

Yeah, it's the guards' job to guard effectively. We can afford to talk to Rhaiana, then.

"Do you have anyone waiting for you in Willow?"

And; "Know any good stories?"

I was thinking we could keep a journal of tales and testimonies as a hobby on the side, and since we have such excellent memory and are well-written, not having a physical diary on us isn't a problem. Maybe talk to Caoiran more about the battle where she witnessed the war wolf (but only after we're safe in Willow).
No. 961840 ID: 2aa5f0

ask Rhaina what he does for a living?

will admit I'm a bit curious to what his profession is. I doubt mercenary since while he does have a fine blade he looks a bit to unarmored and even if elves normally dress less than other races I would be hard press to believe that an elven warrior would forgo any armor whatsoever. Doesn't seem a trader either since all he has on him is some clothes and his sword.
No. 961843 ID: b07f1c

Are elves warm or cold-blooded? I'm also wondering why does he wear that loincloth when there's nothing underneath.

Ask him if he's perhaps famous in any way. As a new merchant, you are looking for contacts. So if he has any particularly useful skills, or knows anyone in high positions, it would also be useful to you as a payment.

Other than that, he could tell you more about Willow I suppose.
No. 961845 ID: a609f9

Then Rhaina is not in obvious earshot (probbaly best then he's asleep) ask Caoiran about her experience with elves, we gotta know the fine details of elf hating around, personally don't jump on bandwagon unless given the reason, but you gotta know that some people might think.
Keep a relatively relaxed eyes on elf. Imo you follow the road so there's not much he can do to actually lead you to ambush, but still a cautious merchant is a breathing merchant. Do ask him a bit about what was the thing he was "taking care of", who were his companions and why he thinks they left him on purpose, and that's his business in Willow. Oh and mention that if he wants to unnerve people less, trying to manage a smile this hard is probably not the best idea.
Also if there's time, do chat with other, particularly if they had any expierence with travelling in the forest surrounding Willow or any other big forest.
No. 961848 ID: 015bf2

>Ask Rhaina anything in particular?
Rumours and such surround his people, but you are a tradesman and may end up trading with many of his kind over years to come. Any typical misconceptions he can clear up for you, so you are less at odds at offending potential customers? For example, one such rumor about an elf's bite being venomous - a queer bit of anatomy if so, as most humanoids are not great at using their mouths offensively.

Physically, at least.
No. 963733 ID: 15a025

Ask Rhaina if he'd be willing to lay to rest some myths you've heard about elves. Ask if they really do have venomous fangs.
No. 963934 ID: 12b116
File 158800241777.jpg - (213.29KB , 1000x607 , e1m12.jpg )

((Rhaina looks normal for an elf))

Over the course of several days, you talk to Rhaina, mostly when you make camp.

You ask if he has any family in Willow. He cuts his eyes slightly before replying.

"My wife is there. Genlaud is her name. We've just recently decided to start a family." You don't think he's lying exactly, but there's definitely something he's keeping to himself.

You tell him that the strained politeness isn't necessary around you also. You'd be fairly upset if anybody did that to you.

He seems to relax a little. "I don't want to say something that you or your companions could take offense to, but point taken."

You ask if he's seen anything interesting while waiting.

"I did see a group of four goblins enter the forest about a day before you got here. They decided not to allow me to accompany them." He still seems a little put out by this.

You've personally never had a problem with goblins. You're fairly friendly with the one that sells fabrics back in Aldenhead.

You also think it could be a good idea to keep a record of your travels and the stories of the people you meet. Books like that can be quite valuable, although it would take some time to write everything down, and even more time to transcribe copies. You have an excellent memory, though, so you can take your time and write things down later. But collecting stories seems like a great idea. Even telling stories can be lucrative if you're good at it.

You're very curious about what he does for a living, and what his business is specifically in Willow.

He's warmed up to you somewhat at this point, although you're still reasonably cautious around him.

"Well, actually that's quite interesting!" he says, clearly pepping up.

"I'm a scholar, and traveled quite far to purchase a specific text regarding the Fair Folk. You see, I've lived in and around Willow for most of my life, but recently there have been several sightings of a Fairy, which, as you know, are quite rare and mysterious." (You don't, as a matter of course, know that. You actually don't know anything about fairies.)

"Someone had seen her Sign, so I tracked down a manuscript to see if I could find out her Name. I think she's 'Perferlain,' whose title is 'Seven Streams Running Over Uneroded Stone,' although I'd really need to see her myself to be absolutely certain!" He's barely paying attention to you now, clearly extremely excited about whatever it is he's talking about. None of what he's saying makes any sense whatsoever to you.

You try to listen, but it's frankly somewhat difficult to follow because you have no context for the words he's using. He goes on about fairies and names and signs for quite a while. As best you can figure, this one isn't dangerous and people seek them out to trade information or something. It's not entirely clear. If you know their name, they're typically friendly with you, you gather.

"This was all months ago, mind you, but Fairies tend to stay in one place for a while once they've arrived somewhere."

One evening, you ask Caoiran about what the deal with elves is. She says that they're just unnerving. It's like they flaunt the fact that they're stronger, faster, tougher and longer-lived instead of having a little bit of tact. Plus they're strange and secretive. They tend to eat their own food and not interact with other folk unless they have to, and she's never seen a baby elf ever, so who even knows how that works? Those smug expressions just make her want to slap them in the face. All kinds of dark rumors circle around them, and even if half of the ones she's heard are true, they're more monsters than people, really.

The most significant and popular one is that they consume the essence of whatever they eat, and their long life and hardiness come from eating humans and dwarves. If you're eaten by one, your spirit is gone forever.

As far as you know, if anything kills you, there's no "spirit" to go somewhere, but you've heard of some people who can call up the spirits of the dead, so who knows.

You commiserate somewhat with Caoiran, although you don't know if anything that she's talked about is actually true.

Later, once Rhaina has warmed up to you a bit more, you ask how one makes money as a scholar. Rhaina says that he mostly transcribes manuscripts and sells them, which is quite time consuming. He also receives a dispensation from a local lord to continue his research as long as what he learns is given to his patron. He says the lord's name is Mardu, a name you've definitely never heard before. He's not eager to say much more than this about it though. Being on good terms with someone who is close to a lord could be useful, so you keep it in mind.

You also ask him about some of the rumors around his people. You say that you'd like to trade with elves, and don't want to come off as offensive to them. You ask him specifically about the supposed venomous bite.

"Well, I don't have hollow teeth, but I suppose elf saliva could be poisonous to non-elves. I'm not in the habit of spitting into open wounds or licking inappropriate places, so I really couldn't tell you for sure."

You think he's probably telling you the truth, although he definitely could be messing with you.

You ask him what the business that he had to take care of on the road was. He says it's something elves have to do periodically and won't elaborate further.

You're roughly halfway to Willow, and over the course of the past several days he's become fairly friendly. Solim and Dalian even chat with him some in the evenings when they're not standing watch.

Then Something Happens
No. 963937 ID: 12b116
File 158800305305.jpg - (229.47KB , 1000x602 , e2m1.jpg )


A sound of splintering wood and shredded undergrowth as the beast skids to a halt in the middle of the road. Terror grips your heart as it howls, an ungodly sound that echoes through the trees, and then it sees you, golden eyes bright, shiny disks completely devoid of any human emotion.

Your horse panics.

Caoiran and two of your guards are here, but Rhaina and the other three are in the process of running. You hear shouted curses and the sounds of spears being tossed to the ground.

You only have a few seconds to act.
No. 963938 ID: f56a2b

Break eye contact immediately, shout "Get down and don't move!" then dismount and curl into a ball.
No. 963939 ID: e7c7d3

Right now, your job is to keep your horse under control. Hopefully the remaining guards know what to do
No. 963941 ID: 5877dc

It would seem that Caoiran is a firm believer of rumors in regards to anything that's not human. Which is good if we want to hear about rumors surrounding any other race, but not great if we're seeking the truth.

>something elves have to do periodically
I shudder at these implications lol

Given that you already lost half of our guards, I'd wager that the chance of winning this encounter is low. Shout that you surrender.

Is there a discussion thread?
No. 963943 ID: d63ea8

It's good that Rhaina is a nice enough person.
I wouldn't put much stock into the rumors of 'consuming essence.' People always seem to demonize that which they see as secretive or different.

Support. As the cart driver this is one of your highest priorities. You don't want the horse to injure itself or trample one of the guards.

Try to rally the fleeing guards.
There's only one of these creatures, that you can see surely you can take them with your greater numbers.
No. 963945 ID: d88d26

Shit, that is Buttermilk!

From what Caoiran said your group have no chance against her. You can't abandon your belongings, your career would be over... Attempt diplomacy.

Since the witch didn't told you her name call the beast name. Ask her to calm down and talk to you. If you get some response say or insinuate you were planing to hire her in the future. You need to say something that will convince her to not attack your group.
No. 963947 ID: dd3266

Convert the war wolf to your side by teaching them the meaning of love with your dick.
No. 963948 ID: b1b4f3

Time to make yourself as small as possible. Could try going under the wagon if the horse doesn't drive it over you?
No. 963949 ID: 5877dc

>that you can see
If you look closely, another 5 shadows appeared behind the trees.
No. 963951 ID: 12b116
File 158801803139.jpg - (252.03KB , 1033x635 , e2m2.jpg )

You don't run.

This is your stuff! The total value of everything you've ever owned! You shrink back, yelling "I surrender!" and "Get down!" to your men and try to get the horse under control.

You feel a strong hand grip the back of your gambeson and jerk you back as Caoiran yells "Run, idiots!" at the top of her lungs, but it's far too late to think of doing anything else because now the War Wolf is here, and you hear something thump heavily twice onto the road in front of you and begin to scream, and more screams and shouts coming from the forest as time seems to slow down around you.

You notice the shadows in the trees.

You see the fine mist of blood trailing behind the War Wolf.

You hear your horse's panicked whinny turn into a wet gurgle as its head lazily spins through the air.

This one is gray, more filthy than Buttermilk. A different War Wolf.

Didn't Caoiran specifically say there wouldn't be War Wolves?

What a liar.

Time seems to resume as you slam heavily into the ground behind the wagon, momentarily dazed, trying to blink back stars as you hear Caoiran shout "You fuckers!" and grunt. Blood is dripping into your eyes and you grope blindly until you feel Caoiran's reassuring hand, and then the wet stump just past the wrist.

You smell an animal musk and feel large hands grip your shoulders, a heavy burlap sack shoved over your head.

You're too shocked to do anything as your hands are bound behind your back and another piece of fabric is wrapped tightly around the sack over your head, effectively gagging you.

You're shoved roughly, a large hand on your shoulder.
No. 963953 ID: 12b116
File 158801827077.jpg - (159.52KB , 1033x635 , e2m3.jpg )

At least two people are shoving you along as you stumble through the woods, tripping and being jerked upright. You fall heavily, something heavy hitting your head, and feel yourself lifted bodily off of the ground.

Some time later you come to, the bag no longer on your head. An iron collar is bolted around your neck and your hands are still tied behind your back, the chain ends at a round bolt screwed down into packed dirt. There's some embers from a fire, and you're in some kind of primative tent. There's a stack of firewood and a chest, and the thick stench of your captors is redolent here.

You think you could probaby pull the bolt out of the ground if you work at it, but you don't know if you should try to escape, or wait for somebody to show up. You have no idea who could have kidnapped you or why.
No. 963954 ID: 5877dc

I hope you're into bondage.

Check yourself for any major wounds or broken bones.
Do you recognize the stench in any way?
Can you reach the chest? Can you look through any gaps in the tent to see outside?
No. 963955 ID: a609f9

Welp, should have gone with the dwarves.

I don't think we will be able to outrun a war wolf if there's one on guard, so probably best not to do anything rush without knowing. Look around for any clues, is that chest ours, can you hear anything from outside, perhaps there's a tear in the tent you can glance outside through?
No. 963956 ID: e7c7d3

Might as well try to pull the bolt
No. 963957 ID: f56a2b

Your chances of escape will be worse the longer you wait; better work on that bolt.
No. 963958 ID: d63ea8

Better keep an ear out, you don't want your captor coming in and see you trying to escape.

See if you can slip a hand free from the ropes.
No. 963961 ID: b1b4f3

Wait. Listen to see if you can eavesdrop on anyone nearby, or even to see if anyone IS nearby.

If you immediately try to escape they will either hear you working on the bolt and stop you then punish you, or chase you down after they notice you're missing.
Also you're chained up. Chain's gonna rattle if you move around, so trying to sneak out of camp sure isn't gonna work. Not unless they left you here completely alone.
No. 963962 ID: 9c48ac

If you can do it in a way that it isn't obvious you're trying to escape, do so. Otherwise, wait until we've learned something of our captors' patterns. If you get caught trying to escape, it'll only be harder next time.

(So probably for now, loosen it just a little.)
No. 963963 ID: ce39da

Get started on the bolt. Whatever they want you for, it isn't friendly, and the specific use of an iron collar worries me.
No. 963964 ID: 12b116
File 158802244611.jpg - (104.99KB , 1030x635 , e2m4.jpg )

The chest is definitely not yours. The lid is held down with a catch, but you're fairly sure you can't get it open with your hands tied behind your back, especially if you're still chained to the floor.

Your shoulder hurts, and you can feel a crust of dried blood on the side of your face, but you feel alright, other than the strong urge to vomit as you think about what just happened.

You don't know if some of your guards or the elf got away. You think you heard other shuffling steps, so it's possible some of your men were captured as well instead of killed. You only saw that one corpse, although you don't hold out much hope for Caoiran still being alive.

You manage to work your face against the back wall of the tent until you can get a little gap to peek through.

The embers produce dim light inside the tent, but it's much darker outside, although you're confident it's not night time yet. The woods are just gloomy.

You can see a few more tents like the one your in, and there are two of your captors somewhat nearby. They have shaggy, striped fur on their legs and a style of boot you've never seen before. You have no clue what kind of person they are. You've never even heard of people like them.

Their language is very similar to yours, though. You think you can make out what they're saying. Their voices are strangely both rough and gravelly while also being high-pitched.

"Kelepee found a book. I hope we didn't kill the one that can read."

There's a pause before the other one speaks.

"Ones that can read run away. It probably ran away," The second one says dismissively.

There's a pause before the first one speaks again.

"Is the Wolf-Wizard any better?"


"Miranni, is the Wolf-Wiza-"

"How should I know?" Miranni snaps.

"I'm just worried if-"

"We did fine before we caught the Wolf-Wizard. If it dies, it dies." Miranni cuts the other one off again.

You keep listening and begin to work at the bolt. You use your feet to shove it back and forth, slowly loosening it in the ground. You work carefully, more interested in not making noise than tugging it out quickly.

You try to get a hand out, but fail. They used leather to tie your hands, and you can't quite work one free. The only thing within reach are the smouldering fire embers. You suppose you could possibly burn the bindings off, but that would be extremely painful and leave your wrists and hands covered in blisters and burns.

"Hey, Miranni," Not-Miranni says.

"Yes, Tante?" Miranni replies, clearly exasperated.

"Are they doing shares tonight?"

A longer pause.

Miranni speaks right before you think Tante was going to ask again.

"Yes. Can't you smell the meat cooking? Sugroul and those three are going to fight for take-shares."

More silence.

"You were with them, right? Maybe you'll get one of the humans. Maybe the one that can rea-"

Miranni snarls, cutting Tante off. "The one that can read ran away. Only the stupid ones stay behind." A pause. "What do I want a human for anyway? They're weak. Now can you shut up until Echedo gets back?"

The one that you figure is Tante shifts their feet nervously, and takes a step away.

Apparently Tante can't stay quiet for more than a minute, though.

"I heard Anle-"

Miranni snarls again and Tante shuts up.

You see a few other sets of feet pass by, but no one talks to these two, who are clearly guarding the tents.

You've managed to loosen the bolt somewhat. You consider your options and the information you've managed to overhear.
No. 963966 ID: ce39da

Definitely not friendly, then. But apparently, the war wizard didn't mean us any harm personally; we were just in his way as he was getting chased by these guys.

Those things can likely smell well; don't cook your hands, but continue working on the bolt.
No. 963967 ID: d63ea8

The best thing we can probably do for now is use the bolt itself to cut our bindings.
Just be ready to stick it back into the divot in the ground if you hear someone coming this way.
No. 963972 ID: e7c7d3

If you can read, that's at least something to bargain for your life with. If I'm counting right, there's Miranni and Tante, Enchedo is away, and there's three more currently cooking your horse and your guards.

If i were to guess, these two seem to be low on the totem pole, probably would be easy to bargain with but they probably won't hold much sway with the others. Perhaps tricking them is our best bet. Offer your services of literacy and hopefully they'll head off to tell the others and that'll be an opening to run away.
No. 963981 ID: b1b4f3

Okay, so these aren't bandits. They're slavers.

There's going to be a fight to determine who gets first pick of slaves. That means a distraction. You can use that to try to escape. ...or free the war witch so that they can kill the slavers.

Once you work the bolt out, see if you can use it to cut your bindings. It should be sharp on one end, right?
No. 963983 ID: 5877dc

The book... could it be the manuscript the elf mentioned? Is the elf who they were after? Hmm.

>we caught the Wolf-Wizard
It looks like they've caught themselves a War Witch (or a Wizard in this case) and probably forced them to attack us. This means that if we can free them, we'd likely get ourselves an ally strong enough to take out these guys. No, this is likely something we'll have to risk doing, because it's probably the only way for us to safely retrieve our goods.

>you could possibly burn the bindings off
We can't use the embers to free our hands because we'd scream from the pain haha. Virgin.png

I'm confused about what this means. They mentioned meat being cooked, so maybe it means... killing the prisoners and cooking them? But they also say that humans are weak, which implies that stronger prisoners are desired, therefore it may be some sort of sharing of prisoners to do with them whatever they wish, torture and whatnot.

Anyway, if we can exit the tent, we might find a sharp tool outside. Well, we'd probably also be able to open the chest once we're not chained to the ground, but I think that's got a greater risk of making some noise. Not that we got much to lose, but still, I'm undecided if we took that route.

Yes, one option is definitely to inform them of your reading skills. I suppose that if we get the bolt loose, we could take pre-emptive measure and make some noise to get an audience with these two heh.
No. 963991 ID: 12b116
File 158802981025.jpg - (211.40KB , 1032x633 , e2m5.jpg )

You decide not to maim yourself, which, to be honest, you were barely considering in the first place. The bolt is essentiall a very long peice of metal with a sort of corkscrew-shape on the bottom end. If the earth were harder-packed, you probably wouldn't be able to work it loose. It's definitely not sharp though. Especially not sharp enough to cut anything with.

There's at least seven of them, judging by the names. It was a good idea to count them! You've basically got the bolt worked most of the way loose by now. You could definitely pull it out with a sharp tug, but nothing to help you with your wrists.

Slave-takers. You remember vauge stories about people who use other people for chattel. Such practicies are simply unheard-of in all civilized societies. No way they're trying to sell people anywhere even sort of close-by. Slavery isn't tolerated anywhere, as far as you know.

You guess that there's some kind of fight to see who gets to pick the best loot (including the captives.) It could be a good distraction.

You also guess that the War Witch (or Wolf-Wizard, as they call it) is definitely a captive. Although the one also said he's sick, or not well. They've apparently been using him to force the War Wolf to fight for them. That could be a very powerful ally!

The book might be the elf's book, but it could also be your ledger. They could have been after the elf, though. It's just bizarre. You've never heard of anything like this happening anywhere.

You haven't heard any screams, so it seems unlikely they're torturing anybody. You hope they're just cooking your horse and not your guards.

While you're considering your next move, the tentflap rustles.

You quickly push a little dirt around the bolt so it doesn't look like you've worked it mostly loose. A sharp tug should free you.

Then the flap moves aside and one of your captors comes in.

The smell is intense. It's a sharp, acrid scent that vaugely reminds you of something you can't place. Not dogs or horses, that's for sure. You don't think it's any worse than if a group of unwashed humans had been living in the woods for a few weeks though, now that you think about it.

You've never even heard of a creature like this before, though. She (you assume) is holding a strange-looking axe loosely, but you don't doubt she knows how to use it.

"Hey there, little buddy," the creature says in that strange, gravelly voice.

"My name in Anle, I'm here to make sure you're OK." Sharp fangs glint in the firelight, and you find her smile unnerving instead of calming. Her speech is better than the two outside too.

"I know this is a bad, scary thing that happened, but we are here doing something very important, and I know that doesn't make sense to you, but we don't wanna hurt you, OK? As long as you don't do anything stupid, nobody else will be killed, and we'll even let you and your friends go once we get our really important job done, OK?"

The embers are reflected in her almost-metallic green eyes, and you see her appraising you. Even though she's trying to appear calm, you're able to tell that she's tense, waiting to see how you respond.

"So, I told you my name is Anle," her grip tightens on the axe handle as she watches you, unblinkin. "I help my friends with sewing, and treating wounds. Is there anything you're good at like that? If you are nice and you tell me the truth, I'll clean up your bumps and get you some food. Sound good?"

You have an important decision to make.

You could jump up and try to rush past her. You'd definitely take her by surprise. She hasn't noticed that the bolt is loose.

You could tell her that you can read. You know that's valuable. You could also lie or just say nothing.

You could also try to ask her something, but you feel very very confident she's not going to say much unless you cooperate and tell her something, either the truth or a lie, about your skills.

If you (appear to) cooperate, you're hopeful that she'd answer some of your questions, though.
No. 963992 ID: e7c7d3

Definitely against rushing. That's a good way to get axed off.

i say barter with your reading, and perhaps even merchant skills
No. 963993 ID: b24bc3

They seem to have a desire for some sort of friendliness (despite you being captive under threat of death). Go along with it and work with them until you know enough of what's going on to to act further. Start by giving your name and saying what things you are good at (like name/faces memory and direction), include the literacy stuff (reading/writing/math) but don't make a big deal out of it so they know you where listening. See if you can find out more about the "important job" if it can be slipped in smoothly with the conversation.
No. 963995 ID: b1b4f3

Not slavers, not bandits. If they were either of those, it would have been obvious by now. What are they doing...? something "important"?
There's no way they're going to let you go. You've never heard of these creatures before, so nobody's lived to tell the tale before.

Okay, theory: "shares" involves sharing information, or maybe things other than information. "take-shares" means taking it by force. Only way you're getting out of here alive is if they can steal memories from people. Make them forget what happened to them.
...except wouldn't they report on that too? Strange cases of amnesia popping up near these woods? Maybe they can alter memories to fill in the gap of time with something believable.
These guys were able to take a War Witch prisoner and force them to do their bidding. That implies they're either so strong they can get past the war wolf without heavy losses, or have some way to disable opponents at long range. If they've got powerful enough mental magic to rewrite memories then maybe they can knock people out at range? Or mind control them?
Stealing memories/skills would certainly explain how they're able to speak your language without having apparently been involved in your culture enough to be well known.
Well, one thing's for certain. If they care about reading ability that means they're interested in what's in that book. The implication from the phrasing is that they didn't know the book was there, so they don't know what kind of information is in the book, which means they're looking for any information at all. Do they even belong in this world?

Okay, after unpacking all that... I think you should cooperate. You know they won't immediately do anything to you, so tell her you're a merchant. Then ask some very piercing questions: if they're willing to let prisoners go, why have you never heard of them before? What are they doing that's so important? Who are they?
No. 963997 ID: f56a2b

Cooperate a little, give her something. Tell her you are a merchant, then proceed to beg for help with your wounds and for water and food. Don't give her any more than that.
No. 964001 ID: a609f9

Obviously use your charm to court her

Oh well, rushing in is def not a good course of action, unless we want to end our quest fast on the axe-murder note.
Guess best course is to appear scared but not aggressive, so they would be less likely expect you to do something bold then you will need it. Ask the usual "who are you? what do you want from me? you killed my companions! what did you do with others?". Also probably should mention that you can read and count, so if all that sweet talks is just a lure before sacrificing you or something they would instead keep you alive, for now at least.
And yeah, generally play along for now, untill we learn more or there's a clear way to escape that won't just get us killed. After all, I don't think we're able to survive in these woods, let alone find the road or even not get caught again.
No. 964003 ID: 2aa5f0

only thing I really want to know is was it really necessary to sick a god damn war wolf on a grain shipment? I mean gems I could understand, silk would be believable as well, but a grain shipment... in the middle of the woods teeming with wildlife and edible plants... the fuck?
No. 964030 ID: 8b270f

>give name
>tell her you can read
>i-i'll n-NEVER! tell anyone a-ab-bout This!
>ᵖ⁻ᵖˡᵉᵃˢᵉ ʲᵘˢᵗ ᵈᵒⁿ'ᵗ ʰᵘʳᵗ ᵐᵉ.
>w-what s-s-species even a-are you?

The fact that she is willing to reword at all tells that she is experienced. And knows how to motivate adult behavior and may legitimately just be professional, only wanting to complete her objectives.
No. 964032 ID: 094652

Explain that as much as you'd like to trust her, the rest of her pack is busy making jerky of your former bodyguards. However, they took everything on this Earth you own, so you won't try to run away just to starve as a beggar.

Ask her about whatever the heck her tribe is doing that's so important they risk extinction by provoking the cities. They would be below notice if they performed hit-and-run attacks and only took what they needed, but eventually the city guard will realize the growing trend in missing merchant caravans and send out patrols. Heavily-armed patrols with kill orders.
No. 964057 ID: 5877dc

I'd go with a little bit of flattery, to see how she responds to it, but otherwise call her out. Something like this,
"Anle, a beauty like you does not need to lie. You know that letting any of the captives go would be too dangerous. Why don't you simply tell me what's really in store for me? As for me, I can read, write, work with numbers, maps, and other penmanship. You speak clear and well, is every one of your friends as special as you? If so, then you should've already had someone with such skills and I may not be of much use to use, or this important thing that you're doing. What could be so important that would require killing so many people?"
No. 964065 ID: b43f36

Reveal your ability to read. She seems to be well enough willing to converse, so keep talking. Try to find out what you can from her.
No. 964076 ID: 8b270f

I vote for this
No. 964078 ID: d63ea8

Tell her your name and that you're "just a merchant."

If you appear to be too valuable then they won't let you go. We should hide the fact that we can read for now unless we are directly asked about it.

I'd say that bringing up the fact that her people are now cooking your former friends would kind of establishes how you feel in this current situation.
No. 964081 ID: 015bf2

Bah. They got you good and their intention was clearly capture, so just be the Rational Hostage. The alternative is running, bound, into the woods with people in hot pursuit, and no knowledge of where to go or to find anything useful, like food or civilization. Your city-boy survival probably depends on your captors' goodwill. For now.

Present yourself by name and as a trader just striking out - you're young, but somewhat educated. Say you understand that unpleasant things of a nature have happened and that you'll play along with no need for threats or violence. If they'd just shown up with the war wolf and threatened you to surrender or pay a toll, this all could have gone over with far less unpleasantness in fact.

Say you can happily read or write anything they require of you - assuming it is in the common tongue - and will 'trade' questions and answers in exchange for lenient treatment for you and your comrades and - if possible - the restoration of some of your goods or equivalent value. You'd prefer not to be financially ruined after being let go, mainly.

If that is indeed an option.
No. 964082 ID: 2aa5f0

hey, I'm a merchant. I'm good with budgeting and other merchant thing but I seem to suffer from terrible luck. Right now I'm having trouble deciding if I'm more angry, frighten, or in pure shock that my entire fucking livelihood has just been wiped out before my eyes in only seconds. Other then that I'd say my day is going swimmingly. How about you how are you doing this fine day?
No. 964084 ID: ce39da

Not targets for wealth, and not slaves either...

"You were after someone or something specific we had, and the rest were witnesses. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume it has to do with the elf we picked up? Perhaps you want me to read his book for you, assuming that's not my ledger you have out there?"
No. 964133 ID: 12b116
File 158810452308.jpg - (211.26KB , 841x663 , e2m6.jpg )

You decide that rushing her isn't the best plan.

Instead, you start by complimenting Anle and tell her your name and that you're a merchant. When she doesn't seem to know that word, you explain that you travel from place to place trading goods. She makes a face you aren't sure how to interpret when you compliment her. It's a bit frowny though. You ask if she's willing to tell you anything about what they're doing here, so you can give her the most relevant information.

"The less you know the better!" she says. "We can only really work together if you don't worry too much about what we're here for. Just understand that it's important, and we are trying to prevent people from being hurt. Your people and ours. So tell me more about what you're good at. I really do want to let you go when we're done! So I hope you cooperate with us!" As far as you can tell, it's possible she's not just lying to you. There seems to be at least a twinkle of compassion in her eyes.

You decide not to tell her you have an excellent memory at this point, though. Instead, you do tell her you can read and write. You intentionally didn't lead with that so it'll be less likely that she could pick up on you overhearing the guards. You also try to not seem too confident (which isn't hard. You're definitely afraid for your life right now.) You ask her if they killed your companions.

"Only one of them is dead, as far as I know, although some that fled may have been killed. I understand you're not stupid, so I'll tell you that we haven't found all of them. Some of the ones who fled may have been killed at this point, though. We captured two others, and one is seriously injured. I'm going to see that one next." The threat is unspoken.

You explain that your entire livelihood was on that wagon and that you've essentially been ruined at this point, but you understand that things like this happen sometimes. She quirks and eyebrow, but then seems to realize you mean people get held up by bandits.

You explain that the mere threat of violence would have been enough for your cooperation, and there was no need to actually kill anyone.

"Maybe you're right, but the Wolf completely removes even the risk of harm from my friends and I. I know it seems harsh to you, and I'm sorry for that."

You ask if it's possible that some of your stuff could be restored to you if you cooperate. It's clearly not what they were after.

"Ah, well," she seems legitimately embarrassed. "You are right. We didn't even know what the things you were carrying were, so we just shoved them off of the road and left them. They didn't seem like food. Plus they're large and heavy."

So, if they weren't after your food, can she at least explain why they waylaid you at all? Was it the elf?

She licks her nostril in what is clearly a nervous gesture.

"Ah, well ... we are looking for someone who can read your language. And secrecy is very important currently. Unfortunately, we haven't found anyone yet. Other than you." She takes your ledger out from a pouch that must be on the back of her skirt.

"What does this say?"

You read the cover and some of the interior, although there isn't currently much in there at all. You explain that you actually wrote what's in there and for a second she seems genuinely impressed, although she's quick to hide it.

She grips your shoulder with a cool, taloned hand, appearing sincere.

"Please-please cooperate with us. I will make sure you and your friends are released and that you and your friends are treated well, I promise. If you're going to work with us, then I'll have to put these on, at least for now." She pulls out some manacles and chains. Two for your ankles, two for your wrists, with a chain that runs between them through a belt. She looks hopeful, but also seems intensely aware of how bad the situation must look from your perspective. You know the feeling of just hoping against hope that something isn't going to turn out to be a giant pain in the ass.

You decide to bring up one last thing.

You tell her that you don't believe she's going to let you go, for the mere fact that you've never even heard of these creatures before, so nobody that's found them has lived to tell about it.

She laughs, her unnerving grin clearly unintentional.

"We're Orcs. You must never have seen an orc before, but I promise that humans definitely know we exist. Both of your friends that we captured knew about us." She pauses. slitting her eyes a little conspiratorially. "Look, if you let me put these on you," she shakes the manacles, "I will take you to see either your friend that's injured, your uninjured friend, or any of our other captives right now. It will help them trust me if they can see that you aren't hurt."

You've definitely gotten her to be a little comfortable with you. If you want to run, now is likely to be your only chance. Once you're manacled, it will be much, much harder to escape.

Although you don't think you could take her in a fight, you could almost definitely shove past her and get out of the tent.

On the other hand, she seems at least a little genuine. You know they have one of your companions who'se injured, who you suspect is Caoiran, although you don't know who the uninjured person is. You know they have a War Wizard, although you don't know if they know that you know how the War Wolves work, and you also know the elf said four goblins had gone through the woods before you arrived, along with whatever the original group with the elf were.

So you have a decision to make:

Run! Bull rush past her and scarper!
Agree to help and go see the injured captive
Agree to help and go see the healthy captive
Agree to help and ask to see the War Wizard
Agree to help and go see any of the other captives

She also seem open to answering more questions, although you think you should probably steer clear of asking about their actual mission here.
No. 964152 ID: f56a2b

If they wanted you dead, you would be worm food. If they wanted you in chains right away to be sold, they'd put you in irons and offer nothing. They (or at least she) seem to want to build trust, so it might not just be plain old slavery. It'd also be pretty damn silly just to go deep into civilization where nobody wants slaves to acquire them. You're not going to get that bread back on your own.

For now, you've just got to leverage the only thing you have. Build trust with her.

"So, you sent a war wolf in? What if you killed anyone who could read? Your plan is hard to follow. I'll go along with you, just let me see my injured companion."
No. 964153 ID: ce39da

"You're going to have to be more specific, as I am unsure which of my friends are injured or merely captured. Is one of them an elf, and/or was one of them much better equipped than the others you saw?"

Ultimately, do cooperate with her. If they needed us for some darker purpose that would require tricking us, you'd already be wearing the manacles, and she needn't have bothered with diplomacy to begin with.

Ask to see whichever one Caoiran is if she's among them. She's the kind of brave and responsible-feeling leader most likely to do something stupid on our behalf unless we tell her otherwise. If not, then settle for the elf, as he's (marginally) more likely to know what the score is here. If he's not here either, ask to talk to the one who controlled that wolf thing, as you'd like to give them a piece of mind (and work out how to help them, as he's clearly in a shitty situation regardless of what the verdict on this "mission's" justifiability is).
No. 964154 ID: 094652

"You just... left ALL the cargo behind? You didn't even take what you could run with?

Well go get it some of it back before one of the other bodyguards steals it all and sells it for a HUNDRED days of food!"
No. 964156 ID: b1b4f3

Okay I guess I'm throwing my previous theory out the window now, since they're Orcs and apparently our protagonist just never learned about them. Since orcs don't know what a merchant is, I'm guessing they don't trade with other cultures and have a different system of barter altogether, which means that merchants wouldn't need to know about them. Or they're a less-civilized race from some isolated area?
Unfortunately this means "shares" and "take-shares" don't mean what I thought they meant, which means they might refer to... sex and rape. Also, this means they generally value strength in a partner, which is why this one looked a bit displeased to be complimented-- you're weak and thus unattractive.
Could be they're a group of spies. Either trying to prevent a war, or trying to ensure that the war will be quick. They intercepted an important message and need someone to translate it.

We need a risk assessment. Go see one of your "friends", since they know what orcs are. This could also be the right choice if the orcs really are doing something that would benefit the world overall, like preventing a war.
An alternate plan is to go see the War Wizard now so you know which tent they're in, then later on when the orcs are distracted by the fight you sneak over and free them. However, this assumes the war wolf would be able to defeat the orcs. They captured the war wizard once, why wouldn't they be able to do it a second time? Then again, maybe you could use the ensuing disturbance to free more captives.

Hmm, do we know what happens if a war-wizard dies? Will the wolf continue living, but go berserk? In that case we could just hope the wizard dies at a convenient time, which would give us an opening to escape.
No. 964183 ID: 2aa5f0

>We can only really work together if you don't worry too much about what we're here for. Just understand that it's important, and we are trying to prevent people from being hurt.
Doubt, heavy heavy doubt. if that was true they wouldn't have sent a freaking war wolf at us. That thing isn't a weapon it's a terror weapon that you send out when you're absolute, positively want everything in front of you to die a brutal and horrible death.

Ask a quick question then, if all they wanted as someone to read for them ask why they haven't simple entered a town and hire someone to read for them? Hell it probably wouldn't even have cost them much. Hell if they found the right guy they probably could have gotten someone to read it for a cheap bottle of booze.
No. 964184 ID: 8442b5

Running, would not end well. You remember how fast the War Wolf was, you’re not gonna be able to outrun that. Point of fact, you’d probably feel an arrow through your thigh before you could even worry about it.

Go see the injured prisoner. Might be Caoiran, might be someone else. Either way it would be helpful to see what exactly they consider medical treatment.
No. 964188 ID: 5877dc

>I will make sure you and your friends are released
Tell her that your escorts weren't actually friends of yours, given that you only met them a few days ago, but it's nice that she's offering that you see them.

Hmm, why is she asking you to put these manacles on? She could easily put them on herself. Could these be some sort of cursed shackles that can only be put on willfully?

>It will help them trust me if they can see that you aren't hurt.
Tell her that they'd trust her even more if they saw you without wearing the manacles. Ask her why are these even necessary? Because you're not going to run away anyway. After all, if you wanted to escape - while saying this you pull out the bolt; - you could already have done so a while ago.

Anyway, agree to help and ask to see the War Wizard. Tell her that he's the one that scares you the most.
No. 964290 ID: 12b116
File 158817853481.jpg - (204.65KB , 901x601 , e2m7.jpg )

You ask why they sent the War Wolf. Isn't there a high chance of killing who they're looking for?

"It's the least risky for us. If none of you can read, you might have other useful skills, if not," she cuts her eyes again, "We just try again until we succeed."

You ask her to describe the people they captured and if one is an elf.

"The injured one was wearing metal armor. The other one has a big face hair." she mimes what you assume is a beard. "Both of them are humans."

You indicate how put out you are that they just left a bunch of food behind. Why not take it?!

"It was heavy and smelled funny. It's not something we can eat anyway," she scratches the back of her head in an embarrassed way.

"Somebody may have picked up some of it, maybe, just to figure out what it is?" she grimaces.

You ask why they didn't just hire somebody that can read. You know it's not common at all, but it still seems safer than ambushing people on the road.

"Ah, well, we hope to complete our task without people knowing that we are here. The need to find someone who can read didn't really arise until very recently."

You tell her that the people with you were people that are guarding you. You've only known them for a couple of weeks.

You also tell her that it would be even better if you weren't manacled, as far as displaying trust goes. After all, you could have escaped a while ago. You dramatically pull up the bolt.

Anle seems momentarily shocked, and she snatches the axe up from where she'd left it. She narrows her eyes dangerously.

"So, you'll help us, then?"

You tell them that you will, and you want to see the injured companion.

She puts the shackles on you. Your wrists feel much better without the tight thong binding them, and the cuffs are lined in leather, and are marginally comfortable, considering. Leg irons go on next, and then a thick leather belt. She runs a chain from your collar, through the ring on the belt, and down to the chain connecting the leg irons to one another. You can walk, but only take short steps, and you can't fully extend your arms in front of you. You can only move them a little more than shoulder width apart. The manacles and leg irons click shut, and you don't see any way to open them again. Some mechanism keeps them tightly shut. You can feel her tighten and buckle the belt behind you, but there's no way you can reach it.

You consider the War Wizard for a moment, while you're being shackled. You don't really know what the War Wolf will do if he's killed, and it could definitely be worth figuring out. They did capture him before, but it still seems like the most useful ally as far as escaping goes.

You feel her hand against your back as she leads you out of the tent.

The light filtering through the canopy is dim, and it does appear that dusk is falling, but you can still see fairly clearly. There are roughly eight of the strange tents. They must have brought the fabric with them, because you can see stumps from where they cut down small trees for the tent poles, spread out enough not to disrupt the canopy. The tents are arranged in two circles of four, all of the flaps facing toward the center of the camp. Several more Orcs wander around, some of the eyeing you as you're brought out, but they don't seem to pay that much attention to you and Anle.

She brings you to another tent in the inner circle, larger than the one you came out of.

You duck inside after her, and see Caoiran.

Shes' badly bruised and has been stripped of her armor, but her hands are unbound. It's easy to see why: Her left arm terminates in a bloody, bandaged stump. Anle kneels next to her, raising her head so you can see her face. One eye is swollen shut, but the other glints fiercely in the dim light of the coals. She grits her teeth.

"Fuck you," she says to Anle.

Another orc looms in the shadows behind her, a short club with a beaten brass endcap held in one hand and a heavy cloak that you recognize from the ambush wrapped around her (you think) body. Her pink eyes glint dangerously, and her lips are pulled into a permanent sneer by the scar that bisects her face.

She unnerves you. You can't help but flinch away slightly when she looks at you.

"It's alright, Renza," Anle says quickly, clearly nervous.

Renza stares at you and you quickly break eye contact before she glances down at Anle.

"Why'd you bring that one with you?"

"That one is going to help us, and show this one that we aren't going to hurt them if they cooperate."

Caoiran laughs. She spits on Anle's face. Anle seems unperturbed, and reaches into the pouch behind her, taking out some strips of jerky and a waterskin. She motions for you to kneel next to Caoiran and hands you the meat and water to share. You discover that it's much easier to reach your face if you're kneeling, and Caoiran starts to eat.

"Kelepee wants the feisty one," Renza says as Anle stands up. They both retreat to the other side of the fire, and Anle pours some water in a metal container that she puts onto the coals. She begins to add things to the water, what look like dried herbs to you.

"I want the one you brought in." Renza looks at you, her eyes glittering, and licks her exposed teeth. You can't help but cringe, and she seems to enjoy intimidating you. You suspect Caoiran wasn't as easily shaken. Anle clearly looks uncomfortable and tries to shoot you a sympathetic look, but she doesn't say anything to Renza.

The orcs are far enough away that you don't think they can overhear you if you whisper, especially since the water has begun to boil, and the orcs begin to talk with one another.

"Well, this is fucked," Caoiran says. "You know orcs only eat meat, right?" There's a dangerous look in her eye. "They aren't picky about where it comes from."

You ask her what she knows about orcs. "I saw orcs when I was a soldier. They'd be hired as mercenaries sometimes, and there's savage tribes of them that raid villages. Murder people." She chews angrily on the jerky, clearly unconcerned that 'they aren't picky about where it comes from.'

"They take captives. Put them to work. Treat them like chattel." She swallows a mouthful of water. You help her manage the waterskin with her remaining hand.

"I've never heard of any being this far inside the country. I heard they keep skulls as trophies and use them for bowls. They never bury their dead, and desecrate the corpses of their enemies. Make leather and tools out of the bodies of their victims. I heard that in their own lands, they all worship monsters and eat fruit that make them lose their mind and have visions." She pauses momentarily, looking at you.

"They hate weakness. Tear into each other for fun. They're all covered in scars under that thick fur. Make cloaks out of the weaklings."

You sigh. You're not sure if any of this is helpful, if it's even true.

"Kevwar is in the next tent over." she says more calmly. "He said something to them, I'm not sure what it was, and they didn't chain him up." She pauses. "He'd said before that he'd lived with orcs for a few years, but I didn't really believe him. Croft for sure is dead, and Solim. I hope the other two got away. I bet they were after that fucking elf ... " She frowns angrily.

"This is so fucked."
No. 964292 ID: 3ed3c3

Look, we play along, for now, wait until their backs are turned, then slit their throats.
No. 964295 ID: a609f9

Well, I guess we should inform Caoiran that Orcs, if they words to be believed, need someone who can read, so you may use it at some advantage, or at least delay anything fucky.

Probably should demand answers from Anle what the hell does Renza means by her "wanting" you and that Kelepi fellow Caoiran, and remind that your cooperation is far more likely then your companions are treated well too. Also ask why won't they let your other companion be in the same tent with the rest of you.
No. 964297 ID: ce39da

"Things are rather confusing. Anle seems to want to save us, but that contradicts what the others are saying. I do think she's sincere, however. Let me see what I can do."

"Anle, what did the bearded man say to go without shackles? I'll bite my tongue and die right here if you don't tell me, and then you'll be back where you started."
No. 964298 ID: 015bf2

Quite. You should've hired on the other war wizard, her obvious reservations be damned. Ah, hindsight...

You're not sure about the elf - seems a bit of a coincidence - and besides you've been told not to speculate on the matter which... actually gives you hope, since there's no point in keeping secrets from those destined for a cookpot. Nor in treating their wounds, hm? You can readily believe them being meat eaters - they had no interest in your bread - but this is a forest and you hope them handy enough hunters to be able to pass making rations of those not yet a corpse.

Turn to Anri and make note that if any bread was indeed procured, you'd prefer it to meat of suspect nature. There is a belief that illness spreads more quickly among your kind if one resorts to cannibalism. They would not want their man of letters to get sick, correct?

Look back to Caoiran. Tell her it's hard to see where this ends, but for what it's worth you appreciate her courage and for doing as paid and trying to protect you. If you both get out of here, you'll owe her. On that note, you advice she face whatever the orcs have planned with a staunch neck and brave mien, as she has, but to not to push her captors so far as to give corporeal punishment. Proud they may be and so too she, but she and you are the beaten already. If the choice is comply or die, pride can be swallowed... for a time. The orcs seem to be here for something specific and mention has been made of you being let go once that is over. She should consider how to be keep herself alive 'till then.

Really. What with blood loss and all she'll be weakened for a while and further beatings may indeed leave her too weak. You'd hate to see that happen, when she could live to fight another day. Indeed, as she still has a sword hand her use as a guard has not diminished terribly. Strap a shield to the stump and she'd be sword and boarding her way across the lands soon enough, eh?

(Gauge the reactions of the orcs as you try to cheer Caoiran up and try to get her to play ball.)
No. 964299 ID: d88d26

Tell her that you heard the wizard that fuck us up is a captive and wounded. We may be able to escape if we recruit him.
We are still alive and we can find a way out, don't give up yet.
No. 964300 ID: d63ea8

Let's reassure Caoirin as best as well can. We're going to try and find a way that we can all get out of here.

I don't like the way Renza is looking at us.
We should quietly ask Caoiran for any advise she can give us.

And we should definitely insist that our companions should be treated well if we are to cooperate.
No. 964314 ID: 5877dc

>we hope to complete our task without people knowing that we are here
The people who just ran away will most definitely spread the rumors of the orc assault (assuming they did not attack anyone else and their location wasn't already reported to the lords), so their plans are clearly not well-designed. While they're lucky that they captured you, thinking they can try again indefinitely would be wishful thinking.

>They hate weakness
I guess this means that we should be acting tough then.

>Kevwar said something to them
Perhaps he requested a deathmatch or something like that. Not something we'd be able to afford ourselves.

Hmm. Ask Caoiran is Orcs are known to keep their words. But otherwise, tell her that you'll do all that you can to make them let her go.

And yes, we have much to ask of Anle. Such as, why isn't she acting like other orcs? What she displayed to you would clearly be called a sign of weakness by her companions. Not that you think she's weak, just the opposite, you think her will to fight her own instincts is very powerful. Still, how can she guarantee the cooperation of her own companions and the safety of the captives? Especially after what Renza said, it really didn't seem like they're letting anyone go, nor that they're interested in Renza's "important thing". If she's got a plan, then maybe she could run it through you and you could point out ways to make it... stronger.

We should also ask Anle who Kelepee is; are they this group's leader?
Also, what's going to happen to the Kevwar (but don't phrase it like Caoiran told you)?

I have a funny theory. What if Anle is doing all of this just to court Kelepee? To gift us to Kelepee in return to bear their children? I mean, given what we overheard outside earlier, it sounds a bit like this Kelepee found a random book and casually decided they wanted to know what was written in it. So the group decided to randomly kill people just to appease their leader's whims. Orcs surely wouldn't be this stupid, would they...?
No. 964315 ID: 015bf2

Do not talk of escape with two orc listeners standing right beside you.
No. 964316 ID: b1b4f3

Ask her if she knows what happens to a war wolf if a war wizard dies. Does it go berserk?
Also does she know what "take-shares" is?
No. 964333 ID: b1b4f3

Oh right and tell her that the orcs want you to read something, and are willing to give you and the surviving mercs preferential treatment if you cooperate.
You're thinking about bartering for a bit more than that. ...maybe we can arrange for a long-term contract? At the very least I think we need to go talk to Kevwar next to find out how to interact properly with Orc culture. See if they can be trusted to honor deals, and if they'd be willing to work as mercenaries once their job here is done, whatever it is. Having a group of orcs guarding the caravan from here on would be very nice. Better than a war witch, apparently. Though we'd also have to find out if they're likely to be attacked on sight. That would be very inconvenient.
No. 964408 ID: f13561

“They’ve got bedroom eyes for us, so I’d say it’s us that are fucked.”

I don’t think Caoiran is going to be any help to you. And there’s nothing really you can do for her. Chat, as much as either of you are up for it, just for sanity’s sake. Then see where the Orcs take you next.
No. 964423 ID: b1b4f3

I think I figured out how Kevwar avoided getting chained up. Orcs value strength, right? Except it's more than that. They have to avoid appearing weak.

Why chain up someone weaker than you? Doesn't make sense. You'd only do that when you think there's a risk to the prisoner being unchained. Either that they can run, or fight. Either that they're faster than you, or stronger than you. So Kevwar merely pointed that out. By chaining him they'd be admitting that he's a threat, even a minor one. By leaving him unchained you could say they're bragging about him being so weak they could recapture him easily, and I'm sure he encouraged that point of view.

I'm not sure that would work for us though, now that they know we're valuable-- valuable things need more security. Wouldn't hurt to bring it up on the way to the next tent though...
No. 964427 ID: dbd72b

Explain what Anle's told you so far, and tell her you'll do your best to get everyone out of here (whisper: one way or another)
Don't get too into any plans yet. Hard to tell how well those two can listen, and all this "take share" stuff, and how Renza "wants you" doesn't bode well
No. 964450 ID: 12b116
File 158828446173.jpg - (252.14KB , 888x660 , e2m8.jpg )

You very very quietly intimate to Caoiran that you intend to do everything you can to get everyone out of there.

Less surreptitiously, you inform her of what's gone on generally, that they need someone who can read and that Anle, at least, has promised lenient treatment in exchange for your cooperation.

You do reflect that them trying to keep you from asking about their mission does mean there's at least a chance they aren't going to kill you. Which is a nice thought.

You tell Caoiran how grateful you are for her service and the extent she's gone to protect you, but that the best move now is to cooperate.

You also let her know that the War Wizard is a captive here too, and 'not well' in some way, possibly wounded.

You think about what Caoiran told you about orcs and how they hate weakness, and also reflect on how Anle has treated you: Fairly compassionately, almost begging for your cooperation at one point. You theorize that there are two possible explanations: either Anle is acting totally un-orc-like, or Caoiran doesn't exactly know what she's talking about. You speculate as to the which theory is more likely to be correct.

She doesn't seem to know what "take-shares" is, other than that the language the orcs speak is really close but not exactly the same as the language normal people speak. There's probably a word for it.

You decide that Caoiran probably isn't the best person to ask about the nuances of War Wolves.

You chat a little longer, reassuring her. You think she seems a bit more hopeful, and the fire is still very much in her eyes. You think she'll go along with what you suggest once you come up with a plan.

Anle stands up after a while, pouring some of the herb soup into a clay cup.

"This will help with pain, and help you heal faster," she says. You can tell Caoiran wants to spit it into her face, preferably her eyes, and then try to bite her or something, but she makes eye contact with you, and then complies. Whatever it is smells fairly good, but you aren't offered any. The water and jerky do make you feel a bit better though.

Now, you have a few questions for Anle.

You ask what Renza means by "wanting" you, and that you'll be much more cooperative if you know your companions are safe.

"Ah," Anle says, cutting her eyes, "Well, -"

Renza sighs, rolling her eyes and stands up, staring directly into your eyes while she talks.

"Until you're released, if you're released, you and the other captives belong to one of us, and you do what your owner says." You can't help but look away.

"B-but as long as you're cooperative, you'll be treated well!" Anle hurriedly adds, "Everyone knows that you shouldn't be mistreated, because mistreated property sometimes finds a knife, and that's how owners end up with slit throats," she growls the last part out, narrowing her eyes at Renza.

You tell her that you prefer bread to meat, and that you heard that humans who eat human flesh get sick. This time Anle rolls her eyes and Renza laughs.

"We don't eat people," Anle says, exasperated.

"Oh yes we do!" Renza says, grinning, and licks her teeth. "Bad people get chopped up and seared. The really bad ones, we eat alive!"

Anle shoves her, and Renza laughs as she staggers backwards.

"Just stop it, really. Why do you want to make life harder for everyone?" Anle says, frowning.

"None of that is true." she says. Caoiran mouths "I told you" to you.

You ask Anle about Kevwar, and ask if he isn't shackled.

"Let's just go see him," she says, helping you stand and hustling out of the tent.

"I'm going to tell Echedo not to come get you," she says into the darkness of the tent as you leave.

You notice some activity going on. It's much brighter outside. A large fire has been set up in the center of the innermost tent circle, and sure enough, they're definitely roasting your horse. They also appear to be using wood from your wagon to do so.

You do see a few breads sitting on the ground as well, along with several spears and gambesons and helmets, the elf's sword, several bedrolls, your tent, and Caoiran's sword, shield and armor. The helmet and breastplate are dented.

There are at least eight orcs milling around, but you don't see too much before you're hustled inside of another tent.

There's Kevwar, wearing his helmet and a loincloth, along with a pair of orcs, one of whom appears to be wearing armor. You can see a cloak tossed in a heap on the floor.

Anle appeared to have expected the male (you assume) orc to be here, but not the one wearing armor.

"I was just looking for you, Anle," the tall one with armor says. "I was going to ask you if you've found out anything useful from the captive you were supposed to be seeing to, but I see you're giving them a tour of the camp instead." She grins. It isn't very mirthful.

"Ah, well, this one can read and write, Kelepee," Anle says, and then hands Kelepee your ledger, presumably the book she 'found.' "The new captives are going to cooperate and help us," she continues, "in exchange for fair treatment, and that we release them when we're done here."

Kelepee shrugs, "That is absolutely great news! Fantastic! Perfectly reasonable!" she says, smiling, then turns to the male. "Echedo, you can probably go tell Miranni to relieve Renza so she can fight," she says.

"Yes ma'am," the male says laconically, keeping one hand on Kevwar's shoulder. Kevwar addresses you, noticing the funny look on your face.

"No need to worry about me, boss. I lived with orcs out past the desert. I'm what they call 'purpose-placed,' meaning I proved myself trustworthy to them. Got a tattoo and everything. Never thought it would come up, to be honest." There's a little bit of something in the look he gives you, and you can tell that he'd rather not say anything else in the present company. You'll probably have to get him alone if you want to find out more.

More importantly, he's definitely not shackled and doesn't even have a collar on. As he walks past, you can see a strange symbol tattooed on his shoulder blade. That answers that, you suppose?

"Hey you!" Kelepee says once they've left. Anle shoots you a warning look and definitely seems nervous. Kelepee claps her hands together.

"So you can read, huh? That means I'm going to make your life easier. See, I am going to win first pick of the loot, because I am a badass," she says, her smile more genuine.

"Our Wolf Wizard is sick, and we have a medicine book that we think we can use to make him better, but the people who had the medicine book wouldn't help us and tried to run away, so we killed them," she draws her thumb across her throat and sticks her tongue out, making a 'glk' noise to indicate that they did, indeed, kill them.

"The Wolf Wizard belongs to Hamellatkurei, who is in charge, so he's going to want you to read the book, but who ends up with you is going to determine what you're going to be doing most of the time to help us until we finish our job. So." Anle is pursing her lips, looking generally displeased.

"I am going to win you, but I am going to let you pick who I give you to. Why would I do that? You ask? Because I think ambushing travelers on the road in the hopes of finding someone who can read the book to make the Wolf Wizard better is a stupendous waste of time and resources, and an absolutely awful idea to start with, so I want you to be more or less happy so I don't have to chop off your head when you try to poison the wolf wizard or stab somebody or try to run off. Make sense?" Her smile is all teeth.

Orcs have a lot of teeth.

"I am the head scout," she taps the symbol on her pauldron, not waiting for you to answer. "If I keep you, you're mostly going to be hanging out at camp in my tent making sure it's clean and just sort of doing this and that."

"Miranni is the assistant, uh," she seems to be searching for a word, "Ghost medicine talker?" She looks at Anle.

"She takes care of the Wolf-thing," she says after an unhelpful silence from Anle. "If I give you to Miranni, you'll probably mostly take care of the wolf thing.

"Anle doesn't get a share, so I can't give you to her, even though you're already best buddies I bet," she winks.

"Renza watches the captives, but I promise you don't want me to give you to Renza ... " she looks off into space.

"I'm forgetting somebody," she says.

"Grann," Anle says.

"Grann is the head cook. Sure. He was on the raid." She nods to herself. "If I give you to Grann, you'll probably help pick herbs and check traps or whatever Grann does all day." She hops up and down, clearly full of energy.

"Who'se it gonna be?"

She looks at you expectantly.

You could also use this opportunity to ask her some questions, but you feel like she really wants an answer from you first.
No. 964451 ID: 015bf2

Gods, you've become a manservant. Literally!

Cock your head sideways, look Kelepee up and down with a scrutinizing mien and say you'll select her. Because, apparently, she's badass.

She also sounds reasonable and out of the few orcs you've spoken to besides Anle seems the most sympathetic to how stupid it is to kill random travelers over the hope of getting someone to read a medicine tome that may or may not be useful in the end - after having killed the people who'd be most useful in interpreting said book.

(There was absolutely a chance you'd have been willing to help for barter or free if they'd just asked, in exchange for being let past their haunt without trouble, and you might want to mention this to validate Anle and Kelepee's objections, at least in their own minds.)

Kelepee is also the most likely to protect her take-share if the medicine tome thing goes wrong through as long as it appears to be no particular fault of ours - to her this was a fool's errand in the first place. Additionally, as the head scout she's probably going to be away a lot and that theoretically leaves you with more freedom (though other orcs in camp might pay attention to you and you'd have less defense against them since your 'owner' isn't there all the time).

Under Miranni you'd probably also get some orc medicine skill and cultural understanding under your belt. Serving with Grann might give you forest survival knowledge and a trap-checking excursion could be the best chance to escape (although only on your own). You've met neither of them though, so would have to risk the vagaries of their character.

Renza, meanwhile, intimidates you, delights in bullying others, and as such, if given a choice, you'd rather not serve under her. That said... if you're feeling particularly self-sacrificing you could select Renza to protect another captive. She seems unlikely to treat, say, Caoirin particularly well as her take-share. Whereas you ostensibly have a use for the entire group - or at least the leader in particular - and she'd take a rep hit if she hurt or kilt you. Out of everyone she's the least likely to want to harm you too harshly.
No. 964452 ID: ce39da

"If I go with Grann, could he be in a position to recover the rest of my wares? Maybe if I told him how they can be used?"

Even if much of the bread is beyond saving, we don't want this to be a total loss. If not, however, we'll want someone with some sort of idea what they're doing when it comes to the War Wizard, in case we fuck up somehow, so Miranni might be the best bet.
No. 964453 ID: e7c7d3

Taking care of wolf thing seems like the second worst thing, but I wanna learn about wolf thing. I say Miranni.
No. 964461 ID: f56a2b

Lets join the head scout. She won't fuck with us, and nobody will fuck with her property. Besides that, a general this-and-that position should be a great way to gain more responsibilities and soak up more information as well as have more influence.
No. 964462 ID: d63ea8

Judging from the exchange between Anle and Renza, it seems that a lot of the rumors surrounding Orcs might be deliberately overblown for the added intimidation factor. Regardless we should try to be careful.

I'd say that you want to go with Grann. Not only would you be able to use/recover your wares like >>964452 suggested, but you might be able to supplement you lost goods with hunting and foraging once you are eventually released.

As interesting as the War Wolf might be, we need to think about our long term livelihood as well as our immediate survival.
No. 964464 ID: b1b4f3

>doesn't get a share
Ahhh, okay. I think I get it. Share means something like slave, because the slave shares their skills with the owner. Take-share means taking/earning a slave by combat. Why not ask to confirm this? Also ask why Enle doesn't get a share.
The orcs actually seem reasonable, if excessively pragmatic and prone to taking slaves, and the conversation you overheard still makes sense in this context. However, even as reasonable as they are, they are still murdering people. You should keep this in mind; they are a hostile force in your realm.

Anyway, this mostly seems to be a choice of what skill to learn, but could also let you figure out a plan to get everyone free, or if not that stop whatever the orcs are doing.
Going with Kelepee means you won't learn a lot actually, since it's mundane work, but I guess you might be in a position to find out what they're doing here, by snooping in her tent? If it's something as dangerous as you should expect right now, you might be able to report it to some military force and foil whatever the orcs are doing. Hmm, another possibility is you could learn how to fight from her, since she's a badass.
Helping Miranni will let you learn medicine and also possibly get the wolf-wizard free so he can fight the orcs. This could also get you the wolf-wizard as a long-term guard at a discounted rate. Or just learn more about wolf-wizards, that could be useful too.
Renza is a no.
Grann would let you learn herbalism and trapping or whatever, and cooking, and also possibly give you a chance to poison the orcs.

...personally I say go with Miranni. You can save a life this way. No matter what happens, that has value.
No. 964473 ID: 8b270f

"I am going to win you"
No. 964475 ID: b1b4f3

Ah, let me add on something else: from the earlier conversation, Miranni was really irritable. I can read a bit between the lines now, and I think it's because she's depressed. She was trying to avoid talking about the wolf-wizard, downplaying his value, and dismissing the possibility of hope. We could earn her gratitude by helping, and if we purposefully choose not to help she will know, and that may earn us an enemy. Or maybe it will make her more angry at Kelepee, and/or whoever else you choose?
Actually, something doesn't fit here. Kelepee says it was a huge waste of resources to go through all this trouble to get someone who could read just to help the wolf-wizard. If that's the case why are you being treated as valuable? Heck, the only other person you have influence on that matters is Caoiran, since Kevwar is known as trustworthy already. I feel like my intuition was correct earlier, and they're planning for you to translate sensitive information. They just don't want you to know that yet.
No. 964476 ID: 5877dc

>roasting your horse and using wood from your wagon to do so
RIP. Even if we salvaged the bread, the revenue wouldn't pay for a new horse and wagon.

>is a stupendous waste of time and resources, and an absolutely awful idea to start with
If she's so smart, then why isn't she in charge?

>Anle doesn't get a share, so I can't give you to her
/me hears the word "denied" coming from somewhere above

First, ask Kelepee why Anle doesn't get a share.

I'd probably choose Kelepee then, since she sounds the smartest, the most reasonable, and is in the highest position. Well explained in >>964451. My second pick would be Grann. I don't like the other two choices. You don't wanna be anywhere near the wolf if the War Wizard dies.

Sigh, at this point it doesn't matter anymore if we befriended the War Wizard, nor does it matter if we're released. Since we lost everything we had, we should work towards using this group of orcs to our own benefit. They're strong, so surely they'll obtain some valuables down the road. We might offer our merchanting skills to sell the stuff for them and buy stuff as well. And in the process take a share for ourselves. That seems like the most logical way to recover our losses... or even become rich heh.

Some other questions that we may ask:
Is there's a limit of how many captives each orc can have? I have a feeling the limit is one, considering Hamellatkurei isn't an option.
What the number of dots under the sign on the belt mean?
Can we touch her fluff?
And the most burning question. Do orcs ever practice recreational sex with their captives hehe
No. 964485 ID: 3ed3c3

"You. Not for any of the reasons you stated, but because I want you to be stuck with me as I carefully observe you and proceed to dissect your personality and point out your every failing and shortcoming. For instance, are you aware that despite being 'badass,' you aren't in charge? Isn't that funny? I think it's hilarious."
No. 964486 ID: 015bf2

Definitely not this, whatever this is.
No. 964506 ID: 6c9030

Seduce Kelepee.
While she's out scouting, see if you can get a side gig helping Miranni.
No. 964528 ID: 9c48ac

>ghost medicine talker

Ask why Anle doesn't get a share while you think.

Tough choice, but I guess Miranni. Ghost medicine sounds bitchin'.
No. 964529 ID: b34040

Kelepee or Grann. Kelepee because you've already had a chance to meet her and she seems okay, or Grann because you could pick up some useful skills.
No. 964532 ID: dbd72b

Gotta go Kelepee. Not only is she fairly reasonable if we want to actually play along, but as a scout who said we'd be tent sitting, we have the most autonomy with her, too, if we want some shenanigans.

(each new murder floof is floofier than the last...)
No. 964600 ID: 86794b

Well....I guess Miranni. Though honestly, Kelepee could be the more practical choice? Kinda torn.
No. 964658 ID: 12b116
File 158844885230.jpg - (240.23KB , 957x613 , e2m9.jpg )

You ask if there's any way you could split your time between Kelepee and Miranni. You tell her that you're probably going to have to work with Miranni anyway if you're dealing with the medicine, because the War Wizard and the War Wolf are connected to one another, but you also think she's reasonable.

Kelepee taps her bottom lip. Anle seems concerned.

"Sure. I'll keep you, but I'll let Miranni use you how she wants unless I need you. So do what I tell you first, then what she wants you to do." She nods, seemingly satisfied.

"After I win you, which I will in a moment."

You decide to ask her a few questions first.
Treading carefully, you ask Kelepee why she isn't in charge. She seems rational, and she's a badass, after all.

Anle's eyes immediately go wide as Kelepee starts to laugh, spittle flecking her lips, eyes wide and manic. You see all the glistening teeth in her slavering maw as she continues to cackle, lunging forward but stopping just short. You flinch back blood running cold.

"What the fuck does being really really really REALLY good at killin' have to do with being in charge?" she screams, her spittle dotting your face, and Anle steps forward, pushing you halfway behind her, crouching slightly. Kelepee growls low in her throat, but her eyes begin to soften slightly as her posture relaxes, and she blinks slowly, wiping the drool from her lips with the back of her hand.

"Sorry about that," she says, smiling.

You decide not to ask her anything else. She walks out of the tent with a little bounce in her step.

"See you in a bit," she says, grinning.

Once she's gone, you ask Anle why she doesn't get a share.

"Because I wasn't on the raid," she says. "People raid, take everything from the raid, and Hamellatkurei splits it between the people who went. If you want a particular thing for your share, you can fight anybody else who wants to pick instead to have a take-share instead of the share Hamellatkurei gives you," she explains.

"I'd already made a deal with Sugroul to trade one of the captives for something she wants. I was supposed to talk to her and tell her which one I want after I'd seen to all of them, but that was predicated on Kelepee not wanting the same one I did. At least I'll be able to protect your friend from Renza."

She squeezes her eyes shut, seemingly trying to collect herself, before she continues. "Of course, now I have to watch you because she just left, so I can't even talk to him. Kelepee loves killing. Violence excites her. There is something very wrong with her brain. Please be very careful around her." She pauses a moment, still looking concerned.

"Miranni didn't want to go on the raid at all. She thinks something bad will happen, and her bad feeling has carried with her the entire time. Her teacher had to go, though, so she had to come with him." She rubs her temples.

"This is such a mess. I just want it to be over. I'll look out for you and the other captives the best I can. I want everyone to go home as quickly as possible." She sighs deeply. You hear shouting and various noises of celebration from outside.

It isn't long before Kelepee returns, bringing an unfamiliar orc in with her.

"Get out, Anle," Kelepee says cheerfully, her armor and fur now streaked with dirt. Barely giving Anle time to react, she grabs her by the collar of her top and shoves her through the tent flap, bumping her with her hip to send her staggering forward.

The other orc steps to the side. Her fluff is combed down over one eye, which seems like a bad idea if one wanted to see out of it.

The second orc, who you assume is Miranni, seems largely unimpressed by this turn of events, and even fairly upset.

"And this one can read? You're sure?" she sighs.

"Oh absolutely!" Kelepee says.

Miranni sighs deeply. "I'm going to strangle Tante if he brings this up."

Kelepee grins, showing off her teeth. "So yeah, you can tell it what to do while I'm gone, but it has to do what I want first, and it's going to stay in my tent." Kelepee says, finishing what must be an earlier conversation with Miranni.

"I understand," Miranni says. "If it's going to be helping me, there is a lot to go over. I'd want the captive tonight. Plus, it's going to have to study the medicine book at some point. Although I'm sure you're exhausted," she says, addressing the last statement to you.

"Who do you want to stay with tonight," Kelepee asks, looking at you. "That's fine, right Miranni?"

Miranni rolls her eyes. "Sure. Are you going to be going to check the traps around the corpse-pit in the morning?"

"I figured the captive'd do that too, although I'm open to giving it a bit of freedom in the itinerary. And I'm sure you have some questions," Kelepee says, addressing the last statement to you.

You have some choices to make.

Stay with Kelepee tonight
Stay with Miranni tonight

If you stay with Miranni, do you:

Study the medicine book
Find out about the War Wolf, and what you'll need to do to take care of it

And in the morning, do you want to:

Check the corpse pit first
Study the medicine book/work on the medicine
Help Miranni/learn about the War Wolf and what you'll need to do for her

You can also ask either Miranni or Kelepee any questions you have.
No. 964659 ID: b1b4f3

Stay with Miranni tonight. Perhaps we should try to minimize our time near Kelepee.
Find out about the War Wolf, and what you'll need to do to take care of it
Check the corpse pit first to keep Kelepee happy, unless by finding out about the war wizard we discover he requires immediate care.

Ask Miranni how sick the war wizard is. Has he had a balanced diet? Humans can't survive on meat alone. (could be scurvy)
No. 964660 ID: 86794b

Uhhhhhh, I guess my initial instinct was kinda right, again. Anyway, uh, we've seen a little of Kelepee, so maybe it's time to get to know Miranni.

Kinda depends how you feel - if you ARE exhausted, rest might be a good idea. Otherwise, it's kinda up to Miranni - but if she tells you to pick one, uh...I guess the War Wolf? No strong preference.

In the morning, it might be a good idea to help Telepee to check the corpse pit. I feel like having decided to split between Telepee and Miranni, we should probably try to keep that up - I'm not sure how Telepee would react to us going "actually, uh, can we just stick with Miranni?" at this point. Though frankly if we were able to re-choose that's where I'm leaning, now. Even so, Miranni is also still kindof an unknown, so far, so don't push anything at this point, regardless.
No. 964663 ID: e7c7d3

Stay with Miranni, since you'll be working with her tonight.

Find out about the war wolf. I kind of feel it'd be a good asset to understand for when we escape

Study medicine in the morning
No. 964666 ID: d63ea8

We should Stay with Miranni tonight.
and study the medicine bool.
The sooner we can get our job done, the sooner we can everyone out of here.

Then we should Check the corpse pit first since we don't want Kelepee to get upset with us.
No. 964668 ID: ce39da

Stay with Miranni, and study the medicine book. If there are any misconceptions and primers we need to get out of the way, we should do it while there's free time.

If no emergencies crop up, check the corpse pit first. We'll probably want to take stock of the dead and their belongings while getting on Kelepee's good side.
No. 964677 ID: 5877dc

>What the fuck does being really good at killin' have to do with being in charge?
Not much. I was mostly referring to her being smart/rational when she called ambushing travelers a dumb idea. But it seems she ignored that part. Still, that's a strange question for her to ask. It implies that being a strong warrior has nothing to do with being a leader, making it seem that Caoiran was quite wrong in her description of the orc society. We'll probably need to get some alone time with Kevwar for that.

Stay with Kelepee tonight. Chad.png
But if going with Miranni, then medicine book it is. In the morning as well.

Has Kelepee ever killed or seriously harmed any of her captives before?
Limit on the number of captives per orc, and why?
Fluff...... but I don't wanna get our hand bitten off, so nevermind that for now.
No. 964692 ID: 3ed3c3

They're both awful, and with any luck, they'll both be dead before long, but stay with Miranni tonight.
Study the book and figure out how we can deceive these animals. If we're cautious, we may be able to sabotage their "job" and get some much-needed revenge.
No. 964705 ID: f56a2b

Time to rest, you need to conserve your energy. In the morning, hit the books.
No. 964711 ID: 86794b

Seems a bit much; it's pretty clear they are significantly better than animals, and better even than the kind of race the rumors would lead one to believe. And Miranni we're not sure yet how she is compared to Kelepee, yet; the only thing we know about her, AFAIK, is that she got irritable with her fellow orc, in that conversation we overheard.

On the other hand, their highway murders and cultural slave-taking are very objectionable, and as individuals they seem to run a very wide gamut between "fairly reasonable, and compassionate given the circumstances" to "vindictive and/or psychotic", more evenly distributed than is really ok.

Still, I'm inclined to consider a small chance that maybe, just maybe, they ARE in fact on a mission that will save lives on both sides, as Anle asserted earlier. ...And hopefully not one like "we'll take everybody slaves so we don't have to kill them". I'm inclined to see what happens, and see if we can figure out their true purpose.
No. 964713 ID: a3dd8f

Stay with Miranni tonight, learn what you’ll need to do to care for the War Wolf.

In the morning, head out to check the traps around the Corpse-pit. I do not envy you that job, but just try to keep away from the bodies themselves. And find something to cover your mouth and nose, the stench will be near unbearable.
No. 964724 ID: 015bf2

Note to self: Consider carefully what to say to Kelepee - and why she reacted so strongly to your comment about making a good leader. While she might be crazy it seems an oddly genial kind up until the lid blows. You'll want to try to keep her in that genial state and get out of the way when her weird temper flares.

>what do
Kelepee seems alright with us doing whatever, but after that display we should probably try to balance our duties to err on the side of caution. Miranni seems disdainful of us, but eager to get some assistance to hasten things up. Prioritizing her request for speed while also fulfilling duties for Kelepee seems like the most reasonable course.

"I had the wagon. Pretty sure I can last for a while longer."
Stay overnight with Miranni and Find out about War Wolf - it's gonna get late, so don't strain your eyes or spend limited lighting resources needlessly. Talking to Miranni and hearing about the Wolf might give you some clues, too.

To balance out your duties Check on Pit for Kelepee in the morning.


How often does Kelepee display her, uh, intensity and what's the appropriate response other than sphincter-clenching?

Can Miranni summarize the war wizard's malady? What signs, how long, how bad, etc. Having some idea of what's wrong might make trawling the book faster.

What is this 'corpse pit' you're supposed to be checking on?
No. 964735 ID: 8b270f

Stay with Kelepee tonight
(don't say this but)
when humans are prezented with tew horses
the humans are drawn twords a strong horse
No. 964783 ID: dbd72b

Oh no she's hot...

But Miranni is more practical. She seems cool, and you can look at book.
No. 964928 ID: 12b116
File 158861304147.jpg - (81.14KB , 618x433 , e2m10.jpg )

You decide to stay with Miranni the first night. You tell Kelepee you want to get a head start on your duties, but you will absolutely take care of the corpse pit first thing in the morning.

She waves gleefully and says "Have fun!"

Miranni sighs. She hooks one claw through the ring between your manacles, and leads you to another tent.

There's a pile of bedding, mostly heavy fabrics and bedrolls, and another chest in one corner. She takes some of the bedrolls off the top of the pile and tosses them on the ground next to it. She grunt at you and then peels off her mantle, tossing it into the corner. She digs around in the box and comes back with a brush, sitting on her bedding and combing her fur.

She is ... definitely missing an eye.

You sit on what is clearly your bedding and look away, although you can hear the brush moving through her thick fur. From her expression, you could tell she didn't want you looking at her.

Your bedding reeks. It stinks like orc, but also like unwashed human. The orcs must not have a very good sense of smell.

You ask about the War Wolf and what Miranni's duties are.

"We keep it separate from the Wolf Wizard. Hamellatkurei keeps the Wizard in his tent. The Wolf is restrained in a different tent. I have to clean it and feed it. It eats carrion."

She is silent for a moment. On some level, you're aware of her body behind you, but you also feel the horror of your situation viscerally. You hope they really are trying to do something good here. Even then, you aren't sure that would begin to excuse their actions so far.

"The wolf itself is tied to the ghost of the wizard. They feel what one another feel, although the wizard doesn't feel the wolf's pain. The wolf definitely feels the wizard's pain. Since the wizard has been sick, the wolf is much more placid, which has made my job easier, although the illness is in the wolf now as well. It's a concern."

You ask about the sickness.

"He was injured when he was captured. The wound began to fester, although the corrupt flesh was excised, but his body was not well. We found medicine, and tried to administer it to him with the help of some captives, but we fear they poisoned him. He sweats frequently. His skin is discolored. We give him water and some food, but mostly feed the wolf, which helps to sustain him. The ghost of the wizard is in the wizard and the wolf, but there are more ghosts inside of the wolf as well." You feel her looking at you, but keep your eyes averted. She speaks somewhat haltingly, trying to be brief. You keep your opinions to yourself. You think feeding the wizard some more balanced food could help him, but you aren't sure if you want to help him.

You ask more about the wolves generally, and she explains in some detail. You get the general impression that what Caoiran said about war wolves doesn't exactly track, although Miranni says there is a constant, low-level desire to kill that burns in both the creature and the wizard. If the wizard is killed, she feels confident that the wolf would also die, although obviously this isn't something she can test.

Orcs don't have war wolves, so she doesn't know how they're made, but she can feel the power running through it and connecting them. The Wizard has to be nearby, and can even see through its eyes, although he can exert more or less control over it, and the more tight control he exerts, the less aware he is of his own surroundings. Injuring him cripples the construct if it's severe enough, although as she explained before, injuries to the wolf don't transfer to the wizard.

You decide to change topics.

You ask about Kelepee. Has she ever harmed a captive? How often does she have violent fits.

"I'm an apprentice Shaman," she says. It's not a word you'd ever heard before, but it must be the 'ghost-talking' they'd mentioned.

"To connect with ghosts and other beings with ghost-power, we drink a certain wine that allows the drinker to be aware of their ghost separate from their body. The experience is difficult. You feel pain and see things that can't normally be seen. It is not something done lightly. Some orcs die." Her brushing stops. You hear her set the brush down on the floor.

"I gouged out my eye during my awakening."

She pauses again. You stay silent.

"Kelepee wanted to become a shaman. She did not awaken. Instead, I think her ghost died, and the ghost of an animal took its place. She has the mind of a person, but the ghost of a beast, and her mood and behavior are unpredictable. When what she thinks should happen doesn't happen, she becomes unmoored and violent, although she still recognizes the people around her."

You ask if she's ever harmed any of her captives.

"She has only had one other captive on this mission, and she killed it. She said it tried to escape. I had never spoken to her before this mission." She leaves it there.

You ask if there's a one-captive-per-orc rule.

"Captives are divided just like any other treasure," she says somewhat unhelpfully.

You ask what the corpse pit is. You can feel the contempt as she answers.

"The pit where we throw the corpses." There is a pause. She does tell you where it is, though. They apparently also through offal and waste in it.

"Of course, this attracts scavenging animals, so traps are set to catch them. We eat those animals. Now go to sleep."

You hear her shuffling in the bedding behind you, and try to make something semi-comforable, although the horror of the situation, your shackles, and the unfamiliar and unpleasant surroundings fight a valiant battle against your exhaustion.
No. 964929 ID: 12b116
File 158861310841.jpg - (148.98KB , 912x343 , e2m11.jpg )

You wake up in the morning. Miranni looks down at you impassively, fur combed down over the empty socket where her left eye should be.

"After you finish, I'll be in the wolf's tent." She tells you which one it is. "This is the medicine book." She pats a slim wooden box on top of the trunk in the room. It's locked, not just latched like the one in the first tent. There's also a smaller trunk that's just latched.

"There is food and water in there, and a bag for the animals," she says, pointing to the other chest. You investigate, drinking some water and eating some dried meat and berries and take the unpleasantly-stained sack with you. She waits for you to leave and then follows you out, walking part-way toward the corpse pit.

"Take the animals out of the traps and put them in the bag, then hang the bag there." She points to a wooden post with a metal hook outside one of the larger tents. "After you're done, spend time with the book or come help me. I don't care which."

She leaves.

You go to the corpse pit.

You use a strip of cloth to cover your mouth and nose, but you notice a sweet, unfamiliar smell before the stink of corruption washes over you.

There are at least ten bodies in the pit, mostly human, with some goblins. Most of them are stripped nude, and some have been skinned. Some have been chopped into pieces, although it's impossible to say if this happened before or after they were killed. There are also buckles, rotting scabbards, pouches animal bones and other things that the orcs didn't seem to care about thrown in with the bodies, including a large number of coins. Apparently, they have no interest in actual money.

The sight fills you with dread. You want to vomit, and not just from the smell. You've never seen something so horrifying before in your entire life. Looking away, you see the traps hidden at choke points around the perimeter. You take out the dead animals and put them in the sack, trying to forget about the corpses of people nearby.

After you've finished, you hang the sack on the hook, a loathsome feeling of revulsion clinging to you. Several orcs mill about the campsite, glancing at you from time to time.

Do you:

Read the Medicine Book
Go to Miranni
Go look for Kevwar
Go look for Caoiran or Anle
Go look for Kelepee
Something else.
No. 964931 ID: a609f9

Welp, I guess we choose poorly who we should gone to.

Anyway I think it's the best we study the book, tho trying to find and talk to Kevwar would be pretty god thing to do, if we manage it. Really ought to know more about orc social structures and tells before we do any more stupid decisions.
No. 964933 ID: ce39da

Read the medicine book; it's your best chance at survival. Especially keep an eye out for any mention of the symptoms Miranni described. Also, if it's at all feasible to take them, the coins in the corpse pit could help lessen the financial sting of this disaster.
No. 964935 ID: e7c7d3

Read the book. I'm still thinking wolf and wizard are our best bet on getting out of here
No. 964936 ID: b1b4f3

>lots of coins in the corpse pit
Hmmmmmm. I bet if we please the orcs during the time of service, we can get all those coins.
>if war wizard dies, wolf will probably die too
Hmm, well, that's less reason to let him die, though we should probably confirm it, and also ask him if he wants to be saved.

>wat do
Read the medicine book. Or we could talk to Kevwar if we can do so while he's alone and thus can give us some candid advice on surviving being a slave. Rule 1 seems to be not pissing off Kelepee.
No. 964939 ID: d63ea8

We need to focus on the book. It'll probably be the main thing that keep us and our companions alive.
No. 964949 ID: 3ed3c3

Avoid more orcs like the plague, and start working on the book. There may be something in there that can turn this around for us. They may suspect an attempt at poisoning, but there are other options.
No. 964953 ID: 5877dc

>When what she thinks should happen doesn't happen, she becomes unmoored and violent
Should keep that in mind. And act extremely agreeable with Kelepee's whims.

>Your bedding reeks
We'll need to ask someone if there are any streams nearby where we could wash this stuff. And ourselves. Orcs would likely object to it, but we can use the excuse of it being a requirement for treating the War Wizard.

>his body was not well
We should probably read the whole book before deciding on any treatment, so we don't accidentally treat him for the wrong thing.
inb4 this medicine book is actually just a cookbook

While reading the book (you should just slowly skim through it) think about building a ship. A ship which you could use to sail and obtain riches with. A small ship, but large enough that you could put a flag on. The flag of the Corpse Pit Pirates, arr! Swimming in those bodies and hooking those pouches!
But seriously, you'll probably need to get those for the money eventually, so you'll need to find a way to get over your nausea and a way to get those without contracting a set of diseases. It's probably not gonna happen anytime soon tho.

After skimming the book go to Miranni.
No. 964960 ID: b34040

Read the book. It's what they have you for, it's what makes you valuable enough to them that they're willing to give you a little bit of independence. You don't want to seem too reluctant to actually do so.
No. 964962 ID: 86794b

I suspect that
1. the coins have been here a while and will probably be there for a while yet
2. immediately swimming through corpses will mentally scar the protagonist, no matter the practicality. He can barely stand being near the pit. I expect we at least need to wait until it's not such a shock to him.
3. On top of the innate horror of the corpse pit, he may object to looting dead bodies, on principle.
4. It's not even imminently practical; it's money that would be nice to have if he gets out of this alive. The orcs clearly don't care for it; it's not going to help him barter with them.

I think keeping away from any new cultural/moral shocks for a bit and spending a few hours with a nice quiet book will help settle his nerves.
inb4 the book is on torture or blood summoning or something, haha
No. 965044 ID: b34040

I'm voting to not even *think* about grabbing the cash right now.
No. 965228 ID: 12b116
File 158872889191.jpg - (196.07KB , 974x500 , e2m12.jpg )

The coins in the corpse pit are tempting. Some are definitely easily accessible, but there appear to be quite a lot. You suspect that the bottom layer of corpses are probably bandits who were rooted out and murdered by the orcs when they first arrived.

The corpse pit itself is both disgusting and deeply disturbing, and you don't like thinking about it too much. Plus, the coins are apparently going to be there for a while.

But your 'job' here is to heal the War Wizard, you suppose, so it's probably best to study the book.

You avoid orcs and slip back into Miranni's tent.

You undo the clasps on the box, but when you lift the lid, you learn that it's not a lid. It's the cover of the book. The pages are illuminated and full of various diagrams, so the book is obviously very valuable. The cover is definitely not the original binding, and was probably used to protect the book since it was used by a group of travelers. It may also have been an attempt to disguise the nature of the book, seeing as how valuable it is.

So you start to read. You skim through most of the book quickly to see if you can get a general gist before you drill down further into the specifics.

You see various descriptions of maladies, along with a variety of plants and extracts that can be made from them to treat the maladies. So you read about making various oils and pastes and how to properly use the medicines themselves. You also do make note that a variety of the extracts and oils are poisons with several unpleasant effects. Even though you have a good memory, you'd almost definitely need the actual book with you to properly diagnose the War Wizard, and you'd definitely need it to concoct or apply any of the medicines.

Reading through the text, you can almost forget about your shackles and terrible situation. You've never held or read a book this nice before, packed with information and beautiful illustrations.

You take a break to eat some dried meat and berries and drink some water, and try to remember to ask somebody about a nearby river that you can use to wash in. The orcs are getting drinking water from somewhere, after all, and you didn't see a well.

You'd hope that they haven't been here long enough to dig a well.

After spending some time with the book, you're also keenly aware that the orcs probably have no idea what's in it, and it would be extremely easy to make some of the poisons without them knowing what you were doing, assuming the ingredients were available. Especially with their poor sense of smell, it might not even be that hard to adulterate the food or water, although currently you could really only poison Mirrin or maybe Kelepee, which isn't something you're sure you even want to do. The poisons that act quickly produce extremely noticeable effects: agonizing, debilitating pain and vomiting blood before dying. The slower-acting ones could definitely have been used on the War Wizard, although anything that requires lots of small doses would likewise probably be noticed.

You have no illusions whatsoever about what would happen if you were caught trying to poison the orcs. They already suspect that the former owner of the book was trying to poison the War Wizard, so it's likely they'd suspect you immediately if an orc you have contact with suddenly begins to sicken. Still ...

You check the sky and estimate the amount of daylight you have left.

You have enough time to do one more thing, probably. You suppose you're going to be in Kelepee's tent tonight as well.

Do you:
Study the book more and try to memorize something from it
Go help Mirrin with the War Wolf
Go see the War Wizard in Hamellathurei's tent
Go look for Kevwar/Echedo
Go look for Caoiran/Anle
Go dig coins out of the corpse pit
Take a nap
Something else
No. 965230 ID: d63ea8

We need advise if we are to survive a night with with Kelepee.
Go and look for Kevwar and see if he can give you any help.
No. 965233 ID: f56a2b

Lets chat with Kevwar.
No. 965234 ID: b1b4f3

Go see the War Wizard in Hamellathurei's tent. Diagnose him, but also see if you're allowed to ask the War Wizard general questions like, who is he, how is he holding up, how the hell did he get captured in the first place.
Might be a good time to meet Hamellathurei while you're at it.
...I wonder which captive the orc chef got.
No. 965235 ID: 015bf2

We need to know a little bit more about living with Orcs. Speak to Kevwar, who’s been through this once already, and ask for tips.
No. 965244 ID: 3ed3c3

Kevwar may be our in on getting the upper hand here. He's been through this before, and we have the advantage of the book and the fact that the orcs are hated by all their captives. If we can organize the captives and get enough poison brewed up, we could take out the orcs in one fell swoop.
No. 965258 ID: 86794b

Well, frankly, if it's not going to get us in trouble, it would be good to talk to Kevwar before we have to learn EVERYTHING the hard way, haha.

If there's a strong chance it'd get us in trouble, though, maybe instead go see Miranni and the War Wolf.

Is your autocorrect turning Miranni into Mirrin?
No. 965344 ID: 5877dc

I think while studying the book, we should be writing a list of maladies that interest us. There are three types which would be interesting.
- The one that the War Wizard could be poisoned with
- The one that the War Wizard could be cured with (based on the symptoms)
- The one that we could use to put an orc to sleep
The first two are obvious. The last one, we could give Kelepee so that she would sleep at night haha. And since it would be sleep and not poison, it shouldn't get us in trouble.
Once we have a list, we can then further boil it down to those of which ingredients we'd be able to procure, and cross out the rest.

I would only go visit the War Wizard with permission from Mirrani. However, I think we can visit Kevwar safely due to his trustworthy status.
No. 965345 ID: 12b116

yeah I misspelled her name and Hamellatkurei's I'm a big dummy
No. 965354 ID: 12b116
File 158876710339.jpg - (103.50KB , 456x648 , e2m13.jpg )

You consider your options with the medicine. Although none of the poisons caused people to fall asleep, several of the medicines made people drowsy and tired, and you make a point to look into those.

You decide you have what amounts to free time right now, though, so you go look for Kevwar.

The tent he's in is bigger than Miranni's, but has sleeping areas for three or four orcs. The coals from the fire are dim, keeping most of the interior in shadow.

Only Kevwar and Echedo are here, though, doing, uh ... something ...

You're about to just back slowly out when Kevward calls you over.

"First thing I learned to do was give a good backrub," he says matter-of-factly, and you realize nobody's naked and the orc seems extremely docile.

"He doesn't even know you're here," Kevwar continues. "Good back rub? they're dead to the world."

You ask Kevwar what happened to him before and if he has any advice for you.

"So," he says, "Was part of the baggage train for a military campaign. Ran up against some orcs, we was routed. Soldiers broke and ran, most of us non-soldier types gets taken by the orcs." This is clearly not a pleasant memory for him.

"This bunch? Way more violent. Not that the ones I was with were exactly flowers and sunshine. This bunch also's up to something." He cuts his eyes away and back.

"They got these 'Shamans'" (you tell him you've heard the term) "They drink this potion and go mad. They get these visions, and whatever the visions tell 'em to do, they go do. So the Shaman'll tell the village 'Oy, Hey! We gotta go get this gem outta this mountain!' or 'We gotta kill this wyvern, lives in this one oasis,' or something like that. Some high-up orc says 'Oy, I'm brave. I got clout. I'm your orc to lead this mission,' and he gets some of his fellas together and they set out and do the thing. Only happened maybe three times or so the whole time I was there. When they come back, they usually got lots of loot and whatnot, and everybody has a big party." Echedo makes some kind of gurgling purr as Kevwar hits a really good spot.

"Shamans ain't crazy either. They tell the village when soldiers or an enemy village are coming to attack them, or when there's a good target for a raid or whatnot. They can do some other tricks too. Although I never seen it, they say they can call on ghosts to fight, or to take control of orcs to make them braver and stronger, stuff like that." He shrugs. "Whatever they do is rough on 'em after the fact, and they gotta drink these concoctions to use their power."

He lowers his voice a bit. "Most 'a the ones here probably don't even know what they're here for, and just came because of the boss's clout. Lookin' at the tents and keepin' my eyes peeled, I figure there's about twelve to fourteen of them here total. They didn't come back with any more captives today, so anybody else is either dead or got away. Don't know that I'd favor the odds of them escaping." He motions you closer as he bears down hard with his elbow, and the orc gives a long, vocal sigh, every muscle in his body seeming to relax even more completely.

"Most of us got released eventually," he said, "but it wasn't a good time, and," he looks away, "I had to do a lot of things I ain't very proud of to earn their trust and get a more comfortable life for myself. To get this mark of sin I got, you gotta prove to them that you want to be there. Want to be their property, and I ain't sayin' any more about it than that."

There's a long pause, but you can tell he has more to say.

"Before I met Caoiran, I drank every day until I couldn't remember those long years out in the badlands." He lets that sit for a moment, before he continues.

"They ain't all bad, ain't all good either, just like anybody else, but I ain't suggesting we be good dogs until they take our collar off either." His voice is almost a whisper now, "I had a free moment with the War Wizard today, he says," Kevwar's eyes are hard. "He says if his War Wolf eats his heart less than a half-hour after he dies, it won't fall apart and he'll 'show all these fuckers what a sanctified War Wizard is capable of,' which I didn't need a lot of clarification on."

He raises his voice a bit after that. "All that said, I ain't willin' to die for you. I'll help you and Caoiran and the two goblins they got as best I can without putting myself at risk."

He pauses, continuing his back rub. He seems to be waiting for your reaction to what he said. It's probably a good time to ask any question you have as well.
No. 965358 ID: dbd72b

We appreciate anything you can do, and you've already done a lot. If you're suggesting the war wizard's plan, I'm guessing he can keep his wrath to *only* the orcs?

Also, orc cultural notes. Aside from being a "happy slave," any notes on how we should act? (how should we *not* act?) Also, which of these orcs are strange, by their standards, and how?(Anle seems different. Young?)

And if we have the time at some point, orc backrubs seems like an essential skill.
No. 965361 ID: d63ea8

This covers all of the bases.

Anle had said that they will 'even let you and your friends go once we get our really important job done.'
The main problem is that we don't have a time-frame.
If it's a couple of days or maybe a week, we can deal with that, but if it's more than a month then we need to start working on a plan to escape.
No. 965363 ID: cb8b93

What do I do so that Kelepee doesn’t kill me?
No. 965364 ID: 5877dc

Yes, it would be good to know some tips on the fastest way to become their friend. Aside from learning how to do a backrub. Also, if an orc is hostile to you, what to do to placate them?
What are the main things orcs value? Since the coin doesn't seem to be one of them.

If there's any more time, visit Miranni then.
No. 965365 ID: 3ed3c3

Well, he's been some help at least. It looks like we'll have to self start if we want to get these orcs, though. Don't mention any plans to him with orc in the room. We can't be too careful.
No. 965366 ID: ce39da

"Miranni said something about Kelepee, who has me tonight; that she tried to become a shaman, but failed. Now she has an "animal" ghost instead of an orc one. It seems like it makes her unstable - violent when things don't go her way. Any survival tips?"
No. 965373 ID: 015bf2

That's... all pretty interesting. And somewhat disheartening.

Massage tips (study what he's doing as well), as they might save your life... and is suggesting to an orc that you can do massage risky if you're not already good at it?
No. 965429 ID: 181745

Ask him how good are a orc's senses. Sight, smell, hearing, taste (the is for if they eat or drink poison,) touch. ...Other? They got something that looks like a snake's heat pits on the sides of their muzzles, so perhaps heat or infrared sense? You just want to get a idea of how far you can go before you'd be noticed.
No. 965590 ID: 12b116
File 158885395053.jpg - (170.29KB , 724x476 , e2m14.jpg )

You ask about whether the War Wizard will spare the non-orcs.

"I'd hope so," Kevwar says.

"It's generally OK to speak your mind," he says, "they aren't really looking for sycophants, although that depends on the individual. Might not be the case with the crazy one." He shrugs. "They typically value self-sufficiency."

He tells you that he doesn't think you're strong enough for good back rubs. It took him several months to learn truly effective techniques.

You ask if Anle's behavior is strange for an orc. Especially her compassion. Kevwar says not particularly. They tend to be fairly individualistic as a culture. Plenty of them are sympathetic towards captives and show a good deal of empathy.

You ask Kevwar if he has any idea about how long these missions usually take. He says anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, but he isn't even sure how long they've been here.

Kevwar tells you that orcs don't value currency. They tend to live in smaller communities and fairly exclusively use barter for everything. Inside the communities, they all pretty much work together on everything.

They do value reputation and social connections, so if you're in good with someone important, that's valuable currency.

You ask about Kelepee's "animal ghost" and if he has any tips.

"Whatever it is they drink to be shamans is seriously awful stuff. Madness isn't uncommon. Maybe one in ten of the orcs that drink it actually end up being shamans. The rest either die, end up crippled, or go mad. Most of the ones that go mad aren't capable of functioning anymore. Sorry, that's not particularly helpful." He looks at you sympathetically.

Kevwar says that very much depends on the individual. You have to get to know them personally to know if asking to touch them would be a bad idea.

You think of something really important: You ask Kevwar how good their senses are. You were assuming their sense of smell might not be great, but Kevwar should have a much better idea.

"They don't got a good sense of smell. They see pretty good, even in dim light, hearing's better than a human's, couldn't tell you about taste." He pauses. "They can tell where people are. Just. Tell. If you're hiding behind something thin. It's pretty short-range, maybe only a few dozen yards, but it means if you're trying to hide from them, you need to hide under something thick and heavy, like in an animal burrow, or they'll be able to tell where you are." He takes another long pause.

"Once in a while I've also seen 'em lick the air, and it lets 'em tell where stuff is, or certain things about one another, but I don't understand it, exactly. Now you better get on back." He nods.

You head to Kelepee's tent.

When you come in, she's sprawled out across her bedding, and as you slowly, cautiously approach, she presses a foot against your chest.

"My feet are tired from hunting down and killing your friends," she says. "Rub my feet."

You ... rub her foot, following her direction and pressing your fingers in between the thick toepads. Her eyes glitter in the dim light of the coals, looking at you coldly with a little smirk, like a cat looking at some small animal they intend to toy with before they kill.

She also informs you that you'll be checking the corpse-pit every morning, and you say nothing.

You have a lot of time to think as she watches you, saying nothing.

At some arbitrary point, she kicks you away, rolling onto her side and pulling covers over her body.

"You sleep there," she says, tapping the bottom of her 'nest.'

You curl up beneath her like a dog and try to sleep. You have a lot of things to think about.

How do you intend to deal with Kelepee?
How do you intend to deal with Miranni?
What is your overall veiw of your situation?
What is your long-term plan over the next few days?
What do you intent to focus on
Is there anything you want to make sure you accomplish over the next few days?
No. 965595 ID: 3ed3c3

>How do you intend to deal with Kelepee?
By killing her.
>How do you intend to deal with Mirrin?
>What is your overall veiw of your situation?
Shit sucks, so lets kill these fuckers.
>What is your long-term plan over the next few days?
Kill the orcs and leave.
>What do you intent to focus on
Killing orcs as safely and efficiently as possible.
>Is there anything you want to make sure you accomplish over the next few days?
Killing orcs.
No. 965601 ID: d63ea8

>How do you intend to deal with Kelepee?
Act honestly. Do what she says if it isn't too much, and express your concern/displeasure if she wants you do something you're not comfortable with.

>How do you intend to deal with Miranni?
Be a good student. Learn what you can, help how you can, try to earn the good-will of the group.

>What is your overall view of your situation?
Not great? I mean it would've probably been worse if you were captured by actual bandits, and this group seems amicable enough to release you after this 'mission' is done. This view might change, but right now it's not a super bad situation.

>What is your long-term plan over the next few days?
I'd say beyond the general 'making sure the other captives are being treated well' we should try and ask if Caoiran can be released early. We can site that her injury won't make her the most productive servant and that she might need to head to a town to make sure that her wounds don't get infected. (Caoiran might do something... dangerous if it doesn't seem like we can escape anytime soon.)

>What do you intend to focus on?
Memorizing the book as best as you can. The skills will be invaluable to you in the long-run.

>Is there anything you want to make sure you accomplish over the next few days?
Probably to check in on all of the other captives and see if they are doing well.
Otherwise I'd say that we should try to meet/observe all of the orcs in camp so that we know which ones to avoid.
No. 965603 ID: 015bf2

>How do you intend to deal with Kelepee?
Cautiously, but not cowardly. You will not run away from or turn your back on her no matter how she acts - if instinct tells her to chase down and kill people running it could very well be a death sentence. You will speak when spoken to or when you have relevant questions and avoid surprising her in word or deed. If footrubs keep her happy, you will mush them pads all eve.

>How do you intend to deal with Mirrin?
Look into treating the war wizard and play the rational captive. Query her on the nature of orc culture and shaman duties to get to know her better. Share stories if she's receptive, don't bother her if she's not. Ask whether you can spend some of your time with her jotting down your experience with the orcs in your journal while your memory of it is fresh - you're not sure Kelepee would understand such a request. At the same time, you could teach her some letters. If she gets a basic grasp of some words she can better trust what you're doing, right?

>What is your overall view of your situation?
It could be worse. Others have gotten it worse, while you're hale. The orcs are not all insane, just different and a lot more callous than you're used to.

>What is your long-term plan over the next few days?
Get to know the lay of the camp and the people in it. Keep the orcs satisfied with your conduct by making some progress on treating the war wizard. Keep an eye and ear out for facts that could help with potential escape plans if things start looking bad.

>What do you intend to focus on
Learn and memorize book contents, with a focus towards curing the mage and sedatives.

>Is there anything you want to make sure you accomplish over the next few days?
Find some rags and secure / wash the coins. You don't know how long this camp is gonna sit tight here. Presumably 'till the war wizard is better, but you don't know for sure.
No. 965604 ID: 277d6a

>How do you intend to deal with Kelepee?
Helping out as much as possible, being a good possession.

>How do you intend to deal with Mirrin?
Helping out also.

>What is your overall view of your situation?
It's a fun change of pace from being stuck in town.

>What is your long-term plan over the next few days?
Become part of the orc community.

>What do you intent to focus on
Doing the work given to you to the best of your abilities.

>Is there anything you want to make sure you accomplish over the next few days?
Impressing the orcs with your usefulness and obedience.
No. 965611 ID: 49e4d4

Gonna be honest, I was hoping this would be more of a 'Merchant' Story, not a 'Captured Slave' story.

So I'm gonna say I agree with >>965595 in spirit because you can dress it up however you like but you're still a slave and fuck that. But maybe be a bit sneakier about it and don't say that to the orcs.
No. 965617 ID: e7c7d3

For Kelepee, probably as little as possible. At first it seemed like she was our best bet at independent actions, but that might've just been her crazy talking.

With Miranni, she doesn't seem sympathetic to our plight, but may be our best bet for getting info of what exactly the orcs are doing here. If we help them finish their mission quicker, we may be let free.

For now, we be obedient. Study the medicine book and help out the war wizard, with extra focus on the book. It'd be useful information even outside our current situation. The corpse pit is a bummer, but could be a good place to hide any evidence of skullduggery, especially since we won't look suspicious hanging around there. That said, I'm outright against trying to poison. It takes too long and that increases the chances of us being caught. Besides, the way their culture seems to be set up, we'd probably be better off stealing a weapon and fighting an orc than to appear to take a cowardly way to kill.

Try to make various medicines and poultrices. Take care of Coirinne and the other captives. Keep them strong if any of them comes up with a plan for escape.
No. 965622 ID: ce39da

> How do you intend to deal with Kelepee?
Murder will lead to trouble, but defaming her is a bloodless form of removal. Find an angle by which to turn her against the group's leader, or vice versa, if we want to be more direct, and pave the way for her fall from grace.

> How do you intend to deal with Miranni?
The other orcs are not dangerous now that we're in their midst, for the most part. Treat Miranni as a teacher, and play The Good Student. It would bode well to ingratiate ourselves with her, as she seems to be one of the kinder faces around here. Also, she likely has much to teach.

> What is your overall view of your situation?
Terrible circumstances, but not wholly unsalvageable. If they decide to keep their word and release us - I suspect Kelepee will be the main obstacle towards that - we could likely negotiate to receive the medicine book and the coins they discarded to pad our losses. No traumatic dumpster-diving needed.

> What is your long-term plan over the next few days?
Ultimately, our long-term goals are to heal the war wizard and defame Kelepee, so we should dedicate all of our energy to these.

> What do you intend to focus on?
Learn the medicine book. It's what makes you valuable, may expedite the orcs' time spent on the mission, and we don't want to make any overt moves against Kelepee too early.

> Is there anything you want to make sure you accomplish over the next few days?
Diagnose the war wizard, study the potential causes and cures thoroughly, and keep an ear out whenever Kelepee and the leader are present in the same place, or when someone mentions her name without her being present. Also, find a recipe for a psychoactive poison you can use to make your plot against Kelepee easier - poisoning the body will be evident to the orcs in the long run, but poisoning the of the mind won't be so obvious, especially in Kelepee's case.
No. 965625 ID: e7c7d3

Also, make sure to actually visit the wolf wizard. Maybe there's a way we can take control of the wolf?
No. 965640 ID: 5877dc

>How do you intend to deal with Kelepee?
I think surviving the first night with Kelepee went fine, so I don't see much problems dealing with her in the future. I think we should still cater to her whims but I don't see any openings in her defense for now. Once we're on her good side, an opportunity may arise, but until that happens, we wait. Learn her routine, her likes and dislikes and whatnot. And once we see a weak point, we strike - her fluff between our fingers, nevermore.

Alternatively, we get our dick stuck between those toes.
(assuming we have one, based on those fat fingers)

>How do you intend to deal with Miranni?
Miranni, like Anle, doesn't seem very enthusiastic about this mission. It's possible she's here to do something else. Maybe to practice her shaman skills. I think we should milk her. Yes, milking her for her shaman knowledge and other things, we could learn many facts. Maybe even become a shaman ourselves, if she knows of a safe way to become one. Perhaps she knows a test to measure out ghost-talking aptitude. Anyway, we try to be useful to her, but stay reserved. Ask her smart questions, not stupid ones. Serve her not as a slave, but as her equal, we try to match her interests.

>What is your overall view of your situation?
We're alive and well. The situation is stable. We got food, water, and a place to sleep, and we aren't in any particular danger of dying or getting anally brutalized. We're progressing fine.

>What is your long-term plan over the next few days?
We try to get more clues on the orc's mission and about Hamellatkurei. Given what Kevwar told us, simply killing Hamellatkurei would end their mission so it's a possible way to get freed. Altho I don't see how to accomplish that for now. Personally, I wouldn't kill any of them unless absolutely necessary, for instance, Kelepee, if we don't find a way to undo her madness. But as I mentioned before, an interesting long-long-term plan would be to become a merchant for these guys, and having them recognize the value in doing trading with other races, while enriching ourselves in the process.

>What do you intend to focus on
On interpersonal relationships.

>Is there anything you want to make sure you accomplish over the next few days?
Get a Ph.D. in medicine. Wash ourselves. Get a better understanding of what our options are (list of poisons / cures) in regards to the War Wizard, so we should definitely talk with him.
No. 965654 ID: 015bf2

I'm leery of the idea of adding psychoactive drugs to an already unstable individual's diet, what with us living neck-to-feet with them. Better pick a damn good moment for it, if we do. We're also not tasked with preparing meals or anything, so the best it seems we can personally do at the moment is to try to taint the meat we're tasked with collecting (some of which probably goes to the war wolf?). We could even risk poisoning our own meals.

One solution around that might be to get help from another captive that IS helping prepare meals.

I think sedatives is probably the best bet. It'll put them out of commission or make them less able to chase you down. People tend to get sleepy after a good meal, so it might not stand out as much and as fast. We don't actually kill anyone, too, which could be relevant if we are caught again (i.e. lenience might be afforded depending on who catches us).

And it's something we can actually gather, or ask to have gathered, and say that it is medicine that might help the wizard. Medicine we can actually give to him without too much ill effect. We do that with psychoactive drugs, and we're gonna need a good lie to sell if or when they start wigging out.
No. 965658 ID: ca2950

Sit on Kelepee's face and tell her she can start acting like a proper warrior or she can start acting a lot whorier.
No. 965660 ID: b1b4f3

Hmm, what about adding sedatives to the meat, then using the time the sedatives go into effect to kill the war wizard and feed his heart to the wolf? Note, we don't have to do it quickly. We have half an hour to deliver the heart. That means we can do it as quietly as possible. Except, that won't work, will it? The orcs will know where we are at all times, because the tents are thin material and they can use their heat pits (I'm assuming that's how) to see through them.
Sneaking won't work, which means we either need an excuse to harvest the heart or do it without them noticing somehow, which seems impossible, and hiding it on our person, which seems impossible. It might be easier to use the sedatives, wrap the heart up in something once harvested, and just quickly shuffle over to the war wolf tent without any of the orcs having the presence of mind or reason to stop us. Then straight up tell Miranni that we've got food for the wolf. She wouldn't know where the heart came from so she should just let it happen.
Then the only obstacle is harvesting the heart without any orcs noticing. Which means we would need to be in private with the war wizard, be able to kill him silently, and have the tools required to get the heart out of him(this is difficult, the ribcage is in the way). Also, we would need to avoid getting covered in blood! If anyone saw us exiting the war wizard's tent covered in blood they would be very suspicious.

All in all, a very difficult task. Maybe there's something else we can do with the medicine book to make this easier?

A trade deal with the orcs could be good but I realized that due to the overall structure of the quest (we're a TRAVELING merchant), it would be difficult to capitalize on. It is true that we may be able to keep the book and get some gold out of the corpse pile if we cooperate... but the gold is tainted. We'd need a shovel to get any out without risking catching a terrible disease, and then it'd need to be washed before it'd be usable.

>How do you intend to deal with Kelepee?
Be cooperative and straightforward. If she gets really scary drop to the floor and roll into a ball, like the war witch told you to do if her wolf went berserk.

>How do you intend to deal with Miranni?
Be a good student.

>What is your overall view of your situation?
It's bad. Learning medicine is nice and Miranni seems vaguely normal, but Kelepee is dangerous and overall the orcs are probably up to no good. Also not great being a slave, even if we might get paid for it in the end.
Optimally we would arrange for the orcs to fail their mission and leave. We would then hire someone to loot the corpse pile in exchange for a share of the gold there. You could hire the remaining two mercs to keep the worker from betraying you, and also to get them back on their feet after such a devastating loss to their company.

>What is your long-term plan over the next few days?
Learn how to stay on Kelepee's good side, observe the movements and interactions between orcs and see if there are any vulnerabilities in their routines or social interactions. Also eavesdrop a bit to see if you can figure out what their mission is.
Oh, and meet the other captives! We were told there are goblins here.

>What do you intend to focus on
>Is there anything you want to make sure you accomplish over the next few days?
Aren't these basically the same question?
Mainly focus on studying the book, I suppose. It's the one thing we can be sure is safe to do and has obvious value.
No. 965742 ID: 6c9030

Our only goals at this point should be gathering information, attempting to treat the war wizard, and seducing the shaman.
If we can treat the war wizard that gives us grounds to ask the shaman to ensure our survival, but we're going to have to get her personally invested in us for that to work.
No. 967669 ID: 12b116
File 159033054718.jpg - (302.89KB , 1041x636 , e3m1.jpg )

A little over a week has passed, and you think about everything you've learned.

Dealing With Kelepee
You try to spend as little time around Kelepee as you can. You try not to provoke her, but also don't just let her absolutely push you around. Cautious but not cowardly are your watchwords.
You also recognize how dangerous she is, and look for opportunities to make her lose face. You discover that she doesn't have much to begin with. You get the impression that the only reason she's tolerated at all is because she's extremely good at tracking, ambush, and fighting. Pretty much all of the orcs go out of their way to avoid her.

She grows colder toward you, and you see a jealous glint in her eye when you're with Miranni.

Dealing with Miranni
You grow close with Miranni. You try to act like her equal, not her slave, and she's quick to recognize your intelligence. She seems to appreciate the questions you ask about her culture.

The real breakthrough happens when you ask if she minds if you write down some of the experiences you've had, and offer to teach her some of the letters. She quickly acquires your ledger and writing implements, and is a fast study when it comes to reading. You end up sleeping in her tent more often than Kelepee's.

You learn that although the shamans are definitely respected, they're also feared. Drinking the Ghost Wine itself is the only way she knows of to tell if someone has the potential to be a Shaman, and only one in ten orcs who attempt it actually become Shamans. You learn that the Shamans must drink diluted Ghost Wine to use any of their power, and she does it when you're around a few times, usually when she's tending to the War Wolf. She becomes slightly ... disconnected from what's going on around her, as if another layer of reality is superimposed over what you see. That being said, it's not a trance and she's very aware of the world you see. If she drinks more pure Ghost Wine, she becomes less aware of her surroundings, but seems to know things she had no way to find out when the trance ends.

All in all, she warms up to you a lot, and you can't help but appreciate her quick wit. She has a knack for telling stories.

The Situation
Generally, you aren't at all happy with the situation as a whole, but realize it could be worse.

Over Time, You ...
learn the layout of the camp and the names and ranks of all of the orcs.

Only Hamellatkurei, Bohmadigh, Kelepee and Miranni have their own tents. The rest of the orcs bunk together, between two and four to a tent. The Commander and Shaman occupy inner-circle tents, Kelepee and Miranni are on the outside. The rest of the orcs are all in outer-circle tents. The last tent is used as a mess and provision area and no one sleeps there.

The other captives are a pair of goblins (one male, and one female) who are used as manual labor by the orcs that keep them. Only their legs are chained, with longer chains than yours. They seem thoroughly cowed, and you learn their companions tried to escape and ended up in the corpse pit.

You spend the majority of the time trying to help the War Wizard.

Hammelatkurei is a huge orc covered in scars who watches you closely and says nothing while you work. The War Wizard is not well, emaciated, his skin sallow. In one of the brief moments you manage to have alone with him, he reiterates what Kevwar told you: Kill him, feed his heart to the War Wolf, and he'll take care of the orcs and set your companions free.

Hatred burns intensely in his eyes. He was fed a virulent toxin by his request that would kill a normal human, but his connection to the War Wolf imparts some of its supernatural vitality to him, and so the poison continues to eat away at him at roughly the same rate he heals. You're provided with the supplies from the apothecaries, and there are sufficient materials inside to make several doses of most of the formulae listed in the book.

By mostly focusing on the book and the Wizard, memorizing as much as you can, you manage to brew several helpful concoctions that help his body resist the poison. You feel confident that you could brew a poison that would actually kill him. You also look for medicines that make people drowsy and find several, although you have no way to test how effective they would be on orcs. Although you could make something simple without the book, you'd really need it with you to make something on the fly, although you do memorize a simple sedative that you think has readily available ingredients outside of the stuff still in the apothecary's supplies. You also memorize what most of the plants are used for, so you could at least attempt something else if you didn't have the book with you.

As color begins to return to the War Wizard, your arms are freed, and a much longer chain is attached to your leg irons. You learn that the keyhole for the manacles is small and on the narrow bottom edge of the cuff. It seems that Renza is the only one with the keys.

When you're not helping the War Wizard, you focus on helping the other captives. Caoiran is a model prisoner thanks to this, and everyone is willing to assist you with an escape plan, if you formulate one.

You do learn that if Hammelatkurei died, the most likely outcome is that the mission would be deemed a failure and the orcs would release you and return home. Unless you were the one who killed him, of course, in which case you would join him in death.

Now that you're less restricted, you also aren't focused on by the orcs as much, and you have more freedom to move around without raising any suspicion. You could probably just run, or sneak out in the early morning, although they would probably come after you and kill you if they caught you, no matter how useful you were.

If you killed Miranni, you'd have a lot more time before you were missed, but you don't know if you could really bring yourself to do that, having spent so much time getting close to her.

You also consider a plan to poison Kelepee with something that would make her temporarily mad. Several of the concoctions you can make would do that in sufficient doses, and if she had a random, unprovoked violent episode, she'd definitely at the very least be chained up and kept away from others. Without her tracking skills, any escapees would have a much much greater chance of escaping. You think it would probably be a lot less obvious than if you tried to drug any of the orcs with either a poison or something that made them sluggish and drowsy.

Several other things come up

The War Wolf has a piece of the War Wizard's spirit, and the Wizard can only control the Wolf once he's killed because his entire spirit would be inside of it. There doesn't appear to be any way for anyone other than the Wizard to control it. If this isn't done and he's killed, the War Wolf will begin to rapidly decay, and may or may not do anything on its own before it dies. If it was fighting when he died, it is much more likely to continue to do so, but if it wasn't doing anything in particular, it'll probably just sit and rot.

You learn that if the orcs succeed or fail, or if the Commander is killed, the orcs will leave the area and then release their captives before returning home.

You could definitely adulterate the meat you harvest from the corpse pit. Having spent so much time with the book, you think you can make a poison that would survive the meat being cooked, although it would be less effective. Nothing would put the orcs to sleep or make them unconscious, but you could definitely make them sluggish or tired. You aren't sure a Madness poison you made would survive. You also aren't sure a deadly poison would kill them after being cooked. Assuming it's just as effective as it would be on a human in the first place.

You do make sure to collect and clean a few of the less disgusting corpse-coins.

After analyzing the situation with the Wizard and the Wolf, if you caused some kind of distraction to make sure that Hammelatkurei wasn't in the tent, you feel fairly confident you could get the heart out and get it to the Wolf tent fairly quickly. Studying the book, you know what tools you would need and where the heart is in the body, so you think you could pull it off.

You are also committed to helping out Caoiran and Kevwar once you escape. They definitely have your back at this point.

You're considering your options as you empty the corpse pit traps when something happens
No. 967670 ID: 12b116
File 159033057676.jpg - (270.09KB , 1018x618 , e3m2.jpg )

A peice of paper has been hidden underneath the corpse of the rabbit in one of the traps. A note is hastily scrawled on it.

"This is Rhaina. Have been watching you. Want to help. Meet me here." A incredibly well-rendered sketch indicates a spot about fifty yards away from the corpse pit. You could find it easily, and no one should be looking for you for a while.

What do you do?
No. 967682 ID: d63ea8

First off, destroy the note. We can let it be found by anyone or the orcs will get suspicious.

If this is one of a handful of traps we need to check today, then we can bring this rabbit back to camp in order to keep up appearances and then loop around to the corpse pit after 'heading back out to check the next trap.'

Having an individual outside the camp could be invaluable for your escape.

>[Kelepee] grows colder towards you, and you see a jealous glint in her eye when you're wit Miranni.
That's going to be a problem...
No. 967688 ID: 094652

Bring Anle, and ONLY Anle.
No. 967695 ID: d63ea8

I think bringing an orc will be a catastrophically bad idea.
No. 967696 ID: e7c7d3

The words are hastily scrawled but the image is well rendered? That's setting off alarm bells for me. They had time to make a map but not the text?

Does this look like Miranni's writing? Cause I'm wondering if this made by someone who was recently illiterate, but still had skills to communicate by other means.

My vote is to think this is a trap and go with the other plans.
No. 967717 ID: 6f7a5a

meet with Rhaina alone it's possible the elf secured some of the bread
No. 967719 ID: 5877dc

You should bring this paper to Kelepee and tell her what's written on it ;)

This is because I don't trust Rhaina. It makes no sense for him to risk his life trying to help us. There's something he wants. Maybe his blade. Or maybe he was planning to kill us all along and the orcs got in between this plan of his. So there's a slight chance that this meeting spot is an ambush spot. If we do decide to meet him anyway, then we need to be sure no one sees us - we need to be absolutely sure that Kelepee isn't anywhere nearby.

>She grows colder toward you
Gonna need to do something about that, but other than spending a lot of time with her, I'm not sure what. Not that I'd want to do that either, since it would be dangerous.

>You end up sleeping in her tent more often than Kelepee's
Hmm. I thought we were only allowed to sleep in Kelepee's tent.

>drink diluted Ghost Wine
We should try this wine, yes.

>a poison that would actually kill him
I think that if we have a chance to save the Wizard's life, we should take it. Only if his state turns for the worse should we consider feeding his heart to the wolf. Also, if we do decide on the... heart transplant, I think a better way to do it would be to get the wolf to the wizard and have the wolf dig out the heart by itself. Perhaps by telling the orcs that having the two closer to each other might help the Wizard's health. That way there would be no evidence of us messing with the heart and if the orcs somehow defeated the wolf, we wouldn't be the one to blame.

>a plan to poison Kelepee
For now I'd hold onto this idea as well due to the fact that it could end up with someone dead. Including us. Besides, I wanted to ask Miranni or Bohmadigh if any failed shaman ever had their soul recovered from the beyond before.
No. 967720 ID: 12b116
File 159035140795.jpg - (175.46KB , 697x605 , e3m3.jpg )

You destroy the note (it doesn't taste very good) and consider your options. It could be a trap, although all you'd have to do is yell and the orcs would rush to your position. Rhaina might know what happened to your supplies, if it is him. You don't know why he'd help you, so he must want something. You consider ratting him out to the orcs. You can always do that once you find out what he wants, you suppose.

Nobody is looking for you now, so you creep over to the locations.

It's definitely Rhaina. He doesn't look good.

You ask him how he's avoided capture so far.

"We elves can lower our body temperature and drop our metabolic processes to almost nothing. We are also very fast and agile. Once I got some distance, I stashed my backpack and hid. I've been slowly approaching the camp, keeping my eyes out to see how best I could help."

He shakes his head.

"There are two extremely important things to tell you. This first is that my wife and I's eggs are in my backpack. Please, if you have any mercy or compassion, please promise me that you'll deliver them to my wife in Willow. I'm begging you. Keep everything else for yourself. The book alone is worth more than all of your goods."

He closes his eyes, wincing in pain.

"The second thing is that the orcs are here to kill the Fairy. A Fairy's heart is an object of extreme power. I can show you how to contact her. You simply have to draw her sigil and think her name as you drift off to sleep. I would have warned her myself, but unfortunately, elves do not sleep or dream, so the method of communication is useless to me."

He swallows, wincing in pain again.

"Please," he begs, "Just warn her off tonight. You can foil their plans without anyone knowing."

He draws the fairy's sigil in the dirt and you quickly memorize it.

You should return soon.

Is there anything you want to ask Rhaina[/b?]

[b]Do you want to tell the orcs?

Do you want to attempt his ritual to contact the Fairy?
No. 967722 ID: 6f7a5a

tell Rhaina that you seriously doubt that book is worth as much as your bread, you just ate a piece of paper it tasted terrible
and the book is made entirely of paper.
no body is going to pay anything for it

maybe the eggs taste better
No. 967723 ID: ca2950

If we have elf eggs, we just need to find the bread to make french toast
No. 967724 ID: e7c7d3

Hopefully the orcs didn't eat the eggs already. Otherwise that seems like a promise we can make.

Hmm. If the fairy moves on, will the orcs call the mission a failure, or will they just continue the hunt? I also worry that the shaman would be able to sense we're contacting the fairy if he's hopped up on ghost wine at the time. I'd almost say teach the orcs the fairy's sigil. So that they can do the hunt quicker and either all die, be too occupied to notice our escape, or succeed and release us. Of course, that is unbelievable risky as we don't know how the orcs will react to us suddenly knowing their mission and just so happen to have something to help them.

Check on eggs and see what you can leave with if you get released. If we can get the book, eggs, and other goods I say we help the orcs with the fairy. If the eggs are gone or the orcs take all loot. I say we warn the fairy.
No. 967725 ID: ce39da

"Are you dying? Where do I get the backpack after all this is over?"

I say we attempt the ritual to warn the Fairy. Either we warn the Fairy off, and Miranni notices the winds of fortune changing and declares the mission a failure, or we somehow lure her to her doom, and the excursion becomes a success much earlier than projected. However, in the latter case, we need to make sure they don't even suspect us. We can't do it in Miranni's tent - she might know about the sigil - so it has to be in Kelepee's tent.


"Will the ritual draw in anyone I'm sleeping near?"

If the answer is "yes," we might have to do it in Miranni's tent after all, which isn't ideal.
No. 967726 ID: 5877dc

Mm... elf omelette...

Ask him why he can't deliver the eggs himself. He was able to sneak here so, what's the deal? And where is his backpack? Is there a time limit on the delivery of these eggs? If they are indeed elf eggs (pff), then it would probably take months before they hatch. Do they need to be kept warm or something? Is he dying?

How does he know what the orcs are here for? And what happens if the fairy dies? Wouldn't the death of the fairy actually be good for him, since that would mean the orcs would leave, letting you go, and allowing you to deliver his eggs?

As for the ritual, you know that shamans can see otherwordly stuff. Before you try it, you'd need to make sure that orc shamans won't detect this ritual of yours. Perhaps a concoction of ours could assist us here.
No. 967728 ID: 0055dc

It has already been established that if the orcs think their mission is a failure they will release the captives and go. As long as you can keep the sigil ritual a secret it seems like the best option for escape. If warning the fairy leads to her killing the orcs, you still get to escape.

It will probably be necessary to incapacitate Miranni in some way, odds are strong that if she has any ghost wine before or during her ritual she'll notice.
No. 967732 ID: d63ea8

I'd say that we perform the ritual and warn the Fairy. It'll get the captives released (hopefully) and we can avoid possible bloodshed.

Ask Rhaina where the backpack is, just in case you need to deliver it in his stead.

Also don't tell the orcs.
No. 967733 ID: b1b4f3

Why can't he do the ritual himself, and also deliver the eggs? If he has some good reason then I guess do the fairy thing, and don't tell the orcs. But uh, you need to know her name.
No. 967734 ID: 5877dc

>Why can't he do the ritual
> >>967720 >elves do not sleep or dream

>you need to know her name
> >>963934 >Perferlain
No. 967736 ID: b1b4f3


Ask what the book is. I'm guessing it's that fairy text he was talking about, which would indeed be pretty damn valuable.
No. 967737 ID: f56a2b

Don't tell the orcs, perform the ritual.
No. 967744 ID: 3ed3c3

Do not tell the orcs, and perform the ritual in secret.
No. 967746 ID: ed763f

The fairy's Perferlain, right? Ask where he'll hide so you can pick him up once you manage to get freed.

say and if he doesn't make it, you were glad to have known him, even for such a short time.
No. 967748 ID: 094652

Kidnap Anle by luring and ambushing her. Demand to know why her tribe needs to murder a fairy. Then request barter; if she gives you the eggs and a very good reason ('save the nation' good) why they need a fae heart, you'll 'forget' to warn her.
No. 967792 ID: d88d26

I would love to contact the fairy but better not hope a powerful creature that live independent of civilization would necessarily work in your best interest. Their reaction to the threat could be an counterattack that does not discriminate the orcs from the prisoners.
Before contact contacting this being make preparations for your other plans. Produce and stash a rage inducing formula to use Kelepee as a distraction, a poison for the food to make the tribe weaker and a sleep potion to extract the wizard heart (just spare him the pain, by poison or by knife he will die either way). What you will or will not put into practice the next day will depend on how the communication with the fairy work out.
No. 967818 ID: f92abf

>Is there anything you want to ask Rhaina?

Are the orcs only after Perferlain in particular or is their mission simply to procure a fairy's heart?

If it's the latter, then warning Perferlain might actually perpetuate our slavery even longer if she decides to flee. The orcs would first have to discover that she has left the area, and even then they may decide to go look for some other Fairy and drag us along with them.

>Do you want to attempt his ritual to contact the Fairy?

Yes. The best case scenario if we convince her to help us would be if she kills only Hamellatkurei (and maybe Bohmadigh and Kelepee as well, just to ensure that there's no-one left capable of stepping in as a new leader), then flees the woods. The orcs would be left without a leader or a target, would probably declare the mission a failure and let the captives go free.
Regardless, we should keep working on a backup plan that doesn't require the help of Fairies to carry out.
No. 967819 ID: 12b116
File 159042510956.jpg - (183.01KB , 543x696 , e3m4.jpg )

You quickly ask Rhaina a few more questions. Why can't he bring the eggs himself.

"Ah, he says. "I'm badly wounded. I won't be moving from here, I'm afraid. Only by slowing down my heart and my breathing am I able to survive." You ask where the backpack is, and if the book he's talking about is the fairy book from earlier.

He confirms that it is, and tells you where the backpack is. It's a few miles away. You'd need to backtrack to the original ambush point to easily find it, so it's not something you can do currently without having an orc take you out there.

You tell Rhaina about the shamans and if they would be able to detect the ritual. It's a good thing you thought of this.

"Shit," he coughs. "I don't really know anything about that sort of magic, but probably. Although I'd think you'd probably have to be very close unless they were actively looking for it with their power."

You ask how he knows what the orcs are here for. He looks extremely hesitant to say anything, but decides he has no choice. He must be truly desperate.

"Elves have a certain form of thought-reading we can use. I was hidden quite close to some of the scouts and managed to divine their purpose."

You ask if it wouldn't be better for them to just kill the fairy, and if they're after Perferlain in particular, or just a fairy heart in general.

"No! No!" he says, energy visibly draining from him before he manages to calm himself. "Fairies are ageless creatures that are an intrinsic and important part of the world. There are no 'good' magics that can be wrought with a Fairy's heart. Nothing beneficial will happen if they leave with it." His eyelids droop, his voice starting to slur. "Although they don't know her name, it's her they seek. They must have used very powerful magic to find her ... "

"I must conserve what little life I have left. I can last for several days still as long as I lower my bodily functions to a near-death state. If you bring someone from Willow here, it's possible I might live, but please prioritize my eggs and the life of the Fairy over mine." You tell him you'll try to help and that you're glad you met him. With that, he seems to slip into unconsciousness. Well, he seems dead to you, although you can detect a very very faint, shallow breathing.

Well, that gives you a lot to think about. It's still morning, so you have a long time before nightfall, and you're aware you probably do not want to be in Miranni's tent tonight.

You decide you'll keep the ritual secret for now and attempt to contact the fairy when you sleep. You don't have to decide whether you'll help the fairy or lead the orcs to it right now, after all.

You think that brewing some medicines might be an extremely good idea and make a mental note to prepare some of the madness and sleeping drugs as soon as you have a spare moment.

You aren't going to abandon your other plans either. This fairy is a complete unknown.

You gather the rest of the game and return to the camp. On the way, you see Kelepee, who turns and looks at you, waiting for you to approach. You're probably going to want to be in her tent tonight, whether to adulterate her food or use the dreaming ritual.

You hold up the game and smile, but she just narrows her eyes. "Going to run away?" she asks, sneering. She's been getting like this more and more frequently since you've been avoiding her, which you've honestly done for your own health and wellbeing.

She mumbles something you don't catch.

You'll probably have to think of something to say to mollify her

You also have to decide what you'll spend the day doing for 'work,' which could be helping Miranni with the War Wolf, checking on the War Wizard, or trying to help out some other way around the campsite.
No. 967821 ID: f92abf

Okay, this might sound crazy, but I suggest we apologize to Kelepee for avoiding her recently and offer to spend the day with her.

Two reasons:
1- While not being around her might be good for our immediate well-being because she's crazy, she's also the most likely to throw a wrench in our plans because, again, she's crazy. We should at least make an effort to get on her good side both to get her to lower her guard and to avoid getting harmed or outright killed out of sheer spite.

2- She just asked us if we're going to run away right after we met up with someone who's trying to help us run away, so we must consider the possibility that she might have seen our meeting with Rhaina. If she DID see us, she's probably going to ask us about it sooner or later anyway, in which case we might as well just tell her tell her how to perform the ritual so that the can kill the fairy and finish their mission. Rhaina said that nothing good can come from killing a Fairy, but that isn't really our main concern now, is it? Our goal is getting freed- we can deal with the consequences of the Fairy's death later.
No. 967822 ID: 3ed3c3

>You'll probably have to think of something to say to mollify her
"And give you the satisfaction of hunting for me? I'm not that kind."

You also have to decide what you'll spend the day doing for 'work,' which could be helping Miranni with the War Wolf, checking on the War Wizard, or trying to help out some other way around the campsite.
Check on the wizard. Turning him into a giant, furry killing machine is still on the table.
No. 967823 ID: e7c7d3

"You're not? Seems like you'd be happier in a mercenaries group rather than getting tied down by a tribe. How about we discuss it in your tent tonight." So this is probably 100% the wrong thing to say. Just trying to think outside the box.

Do various errands around the camp. Get the other prisoner's view on what to do with the fairy.
No. 967834 ID: 5877dc

We'd need to do something that would immediately put her in a good mood. But we don't really know much about her. We've learned that she likes violence and killing and that everyone avoids her. There was one time when Anle was able to placate her, but I'm not sure if we'd be able to reproduce that. Also, the situation back then was different, where Anle calmed her excitement, rather than put her in a good mood. Hmm.

I got two ideas.

The first idea is based on a theory I have. The theory is that... Kelepee is lonely and wants to feel needed, and that this is her primary reason for coming on this raid. Because orcs needed her for her skills, she came along. Not for the fame or anything, but just to hang out and feel like she's of any use. So maybe the reason violence gets her excited is because that's the only time orcs really acknowledge her. I know it's a far-fetched theory, but I think it's worth exploring here.
So based on this theory, I would tell Kelepee that the reason you've been avoiding her is mostly because you've been lonely when she's out scouting, so you had no choice but to hang out with Miranni instead. And you didn't want to trouble her just because you had a need to be with her.
If this lights a spark in her eyes, we can continue to bullshit in a similar way by making up various aspects of our loneliness, or reasons why we need her.

The second idea is based on the fact that she likes violence, where we could set up a fight between her and the War Wolf. In other words, we can talk about how boring it's been around here, without any fights taking place, and then segue the conversation to the War Wolf. Ask her what she thinks of it, and if she's afraid of it. Then ask her if she'd wanna fight it. If that would get her excited, we could tell her about a possibility of making that fight happen without her breaking any rules.

Depending on how this goes, we may spend the day preparing poison for the War Wizard. If she's not interested in fighting the War Wolf, then I suppose we better spend the day making the madness medicine and the drowsiness drugs. Also check on the War Wizard's health.
No. 967836 ID: 015bf2

>Soothe Kelepee
She must actually dislike being the outcast, but cannot help her outbursts and violence-prone ways. It's rather pitiful, if you think about it - she's damaged, but still functional enough to know she's missing out on camaraderie and the like. Still, the sore issue makes her resentful and feeds into her temper, and your inadvertent snubbing of late do you no favors in not becoming a target of her ire. Burying the hatchet is certainly a useful excuse to want to be in her tent for the night, so go for it. Drop the no-doubt fake-seeming smile, give her a level stare, and then sigh deeply.

"Ah... I'm running away to Miranni as-is, so why would I not want to flee. Is that it? Ugh. This is a problem. I... no, let's not make excuses."

Frown and scratch your head, thinking hard.

"I'm being ungrateful, so the fix is simple. The War Wizard's health is improving, so there's no reason why I can't begin spending the evenings and nights at your tent again. I'd like to discuss a few things with you, too, now that I might know enough to not risk seeing the back of your throat every time I open my mouth carelessly."

Offer any number of peace offerings.

"And... there will be footrubs? And, oh, do you have any treats or things you'd otherwise enjoy I could get to make up for having been, uh... less than eager to enjoy your company? I don't suppose you'd like to learn writing, too? Keeping a journal can be a way to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts by putting them down on paper, and as a scout you could leave more detailed messages to others. Yes, I'm coming on strong, but... really, I'll do anything to not have you murmuring at me like a scorned lover."

>What to do
Spend today half looking for gift treats for Kelepee and half working on medicine for the War Wizard (i.e. sleepy drugz + madness drugz - you want to give Kelepee treats laced with one or the other tonight, possibly both).

You actually stand a chance of pulling off a full triple betrayal here. If the fey contact goes through, you can then try to poison Kelepee with madness drugs (easier if you've sleepy-drugged her first). With Kelepee waking up extra crazy, you might make it to the war wizard in the confusion as well, so you can kill him and bring his heart to the war wolf.

Both of those things going flawlessly would, uh, probably do a lot of damage to the orc camp. Although it might be obvious you were the one to betray them to any survivors, and you'd catch Anle and Miranni in the crossfire, or one of your companions. You could also plead with the fey creature when you contact it that it make it VERY evident it has escaped the orcs. That might be the best of all worlds, as it kills the mission, ending the quest and with you leaving the orcs as someone who didn't outright betray them. Sucks to be the War Wizard, but you could smuggle something lethal to him and ask that he take it later, on the road.

Since we have no way of knowing how the faerie intervention will go, we should not settle on an escape plan for tonight or include the others in the fey scheme. We can have our options open vis-a-vis poisoning Kelepee with (first) sleeping drugs and (then) madness drugs.
No. 967838 ID: ce39da

"Eager to be hunting someone, I take it? Nah, I wouldn't stand a chance against you. You're a badass, after all."

"Although I should apologize for mostly staying with Miranni. I would be lying if I said I didn't want this mission to end soon so I can be out of here already, and helping as much as I can with the wolf wizard would speed it up."
No. 967839 ID: 5877dc

Oh and, I suppose another good idea would be to just talk to her and ask her what's wrong. Tell her that you lost everything you had in that wagon so if you ran away now, you'd just end up being a beggar or someone else's slave, and you'd gain nothing by doing so.
Then ask her why she's feeling agitated. Why is she worried that you'd run away?

I don't think testing her loyalty to her group is a good idea. If anything, it's due to her loyalty that she's wary of us.
No. 967852 ID: b1b4f3

Ask if she wants a footrub.
No. 967857 ID: 12b116
File 159043678729.jpg - (84.67KB , 452x518 , e3m5.jpg )

You think Kelepee might ... realize she's damaged. You get the feeling that she's intensely lonely. That she sees the friendship and camaraderie around her and desires that, but no longer has the tools she needs to get it. You know she's only tolerated because of her skills, but maybe she knows that too. She's only useful when she's violent. You feel pity for her.

You apologize for avoiding her with your very best effort at seeming sincere. You tell her that you want to spend more time with her, that you'd been feeling lonely. She's gone most of the day, so you don't have a choice but to hang out with Miranni, but you didn't want to bother her with stuff like that. The War Wizard is pretty much better now, so you're worried about being useful yourself, and want to spend your nights with her again. Give her footrubs.

"Besides," you tell her, "I'd be stupid to run from you. You'd catch me no problem. You're a badass."

Okay, maybe you're laying it on a little thick, but you don't need her crazying up your plans.

Her sneer falters, her black lips curl into a big, genuine smile.

"O-oh," she says. "Yeah! I mean. That makes sense. It's not like you can really get along with orcs right, you know?"

You decide, after saying all that, you probably shouldn't spend the day helping Miranni with the War Wolf, so you pretend to work on healing the War Wizard.

You take some time to brew up your madness poison and a drowsy poison, as well a War Wizard-killing poison.

You also decide to get a treat for her before heading for her tent.

"Hey!" she says when you enter. There's a splash of blood up the side of her face. It's clearly not hers.

"Foot rubs?" she asks.

She seems very mollified, although it'll probably be a lot more difficult to avoid her now when she's in the camp.

You get ready to sleep. This is a perfect opportunity to poison Kelepee. You probably won't get a better chance. Obviously, she'd need to eat the poisoned food in the morning, not now, but she's completely relaxed around you tonight and won't suspect anything.

Do you want to use the Madness Poison to get Kelepee out of the way for the foreseeable future?

Do you want to use the drowsy poison instead to keep her slow and sluggish in the morning?

Do you want to give her the deadly poison? It'll probably kill her.

Do you want to leave her unpoisoned?
No. 967864 ID: 5877dc

Huh, was I right?

Well, if she's this affectionate with us now, then she's no longer a threat to us. Indeed, if there's no threat of her killing us, then we don't need to take any risks here.
- Madness poison has the risk of her killing us
- Deadly poison has the risk of other orcs killing us
- Drowsy poison also has the risk of someone figuring out we poisoned her. Or her staying in the camp and requiring someone to tend to her (namely us)

So I believe the safest course of action would be to not poison her.

Even though we won't be able to excuse ourselves from being near her while she's in the camp, we should still have plenty of time to do our things while she's out scouting (assuming she doesn't decide to take us along for a change).

Ask her if she wants you to sleep near the bottom of the bed as always.
No. 967865 ID: f92abf

As good as the opportunity is, I don't think we should be poisoning anybody until we're fully prepared to make an escape.

If we do decide to poison her, it should only be the drowsy one just to see if it works properly.
No. 967867 ID: e7c7d3

I vote for not poisoning her. One problem with the madness poison is that she may direct some of that crazy onto the other prisoners. We could make her sluggish, but I'm not sure the benefit of that. And killing her is a good way to get the other orcs to kill us.
No. 967872 ID: 670e0b

as far as how to deal with Kelepee.

i think that apologizing and spending the day with her is a good idea. now that we know the basics of orc culture we should be able to be around her safely. also for all her being "crazy". we have only seen or heard of violent outbursts. no delusions or hallucinations. as such as long as we learn and are mindful of her triggers she is no more dangerous than any other orc. >>967836
this seems like a good dialog template for making peace with her so i recommend we use it. i do not however think it is wise to betray the orcs especially in such a horrendously complicated manner.

moving forward

i think are best bet is probably to find a way to tell the fae about the hunt and encourage them to leave. we don't know what the fae can do in this setting and we don't want them to come and start a fight where we sleep if they are so inclined. i figure once the fae is on the other side of the world the shamans will pick up on that at some point and the hunt will end.

in the mean time we should keep good relations with kelepee and Miranni and focus on keeping the camp calm and quiet. if one of the other captives does something foolish we will have to decide if we will side with the orcs but that is a problem for later. our best bet for surviving is for nothing of note to happen so we need to make sure the mage stays alive and improves slowly some we maintain value.

long term

so we have a dilemma ahead of us. all our possessions are either claimed or molding on the side of the road. as far as i can tell this leaves us with three main paths. we can take the elf eggs to willow and use the other contents to get back on our feet somewhat. assuming the eggs are still alive by the time we are free. we can go back to the orc tribe with kelepee and Miranni. or we can try to get kelepee to break with the tribe and go merc with us manning negotiations and contracts.

my thoughts
personally i think option one is a big risk. the eggs are a crap shoot and we don't know if the the contents of backpack will be able to get us up and running again. so we would be taking a chance on the bag and any reward we get from the eggs.

options two and three are more stable but we will need more information to know if they are any good. option two relies heavily on how we'd be treated in tribe and whether we would be able to stay with kelepee or Miranni. option three may be impossible or may be very easy we just don't know enough about kelepee yet. i think option three would be ideal. we would be free to wander and we would be in a position of power with our influence over kelepee and our importance to her continued operations. i also think we could have a fairly fulfilling relationship(not in the sexual sense) with kelepee if she is as lonely as we think she is.

recommended actions.
we definitely need to make good with kelepee. but other than that and our duties we should investigate what it would be like back at the tribe, get closer to kelepee, and see if we can get some exercises to make us strong enough to do back rubs. we should also learn more about elves and elf eggs though we need to be very, very careful since kelepee may or may not have seen us talking with Rhaina.
No. 967875 ID: 670e0b

you just HAD to post right before i did didn't you. goddamn it
No. 967877 ID: 015bf2

Urgh, how the second thoughts they pang. Well, no issue. You can wait a day, see how the whole contact fairie thing pans out before we set off our heroic escape through the healthy abuse of a possessed orc's trust.

... maybe you could trade for a way to cure or mollify Kelepee's animal ghost state from the fairie? Apparently it was some kind of trader of information, judging by Rheina's earlier ramblings. As a merchant, you might be able to make a little brisk business to go with your warning and if anyone'd know how to fix orc souls gone bad it'd be a legendary creature who thrives on intelligence.
No. 967882 ID: 12b116

I'm crediting your suggestion as far as the background stats go, so please don't think it's in vain. It's very well thought out.
No. 967890 ID: f75e2b

glad to hear it won't be in vain, hopefully it will help us survive and we might even get to help poor Kelepee as bonus. also very pleased you liked it, it's always hard to judge your own work. btw i just realized how often your posting and i have to say it's very impressive. especially considering the quality you've maintained.
No. 967904 ID: d63ea8

I agree with leaving Kelepee unpoisoned.

If we want to drug someone with drowsiness it needs to be the shaman so we can perform the fairy ritual.

If someone died from poisoning we would be the prime suspect, so that idea should be held off on until we are sure that we can get away.

Just give Kelepee 'foot rubs' and (try to) socialize with her like a normal person. Hopefully she will lower her guard a bit.
No. 967913 ID: 12b116
File 159044559113.jpg - (416.26KB , 789x744 , e3m6.jpg )

You do not poison Kelepee. You do not remember the evening when you wake up, if you survive the night.

You Sleep


This is a dream You aren't dreaming

There are colors but nothing everything is here.

You think about greeting PERFERLAIN and HER VOICE is here.

"Hello! How Do You Know My Name? I Have Never Met a human, you, Such as yourself, so I Certainly Didn't Give it to you MYSELF. What is the scent I Smell On You?" PERFERLAIN asks. HER smile fills you with a sense of a dreadful scorching wrath peace and warmth.

"You Do Not Need to be Afraid." SHE says.

"What Counsel Do you Seek From ME? And Are you Willing to Pay A Price In Exchange?"

You can feel the question fill your spirit.


You feel that you should make sure to answer all of the questions or you will certainly die.
No. 967915 ID: 5877dc

"Rhaina the Elf knew your name, as it was written in the Manuscript. The scent is that of orcs, who are here to take your heart. The counsel is for you, not for me - you are now warned of the danger of the orcs. And the price... it must be paid."
No. 967916 ID: e7c7d3

Oh joy, the greatest monster was one we had yet to meet. As we don't want to die, let's answer some questions. But try not to freely give information.
A dying elf gave us her name.
The scent is possibly orc or bread.
We would like to know how to safely escape our predicament, but we are not willing to pay the price.

Since we've got this thing invading our mind, I guess betrayal is out the window. Tell her that the orcs seek her heart.
No. 967922 ID: ce39da

"PERFERLAIN Whose Title Is SEVEN STREAMS RUNNING OVER UNERODED STONE, I know your name because an Elf named Rhaina told me, and then taught me your sigil and the accompanying ritual so that I may deliver a dire warning. I know not for sure what you mean by "scent," but I have been trapped in the company of orcs who wish to hunt you for some weeks, so it may very well be one of them which you smell upon me."

"I did not come here for counsel, but if I should choose, I wish to know how I might escape the orcs which wish to hunt you while keeping you safe, but without harming or offending those few among them I tolerate - an end I fear is difficult to navigate towards without guidance such as yours. I am willing to pay a small price for it, though it matters not whether you agree to that, for my main goal was to warn you of the orcs that seek your heart, which itself may have achieved most of that goal, depending on what you, PERFERLAIN Whose Title Is SEVEN STREAMS RUNNING OVER UNERODED STONE, are going to do next."
No. 967923 ID: b1b4f3

An elf called Rhaina told you her name. You probably smell like all sorts of awful things, as you are currently enslaved by Orcs. You have not contacted her to seek her council, you come with a warning. The Orcs holding you captive are trying to find her and kill her to take her heart! As for a Price, you aren't asking her for anything right now, and are unfamiliar with how this works, but if she requires something from you you are willing to bargain. What sort of Council can she give, and what does she usually take as a Price?
Optimally what you seek here would be for her to make it clear to the Orcs that they have failed their mission, so that they leave. That is if she wouldn't do that on her own after you give your warning.
If you really need to state a Price you can pay... uh... what about the valuables in the corpse pit?

Alternatively, we could try to be clever and state that our Council request is to make the Orcs want to leave, and the Price is the nature of the Orcs' secret mission(to kill her and take her heart).
No. 967927 ID: 5877dc

If we're gonna make a wish to the fairy, then I'd prefer retrieving Kelepee's soul in exchange for Rhaina's soul heh.
No. 967928 ID: caad6c

right so we should start by going over our goals and tactics before we open our mouth.


not die
get the fairy to leave or other wise negate the hunt
not get our allies(the mercs, the elf, and the friendly orcs) killed
acquire some sort of boon, likely knowledge

strategies(i am not an expert on fae or contract magic, suggestions appreciated)
so as i see we have few options. we can play the game and hope we amuse her enough that she indulges us. we can try to play the game to win. we could go full disclosure and hope the immortal trickster spirit takes pity on us.

my thoughts
so we really only have bad options here(someone please come up with a better idea!) trying amuse a creature so incredibly foreign to the human mind will be very difficult. but at least it doesn't put us directly at odds with the fae.

trying to win one over in a game of wits with an immortal trickster spirit attuned to the aspect of knowledge is royally stupid. but for all we know the fae just wants to revel in it's own superiority and would find it amusing.

option three is the one i know the most about so help with the others would be great. on to business. so we could also play into the complete and utter superiority of the fae, give it all the information we have and generally grovel in awe and hope that it rewards us for the value provided or at least spares us. this could work because even if we get nothing out of this other than the fae knows about the orcs and leaves that's a win. of course we don't actually know if the orcs are a threat to the fae so it could also just come over and steam roll the orcs but eh nothing is certain.


if, if we get a boon we should probably either go with a bunch of mundane information that is useful for us but has low objective value(think thoughts and opinions of various parties at the camp.) or go all in on a single piece of truly magical knowledge that would either grant us so sort of magical ability or grant us influence with a specific party(kelepee or anyone else who is in a magical bind. maybe the wolf mage? not sure what he would want though)

answering the faes questions

so the first questions involve how we know her name and i think we should answer fully and say we met an elf on the road who took an interest in her and told us her name.

the second question involves something she smells on us again i recommend we answer fully with we don't know but it's probably orc, elf, or wolf mage.

and then we get to the hard part. do we seek counsel and pay the price or do we sidestep with "i am only here to provide information at friends behest" or similar.
if we are going to seek a boon we will probably need to play the game if we would prefer to just share the info and get out we should probably sidestep. sidestepping pretty much forces us down the full disclosure path and might still get us a boon but it seems less likely. if we decide to play the game we will have to choose one of the other paths and figure out what boon we want to push for.

that sums up my thoughts on the matter for now. will give more input once we decide what we want to do.
No. 967955 ID: 12b116
File 159045761163.jpg - (417.40KB , 700x744 , e3m7.jpg )

You answer all of the questions

Rhaina the Elf


You Offer Counsel to HER instead - Orcs are here to take HER HEART

You Would Prefer Not to Pay a Price

PERFERLAIN is shocked.
"This Is Truly Shocking News!"SHE says.

Rhaina Willowhearth Must Be In Love With ME! Thank you For Telling ME his Name!"
you feel a sense of dread.

"Yes. This Is The Smell of Orc Magic," SHE says.

"Thank you For Telling ME This," SHE says.

"No Price Is Asked Unless Counsel Is Sought,"SHE says.

There is a sense, a heavy weight, of decisions that cannot be undone.

"Now, The Question Is How Shall I Respond?"SHE says.

VENGEANCE could be sought against Some or All of the Aggressors Directly.


INFORMATION could be given to the orcs that their mission has failed. This is done by destroying touching the minds of their Shamans.


Simply Leave

You could also ask for a boon, although you would have to pay a price
No. 967956 ID: e7c7d3

Give info to the orcs that their mission has fai-...
Ah... Hmm, sorry Miranni, but I think this is our best option.

Touch the minds of the shamans
No. 967958 ID: d63ea8

I'd say Simply Leave hopefully the Shamans will be able to tell that the fairy has left and the mission has failed.
No. 967959 ID: dce46f

Its time for some Vengeance, we need to at least take out all of the leaders here to make sure the camp disperses.
No. 967960 ID: b1b4f3

Any of these will accomplish what we want, really. It's just a matter how much much do we want to punish the Orcs for the attempt, and possibly discourage another attempt.

I think the clearest message would be to Vengeance(Some) the Orc leadership(and anyone else who fights back I guess). Leave Miranni alive if possible since she had the bad premonition about this mission. Returning home with a message of "I told you so" would be pretty effective at discouraging future Fairy hunts. Also her and Anle are the Orcs we like the most. Warn PERFERLAIN that Kelepee is especially good at combat.
No. 967964 ID: ce39da

"I say, give INFORMATION to the shamans, PERFERLAIN Whose Title Is SEVEN STREAMS RUNNING OVER UNERODED STONE. Bohmadigh is the more experienced of the two; he must work his magic no more. Yet, I plead that you, PERFERLAIN Whose Title Is SEVEN STREAMS RUNNING OVER UNERODED STONE, are gentle with his apprentice, Miranni, and spare her from the greatest and most terrible of your INFORMATION. Miranni has been kind and understanding to me during the time I was made to stay with her, and as one of the few to be made aware of the nature of their terrible mission, she feels deep unease about the group's darker purpose here. I make this request of you with the offering of their names, in good faith."

"Finally, I humbly ask that you say not from whom you received this warning and these names; for my safety, while in their midst, could become forfeit if they discover me to be your informant. If you were planning to do so, I am willing to pay the price of your silence on the matter, but if you weren't, PERFERLAIN Whose Title Is SEVEN STREAMS RUNNING OVER UNERODED STONE, then I have worried for naught."
No. 967966 ID: ed8a4a

No. 967967 ID: b1b4f3

Oh shit warn her there's a captive War Wolf there. I'm not sure they'd be able to get it to fight her in time for it to matter, but it's definitely a problem for the Vengeance route.
No. 967970 ID: aaf358

this is largely an emotional decision so i will not deign to dress it in terms of reason.

the fundamental question here is whether we wish to harm the orcs or to leave them whole. i would see them left to return to their lands. sure some of them were cruel at times but on the whole the treated us well as far as captors go and they will release us as they have with those before us.

while an argument could be made that they have done us a wrong that must be avenged in capturing us. they were merely following orders and held no personal enmity toward us, some among them have even been kind to us despite their power over us.

it is for this reason among others that i would bid the fae to leave. we could seek punish the few who have truly wronged us but many innocents and a few allies would be caught in the crossfire. not to mention the fact that any disturbance in the camp could easily leave us dead.
No. 967971 ID: b1b4f3

That's incorrect. If the Faerie leaves, the Orcs would have to find out somehow, and we can't just tell them.
Also if the Faeries leaves, her usual customers won't know where to find her anymore. It's not a very good option.
No. 967972 ID: aaf358

also punishing so many for the actions of so few is unnecessary and needlessly cruel.
No. 967973 ID: aaf358

>>967971 perhaps it might be some small time but the shamans are well equipped to discover such things and it would be very easy to escape at this point given the cooperation of a few sympathetic parties.

as for the usual customers it is stated that the fae is new to the area when she is first brought up by the elf in the caravan. also what kind of usual customers do you expect a trickster spirit dealing mystical knowledge to have? when one makes a deal with a fae they rarely want to make another one and that's assuming they are alive to do so.
No. 967975 ID: d88d26

If by Vengeance she mean direct violence in the way you comprehend you could coordinate your actions with hers. Explain the wolf situation and how she could wait to make her move during or after the beast rampage.

I'm inclined to target all, or at least most, of the aggressors. Even if some of them are good people they are still an invading force that harmed the locals and threatened a powerful being for reasons unknown. You will have much to do around the region to fix the mess, and even one of them sticking around could be a considerable risk for you, especially if they find out what you did and seek their own revenge.
No. 967988 ID: aaf358

why would try to fix the mess? we're merchants not heroes and we did our part by warning the fae. lets not get caught up the recovery of the trade route unless we stand to profit from it.

also invading force is a bit much. aside from the fact that they are hunting a wandering spirit they are pretty much just bandits. they came they waylaid and captured travelers and that's pretty much it.

and again our parents are dead why would we care about the locals? as far as has been revealed the sum total of our social circle is contained within the camp you guys want raze to the ground.

as for revenge the only orcs we're even remotely familiar with think this endeavor is a fools errand and one is so socially isolated that it won't be hard to perform a Turning of the Friend in our favor.
No. 967989 ID: aaf358

also your "invading force" consists of a grand total of .... 14 orcs .... that's a single unit a best.
No. 967994 ID: b1b4f3

>the camp you guys want raze to the ground.
What are you talking about? The two suggestions for Vengeance are advocating taking out the leadership. There are 3 or 4 Orcs that qualify as part of the leadership.
>why should we care about the village
Because they're innocents?

Also you might want to cut down on the multiposting. Posting too much makes the thread harder to read.
No. 968001 ID: d88d26

I mean fix the situation for us. We need to recuperate our losses.

The fairy book should be valuable but we don't know by how much. Even if Rhaina concede the ownership for the safety of the eggs we won't be able to prove such deal to elven society if we can't rescue him after this is over. Trusting our future economies entirely on this book seem unwise.

If a battle start we can steal the alchemical book. If they lose we can loot the bodies from the pile.
That's not only for us. Caoiran will have problems with her mercenary career lacking a hand.

If you want a self serving reason to help I believe the reputation from saving our guards and the elf will make others trust us more. Since we have yet to cultivate commercial contacts that would be a great help at the start of our career.

Perferlain used the therm vengeance, but I'm picking this option because I believe it will reduce threats and maximize profit. Personally I lack sufficient understanding of their point of view to hate or like them.

I accept I may be overestimating the orcs power by calling them an invading force, but they don't qualify as bandits either. If they did we would just be robbed not enslaved.
No. 968002 ID: a5c662

Aye, this.
No. 968022 ID: 4286b4


It's a tough choice, but I think it's best if we simply leave.

The problem with vengeance is that... it's possible this was the orcs' plan all along - for her to appear and attack them. So it's possible that they're ready for this and they plan to kill her and obtain her heart when this happens.

The problem with Information is that, the shamans could end up deranged like Kelepee. Besides, we used a lot of time getting close to Miranni, so if the fairy did her in, it would've been a wasted effort. Also, considering she didn't want to come in the first place, it feels unfair for her to get punished for it.

The problem with Leaving is, well, there's two problems. One is that, the fairy told us to answer all of her questions. Considering Leaving would mean not answering her last question, there's a slight chance we could get punished for it. But the main problem is that we'd need to spend more time here until the orcs noticed the fairy was gone. This has some pros and cons, but it's generally not great because Rhaina's time is limited. So we'd need to egg the orc shamans onto this. Altho, if orcs refuse to leave, we can always go with the War Wolf plan.

Anyway, I'd ask the fairy if it was possible for her to not harm the shamans if we went with Information. If this is possible, then I'd go with Information, but otherwise with Leave.

The boon... I would only ask for one if we'd get the choice of whether we'd want to accept the price or not. Assuming the price would be revealed at all. So I'd ask her about this as well.

If we go with Vengeance, then the only name I'd reveal would be Hamellatkurei, but otherwise I wouldn't reveal any of the orc's names.

> >>967959 >we need to at least take out all of the leaders
> >>967994 >There are 3 or 4 Orcs that qualify as part of the leadership
There's only one leader, as written in >>967669:
>You do learn that if Hammelatkurei died, the most likely outcome is that the mission would be deemed a failure and the orcs would release you and return home
So that's the only one that would need to die.
No. 968025 ID: dbd72b

Vengeance: Hammelatkurei.

Efficient, minimizes time spent and bloodshed. Some of the orcs aren't bad, and we don't want to risk this entity getting too trigger happy.

SHE seems to put a lot of stock in names, so that's probably the best way to aim this.
No. 968029 ID: 015bf2

>Rhaina Willowhearth
Uh. Shit. We weren't ever told Rhaina's last name. That's some omniscience right there.

Information. - Remember, from what we know of orc culture some shaman drunk on Ghost Wine likely began this quest. Maybe even this one personally. At least their own pays the piper.

And with that request made, there's two ways to head off Miranni's fate that I can see. Before.

Boon - You'd like the shaman assistant not to be told the Information.

And after.

Boon - You'd like to know of ways within your meager means to repair a damaged mind (or two).
No. 968066 ID: f92abf

Vengeance on Hamellatkurei, followed by leaving.

If PERFERLAIN simply leaves and Hamellatkurei is still alive, then it falls unto him as the leader to either declare the mission a failure or to continue pursuing PERFERLAIN. We do not know what he will decide to do because of how little we know about him, so we'll need his death as insurance that the mission ends in failure.

Additionally, if Hamellatkurei is killed by what is seemingly an act of divine intervention, I don't think it will take long for the shamans to put two and two together and realize that their target is now aware of their plans, so there wouldn't be any need for them to receive Information.

My only concern at this point is if Bohmadigh would be allowed to step in as leader if Hamellatkurei dies. Kelepee has little to no support among the orcs and Miranni is still an apprentice, so they would probably not be allowed to become the new leader. So, just to be safe, we might need to exact Vengeance on Bohmadigh as well. From the sound of it, killing him might just be more humane than having him receive Information.
No. 968079 ID: 33da5b

Vengeance on the leader seems like the best bet. Though it's a fairy and unpridictable how far it would go, with the leader's name and it being stated that "some" was an option it should have somewhat minimized colladeral damage (such killing all our fluff friends).
No. 968088 ID: 12b116
File 159053158204.jpg - (402.76KB , 689x744 , e3m8.jpg )

You give the Names of HAMELLATKUREI and BOHMADIGH.

It will be VENGEANCE, then. You tell HER about the War Wolf as well.

"I would be indebted to you in a small way if you could eliminate the War Wolf, or remove it from their control," SHE says. HER pursed lips transform into a sinster beautiful rictus smile, and HER VOICE is here everywhere.



It rings like a bell.

It echoes like a gong.

Like a cataract.

Like a waterfall.

You will never forget the sound.

you wake up. You were never asleep

Tattered colors, more vibrant than anything you'd seen in the waking world, dance before your bleary eyes as you slowly drag your tired body upright from your nest of blankets at the foot of Kelepee's bed. It's still dark out, and you feel that you haven't slept at all. Your eyes are gritty, a headache pulsing behind them that fills your vision with stars. Your muscles ache and you feel bile fill your mouth before you manage to choke it back.

What do you do?
No. 968089 ID: ca2950

Get the sharpest instrument you have access to and be tending to the wizard just before noon. When the fairy appears, use the chaos to cut out the Wizard's heart and slam it down the War Wolf's throat.
No. 968090 ID: b1b4f3

First off erase the evidence of the ritual.
Then go visit the traps like you do every morning. Nothing is out of the ordinary, everything is normal.

At some point you should give the war wizard a sleeping potion so they can't make him help fight the fairy. Once the fighting starts, just stay out of the way.
No. 968094 ID: ce39da

Erase the ritual sigil. Go see the war wizard and ask him how we can incapacitate his wolf for a few hours without arousing suspicion. We chose to see the fairy because it held the prospect of getting away with this blame-free.
No. 968095 ID: d88d26

Is this an option? Can the wizard survive after all? Would he be released once the orcs leave? Would they deem him too valuable or too dangerous to let lose?
If everything goes well I like this option. The fairy seemed confident on her ability to win by herself after all.

The heart thing would reveal to the orcs that we are working against them. They may still suspect we put the wizard to sleep when they needed the most, but we can excuse this as part of his treatment and we didn't expect he would be needed so soon.

Since we will be trusting the fairy the only thing left is to warn Caoiran that the camp will be attacked and she shouldn't fight. She should drop any weapon she hold to make sure she will not be targeted. And to pass this warning to the guards she trust will not tell the orcs.

If we still have free time we can loot some valuables from the pile.
No. 968098 ID: 5877dc

Give the War Wizard the madness poison.

Now that I think about it, the War Wizard would be a better choice for the madness poison. I'm not sure how the War Wizard is able to control the War Wolf in the first place - I think they're able to control it even if they're out of the line of sight. Possibly even if the Wizard is sleeping, it's not certain that he wouldn't be able to control it in his sleep. Not that we have a sleeping poison - we only have the drowsiness one, so that's not good enough. But the madness poison would certainly make sure the Wolf isn't given any coherent orders. If possible, we should also try to brew a cure for the madness poison so that we can quickly placate the wizard when the ordeal is over.

What to do with the others? We need to make sure Kelepee is out scouting when it happens, but we could also try to spike Miranni so that she doesn't do anything unpredictable. We definitely shouldn't reveal to anyone that we were in contact with the fairy, even our own band. I'm pretty sure they won't be dumb enough to interfere in the battle on their own.

I'd argue that cutting a heart out of a person's chest isn't as easy as it sounds, considering ribs are in the way. So it's likely that by the time we'd be able to get the heart out, the fight would be already over. Also, the orcs might find out we did that and postulate we worked with the fairy.

We don't have a sleeping potion. Only a drowsiness one.

You're assuming that we'd be able to talk to the War Wizard. As mentioned here >>967669
>In one of the brief moments you manage to have alone with him
...the chance of us getting an opportunity to talk with him alone is very low, because he's being watched by Hammelatkurei.
No. 968100 ID: f92abf

We decided not to poison Kelepee earlier, but now we should consider giving her the drowsy poison if we want her to survive this. It sounds like the Fairy is gonna arrive in person or send something here to fuck shit up and Kelepee could very well be the first one to charge right in.

We can't give the War Wizard the deadly poison because the orcs that survive the Vengeance would find out about it afterward, while the madness poison could result in the War Wolf attacking everyone indiscriminately. Feeding his heart to the War Wolf means that he could decide to kill all of the orcs, even the friendlier ones, and the only one who could prevent him from doing that would be the Fairy.
We could give him a drowsy poison so that he can't control the War Wolf properly and try to pass of the drowsiness as a side-effect of the "healing medicine", but we will need to time it right so that the poison is in full effect when the Vengeance starts.
No. 968101 ID: 015bf2

By noon you need to have achieved several things:

-Ensure that the orcs' are short handed and distracted, with your favored orcs not anywhere near Hamel and Bohm.

-That the War Wizard is dead, or temporarily out of their hands when Perferlain strikes.

-That you and the other slaves are ready for the repercussions and are either nice enough to be let go at mission failure or making use of the distraction to run.

>Who do we tell?
Caoiran and Kevwran are our fellows in plight and should be informed that whatever happens today, they mustn't raise their arms in fear or anger. Just say Rhaina contacted you and had something cooked up, but it's not a sure thing, so staying on the orcs' good side might still be useful. The other captives might be brought in on that as well, except with less detail since you don't know them.

Kelepee should be out scouting in the middle of the day - and that's good. No telling if she's badass enough to take on a fairie, and she'd certainly not be afraid and hesitate or throw down her arms demoralized, like some, so that'd spell her death. Or worse, she becomes the deciding factor in making the Perferlein's heart the orcs'.

>If Kelepee stays in camp today
Go to Rhaina's body, and tear a piece of cloth from their cloak, make it look like it got caught on something and torn off. Near noon, inform her you went out to check on the traps and say you spotted something on a low-hanging branch near the corpse pit, but you're not sure what to make of it. Give her the cloth - she'll recognize it's not from any of her people and HOPEFULLY head off to look for whatever sneaky git accidentally left behind evidence of their passing.

Maybe she'll find Rhaina, but oh well, Rhaina's dying anyway.

>Who do we help spare?
Anle and Miranni are not bad orcs. Anle isn't violent, so if you stay close to her or see her during the fight, you can probably convince her to surrender and have her maybe convince others too by being convincing that fighting a fairie is a death sentence.

As for Miranni, you could ask her about the bad feeling she's had. Tell her that you've come to share it now - bad dreams and worse omens. If something ill goes down in the days to come once the war wizard gets better and their quest resumes, you suggest she do the sensible thing and look out for number one. This fool's errand shouldn't cost more than it has to.

That should hopefully plant a seed of hesitation.

As for the general orc crowd, you could do something similar as with Miranni to the more neutral and amiable ones. Essentially spread ill omens, if orcs believe in those, and coach it in 'Miranni said...' so they don't just dismiss it as the words of a a non-person.

>Killing the wizard
Poison the wolf. It is the war wolf's unnatural vitality that gives the war wizard strength to resist the toxin. ... so what happens if we give our deadly, deadly poison to the war wolf, so they are matched?

It'd be easier to poison than the wizard, as it's less closely watched.

>Removing the wizard
Give the wizard the sleeping drug. He can't be forced to use the war wolf to save the orcs if he's unconscious. If he's too closely watched for that, you can feed a lie to Miranni and crew - that you think he's managed to compound his symptoms by depriving himself of sleep, and feeding him a sleeping draught will speed his recovery up considerably.

>What to do now?

Uh. Go back to sleep? If you start sneaking about at night that's the kind of suspicious that'll make the orcs trust you less. Or gut you.
No. 968124 ID: 094652

"Pillar of the world" my ass.

1) Get the eggs and your comrades. Now.
2) Warn or distract some of the orcs - you can't let them sacrifice their lives for a fight that isn't theirs. This is between the boss and his prey.
3) Offer the survivors a job as your guard, at least for now.
No. 968144 ID: 5877dc

I think that talking to Miranni is a good idea, yeah. But only Miranni - we don't want to make ourselves look too suspicious. If someone should warn the rest of the orcs, it should be her. Especially during the fight, she may be able to stop some of the orcs from raising their weapons.

We can tell her that we had "visions". The vision that we had was that of the dead orcs. The orcs that were dead were those that were holding weapons. And the ones that laid down the weapons were left alive. Ask her what this could mean.
No. 968156 ID: d88d26

Don't warn any orc of anything.
The plan is not be killed by the orcs. If they don't find out what we did they will kill us. So telling them what we did or giving clues is the opposite of what we want.
No. 968157 ID: 12b116
File 159059296512.jpg - (153.39KB , 638x407 , e3m9.jpg )

You slowly begin to collect yourself as you plan out what you'll do. The first thing you do is rapidly erase the symbol you drew under your sleeping area. Your intention is to get away with this without notice.

No question about it, you want to disable the War Wolf. It'll definitely be more effective to poison the Wizard, and you generally have access to him. You also plan to do it close to noon. You think that giving him madness poison would make him difficult to control, but maybe if you gave him the drowsy poison too, he wouldn't be able to really do much. Especially if you gave him a lot.

You also figure you should clue Caoiran and Kevwar in. You can be vague about it and it shouldn't be a problem. This likely won't be an issue. You've spent significant time with them, so they both trust you implicitly.

The orcs will be more of an issue if you want to try to save any of them. If you don't poison Kelepee, she'll almost certainly die. Even if she's outside of camp, there's no way she won't know when the attack happens.

Miranni's visions are a product of her magic. There's no way she'll put any faith in premonitions or visions you might have. If you want to save her, you'll either have to tell her what's going to happen, or some explanation if you want her to do something. You've spent a lot of time with each other and have a generally positive relationship. This means she's more likely to trust you, but also less likely to be fooled by lies. Even still, you don't know how she'd respond.

You haven't spent much time with Anle, but you feel some affinity for her. You might be able to warn her with something fairly vague. If you leave it to chance and do nothing, there's a fairly good chance that Miranni will die, and Kelepee almost certainly will. Most of the orcs will probably try to fight the Fairy when she arrives.

Needless to say, it could be bad if the orcs suspect you're involved.

There's no real risk for you in poisoning the War Wizard with the poisons you've made already, so you don't need to worry about forgetting to do this, now that you've decided you want to.

You know there's no real risk in warning Caoiran and Kevwar either. You don't have to worry about remembering to do this. You can warn them vaguely and you feel it will be effective since you've thought to do it.

Do you Poison Kelepee? Do you do anything more than this?

Do you intend to warn Miranni? What do you say to her?

Do you attempt to warn Anle? What do you say to her?

Is there anything else you want to accomplish before noon?
No. 968165 ID: d63ea8

I'd say that if we do poison Kelepee, it will be with the sleeping poison as well.

We shouldn't warn Miranni, but we could try to get her out of the camp by asking her if she could help you find more herbs.

Arg, I really don't want bad things to happen to Anle...

Just before noon tell Anle that you need to speak with her privately, try and have it so that you talk on the very edge of camp. Maybe warn her as the fighting ensues.
No. 968170 ID: dbd72b

Poison Kelepee. Give her some drowsy. In her own way, she spared you from Renza, and even gave you a shocking degree of autonomy, despite her actual bloodlust. We owe her. Magic shit's about to happen in a major way, so blame literally everything on the psychotic godlike fey that's about to wreck reality here.

Try to find Anle first. Tell her you had some bad feelings about today. Bad enough that you couldn't sleep at all last night. It's hard to explain, but we need you and Miranni to go pick herbs with us today, or literally anything else that will get you out of camp. Asking anyone else won't help. You have never been more sure and serious about anything in your life.
No. 968172 ID: ce39da

Drowsy Kelepee a little bit, only enough to put her off her game today, and make her slow on the uptake while she's out scouting. Any more than that, and we'll be implicated, and we aren't nearly as invested in her survival as the other two.

Ask Miranni to help you pick herbs outside the camp. You're also interested in learning more about spirit stuff - even if you'd never want to taste the wine yourself, being knowledgeable in this stuff could be neat. If Miranni is unsure about leaving camp... suggest that she put Anle on-duty to fetch us if she's needed for shaman stuff. (This has the added effect of implanting an impulse in Anle to run to us instead of at the deadly fairy.) Make sure she's out of there before the war wizard takes a turn, and make sure he doesn't take a turn soon enough for Miranni to be called back before the attack.

If Miranni catches wind of the attack while we're out, we need to say something that will stop her in her tracks without casting suspicion on us. Our own deadly premonition is a bust, but what about hers?
"Miranni... after what you said, about having a bad feeling about this mission... What if this is what it meant? Coming from the mouth of a shaman, even an apprentice... If... If you go to confront whatever this is, is... is this the last time I'm going to see you? I'm scared for you, Miranni..."
... The part about being scared for her at that moment doesn't even need to be a lie.
No. 968181 ID: 5877dc

That body pillow... SweatingTowelGuy.png

Tsk, I don't have enough information to make a well-informed decision. There's too many variables.

I think that for our own good, we'd want to save as many orcs as possible, not just the couple that we know. So the plan is to have Hamellatkurei and Bohmadigh die at most. For this plan, I think it's crucial to have Miranni on our side since she'd be better at convincing others not to fight, especially when the attack happens. Here's how I'd deal with her, in order of my preference:
Miranni Plan A:
We reveal the info about fairy to Miranni.
Condition: We can't do that without knowing how she feels about her teacher. We know that she only joined the expedition to stay with Bohmadigh, so if she's very close to him, then she would most likely try to prevent his death (by spilling the beans) if she learns that fairy was going to attack him. She would probably also kill us if she knew we were responsible for his death, so we would have to choose our words wisely.
Miranni Plan B:
We tell her about having a premonition, which she will dismiss, but then we ask her to use her own magic to validate it.
Condition: She has to agree to use her own magic.
The closer the time of reckoning, then stronger her own premonitions should be, so it's possible this would change her mind about believing us. It's also possible that she has some other magic, perhaps one that she could use on our own ghost to gain the Information.
Miranni Plan C:
We request to drink the Ghost Wine. If we drink the wine (maybe we could fake it, or mix it with some water as we do so), and survive, then if we tell her that we saw "a fairy", she'd have no choice but to believe us, because she'd be aware that there's no other way we'd be able to know of this.

We don't even know if Miranni is responsible for picking herbs. Nothing was written about this, so the chance of her and/or Anle agreeing to suddenly do this with us now is unlikely and I would dismiss it as a bad idea.

Like Miranni, Anle would likely be skeptical about any ill omens from our side. However, her being a healer, it's likey she would choose not to participate in the fight even if we don't warn her or anything.
Anle Plan A:
We get Miranni to convince her of the impending doom.
Condition: Miranni has to be on our side
Anle Plan B:
We tell her that the Fairy attacks today. Since she's not a shaman, no one would believe her if she spilled the beans, so this is less risky. Also, since she's a healer, she'd be more willing to lay down her weapon and convince others of doing the same when the time comes.

As far as Kelepee goes, we can't tell her about the fairy at all, because there's a chance she values her comrades' lives enough to kill us if she learned we were responsible for their deaths. I also think that if we are to lure someone out of the camp, it should be her, because she's most likely to fight the fairy no matter what.

Kelepee Plan A:
Drowsy poison her.
Condition: The poison (assuming it works at all) needs to still be effective by the noon, which may be unlikely if used in the morning.
Kelepee Plan B:
Lure her far out of the camp. I'm not sure how to do this. Maybe ask her if we can go scouting with her today, show us some cool far off places lol. Oh, I know. We could ask her to take us to the place where our wagon was ambushed, which should be pretty far. Tell her that some important stuff of ours was left behind. An important memento called "Bread". If she still notices the attack, we could do stuff like holding her hand, telling her that you're afraid, that she shouldn't leave you, that you don't want her to die, etc..
No. 968185 ID: ce39da

I think we only got one shot at this - not exactly a "Plan A, into Plan B" situation.

Thanks for bringing that up, though; if Miranni asks "why me," simply explain that she's one of the two orcs we're assigned to, and Kelepee... has been a bit too clingy for our comfort recently.
No. 968188 ID: b1b4f3

Kelepee is to be pitied but not saved; we're not actually friends with her. Don't bother with her. It would also be super suspicious if their best fighter just happened to be disabled when the Fairie shows up, the day after you sweet talked your way into her tent.
I want to try to keep Miranni out of the fight though. Maybe she'll be too busy keeping the War Wolf under control to participate anyway, if we're gonna drowsy-madness the War Wizard?
How about this: when the fighting starts, be there to see the Fairy but also be near Miranni, then warn Miranni immediately that she should not attack the Fairy. If she interrogates you afterwards you can just say you heard about Fairies from the elf that was traveling with you, and how they spare enemies that surrender.
That could also work for keeping Miranni away...

I don't think we need to worry about Anle, it's her job to heal people after a fight so she should stay out of it on her own. Also I think she lied to us about this mission being about saving lives.
No. 968204 ID: 12b116
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You decide to poison Kelepee. You give her a dose of drowsy poison before you leave, and somewhat shortly before noon, you stop by the War Wizard's tent and give him a substantial dose of poison. Whatever look Hammelatkurei gives you as you leave will be meaningless in a few hours anyway.

You find Anle and tell her that you and Miranni will be picking herbs in the woods outside of camp, and you tell her exactly where you're both going to be. You tell her you barely slept last night, and you have a really bad feeling. She could come with you if she wanted, but you stress that she should come get Miranni and you if anything happens. She seems incredibly concerned when you say this, and you can't quite read her expression.

After that, you go talk to Miranni. You ask her if she could come with you to gather herbs. You tell her that you don't want to walk around in the woods unsupervised, but you've exhausted a lot of the materials that were in the apothecary's kit, so would it be a problem if she accompanied you? You don't really want to ask Kelepee for obvious reasons.

Miranni readily agrees. She says that since the War Wizard has been improving, she's had to do less work maintaining the Wolf. Whatever look Bohmadigh gives you as you leave will be meaningless in a few hours anyway.

As you walk through the forest, you tell Miranni about her premonition. You tell her Anle told you about it. Her expression becomes troubled.

"There's a pall over this endeavor. Even though I think we're equipped for a good chance of success, there's no guarantee." She pauses, glancing away with her remaining eye. "I can almost feel a presence ... We've taken every precaution, but something just feels wrong. As if we can't truly hide from what we're seeking here."

You let the heavy, uncomfortable atmosphere persist and eventually she continues.

"I'll tell you, it's much worse today. The feeling that I'm being watched is so much stronger than it ever was before." She shudders.

"We should probably return to the camp quickly. I have to be ready to do what I can." You also notice that she's brought a flask of Ghost Wine with her. Normally, she leaves it in her tent.

Even though she says this, you drag things out, discarding a lot of the herbs as being unsuitable, exaggerating the amount you think you'll need and generally going slowly.

It's more sudden than you expected it to be.

A scream that echoes through the trees and makes you cower, icy fingers of terror sliding along your spine.

The scream is like a waterfall.

A cataract.

A gong.

A ringing bell.

A scream of rage and pain and loss, wrenching, torn from a grieving breast. An inhuman sound full of misery. Leaves rain down around you and birds take flight.

And then you hear her voice. Twisted by anger, hurt.

"Hammelatkurei and Bohmadigh, I am Seven Streams Running Over Uneroded Stone! I am your Death, and I have come to claim you! All who hear my voice! Despair! Stand against me and you will die!"

She screams again, a deafening shriek raw and full of hatred, and then you hear a sound like nothing you've heard before. A buzz like an impossibly large swarm of hornets, keening and metallic, before you hear the first tree crashing down somewhere in the forest.

Even under her fur, you can tell that Miranni has gone pale. Only seconds later, Anle arrives, her terror apparent.

"The -" she barely glances at you. "It's here. This is our only chance."

You see Miranni hesitate.

What do you say?
No. 968206 ID: b1b4f3

Tell them they should probably not try to fight whatever that is. You don't want them to die. The other orcs can handle it, surely?

If they go, then they go. You did your best.
No. 968208 ID: 5877dc

"If this creature is what you're after, this will not end well. You know that if you try to fight her, you will die. Every orc here would, even if you all fought together. Your premonition was right and the only thing you can do now is cut your losses - and do what this... Seven Streams demands."
No. 968209 ID: ce39da

"Is what here?! Miranni, what's going on?" Let her answer, and maybe chew her out slightly if she tells you the truth (but in more of a "betrayed disbelief" way than a "condescending anger" way), but tell her to wait if she tries to bolt. "Wait, is.. is this what your bad feeling's about? If... If you go to confront it... is this the last time I'll ever see you?" She's afraid, and in a way, so are we, and we should let that fear for her wash over. Drive more nails into that, for her own good - aim to paralyze with naught but your words, without a hint of malice (for there is none).
No. 968211 ID: d88d26

Say fucking nothing.

Since I will be outvoted on this one at least don't mention anything about fairy. As far as you are concern that is a monster, a demon or a god.
Don't mention anything about objective. They didn't told you and don't know what they are talking about.
Just show fear. A fear that haunted your dreams. Fear for your life, for the lives of your companions, for the lives of Miranni and Anle. Convince them they should be as scary as you are.
No. 968215 ID: e7c7d3

Something along the lines of this. Adding if they look to bring you along, just run
No. 968226 ID: d63ea8

This seems like the best you can do, given the circumstances.
No. 968229 ID: ed763f

Chance to what, seek your death? If I wasn't sure you could stop me I'd run until my legs fell off.
No. 968231 ID: 9f0851

Say that you recognize the name as belonging to the Fairy in this parts and demand to know why she is pissed off at the orcs. If they try to run back to the camp, then scream at them that their opponent is a goddamn Fairy and they don't stand a chance.

If they ask how we know about the Fairy's existence, we simply tell them the truth: our elven companion talked extensively about her before our caravan was attacked by the orcs. Nothing in that answer reveals that we knew she was the orc's target or that she was going to attack today.
No. 968237 ID: f56a2b

It sounds like it wants only two in particular. It has the element of surprise. It sounds like... you don't stand a chance. Hammelatkurei and Bohmadigh can't be that strong on their own... and if you run at it, it'll probably kill you too. I don't know what's going on here, but you need to cut your losses and save your skin! You can't win this one. I'm not going to follow you. Whether you kill me for disobeying or not, this is a forlorn fight for me. I won't run if somehow, you win.

Miranni, I hope at least you understand where I'm coming from. I don't know how loyal you are or what you think you can do but i say there's no point in dying for nothing when you could live to fight another day.
No. 968244 ID: 6c227a

what the culturally appropriate expletive was that? Is that the thing you were hunting and hiding from? It sounds like you're the ones being hunted now.
No. 968266 ID: 015bf2

We've made it difficult for the orcs to win now, but it's gonna be obvious to any survivors that we betrayed them, especially Miranni and probably Kelepee, both of whom we are actively trying to not get suicide by fey'd.

Given that is our intentions, we might as well get the facts out of the way now and presented in our favor, intentions clear. Besides, making it obvious how skewed the odds are might turn them from joining the battle to bailing.

Step in front of their path and shake your head pleadingly.

"Don't. It's played you. Is playing you. It's what I've been dreaming of. There were things it shouldn't have known, but... did. It asked me what vengeance was proper. I gave it Hamal and Bohd's names, only. It asked me to take out the war wolf. I re-poisoned the wizard today, hardly daring not to. Anyone else who did not fight it said it would spare, at least. I drugged Kelepee. I didn't think she'd stand down, no matter the odds."

Shrug helplessly.

"Don't fight. This fairie is... beyond words, even in dreams. I'm not sure you could've won at full strength, let alone when out-schemed by it. Get your friends to bail, if anything."
No. 968273 ID: ce39da

Don't confess. You overestimate how evident it is that we're behind the fairy knowing what it does; even if the orcs do eventually realize we somehow had something to do with it, it's way too early to put all our cards on the table.
No. 968279 ID: 015bf2

I was implying we imply the fairie already knew 'bout this sordid mission from other sources, not that we told it, since it'd gel with Miranni's bad feel of having been watched of late (might even be true...). And maybe I am overestimating their ability to suss out our deeds. It's a lot to hope for, though.

Anyway, this is also about what we want to actually happen here. "You guys gon' die and this is why." with "The fairie had your number and pawn'd me." as an ass-covering measure is by no means a bad plan if we want to give Miranni and Anle the best odds of survival. They've both had the heebie jeebies about this mission and I think they'll give it up as a bad job if they realize their chances are shot and transition from attack mode to damage control.

Even if my original pitch is too thick on details, if you're invested in their survival the strongest argument Merchant can make is that two of their big aces ain't anymore, and the only way Merchant would know that is if he admits he had a hand in it.
No. 968284 ID: 5877dc

I understand your point, but I as I've argued before, Miranni could blame us for Bohmadigh's death and avenge it. Or Anle for Hammelatkurei's. Or they could tell other orcs what we did and let them decide whether they want to punish us for helping the fairy.
Sure, telling them would increase their chance of survival, but it would decrease our own. I'd still put Merchant's life first, so in this aspect, I'm against outright revealing our connection to the fairy, no matter how refined of an explanation we use.
Maybe they'll find out we sabotaged their efforts, maybe they won't. Personally, I believe that, as things stand, the evidence is too circumstantial. Even the War Wizard's madness can be blamed on the fae powers.
No. 968296 ID: 9f0851


The thing is, we may have already cast suspicions on ourselves with the way we warned Anle that we had a bad feeling about something and that she should come get us if anything happened at the camp.

What we can do is convince them that somebody else was responsible for this and we happen to have a solid fall guy in Rhaina:
1- We could truthfully say that he told us about the Fairy before we were caught by the orcs and has extensive, almost fanatical, knowledge about her. There is probably some other ritual that elves can use to contact Fairies that he had no need to teach us (not that we'd reveal that we know of any sort of ritual). Simply revealing that we're not the only ones who know about the Fairy could deflect some of the suspicion.
2- When we met up with him in secret, he told us that he could no longer move because of his wounds, so right now he's still right were we talked with him. We don't have to tell the orcs that we know where he is- if we imply his existence, then the surviving orc scouts will eventually find him if they're focused and thorough.
3- If the orcs find him alive and he's still able to talk, then he will most likely take sole responsibility for the Fairy's attack. Remember that he entrusted us with the survival of the eggs above his own survival. If he reveals that we helped him with the attack, then we will be killed along with any chance that the eggs will be saved. Thus, he would try to ensure our own survival for the sake of the eggs.
4- This one is a bit of a reach, but we could have a witness that could confirm Rhaina's existence: Kelepee. The first night we slept in her tent, she told us that she was tired from hunting down our friends. If, by chance, she wasn't being sarcastic when she said this, then there is a possibility that she's the one who wounded Rhaina and left him for dead.

So there might be some benefit to revealing that we know about the Fairy, so long as we reveal that there is an outsider that also knows about the Fairy. Obviously, we wouldn't mention anything about the the secret meeting or the ritual.
No. 968346 ID: dbd72b

"I don't know what that thing is, but it sounds like nothing from this world. I've had a war wolf run me down, and I've never been this scared in my life. It doesn't seem like it'd come after us, but just in case? We should be running and hiding, not picking a fight and hoping whatever makes noises like that is still afraid of axes. Whatever you do, I don't want to die, or see you die."
No. 968353 ID: 094652

Tell them the elf insisted, with his life, that the death of the fairy would cause the entire forest to implode or something, because he put her life before his own unborn children.

If they want revenge, they could just crack a few omelettes in front of his face. You need to hear their story; are they here for profit or do they need faerie organs for some important save-the-world deal?
No. 968378 ID: 12b116
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You try your best to make it seem like you're just as surprised as they are.

"Wait!" you shout, stopping them both.

You tell Miranni to listen to her gut feeling, that you care about her and Anle and don't want to see them die.

You tell them that you won't follow them toward whatever that is, no matter what they do, and there's no reason for them to throw their lives away against some monster they have no hope of defeating. You do not mention your part in the events currently transpiring, either truthfully or otherwise.

Worry, confusion and despair are plain on both their faces. You all stand there, considering how to proceed, as the screams, keening wails and crashing of downed trees fill the air around you.

"We have to, Anle," Miranni says, glancing between you and her. "It's why we're here."

As they hesitate in the dark forest, the sounds slowly cease.

You look at one another. The quiet persists.

Slowly, all three of you carefully make your way back to the camp.

As you get closer, the copper stink of blood overpowers everything else before you breach the treeline and enter the clearning that used to be the orc's camp.

Massive trees have been chopped in half, the tents are crushed, and blood and chunks of meat litter the clearing, bright sunlight shining down from the now-visible clear sky.

Perferlain is there, floating in the air, a halo of golden light following along the ground beneath her. Golden swords of light move in fits and starts through the air, quietly humming. You recognize the sound as the deafening mechanical buzzing from before.

A few orcs lay in pools of their own blood, groaning, although most of them are still, their bodies in peices.

You see Kelepee, clutching weakly onto the blade of one of the swords of light, her blood dripping into the muddy puddle in which she kneels.

She groans.

Anle and Miranni don't move. Clearly the fight is over. Perhaps eight orcs are dead. You suspect the rest have fled.

More blood drips from Kelepee and she moans again, weakly.

Her sword lays in the dirt near the pool of her blood.

Perferlain slowly turns to face you, her snow-white flesh almost translucent under the bright sun.

Her heart, outside her chest and suspended on a shaft of light, beats rapidly.

Anle and Miranni do nothing. Miranni drops the jar of Ghost Wine onto the groud from her now-limp fingers.

"We have clearly lost," Anle says, raising her arms in surrender.

Perferlain speaks. Her voice is like a bell.

"In my whimsey, I will deign to grant you a boon, human." She says.

"I can smell your scent on this creature. Shall I spare her? Or is there something else you desire?"

Kelepee's eyes flutter closed.
No. 968379 ID: b1b4f3

I want my fucking BREAD.
No. 968380 ID: dce46f

My goods, my wagon, and if possible my safe passage out of here.
No. 968381 ID: e7c7d3

She technically spared us as well. Letting us choose our fate as a slave rather than letting others decide. I say we spare her and any of the slaves still here
No. 968383 ID: f56a2b

None of the slaves should be up for slaughter anyways, only the top two orcs and anyone who joined in the defense are marked for death.

Respect is earned, loyalty returned. Spare Kelepee.

Explain to the orcs if they question you that, yes, it was all fair game since they were so bluntly pragmatic and hostile in order to capture you by slaughtering your caravan. You simply returned the favor. The faerie as you understand it is also a very important creature tied to the health of this land... and you're doing business in it. Not good to be known for killing off people's homelands if you're a travelling merchant. As far as Kelepee, Miranni, and Anle are concerned, you think they treated you pretty well in the two latters' case and while the former was mercurial, she did fight for you to have your pick of things to make sure you weren't a malcontent who tried to run or slit someone's throat.

If any of them for some reason get their hackles raised or get vengeful, preempt things by pointing out that they chose to follow their commander's lead and you defeated their commander. Clearly, killing you accomplishes nothing now, and in fact you are showing yourself to be someone who looks after his followers and seeks victory even when the chips are down.
No. 968387 ID: f56a2b

Also, make damn sure that "spare Kelepee" does not include simply leaving her to bleed out with poison in her system. Make sure she survives and attend to her.
No. 968390 ID: 6f7a5a


Kelepee is best orc, and her living would be ideal . . . but we gotta have our bread back.

say you desire bread
No. 968391 ID: 6f4901

Definitely dont say the fairy's name, better to act taken aback like you have no idea why shes offering you a boon. "Whimsy" gives you wiggle room to avoid orc revenge.

Just take the offer of sparing kelepee, since it was mentioned. Be afraid of the monster and try to get away from it. The bread is probably fine, and the book is already worth way more thanbthe bread anyway. At this point its best to just focus on getting out instead of getting greedy.
No. 968392 ID: ce39da

"W-what? Spare her! Um...?" Don't be an idiot and pick bread over Kelepee's life right in front of Miranni and Anle. Maybe cast a confused glance at them to really sell it.
No. 968393 ID: 9f0851

Welp, she straight up outed us as being responsible for this and we have no idea how the surviving orcs are gonna react to that. She's offering us a boon and we should use it for damage control.

Ask her to please spare Kelepee and to remove this conversation from the memories of everyone still alive except yourself. Also, ask her if she would be so kind as to protect Rhaina's eggs until we can retrieve them, as his dying wish was for them to be returned to his wife.

However, those are technically 3 different requests. If she's gonna grant us one and only one boon, then we should use it either to erase everyone's memories or to kill all the remaining orcs, including Anle and Miranni. The latter option sucks because of all the time and effort spent trying to spare them, but we can't afford to gamble on being forgiven for killing their comrades.
No. 968394 ID: d88d26

Shit! Now we are next to two health orcs that know we have something to do with this fairy. I don't know how we are going to survive that...

If we had a real choice in the matter I would ask to gain a boon that we need but we don't yet know that we need.
In reality we have to prepare for the aftermath diplomacy. Saving Kelepee would be a show of good faith.
No. 968400 ID: 5877dc

"Give me your heart.".
I mean, if she gave us her heart, it means she would die and Kelepee would be spared. Altho this probably wouldn't count as a small boon haha

Alternatively, look at Miranni and Anle and ask them if they're okay with you saving Kelepee's life. (vote to spare her)

After the fairy leaves, go down on your knees and curse out loud while crying. With tears in your eyes, tell Miranni and Anle that Kelepee was the only one you could save. Say that you're sorry and that the fairy promised you that everyone would be spared if you helped her, but that she lied and this happened.
No. 968401 ID: b1b4f3

Okay but seriously just spare Kelepee. We don't know exactly how much the Fairy would give us if we asked for something else, nor do we know what she CAN give us. Asking for too much, or for something she can't do, could have negative consequences. We don't know enough about Fairies.
The bread can be recovered through just walking over to where it was and picking it up. Probably. Also we have other valuables to make up for the loss.

ALSO saving Kelepee makes us look good in front of Anle and Miranni, who could still kill us once the Fairy leaves. Let's not forget that.
...ask if the boon can include fixing what's wrong with Kelepee's mind/spirit. If there is a Price to be paid for that... maybe Kelepee would be willing to pay it.
No. 968419 ID: 0055dc


Telling the orcs that you had anything at all to do with the fairy is a good way to end up dead no matter how much you wail and gnash your teeth about it
No. 968425 ID: 015bf2

Well, got vengeance and then some. Body count’s in our favor now, I’d say.

Phrase it so the fairie might fix her mental woes as well. Like “Uh... then I beg your boon be that she be fully restored to us.” It’s clear only supernatural aid would help her at this point, anyway, so might as well ask for the full package.

We could possibly ask for a more generic boon, restoring more orcs, but... we really don’t know how far a boon can be pushed. Uh. Though if we DO push it, you could ask that you’d like anyone within the area who remain grievously damaged be restored to at least a decent state of survivability. This could reasonably be interpreted to cover Rhaina as well! Or any of our friends if they got caught up in this mess.

Tell Miranni that you will start preparing medicine for the wounded, and get her on first aiding wounded orcs. Tell Anle (and Kelepee?) to aid or look for other survivors, like the rest of the captives, if they didn’t run away already, for more helping hands. Keep them focused on that while you get an overview of the situation.
No. 968426 ID: 5877dc

The fairy spoke to us, so the orcs know we're her acquaintance. We cannot deny that in any way because the chance of us randomly knowing this fairy is astronomical. Because of this link, it's quite clear to them that we're in league with her and the previously circumstantial evidence of our tampering is no longer circumstantial.

In other words, I believe that the chance of us dying is higher if we don't say anything to them. For the best chance of our survival, we need to admit what we did and provide a good explanation for it. The one I proposed blames it on the fairy lies, which should be plausible if the orcs are aware of any rumors regarding the fairy boons and their costs.
No. 968431 ID: b1b4f3

>the orcs know we're her acquaintance
Do you know what whimsy means? We can just shrug and go "Fairy must've just felt like giving out a boon to the first non-orc she saw"
No. 968442 ID: d63ea8

Spare Kelepee, ask for nothing else.
No. 968449 ID: 094652

"For my boon, I request you surrender a fragment of your heart's power.

As a polite request, please leave. You have taken your fill of blood."
No. 968459 ID: 2b08ad

Yeah, I like this. Try and push the boon, see how much we can get, but if the Fairy won’t hear it just spare Kelepee.

Then begins the Triage, and the bloody work.
No. 968461 ID: 9c48ac

Much as I don't particularly care about Kelepee, this does seem like an appropriate thing to do as long as it doesn't result in us owing a debt to Perferlain. Being the callous merchant and asking for material goods when saving lives has already been put on the table is a good way to make everyone hate you, and you don't have the power to get away with that right now. Not that I would go for that regardless but yknow
No. 968462 ID: dbd72b

No. 968466 ID: 4f5082

Request that Kelepee's mind, body and soul be restored.
No. 968467 ID: c19159

>That she be fully restored to us

Probably the best way to phrase it.
No. 968474 ID: ce39da

Ooh, changing my vote to this. It erases how she was poisoned, and she might be too grateful for the restoration of her soul to remember/care about that - heck, she might basically be a different person. Plus, maybe this result is what the shaman apparently felt when he decided this was a good idea?
No. 968475 ID: 6a6a80

We can sell the book for more than the bread was worth, that much we know.
I'd love to save the tsundere gnollfu, but maybe it's best that we let things slide with her and just get something from ourselves. Of course, knowing that we decided to selfishly sacrifice one of their comrades for our gain is going to be an unpopular opinion at the very least, but they might also not care too much to pursue or condemn us for choosing that since she's not particularly popular either.

I'd say let her kill Kelepee and ask for some kind of magical item to protect you from harm or ambushes. Even if we saved her and get her as a companion that's gonna be much more useful investment in the long run, as a traveling merchant. Besides, we really don't care that much about her, do we?
No. 968476 ID: 12b116
File 159085368085.jpg - (342.78KB , 1078x690 , e3m12.jpg )

You're pretty sure, looking at Anle and Miranni, they have no idea you were involved with the fairy before this very second. Apparently, whimsically deciding to grant a boon to a random person really isn't out of character for a fairy.

You very briefly consider asking the fairy for her heart or some part of it, but realize this is probably a terrible idea, so you try to think of something better.

You think you'll probably make a better impression on the surviving orcs if you rescue Kelepee, and probably make up for any suspicion they may have that you're involved.

"I want to spare Kelepee, that orc, and fully heal and restore her."

Perferlain grins.

"I can heal her body, but if you mean her mind or spirit are damaged, I have no way to know what form it took before, and besides, It would be cruel of me to return to her a cost she freely paid.

There is a bright flash of light, and Kelepee lays on the ground, unconscious, with no visible wounds.

"I shall take my leave," Perferlain says, and you all watch in stunned silence as she leaves the clearing.

You and Anle get ready to triage the wounded orcs who are still alive.

"Why would you save Kelepee?" Anle asks, seemingly extremely disappointed in your decision. "You know she's dangerous, mad, and violent right? No one actually likes her."

"Hey, I'm sure it was just panic," Miranni adds. "It was probably just the first thing that came to mind or something. There's no way that's a boon anybody would ask for if they had any time to think about it, right?" She sighs before continuing.

"I thought, you know, this whole mission is a complete failure now, but at least we got rid of Kelepee. What a pain in the ass she is." She pats you on the shoulder, doing a much better job of hiding her disappointment.

"It's ok. I would have panicked too."

You see Caoiran and Kevwar coming out from the edge of the woods.

"I'm not one to second-guess your decisions, boss," Caoiran says, "But I really could have used my hand back, you know?"

That being said, she begins to gather up materials while you see to the wounded orcs. A few return, and the mood is somber. An orc you don't recognize begins to skin the bodies of the dead who are mostly intact. The act carries a ritualistic, religious-seeming air as he works.

They unlock your shackles, and Caoiran's. The goblins don't return, seeming to have used the opportunity to escape. You don't see any evidence of the War Wizard, and you think the massive pile of rotting meat on one side of the camp is the remains of the War Wolf.

Several chests of items, including the three loaves of bread still in the camp and the apothecary's book and supplies, are left piled in the center of camp, Obviously too much for the six remaining orcs to carry.

Caoiran and Kevwar's armor and weapons are also returned.

The orcs confer with one another before Miranni and Anle come up to you and your companions.

"I guess we'll be parting ways here," Anle says.

"As a show of goodwill, why don't we leave Kelepee with you? You're going to have a lot of trouble hauling these things back with you, and she's pretty strong. We can shackle her if you want. I wouldn't give her a weapon if I were you."

Miranni speaks up. "I'd be willing to come with you, for a bit anyway, to help you carry things to the town."

Anle squeezes your shoulder. "I know these circumstances weren't ideal, but I think you're a good person. Hopefully these things can make up in some part for the suffering you've endured over the past few weeks. I am truly sorry about all this."

When they've walked back over to the survivors, Caoiran says "I have no idea how you pulled all that off, but I'm with you one hundred per cent. I'll do my best to keep you safe until you're back on your feet. It's gonna be hard to turn all this loot into ready coin, and I promise you I'm plenty scrappy, even with one hand."

"I'm out once we get to Willow," Kevwar says.

You take a moment to visit the edge of the village. It looks like a lot of the most visible coins have been harvested from the corpse pit. The goblins no doubt circled back and looted it while everything was happening.

You also notice that Raina has passed away.

Now, you've got some decisions to make.

Do you take Kelepee with you? If so, do you want the orcs to shackle her?

Do you take Miranni up on her offer to accompany you to Willow?

Do you just take the most valuable items, or do you want to try to haul everything you can carry out? The more you take, the slower you'll travel, and the worse shape you'll be in when you get to Willow

Just the book is worth more than your entire wagon of bread, and the apothecary's kit and herbs are probably quite valuable as well, although none of these things are coin. The chests contain weapons, armor, carvings, leather goods and a few miscellaneous items. The weapons and armor are worth the most, but are also by far the bulkiest and heaviest things in the loot.

Is there anything you want to talk to the orcs about before you part ways?
No. 968481 ID: 6a6a80

Goddamnit I was too late to the party.

I doubt we'll want to shackle Kelepee, considering how we just spent a wish for rescuing her that sounds like an extremely silly thing to do. She literally owes her life to us now, that must mean something.
Put the elf on the wagon while you're at it and start working on his wound to see if you can manage to get some more life into him so he doesn't croak halfway through the journey to willow. Miranni can surely help.
As for loot: assess the situation with miranni with the elf's life, make an educated guess about the length of the travel and try to get him to the town to his wife while also grabbing the armor and weapons, as much as you can while still being fast enough.
No. 968482 ID: 5877dc

>Why would you save Kelepee?
Because that was the only orc you could've saved. Better save one life instead of none.

Ask Anle if she can now tell you the reason why they were after this fairy. How exactly would that have resulted in the benefit of human and orc races. And what are they going to do now?

As far as Kelepee goes... oh, she's asleep. wake her up by getting a good feel of her fluff hehe. I wonder what Kelepee's reaction would be if she woke up in our embrace after a near-death experience.

Don't shackle Kelepee at first, but don't leave her near any weapons either. Once she wakes up, tell her that she's gonna travel with you to Willow because we need assistance in carrying stuff. If she says no, then we shackle her and force her to come along (altho, maybe we should shackle her first anyway...). If she says yes, good. In that case, we also offer her to travel with us permanently. Under certain conditions of course - good behavior, listening to what we say, etc.

We'll definitely also need Miranni's help with hauling stuff. Assuming she doesn't ask much in return for this help. We should take only the most valuable items as far as weight to value ratio goes. Bread clearly isn't one of them. And we'll need to get the eggs (in case we get hungry on the way to Willow). We can also hide the rest of the items so that we can collect them on our way back from Willow.
No. 968483 ID: 6a6a80

>wake her up by getting a good feel of her fluff hehe. I wonder what Kelepee's reaction would be if she woke up in our embrace after a near-death experience.
Christ, please tell me you're joking. You approach a mentally unstable ball of muscles and scars whose only trait is how she actually murders people efficiently who apparently just died and doesn't know what's going on and the first thing you want to do is grope her? That's practically begging to have your jugular ripped.
No. 968484 ID: 9c48ac

Make sure to take enough loot besides the book to make up, or at least approach, the value of the lost bread. We don't want to broadcast that we have a single very valuable item.

Gather up any heavy items that won't degrade in a couple weeks - like the weapons and armor - and stash them somewhere hidden. We can come back for them on our return trip. (There's no guarantee they'll still be there, though, even hidden, so make sure you take with you anything reasonably light.)
No. 968492 ID: e7c7d3

Have keleppe be unshackled so she can carry things. Remind the orcs that it's not a gift if they didn't want her in the first place. Take up Miranni's offer to haul stuff as well.

Honestly, I don't know if we can do much with the bread anymore. But if the book is as valuable as it is, why not use it? Become a wondering apothecary. Sell both snake oil and legit remedies. Perhaps we can convince Miranni to work for us.
No. 968493 ID: 5877dc

>the first thing you want to do is grope her
Getting a feel of the fluff isn't the same as groping, you know.

Btw, is there a reason you want to massage a dead body?
> >>968476 >You also notice that Raina has passed away.
> >>968481 >start working on his wound to see if you can manage to get some more life into him
No. 968501 ID: ce39da

Wave back slightly, and disguise it with a transition into scratching your head.

"Sorry, apparently - I thought you would react extremely poorly if I had asked for something else when I could have saved your comrade's life, no matter how unpopular she was. Honestly, you guys can keep her. She may be a mere annoyance to you, but I feared for my life when I was around her. However, I'd appreciate you accompanying me, Miranni; I could certainly use the extra hand."

Grab both the medicine book and fairy book, as well as the apothecary kit, all the remaining B R E A D, maybe a single box of other stuff, and don't forget to pick up Rhaina's eggs. Hide the bulky non-perishables, make a note of where you did, and come back for them later.

Don't be too talkative with Miranni; she knows us best, and will likely catch us out if we lie too much around her.
No. 968502 ID: b1b4f3

Hold up before we make a decision on Kelepee we gotta know: has she actually HURT anyone during her outbursts? Or does she just really like fighting, gets super excited about it when the subject comes up, and can be easily provoked into a fight? If she can avoid hurting non-hostiles then we can bring her. Heck, we can put her in shackles while we're in towns to reassure people who don't know her. Like a War Wolf. That's a comparison she'd like, for sure.

Also, it's a shame about the war wizard. I thought we'd have time to at least do the heart transfer if the orcs killed the wizard due to him being unresponsive; has it really been a half hour? ...maybe the big drowsiness poison dose killed him before the fighting even started, and the orcs in charge were going to wait until we came back to administer punishment.

Ask Anle what the mission was about. Something to do with the Fairy obviously, but why?
No. 968507 ID: f56a2b

Take Kelepee, unshackled.
No. 968522 ID: 4f5082

Take Kelepee with you, do not choose to shackle her.

Take Miranni with you.

Take everything you can, with the extra help you can haul more.

Prolly best to avoid talking to the orcs and just... part ways... With yer loot.
No. 968525 ID: 0055dc


>Hold up before we make a decision on Kelepee we gotta know: has she actually HURT anyone during her outbursts?

Yes, she has killed people, this is already established.

I'm against taking kelepee with us, she may as well be left behind in the field to not be your problem any more. If she must be tagging along to carry freight, still ditch her after Willow.

Keep the eggs hidden and take them to Willow, find Rhaina's wife and deliver the eggs to her.

Probably best to avoid talking to the orcs if they aren't making conversation, keep up the air that you are still horrified by what went on. Parting on quiet amicable terms is probably better than engaging in conversation and accidentally revealing that you killed everyone but kelepee.
No. 968534 ID: 266673

Take Kelepee, a companion with a life-debt isn’t something to be scoffed at. Besides, something tells me she’s not wholly as monstrous as she seems. You treat someone like an animal long enough, they’ll starts acting like one. Leave her un-shackled.

Take Miranni up on the offer to escort you to town, and on the way, ask her what she’s going to do next. It’s just daydreaming but I’d love her to join the party. Either way, thank her sincerely for being a friend.

For loot, focus on the valuables. The book, the apothecary supplies, and have everyone take their pick of weapons. If we could find Caoiran a nice strap-on buckler for her left-arm that would be nice. Don’t arm Kelepee, yet. That’s a level of trust you work up to. And most importantly, split one of those loaves of bread among anyone who wants a piece, it’s too bulky to bother carrying so savor what remains of your previous wealth before you leave it behind.
No. 968537 ID: 6f7a5a

wear all of the gambison as a dog training suit for handling Kelepee

also prepare to pass Kelepee off as your warwolf
No. 968538 ID: 4f5082

Yes Kelepee is the best warwolf
No. 968539 ID: b1b4f3

>Yes, she has killed people
Oh? When? That one slave, who may actually have been trying to escape?
No. 968545 ID: 5877dc

> >>964450 >the people who had the medicine book wouldn't help us and tried to run away, so we killed them
> >>964928 >She has only had one other captive on this mission, and she killed it. She said it tried to escape

She killed people, but we don't know if she ever accidentally killed someone due to her outbursts. Might be something worth asking.
No. 968548 ID: b1b4f3

Oh don't forget to loot Rhaina's backpack, for a second valuable book. If the orcs ask how you knew where it was, you can say Rhaina told you to look there if anything happened to him.
No. 968553 ID: 12b116
File 159088216296.jpg - (368.87KB , 1037x640 , e3m13.jpg )

After a lot of mental debate, you decide to take Kelepee with you. You also take up Miranni's offer to come with you as well. If nothing else, it'll help you carry a lot more.

You take the three loaves of B R E A D and the lowest-weight, highest-value items, and stash everything you can't take with you. You wave bye to the orcs, and head back to the ambush site, getting Rhaina's backpack in the process. You decide not to tell anyone what's in it, and pass it off as if you just happened to find it.

With that, you complete your trip to Willow.

You've never been happier to see a fairly small, primitive house in your entire life.

Built up among the trees, most of the buildings are elevated on posts, making the village extremely defensible. Curing hides hang from many of the elevated porches, and curious onlookers peer over the railings.

Miranni leaves you at this point. With the Shaman of her tribe dead, she has to return to her people, but she tells you that as far as she's concerned, you're a friend of the Secret Water orcs, which is the tribe that she belongs to. She says that they're generally respected, so it could keep you safe if you run into orc raiders in your travels. She says that she'd like to see you again sometime. If you're traveling out west, maybe you'll run into her.

You ask her about what they were there for. She tells you that Bohmadigh had a vision of an evil race sweeping into the lands from the north, and the power of the heart would allow the orcs to call forth strong allies to defeat them and keep them from ravaging the orc lands and continuing onward into the human kingdoms. With the mission failed, they'll return and prepare. Supposedly, it would still be roughly a year before the invasion was to occur.

Kelepee is strangely subdued the whole time. Even though you choose not to shackle her, Miranni gives you a set of shackles and a key "just in case." You get the impression that if Caoiran wasn't maimed, Kelepee would be substantially more aggressive toward her.

Miranni helps Caoiran work out a way to strap a shield onto the arm with her missing hand, which is better than nothing. She's sill capable with her sword in her off-hand. You certainly wouldn't want to tangle with her.

Miranni warns you that the problem with Kelepee is that if something sets her off, you, Caoiran, Kevwar or Miranni herself aren't really capable of getting her to back down. She knows better than to actively murder people, but she's seriously injured several orcs she's gotten into fights with, and her impulse control is poor, to say the least.

You convince her to wear the shackles in town, and more or less manage to pass her off as a sort of War Wolf. It's a pretty good idea.

Once in town, you seek out Genlaud, Rhaina's wife. You tell her the sad news regarding her husband, but she is overjoyed when you return the eggs to her. They're roughly a foot long, and oblong, shaped roughly like a grain of rice, their white shells leathery instead of hard like bird eggs.

She cries tears of grief and joy, her tears shining like silver, condensing into little crystals that slowly dissolve.

She offers you hospitality and friendship. You also learn you were right to not tell the orcs about Rhaina or the eggs. Apparently, orcs vivisect any elf they find in the hope they'll have eggs in 'em, which orcs consider to be a delicacy. For this reason, Genlaud's offer of hospitality doesn't extend to your orc. She also pays you in gems for the return of the eggs and several of the keepsakes in Rhaina's backpack, although she doesn't ask for the book. An elf's death-promise is transmitted magically into the mind of their kin, after all.

In the morning, you hire some rowdies to go get the rest of the loot you stashed, and find none of it has been disturbed. You learn that most of the corpses in the corpse-pit had belonged to local bandits, and that the road to and from Willow is much safer now.

Perhaps best of all, you have an amazing story to share, and you begin working on your memoir. You'll have to figure out some way to offload the books you've found to truly get ahead of your losses, but you're in a much better position than you ever thought you'd be after that harrowing attack in the woods so long ago.

You tended to make fairly safe, cautious decisions early on, although you became more willing to take significant risks toward the end of your captivity.

You became friends with a tribe of orcs, used fell magics to contact a Fairy, and ended up with two extremely valuable texts.

You have a fast companion in Caoiran, who you shared your earnings with, and have ... a ... companion in Kelepee, although you think it's going to be quite difficult to keep her out of trouble, especially since she seems intent to staying close to you.

You also miss Miranni. You remember the conversations you had with her, and miss her quick wit and intellect. There's certainly no one like that traveling with you now, although you see something of her in Rhaina's wife.

All in all, you're certainly living a life of adventure, although you think you'll spend some time in civilization before you set out again.

Thank you for playing!
No. 968591 ID: 9b9bed

well that could have been worse
does sage still work in this
No. 968592 ID: 9b9bed

looks like it

Thanks for the quest!
No. 968596 ID: 5877dc

>it could keep you safe if you run into orc raiders in your travels
How would that keep us safe? Do we just shout that we know the Secret Water orcs and the raiders would just give us a pass?

>If you're traveling out west, maybe you'll run into her
Would've been useful to know the exact location of their village in case we'd want to travel there to trade and whatnot. Assuming they have one and they're not purely nomadic.

>it would still be roughly a year before the invasion was to occur
So we've got one year to get rich and raise an army...
No. 968598 ID: 12b116

Probably better for the /dis/ thread, but I'll answer these here.

>>How could this help?
Parleying and explaining you're an ally of the Secret Water tribe would probably make anybody who are allies with them not want to murder you and take all of your stuff.

Depending on who they are, they could also hold you and confirm or something like that. It's not like magic words that make raiders evaporate so much as something you could use to bargain with hostile orcs.

I don't think the other two things really require any kind of direct response, though.

As far as the last one, also assuming that's true.
No. 968614 ID: 864e49

There's gonna be a chapter 2 right!?
No. 968618 ID: 12b116

Of course
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