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

Where did I go wrong?
103 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 993762 ID: 9c1ef3
File 161706774918.png - (17.01KB , 753x656 , DigDeep.png )

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

>Go all out.

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

You are now in control of [The Lich].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

>Interrogate and capture.

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

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

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

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


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

But what to do with it?

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

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

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

No. 993966 ID: f8fa51

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

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

writing/drawing now
No. 994012 ID: 9c1ef3

rolled 99 = 99

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

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

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

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

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

In short, you accidentally created a whole life out of nothing.
No. 994015 ID: 9c1ef3

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

Oh, dear.

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

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

Comfort, then observe
No. 994024 ID: b1b4f3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

[EVIL] actions require a supermajority vote.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Absolutely not."


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

"And what if they retaliate?"

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

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

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

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

Mines Heads should lead
No. 996879 ID: f8fa51

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

Mines head should lead
No. 996920 ID: ce39da

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One is merely decapitated.

He will be for out Lord Above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out Mines
No. 998587 ID: f8fa51

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Mines-Heads has become a ticking time bomb.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The spirits...

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

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

- - - -

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

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