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991238 No. 991238 ID: 9c4453

It finally stopped raining, just as we arrive at the ridge.

According to the handbook, an assigned worker (which would be me) needs to go the Torrus' Ridge outpost to collect all the outgoing mail and parcels for our designated sector as well as a delivery route to find out which pinnacles we need to visit and in what order, and after that we'll be on our way.

Pilot has also asked me to pick up a few things, so I'll look out for stores and maybe pick up a few things for myself while I'm there.
550 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1008175 ID: 8483cf

Hakrei! Nice to see a "friendly" face.
No. 1008180 ID: ce39da

Even if we were inclined to free Akaro, it's still too early - too many sets of eyes.

Vanil, however... We can't ask him directly to help us, but... what if we told him something that would cause him to make a distraction on his own?

"Oy, Vanil! How was that duelist?" ... "I actually spotted some bounty hunters over there. And would you look at that; real Bacian navy! Boy, I can only imagine the stories they all have to tell."
No. 1008190 ID: 2aa5f0

Hakrei and Vanil are probably your best bets truth be told. stick near them just incase. Also you were meant to met up with Ecoa here right? I'm half tempted just to head back to the ship and hope to meet up with her along the way as this area is getting a little to hot for comfort.
No. 1008232 ID: 8a444d

I agree about Akaro and like a lot the plan to fool again Vanil (clever one). Though I don't know how the other people would see it.

I personally like Hakrei and would like to know what she has to say, but I think the hunters would be of more help if only for their knowledge and experience.
No. 1008530 ID: 15a025

Vaneil is probably are better distraction if we want to be peaceful about things.
No. 1008691 ID: 7324a0

No. 1009159 ID: dd0add
File 163044149960.png - (279.54KB , 800x600 , RTS14200072021.png )

My best choices seem to be Hakrei and Vanil. The latter of which seems to be pestering the former about something. I make my way close to them and leave the cart close by, but far from out in the open.

>"Awwww, c'mon, just one more! I can do it this time!"
"Look. Kid. I appreciate the bandages you got me and all, and I was more than happy at first to duel you. but face it, you're outta my league. I get no enjoyment from besting some kid half my size eight times in a row. Now would you and your friends get lost? I got places to head off to real soon."
>"Pleeease? We can make a bet if you'd like!"
>"I'm not interested. Besides, a fight I got in earlier really took the wind outta my sails. I still got glass in my feathers. Which means I'm still kicking your butt even when I'm underperforming. Why don't you get a few years of experience and you might actually be worth my time."

Hakrei understandably seems to be getting increasingly impatient with Vanil. Seems she might be seeing things my way.
No. 1009160 ID: dd0add
File 163044152150.png - (268.30KB , 800x600 , RTS14300072021.png )

>"Hey! Pascoe! Pascoooeeee! Over here! It's me, Vanil! We met at the docks, remember?"

Maybe if I ignore him, he'll go away.

>"While I was at the tavern, I found some companions who'll be accompanying me on my quest to find the items to cure my hometown of the plague! You seem to have an off expression, is there something you need help with? I'd be happy to help, whatever it is! I'm ready to return the favor I owe!"

Something about these adventurer types rubs me the wrong way. I'll never understand it. He seems all too eager to help me out, but this should be an absolute last resort. I get close enough to the dualist that she notices me.
No. 1009161 ID: dd0add
File 163044157481.png - (348.85KB , 800x600 , RTS14400072021.png )

>"Hey, runt! you don't mind if I call you that right?"
"It's fine, I can own it."
>"I was wondering when you'd quit pussyfooting around and come chat with me. I was thinking for a moment that we wouldn't meet until our dual on Calsia. So, what'll the topic be? Wanna negotiate the terms of our fight?"
"I wanted to see if you were interested in assisting me with something."
>"If you're thinking of asking me to push papers then I'm afraid I have to decline! That line of work isn't quite my style."
"Not that. I'm just trying to avoid a potentially unfavourable situation is all."
>"I can help with whatever it is, but first, I wanted to know how much you know about your friend."
"Who? Ecoa? Barely anything. She doesn't talk about herself."
>"I have a theory if you're interested. But if you're in a hurry, we can cut right to the chase. I might do what you have in mind, so long as it isn't boring!"

I can either discuss what interest the dualist has in Ecoa or go right to telling her that a top bounty is taking me hostage by threatening to give me freaky eye powers, or I can choose to lead into the conversation with a different subject... Or I can accept help from the adventurers, which I barely wish to consider, but the option is still there.
No. 1009162 ID: 2f6ee3

Hmmm sure, let's listen to the theory on Ecoa.
No. 1009164 ID: ce39da

Let's hear her out and maybe segue her fight-talk into how those military folks seem to like picking fights around here (while not-so-subtly implying that someone who scares the droppings out of you is very interested in riding out on your cart unmolested).

Heck, if she can agree not to turn him in if she wins, you might even be willing to try and set up a duel if she helps...
No. 1009166 ID: f8fa51

Hear her out first, then ask her to help.
No. 1009172 ID: 2aa5f0

sure let her talk, it might put her in a better mood and that might make her more willing to help.
No. 1009180 ID: 8483cf

Ecoa theory! Gotta hear this one.
No. 1009201 ID: a2493c

>doesn't care that he's losing, eager to keep going after so many losses

I'm getting the sense this dude's getting off on having his dick beaten inside out.

Anyways, let's be snoops about our coworker, why not?
No. 1009210 ID: 53560f

You guys know that the moment she starts talking about Ecoa she’s gonna show up and rip us a new one, right?

Don’t tempt fate. Start a conversation and try to make her walk with you so that if “something” interrupts then they’re close by to help.
No. 1009212 ID: b0df41

I'm very interested in that tehory, but we have more urgent things at hand. Also, we will (not so much) hopefully will speak with Hakrei latter in Calsia.

Besides, If we can't get Hakrei's help, we will probably will need Vanil's *Suders*
No. 1009223 ID: dd0add
File 163052077711.png - (275.48KB , 800x600 , RTS14500072021.png )

>I'm very interested in that theory, but we have more urgent things at hand
I suppose I'll ask to keep it brief in that case

>You guys know that the moment she starts talking about Ecoa she’s gonna show up and rip us a new one, right?
If she were to show up already then I'd go about asking her help instead. I still can't see her so hopefully I needn't worry about that outcome

"Alright, if it makes you more willing to help me out, but try make it quick, I got a job to do and the locals are becoming a bit too much for me."
>"Don't you worry, I'll make it quick."
She reaches into her bandaged midsection and pulls out one of her feathers, bringing it between us. It appears discoloured. A black fade from the top down.
"You have black feathers?"
>"Burnt feathers. Only after my encounter with your friend did this appear."
"You think she did this?"
>"Bingo! And I'm pretty certain, too! It'd seem your friend isn't an ordinary postie. And like I said, I have a pretty good theory going. So, answer me if you could; how would you describe the way she acts most of the time?"
"Monotone. Stoic. Emotionless. Apathetic. Cold. A few things that come to mind" I make sure Ecoa isn't around to hear me say that.
>"Then my theory checks out so far. The only part that doesn't make sense is why a kindler would be pushing papers"
"A 'kinder'? is that some sort of new world thing?"
>"Yes and no. Only available to those from the old world and can only be used in the new world. It takes a lot of practise to pull it off properly. You sure your friend isn't a military general? Or a gryphon rank hunter?"
"I don't know. She doesn't talk about herself."
>"hm. This is someone I want to avoid confronting in a fight again. I'm not too interested in fighting anomalous types of opponents you see. Alright, I've had my fill, so what did you want help with? I don't mind helping out, so long as it isn't boring."

It seems I have the help of someone capable, I just need to know how to apply her. Now is a good time to think of a plan. There are plenty of ways to go about it, but the obvious way seems to be that I introduce Hakrei to Lyemek and allow them to work things out, assuming they can come to some sort of deal. Then it is just a matter of when Ecoa comes back with the supplies.
No. 1009224 ID: bc11b8

perhaps the obvious course is the right one
No. 1009251 ID: 5d9787

Introducing Hakrei to Lyemek might be a good solution for you, but I wouldn't expect the resolution to be satisfactory for them. Lyemek offered to borrow the eyes, Hakrei seem to be the type that would be reluctant to give up something that makes her a better fighter. I also don't think she would enjoy her new toys for very long before their value cause her trouble.

The simplest help we could ask for would be to inform Ecoa we are going to the boat so she should meet you there. Hakrei know Ecoa, so she would have better chances of finding her, but Vanil would be more willing to do such banal task.

The most cautious favor we could ask is to be escorted. Trouble could come at any time, so would be good to have someone who can handle it.
If the situation is too much for Hakrei tell her one of you packages have something that can give her an edge. Hopefully Lyemek will get the meaning and pass the eyes to Hakrei if we get corned.

The most interesting thing we could ask would be for Hakrei to cause a commotion. I expect Lugwere to make a lot of noise at any moment, if Akaro could be released at the same time the turmoil would certainly keep those crazy Bacian bounty hunters from paying any attention to the chimera postal worker.
No. 1009278 ID: 8483cf

Go with cautious approach: we're a trouble magnet right now.
No. 1009334 ID: ce39da

Well, what is it that you want to ultimately do, here?

If you're trying to slip through unmolested, I don't think Hakrei could help with that. However, she can be an alternative eye-receiver if shit goes south, assuming you can work something out with Lyemeck.

Using her to "deal with" Lyemeck outright before you even reach the checkpoint will probably end poorly. Give up on that notion.

If you do plan on bringing her to the cart, for whatever reason, by the gods had you better come up with a way to convince Lyemeck you're not betraying him to this big scary bounty-hunter looking gal.

Actually, I could see her distracting the rest of the non-anomalous people with some challenges. Maybe have her do that.
No. 1009351 ID: 365ef6

I think the first would probably the best solution. I would be trutful with Hakrei though. She seems honest and more interested with duals than money or powers that hasn't being gained by her own effort. Also if she discover that we manipulated her not telling something that important she could feel hurted and then hurt us for lying her stop helping us.

And in the case she don't want to return the cool eyes, well that's not our problem. If we had being asked nicely for help I would be more concerned.

To lessen the suspicions I would guide Hakrei to the cart and show the equipment as if you were two old friends talking. The time to flee would be a good distraction, Ecoa returning or if we wait too long a bounty hunter going to check the cart.

Also I would like to talk to Trasks, Pieken and Reeds, but I doubt we have the chance.
No. 1009410 ID: dd0add
File 163073484046.png - (323.92KB , 800x600 , RTS14600072021.png )

>Well, what is it that you want to ultimately do, here?
To get this guy hiding in my cart to stop hiding in my cart and causing me potential problems

>Hakrei seems to be the type that would be reluctant to give up something that makes her a better fighter. I also don't think she would enjoy her new toys for very long before their value causes her trouble.
If that happens to be the case, it wouldn't be my problem. As a matter a fact, it would solve my problems.

>The simplest help we could ask for would be to inform Ecoa we are going to the boat so she should meet you there
Ecoa is too close to the bounty hunters, who I cannot bring the cart close to without the uninvited guest interpreting that wrong and putting me in an unfavourable position. I also can't go to the boat without her because there'll be hell to pay if she has to bring the supplies without the cart.

>I could see her distracting the rest of the non-anomalous people with some challenges. Maybe have her do that.
That seems to be part of the plan

>She seems honest and more interested with duals than money or powers that hasn't being gained by her own effort
That is the impression I get.

>Also, I would like to talk to Trasks, Pieken and Reeds, but I doubt we have the chance.
I would too, but I don't think I have the time. I do doubt I've seen the last of them though, because from what I can incur from Trasks' wanted poster, he is a Fera poacher and I'll be seeing them there.

I decide to be honest and transparent to Hakrei about the whole situation. I tell her an ave possessing anomalous eyes is hiding in my mail cart and is hiding from bounty hunters. To be extra cautious, I speak to Lyemek separately and tell him my account of events. After that we all conjugate
""Well what do you know, the cat was telling the truth!"
>"Well pseudogryph, this is a surprise, I didn't know you were so well connected! Can I trust her?"
"I trust her more than I trust you."
"Don't you worry about a thing. I'm not interested in the bounty, I'm just interested in a good time, preferably involving fights."
>"These eyes make fighting child’s play, even for an inexperienced fighter. I'd use them myself but I'm too small for most opponents. I'll let you borrow them if you can plough through those bounty hunters. You won't try keep them for yourself, will you?"
"I'm not interested in keeping eyes of evil, I'm aware of the trade-off."
They then proceed to discuss how to use them, and Lyemek explains that he could take the eyes back at any time.
No. 1009411 ID: dd0add
File 163073487399.png - (306.48KB , 800x600 , RTS14700072021.png )

"Say, why didn't you offer them to my postie friend here?
>"I did, he said no!"

She begins cracking up and does an awful job at hiding it
"Heh, nothing. You don't want to take short cuts, I'm proud of you! Still, if it were anybody else, they'd have jumped at the opportunity for free powers! . Bounty aside, why didn't you? Are you that responsible? Or are you afraid of power?"

I don't really need to answer that as she seems to already be going with the plan. I could call back my answer if I have one. Now that that problem is no longer my problem, I just need to wait for Ecoa. She should be out any second now, so I simply need to wait a little while. I hear something muffled coming from across the street, sounds drowned out by something.
No. 1009418 ID: 5d9787

Firstly picking a fight with a bounty hunter group and Bacian agents can make me unwelcome in a lot of places mail need to be delivered. I don't expect either of you to understand this kind of motivation and I'm not trying to recruit more postal workers, so let's leave it at that.
Than let's think about the so tempting offer: receive the ability to fight well for one fight than give up when it's done. For someone who value the thrill of fighting this could be a fun episode, but for me it would bring no long term benefit in exchange for professional detriments.
No. 1009419 ID: a2493c

"Nothing's free. You said as much yourself, "I'm aware of the trade-off." And again, my job kind of prohibits this sort of thing."
No. 1009421 ID: 53560f

I prefer to keep the excitement in my life to a healthy minimum, thank you very much. No curses or adventures for me if i can help it.
No. 1009422 ID: 365ef6

If all my problems were solved via a magic that I didn't have to master myself it would feel... wrong. I have acomplised something or were the eyes? Could I have solved it by myself? Selfimprovement is something that all of us need. Besides, If Pascoe wanted an easy life, he would be in his hometown.

Can you climb somewhere to see what is happening? It's good to practice because in sailboats you will have to climb sometimes.
No. 1009426 ID: e828fa

"Afraid? Of power? More like it's a luxury. Everybody tries to steal it. Hard pass. Best to leave the futile quest for power to the greedy. Or foolish. Or both."
No. 1009429 ID: 5378af

It isn't responsibility or fear, it's the fact they hold no use to a courier.
No. 1009431 ID: ce39da

"I'd probably have no reluctance to simply borrowing them, if I could fully trust this guy to take them back like they said they would. The last thing a public worker like myself needs is their face on a wanted poster, which might happen to you with Bacia regardless, depending on who you end up having to fight here."
No. 1009433 ID: 235ba5

Borrowed power is messy business.
No. 1009434 ID: 31348d

That kind of power is only truly useful in the hands of someone who knows how to fight. You don't, therefore the bounty was too much trouble. You'd have taken the offer if you had some training.
No. 1009471 ID: 15a025

Only power those eyes are going to give me, is the power to get fired.
No. 1009733 ID: dd0add
File 163105167346.png - (339.38KB , 800x600 , RTS14800072021.png )

It seems that while we were distracted, a fog has rolled in. It is strange but I won't question it. I hear strange stuff like this happens in the new world all the time

It doesn't take me too long to formulate a response and blurt out words as soon as they come to mind.
"Borrowed power is messy business, and it is neither responsibility nor fear, it is the fact they hold no use for the kind of person that I want to be."

She wasn't expecting that, and her expression softens.
"Care to elaborate?"

"I'm not afraid of having power. It's more a luxury that is best left to the greedy and power hungry. Or foolish. Or both. I found what I do, And I enjoy it. If all my problems were solved via a magic that felt unearned, I wouldn't be satisfied with that. Would I accomplish something, or would it be the eyes? Could I have solved it by myself?
That fleeting power would be detrimental to me in the long term no matter how easy it would make things in the short term. You two handle it, seems you have much less to lose than I have. One last thing; Self-improvement is something that all of us need. I'll be taking my own road, without the shortcuts. I don't want to live an easy life, If I wanted that, I'd never have left my hometown."

Her expression is different after listening to that. Much less judgemental and cocky.
"Seems I misjudged you at first. You have a more respectful perspective than I thought. When I see you again, I hope that part of you doesn't change. I encourage you to learn things along the way, and maybe our duel will be enjoyable for the both of us."
>"Hey Hakrei, let's go! if you do a good job, I'll consider hiring you to escort me all the way to the buyer"
"So long as it's on the way to Calsia."
"Don't worry! It'll be a short detour to the Jade Peninsula."
"Works for me. Until we meet again Pascoe, this is farewell." Their eyes switch, and they start to disappear into the fog.
I didn't plan on saying anything back, but I find it more difficult than expected to fight off a wave goodbye. "Yeah, see you."
No. 1009734 ID: dd0add
File 163105170897.png - (200.58KB , 800x600 , RTS14900072021.png )

"Everything is getting foggy! Where they hell are they? It's almost like... I can recognize this power, like I've felt it before... There are at least three strong people in the erea but this one is disorienting... If I can focus everything on that... It's coming from... It should be..."
No. 1009735 ID: dd0add
File 163105175424.png - (475.08KB , 800x600 , RTS15000072021.png )

"...Behind me!"


>"Damn, why is it so foggy out here? We get swallowed by a cloud or something? Well, looks like I'm close enough to say hello. It is nice to see you again, looks like you’ve made it all this way from being a rookie. How long can you keep it up? Before people find out what's really going on and you know who gets hurt?"


"I... I... Are you... it couldn't be..."


"Blanc, please take the bounties, we need to leave."
The two Bacain agents disappear into the fog
No. 1009736 ID: dd0add
File 163105178715.png - (311.96KB , 800x600 , RTS15100072021.png )

At this point everything becomes hard to see in the fog, I've even lost track of the bounty hunters. I do however see Ecoa and I wave her over.
>"Sorry about that Pascoe, I got extra supplies in case we needed it"
"Don't sweat it!"
Looks like we have everything ready to go. A cart full of mail and supplies to last us the way. It feels satisfying to know that we've tied up all loose ends!
No. 1009737 ID: dd0add
File 163105181516.png - (395.98KB , 800x600 , RTS15200072021.png )

That muffled sound I was hearing before is getting closer, along with a strange shape emerging from the fog. I can kind of make out the sound a little better. Is that... music?
No. 1009739 ID: 5232cd

Oh fuck it's the death conductor. Get that cart moving pronto!
No. 1009741 ID: ce39da

Cover your ears and get going, man; not too fast, or you'll look guilty.
No. 1009744 ID: 2aef11

Did Ecoa actually apologize for something? Quick! Check to see if she's an impostor!
No. 1009746 ID: 365ef6

Wait a minte. The librarian said that Lugwere would not use his weapon for only one man, but we sent a group to him... I think it's time for our sudden and hurried exit.
No. 1009761 ID: 2aa5f0

whelp time to head back to the ship me thinks. This town is starting to get to crazy for my liking.
No. 1009779 ID: 5d9787

That' is creepy. Let's go.
No. 1009834 ID: 4f1cc6

man this town is going to be fucking detonated after we leave isn't it

lets uh, let's maybe get outta dodge before that happens
No. 1009894 ID: dd0add
File 163114021567.png - (423.53KB , 800x600 , RTS15300072021.png )

>Did Ecoa actually apologize for something? Quick! Check to see if she's an impostor!
"Hey Ecoa, are you an imposter?"
That settles that

>Get that cart moving pronto!
>get going
>I think it's time for our sudden and hurried exit.
>whelp time to head back to the ship me thinks.
>Let's go.
>let's maybe get outta dodge

It seems that every one of my instincts agree, it's time to go!
Which is what would happen if the fog didn't lead us right into a wall.

>"What's your hurry?" I hear coming from the figure in the fog

The figure gets close enough that I can hear the sound clearly now, it is coming from the instrument that is being played, whatever those are called.
No. 1009897 ID: dd0add
File 163114035061.png - (299.21KB , 800x600 , RTS15400072021.png )

>"We'll keep this brief, shall we? As a matter a fact, we'll keep this easy. All you have to do is your job: deliver. "
>"I want you to deliver what belongs to me. I saw you leave the library with the book the librarian was reading, and it didn't take long for me to connect the dots. After all, one does not get to my level of notoriety by being a moron."
>"All that is required is that you deliver that book containing what I'm looking for - to me. I'll forgive you for being a second-hand thief, as well as telling those bounty hunters where I was. Honestly, it's like people don't know what five stars means anymore."
>"One more thing. I'm out of patience. Don't waste time, or you'll be regretting it."
No. 1009898 ID: dd0add
File 163114038474.png - (286.81KB , 800x600 , RTS15500072021.png )

I mean that's nice and good and all and I'd totally do that and -



What if it doesn't have what he is looking for?

What if I give him the book and it doesn't have it and he thinks I'm trying to trick him?
He is giving me time to go to the cart, what is my plan?
I feel like my back is up against the wall, in a more figurative sense than literal which happens to also be the case.
Do I use something I have in the cart? Do I make a mad dash for it?


Where did Ecoa go?
No. 1009899 ID: 8483cf

Ecoa's about to attack him from an unexpected angle. Be as unthreatening and naively distracting as possible!
No. 1009904 ID: 2aa5f0

oh neat, so he doesn't know we where the ones who sent a pack of bounty hunters his way. Though speaking of them I wonder what the ones nearby are doing? You think they'd be trying to take a swing at this guy for his bounty.

As for a plan I guess you could walk back to the cart and see if weakness sight Magee back their can tell you if the guy has any weakness you could take advantage of while you dig around for all three books you got.
No. 1009911 ID: 53560f

What is it with the strange influx of highly contested deliveries today?
Regardless, remember the librarian’s description of his capabilities (namely: crushing an ant with a boulder which he would also be crushed by.) and pray that something happens before we’re forced to give him the book.
No. 1009921 ID: 5232cd

He was attacked by an entire squad, so that crossbow won't help much. The gun isn't even loaded so I don't imagine it'll help either.

You could just take your time rummaging around in there. If Ecoa starts fighting him, THEN you should take out the crossbow. Be ready to shoot him dead; after all the bounty prefers him to be alive. Alternatively, if the fight seems to be going on for a while you could stop and load the rifle... uh, we have bullets for it right
No. 1009953 ID: b72032

Comply but stall as much as possible. Mention that you had to send the bounty hunters away from yourself somehow, and that he's enough of an asshole that it didn't matter who won.
No. 1009957 ID: 5d9787

"That is a lot of dots you are connecting..."
"I bought several books. Do you at least know the title of the one you want to steal?"

His instrument is a hurdy gurdy. Maybe this mean his bardic magic require uninterrupted sound. According to the librarian Lugwere isn't immune to his own abilities and their area of effect prevent him from attacking in small spaces.
Your range weapons are unloaded, but even if you had time to prepare your chances of hitting him before he attack are low. A close range attack should be safer.
Pick the book, approach him to deliver it and grab him firmly. If possible try to prevent him from rotating that hand crank.
No. 1009959 ID: 5d9787

Please don't tell Lugwere we denounced him to the bounty hunters.
No. 1009960 ID: dd0add
File 163117538112.png - (366.24KB , 800x600 , RTS15600072021.png )

>His instrument is a hurdy gurdy. Maybe this means his bardic magic require uninterrupted sound. According to the librarian Lugwere isn't immune to his own abilities and their area of effect prevent him from attacking in small spaces.
That all makes sense, he is playing the music constantly to keep up whatever he is doing to control those limbs, and the fog seems symptomatic of an indiscriminate effect. As soon as he stops playing the music, he shouldn't be a threat.

The thought of using my weapons comes to mind, but neither are loaded, and neither would fare any better than the weapons being used by the bounty hunters.

>Ecoa's about to attack him from an unexpected angle. Be as unthreatening and naively distracting as possible!
>Comply but stall as much as possible
Operating under the assumption that Ecoa has a plan, I try to stall for as long as I can. And being unthreatening and naively distracting would be my middle name - if I had one!

"Sure, I'll get the books I got at the library, while I do that, mind telling me how you dealt with the group of bounty hunters that came after you?"
"I played a song which created a fog, then played another song which caused them to grow teeth."
"Oh. Uh, why didn't you grow teeth?"
"It only works once for each person."
When he sees my confusion, he points to his serrated beak.

I keep him distracted for a little while until his patience runs razor thin.
"So - what about-"
"Enough. Bring me the books or else I'll-"

A bright orange light emerges from the fog beside Lugwere

>"Hey moron, found your blind spot."
No. 1009961 ID: dd0add
File 163117542038.png - (454.32KB , 800x600 , RTS15700072021.png )

>"The only thing being delivered is this punch to your face! Free postage included!"

Ecoa somehow propelled herself through the fog and delivers a fiery blow to Lugwere, causing him to lose consciousness and stop playing the instrument. The shadow limbs holding him up disappear and he crashes down to the ground.
No. 1009962 ID: dd0add
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>"Hey guys, get over here! It's one of the five-star bounties, and he's knocked out!"
>"Wait, really?! No way!"
>"Yeah, and he even comes with a free instrument! oh, wait, never mind, he crushed it."
>"Someone get a rope and tie him up, we're about to get a huge payout!"
>"Forget the payout, think of the reputation! We'll be moving up in the world for sure!"
No. 1009963 ID: dd0add
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>"Don't worry, as soon as we get to the colonies, there will be guards to prevent this kind of thing! So, uh, Pascoe. We ready to go deliver some mail?"
"Ecoa, are you ok?"
>"Yeah, never felt better! Why?"

She seems... different than usual? She is likely open to explaining things but if I don't feel like pressing for an answer we can just head to the ship and meet up with Pilot.
No. 1009965 ID: f8fa51

Get moving. You can walk while you talk.

"Because your arm's on fire. Does that not hurt?"
No. 1009966 ID: 18411d

>"Yeah, never felt better! Why?"
Well you’re kind of on fire right now.

But yeah head back to the ship and I guess ask if things are this exciting all over the frontier? I mean we’re just on a boarder town and it looks like we’ve run across half a dozen big names, and at times felt like we were moments away from a turf war or two. Am I going to need to learn how to fight just to be able to walk down the street?
No. 1009970 ID: 365ef6

"You are... brighter, and not only because you arm is literaly on fire"

I know that Hudy gurdy sounds like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj1n1-Xch7s
But in my mind I could only hear him like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8x56JkHKtI

No. 1009975 ID: 5d9787

You seem to be in a good mood. Would I be flattering myself by assuming the reason was the act of heroism on my behalf? By the away, thank you for saving me.
After such display she got me curious: How does this kindler thing work? Is it emotional? Do we only get to see bright happy Ecoa when you are on fire?

Lugwere didn't plan this mugging very well. Even if Ecoa weren't here he was surrounded by enemies.
Interesting fellow, but he seem too willing to take unnecessary risks.
No. 1009979 ID: ce39da

"You've really brightened up, and not just in the 'literally on fire' sense. Though I take it that letting those bounty hunters take all the credit and reward is an intentional move on your part?"
No. 1009980 ID: 53560f

Your arms on fire and you’re smiling, both of those things feel unusual to me but maybe I just haven’t known you long enough.
Also are you gonna claim that guy’s bounty or just leave him for whoever carries him to the guards first?
No. 1009983 ID: 5232cd

Huh, so, the teeth song didn't work on him because he had already grown some. And I'm guessing it disabled the squad of bounty hunters because growing teeth is painful? Then he could use his shadow arms to take them out, which seems to be a different ability.

Ecoa doesn't want to claim the bounty? That's a lot of money.
No. 1009988 ID: ca992e

Don't ask about the bounty.
Ecoa will probably be passing on it for the same reason we do: It attracts undesired attention.
No. 1010179 ID: dd0add
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"You've really brightened up, and not just in the 'literally on fire' sense"
>"Yes! that's right, I'm still kindling. probably shouldn't be doing that for too long, I’m literally burning my life away after all."
"Does that not hurt?"
>"Not one bit! It feels natural to me."
"You seem to be in a good mood. Would I be flattering myself by assuming the reason was the act of heroism on my behalf? By the away, thank you for saving me."
>"Aw don't mention it, but I know you could've handled it even if I didn't step in. As for my mood, I’m just acting how I feel, not much to it!"
"So does this mean you plan on claiming his bounty?"
>"He has a bounty? I just don't like power hungry bullies threatening and pushing good people around! You're a good person by the way Pascoe, let me just get that out while I'm letting my emotions out. I look forward to working with you!"
No. 1010180 ID: dd0add
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We decide to walk the cart to the ship while we talk further

>such display she got me curious: How does this kindler thing work? Is it emotional? Do we only get to see bright happy Ecoa when you are on fire?"

"Hey Ecoa, do you only act like this when you're on fire?"
>"Correct! Which reminds me, I really need to go back to supressing my emotions. Easy as blowing out a candle!"
In a short moment her expression shifts back to her usual stoic look.
"Anyway, we should get a move on. I'm sure Pilot will be happy to see us."
No. 1010181 ID: dd0add
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He was.

>"Yesssssss! We got the group back togetherrrrr!"
"You seem excited."
>"I ammmm! We are gonna deliver sooo much maaaail! Alright, you got the maps and stuff, right? So where to? which will be our first destination? and before we get a move on, do you have anything to declare?"
No. 1010188 ID: 2aa5f0

well we do have that guy hiding in the wagon still so might as well see if he's still in there or if he hopped out at some point... hope he didn't steal anything if he did.

we also have those special packages to deliver for Faspan at the islands of Grandflores, Picarta, and Answell so I say we start off at Mamerti then hop to Grandflores for our first two islands (as the postal chief did say we should take each island 2 at a time) and then hit Fera and Picarta next. That way we can get the one island were we have no special package to deliver our of the way right away, then go and try and deliver the three packages one after another and before hitting the anomaly belt so we don't have to worry as much about the packages getting damaged by some odd anomaly.
No. 1010189 ID: 96c896

We don't have that guy hiding in the wagon. He left with the duelist. We DO have the weird book that probably contains sheet music, and the mysterious package from the inventor.
We also have some weapons, and the breastplate.

Speaking of weapons and such you gotta ask Ecoa if she can explain kindling to you. Can it be taught? What are the drawbacks?
No. 1010199 ID: 8483cf

Forget business, we just survived three (four?) terrible, horrible, very bad events.

Party time!
No. 1010208 ID: 365ef6

We might want to hurry, things in the city has become a little crazy. But when we manage to leave this port we have a lot of stories to tell.

Also we got a free book in the library! We can read it if the travel becomes boring "8 Kings on fire".

Oh, and do you know of any griffon who happens to be on route and likes to fight? I might have accepted a dual and don't know how to fight.
No. 1010212 ID: ce39da

"Weapons I'll try not to use, armor, some informational books. Um... While the one who absolutely shouldn't get his talons on it is in custody now, I should also mention that the librarian handed off a storybook that likely has some dangerous sheet music stashed in it. Also, I think we agreed to go to Memerti first."

I don't think you need to declare Faspan's packages - you're the one who loaded the cart, so only you know they don't technically belong. They're labeled with their island destinations at least, right? If not, make sure to label them appropriately before you forget which goes where.
No. 1010217 ID: 5d9787

I will miss happy Ecoa...

Pilot, the postmaster send you an identification badger you need to wear. There are a few policy changes related to impersonators.
I bough you a book on weather anomalies. I hope it will help.

Ecoa, would you like a book about the phoenix kings? Thematically relevant, but if you don't like this kind of story you can have the book about plants.

Any of you ever heard of new world magic related to paper? The librarian said I shouldn't open the 8 Kings of Fire until I got far away, so I'm not entirely certain something won't happen when we open that book.
No. 1010242 ID: b72032

I'd advise against mentioning that book until out of town.
No. 1010267 ID: 15a025

Let's head for Mamerti first to get some more neutral ground and experience here in the new world. Then we can hit up Grandflores for the first of Faspan's delivery points. That way we'll have a little better grounding and experience in case we run into trouble with that.
No. 1010390 ID: dd0add
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>when we manage to leave this port, we have a lot of stories to tell.
You said it!

>Party time!
Sure, maybe we can play cards or something. Ecoa does have one hell of a poker face.

"Well first off, the post office gave us badges we need to wear to prove our authenticity while out in the new world, apparently there are issues with impersonators. You can put it anywhere on your uniform."
>"Sounds good to me, I hear that was a big way smugglers were getting contraband past guards."
"I did also get a few things for myself, armor and stuff I can use to defend myself."
>"Nothing is against the rules if you aren't using anything as a weapon to cause harm! That being said, armor is a very good idea, if a little uncomfortable in the more humid weather."
I decide to refrain from talking about the book the librarian gave me or the deliveries I got from the inventor until I figure out what I want to do with those.
"Oh, and besides the supplied you asked for, I also got you this." I hand him the handwritten meteorology book
>"Woooaaaah score! The ones handwritten by crazy people are the best! This has much more detail than the company issue stuff! I'll let you have a look at it when I don't need it. Wooooaaaah it even has nice pictures and everything! He put down little skulls everywhere!"
No. 1010391 ID: dd0add
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>Speaking of weapons and such you gotta ask Ecoa if she can explain kindling to you. Can it be taught? What are the drawbacks?
I am curious, so I decide to ask

>"Kindling? Without oversimplifying it, it means you can turn your emotions, and by extension, soul into power. It can be taught but it isn't compatible with all mindsets. If you were thinking about it, don't even bother. It is unheard of for a non ave to be able to do it. As for the drawbacks, A good rule of thumb is that all obtainable forms of power in the New World have a trade-off. kindlers, bloodshots, the casted, dark bards, conduits, you name it. In the case of kindling, it shortens your lifespan the more you use it. That is why good control is key. I've been pretty good with turning off my emotions, but even I'm not perfect at it, some things will still cause me to crack."
"Want a book?"
>"No thanks, I don't read. I can, but I prefer not to."
No. 1010392 ID: dd0add
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The crew comes together, and we all agree that Mamerti will be out first stop. It should be a fairly straightforward job, and I hear it's a nice place this time of year, so I'm sure it is the right choice.

After a while of preparation, we get moving. We get further enough away that I can get a good view of the ridge, as well as the storm wall. I'd like to be the lucky guy who finds another way through the wall, the prize money would set me up for life. We're not far away enough where I can see the top though.
No. 1010393 ID: dd0add
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I was never very fond of dirigible travel, and I much prefer sea faring to sky faring. But minus all the scary weather, it can be pretty relaxing at times. At least I can get a good view of the trench and the spires that come up from it. I always wonder if anything is below there, even if there was, I'd probably prefer it up here.

"Are those rocky islands there the pinnacles?"
>"Not even close! The pinnacles are much bigger and go much higher! These morsels are barely worth putting on the map! It'll take us a day to reach Mamerti, but when we approach a pinnacle, you'll know it when you see it!"
No. 1010394 ID: dd0add
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"Five packages!"
"Make that Six."
"Six! great great nice nice, can I open one?"
"Hold it. We still don't know what's in them."
"We don't? I thought we did!"
"We have an idea. The dimensions are perfect for something we'd lost track of years ago, but all these packages are identical in terms of dimensions and weight. The chances of this being a coincidence are point zero zero zero zero zero-"
"Sheesh I get it! So why don't we open it already if it has what we're looking for."
"We don't know if it has what we're looking for. What we're looking for is one of a kind. We got these six packages from the first six couriers we checked as soon as we got a scent of the dimensions.
"So then we open all of them and it'll sure to be in one of them!"
"You're not paying attention. If our assumptions are correct, there are hundreds of these on the loose. If one contains the object, then what do the others contain? What if they are rigged with explosives?"
"The possibility that the real object is in any of these packages is less than point five percent.
"Then how about we uhhh go to the destination and sort out the guy doing all this?"
"Impossible. Each one is going to a different location. If we assume all of them are like that... ugh. damn!"
No. 1010395 ID: dd0add
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"Who the hell is behind this! Why are they doing this?! What do they have to gain?! Where the hell are they?!"
"Puzzling, isn't it? We thought we were the only ones who knew the existence of this object, and yet here we see someone demonstrating knowledge of it."
"How dare they make fools of us? We're supposed to be the ones keeping knowledge from others, not the other way around!"
"How about you, big guy? Got any bright ideas?"
"There is something you are all missing. This is all a message."
No. 1010396 ID: dd0add
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"...What kind of message?
"Cleary, someone wants us to know that they know we exist, and that they have something of interest to us. If they don't have it, then in the very least they know of the object in question. It is another question entirely whether they know how to use it or not if they do in fact have it."
"So if they have it, why are they telling us about it?"
"A good question. Time will tell. For the time being, we will pursue this situation as we do with all situations, without direct interference."
"Ooooh I'm getting excited! We haven't had something like this happen in a long time!"
"You all know what to do. Be subtle about it."
No. 1010398 ID: dd0add
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I probably don't have a thing to worry about. This job might even be as laid back as it was in my hometown. This trail mix is nice. I'm going to go take a nap.

Choose a character to follow for the beginning of thread 2
No. 1010399 ID: c92a02

Let's "follow" "Pascoe" again.
No. 1010400 ID: 8483cf

Pascoe again! I like him.
No. 1010404 ID: 96c896

No. 1010405 ID: e51896

Pascoe, only because I'm wondering about the question mark next to the name.
No. 1010412 ID: 3a776b

No. 1010413 ID: 894419

No. 1010418 ID: ce39da

Pascoe. This has been an outstanding quest, BTW.
No. 1010419 ID: f8fa51

Pascoe is a cool gryphon.
No. 1010421 ID: 99499c

No. 1010426 ID: a2493c

Pascoe's rad but pilot seems like a nice intermission character while pascoe naps.
No. 1010429 ID: 5d9787

Hey Ecoa, now that we have time to spend in private do you want to try the reins? I can even put the blinders, just for you.
No. 1010430 ID: 2d89f7

And can i say this is one of the best quests ive read? Ourstanding artwork with a very engaging story and characters and updated at a decently fast pace. Thanks so much for joining the questden community
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