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Faewood Quest(Mirrored from SB)[original setting]

Discussion in 'Questing' started by JadeKaiser, Jun 8, 2016.

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  1. Threadmarks: Introduction
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    This is to be a mirror of my quest over on Spacebattles, so that any NSFW discussion and such can be done here by those who want it, due to my feeling like I have been pushing close to the line a few times. I asked the players there what their opinion was on the matter, and they agreed that it was probably a good idea.

    That said, new players are always welcome.

    Please do not post until I have finished porting over the story posts and such and said that it it is okay.
    You may now post and vote, if you so desire.

    Introduction:
    Imagine a world with an immense Fae-inhabited forest. Only the coast of the continent is completely clear of it, really. Through this forest there are just a few paths, kept clear and relatively safe by Trailmasters, the occasional wizard, and some few Fae that are better inclined towards humans. Or more likely, willing to take the offerings of the travelers and trailmasters as payment. Along these paths are settlements, ranging in size from small hamlets to cities as large as some on the coastline. Caravans of varying sizes often travel the paths, for even they are very dangerous to travel alone.

    There are a few things that anyone who leaves the coast or lives in the forest learns. Do not leave the path if you are not at a settlement. Do not stray far from the settlement, and learn the forest where you do enter it like the back of your hand. Keep the path from being completely overgrown by the forest no matter how long it takes you. Be on the watch for malevolent Fae and Fell creatures at all times. Do not enter an agreement with a Fae unless you know it inside and out, and even then it is almost always a bad idea.

    Despite this, some people do travel the paths alone; the trailmasters must keep the paths clear and maintain contact between the settlements. Settlements have been known to disappear overnight for one reason or another, after all. It is important that their portions of the path are kept clear even without them if that should happen.

    Some also make deals with the Fae, if they think they are savvy and lucky enough, for great gains can be had from them at times. One man has made such a deal, gaining a “true power” from it. One month later he was tricked into violating a small part of the contract, and in accordance with the terms of it the Fae took his “life.”

    --------------

    You wake on a riverbank. Around you is a thick, overgrown forest and above you is a solid wooden bridge, passing over the river. It must be for a decently large road or path; it is easily large enough for any carriage you have ever seen.

    That brings you up short. What sorts of carriage have you seen before? You can’t remember. In fact, now that you think about it the only thing you can remember is a name.
    [Write In Name]

    Is it yours? You think so. It is now, at any rate. Actually, you can remember some other things. General knowledge, you think. The forest isn’t very safe for humans. The road is important. How to go about living and how to talk and interact.

    The only other thing that you remember is that you have power. Perhaps not an overwhelming amount of it yet, but there is a lot of potential in your abilities as a [Pick One Below]

    -------

    [] Psychic – EMP stat unlocked and automatically set to 4 (average). Highly versatile abilities based on the imagination of the user. May also develop one or more fairly unique powers based on your actions and score in each field of psychic power. Do to the fact that Psychic subtypes merely determine your starting strengths all votes for Psychic are counted together, unlike the other categories.
    -[] Burst Type – Most powerful at directly affecting the world around you. (Base: 5 Burst, 3 Rise, 1 Trance)
    -[] Rise Type – Most powerful at enhancing your own physical attributes and possibly those of other people. Or things, but whether that counts as Rise or Burst is debatable. (Base: 5 Rise, 2 Burst, 2 Trance)
    -[] Trance Type – Most powerful at esoteric senses and strictly mental effects. (Base: 5 Trance, 3 Rise, 1 Burst)
    -[] Almighty Type – An equal balance in each field of psychic power. (Base: 3 each in Burst, Rise, and Trance)
    -[] Write In- (Base: any combination of Burst, Rise, and Trance totaling 9)

    [x] Magician – Magic that is a fair bit more detailed than “cast spell X.”
    -[x] Ritualist – Your magic takes time and materials to execute, but is often long-term or permanent in its effects. Good for making magical items. You must have already undertaken some rituals to improve yourself (5 extra stat points in character creation).
    -[] Totemist – You require a special object or totem of some kind to cast any given spell in addition to knowledge of the spell itself, but may be able to learn said knowledge simply by studying the totem. Different totems are required for different spells.
    -[] Necromancer – You deal in spirits and skeletons. With some time and effort you could raise some pretty nasty undead servants. Heck, you could probably revive someone as a vampire with a bit of practice.
    -[] Write In Magician-type magic (write-ins must be approved)

    [] Mage – Very direct magic. Mostly “cast spell X with mana cost Y.” May be able to learn spells of other Mage-type subclasses.
    -[] Black Mage – You are good at making people and things burn, freeze, explode, etc.
    -[] White(ish) Mage – You are good at healing people, repai- Oh, who am I kidding, the support aspects are probably secondary to you; you mostly just love throwing around Holy Handgrenades and such.
    -[] Utility Mage – You like to go for whatever spells seem like they might be useful. Lightening a load, keeping yourself dry, hardening your skin to the toughness of steel and strengthening your muscles ‘til you can punch a hole in a rock; that sort of thing.
    -[] Write In Mage-type magic (write-ins must be approved)

    [] Thaumaturge - A worker of "miracles"
    -[] Miracle Type- LUK stat unlocked; +4 stat points in character creation. The ability to enact “miracles” of varying potency, though they are far from being under control. May be permanently changed to Esper Type at any time, but there is no changing back if you do.
    -[] Esper Type- One specific, reliable special power that you have created in yourself by sacrificing the inherent but unreliable ability to create “miracles.” [write in power; base efficacy and endurance will be dependent on the inherent flexibility of the power selected. May unlock a Special stat and grant 4 additional stat points at character creation, depending on the power.]

    [] Write In (write-ins must be approved during power selection)
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  2. Threadmarks: Index
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    Index(links will be added when all story posts have been ported over)

    Introduction
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5
    Part 6
    Interlude: World Building A
    Part 7
    Part 8
    Part 9
    Part 10
    Part 11
    Part 12
    Part 13
    Part 14
    Part 15
    Interlude: Log Entry: Vampire
    Part 16
    Part 17
    Part 18
    Part 19
    Part 20: A Spritely New Companion
    Part 21: I Thought Teaching Was Harder Than This?
    Part 22: I have a bad feeling about this...
    Part 23: No plan survives contact with the enemy.
    Part 24: ...nor do all enemies survive contact with you.
    Part 25: You have a patient to attend.
    Part 26: Outfaeing the Fae.
    Part 27: Oh, Damn This One Has Issues.
    Part 28: Fae Minds Do Not Think Alike.
    Part 29: Q&A Session.
    Part 30: Looting Party! (1/?)


    Thread Rules

    Please write in any rituals you wish to perform, and I will evaluate them for difficulty and reagents needed.

    Omake will be worth rewards; what the reward is will depend on the nature of the omake, though I will generally give you a choice of at least two and suggestions are permitted.

    Adding stunts to a vote option is allowed. Scratch that, it's outright encouraged and will often lead to better results than simply voting for the base option itself.

    Conduct-wise, just be polite and reasonable. Don't make me add any other conduct rules here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  3. Threadmarks: Character Sheet(s)
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [​IMG]

    Name:
    Faust Manus

    Level 2
    XP:
    65/150 to next level
    HP: 90/90 (regens at 2+4=6/hour)
    MP: 30/30 (regens at 9/hour)

    Class:
    Ritualist - Your magic takes time and materials to execute, but is often long-term or even permanent in its effects. Good for making magical items and small but permanent stat boosts. And for things like curses. No direct combat applications.

    Current ritual skill modifier: 5+1d5
    Rituals have a difficulty value. In order to succeed at a given ritual you must match or exceed this value by adding together the values of your MND stat, any Reagent Bonuses, and the value of a die/dice roll. As the quest goes on the die/dice will change to show your increasing skill.
    {MND + RB + skill(die/dice) modifier=total}
    The difficulty value is also the Mana cost unless otherwise specified.

    Reagents are also mandatory for some rituals,such as stat increases. Other rituals use the reagent instead to strengthen the effect produced.

    Some reagents, such as cold iron, can usually be reused as many times as you want. Other reagents might get used up after a certain number of uses or a single use. It is all dependent on the reagent and the ritual you use it for.

    Stats:

    STR: 5 – Your physical strength.
    AGI: 6 – Your physical ability to move at speed.
    DEX: 4 – Your finesse when moving
    VIT: 9 – Your overall health and fitness. HP and HP regen, base physical endurance.
    MIN: 9 – Your strength of mind. Control and MP regen, MIN checks needed to get a given ritual correct.
    WIL: 6 – Your strength of will. MP stat and used for WIL checks.

    Special Stats:
    PER: 4+2 Truesight Bonus=6 - Your ability to perceive things.

    Skills:
    Hasten Ritual - allows Faust to do a ritual more quickly at the cost of wasted Mana, increased difficulty and reduced overall effectiveness. (Raised Difficulty and penalty to the Effect of the ritual in question.)

    Traits:

    Truesight (Rank 1): At this rank you can see through most illusions with a bit of effort and see "something off" where there is magic. Gives a +2 bonus to PER.

    Shielded Mind (Rank 1): You are especially resistant to Trance-type psychic attacks and other attempts to attack or invade your mind or override your will. Automatic bonus to most defensive WIL checks and against all attacks on your mind.

    Perfective Compulsive (rank n/a): Changes the way that ritual skill checks function: rather than being a simple die roll, half of the maximum value is a guaranteed bonus. The remaining half is still calculated by rolling dice. Has no effects outside of rituals.

    Funds
    7 Cedars, 2 Maples, 42 Oaks (14,242 Oaks)

    Reagents
    woodworm extract x2
    ground bone (generic) x1
    spriteblade thorns x5
    oakenstrangle x4
    widowmocker eggshell x4
    broken werewolf bone x1
    elysia branch x3
    elysia bark x3
    elysia sap x1
    ??? x1

    Other items and equipment
    Rapier: A rapier made from high quality steel. Whoever forged this really knew what they were doing.

    Woodsman's Hatchet: A tool for maintaining the Path and taming the Faewood, this is also a decent weapon in a pinch. Especially since the head is steel and it has a small silver spike at the other end of the handle. (enchanted with Supernatural Sharpness)

    Dagger: A steel dagger. (enchanted with Supernatural Sharpness)

    Fireball Totem (3/3 casts): A totem for casting a fireball spell may be used by a non-totemist up to 3 times before needing a recharge. Fireball is a mid- to long-range spell that is pretty much self-explanatory.

    Small Bomb (x16): a rock imbued with the Small Bomb enchantment. Useful for hurling at your enemies and (hopefully) blowing them into bloody bits, or for anything else you might want to explode.

    Oakenstrangle Trap(x5): A piece of oakenstrangle enchanted to grow very quickly and ensnare things when triggered. Can be set to a conditional trigger, such as when something steps into an area, or thrown directly at an enemy to hinder and immobilize them on the spot.

    Clothes +3 physical: your standard outfit is enchanted with +3 physical protection.

    Barrier Braces: A pair of magical bracers that each provide you with +2 magical protection, for a total of +4.

    Pendant of Rest: A magical pendant that increases your HP regen by +4/hour.

    Dinnerware: A nice set of dinnerware and eating utensils. Unfortunately too large, fragile, and heavy to make it practical to carry with you once you leave. Still, you might as well use it as long as you are in Firkinhold.
    Current auto-success threshold: 15

    Heal Wounds (effect)
    Difficulty: 1 per 3 HP healed; always successful.
    Known Reagents: magical plant matter
    Effect: restores HP of the one it is performed on.

    Protect Area (enchantment):
    Difficulty: As high or low as you want to make it. the higher the difficulty, the stronger the protection.
    Reagents: cold iron or another significant material, planted or fastened at the boundaries and/or center of the protected area. If used, removal of the reagent will weaken or destroy the enchantment.
    Effect: exactly what it says on the tin. Using a reagent massively strengthens and stabilizes the effect of the enchantment, making it last pretty much as long as the reagent is in place. Depending on what reagent is used, the enchantment will be much more effective against certain things. For instance, cold iron makes it very effective against Fae, while silver is highly effective against Fell. Variations of this enchantment may be layered over the same area multiple times.

    Area Ward (enchantment):
    Difficulty: 15+
    Reagents: spell array on the target structure (required reagent), Elysia Branch/Sap/Bark
    Effect: A much more powerful variant of the Protect Area enchantment, Area Ward also takes much longer to set up. Generally used to make a powerful and permanent protection on a building or wagon.

    Contain Area (enchantment):
    Difficulty: As high or low as you want to make it. The higher the difficulty, the stronger the protection. Slightly easier than Protect Area.
    Reagents: cold iron or another significant material, planted or fastened at the boundaries and/or center of the protected area. If used, removal of the reagent will weaken or destroy the enchantment.
    Effect: Prevents things from leaving the area, whether they be creatures or magical effects or other things. Using a reagent massively strengthens and stabilizes the effect of the enchantment, making it last pretty much as long as the reagent is in place. Depending on what reagent is used, the enchantment will be much more effective against certain things. For instance, cold iron makes it very effective against Fae, while silver is highly effective against Fell. May be used to restrain a single, specific being, allowing others to pass through it without any effect at the cost of being equally as difficult as Protect Area. Variations of this enchantment may be layered over the same area multiple times.
    Servile Spirit (Binding)
    Difficulty: 20
    Known Reagents: bone(ground or otherwise), Requires a spirit to bind.
    Effect: binds a spirit to your will and gives it a limited ability to affect the material world. If the being objects, the difficulty rises and a WIL check is required.

    Geass Contract (binding):
    Difficulty: 15
    Known Reagents: ground bone, Elysia sap/branch/bark, oakenstrangle
    Effect: Binds all parties of an agreement to follow it to the letter. If any party attempts to go against it they will find themselves unable to do so. Requires the consent of all parties, or the difficulty and mana cost rises very sharply based on the non-consensual party while also forcing a WIL check.

    Create Golem (enchantment/binding (effect))
    Difficulty: 12+ (enchantment), 18+ (binding)
    Reagents: some materials are easier to animate than others (enchantment), a spirit or elemental aligned with the material you intend to animate (binding; required reagent), ??? (binding)
    Effect: Animates a piece of material, typically stone or earth, to do your bidding. Enchantment wears out with time and damage and has no intelligence of its own. (enchantment)
    Effect: Binds a spirit or elemental aligned with a material into said material, thus animating it to do your bidding or serve as an ally. Easier if the spirit is a willing participant and more difficult if you intend to force it to perform acts instead of simply convincing them. Forcing compliance either with the ritual or with your orders afterwards requires a WIL check.

    Elemental Essence, rank 1 (enchantment/binding)
    Difficulty: 18
    Known Reagents: anything mystically aligned to the element you wish to enchant the target with. The more strongly aligned, the easier and stronger(within limits) the enchantment. If an elemental spirit is used, may require a WIL check and will greatly increase effectiveness.
    Effect: Imbues the target with the essence of a given element. Weapons may burn or sap heat from things they strike if imbued with fire or ice, for instance.

    Animate Weapon (enchantment/binding):

    Difficulty: 25(enchantment)/20(binding)
    Reagents:
    Effect: Animates a weapon to move as an extension of your will. Enchantment wears out with extended use and disappears if the weapon is broken. Effect weakens and eventually disappears if the weapon is too far from you, but can be restored by moving closer to it. More difficult with magical or legendary weapons. Requires WIL check if the weapon is already inhabited by an unwilling spirit. (enchantment)
    Effect: Binds a spirit into a weapon, thus animating it to fight for you or serve as an ally. Easier if the spirit is a willing participant and more difficult if you intend to force it to perform acts instead of simply convincing them. Forcing compliance either with the ritual or with your orders afterwards requires a WIL check. Fighting skill is based of of the individual spirit bound, and can increase as the spirit becomes more skilled and/or intelligent. Reversible. (binding)

    Summon Lesser Spirit (summoning/binding)

    Difficulty: 16
    Known Reagents: could be just about anything. Using something significant to a particular spirit will make the summoning easier if you are trying to summon them, using something significant to an element will help you summon an elemental spirit of that element, etc.
    Effect: Summons a minor spirit and keeps them contained withing the ritual circle while you do what you want with them. Not powerful enough to summon anything with a true soul, so any WIL checks against your summons should be overwhelmingly in your favor, even if they have a mind to object with at all.

    Soulbind Object (enchantment/binding):
    Difficulty: 40
    Reagents: ???
    Effect: The enchanted object becomes "yours" on a deep and intrinsic level. Provides a number of benefits when using the object in question, and the object will not work as it should for another person unless you give them permission to use it.

    Claim Territory (enchantment/binding):
    Difficulty: variable, based on the size and properties of the area. Minimum of about 50 for now; mana cost is always 100% of max mana.
    Reagents: must be performed in the territory you intend to claim. Otherwise, reagents unknown for now.
    Effect: The claimed land, along with minor flora and fauna on it, becomes yours on a fundamental level and will work to do your will with little or no expenditure of mana on your part. It will actively work to your favor and improbable things may happen while on it to prevent your coming to harm, such as a rockslide just happening to suddenly occur and landing only on a person attempting to shoot you with a bow. You may also draw on the power of the land, up to certain limits; going too far with this may result in the land leaving your control, if your connection is not deep enough. The connection deepens with the time and effort you have lived on and personally invested into the land.
    Charge Object (enchantment)
    Difficulty: 1+
    Effect: Charges the object with mana, allowing it to be used as a minor reagent or source of spare Mana for other rituals if it is unenchanted and not a magic item. Maintains enchantments that wear out, such as Maintain Condition. If the object in question would be a magical item but lacks magic, this may be used to infuse it with the necessary magic for it to function.

    Small Bomb (enchantment)
    Difficulty: 8
    Known Reagents: black ash from a fire.
    Effect: Enchanted object is charged with magic that can be used to detonate it like a grenade or small bomb after a delay set by the user's intent. The user must be capable of magic to set it off.

    Oakenstrangle Trap (Enchantment):
    Difficulty: 5 (pre-reduced by necessary reagent)
    Reagents: Oakenstrangle (required-enchanted object)
    Effect: Enchants the piece of oakenstrangle to sprout rapidly with returned life and rise up to suddenly bind anything in its immediate surroundings upon being triggered. Effect triggered by timed intent like the Small Bomb or by a simple condition that is set ahead of time, such as a creature getting significantly within binding distance. Unfortunately, once used the Oakenstrangle Trap no longer has enough concentrated natural magic for reuse or for being harvested for fresh reagents.

    Negate Magic rank 1 (enchantment):
    Difficulty: 12
    Known Reagents: powdered bone, object contains cold iron
    Effect: Enchanted object can wear away at and is resistant to magical effects.
    Higher levels of this enchantment are possible.

    Interfere Healing (enchantment)
    Difficulty: 13
    Known Reagents: woodworms or woodworm extract, oakenstrangle
    Effect: wounds dealt with enchanted object are difficult to heal, especially by any supernatural means less powerful than this enchantment.

    Enhance Physical Protection (enchantment)
    Difficulty: 10 or higher
    Known Reagents: ground bone, widowmocker eggshell, elysia branch/sap/bark
    Effect: enhances the toughness and capability of the enchanted object to take physical damage, particularly its effectiveness as a protective layer such as armor.

    Enhance Magical Protection (enchantment)
    Difficulty: 10 or higher
    Known Reagents: oakenstrangle, widowmocker eggshell, elysia branch/sap/bark
    Effect: enchanted object provides a layer of protection against magic for the wearer.

    Maintain Condition (enchantment)
    Difficulty: 6 or higher
    Known Reagents: ground bone, crushed granite, crushed marble, widowmocker eggshell, elysia branch/sap/bark
    Effect: enchanted object becomes resistant to harm. Tends to wear out faster than other enchantments that may wear out.

    Supernatural Sharpness (enchantment)
    Difficulty: 11
    Known Reagents: spriteblade thorns
    Effect: sharpened parts of enchanted object are made keener than is natural. Does not maintain itself.

    Envenom (enchantment)
    Difficulty: 14
    Possble Reagents: spriteblade thorns, woodworms, woodworm extract, other supernaturally venomous things. The more venomous the more powerful the enchantment.
    Effect: wounds dealt with enchanted object inflict a venom on the wound. If a venomous reagent is used, the venom will be that of the reagent.

    Elemental Essence, rank 1 (enchantment/binding)
    Difficulty: 18
    Known Reagents: anything mystically aligned to the element you wish to enchant the target with. The more strongly aligned, the easier and stronger(within limits) the enchantment. If an elemental spirit is used, may require a WIL check and will greatly increase effectiveness.
    Effect: Imbues the target with the essence of a given element. Weapons may burn or sap heat from things they strike if imbued with fire or ice, for instance.

    Blood Drinker (enchantment/curse)
    Difficulty: 23
    Known Reagents: bone(ground or otherwise), Fell reagents, vampire reagents greatly strengthen the effectiveness
    Effect: enchanted weapon thirsts for blood, becoming stronger and more effective by absorbing it. Can lead to various additional effects.

    Animate Weapon (enchantment/binding):
    Difficulty: 25(enchantment)/20(binding)
    Reagents:
    Effect: Animates a weapon to move as an extension of your will. Enchantment wears out with extended use and disappears if the weapon is broken. Effect weakens and eventually disappears if the weapon is too far from you, but can be restored by moving closer to it. More difficult with magical or legendary weapons. Requires WIL check if the weapon is already inhabited by an unwilling spirit. (enchantment)
    Effect: Binds a spirit into a weapon, thus animating it to fight for you or serve as an ally. Easier if the spirit is a willing participant and more difficult if you intend to force it to perform acts instead of simply convincing them. Forcing compliance either with the ritual or with your orders afterwards requires a WIL check. Fighting skill is based of of the individual spirit bound, and can increase as the spirit becomes more skilled and/or intelligent. Reversible. (binding)

    Totem (enchantment type)

    Known Reagents: elysia branch/sap/bark
    Effect: enchantments of this type infuse a specific spell into an object for use by a Totemist magician. A non-totemist capable of sensing and touching magical energy may cast a weaker variant of the spell in question by using up some of the magic in the Totem, but it is inefficient. If the non-totemist in question uses this technique enough and has magical power of their own there is a chance that they may eventually learn to use Totemic magic.

    Soulbind Object (enchantment/binding):
    Difficulty: 40
    Reagents: ???
    Effect: The enchanted object becomes "yours" on a deep and intrinsic level. Provides a number of benefits when using the object in question, and the object will not work as it should for another person unless you give them permission to use it.

    Claim Territory (enchantment/binding):
    Difficulty: variable, based on the size and properties of the area. Minimum of about 50 for now; mana cost is always 100% of max mana.
    Reagents: must be performed in the territory you intend to claim. Otherwise, reagents unknown for now.
    Effect: The claimed land, along with minor flora and fauna on it, becomes yours on a fundamental level and will work to do your will with little or no expenditure of mana on your part. It will actively work to your favor and improbable things may happen while on it to prevent your coming to harm, such as a rockslide just happening to suddenly occur and landing only on a person attempting to shoot you with a bow. You may also draw on the power of the land, up to certain limits; going too far with this may result in the land leaving your control, if your connection is not deep enough. The connection deepens with the time and effort you have lived on and personally invested into the land.
    Bestow Destruction (curse)
    Difficulty: varies heavily based on the target and your distance from it.
    Known Reagents: varies based on the target; parts of it may sometimes work, as may things with significance towards violence or destruction. Things known for being effective in destroying the target in particular tend to be good.
    Effect: curses the target when the ritual is complete, destroying it in whatever way it can be destroyed. Works on living things, though it tends to be harder.

    Blood Drinker (enchantment/curse)
    Difficulty: 23
    Known Reagents: bone(ground or otherwise), Fell reagents, vampire reagents greatly strengthen the effectiveness
    Effect: enchanted weapon thirsts for blood, becoming stronger and more effective by absorbing it. Can lead to various additional effects.

    Mana Leech (curse):
    Difficulty: 22+, difficulty increases with distance and the resistance of the target to curses and similar effects. Mana cost is only 50% of difficulty.
    Reagents: reagents symbolic of parasitism (vampire, woodworm, etc.), parts of the target such as hairs or blood.
    Effect: Absorbs mana from a target, slowly becoming stronger over time and becoming harder to remove. May either slowly increase the rate of drain and/or store mana in a metaphysical package for later retrieval, depending on the preference of the caster. If the latter is done, removal of the curse is highly likely to make the excess mana flood the inflicted's body and magic, damaging or destroying them from the inside out. Beings of pure magic are both rare and difficult to curse, but a successful casting on one can effectively give them a slow death as their very existence drains away.

    Curse of Decay (curse):
    Difficulty: 22+, difficulty increases with distance and the resistance of the target to curses and similar effects. Mana cost is only 75% of difficulty.
    Reagents: reagents symbolic of death or decay, parts of the target such as hairs or blood.
    Effect: Accelerates the wear and tear of daily life, slowly lowering VIT and eventually the other stats over the course of months or years, and makes attempts to repair or treat the afflicted less successful than they should be. Regen of all kinds is halved.
    Stat raising rituals (enchantment type):
    Require a reagent that symbolizes something inherently stronger than you in the target area. The stronger the reagent relative to yourself, the better the increase. For instance, the bones of a were might provide you with a boost to VIT, and their claws might provide a boost to STR and/or DEX. The difficulty of such a ritual will also vary; you can do the easier version for a smaller boost or risk a more difficult version for a larger one. Similar rituals might allow you to gain Traits.

    Internal Compass(Trait):
    Ritual Imbuement difficulty: 28 for rank 1
    Reagents: Lodestone, ???
    Trait Effect: At this rank, you can always tell which direction is North, and can thus prevent yourself from walking in circles and easily retrace your steps. Higher ranks add additional benefits.
    ----------
    [​IMG]
    Name: Cora Manus

    Gender: Female

    Level 2
    XP:
    65/150 to next level
    HP: 60/60 (regens at 1+4=5/hour)
    MP: 80/80 (regens at 6/5 minutes)

    Description: Light brown hair reaching near her shoulders and a black eyepatch that conforms perfectly to her face. Cora dresses practically over trying to look good, but you find her very attractive anyway. As well you should.

    Relationship:
    She's your wife now. You better keep treating her well.

    Class:
    Psychic: Psychics are capable of influencing the world with their thoughts. Their power can be roughly divided into three categories, but it is so supremely flexible that they rarely come up with any set equivalents to the spells or rituals of a magic user. Instead, a psychic might invent flexible techniques that they will then use and create variants of as the situation demands. Extremely applicable for combat and other in-the-moment activities.

    Overall(total) Skill: 6
    Control: 7
    Burst: 3 - The ability of the psychic to physically affect the world around them through direct application of their psychic powers.
    Rise: 2 - The ability of the psychic to enhance their own strength, speed, or other physical capabilities
    Trance: 2 - The ability of the psychic to use more esoteric senses and mental abilities, such as precognition or telepathy.
    Burst Techniques:
    Telekinesis - self explanatory
    Rise Techniques:
    has shown some proficiency
    Trance Techniques: none

    Stats:
    STR: 5
    AGI: 6
    DEX: 6
    VIT: 6
    MIN: 8
    WIL: 7

    Special Stats:
    PER: 6+6=12

    Funds:
    You aren’t really sure; you wouldn’t call her wealthy, but they seem to be significant.
    Since you met her she has acquired 6 Maples and 30 Oaks (630 Oaks)

    Equipment:
    Messenger Pouch: This magical item created by Ambrus Manus has truly unlimited carrying capacity and can stretch to fit the mouth around things up to the size of a medium desk. It doesn’t do anything for weight though.

    Eyepatch: What the heck is with this? Even Cora doesn’t seem to know, but it doesn’t come off and she says she can see through it just fine.

    Trench Knife: A knife with a sturdy metal guard that lets it double as a knuckleduster. Made from some higher-end steel.

    Woodsman's Hatchet: A tool for maintaining the Path and taming the Faewood, this is also a decent weapon in a pinch. Especially since the head is steel and it has a small silver spike at the other end of the handle.

    Dagger: A magical dagger that Cora is used to using as a hunting knife and gathering tool. Made of a metallic-seeming bone and crafted as a magic item that magnifies the magical potency of things that it harvests.

    Fireblast Totem (2/3 casts): a totem for a fireblast spell. Fireblast is a short-range spell that covers a fairly wide area.

    ??? fire-spell Totem (?/? casts): a totem for a fire spell of some sort. Cora says that whatever it is, it is more powerful than the fireblast or fireball spell totems are.

    Pendant of Rest: A magical pendant that increases your HP regen by +4/hour.
    Traits:
    Truesight: rank 3: At this rank, Truesight allows you to passively see through some illusions and see through nearly any illusion with effort. You can not only discern magic, but you can often also glean some information about what effect the magic provides. Some glimpsing of a person's "true nature" may be possible if you know them well. Gives a +6 bonus to PER.

    ???: ???

    Skills:
    Magical Item Creation: rank 3: While Cora has no magic of her own, she is fairly skilled at crafting objects in such a way that, once magic is added to them, they gain magical effects that she designed into them. With a wizard or other magic user to help her she can create some moderately potent artifacts.

    Ritual Assistance (10/25 to rank 1)
    [​IMG]

    Name:
    Sheesi, daughter of Meekisa

    Species: Sprite (Fae Species)

    Gender: Female

    XP: 50/100 to next level
    HP: 30/30
    MP: n/a

    Relationship:
    Sheesi is a friend of Cora by means of being the daughter of another of Cora's friends. You have yet to really establish where you stand with her through prolonged interaction, but she likes you and you think she might be becoming something of a niece figure.

    Stats:
    STR: 1
    AGI: 6
    DEX: 7
    VIT: 3
    MIN: 4
    WIL: 3

    Special Stats:
    Maturity: 7/8

    Equipment:
    Faemetal Sword: An unusually large spriteblade thorn, changed by powerful Fae magic to become a sword made of some kind of Fae metal. It still retains the sleep-inflicting properties of an ordinary spriteblade thorn magnified to an unspecified degree. May also have other properties.

    Traits:
    Fae: As a Fae, Magic is an intrinsic part of Sheesi’s being, and everything that applies to Fae as a whole applies to Sheesi. She isn’t a very powerful one, so she won’t be able to do many of the things that a stronger Fae can, but you might be surprised at times by what she can do. Watch it with that iron, and be sure to invite her inside any wards you set up!

    Sprite: As a sprite, Sheesi is quite small and childish. If she becomes mature enough she may be able to become a pixie, which is basically a more powerful sprite that has some additional specific abilities and is aligned with a specific element or concept. She is already unusually mature for a sprite; a testimony to Meekisa’s wisdom and teaching ability it would seem, along with the responsibility of being an older sibling.

    Skills:
    Sunder: A skill inherited from or taught by her mother Meekisa, this application of Fae magic(?) not-so-theoretically-anymore allows Sheesi an effective way of hurting or damaging even a much larger and tougher foe or object. You aren’t particularly clear on the details, and Sheesi says she still needs a lot of practice with it. The implications of that are a tiny bit scary, considering what you have already seen her do with it.

    Stow: An ability to carry things without carrying them. Some kind of exclusively Fae magic, or something you might be able to learn?

    Ritual Assistance (10/33 to rank 1)
    Name: Myyrha (pronounced Meer-huh)

    Appearance: Normally colored skin, waist-length blue hair. Her hair begins as a deep blue and gradually lightens until it is nearly white at the end. Wears a longish blue and green robe that does not seem to hinder her movements, though it is barely holding together at the moment due to the damage dealt to it in her fight with you. Myyrha is incredibly beautiful, as is to be expected of a fully humanoid Fae, and particularly of a water-oriented one.

    Relationship: Myyrha is your and Cora's slave, bound by her Fae oathmagic to follow your orders and those of your line to the end of her days. She currently hates and is confused by you both, but cannot do anything to either of you. She can't even badmouth you, because attempting to harm your reputation or self-esteem goes against her oath.

    Species: Naiad (Fae Species)

    Gender: Female

    HP: 60/60
    MP: n/a

    Stats:
    STR: 3
    AGI: 5
    DEX: 6
    VIT: 6
    MIN: 4
    WIL: 4

    Special Stats:
    None

    Equipment:
    None

    Traits:
    Fae: As a Fae, Magic is an intrinsic part of Myyrha’s being, and everything that applies to Fae as a whole applies to Myyrha. She is not particularly powerful, but she isn’t really weak either. Kind of average, really. Watch it with that iron, and be sure to invite her inside any wards you set up!

    Naiad: Myyrha is a Naiad, which is a pretty generic sort of freshwater-based Fae, noted neither for their strength nor for their weakness. She is extremely beautiful in every possible way however, and cannot be made otherwise save by extreme mutilation and death. She also is given access to three water-related skills: Hydrokinesis, Hydrogenesis, and Hydrometamorphosis.

    Skills:
    Hydrokinesis: Able to move water to her will and use it for various things. Powerful enough at present to rip chunks out of a person’s body and cause moderately deep scoring in stone. Fae ability; disrupted by contact with iron.

    Hydrogenesis: Able to temporarily create water from her own power. Strong enough to create several streams, each over two inches wide. Created water fades from existence if she dismisses it or falls unconscious, or if it is disrupted by iron. Fae ability; disrupted by contact with iron.

    Hydrometamorphosis: Able to transform her body into and possess water, but only when in physical contact with it. Water created by her Hydrogenesis skill does not qualify to trigger this ability. Fae ability; disrupted by contact with iron.
    Undivided party loot:
    Bastard Sword

    Research Options:
    Mysterious reagent (??? in reagents list) (recommend inventing an analysis ritual before attempting farther research in this area.)
    Additional properties of Elysia reagents (recommend inventing an analysis ritual before attempting farther research in this area.)
    Cora's eyepatch
    General Ritualist research
    A ritual for very thoroughly analyzing an object and its mystical properties without interfering with those same properties (free, next time you do research)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  4. Threadmarks: FAQ and Worldbuilding Answers
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    FAQ & Non-threadmarked Explanations(especially those ported from SB)
    Credit goes to That-Random-Guy(SB member) for collecting the initial round of answers and notes up until this post was first made on SB. May be in need of upkeep.

    Psychic is for flexibility in casting and self-enhancement. A psychic build with even half-decent Rise could easily supplement STR and AGI with MIN and WIL, much, MUCH better than simply raising STR or AGI would do. At 5 Rise you could fairly easily cave in armor with a punch, and the more you use it the stronger you get with it. You're just slowly using up MP to do it. Burst gives you casting potential in the form of anywhere from blasts of power and minor telekinesis right off the bat to developing etherial blades that can cut through anything, wide-scale pyrokinesis, or really, REALLY BIG blasts of sheer power and wide-scale telekinesis as you get stronger. Trance lets you do stuff like telepathy, battle precognition, and potentially mind reading or control or looking years into the future. However, anything you do with Psychic is right in the moment, like with a Mage class; you won't be giving yourself any permanent stat boosts here unless you earn them normally. Going into negative MP is possible with Psychic abilities, but it is very bad for you.
    Ritualist is good for slowly building yourself into a titan, stat wise, with very small but permanent boosts here and there. In fact, this is the ONLY class among the original ones that you could do this effectively with. Also, for making magic items and placing literal curses on people. Or just about anything, so long as you have the time and materials. You might have trouble carrying everything you want or finding the right reagents though, and it's useless in combat or on the move aside from any items and stat boosts you've made or done ahead of time and that preparation may not be easy to make. You probably don't have to worry about MP regen too much here.
    Demons are to Fell as Fell are to fluffy bunnies. If you were to, say, summon a demon, I would have to give you a "Corruption" stat. The act of summoning it would give you about 5 Corruption minimum, with any deals and other interactions with it adding on corruption in clumps of 2 or 3 minimum. As Corruption rises you would have some Very Bad Things™ happening. Whether there would be a way to get rid of corruption is up in the air, but when Corruption reached 10 or so you would be reduced to being a prisoner in your own mind, watching futilely as the demon used your body to kill and destroy everything you ever loved or valued.

    Don't try to summon demons. Demons are bad. Fortunately, unless you are dumb enough to try something like that you shouldn't have to deal with any. Probably.
    Your Max HP is 10 for every 1 VIT.
    Your HP regen is 1/hour for every 4 VIT.
    As a Ritualist, you have 5 Max Mana(Max MP) for every 1 WIL.
    As a Ritualist, your Mana(MP) regen is 1 Mana/Hour for every 1 MIN.
    A ritual to forcibly raise the rank of Truesight, eh? Well, that one Trait was supposed to be a gimme, as you were still kind of nailing down your character and what he was going to be like. For reference, acquiring rank 1 of Internal Compass is an approved difficulty 28 ritual. Rank 2 Truesight would be somewhere in the range of 35; you started out with it so it's a bit easier than it would be.

    I have confirmed that Elysia reagents may be used in rituals to increase the rank of Truesight.
    Log Entry: Elysia Tree: The elysia tree is a highly potent magical plant that projects a "safe haven" around itself in the form of a natural ward. The older the tree, the larger and stronger the ward around it is. This ward does not prevent entry, but instead actively prevents any harm that is inflicted on any living creature within. Sprites like to take advantage of this by making their homes in the area. Due to their relative weakness and benign nature compared to most other Fae, this is often the only way for them to survive in harsher parts of the Faewood.


    Elysia Bark, Sap, and Wood are all extremely useful in protective enchantments and magical items. There are rumors that they have many other properties as well, but you have yet to hear what those properties might be. Perhaps some study of the samples you have gathered might be in order?

    End Log Entry
    Since this log entry was made, you have researched the elysia tree-based reagents enough to know that they have properties of breaking down the barrier between what IS and what SHOULD BE.
    saying a Fae's name has no consequences. Actually finding it out is generally difficult when you are dealing with stronger Fae, either because they like to do the whole 'mysterious Fae creature' thing, because they just don't feel like bothering to tell you, because the moment they realize you want to know they will make it into another bargaining chip with a value based on how badly you want it, or just because they want to mess with you, but these are sprites. They have the potential to be powerful if they live a long time, but they generally don't and these particular ones are young. Their mother, on the other hand.... Well, she's a friend of Cora's and generally benevolent, and she's also over a day and a half's journey behind you. Meeting her was the best possible event roll when you were gathering reagents and materials for Cora to make your magic items with.

    I made the executive decision at the beginning of this quest that names do not have inherent power in this world. Not any sort of controlling power at any rate. It may generally not be a good idea to tell your name to every random stranger, but that is only if you care about whether they can ask around about you or not, like going somewhere seedy in real life.

    I suppose there might be some spells that could let a person scry on you or something that would use your name to know what it is trying to look at, but there would be alternatives that could do the same thing just fine without it.
    The number of enchantments you may put on an object depends on the object and what the enchantments are. You can fit more if you space them out a bit and give the object time to "normalize" or get used to the enchantments it has. There is a limit to what I will let you do, but don't worry too much about it for now.
    Multiple spirits generally doesn't work unless you put them in at the same time, in the same ritual. That can have interesting effects, but they are probably not worth the effort most of the time.
    The ranks of bomb are for now called small bomb, bomb, large bomb, heavy bomb, extra heavy bomb, kiloton bomb, multi-kiloton bomb, megaton bomb, and multi-megaton bomb, or somethings to that effect, but I might make more unique names for some of them over time. Like how eventually you would get to the city-erasing Brahmastra, then the country-razing Brahmashirsha Astra, and finally the planet-killing Brahmanda Astra.
    Duplicating the effects of a higher-end bomb using smaller bombs is possible to an extent. I mean, you're basically adding more explosives and setting them all off at once. That's going to do the same thing whether the explosives are chemical, nuclear or mystical, because an explosion is an explosion. There are limits, of course. You won't get a city killer with mystical fallout by stacking a bunch of small bombs together anymore than you will get a nuke by stacking together lots of fireworks, even if you have literally thousands and thousands of the things.

    Clarification for the FAQ post: basically, the bomb enchantments are explosives. As you get to higher level bomb enchantments I might begin adding in more than just the initial boom, like how the really extremely high level ones create the mystical equivalent of radioactive fallout. Until then, just think of or look up how it would work with explosives in real life and you should have your answer.
    Cold Iron is a bit of an odd thing, in a naming sense. It is just what people call iron, or at least iron that has been worked in some way, when they are referring to it in the context of superstition and mystical significance. In this quest any old iron or iron alloy counts on some level, although I'm going to say that unworked, unrefined iron ore straight from the mine isn't very effective.

    Clarification for the FAQ post: All iron is Cold Iron, but in general you can assume that the more "worked" or intentionally crafted it is, the more significant its mystical properties are. Steel as an alloy is actually more powerful than pig iron, because it has been intentionally smelted and mixed to make it stronger and more effective at whatever it was meant for. This is an unusual juxtaposition of the way most things of mystical significance work.
    Getting massive amounts is... haha. Those trees aren't exactly common you know. You got the ones you did because you got a really, really high roll when you were gathering reagents in the Faewood, far away from the path, and got a specifically "no encounter" encounter roll at the same time. As I noted in the Log Entry on them, those trees are normally used as safe havens by sprites and other lesser Fae, and they don't appreciate people harvesting parts of it. You might be able to get a few more bits later on in the quest if you luck out and are good at bargaining, but as reagents go they are pretty darn rare.

    The ??? reagent being much more powerful doesn't mean that the elysia things are weak or common, by any measure. No, it means that the ??? reagent is something that is pretty much one-of-a-kind powerful.
    If two different attacks would each require a roll, and you make both of them one after the other, both will be rolled. Missing the first will not make you automatically miss the second, because even if the difficulty levels for both attacks are based on the same modifiers, each attack is a different attempt. Also, a target that dodges one attack may find themselves in a better or worse(usually worse) position to dodge the one that comes immediately after it. Moreover, a melee attack with a rapier will be much different from a thrown rock. Heck, a thrust with a rapier will be much different from a slash with the same.

    There is logic behind the dice rolls. Logic dictates that a person dodging one attack is NOT automatically able to dodge the next.
    The contract may be verbal or written, depending on how it is presented.

    If you write out a contract and have a Fae sign it, it is symbolically represented by the written contract itself, and destroying that can thus end the agreement by "destroying the contract." This also applies if the Fae is the one who wrote it out, and the Fae had the mortal sign it, or if it was written by a third party and both Fae and mortal signed it to make an agreement with each other.

    A verbal contract on the other hand, has no representative thing like that, and therefore remains binding effectively forever unless there are escape clauses or loopholes built in that are capable of ending it.

    If a contract is written out and read to the Fae by a non-Fae for them to repeat word for word, it is basically just the non-Fae reading off their notes and therefore is considered a verbal contract.

    If it is written out and then presented to the Fae to read off and the Fae agrees "to the terms of the contract," the Fae can generally rules-lawyer that into being considered a written contract. If they read it out aloud word for word and it is written such that the words include the acceptance, that can sometimes prevent this, but not always if the Fae is a good enough rules-lawyer. Fae tend to be very good rules-lawyers; it comes with the territory of having to always keep your definitive word even when it is given on accident.

    As a result of all this, Fae may try to manipulate the effectiveness of a contract by getting it to be either verbal or written if you aren't careful.
    A lifedept is a little harder to get owed you in the mystical sense than just saving a person's life, but actively saving them from the injuries they incurred when they attacked you unprovoked? Yeah, that's going to be BIG. Bigger than if she had been a human, actually; there are reasons why Fae usually tend to try and trick humans they don't like into somehow "allowing" them to attack instead of just doing it. They are kind of vague and not really understood by humans, but they are there, and I'm going to say that this would be affected by at least one of them, because I feel like it makes sense that it would.
     
  5. Threadmarks: Part 1
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    Vote closed, have an update!
    [X] Plan Well Done Wall of Beef wins by 1 vote.
    STR: Base 1+4=5 – Your physical strength.
    AGI: Base 3+1=4 – Your physical ability to move at speed.
    DEX: Base 3+1=4 – Your finesse when moving
    VIT: Base 3+5=8 – Your overall health and fitness. HP and HP regen, base physical endurance.
    MIN: Base 2+4=6 – Your strength of mind. Control and MP regen, MIN checks needed to get a given ritual correct.
    WIL: Base 4+2=6 – Your strength of will. MP stat and used for WIL checks.

    -----------

    You sit up, slowly taking stock of what you have on you. There isn’t much; just a small, mostly empty pack containing a little bit of food, and empty canteen and two wooden boxes. Still, there must be something right? You check your pockets and come up with a few coins. Mostly copper, but there are a couple of silver ones in there too.

    Obtained 4 Maples, 50 Oaks! (100 Oaks = 1 Maple, 20 Maples = 1 Cedar.)

    A look in the larger of the two boxes reveals a small collection of vials and bits of greenery. You recognize all of them as ritual reagents, even if many of them are rather easy ones to obtain. One of the vials you’re not too sure about what it is though. The greenery is quite fresh. Were you gathering it when whatever it was happened to you? You suppose it probably doesn’t matter at this point.

    Ritualist’s Starter Kit obtained!
    Obtained 2 small vials of woodworm extract, 3 small vials of ground bone, one medium vial of powdered chalk, and one small vial of ??? !
    Obtained 2 units of fresh oakenstrangle moss and 3 spriteblade thorns!

    The other box contains folded papers covered in writing. Your notes from before, most likely.

    Ritualist notes obtained! You may now conduct rituals when you have the time!

    As you put your things away you catch a glimpse of your reflection in the slow-flowing river. Your curiosity gets the better of you, and you move to get an idea of what you look like.

    [] Write-In appearance; pictures are acceptable.

    You make a quick meal of some of your supplies before anything else. Once that is done with though, you decide it would be best if you started moving. Staying out on the path at night is very dangerous when you are alone. If you want to find a settlement you had best get moving in one direction or the other and hope for the best. At least you can be fairly confident that there is a settlement nearby, with how well-maintained the bridge is. You just have to pick the right direction.

    You pack up your remaining belongings and fill your canteen from the clear water of the river. By the time you have everything ready to go you hear the faint sound of hooves on the road. You [Choose One]

    [] Come out from under the bridge and hail whoever it is.

    [] Wait for them to get to the bridge before revealing yourself.

    [] Hide and wait for them to pass you by.

    [] Write-In
     
  6. Threadmarks: Part 2
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] Come out from under the bridge and hail whoever it is.

    Well, I'm glad you guys all agreed on that one. I was worried that the infamous Spacebattles Paranoia would cause issues. Not that you should always be trusting in this quest; there are Fae looking to trick people in this world, and unscrupulous individuals and such can be found anywhere.

    ------------

    Hoof beats? That means a caravan, and a caravan means safe travel. You just need to convince them you aren’t Fell or Fae. You scramble out from under the bridge and pull yourself up the bank. Indeed, there is a small caravan coming down the road towards you.

    You call out to them. “Hey there! You have room for a lost man?”

    The man driving the lead wagon calls for a halt, stopping a few dozen yards short of you. Several of them gather and converse, and soon he approaches a few yards closer, indicating his desire to negotiate. “And how do I know you aren’t Fell or Fae? Let us test you first, and then we’ll see.” He takes out a coin and throws it to you. “That there’s a silver Maple. Pick it up with your bare hands so we know you aren’t a were.”

    Well that test is easy. You pick up the coin and show it to him. He seems satisfied enough.

    “Now, take of your shirt and show me your back, so I know you aren’t a doppelganger or a troll.”

    You do so without hesitation. This sort of thing is standard precaution when meeting someone on the Path, after all. Once again he seems agreeable.

    “Alright, you can put it back on. I can already see you aren’t a vampire from the way you’re so comfortable in the sun. Now, promise me you aren’t here for a reason that might lead to our harm, and that you won’t try to make any deals with us on the road. Then I’ll know that if you’re Fae you’re at least safe enough not to cause us harm. No funny wording now, you hear? If I hear you using anything but the most plain wording you can for that promise I swear I’ll leave you where you are.”

    “I swear,” you begin, “that I am not here to cause or lead you to harm. I swear that I will not try to trick or make deals with any in your caravan.” A formality really. For something like this it is understood that if you break the oath and start making deals with them it just means that you are human, because a Fae wouldn’t be able to.

    He rejoins his fellows and they converse for a few moments before he calls out to you once more. “Alright, come on over. We’re satisfied with your proofs of humanity.”

    Good! You [Choose One primary choice and any combination of subchoices.]

    [] Walk over to them.
    -[] Explain your story if they ask. Or rather, your lack of a story or anything else before you woke up.
    -[] Ask where the nearest settlement is.


    [] They may be satisfied that you aren’t Fell or Fae, but are you satisfied that they aren’t? Test some of them first, the way they tested you. In asking for an oath from them you will prove once and for all that you aren’t a Fae, and it’s only a proper precaution. Walk over to them if they pass.
    -[] If they pass, explain your story if they ask. Or rather, your lack of a story or anything else before you woke up.
    -[] If they pass, ask where the nearest settlement is.


    [] Write In

    ---------
     
  7. Threadmarks: Part 3
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] They may be satisfied that you aren’t Fell or Fae, but are you satisfied that they aren’t? Test some of them first, the way they tested you. In asking for an oath from them you will prove once and for all that you aren’t a Fae, and it’s only a proper precaution. Walk over to them if they pass.
    -[X] If they pass, explain your story if they ask. Or rather, your lack of a story or anything else before you woke up.


    ------------

    “Before I come over,” you call back, “what proof do I have that you aren’t Fell or Fae? Now that you’ve tested me I want to test you in turn!”

    The man throws back his head and laughs, long and hard. “Not a fool I see! A man after my own heart, you are. Very well then, name your tests.”

    “First.” You toss him one of your own silver Maples. It’s best not to use the same one he tested you with, because if he was a Were himself it could have been a fake. “Each of you there hold that Maple in your bare hands where I can see it, just as I did for you.” You indicate the group he had been consulting with.

    The fact that they do so without hesitation raises your spirits a bit. From there you have them follow a similar battery of tests to the one they made you undergo, culminating in a promise that they aren’t Fae. So long as they aren’t an illusion created by a Fae or a vampire you can be pretty sure they are safe, but just to rule out that last possibility you [choose one]

    [] look at how they interact with their surroundings, seeing that their feet kick up real dust.
    Trait: Truesighted
    [] judge the sound of their footsteps, making sure that they are real and solid.
    Trait: Seer
    [] call them to show you their reflections in the river.
    Trait: Summoner
    With that you are satisfied of their authenticity, and you join with them as they travel. The spokesman asks you to join him where he is driving the front wagon, and seeing no reason not to you agree.

    “So then Lone Man, what should we call you?” He asks, lighting his pipe. “And what brings you out on the Path all on your lonesome?”

    You shrug. “I don’t rightly remember, to tell the truth. I remember waking up under the bridge today where you found me, but before that? Nothing. I’m pretty sure my name is Faust though.”

    “Sounds like Fae work.” He frowns. “You seem wary enough, but wandering the Path alone is dangerous for even the trailmasters at times. You’re lucky they didn’t take your life. Well, take it in a more final sense, I suppose.”

    He reaches his hand over for you to shake. “My name’s Jath Acres. The family lost the Acres we were named for a few years back, but we get by well enough on the go for now. Better’n we did then, really. I s’pose if you don’t remember anything you didn’t know which way the nearest settlement was did you?” You shake your head. “Well, we’re not too far from it now. Been by here before, and that bridge you were under means we should be there by nightfall. I don’t remember seeing you before, but mayhap someone there will recognize you.”

    [] Skip to the settlement.
    -[] Write In any activities until then. You have 5 hours.


    [] Ask Jath some more questions. He knows you can’t remember anything, so he shouldn’t mind too much.
    -[] Write In questions.


    [] Write In.
     
  8. Threadmarks: Part 4
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] look at how they interact with their surroundings, seeing that their feet kick up real dust.

    Truesight Rank 1 Aquired! At this rank you can see through most illusions with a little bit of effort and gain a +2 bonus to all perception rolls.

    [X] Ask Jath some more questions. He knows you can’t remember anything, so he shouldn’t mind too much.
    -[X] What is the nearest settlement? What is it like? (Modified to “This settlement we are heading to, what is it like?” since he already told us that we would be reaching the closest settlement by nightfall.)
    -[X] What do he and his friend here in the caravan do for a living?
    -[x] Could he introduce me to them?
    -[X] Has he encountered any Fae before?


    PER (perception) Special Stat unlocked! PER set to 4 (average).

    ---------

    As you keep riding you make small talk with Jath. {roll 1d20 for perception: difficulty 8; 4 PER + 2 Trusight Bonus + 2 Roll = 8: Pass} He seems genuinely friendly, and you seem to have earned his respect with the way that you insisted on checking him and his fellows before you joined the caravan. He was quite the talker too, and was more than happy to answer any questions you had.

    “So this place we’re heading to, what’s it like?” you ask. “Is it a big place?”

    “Not really. Hearthwell, that’s the name of the place, Hearthwell aint overly small, but I don’t think I would call it particularly big. Just about big enough that some might call it a town. They’ve got a stockade around the main part at any rate, and enough of the Faewood’s been cleared out for farmin’ that they pull in enough food each year that we buy some of it off ‘em and sell it to their closest neighbor. That’d be Firkinhold back behind us a couple days’ travel. Hearthwell… they’re decently prosperous for such a small place I suppose. We get some decent business there, at any rate.

    Used to be there was an old man there that would make some magical things for us to trade, but he left a few years back. His granddaughter’s still around, and he taught her a bit. Nowhere near what he could do, an’ she can’t actually put in any magic into the things she makes, but I’ve been able to sell a couple of her things to a wizard for a pretty good price. Quite a bit more than I expected actually, so I’ve got to pay her back a fair bet when we get there. Treat your customers how you like to be treated and it really helps your reputation.”

    “Maybe I should try and talk with her. What’s her name?”

    “Cora Manus; I’ve got a good head for names. Her grandpa’s name was Ambrus. Good man, as I remember. Where he went is a mystery, but he left her in a good way, as things like that go out here.”

    “Huh. So you’re merchants then? You should introduce me to some of the others in the caravan when we get to Hearthwell.”

    “Indeed I should. Max’d like you. Mind, watch that you don’t go flirtin’ with his daughter Tina. Max is awful protective of his her, and if he isn’t happy to let my boy Anders court her yet he’d try to skin you alive. Ah, an’ yes, we’re merchants. As I said earlier, we do better at this than we ever did farmin’. Much safer to travel the Path in a large caravan like this than it is on your own, an’ so we don’t have too much to worry about compared to a lot of people who only travel in groups of two or three. It’s still awful dangerous, mind you, but much safer than it could be.”

    You nod. “I suppose so. I wish I knew why I was on my own when I woke up. I doubt I was arrogant enough to travel alone through the Faewood, but it could be that I had some kind of emergency that made it worth the risk. Speaking of that, have you ever had to deal with a Fae before? After what seems to have happened this last time I would appreciate any advice on dealing with that sort of thing that I can get.”

    “A few times,” he responded, knocking the spent ashes out of his pipe and putting it away. “I’d say you’re best off trying to avoid any meetin’s with them if you can. You handled things pretty well when we met up, honestly. Fae will find any loophole they can to get at you if that’s what they’re after, and more often than not it is. It’s best to make sure that you never say anything to them that they can make out to be a promise, and never let ‘em get close to you if you can help it. Even when you vet their words several times over, chances are you missed somethin’ and they can use that to attack you, or get you lost in the Faewood, or any other of a few million different unpleasant things.”

    You come to a place where a second path branched off from the main one you were on, and Jath turns the horses on to it. A couple of hours later you come out of the Faewood and see the wooden walls of Hearthwell, and soon you are helping Jath unhitch the horses.

    After everything is put in order he introduces you to the other members of the caravan, beginning with his wife and son, Janelle and Anders Acres. Aside from them there is Maxwell Maxwell and his daughter Tina Maxwell, Jeoffrey Miles and Jordan Cadre and their families, and a few others.

    Well, you are in Hearthwell now, [what do?]

    [] Get a room at the inn for the night. You can figure out what you want to do in the morning.

    [] There’s still a couple of hours before nightfall. Ask around for Cora Manus.

    [] Write In

    ----------

    I keep meaning to mention, but I need you to write in for any rituals you will want to perform. I will then be able to look them over and tell you what difficulty they will be and what sorts of reagents you will need to perform them. This is an ongoing thing for the rest of the quest; I’m going to put this into the thread rules.
     
  9. Threadmarks: Part 5
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] There’s still a couple of hours before nightfall. Ask around for Cora Manus.

    ----------

    Rather than getting a room at the inn right away with the other members of the caravan, you decide to use the remaining daylight to try and meet Cora Manus.

    {roll 1d20 for perception: difficulty 15; 6 PER+12 roll=18; pass}

    While everyone you talk to seems to have a decently good opinion of her, you can’t shake the feeling that if Cora were to drop off the face of the earth the people of Hearthwell wouldn’t particularly miss her. The way they speak of her gives you the impression that most people think of her as being slightly odd, in a harmless sort of way. They speak of trips into the Faewood that she has taken alone since she was young, and days shut inside her grandfather’s workshop. Most seem to expect that one day Cora will walk into the Faewood like normal and never be seen or heard from again.

    Further inquiry leads you to a small house and attached workshop lying near the edge of the Faewood and a short distance outside the wall. Walking up to the door, you knock loudly, but politely. After waiting a few minutes you are almost ready to go get a room at the inn for the night and try again tomorrow, but just before you turn away the door opens.

    Cora Manus looks to be about 19 or so, by your estimate. She has light brown hair that doesn’t quite reach her shoulders and is dressed in a somewhat appealing but rather practical outfit that looks like it can and has taken some wear and tear. In fact, she herself looks much the same way; practical and possibly a little bit tough. You don’t think anyone could call her ugly or even plain, but beautiful doesn’t really match her either. As far as descriptive terms go, pretty is probably the best. At least, pretty in a tomboyish sort of way.

    Contributing towards this impression of her is her eyepatch. Something about it seems a little odd, like a slight glint or heat haze where it didn't make sense. You can’t quite nail it down though for some reason, even if it seems like if you screwed your eyes up just right it would all become clear.

    “Yes? What do you want?” Straight to the point, she is. Not surprising; from what you were able to gather she probably doesn’t get many visitors.

    [] Write In. How do you respond?
    --------

    I tried to find a picture that would even vaguely resemble the look that I was going for for Cora Manus, but I couldn't find one. The eyepatch did me in, but unfortunately it was pretty much the only aspect of her appearance that I couldn't bend on at all. Therefore you instead get a paragraph long description.
     
  10. Threadmarks: Part 6
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] Explain that Jath Acres sold her wares for more than he expected, and that he wants to pay her a portion of the balance in return for her continued business.
    -[X] Politely and Concisely
    -[X] Add that you want to see about purchasing or commissioning some magical items from her, telling her that you can provide the magic yourself.
    --[X] Offer to pay by providing magic for some other items for her.
    --[X] Explain your missing past, if she asks.


    ----------

    “I just arrived in town with Jath Acres and his caravan,” you reply. “He says that he sold your products for a lot more than he expected, so he wants to pay you some of the extra in return for your continued business.”

    Cora looks at you suspiciously. “But that’s not why you’re here, is it? He wouldn’t bother sending someone right away, and I don’t recognize you. You aren’t actually part of his caravan, based on your wording. What’s your business with me?”

    “He told me about how you can make magical artifacts but lack the magic to make them functional. I can do a bit of magic myself, so I was wondering if maybe I could purchase some things.” Her frown eases a bit as you continue. “As payment I was thinking I could provide magic for a few of your other projects.”

    “You’re being honest,” she notes, her expression much softer and more welcoming. “Come on in.”

    {roll 1d20 for perception, difficulty 9; 6 PER+19 roll=25; critical success}

    As you enter you take note of the interior décor. It is quite simple, with perhaps just a few more luxuries than might be average for such a place, or at least that’s what it looks like on the surface. The more you look at it though, the more certain you are that Cora Manus’ grandfather must have both been a very skilled magician indeed, and quite skilled at disguising that fact.

    Covering the walls, floor, and ceiling are cleverly disguised runic protections and spells. Some parts are disguised as imperfections in the woodwork or old stains and scuff marks in the varnish. Others involve the arrangement of seemingly artistic carvings and paintings, placed just so to make certain lines and parts of their frame coincide with and become parts of a few greater patterns. Even some of the furniture was carefully arranged and bolted in place. Most of it is so far outside your understanding that you feel you could spend months just studying it without running out of new things to learn.

    “Incredible,” you breath. “Your grandfather… simply incredible.”

    “Hmm? What about my grandfather?” Cora seems genuinely curious, rather than suspicious of you for your slip.

    You shake your head in amazement. “He built this house, right? The spells and protections he put in are simply amazing!” You trace along one of the patterns with your fingers, aware of a phenomenon similar to the one you see when you look at Cora’s eyepatch. “And the way he made everything a part of it is just… Your grandfather must have been an incredible magician. I would love to have met and learned from him.”

    “Oh, that.” Cora shrugs her shoulders. “I guess I never thought too much about it. The place has always been like this for as long as I could remember. Sure, I knew part of it was magical and everything, but is it really that good?”

    You nod. “I doubt anything could get at you in here unless the burned the place down around your ears. Even then, who knows? Most of this is just too complex for me to understand at all.”

    “Huh. Well, what sorts of magical things do you want? I suppose you can stay in Grandpa’s room for a week or so while we work on them, if you don’t have anywhere to stay yet already. He cleaned it all up before he left so I could use it for whatever, but I haven’t really bothered taking the bed out or anything.”

    What do you want Cora to make for you? [Write In; I will tell you if any of the things you mention are beyond her skill. She is not skilled enough to make Bags of Holding.]

    You have 8 days. How do you want to spend them? [choose as many as you want below, including any write ins, and divide them according to how much time you want to spend on them.]

    [] Spend time with Cora…
    -[] Helping her create magic items.
    -[] Gathering reagents and materials together in the Faewood. She knows the local Faewood like the back of her hand, so it should be relatively safe. (Rolls for encounters and reagents found; encounters will be written out and new options for your remaining time will be provided to you.)
    -[] Just hanging out.
    -[] Write In.


    [] Study the spells left by Ambrus Manus to protect his and Cora’s home.

    [] Buy things from Jath’s caravan and from the townspeople of Hearthwell.
    -[] What things? Weapons? Equipment? Write In.


    [] Perform rituals.
    -[] What rituals? Be sure to check the spoilered list in the character profile, as I will be adding a few that you can likely do now or soon. Suggestions are still welcome, and will continue to be so throughout the quest. Be aware that more may become feasible during this time if you spend time with Cora in the Faewood.


    [] Other things? Write In.
     
  11. Threadmarks: Interlude: Worldbuilding A
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    Well, I suppose I can try. Lessee here...

    The exact limits of what ritualism can do are something that I don't really have down for certain myself. Mostly I just look at a ritual idea and go "Does this look like something a ritual could do? If so, how would a ritual do it?" Basically, for now just put on your fantasy glasses and start throwing stuff at me to see what sticks. Looking at what sorts of things I have made into rituals and how I have done them should give you some insight into how I think about things too. That said, here is some concrete information and world building!

    Enchantments and Magic Items
    The differences between magical items and enchanted ones are really just a matter of how they are made, and the consequences of that difference. Theoretically they can both achieve all of the same effects, but in practicality that is not really so.

    Magical items are made as magical items, much like a circuit board is made to use electricity in a certain way. Due to how magic works, the magic in them is very much integrated into their very nature due to this fact, and thus destroying the effect very much requires destroying the item itself. It is also much more practical to make esoteric effects in a magical item than an enchanted one, because you can spend all the time you need to figure out the proper design. Then, once you have that, the only thing blocking you from making it is more time and materials and the limits of your own physical dexterity. Even if you don't have magic yourself it is possible to make something and then just have someone else add in the magic to get it started, so to speak.

    Enchanted items are taken as a complete item and then imbued with an effect. As a result, more complicated enchantments require much longer rituals and greater strength of mind in the caster, and tend to waste a lot of mana. Moreover, an enchantment is not intrinsically linked to the physical design and integrity of the enchanted object, and can thus be damaged, destroyed, or in some cases even simply exhausted without ever damaging the enchanted object. The advantages enchanments hold over magical items are twofold however: first, they can be applied to an already existing object, and so do not require that the enchanter be able to make the object in question or that he spend the time to do so. Second, where magical items hold effective supremacy over complexity of effect, enchantments do the same for raw power. A shielding enchantment or one that causes a sword to set itself on fire or something will almost invariably be much more powerful than a magical item that does the same.

    When an enchantment is cast on a magical item it (the enchantment) becomes much more powerful; sometimes exponentially so. The two never have compatibility issues unless their purposes run directly in counter to each other, such as if a magical blade designed to never cut human flesh has an enchantment placed upon it to make it able to cut anything. In these cases which one wins out can vary based on context, but the nature of magic items means that the enchantment very rarely wins out, and if it does it is massively weakened rather than being strengthened. If such an enchantment is later removed the magical item will continue on as if it had never been enchanted in the first place.

    Reagents:
    Reagents are used to enhance or ease a ritual based on their magical properties and the associations they have with certain ideas that are similarly associated with the ritual in question. For instance, a supernaturally sharp thing or even just a supernatural thing that is sharp will generally be useful in a ritual designed to give a blade supernatural sharpness. Something supernatural that is associated with constricting and cutting off flow might be useful in a ritual designed to prevent wounds given by an object from healing as well by reducing the "flow" of the wounded party's healing ability with regard to the wound. Both of those are examples taken from enchantments that are already on the list.

    Also, here are descriptions of the exotic reagents you received in the Ritualist's Starter Kit at the beginning of the quest. The ??? reagent is not listed as you still don't know what it is.

    Woodworms/Woodworm extract: Woodworms are considered one of the weakest Fell. They have the form of bulbous white worms up to a foot long and half an inch in diameter, with a circular sucker-like toothed jaw at one end. They live in infected living trees as parasites, eating the wood and absorbing the life as they grow. Despite being not much above a normal earthworm in intelligence they still love to try and eat people's faces off given half an opportunity, and their cursed venom is nasty enough that getting bit usually kills a person very painfully within 3 minutes. Fortunately, their venom can be easily neutralized by touching the wound with something made of silver, and avoiding a bite is fairly easy if you are careful given their noted extreme preference for people's faces over other body parts. They can be killed quite easily as well. Understandably, Fae hate them just as much as humans do. Which is quite a lot.

    Woodworm Extract is made by killing the woodworm and mashing them into a pulp, then extracting the magic of their curses into a liquid via alchemy, which is basically magical chemistry. Both are used primarily for any ritual where you want a reagent that is generically cursed, Fell, or poisonous, or some combination of those three. The extract is just a lot easier and less disgusting to carry around.

    Oakenstrangle: Oakenstrangle isn't really anything more than a constricting vine that has a significant bit of magic in it. It eventually kills trees that it grows around, just like mundane ones can. It is useful as a reagent any time you want something related to strangling, choking or constricting, or as generic magical plant matter.

    Spriteblade Thorns: Spriteblade Thorns are extremely sharp thorns up to 2 inches long that actually have sharp edges like a blade. They also possess a nonlethal magical plant venom that weakens the victim over time, eventually putting them to sleep until the venom runs its course. The venom isn't overly strong from a shallow scratch, but it can add up quickly, especially if deeper cuts are received. The venom also cannot kill a person directly, due to the nature of the magic. They could bleed out from the scratches while asleep, but the venom will never kill. The Spriteblade plant received its name due to the fact that certain small Fae, primarily sprites, have been known to break these thorns off and use them as weapons.

    Spriteblade thorns can be used any time you want a reagent that is magically venomous or sharp, or as generic magical plant matter.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Part 7
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    I did add the Enchantment Type: Totem to the list if you remember. You can use it to emulate a Totemist so long as you are willing to recharge your totems every few uses. Here's the quote from the Approved Enchantments list:

    Aside from that, it may become possible eventually to do a ritual that gives you access to, say, the Psychic powerset; this is especially true if you can get your hands on the right reagents, and I will tell you right now that the 'vial of ???' reagent you got in your starter kit will be something impressive when you identify it. You may want to start working on that when you can.

    Or you might get that particular powerset naturally if you manage to raise your MIN stat high enough. I did mention this before, but I suppose you may have missed it.

    In any case, Have an update everyone!
    ---------
    [X] Perform rituals.
    -[X] Small Bomb (enchantment) xLots
    -[X] Enhance Physical Protection (enchantment)
    --[X] Apply to clothes
    [X] Buy things from Jath’s caravan and from the townspeople of Hearthwell.
    -[X]A weapon-a dagger and hatchet
    --[X] Enchant with Supernatural Sharpness (enchantment)
    [X] Sell your magical talents to the townspeople on some certain mornings.


    In rough order of action:
    [X] Spend time with Cora…
    -[X] Just hanging out and getting to know each other, so that Cora can get a better idea of how to best customize your items for you. (1 day)
    -[X] Gathering reagents and materials together in the Faewood. She knows the local Faewood like the back of her hand, so it should be relatively safe. (2 days)
    -[X] Helping her create magic items. (3 days) [Priority of items? I will set my own if you don't give me one]
    --[X] Pendant of Rest: A Pendant that improves the wearer's passive regeneration.
    --[X] Barrier Braces: A pair of steel-reinforced bracers that repel up to a certain potency of harmful magic directed at the wearer. Magic beyond this level of potency will be weakened appropriately.
    [X] Study the spells left by Ambrus Manus to protect his and Cora’s home. (2 days)

    -------Mission Start! Days 1 and 2--------

    The two of you begin the next day by going to retrieve Cora’s money from Jath. When Cora isn't looking Jath ribs you humorously about the way you immediately went and slept at her house for the night, especially when you tell him that you intend to stay with her for at least another week while you work together. “Cora doesn’t let people into her home very often, from what I know, much less let them stay the night.” He tells you. “You must have made a good impression.” He follows this statement with a wink and a grin, which sort of ruins the slightly more serious tone in in his voice.

    While you are in town you offer to sell your services as an enchanter to some of the townspeople, primarily in the capacity of placing protective enchantments on people’s homes.

    [roll 1d20 for business success: 8. Result: 2 customers | 1d20 for first customer: 13 | second customer: 10]

    Everyone seems quite interested, but only two people hire you immediately once you describe the sorts of things you can do on short notice. Others seem a little skeptical of your actual ability, deciding to wait and see. They might be interested later though.

    +2 Maples, 30 Oaks

    With your newly acquired and previously owned funds you proceed to purchase a woodsman’s hatchet and a steel dagger, costing you 200 Oaks and 150 Oaks, respectively. You could have gotten a cheaper hatchet for less, but since you were likely to use it as a weapon you decide to get one designed for Trailmasters with a steel head and small silver spike, like one that Cora shows you of hers.

    -3 Maples, 50 Oaks

    After this you and Cora go back to her home and simply spend the day getting to know each other better. This was at Cora’s suggestion, since she feels she will be able to make your purchases better suited for you if she knows you a bit more.

    You learn that Cora likes to make tea from some certain slightly magical leaves she gets from the Faewood, that her favorite color is a deep amber, and that she can be much more refined than your first impression told you. It would seem that her grandfather Ambrus put a great deal of effort into raising her to be able to act well-mannered. She has better manners than you do, in fact; she rarely uses them beyond what she considers the basics though. As much as she is capable of these things, Cora really is more of a tomboy at heart. And on the surface, most of the time.

    The two of you exchange your stories as well. Cora tells you that her grandfather left suddenly, leaving her with a note and a day’s worth of memories missing from her head. She didn’t have an eyepatch before then either, but when she woke up it was there and it never comes off no matter what she tries. With her permission you try taking it off yourself, to no effect whatsoever. It seems that part of its enchantment lets her see through it as well though, so she says it has never caused her any problems.

    In fact, ever since then she has been able to see and comprehend the supernatural and the magical, more than once being saved from the illusions of trickster Fae by this. The two of you spend some time speculating together on what else it might be for and why she is missing a day from her memory, but can’t come up with anything even vaguely likely except that it must be related to whatever caused Ambrus Manus to leave so suddenly.

    Over the course of that evening you attempt a few enchantments on your clothes and on the weapons you had purchased in the morning; there is always a chance that you might need them when you go into the Faewood with Cora tomorrow. You refrain from using Spriteblade Thorns for the sharpness rituals the first try since you have the time to let your mana reserves recover a bit and try again in you fail.

    [Enhance Physical Protection: Clothes; roll 1d8 (8) + 6 MIN + 2 reagent bonus (ground bone) =16, needed 10 minimum; powerful effect]
    [Supernatural Sharpness: hatchet; roll 1d8 (7) + 6 MIN =13, needed 11; success]
    [Supernatural Sharpness: dagger; roll 1d8 (6) + 6 MIN =12, needed 11; success]


    Fortunately, you succeed on your first try for both of them anyway. As a result, by the time you go to bed you have the mana to make a pair of Small Bombs from a few small rocks you found outside. Black Ash is easy enough to get from the fireplace, and so you are able to guarantee the successful creation each time.

    Gained Small Bomb x2

    -----------

    The next day you enter the Faewood with Cora, her intent on gathering the materials she will need for your requests but does not have, and you on gathering some new reagents.

    [encounter roll Day 1: 1d100=62: dead Fell or Fae; 1d10 for species=3: decomposed werewolf]

    That first day you don’t encounter anything dangerous, but you do stumble across some bones of a long-dead creature that look rather magical to your sight. Cora’s much superior Truesight identify them as the bones of a werewolf, which you know you can use in a ritual to permanently increase your strength, agility, and overall vitality. A very valuable find indeed.

    Gained Werewolf Bone x2, Damaged Werewolf Bone x3
    [gathering roll Day 1: 1d20=10 + 3 (0.5 x PER)=13]


    You return as the sun is setting, fairly tired but uninjured. Overall the day is moderately profitable aside from your larger windfall, allowing you to gather a fair number of basic reagents.

    Gained Oakenstrangle x3, Spriteblade Thorn x2, Widowmocker Eggshell x2

    That night you don’t have the time or energy to let your mana reserves recover before you go to bed, so you choose instead to just do a single round of rituals and then hit the hay.[choose one]

    [] continue as you had planned, waiting to use the Werewolf Bones until later and making Small bombs and Oakenstrangle Traps instead.

    [] use Werewolf Bones to enhance your and/or Cora's AGI, VIT, and/or STR, then continue as planned the next morning.
    -[] choose 2 stat-enhancement rituals to attempt. Werewolf bone may be used once/bone to boost either STR, AGI, or VIT. It cannot be used as a reagent to boost STR or VIT higher than 8 or AGI higher than 9. Each attempt is difficulty 14 for +1 with additional possibility of critical success, but you have 3 Damaged Werewolf Bones which may be used to give a +3 reagent bonus for each one used in a given attempt if you wish. (your VIT is already too high to raise with this reagent, though it may still be used to raise the VIT of Cora.)


    [] Write In other deviations from previous plan.

    --------

    Widowmocker Eggshell: Widowmocker eggshells are extremely durable from the outside due to the magic they contain. They may be used to improve and ease rituals to enhance durability and protective strength, both magical and physical.

    This really took some doing compared to the previous ones, and there is still more to come! Unless you run into a live encounter on your next day I will continue to write in this summarizing style until this section is over and the story really starts to kick off. I think I've learned my lesson on trying to make really complicated option sets, especially for extended periods of time. Also, do you guys think I should keep writing in all the die rolls I make, or should I just do most of them off screen?
     
  13. Threadmarks: Part 8
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] use Werewolf Bones to enhance your and/or Cora's AGI, VIT, and/or STR, then continue as planned the next morning.
    -[X] AGI for us, VIT for Cora. Use a Broken Bone for each.


    [Roll for your AGI boost: 1d8 (7)+6 MIN+3 reagent=16; critical success: +2 your AGI]
    [Roll for Cora’s VIT boost: 1d8 (8)+6MIN+3 reagent=17; critical success: +2 Cora’s VIT]
    Ritual Skill increased slightly! Die modifier raised from 1d8 to 2d4! Next level is 2d5 (2[d10/2]).

    You guys have been freaking lucky with your ritual rolls so far. After you decided to save the third Broken Werewolf Bone I was expecting to maybe have to finish the “effects of major ritual critical failure” table that I’ve been working on, not for you to get the 16+ needed for a crit on both rituals with only one +3 reagent each.

    Also, this is going to have some consequences beyond just helping out a friend, as you will see below. I was leaving it up to you guys, but you’ve kind of made Cora make the choice with your actions without actually making the choice for yourselves. Way faster than I expected it to happen if it ever did.

    ---------

    You decide to perform enhancement rituals with the werewolf bones you found. One to increase your personal speed and agility and one as a gift for Cora to enhance her overall wellness and make her just a little more durable than normal people are.

    Upon finishing your own boost you find that it was far more effective than you had expected. You can literally move half again as fast as you could before, and your reflexes are likewise far faster than they had been. You then tell Cora what you want to do for her, in thanks for her hospitality.

    She looks at you with her eye wide. “Are… are you sure you want to do that for me? Something like this is… I can see how much faster you move compared to before. This isn’t something that you should do for just anybody. I mean, we’ve only known each other for two days!”

    You nod emphatically. “If it weren’t for you I would never have found these bones. I wouldn’t have even gone into the Faewood today. And when I did find them you identified them for me far faster than I could have done myself. I want to do this for you.”

    “I’m… I’m honored.” Cora looks down. “Thank you. I won’t charge you anything for the items I’m making for you. It would feel wrong after this.”

    “No-no-no,” you say. “You have already helped me a lot more than just in making those magic items for me. Besides!” You put your hand on her shoulder. “That’s what friends do, right? We help each other. Right now, well, you and Jath are the only friends I have. As I said, I want to do this. As a thank you for all you are doing for me that goes beyond just working together on a project.”

    “…Okay.” She looks back up, straight into your eyes. “Okay, thanks.”

    With that you begin the ritual. As you finish you can tell that it was extremely effective just as yours had been. You were worried that it might fail, but instead it went far above your expectations.

    Cora gasps as she feels the effects take hold, staring down at her hands in wonder. Then, she looks up at you, and you see a sense of wonder in her eye that wasn’t there before. “This… Faust, this is incredible! You gave up something like this for me?!” She stares at you for a few more seconds, and then she reaches out and grabs you. You feel her lips against yours for just a moment before she pulls away, a small blush on her face.

    “You.” She jabs her finger at you. “When you leave Hearthwell, I’m coming with you. You have no say in this matter.” With that she turns around abruptly and walks into her room, just the tiniest bit of sway in her hips. What… Just happened?

    You have begun courting Cora Manus. Congratulations, you guys work fast.

    ---------

    So… yeah, that happened. You guys just literally gave her half again her old VIT, when you knew you could be doing something just as beneficial for yourself. And she knew it too, and knew that you knew it. Add to that the things I had to have you say to her to convince her to let you do it without waiving the fee for your items (due to the reasoning you gave for it OOC), and what else would you expect after that? I literally could not have her do anything else without throwing my vision of her personality straight out the window. When it critted like that… jeez.

    She would have joined you on the road anyway due to what is going to happen at the end of the eight days, at least so long as you didn’t do anything to make her hate you in a complete turnaround of your behavior, but now? Ha! You aren’t getting rid of her anytime soon.

    The next part will continue the next day in the Faewood as planned, unless you want to [write in] something different.
     
  14. Threadmarks: Part 9
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    The next morning Cora is silent until you head out into the forest. As you enter though, she speaks up. “About last night.” She pauses for a moment.

    “Yes,” you say, “about last night.”

    Cora takes in a deep breath. “About last night. I don’t want you thinking that I just kissed you as a thank you or something. Grandfather told me if I ever found someone… someone like you, that I should never let you go. I meant every word that I said or implied. You are not leaving me behind. Ever.”

    [WIL check: Yours: 1d4=3+6=9; Cora’s: 1d4=2+7+1 (situational advantage)=10]

    You just nod. She’s dead serious about this. Maybe if you had any real, substantial objection you could find it in you to try to overrule her, but you’re really coming up dry on that front. Heck, you can think of at least a couple reasons she would be good to have around, and she is attractive.

    [encounter roll: 1d100=10: no encounter]
    [gathering roll: 1d20+3=22: critical success]
    Gained Oakenstrangle x4, Widowmocker Eggshell x3, Elysia Sap x2, Elysia Bark x3, Elysia Branch x3
    Superior Material bonus to effectiveness of Barrier Braces.

    You get home that night without any incident, after a very successful day of gathering reagents indeed. You even found an elysia tree that you were able to gather from without any sprites complaining about it! You finally get around to enchanting your clothes to act like very light armor for you that night, using some bits of the Widowmocker Eggshell that you had gathered.

    [2d4 (3)+6 INT+4 reagent=13; success lvl 2 +1 reagent=lvl 3]
    Clothes enhanced to +3 physical protection.

    On the fifth and sixth days since you met Cora you go into town again to see if you can find any more customers for your enchanting skill.

    [1d20=7: two customers | 1d20=12 first customer | 1d20=8 second customer]
    [day 2: 1d20=4: one customer | 1d20=15]

    You find two people to hire you again the first day, but only one the second. Between the three jobs you manage to earn 350 Oaks in total.

    Gained 3 Maples, 50 Oaks (350 Oaks)

    Once you are done with that each morning you return to Cora’s home. You had decided to help her in making the items you requested of her in any way you can, so as to possibly speed up the process. Besides, you might just learn a thing or two!

    [1d20+6=18 Day 1, 1d20+6=13 day 2]

    You don’t manage to pick up the basics of making magical items, but Cora tells you that you helped her a lot. Of course you continue to make Small Bombs and Oakenstrangle Traps each night.

    You wake up the next morning to a deep French kiss from Cora. She draws back with a grin a few moments later. She seems to have moved into your bed during the night, though fortunately she is still wearing her nightclothes.

    “Wakey up Faust. Today we get started on the regenerative pendant.”

    “What… what are you doing in-“ Cora interrupts you, her grin widening. “You better get used to it. You’re warm and cuddly, and you’re also going to marry me eventually if I have any say in the matter. Which I do.”

    You already kind of knew that she was planning on taking things in that direction, but that is undoubtedly the oddest marriage proposal you have ever heard. Speaking of which, “Isn’t the marriage proposal usually the guy’s job? And isn’t this a bit fast?” You can’t shake the feeling that it really isn’t.

    She laughs a little. “The guy’s, the girl’s, nobody really cares around here, and that’s when people bother with it in the first place. I told you I was never letting you go; we’ve been spending practically every waking hour together for the past five days, and there have been a lot of faster marriages in the past. I’m taking things slow here, if anything.”

    Right. Hearthwell must be one of those settlements where bedding a girl counts as marrying her. Of course fast marriages are common here. You are slightly surprised that it actuallydoesn’t feel unusual to you. Perhaps you grew up in such a village yourself? Your memories of the past refuse to surface, as always, so you really can’t tell.

    [1d20+6=16]

    You still don’t pick up on any real skill with making magical items, but that’s fine. Making magical items is a very complicated process, as you are finding out more and more. Even a genius would be hard-pressed to learn anything meaningful about it in three days. Having finished the Barrier Braces, the two of you immediately get started on the Pendant of Rest, as you have decided to call it.

    The pendant is apparently not going to take as long to make as the bracers did, and you are able to get more than halfway through before nightfall. Cora tells you that you can spend the next couple of days studying the defensive spells that her grandfather Ambrus left on the house. When you go to bed that night she slips in with you as soon as she has finished changing. It would seem that she was serious about your needing to get used to her doing so.

    [1d20+6=23 | 1d20+6=25]

    The next two days of studying Ambrus Manus’ protections are time spent very profitably. You learn a great deal on protective magic and magic in general, and you feel like studying them has opened up new horizons for your magic.

    Gained +1 MIN, new ritual Area Ward, raised ritual dice modifier to 2d5 (2(d10/2))
    [1d20=5 | 1d20=3 | 1d20=5 |1d20=15]

    Unfortunately, your business with the townspeople does not go as well, and you earn only a Maple and 80 Oaks. It would seem that the people of Hearthwell are not as unused to magic as most such villages; perhaps your business was spoiled a bit by the activities of Ambrus Manus up until he left. It does give you the opportunity to say goodbye to Jath and the rest of his caravan before they leave.

    Gained 1 Maple, 80 Oaks (180 Oaks)

    Once Cora finishes your pendant she has you provide magic for two magic items for herself; namely, a similar pendant to the one she made for you and the bone dagger that you have seen her using to gather materials and reagents. It would seem that the bone dagger is meant to be able to actively enhance the magical potency of the things it harvests, rather than simply preserving it unusually well.

    Each evening you have been building up for yourself a small stock of stones with the Small Bomb enchantment, along with a few of an enchantment you came up with recently, the Oakenstrangle Trap.

    Gained Small Bomb x15, Oakenstrangle Trap x5. Used Oakenstrangle x5.

    It is on the morning of the ninth day when your rather peaceful life is shattered. Cora had decided to go into town and restock the larder that morning, but just a few seconds after she walks out the door you hear her shriek in rage and a male voice cry out in pain. Rushing to the door, you see Cora being set upon by a group of three men.

    One of them is on the ground clutching the stump of his arm and a gash in his side, but the others have ganged up on her and brought her down, knocking the hatchet out of her hands. One is trying to pry off her eyepatch, to no avail, while the last one prepares to stab her with a knife of some sort.

    [What Do?]

    [] Throw a small bomb towards the injured one and charge at the two holding Cora down with your hatchet.

    [] Just charge, weapons swinging and with a bellow of rage.

    [] This is exactly the sort of thing that your oakenstrangle traps are good for. Use one to restrain the men holding down Cora while you finish off the injured one. Sure, it will trap her too, but you can get her out afterwards and it’s better to keep her safe.

    [] They may have her on the ground without her hatchet, but you can see her drawing her dagger with her remaining free hand. Using an oakenstrangle trap could stop her from gutting the man on top of her, so you just need to take out the one with the knife. Your hatchet is well balanced, and you think you can make the throw; your own dagger should be sufficient for the last one or if you miss.

    [] Write In battle strategy

    -----------

    Log Entry: Elysia Tree: The elysia tree is a highly potent magical plant that projects a "safe haven" around itself in the form of a natural ward. The older the tree the larger and stronger the ward. This ward does not prevent entry, but instead actively prevents any harm that is inflicted on any living creature within. Sprites like to take advantage of this by making their homes in the area. Due to their relative weakness and benign nature compared to most other Fae, this is often the only way for them to survive in harsher parts of the Faewood.

    Elysia Bark, Sap, and Wood are all extremely useful in protective enchantments and magical items. There are rumors that they have many other properties as well, but you have yet to hear what those properties might be. Perhaps some study of the samples you have gathered might be in order?
    end log entry

    So yeah, the 8 days are over. If you think that Cora is moving the relationship along a bit fast… you would be right if she was from a much larger settlement where there isn’t quite as much cultural dissonance on the subject compared to modern times. As she said, she has been spending nearly every waking moment with you for some days, and she has PER 12 where 4 is average. In those sorts of conditions she already knows you about as well as you know yourself, or even better considering that your memories only go back one day farther than that.
     
  15. Threadmarks: Part 10
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [x] They may have her on the ground without her hatchet, but you can see her drawing her dagger with her remaining free hand. Using an oakenstrangle trap could stop her from gutting the man on top of her, so you just need to take out the one with the knife. Your hatchet is well balanced, and you think you can make the throw; your own dagger should be sufficient for the last one or if you miss.

    ---------
    [1d20+4 DEX=22; critical hit]

    You draw your hatchet and throw it at the man about to stab Cora before rushing forward with your dagger to finish the job. The man in question doesn’t need finishing though, as your hatchet embeds itself deep into his skull, killing him outright.

    [Cora’s roll: 1d20+6 DEX=11]

    The other uninjured man jerks his head towards you, distracted long enough for Cora to embed her dagger in his side. He rolls off of her, bleeding and scrabbling with one hand for her dropped hatchet. His other hand draws out an amulet of some sort, which he waves in your direction, unleashing wave of fire and heat at you almost point-blank.

    [1d20+6 AGI=7; dodge failed]
    [20+1d10=26-8=18 damage received]

    You are unable to get out of the way in time, and your Barrier Braces are only partly able to shield you from the blast, though your clothes fare better. Fortunately you are much tougher than most people, but that really hurt, dammit! Your cry of pain is matched by one of rage from Cora, and she lashes out again with her dagger.

    [Cora’s roll: 1d20+6 DEX=22; critical hit]

    It pierces the man's throat and one of his major arteries, sending a spray of blood off to the side. He falls backwards with a gurgle, dropping the totem in his hand. The last man, who Cora had injured at the beginning of the fight, has gotten up and is attempting to flee despite his injuries.

    [1d20+6 AGI=19]
    [1d20+5 STR=6]

    Even with burns covering a fair portion of your body however, you are more than able to catch up and try to tackle him to the ground. Try being the key word, as he is able to take several more steps before Cora also catches up and hits him in the head with the back of her hatchet, knocking him unconscious. She is bleeding from one of her arms, where she must have been stabbed when they disarmed her at the beginning of the fight. You are suddenly very glad for the Pendants of Rest that the both of you are wearing.

    A few minutes later your wounds are bound and your prisoner is secure. You need to decide on what to do next.

    [] loot the bodies.

    [] what is going on in town? Where did these people come from and are there any more of them?

    [] wake your prisoner and begin interrogation.

    [] actually, you know a ritual that will let you heal your wounds quickly. You should take care of that before anything else, rather than waiting for your pendants to do their jobs. (use Heal Wounds to fix both yours and Cora’s injuries. Costs 9 MP.)

    [] write in.

    [] some combination of the above, including any write-ins. Please specify order of operations.

    You: 35/100 xp; Cora: 45/100 xp
     
  16. Threadmarks: Part 11
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] loot the bodies
    [X] actually, you know a ritual that will let you heal your wounds quickly. You should take care of that before anything else, rather than waiting for your pendants to do their jobs. (use Heal Wounds to fix both yours and Cora’s injuries. Costs 9 MP.)
    [X] wake your prisoner and begin interrogation


    Since nobody seems to be able to agree on interrogation methods even with the extra time I gave you, you are going to leave it to Cora.

    -----------

    As soon as your prisoner and wounds are secure you move over to the bodies of the two dead assailants. “So,” you ask, “what do we do with these guys?”

    “We loot the bodies of course, what else? They tried to kill us, we killed them instead, now their stuff is ours.” As Cora promptly begins to follow through with her statement you shrug your shoulders. As callous as it might seem, you really don’t feel bothered by it any more than Cora seems to be. Though it does make you wonder a bit about what sorts of things Cora might have gotten up to in the past.
    [loot roll 3x1d20: 12, 4, 15]
    The first one you check over is the one who cast a spell at you. Obviously, you find the totem he used, but he also seemed to be carrying a couple of others and a decent amount of money; he must have been in charge of the group’s funds. Unfortunately, a few of his more fragile totems were damaged or otherwise ruined when Cora stabbed him, rendering them useless. Surprisingly, he isn’t carrying any weapons. You almost snort at that. What sort of person relies only on magic in a fight? Then again, when you first woke up without your memories you weren’t carrying any weapons either.

    The other man isn’t carrying much of anything worth taking aside from his knife.
    Ignore the lettering in the picture
    [​IMG]
    Looking at it, you can see the utility of the thing. The way that the guard is structured it could be used to enhance a punch as well as it could cut, or even deflect a blow from a bladed weapon off the knuckles. This would be especially true if you held it underhand as you had seen the one man doing while he tried to stab Cora. It somewhat made up for the short blade, and you decide it might make a decent weapon for your off-hand.

    The severed arm of your prisoner however, holds quite the prize: A rather high-quality rapier. Most likely it was the reason why Cora cut his arm off when she did. The reach advantage it would have given him if he had had time to use it would likely have been hard to deal with.

    You and Cora gained:
    12 Maples, 65 Oaks (1,265 Oaks)
    Totems for: Fireblast, Fireball, ??? fire-based spell
    Trench knife
    Rapier


    [] What division of loot do you suggest to Cora? (Write In]

    [] Let Cora divide the loot.

    Once that is over, you turn to Cora once more, scratching your beard in embarrassment. “Ah, I just remembered something. I know a ritual that I can use to heal us up right away instead of waiting for the pendants to do their work.”

    “Well,” she chuckles, playfully hitting you in the shoulder, “at least you remembered eventually. How long will it take? Because if it’s hours long we might as well just wait it out anyway.”

    “Just a few minutes. Once we’re done we can start getting some answers from that guy.” You nod toward your prisoner. You had made sure he wasn’t going to bleed out or anything, but he was still going to be in a fair amount of pain when he woke up.

    You start by fixing up Cora’s arm injury, then she goes to start interrogating your prisoner while you take care of your own burns in another room.
    [roll 1d20 for interrogation: 9]
    When you finish, you find Cora sitting there, staring angrily at the corpse of your prisoner. “A suicide spell,” she preempts you. “He snuck a bloody suicide spell into his sentence structure. That utter… damn it!”

    “Did you get anything out of him beforehand?”

    Cora grimaces. “Enough to know that we can’t stick around in Hearthwell. There aren’t any more of them in town or anything, but whatever group they were a part of, they sent a message of some sort before they attacked me.“ She stands up from her chair. “Help me pack some things up, will you? I want to be out of here and on the road this afternoon. Early tomorrow morning at the very latest.”

    “It’ll be dangerous travelling the Path with just the two of us,” you warn. “Is it really that pressing?”

    Cora shrugs. “No idea whatsoever. Probably not, but If we leave soon and torch the place behind us they might think I’m dead and gone, instead of just gone. They didn’t actually seem to know what I looked like before they came here. Heck, I think that one guy was trying to get my eyepatch off so that he could check something; they might not even be sure that I’m the one they’re looking for.” She nudged the cadaver with her foot. ”Some of the things this guy said seemed to indicate not.”

    [Pick one for you and Cora to do first]

    [] Start packing up traveling gear.

    [] Go into the town and buy some food for the journey. (Cora already has all the basic traveling essentials gear-wise. You may buy other things, but remember that you can only carry so much. Even Cora’s Messenger Pouch doesn’t do anything about weight.)

    [] Write In.

    ---------

    Well, there you go. Also, now you know what I was hinting at when you were voting to buy travelling gear: Cora already has it.
     
  17. Threadmarks: Part 12
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] Let Cora divide the loot.
    [X] Start packing up traveling gear.
    -[X] Check the house for anything of value.


    ------------

    You leave it up to Cora how you would divide the spoils from the attackers.
    [4x1d2=1,2,1,2]
    Surprisingly, she chooses to give you the rapier and take the knife and two of the totems for herself. When asked, she tells you that she wants to try and see if she can’t figure out how to use them. Cora can apparently sense magical energy as a side effect of her advanced truesight, and to an extent she can move it, she just doesn’t have any of her own. Since you know that you can recharge them for her just fine, you don’t really see any problems with this.

    Gained rapier, fireball totem (items removed from party loot)
    Cora gained trench knife, fireblast totem, ??? fire-element spell totem (items removed from party loot)

    As for the money, Cora divides it roughly equally between the two of you.

    Gained 6 Maples, 35 Oaks (money removed from party loot)

    ------------

    “Cora, is there any reason for burning the house besides throwing any pursuers a little off the trail?” you ask as you begin packing. “Because it doesn’t seem like there is enough reason just for that. I mean, not enough to outweigh the possibility of having somewhere to maybe come back to someday.”

    Cora sighs and nods. “Yeah, there is. I told you that grandpa left a letter when he disappeared? Well, one of the things he put in it was instructions on what to do if something like this ever happened. They pretty much boil down to leaving Hearthwell immediately and burning down the house behind me so they can’t find any of the things he probably left behind. Throwing them off my trail is really just a side benefit.”

    You nod slowly as you check some of the equipment. “In that case, wouldn’t it be best to try and see if we can find any of those things ourselves first? There might be something we can use.”

    “You’re welcome to try,” Cora shrugs, “but I haven’t noticed anything in the years I’ve lived here. I never looked all that closely though, and I guess I might have just not noticed since I’ve lived here all my life and I’m used to it. If you find anything you can have it. Just don’t take too long.”
    [1d20+6=9, 1d20+6=26; total=35: positive neutral: you may or may not find something, but only one thing and not Ambrus’ notes]
    You begin searching as soon as you have finished your packing. It is more difficult than you would have thought. Not because there isn’t anything special about the house, but rather because there was. With all the spellwork and hidden patterns built into the house, discovering what was part of the protections you had been studying the past two days and what might not be was virtually impossible. Just as you were about to give it up however, you noticed that none of the spellwork passed over any portion of the door to your room, or rather, Ambrus Manus’ room. After having lived here for over a week and seeing just how prolific that spellwork was, this was somewhat suspicious.
    [1d20+6=24: critical success: you find something really good]
    Close inspection of the door eventually lead to the discovery that a small, thin section of it could be pried out. That section contained a key, which despite being different to the one that could be used to lock the door, fit its lock anyway. Turning the key produced a click, and the surface of one of its panels fell lightly out into your hands. Behind it was a compartment with a small, translucent blue sphere that glowed with a soft inner light. Oddly enough, your truesight was picking up something from it that was distinctly different from what you had come to associate with magic.

    [] Give the sphere to Cora; even if she said that you could keep anything you found, it’s part of her inheritance. It might even be that last part, since she’s already burning down her house. Besides, it isn't magical anyway, so it isn't like you can really do anything with it that she can't.

    [] Keep it. Cora did say that you could have anything you found, and it looks interesting. Even if it isn't magical, perhaps your magic can help you research it.

    [] Write in. What do you do with the mysterious not-magical glowing glass ball?

    -------
    This is why you write things in. Even if there is only a low chance sometimes, those low chances can lead to some pretty nice stuff when they succeed. With that in mind, I decided to give you at least a fighting chance of getting something without 3 consecutive crits, even if you still would have needed a roll like that to find Ambrus' notes. As it is, you still got 2 consecutive crits and one of them was literally a natural 20. Sooo... good thing.
     
  18. Threadmarks: Part 13
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] Give the sphere to Cora; even if she said that you could keep anything you found, it’s part of her inheritance. It might even be that last part, since she’s already burning down her house. Besides, it isn't magical anyway, so it isn't like you can really do anything with it that she can't.

    ----------

    In the end you decide that you might as well give the odd glowing sphere to Cora. It isn’t magical, so she can probably do as much with it as you can. She’s burning down most of her inheritance; you might as well let her keep this last bit, since even if she did say you could have it you really don’t have any particular use for it. Who knows, it might be keyed to Ambrus Manus’ bloodline or something.

    “Hey Cora,” you call out, “I found something.”

    “Mmm?”

    You walk into the next room and show her the sphere. “It isn’t magical, but it is something. You said I could keep anything I found, but I don’t really need it. Want a last thing to remember this place by?” You hand it to her.
    [roll 1d20=2; nothing happens]
    “Huh.” Cora rotates it in her hand. “Yeah, I’ve never seen this thing before. Where did you find it?”

    “It was in a compartment in the master bedroom door. I wonder what it does. Can you see anything with your truesight?”

    Cora gets a look of concentration on her face. “It’s hard to tell. Like you said, it isn’t magical, and I really don’t recognize whatever it is. I do think it’s some sort of one-use thing though. Like… a kind of contained blessing or something? It doesn’t look malicious.” You nod for her to continue, but she shrugs her shoulders. “Maybe with a little time to get used to this… whatever it is, but right now that’s all I’m getting. I suppose-”
    [roll 1d20+5=13]
    She suddenly twitches and looks very closely at the object, bringing it right up in front of her eyepatch for a closer look. “That- Okay, something happened there. I bet if I…“

    “Uh, Cora?” you say warningly, “It might not be a good idea to mess around with the weird artifact yet.”
    [roll 1d20+10=16]
    Cora isn’t listening. Instead, she’s just staring into the orb, completely lost to the world. That can’t be a good sign. You move to knock it out of her hands, or maybe just pull it out of her line of sight, when the soft glow it holds suddenly fades out. Your hand reaches Cora’s wrist, but the faded orb simply rolls out of her limp hand. Looking at her face, you see that her uncovered eye has a sort of glazed look to it.

    “Cora!” You shake her by the shoulder. “Snap out of it! You need-“ A steady trickle of blood begins coming out of her nose, and sweat starts beading on her forehead. Fortunately, her eye clears up just a tiny bit, and she looks at you.

    “F-Faust,” she says weakly, “B-bed. C-c-cold.” She begins huddling into herself. Putting a hand to her forehead you find that she is burning up with a fever, and the blood flowing from her nose isn’t getting any slower, either. In compliance with her request, you pick her up as best you can and bring her into the master bedroom.

    It appears you aren’t going to be leaving Hearthwell today. Once she is under the covers, you move to collect the sphere. Whatever it is, even used It could be dangerous if this is what happened when it got set off. Cora is having none of it however; she grabs onto your sleeve as tightly as she can with her weakened fingers. “Please s-stay?”
    [WIL check: 1d20+6=19; success]
    You gently pry her fingers off your sleeve. Holding her hand, you tell her, “I’m sorry Cora, I’ll be right back, okay? I need to get some water for you and try to figure out what happened with that thing. And I should get something for that nosebleed of yours, too.”

    When you find the orb however, there is no sign of the odd energy you detected from it before. It is dull and lifeless, and you end up just setting it on the table while you get things together to treat Cora with. When you return to the bedroom you set the things you had gathered on the bedside table and move to clean up her nosebleed, but it just doesn’t seem to want to stop. Once again, Cora grabs your arm and looks at you pleadingly.
    [WIL check: 1s20+6=12; failure]
    With a sigh, you crawl under the covers with her. She latches on to you like a limpet as soon as you do, and you can’t find the heart to try and make her let go. Whatever it is that has her like this, it came from her interaction with the orb; you are pretty sure that it isn’t contagious.

    You chuckle, trying to make light of the situation. “Looks like we aren’t leaving Hearthwell today.” Cora just tries to pull you even closer.

    Sometime shortly after it gets dark out, Cora’s fever gradually dissipates and her nosebleed stops. She is asleep at the time, but you notice it when it her arms relax slightly and her deathgrip turns into more of a snuggle.

    ----

    The next morning, you wake up to the feeling of Cora removing the covers to get back into bed. You look over at her somewhat groggily, and then you eyes practically bug out of your head. Why? Well, firstly and less notably, there is no sign whatsoever of her fever from the day before. Secondly, neither is there any sign of her clothes; she's naked. Completely and proudly so. "I think," she begins with a grin, "that it's not appropriate for an unmarried couple to share a tent all alone on the Path. I'd say it's time we fixed that issue, don't you think?"
    [WIL check: 1d20+6=11; failure]
    You don't object.

    ----

    Some time later, you are faced with a decision. Do you stay one more day to make sure that Cora is feeling completely better, or do you get some supplies from the town and head out today? Pfft, hahaha! Yeah, "to make sure she's feeling better." As if her condition isn't rather obvious right now after that.

    [] Leave tomorrow.

    [] Leave today.

    [] Write In.


    In addition, you need to decide what you are going to do about your name. The two of you are married now; ordinarily the wife would take her husband's family name, but you happen to be missing yours. Should you instead take on the Manus surname, or should you do something else? Cora is understandably feeling rather giddy about the subject at the moment, and she cheerfully tells you that she doesn't particularly care one way or the other.

    [] Take on the Manus name from your wife.

    [] Write In. Do you have a different surname in mind?


    ----------

    So… Cora is evolving! Cora evolved to Psychic! (Seriously, go check her character profile.)

    So far you guys seem bound and determined to turn your waifu -actually your wife, now!- into a freaking juggernaut, much more than you are doing the same to yourselves. First you give her a permanent VIT boost instead of boosting your own stats, and it winds up critting. Then you let her take whatever loot she wants, without even voicing any preferences for yourselves. Now you’ve given her your one and only Get Psychic Powers Free™ card, and the rolls she got triggered it before she put the thing away. It wasn't keyed to Ambrus' bloodline, but it had an easier time going off by accident for someone who didn't have magic.

    That's okay; it's a perfectly viable way of going about the quest. It just isn't the sort of thing I would expect from Spacebattles. You have certainly managed to thoroughly cement in her romantic interest in you, that's for sure. Also yours in her, for that matter. Congratulations, you are married IC!
     
  19. Threadmarks: Part 14
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] Leave today.
    [X] Take on the Manus name from your wife.


    ---------

    You decide that leaving that day is more important than making absolutely sure that Cora isn’t going to relapse. After all, she says that she’s feeling better than she ever has, and one day’s travel could make the difference between being chased and your pursuers deciding that you are beyond their reach. With that decision made, the two of you make a trip into Hearthwell proper to buy some food supplies.

    As you finish paying him, the man you are buying from tries to convince you to buy a few other supplies. “You ain’t gettin’ any travellin’ gear? You’ll at least need a tent an’ some other basic thin’s.”

    “That’s just fine,” you reply. “Cora already has what we need in that direction. We just need the food.”

    He looks at you with a self-righteous gleam in his eye. Well, either that or it was greed. Most likely a bit of both actually. “’taint appropriate fer an unmarried young man an’ woman to share the same tent. I ca-“

    Cora interrupts him by grabbing your arm and leaning into you in a blatantly intimate manner. “If that’s all then it’s fine; we took care of it this morning.” You can practically sense her cheshire grin as she says it, despite her face being slightly outside your line of sight. You knew that Cora and the townspeople don’t really care about each other one way or the other, but you didn’t know that apathy went this far. At least where Cora's degree of caring what the townspeople thought of her was concerned.

    You leave the man there, alternately sputtering incoherently and opening and closing his mouth like a fish. Cora is sniggering, and you do have to admit it was pretty funny.

    Once you reach the house you gather up the last of your things, double and triple checking to make sure that you had everything you would want or need. Then the two of you set about dismantling the protections left on the house by Ambrus, whether by breaking furniture, forcefully ripping framed artwork off the walls, or whatever else you needed to break it up and make it nonfunctional. Once that was done it was a simple matter to set the place on fire. The two of you watch to make sure that it is burning merrily before you leave, striding down the Path as though without a care in the world.

    When you reach the main Path from the section that leads to Hearthwell you turn

    [] Left, towards Firkinhold. (Go back the way you arrived from when you got here with Jath. Firkinhold is a small castle; or at least it aspires to be.)

    [] Right, towards Glaztire. (Longer distance to travel before next settlement. Glaztire is a large town; it could possibly even be called a city, though it is nothing to those on the coast.)

    ---------
    [encounter 1d100=2: nothing]
    You spend the first day of travel without meeting any trouble. It really is freeing, going along like this, especially with Cora to talk to. She makes for excellent company, and you think that this whole marriage thing is going to be pretty good with her as your wife. That evening when you set up camp:

    [] You cast Protect Area.
    -[] Write in details. Is it over your whole camp? Just your tent? How much MP do you use for it? Do you use any anchors? Do you make whatever setup you are writing in your SOP unless otherwise specified?


    [] You don’t cast Protect Area(risk of surprise encounter during the night).

    Once all that is done, you: [Pick three. Options may be picked more than once.]

    [] Work a ritual. (Write In ritual you wish to work)

    [] Spend time with Cora…
    -[] figuring out what is different about her now that the orb has done its work, whatever that work was.
    -[] just talking, passing ideas back and forth and stuff like that. You already do a lot of that as you walk, but just spending time together is something you both enjoy.
    -[] teaching her to help with some of your rituals. Even if she doesn’t have magic of her own, it could make many of them easier if you had her help.
    -[] learning some of the basics of magical item crafting from her. Even if it’s just theory at this point, you could help her better next time she has access to a workshop if you knew more.
    -[] Write In.

    [] Researching...
    -[] what do you research?


    [] Write In.
     
  20. Threadmarks: Part 15
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] Left, towards Firkinhold. (Go back the way you arrived from when you got here with Jath. Firkinhold is a small castle; or at least it aspires to be.)
    [X] You cast Protect Area.
    -[X] 12 mana, DV 10, only around the tent.
    [X] Spend time with Cora…
    -[X] figuring out what is different about her now that the orb has done its work, whatever that work was.
    -[X] just talking, passing ideas back and forth and stuff like that. You already do a lot of that as you walk, but just spending time together is something you both enjoy.
    -[X] teaching her to help with some of your rituals. Even if she doesn’t have magic of her own, it could make many of them easier if you had her help.


    ----------

    Having turned left on the main Path, you have roughly another two and a half days of travel before you reach Firkinhold. Of course, that assumes that nothing happens to slow you down, and with only the two of you there is a fairly good chance that something will happen. Whether it slows you down significantly will depend of what it is.

    As you settle down for your first night on the road, you move to cast a protection ritual around your tent. By arranging the wooden tent stakes evenly, you are able to use them as six of the ten anchors for the spell. For the other four you use a couple pieces of iron camping gear that you aren’t going to need that night and a pair of silver Maples, then you cast the ritual.
    [2d5+7=13>12: success]
    It works quite well on your first try. A good thing too, as you went with an extremely strong barrier, deciding that you didn’t need to cast any other rituals that night. A miscast would have been a pretty large waste of mana. If that doesn’t keep you safe as you sleep though, then there is very little you would have been able to do anyway.

    Once you are settled down the two of you decide to try and figure out what is different about Cora since she used the odd orb you found in her home.

    After a few false starts and odd theories, Cora remembers something. “I just remembered… You know how the thing was infused with another energy besides magic? Grandpa used to tell me stories. You know, like anybody raising a kid tells them. In a few of his stories he mentioned a couple of kinds of people who use things that are like magic, but aren’t. He always insisted they were real too, and that he had met some before.”

    “Really? You think it might have done something to make you one of those kinds of people?”

    She nods. “Probably not the one kind… the Thaumaturges. They have a really unpredictable power. The ability to create ‘miracles,’ but not the ability to control them. From his descriptions I really doubt you could become one of those from something like this. A Psychic though… psychics are different. I remember he said they used their abilities just by imagining what they wanted, and if they imagined it clearly enough they could make it happen. In fact, Grandpa went into a lot of detail on how they used their power, and the dangers of overusing it and things. I guess it’s worth a try, right?”
    [Cora's WIL check 1d20+7=14>13: success]
    Cora picks up a pebble and lets it rest in her palm, gazing at it for several seconds, as if trying to engrave the image of it into her mind. Then, she closes her eyes and just sits there. You are starting to think that it won’t work, when suddenly you notice that the pebble is slowly levitating one, two, three inches above her hand, where it stops and hangs in midair.

    You let out a faintly impressed sound, and Cora opens her eyes. The pebble immediately starts to wobble, and then drop back into the palm of her hand as she loses concentration, but she is wearing a grin on her face nonetheless.”Hoo yes! Now this… This is going to be awesome.”

    You find yourself grinning as well. “Okay, that may not have looked terribly impressive compared to some of the things I can do with my rituals, but wow. You just… did that. No preparation, your first time trying. I’m guessing you get stronger and more used to it as you use it more?”

    Cora nods excitedly. “Yep! Some of the stories he’s told me… Psychics can use their powers to do pretty much anything. Most of the time they find a couple of things and stick with variations of those, but there is a lot of ways they… we, I suppose, can vary and evolve those techniques. Plus, there’s never any rule saying that we can’t make up new ones. It just means less time practicing the ones we already have.”

    “Yeah, I can see all sorts of ways this can go right. You said that it’s a matter of imagination, right?”

    “Specifically, of having a clear image in your head. You see…”

    The two of you go on like that for quite a while, tossing ideas back and forth and trying to figure out what Cora might want to do most with her abilities. She also practices moving the pebble around some more, and soon she gets to the point where she can do it easily without interrupting the conversation.
    Cora raised Burst by 1, gained “Telekinesis” Burst Technique.
    Telekinesis, she tells you, is one of the most basic types of Burst psi. She goes on from there to tell you about each of the three different types of psi, and what they cover. You are quite impressed; when she said that psychics could potentially do just about anything she wasn’t kidding.
    [event roll 1d100=74: event interrupt!]
    Just as you were thinking of suggesting that you start teaching Cora how to help you with some of your rituals, you hear a noise from outside the light of your fire. Cautiously and with your woodsman’s hatchet at the ready, you pick up a burning branch and move to investigate, Cora behind you. What you find is definitely something that warrants the caution.

    Namely, you find a gaunt, injured young man crawling slowly towards your camp. Well, you might be fooled into thinking he was a man If it weren’t for your truesight at least. A glance towards Cora confirms your thoughts as she mouths “vampire” to you, a grim expression on her face.

    Seeing you have found him, the young vampire looks up at you, his eyes their signature red but not glowing at all, even in the night. “P-please,” he croaks out. “Just a little blood. Just give me a little bit in a dish, and I promise I won’t hurt you. I’m alone, and I’m dying, just give me a little blood?”
    [PER check: 1d20+6=10>8: success]
    Whatever he is, he certainly isn’t faking his weak condition. Not unless he is powerful enough to suppress the glow of his eyes completely, in which case he probably doesn’t need to try and trick you. Also, not unless he cares to fake a wound like that one. He really is nearing re-death, to the point where you doubt he will be able to survive until the sun comes out the next morning, and even if he did it would dust him as he is. Unless you give him some of your blood of course.

    Again, you trade glances with Cora. If you just leave him there instead of killing him or giving him blood, he might go into a blood frenzy and regain some strength just before he dies. Your warding of your tent will keep him out though.

    [] Kill him. He’s a Fell, and you can’t trust him to keep his word. You have hatchets equipped with silver-tipped handles to make them the perfect staking tools, and vampire dust could make a good reagent to enhance yourself with.

    [] Give him a little blood. Even Fell can be decent people. It’s bloody rare, pun intended, but it happens.
    -[] Do you have a ritual that might be useful in this situation? (Try to use new ritual “Geass Contract” to ensure his honesty, refusing to give him blood if he does not consent.) [specify reagents used][you may write in contract wording if you wish]
    --[] Give him a couple drops of blood first to make sure he doesn’t die from the strain with how weak he is.
    --[] Don’t give him any blood first. If he dies, he dies, and you aren’t going to risk it. You’ll still wind up with a nice reagent if he does… bite the dust.


    [] Go inside your safely warded tent until morning and let him die on his own. No guilty conscience for you(probably), and no risk either. You might not be able to find his dust in the morning to use as a reagent though.

    [] Write In.

    --------
    So, how are you going to handle this situation I wonder? I'm surprised you rolled it this early, but meh. The dice don't lie, and I've made them too integral already to just drop them now.
    Speaking of which, with your record for ritual successes you are currently headed towards a nice trait if you keep it up.

    Geass Contract (binding):
    Difficulty: 15
    Known Reagents: ground bone, Elysia sap/branch/bark, oakenstrangle
    Effect: Binds all parties of an agreement to follow it to the letter. If any party attempts to go against it they will find themselves unable to do so. Requires the consent of all parties, or the difficulty and mana cost rises very sharply based on the non-consensual party while also forcing a WIL check.
     
  21. Threadmarks: Log Entry: Vampire
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    You find yourself knowing quite a bit about vampires yourself, just so you know. Since you succeeded the PER check, all the information you need is right there. There really isn't a way of telling for sure how long he has been a vampire, and it really shouldn't matter personality-wise. A vampire's mind doesn't get more vampire-like the longer it has been since they were human; once they are turned, they are turned. Time passing just makes it more likely that they have drunk more blood, and are thus more powerful.

    As for a description of what he looks like: well, it's dark out at the moment and in the chapter I already gave you about as much information on that as you are going to see by the light of your makeshift torch.

    I suppose I can give you a log entry on vampires though, to make sure that you know the same stuff OOC as you do IC. Be aware that I'm not writing everything about vampires here, because that would take way too much time and space. This has a lot of the important bits though.

    Log Entry: Vampire
    Vampires are some of the most powerful Fell that can be found in most places. However, their individual strength varies widely. They are considered part of the Undead subcategory of Fell. There are a number of rumors and myths about how to repel, harm or kill a vampire, but many of them are restricted to only weaker vampires or those of a specific lineage.

    A vampire is dependent on the blood of other creatures to sustain themselves. Animals and other nonsapients can be used to stave off the hunger to a limited degree, but eventually the blood of a sapient is required and most vampires don't bother unless they have to. A sapient creature that has had their blood drunk directly from the vein will invariably turn into another vampire unless precautions are taken. If they have not been drunk to the point that they would die from blood loss, these precautions can be a light as keeping an object made of silver in physical contact as much as possible. If they die too soon afterwards from the blood loss or some other cause, their corpse must be defaced in a manner that would kill a turned vampire. Often a vampire will do this themselves to prevent the rise of competition, despite the fact that "child" vampires are particularly vulnerable to mental influence from their "parent" for some time after being turned.

    Upon turning, a vampire retains their old personality, with a few specific differences: they also lose nearly all empathy for other living and unliving things and gain a number of predatory instincts. This may result in a very drastic changes that can lead people to think they are an entirely different person. In certain cases where the vampire both finished turning without entirely dying first and had a very strong will beforehand they may retain a significant amount of their empathy. This is very rare however, not only because of the willpower required but also because of the relative rarity of such a turning.

    Vampires have at least the potential for a number of different abilities. All vampires are mages, and many are also magicians. Vampires can regenerate damage, but contact with silver will slow or even stop this regeneration, depending on the vampire and the amount of silver. Similarly, wounds dealt with silver weaponry is more difficult to heal in the first place. Most vampires also learn to use the same mechanism to mould their flesh into various shapes, disguises, and natural weapons. Many other such abilities have been seen, but they are too numerous to mention here.

    A vampire is weakened by sunlight, and if they are weak it can burn them. If they are near death, exposure to sunlight may finish them off. Besides this, they may be killed by means of a stake driven through their heart. Unless it is tipped with silver however, many vampires are capable of shifting their damaged heart out of the way before it kills them or repairing the damage if it is not left in the wound long enough. They still remain immobilized and seemingly dead until it is removed regardless, so it is best to wait until they turn to dust rather than removing it at all. Other means of killing vampires are effective as well to varying degrees, but very few are as effective as staking. Light magic weakens and harms them as it does all undead, as it causes a more concentrated version of the effect that sunlight has on them. This also applies to some religious symbols and the Decagram, if applied correctly to the purpose.

    All means of killing a vampire, including staking, may be worked around or even nullified in the case of extremely strong vampires. In this case it is necessary to damage them enough, preferably using light magic or silver, that they are weakened sufficiently for a means of killing them to work. Such vampires are so rare as to remain legends for centuries or more after their demise.

    A weaker or weakened vampire that does not drink for long enough may die of starvation. As they get closer to this point the craving for blood increases gradually until they go into a frenzy with the remains of their energy, trying to find and drink the blood they need to survive. If they do not get it before the frenzy ends, they die. The body of a dead vampire turns to dust.

    End Log Entry

    I think I covered everything immediately relevant there and a whole bunch more. Was it helpful? The Decagram mentioned is spoilered below.
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Threadmarks: Part 16
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    I'm not horribly satisfied with how this turned out. I had a picture in my head, and I feel like I failed to write it properly. Oh well, I guess I can't be perfect.

    [X] Give him a little blood. Even Fell can be decent people. It’s bloody rare, pun intended, but it happens.
    -[X] Do you have a ritual that might be useful in this situation? (Try to use new ritual “Geass Contract” to ensure his honesty, refusing to give him blood if he does not consent.) [Any two?][you may write in contract wording if you wish]
    --[X] Give him a couple drops of blood first to make sure he doesn’t die from the strain with how weak he is.


    -----------

    You and Cora consult quietly for a few moments before deciding on a plan. You know a ritual that can ensure the vampire keeps his word, so long as you can convince him to agree to it. You approach him where he lies once the two of you finish making your decision and you have readied your reagents.

    “We are willing to give you a little blood,” you tell him, “under one condition. You must accept a geas under these terms: You will not intentionally harm us within ten days of making the geas or until you have gone more than five leagues from either of us, whichever comes second. You will not attempt to cause our harm within that time. You will not intentionally lead or mislead us to our harm within that time. You will not lead others to harm us within that time. You will not prepare to harm us in that time, or use any knowledge gained within that time to do any of the things I have just listed at any time in the future. You will not harm or take our possessions in that time. In exchange, we will give you” you raise a cup from your supplies “enough blood to fill this cup once, between the two of us within five minutes of casting the geas. Is this acceptable?”

    He nods as best he can, and you continue. “Very well. I will start by giving you two drops of my own blood so that you are strong enough to survive the geas.” Taking out your dagger, you attempt to prick your finger just enough that you can squeeze out a couple drops of blood.
    [1d20+4DEX=13>10: success]
    Fortunately, you don’t wind up fumbling and cutting yourself deeper than you intended. You squeeze out two drops onto a leaf, and place the leaf into his mouth. Too much caution is impossible to have in this situation. He almost immediately begins to look just a little more lively; he must have been literally minutes away from death, and you find yourself impressed that he hadn’t gone into a blood frenzy already.

    You begin the ritual, reaffirming the specific oath that you mean to establish, with Cora and the vampire repeating after you word for word. You had assigned Cora to pay special attention to make sure that the vampire isn’t trying to slip in extra words to make any exceptions, but he keeps himself honest. As the three of you speak, you are performing the necessary aspects of the Geas ritual. Not willing to risk failure for this particular ritual, you use one each of your vials of Elysia sap and ground bone as your reagents.
    [7INT+6(reagent 1 bonus)+2(reagent 2 bonus)=15: automatic success]
    You feel the geas take hold, and the compulsion to fulfill your end of the bargain pricks in the back of your mind. Accordingly, you and Cora together bleed yourselves into the cup until it is full, before passing it to the vampire. He is still too weak to hold it himself for the first second or so, and you have to give him the first couple of sips before he takes it from you.
    [1d10=9]
    When he is finished, he hands to cup back to you with a smile and sits himself down as comfortably as he can. He looks decidedly healthier than the gaunt mess of a person he was when you found him. Also, now that you feel safe noticing what he is wearing, you find that it is rather unusual. It certainly matches nothing you have seen before. Well, as far as you know anyway; missing your entire life’s memories up until about a week and a half ago isn’t really conductive to knowing that sort of thing for sure.
    [​IMG]
    “Thanks for the save,” he says. “I owe you two a bunch. Is there anything I can do to return some of the favor?”
    [1d20+6PER=17>10: success]
    Well, most vampires would have just up and left since your geas so thoroughly kept him from screwing you over. It seems that your decision to help him may have been the right one, though it is impossible to know for sure still at this point. He does seem genuinely interested in doing you a favor, at least if it doesn’t take him too much trouble.

    You gained 75 xp(110/100)! Cora gained 70 xp(115/100)!
    Level 2 reached!

    You could ask for a reagent, especially since you used a fairly good one to ensure the success of your geas. Maybe one of his fangs? It isn’t like he can’t grow it back, being a vampire and all. Then again, there might be something else he could do for you…

    [] Ask for a reagent.
    -[] One of his fangs.
    -[] Other (write in).


    [] Ask for a favor.
    -[] write in favor.


    [] Ask for something else
    -[] write in.

    [] Ask that he give you a rain-check on that. Runs the risk of him feeling less inclined to do you a favor when you do ask for it, or of him not being on hand for it at all.


    [] Nah, you don’t need anything from him. You just want him off your lawngone. You're effectively on your honeymoon here, dammit!

    -------

    You have levelled up! Choose 2 stats to raise(special stats not included); you may choose the same stat twice if you wish. Also choose one of the following:

    [] Truesight Rank 2

    [] Ritual die modifier rank up

    [] Gain a random new positive trait

    ----------

    So, if you had chosen to kill the guy you would have gotten significantly less xp here. After all, it wouldn’t have been much of a fight. If you had rolled a 5 or lower on the d10 right after you gave him blood, he would have just thanked you and walked away or just walked away, depending on how much lower you rolled. He also might have tried to track you down and take the rest of your blood straight from the vein at a later date if he could. As it is the dice matched with what I had the most plans for, and you instead have reached your first level up and earned a favor/potentially better reagent than the vampire dust would have been.
     
  23. Threadmarks: Part 17
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    Well, I really struggled with figuring out how to get the conversation moving like you wanted here, so that's why it took me so long to update. It's great seeing so many voters though, and I'd love to see it again.

    [X] Get to know him better. His name, where he comes from, what his goals are. Be amicable, and let's see if we can't make a new friend!
    [X] Gain a random new positive trait
    [X] MIND
    [X] VIT


    ----------

    Your Level Up:
    Gained the trait: Shielded Mind(rank 1) – You are especially resistant to Trance-type psychic attacks and other attempts to attack or invade your mind or override your will. Automatic bonus to most defensive WIL checks and against all attacks on your mind.
    Raised MND! [1d2=2] MND raised by 2!
    Raised VIT! [1d2=1] VIT raised by 1!

    Cora’s Level Up:
    Raised each Psychic skill category by 1! (+3 total skill)
    Raised MNDx2! [2d2=3] MND raised by 3!

    ----------

    “Maybe later,” you tell the vampire. “First, I’m a little curious how you ended up like that. Or is that private?” Then you decide to go out on a limb a little bit. “Ah, sorry, I’m Faust Manus and this is my wife, Cora.”

    He half-suppresses a laugh. “No, I don’t mind, and it’s genuinely nice to meet you. I’m Yuu. Not you, but me as in my name is Yuu. How I got the way I was just now is a little bit of a long story. See, I got turned while I was hunting a vampire that was hiding out in my hometown. The guy bit me and had me down, so instead of letting him drink me dry I decided to bite him back. Did you know that drinking the blood of a vampire while you are already being turned speeds the process up and gives you a stronger baseline? I didn’t, but before long I was the one doing the holding and drinking more than he was. That plus the benefits we get from drinking the blood of our sire made me decently powerful right off the bat. Ah, no pun intended, but I suppose it works…” he trails off muttering something about “remember that one for next time,” before shaking his head and getting back to his story.

    “Anyway, partly because of my origins I tend to fight other Fell all the time. Some of them have heard about that, and they’ll sometimes attack me right off as if I was a human. There were a few of them that tried to ambush me a few days ago, and between them they nearly got me. I’ve just been getting weaker since then, since I wasn’t able to drink any of their blood after the battle like I try to do normally and hunting animals wasn’t doing enough.” He cocks his head to the side. “You said your name was Manus. Any relation to Ambrus Manus?”

    Cora perks up at that. “Have you seen him? My grandfather disappeared a few years ago.”

    Yuu shakes his head. “Nah, but I’ve heard of him. Guy is supposed to be some kind of arch-wizard or something that disappeared a decade and a half ago, but I heard that he’d been seen wandering around again about a year back. They said that he’s blind for some reason now.” He shrugs. “I don’t really know much of anything beyond that, sorry. I don’t keep track of that kind of thing; you’d have to ask someone who follows those sorts of circles a little more closely.”

    Cora thanks him anyway, and the three of you get to talking a bit more. Just based on the way he talks and interacts with you, you can tell that Yuu is definitely one of the rare vampires that are worth getting to know. He acts more like a human than a vampire in fact, and his story is probably true. He apparently comes from a city-sized settlement called Stoneroad that is a long ways away from here. He doesn’t really have any particular major goals at the moment, but he likes archaeology.

    Eventually however, you feel that it is time to wrap things up for the night. Yuu says he isn’t heading along the Path in particular at the moment, but he says that he’ll keep an ear out for any more news of Ambrus and asks again if there’s anything he can do for you before he leaves.

    [] Well, you were thinking of asking for a reagent earlier, why not go with that?
    -[] One of his fangs
    -[] something else (write in)


    [] Well, you could use a favor…
    -[] write in favor.


    [] Can you have a rain check on that for if you ever run into him again?

    [] Write in.

    --------

    Due to the choice you picked, you don't have time this night to start teaching Cora how to help with your rituals. Still, Yuu will be a good ally to have if you run into him again later. He's likely to help you out even if you don't have him still in your debt.

    As far as Yuu's name goes, I was struggling to figure out what would be a good thing to name him. Eventually I just gave up and named him after the character who's picture I used for him.
     
  24. Threadmarks: Part 18
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    So, yeah. You aren't getting Yuu into your party. Not at this meeting at least, and even if the write-in suggesting it had won he would have said no. Using your favor for that would not have worked, because that isn't a favor it is a commitment, and he would have had trouble going into settlements with you, and that is only two reasons.

    [X] Can you have a rain check on that for if you ever run into him again?

    ------------

    “I don’t have anything in particular right now,” you tell him. “Maybe we can just say that you owe us one if we ever meet up again?” You glance at Cora.

    “Yeah, I’m really drawing a blank here,” she agrees. “Next time, maybe.”

    Yuu shrugs. “Well, if you insist. I’ll remember it if we ever see each other again.” He stands up and leaves with a last “g’bye, and thanks again then,” and soon he is hidden by the trees and the night.

    After that you just take a few minutes to douse the fire and such before you retire with Cora to your tent.

    ----

    [Event/Encounter Roll=56]
    The next day’s travel is interrupted around midafternoon by a faint sound of giggling from the left side of the Path. You tense and cast your eyes in that direction in hopes of seeing what it is, but your caution proves unnecessary.

    A group of four two-inch tall sprites come flying out of the underbrush, still giggling as they come towards you. Two of them give off an impression of greenness, one of a pinkish-red, and the fourth one seems to be more a mix of blue and golden yellow. When you look at them directly you only see their clothes as belonging to those themes, though you could swear that they have a glowing aura of some kind whenever you aren’t. You hear a sigh from Cora and she puts her hand on your shoulder in a signal to relax, shaking her head with a somewhat rueful smile.

    “Miss Cora! Miss Cora! You left without saying goodbye! Why are you leaving, Miss Cora? We were worried! Why do you feel different? Mama said you were gone and bad people came and you beat them up and had to run away and you aren’t a Miss anymore and what does that even mean, Miss Cora?!” The rush of words stops suddenly as they stare at Cora in clear expectation. Whatever these sprites are, they certainly aren’t hostile.

    Cora laughs lightly and leads you to the side of the path, where she sits down. “I’m sorry Beechi, Sprig, Neeti, Sheesi,” she said, nodding to each of them in turn. “When your mother said that I had to run away from the bad men she was right. Faust and I,” she motions to you as she says your name, “beat up the bad men who were there at the time, but they told other bad men where I was before that, so I had to leave right away. I’m sorry I didn’t have time to come say goodbye, but you know how hard you can be to find sometimes.”

    Sprig, the one of the two green sprites and the only male of the four, snatched out the spriteblade thorn hanging at his waist and waved it in the air angrily. “How dare they attack you, Miss Cora! Next time I’ll stabby stab stab them in the eye until they’re dead for that!”

    Sheesi, the blue and gold one who looked a little older than the others, grabbed it out of his hand and bopped him lightly on the head with it. “No you won’t, Sprig. Remember what Mother said, you’re too young to leave home that far. Other sprites might let their kids go wandering halfway across the Faewood, but Mother wants us to keep safe.”

    “But it isn’t faaaiir,” he complains. “Mama said you could go, why can’t we?!” Beechi and Neeti nod vigorously in agreement with him, but Cora interjects on Sheesi’s side of the argument then before they can build too much momentum.

    “Your mother Meekisa is a very wise woman. If she said that Sheesi could leave home it was because she thought Sheesi would be able to do so safely. Sheesi is older than you are and she always payed attention to your mother’s lessons, so your mother trusts her to be able to take care of herself. Listen to your older sister and go home to Meekisa after this, okay? I don’t want to come back someday and find her sad because you got hurt or just never came home.”

    “Okaaay,” they chorus dejectedly. “We’ll go home and try to pay closer attention to Mama’s lessons.”

    Sheesi smiles and ruffles their hair. “Of course you will. Mother didn’t get as old as she is without learning things and being smart. She wants us to learn from her when it’s just boring, instead of trying and only maybe learning the hard and dangerous way before it’s too late, like most sprites have to. Beechi, you had a question that you wanted to ask Cora, do you remember what it was?”

    Beechi, the green female, thinks hard for a moment, then shakes her head. “No, I’m sorry Sheesi, can you remember for me?”

    “You’ll have to start remembering on your own now, if Cora lets me come along.” She turns to Cora and yourself. “Beechi wants to know what mother meant when she said you weren’t a Miss anymore.”

    “Ah.” Cora addresses Beechi as she explains. “I’m not a Miss anymore because I’m a Missus. I got married to Faust here just yesterday morning.”

    "Oooh, does that mean that you'll be a mama soon too?! Mama said that she only has us because she had Papa, and the reason we don't have any other siblings is because he's gone now."

    Cora blushes even as Sheesi winces just a tad from the mention of their father. You get the idea that when their mother told them their father was 'gone' she actually meant 'dead.' "Well, maybe not yet," Cora, still blushing, tells Neeti, who had spoken up. "I would like to at some point though."

    Do you respond to this?

    [] Yes (write in)
    -[] Kiss your beautiful wife.
    [] No


    The four tiny Fae fly to you, and the three younger ones start looking you over as Sheese greets you politely, encouraging the other three to do the same with her hands. This effort on her part gets you a trio of “Hi Mister Faust”s with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Sheesi is smiling at you, so you figure you probably have her approval at least, though the other three seem to be unsure what to think of you yet.

    [How do you respond?]

    [] A simple hello will do.

    [] Greet them by their names, and introduce yourself by yours.

    [] Write In.

    [​IMG]

    -------------

    Well, one of you guys must be making regular sacrifices to Arrenji, god of chance, because that is the only way to explain your luck with the dice in this quest. You even managed to roll for the sprites to catch up to you here, on the second to last chance before they would have had to turn back. Anyway, I just recently realized that I hadn’t mentioned a couple of things or put them in the quest's rules section, but I guess better late than never, right?

    The first thing I haven’t explicitly mentioned is that writing stunts and adding them to a vote option is encouraged and may net you some nice bonuses if I think it is logical for them to do so. People have done so and won the vote only once or twice so far, and each time it has led to good things. Not that it always will, but putting in those details can be very helpful both to me and to yourselves, particularly in votes like both of this chapter's ones.

    The second thing is that Omakes are rewarded here, as they are in some other quests that I have seen. Exactly how I reward an omake will vary, but I will generally give the writer a choice of some kind. Even though I don’t have any actual omake yet I have already given you guys the “Hasten Ritual” skill just for suggesting it one time.
     
  25. Threadmarks: Part 19
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] Yes (GM’s interpretation of the overall gist of a bunch of tied but similar stunts)
    -[X] Kiss your beautiful wife.
    [X] Greet them by their names, and introduce yourself by yours.


    ------------

    You wrap your arm around the shoulders of your beautiful wife, and lean over to give her a kiss on the cheek. She snuggles into you and her smile becomes positively radiant. “I would like that,” you say. “Maybe someday we can even find a nice, peaceful place to settle down quietly to raise them in…” As you trail off, Cora turns her head and kisses you back.

    -----

    “I’m pleased to meet you Beechi, Neeti, Sprig, Sheesi.” Taking your cue from Cora’s greeting, you nod to each of them as you say their name. “As you heard, my name is Faust Manus. I took up Cora’s family name when I married her.”

    “You’ll keep Missus Cora safe, or we’ll hurt you bad.” The three younger sprites screw up their faces into an attempt at a set of threatening scowls. At their size and age though, it mostly just looks kind of cute.

    “Of course!” You tell them, and they nod in apparent satisfaction. Sprig flies over and begins poking your beard, making vaguely inquisitive noises while Neeti settles in your hair. Beechi lands on the ground in front of you and pulls out what appears to be a tiny sack lunch from… somewhere.

    “Well,” says Sheesi with her hands on her hips, “you must be some guy to win Cora’s heart.” Her smile grows into a mischievous grin. “So quickly too! What happened Cora? I thought you were going to never get married?”

    Cora embarrassedly bats her hand in Sheesi’s direction, causing a puff of air that blows her a half inch from her position in a gale of laughter. “I was thirteen! How do you even remember that?!” Sheesi just snickers and flies around Cora’s head a couple of times before joining Beechi on the ground.

    “Hey Missus Cora?” Sprig seems to have lost interest in the novelty provided by your facial hair. “Why do you feel different? I mean, you still feel like you, but…”

    Sheesi answers part of his question for Cora. “Part of that is because she’s married now. Though… I have to admit I’m a little curious myself Cora. Just losing your… well, that accounts for some of it, but there’s something else there too.”

    “Faust found something that Grandpa left behind.” Cora explains. “It made me a psychic. Remember when I told you about psychics?”

    THAT catches the wide-eyed attention of all four sprites at once. Neeti lets out a quiet “whoooaaagh.”

    “Okay,” says Sheesi, “That is just plain awesome. I REALLY want to come with you guys even MORE now.” She starts getting excited at her own mention of the topic, and you can suddenly see that even if she’s significantly more mature than her siblings, Sheesi is still definitely their sister. “Speaking of which, Mother said that I was old enough and I could if you were okay with it! Please, please, pleasecanIcomewithyou?!” Those puppy eyes could purify a Fell. Instead of replying, Cora turns her own puppy eyes on you. It is clear that she wants to say yes, but is ostensibly leaving the decision up to you. Seeing this, Sheesi switches targets as well.

    [] Yes.

    [] No. Well… maybe… (WIL check)

    [] Absolutely not. (WIL check)

    [] Write In. (WIL check?)

    Also, do you want to say/do anything with the other three sprites before they go home?

    [] Yes.
    -[] Write in.

    [] No, just summarize the rest of the meeting and move on with the story.


    ------------

    In case you are wondering what happened to that trait I said you were close to getting, right now you just need to succeed in two more rituals. If you fail one before then though, it is lost forever, because if you get it it will be as a result of not failing a single ritual in the entire quest up to that point.
     
  26. Threadmarks: Part 20: A Spritely New Companion
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    This chapter took me longer to write than I expected, and it was compounded by the fact that I was writing up Sheesi’s character sheet at the same time. Still, here it is, even if it feels a bit truncated near the end.

    [X] Yes.
    [X] Yes.
    -[X] Check that Sheesi has everything she'll need and is prepared for the hazards of the Faewood.
    -[X] Make sure that Beechi, Neeti, and Sprig are actually planning on going back to Meekisa instead of, for example, trying to hang around and follow you.


    -----------

    You roll your eyes fondly at the begging eyes of your wife and her friend. “Yes, of course you can come with us Sheesi,” you say without even hesitating, a little laughter creeping into your voice. “No need to give me that look. You brought everything you need, right?”

    “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Sheesi dances a little jig in midair for a minute before she replies, but when she does it is by bringing out her stock of little supplies and equipment. Just like Beechi and her sack lunch, Sheesi seems to somehow be able to carry her things without actually bothering to carry them, or something along those lines. You don’t see any kind of pack or bag, but she has spare changes of clothes, enough tiny munchables to feed her for over a week, and all sorts of other things, including some you hadn’t even thought of yourself.

    As she brings them out she makes various comments on the usefulness or uselessness of various things. Some make sense, like the one about how sprites don’t really need much in the way of outdoor camping gear, while others are just confusing. Most of the latter sort, such as “never go anywhere without your towel,” are apparently bits of unusual advice from her mother Meekisa. Either that or in-jokes of some kind, but Sheesi doesn’t seem overly willing to bet on her own guesses as to which are which, freely admitting that her mother can be kind of strange at times. Cora voices her own agreement to this.

    One thing catches your eye as she sets it slightly apart from the rest. At first glance it looks like a particularly large and blunt spriteblade thorn. However, a closer look reveals that the handle is actually a proper hilt with a guard, and the thickness and bluntness is due to the fact that it has an actual scabbard. “Is that a sword?”

    Sheesi nods, not turning from where she is stowing the rest of her gear again. “Mmhm. Mother made it for me, for if you let me come with. It was just an extra-long thorn, but she used some magic on it that made it turn to metal and stuff.” She finishes putting everything away and fastens the scabbard to her belt, turning to Cora with a “Tada!”

    Cora looks her over with mock seriousness. “You look like a proper little adventurer, Sheesi.”

    Sheesi shrugs. “Eh, I can live with being little. Mother says I’m probably gonna become a pixie like her eventually, and then I can be big sometimes if I feel like it.” She flies up to your hair, where Neeti has seemingly fallen asleep. “Time to wake up, Neeti. You three need to go home to mother now so Missus Cora, Mr. Faust and I can move on.”

    “D’wanna,” Neeti yawns, Beechi and Sprig adding in their groans of disappointment.

    “You don’t want mother to worry, do you?” Reluctantly, the more wakeful two shake their heads, while Neeti flies off your head, rubbing her eyes.

    “Mr. Faust?” Sprig asks, tugging on your sleeve. “Before we have to go, why do you have hair on your face?”

    You give him a smile. “It’s called a beard. A lot of men grow them when they get older.”

    “Oh. Can I have one when I grow up?”

    You look over at Sheesi uncertainly. You haven’t ever heard of a Fae with a beard before, but you aren’t exactly an expert on the subject any more than any other human is. Catching your look, she answers him for you. “Probably not unless you try to, Sprig. Then, well, maybe? You should ask Mother about it when you get home.” She addresses all three of her siblings. “Remember to go straight home. Don’t try to sneak after us; remember that you could never hide from me for very long when we played hide and seek.”

    As the three of you turn one way down the Path and the three younger sprites start flying the other way, there are a multitude of goodbyes called back and forth both ways. It gives you a warm feeling in your chest that there are almost as many cries of “G’bye Mister Faust!” as there are of Cora’s or Sheesi’s names. Even from just that short time meeting with them, you can confidently say that you came to like the three. It makes you look forward to the time when you will have kids of your own someday, and you promise to yourself that you will try to visit them if you ever come near Hearthwell again.

    That evening, you make camp once again. When setting up, you:

    [] Follow the same warding arrangement you made the previous night, except with a specific exception built in for Sheesi.
    -[] In the future, assume this arrangement each night on the Path unless otherwise specified via write in.


    [] Do something else.
    -[] Write In.


    You decide to use the evening to: [Pick three. Options may be picked more than once]

    [] Work rituals.
    -[]Write In what rituals you wish to work. Up to 2 rituals/timeslot.

    [] Spend time with Cora and/or Sheesi…
    -[] just talking. You already do a lot of that as you walk, but spending time together is something you all enjoy.
    --[] Talk about something specific. (Write In topic.)
    -[] teaching Cora to help with some of your rituals. Even if she doesn’t have magic of her own, it could make many of them easier if you had her help.
    -[] learning some of the basics of magical item crafting from Cora. Even if it’s just theory at this point, you could help her better next time she has access to a workshop if you knew more.
    -[] Write In.

    [] Researching...
    -[] Mysterious reagent (??? in reagents list).
    -[] Additional properties of Elysia reagents.
    -[] Cora's eyepatch.
    -[] General Ritualist research(raises Ritual Skill die modifier faster than just doing rituals does).
    -[] Write In.


    [] Something else.
    -[] Write In.


    ------------

    In the end, Sheesi mostly took care of the second part of the write-in for you. You have one more day of travel before reaching Firkinhold, meaning that tomorrow night(IC) you will be there, bar unforeseen circumstances. FYI, I'm not currently planning any "unforeseen" circumstances in that time.

    In case you haven’t noticed, and relevant to that, I’ve been trying in the last few updates to move away from how I had been using the dice for every little thing. That’s going to continue moving on into the future, including for things like encounters. Dice will still be used for things like rituals and for certain parts of combat, but a lot more of it is going to be based on me just going with what I think feels natural, based on your stats and personality.
     
  27. Threadmarks: Part 21: I Thought Teaching Was Harder Than This?
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    AN: I didn't realize until I started writing this and looked back at how I did it last time that setting up the wards you used the previous night held a chance of failure(you chose to go with difficulty/mana cost of 12 then). True, you would have to get the absolute worst possible roll, but the chance was there to lose out on getting that trait since I wasn't going to break consistency. Fortunately, you didn't fail the roll.

    [X] Follow the same warding arrangement you made the previous night, except with a specific exception built in for Sheesi and an added oakenstrangle trap.
    -[X] In the future, assume this arrangement with the oakenstrangle trap each night on the Path unless otherwise specified via write in.

    [X] Spend time with Cora and/or Sheesi…
    -[X] teaching Cora to help with some of your rituals. Even if she doesn’t have magic of her own, it could make many of them easier if you had her help.
    --[X] Might as well let Sheesi get in on the fun. It'll be educational for everyone.
    [X] Researching...
    -[X] Mysterious reagent (??? in reagents list).
    --[X] Maybe sprite senses can help.
    -[X] Additional properties of Elysia reagents.

    -----------

    As you set up camp, you make sure to tune your wards specifically to allow Sheesi in. It makes things a little bit more difficult, but you decide to let the quality of the ward suffer for it rather than risking failure.
    [2d5+9=13>12: success]
    To make up for the loss a little, you plan to set up an oakenstrangle trap outside when you go to bed. It might not be much, but at least the sound of something struggling free should serve to wake you up.

    Once that is done you find yourself sitting together around the fire. Sheesi seems rather entranced by the coals. “Hey Cora.” She makes an “Mm?” sound, and you continue. “How would you like to learn how to help me with my rituals?”

    “Wait, you mean I don’t need magic for that?”

    “Not to help,” you reply. “I mean, yeah it would be useful and all and make your help more effective, and then I could keep teaching you until you could start doing them on your own, but just having another person to help keep track of things can make it easier. If you know enough not to mess it up, at least. I don’t expect that you’ll be able to contribute after just an hour or so of teaching, but if I keep giving you lessons…”

    “Huh.” Cora looks thoughtful. “Okay sure, why not?”

    Sheesi flies over from where she was watching the fire burn. “How about me? Think I could learn?”

    You hesitate a moment before nodding slowly. “I suppose. I don’t know how an actual ritual would react to your being a Fae and everything, but I don’t see how knowing some of the theory would hurt, and it might let us find out. Let’s see here….

    A ritual is different from other kinds of magic. A mage builds spells inside them and then lets them loose to do what they are supposed to. Their spells can be complicated, but most of the time they’ll just throw magical energy, what we call mana, in a direction with the order to ‘burn,’ and cast a fireball, or something like that. A totemist channels mana through artifacts or objects with spells built in, letting them build the structure for their spell instead. They are sort of a middle ground, since they can learn to make their own totems sometimes and they can observe, affect or use enchantments and other magical natures that are already there.

    A ritual, however, uses a much different method for getting things done. With a ritual, you are basically messing around with the fundamental natures of things; adding to them, taking bits away from them, or just moving bits of them around or outright changing them. You use mana as you tool to do this, and sometimes you put in some as a sort of reservoir if the effect you want needs fuel to work. Most of the time you can get around that if you do it right, and just make it so that the effect sort of just IS, but that tends to be pretty advanced, so we’ll leave talking about it for another….”

    [Cora: (5/25) Ritual Assistance Rank 1]
    [Sheesi: (5/33) Ritual Assistance Rank 1]

    You wind up teaching them for almost an entire hour before you call the lesson done for the night, deciding that you want to try and learn more about some of your reagents. You still haven’t looked at that one you didn’t recognize from when you first woke up without your memories, and you are a little curious about whether the elysia tree reagents have any additional properties beyond the obvious.
    [1d12=5(??? reagent)]
    Your own truesight is not entirely up to the task of researching the more mysterious of the two, and your efforts to get a reading of it the totemist way are less than successful, but you decide to enlist the help of Sheesi and her Fae senses. She tells you that she can’t tell exactly what it is either, but it seems to be some kind of very fluid sap. She does say that whatever it comes from, it is much, much more powerful and significant than the elysia sap you have; of course, even you could tell that much. Perhaps, you think, it would be best to try and develop a ritual that can let you take a closer look at this sort of thing before picking it up again.
    [1d12=9(elysia reagents)]
    You have a bit more success studying the parts of the elysia tree that you had taken. From what you can tell, they weaken the border between that which is and that which ideally should be. What exactly you might use that for you aren’t sure, but it could make for one heck of an effect. Not only that, but you can tell there is still more to it that you aren’t getting.

    Eventually you call it quits for the night though, and find that there is one thing you failed to account for when you planned your security measures.

    “Yeah, your vine trap is good and all, but I’d rather not have to worry about it trying to catch me if I have to join you two in the tent because it rained or something.” Sheesi deadpans.

    You blink. “Come again?”

    “Hey, I’m not going in there while you two are… making like the married couple you are. I’m a sprite, I can be perfectly comfortable sleeping outside and giving you your privacy, but if danger comes I DO want to be able to duck into safety without worrying about being trapped outside where I’m easy pickings instead.”

    That… is a very good point.

    [] You can still set your oakenstrangle trap if you…
    -[] Write In.


    [] Okay, forget the oakenstrangle trap then. Even if they’re a little weaker than last night, your wards are still pretty strong.

    [] Maybe you need to forget about… marital activities that night then, until you can figure out a workaround.
    -[] Write In(how do you convince Cora?).


    The next morning, you:

    [] Set out immediately.

    [] Do something first: (write in).

    And as you walk on the Path, you:

    [] Continue teaching your companions the basics of ritualism.

    [] Let the conversation go where it will.

    [] Other: (Write In.)

    -------------

    AN: So, I would have just had the votes for the next day, but the oakenstrangle trap presented a problem that I didn’t know how to solve: Sheesi isn’t going to stay in the tent while Faust and Cora are… doing their marital duties, nor is she going to expect them to hold off on her account when they are a newlywed couple and she is perfectly capable of sleeping comfortably outside. What, did you think it wasn’t happening behind the scenes? I used the words “you and Cora retired to your tent” rather than “You and Cora went to bed” at the end of the previous night for a reason.

    The "Do something first" option for the morning will result in getting to Firkinhold later than you otherwise would have, should you pick it.
     
  28. Threadmarks: Part 22: I Have a Bad Feeling About This...
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    Most of that depends on how creative you are and if you actually start to go down that route. I will probably write up some rituals and add them to the list based on your post when I have a bit more time and haven't just finished writing up the next chapter.

    The last question about the nuke... the answer is yes. That would be about a 6 or 7 or more tiers higher variant of your current Small Bomb enchantment, but it is possible at least in theory. It would probably be a multi- or omni-elemental effect, and would be named Brahmastra. It wouldn't quite be what I called the DaMSoN(Daily Magical Soul Nuke) from Ryuugi's fic, TGWP, because it wouldn't be daily and I would use my own adaptation instead of his, but you still potentially have "Magical Soul Nukes FTW!" in your FAAAAR distant future. In theory.


    [X] Okay, forget the oakenstrangle trap then. Even if they’re a little weaker than last night, your wards are still pretty strong.
    [X] Set out immediately.
    [X] Continue teaching your companions the basics of ritualism.


    -----------

    You let your shoulders slump a little. “Okay, fine. No vine trap then. It would have been a pain to deal with in the morning anyway.”

    “Good.” Sheesi nods in satisfaction and flies off to find a good place to sleep.

    You don’t dawdle about getting on the move when morning comes. There’s plenty of ground to cover still, and the sooner you get to Firkinhold the better off you are. As you walk, you decide to continue your companions’ lessons on ritualism.

    “When performing a ritual, things like the words, hand motions, and even the circle drawn on the ground are like a set of instructions. Each movement or phrase is like a word as part of what you are telling the mana to do. Today I think we should focus on the speech aspect, since it is the easiest to practice on the move.”

    You continue on, explaining some of the basis for how you determine what words to use in a ritual and having the two of them practice repeating your words back exactly as you tell them, among other exercises. There is a lot for them to learn, and only so much time in the day to teach them in.

    [Cora: (10/25) Ritual Assistance rank 1]
    [Sheesi: (10/33) Ritual Assistance rank 1]


    Throughout the day the dirt of the path has been gradually changing in color, and begin to see mountain peaks in the distance over the trees. Midway through the day, you encounter a lone trailmaster making his way in the other direction. After pleasantries(consisting of various tests to make sure that each of you is what you seem) you ask him about the condition of Firkinhold.

    “Doin’ fine when I left this mornin’,” he tells you. “There’s been some Fell sightin’s in th’ area an’ one o’ th’ lads there ticked off a river Fae, so a group your size is probably best off makin’ sure you’re there by nightfall.” He glances at Sheesi. “A few o’ the people there migh’ have an issue with th’ little lady, but there’s others who’ll be willin’ to let her in, so long as she promises ta be good first.”

    “Well duh,” Sheesi folds her arms. “It’s annoying, but Cora already explained that sort of thing to me with Mother a couple years ago.”

    The man blinks and looks at Cora speculatively. “A friend o’ th’ Fae, huh?”

    “One family of them at least,” she shrugs. “I met her mother when I was little, and my grandfather allowed it on the condition that I let him meet her himself first.”

    “Well, I s’pose that explains th’ little lady then. Bein’ on good terms with at least one o’ th’ more friendly Fae like that is somethin’ good fer a trailmaster to have. Another group as small as yours I’d tell to stay at a settlement nex’ time ‘til they had a couple more people, but you three prob’ly have good enough heads on yer shoulders to make it on yer own. Still a good idea to get more though, if you can.”

    With that over you move on, each in your respective directions. When you catch sight of Firkinhold you see that it lies partially on a rocky cliff overlooking the Path; no doubt the first foothill of the distant mountains. It appears to be a small castle, with actual stone walls the same reddish grey color as the cliff face. They are pretty short on the cliff side, but they appear to reach a respectable twenty feet or so on the other sides.

    Getting closer you hear a decided lack of activity, and a bad feeling begins to curl in your gut. The three of you begin to move a little slower almost in tandem, taking your time to try and gauge if something might be wrong. It isn’t until you catch sight of the gate however, that your bad feeling really takes hold.

    The portcullis is up and the drawbridge is down; that much might be normal at this time of day, if you hadn’t already heard from the trailmaster that they had reason to be more cautious than normal. What would not however, would be the condition of the gate itself. One door is halfway open, the other lies flat on the ground. There is fresh scoring visible on the stone archway, even from a short distance away. There is still nothing but silence from the castle itself.

    You had heard of settlements disappearing overnight, but you hadn’t expected to be the one finding something like this. Just that morning the place had been fine, according to the trailmaster. There is a pretty good chance that whatever did this is still inside.

    [] Abort! Abort! Abort! Get out of there as fast and as far as you can!

    [] You need a plan. Even if there’s something still inside, the castle at least means more protection than camping out on your own, and there may still be some survivors. You already know the area is unsafe, and you don’t have time left in the day to go much farther anyway.
    -[] Write In how you approach and enter the castle.


    [] One man’s folly is another man’s fortune! Looting party!

    [] Write In.

    -----------
    AN: None of the choices above are going to immediately bad end you on their own or anything. They do vary in immediate risk and/or danger though.
     
  29. Threadmarks: Part 23: No Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy.
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    [X] You need a plan. Even if there’s something still inside, the castle at least means more protection than camping out on your own, and there may still be some survivors. You already know the area is unsafe, and you don’t have time left in the day to go much farther anyway.
    -[X] Write In: just be careful on the approach and when going in. Keep a careful eye out for any threats and hidden dangers. Then, once we're reasonably sure we won't suddenly be ambushed by horrible things, proceed with [X] One man’s folly is another man’s fortune! Looting party! After that, be extra sure we won't be ambushed in the night. After that, set up a sleeping area in a easily defensible room, with Protect Area (With Sheesi allowed in) set up and a strategically placed oakenstrange trap.


    -----------

    The three of you huddle in the brush beside the path, deciding your course of action. “We should obviously be careful as we go in,” you say. “We don’t know if there’s still something in there or not.”

    “Are you insane?!” Sheesi hisses. “We need to get out of here!”

    You shake your head. “As I said, we don’t know one way or the other about that, but we DO know that staying out here IS dangerous. Even if whatever did this hasn’t left, being in there with it is still probably going to be safer. Plus, there might still be survivors in need of help.” Sheesi reluctantly concedes the point.

    Cora also nods her agreement before turning to Sheesi. “Do you think you could scout ahead at all?”

    “Aheh,” she laughs nervously in response. “I’d really rather not. Go in there alone, I mean. I’d do it if you both think it’s best, but I would really rather just stay with you where it's safer. A sprite like me would just….” Realizing that she is babbling, she stops and just looks at you, a glint of her fear reflected in her eyes. After a moment’s thought you shake your head to veto Cora's suggestion. Sending her in alone puts her at too much risk, and it's obvious that she is justifiably afraid.

    “Okay then, I suppose we just try to be quiet and careful, and find somewhere inside to hole up for the night?” Cora is looking at you again.

    “Well as they say, one man’s folly is another man’s fortune. We should take whatever we think we can find a use for too, if we can.”

    Minds made up, the three of you cautiously make your way inside. The place is just as wrecked as you had thought it would be, with a number of bodies lying about. None of them are alive; most appear to have either been burnt or cut with some kind of cauterizing blade, but a few look like they had swathes of their bodies torn out as if by a narrow scoop of some sort. These last are always the bloodiest, and generally look like they died the slowest as well, being the only ones injured in places not immediately lethal. You find it ironic that the burn victims are the ones who appear to have died so fast as to make it almost painless.

    You feel more than justified in drawing your rapier, and you keep your left hand ready to bring out either your knife or your hatchet at a moment’s notice. Cora and Sheesi follow your example with their own weapons, and you note Cora’s choice of the odd “trench knife” and the fireblast totem, both taken from the men who attacked her at her house.

    Your caution turns out to be justified; upon rounding a corner you find yourself suddenly only a few yards away from two figures coming the other way.

    The first is a tall, orange-skinned “man” in embroidered red clothes. His hair is a darker shade of orange than his skin, and is styled upwards and backwards in a way that reminds you of the flames from your fire the night before. You are completely unsurprised to note that your Sight is giving you impressions of heat and nature from him; he’s obviously a fairly powerful Fae aligned with the element of fire, after all. Upon seeing you, he merely raises an eyebrow in slight interest.

    In contrast, his companion’s face twists in a rictus of fury. She is dressed in a flowing robe of blues and greens, though it doesn’t look like it would hamper her movements very much. Her skin may be colored normally, but her waist-length hair begins as a deep blue, gradually lightening to an almost white shade near the tip. Your Sight gives you an impression of flowing, steady motion and fluidity, along with a similar feeling of nature to that of the man beside her. You do note that hers seems a bit less potent, however.

    “Burn them!” she screeches an instant later, pointing at you. “Burn them to ash!”

    Her companion snorts and turns to lean against the wall. “I’m thinking not. The contract is done, which means the only one who was living here that’s still alive is the girl. I’ve already returned your favor; you want to have a go at them, you do it yourself.”

    The obvious river Fae turns her anger on him. “You… you!” A streamer of water forms from the ether next to her and lashes out at him.

    He backhands it away with a frown, evaporating it almost negligently. “Okay yeah, you are definitely on your own here.” She flinches away for a moment before turning back to you, her anger hotter than ever.

    Good thing you haven’t just been standing there gaping. You feel as ready as you can be when she leaps at you, more streamers of water forming and spiraling around her. You note where one of them strikes the wall, scoring the stone in a way that reminds you of both the damage to the stone around the gate and the more bloody victims you came across.

    What did you draw with your off hand?

    [] Your dagger.

    [] Your hatchet.

    [] Nothing.

    [] Write In. (must be on the list of items and equipment on your character sheet)

    What is your battle strategy?

    [] Write In.

    ---------

    AN: Yeah, I was chuckling when you guys assumed that it was the Fell who had wrecked the place. Remember what the trailmaster told you: there were only sightings of Fell in the area. One of the people of Firkinhold ticked off a river Fae.
     
  30. Threadmarks: Part 24: ...Nor Do All Enemies Survive Contact With You.
    JadeKaiser

    JadeKaiser Delicious M[]d Juice

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    Not overly happy with the way I wrote this fight scene; it tells what I want it to, but I feel like I could have done a better job.

    [X] Small Bomb x3

    [X] She has demonstrated an ability to produce multiple excessively sharp whips of water from random points around her. They are also capable of cutting stone, and she seems eager to close to combat.
    -[X] Try to keep a significant distance from her as she approaches. If she gets close enough to use her whips, try to set yourself as her priority target and give Cora and Sheesi room to operate.
    -[X] Use your Small Bombs to force her to keep distance and injure her if possible. Switch to the Fireball totem if they prove ineffective or insufficiently harmful.


    -----------

    The charging Fae’s manic desire to close with you has you reluctant to do the same. You don’t know if those streams of water she has can reach very far, but she hasn’t shown the ability yet, and you know that being able to hit an enemy while they can’t hit you back typically means that it's your victory. You throw one of your small bombs at the charging Fae as you prepare to retreat. Even as it flies through the air however, it is overtaken and beaten to the punch by a wave of fire from Cora’s fireblast totem.
    [Cora: 1d20=13; Faust: 1d20=16]
    the fire washes over your opponent, only leaving her slightly singed. Honestly, you aren’t all that surprised; she IS a water-aligned Fae, after all. Still, it also distracts her from the danger of your own strike. The small bomb may not be very powerful, but when it detonates only inches from her it is obviously more than enough to hurt.

    Somewhere in the back of your mind you notice the other Fae gathering up the fire from Cora’s spell into a little ball and holding it between his fingers.

    Your foe yells out in pain and hatred, lashing out with her water as she stumbles backwards clutching her side. It seems she has better range than you thought; the streamers curve out towards the edge of the passageway and then inwards in an apparent attempt to pierce you. Rather than jumping away, you move in down the open center to distract her from your companions. She tries to counter by summoning another streamer at neck height. With no guarantee that a dodge will be enough, you attempt to parry in hopes that the steel of your rapier will counter it.
    [1d20+4 DEX=11]
    Despite the fluid nature of her attack, it seems to be a wise choice. Your rapier, made of steel as it is, intercepts and shatters the half-formed bit of Fae magic fairly easily.

    The fire-oriented Fae pops the ball of fire into his mouth like a doughnut hole, nodding his head in apparent approval.
    [1d20+4 DEX=10]
    A twirl of your wrist lets you turn the parry into an attempted cut across her body, but she skips backwards just fast enough to avoid it.
    [Cora: 1d20+6 DEX+4 Rise bonus=14; Sheesi: 1d20+6 AGI=21]
    What she isn’t able to avoid however, is Cora’s flying punch with the guard of her trench knife. It hits the Fae right in the face, knocking her back farther with a cry of pain. Then Sheesi streaks in and hits her shoulder, a cry of “Sunder!” on her lips, and with a flash the river Fae’s blood goes flying. Sheesi’s attack split her from her right shoulder to her navel, and you are certain that if she survives it is only because of her inhuman nature.
    [Faust +55 XP, Cora +50 XP, Sheesi +50 XP]
    The orange Fae finishes licking his fingers as his ostensible companion collapses to the ground where you had driven her, only a couple of feet from his position. “Well, I did try to warn her. Sort of.” He looks at you. “Anyway, I don’t really have any reason to stick around, so I think I’ll be on my way.” He nudges the probably-dying river Fae with a foot. “Do whatever you want with her; she can survive a hit like that. Maybe. You can probably make her a slave or something.”

    Okay, it's pretty obvious that he thought of her as a business partner at the very best. Most likely something closer to a sort-of enemy that had held a favor over his head, based on his comments before about not owing her anything anymore.

    Do you try to say anything or stop him before he leaves? (Choose as many as you want, so long as they aren’t mutually exclusive.)

    [] Nope.
    -[] Finish off the river Fae.
    -[] Try to stabilize the river Fae, but keep her restrained. With iron, preferably.
    -[] Write in a different action to do with the river Fae.


    [] He said something about a girl still left alive before the fight started.
    -[] Write in what you say.


    [] Is there anything else in the castle you might have to worry about?
    -[] Write in what you say.


    [] Write In.

    --------
    AN: I was once again rather amused with people's assumptions here. This time it was the assumption that the river Fae was being rational, especially when it was after I had told you outright in the thread that you had the advantage and that your enemy was not an experienced fighter. There will most likely be more things like that in the future, where I imply something in the story post and then state it outright in the thread when I'm replying to a question, because I still have a long way to go as a writer and I'm not all that great at showing your relatively high PER in action yet in the story posts themselves. For now, you can probably make up for this deficiency of mine somewhat if you read the story posts carefully.
     
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