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The Southern Temple (Gothic Quest)

Discussion in 'Questing' started by Gaemnomut, Sep 10, 2017.

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  1. DrStrangeLove

    DrStrangeLove Experienced.

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    [X][Hazred] Look for the toadroot mushrooms you need for Maha's quest.
    [X][Harpies] Locate the troll on the plateau.
    [X][MINE] 1 of the available 4 slaves
    [X][TEMPLE] Personal Chambers I (0/10 done)

    Now really isn't a good time for picking a fight with the bandits. We're still wounded, and we have more important things to deal with. :/
     
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  2. Gaemnomut

    Gaemnomut Experienced.

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    So I did a quick count of the votes and found the result that the most of you should be able to should agree with. Unless there are any objections or further votes I'll close and start writing when I get home today.

    [2][Hazred] Look for the toadroot mushrooms you need for Maha's quest.
    [3][Harpies] Locate the troll on the plateau.
    [2][MINE] 1 of the available 4 slaves
    [2][TEMPLE] Personal Chambers I (0/10 done)


    [2][Hazred] Deal with the Bandits.
    -[2]Bring the Harpies along
    -[2]Ask Beliar for a favor
    -[2]Bring along some Zombies
    [2][MINE] 4 Slaves

    [1][TEMPLE] Temple Defence I – Harpy Roost (0/10 done)
    [1][Hazred] Investigate Razul and his connection with the orcs.
     
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  3. Gaemnomut

    Gaemnomut Experienced.

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    Ok, vote is closed. Looks like your your going shroom hunting :)
     
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  4. tellion

    tellion Not too sore, are you?

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  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 17: A Desperate Bargain
    Gaemnomut

    Gaemnomut Experienced.

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    [2][Hazred] Look for the toadroot mushrooms you need for Maha's quest.
    [3][Harpies] Locate the troll on the plateau.
    [2][MINE] 1 of the available 4 slaves
    [2][TEMPLE] Personal Chambers I (0/10 done)

    Harpy roll: [5+3]+10 = 18 → good success
    Build progress: [1+2+0] = 3
    Gold mining: [1] = 1 → 5 gold

    -70 Gold (cost of starting the restoration of the temple master‘s chambers)
    +10 Gold (normal income from the Sahelim businesses)
    +1 Favour (from the statue)




    ’Shrooms

    The knife sinks into the soft stem of the toadroot and a pinkish sap oozes from the cut. Slowly, so you don‘t damage it too much, you saw back and forth until it‘s severed and you can pick it up. You had almost missed it, but the yellow markings on the cap nestled between the roots of a large tree caught your eye. You wrap the mushroom in a cloth and put it in a bag with the others you have already collected. Then you thoroughly clean the knife in one of the murky pools of swamp water around you, careful not to touch it in any way. Maha hadn‘t been joking when she said that the toadroots are poisonous. When you had found the first one, you had though that it wouldn‘t be so bad – an assumption that had turned out to be wrong. Even just touching the part of the cloth you had used to pick it up had stung horribly and left you with itching red skin on your hand.

    Nevertheless, you now have the third mushroom, and can make your way back to the temple to check on Mor-Narog. The orc‘s condition has been growing worse in the last few days. Despite your care in treating him, a slight infection had taken root in his horrible burn wounds. Consequently he has been moving around even less than usual in the past few days to conserve his strength, and is now spending almost all his time resting on his mat in one of the few cleared rooms in the temple. His body‘s amazing natural healing is fighting the infection remarkably well for now, but he remains weak and feverish whenever you visit him. You still need two components of the Ulu-Mulu, neither of which will be easy to get, and after that you‘ll probably need some time to convince the orcs to take him back. You hope he lasts long enough that you can get him the help he needs.

    Your own healing however has gone surprisingly well. In the few days since you drank it, Maha‘s potion has worked wonders; the burns have receded almost entirely. The new skin growing on your hands and left arm was still tender and tingles from time to time, but all in all you are almost completely healed. Some scarring remains on your left hand, where you caught the brunt of the fire blast, and those scars you’ll likely have forever, but aside from aching from time to time that doesn’t impede you in any way. The only real injury remaining are your two broken fingers; Maha unfortunately couldn‘t really help with those.

    Your fingers are still broken but your burns have healed. (healed 1d5 personal power)

    - - -​


    Creatures big and small

    The harpy soars over the plateau and lets her gaze trace over the hills and rocks below. The last time the master had sent them this way they had tracked a hidden orc and she had had to pay close attention not to miss any signs. This time however she is tracking a troll, and those were usually neither hidden nor easy to miss. Consequently she has let the winds carry her high into the sky, and carried by their cold hand she is easily covering ground with slow, lazy beats of her wings. The strong summer winds are coming to an end for the year, but still, by now she is further from the valley that was her home than she had ever been - far to the north east.

    Not long afterwards she finds a trail. Beneath her the rough gravel is smeared with blood and covered in heavy tracks. It looks like something big was dragged along by something even bigger. The trail leads over rocky hills that would be difficult to climb for most, but for her, flying high above as she is, it‘s easy to follow. Soon she spots her quarry. At the foot of a steep cliff the tracks lead into the mouth of a large cave, and even though she cannot see inside she knows she has found the lair of the beast she is seeking. Many tracks both big and small litter the area around the cave, and scraps of heavy brown fur as well as large heaps of troll dung clearly indicate it‘s passing.

    She is puzzled by the smaller tracks for a moment. Few sane creatures would willingly go near a troll, and the smell alone makes it‘s presence abundantly clear to everything with a nose. She picks the freshest looking trail leading away from the cave and follows it for a while, curious to see who or what it might belong to. In the end she hears them before she sees them and immediately knows what she is tracking. After all, the chattering of goblins is a familiar tone to her by now. Not long afterwards she can make them out among some rocks and bushes; probably hunting small prey of their own. How they came to share a lair with a troll she doesn’t understand, but she doesn’t much care either. The goblins scatter when they see her shadow pass over them, diving into cracks in the rock or hiding under the bushes. One particularly brave goblin tries to throw a stone at her but misses - by far. She pays him little mind.

    The harpy glances at the horizon. The days have been growing short as of late, and the sun is already setting. Dark clouds fill the sky. She considers turning back now, but she is tired and far from home and if a storm does start then flying through the night and rain would be hard. She decides to find a place to stay for the night. Swooping down in the blink of an eye she repays the stone-throwing goblin’s bravery by snatching him up in her talons and carrying him off. If she will spend the night she’ll need to eat, and goblins taste about as well as the next creature.

    On the cliff above the troll’s cave she finds a small perch; sheltered well enough from the elements and inaccessible for almost anything without wings. Her large, sickle-like claws make short work of her squirming prey, slicing through his leathery hide with little resistance. Soon the struggles cease and she begins to feast, strips of warm flesh filling her empty stomach. Afterwards she curls up and tucks her head beneath the feathers of her wings and falls asleep.

    ...

    The next morning she is woken by the heavy footfalls of the troll leaving it‘s lair. The lumbering beast is accompanied by a few more goblins scurrying around it. It seems it doesn’t mind their presence at all. The large tracks she spotted the day before hinted at the size of the beast, but in the morning light and with the goblins next to it for comparison its sheer, titanic presence is imposing. Never in her life had she seen something that big, or would have considered hunting prey that large; even from far away it‘s raw strength is apparent.

    There is no sense following them in her mind, now that she has found the lair the master will be able to find them easily enough. Time to head home.
    Just as she takes flight she notices one more thing. The perch she slept on was less stable than she had assumed. The overhanging rocks are riddled with cracks she missed in the dying light of the evening the day before. She was lucky that the weather remained calm during the night, if a storm had come they might have broken off entirely and she, small and delicate creature that she is, might have been crushed beneath them. Not even something as big as that troll would be able to shrug off that entirely unaffected she thinks.

    The master would be pleased to hear of that little detail.

    - - -​


    Gold and tragedy

    You are indeed pleased to hear the harpy‘s report. Not only do you now know for sure that there is a troll in the area, you now also know where to find it. The goblins might be a problem, but the idea of collapsing the overhanging rocks on the troll is interesting. It might help kill the otherwise nigh invincible beast when you finally go to hunt it down.

    You have found the troll‘s lair, and information helpful towards bringing it down. (DC for hunting the Troll is reduced by 12)

    Meanwhile the restoration of the temple master‘s chambers have begun. Or temple mistress‘ chambers in this case, if the old legends of the Halls of Galaroth are correct.
    Under your supervision the slaves had begun clearing the rubble from the caved in ceiling and sorting through the remains of the previous occupant‘s belongings. Unfortunately the findings are mostly useless. Books too damaged to be readably, trinkets warped and bent by falling stones, and old clothes falling apart with age. They all still carry a whiff of magic. The former high priestess of Galaroth must have been powerful indeed if there are still traces of her magic lingering after all this time. There is no skeleton in the destroyed room though, perhaps her remains are among the countless others strewn threw the temple.

    The loss of the books hurts the most. What legendary knowledge they must have contained - all lost now. Perhaps the slaves will find more intact artefacts yet, but judging by the state of the rooms you doubt it.

    All in all, the slaves were less than optimally productive. The work on the temple and in the mines feels achingly slow to you. You will need more slaves soon if you want to make any real progress. To that end you once again pack your bags to head to Silmorkal. Now that you have the mushrooms Maha requested you will be able to collect the reward she promised.

    . . . . .​

    Maha looks at you with tired eyes as you walk into her shop and show her the mushrooms you collected. Silently she inspects them while you wait, but they seem to pass her muster. After all, they are still mostly fresh, only the pinkish sap oozing from the cuts has hardened into a brittle crust. She is clearly apprehensive about something, but eventually her shoulders slump and she turns around, gets a bag of gold from the back room, and puts it on the counter with a sigh. It‘s heavy, the agreed upon sum of 75 gold coins rattling inside.

    Noticing her distress you hesitate to take it, and shoot her a questioning look. She looks exhausted and near tears. Wringing her hands she finally starts talking: „Ras al Sahelim, I … I know I promised to p-pay you for your trouble, and as you can see I have the gold, but I beg you, please let me keep it… that-that‘s all the gold I have, and… and the market … and Nylus“ she sobs, and then the whole story spills out of her.

    Her husband Nylus had apparently had an altercation with an officer of the archon‘s militia after the last time you met her; some stupid drunken fight late at night in a bar. The following day he had been dragged in front of an adjudicator on trumped up charges and slapped with a fine the two couldn‘t possibly pay. Since the court saw he would never be able to cover his debt he had been dragged away as a prisoner to the tower of Aral, and was slated to be enslaved and sold at the market. Ever since then Maha had been working desperately to get enough money together to buy his freedom.

    You know of the Tower of Aral, it’s a former watchtower at the outer edge of the city, named after the Archon who had had it built. When the kingdom of Myrtana had taken the island and Rhobar’s paladins purged the city of all those they thought would challenge their rule the most; those that had led the resistance against their forces, the wealthy merchants that had funded the mercenaries that had been hired to help defend the island, and all the Beliar followers they could find; they had needed a place to put them in.

    Thus, the tower had been converted into a large prison. Unwilling to spare the manpower to operate it they gave it over to the archon’s militia. Now, it’s their biggest bastion in the lower ring, and anybody that breaks the city’s laws (or displeased the Archon and his militia) can end up there. It is notorious for its harsh conditions - filled with unlucky innocents, murderers, thieves, captured heretics, and worst of all, the prison guards, it is said to be quite a hellhole. Corruption is rampant there, and every now and then some prisoners; often those that are too much trouble or wouldn’t ever see the light of day again anyway; are sold at the slave market.

    „Just let me keep the gold for now, I swear I‘ll pay you back! With interest even! Please! Or… or… let me make a potion for you instead, here, wait, let me show you the recipe book, you can pick any one you want and I‘ll make it as long as I have the ingredients. I just need the money to get him back, I don‘t care about anything else...“

    The prospect of getting a high grade potion from a proficient alchemist like her for the low price of 75 gold intrigues you, and you skim through the book she shoves your way. Most of the mentioned potions are useless to you now, various remedies for exotic illnesses or other ailments, but some of them look very interesting indeed.

    You narrow down your selection to the six potions you find the most useful right now.
    The first is a potion of strength that would permanently increase your physical prowess. It would only be a small improvement, but it would never fade. With how much you‘ve been fighting recently that might be a wise investment.

    The second is a potion of explosive mana regeneration. You have been buying mana potions from her for a while now, supposedly to sell them on to various merchants that deliver to the fire mages, so you doubt she would find it suspicious. While the effects would only be temporary, it would allow you to rapidly cast your spells again without exhausting yourself. With this much magical energy cursing through you, you would also be connected more to the divine and might be able to feel Beliar‘s guiding hand more strongly, which could be a very powerful boon indeed if the dark god is feeling favourable.

    The third is a potion known as ‚Pure life‘, one of the most powerful healing potions ever made. While it wouldn‘t be worth it now just to heal your broken fingers you could keep it in reserve until the next time you are heavily injured. Drinking it should restore you to near perfect health almost instantly.

    The fourth isn‘t a potion, but a poison used by hunters. A sticky and foul smelling goo that can be applied to swords and arrows. Since Maha already knows that you are going back to the Svengali and that you had problems with large beasts before she probably wouldn‘t think you taking it suspicious. It‘s expensive and difficult to make, so it usually isn‘t worth the effort, but if one were hunting a troll for example…

    The next one is called the ‚Drought of healing slumber‘ and is supposed to put the person drinking it into a long, deep sleep during which their body‘s immune system and natural healing is vastly strengthened. If you are lucky this might perfectly complement Mor-Narog‘s own regenerative resting ability. Normally you wouldn‘t consider giving an orc human medicine given the differences in physiology, but the book explicitly notes that the recipe was copied from a captured orcish shaman at one point after it was discovered that it works on humans as well, so you are reasonably certain that it would help him. While it might not heal the injured warrior completely it might help him stave off death for a while longer. You could claim that a business associate of yours has a chronic illness or something like that that might benefit from this.

    The last potion on your list is from the same orcish shaman, and called „The Berserker‘s liquor“. If the description is to be believed it will let the drinker ignore pain for a while and give them an almost superhuman strength and toughness while it lasts, at the cost of putting tremendous strain on the body. It isn‘t used much, because the negative effects are far more pronounced in humans than in orcs, ranging from mild addictiveness to hallucinations and seizures. Mor-Narog however might be able to use it. It would no doubt mean his health would fail even faster afterwards, but for a short while he would be more like his old self and could help you in your endeavours, provided you can convince him to drink it. There is a fighting arena in Silmorkal, if you claimed that you had connections to one of the fighters there you could possibly justify buying such a potion.

    There are a few other potions that might be useful in the future, but you wouldn‘t know how to justify right now. A potion of temporary magic resistance for example, or a tasteless, odourless poison lethal enough to kill within minutes.

    You could also ignore her plea, decline her offer, and just demand your reward of course, the gold is rightfully yours after all. Or, you could just forgive her debt and forgo the reward entirely. Maha would no doubt be eternally grateful.

    What will you do? (If you pick a potion it will take a while for Maha to make, she will have it ready for you after the next turn.)

    [ ][Maha] A deal is a deal, take the gold. (+75 gold now)
    [ ][Maha] You‘re willing to wait for your gold, but it will cost her. (+100 gold as soon as she has the money)
    [ ][Maha] What can you say, deep at heart you‘ve always been a romantic. Forgive her debt - it‘s for love after all... (decline the gold, get nothing)
    [ ][Maha] Take the potion of strength. (+2 personal power)
    [ ][Maha] Take the potion of explosive mana regeneration. (+1d5+1/4th of your current favour (rounded up) personal power for one turn)
    [ ][Maha] Take the ‚Pure life‘ potion. (Gain the option of healing all mundane injuries once)
    [ ][Maha] Take the hunter‘s poison. (Reduce troll or swampshark hunt DC by 9)
    [ ][Maha] Take the ‚Drought of healing slumber‘. (Mor-Narog will survive 1d5 more turns)
    [ ][Maha] Take „The Berserker‘s liquor“. (Reduce Mor-Narog‘s life expectancy by two turns, but gain his assistance for one if you can convince him to drink it. He currently has a personal power of 2d5+3, and can either help you or he can be sent to do a separate action alone. Obviously he won‘t be able to enter the city or anything like that.)



    - - -​


    (Turns until the slave market starts: 0 = next turn)
    (Turns until Mor-Narog will likely succumb to his wounds: 5)
    (Turns until completely healed: 2)

    Gold: 131
    Favour: 19
    Slaves: 4
    Power (Hazred): 4d5+4 (8-24)
    Power (Harpies): 2d5+10 (12-20)


    Please vote for what to do about Maha‘s proposal as well as one option from each spoiler.
    What are your plans for this turn?

    [ ][Hazred] Visit the grand slave market.
    (The slave market will only be this turn, and going there will take up an entire action.)

    [ ][Hazred] Investigate Razul and his connection with the orcs.

    [ ][Hazred] Go through the old books at the temple to see if you can find information on the creatures you need to hunt for the Ulu-Mulu, or the runes from the amulet you found in the goblin cave.

    (DC: 10 to find information on the creatures and to reduce the DC of the hunting actions, 15 to find out about the runes.)

    [ ]Hunt the creatures needed for the Ulu-Mulu! (If you fail the DC you risk being injured again or even being forced to flee)
    -[ ] Kill a swamp shark! (DC: 20)
    -[ ] Slay the troll of the plateau! (DC: 28)



    [ ] Instead of hunting for the trophies, you could see if you can find someone in Silmorkal willing to sell them to you.
    -[ ] Buy a bag of swampshark teeth.

    (DC: 11, Cost: (55-personal power roll) gold)
    -[ ] Buy troll tusks.
    (DC: 13, Cost: (135-personal power roll) gold)

    [ ][Hazred] Deal with the bandits.
    You will attack on your own, enslaving who you can and killing the rest.
    (DC with no further bonus: 33. You may choose as many bonuses as you want.)
    -[ ][Hazred] Bring the harpies along.
    (Reduces DC by 7, any harpy action will be cancelled for this turn)
    -[ ][Hazred] Ask Beliar for a favour.
    (Reduces DC by 7, costs 3 favour)
    -[ ][Hazred] Ask Razul if he wants to go bandit hunting.
    (Reduces DC by 7, costs 20 gold)
    -[ ][Hazred] Bring along some zombies.
    (Reduces DC by 9)

    [ ][Hazred] Tip the archon‘s militia off to their location and collect a bounty.
    (No DC, but a better roll will allow you to negotiate a better reward. You will get 5 times your roll in gold.)

    [ ][Hazred] Spend some time with the harpies to improve their opinion of you.
    (DC: 14, Cost: 15 gold, cancels any harpy action picked for this turn)
    What will you have your harpies do?

    [ ][Harpies] Spy on Ivan‘s watch.
    The paladin Ivan and his knights guard the pass that connects the Svengali to the rest of the island. It would be nice to know what they are up to.
    (DC: 15)

    [ ][Harpies] write in!
    I‘ll reserve the right to veto anything that wouldn‘t work or would derail the quest.
    How many of your slaves should be sent to the gold mine?

    [ ][MINE] Write in.
    Currently you may only send ten slaves at a time into the mines. Once you reach temple level 2 and upgrade the gold mine, this cap will increase.
    Any slave not sent to the mine will work on restoring the temple.
    Which areas of the Temple should be restored/upgraded?

    [ ][TEMPLE] Living quarters I (0/10 done)
    In order to really grow the Temple's power you will need to have people living here full time. This first upgrade will allow you to securely (more or less) hold an unlimited number of slaves. Without it you are limited to 10. Additionally, future upgrades may only be unlocked after this has been done, since they rely on manpower to function.
    (Costs: 70 Gold)

    [ ][TEMPLE] Personal Chambers I (3/10 done)
    As the master of the temple it is only right for you to have proper chambers. Having a place away from the city and the prying eyes of the paladins will allow you to train in secret and focus on your studies of the dark arts without interruption, growing your power.
    (Costs: already payed)

    [ ][TEMPLE] Temple Defence I – Harpy Roost (0/10 done)
    You will have your slaves dig upwards from the tower you found until they reach the top of the cliffs and prepare a place there for the harpies to build a new nest by the temple. They’ll make excellent sentries that should spot most threats that are approaching the temple unless they are very well hidden.
    (Costs: 70 Gold)
     
  6. tellion

    tellion Not too sore, are you?

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    [X][Maha] You‘re willing to wait for your gold, but it will cost her. (+100 gold as soon as she has the money)

    [X][Hazred] Visit the grand slave market.
    (The slave market will only be this turn, and going there will take up an entire action.)


    [X][Harpies] Spy on Ivan‘s watch.
    The paladin Ivan and his knights guard the pass that connects the Svengali to the rest of the island. It would be nice to know what they are up to.
    (DC: 15)


    [X][TEMPLE] Personal Chambers I (3/10 done)
    As the master of the temple it is only right for you to have proper chambers. Having a place away from the city and the prying eyes of the paladins will allow you to train in secret and focus on your studies of the dark arts without interruption, growing your power.
    (Costs: already payed)
     
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  7. DrStrangeLove

    DrStrangeLove Experienced.

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    Hmm. I'm almost tempted to go and buy multiple of those potions. The poison, strength boost, healing, and mana all look really good. She needs money, right? Well, we've got it, and we're looking to buy. Though, we also want to buy lots of slaves to work in our temple. How much were they? 20 gold apiece last time, right? :/
     
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  8. DrStrangeLove

    DrStrangeLove Experienced.

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    [X][MINE] 4 slaves

    [X][Hazred] Visit the grand slave market.

    [X][Maha] Take the potion of strength. (+2 personal power)
    -[X] You also want the option of buying any of those others in the future, affordably. Not enough to bankrupt her or anything, but relatively cheap. In exchange, you'll accompany her and give her further assistance in reclaiming her husband.

    [X][Harpies] Spy on Ivan‘s watch.
    The paladin Ivan and his knights guard the pass that connects the Svengali to the rest of the island. It would be nice to know what they are up to.
    (DC: 15)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  9. Gaemnomut

    Gaemnomut Experienced.

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    I'll take that as a compliment. I always try to make all the vote options about equally attractive, it's good to hear that I succeeded :)

    ~30, so a bit more than that. Slaves that are especially valuable for some reason (uniquly skilled ones for example) will obviously be more expensive. But we'll get to that in the future.

    Btw, your write in is valid, but in case it wasn't clear from the text, the potions are actually worth quite a bit more than the 75 gold Maha owes you. She just really needs that gold right now, so she is offering to make you one for such a comperatively low price.
     
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  10. DrStrangeLove

    DrStrangeLove Experienced.

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    Yeah I figured. Pretty damn useful, though. :/

    Edit: I changed my write-in a little. Still good.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  11. Aigloss

    Aigloss Versed in the lewd.

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    Hmm any chance we can use our noble status to help with that? Having loyal alchemist is more important than some gold

    Edit ahhh nevermind


    [X][MINE] 2 slaves

    [X][Hazred] Visit the grand slave market.

    [X][Maha] Take the potion of strength. (+2 personal power)
    -[X] You also want the option of buying any of those others in the future, affordably. Not enough to bankrupt her or anything, but relatively cheap. In exchange, you'll accompany her and give her further assistance in reclaiming her husband.

    [X][Harpies] Spy on Ivan‘s watch.
    The paladin Ivan and his knights guard the pass that connects the Svengali to the rest of the island. It would be nice to know what they are up to.
    (DC: 15)

    [X][TEMPLE] Personal Chambers I (3/10 done)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2019
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  12. TooCowardlyForRealNick

    TooCowardlyForRealNick Not too sore, are you?

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    [X][MINE] 4 slaves

    [X][Hazred] Visit the grand slave market.

    [X][Maha] Take the potion of strength. (+2 personal power)
    -[X] You also want the option of buying any of those others in the future, affordably. Not enough to bankrupt her or anything, but relatively cheap. In exchange, you'll accompany her and give her further assistance in reclaiming her husband.

    [X][Harpies] Spy on Ivan‘s watch.
    The paladin Ivan and his knights guard the pass that connects the Svengali to the rest of the island. It would be nice to know what they are up to.
     
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  13. DrStrangeLove

    DrStrangeLove Experienced.

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    Hmm. The money from the 4 slaves want be available for the slave market, will it? So that may not be worthwhile. Maybe we should send them into the temple instead. Though, it's good to have ay least some cash regardless... :/
     
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  14. Gaemnomut

    Gaemnomut Experienced.

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    No, you'll head for Silmorkal as soon as the turn starts, and the slaves will work while you are gone.
     
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  15. Gaemnomut

    Gaemnomut Experienced.

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    I'll be finishing a project tomorrow that has been keeping me pretty busy. Once it's done though, I'll have a more relaxed schedule for a while so I'll close the vote and start writing on friday.

    Edit:
    Vote Closed
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019
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