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Although this isn’t really the best situation to do it, it’s hard to not think over what’s led to this. A job for one of those ‘ancient evil’ sorts, but a bit more involved than normal, as it turns out. Having to collect all the Lockstones- artifact crystals of power that hold your client’s power in check- has proven, if you’re being honest, a bit longer and a little rougher than you’d expected. You’d found more than a few things- mana eating crystal bird construct, weird half-fairy...but it’d all slowly, but surely, come together. You’d even managed to take out the biggest threats to your job’s completion with relatively little issue after some...unfortunate occurrences earlier.

Well...you’d thought you had. Now, you’re in the last leg of your job- and you’re fighting against one of the chief deities (allegedly) of the world’s major faith- Angra, Elder Fairy of Fire. The first few blows have proven...harrowing, but you’ve scored a hit- though she doesn’t seem to be anything but angry, considering her glare and intense heat. With all your defensive measures, you know that she’d be doing much more otherwise, but for now, you’re good.

Mostly. Pecker is floating around but clearly gunshy about getting too close, and Gartoum has been cut off via a vicious and lengthy wall of intense fire.

This is dangerous, and a hassle. And to think, this is only the first one you’re going to have to deal with…
------------------------------

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>>
>>4838171

With Gartoum cut off, and Anga focusing on you while ‘heated up’, so to speak (that is to say literally wreathed in flames not unlike your own except hotter), you’re quick to realize that even your defenses won’t really hold up against the heat she can likely bring to bear- but that just means that you have to make it quick. Your morph-blade is holding up well against it, but you have to imagine that it won’t last for THAT long without needing some repair work done back home…

She charges, and you’re not eager to get that close, but you might have to bear it. The first two swings send legit sparks out as your blade clashes with the polearm, and you have to jump back, allowing her to pursue as you shift the blade into its defensive form. There’s a vicious clang, and you grit your teeth as you see your blade heat up visually- you need that Assault Crystal to work out again if you want to close this out fast, and you’re just as quick to pick it out of your bag and feed into it- so it can feed into you.

That, plus the Bracers...there might not be much left in them, but hopefully it’ll be enough.

There's a moment where you take a hot, sweltering, almost painful breath- and then you pivot spin to the side, the force being pushed into your shield no longer having purchase as you swing, fast and hard.

>Roll 2d20+3, best of three.
>>
Rolled 10, 4 + 3 = 17 (2d20 + 3)

>>4838178
>>
Rolled 19, 13 + 3 = 35 (2d20 + 3)

>>4838178
>>
Rolled 18, 3 + 3 = 24 (2d20 + 3)

>>4838178
>>
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>>4838192
Score. She's stunned now.
>>
Impressive.

Writing.
>>
>>4838178
>>4838189
>>4838192
>>4838196
Your swing comes too fast, too hard for her to do anything but panic block- she barely gets the polearm up in time, and you can feel the reverberation as she gets thrown back a bit from the force- no grounding means no force to push against aside from her own powers of flight. And she wasn’t ready for that. It’s enough of an opening that you feel like not taking advantage would be a waste; you continue your assault, backed by the crystal’s fading power, allowing you to slam into her with the brunt of your shield; the heat is making you sweat like a pig, but it’s lesser now, you notice- she’s not at least wreathed in flames anymore.

You can hear her cry out in surprise as she tumbles end over end, and you leap to follow up as you hear Gartoum’s voice in your head as well. ‘Oh- ohh good work, good work, I’ll be around in a jiffy!’ He’s still not past the wall of flames, fading though they are, but it’s good news nonetheless.

She flitters out of the way of your followup strike, but she’s clearly on the back foot here; her expression is a combination of surprise and anger, if you had to guess, as you push yourself against the endless heat of her aura to pursue again.

A pair of fireballs are dodged, your followup slash is flown above- and you see her hands begin to drip- magma, you realize, as she begins to spew the stuff like a firehose, almost! It’s a mad dash to out run her, as she tries to fry you alive. Really, the environment is almost proving a bigger issue than she is!

You manage to lead her around briefly, before managing to run up under her hovering spot, before she can register your catching up, and you leap to try to skewer her on your shifted blade- she just manages to flitter away from that, however, but you manage to score another cut, you notice- this time on her leg.

“You continuing this dooms the world, you idiot!” she yells as the glowing ichor that is her blood drips gently from her leg onto the ground. Pecker, to his credit, is still flittering above her; she hasn't seemed to really notice him, but then again, she hasn't really HAD too, considering you're pretty sure she could melt him down, mana eating or no mana eating.

She dives to charge you again as your blade shifts into a shield once more- you spin AGAIN, and while she expects it this time, swinging instead of thrusting, you're also anticipating that, turning your spin into a low duck, and coming up with the converted weapon into...well, it'd normally be their jaw, but in her case it's like her lower body; she doubles over as a result, but backs off, allowing the moment to carry her off the shield and closer to where her magma lines, now burning on the ground, wind through the battlefield.

>You need to keep pressing the attack! No moments to waste!
>Z1 can probably pull one more use out. Now might be the time.
>Stall for Gartoum. He can change the whole complexion of this fight quickly.
>Other
>>
>>4838314
>You need to keep pressing the attack! No moments to waste!
Gartoum is coming either way, let's continue using the boost until it's depleted.
>>
>>4838314
>>4838338
>>
>>4838314
>You need to keep pressing the attack! No moments to waste!
>>
Keeping at it, then.

Writing!
>>
>>4838314
>>4838338
>>4838342
>>4838347

No sense in letting up, however. If you can keep the aggression up while you still can, you’ll just make it easier for the others. It’s a sweltering job, and you wouldn’t be surprised if you had some heat blisters by the end of it, but you think it’s doable...if you’re careful. With your sword and your shield the same thing, you need to get yourself extra prote- ah. There’s an idea.

>Current Mana: >10,200/11,000

Your body shimmers a blue-green as you form your body armor- it’ll be enough to keep you safe-ish, if not cooled, sadly. But, what helps helps.

“It’d be doomed either way!” you fire back to keep her just that little more distracted as you jump forwards. You need to be careful of the magma, and that’s doable, but you also need to close distance; fortunately, the lines aren’t too near each other, and your wings help with the approach, keeping you off the ground at moments.

That said, it seems Anga has no intention of simply blocking; and the heat rises as the battle itself increases in tempo as well; returning to the stressful situation of defending and riposte as she clearly ups her game- turning her own defensive measures into ducks, slashes, and jabs that you end up using all your skill to dodge.

>Roll 1d20, best of three.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>4838553
>>
Rolled 9 (1d20)

>>4838553
Oh boy
>>
Rolled 2 (1d20)

>>4838553
>>
>>4838561
Good thing we put that barrier up
>>
>9
Ouch either we got burned or our barrier got melted.
Hope Gart uses a ranged attack when he gets near.
>>
>>4838669
at least we have healing potions
>>
>>4838669
Looks like we'll have to switch tactics once he gets near again.

Who's up for a 3-way assault with us handling the Crossbow?
>>
A 9 shouldn't be too concerning. We're on two layers of fire magic protection plus Ah-Rul's personal barrier.
>>
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>>4839013
>>
>>4839013
I forgot to mention the Barrier Armor, so technically it's 3. And we can heal after.
>>
Pain.

Writing!
>>
>>4839961
Oh no.
>>
>>4838553
>>4838556
>>4838561
>>4838565
You have to bite back a curse as another swing comes within centimeters of connecting- she clearly hasn’t spend her years relying on just her magic, and her martial skill is proving every bit your equal, much as you’d hoped wasn’t the case. Another thrust for your throat is barely dodged, and the heat that comes off of the blade is almost enough by itself to cause blisters. You duck a following chop, a light one, but still one that you can get your blade underneath- you pivot and try to force it down and away, make her have to reset herself.

But then the other end of the polearm flashes up as she just rides the momentum, turning it into a full-body somersault, and your vision goes white for as the other end comes down on your armored skull, yet rattling your senses for a precious moment. A second shot comes up, slamming into your nose- the heat is like a poker between the eyes, and armor or not, the sheer force and heat behind it is impressive- and fucking painful! Still, stinging as by training and nature you jump back- you need to gain distance before-

“FFfgnh!” The burning sensation of a blade across the torso, even if only by heat, sparks your senses into overdrive as her pursuit has you nearly fall victim to a swing at your legs that likely would’ve left your own blood coating her blade even through the physical armor; if it weren’t for your mana armor, she’d have scored a rough cut, and even without a direct hit, there's a linger heat line where you would've gotten hit; a grim notice of her power and skill. She attempts to continue her aggression as you’re half-disoriented, but your own defensive abilities and a careful check swing keep her at bay- if briefly.

Another rumbling sounds in the distance, reminding you of your charge- and the limited time you have to do it.

‘Ah, finally!’ Oh thank goodness; and you can see Gartoum slipping back into the fray, melting along the ground far far away from the now-dying flame wall. ‘Although it doesn’t seem much better from this side…’ No kidding- she’s already trying to approach again as you’re still shaking cobwebs off.

> Ah-Rul might be inclined to assist now, perhaps?
> Gartoum needs to bring his A+ game now- smother her, in attention or darkness.
> Might need to try and just slip past- this isn’t going well enough…
> Other
>>
>>4840048
> Ah-Rul might be inclined to assist now, perhaps?
>Other
Ask Ah-Rul to bind her like when he binded the undead dragon.
Ask Gartoum to ALSO bind her with his tendrils.
Switch to the Crossbow.

Pecker also might want to go in too. If she tries any castings, our bolts should be fast enough to intercept.
>>
>>4840048
>>4840059
Supporting
>>
>>4840048
this >>4840059, but do this first
>Spray her with Sticky Mana
Just in case she's able to break free from Ah-Rul's grasp before Gartoum has a chance to join in.
>>
>>4840048
>>4840059
This is good, but I also want to add
>ask for a power boost from our boss-man first
Making a boosted attack now to knock her off her game first would make it easier for Ah-Rul's and Gartoums tendrils to catch her good.

>>4840084
I have a strong suspicion that the sticky mana wouldn't really do anything, at best it just evaporates upon contact with her. Remember that Anga is basically exuding mana at God-knows what level at all times to maintain that fire aura.
>>
>>4840097
Actually I think that she's too hot to grab right now and neither our boss nor Gartoum can do that with their tendrils, but decided to just go with the flow. If you think it's too hot for sticky mana then how is trying to bind her any better?
>>
>>4840103
I suggested those because Ah-Rul was able to bind the Undead Dragon (a superboss) when he was at 3 stones.

>Your swing comes too fast, too hard for her to do anything but panic block- she barely gets the polearm up in time, and you can feel the reverberation as she gets thrown back a bit from the force- no grounding means no force to push against aside from her own powers of flight. And she wasn’t ready for that. It’s enough of an opening that you feel like not taking advantage would be a waste; you continue your assault, backed by the crystal’s fading power, allowing you to slam into her with the brunt of your shield; the heat is making you sweat like a pig, but it’s lesser now, you notice- she’s not at least wreathed in flames anymore.
She's not burning anymore so we can bind her.
>>
Back, and writing. Binding, huh?

Writing...
>>
>>4840108
>(a superboss)
More like a miniboss.
>she’s not at least wreathed in flames anymore.
Then >>4840097 is worrying about nothing and we have a legit chance to bind her limbs and wings with a spray of sticky mana. We've been improving that skill for a while and you all are saying that every little bit helps, so why not?
>>
>>4840103
Good question actually. I don't really have an answer. I kinda just expected Ah-Rul to be at the stage where he is strong enough that he can overwhelm the Fairy, you know. We're at 4 out of 5 Lockstones now, and he fought all the fairies when he was at full power, with the aid of his shadow minions and the dragons of course. Sitting at 80% power should let him do some nasty stuff to a single Fairy, even if that Fairy is an Elder Fairy.
>>
>>4840048
>>4840059
>>4840082
>>4840084
>>4840097
You can’t let her keep at it like this- she’ll overwhelm you, sour as it is to even think. ‘Sir, a touch of help?’

‘Tch. This simple combat vexes you? She fails to even-’ Oh goodness, you do NOT need this kind of downplay right now.

‘Sir, sincerely, I just need some binding assistance!’ you mentally speak (quickly) as another strike comes your way and you’re forced on the defensive yet again. Pecker even tries to swoop in, but is brushed off almost immediately by what’s not even a proper swing, merely the back spin off her regaining momentum. He’s glowing red, but you don’t think extra fire will really help here...

‘Gartoum!’ you mentally switch channels, so to speak. ‘Need some help here! Can you get her off me?’

‘Well, I DO owe her…’ he grumbles as her attention, focused as it is, is on you. ‘Don’t expect it to last for long, though!’ Yeah, you were kinda hoping but you can’t- fuck, that stab was close- blade, uh blame him. With a yell you shift the blade back into its shield form and risk a shove. It’s enough to get her off of you, fortunately, but only for a moment.

Hopefully, that moment is enough, as you reach to pull out that crossbow. This thing better live up to advertisement…

>Roll 3d20, best of three for Ah-Rul’s disposition, Gartoum’s efforts, and the battle in general.
>>
Rolled 18, 4, 16 = 38 (3d20)

>>4840143
>>
Rolled 3, 17, 2 = 22 (3d20)

>>4840143
>>
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>>4840145
>>4840148
Oh my, it indeed lives up to advertisement.
>>
Rolled 5, 15, 20 = 40 (3d20)

>>4840143
>>
Rolled 9, 7, 14 = 30 (3d20)

>>4840143
>>
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>18,17,20
Scratch that, it's better than advertised.
>>
>18, 17, 20
Well lads, I think we done did do this. Especially with the Nat20 for the Battle in General.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d100)

...huh. Well lookie there. Well, in that case...

Ignore this roll. Sorta. It's not important unless it is.
>>
>>4840159
Pft. Aight, moving on.
>>
>>4840159
Is that a death throw I see?
>>
I forgot, how tall are our minibots. Could they use her polearm?
>>
>>4840168
...Huh. No yeah, they're a similar size, now that I think about it. P&J are shorter than you, come up to about your waist, so...
>>
>>4840168
They're about half as tall as us iirc, so same height.
>>
So we give the Polearm to Jago, yeah? Prima doesn't strike me as the bot to use a weapon like that, and having Jago use his Hook to launch himself and skewer opponents with the polearm sounds pretty neat.
>>
>>4840188
Yeah. He's our fourth Enforcer after all.
>>
If we do manage to kill her, remember to grab the bolts before we go
>>
>>4840143
>>4840145
>>4840148
>>4840150
You’re aware that she’ll likely burn through most mana, or just not care about anything thrown her way. You haven’t really used offensive mana once this whole fight.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have ANY tricks up your sleeve, however- and although it’s more than a bit risky, this might be the time to do it! With your nose kinda burning, you throw your hand out, launching a spray of sticky mana in her direction. It’s not desperation, but you are hoping REALLY hard.

Fortunately, it seems like it pays off- she seems genuinely surprised at the technique, and as a result, doesn’t dodge in time; the result is her coated from head to toe in the ‘gunk’, but it’s already bubbling as it lands…

But it’s then that a pair of shadowy tentacles sneak around her, ensnaring her from the back and wrapping her harshly, binding her round and round in dark wraps until all but her head is masked. ‘Oooh, hot hugs, hot hugs! Might want to make this quick!’ Gartoum yelps. Not that you need any assistance- you’re already arming the crossbow.

For a second, there’s a shudder- and you think she might break out regardless...but then that’s when you see a large, thick shadow erupt from your OWN, and like a cocoon itself, she’s enveloped even more thoroughly- her head is bound up, and what’s left is indeed a cocoon of darkness...fantastic. ‘Thank you-’

‘Just hurry up and end her! I’ll not be denied my goals so close to them!’ Right, right. You don’t want to rush it now, but you can’t let this opportunity go! The crossbow is loaded, set, and…

The black ribbons restraining her unwrap only her head, revealing her enraged face- that turns to surprise as she sees your weapon. You take aim…

She inhales to say or do something- whichever, you’re not sure. Doesn’t matter.

The bolt goes through her head cleanly regardless. It doesn’t even stick. Just a hole there…

...that’s followed by three more as she continues to struggle. Right, made of magic, no actual brain technically...you think.

The fact that she lets out a gargling shriek afterwards makes you think so. Gartoum and Ah-Rul let go- just as she explodes into a conflagration of fire and dust, and the magma and fire surrounding her seemed to freeze and harden, or dissipate in the case of the flames.

There’s silence for a few moments. The only thing left of her is her polearm. Stylish as it is...well, might as well. Pecker, now red as a ripe tomato (and looking similar to one, to be frank), lands on top of your head again. Huh. You’d say ‘pleasantly warm, kinda like a hot pack’, but you’re still sweating. So it’s just kind of annoying for now. Before you can wave it off, however, you hear him again.

‘There. Now, onwards! They seek to further dissipate my power and we CANNOT let that come to fruition!’ Right, right...

> Just move on; you don't want to annoy him further.
> Ask about maybe getting a bit of backup. No shame in starting things early, huh?
>Other
>>
>>4840358
> Just move on; you don't want to annoy him further.
> Other
Use the Induction Orb to heal up.
Ask him to prepare to port in backup (and the Dragon) on our cue.

Giving him a bit of prep time will likely shorten it a fair bit. And we can use Flux Wave as an opener before without worrying about hitting our mobs.
>>
>>4840358
>> Just move on; you don't want to annoy him further.
>Drink a minor healing potion and use the remaining mana crystals
>>
>>4840358
>Just move on; you don't want to annoy him further
>Try to get the bolts back as well. Or have Gartoum get them
>>
>>4840358
>> Just move on; you don't want to annoy him further.
>Drink a minor healing potion and use the remaining mana crystals
>Ask him to prepare to port in backup (and the Dragon) on our cue.
>>
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>>4840358
>She wields a polearm that has a crescent blade on one end, which she’s aiming at you as well.
>The only thing left of her is her polearm. Stylish as it is...well, might as well.
So, what kind of polearm is that?
>Gartoum and Ah-Rul touching tentacles
l-lewd
>>
>>4840423
More of a Guandao. I couldn't think of the name for it for a while.
>>
>>4840358
> Just move on; you don't want to annoy him further.
>Drink a minor healing potion and use the remaining mana crystals
>Ask him to prepare to port in backup (and the Dragon) on our cue
>pat birb on head for no real reason
>>
by the way, how many bolts do we have left?
>>
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>>4840443
I honestly don't know. How many did we loot from the fortress? We spent 4 on Anga and at least 4 on Gonda.
>>
>>4840490
We grabbed the ones we used on the dragon god so at least those aren't spent
>>
>>4840358
>>4840366
>>4840379
>>4840389
>>4840396
>>4840437
“I need my bolts back,” you murmur out loud as you grab in your back for a light wounds potion. You don’t have many, but this one should do. You don’t hear anything else- but you can guess that others heard you. Especially the fairy ‘town’ back a ways. It’s not going to go lightly, you’re positive of that. Ah, mana crystals, too...but there’s not many left with your restorations that you’ve done. You haven’t refreshed them in a bit.

>You have 2 Large Mana Crystals Left.
>You have 1 Cure Light Wounds Potion Left
>Current Mana: 11,000/11,000

‘Any possibility your Dragon could be brought here to help me?’ you hazard as the wounds heal up. It wouldn’t be too unwarranted, you think.

‘Mmmm...that WOULD be a pleasant irony...but it would take time to prepare in my current state,’ he muses as you head off at speed, after making sure Pecker was snug against you. ‘Not now, but with some preparation perhaps. It would be pleasant to see them despair at the proof that even death cannot stop my warriors…’

‘Well, there you go,’ you admit. ‘I can handle them, for sure now that I have a handle on their level of ability-’ slight mistruth but best to puff yourself up for the client- ‘but I figured it’d be a good idea to, well, let you in on the fun directly, so to speak.’

‘Tch. Flattery will not increase your reward...’ Maybe, maybe not. Doesn’t hurt to try!

Interestingly enough, as you charge through, there seems to be an air of...hurriedness to things? Not just with you, no, but it feels as though the wind itself is rushing the other way past you, other birds and creatures, as well...

>Roll 1d20+1, best of three.
>>
Rolled 13 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>4840538
>>
Rolled 1 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>4840538
>>
Rolled 16 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

>>4840538
>>
>>4840556
Damnit, at least we got a 17
>>
You know, that fight could had gone worse.

Anga was remarked to be one of the stronger Elder Fairies and she had enough martial training to keep up with us, as a fairy. Thankfully with her out of the way that's one big obstacle taken out. Hopefully the others will not resist our melee as hard.
>>
>>4840589
>Sylathi - Elder Fairy of Water. Particularly capricious and flighty, but also very strong.
>Mobambo - Elder Fairy of Wind. Similarly, he has great joy and anger in equal measure.
>Malamund - Elder Fairy of Wood. Motherly and humorous, but also can be cold and vengeful.
>Anga - Elder Fairy of Fire. Hotheaded and powerful, yet hard to control.
>Yuyula - Elder Fairy of Light. Said to be the strongest Fairy in existence, and a nascent Goddess.
Sylathi and Yuyula are strong as well, and I don't know what to expect from the wind elder. Feels like he's coming up next too.
>>
So any tactics against the other Fairies?
I think we can we can handle Malamund (wood fairy) due to us having our flamebringer and engery channel.
I think the wind fairy would be hard to hit due to our attacks and us could be blown away. unless we can manage to hit him with a flux wave.
The water fairy could be defeated by electric attacks.
The light fairy, I'm not so sure other than Flux wave, Z1 and crossbow in succession or something.
>>
>>4840611
We still haven't tried the new coilgun. Maybe we could use the wind gem that we stole from the fortress to negate wind fairy's spells. If we're going to use shock spells against the water fairy then I suggest equipping rapier and spraying her with electric lines. Also we might encounter the fairy who was guiding hero's party.
>>
>>4840668
We have something else conductive for the water fairy too.

> Sky God’s Hammer
> Durability Enhancement Identified. Superconductive Alloy Identified. Impact Augmentation Identified.

But whacking a water fairy with a hammer sounds outrageous to me, so spraying her with electric lines might work better.
>>
Y'know it feels like we didn't try to distract Anga enough, she stayed focused on fighting us the whole time, which played to her strengths. Hopefully the other fairies will be less passively threatening.
>>
>>4840597
We should take out our Anga figurine and see if it's still juiced up or we fully dispelled a god-like entity.
>>
>>4840725
To be fair, this was almost a mirror match. Both girls are melee powerhouses and miranda would have been able to eventually win, but not without getting one or two serious hita from the fairy.
>>
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>>4840726
I don't think it'd change at all - it might be an elemental crystal that was shaped as her, it's properties are innate and have nothing to do with Anga's fire affinity. The 'Elder of Fire' title is only a title and she's not a real deity imo.
>>4838178
>Your morph-blade is holding up well against it, but you have to imagine that it won’t last for THAT long without needing some repair work done back home…
Guess we're done using Morphblade for now, we should either fix it with our gauntlets right now or stash it in our bag before we run out of the 10 minutes time limit.
>>4831524
>Are we proficient in dual wielding?
>Not so much. You're not BAD, perse, but it's not something you really do and it's rare you resort to it.
Can we dual wield arcane foci though? Like, use both our rapier and the mage girl's ruby staff at the same time to sling spells?
>The girl’s ruby staff seems to be an augmentor of mana, around 20% or so on average. Blah.
>>
Writing!

>>4841012

Can make an attempt, but...
>>
>>4840538
>>4840544
>>4840556
>>4840557

The rumbling is lasting longer than you’d hope. You don’t like this. But what’s worse is that there’s no attempts at interference- at least, none yet. Which means one of two things. One: the other Elders decided to put all their resources into draining the Lockstone entirely and are pushing it. Normally not a bad thing, but considering he needs all his power to assure victory, then...well, you don’t want that to happen to get your full payout, obviously. The second is that they might well be prepping something VERY big to take you out. Also bad, for much more obvious reasons.

It’s when you start getting from wild foliage to wild foliage and small buildings and structures that you start wondering if it isn’t more the former than the latter. Another leap up to check- ah, huh. You’re getting close- very close. That shining dome is almost…

But that’s when there’s another rumble- and a massive grouping of vines and trees seem to spring forth out of nowhere- an absolutely enormous mass of foliage seems to weave in and out and through itself, forming a massive wall intended to try to bar you passage.

For a moment, you’re worried that this heralds yet another Elder Fairy, but...after a few moments of glancing around, preparation, and careful looking, you can’t seem to find any sign of, say, the Elder Fairy of Wood. Huh.

Another, much longer rumble has you thinking, while you try to keep your balance, that you have your answer as to where the active resistance is. Guess they’re not interested in going one after another at you. And with the shield- and likely the Lockstone- likely less than a half mile out, you suppose it’s an understandable response.

>Pecker, if you would? This’ll likely cause a heck of a lot of fire...
>Time for the Dragon to soften them up- and you can slip in in the chaos.
>You can fly up yourself- and get in, too.
>Other
>>
>>4842440
>Pecker, if you would? This’ll likely cause a heck of a lot of fire...
The Dragon has much better targets than these.
Flying in without total flight control sounds risky to me.
>>
>>4842440
>>Pecker, if you would? This’ll likely cause a heck of a lot of fire...
>Equip "Real Divinity" Respirator
>>
>>4842440
>>4842461
This too.
Fumes and potential spores all around.l
>>
>>4842440
>Pecker, if you would? This’ll likely cause a heck of a lot of fire...
>Equip "Real Divinity" Respirator
Yeah let's hurry up and get to the lockstone. They know we have something that could kill them so they're trying the ranged approach.
>>
>>4842440
>Pecker, if you would? This’ll likely cause a heck of a lot of fire...
>Equip "Real Divinity" Respirator
>>
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>>4842440
>Pecker, if you would? This’ll likely cause a heck of a lot of fire...
Haha, time for bird war crimes.
>>
It's not napalm, but.

Writing!
>>
>>4842440
Something I'm wondering about.

They could have got rid of the stones entirely even before this job but chose not to. That means this procedure is reserved only for worst-case scenarios. Or they're just too lazy.
I wager that it can damage this island or their very own bodies. The fact that all 5 of the Elders didn't jump on us together at the first chance suggests that at least one of them has to be there for the ritual.
>>
>>4842492
Wouldn't surprise me if it's a very complex and time consuming ritual, needing as many Elder Fairies as possible to complete in a timely manner. Anga most likely just went straight for us when we were discovered instead of staying and completing the ritual due to being a hothead and wanting some action.
>>
>>4842440
>>4842457
>>4842461
>>4842467
>>4842480
>>4842482
>>4842485
Well, Pecker’s red-hot, quite literally. Would be a shame to not use it, right? Although it’ll likely cause some trouble...well, for them, probably not as much for you, but still. First thing’s first, though. You’d rather not be a victim of smoke inhalation; good thing you have that respirator.

It’s fortunately not too much work to reattach it, and with that, you give Pecker a pat. “Burn that, could you? All of it?” Pecker, fortunately, seems to understand perfectly- thinking about it, maybe it’s something involving how he was made; he didn’t seem to understand a while ago, and you know he understands NOW, but you’re not certain of when he got to...maybe his evolution? Well, it doesn’t matter now.

What does matter is the immense conflagration that lights up as Pecker seems to open his fat beak and spew out gout and gouts of flame like a living flamethrower. The trees light up as intended, and as the flames rise, you can feel the rumbling of the island again, almost like a response to the actions you’re taking against the forest itself. It hopefully won’t take too long to burn through, but considering you’re on a bit of a time limit, every extra second counts…

As soon as there's a hole to charge through, you do, Pecker keeping close as you march through the smoke and flame.

>Roll 1d20, best of three.
>>
Rolled 14 (1d20)

>>4842648
>>
Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>4842648
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>4842648
>>
>>4842648
>>4842657
>>4842661
>>4842663

The flames, to your appreciation (if slight concern) are just growing higher- helped along by Pecker expending the last of his reserves on the forest that’s ablaze around you. This’ll cause an immense amount of worry and panic, and it’ll be good to either get the element of surprise or intimidate anything that sees you within it. Your priority is to get to that center point- which you’re certain is where the Lockstone is now. The tremors are lasting longer, and they’re more intense the closer you get.

It’s almost sooner than you expect when, with the blaze of the forest behind you, you burst out, the environment becoming fully crafted, as opposed to only partially; what’s in front of you is a large temple, the size of a building itself, and clearly meant to be open air- the pillars are wide and white marble, and there’s a large set of steps leading to an entranceway….and within said entranceway...four very bright, colored lights...and one large crystal.

There's a sudden flash- and the area rumbles yet again, fiercer and stronger than any before.

'No! They cannot be allowed to finishe, else they rob me of my own power for good! Stop them! Stop them NOW!'

Right. At this point, any second guessing or fears have to go. Now is time for…

>Action!
>>
>>4842761
I'm going to guess these
>four very bright, colored lights
are the remaining Elders.
>>
>>4842761
>Ask Ah-Rul to bring in the Dragon after our spells.
>Activate Over Channel, equip the Rapier and cast Flux Wave.

Make it a Double. Should be able to knock them outta their trance.
>>
I'll resume tomorrow, earlier.
>>
>>4842761
>>4842779
Yup, time for the Double Wave
>>
>>4842761
Supporting >>4842779
If they don't go down easily, maybe the crystal would.
>>
>>4842761
>>4842779
+
How much bonus are we getting for this? +3?
>>
Writing!
>>
>>4842761
>>4842779
>>4842788
>>4842812
>>4843259
You’re already readying yourself as you talk to your client. ‘Sir, I’m about to assault the stronghold. Once I engage in my spells, please bring HIM here.’ Obvious as to who ‘him’ is, of course.

‘Just so long as you’re prepared to take my stone from them!’ is the response. ‘Your goal is not to destroy them, amusing and helpful though it may be. Your goal is to RESTORE MY POWER by obtaining the Lockstone and returning them all to ME.’ Not like they’d just sit around if you took it, mind, so frankly you don’t really think there’s much exclusivity to both goals. The idea of just letting them chase you down is...less than enticing. Still, hopefully it won’t matter at all…

You cast your heat...and then push it further as you proceed to Overchannel; normally something to avoid, you’re going to need the increased power. In addition, with your Morph-Blade warped and unusable, you need another weapon- and have just the one. That rapier should do well enough, and now...well, you just need to focus your thoughts…
...and then unfocus them.

The wave is less a wave and more a multicolored explosion, a rainbow sea of mana washing over the temple, the fairies, the stone, and everything and anything well with sight. You’re not sure how far it goes, but...well, as the second one erupts from you, you can only hope it works as intended.

>Roll 2d20+4, best of three.
>>
Rolled 4, 3 + 4 = 11 (2d20 + 4)

>>4844140
>>
Rolled 1, 3 + 4 = 8 (2d20 + 4)

>>4844140
>>
Rolled 1, 4 + 4 = 9 (2d20 + 4)

>>4844140
>>
Rolled 8, 1 = 9 (2d20)

>>4844140
Lmao are we seriously failing this roll
>>
holy fucking shit
>>
Rolled 12, 13 + 4 = 29 (2d20 + 4)

>>4844140
Ok Handler, if this roll is higher than 10 give us some crumbs
>>
>>4844157
Because fucking hell I want to end this already, it has been months
>>
Woof.

Writing.
>>
>>4844161
Pls have mercy and give us an average or sth idk, don't wanna start work feeling loke shit
>>
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>>4844143
>>4844145
>>4844148
Holy fucking shit team do not make us snap our necks on the fucking finish line I swear on me mum this is not OK.
>>
>>4844173
We ducking DIE. GG no RE. Lockstone go BOOM
>>
>>4844173
This thing is almost statistically impossible, I lowkey agreeing with desu >>4844165. We shouldn't fail this hard with a +4.
>>
>>4844140
>>4844143
>>4844145
>>4844148
As you shake off the after effects and charge up the stairs, you can hear a ghastly noise and a loud thrumming as a massive portal seems to tear from the air itself- vacuuming up smaller debris as though it’s clearing the space itself for what’s to arrive.

Almost immediately, you can hear a massive crashing as the giant, ichorous, skeletal beast descends from the mid-air portal, bellowing in what’s likely equal parts anger and pain, loosed upon the world again.

This is, to your dismay, rather swiftly countered by the myriad of lights from what you’d thought were decorative tower tips that seem to spark up in defense of the fairies and their people; whether automated or not, you’re uncertain, but many proceed to lash out at the beast with spell after spell, locking him in a fierce defense right from the get go. NOT how you wanted to start the situation, honestly. What’s worse is that the fairies seem...far less than disoriented, to be truthful. You’d hoped that they’d at least be knocked silly by the randomness in your mana, but it seems as though it didn’t do much at all, barring some slight confusion. “Continue the ritual!” one of them says, and this one’s voice is loud, clarent, almost like a ringing bell. “Though they may throw their shadows against us, their false power cannot prevail against our light!” Yeah, right.

You’re just at the top of the steps at the end of that little rallying cry, and you can see that that’s their major focus- the Lockstone is in clear view- and going from the normal colors to an absolute clear look, it seems. It’s over halfway drained, to boot, and you can visibly see it draining further. You’ve GOT to figure out a way to get past their resistances…!

But as you’re thinking about that, another rumbling- but this one far closer; and there’s a cracking noise as well. Before you can think about what’s going on, there’s a flash of white as something collides with you, burning in a way like frost but not; you’re nearly sent tumbling down the stairs before you right yourself in midair and manage to look up at just what waylaid you.

Some sort of...magically activated fairy statue, it seems like- wait, no. Less than that but more. A sort of astral projection of sorts? Whatever it is...it’s massive, easily covering the doorway. Near translucent. Four wings. A feathery crown on her head, and closed eyes, smile serene as it patiently sits in front of the entryway...

Wait-That’s what it looks like- the bust of the Yuyula, like in that light temple! But...literally. Just the bust- torso and above. Can’t be the real thing, you think...but it doesn’t matter. You need to find a way to get past this door guardian before it can delay you for too long! Considering how dangerous this thing seems, that might well be a task, though...

>Z1 might have to put in overtime here...
>Try to physically overpower this thing?
>You DO just need to get the stone. Maybe outspeed it?
>Other
>>
>>4844227
>Z1 might have to put in overtime here...
>>
>>4844227
>Z1 might have to put in overtime here...
I want to finish the final lap in this run boss. So if we're rolling take the roll right next lock-in.
>>
>>4844227
>Z1 might have to put in overtime here...
>>
>>4844227
>>Z1 might have to put in overtime here...
>>
Bzzt. Writing.
>>
Rolled 43 (1d100)

>>4844227
>>4844232
>>4844236
>>4844246
>>4844264

You don’t have time to waste on this thing; with the kind of magic output it’s capable of, you’d rather not have to spend more on it than necessary. Fortunately, you’ve got a little something that could help out- provided it still works. Hopefully it does…

You quickly snatch out the Z1- it proved an excellent aid in getting beyond a doorway once before. Maybe it’ll work just the same here...at least, that’s the idea. If nothing else, it's at least cooled down, it feels. Hopefully that's good. You quickly prime it, and you mentally count down before underhand lobbing it towards the creation. To your surprise, it doesn’t seem to register the device, though it does look at it oddly as it clatters to the ground in front of it…

>...
>>
>>4844299
Bad-ish, but not horrible. Writing further.
>>
Don't tell me we're gonna have to use Pecker or the crossbow.
What shitty rolls lol
>>
The whole mission was so good and now the final battle is beyond an anticlimax
>>
>>4844377
is this karma for dunking on the protag team?
>>
>>4844382
To be fair if we didn't dunk on them this battle would have been far more catastrophic.
Seriously? Failing both rolls with +4. I hope we get some compensations for such unlikely feats.
>>
>>4844382
Maybe, but if we left them alive they'll be blocking the way to the lockstone instead and powered by the elder fairies.
Either way, I'm gonna be annoyed that after a (8 month irl) long job we're gonna fumble near the finish line
>>
>>4844387
Oh come on, failing one roll is not the end of the world. Yet. Even if they're Elders they're still weak to physical damage so maybe we can just blow them up with rockets.
And we still have one Seither Pill left if I remember correctly. Might be pushing it since the last time we've drugged ourselves up was only 2 days ago, but if shit gets fucked - we're popping that bad boy.
>>
>>4844397
That's the thing. I don't want to pop the pill because that will reflect too much on our reliance on doping. AND I don't want to look and behave like a clown at the finish line. It will make looking back to this mission a lot more sour.
>>
>>4844399
okay, then it's time for the Precursor Multi-Missile Launcher to shine
>>
Oh crap
>>
>>4844299
Your heart catches in your chest as you see it blink active again. Your breath deepens as it lights up, the flash going off, forcing you to cover your eyes again. When you look back, to your pleasure, you can see the construct still, as though surprised. And then slowly, not unlike something taking time to process, the creature...begins to turn to stone. It’s spreading, almost like an infection or corruption, not the instant thing it was before.

But it’s slowing- you can see that after only a couple of seconds. And judging from how the thing’s sparking and steaming, that’s probably the last shot you’ve got- it wasn’t the best option, but it’ll do for now. It’ll have to!

You dart forwards, already going through strategies in your head- this thing can still likely attack, but it'll be debilitated. And you've STILL got to get to the Lockstone- another rumble and a roar suddenly comes from a distance- the dragon?

Right, still occupied. You've got to finish this yourself somehow.

>Action!

>Regardless, roll 1d20, best of three.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d20)

>>4844457
>>
>>4844460
HOLY FUCKING SHIT REALLY DICE???
>>
Rolled 9 (1d20)

>>4844457
Ahhhhh please let us finish this!
>>
Rolled 18 (1d20)

>>4844457
Just need a +10 roll
>>
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>>4844465
I kneel.
>>
>>4844457
>Get the Precursor Multi-Missile Launcher and shoot the petrified/corrupted parts of the construct
>>
>>4844457
Try to use flux wave again or ready our crossbow

>>4844465
THANK YOU
>>
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>>4844465
>>
>>4844457
>Ask Ah-Rul to reinforce his barrier for the next few minutes.
>Use the Induction Orb to cast a full Barrier Armor
>Activate Low-Quickening and make a mad dash to the stone.

The petrification is spreading so that construct will be useless in time. Just run through the red ribbon!
>>
And yeah, remember that you still have an action/tactic/whatever to decide on.
>>
>>4844457
>>4844470
Actually no, I'll change my vote to >>4844475
We need to hurry and I want to ready another flux wave for the Fairies themselves.
>>
>>4844457
switching>>4844468 to >>4844475 and adding
>Cast Sun's Flare as soon as we get close
This should confuse them. With Over-Channel still active we should be able to leave the construct in the dust.
>>
>>4844485
and also ready pecker for absorbing mana
>>
>>4844457
>>4844487
Dunno if we have enough action points but let's go with this
>>
>>4844457
>>4844487
Do this too. That construct still needs to see.
>To your surprise, it doesn’t seem to register the device, though it does look at it oddly as it clatters to the ground in front of it…
>>
>>4844475
What barrier?
>>
>>4844523
Ah-Rul's personal protection? The thing that protected us when we were under fire by those kids?
>>
Writing.
>>
>>4844457
>>4844460
>>4844463
>>4844465
>>4844475
>>4844485
>>4844487
>>4844497
>>4844504
“Alright, then!” you say both out loud and mentally as you charge forwards. No sense in dragging this out much longer- you’re going to have to make a break for it. ‘Sir, what spare power you have, I hope you don’t mind using it to help protect me!’ You’re already fishing out the induction orb as you say this- no time to worry about the ifs, just need to act! You make sure it’s full as can be- and quickly activate your full barrier armor, AND Low Quickening just to be safe.

There’s ANOTHER roar, and suddenly you see a MASSIVE beam of fire and darkness seemingly impact the side of the temple, tearing through it- the lights are flickering as the door guardian tracks you, even as it’s turning to stone- but that’s your chance.

You tense your legs, and LEAP.

The speed that you move is such that you can just barely hear the impact of something going off well behind you; the second your feet hit ground you dart forwards again, slipping underneath the construction, and then you lunge once more. Though in a blur, you see the lights in front of you, basic things, but can barely notice the intensity next to the Lockstone; part two, you hope- no more fire, so!

It’s more of a panic cast than anything, but you throw out a Sun’s Flare; you can hear at least two squeals, which is good; but you don’t have time to worry as you grab at the Lockstone; it doesn’t normally take very long to return to you- but it feels like every second is an hour in this situation.

The moment you feel the thing shrink enough- snapping the ethereal bonds they'd made to it during that moment of confusion...

'GOT IT!'

You leap up and out of the hole made by the dragon, as already you can hear...something. Rumbling, but not like before.

No, this is coming up from the air. Almost like a storm's coming...

'At laaaast...'

'NO!' come a chorus of voices- and a bright light.

>Roll 1d20, best of three once more.
>>
Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>4844672
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>4844672
Watch me roll that nat1
>>
Rolled 9 (1d20)

>>4844672
>dicegods choose to reward us now
How unfitting
At least we're ending this with a bang
>>
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>>4844677
Tremble mortals and despair, doom has come to this world.
>>
That'll work. Writing.
>>
You know, it would be thematically appropriate for a nebula buster here, and a good counter to whatever final attack the fairies are gonna do.
>>
>>4844694
We started with 11000 Mana. Hmm.

>800 for Overchannel.
>3200 for the dud Double Flux Wave.
>400 for Sun's Flare.
>150 for Low Quickening.

We should have about 6450 left in our tank and we haven't used the condenser yet.
>>
>>4844694
Be honest I was wondering when we were gonna use it, not if. You know, being a difficult mission and all. Blowing up a problem can work in some situations so if we prepared for the drain I think we could have been quite free in our use of NB. Of course, staying relatively low profile throughout this mission stacks the favor against it as well, but still.
>>
>>4844672
>>4844675
>>4844677
>>4844683
‘YES!’ Comes the response- and it’s enough of one that when you see the multicolored beam come up, for a second you’re worried and about to cast a barrier- before a massive glut of black morass comes up, and you hear a muffled noise before- you get the sense of displacement.

You’ve been teleported.

Kinda wanted to end it better, but...fuck, you’ll take a quick exit.

When your vision returns to you...you’re back in Ah-Rul’s cavern. Right, that door…

“At last…” the rumbling of his voice is all around you, now. “Take the stones. Place them. And FREE ME!”

Right. “What about payment?”

A moment of silent. "Tch. Greedy as ever. Nonetheless, I shall indeed reward you. Though you began perhaps to lack towards the end..." hey- "...you did as asked. Place them, and I shall send you to my offerings forthwith.

Hm.

>Anything else to ask before you place the Lockstones and free Ah-Rul?
>>
>>4844912
>I will keep the bird.
So do we bring the kid or what?
>>
>>4844914
Up to you. I'm out for the night. We should obviously be about done tomorrow. Also:

As a reminder- I never 'One Roll Kill'.

If you haven't rolled like shit before in a fight, it's more a warning/setup for 'if you keep rolling badly + making risky decisions THEN it'll end badly'. I make things harder, not impossible.
>>
>>4844912
>Keep the bird
>Ask if he can reward Gartoum as well somehow
>Ask to give us some time to sort out the fairy kid and offer him to come with us
should we ask for beginner level textbooks on Endomagic as well?
>>
>>4844914
I'd say yeah
>>
>>4844912
>..... sooo, can I keep Pecker?
>"The ability to summon shadow beasts has been quite useful. Is there anyway that you can pass onto me some of that power?"
>Ask for Endomagic books and knowledge.
This spell is versatile and can serve as a long-term distraction technique. Or if we ever invest in it, a devouring swarm of bugs that autotargets. We've seen its' effectiveness.
>>
Is the anon who wanted to extend this contract here? Now's the time to make your case.
>>
>>4844937
Not him, but why don't we stay a while to plunder that scholar town? We can find Endomagic books over there.
We can also sell our Buster as a siege technique.
>>
>>4844937
I am at work, don't think I can make my case while phoneposting. Will deploy my autism when I get home.
>>
>>4844938
For if he wants some locations to immediately disappear in a magic mushroom cloud that is. But with how confident he is, I'm pretty sure he won't need our services.

I still want to plunder that scholar town though.
>>
>>4844937
Not that anon, but we've been on this mission for almost 1 year and what happens after this isnt that amusing (for me). We could give him a tokem to call us when the heroes invariably try to murder him, but thats for way in the future
>>
>Gartoum was the MVP this mission
>no one else suggested to reward him
bruh
>>
>>4844947
Uuuuh, you sure you want another shadowman's shadow energy inside our shadow?
>>
Reward him with what? Dude is lile 70% a construct and the book he was on is...unreadable i think? Dunno how we could reward someone-thing like that
>>
>>4844951
maybe something could be done with his ring so he'd be able to operate at longer range, iunno
>>4844949
they've already touched tentacles before
>>
>>4844937
I don't want to stay for long because we are in this mission for so long I want it to finish.
Maybe if we can have it in a brief summarized post (or two) with rolling for loot.

>>4844947
We can do that in the Intersection, without any evil shadow overlord doing it. Let's just remember to bring him to a summoning expert/mage.
>>
>>4844912
>>4844931
oh and we're totally keeping this amazing shadow cloak
>>
>>4844966
Isn't that cloak made with Ah-Rul's power? Would that cloak's magic work outside this world?
>>
>>4844979
>YOU, agent, must search of them yourself beyond that. And for that purpose, some subterfuge may be required...” Almost before he finishes saying such, the inky darkness swirles, coalesces…and a cloak, long, and dark violet, forms from the shadow. “Here. Through my magics, none shall sense your true being unless desired, save, perhaps, for those with affinity to the -light-” he chokes out, “-the cowards.
Hmmm, usually otherworldly stuff needs to be attuned to the Intersection. The gauntlets weren't working until we've had them treated, so I think the same could be done with the cloak.
>>4844936
And speaking of Ah-Rul's magic working outside this world, would learning that technique even be worth the effort? Their effectiveness scaled with Ah-Rul's power and we'll probably only get the underpowered variant. The first time we've used bugs to attack someone they were easily repelled, so distraction is all they'd be good for for a while. There's already a backlog of other underdeveloped techniques that we need to finish and we also want to learn some endomagic as well.
>>
>>4845006
Thinking again, I think we should ask Ah-Rul to grant Gartoum some powers. Provided that Gartoum's psyche won't be permanently changed and he consents. Goofy guy deserves new toys after what he's done for us.
>>
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>>4844912
So I think this is what being leaned to?

>Ask Ah-Rul to grant Gartoum some power.
>Ask if we can keep the cloak.
>Ask for Endomagic knowledge/books, or at least if we can raid the scholar town for them.
>Ask if we can fetch the fairy kid.

And most importantly.
>Put on our best little girl face and ask if we can keep Pecker.
>>
>>4845041
Yeah, that seems about right.
>>
>>4844912
>>4845041
Taking this
Been here for 8 months, pretty sure I can take another week
>>
Guys, we dont need to ask to keep peacket. Im pretty sure we got that approval after....we got him
>>
>>4845281
Oh yeah...
well now we can just
>ask about giving Gart a power up,
>ask about keeping the cloak,
>keeping the fairy kid

Also, I'm still not gonna agree about staying to get some endomagic spells via extending the contact. too much time and I don't think the client will take it.
>>
>>4844937
>>4844940
Haha, it is I, Extention-Anon. I am currently shirking my duties as an adult and procrastinating from my online crane operator course to bring you this turbo-autistic rant about why we should stay as Ah-Rul's minion for a while longer.

The short and simple answer is this: Money. We're not talking scraps, we're not talking chump change. We're talking the big bucks, and this is the first opportunity we've had so far to swipe a haul that has the potential to be astronomically huge by our standards. Allow me to explain why I belive this is the case.
First of all, we need to establish a few assumptions about Mote Conversion, and wealth of clients for the sake of argument. While we've never been given the exact ratio of Wealth > Motes, we've been given a few pre-requisites for what makes an item worth motes. Those pre-requisites are:
>a) The item in question is made out of something with material value, e.g jewelry/gold bars etc
>b) The item in question has strong sentimental value to one or more person, e.g things like family herilooms, paintings or pictures
>c) The item in question is wanted by an overwhelming amount of the population, e.g money
These categories may overlap, a golden armband could check every single pre-requisite, or it could only check one. If this impacts the mote value of the item, only Handler knows. Regardless, every time we've recieved payment, we've recieved it either in Cash or some other form of valuable items, be it briefcases of unmarked bills or chests of gold and silver, simply because its value is quite easily established.

Most of our income comes from contract completion, we rarely do actual looting and instead rely on secondary objectives for extra pay on most missions. It's important for the next few assumption that we take a look at what type of clientele we've worked for during this quest:
>A group of disenfranchised knights that wants to bring about peace in a wartorn world (A)
>Concerned citizens that tasks us to train a group of young heroine with co-ordination problems (B)
>Railroad entrepreneur that wants to tame the frontier (and possibly murder any competitors) (C)
>As an outsourced ground asset for Dynamic Methods (Dynamic Methods hired by the governing body of a nation losing a war) (D)
>A crossover that didn't give us any pay, but at least we got fluffy tail (E)
>S.H.I.E.L.D knock-off that couldn't beat a supervillain (F)
>Chicago Mob boss with a crush on goody-two-shoes detective (G)
>A crossover that actually gets us pay, working for an underground mafia gone semi-legal (H)
>Bad mage boi in mage collage who can't summon Saber (I)
>A prince who's nation was on the verge of being overrun by shadows (J)
>A corporation trying to harvest the power of Tiberium á la Kane (K)
>Crossover Numero Tres where we work for Magical Girl S.H.I.E.L.D to defeat an evil magical girl (L)
>Hogwarts but it's flying Dubai that has dibs on all oil deposits in the world (M)
>Literally Sauron (N)
>>
>>4845345
In cases B, C, G, H, I, M, and N, we've answerd to and been summoned directly by a single individual. For most of these we've been unable to ascertain the potential wealth of our summoners, with one exception. The boy from the Fate/stay Miranda, whom we get a somewhat clear picture of the wealth of his family. While they're not excessively wealthy per se, they are by far no Gates or Bezos when it comes to money, they are pillars of their local community and their money buys them enough influence that both his parents are on the the City Council. They also had quite a storage of trinkets gathered from spelunking, though we didn't get to appraise them as Lysan's sister gave over two trinkets that covered half the bill instead. Now, since all of our solo jobs tend to have roughly the same pay of around 20-30 motes and often come with the "Recommended Outgoer 1-2" status, we can establish an assumption on the actual wealth needed to hire a B-rank Enforcer:
>A moderately wealthy family or individual will have the funds neccessary to hire one or multiple B-ranked Enforcers
An additional assumption can also be made of this. Since Sal seems to appreciate if we attempt to establish return customers, and the simple fact that we have never cleaned anyone out completely for finishing a job with secondary and tertiary objectives completed, we can make the following assumption about the offered contracts:
>A contract will never put the client in question in a situation of destitution
As in, a completed contract will not leave the client with only the shirt on his back and nothing else. Bankrupting your clientele is not a good business strategy if you intend to try and make them repeat customers.
Why is this important? It is important when we take in to account that in two cases, we were in fact not hired by induviduals. We were hired by Nations. Specifically, I want to look at our excursion with Dynamic Methods, and the actual pay we ended up reciving from the mission itself. It ended with an induvidual pay of 25 Lotes, for a total of 75 between Miranda/Izumi/Lorelei. We were specifically brought in as ground assets, as D.M crew we worked with were pilots with little-to-no ground combat experience. We've only had one other mission whose worth exceeded this, I believe it was worth 120 Lotes in total. D.M just threw 75 Lotes at us, no biggie, which seems a bit strange all things considered. After all, D.M functions closer to a normal Merc Outfit than something like SeS. They have quantity, dozens of squadrons, maintenance crews, engineers, administrative staff and co-ordinators. If they could part with 75 Lotes that easily and still provide all of the personel engaged with a wage that could keep them fed, the Alusian government must've paid them an immense amount of money. We don't know the amount of Lotes D.M gained, but lowest estimation would place it at a 4-digits for it to be worth their time.
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>>4845347
Now, taking in to account the assumption already made, that a contract will not bankrupt a client, Alusia could in theory possibly have afforded to hire more Outgoers than just Dynamic Methods to help them fight of the Ferrosian fleet if they felt the need to be great enough. If a nation can afford to pay such exorbitant sums, how deep are their pockets? How much more could be had if they were looted clean? "But Extention-Anon", I hear you say; "There's a difference in National Eras at play between Alusia and our current job. Alusia was a nation in the late stage of industrialization, they already had an established tax code and a controlled monetary system. The nations of Esperia are in the Feudal Era, taxes would be levied on produced goods if no coin was available, and even if enough coin was minted it would be split between so many nobels and merchants that finding a source large enough to be worth looting would be almost impossible."
And you would be right. You would be, if circumstances were normal. Circumstances are however, very much not normal anymore. We've just unleashed The End Times on this world. The Monarchs of this world, if they do not know this already, will know this soon enough, the Faries will absolutely tell everyone immediately. And that's when they will begin centralizing wealth. They will call rich Nobels and merchants to give their funds, wealth and estates to the war effort. Regular Joe's who do not take up arms will have War Taxes placed on them so that those who do can be well supplied and equipped. All of this decentralized wealth will suddenly gravitate towards five locations: The Capital Cities of Alimna, Yulin, Droga, Elerta and Balunda.
The nations of this world will absolutely not lie down and die, they will fight to the bitter end. They might even put up such a fight that Ah-Rul end up stalling several times. The death of one adventurer party does not deprive the world of heroes to stand against Ah-Rul, and there's only so far you can get with mindless thralls and hordes of bodies. Ah-Rul needs Generals and fighters, speaheads of the Army that can break such stubborn defenders.
So we negotiate an extention of the contract. We add a clause, granting us a meekly few percentages of the total value of all spoils taken during the war, we should deserve at least this much as his most loyal servant and breaker of his bonds. Even if it does end up that each nation only has a total value of 1000 Lotes that can be claimed in total, a 3% cut of all spoils would put us on 150 Lotes total after we've sacked all five nations. This is already six times the value of the base contract, six times the value. In the 5 years this quest has been running, we've been on a total of 13 Missions as Miranda. As I said before, most missions pay around 20-30 Lotes for completion, not counting side-missions. Staying here for another 2-3 months of IRL time is potentially worth fucking 2.5 YEARS of threads when it comes to Lotes.
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>>4845350
I get that Anons are tired of this setting now, this has been the longest mission we've been on in total during the whole quest. I get that Anons play this quest because the fun comes from exploring different worlds, accepting missions of varying levels of morality and just punching things really hard in the mouth. I do too. But right now, we're more than just someone who punches really hard. We're the Team Leader of SES, we're in charge of it's upgrades and steering it's course as a company. Most of all, we're trying to achive A-Rank Outgoer status, and Anons seem to think that an A-Rank Outgoer just has to be very punchy. And while it's certainly needed to be punchy if you are to take on the biggest challengers, you'd figure that in a society of sleezy, ehtereal businessmen they'd value the ability you have to make money from unexpected situations just a much as the strength you're packing. Food for thought.

In the end this is a collaborative effort. If Anons believe we should bow out here and go back to the Intersection, I can't really do much about it. I'll be grumpy for sure that we gave up such an opportunity, but that's just the way to cookie crumbles. Now if you excuse me, I am three hours overdue for a shower.
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>>4845345
>>4845347
>>4845350
>>4845354
Now this is what you call a Business Proposal. I applaud your dedication to wanting more profit.

not trying to sound sarcastic, just impressed by the autism
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>>4845350
>If a nation can afford to pay such exorbitant sums, how deep are their pockets? How much more could be had if they were looted clean?
quick thing here. the value of a lote and a mote are dependent on the sentimental value and the rarity of the object that is being converted into a lote or a more. for example, in the aftermath of the flower girls quest(the first ever quest we had), when we came back to collect our cash, one girl tried to pay with a family heirloom and that was worth several motes(or even lotes, i can't remember).

TL;DR. we're not looking to get cash, that's a poor source of motes. we want valuable relics that everyone covets, that's what brings the dosh home

>So we negotiate an extention of the contract.
personally i don't want to stay here more than intended, but that being said, i wouldn't mind having a long term contract with this dude. SES could definitely subcontract some generals and other kind of logistical people(because lets be honest, miranda isn't the kind of gal that likes to think that far ahead in the future) and we could come back if someone needs a fortress broken or such.
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>>4845409
>TL;DR. we're not looking to get cash, that's a poor source of motes
We're almost exclusively paid in cash upon completion of of a job.

In the Magical Girl Training mission, we're paid with a check:
>“Ah!” she quickly fumbles through her purse. “Right, yes, of course.” Soon, she pulls out a checkbook, and starts scribbling

In the Wild West mission we're paid in briefaces filled with bills:
>"Here’s a bit o’ something to whet your whistles-” and to be sure, he tosses you a pair of briefcases, which you both catch. They’re both full of bills.

Same with the Supervillain Murder Contract:
>Commander Hopper is the one to approach you, offering a pair of large, near squareshaped briefcases. “Whoa.” Mono gawkes over the size- and her eyes bug when you open one of them to double check the money"

Once again, the same with the Chicago Mob Boss Contract:
>You raise an eyebrow as she opens both the suitcases...to reveal quite a bit of money in both of them.

In the Fate/stay Miranda academy job, half the reward is paid in coin:
>“Okay, we’re back!” -ah. Finally. They have some sort of large suitcase with them. When you open it, it’s rather filled with large coins

Again back to breifcases filled with cash for the last Crossover:
>“And it’s what gets YOU this.” With that, he reaches out, placing the pair of briefcases in Izumi’s hands. “All there as requested; feel free to count it out."

Saying that we should not go after a national budgets worth of coins because "It's not good motes" is patently false.
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>>4845467
i'm not saying that we shouldn't go for national budgets, i'm saying that we can potentially gain more from objects that have sentimental value and are hard to find.
>>
Considering the, uh. Very spirited debate?

Forewarning; I'll be running in an hour.
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>>4845679
>TL;DR. we're not looking to get cash
>i'm not saying that we shouldn't go for national budgets

...but that's exactly what you said. You're trying to argue that the GDP of Germany is worth less when converted into motes than a single Aztec statue because the latter is harder to find and should therefore be worth more than something as common as money. The reason we get paid in cash for most of the missions we do is because on average, an overwhelming amount of people on the worlds we visit value money far, far more than some esoteric relics or ancient scrolls.
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>>4845727
>GDP of Germany is worth less when converted into motes than a single Aztec statue because the latter is harder to find and should therefore be worth more than something as common as money
actually yes. that was literally explained to us at the start of the quest. a lote(or mote) is the equivalent of a briefcase full of cash, and sentimental objects(or hard to get) are worth several lotes-motes
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>>4845041

>Ask Ah-Rul to grant Gartoum some power.
This one makes me nervous, I think it's a bad idea. Also I imagine the exchange rate on raw power doesn't translate to cash very well, considering the glorification of "Muh ultimate power" it's gonna be overvalued.
>Ask if we can keep the cloak.
Ask but i doubt he will comply.
>Ask for Endomagic knowledge/books, or at least if we can raid the scholar town for them.
As payment some rudimentary spellbooks would probably be pretty cheap, but outside of our contract raiding the world for extra cash is not cool. If we get a contract extension then whatever, but if we're not employed to do stuff I imagine our "permitted interactions" are more limited to courier things than enforcer things.
>Ask if we can fetch the fairy kid.
I'm still on the other side of the fence about bringing fairy kid to the intersection, but theoretically this wouldn't be a reward. We would just be able to.
>Put on our best little girl face and ask if we can keep Pecker.
Also theoretically not a reward. Depending how sentient it is we just keep it.
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>>4845767
If two briefcases of cash equals roughly 24 Lotes in multiple worlds, how much do you think 4.7 Trillion dollars would be worth when converted? Because you sure as shit can fit that many regular bills in two briefcases. We have not actually found any artifacts in our 13 missions that are actually worth more than a few Lotes at most, the exception being the ones given to us by Lysans sister in Fate Academy where the two totaled 14.9 Lotes, which was easily matched by the briefcase of coins we recived just afterwards.
Even when we were running rampage througout the Mecha Base reclaiming everything bolted down, no single object ever came close to actually being as valuable as money. Heck, half the reclamation fee came from Prima when she hacked into a bank account and stole as much money as she could.
>>
So, it seems like

>Keeping the bird
>Asking for knowledge books.
>Asking for cloak.
>Asking about Gartoum powerup

>Also the fairy kid.

I'm not really reading a consensus on anything else, so writing.
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>>4845901
Right. “Okay, then. But while I’m doing this, I do have some requests…”

“All that I’ve given you, and you yet ask for more?!” oh, he almost sounds angry. Might want to adjust your tone…

“I promise, they’re little things. For example, the cloak that you’ve given me. I’m kinda fond of it, now. Is it possible to keep that?”

“Only if you swear eternal allegiance to me,” he responds roughly as the first one goes down. The stone enlarges, shining brightly. “The cloak is partially shades of me; it has no power unless I will it.” Ah. Damnit.

“Hm. Well, then, perhaps some knowledge wouldn’t go amiss- to make my own,” you elaborate. “Would you have any sort of magic tomes that I might be able to make my own?”

“Bah. Perhaps one or two,” you muses. “But such paltry tricks pale in comparison to my own abilities. I long had no use for them.” Score! And another stone goes up.

“I also ask in the way of my own Shadow,” you venture. “As you saw, I have my own-”

“Should you dare to ask me to infuse my own essence for your private purposes with no method of control, I would have to consider you a fool,” he interrupts. Ah. Well, then. Might just want to put up the stone and move on.

“Well...is there anything to say about my...other compatriots?” you hazard.

“For what reason? The failed construct has a useful parlor trick, but is easily limited.” Is it? “The half-breed is of little concern to me, if that is your fear. He did little as you dragged him around- I wouldn’t be surprised were he to accept oblivion once you left.”

“Then...if I wanted, I could have both?” you clarify as you place the third.

“They are irrelevant to me,” he confirms. Pecker chirps- seems like he doesn’t mind at all. Cool. But as for the kid...well, he’s not there, but.

“Then perhaps you could do me one last kindness, sir, and bring him here?” you ask as number four goes up.

“Nghh…I would not risk it. I can sense the Elder Fairies in panic and chaos. Though pleasant to mine senses, they are on high alert. I see no reason for you to care so much about a useless lump of flesh and fairy magics, truly. One of the matters of Dragons I have never comprehended nor care to,” he admits.


Well...less than you'd wanted, but. Best to not fret.

Aaaand here's number five.

Almost immediately, you hear a massive laughing- something that would chill you if you haven't heard it many times before.

You can see dark smoke leak from the door as the crystals all turn a midnight black- and then all at once fire out beams of darkness that each strike the door, flashing different colors. Slowly, cracks begin to form, and as the ground trembles, you're encased in shadows once again.

The last thing you hear of him is wild laughter- the laughter of freedom.

Hope that everyone has braced themselves...

>Roll 2d20, best of three for last loot.
>>
Rolled 4, 17 = 21 (2d20)

>>4846120
man I wake up an see all this
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Rolled 10, 19 = 29 (2d20)

>>4846120
Aww we're leaving the kid?
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Rolled 17, 15 = 32 (2d20)

>>4846120
>>
Rolled 3, 8 = 11 (2d20)

>>4846120
Damn it, oh well. Once we get home those summoning books aren't gonna read themselves.

Awaiting the epilogue.
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>17, 19
Our last loot is of high quality it seems.
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>>4846150
>Endomagic for dummies, part 1 & 2
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While Handler's busy, this is a list of things to do when we get home I think.

>Take a bath and sleep.
>Invite the girls in for a Grand Octo meal
At the same time, can talk to them about the shared armory idea.
>Figure out what to do with our excess loot (the heroes' weapons come to mind, as well as Anga's Polearm).
>Repair the Morph-Blade.
>Figure out what to do with the Faemetal, bolts and liquid.
Preferably within the trip to the smithy to repair the blade. Maybe we can combine them somehow to give the Morph-Blade anti-magic properties?
>Treat the Queenstone's Robe.
>Work with Gartoum to strengthen him.
>Work on Endomagic?
>Take Pecker out for a walk.

After this job, I don't think I want to take another on one so soon. So let's stay in for a while.
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>>4846120
>>4846130
>>4846133
>>4846144
When you can see again, you’re surprised to see that you’re in front of a good old fashioned treasure pile. It’s not like a horde or anything, but there’s enough gold and cups and treasures to fill a decent sized room, and you can even see a couple of books sitting on the top- placed side by side that makes you figure it was intentional. From what you can tell…

‘The Myriad Ways of Inner Manipulation’ is one. The second is ‘Transitory Nature of the Abyss and is far thinner’. You have no idea what that one is for, but...well, it’s something, to say the least. You can certainly come in handy, you think...and even if not, you can at least donate it to the library.

Well, finally...here you are. ‘Sal’? You call out. ‘Took me a bit, but I think I’m done here.’

Ahhh, fantaaaastic! Took your sweet time, buuuuut...well, I’m not mad. Now, iiiiif you don’t mind...

‘No,’ you agree. ‘Get me outta here.’

A wink of light, and you- along with the payment- are gone.

-JOB COMPLETE

-PRIMARY SERVICE RENDERED- PRIMARY PAY DELIVERED IN FULL

-SUBTOTAL PAYMENT= 24 LARGE MOTES

-SECONDARY SERVICE RENDERED IN FULL - PAY DELIVERED

-SECONDARY SERVICE PAY- 15 LARGE MOTES

-TERTIARY SERVICE RENDERED IN PARTIAL - PAY DELIVERED

-TERTIARY SERVICE PAY- 4 LARGE MOTES

-GROSS TOTAL PAYMENT= 43 LARGE MOTES
>>
Phew. It's done, I'm done with it.

Took forever and I dislike that, but I'm glad it happened.

That said, the Intersection is never wanting for things that need doing, so. Paradoxically, I think the next while will be kinda...lower stakes, you could say. At least, it wouldn't hurt to think about things you want to do.

Epilogue post and further incoming later.
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>>4846489
Almost as much as we earned for saving the world from shadows together with Izumi.
And now the Dragongirl Quest is over.
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>>4846489
Wow. Primary, secondary and even tertiary services almost all done and paid in full. It's been a while since I saw a job completed to such a degree.

Maybe more future jobs can be the villainous types if the freedom of action from less moral concerns and limits in behaviour creates such better results. That and it seems Miranda was most well suited for the intimidating roles anyways.
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>>4846476
Shame about the kid, Pecker liked him. Or at least his mana. As for suggestions for what we have to do in the Intersection:
>Resupply on Moleworm mines and buy more ammo for the coilgun
>Purchase the Ranged Training Room for HQ
>Treat Golden Crossbow and make more bolts out of Faemetal
Someone suggested using Faemetal to improve the Draining Knife, and I still think it's too short for 'cloak and dagger' stuff. Or shanking some armored up wizard/magical creature. Or even for parrying as a sidearm.
And I think that it's about time to test Nura's artificing skills and see what she can do with the stuff we're bringing back.
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>>4846550
That's why I suggested the Morph-Blade instead. Most of our mage fights will be head-on and the extra physical oomph of the blade compliments the anti-magic part nicely, squishy wizards and all. Striking, slashing and parrying/guarding, it covers all. Having Faemetal properties in it will really set the sword out when compared to the Flamebringer.

Heck it even has a shield mode! We can just charge in like a tank with a heavy anti-magic shield and bash their faces in.
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>>4846576
I don't think we have enough Faemetal to spare on both new bolts and the fuck-huge transforming weapon. That's why insist on improving the Draining Knife, since it's not that good for what it was intended for. And I frankly don't like morphblade.
>>
the kid didn't come? aw, what a shame.
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>>4846597
My one small regret was that we lied to him all the way through and used him as a tool. Kid deserves at least some compensations for that desu.
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>>4846605
Didn't expect our boss to actually teleport us back to his lair, thought that we'll be catching one last ride on Gargles and sort the kid out on our way back.
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>>4846489
Finally, gotta be honest. I really wanna see what our now former boss does to that place.
>>
We haven't tried feeding Pecker some of our own Mana yet, I think we should bring him to the range and see what he's capable of when he's got some of our mana absorbed. Still holding out hope that he can learn Mini-Nebula Busters.
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>>4846605
to be fair, the compensation was "get out of this about-to-become-shithole"
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>>4846626
yeah, same.
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>>4844915
>Up to you.
it was not up to us in the end
this is the second time in the quest where we end up leaving kids behind - first was the M*fia Job.
>>
We're done at least. Shame we didn't bring the boy with us.

Also just for fun, I've made a questionnaire:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1KdWoDM75zEKRK3gquZjbvZsEcR-dTqrJtGkQaQeomkQ/edit?usp=drivesdk
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>>4846728
nah, the rat kids weren't as justifiable as in here. the rat kids appeared just once and made us some gadgets. at least with boy over here we had more interactions, even if he was a wet blanket for the most part
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>Epilogue

>It's said that what happened next was one of the darkest days the world had ever seen. As though a great flood had been loosed, darkness spilled over the land in an unending tide. Although the nations had tried mightily to prevent the rise of the Dark King, his power had been renewed thanks to his erstwhile servants, and once again his forces ran roughshod over the land, destroying all that they could.

>Although the great nations of the world marshalled all their forces, they found that the might of the darkness proved too much; life as they'd known it had come to an end. One by one they fell, and their peoples succumbed to the dark powers; either vowing servitude in exchange for some faint, false semblance of life, or simply perishing in doomed stands.

>The fairies of the world felt woeful, as their greatest hope had been extinguished, and the Great Destroyer that had been brought upon them feasted upon many a fairy before being destroyed. Indeed, the Elder Fairies' last ditch attempt at denying the tyrant his full power could not fully be seen through, resulting in little more, practically, than the near cracking of their ancient home. Desperate to have one last refuge that would not be tainted by his darkness, the Elder Fairies did the unthinkable.

>During the last days of the surface races, those fairies that were upon the surface were called back home- along with making the loathsome choice of a single individual they may want to bring. For they offered sanctuary. Permanent, and unyielding.

>The remaining Elder Fairies and all those that could muster magic, placed their spirits, there hopes, and indeed, their power, into one last spell- one that would bring them, their ailing island, and all upon it out of the reach of even the Dark One, into the Fairy Realm wholly- where Ah-Rul could not see without a conduit. In fact, the spell had powerful consequences otherwise; although it was successful, ripping away the true possibility of total domination, the area in which the spell was effective proved to have remnants of the spell, debilitating the creatures of shadow that terrorized the land; rendering them far less powerful. This area of land became known as 'Sanctuary'.

>Yuyula, the Elder Fairy of Light, then went further. Surrendering her very essence, she drew all of her remaining light, and infused it into a single blade; one with power beyond her own, and would have the power to repel darkness once and for all; the blade was then sealed away underneath Sanctuary, only to be wielded by someone worthy of carrying such a burden and responsibility...

>With Ah-Rul unable to penetrate the area, it was surrounded by his most fearsome beasts.

>It is said that the Fairies now recover with the remnants of the mortal race, as the land below toils under the domination of Ah-Rul. The fairies yet wait for the moment they can recover their power, and strike back against their ancient foe once again.
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>>4846953
Good job guys, we brought the world under in total of less than 3 weeks of in-universe time!

It's like some ancient evil buying a rent-a-minion world domination guarantee service from a shady merchant and it actually works.
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>>4846953
I wonder if the kid was also included in the fairy recall thing.
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>>4846994
HEY! S.E.S. is NOT shady, we offer reasonably priced solution hammers to varying size nail problems. Sometimes we even silence the hammer, never seen a silenced hammer before? Two words kid, Magic!
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>>4847099
We sometimes even add scopes to those hammers to make them tacticool!
>>
Ya know, all of the experiments turned out successful, we lost Z1 in the fairy-world, the turret is broken and we're about to dump a lot of stuff once we return. I think we should come up with some sort of reward/compensation for our R&D girls. Any suggestions? All I can think of is beauty salon coupons.
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>>4849210
Paying them more, upgrading their stations or giving them more people to boss around are usually the best rewards. Any of them should do the trick
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>>4849210
It was ambiguous for me whether we picked up the Z1 or not. Guess we'll see when things continue.
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>>4849210
They would happy with >>4849217, but it might be fun to take Cylica out on a job where she can indulge her megalomania without being tutted at
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>>4846596
>>4846576
I did some math and it turns out I was wrong.
>Inside is...well, it’s definitely some kind of crossbow, underneath a thick steel case on a steel table. There’s a window that lets you see inside. A compound crossbow (or at least it resembles one), adorned with some sort of gold crystal. The stock resembles a dragon, with the head the mouth, and the prod and bow shining as though made of lava- even if clearly not.
Handler said that the box was about 3x3 square feet, which is roughly 91x91 square cm. Dimensions in the picrelated are in mm, so we can assume that the box was somewhere around 20-25 cm tall. It wasn't specified how thick its walls were, maybe they were only one inch thick (2,54 cm) or maybe only half of that.
I don't quite get how the morph-blade works, but usually two-handers are 160-180 cm long, 5-8 cm wide and the thickest part of the blade is less than 1 cm. So I think we have more than enough to make a new big-ass sword from scratch just from the walls of the box alone (four 91x20 pieces). And we'll have top and bottom of the case left (91x91). The fact that the box fell apart into smaller bits doesn't matter at all.
>>
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>>4849515
But here's another thing. Miranda's a pretty short girl. Let's assume she's 5 ft tall (153cm). That means we have enough Faemetal to make a cuirass! I think there'd be enough leftovers to make some heads for new bolts, and we also have a heavy-weighted sphere of unrefined stuff.
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>>4849527
>>4849515
Nice analysis, but to save resource I suggest just using them to enhance one of our existing weapons instead of making a new one. I do think we need to find someone to make more of this metal.

I propose something that we can wear in practically every world instead. A cuirass may look odd in a more modern setting, and we always want to keep a low profile. We also want it to cover a lot. I'm thinking of something around a long armored jacket/coat/hoodie/cloak thing?
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>>4849527
I think we have enough Faemetal to reinforce clothes that we already have instead of making new armor, use some to upgrade an existing weapon or make a new one that's not as demanding for metal (compared to a giant sword) AND have some left to make more bolts.
We could reinforce the Queenstone's Robe with a some thin smaller plates, turning it into a brigandine of sorts. This would further increase it's magic resistance and will also provide decent protection against physical attacks.
>>
>>4849574
>I do think we need to find someone to make more of this metal.
That was also the other purpose of bringig in the kid
>>
>>4849578
uh, no, it wasn't.
>>4849577
>>4849574
If we reinforce the robe and then treat and attune it then it should be able to transform between settings while still keeping its properties.
>>
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>>4849586
Dunno if we should ever bring the robe into any heavy physical fights. If it ever gets slashed/torn I don't know if we can repair it with the gauntlets, and finding someone to repair something that has 70%+ magic resistance in the city will undoubtedly cost a small fortune. I think of it as a special counter equipment we always have readied in our bag.

... maybe we should lace the shield form of the Morph-Blade with it instead? That way the metal will serve its' purpose in both physical and magical protection, and we don't have to worry about it breaking, ish.
>>
>>4849586
yes it was. faemetal was being produced by the kid alone and it was one of the points used to originally keep the kid with us.
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>>4849591
Part of the 70% comes from the special fibers, probably the same used in the drogan overcoat and officer armor, plus since the robe is a bit too large for Miranda's size there might be some leftovers after adjusting it at the naga's atelier. The other part comes from mana absorbent gems, so I suggest lending it to our nerds for some time so they could reverse engineer and replicate them.
Also I'm pretty sure attuned/treated gear repairs itself, that's why this procedure costs so freaking much.
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>>4849599
Maybe. We can show the nerds the robe and get them to oversee its' attunement, that way we'll know what exactly can be done with it.

If this ever goes through, I'm voting to turn it into a pretty armored dress. We have to look good while poking those mages.
>>
>>4849592
No one knows how to make faemetal, not even the kid. We didn't bring any formulae with us. I don't think that Intersection rules allow to mistreat children and perform experiments on them, so you better forget about it. I'm pretty sure there was only one guy who was suggesting to use him to produce more of the stuff.
>>
>>4849606
i don't think miranda is a dress kind of gal
>>
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.
>>
>>4850426
Woo! Only took us more than half a year.
>>
Before we use the faemetal on other things, just give it to the nerds first so that they can reverse engineer it. I'm sure Owlia would like anti-magic stuff in the armor she's making
>>
>>4850478
She'd be more interested in the robe and its mana absorbent gems imo. And I don't think reverse engineering is possible. They already had a big backlog before, and now we're about to dump even more stuff - all the orbs, scans, crystals, statues and totems, etc. Guess we'll have to purchase another research assistant bot>>4849217.
>>
>>4850492
i wonder if we can reach an agreement with a R&D lab in the intersection. it would benefit both of us after all
>>
>>4850492
Reverse engineering it entirely is impractical, but I bet we can at least get to a weaker version of it. And who says we can't use helps outside of our group.
>>
>>4850492
Yes to buying more robo assistants. Also I don't mind waiting for them to reverse engineer the faemetal. It's more cheaper to have our research group break the code on the faemetal thing than paying somebody else for it, and later see them sell their own faemetal to the market in a higher price (unless we do a strict contract thing but that's up to the other anons)
>>
>>4850510
The first assistant cost us about 9 Lotes, but that's because we gave him a damaged AICA that we looted from mecha job, which already had most of the necessary parts + we knocked the price even further by scrapping spare minibot frame and legs. Building a new assistant from scratch might cost around 20-30 Large ones.
So, uh...some anon suggested introducing him to Lori and offering to uplift his maid-bot to get a better deal. I didn't think we should bother because 9 Lotes was basically nothing - we had around 90-100 in our pocket at the time.
>>
>>4850521
If we're buying another, maybe we can convince the girls to chip in? The first one came entirely out of our pocket, motes and parts and all. They'll understand.
>>
>>4850522
>>4850521
*90-100 in HQ funds
We're not paying out of our pocket for company stuff.
>>
>>4850426
When you see the sights of your HQ again, you can’t help but let out a sigh. Feels like it’s been waaaaaay too long. Part of you was hoping to come back to seeing the others, if you’re being honest, but...well, you can’t really blame them for that. Largely because you need to sleep. For like, at LEAST a day, if not more.

A small chirp comes from your head, and for a moment you startle, head swinging around wildly. Then another one, and flapping, and you calm down. “Right. C’mere, you,” you mutter as you remove Pecker from your head. You have to hold back a snort- guess you can’t really say it’s a pet, perse, but...well, it’s close enough.

Really, though, it’s good to be home. You can-

“Hellooooooo!” Oh no.

You sigh, and look over to your erstwhile employer, lounging in mid-air. “Glaaaaaad to have you back! Lotta things been haaaappening around the homefront.”

You have to raise an eyebrow at that. That’s not entirely unexpected, but he’s making it sound like it involves you. “Like?”

“Weeeeell, those kids have been chomping at the bit to see you again. But asiiiiide from that, rather interesting asks for you!”

He grins and adjusts his glasses in...acknowledgement, you think? “Seems that you’ve got a side career in entertaaaainment if you want it. Boooooth the Extreme Roller Derby Association and Everstyle BOTH asked if you, specifically, are available any tiiiiiime soon.”

“Really?” That’s...surprising.

“Yuuuuuup! Quite the popular laaaass, you are. I can’t say I’m not haaaaappy about such, so long as you remember who made you, so to speak.” He doesn’t exactly sound snippy about it, but you can’t blame him. It’s great advertisement. “I’d suggest getting back to them once you’re rested and readyyyyyy. Juuuuust as well, though! Was hoooooping you’d stay nearby for a while.”

Okay, THAT sounds a bit suspect. “Why’s that?”

He just chuckles. “Now noooow, what’s the fun in spoiling the surpriiiiiise? Might or might not even haaaaappen! Ah, but I’d already said toooooo much!” Doubtful. “Toodles!” And with that, he twists in on himself and vanishes as usual.

“Tch. Great. All that…” A chirp. “AND I need to get you a cage or something. Glad I don’t need to worry about feeding you too much...I think.” Who knows how the mana dampening might affect this thing here...

At any rate, first thing's first. Sleeep. Lots of it. You'll start on errands tomorrow. Maybe.

>(Choose two.)

>See what's going on with Pecker, if anything. There's got to be some sort of...construct vet or something around here.
>You need to restock, rearm, and reset. You're low on crystals, your morph-blade, and things need treating, besides.
>You might as well see what's going on with the Extreme Roller Derby Association. It WAS kinda fun...
>Why on any planet would Everstyle want you back? You might as well see about it.
>You should at least catch up with some people. See if you missed anything interesting.
>The kids probably missed you. Might as well catch up.
>Other
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>>4850535
>See what's going on with Pecker, if anything. There's got to be some sort of...construct vet or something around here.
>You need to restock, rearm, and reset. You're low on crystals, your morph-blade, and things need treating, besides.
The more we wait the more problems he'll have. Might as well see to it as soon as possible.
>>
>>4850535
>See what's going on with Pecker, if anything. There's got to be some sort
>other: Go to the lab to see if Owlia is there and have her look at our loot
Owlia doesn't have to research the things we dump on her now, just store it for later research. Let's see later if we can upgrade the lab later.
>>
>>4850535
We can get to loot management later - there's just too much, I think we need a day or two to hash things out and come to and agreement what should come first, etc. And HQ meeting can wait too.
>See what's going on with Pecker, if anything. There's got to be some sort of...construct vet or something around here.
>The kids probably missed you. Might as well catch up.
>>
>>4850535
>>4850545 is right, but I'm going with >>4850539
Sounds like a pair we can hash out in a day of outing
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>>4846751
maybe I should make a questionnaire as well, about the loot and what should we do with each item. Some stuff might be missed if we try doing it from our memory during voting period.
>>
Actually, maybe we can turn that search for Pecker and Gartoum. Find someone who specializes in summoning and magic constructs/pets. So we can finally reward Gartoum for his great assists.
>>
>>4850568
Great catch on that one. Will give it go.
>>
Pecker and Weaponry, it seems. Writing!
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>>4850535
>>You might as well see what's going on with the Extreme Roller Derby Association. It WAS kinda fun...
>>Why on any planet would Everstyle want you back? You might as well see about it.

Peckers cool and all, but we gotta do at least ONE of these
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>>4850580
Since we don't have a cage at the moment, do we need to hug borb like a pillow when we sleeps?
>>
>>4850584
Maybe not. Maybe.
>>
>>4850535
>>4850539
>>4850549
Waking up in your own bed is...almost novel. You allow yourself a small smirk at that. After a long job, it sometimes feels unfamiliar. Like you’re not in the right place. But other times, it’s more like...relief. Seeing your room means that you can take it far easier than otherwise. That anything on your plate is there because you put it there. That you’re free to largely do as you like. Sure, it won’t last. But it’s very nice to be able to make your itinerary simply because it’s stuff you want to do, not stuff that you feel you need to get done.

True, with all the things that have apparently been happening since you’ve been gone, you’ve got some things that you DO need to at least respond to- but it’s largely up to YOU. There’s no specific, dedicated task you need to do.

Pecker sits on your chest; you’re surprised it’s sleeping, somewhat. But it seems plenty comfortable there, despite the weight. Definitely going to need to see what’s expected in regards to taking care of the thing. Really, that might have to be the first thing on your to-do list. Dunno if it’s dying as you lay, which would be...disappointing, to say the least. Going to have to see if there’s anything in the way of an animated construct vet or something of the sort. Well, there probably is, but you need to search them out.

Fortunately, it’s still sleeping as you carefully pluck it off your chest and sit it on your nightstand. Running some searches, you’re hoping there’ll be at least a few…ah. Here we are.

Fortunately, seems like there's one at least close. 'Dr. Argo's Non-Organic Veterinary Hospital - Small Sizes Only!' Sounds about right. Apparently capable of diagnosing a multitude of 'stone, clay, crystal, and even wood-based health and wellness issues for all small companions.' Just outside the District, even!
“Alright, sleepy-bird, come on,” you mutter as you pick the thing up. Never was this lethargic before, so yeah, you’re already wondering if something’s up.

As you step out, however, you can hear...laughing? You look over the railing down below, and- “Oh. Was wondering where you all were.”

Lorelei looks up from her conversation with- Nura? Yeah, the two seem to be palling around for whatever reason, and they’ve both got...well, more than a few bags between them. Heck, Lori has a massive backpack on which you can see some...what are those, curtain rods? “Heeeeey! You’re back!”

(cont.)
>>
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I'm a little late to the vote, and most likely won't be here for the later votes, so I want to drop my ideas on what to do with the choices made.

We use the Faemetal to improve the Morphblade if at all possible, priority given to reforging the weapon completely with the Faemetal as it's core to give it more heft and durability as it should in theory be indestructible since the Fairy Kid is most likely not around any longer to produce any countermeasure to it (I might be misremembering the properties of Faemetal, if I am we can do any other number of things with it).

Second, the broken Clockwork turret. I am sad it got rekt. I love turrets, it's my favourite schtick ever and I want to see it improved so it stops being rekt all the time. We can do this either by
1: Applying some chonk to it, beefier armour on a larger chassi with a heavier caliber weapon and additional shield crystals would make it a nightmare if it's holding down a chokepoint.
2: Giving it some sort of mobility option to make it harder to destroy, like limited spatial teleportation abilities and an onboard AI to judge suitable terrain and to monitor threat levels to the construct.

Option 1 is best done in-house I feel, and it's fundamentally a full reconstruction of the turret from the ground up, but our nerds are super busy and I want Owlia to finish her research on that Power Armour she's working on first so she can maybe implement that in the turrets design later.
Option 2 can be outsourced to that sweaty nerd we brought in to make Owlia her robot assistant, we just have to watch out so he doesn't just build a waifubot with nippleguns or something.

Pecker I feel don't need a cage, he's a good boy and can probably be taught to not fuck shit up in our appartment or the office. We should get him one of those bird perchers (is that what they're called?) instead. Pic related but larger. Maybe get one for the office too, that one can be written off as a business expense.

Lastly I want to go visit Everstyle again. The derby was a fun little distraction, but I can't pass up the opportunity to star in more cheesy B-movie cult classics.
>>
>>4850798
You nod. “Yup. Got back yesterday. Where’ve you been?”

“Pavilion shopping!” She crows, lifting up her bags.

“Ah. How long?” Pavilion shopping, provided you didn’t stick to the first floor, wasn’t measured in hours. It was measured in days.

“Three days!” she cheers. “Just got back not long ago! Still getting everything inside!” And then her eyes light up. “Oooh, but what’s that little cutie you goooot?”

“Oh, this? From my last job. I just call him Pecker. Was useful enough, and, well…” you shrug. It’s nice to have around, but…

“Ohmigosh, you got a pet? Awwwwww- what is that plumage?” she marvels.

You sigh as you head down the steps. “Crystal- it’s a construct. And look, I need to take this thing to a vet, so…”

“Oooh, right right!” she nods in understanding.

Nura just looks curiously between the both of you, before looking down at it. “It’s cute,” she says with a small smile. “The shine looks nice on it, considering how big it is.”

Lorelei gasps. "Ruuude!" You agree. "You go on- I need to get all my stuff settled anyway. Got PLENTY of gossip for you, too!"

Good to know. "I'll be back later, then." A careful snugging of Pecker on Red and you're off.

(cont.2)
>>
>>4850851
-----------

The vet is a blocky, stone golem- a rather large one, around 8/9 feet tall, with a fairly humanoid face (including a serious lantern jaw), but his hands are...very, very articulated. More tools than fingers, you daresay. His glowing orange eyes carefully inspect the small, chirping bird on his table, compared to a redout on a tablet as you resist the urge to tap your foot. "Hmmmmmgh...it is...a bit worrying, yes." He'd scanned the thing with both a hand scanner and managed to get it through a stationary CT-like scanning device. To your surprise, Pecker had barely reacted, aside from an occasional fluttering and a chirp. When you'd informed him of this unusual attitude, you'd merely gotten a hum in response. "If what you say is correct, then he may be running into mana congestion," his rumbling bass of a voice muses, each word carefully pronounced in full and with steady timber. "It is a common issue for mana-dependent creatures, you see?" You nod in understanding, beckoning him to go on. "From what I can peruse, this little one is...well constructed." You blink. Then- "Too well constructed." Ah. Well, it WAS experimental. "Mana is what keeps it animated. Alive. It can retain mana well. This is good. Keeps it healthy. However, it cannot expend it well here. That is bad. It must cycle mana to exist. Movement is how it cycles mana. Think of organic blood. Organic blood often has inner organs to move the blood. I have a core, that moves my mana. But this little one has no heart to move mana. No core. Movement moves the mana. Actions move the mana. The mana is always moving, even a little. But not enough here. This place slows the mana. But it still has the mana, so it is alive. It sleeps much, because to try to move, when mana does not, is stressful here." He shakes his head. "Stress, for crystals, is not good. It means they could break easier."

Yeah, your time around Cylica and Owlia has taught you that much, even if you don't really get the entirety of what the vet is describing. "So what can I do?"

"Surgery is needed for a full, long term alleviation," he intones. "With this little one, we will need to be cautious. But it can be done. However, construct surgery carries risk. This one cannot regrow. Think carefully about this."

Well, crap. "Any other options?"

He nods. "We also have an implant, to help it release mana. Easier to implement. However, it will be harder to take in mana. You are an Outgoer, yes?" You nod. "It will likely not be able to naturally feed as easily, with the implant. Here or elsewhere. Will need supplements. But it can release much better. Faster."

Oh. Well...that's a hard choice.

>Go with the surgery. It'll be worth it.
>Go with the implant. Better that than risk its life.
>Other
>>
>>4850876
>Go with the surgery. It'll be worth it.
little bud deserves it after pulling his weight in the last mission
>>
>>4850876
>This one cannot regrow.
what exactly does this mean?
>>
>>4850888
Surgery means cutting him open, that means some of his crystals will be discarded.

Borb will lose some weight (and mana intake capacity I wager).
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>>4850892
And the implants mean Pecker here will take longer to suck out mana, but he'll release his tank much much faster (more DPS).
>>
>>4850892
>>4850899
what i understood was that if something in the surgery goes wrong, pecker won't heal over time like birds do because he's crystal, not that he will have permanent damage. otherwise we wouldn't be offered this option
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>>4850876
>Go with the surgery. It'll be worth it.
>>4850892
okay then, was worried he could not evolve further if we go with the surgery
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>>4850876
>Go with the surgery. It'll be worth it.
Don't make us roll for this Handler
I want this problem permanently solved, and we mostly use him for sucking our magic
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>>4850910
*out yikes what a typo
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>>4850888
Basically what >>4850906 said.
>>
>>4850876
>Go with the surgery. It'll be worth it.
Aight' let's go with this.
>>
Writing.
>>
>>4850561
finished making the questionnaire, should I post it now or wait until the end of today's run?
>>
>>4850876
>>4850884
>>4850908
>>4850910
>>4850946
It takes a bit to decide, looking at the little thing sleeping. But, eventually, you decide. “Go with the surgery,” you decide. “I’d rather have it healthy without having to worry about extras.”

He nods. “Understood. Hmmmm...it will take time, however. This must be prepared for. We will need many things.”

“We?” you hazard.

“Mmm. Yes. There will be others assisting me,” he explains. “Several aspects of this may have to be done quickly. I am not the quickest.” Well, fair enough that he knows what’s what. “Even so, it will take time, as a whole. Several hours. And more to ensure that it is well, if the surgery succeeds. You may not want to remain for such a long time.”

Ah. Yeah, you suppose that makes sense. “How long will it take, you think?”

“Hmmmmmm…” he doesn’t rush his thoughts as he considers the task ahead. “If all goes well...then perhaps three hours. More if adjustments are needed. However,” he points out with a long and elaborate finger. “We would be best served keeping him here. Overnight, for observation and measurements before the operation.”

You can’t help but huff a bit. “Alright. And how much will this all cost me?”

“Mmmmmm...you are an Outgoer, as you say. Normally, such a service would cost, I believe, approximately 15 Large Motes.”

WHAT. Well, with your last job, you’ve got a grand total of 85.20 Large Motes currently. So...

"However, your status means that you would be asked to pay 12. A discount." ...Oh, right.

That's a lot, but...

"Have you any other questions?"

>Yes (What?)
>No (Agree to the Price)
>>
>>4851158
>Yes (What?)
i don't mind paying the 12 lotes, but lets try to do some negotiation 101 and barter.
maybe there is something that we could trade for the operation?
a quick mission in the intersection to retrieve something, or maybe nura could make some trinket or equipment that'd make his life easier?
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>>4851158
>>Yes (What?)
ask about Pecker's ability to transform
>>
>>4851158
>Yes (What?)
"Is there anything I can do to minimalize the risk?"

Not gonna lie, I'd pay more than 15 just to have an automatic success.
>>
>>4851158
>>4851169
>>4851184
These.
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>>4851158
>>4851184
We could also mention our crystal mages. Cylica has managed to beat Crystalock challenge, so maybe she could provide some advice? Or the vets could explain to them how to treat the bird after the operation, so we won't have to bother the vets every time something happens to our birb.
>>
>>4851158
>>4851268
Let's mention them then and offer their assistance. Would be great if they can actually help with the surgery itself also.
>>
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>>4850799
>priority given to reforging the weapon completely with the Faemetal as it's core
>“Ah. Faemetal, alas. That cursed substance, created out of my blood and body for the use of these lamentable humans, myself taunted with it, yet rejected all the same.” He looks askance at you, eyes dim. “Like attracts like. And so it is with Faemetal. Mana not of its own type is of no concern to it. Normal steels are as feathers to the touch. Only faemetal can truly cut faemetal.”
I don't know much about swords, but usually they have soft core and hard edge, not the other way around. Harder material cuts through softer, and the soft core allows the structure to flex and spring back after each hit instead of staying bent or snapping. Actually, faemetal might be too tough for being used for a sword, but we can use it for a different type of weapon. Something not as complex.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoC-apkxDoc&ab_channel=Shadiversity
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>>4851340
The Morph-Blade is not just a sword, and its' sword form has significant blunt force anyway so the hardness of Faemetal still improves it in a way. Not to mention the hammer and the shield.

I'd take a slashing power downgrade in exchange for those and having a dedicated anti-magic weapon/shield. Doubt we can fit them into the Flamebringer, and the knife is a knife.
>>
>>4851518
Either way, Faemetal shouldn't be used as a core of a weapon, there's no benefits in that. If you want to upgrade a weapon with the stuff then use it for the outer layer/the business end of it. But to be honest, until we pay Grizzy a visit all we can do is speculate on what would be the best way to use this wonder-material.
And another thing - we stumble upon these super-duper materials almost every other mission, so I think we can find a better alternatives faster than our nerds can reverse engineer them. Remember the magic resistant ayy bodysuit from mecha mission? Happened two years ago, still no real results.
>>
>>4851158
Supporting>>4851169>>4851184. And call the nerds.
>>
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>>4851340
>linking to aussie medieval weapons autist
pic related

>Actually, faemetal might be too tough for being used for a sword, but we can use it for a different type of weapon. Something not as complex.
I really, really don't want us to build another redundant weapon. It was already bad enough when we only had Flamebringer and the Rapier, and we'd almost exclusively resort to using Flamebringer if we weren't punching things. Didn't we buy a magic gun from the Intersection for the Supervillian Assassination Contract and then never touch it afterwards? What about the Halberd we brought back from the tag team mission with Izumi, the Gauntlets from the Starborn crossover that only now see use, not even as a combat weapon but as a emergency repair tool due to a magical enchantment? Not to mention the guns from the Wild West job that's just basically been forgotten. Diluting our weapon pool further instead of upgrading existing weapons we actually use just seems stupid to me. We also need to give the Rapier a cool name. Just calling it 'The Rapier' isn't very cash money.

As I said, I don't actually know if we ever figured out the actual properties of Faemetal aside from that it can only be cut by other Faemetal objects. Indeed that description makes it sound like it would be impossible to process Faemetal at all unless you already have tools made out of Faemetal. The only reason I suggested trying to use the it to strengthen the Morph Blade was because it broke during our bout with Anga, so it's clearly not up to snuff for our current level. Best is probably to have it appraised by our dwarves first to see what we can actually do with it. Just please, no more fucking weapons that will just gather dust at the bottom of our drawer or something.


Oh yeah, voting. >>4851158
Supporting >>4851184 and >>4851268, call in our nerds if they have the time to oversee the procedure. Do not skimp on pay for the bird, if we can pay more (within reason) to ensure a better outcome, I don't see why we shouldn't
>>
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>>4851668
>As I said, I don't actually know if we ever figured out the actual properties of Faemetal aside from that it can only be cut by other Faemetal objects.
>Faemetal Scraps
>Alloy estimated to disperse pure mana signatures and destabilize mana coherency. Anti-magic properties.

>I really, really don't want us to build another redundant weapon.
I'm trying really hard not to sperg out again about this topic. And this is the reason why I don't like Morph-blade. It's not really that impressive in either of its modes - Flamebringer is better at dealing with armor but can also shoot flames, the new hammer has impact-enhancing enchantment aside from its super-conductivity, and we can make a much better shield from faemetal scraps. Also we probably should've used the Flamebringer against Anga since its fire enchantment also means that the blade should be resistant to extreme temperatures + I believe that permanence treatment made it sturdier. Maybe we should shill out on a sharpness enchantments for it and the rapier.
I still think that using Faemetal to improve our Draining Knife could be a good option, but if anons want something heavier then I think we can use it to make a head for a poleaxe/polehammer - good reach, versatile, not as needlessly sophisticated and requires much less material. The shaft can be made of something else - we can scrap that giant axe from artificer crossover to make one and have enough material left to repair the Morph-blade.

>Diluting our weapon pool
I'm pretty sure we agreed to hand out the stuff we don't use to our team members, give some to the kids and sell the rest. Most of the stuff that we've looted on this mission either doesn't fit us or of lower grade than what we already have, the crossbow and the hammer are the only exceptions. Izumi could use some hand-me-downs.
I think the reason why we're keeping the guns was that we might pick a mission with specific restrictions that won't allow us to spam magiblasts. The mecha mission comes to mind, but I'd argue that the reason why we had troubles there wasn't because we didn't have decent guns but because some anons were acting as if we had a narrative rider that forced us to play as non-magical wasteland warrior - which wasn't the case and was extremely stupid. Tbh Handler has mentioned early on in the quest that sniper rifles aren't her speed, and now that we have a fancy new crossbow the coilgun became a bit redundant. And I didn't forget about the manastone guns - maybe our nerds have finally made something with them while we were away and the fairy crystal statues could be repurposed into ammunition for them.
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just posting Miranda fanart
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birb and Randa
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Just posting a Miranda fanart
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>>4851742
I wasn't prepared for how majestic Pecker would be. This surgery better ends well.
>>
>>4851736
Well, every weapon has its niche, they arent supposed to be good against everything. The flamebringer is good against beings that dont put us in the defensive, the rapier is good to multiply our magical damage and the morph blade seems like it could fit as a weapon we can use when we're on a defensive stance and an antimagic weapon if we decide to use the faemetal on it. (We also have the 2 pair of gloves but we dont really fistfight that much)
>>
>>4851158
>>4851162
>>4851184
>>4851196
>>4851268
>>4851272
>>4851647
“Just if there’s anything else I can do that might help minimize the risk,” you mention. “I have some crystal experts on staff where I work. They aren’t experienced in living crystal perse, but at least one of them beat the Crystalock Challenge, if you know what that is.”

“Mmmm...no,” he denies with a slow shake of his head.

“Well, either way, they’re two of the brightest minds in the field I’ve ever met,” you insist. “If nothing else, it would be good learning for them, especially if something else happens to him and you’re not available.”

He mulls it over, scratching his chin. Do they get itchy or…? “Mmmm...it would be foolish to let them touch the little one if they know nothing of his build. However...perhaps they may watch. From a safe distance.” Drat. Well, it’s better than nothing. Besides, likely they could force their way in if needed be. “As for other things to help…hmmmm.” Again with the thinking. It’s several minutes of quiet annoyance before he speaks, shaking his head. “Not so. We are not a very large hospital. None are. But we are skilled. Today, I will prepare my schedule. Then I will organize help. Surgery will happen at the end of the week.” Crap, that’s a bit of time...but, well, you were hanging around anyway. “Contact information will be required. We will observe the little one, and notify you if anything occurs before the surgery. Bring your associates in on the day of operation,” he says as he begins tapping away, sending information, “And we will see them through proper procedure.”

Drat. Part of you was really hoping. “Alright. Oh, also- Pecker transformed before after he ate a lot of mana. Would this stop that?" you quickly ask. Nearly forgot.

He pauses. "Mmmm...metamorphosis. Based on intake...hmmm...unlikely," he affirms. "Intake is intake. If surgery goes well, it should not be affected."

Fantastic. "Well, then, do I just give you my number, or do I need to go back up to the receptionist’s desk?”

“The receptionist, please,” he notes.

(cont.)
>>
>>4852111
Right. With words of farewell, and a cautious last look at Pecker- who’d already gone back to sleep- you head back to the front, where a dryad lady, all bark and leaves, is looking over things. “Ms. Styles?” you nod. “Scheduled a...reconfiguration surgery?” You shrug. Hadn’t gotten the actual name, but it sounded right. She sighs, which sounds more like a whistling through the trees, which you suppose made sense. “Understood. Need you to sign off on a few things and leave your contact info in case of emergency.” You begin doing so, but to your surprise she continues talking. “Dr. Argo’s one of the better vets, so your bird should be fine. We don’t have every fancy tool some others have- especially since our MAG shorted out- but we’ve worked miracles well before we got it, no reason to stop now.”

You blink. “MAG?”

“Oh, Manapulse Auto-Generator. It’s just a nifty little tool that can cycle mana in any being that uses it at a steady rate regularly. Very helpful, but it’s not necessary. We can arrange that by essentially doing a small minor incision and placing a temporary implant connected to an external source- it does the same thing, just with a bit more hassle. A MAG does it without the need for the implant or as many adjustments. Just latch on and it does most of the work for you!” She brushes her leaves a bit as she shakes her head. “But, like I said, it’s just a small quality of life thing. Dr. Argo’s perfectly impressive without it.”

“How much do they cost?” you quickly ask.

“Oh, for a professional sized one?” She snorts, which is really more of a ruffling sound. “I dunno. I think around 70, 80 Large Motes or so.” Oh. Hm. “I mean, we’re going to get it repaired eventually…”

>Call Owlia. Now. If she can repair the thing...
>Well...maaaybe you could spin it as a business expense?
>Mayhaps you can strike a deal for helping get a new one?
>Other
>>
can someone explain the differences between each option? The first one seems obvious, but not sure what the second or third options offer that compares with it.

Because if I didn't understand it wrong, then somehow the option to spend 70-80 L-motes is valid?! which seems to be insanity to me.
>>
>>4852113
>Call Owlia. Now. If she can repair the thing...
>Mayhaps you can strike a deal for helping get a new one?
If she can do it, we'll strike a deal to get this operation for free. They can't possibly refuse.
We're the most familiar with cycling mana so if something's blocking her we'll be right there.
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>>4852113
>Call Owlia. Now. If she can repair the thing...
>>
>>4852230
The first option is to send Owlia to fix it. Might get a reward and increase the chance of a successful operation. Might break it and have to pay it's cost.
The second is to pay for its repairs for them using our HQ funds.
Third is to find a repairman for them that could do it for cheap using our connections. This might earn us some clout, I guess.
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>>4852324
>>4852230
the first option also means she'd be too busy repairing it instead of doing SCIENCE! But on the other hand, it might give her some ideas for some new projects.
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>>4852113
>>Call Owlia. Now. If she can repair the thing...
ehhh, why not. Might as well ask her about any preferences for the new robo-assistant.
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>>4852324
>>4852338
Thanks for the explanations!

>>4852113
>Call Owlia. Now. If she can repair the thing...

Cheapest option with some risks that could possibly incur more costs. But since the other options have 100% certain costs anyways, then this is at least a chance to both save on funds and give Owlia a chance to tinker and learn.
>>
Ya know, has Owlia ever shown her crystal implant to a real doctor?
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>>4853586
That would only bring questions like "ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY?!?!" And "YOU FUCKIN IDIOT"
>>
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>>4853687
Nah, this is Intersection. People with bizarre features and abilities live here, we know that body modification clinics and special support groups exist. We've already seen some heavily augmented people here (picrelated).
>“...doing some simple trials over the day, now that I have time to specifically focus on it, I’ve discovered some SERIOUS inefficiencies in how I manage to channel the crystal’s energy,” you explain. The methodology you’d used to implant the crystal was...well, still experimental (and also very painful, but that’s irrelevant) and so naturally it wouldn’t be 100% perfect the first time- although the lack of residual pain was, admittedly, very fortunate. Still, it meant that, theoretically, there were improvements that could be made in several areas...perhaps not exactly re-implanting (for now), but there’s certainly things you wanted to do to to improve yourself- it’s not like the crystal being inactive for approximately two hours or so would kill you. (You know this because you tested it a touch inadvertently, which is something you shall never ever tell Cylica about.) “My last break, I popped on over to my lab really quickly and made a slight modification or two to the absorption lattice and made a slight recalibration to the output frequency. I’m pretty sure that, by my calculations, I’ve increased the potency by upping the energy output to 150%. That should, if my observations and calculations are correct, be on par with one of Miranda’s famed ‘magi-blasts’ at full charge.”
During the team training session she revealed that she modifies herself without consulting with anyone, not even Cylica. Since she augmented herself because of us in the first place and we're her boss it's kind of our responsibility to have her checked at least once. She might learn safer self-improvement methods and how to avoid dumb mistakes after consulting with a specialist.
>>
Writing shortly.
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>>4852113
>>4852257
>>4852271
>>4852353
>>4852498
“Well, what if I could get it repaired for far less?” you venture.

She raises an eyebrow. “What, you know someone?”

“Just might,” you offer as you’re taking out your cell phone. “She’s a smart cookie and was hopefully coming by later anyway.”

“Well…” the receptionist frowns, considering. “I’ll have to run it by people, but I don’t see why not, if she’s qualified…”

“She’s qualified,” you assure. Come on, pick up…

“Yello? ‘Randa? You’re back!” Owlia’s chipper voice comes through. “Wow, feels like it’s been ages without you asking me to do stuff!”

Oh. Uhh… “...yeah. You’ve been good, then?”

“Yup! Managed to make some headway on a few things, and Lori got us out for like, a multiday shopping trip. Very educational! Got some neat stuff, too! How was your job, though?”

Wait...maybe you could swing this well if you phrased it right. “It was good. In fact, I brought back something you might be interested in. A living crystal construct-” you can hear the gasp already “-THAT...I’m keeping as a pet. So no, no experiments.”

You can practically see her pouting. “Awwww. But I wanna see it! What’s it look like?”

“It’s a...well-rounded bird.” Calling him ‘fat’ just feels...off. “His name’s Pecker, and I’m at a vert having him checked out. Just in case.”

“Awww, lookit you being the nice caretaker. I mean, I bet I could diagnose anything wrong with it just as well, but-” Bingo.

“Well, unfortunately, there IS something wrong with him. Needs surgery. And one of the things that would make the surgery EASIER is busted, some sort of Manapulse Auto-Generator thing,” you explain. “So we’ve got to risk it another way unless-”

“Oh noooo! That’s horrible! Also I’m not that dumb- of COURSE I’ll take a looksee at it. I wanna see this crystal bird!” Ah. Right. Probably shouldn’t have tried to trick her. “Can you get me in for the surgery, too?”

...okay, slight success. “I’ll talk to him about it.” You’ll talk to him ten minutes ago, sure. “Maybe see if Cylica wants to look, too.”

“Oh, she’d totally be down! I’m gonna let her know in fact; send me the address and I’ll be over there ASAP- when’s the surgery? How long do I have to do this?”

“It needs to happen by the end of the week, so you’ve got a couple days to see what’s what,” you explain. “And seriously, thanks. This...really means a ton to me. I’ll pay you back.”

“Yeah, yeah, I just wanna see the bird! Later!” And with that, you hang up.

The dryad looks at you oddly before you clear your throat. “Ahem. Right, then. Might want to make a note- Owlia Harkin, Tech Specialist of Silver Eye Solutions will be around to look at the thing...probably today or tomorrow.

You really hope it works out.

In the meantime, though...weapons. That’s another thing you need done today. You’re frighteningly low on Mana Crystals, and your Morph-Blade needs repairing, at the minimum. The question is, what else?

>Repair List:

>Restore Mana Crystals
>Repair Morph-Blade
>???
>>
>>4854183
I'm going to assume we're doing both of those two in addition to whatever we add in.

>See if we can fit the Faemetal on any of our current weapons.
>Treat the Crossbow + Queenstone's Robe.
>Make more casings for the Faemetal Bolts.

I know that we have lost none of our bolts for we have recovered them all.
And nice to know Miranda finally acknowledge Pecker as her pet.
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>>4854194
Yeah, both of those in addition.
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>>4854183
>>4854194
These then
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>>4854183
>>4854194
adding
>Treat Bracers and Sky God's Hammer
>Buy new Moleworm mines(10+), find non-specialized ammo for Crossbow and Coilgun
>Buy a scope for the Crossbow
we've been kinda eyeballing it the whole time. the crossbow had enchantments that increase its power, speed and range, so it could in fact replace the sniper rifle.
>>
>>4854183
>>4854214
Ditto on the Bracers and the hammer.
With Owlia helping the surgery out, I'm pretty sure we now have more breathing room.

But what can the crossbow do at mid range that our other spells can't? If anything I think we should buy more specialized bolts for it (Poison, Exploding, Electro, etc...).
>>
I wonder if we can enchant the faemetal arrows to come back to us via magic device or something. It's a valuable metal, it makes me don't want to waste it.
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>>4854221
We're completely out of moleworm mines. I'm dead serious about the scope for the crossbow, it shouldn't be expensive. All modern ones come with a scope.
I'm not sure if we should recharge Graceheal staff, give it to someone or sell it.
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>>4854183
Voting to get a scope for the crossbow and restocking the mines too.
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>>4854225
You know those elixirs that you stock up on all the time? Yeah.

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TooAwesomeToUse
>>
Writing!
>>
So, what about rewarding Gartoum and getting new robo assistant? I think the new one should be specialized, maybe in biology/chemisty/alchemy - since our girls have only basic knowledge in these fields.
Cylica
>“Oh, Owlia isn’t a fan of it, but I do confess to a fascination with it I’ve yet to bother to truly explore,” she explains. “I’m rather dedicated to my crystals, but I think with my as-of-now-extended lifespan, I could do with diversifying my portfolio a bit.”
Nura
>“Ah, right! Well, I’m not as skilled in that as jewelcrafting, but I’d taken it up a while ago after there was a bit of a craze for fashionable potion containers. I’d thought it a good idea to be able to save people money by offering both phases of creation. It rather helped my bottom line, I think!” She grins at this. “I’ve learned the basics of potioneering, though I can’t make anything truly outstanding- yet. I’m confident in the theory, however, and while what makes a good health potion here is likely much different than...before...I’m confident that since I’m aware of the general process, it’s just a matter of recognizing what new ingredients I may need.”
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>>4854254
Improving Gartoum is a given, and we need to read those books Ah-Rul gave us too.

You said before that we should ask for preferences, so I think we should do it before investing into another bot.
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>>4854254
missed a few parts
>She actually laughs at that a bit. “Ohoh, I plan to. There’s a few technological and biological novelties I’m particularly curious about, and focusing more on our little trading service will give me the opportunity to look more into such things.”

>“Didn’t think you had an interest in biology,” you admit as you both end up heading back inside your place- you can see Owlia passed out on the couch, which explains that.

>“Oh, Owlia isn’t a fan of it, but I do confess to a fascination with it I’ve yet to bother to truly explore,” she explains. “I’m rather dedicated to my crystals, but I think with my as-of-now-extended lifespan, I could do with diversifying my portfolio a bit.”
>>
Well...next, is a LOT of shopping. You’ve got so much stuff to pick up and buy right now...first thing’s first, though.

“The heck ya done to it, lass!?” Grizzi exclaims as you present the warped blade to him. “Weren’t THAT long it got handed over to ya!”

“Fought a primordial fire spirit,” you mention. “It held up well. For the most part.”

“Sonuva…” he groans as he looks it over. “Well, we kin fix it up, aye. It’ll cost ya bout 3 Large, though. Fortunately looks like non o’ the mechanisms are too messed up, isjust the primary blade itself…might be weaker, though, just what happens in cases like this.”

Well, that’s a fair enough price. “Another question, then; I have this metal...it’s supposed to be anti-magic, and-”

“Forge-weldin’ on a blade what’s already done is risky business,” he interrupts. “Throws off the balance, possibly increases the fragility if’n ya do it wrong. O’ course, with the right metals, can prove awful good, too. Hmmm...good thing weren’t no magic in this. Could try it for 2 more large if ya have good ore.”

“It’s more ready made metal,” you explain. He doesn’t say anything to the negative, just nods. “Same price. Anything else?”

“Uhh...casing for crossbow bolts?” you shrug. “Can you do that?”

“Fifty small,” he huffs. Fair enough...

The rest of the day is similar. Your shopping spree takes you to various stores as you restock on Moleworm Mines, get a simple long-range scope and bolts for the crossbow, restore your Mana Crystals, and look into getting weapons and items treated- after finding a different permanency treatment store. This one- simply called ‘Prianna’s Perfect Permanency’, had muuuch less costly treatments, offering to do the bracers, crossbow, hammer, and robe all for 35.50 Lotes; more for less, compared to Forever For You.

Total would leave you with 44.20. Enough so long as you didn't splurge...or didn't mind doing some local gigs for a bit.

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

It's when you leave the building that you get another call. "Hello?"

"Yoooo!" Hm? Who is...that sounds familiar. "Miranda?"

"Yes?" You swear that voice-

"This is Taminy! What, you forget already?" Her voice is joking, but your mind snaps to focus now.

"Oh, sorry. Just came back the other day from a lengthy job," you explain.

She just chuckles. "Woof, yeah. I've been in the same boat; we could catch up if you want to. I mean, wanted to talk to you, but we could get a bite to eat if you're hungry, do it in person."

>...sure, you've got nothing else on your plate today. Could fix that.
>Actually, still haven't reconnected with the team. Postpone?
>Other
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>>4854353
>Actually, still haven't reconnected with the team. Postpone?
Lori did say she has a lot of gossips for us.
>>
>>4854353
>...sure, you've got nothing else on your plate today. Could fix that.
Good opportunity to warn their company about the weird note, we've already tipped off the Knights. Might as well ask about roller derby thing and when can we meet with that Susie witch.
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>>4854353
>...sure, you've got nothing else on your plate today. Could fix that.
That's almost all of our job money yikes
>>
‘Prianna’s Perfect Permanency’:
>muuuch less costly treatments, offering to do the bracers, crossbow, hammer, and robe all for 35.50 Lotes;
treatment of Flamebringer and the Rapier at ‘Forever For You':
>"If'n ya want both together, I'll cut ya a deal, we'll say 32.50 fer the both of 'em? No self-respectin' treater worth his salt'll go below that number."
never visiting that old man ever again
>>
>>4854353
>>4854359
Switching to
>...sure, you've got nothing else on your plate today. Could fix that.
I'm curious about this group myself.
>>
Writing!
>>
>>4854353
>>4854372
>>4854375
>>4854401
Thinking about it...well, you guess you have some spare time. Well, no, you’ve got plenty of spare time, really. “Yeah, sure. Got nothing else on my plate today.”

“Awesome. I know this great burger place if you’re down.” Sure, that’ll work.

It’s a small place, honestly, halfway open air, but it DOES seem busy, which makes you figure that its reputation is well-deserved. Taminy is waiting around the side in the small parking lot it has. “Yo!” You shake hands as you head in line. “So this place is pretty great. Good chicken burgers, but never get the steak fries, you want the crinkles.”

“Right,” you mutter as the line shortens. “So, been alright? You mentioned you’d just gotten back from a long job, too?”

“Oooh yeah,” she confirms with a sigh. “Like, been back for a couple days, but I’ve been feeling it, y’know? It was a multiperson gig, so like, most of the old crew were with me on this one- we had to infiltrate this ‘dark realm’- you know the type, standard ‘world-next-door’ stuff - to retrieve some sort of Spectral Artifact or something. Early 21st century tech level, mind, so we weren’t super out of sorts in terms of weapons, but the Dark Realm was kinda all over the place, right? Normal guys had guns, sure, but they had magic and all that goodness. They didn’t have any agents capable of standing up to the locals anymore, so they bought us. Lemme tell ya, just FINDING a way to safely get us all in the realm was a hassle…”

And so the tale goes on of her and four others- The Frog-guy from before (who you learned was named Alell), Isabella Vampirosa, Juno, and another whom she just called ‘Goggles’ (“cause he always, and I mean ALWAYS has on tac goggles”) and having to essentially march through supernatural jungle in rough conditions. Then they’d had to get through essentially a castle’s personal guard, and THEN Juno had gotten captured and had to fight through gladiator games- they used that time to scout and find the artifact had gotten moved, and...well, it sounds like it was a mess, too. You’re halfway through your meals by the time she’s finished.

(cont.)
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>>4854473
“...so basically with all that fighting going on around us we just had to grab the damn thing and make a dash for it.” She sighs in exhaustion, only continuing after taking a sip of soda. “Lemme tell ya, not smooth at all, and I’m pretty sure Bella’s still working off some residual anger ‘cause of that one zombie that kept hitting on her, but hey, we made it out. Buuut, anywho, that’s not all I wanted to mention.”

“There’s more?” you ask with an eyebrow raised.

“Relax, it’s just local. Have you gotten an ask back from the Extreme Roller Derby Association?” Oh. That?

“Yeah,” you admit. “I haven’t actually opened the message or anything yet, though- I basically got back, went to bed, then got up and started doing some errands.”

“Ahhh. Well, I’ll spoil it- they want us back for another exhibition match,” she explains. You’d kinda figured. “This one actually has a little winner’s purse attached to it, too. 4 Large Motes. So far, everyone else is game, but you.”

“That so?” you notice. “They’re waiting on me, then?”

“Yeah, they’re not willing to commit to a date until they hear back from all of us, I think,” she explains. “I just wanted to see if you were still down for it. It was tough, but it was pretty fun! But I mean if not, we can probably work on finding a replacement- especially if you have anyone in mind.”

> "No need. Sounds like fun."
> "I don't know if I want to do another right now..."
>>
>>4854474
> "No need. Sounds like fun."
I don't wanna have another go of dice rolling this soon (we just got back). But we mesh well together and it's free street cred. And we have some new abilities to play with.

As long as it's not this week. We have a lot to do this week.
>>
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>>4854474
>> "No need. Sounds like fun."
>Signal that we want to talk with her in private
Gotta tip her off about the mysterious notes. Also might tip her off about the movie deal as a cover for that since she's a fan.
Can't see why we wouldn't be able to accept both the movie deal AND the derby match.
>>
>>4854474
>>4854491
Taking this
>>
Done for the night. Will post tomorrow.
>>
>>4854474
>>4854491
Adding this, before signalling
>ask if she knows anyone who could help us with Gartoum
I forgot if it was her or Irene who told us about the weeb robotechnician. The enchanter who unlocked Gartoum's ring had ridiculous prices and basically robbed us>>4853818, so it'd be great if she knows someone more trustworthy.
>>
>>4854474
>>4854537
Yeah let's ask her about some enchanters or at least someone who can improve Gartoum.
She's from a group of shadow mages so she should know a few. Might be better if that someone is from the same group, more opportunities for networking that way.

It was her that told us about HOKUTO. That's a man with dedication for his craft right there.
>>
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>>4854950
You're doing Yahweh's work, anon.
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>>4854950
Nice
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>>4854474
>>4854487
>>4854491
>>4854494
>>4854537
>>4854787

Honestly, the answer’s out surprisingly quickly. “No need. Sounds like fun.”

“Awesome! Well, I’ll let everyone know, and you should probably let those guys know yourself ASAP so they can set a date for it quicker.”

“Yeah, I’ll do that,” you decide. There’s a while of you both simply eating for a while and talking about minor things, older jobs, people she’s met. She mentions a few meaningless things like how Suzette horrified a few people with her attempts at interpretive dance a while ago, Kira’s hoping for a new costume and whatnot, and you share some details about your recent job, along with some talk about the kids, and your teammates. It's a bit banal, but something in particular leaps out at you:

“...and Audrey really should be A-Rank by now, but she just doesn’t want to bother. Spectre hasn’t bugged her about it yet but we all think it’d be better in the long run before he gets pushy.” Huh.

“She’s got A-Rank potential?” you find yourself repeating. You DO recall she said she was strong…

“Yeah, I think so. So does everyone else. But she doesn’t want to bother. She’s plenty happy at B.” Huh. You wonder...although that DOES remind you.

(cont.)
>>
>>4859218

“I wonder. I’ve got a guy. Well. Thing. Shadow creature. He’s bound to a ring, but he’s been plenty useful. Full of attitude, but useful,” you explain. “Any way you might know someone what can...y’know. Boost that? Or do something helpful for him otherwise? Figure it’s worth a reward, what he’s managed.”

She pauses to think. “Hmmmm...Iunno anyone myself...buuuut, I might put out the call to one of the gang, see if they can point you in the right direction if not solve it themselves.”

Great. And that leads into the other thing. “Cool. I know you don’t do much in the way of outsiders, but considering Suzette offered to help me out with a thing later, could I drop by your HQ to handle that? Maybe I could meet the rest of them?”

She pauses, considering. “Oh yeah...Suzette did mention that. I think you impressed her somehow.” ...how? You just talked to her for a bit and hung around. “So between that and me and how the rest of them like you, you might be let in, yeah.”

“Great. Got some stuff I’d need to talk to you about anyway.” You’ll leave it at that for now, because no sense in making it too worrisome- yet. “When’s a good time?”

“Eh, we’ll figure something out, but at least a day to let us get ready. I know Audrey and the Twins are going to need some time for sure.”

Soon enough, the two of you finish your food, preparing to head your separate ways. "I got some errands to do. Boring stuff, resupply for HQ and junk."

"I need to get back, myself," you admit. "Good hanging out, though."

"Yeah, was nice," she agrees with a grin. "Could do it again later."

"Right." With that and farewells, you both head out. Checking the time shows it's late evening.

>Might as well call Lorelei, see what she's up to now.
>You'll call it a day here.
>Go somewhere else (Where?)
>Other
>>
>>4859220
>>Might as well call Lorelei, see what she's up to now.
>>
>>4859220
>Might as well call Lorelei, see what she's up to now.
>>
>>4859220
>Might as well call Lorelei, see what she's up to now.
>>
Writing!
>>
>>4859220
>>4859235
>>4859236
>>4859259
>>4859312
Well, you’ve still got some daylight. Might as well hit up Lorelei and see what’s going on there. She DID want to talk to you, anywho. “Yeeello?”

“Hey, Lori, still up for visitors?” You can hear movement in the back.

“Oh? Uh, yeah, sure? When’ll you be over?” She actually kinda sounded a bit busy? Or at least less interested than you’d thought.

“Probably in a couple minutes. I mean, if you’re busy-” you start, but she’s quick to interrupt.

“Oh, nah, nah, I just had Nura and Mono over here,” she explains. “Iunno if you mind her over here or what, soooo…”

“I mean, it’s your place, your choice,” you dismiss.

“Oh, well…” there’s a moment as you can hear a muffled voice in the background. “Yeah, sure! We’ll see you soon, kay?”

“Alright, thanks.” With that, you hang up. Hopefully she’s not too busy…sounded like something was happening there.

When you arrive, it’s surprisingly subdued. She invites you in easily enough, but you’re surprised to see Mono in what looks like a set of pajamas and looking exhausted on the couch, while Nura is calmly sipping on what you’re pretty sure is tea. “Yo!” Naturally, Lorelei is all smiles. “Sooo, day went well?”

“Yeah, still plenty to do, but I can take my time on it,” you agree.

“Well, come on- we got snacks already out.” Huh. Seems like there was a little private get together. “There’s been SOOOO much happening lately; it’s wild. I mean, not wild wild, but kinda wild. Heard something about the Care House adjusting curriculum, there might be a sea change in Interdiction, buncha stuff. But, our little neck of the woods has been quiet at least, so that’s nice!”

>Ask what’s the deal with Mono; anything going on with her?
>Ask about the Care House. What exactly is going on there?
>What’s going on with Interdiction? Anything to worry about?
>Ask about something else.
>Other

It was surprisingly hard to write this simple as hell post.
>>
>>4860835
>>What’s going on with Interdiction? Anything to worry about?
>>
>>4846120
So what we should've done to get Ah-Rul to fetch the boy for us? Would asking him to teleport Gargles instead worked (so that we get 2 for 1)? That bat did its task well, so it's less likely he'd abandon a useful and loyal minion, right?
>>
>>4860835
>Ask about the Care House. What exactly is going on there?
>>
>>4860835
>What’s going on with Interdiction? Anything to worry about?
>Ask about the Care House. What exactly is going on there?
Why not both?
>"When was the last time the Care House adjusted curriculum again?"
>>
>>4860835
>>4860849
I guess Mono is just exhausted from the shopping trip. Adding another question
>Ask Lori about minibots. How are they doing?
They live with her, yet they're not here right now. Are they in need of upgrades? If so she shouldn't wait for our approval, we got our hands full atm. Maybe their frames could be upgraded with gems, crystals and sigils - so we can get some upgrades on the house thanks to Nura.
>>
>>4860835
>What’s going on with Interdiction? Anything to worry about?
>Ask about the Care House. What exactly is going on there?
+ >>4860863
>>
>>4860835
>Ask about the Care House. What exactly is going on there?
>What’s going on with Interdiction? Anything to worry about?
>>
Aaand writing.

Interdiction and Care House.
>>
>>4860840
I think if we just asked to go get him ourselves, instead of having him brought to us it might've worked. Sometimes the nuance makes or breaks with employers, especially the prideful ones.
I am fine with him being left behind though, maybe he'll have a Terra FF6 arc.
>>
>>4860928
>During the last days of the surface races, those fairies that were upon the surface were called back home
The boy was unnaturally drawn to the fake lockstone because the Elders did something to it, so maybe he got the recall signal as well. He was pretty close to the Ancient Gate too.
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>>4860932
I kinda hope he becomes the one who takes down Ah-Rul, honestly... Or at least an ancestor of the chosen one, anyway.
>>
>>4860928
>I think if we just asked to go get him ourselves, instead of having him brought to us it might've worked.
That's exactly what we did, nobody asked to have him teleported.
>>
>>4860835
>>4860839
>>4860849
>>4860857
>>4860869
>>4860870
“I get you. What’s going on with the Care House again?” you ask as Lorelei shows you to the kitchen where there’s some finger foods. You’re not hungry, but you’ll at least get a cup of tea yourself to be polite.

“Kinda figured that’d be your first worry,” she says with a grin as she snatches a mini-sandwich. “Don’t worry, your kids should be fine. But they’re saying that the Care House might be changing how they do things a bit- trying to do more in the way of apprenticeship kinda stuff. Want to get the younguns working faster.” Huh. You kinda thought it was fast enough. Besides, as it is, they’re at least given something in the way of a range of ideas and basic skills to move into a number of jobs. Outgoers generally have job security unless they really screw up, but that can’t be said for locals… “Haven’t changed it yet, but they’re feeling it out. Believe it or not, it’s getting some decent pushback, last I checked.”

“By who?” you ask.

She just shrugs. “Couple different groups, if I remember right. No one super big yet, but I know apparently some Outgoer groups aren’t happy, and of course a bunch of employers are talking against it.”

Huh. Something to maybe inquire about if you feel like later. “Speaking of Outgoer groups, what’s going on with Interdiction? Anything to worry about with them, orrr?”

“Oh, no!” And THIS she looks excited about as you both head back into the living room. “Okay, so, you didn’t hear it from me, but ALLEGEDLY there’s rumors that Interdiction might be seriously reorganizing from just about the top down; like...I dunno the actual changes, but there’s been some scaaaary talk lately. I mean…” and even this causes her pause for a moment before she lowers her voice, as if she could be overheard. “Y’know. Layoffs.”

You have to suppress a shudder. THAT level of layoffs? For Outgoers?

Lorelei notices. “Yeah, it’s scaring a lot of folks. But like I said, just a rumor. So far, nada. So who knows? Might just be a scare tactic.” Well, that DOES remind you of your own little ‘investigation’- and you hadn’t seen anything hinting Interdiction was involved yet...but then again, it wasn’t much you had to go on. “Frankly, I’d almost believe it,” she says as she plops down, snuggling against Nura. Mono is half asleep, muttering to herself for whatever reason.

“I’m just glad it’s far away from us,” Nura admits, sipping her tea nonchalantly as Lorelei gets comfortable. “It’s been pleasant, and I’d rather not get involved in any backroom politicking.” ...right.

For a moment, it's surprisingly quiet and comfortable.

> “Mono? You alright over there?”
> "So, where'd the bots get off to?"
> “Soooo...where’d *this* come from?”
> “Made much progress on any research, Nura?”
> Other
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>>4860988
> "So, where'd the bots get off to?"
> “Made much progress on any research, Nura?”
>>
>>4860988
> "So, where'd the bots get off to?"
> “Made much progress on any research, Nura?”
Good thing we have a contact right inside Interdiction.
>>
>>4860988
> “Mono? You alright over there?”
> "So, where'd the bots get off to?"
>>
>>4860988
> “Mono? You alright over there?”
> "So, where'd the bots get off to?"
>>
>>4860993
I still think it's a good idea to ask Nura's help with upgrading the bots. There's a lot of stuff that needs to be done and managing everything by ourselves would take too long, so it'd be fair to entrust the task of upgrading them to Lori.
>>
Writing!
>>
>>4860988
>>4860993
>>4860997
>>4861001
>>4861003
It’s a bit of quiet as you enjoy the company. But looking around, you can’t help but notice a bit of missing metal, so to speak. "So, where'd the bots get off to?"

She grins. “Oh, those two? They shouldn’t be out too long. Jago wanted to show Pri something. Wouldn’t tell me what, but he sounded like he wanted to help her with dance stuff.” Huh. That’s nice of him. “They’re supposed to let me know when they’re on their way back.”

“Really, I wonder,” Nura says idly. “I don’t know about you, but Jago, fascinating as he is, strikes me as a troublemaking sort.”

“That’s why I’m not worried- Prima’s with him so she’ll keep him outta too much trouble,” Lorelei dismisses. “She’s a good girl.”

“So very unlike you,” Nura snarks. Lorelei just snorts at that, saying nothing to refute it. Nura simply pats her on the shoulder in response.

“What about you, Nura?” you turn the conversation to her as you mull the situation. “I’ve been mostly just still recovering from that job. Done anything or made any progress on any research?”

She yawns, shrugging lightly as she drinks more. “Artificer armor is done. Just hit testing phases, but the concept has proven sound. Shame I wasn’t around when you went on that little excursion. Sounded interesting, if frightening. Everything else has proven...iffy, still.” She sounds particularly nonchalant about that. “But, enough about work for now. Lorelei and I’d been thinking about catching a play tomorrow called Lorraine’s Flower- have you heard of it?” You shake your head. “It’s supposed to be just ADORABLE- a childhood love story, with action, drama, psychic powers!” She’s gushing. “It sounds sooo cute!” Lorelei just sits in quiet commiseration as she goes on- but Mono seems...aggrieved for whatever reason.

It’s gotten to a point you can’t really ignore it any more. “Mono? You alright over there?”

There’s a pause. “Nah, but I’ll live,” is the gruff response. You can’t help but notice Lorelei flinch a bit at that gesture. “Nothin’ you need to worry about, boss. Kinda asked for it myself. Just need to cool off before time.” Huh. Part of you wants to inquire, but...well, it’s her business.

You don’t really talk about too much else of importance, recipes mostly and movie and television preferences for Lorelei’s part. Well, save for one bit, right before you’re about to leave…

“Soooo…” you can tell by her tone that this is going to be annoying. “I hear there’s another movie in a certain SERIES soon to be shooting...aaaand they might be trying to bring back a certain character…” Oh no. “Soooo, I was wondering if maybe you could find it in your heart to maybe see if you can’t get your bestest best friend a little part?” She’s got the mother of all shit-eating grins on right now, and you respond with your best flat expression as you respond.

> “Nice try, but that’s not my call.”
> “...if I say yes, will you not bug me about it?”
> Other
>>
Note: Done for tonight, but I will NOT be around for the next two days at the least. Family's flying in and I'll be spending it with them.
>>
>>4861052
>"No promises."
Funny that Miranda's gotten deeper into showbiz than Lori without even trying.
>>
>>4861052
>She yawns, shrugging lightly as she drinks more. “Artificer armor is done.
#95, just before we left
>“The ‘Artificer-Pattern High-Impact Armor, ‘John’ Variant’ is currently in final alpha testing stages,” she explains, which is pleasant news. “Live Beta Testing will be available in approximately twelve more days.”
Damn, we've been away for so long?
>There’s a pause. “Nah, but I’ll live,” is the gruff response. You can’t help but notice Lorelei flinch a bit at that gesture.
Oh riiiiiight...she agreed to help Lori with a bet she made during the shopping trip
>>
>>4861052
Supporting >>4861062
We can try to talk to the people in charge of the casting.
Maybe we just make it a business proposal or something, but that's up to the Director/studio.
>>
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>>4861052
this>>4861062

>Lorelei and I’d been thinking about catching a play tomorrow called Lorraine’s Flower- have you heard of it?” You shake your head. “It’s supposed to be just ADORABLE- a childhood love story, with action, drama, psychic powers!” She’s gushing. “It sounds sooo cute!”
Lori has an interesting taste
>>
>>4861062
>>4861052
>"No promises. I can pitch your name the to director, but you still have to pass the audition yourself"
Haha, time to turn SeS from an Outgoer company to the greatest Actors Union in the Intersection.
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>>4861427
That gives me an idea. How much would younger or lower class outgoers would pay for a recording of our missions? A fair bit i guess
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>>4862985
If we actually do this (extremely unlikely) I want to sell blooper reels of our biggest fuckups with added comedy sound effects.
>>
>>4862985
I'm pretty sure the city has an equivalent of Youtube and a lot of (bored)Outgoers should upload their footages over there.
>>
hey, I'm the one who made the questionnaire on >>4846751.
I've decided to close the form and post the results.
also:
>11 responses
>yet we have lots of anons not answering all the questions so the graph is weird
>lots of people wanting a webcomic adaption
>>
>>4862985
Someone's already got the idea to make money out of Outgoers' stories>>4861360
>Live! Legends of the Outer Worlds! - It seems to be a faux-documentary play, about some ridiculous places that are said to based on real worlds Outgoers have visited. Audience participation is encouraged.
Tbh we're still a B-ranker from a low-rent group, so I don't think anyone would be interested enough to pay us money. We've only been on notable public events, like, twice or thrice.