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The date is OCTOBER 31, 1699. The endless maw of the CATACOMBS stretches out before you, the SUPER BLOOD WOLF MOON high in the air above.
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You are the second-born of the VON GUNDYR FAMILY. Your lineage is one of distinction, a noble line of both social and military excellence. You take great pride in your heritage. Your name, however, has fallen from grace in recent years–your older brother’s catastrophic string of military defeats led to a series of critical losses along the country’s northern border and the loss of key defensive territory years ago. Your legacy ruined, your image tarnished.

But you are not without hope. Just ten years ago, the abyssal CATACOMBS were found–an accursed monster laden dungeon, where a strange black MAGIC bound souls to bodies and let men resurrect, all the same as monsters. The king would decree that whomsoever could reach its bottom, slay the foul LICH, and return to the king would obtain an immense sum of MONEY and the titlehood of NOBILITY. In the decade since, none would claim victory.

But you are different. The sum insignificant and the title unnecessary, you instead yearn for the glory and recognition of the king and the reclamation of your family’s former honor.

>What is your name?
>>
>>5192442
>Name
Giacomo

I recognize this style and I like it.
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>>5192442

>Claude
>>
>Alfonse
Which means noble, and i think Alphonse Von Gundyr has a cool and noble sound to it.
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>>5192442
>>5192449
+1
>>
>>5192442
>>5192450
This
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>>5192442
Jeffson
>>
>>5192442
Jerry
>>
>>5192450
YEH
>>
>>5192442
Guillermo.

>>5192464
>>5192493
I see there are those who still practice the old ways.
>>
Jerry Jeffson Jr.
>>
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>>5192501
>>5192493
>>5192464
>>5192463
>>5192455
>>5192450
>>5192449
>>5192447

>Alfonse

Your name is ALPHONSE VON GUNDYR, a 29 year old scion of the prestigious VON GUNDYR house.

You are a veteran of the king’s royal army, formally a dragoon with the LOCKSTEP CALVARY for eight loyal years. Your service was cut short near the close of the war by a grievous knee injury (that’s left you ken to walk with a slight limp ever since) and you were set on a train back home. But, not one to sit still, you set out to the CATACOMBS to reclaim your family’s old repute shortly after your return.

But, besides that, you admittedly have a secondary goal in mind for the CATACOMBS–you’re near your 30s now and still single, nary a kiss nor hug nor even affectionate letter to speak of. You’ve heard tell of fearsome and legendary mercenaries, soldiers, and adventurers from all over the country flocking to the catacombs–and among them, plenty of women to spare.

Yes, you, still single, have come to the CATACOMBS in part to find a WIFE.

It’s utilitarian, of course. Your duty as a noble son is to herald the future of your proud line. At your age, people start to whisper when you’re still single. And you’ve never had much luck with women. Your sisters claim that while your nobility, military service, and build may be attractive, your “oafish insensitivity” and “loutish manner” can offend some. And apparently they don’t find men who still read children’s action serials very attractive.

What twaddle. And unlike them, your collection of action serials will only grow in value as they age.

Nonetheless, you’re not one for the flowery, willowy types at noble social events–no, you yearn for a wife that’s a bit dangerous, and strong enough to handle your IMPRESSIVE LINEAGE. You’re certain that somewhere in the CATACOMBS is at least one one worthy of your name.

Your mind remains adrift in such fancy and fantasy as you walk down the steps of the stairway corridor, lower and lower, the entrance to the CATACOMBS just a slight, half-sunken in hole in a sheer cliff wall that hides a dungeon of such immensity that it’s yet to been fully plotted and charted in the decade since its discovery.

You arrive at the base of the stairs down to find a small, candle-lit room–a stone cold and dark welcome. The walls resemble columbariums, spacious features carved into the stone walls for bodies to be lain to rest. A door opens up to darkness up ahead, presumably the rest of the CATACOMBS. Just two await you down there–a rather wrinkly old hag and a slimy-looking merchant type.

>Speak to the doddering mendicant crone.
>Speak to the slug-like mercantile.
>Plunge into the depths without acknowledgement.
>Write-In.
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>>5192526
>Speak to the doddering mendicant crone.
>>
>>5192450
+ 1
>>
>>5192526
>Speak to the doddering mendicant crone.
>>
>>5192526
>Speak to the doddering mendicant crone.
>>
>Speak to the doddering mendicant crone.
>>
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>>5192529
>>5192540
>>5192544
>>5192565

>Speak to the doddering mendicant crone.

At a quiet, darkened corner of the room, far from the errant candles and wax, sits an old crone. She’s rather gnarled and small; so pathetic that you could’ve easily missed her had you been a little less attentive.

“You there. Hag.” You approach the hunched crone–each step leaves a fresh print in the ash and dust about the shrine.
“Ahhhh.. eheheh..” The witch quietly cackles in a shrill, crackly voice. “A new one, then, for the abyss. What’s it for this one? Is it the king's coffers? The lich’s head? No.. of course, it’s the cure for death..”

Bah. You hate talking to old people. Always weird riddles.

>Demand that she tell you about the CATACOMBS–you only have a cursory knowledge of it, after all.
>A cure for death? What does she mean by that?
>Attempt a little seduction. Just test your waters here. Not that you’d get with this hag.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5192526
>Speak to the doddering mendicant crone.
>>
>>5192603
>>Demand that she tell you about the CATACOMBS–you only have a cursory knowledge of it, after all.
>>
>>5192603
>Demand that she tell you about the CATACOMBS–you only have a cursory knowledge of it, after all.
>>
>>5192603
>Demand that she tell you about the CATACOMBS–you only have a cursory knowledge of it, after all.
>>
>>5192603
>Attempt a little seduction. Just test your waters here. Not that you’d get with this hag.
>>
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>>5192615
>>5192624
>>5192655

>Demand that she tell you about the CATACOMBS–you only have a cursory knowledge of it, after all.

“What can you tell me about the CATACOMBS?” You ask the hag, your eyes narrow. “And enough with the riddles, hag.”

“Hmm, hmm.. you’re not at all as charming..” The hag shakes her head after a long moment, her mouth open in a toothless grin. “But.. I can let you in on a secret. This hole–all of it, from these walls to its inhabitants to the traps–is the last remnant of a once powerful curse that grasped these lands. But these catacombs–this scar in the ground–is all that remains. And a lich has lain claim to it as her throne, and bound all that dare step within to true immortality..”

“Gah! Don’t listen to that old hag, friend. Nonsense, meaningless riddles and stories for all that dare waste time on her.” The slug-like merchant guffaws, leaning over to eavesdrop on your discussion. “Come, come now. You won’t get any good conversation out of that crone.”

>Move on. Speak to the slimy merchant.
>Press her further.
>Plunge into the depths of the CATACOMBS already.
>Write-In.
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>>5192674
>Press into her further.
>>
>Move on. Speak to the slimy merchant.
>>
>>5192674
>Seduce Hag
Shes an older woman who likely knows what she wants, we are young and inexperienced but we got that wild energy
>>
>Move on. Speak to the slimy merchant.
Let's speak.
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>>5192683
Switching to this.
>Flirt
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>>5192674
>Move on. Speak to the slimy merchant.
>>
>>5192683
fuck it, why not +1
>>
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>>5192683
>>5192701
>>5192706

>Seduce Hag

You’d once heard tell of a warrior’s practice in a faraway country–that when they found a new blade, they would cut down a weak passerby to test its edge before they took it to battle. You decide to follow a similar practice.
“So, hag..” You clear your throat. “Would you, perchance, be married, or..”
“Oh, my.. How very cute.” The hag cackles again, a bit more lightly than once before. “Are you trying to court me? Well, I’m flattered, but I’ve been taken for a very long time. My husband, his–what was his name? It was.. No-no, it was-..”

The hag’s look turns puzzled–despite your best attempts to draw her out of it, she seems lost in her own mind now. The merchant looks disgusted.

>Move on. Speak to the slimy merchant.
>Plunge into the depths. You don’t have the courage to face the merchant anymore.
>Write-In.
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>>5192674
>lich
>her
It's time to get it on with DEM BONES. Let's squeeze in some practice with the old folks.
>>5192683
+1
Looking forward to whenever you do CSM Quest 2, OP! Mush is cute!
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>>5192716
Fuck, I was too slow.
>Carefully pat a clothed part of her body - you don't want leprosy or something - and then speak to the merchant.
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>>5192716
>>Move on. Speak to the slimy merchant.
>>
>>5192716
Supporting >>5192723
>>
>>5192723
>>5192724
>+1
>>
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>>5192723
>>5192724
>>5192741
>>5192750

>Carefully pat a clothed part of her body - you don't want leprosy or something - and then speak to the merchant.

You can’t help but feel a twinge of pity for the ridden hag. You gently pat her arm before you turn away from the display–it’s always pitiful to see such dissipations of the mind. As you approach the slug’s array of merchandise, he sneers.

“Oh? You done feelin’ up the hag, then?” He scoffs.
“Quiet. It was a mere curiosity, nothing more.” You glower at the hunchback. “Do your job and show me your goods.”
“Well, well.. at least your judgement’s decent when it comes to purchases, eh?” He jeers as he waves to the array of knickknacks before you. “Take your pick. Best GRAVE GOODS in this hole.”

A cursory glance over his “goods” exposes his lie–they’re half-rusted swords, bent and broken armor, shattered alchemical bottles and ruined books. Nothing worth your time.

“..Grave goods?” You glance at the merchant, raising a brow.

“Ah. I guess you’re new around here, eh? Don’t know about grave goods.” He scratches his head. “See, grave goods are, uh.. when people die down here, they wake up again in little SHRINES like this, right? The immortality spell and whatnot. There’s little dumps just like these all over the CATACOMBS. But while their spirits get bound to fresh bodies, their corpses stay the same–so enterprising merchants such as myself do ‘em the favor of saving their goods from hungry monsters and getting them back to the adventurer–at a premium, of course.”

“You’re robbing them, then.” You cut him off. “Have you no shame?”

“Ahhh.. there’s that reaction.” The merchant snaps his fingers, his face lit up with smarmy recognition. “It’s always the same with your type. Fresh-faced adventures always up in arms about it. But you’ll get used to it. ‘Sjust how things work around here. And it’ll happen to you if you die down here, too. Some merchant will sweep that fancy-looking sword and that rifle right up from your carcass and turn ‘em over to any adventurer with a deep enough wallet. Best to keep your wits about you, or you'll end up like one of them.”

He motions to the array of merchandise beneath him.

>Question him about this so-called immortality spell.
>Ask about the monsters ahead of you.
>Ask him for any rumors around the CATACOMBS.
>Plunge into the depths and leave this shrine behind.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5192764
>>Question him about this so-called immortality spell.
>>
>>5192764
>Ask about the monsters ahead of you.
>>
>>5192764
>Ask about the monsters ahead of you.
>Ask him for any rumors around the CATACOMBS.
>Ask him, if he had the skills and training to enter these catacombs, what kind of monstergirl he'd go for.
>>
>>5192764
>Question him about this so-called immortality spell.

>>5192802
+1
>>
>>5192764
>Question him about this so-called immortality spell.
>Ask about the monsters ahead of you.
>Ask him for any rumors around the CATACOMBS.

I have no shame, ask all the questions.
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>>5192764
Also thirding the last question here >>5192802
>>
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>>5192802
>>5192881
>>5192885
>>5192886
>>5192783
>>5192777

>Ask about the monsters ahead of you.
>Ask him for any rumors around the CATACOMBS.
>Ask him, if he had the skills and training to enter these catacombs, what kind of monstergirl he'd go for.

“Tell me.” You stare down the graverobber. “What kind of monsters can I expect ahead?”
“Ah.. this is just the first BLOCK, friend. We call it the MORTSAFE. Nothin’ a blue blood like you can’t handle.” He smirks. “Ghouls, cultists.. a ghost or two. Y’know. Usual stuff. The deeper you get, the more dangerous they get.”
“..Right.” Are ghouls and ghosts and cultists really ‘usual stuff’? You, admittedly, had little experience with monster’s affairs beyond books. “Any curious rumors about, then?”
“Oh, rumors? Ah, lemme think, lemme think.. y’know–.. hmm.. it’s on the tip of my tongue, but..” He opens and closes an extended palm. You roll your eyes as you reach into your coat pocket–how unsavory..

The slug’s eyes bug out of his head as 2 PENT land in his open palm.

“Woah-haha! You really are a noble, huh?” He snickers, pocketing the coins. “I’d be a little less generous with that kind of cash if I were you. Not many people in this dump are as kind as I.”
“The rumor?” You hurry him on impatiently.
“Ah, don’t get your panties in a twist. Right. See, there’s been sightings of a dangerous monster around this BLOCK. Not the kind you’d usually see in such a shallow area.” He wrings his hands. “They say she cuts down every unlucky bastard that gets caught in her path with her rapier. And that she’s just as terrifying as she is beautiful. If only I could get so lucky, huh?”

“Right.” You decide to press the merchant a little further. “And if you had the skills and training to enter these catacombs.. you’d go for her, then.”
“Ah? You’re talkin’ some heretical stuff there, pal.” The merchant sneers. “But if I was 10 years younger, I’d land myself a drider. Big spider ass. You know what I mean?”

>Plunge into the depths and leave this shrine behind.
>Question him about this so-called immortality spell.
>Look over his goods a bit more closely.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5193106
>Look over his goods a bit more closely.

It is recycled junk mostly, but there may be something there we don't have that we need. These are taken from the dead who may potentially have gotten farther than we will after all.

I don't want to ask too many more questions, lest he demand more of our coin. We can infer what this spell is from what was said anyways. Sounds like a respawn spell, but you don't take your items with you.
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>>5193106
>Ask him, if he had the skills and training to enter these catacombs, what kind of monstergirl he'd go for.
>>
>>5193106
>Look over his goods a bit more closely
>>
>spider ass
YES ALL MY YES
WAHAHAHAHAHAHA
SHOW ME THAT SPINNERET
>>
>>5193106
>Question him about this so-called immortality spell.
>Look over his goods a bit more closely.
>>
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>>5193118
>>5193121
>>5193189
>>5193329
>>5193351

>Look over his goods a bit more closely.

You ignore the ill-bred comment and look the man’s array of grave goods over once more. It’s just as you first thought; the vast majority is a mess of half broken weapons and armors torn from the corpses of dead adventurers. But on closer inspection, you find a few pearls among pig shit that might prove half-useful before you begin your journey proper.

You spot a small spherical bottle full of water–and you can make out the glass cross emblem of the CORPUS CHURCH atop its stopper. A bottle of holy water, most likely–especially effective against the unholy aberrations that litter these halls.
You find next to it an assortment of daggers. They’re rather pitiful at first glance, but upon closer inspection, you find that they’re meant to be thrown. They may prove useful if your rifle jams.
You see one–albeit, dingy and pathetic– small brass pocket watch. The face is open. It’s apparently 1:23. You suppose a way to tell the time in the dungeon may prove useful, but the clock itself seems rather strange.

“The pent I gave you should be enough to clear out your stall. I’ll take what I need.” You reach for your selection, but the merchant grabs your hand.
“Woah-woah-woah, pal! I’m generous, but I’m not that generous.” He scoffs. “You still gotta buy ‘em, all the same as the rest of us.”
“Then how much?” You scowl.
“Mmmm.. 30 pent, for each.” He remarks. You nearly choke. “No little, no less.”
“You’re not serious.” You stare daggers at the slug. You could afford that, but you’re not one to empty your pockets for junk.
“Sorry, pal. You know how tough the economy can be.” He winks. “Or, maybe I can part with just one for 1 pent.. Who knows?”

>Purchase the holy water.
>Purchase the throwing daggers.
>Purchase the stopwatch.
>Leave this swindler and enter the catacombs.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5193373
>Purchase the stopwatch.
if its anything like the castlevania stopwatch then its easily the best here
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>>5192764
>seduce the merchant
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>>5193404
anon we're looking for a wife
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>>5193373
>Purchase the holy water
>...and break it on the fucker's head.

>>5193405
Wifes are temporary, divorce is eternal.
>>
>>5193403
+1
I smell a sidequest.
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>>5193373
>Purchase the stopwatch.
>Purchase the holy water.

May as well stock up, if we die and resurrect then we aren't getting that money back anyways.
>>
>>5193373
>Purchase the holy water.
>Purchase the throwing daggers.
>Purchase the stopwatch.
>>
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>>5193403
>>5193404
>>5193412
>>5193424
>>5193446

>Purchase the stopwatch.
>Purchase the holy water.

“Fine, then.” You snarl. You reach into your coat pocket and toss a handful of coins down across the floor before him. They trace patterns in the ash as they clatter against stone–you pluck the holy water and stopwatch from his selection in the meantime. “I’ll be taking my leave.”
“You’re so kind, sir.” The merchant jeers, fumbling and grabbing at the most wealth he’s seen in a lifetime. You turn your back on the lowly pair and make for the dark hall ahead of the shrine, but the slug-man waves you off with a raucous laugh. “I hope to see you again soon!”

The first block of the CATACOMBS–the MORTSAFE. A series of dark, dim stone halls that wind in on top of one another, lit up by the endless wax candles that line the grounds and features of the walls. The labyrinth before you is caked with ash and dust, the footprints of adventurers before you wiped away by fresh cinders. On occasion, the stone facade gives way to the dirt and root underneath. It’s remarkably quiet–almost peaceful, in fact.
You once thought this dungeon a hot-blooded war ground between man and monster, where the sounds of slaughter and sword would ring throughout the halls, but this almost feels like a funerary ground. As you wind yet another dim corner near half an hour later, you almost begin to grow bored–that is, at least, until your senses are all at once assailed by foreign element.
You pick up the scent of rotten flesh and paradoxically warm blood down one hall–likely the result of an undead. You’re still foreign to combat with monsters, but this may prove a useful learning experience.
You hear the sound of steel against steel and shouts down another hall. You’re more familiar with this sort–a human dispute, maybe..?

>Investigate the scent of rotten flesh and blood.
>Investigate the sound of steel clatters and grunts.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5193480
>Investigate the scent of rotten flesh and blood.

Let's dip our toes into the local pastime before we meet a potential waifu, so we have something to talk about.
>>
>>5193490
+1
>>
>>5193480
>Investigate the scent of rotten flesh and blood.
>>
>>5193480
>Investigate the scent of rotten flesh and blood.
>>
>>5193490
>before we meet a potential waifu
>before
You fool. Undead pussy is a perfectly acceptable hole. It's our endgoal, too. Lich is a chick, after all.
COURAGE AND VALOR
>>
>>5193480
>Investigate the sound of steel clatters and grunts.

Fight! Fight! Fight!
>>
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>>5193490
>>5193546
>>5193549
>>5193590
>>5193614
>>5193616

>Investigate the scent of rotten flesh and blood.

You decide to first investigate the undead. Your experience with monstrous affairs is inadequate, to say the least–your knowledge only stems from what you’ve seen in books and photos. If you’re to lay claim to these catacombs as its champion, then it’s best that you understand its inhabitants first. You follow the hall that reeks of rot and blood–it only grows more and more pungent as you creep down the corridor. You’re not unfamiliar with it.
With the scent comes sound–a vile gnawing noise, all manner of hungry slurping and licking and gnashing. Your nose crinkles.
The ashen corridor gradually opens to a small, circular end room–several matters of traps set into the walls appear to have been set off, as several bloody spears that stem from points along the facade crisscross the room. And in the room’s center, rending plate and flesh from some poor bastard hanging from a bayonet, is an UNDEAD.

She slowly turns to face you–her hair a tousled, tangled mess, a loose eye dangles from its socket. “Oh, hehehe! New meat! And you’re a big one, too!” The pupil from her loose eye turns to face you.
“Ugh..” You steel yourself. “My name is ALPHONSE VON GUNDYR. You’ll do well to remember it, subhuman.”

>Go for your greatsword. A family heirloom, it last saw blood near fifty years ago.
>Go for your rifle. A mainstay of your time in the cavalry corps.
>Pull your holy water. Test it’s effectivity.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5193665
>Go for your rifle. A mainstay of your time in the cavalry corps.
>>
>>5193665
t... titties
>>
>>5193665
>Go for your rifle. A mainstay of your time in the cavalry corps.
>>
>>5193665
>Go for your greatsword. A family heirloom, it last saw blood near fifty years ago.
>>
>>5193665
>Subdue and headpat. Continue headpatting until target is rendered insensate.
>>
>>5193665
>>Go for your greatsword. A family heirloom, it last saw blood near fifty years ago.
>>
>>5193877
Support
>>
>>5193665
>=>Go for your greatsword. A family heirloom, it last saw blood near fifty years ago.
>>
>>5193665
>Go for your greatsword. A family heirloom, it last saw blood near fifty years ago.
>>
>>5193665
>Go for your greatsword. A family heirloom, it last saw blood near fifty years ago.
>>
>>5193665

>>Go for your greatsword. A family heirloom, it last saw blood near fifty years ago.

Foul undead, taste my steel!
>>
>>5194089
based
>>
>>5193665
>>Go for your rifle. A mainstay of your time in the cavalry corps.
Eat lead, big titty bitch
>>
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>>5194128
>>5194091
>>5194089
>>5194030
>>5194005
>>5193988
>>5193986
>>5193877
>>5193829
>>5193800
>>5193793
>>5193711

>Go for your greatsword. A family heirloom, it last saw blood near fifty years ago.

You go for your greatsword, an heirloom blade that was a mainstay in the parlor of your family’s manor for as long as you can remember. Your hand clumsily fumbles along your neck as you grasp for its hilt and, with a slight bow of your back, you begin to tug steel from sheath. While you’re not quite as comfortable around your sword as you are your rifle, you still took lessons as a youth. You should have no trouble against a brainless undead such as this.
With a great grunt, you heft the sword from its sheath and dash the stone beneath you with its fall. It bounces with a sickly shock of steel against rock, clatters, and lies on its edge. With a gasp, you attempt to heft the sword up again for a proper swing. Your back strains and arms scream as you just barely inch the sword upward into a combat stance–and it falls, unceremoniously, back to the ground as your arms give way. Your brow furrows.

Is this.. really a sword? No. It’s too big, too thick, too heavy, and too rough. It’s more like a large hunk of iron..

“Geheheh! What?! Haaa? Is this really the best you humans could muster?!” The undead nearly doubles over, her cruel laughter bouncing along the chamber’s. “Well.. don’t worry. Lots of guys can’t get it up around me. Gehahaha!”

>Drop the sword and go for your rifle. Two in the head should stop these foul insults.
>Try for your sword again. You should only need one swing to take care of this.
>Use the sword to break a spear off one of the traps lining the walls. That should prove more useful.
>Drop the sword and engage in fisticuffs. You should be strong enough to overpower her.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5194163
Give her a hug! A nice big hug
>>
Lift the sword with your LEGS

Put your legs on it.
>>
>>5194163
>Try for your sword again. You should only need one swing to take care of this.

It's a zombie. Bullets won't work, we have to cut its head off!
>>
>>5194163
>Try for your sword again. You should only need one swing to take care of this.
How can we expect to find a wife with such a poor show of swordsmanship?
We must brace our legs and thrust it forward!
>>
>>5194213
>>5194218
>>5194219
>>5194258

>Try for your sword again. You should only need one swing to take care of this.

You take a breath and wrap both hands around its hilt. How could you ever expect to find a wife with such a poor swordsmanship?

>Roll a 1d20, Bo3.
>>
Rolled 20 (1d20)

>>5194266
>>
>>5194270
Hahaha, WELP.
>>
>>5194270
Looks like we're done rolling!
>>
>>5194270
>>
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wew

>>5194270

>Try for your sword again. You should only need one swing to take care of this.

You refuse to shame the Von Gundyr name again.

You grip the greatsword’s hilt, brace your legs, and with a great heave swing the blade up into the air, the weight of its blunt edge over your shoulder. It’s heft is such that your knees nearly buckle beneath it, its size such that it nearly scrapes the dungeon’s ceiling–but you grit your teeth and persist.
“A-..ah..” The undead’s jeers die in her throat as the shadow of your sword looms over her. “I..”
You take a step forward and let gravity do the brunt of its work as the blade, like a guillotine, falls over the room. It splinters and shatters the trap spears toothpicks as it hurtles toward the undead. You feel a rush of air as the sword swings down all at once to smear your opponent–she’s dead.

At least–she should be. A fusillade of ash and dust clouds your vision and fills your lungs. A gust, like quicksilver, blows past you. A clang of steel against steel. It all happens in seconds. As the greatsword’s sheer edge clatters against the dusty floor, your undead mark lost, you reorient yourself.
A lithe gray wolf pads the space betwixt you and your target, a rapier in its jaws. As it steps gently over the spears that litter the ground before you, its form gradually shifts–it’s fur twists up and darkens into a cloak, it’s maw recedes, andsoftens and curves. A slender, willowy young woman with a fine black cloak, her pale hair falls over her shoulder in a font of braids. She wields the rapier in one hand now, but two sheathes hang from her hip.

You catch a glimpse of fangs. A vampire? No. There’s a softness about her features, her proportions too human. Your eyes narrow as you tighten your grip on your greatsword.
“Oh, dear. Another dogged contender..” The dhampir sighs. “Did your mother not teach you how to treat a lady?”

>Warn the dhampir that if it does not back away, it will soon join the undead.
>Prepare to fight both.
>Demand to know what it’s doing. It doesn’t do monsters well to look after one another.
>Write-In.
>>
>Demand to know what it’s doing. It doesn’t do monsters well to look after one another.
>>
>>5194314
>Demand to know what it’s doing. It doesn’t do monsters well to look after one another.
>But, like, flirtily
Compliment her misguided chivalry, but explain that chivalry is for [MEN] to wield in defence of [WOMEN], not for beautiful [WOMEN] to wield in defence of [CANNIBALISTIC CORPSES WHO CONSTANTLY MAKE SEX PUNS]
>>
>>5194314
>Prepare to fight both.
>>
>>5194319
+1
a way to salvage the situation
>>
>>5194319
+1, fuck it
>>
>>5194314
>>Demand to know what it’s doing. It doesn’t do monsters well to look after one another.
Honestly, I am all for killing the waifus.
>>
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>>5194441
>>5194424
>>5194423
>>5194322
>>5194319
>>5194315

>Demand to know what it’s doing. It doesn’t do monsters well to look after one another.
>Compliment her misguided chivalry, but explain that chivalry is for [MEN] to wield in defence of [WOMEN], not for beautiful [WOMEN] to wield in defence of [CANNIBALISTIC CORPSES WHO CONSTANTLY MAKE SEX PUNS]

“You would spit your insipid platitudes at me, dhampir?” You glower. “I thought chivalry for men in the service of women, not subhumans in service of corpses.”
“My, you’re a charming one.” She remarks coldly. “You must be popular back home.”
“What’s your business here?” You continue, your hands firm on the greatsword. “You monsters seldom act out of charity for your own kind? Is it my head you're after?”
“I have no quarrel with you, noble.” The dhampir scoffs, her rapier low. “I simply thought to prevent an undue waste of such beauty.”
“Beauty?” You echo.

“Yes. Monster girls. Are they not beautiful?” She tilts her head, as if that was the most obvious thing in the world.

>Ask her to stop toying with you. What are her real intentions here?
>Ask for what beauty she sees in these aberrations.
>Demand that she hands over the undead at once or die alongside her.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5194482
>Demand that she hands over the undead at once or die alongside her.
We rolled a 20, fuck you OP you cuck.
>>
>>5194482
>Ask for what beauty she sees in these aberrations.
>>
>>5194482
>Ask for what beauty she sees in these aberrations.
>"The merchant said much the same. Professed an attraction to spider girls. I can't imagine it."
AND SO OUR MONSTERFUCKER JOURNEY BEGINS
>>
>>5194482
>Demand that she hands over the undead at once or die alongside her.
We will roll a nat 1, but derailing this whole thing into monster slaying instead of monster laying is too funny to stop now.
>>
>>5194482
>Ask for what beauty she sees in these aberrations.
>>
>Ask for what beauty she sees in these aberrations.
What's the deal with monster girls?
>>
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>>5194527
>>5194522
>>5194514
>>5194496
>>5194489
>>5194539

>Ask for what beauty she sees in these aberrations.
>"The merchant said much the same. Professed an attraction to spider girls. I can't imagine it."

“Beauty.” You reiterate. “What, pray tell, sort of beauty do you see in these unholy aberrations? I can’t imagine it.”
“Ahhh.. is it not obvious?” She sighs, her eyes shut. She clasps her hands together. “The gentle feminine curvature of skeletons–all at once thin and robust. The dichotomy between rotten flesh and smooth, supple skin among the undead. The cold yet gentle allure of broad, possessed armor. And the danger inherent to it all! That a monster girl might tear out your very throat as you court her! Is it not titillating?!”
The dhampir begins to drool a little. Is this some sort of.. psychological strategy? A trick, to lower your guard and let her close the gap to pierce your throat?

“Ah.. forgive me. I’ve yet to introduce myself. I believe that’s customary among the high born.” She wipes her mouth as she feigns a mock bow. “I am Lady Avalsidal–or, Lady Ava, if you’d prefer.”

>Demand that she stop her psychological attack at once.
>Demand that she hands over the undead at once, or die along with her.
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5194541
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
SLAP´
THE
THOT
>>
>>5194541
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
>Charm Lady Ava in a titillating fashion
>>
>Jeff's first daughter turned into a dumb yurifag
For shame.
>>
>>5194547
This was why God made the pump-n-dump maneuver.
>>
>>5194545
+1
>>
>>5194541
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
>>
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>>5194554
We're a nobleman, not a ruffian.

Just slap her across the face. And i mean a slap. Not a slap with our sword or gun, a real slap.

That's the noble thing to do.
>>
>>5194541
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.

>>5194560
Use the pummel of our sword.
>>
>>5194564
Hmm, i'm not sure that'd be very easy. The sword is very big, right? If we're fighting seriously, then we gotta just shoot her with our rifle (we are a dragoon apparently)

Which was why i said that it would have been better to slap. But i guess we can do that later.
>>
>>5194566
unscrew the pommel and end her rightly
>>
>>5194569
Better to just beat her over the head with it.
>>
>>5194541
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
And if we're going to have to fight her, don't just slap her, take out our white glove we carry around to challenge people to duels with and throw it at her.
>>
Oh yes, and we have to remember we have a wounded knee while this girl is obviously a dexfag, quite literally, in fact.

Let's try to fight in a way that doesn't require much moving, since we'll be at a disadvantage
>>
>And the danger inherent to it all! That a monster girl might tear out your very throat as you court her! Is it not titillating?!”
Unironically 40% of the reason why I like monster girls. Someone that powerful generally has no need to lie (unless it's like a kitsune or some shit and it's pathological, but even then it's playful when done romantically). Incredibly based QM, I like this dhampir.
The other 60% is because they look cool.
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
>>
>>5194541
we could make a deal with her tho.
We promise not to kill any of her precious monster girls and in exchange she gives us information on shorcuts to the lich.
probably a bad plan but its a quick route down
>>
>>5194585
Well, we don't want a shortcut, we were trying to find a wife, right? We should just take the scenic route. We're already a noble anyway, we don't need another title.
>>
>>5194586
we can use it as a excuse to make her come with us then.
she comes to "keep an eye on us"
>>
>>5194589
It's pretty obvious she's more interested in monster girls than human nobles.
>>
>>5194591
we can wingman her
I'm not picky
>>
>>5194596
pretty pathetic desu

we're here specifically to find a girl who isn't just a wet rag
>>
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>>5194541
>>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.

Wow imagine if she kicked our ass and stood over us while we're on the ground and said, "Pathetic." How embarassing haha ...
>>
>>5194541
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
>>
>>5194541
>Demand that she stop her psychological attack at once.
>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
An honourable duel, specifically, and not necessarily to the death.

This is Jeff Arsene's kid, isn't it?
>>
>>5194621
Yes, it's the same name. It's a shame, really, but i guess when you've got god knows how many children and wives, some of them are bound end up badly.
>>
>>5194623
>badly
She turned out exactly like Jeff.
>>
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>>5194625
Jeff can have children with monster girls, and did so

She's lucky she ain't the only arsene
>>
>>5194625
A moster girl Jeff would be a smug dexfag that would go after human man.
She's only half Jeff.
>>
>>5194630
No, that would be a REVERSE Jeff. She turned out EXACTLY like Jeff: a smug dexfag who goes after monstergirls. She, if anything, turned out TOO MUCH like him.

>>5194629
Didn't stop him seducing ones with no reproductive capabilities along the way.
>>
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>>5194570
How about we buttstroke her with the rifle?
>>
>>5194640
I hear your argument but I must disagree. Jeff is a smug dexfag that's atracted TO his reverse, a feminine unhuman to his masculine human. As such, it is clear that Ava is only HALF Jeff because she is attracted to her own, feminine unhuman, essence. She lacks the duality of Jeff.
>>
>>5194640
>Didn't stop him seducing ones with no reproductive capabilities along the way.
Well, that's questionable, what with being monsters and all.

Doesn't really change that going after monster girls would mean an end to the line if not for the many siblings she probably has.
>>
>>5194641
You bet we're gonna stroke her butt with our rifle...
>>
>>5194650
it's called buttstroke, but it goes straight for the cranium
>>
>>5194657
But her ass isn't on her cranium, anon. It's where asses are supposed to be.
>>
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>>5194544
>>5194545
>>5194556
>>5194557
>>5194564
>>5194573
>>5194584
>>5194604
>>5194607
>>5194621

>Introduce yourself and demand she engage you in battle.
>And if we're going to have to fight her, don't just slap her, take out our white glove we carry around to challenge people to duels with and throw it at her.

“I am Alphonse Von Gundyr.” You declare, your voice steely–this is no ordinary monster. You tug a thick glove from your left hand and toss it to the ground beneath her. You shall not allow such embarrassment again. “And if you’re to claim such arrogance, subhuman, then you will back your words with blood. I challenge you to a duel.”
“Oh, my. A challenge to duel with your glove? How romantic.” Lady Ava sighs, her gaze drawn to the cloth before her. “I might just fall for you, little haut monde. But, unfortunately, I have more important affairs to attend to than a petty duel. And besides..”

She draws her rapier against the ground and flings her cloak upward. In the mere seconds’ gap of obscuration, you find her before you all at once–she stands atop your low greatsword now, both feet along its edge. You feel no shift in weight. “I hardly think it fair to fight a man who can barely lift his sword.” She whispers.

You shake the blade along its hilt to fling her off, but she steps off with grace all the same. “Bah! A cheap move. I was not yet prepared.” You excuse yourself, a bead of cold sweat on your forehead–she knows just as well as you do how poor of a match-up this could be, with your bum knee and sword’s weight against her agility. If you could get some distance, your rifle might prove of use, but.. “And what, pray tell, could a monster have to do that bears any sort of importance?”
“Hm? Well, I’m off to the bottom, of course. I make the pilgrimage every five years or so, but lo and behold, a rather pigheaded noble’s gotten in my way.” She smirks. With a flourish, she sheathes one of her rapiers. “Now, if you’d excuse me, I’m off for a visit..”

“The bottom?” You demand. “A bold lie, even for a monster–no one has seen the bottom layer since the CATACOMB’s discovery.”

“Ah–the discovery. You lot are so presumptuous.” Lady Ava scoffs. “Do you really think a dungeon of such magnitude a mere 10 years old? It’s been around for much, much longer than that–more like 150 or 200, by my measure. I’ve undertaken the journey many times now.”

>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she’s to lead you to the bottom herself.
>Demand proof of her ridiculous claims.
>Demand information on shortcuts or alternative routes to the lich.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5194699
>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she’s to lead you to the bottom herself.
>>
>Demand proof of her ridiculous claims.
Sounds like using her ego is a good idea. Though in all honesty, a rifle would probably be a pretty effective weapon in a closed place. Try to dodge a bullet when you've got nowhere to go.
>>
>>5194699
>Demand proof of her ridiculous claims.
>>
>>5194699
>Demand proof of her ridiculous claims.
>>
Whatever we do, we should also grab a spear from the ground. Spare weapons are always handy. Plus, if the local architecture is composed of roughly straight corridors, it becomes even more effective.
>>
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>>5194699
>Demand proof of her ridiculous claims.
>>
All I know is that we need to duel her for real, with our rifle. We cant let some dumb dhampir look down on us like some smug brat.
>>
>>5194699
>Demand proof of her ridiculous claims.

If she can provide them, then...

>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she’s to lead you to the bottom herself.

>>5194706
>>5194984
What kind of knave challenges someone to a duel, then runs away and takes pot-shots from a distance? If we're doing that, we must at least arm her with a gun in turn. We're trying to win our family honour BACK, are we not?
>>
>>5194699
>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she’s to lead you to the bottom herself.
>>
>>5195026
Distance? Long as we have our gun out and it isnt, I dont know, a flintlock musket, we would be just as good as a sword.
>>
>>5194699
>Demand proof of her ridiculous claims.
>>
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>>5195351
>>5195200
>>5195026
>>5194887
>>5194796
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>>5194705

>Demand proof of her ridiculous claims.

“If you’re to claim such bosh, then you need to substantiate it.” You challenge her. “How do you expect me to take the words of a monster at face value?”
“Oh? Would you have me tell you the lich’s cup size?” Lady Ava rolls her eyes. “Because they’re hug–”
“Please. Enough vulgarity..” You sigh in exasperation.

“Fine. Excuse me, darling.” She gently steps past the fallen undead, who has since remained tight-lipped and curled up behind the “fair lady.” As the dhampir strides along the circular curve of the wall, she runs a pale hand along its surface. “This chamber is no dead end. From what I remember, it should be.. ah.”
Her hand seems to sink as the facade of a coarse stone wall fades and shimmers. It gives way to a long, dark corridor ahead–an illusory wall..?
“The exact order of passages and rooms may shift over the years, but their tricks will always remain the same.” She glances back at you. “The MORTSAFE is a trap in of itself, a cage of sorts for foolish new adventurers–a gridlock of stone halls and traps, a labyrinth with no end. The only way to progress deeper into the CATACOMBS is through illusory corridors and gaps in the walls like these. Are you quite satisfied?”

“You expect me to believe you from just that?” You scowl. “It proves your familiarity with this level–nothing more.”
“Well, if you’d like more proof, we can always get back to the lich’s cup size.”

>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she’s to lead you to the bottom herself. If you fail, you won’t hurt any of her precious monster girls.
>Enter the corridor yourself. You have no need for a dhampir’s tricks to succeed.
>Ask quietly about the cup size.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5195455
>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she's to lead you to the bottom herself. If you fail, you won't hurt any of her precious monster girls.
>>
Hm, yes, if we're going to duel, we should do it with the rifle. We already have multiple disadvantages, she's playing at home field and we have a wounded knee.

It's not shame for an rifleman to use a rifle. And as long as we have it out before she starts fighting, we will barely have to aim.
>>
>>5195468
Aim at the head to save the booba from getting wounded.
>>
>>5195472
I wouldn't try to aim at the head when dealing with an speedster. Since i don't think that we're using an peashooter, burly cavalryman that we are, hitting her alone would, if not obviously do heavy damage, cause enough of an impact that she would be thrown off her style.

Because again, we're in an single corridor, and we're way too tall for her to - for example, just jump over. Being a dragoon veteran, our reaction time should be good enough to hit her.
>>
>>5195455
>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she's to lead you to the bottom herself. If you fail, you won't hurt any of her precious monster girls.
>>
Really though, we should pull out our rifle instead of the sword. We're not going to get much use out of it unless our knee gets magically healed.
>>
>Ask quietly about the cup size.
Her natural defenses are important information.
Also, lmao at using what is presumably a fucking matchlock rifle in close quarters against a faster-than-the-eye speedster.
>>
>>5195455
>Ask quietly about the cup size.

Hubba hubba
>>
>>5195455
>Ask quietly about the cup size.
Also, try to compare what she claims is the lich’s size to her size.
>>
>>5195566
>matchlock rifle
We're a dragoon, this ain't the 16th century. Also, matchlock "rifle"? Why the fuck would you rifle a matchlock? If it's a rifle, then it's at the very least a rifled musket. Given we're an dragoon, though, it seems more likely to be an breech-loaded rifle.

Also. why not? We're a marksman, not an swordsman, and we definitely won't be throwing around the big dragonslayer with our wounded knee.

Stop simping like a retard.
>>
Also, just to make it easier to count
>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she's to lead you to the bottom herself. If you fail, you won't hurt any of her precious monster girls.
AND USE THE RIFLE
>>
>>5195455
>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she's to lead you to the bottom herself. If you fail, you won't hurt any of her precious monster girls.
>>
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>>5195463
>>5195496
>>5195566
>>5195567
>>5195569
>>5195572
>>5195578

>Challenge her again to a duel. If you win, she's to lead you to the bottom herself. If you fail, you won't hurt any of her precious monster girls.

“Then my offer stands.” You stow your improper thoughts away and levy your glare at the dhampir. “I challenge you to a duel, subhuman. If I win, you’re to lead me to the bottom of these catacombs yourself. If you win, then you have my word as a nobleman that I will not hurt any of your.. ‘monster girls.’”
“..This is why I despise you humans. Always so quick to throw away your lives..” The lady sighs. She lays a hand on the hilt of her rapier and stands before the undead. “But if that would sate your curiosity.. I can put that ambition to rest. Go on, then. On your mark.”

She draws her first scarlet rapier in a flash and holds it low. She gently tugs at the air with her free hand. You watch as a second ebony rapier draws itself from its hilt and floats in the air at her shoulder, its point levied in your direction. A dual wielder..?

>Use your greatsword.
>Use your rifle.
>Use your holy water.
>Use a spear from a broken trap.
>Engage in fisticuffs.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5195594
>Use your rifle.
Holy water isn't going to work, she's a Dhampir. And again, it really isn't a good idea to engage in melee against someone who has all the advantages.
>>
>>5195594
>Use a spear from a broken trap.
>>
>>5195607
What did i just say? We're going to lose if we try to melee her because of our knee. She's a dexfag.
>>
>>5195610
She'd probably just dodge the shot desu, may as well use a weapon that doesn't need reloading
>>
>>5195612
She's not that fast. If she was, then we definitely wouldn't win in melee, stupid. Furthermore, even if she was able to dodge a bullet - which is doubtful, we're in a tight corridor. She doesn't exactly have a lot of leeway.

We're a DRAGOON.
>>
>>5195594
>Use your holy water.
>>
>>5195616
Holy water doesn't work on dhampirs
>>
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>>5195613
I should probably clarify that you're in a circular room like this.
>>
>>5195620
Well, we're fairly close to the corridor.
>>
>>5195620
oo pretty
>>5195618
fine, then
>Use your greatsword's pommel
>>
>>5195594
>>Use your rifle
>>
>>5195594
>Use your greatsword
>>
>>5195594
>Use your greatsword.
>>
>>5195594
>Use your rifle.
>>
>>5195594 #
>Use your greatsword
The idea of shoting her in the face does not sit well with me.
>>
>>5195678
The idea of losing to her again is even worse. She's too smug. She needs some humble pie.
>>
>>5195594
>Use your rifle.
>>
>>5195594
>Use your rifle.
>>
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>>5195699
>>5195690
>>5195678
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>>5195607
>>5195598

>Use your rifle.

You unholster the arm at your side–a CHEKHOV RIFLE, standard issue in the king’s LOCKSTEP CAVALRY. While your swordsmanship may be lacking, your marksmanship is a point of pride for you. You’ve been a crack shot ever since your youth, much in part thanks to your hunting experience. You load your five shots and pull back the bolt.
“Oh, my. What a big gun.” Ava tilts her head. “Are you sure about that? This close?”
You ignore her provocations as you shoulder the rifle. The dhampir stands about 5 meters away. At this range, it’d be impossible to miss–a human, at least. You’re not yet sure the full range of her abilities just yet. But you’d guess that her stupefying speed comes at a cost; just one strong hit is likely enough to incapacitate her, which would explain her focus on obscuration and speed with the flinging of her cloak and the blowing up of dust.

The dhampir drags one rapier against the ground as the other dances in the air along past her shoulder blades. “Ready yet?” She stares. “Whenever you are.”

>Begin by firing a shot off at her.
>Attempt to buttstroke her with the rifle when she comes at you.
>Write-In.
>>
Hmm, i think she's going to try to lunge at us. Maybe we can do something to split her attention, even if for a second, and then shoot.
>>
>>5195744
>Attempt to buttstroke her with the rifle when she comes at you.
>>
Maybe we could throw something at her to grab her attention and then shoot? But then again, we'd be moving the hand from the weapon.
>>
>>5195744
>Begin by firing a shot off at her.
though idk why these are mutually exclusive
>>
>>5195744
>Attempt to buttstroke her with the rifle when she comes at you.
>>
>>5195773
+1
>>
Actually, yeah, why cant we shoot and THEN Buttstroke?
>>
>>5195744
>Begin by firing a shot off at her.
>>
>>5195744
>Attempt to buttstroke her with the rifle when she comes at you.
>>
>>5195744
>>Begin by firing a shot off at her.
>>
>>5195744
>Let her make the first move. Squeeze the trigger, but not enough to fire it, read her movements to predict where she will be.
>>
>>5195744
>Begin by firing a shot off at her.
Use this to trick her and then
>Attempt to buttstroke her with the rifle when she comes at you.
>>
>>5195983
Yes, do this
>>
>>5195983
+1
>>
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>>5195748
>>5195773
>>5195780
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>>5195983
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>>5196062

>Begin by firing a shot off at her.
>Attempt to buttstroke her with the rifle when she comes at you.

“Let’s begin.” You expect no protracted contest nor dramatic turns; this matter will be decided in moments, whether it be a bullet through her sternum or a blade through your throat. With that, you crack a shot off.

A brilliant white spark snaps at the barrel’s tip as your first shot roars through the air. It's almost deafening in this confined corridor, the round spiraling through the dust and ash-laden air as it traces a path right through into her dark overcoat. Your shot was dead-on. It gnaws through the thick cloth and bores a hole right through it, the white hot lead having left the hole smoldering. You watch the cloak sink to the ground.
Was that it? You glare at the fallen shape.
But as you pull back the bolt, a waxen blur courses out from under the fallen cloak–a jittery, pale shape twisting and turning in the air at alarming speeds toward you, a black rapier spiraling along behind it. You curse beneath your breath. She’s become a bat now–smaller, faster, and a much more difficult target, whether that be with a bullet or your stock.

>Attempt to catch her with the butt of the rifle.
>Try to fire a shot off at her.
>Attempt to swing your great sword up to catch her.
>Drop the gun and switch to your fists to beat her out of the air.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5196088
>Attempt to catch her with the butt of the rifle.
>>
>>5196088
>Attempt to catch her with the butt of the rifle.
Bat the bat.
>>
>>5196107
+1
>>
>>5196088
>Attempt to catch her with the butt of the rifle.
>Bat the bat.
>>
>>5196091
>>5196107
>>5196136
>>5196163

>Attempt to catch her with the butt of the rifle.

>Roll a 1d20, Bo3.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d20)

>>5196167
BONK
>>
Rolled 4 (1d20)

>>5196167
we playing whac-a-flying-mole now
>>
Rolled 20 (1d20)

>>5196167
>>
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>>5196177
HOLY FUCKING SAVED

She's going to turn into a splatter on the wall
>>
>>5196177
Clutch as fuck, Alphonse must have been one hell of a war hero
>>
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wewx2

>>5196177

You spin the length of your rifle along your arm as you direct your stock forward. You heft it back, and with a great heave, plunge the blunt end forward–where you catch the twirling bat dead on. The bat gasps as she’s flung downward along the path of your buttstroke, crashing to the ground with her black rapier.

“Ghh–” Lady Ava chokes, winded. You watch as the bat’s wings curl upward into a human form, gasping for breath and clawing at her chest. Her ears collapse and curl into silvery locks, her fur ruff into a loose poet shirt. As her breath catches, she slowly raises her head to come face-to-face with the end of your rifle.

“You’ve lost, dhampir.” You don’t bother attempting to mask the pride in your voice. “I expect you to uphold your end of the deal.”

“..What an ugly way of fighting.” She says, her voice low. “It befits someone of your countenance.”
“Oh? A sore loser is an ugly look.” You smirk.

>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
>Allow her up herself. It doesn’t befit you to lay hands a monster.
>Shoot her once for good measure. You don’t know what tricks she may pull.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5196199
>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
>>
>>5196199
>>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
A noble must remain noble even when dealing with weirdos who might be into necrophilia.
>>
>>5196199
>Shoot her once for good measure. You don’t know what tricks she may pull.
We have a zombie to kill and noncliche monsters to find.
>>
>>5196199
>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
To show we're above acting like a smug brat.
>>
>>5196199
>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
Hope she is ready for a snide gloating session
>>
>>5196199
>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
>>
>>5196199
>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
At the least, this sub human has a noble attitude.
>>
>>5196199
>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
>>
>>5196199
>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.
>>
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>>5196203
>>5196204
>>5196206
>>5196207
>>5196213
>>5196215
>>5196226
>>5196239
>>5196240

>Help the dhampir up. The duel is over.

You retrieve your glove from the floor, slip the thick rag back on, and turn it back out to her. “Well, then. Come up. You’re to lead me now, aren’t you?” You stare haughtily; she may be a monster, but a noble must remain a noble, even in extraordinary circumstances. The dhampir stares quietly before taking your hand in hers.
“..Thank you.” She mutters, pulling herself up–as before, you feel no shifting in weight. The lady dusts herself clean as she approaches her cloak–with a single, sharp shake, the bullet hole in it disappears and she dons it again with a flourish. You notice the undead gone in the meantime; it’s likely she fled through the illusory corridor whilst you were in the midst of your duel.

“Well? Hurry it up.” Lady Ava stands at the corridor’s exit, her eyes narrow.
“Might I remind you that we march at my pace, not yours?” You roll your eyes as you follow along after the dhampir through the dim hall.

The corridor is much the same as the MORTSAFE–a long dark hall that thins and widens and winds at odd points. You pick up only the sound of your footfalls and breath. Your escort, however, is apparently afloat and breathless. Your journey persists in that same silence for several long minutes as a rather uncomfortable atmosphere falls over the passage.

You think it unnecessary to strike up conversation with a dhampir, but you at least deserve to know more of the situation.

>Ask of the block ahead. It’s better to know what you’re dealing with.
>Ask of her own intentions here in the CATACOMBS. What use could she have with nobility or money?
>Ask what kind of human warriors to expect further down.
>Write-In.
>>
>Ask what kind of human warriors to expect further down.
>>
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>>5196242
>Picrel.
>>
>>5196242
>Ask of her own intentions here in the CATACOMBS. What use could she have with nobility or money?
>>
>>5196242
>>Ask what kind of human warriors to expect further down
>Write-in (Ask what sort of individuals should we be wary of, and who could assist us in our quest)
>>
>>5196242
>Ask of her own intentions here in the CATACOMBS. What use could she have with nobility or money?
>How did you find out about the lich’s cup size, anyways? I’d expect that information to be kept close to the chest, so to speak.
>>
>>5196286
+1
>>
>>5196242
>Ask of the block ahead. It’s better to know what you’re dealing with.
>>
>>5196286
+1
>>
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>>5196371
>>5196292
>>5196286
>>5196266
>>5196263
>>5196252
>>5196243
>>5196442

>Ask of her own intentions here in the CATACOMBS. What use could she have with nobility or money?
>How did you find out about the lich’s cup size, anyways? I’d expect that information to be kept close to the chest, so to speak.

“So what are your intentions here in the catacombs?” You ask, led on by your curiosity. “What possible use could a dhampir have with wealth or status?”
“Hm? Are you.. unaware? I thought you like the others.” She glances back. “..Do you truly think a meager noble title the only thing at stake here? ”
“How do you mean?” You frown. “The king’s bounty for the lich’s head was one of monetary compensation and nobility, nothing more.”
“Bah! So you are ignorant.” She snickers. “..No, gold and title are such.. ephemeral trophies. Insignificant against the dungeon’s rumored true treasure.”
“And that would be..?” You sigh, sick of her condescension already.
“Immortality.” Lady Ava replies. “A means for adventurers to attain endless life beyond the confines of these walls. It’s said that the lich found a way long ago, but by then, it was too late for her.”
You pause. “Then.. you’re familiar with the lich, are you not? Is it true?”
“Hmm.. who knows?” She turns away. “But immortality is a foolish thing to yearn for.”
“Then how did you know about the lich’s cup size?” You scowl. “I’d expect that information to be kept close to the chest–er, not like that.”
“We’re familiar.” Lady Ava scoffs. “She’s like a big sister, I suppose.”

Your conversation is cut short as she comes to a halt all at once. The passage has come to a sudden end, open to a wide, dome-like room supported and structured by several stone arches. The room is lined with candles and spaces in the walls–another SHRINE, most likely, for adventurers to resurrect in. A handful of disparate people mill about here, a far cry from the pathetic, forlorn shrine prior. You spot a couple interesting adventurers betwixt the few..

“Here. You can ply your trade.” Lady Ava sighs, resting her back against a wall and folding her arms. “I’ll wait for you to finish before we continue. Do hurry up.”

>Speak to the bushy-browed merchant hocking his grave goods.
>Speak to the quiet armored one brooding in the corner.
>Continue your conversation with the dhampir.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5196461
>Speak to the bushy-browed merchant hocking his grave goods.
Merchant time
>>
>>5196461
>Speak to the quiet armored one brooding in the corner.
We need a tank.
>>
>>5196461
>Speak to the bushy-browed merchant hocking his grave goods.
>Speak to the quiet armored one brooding in the corner.
>>
>>5196461
>Speak to the quiet armored one brooding in the corner.
>>
>>5196461
>Speak to the quiet armored one brooding in the corner.
Lo, good man. What is it like ahead?
>>
>>5196461
>Speak to the bushy-browed merchant hocking his grave goods.

Let the brooding man brood alone, he's brooding for a reason.
>>
>>5196461
>>Speak to the quiet armored one brooding in the corner.
>>
>>5196461
>Speak to the bushy-browed merchant hocking his grave goods.
>>
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>>5196975
>>5196695
>>5196677
>>5196601
>>5196587
>>5196493
>>5196465

>Speak to the bushy-browed merchant hocking his grave goods.

You turn your attention to the bushy-browed merchant first. You approach his stall–just like the one prior, his is a thin cloth lain out with an assortment of haphazard knickknacks and merchandise. Whilst the merchant himself is a rather crooked, twitchy-looking fellow, his raggedy shirt hanging from a scraggy frame, his stock seems more valuable than the slug’s.
“Hmm, hmm!” He furls his moustache back. “And what, pray tell, have I done to earn the good grace of a noble’s visit..? My, my. Take your time.”
You note a figure to the merchant’s side–a slight, pale young woman with her head down, her hands clasped and her eyes half-lidded. She remains silent but her eyes follow your gaze. His daughter, perhaps–or a body guard, from the looks of the knife that hangs from her hip.

>Examine the merchant’s goods.
>Ask about his selection.
>Examine the woman next to the merchant.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5197041
> Ask about his selection.
>>
>>5197041
>>Ask about his selection.
>>
>>5197041
>Ask about his selection.
>Examine the woman next to the merchant.
>>
>>5197063
>Anonymous
+1
>>
>>5197072
dumb pc
don't know why it quoted
>>
>>5197041
>Examine the woman next to the merchant.
>>
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>>5197095
>>5197075
>>5197072
>>5197063
>>5197060
>>5197056

>Ask about his selection.
>Examine the woman next to the merchant.

“What have you got?” You cross your arms.
“Ahaha.. Ah, yes, yes, of course, one moment..” He rubs his moustache. “Hmm.. right here, we have a CHOIR mask of the CORPUS CHURCH, useful against DHAMPIR and VAMPIRIC tricks and illusions. And here, some SILVER ROUNDS, for the occasional beastly presence.. Aha–some RATIONS, in case you might need to camp, or distract a monster..”
He continues to ramble on for the rest of his ill-gotten grave goods. In the meantime, you look to the woman by the man. She’s short and frail in appearance, her clean, frilly lady’s dress in sharp contrast to the cold stone grounds around her. The knife that hangs from her hip is held by a ribbon–you note that the edge is lightly stained with a deep, dark hue. She continues to stare.

“Hmm? An eye for my daughter?” The merchant cuts in with a chuckles. “Well, she is about that age.. But her mind’s in a rather strange place, you see. A few trips too many down into the catacombs for grave goods, I presume..”
“You’d send your daughter to do your dirty work for you?” You narrow your eyes.

“Well, she’ll return to this shrine all the same, won’t she?” The merchant raises a brow. “And she’s a rather capable combatant, you know. Ah–speaking of–you’re on your way down, aren’t you? You know, I can hand over all these goods for free if you’d do me a favor..”

>Hear the man’s favor out.
>Purchase the man’s choir mask.
>Purchase the man’s silver rounds.
>Purchase his rations.
>Leave him alone. Go speak to the armored one.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5197127
>Hear the man’s favor out.
Let's hear it out.
>>
>>5197127
>>Hear the man’s favor out.
Free huh? Proceed.
>>
>>5197127
>Hear the man’s favor out.
>>
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>>5197130
>>5197161
>>5197166

>Hear the man’s favor out.

“..Very well.” You settle. “What do you propose?”

“Ah, well.. it’s a very simple favor–should be nothing for a proud nobleman of your kind.” He steeples his fingers. “My daughter, you see, is normally the one to retrieve my stock for me–she relieves bodies of their goods and whatnot on her trips through the block ahead. But she’s had a rather rough go of it lately; tends to come back with such few items these days.. I think it may be some kind of tough monster, or difficult trap. if you could just allow her to follow you through to the next block, I’ll allow you a few free items from my shop. What say you?”

>Agree to his offer.
>Deny him.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5197189
>Agree to his offer.
Fair enough.
>>
>>5197189
>Deny him.
He should do it, maybe that way he will appreciate the danger to which he is sending her.

plus, this smells like a trap.
even if you can "revive" in this place, I'm not sure if that aplies if you die of hunger
>>
>>5197189
>>Agree to his offer.
>>
>>5197189
>Write-In.
Give me your daughter instead.
>>
>>5197189
>Agree to his offer.
>>
>>5197189
>Agree to his offer.
>>
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>>5197281
>>5197280
>>5197276
>>5197271
>>5197217
>>5197192

>Agree to his offer.

“..Very well.” You settle. You have some lingering doubts about the situation, but she’s just one frail girl; how much trouble could she be?
“Ah! Wonderful, wonderful. You can treat yourself to these,” He nods, scooping up the choir mask, the silver rounds, and the rations. “Here, here. You needn’t worry about her welfare–hell, you’ll hardly notice her. She can take care of herself.”
He nudges his daughter. She gently curtsies, her head still low. “..Pleased to make your acquaintance.” Her voice is cool and quiet. “You may call me Noelle. I am a handmaiden by trade.”

>Move on from the shrine. Two followers is more than enough.
>Speak to the armored one. Still brooding, still lonely.
>Speak to the dhampir. Maybe she can weigh in.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5197337
>>Speak to the armored one. Still brooding, still lonely.
>>
>>5197337
>Speak to the dhampir. Maybe she can weigh in.
I don't think we should try to get that many people so soon.
>>
>>5197337
>Speak to the armored one. Still brooding, still lonely.

We don't need him to join to still make his acquaintance, and we'll undoubtedly see more of him as we travel further into the dungeon.
>>
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Also, heights.
>>
>>5197442
Shortstack. Nice.

>>5197337
>Speak to the dhampir. Maybe she can weigh in.
>>
>>5197337
>Speak to the dhampir. Maybe she can weigh in.
>>
>>5197337
>Speak to the armored one. Still brooding, still lonely.
At least talk to him. We can ignore him after if we want.
>>
>>5197442
We're a big guy.
>>
>>5197460
>>5197460
>>5197460
>>5197460
>>
>>5197442
Now those are some big shoulders
>>
>>5197337
>Speak to the armored one. Still brooding, still lonely.

>>5197460
For you.
>>
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>>5197498
>>5197449
>>5197384
>>5197345

>Speak to the armored one. Still brooding, still lonely.

You turn your attention to the corner again–the suit of armor broods alone in one dark corner, his arms folded and his head lowered. You can make out only a plume of ashen hair and pallid skin between the thick plates of coal black armor. While such a heavy set like this is far from standard wear in the royal army, the armor strikes you as familiar; you could swear you’ve seen one like it before.. but he catches your glare.

“What is it?” She asks in a low voice, much to your surprise. “I’ve nothing to do with you. Go away.”

>Ask for her origin. You recognize her armor.
>Ask what her business here is.
>Ask if she’s looking to join a party.
>Leave her be. Speak with your dhampir about your affairs.
>Leave her be. Speak with your new handmaid.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5197529
>>Ask for her origin. You recognize her armor.
>>
>>5197529
>Ask for her origin. You recognize her armor.
What, did we see her in the army or something?
>>
>>5197554
>Ask for her origin. You recognize her armor.
>>
>>5197529
>Ask for her origin. You recognize her armor.
>Ask what her business here is.
>>
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>>5197554
>>5197558
>>5197593
>>5197610

>Ask for her origin. You recognize her armor.

“Your armor.. is familiar.” You stare. “Did you serve with the KING’S ROYAL ARMY? I’m a veteran myself.”
“So that’s it.” She responds brusquely. “I was with the BERSERKER REGIMENT. “

Ah; you might not recognize her armor from your time in the battlefield, but you can certainly recall it from your studies at the academy.
The BERSERKER REGIMENT were a unit of elite shock troops that saw deployment on the front lines for years. They would use spells and curse-bound armor to break the limits of human strength and spirit, whereupon they would lose control and rage for days on end.
They were like human artillery strikes; killing friend and foe indiscriminate, devastating villages, gnawing on their own blades. It’s said that just one was enough to level a battlefield. But they were retired from use about fifteen years ago–the tides of modern warfare had shifted and berserkers had grown outdated. Moreover, their rages cut their lifespan short by decades. The last one was said to have died years ago, but...

“So how are you here?” You ask, rather insensitively. “Your type aren’t prone to live long.”
“The same reason I can lance you through the throat right now and you’ll wake up as the same pain in the ass.” The berserker snarls. “Are you done?”

>Ask what her business here is.
>Ask if she’s looking to join a party.
>Leave her be. Speak with your dhampir about your affairs.
>Leave her be. Speak with your new handmaid.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5197650
>Ask what her business here is.
Then
>Leave her be. Speak with your new handmaid.
>>
>>5197650
>>Leave her be. Speak with your dhampir about your affairs.
Better not waste time with someone that unstable.
>>
>>5197658
+1, She's liable to snap our neck or something if we piss her off.
>>
>>5197650
>Ask what her business here is.
>Ask if she’s looking to join a party.
>>
>>5197650
>Leave her be. Speak with your dhampir about your affairs.

Best leave her be, she'll do as she says if we use up more of her time I think. If we want to talk to her more we can do it gradually over time.
>>
>>5197650
>Leave her be. Speak with your dhampir about your affairs.
>Leave her be. Speak with your new handmaid.

Make formal introductions. Ask the handmaid what use she is, and what led to her current sorry state (but, you know... Nicely. IF we even can.)

Ask Ava what she knows about the threats ahead, and whether the items we acquired are sufficient to handle them or if we need an extra pair of berserk hands.
>>
>>5197737
+1
>>
>>5197650
>Wish her luck in finding whatever it is she is looking for. As one comrade in arms to another.
>Leave her be. Speak with your dhampir about your affairs.
>>
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>>5197844
>>5197748
>>5197737
>>5197728
>>5197676
>>5197663
>>5197658
>>5197656

>Wish her luck in finding whatever it is she is looking for. As one comrade in arms to another.
>Leave her be. Speak with your dhampir about your affairs.

"Well.. good luck, then, in finding whatever it is that you’re looking for." You turn. “As one comrade in arms to another.”
“..Yeah.” She mutters.

You approach the dhampir, who rests quiet at the shrine entrance. She raises her head as you approach. “Done, then, with your attempts at courtship?” Ava remarks, her voice light. “I picked up on some of it. You really do have no idea how to speak to a woman, dead or alive.”
“What can we expect in the BLOCK ahead?” You scowl, refusing to play into her irritating jeers.
“Ah, you’re no fun.” Ava scoffs. “Well, up ahead is the GRAVESIDE. It's the true entrance to the CATACOMBS–the MORTSAFE is a mere blockade. It’s like a vast stone abyss, led on by the dim light of torches and a spiral of long horizontal tombstones in the walls that compose the “stairs” downward. At some points we might find good ledges to rest–it's a rather long stretch before the next block. But that’s not to speak of monster attacks.”
“Hmph. What sort?” You frown. “And take a look at these wares. Do you think them useful to handle them?”
“Hmm.. skybound monsters, mostly, that flitter up and down along the chasm.. DEMONS, BATS, GARGOYLES. With their big fat stone asses. Your gun may prove useful.” She tilts her head. “And what’s this? Hmm.. silver rounds, yes.. rations.. ah–a choir mask?” A strange look crosses her features for just a moment, but it quickly dissipates. “The rounds and rations will prove useful. The journey is long and strenuous–for a human, at least.”

“Right, then.” You shoulder the supplies in the rucksack beneath your coat. “Hurry along. Let’s go.”
“Ah, one last thing. About your new hanger-on..” She lowers her voice, her eyes firm on the handmaid behind you. “There’s something strange about her.”
“Something strange?” You raise a brow. “Is she one of.. your sort?”
“No. She smells human, at least. Just strange.” Ava shrugs. “I’ve no particular objections if you get a knife in the back either way.”

>Speak with your new handmaid. Best to determine whether she’s trustworthy or not.
>Continue along. You’d best not waste time.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5198017
>Speak with your new handmaid. Best to determine whether she’s trustworthy or not.
>>
>>5198017
>Speak with your new handmaid. Best to determine whether she’s trustworthy or not.
>>
>>5198017
>Speak with your new handmaid. Best to determine whether she’s trustworthy or not.
>>
>>5198017
>Continue along. You’d best not waste time.
>>
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>>5198020
>>5198026
>>5198041
>>5198075

>Speak with your new handmaid. Best to determine whether she’s trustworthy or not.

As you readjust for the new weight of your rucksack over your shoulder, you find your eyes drawn to the handmaiden–she stands idly just behind you like always, her hands clasped and her head lowered. To ease the strange sense of apprehension in your gut, you decide to speak to her.

“Noelle.” You call for her. She raises her head. “I don’t believe I’ve formally introduced myself. My name is ALPHONSE VON GUNDYR, and that one is.. LADY AVA.”
“.. The pleasure is mine, Von Gundyr, sir, and Lady Ava as well.” Noelle bows low. You find this sort of formality amidst a dungeon stranger still. “You needn’t worry to look after me.”

“So big..” Ava mutters.

>Ask of what use she is in a fight.
>Ask what led to her current affair here. She seems a bit strange.
>Ask about the deal with her father to retrieve grave goods.
>Press onward. That’s quite enough.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5198246
>Ask of what use she is in a fight.
>Ask what led to her current affair here. She seems a bit strange.
>Ask about the deal with her father to retrieve grave goods.

All useful lines of inquiry. Also:

>practice flirting
>>
>>5198246
>Press onward. That’s quite enough.
I like the mystery
>>
>>5198246
>>Press onward. That’s quite enough.
>>
>>5198246
>Press onward. That’s quite enough.
Hm...this noelle is interesting.
>>
>>5198246
>Press onward. That’s quite enough.
>>
>>5198246
What's the big thing that Ava's talking about
>>
>>5198302
tidders
>>
>>5198246
>Press onward. That’s quite enough.

>>5198302
Probably our sword...I think?
>>
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>>5198301
>>5198287
>>5198281
>>5198268
>>5198260

>Press onward. That’s quite enough.

“Very well.” You decide a name is fine enough. You turn your back to the shrine. “Let’s depart.”
“Fine, fine–do try to keep up.” Ava releases a long sigh of exasperation as she stands from her lean. With a flourish, she removes the rapier from its sheath. “However, a fair word of caution; at full sprint, this trip usually takes me several hours. But with a bastard noble and his portly housekeeper on my back.. you may need a cane before we reach the bottom.”
“..I’ll do my best.” Noelle bows.
The second block of the catacombs–GRAVESIDE. As you step out from the shrine into the new block, you are assailed all at once by a maelstrom of chill winds and gael’s howls. A mind-bogglingly vast abyss stretches out before you, a circular chasm lined and spiraled by immense tombstones that stick from the walls and descend downward into it like the spikes of an iron maiden. You take a cautious step onto the first step–the stone surface is vast. 15 meters long, perhaps..?
“If you keep up at that pace, you’ll join these stones.” Ava rolls her eyes as she leaps gracefully to the next. “Shall I carry you?”

You grumble beneath your breath as you maneuver down the block, from one step to another–on occasion, you might have to climb up along a different tomb upward and then back downward again, or even clamber along an open ledge along the chasm’s walls. Your breath and patience begins to run short as an hour ticks by without sight of another human nor monster, only broken corpses.
“And why are we going up again?” You gasp, your face slick with sweat as you pull the weight of your sword and supplies up along another stone. “What purpose does this serve? There’s a path down right there.”
“I know what I’m doing. This route is one of the shortest.” Ava scowls, seemingly having grown just as short-tempered as you have. “Believe me, I’m not a fan of this either. Dragging you along like this.. we’d be near halfway there by now if I was alone. Maybe I should’ve shoved you down and plied along with the maid.”
“..My apologies. I seem to have cause some upset.” Noelle glances back down to you. She’s had a rather easy go about it, much to your surprise–the handmaiden shows no signs of fatigue despite the strenuousness of the climb. And.. her knife appears freshly wet, despite not having run into any monsters. What..?

A low, drawn out wail catches your attention from below, along the route of graves that go downward. You cast your gaze downward–while you might not see the wail’s root from beyond the veil of black below, the rest of your party certainly heard it. “Bah. Another death..?” Ava sighs. “Ignore it. We’d best finish quickly. I’m certainly not stopping.”

>Investigate the source of the wail.
>Continue along with Ava.
>Interrogate Noel. What’s become of her knife?
>Write-In.
>>
>>5198387
>Continue along with Ava.
>Interrogate Noel. What’s become of her knife?
>>
>>5198393
+1
>>
>>5198393
+1
>>
>>5198393
Support.
>>
>>5198387
Supporting >>5198393

I'm not risking our guide abandoning us in this barren hellscape just to see who bit the bullet.
>>
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>>5198393
>>5198404
>>5198408
>>5198461
>>5198488

>Continue along with Ava.
>Interrogate Noel. What’s become of her knife?

“..Fine, fine.” You decide to press forward with the dhampir–you’d rather not risk the loss of your guide in this godforsaken hellscape for mere curiosity. You heft yourself up along the stone with a great heave and wipe the sweat from your brow with fresh vigor. But, first.. you glare at the handmaiden’s back. “You.”
She pauses halfway along the stone and turns back, her eyes dull. “..Yes, sir Von Gundyr?” Noelle asks.
“Explain yourself.” You nod toward her newly-shiny knife–upon closer inspection, it resembles more of a large medical scalpel than a dagger. “What’s become of your knife? There’s fresh blood on it, but we’ve yet to encounter human or monster down here. Just what have you cut?”

“Ah.. forgive me. I’d neglected to keep it clean.” She pulls a handkerchief from her skirt and daubs at the blade’s edge; the blood stains the white cloth wholly crimson. “The blade is cursed. It's prone to bleed of its own volition. It’s nothing you need to worry about.”

While her tone and demeanor remain as always dreary, a sense of doubt claws at your guts. A cursed blade? Really?

>Let it be. You’d rather focus on getting ahead for now.
>Demand to see her knife for yourself.
>Demand to know what she’s hiding from you.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5198532
>Let it be. You’d rather focus on getting ahead for now.
>>
>>5198532
>>Let it be. You’d rather focus on getting ahead for now.
>>
This is suspicious. Really suspicious. Is she trying to kill herself or something?
>>
>>5198532
>Let it be. You’d rather focus on getting ahead for now.
>>
>>5198532
>Let it be. You’d rather focus on getting ahead for now.
>>
>>5198532
>Let it be. You’d rather focus on getting ahead for now.
But keep an eye on her just in case.
>>
>>5198532
>Let it be. You’d rather focus on getting ahead for now.
>>5198556
No, but you should try.
>>
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>>5198791
>>5198615
>>5198594
>>5198589
>>5198547
>>5198541

>Let it be. You’d rather focus on getting ahead for now.

You glare–as much as you might doubt the truth behind her knife, you’d all the same rather not waste any more time in this damnable chasm. You can take care of the matter when you’ve more solid grounds to stand upon. As you press forward past her, she bows again. “..My apologies.”
Your step forward, however, is cut off–a pirouette of furled wings and twisted tail bounds up from the space between gravestones and separate you and the girl from the dhampir. You take several steps back as you place a hand on your holster. The shape curls in the sky above you, an axed tailed and forked tongue in sight. Your eyes narrow. It’s naked.

“Gyehahaha..! More fodder for the bottom, then..!” The GARGOYLE sneers.
“Ahhh.. such a fat ass. What a waste..” Ava sighs.

>Take aim and fire.
>Order Noelle to handle it.
>Tell Ava to deal with it, with her.. methods.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5199085
>Order Noelle to handle it.
>>
>Take aim and fire.
SHOOT
HER
>>
>>5199085
>Take aim and fire.
Damned exhibitionists.
COVER YOUR TWAT YA FILTHY CuNT.
>>
>>5199085
>Take aim and fire.
We ain't Jeff boys, let the unhuman fear.
>>
>>5199107
>>5199101
>>5199099
>>5199098

You shoulder your rifle and take aim--you'll have none of this exhibitionism about.

>Roll a 1d20, Bo3.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d20)

>>5199142
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>5199142
BABANG
>>
Rolled 14 (1d20)

>>5199142
Kapow
>>
Threat neutered! Good job, gentlemen.
>>
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>>5199147

>Rolled 16 (1d20)

You pull the bolt, ease the trigger, and pull. A smoking round blows out from the barrel’s end, piercing the howling winds that shear the chasm walls–your aim holds true and pierces the monster’s wing. With a yelp, the gargoyle’s wing curls inward as she begins to tumble along the wind shafts downward and into the dark below. You glare over the edge. Noelle claps.

“.. Ahh, such a waste of a beautiful monster..” Lady Ava sighs, shaking her head. “Must you always turn to violence?”
“And what? Let her tear my throat out?” You glower.
“Well, it’s no matter, I suppose.. she’ll resurrect all the same.” The dhampir turns. “Just rather unpleasant to see.”

Your journey continues as such; you catch occasional glimpses of dark shapes in the sky in the haze ahead, but they dissipate quick upon your approach. Moreover, your exhaustion begins to grow wearisome around four hours in–much to the dhampir’s chagrin, you push for a brief rest on a vast ledge set into the chasm wall ahead.

“How much longer, then..?” You lower your head, your rucksack set up against the cavern wall.
“At this rate? Hmmm.. another two hours, perhaps, maybe three.” Ava sighs, her hands against the hot plate fire. “If you die, know that I do not plan to come back for you.”
“Hmph. I might not either for you at this point.” You scoff. You raise your head, your eyes low. “Hmm.. have you seen the handmaiden?”

“The handmaiden? Noelle?” Ava sighs. “She stayed a few steps back up. Said she had to take care of something.”
“..Is that so.” You frown.

>Spend your time at rest. Perhaps you can exchange some words with the subhuman dhampir.
>Go back up. Noelle’s still a lady, no matter how strange. It’s not right for her to be alone in such a dangerous area.
>Scout out ahead before you continue your rest. You’d just like to make sure.
>Write-In.
>>
>Go back up. Noelle’s still a lady, no matter how strange. It’s not right for her to be alone in such a dangerous area.
>>
>>5199174
Noelle's father said she's fine going here all by herself, I say we give her and her knife some privacy.
>Spend your time at rest. Perhaps you can exchange some words with the subhuman dhampir.
Ask how that batsformation of her works. Can she turn into a fluffy flying mouse now?
>>
>>5199180
Why waste time with some dumb smug dhampir who looks down on us instead of looking after the maid? The father is a jackass who uses his daughter as a grunt, i wouldn't trust him.
>>
>>5199174
>Spend your time at rest. Perhaps you can exchange some words with the subhuman dhampir.

>>5199182
Because we're tired and don't want to get into unnecessary trouble, and the daughter seems suspect herself.
>>
>>5199174
>Go back up. Noelle’s still a lady, no matter how strange. It’s not right for her to be alone in such a dangerous area.
>>
>>5199186
The daughter is about the level of suspect i'd expect from someone who's been dying god knows how many times solely to get her father more money.
>>
>>5199182
She might be more tolerable when she's a bat and can't talk and we pet her a little.
>>5199190
Or she's a psychopathic killing machine.
>>
>>5199193
She's not going to be tolerable because she's completely smug. She looks down on us.

I'd rather go see what the quiet maiden is doing instead of sitting here and being insulted.
>>
>>5199198
What part of flying mice can't talk you don't get, anon?
>>
>>5199204
>implying that'll stop her
>>
>>5199174
>Spend your time at rest. Perhaps you can exchange some words with the subhuman dhampir.
>>
>>5199212
>implying you know for sure it won't
>>
>>5199253
She's not going to stop being annoying if she turns into a bat. She'll just turn into an annoying bat.
>>
>>5199261
That'll be solid grounds for termination, then!
>>
>>5199174
>Spend your time at rest. Perhaps you can exchange some words with the subhuman dhampir.
>>
>>5199198
I mean...it's not like we are any more polite to her, calling her subhuman and all that. Really most of our exchanges are pretty mild.
>>
>>5199303
Hey, she was the one who came being all smug and pompous in the first place. She even jumped on our sword to taunt us.
>>
>>5199174

>Go back up. Noelle’s still a lady, no matter how strange. It’s not right for her to be alone in such a dangerous area.
>>
>>5199174
>Spend your time at rest. Perhaps you can exchange some words with the subhuman dhampir.
>>
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>>5199887
>>5199556
>>5199299
>>5199217
>>5199187
>>5199186
>>5199180
>>5199177

>Spend your time at rest. Perhaps you can exchange some words with the subhuman dhampir.

You decide to leave the handmaiden to what bizarre inclinations she may find herself amidst–you need not waste any more energy on frivolous meander. You can at least take advantage of this rest for an hour, perhaps a bit more..
As you begin to polish and wipe down the cylinder of your rifle, you find your eyes weary to wander toward your monstrous guide. She sits by your army hotplate, her eyes cast low as she runs a kerchief along the flat edge of one rapier. If your sisters were to learn that you set out with a dhampir, they’d be aghast (and likely pester you to know if it was anything like whatever their god-awful smutty romance novels are like).


“You’re staring a bit too much.” Lady Ava stares at you from the reflection of her blade. “You’re going to make me blush.”

>She never told you the purpose behind her journeys here. Why does she visit the bottom every couple years?
>Ask for why she scorns humans so much. As loathe as she might be to admit, she’s still’s half human.
>Ask if the smutty rumors about dhampirs are true.
>Ask how that batsformation of her works. Can she turn into a fluffy flying mouse now?
>Write-In.
>>
>>5200059
>She never told you the purpose behind her journeys here. Why does she visit the bottom every couple years?
>Ask for why she scorns humans so much. As loathe as she might be to admit, she’s still’s half human.

The two I'm most interested in, desu.
>>
>>5200059
>Ask how that batsformation of her works. Can she turn into a fluffy flying mouse now?
>Inquire her about those awful exhibitionist gargoyles with their huge... wings... on full display.
>>
>>5200066
I coulda swear i already voted
+1
>>
>>5200084
Alright, it just too a while to appear
>>
>>5200059
>She never told you the purpose behind her journeys here. Why does she visit the bottom every couple years?
She called it a pilgrimage, what's she visiting? A shrine? A grave? A relative?
>>
>>5200059
>>Ask for why she scorns humans so much. As loathe as she might be to admit, she’s still’s half human.
>>
>>5200059
>She never told you the purpose behind her journeys here. Why does she visit the bottom every couple years?

>Ask how that batsformation of her works. Can she turn into a fluffy flying mouse now?
>Ask for why she scorns humans so much. As loathe as she might be to admit, she’s still’s half human.
>>
>>5200059
>She never told you the purpose behind her journeys here. Why does she visit the bottom every couple years?
>Ask for why she scorns humans so much. As loathe as she might be to admit, she’s still’s half human.

Though I will say >>5200067 would be funny af.
>>
>>5200067
+1
>>
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>>5200270
>>5200225
>>5200114
>>5200090
>>5200084
>>5200067
>>5200066
>>5200274

>She never told you the purpose behind her journeys here. Why does she visit the bottom every couple years?
>Ask for why she scorns humans so much. As loathe as she might be to admit, she’s still’s half human.

“You never did mention your purpose here.” You turn your attention back to the rifle’s polish. “What reason might you have to return to this godforsaken dungeon every few years, besides your bizarre fetish for the dead?”
“Oh? You, a magnanimous noble scion, have taken an interest in the meager whims of a half-monster subhuman? Wh-why.. I’m honored!” Ava gasps. You roll your eyes–more of the brat routine. “If you truly must know, I come here to visit family. You’re familiar with the concept, no? As a noble, I’m sure you’ve visited your sisters many times before.”
You decide it best to not speak up lest you stir up a serious fight, but you gnarl rather colorful language unfit of a noble beneath your breath. “..Family? The monstrous side, I presume.” You grimace. “..What reason do you have for your disdain for man? As loathe as you might be to admit, you still share blood with I.”

“Ah? And what reason is there not to? They’re such foul things–ignorant, imperious fools that butcher each other in worthless wars over land and gold and pride.” She laughs low, her voice bitter. “And what reason might I have to even fraternize with humans? A mere 60, 80 years, and.. they die. And I remain. Always. It saves a great deal of pain to avoid your type, but a worthless noble has snared me to guide him like a mule.”

You neglect to mention that she agreed to the terms of your duel.

>Tell her of yourself.
>Slip into sleep. Just a quick nap ought to do you well.
>Ask if the smutty rumors about dhampirs are true.
>Go check on Noelle.
>Ask how that batsformation of her works. Can she turn into a fluffy flying mouse now?
>Write-In.
>>
>Go check on Noelle.
Meh, dumb brat
>>
>>5200289
>>Tell her of yourself
We're obviously not been given the full thing but it's a personal so let's drop it, for now at least rather talk about ourselves a little since she oh so graciously share some with you.
>>
>>5200289
>Tell her of yourself.
>Ask if the smutty rumors about dhampirs are true.
>>
>>5200289
>Ask how that batsformation of her works. Can she turn into a fluffy flying mouse now?
We can bonk her then.
>>
>>5200289
Alphonse is being played like a man with no touch.
might as well lean into that.
>"Am I a bad person?"

let's throw everyone on a loop.
>>
>>5200289
>"Am I a bad person?"
>Go check on Noelle.
>>
>>5200289
>Tell her of yourself.
>Ask how that batsformation of her works. Can she turn into a fluffy flying mouse now?
>>
>>5200289
>Tell her of yourself.
>Go check on Noelle.
>>
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>>5200416
>>5200346
>>5200317
>>5200314
>>5200308
>>5200306
>>5200304
>>5200298

>Tell her of yourself.
>"Am I a bad person?"
>Go check on Noelle.

“Do you think me a bad person?” You stare.
“Well, I cannot say I know you very well; but from what I’ve seen so far, I cannot say I am fond, either.” Ava shoots back. “I’m all too familiar with your contemptuous noble breed. Your blue blood stinks so thick of high society arrogance that I might vomit from the smell alone. You would do better to go lay with the rest of your family than waste any more time in these pitiful attempts at glory.”
“..I grew up in a small noble family, with three younger sisters,” You begin. “My mother perished in childbirth, my father preoccupied himself with high society affairs, and my older brother shipped off to war. I did my best to raise my sisters to be respectable, intelligent, and kind people, even while I might falter in such qualities. They’re my only family. As such, I must ask that you refrain from such loathsome “jokes” about them–say what you may about I, but they do not deserve such filth.”
The dhampir does not respond to your reproach–just as bratty as ever, you suppose. You stand. “The handmaid hasn’t returned yet. I’ll be off to check on her.” You brush yourself clean of stone debris and keep your sword at the ready. “Be up to check on me if I do not return soon.

“..I’m sorry.” Ava whispers as you leave the cave feature, as if in the half hope that you would not hear.

You clamber up several stones set into the wall along the route you came–it feels terribly perilous with the accompaniment of your party, and now that you’re alone, you feel as if you’re just an errant breeze away from a gruesome fall. You use your greatsword’s weight to stead your stance along the stones as you approach the last stone available.

You spot the handmaiden alone on the step right ahead, hunched over.. something. You catch some bloodstains spattered along her arms and face, but it's difficult to make out what she's doing. It seems she’s humming.

>Keep watch from a safe distance.
>Get a closer to watch.
>Ask what she’s doing from a distance.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5200454
>Get a closer to watch.
>>
>>5200454
>>Get a closer to watch.
>>
>>5200454
>Get a closer to watch.
>>
>>5200454
>Get a closer to watch.
>>
>>5200454
>Ask what she’s doing from a distance.
>Keep watch from a safe distance.
>>
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>>5200470
>>5200473
>>5200474
>>5200490

>Get closer to watch.

You take a few precarious steps along the grave for a better vantage point. The handmaiden cuts neatly and cleanly at her mark with her knife, its scalpel-like blade slick as she hums a quiet tune to herself–it’s peaceful, almost a lullaby. You peer just over her shoulder for a glance at her focus and your stomach turns.
You only get a glimpse of it, but its enough to set you naueous. You’re not unfamiliar with gore, but not once to this perverse an extent, and you turn away from it. It seems the handmaiden has set herself upon a corpse that your party had passed earlier and dissected it neatly. Your step back catches the stone at an unfamiliar angle and your boot heel grinds against the stone.

“Oh, dear.” Noelle glances back, a stray blood spurt catching her face. “..You’ve seen it.”

>Pull your sword and demand to know what she’s doing.
>Flee the scene.
>Demand to know what she’s doing.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5200519
>>Demand to know what she’s doing.
Politely but firmly ask why she's disecrating random dead body(ies)
>>
>Demand to know what she’s doing.
Hmm, very weird. She's not even killing anyone. People can't even die for real here.
>>
>>5200531
+1

Polite and firm.
>>
>>5200531
+1
>>
>>5200531
Support.

>>5200519
>>
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>>5200547
>>5200539
>>5200535
>>5200533
>>5200531

>Demand to know what she’s doing.

In spite of your initial repulsion, all told, the desecration of corpses is less reprehensible when death bears no significance here. But still; you’d rather not risk an unknown and you stand your ground. “What are you doing?” You ask firmly, but politely. “Explain yourself at once.”
“...” The handmaid stares for a long moment, her eyes still dull and pale, and begins to speak very slowly. “..Father said that.. if I retrieve organs for him.. he can make me like I once was, and not like I am now. Do you plan to stop me?”

>Tell her that you do intend on stopping her.
>Retrieve your sword.
>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>Ask what the purpose of these organs is.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5200559
>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>Ask what the purpose of these organs is.
>>
>>5200559
>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>Ask what the purpose of these organs is.
>>
>>5200559

>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>Ask what the purpose of these organs is.
This feels very sketchy. How the hell are a bunch of organs going to help her?
>>
>>5200559
>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>>
>>5200559
>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>Ask what the purpose of these organs is.
Despite being gross and weird, we have no reason to stop her.
>>
>>5200559
>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>Ask what the purpose of these organs is.
>>
>>5200559
>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>>
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>>5200782
>>5200606
>>5200602
>>5200595
>>5200592
>>5200575
>>5200567

>Demand to know what she means by “what she is now.”
>Ask what the purpose of these organs is.

“What do you mean by what you are now?” You maintain your steely glare. “You’re human, are you not?”
“My apologies. It was not my intention to fool you, but father thought this best.” The handmaiden frowns. Noelle gently removes a thin satin glove along her fingertips; beneath, smooth mechanical ball joints lie at articulation points along her fingers. She curls the mechanical fingers–they move with human grace.
“A doll, then. I thought she might be as such.” A sudden voice speaks from behind you. The dhampir curls up along past your coat, her rapier in the air along her shoulder. “They’re mechanical facsimiles of humans–half strung marionettes, halfway between life and death.. Poor, pitiful thing.”

“The purpose of these organs, then?” You glare.
“I can answer that.” The dhampir speaks up. “Human organs can be sewn into a doll to grant them new affinities, talents.. memories. I’d hazard that the guts of many corpses before her are sewn into that porcelain body–their skill is what allows her to explore this block alone. A rather ugly practice.”

>Demand that she return to her father.
>Let her be. She can continue to accompany you so long as she keeps that practice to herself.
>Demand to know what the true purpose of her accompaniment here with you was.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5201189
>>Let her be. She can continue to accompany you so long as she keeps that practice to herself.
Meh they're all dead and will resurrect anyway. However tell her no matter what yours are out of limits.
>>
>>5201189
>Ask her how did she turn from a human into... this.
>Demand to know what the true purpose of her accompaniment here with you was.
A doll filled with guts? Shit's fucked, I'm glad we have the dhampir on our side.

Her hand is long, damn.
>>
>>5201189
So i'm guessing she was actually accompanying us to wait until we died so she could steal our noble organs?

It's a pretty bad practice, but i mostly blame the father for being a scumbag.
>>
>>5201189
>Let her be. She can continue to accompany you so long as she keeps that practice to herself.
>>
>>5201189
>Ask her how did she turn from a human into... this.
>Demand to know what the true purpose of her accompaniment here with you was.

I like Von Gundyr's harem so far more than Arsene's
>>
>>5201239
>harem
>when aval seems to be more interested in whatever monster hussy is attacking us than alphonse
>>
>>5201247
She's flirted with us a bit. Pretty sure she's bi.

Though if she just wants to be our winged wingman, that's cool too. I still like her.
>>
>>5201189
>Let her be. She can continue to accompany you so long as she keeps that practice to herself.
>>
>>5201252
>I still like her.
Well, she certainly doesn't like us
>>
>>5201260
Reasonable, given our interactions so far. We'll warm her up to us yet.
>>
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>>5201197
>>5201198
>>5201214
>>5201239
>>5201257

>Let her be. She can continue to accompany you so long as she keeps that
>Ask her how did she turn from a human into... this.
>Demand to know what the true purpose of her accompaniment here with you was.

“I may overlook this, as repugnant I find it, but tell me,” Your lips curl in disgust. “What was the true purpose of your accompaniment here with us? And how did you turn from a human into this?”
“..In truth, I have not had any trouble with the retrieval of grave goods for my father’s wares. This.. excursion, is one of many.” The doll speaks carefully. “My duty is to follow adventurers and await their deaths. Then, I would relieve their bodies of their goods and organs and return them to the shrine to sell back.”
“A vulture, then. What a revolting thing to do..” Lady Ava lours.
“As for I.. I was not human, not ever.” The doll’s eyes look past you, glossy and dull. “..When father’s daughter died, he crafted me in her image, replete with what parts he could salvage from her body. But he could not save all of her and I was half made. To complete me, father left for the catacombs to fill the emptiness of my person. But now.. he’s begun to rip even his daughter’s parts out for different organs. I believe he somehow thinks to make me even better than she.”
“Abhorrent.” The dhampir’s normally cool and playful voice quakes with rage. “What a despicable thing to do to your own daughter. I ought to fling myself off and gut him when I awake back there..”

>Ask what she intends to do now that she’s told you this, and if she has her own free will beyond her father’s.
>Set off for the end of the block. She may follow and plunge her knife into your corpses if she wishes.
>Offer her the chance to continue her journey past the end of this block and leave her father behind.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5201357
>Ask what she intends to do now that she’s told you this, and if she has her own free will beyond her father’s.
>Offer her the chance to continue her journey past the end of this block and leave her father behind.
>>
>>5201357
>Ask what she intends to do now that she’s told you this, and if she has her own free will beyond her father’s.
>Offer her the chance to continue her journey past the end of this block and leave her father behind.
>>
>>5201357
>Ask what she intends to do now that she’s told you this, and if she has her own free will beyond her father’s.
>Offer her the chance to continue her journey past the end of this block and leave her father behind.
>>
>>5201357
>Ask what she intends to do now that she’s told you this, and if she has her own free will beyond her father’s.
>Offer her the chance to continue her journey past the end of this block and leave her father behind.
>>
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>>5201426
>>5201401
>>5201365
>>5201361

>Ask what she intends to do now that she’s told you this, and if she has her own free will beyond her father’s.
>Offer her the chance to continue her journey past the end of this block and leave her father behind.

“Then.. what do you intend to do now that you’ve told us all this?” You cross your arms. “Just tarry along behind us as you have? Can you even conceive a will beyond that of your father’s?”
“Now that I’ve told you, I suppose I must return home.” Her eyes fall. “But my will is not always in step with his. He’s grown more extreme–begun to suggest that I even slay those that I follow, so that I might better my chances to drag in wares. He’s begun to remodel my body’s form to suit him better. It may be.. improper, but he has begun to frighten me. His eyes toward me are.. not those of a father for his daughter.”
Such a repugnant affair. You feel naught but pity for the marionette, no matter how inhuman she may seem. “Then you can travel with us.” You affirm. “Continue your journey past this block’s end with us and leave your father behind. You need not adhere to his will.”
“Is that truly alright?” The doll asks, her shoulders sunk. “If–I may prove troublesom–”
“It’s fine.” Ava speaks up. She extends a hand of welcome to the doll. “You can travel with us. You won’t prove any more troublesome than the noble lout I’ve found myself with already. You may even help me to babysit him. He’s quite the handful already.”

“Then.. if you would allow me, I can follow you for a bit longer.” Noelle bows her head low. “My apologies for the intrusion.”

>Continue on right ahead–you need not waste any more time here.
>Welcome her properly. She’s still somewhat of a lady, if only on the inside.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5201511
>Welcome her properly. She’s still somewhat of a lady, if only on the inside.
I feel bad for her.
>>
>>5201511
>Welcome her properly. She’s still somewhat of a lady, if only on the inside.
>>
>>5201511
>Welcome her properly. She’s still somewhat of a lady, if only on the inside.
>>
>>5201511
>>Welcome her properly. She’s still somewhat of a lady, if only on the inside.
>>
>>5201511
>Welcome her properly. She’s still somewhat of a lady, if only on the inside.
>>
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>>5201515
>>5201583
>>5201631
>>5201656
>>5201817

>Welcome her properly. She’s still somewhat of a lady, if only on the inside.

“Very well.” You place a hand on the doll’s shoulder and lean in–with the other, you wipe the stain of blood from her porcelain features. Her eyes widen. “And keep yourself tidy. You’re a lady, are you not?”
“I.. yes.” Noelle lowers her gaze. “Of course.”
“Quite well. Then let us retrieve our goods and depart.” The dhampir turns. As you move forward to walk alongside her, she lowers her voice. “..My. How very debonair. I did not think you capable.”
“What?” You scowl–what nonsense is she on about now? “I wiped the blood from her face because she was filthy. I’ve done it for my sisters many times before. Was that somehow offensive?”
“Oh, I see. I retract my compliment, then.” Ava rolls her eyes. “You’re just a clueless oaf.”

You continue your journey in lockstep with the doll and dhampir. The hours tick by as you clamber over step after step before you, the abyss beneath you seemingly ceaseless. The dhampir, at least, speaks to you with less venom in her tone than prior; the doll, however, hangs back from you and seems to shrink from your mere glance. It seems you actually have offended her..
“We’re close to the bottom.” The dhampir waves to a division in the steps–one, in your present direction along the wall and one that seems to go backward. “However, the routes split from here; one is more dangerous but shorter. The other is longer, but it should ensure we run into few monster along the way. What say you?”
More than safety, you catch strange sounds up ahead–from the more safe route, the same wails from before, and from the dangerous one, the beat of horse hoof.

>Follow the safe route with the wailing.
>Follow the dangerous route with the horse hoof.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5202254
>Follow the dangerous route with the horse hoof.
Better to just get there in one piece. We may not die for real, but i still would rather not have that happen.
>>
>>5202275
Fuck, i meant
>Follow the safe route with the wailing.
>>
>>5202254
>Follow the safe route with the wailing
>>
>>5202254
>Follow the dangerous route with the horse hoof.
We are more than safe in our group, and desu, i'd like to see a combat encounter.
>>
>>5202254
This is supposed to be a long journey in general, yes? One that Ava, with her full speed would still take a while to complete. Are we sure we have enough rations for the longer route? Better to take the mere risk of dying with the shorter route than risk certain death at the longer route if so.

>Follow the dangerous route with the horse hoof.
>>
>>5202254
>Follow the safe route with the wailing.
>>
>>5202254
>Follow the dangerous route with the horse hoof.
>>
>>5202254
>Follow the dangerous route with the horse hoof.
>>
>>5202254
>Follow the safe route with the wailing.
>>
>>5202254
>Follow the safe route with the wailing.

centaurs a shit
>>
>>5202773
sirens have no pussy and still smell like fish
>>
>>5202778
how df is a siren going to be in an underground cave system, stoopid?
>>
>>5202779
You ever hear about Mexico’s blind cave fish?
>>
>>5202795
Also, I’d go for a visually impaired Latina mermaid, please.
>>
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>>5202773
>>5202431
>>5202374
>>5202371
>>5202349
>>5202338
>>5202326
>>5202300
>>5202276

>Follow the safe route with the wailing.

“We’ll embark on the safe route, then.” You step down to a tomb that points outward and back. “I’d rather not slip and die and end up all the way back at the top.”
“Fine, fine. I’m sure that either route would result in just as much annoyance for me.” She sighs. She extends a hand for the doll. “Come on, Noelle. Let us hurry.”
“..Yes, of course, m’lady.” Noelle mumbles, taking her hand and following her step. She retreats from your glance again! Gah! You must’ve done something unbecoming.. what was it?

You continue along past the slow route–by the dhampir’s estimate, the journey could take between another five or so hours and a day. You suppose a dhampir’s conceptualization of time is.. different, than a human’s. Your sword’s immeasurable weight and the heft of your rifle and the sling of your back are now at the back of your mind, however; now that you’ve the sight of an end, this stress is meager.
The wailing grows louder and louder as you step along the chasm.. “Gah. A siren, or..?” You turn to the dhampir.
“I’ve no clue. It’s not a cry I’m familiar with. Sirens’ cries are sexier. Y’know, like, aaaangh, Von Gundyr~?” The dhampir makes a lewd face and voice. You turn away, your frown only set in more deeply.

Your curiosity, however, is quickly sated as your party comes upon the wail’s source–a lone woman, shackled and collapsed onto the floor. Her face is bound in an iron mask of some sort–caged bars and forged smile guise her true features in inky black shadow. Her body fares no better with iron chains and cuffs around her arms and ankles and legs. Her dress is that of a noblewoman’s, in spite of her sad state of affairs as she continues to wail and tremble.

“Oohhhh…” The woman snivels between wails. “Someone, please, help me..”

>Approach the woman and reassure her.
>Hurry them past. This seems suspicious–some sort of trap, perhaps.
>Keep your distance and announce your presence. Ask what her issue is.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5202846
>Keep your distance and announce your presence. Ask what her issue is.
The Woman in the Iron Mask. Must be some royal sibling.
>>
>>5202846
>Approach the woman and reassure her.

this is definitely a trap
but we can tank it
>>
>>5202846
>>Keep your distance and announce your presence. Ask what her issue is.
>>
>>5202846
>Keep your distance and announce your presence. Ask what her issue is.
>>
>>5202846
>Briefly pause to ask our companions if they know this person or if this person's description matches that of anyone who is known to trap or kill people. If they say no, then draw our greatsword so we at least have a weapon out and slash through her chains.
>>
>>5202846
>Keep your distance and announce your presence. Ask what her issue is.

>You must’ve done something unbecoming.. what was it?
Not cutting the dhampir's tongue out.
>>
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>>5203141
>>5203012
>>5202939
>>5202855
>>5202853
>>5202848

>Keep your distance and announce your presence. Ask what her issue is.
>Briefly pause to ask our companions if they know this person or if this person's description matches that of anyone who is known to trap or kill people. If they say no, then draw our greatsword so we at least have a weapon out and slash through her chains.

“Are any of you familiar?” You glance back to your companions, your voice low.
“Mmm.. perhaps not this particular one, but is it not uncommon for your human kings to toss dangerous prisoners in dungeons like these?” The dhampir looks bored. “She’s just one of many. It’s best not to waste our time with this type–who knows what sort of abominable things she’s done?”
“This seems.. cruel..” The doll murmurs, her voice low.

You maintain your distance along the grave step, a hand on the hilt along your back. “..You there!” You loudly announce your presence, cutting through her wails. She falls silent at your voice. “We’re on our way down. What seems to be the problem?”
“Ahhh, please, please..” The prisoner begs, her hands clasped beneath her mask. “..I was on my way up to leave this accursed dungeon when my chains caught my ankle and shattered it. I lack even the strength to fling myself off. Please–..just slay me, so that I might awaken at the shrine anew and try again..”

“And what have you done to earn those chains?” The dhampir glares.
“Please, right away..” The prisoner ignores the dhampir’s question and stares up at you through her mask.

>Abide by her request and grant her mercy.
>Repeat the dhampir’s question. Ask for her identity.
>Leave her be and continue on. If not you, then hunger and thirst will take her just fine.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5203249
>Repeat the dhampir’s question. Ask for her identity.
>>
>>5203249
>Repeat the dhampir’s question. Ask for her identity.

As much as I want to help her out, the dhampir is right, we ought not offer convenience or mercy to someone with malicious intent or someone that is dangerous to the more benign denizens of this dungeon.
>>
>>5203141
>Repeat the dhampir’s question. Ask for her identity.

I'm catching up and I really like this Quest. Also, what is this Jerry you're talking about? Is this some kind of spin-off from a previous quest or something?
>>
>>5203249
>Repeat the dhampir’s question. Ask for her identity.

>>5203334
JEFF Arsene was the MC of the first iteration of Haremvania, which was goofier and more overtly just about seducing monstergirls. It was from last October, I think. It's on suptg!
>>
>>5203249
>Repeat the dhampir’s question. Ask for her identity.
>Actually look at her ankle.
>>
>>5203249
>Repeat the dhampir’s question. Ask for her identity.
>>
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>>5203334
Thanks for reading! This is a kind of indirect sequel to a quest I ran a little back.

https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2021/4708015/

>>5203415
>>5203396
>>5203351
>>5203334
>>5203272
>>5203332

>Repeat the dhampir’s question. Ask for her identity.
>Actually look at her ankle.

“No, I agree.” You stare her down, your gaze like ice. “What have you done to earn those chains? Who are you?”
“...” She falls silent; after a long and drawn out quiet, she continues, her voice clear. “I researched a means of immortality and the king had me tossed into this dungeon; said that I had committed an unforgivable crime. But iIsn’t it ironic? To fling me in here, of all places.. the answer I had so long sought after. Please.. I beg you. I will die here nonetheless, whether the monsters tear me apart or hunger and thirst ravage my broken body. But you can spare me a great deal of meaningless pain now..”

You glance to her ankle--sure enough, as he said, its bent and torn in odd directions. You avert your gaze from the pitiful sight.
“..Such foolishness. I will never understand man’s endless thirst for immortality. ” The dhampir stares, her eyes narrow. “And this is how it always ends. Broken and bent, begging for death.”

>Grant her the mercy she asks for.
>Leave her be. You’d rather not sully your sword for an uncertain purpose.
>Ask the dhampir to take care fo it.
>Ask Noelle to take care of it.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5203351
Huh, nice. Maybe I check it out, thanks anon
>>
>>5203435
>Grant her the mercy she asks for.
We can spare one bullet.
>>
>Grant her the mercy she asks for.
>>
>>5203435
>Ask the dhampir to take care of it.
Well if she hates humans so much....
We'd probably miss, tdesuh.
>>
>>5203435
>>Grant her the mercy she asks for.
>Inquire with the Dhampir if we can tell her about the Lich.
Who knows maybe she could use a friend.
>>
>>5203435
>Grant her the mercy she asks for.
>>
>>5203435
Actually, I changed my mind. Since Noelle will probably want her organs, she may as well do the deed. Besides, she'd damage her body less than us with our greatsword or a messy bullet to the brain, and she could tank any hits with her mechanical body if this does turn out to be a trap.

>Ask Noelle to take care of it.
>>
>>5203464
changing my vote to
>Inquire with the Dhampir if we can tell her about the Lich.
>Ask Noelle to take care of it.
>>
>>5203494
>>5203527
Noelle has no use for organs anymore, her father was the one implanting them inside her.
>>
>>5203435
>Grant her the mercy she asks for.

>>5203528
and even if she could use the organs, there's no reason she couldn't take them after we granted the mercy ourselves
>>
>>5203528
>>5203529
I just don't want MC to shoot her, τbh
>>
>>5203435
>Grant her the mercy she asks for.
>>
>>5203435
>Grant her the mercy she asks for.
>>
>>5203528
>>5203529
I know her father is a shit parent, but did we ever actually confirm she has no more use for the organs? Her not wanting to adhere to his will doesn't mean that she'll never have a use for them anymore. Nor do I see us doing it being any more clean, or otherwise doing less damage to any organs she may or may not want.
>>
>>5203435
>Grant her the mercy she asks for.
say a small prayer or something, i still don't trust this "revival" thing.
>>
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>>5203628
>>5203555
>>5203547
>>5203529
>>5203527
>>5203494
>>5203490
>>5203484
>>5203464
>>5203444
>>5203440
>>5203436

>Inquire with the Dhampir if we can tell her about the Lich.
>Grant her the mercy she asks for.

“Shall we tell her of the lich?” You glance back to the dhampir. “She may find herself in good company.”
“I don’t doubt that she already knows of the lich’s cure for death. It's hard to divorce yourself from while down here” The dhampir grimaces. “And you’ve seen where her curiosity has gotten her already. It’s best not to incite her any more.”
“Very well.” You stand at attention and unholster your rifle. You’re not unfamiliar with this..
“Ahhh.. thank you, kindly.” The iron mask prisoner slowly raises her head. You levy the rifle’s sights through its bars, into the blackness beneath. “A-hahaha.. I promise to remember this kindness when we pass each other again.”

“..May you rest easy.” You pray. You pull the trigger--a shot rings out, blinding you with white hot spark’s burst and screaming along the walls before all grows silent again.

The prisoner lies before you, her iron mask dented and its bars twisted along your shot’s path; curiously, the mask bears no exit hole. You grimace as you lower the arm. “..Very well. Shall we continue?” You glance back to your party. “Ah.. Noelle.. Would you want to engage with it first?”
“Do you mean the organs?” Noelle asks, her voice quiet. The doll shifts, her gaze low, one hand along her arm. “I.. suppose I could. I bear the knowledge for an organ graft, if you’d like me to awaken to her memories and skills. But..”
“Perhaps not. I’m sure you already remember many countless deaths. The dhampir eyes you. “We’re close to the entrance of the next block. Let us not tarry.”

>Let it be and continue to the exit. You’d rather not bind her to something unfortunate.
>Insist that Noelle take in the organs. You may find out something valuable from the mysterious prisoner.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5203732
>Insist that Noelle take in the organs. You may find out something valuable from the mysterious prisoner.
I am torn between the two options you gave, but it is best we get some information as, as it says, curiosity killed the cat, but it isnot wrong to try.
>>
>>5203732
>Let it be and continue to the exit. You’d rather not bind her to something unfortunate.
I don't want to force her to do that.
>>
>>5203732
>Let it be and continue to the exit. You’d rather not bind her to something unfortunate.
>>
>>5203732
>I'll leave the decision up to you, Noelle. It's your body and mind at stake here, after all.
>>
>>5203732
>>Let it be and continue to the exit. You’d rather not bind her to something unfortunate.
>>
>>5203732
>>Let it be and continue to the exit. You’d rather not bind her to something unfortunate.
What the fuck this quest is actually great despite the coomer undertones.

>>5203742
We already know enough and getting trivia is not worth traumatizing the doll.
>>
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>>5203742
>>5203745
>>5203751
>>5203753
>>5203780
>>5203796

>Let it be and continue to the exit. You’d rather not bind her to something unfortunate.

“..No, no. You’re right.” You shake the thought from your mind–as curious as you might be, you’d just agreed to help loose her of such repugnance; to go back on that and insist it upon her would be unforgivable. “My apologies. Let us hurry on, then. I’m rather sick of this place.”
“..Yes, of course, Von Gundyr, sir. I have no outright objections to organ grafts necessarily, b-but..” The doll bows her head low. “..Th-thank you.”
Your journey continues in quiet–the safe route, as expected, [i]is[/i] safe, and you meet no more strange wailing prisoners or horrible skybound nudist monsters. You watch the steps ease along into a low ledge along the abyss–while the chasm still stretches out into infinity below, a small doorway is set into the wall along this random feature. The dhampir releases a long sigh of relief.

“Ahh.. truly! How amazing..!” Ava smiles, looking down at her pocket watch. “I foolishly thought our journey would take perhaps 15, 16 hours.. but it's taken us nearly 25 of constant effort! We’ve defied expectations!”
“Are you done?” You sigh; you cast your gaze out back to the ledge, where the maw of the pit that gapes and extends far beneath.“But.. is this truly the end? We have still not seen the bottom of the chasm. In fact, the steps go even lower from here..”
“Ah, you needn’t worry about the bottom. It’s empty, laden only with endless fallen bodies and monsters–no, the next block is at a random point halfway down. Cruel, right?” She laughs darkly. “But.. we’ve been in such constant pace that even I’ve begun to tire. We had better rest at the shrine ahead, perhaps eat. The block ahead is.. rough.”

With that, the dhampir struts into the shrine ahead with the flourish of your cape. As you make to follow her, you feel a sudden tug at your sleeve.
“Uhm.. Von Gundyr, sir,” The handmaiden keeps her eyes low. You raise a brow. “I.. was actually looking to ask for your help in something. A request, if you might consider it.. I’m afraid you might find it a bit strange though.”
“..Yes?” You raise a brow. “If you’d like my organs, I’m afraid that–”
“It’s hair.” She lowers her head. “..I’d like hair. Lots of it.”

>Ask for her to expand on that.
>Continue on through the shrine. You’re too exhausted for this. You’ll deal with it tomorrow.
>Ask if she means yours. You’re rather fond of it.
>Say that if she holds the dhampir down, you’ll get the scissors.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5203815
>Say that if she holds the dhampir down, you’ll get the scissors.
This will be hilarious.

Only the OP can format text I think.
>>
>>5203815
Why would she want more hair, though? She already has some pretty cute hair.
>>
>>5203815
>>Ask for her to expand on that.
While it would be funny to tease the half breed I rather not fully antagonize our guide.
>>
>>5203836
Maybe she just doesn't want to look like her maker's deceased daughter?
>>
>>5203815
>Ask for her to expand on that.
>>
>>5203815
>>Ask for her to expand on that.
>>
>>5203815
>Say that if she holds the dhampir down, you’ll get the scissors.

Revenge! for all those mean words
>>
>>5203815
>Ask for her to expand on that.
>Ask if she means yours. You’re rather fond of it.
>>
>>5203815
>Ask for her to expand on that.
Wanting to try some new hair styles?
>>
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>>5202846
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>>5203932

ooohhhh….

>>5203918
>>5203914
>>5203896
>>5203859
>>5203851
>>5203838
>>5203827

>Ask for her to expand on that.

“You want hair? How do you mean?” You frown; as much as you’d like to shear the dhampir bald, you can’t help but shudder at the thought of the aftermath, especially in a dungeon where death is no easy escape. “It looks to me like you have a fine head of hair already.”
“Ah, yes, well..” Noelle toys with her own short locks. “Although artificial, my shell was built to replicate the human body; my skin can bend and flex, I can consume and taste foodstuff, and my heart can beat. But the one thing I cannot do is grow hair. It was sewn into my scalp at a set length.”
“..I see. So you’d like longer hair, then.” You begin to understand. “And you’d like my help?”
“..Yes. Up above, in the shrine, adventures would sometimes pass with locks that grew like floods of tangled waves. I always thought it beautiful, but father vehemently denied my requests. Because then I would no longer resemble his daughter.“ Her voice grows distant. “Although I might share her face, I am.. unlike her. I would like mine so long that it falls along my hips, smooth and fluffy and warm. It makes me feel comforted.”
“And how would we do that? Not my hair, I hope.” You frown. Your lineage is one proud of its locks and its distinct lack of male-pattern-baldness.
“You need only provide me hair–lots of it. I can perform the work myself.” She bows her head. “And.. from near anywhere is fine, I suppose.. alive or not.”

>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
>Deny her. She’s fine the way she is.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
Behold, doll!
Time for fluff
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
Very cute
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
>Ask if MAYBE she'd like to ask Lady Ava for some of hers
Heh, make AVA say no to these puppy-dog eyes. Bet she can't.
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
>Ask Lady Ava where in the CATACOMBS we might find werewolves, just out of curiosity.

Might as well shave one of those furballs, they have more than enough hair for one maid. Wolf was best girl of the last quest and I want a new one
>>
>>5204032
Last quest anon? Could you share a link please?
>>
>>5204073
see pic related
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
>>
>>5204131
Thanks anon. Also

>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best
She's blushing, cute.
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
Kneew itt.
>>
>>5203944
>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
>>
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>>5204191
>>5204163
>>5204139
>>5204032
>>5203990
>>5203987
>>5203978
>>5203950
>>5203947
>>5204298

>Agree to her request. You’ll do your best.
>Ask if MAYBE she'd like to ask Lady Ava for some of hers

“Hmm.. very well. I suppose I can lend a hand.” You a place a hand on your chin, deep in thought. “If you were to.. perhaps hold down the dhampir, I might be able to..”
“A-ah, well.. I think it may be best that it be from somewhere else, as lovely as Lady Ava’s is.” The handmaiden gently grasps your arm. “But.. thank you, Von Gundyr, sir. I know it selfish, but..”
“It’s no matter. I prefer long hair, anyways.” You scoff, turning and pulling yourself away. “Let’s make haste.”

Like the one prior, the shrine before you is a vast, dome-like room structured with stone arches and steps, laden with candles and ash. A number of ajar stone coffins and clean spaces in the walls betoken fresh resurrections. The adventurers that mill here are distinct; far from the meager, crestfallen ones in the shrine prior, they exude a kind of dirty resolve. The dhampir sits atop an ashen stair ahead.
“..There you are.” Ava glances up. “We’ll sleep here for the night. Perhaps dig into those rations. And try not to make a fool of yourself. The ones here won’t hesitate to gut you if you piss them off, and you’re rather competent at that.”

You reexamine the room around you–you spot a few points of interest. There’s another merchant–a member of the CORPUS CHURCH, it seems. The same BERSERKER from the last shrine. And a strange one in a hood.

>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.
>Speak again to the berserker.
>Speak to the hooded one.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5204302
>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.
You never know until you try.
>>
>>5204302
>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.
>>
>>5204302
>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.
>>
I kind of want to speak to the Berserker and give her our huge ass sword, y'know, because she'd be a rampaging monster empowered by cursed armour and magic, wielding something too big, thick, heavy and rough to be called a sword. Indeed, more like a heap of raw iron. And that image is spiritually fulfilling for some reason.
>>
Like come on, it's almost intentional at that point.
>>5204302
>Speak again to the berserker.
>>
>>5204353
You do know it's a famiy heirloom, right?
>>
>>5204355
I could not care less.

Seriously though it's pretty much just weighing us down, we had to roll a natty to get it to do work for us against a common zombie, and it would've fucking bisected them if our dhampir friend didn't intervene, but I'm pretty sure anything slightly less than a 20 against a threatening opponent would pretty much boil down to "you swing it around and you manage to make them step back from you (because if they stepped in to gut you they'd also die) but you don't really accomplish anything."

Also she was also in the royal army so I want to talk to her, + I like strong women, + we could ask for it back or marry her to circumvent the problem entirely lmao.
>>
>>5204302
>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.
>>
>>5204302
>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.

we got a waifu and a bunch of stuff from the last one
>>
>>5204353
>>5204354
Supporting this.

>>5204302
>Speak again with the berserker
>>
>>5204302
>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.

>>5204353
I'll admit, it would indeed be well suited to her.
>>
>>5204363
Shit up, simp.

We're not giving her our family heirloom, if you WANT her love, do something more meaningful than just giving her a shitty Sword that surely she's going to ditch somewhere because she has a powerful Demon Sword. Better ASK HER to train you with how to swing our sword, or even some exercises we can do to actually lift the sword.
I also want a big, strong, actually-fucking-dangerous warrior wheyfu, but your option sounds lame and stupid.

>>5204302
>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.
>Speak again to the berserker. This time ask her for some sword training or how to properly stand with it, say hello and ask straight, no bullshit
>>
>>5204406
Shut up*
Fucking phoneposting
>>
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>>5204395
>>5204382
>>5204373
>>5204373
>>5204366
>>5204354
>>5204346
>>5204320
>>5204305

>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.

You decide to exchange with the merchant–despite your past look with the prior ones, perhaps he’ll prove different. You furrow your brow as you grow close–you’d recognize the alabaster fluttery gowns of the CORPUS CHURCH anywhere, but upon a more close inspection.. is this not but a child? A boy, in fact? He looks to be a CHOIR BOY–a trainee with the CORPUS CHURCH for their CHOIR, the storied hunters and scholars branch.

“Ah-hello! Uhm, excuse me, sir, just one sec.. a noble, too, geez..” The boy exclaims upon your arrival, finagling with his goods and straightening his ribbon. While you’ve not gotten the chance to get a close look, the selection certainly seems more high quality than past–you’d presume the block ahead is host to the corpse failures of many other powerful adventurers before you. “Anything you’d like..!”

>Look over the boy’s goods. Might as well toss him a coin.
>Ask what his business is this deep in the CATACOMBS.
>Ask where his attendant is. A choir boy is seldom far from their CHORISTER.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5204433
>Ask what his business is this deep in the CATACOMBS.
>Look over the boy’s goods. Might as well toss him a coin.
>>
>>5204442
+1
>>
>>5204433
>Look over the boy’s goods. Might as well toss him a coin.
>>
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>>5204442
>>5204445

>Ask what his business is this deep in the CATACOMBS.
>Look over the boy’s goods. Might as well toss him a coin.

“So.. what business do you have down this deep in the CATACOMBS, boy?” You look the kid over. He appears infirm and meek, a far cry from yourself at his age. “Doesn’t seem the place for your type.”
“Ah. Well, our CORPUS CHURCH has sent choristers into the CATACOMBS for years, to study the monsters and investigate the immortality curse. I’m.. from one of them, you see.” He smiles as he steeples his fingers. “Spare a look at my goods?”

You look the boy’s goods over; you a spot a handful of noteworthy purchases. You see a SILVER STRAIGHT SWORD, a smaller and wieldier arm than the 200 kg slab of iron on your back–could be useful if you don’t need to obliterate someone. You catch sight of.. a strange vial, with thick red liquid within it, almost like blood. And in the corner is a strange weapon–a cleaver inscribed with a SAINT’S CALENDAR along the flat steel edge. How curious.

“The sword, the beast blood, or JUDGEMENT, then?” The choirboy catches the direction of your gaze.
“And how much would each of these be?” You look the goods over, curious. Each could prove useful..
“20 pent for each.” The boy responds handily. Your shoulders sink–there’s no way in hell you’ll spend 60 pent for all three. It figures that the church’s holiest would rob you blind..

>Ask where his attendant is. A choir boy is seldom far from their CHORISTER.
>Purchase the silver straight sword.
>Purchase the beast blood.
>Purchase the saint’s calendar cleaver.
>Degrade yourself to haggling over prices with a child.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5204455
>Ask where his attendant is. A choir boy is seldom far from their CHORISTER.
>>
>>5204302
>Speak to the merchant, despite your poor luck with the ones prior.
>Speak to the hooded one.
One of these days we should just decapitate one of these degenerate merchants.
>>
What does beast blood even do?
>>
>>5204455
>Purchase the silver straight sword.
Never hurts to have yet another weapon.
>>
>>5204472
Except maybe when you have 200kg of iron on your back?
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>>5204476
The MC is huge, the doll was even eyeing up our guts.
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>>5204478
Then we should have no problem using Guts' sword. That silver toothpick ain't shit.
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>>5204455
>Purchase the saint’s calendar cleaver.
>Ask about the CHORISTER's whereabouts.
JUDGEMENT is probably the only weapon worth the price.
>>
>>5204455
>Purchase the saint’s calendar cleaver.
>Ask about the CHORISTER's whereabouts.
>>
>>5204480
Even guts had sidearms.
>>
>>5204455
>Purchase the saint’s calendar cleaver.
>Ask about the CHORISTER's whereabouts.
Also:
>ask Ava if she wants to purchase the beast blood -- seems more her speed
>>
>>5204455
>Degrade yourself to haggling over prices with a child.
>>
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>>5204673
>>5204595
>>5204508
>>5204489
>>5204472
>>5204463

>Purchase the saint’s calendar cleaver.
>Ask about the CHORISTER's whereabouts.

“..The cleaver, then.” You sigh, your pride still such that you refuse to barter with a mere boy. You toss him a handful of pent.
“Ah, JUDGEMENT, then! You’ve a good eye.” He smiles, extending the cleaver’s handle toward you. “You know, this was the favored weapon of a legendary monster hunte–”
“Yes, yes, I’m sure it was.” You sigh, drawing the blade from his hands. It has a strange weight about it–like it’s too light., “Say.. you choirboys are never far from your choristers. Where’s yours?”

“Ah, well.. I believe he actually left the dungeon some time ago.” The merchant laughs weakly. “I’m sure he’s already forgotten all about me. You needn’t worry about it.”
“What do you mean some time ago?” You frown. “It’s rather dangerous around here alone, is it not?”
“Well.. it’s been years.” He looks to the side. “I’ve been here alone for quite some time.”

>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the berserker.
>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.
>Speak to Ava. Ask if she has any interest in the merchant’s wares.
>Ask him to expound upon that further.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5204759
>>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.
>>
>Ask him to expound upon that further.
That's uh...kind of worrying
>>
>>5204759
>Ask him to expound upon that further.
>>
>>5204759
>Ask him to expound upon that further.
>Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.
>>
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>>5204842
>>5204776
>>5204765
>>5204762

>Ask him to expound upon that further.

“You were left behind?” You repeat, your mouth agape–you could not imagine a year alone in here, much less several, in particular for a child.
“Ah.. well..” His gaze falls. “Maybe it’s best I tell you–I should’ve in the first place, but.. it’s all so troublesome to recount for newcomers down here..”
“How do you mean?” You frown–not another doll, you hope..

“In truth.. the CORPUS CHURCH found the CATACOMBS a little over a century ago. It was kept a secret, only for the highest echelons of the church and choir. They sent several inquisitions into the catacombs to explore, research, and experiment on the monsters here–but most of all, they sought to exhume the dungeon’s immortality spell.” The boy recounts, a weak smile on his face. “I was one of the fruits of their research here, born in the dungeon and meant to replicate the immortality spell so that I might be brought up to the surface. But for their years of research, I was a failure–only biologically eternal, not truly deathless. And for my failure, they.. all left me behind.”

“So.. you’ve been stuck down here for the last century.” You stare the boy–er, man, down. “And you’re forever a boy.”
“Yes. But, to tell the truth.. I hardly feel it.” He laughs meekly. “It’s strange.. I don’t feel like an old man.”
“..I see.” You feel a pang of regret for not haggling.

>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the berserker.
>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.
>Speak to Ava. Ask if she has any interest in the merchant’s wares.
>Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5204880
>Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.

I almost want to ask if he wants to come with us.
>>
>>5204880

>Extinguish the regret. It is unbecoming a man of your position.

> Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.

> Ask if he wants to come along adventuring.
>>
>Speak to Ava. Ask if she has any interest in the merchant’s wares.
>Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.
>Ask if he wants to come along adventuring.
>>
>>5204880
>Speak to Ava. Ask if she has any interest in the merchant’s wares.
>Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.
>>
>>5204880
>Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.
>>
>>5204880
>Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.
we've got two ladies that could probably use them.
>>
>>5204880
>>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.
>>Speak to Ava. Ask if she has any interest in the merchant’s wares.

>>5204897
This is HAREMvania, there's no room for dudes in our party, especially not human ones.
>>
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>>5204988
>>5204984
>>5204982
>>5204957
>>5204897
>>5204992
>>5205007

>Extinguish the regret. It is unbecoming a man of your position.
>Ask if he has any hair ornaments suitable for a lady.
>Ask if he wants to come along adventuring.
>Speak to Ava. Ask if she has any interest in the merchant’s wares.

You crush the regret underfoot. “Then might you have any hair ornaments suitable for a lady?” You keep your voice low, your question unwieldy and awkward as it spills from your mouth. “I believe women like that sort of thing, do they not?”
“A.. hair ornament? Hmmm.. ah–you know what? I believe I do have something like that.” He fishes into the pile of grave goods on the cloth before him–soon, he removes a fine length of red twine–three circles compose a triangular form and terminate in a long string. “Here. It’s of noble make. I’ll throw it in for free, even.. I don’t think many other adventurers would have that much interest in a purchase like this, to tell the truth.”
“Ah.. it is of rather fine craft.” You play with the string along your fingers before you enclose it in your palm and tuck it into your coat pocket. You may find this sort of decoration purposeless, but your sisters were always fond of this sort of thing for their birthdays. “And.. say. I’m on a trip to the bottom myself. Would you have an interest in coming along?”

“Ahh, well,” He smiles sadly. “I appreciate your kindness, truly, but.. I must decline. I know it foolish–that a century has long gone above and they’ve all but forgotten about me by now.. but I still await my choristers’ return. Before they left, they promised they would return for me. And I would hate for them to come all this way and find me gone.”
“..I see.” You nod–a respectable dedication, if yet foolhardy. You turn, to retreat to the dhampir.

“..It’s a fake.” Ava remarks offhand.
“..What?” You frown.
“JUDGEMENT. The one you’ve bought. It’s a fake. They sell those replicas en masse at the church, for adventurers to purchase and die in hand with.” The dhampir shrugs. “I mean no offense. It’s still blessed by a saint’s calendar, and cuts all the same as a cleaver. But that’s not a legendary weapon in your hands. Just a holy cooking utensil.”
“Ah, that brat..” You sigh, your eyes low.

“Emil..? I’m sure he meant you no harm. He likely thought it authentic, too.” Ava smirks. “.. But, you know.. every time I pass by this shrine, I offer him guard for a journey back up. He always refuses–says he’s waiting for the church to come back for him..”
“..Right.”

>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the berserker.
>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5205014
>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.
>>
>>5205014
>>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.
>>
>>5205014
>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.
>>
>>5205014
>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the berserker.
sheee
>>
>>5205014
>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the berserker.
>>
>>5205014
>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one

Isn't Ava taking us through the shortest route? How did the berserker beat us here? Maybe her route finding abilities are trash?
>>
>>5205014
I fucking knew it was a fake lmao.
>Attempt to return the cleaver
>>
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>>5205020
>>5205035
>>5205037
>>5205125
>>5205126
>>5205128

>Leave the merchant to his own devices. Go speak to the hooded one.

You leave the cleaver be for now, and in turn, walk to the one in the corner–she’s sitting alone atop a coffin, cradling a wet, black sickle in her hands. Your brow furrows as you draw close–her pale robes strike you as all too familiar. The one before you is an acolyte of the RESURRECTIONISTS, an unsightly heretical “religious order” from the surface. Their ultimate goal is attaining immortality in shirking their own humanity, becoming monsters one and all–undead, vampires, spirits. It figures that one would be down here. You needn’t bid to mask your disgust.
“Ah. Hello.” She speaks in a quiet, almost whispery voice. “And what business might I have with a high-borne?”

>Ask what business a RESURRECTIONIST has down here.
>Leave her be. Go speak to the berserker.
>Ask for her hair.
>Write-In.
>>
>>5205360
>Ask what business a RESURRECTIONIST has down here.
>>
>>5205360
>Ask what business a RESURRECTIONIST has down here.
>Ask if she wants to buy an ordinary cleaver.
>>
>>5205360
>Ask what business a RESURRECTIONIST has down here.
>Ask if she wants to buy an official, replica, dhampir-appraised cleaver
>>