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Archive of previous quest:
https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/2022/5184655/
----------------
Recap:
You recently discovered the first few threads that might just allow you to discover the nature of this world, but due to the fact that you're a knight instead of a scientist, that's probably as far as it'll go. You were also almost lethally injured, and the curse made sure you didn't along with your doctor's fine medical care.
Unfortunately, this means you now have wings.
You adopted three more kobolts, who were serving the ogre that ate the leg of a small child.
You saw the others get drunk, and had some modicum of fun, alongside getting a new helmet that looks the same as your old one, but is considerably more comfortable.

Now, you are entering the castle of the archmage. Lady Ogg is your best hope to getting cured of this curse... Let's hope nothing goes wrong, for once.
-------------------
You wander through the castle, closely following the golem. It doesn't take long before you leave the courtyard and enter the castle itself, where the golem has to crouch slightly to avoid hitting the occasional chandelier. The castle is rather tastefully decorated, you have to admit. Nothing too tacky, yet still showing off the wealth. You've seen quite a few castles like this before, but it's rare that they have such tasteful and downright functional decoration. It must have taken a very long time to get it all figured out... though you suppose if time really is slower here, perhaps that's exactly how they did it?
Continuing onwards, you see several more golems up ahead, and these golems actually talk properly. A nondescript face appears on a flat crystal, that stopped orbiting around the giant crystal mass.
"You may all proceed to the study. Once more, we request you mind your manners."
The study seems to be a very large room, and you suspect the archmage is sitting in the ludicrously big chair in front of the fire. The fire itself appears to be a bright blue, rather than the standard colouration. Many chairs are spread around, as well, all of them looking exceedingly comfortable.
But, of course, if they insist on manners...

You sigh, and remove your helmet. It's considered somewhat impolite to still be wearing head coverings if you're in a safe location. It's considered a way to keep oneself guarded... Though you do tell Anna that she can keep the mask on.
There's an exception when it's there to cover up a deformity of sorts.
The kobolts take off their caps... but Paracelsus only takes off her hood, keeping her mask on.
"Paracelsus..." You say, but she just shakes her head.
"I'm an alchemist. I'll take the mask off if I must, but I prefer to go covered."
You whisper between clenched teeth:
"It's impolite."
Paracelsus snorts, and says:
"She can handle it."

You get the feeling she might not like wizards. Archmage or not.

>Insist that she takes it off.

>Shrug and leave it at that, if she wants to be annoying about it.
>>
>>5236717
>>Insist that she takes it off.
>If you take it off, you can ask me anything once we are out of here
>>
>>5236717
>Insist that she takes it off
She CAN handle it, that's what I'm worried about. Can we please not piss off the super powerful magic woman right off the bat?

Also
>no Chester in OP image
>>
>>5236734
Dang it
>>
>>5236731
Support. Carrot and stick.

>>5236717
>>
>>5236717
>Shrug and leave it at that, if she wants to be annoying about it.
>>
>>5236717
this>>5236734
>>
>>5236919
>>5236731
this too, a little question won't hurt.
>>
>>5236731
Support
>>
>>5236731
this

>>5236717
William. Please, can you try not to say anything? If you manage to not say anything, or nothing impolite while here, I will teach you something interesting.
>>
>>5236717
>>Shrug and leave it at that, if she wants to be annoying about it.
>>
>>5237239
Our humans are scarcely more civilized than our actual monsters.
>>
>>5237239
>>5236731
>>5236734
Support
>>5237316
Arguably less so
>>
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"I'd still insist. The problem is that she CAN handle you, with ease. It's kind of part and partial of being a wizard, after all."
"See, that right there is what annoys me about them. They're just... they have it so easy, all the damned time. Just a thought, and bam, they get to have reality their way. The rest of us actually have to work for our results!"
"Please stop insulting the archmage inside her own castle." You say, placing a hand on Paracelsus' shoulder.
"...Fiiine. Fine. I'll try to be nice."

There is a short pause, and then she realizes why you were just staring at her.
"...Do I have to take off the mask?"
"Yes. That's not really negotiable, I'm afraid. Listen, if you play nice, I'll give you a free questionnaire. You can ask whatever question you want, and I'll be as truthful as I can."
"You've already been doing that... but fine. I'll hold it over your head, why not." She says, and you can hear the smirk even when you can't see it. Then, she takes off the mask, and the hood, revealing her raven's nest of a hairstyle. It looks a little less greasy than usual, at least. You also turn to william:
"William... Please don't say anything stupid. I'm begging you."
He flinches, and then harrumphs before saying:
"I'm not one of your kobolts, you know. I know not to act stupid without you telling me."

You sigh, your face and your palm colliding, and then you just... leave it at that and enter the Study. The chairs in the room quickly begin to rearrange themselves, and the chair in front of the fire flips around, revealing archmage Ogg, at last.
She looks a tiny bit displeased, but as soon as she takes a sip of her tea, she seems to take on a somewhat softer look.
"...Welcome, Ser, and guests... Please, have a seat. The servants will bring in refreshments in just a moment. I pray you don't mind me enjoying my tea... You've caught me during teatime."
She takes another sip, exhaling loudly as she enjoys the warm tea.
"So, you have a problem with a curse?" She then asks, cutting straight to the point. You don't mince words describing it.
"Indeed, Ma'am. I need your aid to get it removed before I'm turned into some giant monstrosity."
She doesn't say a word, and instead closes her eyes for a second... and when she opens them, they glow brightly. She raises an eyebrow.
"Hmm... Yes. The amount of magic inside of your is rather... intense."

She takes out a scroll from under her chair, which was only possible because she allowed it to float, raising herself up as well, before it carefully puts itself down on the stack of scrolls the chair apparently houses beneath it's hollow interior.
"Let me see, here..."
She draws a circle in the air, with her fingers, and then "pushes" the circle towards you. You feel something akin to water splashing over you, only without the feeling of actually being wet, afterwards.
She looks at the scroll, and she raises an eyebrow when the scroll starts growing...
and growing.
And growing!
(cont)
>>
Before long, the scroll reaches the ground, and the archmage has started giggling. In that sort of "I can't believe this is happening" sort of manner. It's a very high-pitched laugh, you notice, and there's a certain cadence to it that makes your hair stand on end.
"My goodness! What a spell!" She says, when the scroll finally stops.
"This... This is indeed quite the curse, my good ser knight!" She says, her tone having switched from icy and to-the-point to much more excited. "My goodness, this curse actually solves several problems that others have struggled with trying to create a similar "curse". In those cases, it was for medical purposes... and in one case for sexual one, but we don't talk about him."
Okay, oversharing a little bit, there. She keeps talking, hopping out of her chair and revealing just how short she really is. Matter of fact, she looks... impossibly young. As if she couldn't be older than 16, really. Her mannerisms don't quite match her visual age, but... It's uncanny, when you notice it. The rest of the room remains quiet, for now, the kobolts being in awe of the room, Paracelsus just staring at the mage in an unimpressed manner, and William staring at the magic scroll like it's about to tear his face off.
Everybody's in one of the comfortable chairs, however.
"Hmm... Hmmm!! Yes! I've decided, ser knight! Rather than paying me, I have this proposal. You allow me to study you, and I'll remove the curse from you free of charge! I'll... only need a few days. Two days, I think! In the meantime, you and your friends can remain here. Don't worry about anything you left in my hamlet... Two days in here is but eight hours for the rest of the world!"

Oh, that's... useful?
"So, everybody will be housed?"
"Of course! I've got some things to look over on some of them, anyhow. Your pink slave, for instance. She's got the taint of magic on her, but she seems to be quite sane. How old is she, I wonder?" She says, but Pink quickly shouts the answer:
"I'm two hundred and sixteen years old!!"
This makes archmage Ogg clap her hands excitedly:
"Ohh~delightful! Yes! I'll just want to research this post-haste. Copy the spell, change some parameters around, and soon... ohh, this will be good!"

...You're not too sure about her researching this spell,though! Copying it... that could be disastrous.
Do you... complain?

>No. Just let her do her thing, it'll let you get yourself cured for free, right?

>Insist that the curse is far too dangerous to be copied! You'll pay whatever she needs!

>Breathe fire on the crazy bitch before she makes things worse! Quickly, you ape!
>>
>>5238380

> "Not a slave. Follows of her own will."
that said.
>No. Just let her do her thing, it'll let you get yourself cured for free, right?

I'm sure there's SOMETHING that's gonna go cockeyed from this but I can't think what exactly.
>>
>>5238380
>>No. Just let her do her thing, it'll let you get yourself cured for free, right?
Her magic scroll surely details the mental issues associated with the curse right? Perhaps bring them up just to be sure. As a wizard (witch?) she surely knows how to make us of the "solved" parts of the curse, just make sure she's aware of the invasive lizard brain parasite.
>>
>>5238380
>No. Just let her do her thing, it'll let you get yourself cured for free, right?
Also I'm not sure we could really stop her if we wanted to. She's a powerful mage in the middle of her personal fortress.
Though I would also ask
>Can you slow or remove the mind parasite right now?
>>
>>5238380
>consult paracelcus like the last time we had studies done
>>
>>5238450
Supporting this.

>>5238383
But my instinct is this, if Paracelsus has no objections.

Definitely mention that Pink is no slave. It's only right, and will annoy Dreygaun besides.

>>5238380
>>
>>5238380
>Insist that the curse is far too dangerous to be copied! You'll pay whatever she needs!
Pink is not a slave, but you would need to ask for her permission. This examination won't hurt her will it?
Guys we really shouldn't let anyone have this. We best let the curse lay dead forever than let it transmit through experiments.

>>5238450
+1
>>
>>5238557
We have no reason to think that Archmage Ogg will spread it around willy-nilly, or use it for any sinister purpose.
>>
>>5238380
>before I can agree to the study or copying of this curse, I have some concerns I want to address, first any examination or study done on any member of my group has to be done with there consent and I want your binding word that it will do no harm to them, Second I would like to know what you plan to do with a copy of this curse and how something of this nature could do any good, having experienced the temptation and corruption of this curse you can understand why I would be hesitant to allow its reproduction, as deeply as I want to be cured I am still a knight and my first duty is to the people to protect others before myself. So I hope you can understand my concerns and that through this dialogue redress them.

you guys know I have been pounding the ground for the cure, but there is a price to high and her getting a copy of the curse maybe it. I am willing to hear out her reasoning, but not blindly agree. I meant it when I said that reynolds first duty is to the people and would we be protecting the innocent by allowing this curse to be copied? I think not at least not without understanding the why of her request.
>>
>>5238636
with a curse of this caliber it's better to be safe than sorry, before we agree blindly I think it is reason able to ask her why she wants a copy and what she plans to do with it.
>>
>>5238760
Supporting the obvious best course of action
>>
>>5238760
Long winded but it covers the bases
>>
>>5238380
>Insist that the curse is far too dangerous to be copied! You'll pay whatever she needs!
>>
>>5238870
You mean through and thoughtful
>>
>>5238380
>>No. Just let her do her thing, it'll let you get yourself cured for free, right?
Maybe ask her to please be careful and whatnot, since it is a very poweful curse that is apparently better than similar curses she's dealt with before and might have a dead man's trigger.
But ultimately we can't be too snippy about it, she has all the power here unless we want to have a barbecue, and then she still has all the power but we might be able to pull off MAD. Pointing out that Pink isn't a slave and asking if Celsie can sit in should be fine though.
>>
people we lose nothing by asking follow questions, literally nothing. but do you know what we do lose if we blindly agree? the ability to say we did everything we could to ensure this power does not fall into the wrong hands. I am not saying to deny her a copy I am simply asking to get a solid reasoning as to why she needs it and why she is trustworthy enough to have it.
>>
>>5239106
Calm thyself.
>>
>>5239106
>"Guys, please, be polite to the archmage, we don't want to insult her."
>5 minutes later
>"Hey, are you sure we can trust you with this ultra dangerous curse?"
The only reason I'm not saying no to that is because it's so in-character for Reynauld.
>>
>>5239140
that greentext is a strawman and you know it. there is a marked difference in antagonizing the mage and asking reasonable follow up questions to the statement oh yeah I'll do this for free as long as I get to copy the curse.

>>5239116
I'm cool as a cucumber anon
>>
"...I agree, but I do have some requests. Nobody here is my slave, they're here of their own free will. I know that's hard to believe when they're kobolts, but it's the whole truth. Is regards to that, I would ask that you... don't do anything they don't consent to."
Ogg smiles, politely, and then agrees. Her voice is softer than before, you notice.
"Of course, ser knight. I'll ask, first. Anything else?"
"...Would it be possible for you to remove that parasite in my mind right now? The... sort of representative of the curse."
The archmage strokes her chin for a moment, thinking as she looks at the scroll, but then she shakes her head:
"Not without a lobotomy, no. If I understand the curse right, however, it's hardly anything that stands on its own. It's pretty much just your inner thoughts, the part of you that wants to be big and strong. The more it aligns to you, the smarter and more underhanded it would be... The fact you refer to it as a parasite is likely a good indication."
If you're understanding this right, you're about to be very, very amused:
"So..." You begin to say, but the archmage quickly put it in layman's terms:
"It's stupid, because you don't want to be a dragon."

A giggle comes from the kobolts... and William.
Well, that's good to hear, you suppose. But there's one more question:
"What would you want to do with a copy of this curse? Having suffered through it, I'd say it's very hard to imagine any good coming out of it."

The archmage... leans back in her chair, at that question. She's trying to think of a good reasoning behind it, but eventually, she settles on this:
"Right. Well... There are a few elements to keep in mind. Many people would love to be something that they're not, of course, that's the obvious course of action, but the main thing that comes to mind here is this... Are you aware that you're immortal? Or... at least, you won't die of old age?"
"As a giant firebreathing lizard? Not exactly keen on that little caveat."
"Well, dragons aren't too good at timescaling. It looks like it would take about a century before you'd be a full-on dragon. Not to mention, even when I cure you, I'm thinking that longevity is here to stay. I... can't quite wring that part loose from a transformative curse, but if I can think of something... you understand the value, yes?"

What.
>>
Your mind kind of skips over the immortality bit to move on to the dragon part:
"A century. A full one-hundred years? Truly?"
"Indeed. I don't know if you've had visual encounters yet with this... well, the package attached to it according to the scroll shows it's designated itself as Dreygaun."
You're not happy to say it, but:
"I've seen it, yes. It's... quite proud of its looks, yes. Big, scaled, large wings... long neck. What you'd about expect for a dragon and human mix."
"That would take about a year or two to come to fruition, I'd say... maybe more. I... believe I remove the automatic conversion process, however. So it would be completely up to you... Anytime you do something that it could use, you'll transform a little more. Of course, it might make the changes more... intense, whenever they happen. It's a decision. A slow constant trickle and relatively minor adjustments when giving in, or no trickle, but major adjustments when you do something it likes. "
Well... that's indeed quite the choice.
"Well, you'll be curing me soon, yes?"
"Of course! But in case it takes me too long, it might be interesting to consider. After all... you've got time. Unlike most of us."

Well...
You're not sure it makes a big difference for you, the immortality thing.
You weren't exactly going to die of old age.

But, back to the point:
"Well, with all that in mind, I suppose that's everything. I..."
Then suddenly, you are pulled closer to the archmage. Your chair moved under your feet, and going from standstill to a high speed leaves you reeling... and you feel as though you slammed into a wall as that same force prevents you from smacking into archmage Ogg.
"You WILL say yes, of course?" She says, clasping your hand and suddenly sounding a lot less... calm. There's a shake to her words, as if she's terrified of something, and you hesitate for a moment before saying:
"O-of course!? What's gotten into you?" You ask, concerned for the lady's well-being, but as soon as you agree, your chair moves back... more gently, this time.
"..Good. Good. I want everybody to leave my study, immediately. I'm starting now, and I do not wish for any distractions."

Paracelsus sniffs, and says:
"Please... I'm Reynauld's personal physician."
"And lover, I'd assume." Archmage Ogg says, rolling her eyes. "You can rest assured nothing will happen to him."
Paracelsus turns red for a moment... Though whether it be because she's angry or flustered, you're not certain.
"I'd rather insist that I remain here for study." Paracelsus says... Slowly. She's actively holding back an angry comment, you can tell. Ogg looks at her for a moment... and sighs:
"Ahh, fine. You decided to be polite, despite what you had planned. You can stay, but don't make a sound. The other servants can leave."
The kobolts and Anna all hop off their chairs when you nod, but then...

The worst possible thing happens:
>>
"I'm no servant! I'm a squire! I'm not one of these... P-people."
There is a moment where the whole room angrily stares at him. Except for the archmage, who instead smirks at him.
"Uppity, isn't he? Especially for being a former bandit... His mind isn't nearly as prepared as the rest of you, you know. It's like an open book."
Paracelsus turns pale for a moment.
"You... you read our minds!?"
"You gave your minds to me when you entered. But don't worry, I've got no more than surface level thoughts on most."

This is turning a little disturbing... But, then again.
An archmage does as they please, unfortunately. She's at least sane, and you suspect the potential immortality has archmage Ogg bewitched, somewhat. She seems to realize that she's coming across as crazy, at least:
"....Wait. I... I realize I'm coming across as... rather uncouth. I'm sorry, it's just... I haven't had a new avenue for longevity in such a long while. Time dilation has let me keep my looks, but it leaves me feeling... stretched, somewhat. So... I'm perhaps more excited than I've been in a few decades."
You blink twice, but just as you're about to speak, she keeps talking:
"It's not an excuse, merely my reason. I won't be peeking in anybody's mind any more. Please understand, it lets me catch potential witchhunters, as well."

Well, that much you can understand. The crusades had quite a few of those around, and they're...
Rather zealous.

After that... you tell the others to leave, except for Paracelsus, who takes out her notes and a pen, preparing to write.
It's hard to say WHAT, exactly, happened for the next few hours. Mostly, it involved you being mostly naked and on a (mercifully warm) slab of stone that the crystal golems brought into the room. Then, lots of sigils, magic symbols, Ogg talking out loud so both an floating pen and Paracelsus can write things down...
Eventually, Ogg asks that you maybe try to talk to somebody about something. She needs your mind occupied, at least somewhat, as excessive boredom might throw off some calculations about your brain.

Fortunately, Paracelsus is here, so you can talk to a friend if you have nothing for Ogg.

>To Paracelsus: ...Pardon for asking, but did Ogg get that "lover" idea out of your head?

>To Paracelsus: So how are those notes coming along?

>To Paracelsus: I think you'd get along with the archmage, if you bothered.

>To Ogg: How old are you, exactly?

>To Ogg: I apologize for William. I don't know what he's doing, but I'm sure I have to apologize right now.

>To Ogg: would you be able to help the goblin in our party? Her face has been torn, and the flesh was then burnt shut.
>>
>>5239170
>To Ogg: would you be able to help the goblin in our party? Her face has been torn, and the flesh was then burnt shut.

I do not like this archmage.
>>
>>5239170

>>To Ogg: would you be able to help the goblin in our party? Her face has been torn, and the flesh was then burnt shut.

>To Ogg: I apologize for William. I don't know what he's doing, but I'm sure I have to apologize right now.

>To Paracelsus: So how are those notes coming along?

>To Paracelsus: ...Pardon for asking, but did Ogg get that "lover" idea out of your head?

in this order saving the fun wammy for last hehehe
>>
>>5239174
>I do not like this archmage.

and this, is why we ask follow up questions
>>
>>5239170
>To Ogg: would you be able to help the goblin in our party? Her face has been torn, and the flesh was then burnt shut.
It's worth a shot, right?

Also, since Ogg can read Reynauld's thoughts, does that mean she can hear us?
>>
>>5239189
Supporting.
>>
>>5239189
+1
>>
>>5239189
Sure, backing.

And the archmage seems fine. Just bad with communication a little. Honestly, I expected far far worse.
>>
>>5239189
This, but I'd save the asking for a moment where Archimage leave the room or something
>>
>>5239170
>To Ogg: I apologize for William. I don't know what he's doing, but I'm sure I have to apologize right now.

>To Ogg: would you be able to help the goblin in our party? Her face has been torn, and the flesh was then burnt shut.
So....we're still getting cured, but we're gonna turn into a full dragon in roughly a century, without the mental hangups of a dragon?
>>
>>5239271
I'll nip the misconception in the bud:
Reynauld is immortal by default, now. The dragon curse itself needs a full century to actually turn Reynauld into a dragon. This seemed reasonable to the dragon you killed at the time, because a century isn't that long when you're immortal, right?
It takes far less time to turn into an anthropomorphic dragon, however, which is still something to look out for.
So, the cure will fix the transforming part. You're stuck with the immortality.
>>
>>5239274
Is the curse panicking yet? I wish to taste its tears.
.....aaaanything we can do to still become that anthropomorphic dragon? I crave a bigger sword.
>>
>>5239170
>To Paracelsus: So how are those notes coming along?
>To Paracelsus: ...Pardon for asking, but did Ogg get that "lover" idea out of your head?
>>5239274
>You're stuck with the immortality.
Ah well, as our dear protagonist pointed out his occupation might limit that.
>>5239307
Im sure we can keep the musclemass without the scales.
>>
>>5239274
thanks for the clarification
>>
>>5239189
Supporting. I am curious about all of these responses.

>>5239170
>>
>>5239170
Wait, are we Reynauld thoughts?
Can the arc mage hear "Us"?
Can she hear the curse since it apparently lives in our brain?
>>
>>5239189
I wouldn't talk about the lover part in public man, save that for later my guys. Everything else? I'm down
>>
>>5239467
But her reaction will be funny. We can whisper it?

But fine, let's hold off. I'll remove that part from my vote.

Original vote: >>5239430
>>
>>5239464
Reynauld's mind is like a steel trap, she doesn't get much.
He hunted his own fair share of witches during the crusades, though that was war rather than religious zealotry.

Also, i'm afraid your voices aren't real in this world.
>>
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Immortal Reynauld sounds great but Sara and the gang aren't, and if he doesn't plan on living to a ripe old age, what's the point of any of it when he'll just outlive everyone he cares about...

>>5239464
Ooh, meta...
>>
>>5239479
Reynauld has a bit of a death wish, yeah, but there's no reason he can't work through that and settle down with his kobold knights. And Sarah... Well, it'll suck to outlive Doc Paracelsus, but we have more to live for than a waifu. We can right wrongs, teach good values, shelter and rehabilitate outcasts... Dick down Pink.
>>
>>5239476
>i'm afraid your voices aren't real in this world.
thank god, didn't want to share space with the curse.

>>5239467
+1
reasonable
>>
>>5239479
While it's not exactly the same people outlive pets all the time. Just because you know you're not going to be with someone/thing you love for your entire life doesn't somehow invalidate the love you feel or prevent you from moving on to the next once the inevitable happens.
Outliving people will suck buy I don't see why it has to destroy us.
>>
>>5239467
as the anon who posted the option I support this
>>
>>5239479
Immortaility is a blessing and a curse. He shouldn't kill himself because he's sad all his friends eventually die, but he shouldn't stop what he's doing. There's always new friends to be made.

>>5239170
Can Ogg take a loot at Teensy? She drank an off colored healing potion, and we want to make absolutely sure she is okay.
>>
>>5239476
>Also, i'm afraid your voices aren't real in this world.
Would have been pretty funny if they were and lady Ogg just thought Reynauld was a little bit schizo.
>>
>>5239476
Well, that's a bummer. I was hoping for some fourth wall-breaking meta jokes, but I understand the reasons not to do that.
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>>5240050
Dude the most anons are in Reynaulds head are little impulsive thoughts that carry no weight
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>>5240235
I'd say they carry great weight, considering they influence Reynauld's decisions. And fleeting surface thoughts like what you're describing should be easily readable by Lady Ogg.
>>
"In that case, Let me ask a few questions to you, if you don't mind."
"Of course."
"You've seen the goblin in our party, yes? Her face has been mutilated by religious zealots, from back when she was a lycanthrope. As a result, she's been... trying to deal with it. Could you help her with that?"
"Hmm..."
She takes a moment to open up another glyph, and you notice her book writing things down with a quickened pace for a moment... And then she settles on an answer:
"I... suspect I might be able to. It won't be hard, and as I'm not much of a sculpter, it's unlikely to still resemble her old face. Is she fine with that? A completely new face, not at all like how she once was?"
...You'd assume so, but you'd prefer to ask, obviously.
"I'll have to ask her, I suppose". You say, and then you ask a more important question:
"How much would this cost?"
"She has precious little to offer me in magical studies, so I'm afraid I'll have to ask for money. I'm offering a rather unique service, but it doesn't take me too long... I'll need a hundred rosarians."

Perfect. You should still have that amongst the party, thanks to the trip with Oldfield. Of course, you'd have to ask somebody to give up their share, but... Well, you're sure they can live with it. Again, it comes down to consent.
Well, on to the next:
"I'd like to apologize for William... Ahead of time. The boy isn't very smart."
Archmage Ogg nods, accepting that this is sort of a fact of life. Then, she starts explaining more:
"I noticed. He does mean well, if nothing else. He respects you very much, but he speaks too fast... And he really dislikes kobolts. Ironically, because of his respect to you. He fears being put equal to a servant race... Heh."
The archmage laughs a bit. You don't see the humor in it.
"He could do with abandoning that level of pride, really. It's rather unbecoming."
"Or, at least, he could try to be more reasonable to his surroundings." Paracelsus adds, not impressed by William.
Considering she still calls him "Bait", you figured that she wasn't exactly a fan.

Well, alright then:
"How are those notes coming along, Paracelsus?"
"They're coming along very well. Lucky for me, plenty of the stuff shown here has appeared in some of my old rune-reading classes. "
"From Oileano, are you? They don't teach that in this country." Ogg adds.
Paracelsus shuffles uncomfortably at having been caught like that. After a moment, she snaps back:
"Yes, I suppose you figured me out. Good job. Any more wonderful ways you're going to cheat information out of me!?"
"Paracelsus..." You say, resisting the urge to rise up to tell her off a little bit, but Ogg merely grins.

"Oh, I'm not cheating anything, my dearest Luddite. You know, I'm sure you could try being a mage. It's just a matter of willpower to not go crazy, after all, and you seem to think very highly of yourself!"
The atmosphere is turning hostile. And you're wondering what the hell a Luddite is.
(cont)
>>
Trying to distract the conversation, you ask:
"What would be a Luddite?"
"Ludd... An old mythical figure from very long ago. It was a mighty warrior that saw the creation of gunpowder as an affront to what he did. So he did whatever he could, along with some followers, to stop it in its tracks wherever it might spread. The story changes what he was fighting against quite often, but it comes down to this: He was a man stubbornly set into remaining in the past, refusing any advancements, just so he could retain his own power. Hence... Luddite, for out dear alchemist."
This... did not help the hostile air.
"You little... No. No! I'm not going to get mad at you. But for your information, as an alchemist we make all out tools available for the public. We don't request people to catch mana poisoning if they wish to survive an infection, you see."
"Again... It's all about willpower. If you simply *dared*, you'd be a fine mage, I bet. Or perhaps not, but I'd consider it proof you didn't know what you were talking about."

...Ogg is clearly trying to get on Paracelsus' nerves, but she just leans back in her chair, instead. You're also out of patience for it:
"I was thinking to just start a conversation here. If you ladies want to bicker, instead, I could just bloody leave."
They both cry out "no!" at the same time, and then glare at eachother for doing so.
"...Fine. Fine. I'm sorry. I just detected some rather mean thoughts about me when she entered. She'd hard to read... but that part was easy."
"What, you'll attack me for a thought crime!? You're no saint to my profession either!"

There's another pause... but Ogg seems to understand. For a moment, she seems to turn almost demure.
"I... you're right. I apologize, sincerely. I'm just... easily annoyed, recently, I suppose. For personal reasons, I should add. Now, uh... do you have anything else to ask."
It's here you decide to make a mistake.
"Paracelsus? Was the lover comment Ogg made from your thoughts, or was it merely a-"
Paracelsus stops you. While her voice is tense and quick, she remains calm... And if it wasn't for the fact that her face isn't covered, you would have never guessed that she's turning beetred as she talks.
"Yes. Obviously I've grown very fond of you... and I figured you returned the thought. You did call me pretty on the night I got drunk, and we've both seen eachother... in detail. So, yes, I do fancy you in that sense. I understand if you don't want to move further than that, but I like the way you look and act, and I'll assume you return that... opinion."

She huffs.
The archmage doesn't say anything, nor does she even look at the two of you. She's deeply engrossed in her work.
...You might have turned the silence deafening.

>I do think you're pretty, yes. But I'm not ready for a relationship

>...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.

>I do think you're pretty, but I don't think we're much of a match

>...This tapesty is nice.
>>
>>5240358
>>...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.
>However, I want to take things slowly
>>
>>5240358
>...This tapestry is nice.
>then whisper: "But you're much nicer to looks, and your mind even more intricate."

Come on, we can confess better than THAT.
>>
>>5240358
>>...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.
>>
>>5240411
Probably, but it is honest.
>>
>>5240358
>>...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.
>>
>>5240358
>>I'm sorry, for being so tackless need a troll failed I am your man, slay a dragon no problem, but when it comes to the intimate social cues well being a wandering knight who has spent much of that time alone and I am lacking. So please know I am being honest when I say If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.


>pinkfags on lifesupport
>>
>>5240358
>I do think you're pretty, yes. But I'm not ready for a relationship
>pretty lady is too scary for confession
>also like pink
>>
>>5240358
>...This tapesty is nice.
Gosh, lady, way to put a guy on the spot.

I guess it's a good thing that we're not actually real in-universe. I don't even want to imagine what would happen if Lady Ogg was to just casually mention "Reynauld's" attraction to Pink.
>>
>>5240358
>>...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.
Go for it! We might have to take things slowly but that's okay. Plus that might give her the push she needs to become a mage, so she can stay with us longer.
>>
>>5240481
>wanting her to risk magical madness and to betray her principles to be with us longer
>After we risked so, so much to avoid that fate ourselves

Anon...
>>
>>5240485
Just putting it out there as an option. Her medical advances are still better in a lot of ways because she can teach them to other people, but learning how to use magic would potentially be able to improve her research potential if she had all the time in the world, and could examine your guts without having to cut you open first. She got in trouble for that. It's definitely a conversation for a different day.
>>
>>5240358
>I apologize. Not that I find you attractive in mind, body, and spirit, that is. Moreso that I'm so lacking in the social graces these days. That is to say...if you'll have me, then you may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.
>>
>>5240358
>I do think you're pretty, yes. But I'm not ready for a relationship


>I'm sorry I only desire pink thighs
>>
>>5240411
+1

>>5240474
we put her on the spot first
>>
>>5240575
Yeah, I am aware. The hypocrisy makes it funny.
>>
>>5240358
>team Pink!
>>
>>5240358
>...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.

Pinkfags btfo
>>
>>5240358
>...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.

this is so stupid.
why did he had ask?
>>
>>5240358
>>...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively.
best girl coming through
>>
>>5241169
Spine decided he was Team 'I wanna say that in public' rather then Team 'a Knight is tactful enough to wait'. But strange but we've established Reynauld is not a social butterfly, so it's not too out of nowhere.
>>
"...If you'll have me. You may consider this is a confession from me, as well. Tentatively."
Somehow, despite her ever so polite tone, she finds a way to turn even redder. It's more akin to purple, at this point, and she takes a shuddering breath.
"...Very well. Then I suppose, with this, we are officially... An..."
She covers her face with her noteblock, and Ogg decides to rescue your dumb ass.
"I appreciate your attempt to distract the conversation with something a little more shocking. But I have to admit this is very cute."
You don't say anything, you assume "it seemed like a good idea at the time" is kind of inherent.
"At any rate, I'll leave you to catch up later, I'm almost finished writing down the basics, and then we're taking a short break. I'm actually ahead of schedule here... I have to say, the dragon you murdered must have been a genius when it comes to magic, this is absolutely wonderfully written. I was expecting spaghetti code, to be honest, but every last bit here is well thought out, re-uses whatever it can... Even using the victim's own thoughts to create the Magical Intelligence instead of making one from scratch is hard to imagine, but so well thought out."

She takes a breath, and cheerfully tells you this:
"The only issue with it is the dragon mindset! They don't consider years to be that very long, and they were so proud that they assumed you'd love to be a dragon. The revenge still comes from you being unlike yourself, of course... Dragons are rather attached to their individuality, which is what the dragon was trying to remove from you."
Seems that Ogg is reading a lot into this. Still, Krazinkos being a wizkid at magic is something you've heard before, at this point.
Why could you just get a regular curse. Something that just makes you rot or something. That'd just be painful, and easily cleansed. Instead you have to struggle to retain your humanity, which is harder.
...Though, you do wonder.
Why DID you ask the lover question out loud? It was just a surface level thought of yours, you're not one for blurting it out like that. You're glad Paracelsus agrees with it, but it could and possible SHOULD have gone much worse.
Strange.

At any rate, Ogg wasn't lying. Just a few more moments, which were spent in silence, and you can redress yourself and go through the castle as she figures the information out. Of course, you are instantly sent somewhere:
"You were right to apologize about William, by the way. He's currently trying to make your pet mimic cough up one of my candelabras, and all that's done is ruin some curtains... The creature can keep the candelabra, but I'd prefer if he could hang up those curtains again."
Your palm and your face have their fated meeting, and you apologize again before making your way there, Paracelsus hot on your heels.

You find William being more than halfway inside the mimic, only his legs sticking out, while the mimic sways from left to right.
Seems the teeth are retractable.
>>
>Watch William for a moment.
You want to see if he's stuck, or if he'll actually manage to retrieve the candelabra.

>Pull William out.
He's stuck, obviously.

>Look around for your kobolts, and see if they wouldn't have a better idea.
This involves "treasure", in the sense. Maybe they have some idea on how to handle Chester better than William does
>>
>>5241345
>Pull William out.
>>
>>5241345
>Look around for your kobolts, and see if they wouldn't have a better idea.
Maybe being saved by the kobolts (again?) will finally teach him some humility.

...right?
>>
>>5241345
All three really, this bout of silliness requires more hands in case we fall in the Mimic.
>>
>>5241345
>Watch William for a moment.
give the boy a chance
>>
>Watch William for a moment.
You want to see if he's stuck, or if he'll actually manage to retrieve the candelabra.

But if he proves incompetent,
>Look around for your kobolts, and see if they wouldn't have a better idea.
This involves "treasure", in the sense. Maybe they have some idea on how to handle Chester better than William does
>>
>>5241345
>>Watch William for a moment.
>>
>>5241345
>Watch William for a moment.
>>
>>5241345
>>Watch William for a moment.

got to make sure he is ok or if we need to help him
>>
>>5241345
>Pull William out.
Willow for the love of The Light never do that again. We dont know Chester's temperament fully, but I'm thankful you're to dead. I hope you dont make this a habit to willingly climb into the mouths of mimics.
Give Chester some skritches for being such a well behaved lad.
>>
>>5241345
>Watch William for a moment.
>>
>>5241345
>>Watch William for a moment.
>You want to see if he's stuck, or if he'll actually manage to retrieve the candelabra.
We have to let the boy learn how to fix his own mistakes of he's ever going to grow. We can keep an eye on him while we hang the curtains
>>
>>5241344
I've been reading your raider and spider quest, and I finished the spider quest a week back. Currently on Ch. 12 on chocolate Latina raider queen quest, and I gotta say I'm liking it.
>>
You decide to just... hang back and wait. The noises are amusing, if nothing else, and it's clear Chester is having the time of his life, constantly making those hinge noises and moving its stubble little legs around .It's about four minutes in that you are getting worried, but considering William's legs are still kicking, he's not quite unconscious...
Then, all at once, he bends his legs, pushing himself out of Chester's mouth, and he falls back on the floor, covered head to toe in incredibly viscous slobber... He takes a moment come to his senses, and then he wipes the goop off his face... and raises the candelabra into the air, while screaming:
"I GOT IT! I GOT IT YOU LITTLE SHITS, I TOLD YOU I COULD DO IT!! HAHAAAAAA!"
"Language." You say, which is how he notices you were here. Startled, he kicks his legs around, before he bounces up and backs away from you.
...

"C-chester took the candelabra and h-he was daring me to take it. I was inside his little, uh... stomach, I guess? Well, I guess it's not really *little*, it's like a whole room, but I had to dig through some crap to get the candelabra. But I got it! It's saved!"
He proudly places it on the table... And then flinches when he notices the amount of slobber he's getting on that lovely table. Well, all the same...
"Well. Good job. I'm impressed." You say, nodding. You actually didn't expect him to manage that. The other thing you didn't expect is when he kneels down next to Chester and pats the little chest.
"You're a naughty little boy, aren't you Chester? Yes you are! Yes you are! You're a horrible little boy!" He says, while cooing and entertaining the dog-like treasure chest. Apparently...
William made an actual friend. Chester seems to return the affection as well, and nuzzles up against the lanky man.

Cute.
Well... You suppose now you've got a bit of the day free. It's... hard to say what time it is, really, as it looks to be a little bit past noon outside, but you can certainly feel that you just kind of... had to sit on a stone slab for several hours. You kind of napped halfway through it, and then moved on to meditation when you woke up, which is something you picked up during the crusades when prayer stopped working for a lot of people. It's good for stress relief.

Anyway, you have a little bit of off time before you will be called back. Or perhaps sleep?
Hmm.
You kind of just slept, and time is still funky here.
What do you do in this house of magical mysteries?

>Nothing much. Let's just skip to the part where the archmage does more magic stuff

>Talk to archmage Ogg about... something
You can think of something interesting, no doubt?

>Talk to Paracelsus.
There are things that might need talking about. But you'd better lead the conversation on this one.

>Suplex William to make sure he doesn't get too big for his britches with this "succeeding at something" stuff.
Don't actually pick this.
>>
>>5242731
Just a guy and his chest.
>Talk to Paracelsus.
>Make sure William and Chester don't get into highjinxs with the Bolds
I can smell a Tom and Jerry moment right in the middle of our heart to heart.
>>
>>5242731
>>Talk to Paracelsus.
>There are things that might need talking about. But you'd better lead the conversation on this one.
"What can you teach me about anatomy?"
(Just kidding. But not really. I'm just going to coat what i actually want in a razor thin, transparent layer of irony so I don't have to take ownership of it.)
>>
>>5242731
>>Talk to Paracelsus.
>>
>>5242788
support
>>
>>5242731
>>Talk to Paracelsus.
what are your plans? where do we go from here?
>>
>>5242731
>Talk to Paracelsus.
>>
>>5242731
>talk to Anna
Make sure she's on the up and up about the option presented to her

>talk to the new kobolts
See how well they're integrating into the group
>>
>>5242731

>>5242851
Supporting this.

>>5242811
And this.

Also:
>lanky man
MAN? How old is William, actually? I think I've been imagining him younger than he actually is.
>>
>>5242731
>Talk to Paracelsus
First of all, can we find somewhere more private than the middle of a random hallway? Wouldn't want to get a serious talk interrupted by random kobolt shenanigans.
Reynauld has somehow managed to pick up 14 (fourteen!) wards that he will have to take care of once the curse is taken care of. If Paracelcus isn't willing to stick around for that, now is the time to back out.
Also, she has her own goals and dreams (the tuberculosis cure being a big one), and staying with the group might not give her the space to pursue them.
Not to mention, she's seen the kind of life Reynauld leads. There's a very good chance she may get hurt or see someone else get hurt.
No, of course I'm not fishing for a way to weasel out, I'm just, uh.. worried.

How experienced is Reynauld with courtship and dating, anyway? I assume it is largely unfamiliar territory for him, in which case he's probably terrified, but who knows what he did during either his early years or the crusades.
>>
>>5242851
Plas hwan
>>
>>5242731
>Talk to Paracelsus

>Then let's talk to our Goblin friend, Anna. We haven't had a good ol fashioned conversation with her in a while, but also about possible face fixings, if she is so inclined
>>
After congratulating William, you ask Paracelsus to please follow you to a more private room... As there's likely a few things to go over. She seems to agree, though she does so silently. If she wasn't following you, you'd assume she didn't want to, guessing from her very stern expression. As soon as you enter your assigned room, however, she permits herself to release a breath she was apparently holding in.

You turn around to her, and... Well, there's a few things to consider. Things that you should bring up now, only it's hard to talk when powerful hands suddenly wrap themselves around your neck, and Paracelsus begins to kiss you. Liplocked, at first, but soon there is some tongue involved. To your displeasure, soon find out that your tongue is longer than before, though guessing from how intensely Sarah continues to kiss you, it's not a problem for her.

Then she releases herself from you, gasping for air... Before grinning.
"You taste spicy."
You reply eloquently with "ahrmuub?"
As collected as your thoughts seemed during the kiss, it seems that your brain is perhaps just a tad fried. You shake your head, and then take a breath:
"Okay! Pleasant as that was, we need to talk about some things, if this really is getting serious. You need to consider... I have 14 wards i need to take care of, that won't change. Not to mention that I won't be an ideal test subject for you any longer. With that in mind..."
Paracelsus smiles.
"At this point, the adventure is half the reason I'm staying. I'm done with the guilds and their studies, and I'd say it's high time i do some field work!"
Well, you suppose those bridges were burnt, but...
"What about your cure for congestion? I'm not sure you'll have the time or resources for it on the road."
"We have a cart, and we can stop at any town that doesn't irrationally hate kobolts. Speaking of: fine research assistants, all of them. Immune to a lot of human diseases, besides, so that's ideal."

She's... Making this too easy for you. You already know that staying with you will slow down her research, and that things won't be peachy, exactly. You move to the final point.

"You've seen the life i lead. People will get hurt. Me, you, everything we have with us... It can all get hurt or even killed."
She just looks around for a while, as if looking for something, before she looks down. She runs her hands over her cloak, and then had an uncharacteristically cheeky smile:
"Oh look! I found a doctor! It's me!"

...she seems to be pretty set on this, you suppose. You have to admit you're glad, and the smile you give her makes it clear to her, as well.

>Anything else to add?
>>
>>5243656
>...Sorry. I'm just not used to things going this smoothly. But it's pleasant, for once.
>>
>>5243656
>"Oh look! I found a doctor! It's me!"
Team Pink here. I'll always like Pink more, but I will admit that was really fucking cute.

So her cure on congestion or that disease, perhaps she needs finer tools and facilities. Anything to add to the shopping list?

Spine will Reynauld keep growing in the two days hes staying here?
>>
>>5243666
Support.
>>
>>5243666
support
>>
>>5243656
>Anything else you would want to tell me before we resume where we just left?
>>
>>5243656

>>5243666
Support, this went way better than expected. There's not much to add, and more than enough time to just, you know, hang out. The house of magical mysteries can surely wait a day.
>>
>>5243656
>congestion

She better get mad at him for forgetting it's called consumption.
>>
This is why Reynauld wears the helmet.
>>
>>5243666
Big support for mister Satan over here
>>
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858 KB
858 KB .gif
>>5243666
+1
>>
You just look at her for a moment… and then take in a breath to speak, only to get stuck. A little bit later, you take in another breath, and this time, you succeed.
“I’m not used to thing’s going so smoothly, sorry. It’s very pleasant, though.”
“Good! Now, let me put in some ground rules. We’re not going to have sex until I- let me rephrase that, we both actually want to. We’re not rushing into this. But I do keep the right to snog you from time to time.”
“What does snogging mean?”
“It’s, uh…”
She blushes a tiny bit.

“It’s slang from the pidgin-language between mine and yours. I speak properly, yes, but… Well, I got distracted and forgot the word for, uh… extensive kissing. The one with the, uh… You know. Kissing but with passion!” She says, visibly frustrated at forgetting the word.
“Making out?” You eventually guess, and that makes her snap her fingers:
“YES! That’s the one. Good job.” She says, patting you on the shoulder.
“I never saw you lose a word before.”
“I… try not to. I’d prefer if people would never guess I was a foreigner. Makes things easier.”

…then, there’s a bit of an awkward pause. Neither of you know what to say, for a moment. Then, a little bit later, Paracelsus knows just what to say.
“Strip down. I should look you over myself, see if the wizard left any marks on you I should note.”
Ah, of course. The logical progression of events after saying no funny business. A medical examination.
It’s by the numbers, however. Very professional.

“...hmm. Flex your bicep for me?” Paracelsus asks, keeping her measuring lint at the ready. You do as she asks, and she clicks her tongue in response:
“Still getting bigger, I suppose. Not by much, of course, hell, if I wasn’t measuring you constantly nobody would ever notice the difference!”
She rolls up the tape.
“Other than that, nothing too major… other than you expelling a little more magic than usual. My guess? Your inner dragon is starting to panic. It’s not enough to be a danger, by all accounts, unless somebody has liver problems. Our bodies can filter out what is being expelled naturally.”

Huh.
“That’s what my liver does?”
“It’s your detoxer, yes. Magic is a toxin, so it filters it. It can’t handle too much, of course, but it’s the reason one can stand in a magical area without going insane.”
Noted…
>>
Well, after that, you just spend the day relaxing a bit. You end up fishing in a pond that Ogg is keeping. You release the fish again afterwards, of course, and it’s a relaxing way to spend the time. Anna also visits you a little later, looking… troubled.
“Heya, Reynauld.” She says, and you quietly hand her a second fishing rod.
“Hello Anna.”
“...So Ogg talked to me about healing my scars. The, uh, deal she’s proposing is… It’s bothering me.”

You raise an eyebrow behind your helmet, and turn to the goblin woman.
“She said that healing past the burns is nearly impossible, so instead, she offered that I’d take on a curse similar to yours. She’d transform me into something else, though… still similar to me, I suppose. Thing is, that scares me. I don’t want to stop being a goblin, believe it or not. It’s… part of me.”
She swings out her fishing rod, afterwards, deciding to actually fish instead of merely talking.
“I want your opinion. Should I…. Should I change myself? And if I do… To what, I wonder?”
“You get to choose?”
“Yeah. I’m obviously sticking to humanoid. Preferably about the same size, even. But if she transforms me into, like… a goblin, my scars wouldn’t disappear. So it’s, you know. Non-goblin or bust.”

…That's a question and a half, yeah.

> We don't care about your scars, you know. You don't have to do this if you don't want to

> ...if that's what you want, maybe you can go for...
Most fantasy races are applicable here, except half demons or whatever.
>>
>>5243916
>We don't care about your scars, you know. You don't have to do this if you don't want to
Well, there is an obvious correct choice, but I would feel too guilty even suggesting it if she's not totally sold on the transformation aspect.
>>
question is if she can just cheat and become a hobgoblin
>>
>>5243939
Hobbo gobbo is still quite a bit bigger and yellow. It's certainly quite different.
Also, uglier. Goblins adapt easy, and generally looking a little appealing was a part of that. Hobgoblins were literally bred for war.
>>
>>5243916
> We don't care about your scars, you know. You don't have to do this if you don't want to..

> But...if that's what you want, maybe you can go for something like halfling, or even kobold? It would keep you at around Chad's height.

(The last bit is just some like teasing to take her mind off of the stress of such a choice for a moment.)
>>
>>5243934
support we need to be totally sure she is doing this for herself
>>
>>5243916
> We don't care about your scars, you know. You don't have to do this if you don't want to
>>
>>5243916
We have time dilation, mind reading, golemancy, flesh-crafting (or whatever the pig chimera were made from), quite literal tech wizards, magical computer code curses but not one facial reconstruction method that works for (admittedly severe) burn scars, what the heck.

Well, not like it was essential to begin with and she's comfortable with herself.

> We don't care about your scars, you know. You don't have to do this if you don't want to
>>
>>5244090
Technically speaking,a very skilled plastic surgeon would be fine. Those are just very rare and very expensive.
>>
>>5244090
can't be good at everything, she's a wizard not a surgeon
>>
>>5243916
> ...if that's what you want, maybe you can go for...
You could go a fraction towards....an elf, human, orc, halfling, gnome. Any of those buy just a small enough fraction should do it for you.

>>5243950
No hobs, got it.

>>5244002
But then she would have scales.

>>5244094
Does Sarah know where we can find a plastic surgeon instead if Anna doesn't want to go through with the magic?
>>
>>5244215
>but then she'd have scales
She is crushing on a kobold. She may not consider scales a deal-breaker.
>>
>>5243916
>Could you be... double-cursed or something? Surely magic isn't that limited...
> We don't care about your scars, you know. You don't have to do this if you don't want to
>>
>>5244094
>>5244210
It's funny cause magic's the tool to make reality bend to one's will.
Makes sense though, you couldn't go get a face-lift from a theoretical physicist or an engineer (without taking severe health risks).