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super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

erhecktile disfunction

Lipstick Apathy

Skellybones posted:

Remember how all this was caused by looking for an exotic animal trainer?

I thought it was because we decided doing jobs for mentally unstable dark elves was a good way to make money.

It's a way to make money, just not a good one.

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alpaca diseases
May 19, 2009


Well, we less decided to do this for a mentally unstable dark elf and more got forced to

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


We also decided that a blood pact with Quackeen to hunt trolls was a smart idea.

Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



The primary fault lay in VASTLY underestimating the sturdiness of trolls.

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


Blasphemaster posted:

The primary fault lay in VASTLY underestimating the sturdiness of trolls.

On the other hand, they have one dead and we have... None? Kinda?

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

erhecktile disfunction

Lipstick Apathy

alpaca diseases posted:

Well, we less decided to do this for a mentally unstable dark elf and more got forced to

Should've cut and run the first time we met him.

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

I'm interplanetary, bitch
Let's go to Mars




super sweet best pal posted:

Should've cut and run the first time we met him.

Would have been a short CYOA apparently.

nothing to seehere
Nov 11, 2010


Yea, we need to cut our losses and learn we've underestimated the trolls. I think we need our arbolast, but good luck getting it through the caves.

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010

Q.E.D.



What if... we put things in our card, and we draw it out when we need it.

ElPedro
Apr 22, 2008


Could eating an Ethereal RimRose Cupcake perhaps untangle us? Unless of course we like this.. tangling

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006
Jinat Ulukaï, hâ oagé.

On the Hunt Once More
The strange underground region deep beneath the Zbat caves.
Month 3, Week 4, Day 2
Late at night



The meeting ends with some swift bureaucracy and without much fanfare, the Goddess disappearing as quickly as she had appeared.
You get up from your makeshift altar and thank your companions for their testimony and go inform the others of what has transpired.

That a; you apparently no longer exist. That b; Quackeen has set Johakim in charge and that c; this changes nothing. For the sake of expediency you will act as a consolatory attorney for Johakim in regards to ITEC affairs and matters of contract.
Your payment for this role shall be [01 wealth] / month to be paid in full in three hundred and twenty five thousand nine hundred and seventy two years when you are officially born and or transferal of ownership of the company should you begin to exist before then or should Johakim (more likely, his descendants) lack the means to pay you after the allotted time has passed.

Tonight, ITEC shall rest. Come the morrow ITEC will once more head out into this abysmal cavern in search of the last troll that it might be slain and your contract fulfilled, whereupon you can focus on capturing zbats once more.
There is a murmur of agreement. None are especially keen to continue after the beating you have already taken, but all agree that keeping Quackeens favour is probably the wisest choice if you are all to get out of here alive.

---

That night, you dream. But the dream is no more than a pleasant stroll down endless, rolling hills and fields.



You walk for a time, enjoying the tranquility until by chance you glance into the river by your side and see not, as you had expected, an impression of yourself gently distorted by ebbs, currents and the gentle flow - but rather the stark contrast of your shadow upon a wall of ice.

–-

Month 3, Week 4, Day 3
Early morning


Reality hits you like a bucket of snow poured down the leg of your trousers. There is work to do.
You are awake, and though your head is swimming the gravity of your situation does wonders for your sleep to alert early morning acceleration index.



After a hasty, cold breakfast, you set out to track down Demarcation, the troll that would have killed your cousin had you not pulled yourselves together quiet literally. What a strange couple of days it has been.

As you walk, Skvababt tells you what she saw when tracking the troll previously. How the swamp eventually ended, and how the fleeing beast picked up speed when it did so.
Skvababt had of course tried dispatching it on her lonesome (even if Abigail was ever on her heels), but her arrows only ever struck the creatures back where they could not pierce all the way through.
Each time she had tried rushing in front of it or laying in ambush, the creature would find a rock to throw at her. As a single on-the-mark throw would have flattened her outright, Skvababt did not wish to take any chances.
Instead she followed it until a marked change in the terrain, where its tracks would be far easier to follow.

That marked change is now upon you. Just as the swamp eventually turned into rugged cave-floor, so to now does it gain some semblance of life.
The ground is covered in a layer of interconnectd tendrils, with thin white mushrooms sprouting like flowers in clumps where-ever they so please.



As you walk, the mushrooms change both in size and colour, until at last you find yourselves in a forest of darkest blue, with “trees” completely alien to your sensibilities.
A white mist is present that at first glance seems to glow from within. When further examined however, it is clear is merely water vapour reflecting a soft light emanating from some of the tallest mushroom in the area.



Just as Skvababt said, the troll is exceedingly easy to follow. The groundcover is both moist and soft, and the heavy troll has done great damage to it in its haste.
You find a few oozed covered Salmonster teeth arrows discarded or broken along the path as well, ones that must have been pushed out by regeneration, though aside from this you find no other real sings of conflict.

Eventually, you come upon a grove of sorts where the tracks end abruptly.
Many, many mushrooms grow here, of all shapes, sized and colourings, though the smaller ones tend towards the middle, forming almost concentric circles of ever increasing size until they once more merge into the 'forest' that you came from.
To the northwest however (in the direction you have been heading, in fact, so forward from your point of view), the smaller mushroom fields continue as far as you can see.

Thinking critically for a moment, the mushroom forest reminds you somewhat of a city wall, though much thicker and taller than any you have encountered.
If that is the case you must have just reached the town square located directly at the city gates, but there is no one here to greet you.

The only thing nearby that is not a mushroom or a mushroom derivative side from you and ITEC are a few very unsuspicious troll-sized boulders and miscellaneous rocks.
You had of course seen such geology earlier, but the principle difference here is that the track has ended, suggesting that the Troll is indeed somewhere nearby. The question is, where?



---

1: What do you do now?

A: Wait a while and see what happens.

B: Inspect the unsuspicious boulders.
They look like a bunch of large rocks, from this distance you can't really tell much else. Could they be hiding Demarcation, or are they simply rocks? Only time will tell.

C: Attack the unsuspicious boulders.
Grr! Rocks! How you hate them! Smash!

D: Attack the unsuspicious boulders with a bottle of acid!
You loath rocks! Destroy them utterly!

E: Inspect the area further.
What are you looking for, specifically?

F: Speak to the open air.
Write-in. What do you want to say?

G: Something else?
Write-in.

---

[ITEC Battle Readiness Summary]
Overall morale is weary and alert.
You are currently Kvelgrim IronIronscriptscript You are unarmoured except for your arms. You are covered in gore. You fight with an Heirloom master-crafted dwarven battle-axe and shield.

Abigail: Has some light bruising. She fights with a greatsword. She has a bandit-quality repeating crossbow. She has a quiver of Salmonster-Teeth arrows. She is unarmoured. She is only mildly covered in gore and filth..

Tommy: Is thoroughly scratched and has a two minor injuries. He fights with a great club, but has a sling as well. He has decent quality leather armour that has seen better days. He is covered in a layer of filth and gore.

Konnie: Has had an ear has nibbled. He dual-wields fine quality daggers.
He wears Bog-Standard Military Surplus Leather Armour. He has a bandit-quality repeating crossbow and a quiver of Salmonster-Teeth arrows. He is covered in a layer of filth and gore.

Khami: Has been lightly injured. He wears chain mail under his torn robes. He fights with expertly crafted iron chains. He is covered in a layer of filth and gore.

b]Johakim:[/b] Is freshly scarred. He is tired. He prefers not to fight. He has decent quality leather armour. He is covered in a layer of filth and gore.

Skvababt: Is uninjured. She has adjusted to the current low-light levels. She fights with a wooden longbow. She wears “leather” armour that you assume she maintains herself. It is missing an arm. She has a quiver of Salmonster-teeth arrows.
She is much cleaner than she has any right to be considering the circumstances.

---

[Wealth Summary]
It is Month 3, Week 4, Day 3
You have [11 wealth] to your name.
In 4 days time, you owe [07 wealth] in salaries and general maintenance.

Additionally, you owe [30 wealth] to be paid in full at the end of Month Six.
You are so far enough underground that a dead Zbat would rot long before you came back to the surface.
You currently have [004 Live Zbats] and [000 Dead Zbats] in your possession.
You need at least [010] to make this trip worth your while.

---

[Inventory & Travel Gear Summary]
Your rations are well-stocked.
Your supplies are adequate.
Your equipment is inadequate, in need of repairs.]

02 x Flasks of highly pressurized acid
06 x Ethereal RimRose Cupcakes
01 x Pouches and 01x Large Bag of of Flash-Heat-Powder
01 x Koboldian Crown of Leadership.
01 x Crate full of Ultra-Bright Torches.

---

Party thoughts:
Konnie: “This place keeps getting stranger and stranger.”
Kvelar: ???
Johakim: “Lets be done with it. I don't want to spend a moment here longer than I have too.”
Abigail: “Can we eat these mushrooms?”
Khami: “Tread not over the threshold in, afore you have looked this way and that, afore you have for certain aspied, that no foe of yours is sitting in darkness further inside.”
Skvababt: “This place smells different... the very air is, mhm... pregnant with flavour. The life here feeds on rot and decay. Just beneath the surface.”
Tommy: “Theodice looked like nothin' but a rock at the end. I'm sure Demarcation will be no different. Look for whatever stands out but be careful, we don't know how much it has healed.”
Owlbear Cubs: "Hoot Hoot!" (Come back soon, we miss you!)

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


First C then D!

There Bias Two
Jan 13, 2009



Froggy, you gave a name to this place earlier. Do you or your people know more of where we are?

Also, the boulders are probably trolls! Inform the party and get suggestions

D

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010

Q.E.D.



C with range attack

sheep-dodger
Feb 21, 2013


Try to use Lolth's ability to see if any of the boulders are alive and would make acceptable sacrifices

ElPedro
Apr 22, 2008


Perhaps B with Konnie checking it out with stealth and bringing 1 Flasks of highly pressurized acid in case of troll alert. Also may want to have our ranged folks line up and be ready to shoot if needed.

There Bias Two
Jan 13, 2009



sheep-dodger posted:

Try to use Lolth's ability to see if any of the boulders are alive and would make acceptable sacrifices

Backing this

Cannon_Fodder
Jul 17, 2007

"Hey, where did Steve go?"
Design by Kamoc

It's a goddamn trap. We're walking into a goddamn killing field. Tommy has a point. Let's not get cocky. Keep to the outside perimeter and avoid exposing our flank. Pop an arrow or 2 into the boulders from a different direction just in case, to divert attention away.

Nyaa
Jan 7, 2010

Q.E.D.



We could eat a cupcake and scout instead.

JosephWongKS
Apr 4, 2009

I hate this book and I hate Railrunner and I hate Thunderbark and I hate Black Magic and I hate everything they stand for.

G. Eat the mushrooms.

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Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



C with ranged attacks into D from a stealthed Konnie. Once acid gets it down, hit it with some more!

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