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Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer



Three hundred and forty seven years ago, the First Great Emperor Rim united the known world under his wise rulership, erecting a great wall around creation, keeping it safe. The Gods, fickle and corrupt, rallied against his benevolence but where likewise defeated, shown their place.
Under his tutelage, the peoples of the world advanced from sparse groups of frightened hunter-gatherers to a vast civilisation of cities ruled by knights and nobility and overseen by the stability imposed upon the world by science and reason.
But the Emperor has long since passed. What order he had accomplished during his long reign is fading, and The Empire with it. A near fatal blow was struck was struck some twenty years before today, when The Forest appeared unannounced.

It was a remarkable backlash. An unmanageable frontier had been created and from it's crevaces leaked all manner of monsters and fouler things still. The Empire strained under the loss of twenty one point six five percent of it's arable land.
Now, riots are breaking out. Banditry has become commonplace and the imperial army is spread thin, trying to keep the peace of an entire world.

To cope, humanity and it's hangers on cling to the Great Bureaucracy, a tedious institution that covers most of the known world and gives reason and meaning to it's inhabitants. The Bureaucracies tendrils stretch even into the bastions of religion, slaving the Gods to paperwork and proper procedure, expecting precise miracles for precise sacrifice, regulating their worship into the Great Unified World Church, where they can cause no more trouble. The wild and unreliable arts of magic on the other hand have not so much been tamed as caged. Forbidden and relegated to shunned academies that claim to only practise it in theory.

You are a [person] who is fed up with the onslaught of darkness. Be it for coin, glory or because someone higher up told you to do it, you have taken up arms against come-what-may. The question remains however, how will you go about your new career?

1:
The World of Rim does not abide the unaligned freelancer, thus a variety of factions and guilds have sprung up in the wake of the Great Bureaucracy. These are the real power-players of the empire, whatever the Lords and Ladies might say.
To have any chance of achieving your goal, you must join one of them or perhaps start your own subdivision within the greater whole. What faction you do end up with will heavily affect all aspects of the game, from the people you meet to the missions you receive. Thus it is the First Vote of the Game.

A: I am a member of the Order of Imperial Paladins.


The Paladins of the world are True Heroes. Fighting for whatever goals their chapter masters and gods deign them worthy for. They have several fortress-monasteries across the known world, but these are mostly used for training. A Paladins life is one of constant travel and adventure, and as such they have little need for such permanent shelter. As a Paladin, you are expected to go in alone to fight the toughest of foes and prevail, asking nothing in return. Well, maybe not depending on what deity you actually serve, but we'll get into that later.

B: I apply with the bureaucracy to start my very own Monster Hunting Guild.


Many industrious mercenaries in the empire have banded together to form collectives of soldiers-for-hire who solve the jobs that no one else dare take. Always on the look-out for new recruits, these companies provide a safe haven for the disenfranchised strongman, ne’er-do-wells, retired officer or lordling. Of course, none of them will take you. So you start your own. Here is your chance to craft your own niche, be your own boss and hoist yourself on your own petard.

C: I am a soldier in the Imperial Army.


Ah, the Army! No land has a finer one. Well, how could they when there aren’t any other lands? Unless you count The Forest, but surely even that belongs to the Empire? Of course it does. Did. We'll have it under control shortly. This is just a tactical reverse progression. At any rate, The Army is mostly used to quell dissent and prevent civil war from breaking out. The world is a very large place, after all, and not all Lords are content to be merely the kings of their own castles. With the events of recent years however, it has found itself woefully unequipped to deal with all the problems facing the Empire, and thus a proclamation went out a little while ago announcing the creation of a new, "Elite Division of Imperial Army Monster Hunters." One part morale booster, one part propaganda, one part place-which-to-send-undesirables, it has yet to have been tested against any real threat, but at least it has the backing of the Great Bureaucracy?

D: I go out into The Forest and attempt killing the first thing I see.
The direct approach, but not one likely to end well.

2:
Well, before you get yourselves killed fighting monsters, if only so the Imperial Census Agent knows what to put down on your death certificate, perhaps you could tell me something about yourself? For instance, what are you? The Empire is host to a multitude of species, of all creeds, skills, strength and ability. Your choice of species is at the same time very important and not important at all. Every species has their own innate pro's and cons, but individuals of course can differ greatly.

E: I am Human.


The most common of the Citizens of the Empire and the ones nominally in charge, humans are human. That's it, basically. You have the smug satisfaction of being the baseline of society. Revel in your normalcy.

F: I am a Duck.


Ducks are industrious to a fault and prone to outrageous fortunes with tempers to match. What they lack in skill and common decency they make up for in sheer tenacity. When a duck isn't working, it is probably complaining. But rarely do they stick around in one place long enough to form any semblance of a career. Indeed, there is a saying amongst the people of Rim "If you see a duck in the same place twice, it is probably dead." Long story short, Ducks are upstanding members of the Empire, but looked down upon all the same.

Ducks come in all shapes and sizes but vary most vividly in colouring, for their feathers can be anything from white, to yellow, to brown to blue or black with rings or other moulted patterns adoring their bodies. Most ducks wear clothing on their upper bodies and they are very fond of hats in particular, although some ducks go without either, preferring to wear only undergarments. None find this odd, and modesty never seems to be an issue regardless. They have two legs ending in duck-feet, and two wings ending in humanish-feather-hands with between two and six featherfinger-substitutes. Their faces are billed, but this bill can also take a variety of shapes.

Some Ducks take to Adventure, for the thrill of the ever changing day or from inherent Ducky-Wanderlust, For whatever reason, you are such a Duck.

G: I am a special snowflake Drow with spikes to match!


Totally superior in every way, The Drow are the ruling class of society. Except for those pesky humans. Limber, Lithe and Lolth, they spend most of their time scheming against one another and hoping the Imperial Bureaucracy doesn't notice their coup attempts. A Drow is a humanoid with long ears, skin varying from pale white to dark blue and an affinity for spiders. Their age-span exceeds the humans of the world greatly but there are less of them around accordingly. They suffer the same ailments and toils as the regular citizens of the world, but they do so with an aura of grace and sometimes masochism that simply eludes everyone else.

H: I am the dwarfiest dwarf to ever dwarf.


They say dwarves have a thousand words for 'rock' but that is stupid. They have thousands of words for solid minerals, however. One of them is rock. You are not a rock, but a dwarf. For some the difference in negligible. Short, stocky, bearded, they are perhaps the hardest, most loyal workers around. They are long-term thinkers and planners and use this fact to dominate all endeavours they find interest in. The Dwarves of Rim are pragmatic and enduring and in many ways the archetype of the Good Imperial Citizen.

I: I am a Gnome and my life expectancy is seven years and 47 hours as of seven years ago.


Gnomes do not die of natural causes. At least, undertakers and Census Agents have yet to find one that did. As such, their actual life-span is pretty hard to measure, but one would assume that a Gnome could live to it's forties if you kept it tied down in a padded cage and fed it regularly. That would be a terrible crime, however, as they are True Citizens of the Empire. Gnomes are incredibly curious, adventurous to a fault and slightly hyperactive. They serve the Empire mostly as alchemists, tinkerers, scouts and trouble-shooters. Some even take to banditry and some even make it past the first week. Fear the competent Gnome, for he has faced Death and gotten away with it.

When all the bodyparts can be found and reconstructed, a Gnome resembles a human albeit much shorter.

3:
One last thing before we begin. The world is large and diverse. You have somehow survived this far and that means you must have done something right in your life. On the other hand, coming as far as you have you must have also angered someone. But who? This is a vote for a friend and an enemy, somewhere within the various organisations of the world. Someone or something to help you when the going gets tough, and something to make your life a misery. This vote is more free-form than the others, so no letters will be supplied. Instead you can debate amongst yourself which seems appropriate for the character you are making.

J: Write-In: What person or organisation owes me a favour?
K: Write-In: What person or organisation is cross with me?

---

Gms notes:
Hello and welcome to my game! It is the first one of these I have run on the internet but I hope it should be fun none the less. The format follows other popular CYOAs on these forums, where I will make a post telling you a story and presenting you with a few options on how to continue. You are however always free to take the unbeaten path. There is one slight limitation however, in that the Scope of this CYOA will always be monster-hunting. Should your character decide to retire or decide that monster-hunting is not for it, then so be it, but the game will end.

The World I have created is heavily influenced from a whole bunch of sources and could be summarized as being set in 'Renaissance Fantasy.' If you recognize anything, and you should, it has probably been modified in some way to work with the society I am trying to simulate. That said, I will do my best to inform you on how the world differs from any world you normally find yourselves in, be that in the overall story posts, slices of life or answering relevant questioned posted in the thread. At least where that knowledge is something your character should be aware of. The rest you will have to figure out yourselves! A final word of warning; Monster Hunting is a dangerous profession. A single mistake could have disastrous consequences. Let's see how long you can last!

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Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Voting is closed whilst I work on the update.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

New Beginnings.

The first years of your life were spent in the Mountain Home of Tukatt Hold, an ancient stronghold of the Empire. From its vantage point at the top of the Mountains of Reminiscing it held sway over the River Ennui, the longest and some might say loneliest river in all of Rim. On a good day, an adventurous child (or over-excited adult) climbing to the very top of the tallest surface tower might get a view stretching all the way to the horizon, to the fabled great wall so far in the distance from whence the Empire takes its name. The Rim.




As a young Dwarf of an upstanding clan, you took to the schooling of the Empire as any good imperial citizen should. You learned the basics of runes, of accounting and paperwork and the minutiae of minor rules that each of us must follow. The years went by quickly and soon you found yourself in the employ of the local Ministry of Trade, a minor clerk apprenticing to the ancient and venerable Tariff Master Cranberry.



It was here that your life took a very sudden turn. You had taken an interest in some overly punitive legislation over in the Duchy of Eastmarsh. The annual profit of the caravans travelling that route had sunken by 4.56% in the last twenty years, and you were determined to get to the bottom as to why. Your master bade you ignore it, stating that it was 'merely politics' and that poking your nose around too much in such matters would do you more ill than good. Yet you persisted, perhaps in your youthful folly wanting to prove yourself. After months of work you presented your report to the local high-representative of the Imperial Ministry of Economy, and the wheels of fate were thus irreversibly set in motion.

Your report was a great success, in as much as it was duly noted. You still prize the letter of confirmation you received from the Ministry. Your parents had it framed and set amongst the many other heirlooms in the family home.

Weeks passed. Delightfully boring. You wouldn't have had it any other way. But all things must change. The reprisal was swift, brutal and confusing. Mercenary Census Agents raided your paltry trade bureau, having been tipped of anonymously. What they found was staggering. A scandal! Corruption in the very heart of the empire! Lists of clandestine transactions fathoms long. Boxes of Garlic and bags of silver. All the relevant paperwork suspiciously missing or suspiciously fresh. No matter your achievements or immaculate conduct, your word held little sway against the mountain of evidence. Your Master was shamed, relieved from duty. Escorted away by Imperial Guardsmen to a life of hard labour in the rice fields.

As every good dwarf knows, Rules are Rules. Your apprenticeship was never finished, and as your master had turned out to be a fraud, thus your time with him was rendered equally fraudulent. Your family, ever understanding, urged you pack your belongings and set out into the wider world, perhaps finding new occupation amongst the surfacedwellers, new training in the military or finding some way of redemption amongst the clergy.

---

Not knowing what to do, you followed the advice of one of your siblings to find your equally exiled cousin, Kvelar. Kvelar had set up shop over in the township of Braav, a good two weeks journey southeast of Tukatt Hold, along the river. He was a braggart, was young Kvelar. Always going on about the glory and thrill of adventure, a perilous hobby that had gotten more people killed than it had ever helped, your cousin took you into his home. It wasn't until you took a look at his accounting (as a favour amongst kin, if not idle curiosity) that your dream hit you square in the face.

Here there was money to be made! Your young mind filled with visions of gold. Of ancient treasure long since forgotten. If what your cousin said was true, and indeed his expenditures showed his words had merit, then untold riches lay within your grasp, with but the small snag of deadly monsters around every untamed corner.

That was for the lonesome wanderer though. Surely you wagered, your brilliant mind might find some way around this? Where a single man would fall, overwhelmed by wild beasts, a trained company of fighting men and women would find no issue brokering "peace" by club and axe. The treasure once 'equally' divided would still remain a goodly sum, and you and your cousin would live as tiny emperors!

Well. At least that was the plan...












What have you gotten yourself into?




























After a night in the local tavern, wildly arguing the pros and cons of your idea with your cousin, you had found yourself quiet unexpectedly and somewhat drunkenly in the local guild registrars office. Your paperwork checked out, your request was expediently granted. The
next thing you knew you were standing outside of your very own guildhall. It was a thing of beauty. Two stories high, including training room, a shooting range, cantina and barracks. It was a former Imperial Army garrison, and it showed. It could comfortably house upwards of twenty soldiers and fend off ten times that number should the worst come to worst.



There were only a few, minor, issues. For one, you lack people with which to staff it. You lacked gear, training and more importantly missions to undertake or leads to follow. There was also the matter of the somewhat substantial debt you had accrued purchasing the property. But, not to worry! You had overseen the contract yourself. It would be six months before any payments were due. Six months to find all of these things. Six months to prove your idea had merit.

---

1:
You have the facility and grounds to get a good amount of training in before the missions start trickling in, be it from word of mouth or leads you find around town. Your life thus far has left you woefully unprepared for adventure, but your cousin is a different matter. Kvelar is built like a brick outhouse and has trained most of his life with battleaxe and buckler. He also knows a thing or two about archery, and has a friend in town on leave from the Imperial Army that knows the basics of Pike and Sword.

What weapon and style do you spend the next couple of weeks learning?

A: Axedwarfship
B: Archery
C: Formation Pike
D: Swordsmanship
E: Something else? Write-in. Trainers for other styles may or may not exist, but you can always go at it by yourself and hope you have natural talent.

---

2:
Not two weeks into your training, your cousin brings the first Potential Recruits to your attention. You consult your careful budgeting and realize you can only hire four of the seven candidates. Your cousin, having always fought alone, leaves the choice of future companions up to you.
The first to arrive are three "brothers" who look nothing alike. They state their names and proficiencies, but are open to further questioning should you wish it. They would rather all come work for you, but understand if you only have room for one or two of them.

F: Konnie "Cowfoot" Loman
States he is an 'expert daggerteer' (whatever that means), quiet adept at sneaking. Says he has a nose for jewellery.

G: Johakim "The Chisel" Loman
Professes to being a combat medic. Has the right gear, albeit in bad shape. Says he knows his way around "the business" but refuses to elaborate. Figures himself the leader of the three brothers.

H: Tommy "Woodhead" Loman
A giant of a man. Wields a club. One of his eyes is pale and his face is heavily scarred. Has seen his way around quite a few fights by the look of it. Survived. He is the oldest of the brothers.



I: Skvababt
The next recruit to arrive is this sultry and provocative, to be honest you are not sure what she is, but she does carry a bow bigger than herself. When instructed she manages to at least hit the furthest target on your range two times out of five. You can't help but notice her constant perspiring. It is.. strangely arousing.



J: Axi Meyer
A gnome scurries in a while later, offering its services. It claims to have a number of inventions it can lend to your cause, craves a room to itself and wants to be kept off of field-duty.


K: Erudiel of the Quiet Moon, the Beam of which illuminates the Lovers Embrace on the Field Below, Flowering. (Erudiel for short.)
This curious dark-elf down on his luck carries with him (aside from prosthetic teeth and a garland of flowers) some medium quality armour and his very own masterwork halbard. His temper seems very uneven. Flipping from quiet contemplation to frothing rage at the drop of a hat.



L: Khami
Carries a length of iron chains and wields light armour which he keeps concealed under a cloak. He doesn't say much unless spoken to.



---

To reiterate, all of these people are available to be interviewed should you require more information. You can only recruit four of them, and the majority vote will decide which of them join your guild. Assume for now they will take a fair cut of the profits, especially this early in the game. They understand that pickings might be spare and trust you will lead them to victory.

3:
Not too long after you finish the recruiting process, an Imperial Census Agent finds his way to your doorstep. After the customary greeting ritual (whereupon you exchange paperwork gingerly) you invite him into the room you and your cousin have dubbed the office.
The Census Agent hands you some paperwork. It is a simple affair as paperwork goes. You must merely state the name of yourself and your company. Do note however, that the Office of Acceptable Naming Practices (a subdivision of the Imperial Census Agency) will be auditing this form in the very near future. Dire consequences (such as rejection and a small fee) await those who submit erroneously or unacceptably.

M: What is your name?

N: What is the name of your monster-hunting-guild?

Swedish Thaumocracy fucked around with this message at Oct 13, 2015 around 14:26

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

quote:

"Ask Tommy what kind of combat experience he has."



"The way me Mam speaks of me, I've been clobbering since before I was born." "It's been tavern brawls and pit fights and what have you for the most part. Real professional like. Don't think I ever met something I couldn't handle, But then again I've never been up against no monsters neither."

quote:

"Ask Konnie if he has knowledge of court-intrigue."



"I ain't exactly royalty mate. Them nobles can keep to their fancy courts all they likes, if there ain't a buck or two in it for ole Konnie then it is of no interest to he!"

quote:

"Ask Khami about his unorthodox weaponry."



"I've trained with this chain all my life. There is nothing I cannot do with it. Nothing. It is most useful for tripping and disarming, but can also be used to bind prisoners in a pinch."

quote:

"Ask Skvababt whether she has other skills than archery."



"Mhmmm, my previous lover was a tanner, so I picked up a few tricks from his... tannery.... such a delight to work with leather."
Her sensuous laughter fills the room.

quote:

"Ask Johakim how well he can handle himself in a fight."



"Always had me brothers to see me through a scuffle I did. Always ended up helpin' them out when our foes back was turn, sure enough. Know me way around the blunt end of a Sword and ain't that enough for most types? Ken tell you a fair bit about anatomies, tho t'befair tis mostly of the human variety. " "A good smack to the temple from Tommy will see most keel over, mind."

quote:

"Ask Axi if he has any sort of recommendation and what he could give us in concrete terms."

quote:

"Ask Axi Meyer what inventions he has for us right now. "



Axi replies but you are not sure what it said. It's monologue does take two hours of your life however, and at the end of it you are almost completely sure it knows what it is talking about. If only you did as well.
Seeing your flustered look, she presents you with a wooden hamster. It has a small, hatched lid on top and what looks like a receptacle for some sort of potion of alchemic concoction inside of it. The gnome makes a scurrying motion with it's hands and then a dramatic explosive gesture with it's arms. Seeing you reach for the hamster the gnome gets a somewhat panicked look on it's face and makes sure to put it away before you do anything rash, like actually use it.

quote:

Ask around if any of our recruits have outdoorsman/ranger skills or other survival training.

Skvababt reports that she knows her way around if you know what she means. When further prodded, she suggest you take a moonlit stroll by a swamp at some point. She says she will make sure you will get out of there alive but damp. When asked to be serious for a moment, please, this is important, she shrugs and states that she's had several companions over the years in the Imperial Army, most of whom where rangers or scouts of a sort. It's where she picked up her archery skills, and she has spent many a night outdoors "rough-housing" it with her former lovers.

All three brothers Loman state that they know a thing or two about camping, but have no idea on how to distinguish the various critters of the forest aside from perhaps the difference between a fox and a bear.

Khami has travelled with a few caravans in his years, mostly doing mercenary work. His opponents where mostly bandits, but he did face a giant snake once. It took three guardsmen to fight it off, and two of them died within a week from infected wounds. "Avoid the fangs." He comments, helpfully.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

quote:

Ask Erudiel as the band grows can you make fine arms and armor for us?



"Ask not a stone the nature of permanence. It forever changes to forces unseen.
Ask not a mountain what will endure, for once it too will be the sea.
Ask not a blade it's deadly purpose, for it knows not it's wielders faith.
Ask not Erudiel such stupid questions, or his knee will end up in your face!"

quote:

Ask Konnie why they call him 'cowfoot'.



"Now ain't that a story? Well ya see, few years back me and me brothers where out by a township called Furnsberg, up north a fair bit dontcherknow. We'd been looking for legitimate business opportunities, plying the trade as it where, when we come upon this here tavern. Some halfling nonsense on the sign, you know the type "Warming Hearth" or "Tripple Piglet Dinner" or something equally quaint. A real classy establishment. Inside there's this fat merchant (who turns out to be the owner) having a right party of fleecing his customers left and right with outrageous wagers. Everybody seems to be having a jolly time of it though, so we sit down to have a drink or two. The rest is a bit hazy, halfling drinks being what they are, but we figured we had a sure thing going when he was down two weeks pay and decided to go all in. Bet his entire fortune that Woodhead over there couldn't eat a cow. Funny, never did see a cow that size before nor after. The way the guy just waltzed it in from outside. Could have sworn the place didn't even have a barn when I arrived. But a bet's a bet. Tommy did his best but couldn't hack it in the end. As punishment I had to eat what was left. And that's why they call me Konnie "Cowfoot" Loman."

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Theantero posted:

A couple questions. First how well does our cousin fare with the bow when compared to the frog lady? Second, does axedwarfship cover throwing axes?

The difference is mostly one of range. Kvelar has fought with a shortbow and hand-crossbow, firing of a few shots before getting into glorious meleé, whereas Skvababt has a longbow and prefers to stay at range at all times.
As previously stated, your cousin can teach you the basics of archery. How to hit a standing target, which end of the arrow to rest on the string and so forth. His knowledge is broad and shallow, whereas Skvababt is more specialized
At the distance of the furthest target in your shooting range, they are about equal, but any further than that and Kvelar simply does not have the range (or eyesight) to match the alluring frog lady. She tells you she is more accurate the further away the target is, but, the absurdity of that statement aside, you have no way to prove her boast in your current facilities. You aren't even sure she was talking about archery, the way she was looking at you, smiling softly.

Secondly, Axedwarfship includes all uses of the noble Dwarven Battle-Axe, from trimming your beard to trimming your opponents head off of his neck. Throwing it is absolutely included.

Voting closes in thirty minutes.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Ironscript Tyrannofauna Extermination Company



You handed the Census Agent the filled out form and bade him good journey. "To you as well, Ironscript" he replied and was out of your life, for now. A few days later you managed to track down a sign-maker and now your Proud Name shall adorn the façade of your guildhall for all ages to come. Or until you sell the property or die. Whichever comes first.

The next two weeks is spent in training, both with your cousin Kvelar and the four recruits you could afford to hire. The three brothers where overjoyed at your wise decision. Khami merely smiled knowingly. Though you did not tell the brothers this, it had been a tough choice between the eldest of their number and the frog lady archer. She gave you the address of a small building on the outskirts of town before she parted, presumably where she lived. Said to come by if you ever changed your mind. Blew you a kiss. You felt dizzy for hours afterwards, and it was only when your cousin threw a bucket of water in your face that you could resume your axedwarfship training.

---



The dwarven battleaxe is a remarkable weapon it turns out. When properly balanced to the individual user by a master smith, it can cut, crush and parry. When thrown it usually sticks where it lands and does so with gumption. Unfortunately you are not your cousin, and his axe does not fit you in the slightest. For the first week of your training, you have to make do with a wooden training axe. But perhaps that was just as well. You see only middling improvement in your form, having not used an axe other then ceremoniously before. Your background in accountancy not really preparing you for a life of battle. But no matter, that was why you hired some help!

Konnie, Johakim and Tommy spend little time in your guildhall over the coming weeks, only checking in to see if any jobs have popped up. They do put in some hours of training, but you get the feeling it was only because they didn't have anything better to do. Khami on the other hand spends most of his time in meditation but has at least taken up residence in the barracks.

At the end of the first month of your new career, you gleefully consult your inventory, budget and personnel as is custom. Because you have only really seen yourself and your cousin in action, you have no idea as to the relative skill levels of your other employees.

---

~ Ironscript Tyrannofauna Extermination Company Ledger ~

Buildings:
Fine Quality Stonework two story Garrison building.
Good Quality Barracks. (6/20 bunks filled.)
Good Quality Cantina. (Provides unlimited good-quality rations for all recruits in the vicinity under current conditions. As long as you spend the time making them.)
Low Quality Shooting Range. (short-range standing targets only, no tracks for moving targets.)

Personnel:
Thorgrim Ironscript
Novice Axedwarf
Competent Accountant

Kvelar Ironscript
Talented Axedwarf
Competent Crossbowman
Adequate Axedwarfsmanship trainer.
Novice Archery trainer.

Konnie 'Cowfoot' Loman

??? 'Dagerteer' (claims expert)
???

Johakim 'The Chisel' Loman
??? Combat Medic

Tommy 'Woodhead' Loman
??? Clubuser

Khami
??? Chainwielder (claims mastery)

Equipment:
One master-crafted Dwarven Heirloom Battleaxe. ('bound' to Kvelar due to intricacies of dwarven crafting.)
One bog-standard hand crossbow.
One bog-standard short-bow.
An assortment of broken or semi-repaired wooden training axes.
An assortment of wooden training swords and shields.
One bog-standard military surplus battleaxe.
Two suits of fine-quality leather armour.
Two small bog-standard iron bucklers.
Two weeks worth of utilities (Torches, consumable camping equipment etc.)

---
1:
Your cousin broaches the subject of procuring additional equipment to you, having also looked over the state of affairs. You could easily purchase minor low quality items, but anything decent would make a dent in your finances. Still, it's something to consider.
The various rooms of the guildhall could equally be improved, but with the mortgage payment looming it seems a distant prospect at best. You could get some better quality training equipment for everyone, or perhaps spend a fair bit on getting some decent armour for yourself or someone else.
Perhaps there is something specific you wish to purchase? There is a general store and a smithy in town, but without knowing what you want and at what quality giving you an estimate is impossible.

Fortunately, no one is hurt, so you have no need to visit the Grand Unified World Church Chapel of Prescription Charity.

Where do you focus your spending this month? As you are just starting out (and quiet heavily in debt) you only have two points with which to distribute your wealth. These are your current options, more might open up as you progress or hire new people.

A: Savings.
Gotta pay off the mortgage somehow. You need at least 30 points saved up in the next five months or Bad Things will happen.

B: New training equipment.

C: Better / more weapons.

D: Better / more armour.

E: More utility.

Things like bandages, torches etc. Everyday consumables for Mercenary work.

F: Maintenance.
Repairing everyday damage to your facilities, company payroll etc. Expect morale drop or worse unless this gets one point per recruit each month. Since you are just starting out, your recruits have agreed to put off their first paycheck by one month. Thus you require twelve points in this category by next month, although everyone would be pleasantly surprised if you got it to them earlier.

---

2:
Not long after your monthly budget meeting, the first tips begin pouring in.

The nearby village of Sockne (some days travel to the west) has suffered a culling of lambs recently, and some villagers suspect a monster. The Imperial Army believes it to be the work of a wolf or a farmers dispute and refuses to intervene. The villagers offer a meagre sum of to whoever solves their dilemma.

Tommy also has a lead for you, apparently something he overheard in a local tavern. Some nobleman’s pet has gone missing and they are offering a substantial reward for it's return. You'll have to be quick if you want to collect, that kind of money will bring out the competition.

The Lord of the Fortress City of Gruw (a weeks travel to the north west) has put out a request for aid. Apparently the deliveries from his silver-mine have ceased altogether. There have been reports of banditry in the area for many years now but they usually leave their victims alive, if only so they can rob them again. That the deliveries have stopped entirely is unusual and highly disturbing. The Imperial Army is busy quelling an attempted uprising in the area and have no manpower to spare. If you where to figure out what happened and slay the monster responsible, you could be well rewarded indeed.

A worried grandmother gives a knock on your door one evening, complaining about a strange noise in her attic. Would you be a dear and see to it for her?

Additionally, a pamphlet is brought to your attention.



Apparently the local office of construction had a bit of a leak a few days back, loosing most of their stock of green breeding slimes in the process. They are offering a (small) bounty on any live slimes captured and brought back to their compound. Rarer slimes would bring in more, but are much harder to capture and not really native to the area.

The world of Monster Hunting can be very hectic, as monsters rarely stay in one place for any length of time. Or if they do, cause so much havoc that your client can no longer afford to pay you. Either way, these are the missions that are currently available. What you now need to decide is which of these missions are off interest to ITEC and what priority you should give them. You can't be in two places at once, after all, and your company is much to small to do more than one mission at a time.

What mission(s) do you accept, and in what order? Note that there is no guarantee that your second choice will still be available after you finish your first one.

G: The Culled Sheep

H: The Missing Pet

I: The Silver-mines of Gruw

J: The Noisy Attic

K: A Bounty of Slimes

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Theantero posted:

Before I vote on anything, I'd like to apply our accounting knowledge to figure out some things. First, what kind of profit can your average starting Monster Hunting Guild expect in this region. Second, how much variance does that contain, e.g. what portion of them fail outright, how many of them just barely scrape by, how many of them strike it rich etc. Third, what sort of work do the more successful guilds take early on. Hit the books at the local tax offices and bureaus to figure this out if necessary.

Doing the numbers on this is what made you decide on this career choice in the first place. For the sake of not making the game an excellsheet, most of the accountancy will be handwaved as having been already performed by Thorgrim himself. Equally, contracts that would not give any sort of profit or reward do not often make it to the vote since you are clever enough to realize when your time is being wasted. Still, money is pretty tight right now, can you afford to be stingy?

You haven't met the competition yet, but this is a business both dangerous and profitable. Those who survive strike it rich, those who fail end up dead. Simple as that. Barely scraping by is not enough.

Theantero in IRC posted:

Yeah, I'm mainly interested in getting to know some expected profits so that I know how much I'd dare to invest
That's why I'm asking some general pointers for the expected points. To figure out if we should save or invest.

That is entirely up to you. Both have their merits. If you invest, you might take on tougher jobs and hope to survive. If you save, at least you'll have enough for rent?
You will have to scrutinize the available job offers and balance the risk/reward ratio vs your inner caution. The first few months will be difficult, but you are confident that you can do it if you work really hard.

The mission briefings do not list a set point reward because there is no way to calculate your profit before the mission is over. Instead, I try to include a sense of worth to give you an estimate of what to expect should things go smoothly.

Swedish Thaumocracy fucked around with this message at Oct 15, 2015 around 10:49

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Slime of Life

Wentley posted:

Sooooo. Do we have a safe place we can set up if we capture slimes, and sell their kids for a bounty?

Ever since the The Forest appeared on the edges of creation, the price of lumber has sky-rocketed. So much so that today you would be hard pressed to find a new construction of any sort that uses it unless absolutely necessary. What lumber would be safe to harvest is needed for the fires of industry, the maintenance of the Imperial Fleet or as a safe haven for game to procreate in. Yet not all buildings can be made of stone, either.

Enter the Slimegineer.



Using a special highly secretive technique, an experienced Slimelord can shape and calcify a slime to almost any form he desires. Once calcified, additional improvements can be made to the resulting structure with regular construction tools. Green slimes, being the most common, are used for everyday architecture and infrastructure. Red slimes on the other hand are used in heavy industry due to their fire resistant properties. Suffice it to say that the rarer the slime the more specialized a structure can be created and the safer the finalized product will be.

Green slimes, especially when young, are harmless. They avoid warmth and stick to shadows and damp environments, and move at a slow crawl in either case. A basement with the occasional nutrient thrown in (like a dead rat) would be enough to start your own colony on the cheap. Your garrison has a small basement but it is used for item storage and would have to be cleared out first. You could try keeping them elsewhere, but the basement would be the ideal spot.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Theantero posted:

Question time!
Do any of the brothers know what that noble's pet actually is? If not, ask them if they could snoop around for that knowledge.



"Word is it's some senile old Darkelf what's pet has gone missin', so could be anythin'. Hard to tell anything else, they are a secretive bunch."

Theantero posted:

How involved is gaining a Slime Breeder certificate paperwork-wise?

You would have to apply with the Slimgeneers Guild for a laymans package which would allow you to keep a small breeding colony for entertainment purposes. Any 'pods' would be confiscated by the Guild and they would send regular inspections to make sure your lot is up to OSHA standards. The fees involved would mostly invalidate anything you could gain by selling off a few on the side, and the consequences of being caught would be severe. Alternatively you could go to slimeschool and dedicate your life to the fine art of Oozemastery and hope to one day become a Slimegeneer yourself. It is a lucrative career for the common man but would do nothing to solve your current debt crisis and would not grant you the untold piles of gold your dwarven dreams crave.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Nyaa posted:

Does monster trap covered in E choice?

No, basic consumables only. You don't really have the knowledge on-hand in how to make a monster trap, and all monsters are different at any rate. Maybe the gnome you didn't hire could have made something for you, but you decided to go with the four human recruits instead. Alas!

If you knew exactly what you wanted to catch, perhaps you could procure the services of a smith or inventor to make it for you? This would probably not come cheap however.


GloriousDemon posted:

How does one catch a slime?

For green slimes, thick leather gloves and an acid-proof bag. Other then that it's mostly legwork.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Preparations


You consider your options carefully. The mission to find the Nobleman's pet seems very lucrative, but the kind old grandmothers Noisy Attic could be a nice, easy job to get you into the groove of things.
This first month has been slow, and everyone is eager to see some action. The mood is cheerful, but your group has yet to be tested. You don't know what to expect, perhaps it would be prudent to make some preparations?

Voting remains open for the top two choices. J and H.

3:
L: Write-in: Who do you bring with you?


4:
M: Write-in: Would you like to make any special preparations before you go?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Preparations continued


Theantero posted:

Does his first aid kit contain any sort of antidotes?



"Got me a soothing salve for nettleburns and a small bottle of pills they say will cure the worst of the Highland Moccasin Shivers, but for monsters? For starters I'd need to know what we're up against. I ain't no alchemist though, I mostly stitch people back together."

Theantero posted:


Question: Are there alchemists/pharmacists or other such people around? If so, can we afford monster sedatives or sleeping potions or equivalents? Do those even exist?

After some inquiry you find your way to one of the local alchemists. A relatively small house built of of thick stones on the outskirts of town, away from anything easily flammable.



A small gnome greets you excitedly as you step into his store and begins showing you around.



Sleepingpotionsyousay?Whyofcourseicanhelpyouwiththaticouldnthelpbutnoticebyyourfineleatherandseriousdemenourthatyoumustbeamonsterhunteramicorrect?thissleepingpotionwoulditbeforamonsteriwouldassumeso!
Nowyoumustrealizethatsedativesarenosimplematteroryouwouldnthavegonestraighttotheexpert(yourstruly)
nosiricantellyouknowexactlywhatitisyouwantbutsirImustremindyouthatsedativesareaveryseriousscienceindeed!!
It'snotsimplyamatterofbrewingalittlepotionandjustexpecitngittowork!nosirit'smuchmorecomplexWhyifihadadollarforeverypotioni'dbrewnI'dhaveawholebunchofdollarsyessirthatswhyimanaclhemist
andhaveallthosedollarsbecausethatsISwhatIdoANDwhatichargeifidontsaysomyselfahahahaha
Anywayyouneedtoconsidertheweightandmassandtheinherentmonstryresistancetnottomentionthefactthatyouneedsomewaytoapplyit.
Doyouhaveanyideawhatitisyouarefacingsir?no? wellitellyouwhaticandoforyousiricanbrewyouadroughtindeedbutyoudhavetomakesuretofollowmyexactformulateforapplication
norIcannotassureyouoftheconsequences!Butnottoworrysirmypotionsalwaysworknearlyeverytime!ahaha
Tellyouwhatifyouwanticanbrewituprightnowhowdoesthatsound?Itwonttakemorethanacoupleofdaysmaybetwoandyoucanbeoffwithyourveryownsedativewontthatbegrand?
Ofcourseicouldspeeditifyouallowmetousemorenontraditionalmethodsfpotionbrewing!Whyyoucouldhavethepotioninbutanhourortwoandyoucouldbeoffmuchsoonerwhatdoyousay?!!?!

...

It looks like the gnome is offering to sell you a potion? For one requisition point (which would be deducted from your final reward) you could have the potion within two days.
Alternatively you could have it much sooner if you allowed him to use more non traditional methods of brewing. The price would remain the same, however.

N: Do you purchase the sedative? and If so, do you want it done safely or quickly?

Swedish Thaumocracy fucked around with this message at Oct 16, 2015 around 18:47

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Gnomish Alchemist

Wentley posted:

Would the gnome be up for a quid pro quo? We bring him exciting and interesting monster bits and he provides us with potions.




WhysiryoubringupaveryinterestingpropositionImusttellyouyesiwouldbeinterestedinsuchadealofcourseiwould!Doyouknowhowharditistofindsomeofthepartsineedformywork?
Impossible!IncrediblyfrustraingiswhatisisItryanditrybutallihavetoworkwithareboringchemicalsthegovernmentlabeassafe!Whataworldthatisdontyouagree?
Whenhassafeeverledtoprogressitellyou!WhatIcouldntdowithsomemonsterparts!Ohwhataworldthatwouldbe.YesyeswecouldworktogetherIcanseeitnowwhatanopportunity.
Letmegetyoualistofthingsineedandwecanstartworkingrightawaythisisgoingtobeawesome.

The gnome disappears for a moment into a back room filled with boxes and returns to you looking flabbergasted. It seems he forgot what he was doing. You remind him and he gets a big smile on his face but before he starts monologuing again you remind him he already said that. He nods thoughtfully and tell you that if you happen to find anything, bring it here and he will see what he can do for you.

---

Nyaa posted:

How much it cost to rent a fighter/other-class for one mission?

This is something you could theoretically do but it is against your better judgement. You keep a permanent stable of recruits because these are the people you will fight and hopefully not die with. A ringer, whilst potentially useful would be an outsider to your group and would not know the dynamics or tactics of your team.

Swedish Thaumocracy fucked around with this message at Oct 16, 2015 around 19:03

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

The Nobleman's Pet

You take your leave of the Gnomish Alchemist empty handed, but with a promise of trade should you bring him interesting monster bits in the future. You do not yet know which part of a monster can be considered interesting, but you believe this is something you'll figure out with time.
At the end of your meeting with the gnome you had almost begun to understand him, and you think that you you have the knack for it now. Future encounters will hopefully be easier to decipher.

Gained Novice Gnomespeaker
Gained Contact: Gnomish Alchemist

Having gone over your finances you decide that spending your last dime on protection seems prudent. After all, casualties bite into profit harder than anything else in this business.
Your group seems pleased at your decision, more so when the new armour arrives. Now everyone is clad in leather of varying qualities, save Khami whom as you remember brought his own chain mail.

Gained three suits of decent-quality leather armour

You arrive back at base to find everyone there waiting for you, eager to get started. You briefly consider leaving Tommy behind to watch the guildhall but decide against it after some deliberation. There isn't much to guard and there is safety in numbers.
Your affairs settled, you go over what you know about the mission with the group. Since Tommy was the one to overheard the rumour, you let him describe what he knows to the others.



“Right, well, I heard this juicy bit of intel down in the Tavern. See this 'ere nobleman's gone lost his pet, and demented as he is has gone promising an outrageous reward should anyone find it an' bring it back alive.
Don' know much else but I hear the guy is some Drow over in the fancy part of town. Lives in a big mansion surrounded by dead trees and whatnot. Keeps a tight guard around the place too, even tighter now I'd expect.”
“Anyway, them dark elves are a peculiar lot. No telling what his pet actually was. How should we go about this boss?”

You think for a moment and decide that the most expedient way to get this done is to go over and introduce yourselves. This would let you get a better look of the land and perhaps some more insight into what could have gone wrong. Not one to waste time, you set off as soon as everyone has geared up.


---


(some time later)


The wrought-iron fence surrounded the mansion might be the spikiest thing you have ever seen, but then there weren’t many dark elves living up in Tukatt hold and before this whole mess started you hadn't really been one for travelling.
You are met at the gates by a guard who, after hearing your stated mission, escorts you further into the mansion.
You are taken through several corridors, sometimes doubling back through one you could swear you had already taken and sometimes taking more than four left turns in a row.
Finally you end up in a reception hall and told to wait as the manner lord makes his way to see you.

A pair of double doors at the end of the room open and two guards step up, seemingly in a rush.
There is an attempt at a fanfare from a servant dresses entirely in black wielding some sort of spiky flute, but he is quickly interrupted as a very obviously dismayed elf-lord runs into the room, panic in his voice.



“FLOPSY!” “YOU MUST SAVE MY FLOPSY!”

Devastated, he collapses into a fancy chair that one quick-witted (and fleet-footed) servant managed to pull up in the nick of time.

“Oh Lolth below am I glad to see you! My beloved Flopsy was taken from me but two nights ago! I haven't been able to think straight since! My torture chamber lies dormant, my work piles up undone! You must aid me, brave fellows! I simply cannot bear to be without my Flopsy!”

A silent moment occurs whilst you take this all in. You try to enquire with the man about Flopsys last whereabouts, species, characteristics and anything else you can think of, but the Lord is too upset to give you much more information.
He simply begs and sobs at you. After a minute of this, he raises an arm melodramatically to his temple and faints, whereupon several servants come out and bring him back beyond the double doors in front of you.

Another servant removes the chair and the guards follow their master back into reaches unknown. After one minute of awkward shuffling, your original guard sighs and turns to face you.



'The Lord means well but this whole thing has taken it's toll on him. Now I don't have Manor-duty, but I know my way around the grounds. I can take you to Flopsies residence but I'm afraid I can't tell you anything else. Follow me.”

Yet more travel. More corridors. You are taken outside, into what looks very much like a cemetery. In the centre rests a Mausoleum, the engraving above the entrance spelling out the word FLOPSY in the spikiest of gothic lettering.
There is a giant, ceramic bowl outside with the same lettering. You don't like the smell of whatever is left rotting inside of it. The guard stands at attention besides you and says that you are free to look around and do whatever it is you need.

How do you proceed?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

You order your men to look around whilst you ask the guard some questions, and they step to it with gusto. Konnie disappears around a corner, his nose to the ground, whereas Tommy, Kvelar and Khami ready their weapons and step into the mausoleum.
Johakim for his part begins examining the food bowl and the surrounding area for any more, uh, biological clues.

---



"I'm afraid I can't tell you much sir, I wasn't allowed near the mausoleum, none of us where. The manor has been a right state since she went missing though. Everyone is on high alert. We cannot afford to show any weakness, lest the other houses pounce."
She goes quiet for a moment. Looks away into the horizon. Sighs. "Look sir, we aren't supposed to talk about it, aren't supposed to divulge the Lords business with outsiders. I could lose my job, but if I don't I could lose my neck.
Master will go even madder without Flopsy around." Another sigh.

"I haven't seen Flopsy up close but I know her to be roughly the size of a mountain lion. Diet of insects and carrion. The Lord usually drags it here himself.
I believe her to be unique to this area, otherwise I doubt master would care for her as much as he does."
"As for enemies, well, take your pick. It'd be easier to hand you a list of friends."

You nod your thanks and go to find your men, to see what they have found.

---



"What the guard says checks out, the bowl is filled with carrion and the area is curiously devoid of insect life. Tried poking through a few rocks, expected to find ants or what have you. Nothing. Right curious. Haven't seen much else though."

You hear some commotion from inside the mausoleum and decide to investigate yourself.
Kvelar greets you by the entrance, presenting you with the evidence found thus far.

"Got some pieces of scale littered about the place and the remains of what I assume to be food. This place seems to have been a nest. No signs on struggle in here, just an awful smell and unidentifiable goop."
"Only other thing of note is the altar further in, seems dedicated to Lolth, judging by the spider web motif, but I'm no Cleric. Nothing else alive in here in either case. Not surprising considering our clientel."
Not seeing anything else of interest, you take the men outside and begin scanning the perimeter.

---

You find Konnie sitting on a rock outside the mausoleum smoking a pipe. You are about to scold him for giving up to easily when Tommy suddenly yells out "Hey! Over here! Tracks!"

A long, slithering trail. Perhaps a meter wide, with thick rectangular footprints on the sides. Next to them, giant footprints, obviously laid down by a humanoid but at odd intervals and angles, as if dancing.
All around the cemetery you find the weirdest trial yet. Pockmarks in the ground as if a congression of porcupines had held a roller derby convention.
They converge with the other trails and disappear, leaving only the thick slithering tracks leading towards the fence surrounding the area.

Is there anything you wish to do before following the tracks to the best of your abilities?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Footprints.
You examine the footprints closer. It is clear that there are three distinct sets, but only one pair seems to have spent any significant amount of time in the area, judging by their quantity..

The thick, trailing track with the large rectangular footprints on the side have no other defining characteristics.
They remind you of the caravan loading areas of Tukatt Hold, where large boxes would settle into the soil before being hoisted onto the trade-cart heading for market places unknown.

The humanoid footprints are indeed shoe prints, and judging by their size whatever left them must be quiet large indeed. Perhaps three meters tall? Something seems off about them though, but you can't rightly tell what.

The pockmarks litter the area but are concentrated outside the entrance to the mausoleum next to the foodbowl. Examining the granite structure closer you find a few scratches have even been made into it's surface.

When asked about a bag of insects, the guard replies that you are free to take whatever is left in the bowl.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Tracking

You arrange for the food bowl to be contained expediently and set of to follow the tracks. They lead you first to the wrought-iron fence where, predictably, there is some considerable damage. In that a large section is simply missing.
The guard, who has been following your group around up to this point just sighs and turns to leave, muttering all the way about the incompetence of her fellows and the poor state of the manor in general.

Examining the 'entry wound' more closely you realize the wall has been smashed through by something both large and strong, presumably the heavy slithering trail that continues through here.

You follow the tracks away from the mansion, away from the city proper into a lightly wooded area on the edge of town. Just enough for cover, but too small to hide the dangers of The Forest which weights ever on your mind.
From the deep gouges cut into the soil in straight but parallel lines you surmise that Flopsy was taken here and loaded into a heavy cart, which then sped off with her into the distance.

You know the pet-napping to be at least two days old. You also know whatever took her would have to be relatively hefty. The clearing you have found is devoid of other clues, much to your chagrin.

Looks like you have some travelling to do!
Do you continue, following this mysterious cart to wherever it may have gone?
Or do you do something else?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

On the Pet-Nappers Trail

You discuss the situation briefly with your men. Everyone agrees you should continue so you get back on your horses and take off.

Ah yes, the horses. They have thus far been skipped over, but they are all part and parcel of a successful monster hunting business. Not all monsters live nearby after all, and you must have some way to transport yourselves, your loot and trophies to wherever adventure awaits. The horses in your possession are nothing special, no barded war-horses here, but they get the job done.

Your journey takes you to one of the roads heading out from Braav to the Empire proper. It's the first time you've taken this route, but Kvelar is more familiar with it. Sparse highland with long, winding gravel roads snaking to the horizon and beyond. Hills, giving way to mountains in the distance and a industry and civilisation where environment permits.




---


Just as the sun begins it's descent the tracks you have been following veer off the beaten path, around a hill and further into the wilderness. Another hour passes until you finally arrive at your destination.

Nestled cosily in a shallow valley stand a multitude of dilapidated carts and wagons clustered like firewood around the great hearth that is the multicoloured, striped tent that occupies the centre of the scene. Strange but muffled noises can be heard from inside of it, but there is no activity as far as you can tell on the outside. Some of the wagons have large, empty cages, others look live living spaces (house-wagons, if you will) but the overall impression is one of ruin, abandonment.



No one has seen you yet. How do you proceed?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

The closest village you know about is Braav. Kvelar pipes up to mention that Sockne is a few days travel to the west. You have been going mostly north for this excursion.
Remember you may at any time ask your crew their opinions of the matters you face or perhaps delegate some task to them what befits their skills.

For convenience and new players, this is your best estimate of your current crew and their capabilities.

Thorgrim Ironscript <-- This is you
Novice Axedwarf
Competent Accountant
Novice Gnomespeaker
Fine-quality leather armour
Bog-Standard military surplus Battleaxe

Kvelar Ironscript
Talented Axedwarf
Competent Crossbowman
Adequate Axedwarfsmanship trainer
Novice archery trainer
Fine-quality leather armour
Master-Crafted Dwarven Heirloom Battleaxe
Bog-standard quality handcrossbow

Konnie 'Cowfoot' Loman
??? 'Dagerteer' (claims expert)
???
Decent Quality Leather Armour
??? Quality daggers

Johakim 'The Chisel' Loman
??? Combat Medic
Decent Quality Leather Armour
??? Quality Medkit

Tommy 'Woodhead' Loman
??? Clubuser
Decent Quality Leather Armour
??? Quality greatclub

Khami
??? Chainwielder (claims mastery)
??? Quality Chainmail
??? Quality Iron Chain

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Ironscript Tyrannofauna Extermination Company on-site meeting - Petnappers Circus - Exterior



If this is a circus, where are all the people? Why camp so far from the road, from town? No, these must be bandits looking to extend their threat with ferocious beasts.
We should be wary, lest they overwhelm us with tamed or mad-starving monsters.



"Well, whoever they are they gotta sleep sometime, right? I saw we wait until deepest night, then we sneak in and and bash their skulls in. That usually works."



"Forget it, I ain't sneakin in to some monster-infested bandit carnival without some solid intel. I say we wait until someone feels the call of nature, then we knock him out, interrogate him and slit his throat. Not necessarily in that order."



"Whoever they is they had the gall to break and enter into a guarded drow-lords compound. Successfully I might at. A direct approach is suicide, maybe diplomacy is an option? Otherwise, burn em out and ambush the stragglers. Hope whatever Flopsy is is fireproof."

Kvelar is quiet through most of the discussion, but adds his input towards the end: "We should send someone in to investigate. Don't want to be taken by surprise."

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

The Ambush

Taking everyone’s input into account, you decide that waiting until nightfall and possibly capturing someone when/if they exit the tent is the safest option.

You spend the next two hours scouting the perimeter of the compound, looking for a good place to base your ambush. Something with cover, yet still within a reasonable distance of the central tent.

If it wasn't for the constant, muffled noise coming from it's interior you would swear this circus was abandoned. Most of the carts and wagons outside are in a severe state of disrepair. They don't look capable of transporting much of anything any more. Most have pieces missing or broken, but they still provide some solid cover and thus you decide to set yourselves up amongst them.

Some more time passes. Suddenly, there is activity. Someone is exiting the tent. From the distance all you can tell is that whoever it is is wearing mostly green but has enormous, red shoes on their feet. Some sort of clown?

Thanks to your prudent planning, the cover of night and the complete lack of patrols in the area you may set up your forces anywhere in the following Battle Grid(tm) except in the two squares immediately next to your foe in all directions or the inside of the tent, as you would have been detected had that been the case. The shaded areas provide full cover and block line of sight except at the very edges otherwise the terrain is minimally impeding. Melee combat can be entered from adjacent squares. For the handcrossbow in Kvelars position, the distances involved are so small that he can pretty much fire from anywhere he has line of sight. Range is a non-issue.



1: Write-In: Where are your forces located?


2: Write-In: What is your plan of attack?

Swedish Thaumocracy fucked around with this message at Oct 21, 2015 around 19:42

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

The Clown

You had previously ordered Konnie to lay in wait behind the tent, to ambush anyone that came out when he deemed it most safe.



The clown shuffles forward with erratic, heavy motions. From your vantage point you can barley make out the detail but it appears to be walking roughly in your direction.

Konnie pounces from his hiding spot! Rushing up to clown, masking his noise in concert with it's resounding footsteps. If you didn't know where he was to begin with, you are certain you could never have spotted him.

<Konnie moves up to c6>

“Stick em up!”

The clown spasms violently, exploding with silent rage at the thief that dared disturb its trip. It's arms shoot forward into a ferocious push, but the nimble thief dodges it at the last minute, slicing the clowns arm up in the process.

That didn't seem to cut it however. The clown is still advancing on Konnie, and he seems pressed. The rogue screams a fineable expletive and backs up aggressively, trying to get any sort of attack in under the flailing onslaught, moving towards Johakim to try to get some backup.

It seems he bit of more than he could chew. What do you do?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Round two, fight!

You sense Konnie is in trouble, so you order a charge. The plan is to capture the clown alive, but ancient wisdom says plans rarely survive contact with the enemy.
Everyone bursts out of their hiding spaces more or less simultaneously, but Tommy is the first to engage. He swings his great-club wildly, missing by inches.
The clown, occupied as it is with Konnie ignores the strike and wanders after him mindlessly.

Khami sprints from behind the tent, swinging his chain above his head hoping to lasso his target, whereas Kvelar is charging it's flank. Johakim for his part is standing back for now.



You steel yourself for the first real combat of your life. But what exactly are you fighting?
You are closer now, and the moonlight reveals the face of your adversary.



It's visage shakes you to the bone, and you hesitate, interrupting your charge.

In but a moment, everyone will be fighting. Do you have any last minute orders?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Slice and Burn

Clowns, clowns, why did it have to be clowns?!
A million thoughts raced through your head. Horror stories from your youth, the humble boasts of your dear cousin. Your torches, in your pack back where you parked your horses. Cooking oil, flint and tinder. But your new friends where in trouble. If this was a glorified tree, you figured axes would do wonders in cutting it down to size.

Kvelar shot of a bolt from his crossbow, hitting the clown square in the ribs, then followed up with a swing from his axe that missed by a mile. The creature was utterly unphased.

Tommy swung his great-club mightily, this time scoring a solid hit to it's midsection. You could hear something cracking but the clown didn't even flinch, the vines covering it's body tightening up to compensate for the damage.

Khami swung his chain and managed to snag one of the creatures arms and pulled for all his worth. The clown, no longer able to pursue Konnie turned its torso independently of the head to rear for a new attack.

You had planned to hit it in the back, but this sudden development meant that was impossible. You cut feebly with your axe but to no avail. It is upon you.

It's one free arm, covered in vines, shoots out at you mimicking Khamis chain-toss but your small stature is enough that a quick roll is enough to get you out of harms reach.

The fight continues like this for some time, Khami straining to keep it under control, you and Kvelar trying to get at it with your axes and Tommy desperately looking for something to club that would actually make a difference. For it's part it's content with throwing viny-tendrils at whoever comes to close, swinging them about madly, hoping to catch at least one of you off-guard.

And it does. In the scramble of battle, Tommy makes a single miscalculation and is hit with the full force of the vineclowns attack sending him flying bodily several meters away, crashing into one of the wagons. The tendrils start flowing over the connection, covering his chest in seconds.



Time is off the essence. If there is anyone inside the tent they will have heard you by now. How do you proceed?

Swedish Thaumocracy fucked around with this message at Oct 22, 2015 around 20:27

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Tommy’s Bad Day

You yell: “Fire! Konnie! Johakim! Get the torches!” “Kvelar, Khami! Keep it occupied!” and rush of towards the cart that broke Tommy's flight.

Swing! Miss! Your deft axing goes wild as the tendrils throb and continue smothering their victim.

Kvelar, stumbles, trying to get a bead on the vineclown but it is twitching far to much for any of his swings to connect. Khami tries to help him, pulling with all his might against the greenhouse monster. It's all he can do to keep it still, keep it's other arm from murdering Kvelar or worse, himself.

The tendrils pulse threateningly. If nothing is done soon, Tommys days are numbered! One!

It's dark. It's scary, and someone else’s life is on the line. You freeze up. You can see the vines clearly before you, but your arms aren't in it. You watch helplessly as more and more of your friend is covered in vines.



Suddenly a battle axe whirrs past you, cutting the infecting tendrils in two and covering you in black, vicious blood. The monster spasms behind you, spraying fluid everywhere. It rips at the chain holding it in place and focuses all it's attention on Khami. It's loose!

Kvelar breaths a sigh of relief as he runs up you, smacks you upside the head and grabs his axe. “Get with it boy! Don't stand there like a lemon! Hit something! Make sure Tommy is alright, anything, do something!

He might as well be talking to a wall.

---

Khami legs it, either hoping to kite the monster letting Kvelar attack from the rear or simple out of fear. It is hard to tell. Whatever his motivation, Kvelar doesn't hesitate.



The cut is deep, several tendrils break of entirely, withering where they hit the ground. The clown bleeds thick, black ooze.

It twists it's midsection 180 degrees, more horrible, meaty sounds coming from inside it's body. It shoots off a tendril at Kvelar, but he dodges, rolls, comes up beside it. Chops it in half.



You are covered in blood. Drenched. Kvelar goes to town on the the corpse, slicing, dicing, chopping every tendril that dares twitch in his presence. You snap to it, walk over to Tommys side. He is unconscious, the tendrils still strangling his chest, but they are dormant. You take out a dagger and begin cutting him lose.

Khami comes back to you, squats down by your side. “Well fought, but it's not over yet.”

You see Johakim and Konnie in the distance, running back down, torches in hand.



You have a moment to compose yourself. You can still hear muffled noises from the tent, but nothing seems to be coming out to get you.

You plan to burn what is left of the clown as soon as you are able, but where, and is there anything else you'd like to do?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Take nothing but Flopsy, leave nothing but ash.

The others arrive quickly. Johakim takes one look at Tommy and his mouth wobbles. “Tommy, Tommy..” He gets out his medkit and begins looking the big guy over.
You don't know medicine, so there is nothing you can do.

It doesn't take much convincing to get the others to collect every scrap of clown and vine you can find and throw it in a hastily-dug pit.
Before you light the fire however, you bend down to pick up the clowns death certificate. Those are the rules after all.

Apparently his name was Djamino The Clown. Worked at a circus (presumably this one). No family. Human, once. 43 years old.
Presented to any census agent or office, the scroll would provide closure to the Bureaucracy.

< Gain: Death Certificate: Djamino The Clown >

You consider the corpse more closely before the fire starts eating away at it. He must have been dead for days, perhaps weeks.
The vines kept him in good shape, but he was only a vessel. Something to latch on too. Perhaps camouflage?
You've never fought a vine before. You have no idea how they think, or even if they can think at all.

Kvelar pipes up. “Never seen anything like it. Suppose it's a Forest creature? Good thing we had axes with us, nothing else seemed to as much as scratch it.”

Konnie is livid. His eyes burn brighter then your ad-hoc pyre. “Worthless, degenerate clowns! “ He grumbles, spits, kicks at a nearby wagon.
You tell him to calm down, see if he can figure out what is in the tent without arousing suspicion. If no one has come out of there even after all this racket, they must either be afraid, locked up or dead.

Not knowing what else to do, he nods and wanders off. Soon he is out of your sight.

Some time passes. Johakim turns to you. “He will live, but we need to get him to a hospital or church. Whatever we do, he's out for now. Kvelar, will you help me take him back to our horses?”

Kvelar nods, and the two (three) scurry off.

You wait a while by the fire, wondering what went wrong. What you could have done better.





Konnie comes back. Says he found something, but isn't sure how to proceed. Thought he'd come get you, all of you.



From the vantage point of the hole-cut-in-cloth of the tent, you can see into it's interior. It's dark, but you can make a few out vague shapes. What must be creatures, and what might be a wagon? Perhaps that is where they are keeping Flopsy.
The muffled noises are now more distinct. It sounds like irritated chittering. Mandibles perhaps?



“What do we do boss?”

1
Well, that is a good question. What do you do?
Tommy is out of commission for now. Yet everybody else is still going strong.
As always you can question the recruits that are present and able, you can delegate tasks or perform whatever action you think is necessary yourself. Or you could simple come up with a plan of attack and hope for the best. It's up to you!

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Peer Harder

You give Konnie the go ahead to get inside, see what he can see. You tell him to be careful and to not engage anything, he nods and is off.

Khami meanwhile has been investigating the nearby wagons. He returns to you with a rapport, some sort of poster in hand.



“Found this. Circus, featuring animals. That clown didn't look like a bandit, I suppose the vine was controlling it? Maybe they can control the animals as well. We better be on our guard.”



Your scout returns a minute later.



“Ain't no more clowns in there s'far as I can see, but I didn't get very far in on account of the sleeping bear.”

“Yeah, you heard me. Sleeping bear. There is something else further in too, something huge. Couldn't tell you what. Seems to be moving about. The chitterin we've been hearin is coming from the wagon in the centre. I'm betting a week of Tommy’s pay that that is where they are keeping Flopsy.”

He draws a rough oval on the ground and marks three areas of interest.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Big Top? Small Problem.

You briefly consider torching the whole place, wondering if perchance Flopsy is fireproof and doesn't need air to breath.
That idea strikes you as unnecessarially reckless though, especially considering your next train of thought provides you with a much more elegant solution.

Circus tents of this size take several hours to erect safely, and but a couple to take down and make ready for transport with a handful of men.
The Travelling Show lives and breaths on efficiency, but all the performers, stage-hands and personnel are gone. Mayhaps they fled the Vine, or lie dead in the wagons surrounding you.
You have not checked, so you do not know.

What you do know however is the quality and loyalty of the noble Dwarven Battleaxe.
Where else in the world can you find it's match in sharpness and utility? It's rich tradition of precise if wanton destruction.

You give the tent and Konnie's quickly drawn map one long, hard look. Your eyes glaze over as your accountancy training takes a hold of you.
Circumfence multiplied by height plus width and length, times the standard weight of cloth...

Something this big needs support both inside and out. You look around you, see the ropes coming down, attached to stakes dug deeply into the ground.

A motionless opponent offers no resistance.

Axe + Rope = Victory.





You stand around the collapsed ruins of a Circus Big Top Tent. From beneath the heavy canvass comes a terrible roar, but whatever is making it has no hope of escape.
Its struggles only serve to make your job easier as it pulls more and more of the cloth onto itself.

There are three distinct bumps in the brightly coloured fabric sea in front of you.
One large and bulky, roughly in the centre.
One where Konnie said the bear was sleeping, bear-sized and not moving.
One huge, enraged and entangled, off to one side.

Cleaning up this mess is a formality at this point. Tommy is unconscious but everyone else is doing fine.

1: How do you proceed?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Gotta Catch 'Em All.

You order your men to stake down the various lumps and cut the wagon loose from the others, whilst you go scavenge the area for any other carts that could be used for transport.

Though there are eight carts in total, only two seem to be in working order. However, when you go to inspect one of them closer, a lose splinter catches itself in your hand and he resulting angry kick is the final straw for the wagons rotted axle. It crumbles like a house made out of toothpicks in front of you.

The other wagon is in a sorry state but you think it would hold for at least one trip, especially if you spend some time repairing it with the spare parts looted from the other nearby transports.

You return to your group to inspect their progress. Aside from getting even more entangled, there is no change to rapport for the other lumps in the area, but the central one is ready to be uncovered.

Khami stands ready to pull down the curtain, but Konnie stops him.



“Hold on, what say we make this a friendly wager?”
“One weeks pay says Flopsy is a giant spider. Any takers?”

Your group murmurs, only Khami seems interested.



“Ah, I do not think it is a spider. Perhaps a scorpion?”

1: Do you want to get in on the bet?

2: Whatever the case, you only have one spare wagon besides Flopsy's, so which other lump do you want to attempt to take with you?

3: Do you spend an extra two hours (estimate) on repairs? Do note that is already pretty late, around midnight. The sooner you get Tommy home the better.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

The Grand Reveal

Somewhat disappointed at the lack of takers, Konnie nods for Khami to do the honours and pull down the canvas, at last revealing to Thorgrim Ironscripts Tyrannofauna Extermination Company the exact nature of their quarry.



It takes a moment for you to take the entire thing in. From the tip of it's tail to the point of it's mandibles, the thing is gigantic. An eerie, red glow surrounds it and it looks like the iron bars keeping it inside the wagon has suffered some light corrosive damage.
Konnie stares at the beast slackjawed, whilst Kvelar hefts his axe and Khami takes a step or two back.

“That doesn't look like any scorpion I've ever seen.”
“Nor spider, giant or otherwise.”
“Nae, it does not.”
“Call it a draw?”

You shudder. “Right boys, Konnie, Khami, get it ready for transport. Kvelar, help me with this other wagon would you?”


---


With two dwarves working over it and an entire field of spare parts, making repairs to the other transport wagon shouldn't take very long at all.


That is unless a huge and terrified monster in a wild panic tore it's way out of it's makeshift cloth prison but a few meters away from you, attacking everything around it in a blind rage.



That might interrupt things.







You have precious few moments to act. Enough to yell a few, quick orders and ready your weapons.
Note that Tommy is still out of commission and Johakim is keeping him company. Konnie and Khami have dragged the wagon holding Flopsy away from the tent, but can easily drop what they are doing to act out your plan.



1: How do you proceed?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Anticlimax

“Torches!” You yell, and throw your own towards the tusked beast rising from the canvas sea like a Kraken of old. Your men follow suit. Four torches sputter on the soil in front of you, creating possibly the lamest wall of fire the world has ever seen.




If only you hadn't used up all your oil destroying that clown...



The ember glow of the torches is reflected in the walruses murderous eyes, as it bellows it's thunderous challenge!



BLOARGH!


The ground shakes with its passing, every step a titanic effort of bulbous muscle, it's strength evident through the gloom of night. It's frame lit up by dwindling torchlight. Hatred seething off of it's whiskers like water brought to boil.


It charges at you, very, very slowly.









If you had been at sea you might have been in real trouble.



You look to Kvelar, who shakes his head clearly unimpressed. You sigh.



“Right boys. No one is paying us for this fight, pack it up and lets get moving before that thing comes any closer.”

Abandoning the repair efforts, you hop on your horses (who are all too glad to be away from the dangerous predator) and roll away, Flopsy in tow.





You make your way back to Johakim and Tommy, and together with them back to the road from whence you came.

Though far behind you can be heard the roars of an upset seacreature, the adrenaline of today’s activities is starting to wear of. A day of excitement, of sleuthing and your first foray into the world of monsters.

The hour is late and the once clear skies give way to clouds as the midnight breeze rolls in, bringing with them rain.



You are forced to make camp for the night.

You manage to create some cover for yourselves by ad-hocing some spare canvas to Flopsy's wagon. She seems to have calmed down a bit since you uncovered her and the bag full of carrion you brought with you surely helped as well. You give the wagon (and her, as much as you are able) a thorough inspection and find them mercifully free of vines or plant matter.

With nothing else to do, you set yourselves around the fire and begin sharing stories, before sleep overtakes you.

1:
Many stories are told, but you latch onto one of them especially. Which one?

A: A story of Monsters

B: A story of the Gods and their place in the world

C: A story from your home, about Dwarven Culture

2:
Write-In: Your first battle is over. You've had a chance to observe everyone, but not nearly enough to really gauge their effectiveness. Tommy was injured although it looks like he will pull through. What are your, spontaneous, thoughts about the performance of ITEC so far? What areas will you seek to improve in the coming weeks, who will you admonish and who will you praise? Who you keep in your employ is entirely up to you of course, but you know for a fact that a keeping a stable roster is much more likely to grant you victory in the long run, as your team learns to work together.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Slice of Lolth

Your mission is the topic of the day, and you and your team go through it all in minute detail. Yet as you sit there chatting, you cannot shake the feeling of dread emanating from the wagon beside you. The endless chittering of mandibles and pitter patter of a thousand spiny, chitinous legs.
Your minds eye is drawn to the altar in Flopsys mausoleum, to the casual mentions of torture by the Lord of the Manor. To spikes of corrugated iron, stretching upwards like bad similes.

That’s not the Friendly Household Spider you've come to know through your sparse visits to the local church, what gives?



Official Unified World Church Doctrine states that Lolth is the Patroness of the Hearth.
Her little helpers keep the Empires granaries safe from vermin, keep pests away from livestock and whisper terrible secretshelp inform the Imperial Census about the goings-on in the Empire.
She has worshippers amongst all the species, but is primarily revered amongst the Drow. She is the very model of an Imperial Grandmother, keeping her extended family secure in her tender, loving, all encompassing web.

You ponder this conundrum for a moment, and pose the question to the group. Kvelar pipes up, with his take on the matter.

"Ya, what you have there is a classic case of religious divergence. Y'see Lolth wasn't always like that, a far more feisty maiden she, pouncin' at weakness and spinning plots within plots.
Waging wars across the surface world, leading her chosen to dominion. The dark elves keep it up as a matter of tradition or pride i s''pose, but her more unruly elements 'ave been long since reigned in by The Bureaucracy.
They say old Rim 'imself cowed her, way back in time immemorial, tired of her shenanigans as he was. “

“That's quiet the feat.” Interjects Khami.

You nod sombrely. “To the Emperor.” Your collective mugs are raised on high. Some higher than others.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

The Campfire

Eventually your groups storytelling runs out of steam, as does your first night of watch. You succumb to sleep.

You find yourself on a field somewhere far away. In the distance you can see a city, but the lights you have come to associate with civilisation are dim. Creatures seemingly graze around you, but as you approach them you find that they exude no warmth.
Likewise the grass beneath your feet feels unnaturally cold and the air around you is still.

The moon lies heavy in the sky illuminating the silent world around you.
A flash erupts in the city, sickly-green, but it is far away, you cannot reach it.
You awake in the morning with a cold sweat, but otherwise no worse for wear.

---

Lord of the Manor




You arrive to the Manor around noon and are greeted by a troop of guardsmen. They part you from your quarry and escort it away towards the cemetery where Flopsy makes her home.

One guard stays behind, one you recognize from before.


“Master will be overjoyed at these new developments, but I fear seeing him now is out of the question. The last few days have been very taxing, for all of us, but now hopefully we can get some things done again.
You will of course be generously compensated. Good day.”

---

Ironscript Tyrannofauna Extermination Company

You return to ITEC headquarters an hour later. Tommy is drifting in and out of sleep and is badly injured but stable. He will likely be out for the rest of the month pending drastic changes.




You have only been gone for a day, and your cursory investigation (going down to the local tavern for a pint) reveals nothing has changed viz a viz available missions. You had originally planned to go see the old lady about her attic after you found the missing pet, but perhaps now that you have gotten into the swings of things you have changed your mind?

1:
What mission will you take on next?


A: The Culled Sheep
The nearby village of Sockne (some days travel to the west) has suffered a culling of lambs recently, and some villagers suspect a monster. The Imperial Army believes it to be the work of a wolf or a farmers dispute and refuses to intervene. The villagers offer a meagre sum of to whoever solves their dilemma.

B: The Silvermines of Gruw

The Lord of the Fortress City of Gruw (a weeks travel to the north west) has put out a request for aid. Apparently the deliveries from his silver-mine have ceased altogether. There have been reports of banditry in the area for many years now but they usually leave their victims alive, if only so they can rob them again. That the deliveries have stopped entirely is unusual and highly disturbing. The Imperial Army is busy quelling an attempted uprising in the area and have no manpower to spare. If you where to figure out what happened and slay the monster responsible, you could be well rewarded indeed.

C: The Noisy Attic
A worried grandmother gave a knock on your door one evening, complaining about a strange noise in her attic. Would you be a dear and see to it for her?

D: Ignore the missions and train / recuperate for a week.

---

2:
You have 7 wealth to your name, but in one months time you will have to have saved up 12 to have any hope of paying your recruits. Additionally, in 5 months your first debt-payment of 30 wealth is due. Still, you've been considering hiring an additional recruit, especially now that Tommy is unavailable to you. Speaking of whom, his recovery would be that much quicker if you made a completely voluntary donation to the local branch of the Unified World Church. Decisions, decisions.

E: I save all the wealth for later.

F: I go to Skvababt house on the outskirts of town to see if she is still interested in the the position.
(-1 wealth)

G: I generously donate to the Church and ask that they take care of my friend who was injured Righteously Smiting Evil and or Good depending on what cleric I bump into first. (-2 wealth, but Tommy will be back on his feet within days instead of weeks.)


---

3: Is there anything else you would like to do?

Your recruits and various NPCs about town are available for discussions. Additionally, you are free to delegate activities or investigate your surroundings as you see fit.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Kai Tave posted:

Man, if this was the most lucrative job on offer and it didnt even cover a third of our monthly expenses we're gonna either need to hustle a lot more work or hone our negotiation skills some.

It actually covers an entire month for your company with a bit to spare. However your recruits agreed to table their pay until the end of the second month, knowing that missions might be sparse in the beginning.
Normally your monthly expenses would amount to 6 Wealth with your current roster of recruits.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Errands

You decide to leave Tommy to his fate for now, as you simply cannot spare the two months pay required by the Church. Instead you opt for the cheaper option, hiring additional backup.
You know that Skvababt is still interested in working with you so you head out to see if she is home.

---



Her house is... peculiar. Resting on calcified pillars high above the ground, it has an unmatched view of it's surroundings. On the way over there you see many stray, discarded arrows. Some embedded in trees, some in the soil. In one case embedding a small mammal into another one.

A figure leans out of the window as you approach. "Ohh, hello boys." It says softly. "I'll be right down, don't you worry... I know you've been waiting for a long time to see me.
And good things come to those who wait."

You stand, mouth agape and slightly confused. Even her voice is alluring, but her forwardness is something of a culture clash towards you and your species.

You see, dwarves find the concept of biology highly irrelevant to the affairs of state and clan.
As such the only time they normally give a thought to gender and procreation is during the state mandated Generational Community Expansion Programmes.
Here childless dwarves that have come of age are drafted, assigned an arbitrary gender and paired up with a compatible partner as per an ancient formulae known as the Bridge-Mason theory.

The couples then produce an appropriate number of children (as per the local quota) and rear them for the next twenty to thirty years in exchange for a somewhat generous stipend.
Most dwarven couples stay together even after this period has ended, the work that they put in having left them with an unbreakable bond of teamwork and oftentimes a whole slew of trade secrets that in any case should not be divulged.

Yet here she stands before you, her eyes sparkling incandescent. Widened in loves gaze.



"Mhmmm, why hello there Thorgrim."

You shudder internally, if blissfully, and snap out of it. There was business to attend to and not much time to do it in. The nice, elderly lady might be in serious trouble.
You present Skvababt with her new contract and tell her to gather her things and meet you back at headquarters as soon as she is able. She merely smiles at you, nodding.

---

On the way back you head into the local Census Office and hand over the Death Certificate you found earlier.
The clerk thanks you for your attention to civic duty and asks you a series of questions as to the circumstances in which you found the body.
Thus questioned, you head back to base to find Skvababt and the others (sans Tommy) waiting for you in the yard.

After introductions, you explain the mission to all those present.


A dear old grandmother, Philberta Axblossom, came to ITEC the other day complaining about the terrible noise coming from her attic.
She wondered if you youngsters could check it out for her, her back isn't what it used to be and there are so very many stairs to climb.
If you could deal with whatever is causing all that ruckuss she would be very grateful. Your acute sense of accountancy tells you that this is not a very profitable mission.
Indeed, she probably can't afford to pay you at all, but what it lacks in profit it more than makes up for in good will and public relations.
A kindly old grandmothers prime modus operandi is gossip after all, and your business needs all the help it can get.

---

1:
A noisy attic shouldn't pose too many problems, should it? You hardly need to bring everyone with you, but you can if you feel paranoid.
Besides, a nice, easy mission should boost morale and you might even get some solid training in should the inevitable rat infestation prove challenging.

A: I bring everyone

B: Konnie

C: Johakim

D: Khami

E: Kvelar

F: Skvababt


---

2:
Do you make any additional preparations before you head on in?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Q and A

Theantero posted:

Question: Can our keen dwarven mind spot any practical benefit in leaving people behind? Will they train? Or will they just rest and relax, mayhaps improving morale or something?

People who stay behind cannot be injured in the field, and can rest up should they have injury from a previous mission. Additionally, they might train should they be so inclined. For this mission however you will only be gone a couple of hours at most if things go as planned, so no, not really. Your recruits are 'real people' and will do as they wish, however they are still under your employ and have all signed contracts to fight for you and obey sensible, direct orders.

Theantero posted:

Question: Do we know how large the woman's attic is? Will it even have room for 7 people to fight in?

She didn't give you the exact numbers, but you know the area in which she lives and the houses there are generally two story affairs with two to four rooms a floor. The attic should be big enough for seven people to cram themselves into, but obviously this varies heavily on what is actually stored in there. Knick-knacks and heirlooms, old broken furniture? Without being there you can't rightly tell.

Theantero posted:

Question: Do we have any cat carrier sized cages than can hold small creatures but are convenient enough to carry by hand? What about nets? I was thinking we might want to capture one or two of these creatures and maybe ferry them to that alchemist or someone if they turn out to be more exotic than your average house rat. Maybe Skvababt has some in her house, she has that ranger vibe about her and thus might have something like that.

This is something easily purchasable for a negligible cost, but it will take some time to procure. Skvababt has nets for "entertainment purposes" that she assures you she can put to good use.

Nyaa posted:

Unless we can send the rest to other quest, EVERYONE

Your presence is required at the mission site as per contract. You give the orders, you pay the bills.


GloriousDemon posted:

Side question, what do we know of on how to invoke the God's help? Is it costly beyond our means?

You are not a Cleric, so you know of no sure-fire ways to get divine aid short of going to Church and asking there. Perhaps you could pray and find out?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

The Axblossom residence

Philbertas house isn't very far, so you pack your gear, making sure to bring a few extra nets in case any of the (you suppose rats) prove to be notable in any way, shape or form.
You also swing by a carpenters workshop and enquire about some kind of wooden contraption to carry small critters in, but the shopkeeper shakes his head at you.
That would be a terrible waste of precious wood, you'd be better of seeing a blacksmith or perhaps enquiring with the City Slimegeneering Guild for a custom project.

At any rate, the various members of ITEC soon find themselves standing outside a small two story stone building somewhere in the middle of town.
A faint calamity can be heard even from the courtyard, and it only intensifies as you step inside.

Five burly fighters and one slender archer step into little old lady's drawing room. Philberta herself is sitting in a rocking chair, an aged dog by her side.



"Oh hello dearies, you've come about the attic at last?" Her shaking hand points to a large set of iron keys on a small antique table. "It's just up the stairs you know. The attic." "Won't you do something abut the noise?"



A weird, high pitched chanting can be heard from behind the heavy door at the end of the stairs.

What do you do?

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

ITEC preliminary site investigations, The Case of the Noisy Attic, Interior

"Mrs. Axblossom, we have a few questions for you..."


quote:

Ask her if there are windows into or out of the attic.
"Yes dear, it has such a nice view of the town square. When we were younger, Mr. Axblossom and I used to spend our evenings together, gazing out from that little alcove over the sunset..."

---

You tell Konnie to go see if he can gain access or scout out the attic from outside, he nods and grabs Khami on his way out, leaving you with Kvelar, Johakim and Skvababt.

---

quote:

Ask her if anyone asked her to store things in the attic lately.
"No dear. Only memories."

quote:

Ask her who else has access to the house, friends, family, etc.
"Yes dear."

quote:

Ask her if they've been behaving oddly
"Oh, no dear. Everybody is always so nice when they come visit me."

quote:

Ask her what kind of roof she has.
"Why it's a lovely roof, thank you very much."

---

You decide that you need more information, so you sneak up to the door and press your ear against it.
As far as you can tell, there is only one voice, and it keeps repeating the same words over and over. "You've got to pay the price!"

Curious, you decide to look in through the rather large keyhole. There is a window letting in daylight on the right side of the room.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWeqR454OEY

Your scouts aren't back yet, but they probably will be soon. What do you do in the meantime?

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Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

The Attic

RandomPauI posted:

One more question:

I'm going to ask this just to be thorough. Has anyone ever threatened to curse you or your family for any reason?
Say because of a spurned lover, unpaid debt, or some other real or imagined wrong?



Philberta looks concerned for a moment, as if something was on the tip of her tongue. "No dear, we Axblossoms are a friendly lot. I'm sure the young ones have their ups and downs, but we make do."

---

Konnie shrugs as he enters the apartment, Khami following up behind him, calm as ever.



"Ain't nothin' there but bits and bobs mate. Nothin tha' can be seen either way. Would swear on it 'lest i heard the terrible racket, somewhere off to the side? I say we go take a look see."

You briefly consider torching the entire place, but Konnies words and common sense soothes you somewhat (fire! ahaha). You decide to go check it out yourself.



You are sure the old stairway should creak as you ascend it once more, but Mr. Axblossom must have maintained it well and in any case the incessant chanting from inside the attic drowned out any other sound nearby.



The attic is, as you predicted, very cramped. Full of old dusty furtniture and boxes of keepsakes.
The chanting is obviously coming from the painting some few meters ahead of you and the eyes of the thing follow you around as your group spreads out in the room.
Looks like you've found your culprit.

From the lack of instant death you surmise it isn't actually hostile even if it is incredibly annoying.
You take a few steps closer to examine it.


"You've got to pay the price!"
"You've got to pay the price!"
"You've got to pay the price!"

Kvelar looks skeptical. "It's just a painting, why don't we just throw it out?"
He attempts to do so but his hand is stopped just short of the easel on wich the painting sits.
"Hrngh." "Ech no use. Can't get near it."

The painting smirks at you. It seems incredibly familiar, if you could just figure out why you know you could solve this conundrum.

1:
Perhaps you can talk to it? What do you say?


2:
There must be something you are missing, but how will you figure this out? Perhaps someone else has some input. Do you have any questions for anyone?

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