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Y2 WIP Adventures (come and proof-read!)

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Nope, For Schohanwicht is a Y2 follow-up adventure to the Endless Section Library adventure, which itself is also a Y2 adventure. Stage 8, you may have noticed, says:

Well, more specifically, if your Negations aren't. Fully educated spellcasters probably wouldn't have that problem, but, well, you're still a second year student. Time to see what you can do.

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Okay :). Also, as a general rule, adventures I type and/or post in here are going to be for Y2. Y1 is missing a few adventures, but beyond that it honestly has enough adventures as is.

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For Schohanwicht, stage 10:

 

History Rewritten

 

You're on your way to Lord Krazoa's domain, figuring that if anyone knows how to proceed from here it'd be him. Sure, you should only have to convince Kane to cooperate with the Schohanwicht professors, but you're not sure how to best accomplish that. What you are sure of is that if there's a great way to accomplish it, than Lord Krazoa knows how, and so you're on your way to see him. The trip there is entirely routine, you know the path and with daylight there's practically no way to avoid seeing it. It's still a long walk, but not too long after setting off you see the basalt tower come into view. Does Lord Krazoa have a name for that tower? Something to ask him later, perhaps. You walk inside, through the creepy hallway of statues, and onto the raised podium in the centre room. "Lord Krazoa, I've come seeking and bearing knowledge.". You don't know if you still need to be so formal with him, but you suppose it can't hurt. It takes a minute, but soon enough you see a familiar shape jump off a railing, turn into a bat while in freefall and land before you while turning back into a human form. You're now convinced he does that every time he wants to go downstairs, just as a way of practising. Better than using the stairs, at any rate. "Not since the days of the Empire has one single creature called on me so frequently. I hope you come bearing good news, child.". Sounds like you interrupted him. Well, you're sure this'll be worth it. You explain to him that you found the Dragon's Doom collection, and where. Initially Lord Krazoa doesn't react, but after a while he starts laughing. Loudly, which is only made worse by the echo. It almost sounds like the choir-like voice Glamour, only less refined. It takes Lord Krazoa a while to stop cackling like a man who's lost his mind...which doesn't do much to comfort you. With an almost predatory grin he finally turns to face you again, though you're hesitant to meet his rather intimidating gaze. "That, child, is certainly knowledge worth my time. Though, you said you also came seeking knowledge. What knowledge would that be?". Still looking a bit away you mention that your professors - the, eh, not so public ones - want the books...but they're not sure how to get them from the Endless Section to...where they work unnoticed. You're pretty sure it's safe to mention that to Lord Krazoa. Heck, he's met Euneycia. Lord Krazoa seems to ponder this for a moment, and the grin on his face shifts to a less frighting size. "The students of Schohanwicht seeking to smuggle the Dragon's Doom collection out of the Endless Section under Kane's eyes...oh, but what a worthy prize they would get. Ah ha-hah, forgive me, Kane, but I believe this will be worth your secret.". Is Lord Krazoa using a Mastery spell to communicate with him or what? You're not sure you follow. Either way Lord Krazoa shakes his head and turns his attention back to you. "Kane is not as clean a wizard as he makes sure others believe. Through working in the Endless Section he's developed a fascination for Gates...and a healthy fear for it's unforgiving nature. Have you never wondered why he insists that none study forbidden magic within his library, rather than that it is not possible?". You figured that Kane was talking about the library itself, not the books within. Does that mean he keeps illegal texts in his library?. Lord Krazoa shakes his head. "Kane knows full well what comes of studying Gates, if not due to it than due to the students of Schohanwicht. I know full well what your professors can and will do to those who disrespect their school and threaten it's existence. Be glad you are their student, child, and pray to every God you can that that never changes.". You'd...really rather not think about that. "Nevertheless it's what he so dearly wishes to study, and one need not read a Gates textbook to find some snippets of information. Still, due to the many dangers of studying Gates Kane's true interest was laid to rest, and so he instead studies history and the stars in the hopes that one day he can set a different future in motion. A hopeless goal for him alone, I guarantee. But he need not change the future to chase his own dreams. Not necessarily.". Kane, the jovial man who did such an hilarious impersonation of a cranky old man the first time you and Durand met him, secretly fascinated with Gates. You'd never have guessed. Still, that gives you the idea you need. With that in mind you thank Lord Krazoa for the information and head off to Schohanwicht. The professor you talked to before isn't hard to find, and he seems somewhere between curious and confused when he sees you. You really don't know why. "So, has the treasure hunter discovered a good method of getting those books out of the Endless Section?". You're just going to pretend that the rather derisive tone in the professor's voice when he called you a "treasure hunter" is due to immense amounts of fatigue. It probably really is anyway, given how every professor on campus and a number of senior students have been oh-so busy lately. As for his question you're sure the best solution is to invite Kane into Schohanwicht, but the professor may need some convincing to allow that. Entrance to Schohanwicht is, after all, not exactly handed out to just anyone. So...how to phrase this...

 

Explain why Kane would be a worthy student, you know what the professor cares about most.
-You nod and plainly state your plan, which is to get Kane on Schohanwicht's side by offering him a place in it. The professor frowns, but before he can react further you start listing the reasons why it'd be the best course of action and why Kane would be a worthy student, making sure to mention Kane's respect for the school and his understanding of the importance of keeping knowledge available only to those who would put it to proper use...and what happens to those that don't. The professor, after hearing your case, raises an eyebrow. "That all makes sense, but...how, exactly, did you learn about Kane's interests?". "From Lord Krazoa", you hesitantly admit. The professor sighs and shakes his head briefly. "I thought as much. Very well, please take a seat in the library and wait for me, I need to speak with the headmaster.". You nod and wait for about an hour and a half, after which the professor returns with a few senior students in tow. Each is carefully transporting a very familiar-looking box, and behind them is the headmaster. After giving the professor and the seniors a few directions he walks up to you. "So I've heard you're the one who found those boxes?". You take another look at them, and the not quite preserved wood along with the rather haphazard construction does look very familiar. Molters was many things, but a carpenter was not one of them. "Indeed I did. Those are the books from Dragon's Doom, right?". The headmaster nods as he continues to studiously observe you. "Normally I wouldn't approve of a younger student going off on [his/her] own like this, too much risk of drawing attention and you can count yourself lucky that Lord Krazoa isn't...actively working against us, but...". The headmaster looks at the boxes being brought behind the reception, smiles briefly, and turns back to you. "I...can't fault the results.". Seems like you at least won't get into too much trouble for your lack of discretion (not that you believe you weren't discreet enough), but you can do better than that. "Actually, it was Lord Krazoa's idea that I look for the collection of books. And not because he wanted the collection for himself." The headmaster's eyebrows shoot up towards the ceiling. "Wait, you mean...that vampire? Lord Ka...eh, Krazoa gave you that idea?". "The idea, a vague hint about where to start and a not-so vague hint that it'd be a good idea for me to look for the collection.". The headmaster casts another glance towards the boxes and turns back to you, confused. But you've got it pieced together, you think. "You got the chance to study whatever you wanted in Lord Krazoa's domain, you got the collection of books, you got the keeper of the Endless Section and you still have me. Haven't you noticed that everything you could have wanted from this has fallen into your hands?". The headmaster again shifts his gaze towards the boxes, or at least where they were since they've been taken into the back of the library by now, and simply stares into space for a bit, lost in thought. "[PC FIRST NAME]?". The headmaster doesn't turn to face you. This is either a very good sign...or a sign that you'll be worse than dead come sunset. "Do you know...what the vampire's goals are?". "No...but I'm sure Lord Krazoa can be trusted. He wouldn't betray tradition, and neither will I.". The headmaster stares at you for a very, very long time. When he finally says something you finally understand the cryptic advice Lord Krazoa gave you earlier. You've invited yourself into his schemes, and if they serve for the good of Schohanwicht, you've opened up a very large door indeed. "King Aranaz save us all if either of us are wrong. But see to it that you do.".
-- +1 Charm, END ADVENTURE

 

Argue that it's the safest way to smuggle the books out of the Endless Section.
-You sigh and explain your plan. It's not perfect, but it's the best you can come up with, and most importantly it'll work. The professor listens as you explain your idea, although he doesn't seem enthusiastic about it. Nevertheless he says he'll bring it to the headmaster, and asks you to wait in the library. You do so, picking out a book to read in the meantime, and an hour and a half later you see the professor enter the library along with a few senior students, and the headmaster. The professor and students are each carrying a familiar looking box, which the headmaster tells them to take into the back of the library. After that he walks straight to you. "So, I hear we have you to thank that we now own these boxes?". You nod, as you definitely recognise the haphazard, through functional construction of the somewhat decayed boxes. "You do realize that by digging up our history, the history that we ourselves so carefully tried to hide from the public, it'll only draw unwanted attention, correct?". You nod, though you don't think that'll be a concern. You're pretty sure you were discreet enough. Not that that stops the headmaster from lecturing you. "As for disciplinary actions, well...". The headmaster throws a glance at the boxes being brought into the back of the library, smiles briefly, and turns back to you. "I believe that it can be overlooked, in this instance.". You nod again, simply playing the part of the nice, obedient student...until now. "Mind if I ask you something, professor?". The headmaster shakes his head. "You said that the history of Gates was carefully destroyed, and I can say that in this case it nearly was. But then, how did I get the idea to look for the collection?". The headmaster briefly looks confused, but in short order he gets a very peculiar look on his face. Not quite one of fatigue, more like weariness. "Oh, let me guess, the vampire? He told you about the collection?". "More than that. He told me about it, summarized who could have taken the books if it wasn't the Exile, a lead to follow when looking for them...and a hint that it would be in my best interest to look for them, though not necessarily on his behalf.". The headmaster looks confused, and perhaps a little worried. Well, you've opened your mouth, might as well. "Not just that, but I noticed Schohanwicht made out like a bandit during all of this. We got access to Lord Krazoa's domain and everything he has in it, we got the collection, we got the keeper of the Endless Section, and through me you have the vampire's gratitude, for what that's worth. And honestly, I think it's worth a lot.". Still confused, but no slower because of this, the headmaster asks what you're talking about. "Lord Krazoa has an agenda. And the one thing that stops him from pushing it is that he can't leave his domain. Even if his herd can defend itself - and trust me, it can - he's still a vampire that can't simply walk across a street outside during the daylight hours. So I think he's trying to gather allies. Me, Kane...maybe even Schohanwicht itself. I don't know what he intends to do, I don't know what you intend to do, but if you share the same goals...I think he'll be a powerful ally.". The headmaster looks impressed...but also sceptical. "How can you be sure he won't be a powerful enemy?". "Because our traditions, that which separates us from the Dragons, is what's most important to him. He didn't ask for our loyalty or our help in return for access to his domain, he asked that we respected tradition. Besides, he knows about us. If he wanted to get rid of us he could simply tell the Captain." The headmaster tries to get a word in, but you immediately interrupt him. "'Kane knows full well what comes of studying Gates, if not due to it than due to the students of Schohanwicht. I know full well what your professors can and will do to those who disrespect their school and threaten it's existence. Be glad you are their student, child, and pray to every God you can that that never changes'. His words, not mine.". To that the headmaster has only one thing left to say, after which he walks off. "I can't claim to understand the vampire's goals, but if you're so sure that your dealings with him are beneficial to Schohanwicht as a whole, than on your head be it.".
-- +1 Intelligence, END ADVENTURE

 

 

Last stage of this adventure, and one that could really have benefited from me knowing stuff I don't know. As is I get the impression that the stage itself doesn't know what it wants, but I suppose until Y2 is released proper it'll have to stay that way.

Edited by Metis

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Okay :). Also, as a general rule, adventures I type and/or post in here are going to be for Y2. Y1 is missing a few adventures, but beyond that it honestly has enough adventures as is.

 

Heresy! :angry:

 

Umm, which are missing pray tell?

 

Some Avila boy adventures?

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Proper class adventures for several classes (Arithmetic, Glamour, Geometry at least, possible others), indeed some adventures for the less loved colleges (Avila especially), perhaps a few other things.

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Dice Game, stage 0:

 

Taking A Load Off

 

You've got no homework you haven't already done, no tests coming up that you haven't already studied for, it's a beautiful day outside, there's no bullies walking around who want a piece of you, and as far as you can see there aren't too many professors wandering around either. One of those rare, but very enjoyable days where you can just do what you want and not feel guilty about not doing something you should be doing. Of course that begs the question how you're going to spend you time. You could go for a walk, read a book that isn't a textbook for once, grab some food from one of the taverns in Mineta, lots of options. Unfortunately while your mind wanders you don't pay close enough attention to where you're walking, so you suddenly trip over something you didn't notice laying in the grass. Biting back a curse, not that you were really hurt by the fall, you turn around and take a look at what you tripped over. It appears to be a wooden box, small enough to hold in one's hand and decorated with only the bare minimum of features needed to make it look like it didn't jump out of a Geometry textbook. There's a small handle on the lid to keep the box closed, although you don't see a keyhole that could actually lock it. Nothing magical about it either, as far as you can see. Unfortunately there's also no name on it, so you don't know who's box this is. You briefly contemplate using Astrology to find the owner, but than you realise there's something much easier you can try first - take a look inside for a hint. Perhaps you shouldn't, but if the owner of this box wants it back you're going to need a hint as to who this person is. Besides which, if people want to hide their belongings perhaps getting something a little more secure than a wooden box with no locking mechanism might be a good idea. As would not dropping the thing, that would also help. So with no feeling of remorse you slide the handle on the box to the side and open the lid. Inside the box is some plain-looking cloth, neatly folded so it easily fits inside, on top of which are six six-sided dice scattered around chaotically. Well than...

 

Mystery solved.
-You're not sure since when Cirillo Laziosi started to keep his dice in a box, but you've got 10 Pims saying that this is his nevertheless. You're not far from the Godina College building, might as well pay it a visit.

 

 

Really short little adventure here. No, this one is actually really short. I promise. No, really, I mean it this time!

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Dice Game, stage 1:

 

Dicey Plans

 

Walking close to the Godina College building you notice Silke Niederstatter in front of the door, apparently intent on decorating the doorframe with Glamours. You don't see any spectators, yet, so whatever she's doing she probably only just started with it. You walk up to her and ask "Hey, Silke, do you know where Cirillo is?". Silke turns around and looks at you with a slightly confused expression. She then glances at her work-in-progress decorations, as if there's something wrong with them, before turning back to you. "In the common room, but what do you want with him?". You show Silke the box, but she doesn't recognise it. You shrug and say "It's Cirillo's, or at least I assume it's Cirillo's. Anyway good luck with your decorations, I'll come take a look later.". Silke smiles and goes back to decorating while you enter the Godina common room. There's not many people in here, but you do see Cirillo sitting in one corner along with Miya Hikari and Alan Driscoll. They look like they're playing a game of some sort, another reason to think that the box of dice are Cirillo's, but just as you're about to walk up and talk to them a very reasonable question occurs to you. Are these dice loaded? You're not sure whether or not you'd want to return them if they are...

 

You don't really care. Ask Cirillo if this is his box.
-Than again, it's not like you're not already weary of Cirillo, so him having his potentially loaded dice isn't going to bother you. You casually walk up to Cirillo and tab him on the shoulder with the box. You didn't exactly mean to, but you briefly forgot that your hand was occupied. Cirillo turns around and looks at you a bit strangely. "What? Do you need somethi-oh! Is that my box?". You shrug and ask Cirillo if he's lost any boxes recently. Cirillo nods and takes a look inside, recognition clearly washing over him as he sees the dice. "Yes! Finally, my silky smooth dice! Now we can finally get this game really going.". Cirillo certainly looks happy, as do Miya and Alan. And as you look at the table it soon becomes clear why. Aside from a badly treated parchment and quill and a very bizarre cup with a completely square design there's a set of six six-sided dice on the table, although they're definitely seen better days.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

[Character Study]: Carefully observe Cirillo when asking about the box.
-You walk up to Cirillo and tab him on his shoulder. He turns around and looks a curiously at you. "Hey, Cirillo, Miya, Alan. Enjoying your game?". Alan nods while Miya is writing something you can't see on a worn parchment. If she responded to you you couldn't see. As casually as you can you ask the three if they've lost anything recently. Alan asks why you're asking, but before you can answer Cirillo notes that he did misplace his dice box somewhere. "Dice box?", you ask as innocently as you can, hoping that Cirillo will offer you more information. Unfortunately Miya decides to put the parchment down and remarks "Probably the thing you're holding, [PC FIRST NAME].". After frowning at Miya you show Cirillo the box. "That's indeed it! That's my dice box, where did you find it?". While explaining where you found it you carefully look at Cirillo's reaction, but he doesn't look nervous at all. You figure that if the dice were loaded he would be, since he'd be reprimanded for carrying contraband if a professor found the box and confronted him about it. Instead he happily takes out the dice and throws them on the table, while Alan puts away another set of six-sided dice that have seen more use than they should have. Than again, the same could be said for Miya's parchment. Also on the table is a weird-looking square cup, something you wouldn't be able to easily drink from. What a weird assortment of things, but since they're here they must be used for something...
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You walk up to Cirillo and ask him about the box, but you don't see any reactions that could tell you whether or not the dice are loaded. As things stand you're not sure whether they are, although Cirillo happily thowing the dice on the table while Alan puts away a more worn set should probably be taken as a hint that they're not loaded. As should the fact that the table doesn't contain any Pims or other things that could theoretically be used as money chips. Although maybe that's just something Miya is keeping track of with her parchment and quill. Or maybe the final wager is the bizarrely square cup sitting next to Alan. With Cirillo you can never be sure.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

[Negation] Does magic reveal anything?
-With little regard for who watches you enter the common room and immediately cast a spell on something you trace the Phemes for the best Negation you can manage and let it fly. The spell tells you that neither the box or the cloth are magical in any way, and the dice are clean. No sides that have more or less weight, no weird surfaces, no weird edges. They are slightly enchanted, but they only have very basic self-cleaning enchantments that practically every first year learns to cast on everything as soon as they can reliably cast the required spells. That's a load off your mind, so time to see if these things belong to Cirillo.
-- LOCK ABOVE OPTIONS, UNLOCK BELOW OPTION, TRY AGAIN

 

-Despite the risk of looking weird, randomly wandering into the common room and immediately casting a spell on something, you cast a basic Negation on the dice to see if they've been magically altered. Your Negation tells you the dice haven't been changed magically, but that doesn't really tell you whether they're been changed non-magically. If you want answers it looks like you'll have to get them from the horse's mouth.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

-Ask Cirillo if the box is his.
--You walk up to Cirillo and tap his shoulder. He turns around, looks at you with an expression that's a little too jovial for your tastes, and asks "Huh? Oh, [PC FIRST NAME]? Did you need me?". You nod and hold out the box. "Is this-", you begin to say, but before you can utter three words Cirillo excitedly exclaims "My dice! That's my dice box, where'd you find it?". If only you'd have actually made that bet with someone, you'd be ten Pims richer. "On the Grounds, sitting in the grass right where people could trip over it.". Cirillo looks a bit surprised for a moment, but he happily takes the box regardless. "You don't look hurt.", Alan remarks, but you reassure him that after a year at the Academagia you've learned how to fall down without dying. Miya doesn't say anything, but there's a grin on her face that makes you think she's thinking about some fantastic joke. At your expense, probably.
--- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

 

For anyone who wishes to know where the rest of the stage is, it's called stage 2. Yes, this stage I cut in half but, say, The Training Continues 12 I did not. It will all make sense eventually. Maybe.

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Dice Game, stage 2:

 

Pawn's Plight

 

"Hey, do you want to join our game?", Cirillo suddenly asks. "I'm not much for gambling.", you reply, but taking another look at the table you actually don't see any Pims. Cirillo tries to say something, but Miya interrupts him with "Oh, it's not gambling. It's high stakes fun.". Cirillo looks at Miya and nods in agreement, but you're still sceptical. Alan reassures you that they game they're playing is about skill, rather than dumb luck, and you look even more sceptical at Cirillo. "I got tired of just rolling dice and seeing where they ended up. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I thought that it needed more thrill. More action, more involvement. A game where it's not just the dice that determines who wins, but where you have to make a choice of whether or not you want to throw the dice.". Cirillo pauses his most magnificent speech and notices that you're not buying a word of it. With a much quieter voice he adds "That, and Regent Massioti said that I needed to learn a thing or two about the value of tactics or he'd teach it to me during detention.". You can believe that, but tactics during a game of dice? "So Regent Massioti told you to learn a few things about tactics and you decide to play a game of dice? You don't think you should be opening a book about Rimbal, or something?". "Oh, we're not just playing a game of dice.", Cirillo happily corrects, "We're inventing a game of dice! One that requiring thinking, strategy, tactics! Everything that...". Cirillo suddenly seems lost in thought. After giving him a moment to think he says "Everything that a professor would want in a dice game rather than a true gambler, honestly, but for all that I do like it. It's a nice change of pace, and it's not a difficult game to learn.". You take a look at Miya and Alan, but neither have anything to add. "No offence, Cirillo, but if you want to keep Regent Massioti at bay you probably should have gone with the Rimbal textbook.". "Life isn't all about Rimbal, [PC FIRST NAME].", Cirillo tells you. You refrain from throwing back that life isn't all about dice, either. "Just take a seat and play a few games with us, I'll explain the rules. At least the ones we have so far.". Well...

 

Sure, let's hear what Cirillo came up with.
-You nod and grab a chair to sit in. If nothing else you at least want to hear what Cirillo came up with so far (and likely what he's going to land in detention for later).
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

No thanks, you've got other plans.
-You shake your head and say you've got plans, you just stopped by to drop off the box. "Fine.", Cirillo says. "I'll show you how to roll the dice later. Trust me, this game is going to be the new...the new...the new what's it called?". "Fad.", Miya answers. "Isn't there a more...I don't know, positive name for that? 'Fad' doesn't have a nice ring to it.". Alan enters the discussion with the suggestion that they should ask Silke, which you take as your cue to leave.
-- END ADVENTURE

 

 

Ergo, the answer is laziness. Of course the answer is laziness.

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Dice Game, stage 3:

 

Rules

 

Cirillo picks up his shiny set of dice and throws them on the table. He looks displeased with the results, although you don't know why. "Alright, so the game that I - that we, really - came up with goes like this. You start with six six-sided dice, and roll them all. With a cup, if you're no good at rolling dice on the table rather than off the table.". Alan jokingly says "guilty", which explains the bizarre cup. "If you roll at least one 1, one 5, or three of the same number you can count how many points they're worth and end your turn. A 1 is worth ten points, a 5 is worth five points, and rolling three of the same number at once is worth ten times that number in points unless you roll triple 1, in which case you get a full one hundred points.". Alan interjects with "I still think that should be less.", and Cirillo shrugs in response. He turns back to you and says "We're still fine-tuning things, but that's what we have so far. Anyway, if you have anything that's worth points on your six dice you can end your turn and collect the points...or you can set aside those dice and re-roll the remaining ones. Of course the risk is that if you don't roll anything that's worth any points your turn ends, and you don't get anything for it.". Sounds simple enough. "Do you have to set aside all dice that are worth points, or can you set aside a 1 and try to re-roll a 5 into something better?", you inquire. "The latter, but if you roll a triple throw you have to put all three dice aside or re-roll all three, even if you roll triple 1 or triple 5. Not that you'd want to split a triple, they're worth more points as a triple than individually. If they're even worth points individually.". You can see where the "triple 1 is worth one hundred points" rule came from. "So what happens if you roll two triples or any other combination of dice that's all worth points? Does you turn just end?". There's a grin on Cirillo's face that you think you recognise. Although you're not sure if you should qualify that as a compliment. "You could end your turn right there and collect six dice worth of points...or you can re-roll all six dice and continue adding to the points from your last set.". Alan interjects again, saying "It's really risky to continue rolling when you have just one or two dice left, since there's a good chance you won't get a single 1 or 5 and lose the turn. Of course if you do get lucky it can pay off tremendously, since with all six dice you're not likely to lose your stake and you're most likely to roll triples as well.". Sounds like they actually put some thought into this, which for Cirillo is something you didn't expect. "Want to join in for a round or two? We're still working on how many points you need to win the game, we're currently sitting on a thousand, and having a fourth player will help. And no, we're not betting Pims on games. Yet.". They day is yours to spend as you wish, but do you want to spend it with these three?

 

No thanks, you've got other plans
-You shake your head and say you've got plans, you just stopped by to drop off the box. "Fine.", Cirillo says. "I'll show you how to roll the dice later. Trust me, this game is going to be the new...the new...the new what's it called?". "Fad.", Miya answers. "Isn't there a more...I don't know, positive name for that? 'Fad' doesn't have a nice ring to it.". Alan enters the discussion with the suggestion that they should ask Silke, which you take as your cue to leave.
-- END ADVENTURE

 

[Playfulness]: Roll some dice and have some fun.
-You nod and move your chair in front of the table, joining in on a few games and playing mostly based on your whims. This works out tragically for either you or for the other three pretty much randomly, as ultimately a lot of the game still depends on luck. But Cirillo is taking a step in the right direction, you think.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You sit down and join in, playing based on your whims, which unfortunately ends up costing you roughly every chance you would have had at winning any game you play. For all that the game is fun, but you suspect it'd be more fun if the dice weren't conspiring against you.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

[Gambling]: Join in and play dangerously!
-"Let me guess, Cirillo likes to take risks?". Alan and Miya give each other strange looks, and in unison they both turn to your and say "maybe". Cirillo actually looks embarrassed, but he agrees that he likes to take risks. "Let's see how well you can make those risks pay off.", you say as you push your chair in front of the table. Although despite two gamblers sitting at the table Miya and Alan actually end up winning more often than not. Some of it comes down to luck, but you suspect most of it comes down to you and Cirillo taking unnecessary risks simply to try and one-up each other. Usually it doesn't pay off, for either of you, but you'll agree they came up with a fun game nevertheless.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You nod and prepare for some high-stakes fun, unfortunately your risks end up costing you more often than not. You do enjoy the game, and your constant failures make the few times you get a truly ludicrous score that much more impressive, but you're not as confident about your ability to roll dice as you were when the day started.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

[Tactics]: Join in and play cautiously.
-You're not really one for gambling, and when Cirillo is involved anything related to dice usually devolves into gambling, but you are one for thinking of strategies and you're curious just how skill-based this dice game is. As such you play a few games, and then a few games more to try out a different level of risk-taking, and then another few games to try out another different level of risk taking, and...well, suffice to say that you spend a surprising amount of time rolling dice with Cirillo, Miya and Alan. It's a fun way to spend your time, but unfortunately the dice game is itself is still mostly luck-based. Still, for Cirillo it's a step in the right direction.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

-You join the group and play a few games, and a few games more, and another few games all with different strategies and levels of risk-taking, but unfortunately it seems like the game is still largely luck-based. And your luck is...well, it's not what it should be, statistically speaking.
-- PROCEED WITH ADVENTURE

 

 

Not a lot of actual strategy required rather than dumb luck, but coming from Cirillo, did anyone expect differently?

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Dice Game, stage 4:

 

With A Dash Of Magic

 

After another game which you lose handily, although there's little you can do about Cirillo lucking out and rolling a double triple 1, the subject again comes up about how many points a player should reach before winning the game. Alan thinks a thousand is a bit much, but Miya and Cirillo insist that a thousand is best since it allows for more chances to catch up if you're behind. You're not really sure, it seems to you like it's still mostly a game of chance and whether you'll catch up or not depends mostly on how the dice fall. Suddenly you hear someone call out to Cirillo, and whoever it is doesn't sound happy. Turning to look you see Regent Massioti, standing in the doorframe and looking straight at Cirillo with a frown that doesn't look healthy. Cirillo freezes in place, which isn't helped by the regent walking up to your table. "I ask you to learn something about using tactics rather than relying on dumb luck and this is how you spend your time? Do I need to Revise your dice into Rimballs before you'll learn your lesson or not?". The regent doesn't look happy, and Cirillo doesn't look healthy. Miya and Alan are also nervous, but not as much as Cirillo. You're sure that opening your mouth only to put your foot in it is just going to get you detention along with Cirillo, but should you really leave Cirillo out to dry?

 

Make a note to pray later for Cirillo's...well, nothing. It'll be too late by then.
-There's not a lot you can say about a student warned to open a book spending his time playing with dice instead, so you remain silent while Regent Massioti lectures Cirillo and assigns him immediate detention. The rest of you are chased out of the Godina common room, but thankfully nothing more than that.
-- END ADVENTURE

 

[Passion]: Speak up for Cirillo.
-"You shouldn't be so hard on Cirillo, Regent Massioti.". Not just everyone near the table, but everyone in the common room stops doing what they were doing to stare at you. You see a few confused faces, one afraid face and one showing a mixture of pity and respect...mostly the former. The regent, for his part, looks strangely amused. "Pray tell, why should I applaud a student told to learn something about tactics that is spending his time rolling ever more dice?". No votes of confidence from anyone else, so it looks like you're sticking out your neck for Cirillo alone. Thankfully Regent Massioti can respect a student trying to stand up for someone else, something to do with sportsmanship. "Cirillo's not just rolling dice, he's working on a new game played with dice. One that requires thinking, strategy and, indeed, tactics rather than just luck. You should applaud him because he's actually trying to learn something, if in his own way, rather than grabbing a book on Rimbal and remembering just enough phrases to claim he understands anything about tactics.". Not your best outburst, but even so the regent looks like he's mulling something over. After a moment he asks if Cirillo's game really does require that much thought. You look at the dice on the table, and involuntarily shake your head. "Not as much as you'd like...", you hesitantly admit, "But it's still a step in the right direction, and it's still a good effort. You wouldn't expect Zorzi to become a Rimbal champion in a day, would you? Well, Cirillo won't change overnight either, but he's trying.". The regent again looks like he's mulling over something, and stares at Cirillo. After a very tense minute the regent suddenly nods to himself and says "Alright, let's see if this 'game' that Cirillo is working on really is everything you claim it is.". With that the regent casually grabs a chair and sits down in front of the table. "So, What rules have you four come up with so far?". Cirillo actually chokes on trying to explain them, so you and Alan end up giving the regent what you have so far. He's sceptical, but willing to play along for now (literally and figuratively, come to think of it). Unfortunately the few games he plays with the four of you end up showing that it's still mostly based on luck, but for all that the regent does look content. "I suppose I should call this a fair effort, but for all that it's still mostly dumb luck.". Cirillo is getting nervous again, so you suggest adding a bit of magic to the game, as a way to make it more skill based. "Like how?", Alan asks. While you try to think of something the regent takes out his wand, casts some sort of spell to make one of the dice hover in the air, and he lets it drop in the square cup in such a way that it lands perfectly on one of it's sides. "Something along those line, perhaps.", the regent suggests as he stands up and puts his chair back. "I'll be expecting some impressive Incantations when I come back...although, it probably wouldn't do for you four to make such a racket in the common room. Well, either way, you'll hear from me later.". With that the regent walks out, leaving the four of you to stare at each other. "Eh...thanks for that, [PC FIRST NAME]. To be honest, I didn't think the regent was serious about that whole 'learn tactics' deal. I mean, the man himself isn't the most...well, let's say 'straightforward' coach when it comes to the Rimbal team.". So you've heard. "That said, did you see what spell he cast?". Before you can answer Alan remarks that it was a simple wind charm. Well, "simple" for a regent, anyhow. Miya seems annoyed at that. "So what, are we supposed to shoot dice up in the air and hope they land on a side? How's that any less luck based than just rolling them?". "The regent made the dice fall flat.", you remark. "Intentionally or not, I do think it's something we can try...by adding our own twist to it, of course.". Cirillo, Miya and Alan each nod, and the four of you spend the next few hours making dice fly and spin by the whims of your Incantations. Eventually something resembling a game comes out of it, which Cirillo gives you the honor of naming.
-- ADD [Play Six Winded Dice] ACTION, END ADVENTURE

 

-You open your big mouth and speak up for Cirillo, but unfortunately your choice of arguments end up digging your own grave. The good news is that thanks to your effort Cirillo is spared, the bad news is that you end up taking his place...
-- REPRIMANDED BY [Leo Massioti], END ADVENTURE

 

[incantation]: Invent some magic to add to the dice game.
-Cirillo chokes on whatever he's trying to say for himself, if he even has something to say for himself, so at risk of detention by association you speak up. "Professor, Cirillo invited the rest of us here to help him with a new game he's been working on. It's true that we're rolling the dice right now, but that's just for simplicity's sake. He wanted to have the rules written out before getting to the magic part, and mass-casting Incantations in the common room would just disturb the students trying to study here anyway.". "More so than your constant rolling?", and unhelpful student remarks, but you throw back that it would indeed be worse if dice were falling from the ceiling. The student looks at you with a curious expression, nods and goes back to reading his book. You shrug and look back at the group, only to notice that Regent Massioti is now looking at you. "Dice falling from the ceiling? What magic are you four planning on casting anyway?". You take out your wand and cast a wind charm on one of the dice, making it fly up due to the strong wind beneath it. "That's not really impressive...", Regent Massioti notes, but than you mix things up and make the dice spin while maintaining it's elevation. It's harder than it looks, especially because you want the dice to spin rapidly, and after a bit of very careful tinkering of your wind charm you have the dice spinning wildly in the air on one of it's sides. With that you dismiss your spell and watch as the dice falls in the bizarre square cup, spinning around wildly and making quite a racket until it finally falls on a side. Everyone looks at you for a few very quiet, very awkward seconds before Regent Massioti asks "That wasn't a bad wind charm for a second year student, but what does that have to do with Cirillo's game?". You pick up another dice and show it to the regent. "That's where strategy comes in. If you spin a dice just right and let it land on a flat surface you can fairly easily make sure that it'll land on a certain side, but if you spin it on an edge you can get triple rolls.". Regent Massioti looks confused, so much so that he doesn't notice you're quite literally making this up as you go. Thankfully he also doesn't notice Cirillo looking at you just as confused as his regent is. Before anyone gets the chance to call you on this you continue your made-up explanation. "The strategy is in the risk management, since rolling edged triples gets you the most points whereas rolling surfaces gets you the best chance of not losing a turn. And of course the skill comes from your Incantations, since you want surfaces to land without turning or being run into by any edges. It's pretty difficult.". The Regent takes a look at the dice with a significantly less sceptical expression on his face. Truth be told, you're pretty proud of yourself right now. You pulled more ideas out of your invisible tophat, in front of a regent no less, than anyone in the room can claim to have done in a long time. And that's no mean feat when you're sharing a table with Miya. The Regent takes out his own wand and much more easily than you ever could hope to spins all six dice above the square cup, two flat on their surface and four on their edges, and after a moment lets them all drop. Somehow, amidst the resulting chaos and racket, the regent managed to spin his four edge dice in such a way that they slammed against each other and send each other flying in directions that didn't come near the two surface dice, allowing those dice to dance around until they stopped on their expected sides. The regent turns to Cirillo, and with a much more pleasant demeanour than before asks "Very good, but are your Incantation good enough to make this properly skill-based, though?". Cirillo, who's had more then enough time to figure out he should just play along, nods and says "Maybe. We were planning on working out the magical details after getting the basic rules down. Can't fine-tune an instrument before adding the strings, after all.". Regent Massioti nods, tells the four of you to keep up the good work, and leaves. After everyone is sure he's out of earshot Cirillo thanks you for your help, with a huge grin on his face. "Were you thinking about that this entire time?", Alan asks, but Miya and her massive grin correctly point out that you made it all up on the spot. "Well even so I think it's a great idea.", Cirillo says, and he asks everyone if they're ready to try the magic version. Everyone nods and stands up except for Miya, who asks "So...what are we going to call this game?". Alan, Miya and Cirillo turn to look at you. "Eh...Six Winded Dice? Perhaps it's too plain, but I think it has a nice ring to it.". Alan says he likes it, as does Cirillo. Miya doesn't seem as convinced, but she nods regardless. "Alright!", Cirillo says with new-found enthusiasm. "Time to add some magic to this game!". You head off along with the others and end up spending quite a while perfecting the game. Not how you expected to spend the rest of the day, but you don't feel like your time's been wasted.
-- ADD [Play Six Winded Dice] ACTION, END ADVENTURE

 

-You improvise some magic to add to the dice game on the spot, but your Incantation only ends up flinging one of Cirillo's dice through a window. The good news is that Cirillo escapes detention (the regent deemed that having to look for his dice was punishment enough), the bad news is that you're given detention for your shoddy magic skills.
-- REPRIMANDED BY [Leo Massioti], END ADVENTURE

 

[Character Study]: What is the Regent's mood?
-Regent Massioti looks and sounds annoyed, but you can tell that he's not really feeling annoyed. It's mostly an act to put pressure on Cirillo, so it shouldn't be too hard to persuade him.
-- +CoS%, TRY AGAIN

 

-Bad, as far as you can tell.
-- TRY AGAIN

 

 

And that's it. Like I said, short little adventure. Play Six Winded Dice I intend to be a fairly generic "contested roll, transfer Pims to the winner" action, just one that requires skills other than than Gambling.

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 0:

 

The Pirate Prisoner Problem

 

Tall tales are something you often hear in the Great Hall during mealtime, but the story that's coming from the direction of a group of Aranaz students today is just nothing short of silly. Some older student you don't recognize claims that, while she was doing some quick shopping earlier, the guards captured and apprehended a very pirate-y pirate that somehow managed to sneak into the Upper City and, rather more literally than figuratively, crash into a bar. And when asked about his past whereabouts this pirate supposedly claimed that he was the sole survivor of an old airship crash that "landed" somewhere in Elumia Proper a few years back, where he managed to survive in the wilderness all this time while looking for any trace of what happened to the rest of the crew, and supposedly said crew has been pirate-napped by some manner of evil and nefarious wizard. A few other Aranaz kids, including notable gossip queens Grainne Inneith and Rikildis von Kiep, claim that they've confirmed that the story is true. At least, that the older Aranaz student's story is true. The pirate's story is overall deemed to be "patently absurd", despite the fact that some students do recall hearing about that airship crash at the time it occurred. Apparently no dead bodies were found at the crash site, so the pirate's crew was assumed to have survived and escaped into Elumia Proper. A mostly ceremonial search effort was made, but no one believed that the crew would either risk travelling to Mineta, or otherwise risk trying to infiltrate it. The guards kept an ear open for strange sightings in the area, but nothing pirate-related came up, and half a year after the crash the entire crew was presumed deceased.

 

"Hey, (player first name), what do you think about that older Aranaz girl' story? You think that pirate was telling the truth?"

 

You look up from your meal at the first year who's decided, foolishly, to bother you for your opinion. Why this kid even knows your name escapes you. "What does it matter?" you ask with obvious disinterest. "If the guards thought there was any merit to investigating they certainly would have done so, and if there isn't, than so what? It's not like pirates have the greatest track record for being honest."

 

"That's just racist," one of your similarly uninterested college-mates says with sarcasm dripping from every word.

 

"Pirates are a race now?" one slightly dense first year asks, again making you wonder whether he's asking a serious question or just making a joke his own way. Or both. You really can never tell with that kid.

 

"Well I happen to know that that particular pirate is telling the truth."

 

Over a half-dozen heads turn to look at who just spoke, yours included. As it turns out Rikildis has taken her meal over to your table, and she's glaring right at you. "There's plenty of ways to tell whether someone is lying, (player first name), and that pirate wasn't. I checked in with the interrogation team and even talked to him myself for a bit. He's not lying. Now whether he's crazy, that's an entirely separate question, but he's not lying." You raise an eyebrow and frown at Rikildis, not buying her story and not afraid to make that clear (if indirectly). Rikildis just smiles in a way that you do not trust. "Maybe you should go over and look into it yourself, (player first name). I happen to know that the guards are having a little bit of trouble with him, so they might tolerate a helping hand from someone who knows what (s/he)'s doing. Actually, I know they will. They let me help, after all."

 

You continue to frown at Rikildis, only getting more and more...well, suspicious of her, mostly. You don't even care if she's telling the truth anymore so much, you're just curious why she's telling you, specifically.

 

"Just something to keep in mind, (player first name). Unless you know of a more interesting topic to discuss."

 

Start talking about the weather.

-At the first mention of the Current of Embers Rikildis sighs, and almost laughing to herself she stands up and walks off. Perhaps not the subtlest of ways to handle that situation, but with Rikildis there that's not a hard bar to reach.

--- Stop adventure ---

 

Sure, go and personally talk to this prisoner.

-A part of you can't help but feel like you've just helped Rikildis win a bet. Just the way she smiles to herself as she stands up and walks off. Well, you suppose you didn't have any other plans today, and if you can prove Rikildis' little story wrong that'd certainly knock her down a peg. And you'll admit that one some level you are curious, just...a random pirate, after several years of living out in the wilderness, "somehow" manages to learn that his old crew got pirate-napped by some manner of wizard, and...it's just too much. Clearly this guy's looked at the bottom of a tankard too many times, but whatever. You'll get that answer from the horse's mouth.

--- proceed with adventure ---

This is mostly just an experiment to see if, in absence of proper Y2 modding tools (and, you know, a Y2 with which to use said modding tools), it's easier to type adventures right on the forum than first in notepad. Pros, I get spellcheck right from the word go, don't have to bother with tags to denote bold/italics/whatever, and a single line isn't 1024 characters long. Cons, I can't actually save half-finished works short of notepad (which completely negates the tags, since notepad doesn't save that stuff) or posting and later editing which means everyone could see half-finished adventure stages for however long.

 

The actual adventure is just a thing which may or may not ever be finished. Nothing special.

Edited by Metis

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 1:

 

Interrogating the Prisoner.

 

It's a relatively short and uneventful walk from the Academagia to the guard house where the pirate is being kept, and it's stupidly easy to figure out where exactly that is. You can almost literally follow a straight line of gossipers from the bar the pirate was arrested at all the way to the guardhouse, although as you expected, the guards aren't too happy to see you. "This isn't a playground, student, if you wish to learn about our job you should go read a book," the man standing guard in front of the door says. The fact that he's even here really tells you everything you need to know - they're holding an important prisoner in here, otherwise there wouldn't be a guard posted by the front door. I makes you wonder why they'd consider the pirate an important prisoner, though. Are the guard hoping he'll tell them where his buddies are at? Well, beyond the whole "pirate-napped" story, at least? Either which way you're going to have to get in here if you want to do anything, but how?

 

Eh, forget it. This isn't worth it.

-With a shrug you turn around and start walking to the Admiratio. A bit of window-shopping sounds like time better spend than dealing with this crazy pirate, that's for sure.

--- stop adventure ---

 

Maybe a token from the Captain will be convincing. (player has The Captain's Old Militia Badge equipped)

-You casually point to the Captain's old Militia Badge proudly pinned on your robe, and mention to the guard that if they're having trouble with interrogation you'd be happy to help. The guard looks you over with a very conflicted expression, unable to choose between reverence and suspicion. The latter more so than the former, you'll admit, but it's progress. "Officially this is a matter for the guards, and if we really needed help with this the Captain would send word to the Academagia and request for the assistance of Regent Briardi," the guard slowly says as he keeps looking you over. "But the Captain is far too busy with important matters to concern himself with some random pirate's wild stories no matter how much illegal magic is involved, and it's true that the prisoner is being especially uncooperative. Well, not even that, just...stubborn? I'm not sure. It's highly unusual for us to let a student assist us in our work, end-term projects for the Durand seniors aside, but you've clearly earned the Captain's respect to have been given that badge...alright. I'll allow you to help, but on the condition that one of our interrogators remains present and watching. We don't want any unexplained accidents."

 

You nod respectively, and hide just a little bit of glee as you're escorted inside the guardhouse.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

Persuasion. They need help, and you're offering.

-"And what makes you think that we need help interrogating a prisoner?" the guard asks with a bit of a condescending undertone. "The guard's got this situation handled kid, if you want to play detective maybe you ought to ask your friends."

 

Definitely condescending, but you're not giving up so easily. "That's not the same story I heard, and last I checked the city guard was still maintaining their reputation for being woefully unequipped and primarily understaffed when it comes to spellcasting and dealing with people who've been at the wrong end of a wand. How do you have this situation 'handled', if I may ask? Because last I checked interrogating crazy people wasn't as simple as threatening them or making them offers."

 

The guard glares at you pretty hard, but he knows you're telling the truth so there's nothing for him to immediately pounce on. "And what would you do better, huh? Are you sure you've learned how to use that wand of yours yet? Like I said, this isn't a playground. And it isn't a classroom either."

 

"I wouldn't be here if I hadn't learned a few tricks of my own," you simply answer with a confident stare. And that, finally, is enough for the guard to give up.

 

"Fine. If you think you can show our interrogator something he doesn't know, by all means. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself staring at a wall."

 

You're not entirely sure what that last remark was referring to, but whatever. The guard steps aside and, if only reluctantly, lets you in.

--- Proceed with adventure ---

 

-"And what makes you think that we need help interrogating a prisoner?" the guard asks with a bit of a condescending undertone. "The guard's got this situation handled kid, if you want to play detective maybe you ought to ask your friends."

 

Definitely condescending, but you're not giving up so easily. "That's not the same story I heard, and last I checked the city guard was still maintaining their reputation for being woefully unequipped and primarily understaffed when it comes to spellcasting and dealing with people who've been at the wrong end of a wand. How do you have this situation 'handled', if I may ask? Because last I checked interrogating crazy people wasn't as simple as threatening them or making them offers."

 

The guard glares at you pretty hard, but he knows you're telling the truth so there's nothing for him to immediately pounce on. "We have our ways, kid. Now scram. This isn't a playground." Further attempts to convince the guard just results in him saying more of the same, so after several minutes you give up for today. You'd say that he'll break eventually, but if you're having trouble with the guard posted at the front door are you really going to accomplish anything when interrogating a crazy pirate? Something that bears thinking about...

--- stop adventure ---

 

Glamour. Charm the guard.

-Ducking your head into an alley, so that everyone on the street isn't going to see you cast a spell at a guard, you draw you wand and piece together a nice, covert little charming spell. Now getting it to hit the guard, rather than all the people walking through the street, is going to be a pretty tall order, but one easily solved by having it be an actual tall order.

 

Quickly stepping on something so that you're high up enough to throw your spell right over all the passer-bys and at the guard, that is.

 

You quickly throw your spell, knowing that the longer you stand on a raised...well, broken cart as the case may be, and aim the more likely it is that someone is going to ask unfortunate questions. Thankfully no one cares to look in your direction, the spell hits it's target, and you can see it taking effect. When you walk up to the guardhouse the guard doesn't even say anything, he just nods at you and steps aside to let you in. Sometimes it's wonderful to be a mage, although you'll admit that just as often those moments make you think about what others could do to you, given nothing but a single chance...

--- Proceed with adventure ---

 

-You duck into an alley so that an entire street isn't going to see you cast a spell at a guard, but this has the unfortunate side-effect of putting an entire street worth of people between you and the guard. And you don't know how to make this spell arc, so you're going to have to cast it at the guard through several lines of people. This is going to be a fun exercise in timing and frustration.

 

And it is, because twenty minutes and more than a few odd looks later you've gotten absolutely nowhere. Too many people walking around to get a clear shot at the guard, and you're pretty sure that he's noticed you by now anyway. Time to bail and come back another day...

--- stop adventure ---

Being on good terms with most pirates by way of having done the Pirate's adventure in Y1 isn't going to help here, because mister not-pirate-napped was out chilling in Elumia Proper for the entirety of Y1. And he might not be aligned with Asad the Lion anyway.

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 2:

 

Now with 100% more Prisoners!

 

The inside of the guardhouse is fairly active, but not overly so. Most people here give you a curious glance as they walk by, but no one bothers to question you as they go from one place to the next. They all have a lot of work to do, and no one has the time to spare to ask why the doorman let you through. As such you walk up to a reception-like area and ask where the lead interrogator is. The man standing behind the desk, writing on pieces of parchment and sitting next to a stack of it, doesn't even bother to look up from his work. "Lead interrogator's not doing interviews, kid. If you need something as a guard that has time to spare, and no, I don't know who qualifies as that."

 

"I'm not here to interview him and I'm not a kid, I'm here to assist with the interrogation of the pirate."

 

The man snorts. "Here to help interrogate someone who's name you don't know under the supervision of a person you can't find? Class act, kid, but I think the grown-ups don't have time to play today. Or any other day, for that matter. That's called 'work', you might want to try it for yourself sometime and figure out what it's like."

 

Already fed up with this condescending paper-pusher you walk off in a random direction and ask people passing by where the lead interrogator is. Eventually someone bothers to point you in the right direction, and with an annoyed frown you walk up to the right office and knock on the door. A harsh-sounding man tells you to come in, and without any manner of grace or subtlety you open the door and walk in. The lead interrogator, a man dressed like an executioner on his way to a costume ball where the theme is work uniforms, glares at you not with contempt so much as confusion. He doesn't even bother putting his quill down as he asks, "Do you have business here?" he asks with that same harsh voice.

 

"I'm here to assist with an interrogation, as apparently a certain recently-arrested pirate has been giving the guard a bit of a tall tale and nothing to show for it."

 

The lead interrogator looks you over, again more confused than anything. "I beg your pardon? I wasn't informed of this and I specifically requested that a guard be posted by the front door just to keep gossipers away. So how did you get in here?"

 

"Through the front door. As for why you weren't informed, Rikildis von Keep send me." Mentioning Rikildis by name is just...a bit of spite, maybe a test, or something along those lines. You're not sure. There isn't one major reason so much as a number of small ones. Maybe mentioning Rikildis like this will get her in trouble as well if you do, maybe mentioning actual details - no matter how irrelevant - will convince him of something, maybe Rikildis really came through here earlier and you can shake loose some information this way, maybe something else. You're not sure, you just want to try and get something out of this.

 

As it turns out though, the lead interrogator actually shows a bit of recognition. Not only that, but he puts down his quill and says, "Oh. Octavius' sake, why didn't you say so earlier? I take it you're ready to start the interrogation right now?" You covertly look the man over for signs that he's either lying or trying to trick you in some fashion, but you don't see any. On the flipside you'd expect that a man like this would know how to hide such tells, so you can't be sure. Either way you silently nod, and the lead interrogator stands up. "Good, then let's get going right now. The faster this damned case gets out of my hair the better."

 

You note that, if nothing else, the man's frustration sounds entirely genuine. Of course that could be referring to any number of things, so you're still weary. Despite that you follow the lead investigator as he walks from his office through a guarded re-enforced door leading into the basement, and into an interrogation room within which a suspect is already chained and waiting. The suspect looks very much like a pirate, and even his time in Elumia Proper has not done away with the smell of a tankard full of some low-class alcoholic beverage hanging around him. You imagine that that cannot help his already shaky credibility. "I-I'm not lying," he meekly says as he sees the lead interrogator walk in and calmly sit down across from the pirate. "I saw them...all of them...captured by him...he marooned them all..." The pirate continues for a bit, his comments making no more sense as he goes on.

 

"He's been like this ever since we caught him," the lead interrogator says. "Literally all he's said is some variation of how 'he captured them' or 'I'm not lying' and other such rot. Not a single detail to this story other than that he's probably the worst drunk I've seen in my entire career. Literally, I've had people who couldn't stop throwing up all over themselves form more coherent sentences than this. If you can get a coherent story out of him or at least some explanation of how he got to be like this, be my guest. The faster we can get this guy out of here and through the court the faster he can be locked up and stop being a living wellspring of wild gossip."

 

You look the pirate over, but he's only got nervous eyes for the lead interrogator to shift over. How romantic. So, either a complete story, or an explanation as to why he can't form a sentence more than five words long. How to go about this?

 

Logic. So, what's there to say about this pirate?

-Pirates aren't the most educated lot and they certainly aren't all as strong-willed as the best of them, but someone who's lost his wits this badly couldn't have survived out in the wilderness by himself. Besides which, they guy speaks perfectly normal. Not that pirates have to speak with an accent, in fact most don't precisely because it marks them as a pirate and that's generally a bad thing, but it shows that this guy should be intelligent enough to speak properly. If he was especially dim or otherwise had some manner of speech impediment that'd still show even if he only spoke a few words at a time. In fact, if you piece his individual bunches of words together they actually form proper sentences. It's really strange. There must be a reason why this man is rendered incapable of proper speech, but it's not apparent why. Perhaps the presence of the lead interrogator, who is certainly an intimidating man, but you'd expect someone that survived alone in the wilderness for over a year to have gotten accustomed to even worse sights.

 

Truly, this man's behaviour does not add up. Something unnatural, or at least something not as mundane, is afoot here...

--- +CoS%, try again ---

 

-Well, he's wearing low-class clothes that have seen much better days, unkempt facial hair, tankard smell and all that, so other than that if he's not a pirate he could certainly pass for one, you don't see anything of interest.

--- try again ---

 

Negation. Test the suspect for magic residue.

-"So, just to confirm, was this guy tested for magic residue?" you ask the lead interrogator more so than you ask the pirate himself. Just as well, because the pirate can't even answer that question properly. The lead interrogator, however, helpfully informs you that he hasn't - anyone within the guard that can actually cast such magic is swamped with more important cases than confirming the story of some random and probably drunk pirate. Especially because the only "victims" the suspect could point to would be the other pirates, and even if the guards cared to "help" said pirates over actual law-abiding citizens of Mineta, they'd run into the problem that legally speaking that entire crew was declared legally deceased over two years ago. The guards can't really spare resources as scarce as competent magic casters to hunt for ghosts to arrest, rather than active and, not to mention, clearly alive criminals. Just shaking your head at that you draw your wand and ask if you can perform a residue test. The lead interrogator tells you to go ahead, if you're sure that you know how to do it, and with a nod you start to weave the spell together. A set of Phemes start to slowly drift around the suspect, changing color as they detect residue of certain magic schools.

 

Both you and the interrogator end up looking at the Phemes more shocked and horrified than the suspect does as the Phemes end up taking on the color of the forbidden school of Mastery, and only the color of the forbidden school of Mastery. Once the Phemes evaporate the lead interrogator actually slams his fist against the table. "I knew that something magical was afoot here! Knew it! Just didn't have what it takes to prove it. Suspect, why are you absolutely covered with the residue of Mastery!? Because if you didn't cast those spells, than..."

 

Than someone else did. As you feared, though, the suspect just stares blankly at the lead interrogator and continues with his incoherent mumbling. He seems completely unaware of the situation that's just unfolded. Much to the frustration of the lead interrogator. "Where were your friends taken?" you ask the suspect, hoping to get some information out of him. If he's been reduced to incoherently mumbling about his friends that must be for a reason. Suddenly the suspect seems to forget everything about the lead interrogator as he turns to look at you, just as afraid as before.

 

"To the man's lair...inside Mount Vuinnna...on the wild side..."

 

You slowly turn to look at the lead interrogator. "That'd be the side that doesn't face the Imperial Reserve," he helpfully points out. "This case just became so much more...annoying. Now we're going to have to start up a full-blown investigation to look into who broke this man and why."

 

"I take it you're not going to look into this 'lair'?" you ask.

 

The lead interrogator shakes his head. "That's either a trap or beyond the guard's bridges, either way we've got no business there. Anyway, thank you for your help, (PC first name), but I believe you'd best leave it to me from here."

 

Yeah, of course you'd be asked to leave as soon as illegal magic comes up. That's fine, though. You feel like you've accomplished something today and hey, a secret lair dug into Mount Vuinna that the guards aren't going to mess with? You can do things with that...

--- Pause Adventure ---

 

-You cast your spell, but despite you casting it properly you don't get a clear reading off of the suspect. He's clearly either been casting some heavy magic or been the target of some heavy magic, but you can't determine the exact school. All the same the lead interrogator, non-ironically, thanks you for your contribution. He clearly thinks there's more going on here and you've pretty much confirmed it, but that's not enough. Until you give him a complete answer you won't feel like your job is done here.

--- Stop adventure ---

 

I tried to come up with some non-magical method for how you could get past this stage, but it did not work. The problem, as you might expect, is that the pirate's been tampered with pretty thoroughly, and anything that doesn't immediately confirm that fact is going to boil down to either "this man is just crazy/lying" or "there's clearly something off here, but we've no ideas or any leads as to what that is". Either way I want to keep the options at information parity, otherwise I'm going to have to be especially vague in future stages and I say no to that. Might come back and try again later, otherwise, well, eh, I'll throw in some more +CoS% investigations.

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 3:

 

A Hill to Climb.

 

Despite you staying quiet about you assisting the guards with interrogating the pirate, not to mention the revelations that were revealed in the process, somehow word has reached the citizens of Mineta - Academagia students included - and the story has spread like wildfire. Thankfully details are sketchy in part due to the numerous stories attention-hungry people came up with and tried to pass off as the truth, so your involvement is currently in a state of "cannot be confirmed, cannot be denied", and you've certainly done your part to keep it that way. Still, the fact that the "Mastered pirate" is on the entire city's lips makes this next step a bit harder. Namely, climbing Mount Vuinna and actually finding this Mastery mage's hideout. The guards may assume that it's either some manner of trap or that they're otherwise unable to handle it, but you think differently. Both of this lair and of yourself. You've got your wand, you've had some good practice with using it, and if worst comes to worst you're not shy of making tactical retreats all the way back to the Academagia. To a professor's office therein, to be more specific.

 

Of course for that to be relevant you're first going to have to find this lair, and man, you did not think climbing a mountain would be this hard!

 

You didn't expect it to be easy, mind, but this is rapidly reaching levels of making you question whether the pirate's "message" is actually the truth simply due to the sheer impracticality of actually living up here. Sure, a wizard can easily learn some manner of levitation spell, maybe a Revision spell to make climbing easier or, heck, even a Gates spell if they're desperate enough. Still, this is just ridiculous. What little "path" there was the speak of has disappeared out of sight long ago, it's just been a steep climb on uneven ground with the occasional rocks or small river, dried-up or otherwise, providing some variation as you keep climbing up. There's no way anyone could have the endurance or patience to have to go down this way every time it's time to do groceries, and than go all the way back up. And you don't think that even a wizard can truly live completely isolated like this. How does he get enough food? Clothes? Parchment and ink, quills, whatever else you use to write? Medicine, and all the services a barber provides? More to the point, what does he do if he ever breaks his wand hand, just tough it out? Someone must be supporting him, and you're sure it's not his band of pirate-napped...well, pirates. Mastery, in your experience, can be many things, but subtle is not one of them. Besides which, where'd he get the money to buy stuff even if he does have someone come down to the city on his behalf and carry it all the way up this...yeah, no. Can't even finish that sentence because the thought of carrying barrels of food or whatever up this mountain? Even a pirate would be hard-pressed to do that. They prefer to live on their ships rather than mountain-side hideouts for a reason - it's just too much effort otherwise. And of course you'd be hard-pressed to get any sort of airship to fly this high naturally, especially with any manner of load. The Volnauge used to make that ship would cost a fortune, and to counter-act the added load you'd need a lot of it to boot. That'd cost a princely sum to be sure.

 

You're thrown out of your own thoughts when you nearly trip over a pebble, and with a sigh you sit down and take a breather. That part about this supposed wizard using magic to climb this mountain easier? Yeah, you might want to try and apply that to yourself right now, because this is tiring you out with record speed. Just a small spell to...to go where, anyway? Come to think of it you don't know exactly where this hideout even is. You know it's on this side of the mountain, but the key word there is "mountain". It's a bit big, and leaves you with a lot of ground to cover. And if this lair's entrance consists of two slabs of rock placed just far enough away that an adult human can squeeze through an into the underground cave behind it...oh boy, this just became complicated, didn't it? You didn't really think about finding the lair because with the Mastered pirate you had thought that the guy wanted to be found and therefore wouldn't be in an inconspicuous location. But of course if that were true he'd have been found before, and...oh, why does this day just keep getting worse and worse? Well, you've come this far, you're not leaving until you've accomplished something or at least repeatedly failed attempting to do so. So, first off, how are you going to actually find this guy's lair?

 

Astrology. Nothing escapes the notice of those who can read the stars.

-Yeah, you're going to need a bit of Astrology here. It's tricky to find someone who's name and face you don't know, but you at least have a location (a large location, admittedly, but a location all the same), so that should narrow it down enough for you to find this hideout. Nothing to do but cast the right spell and hope the resulting information makes sense.

 

Closing your eyes you can see the spell working it's magic. Some manner of path leading up the mountain, quickly becoming overgrown until it's just more grass, going past several distinct rocks likely acting as landmarks until one reaches a door, hidden behind a rock. Overlooking this rock in the distance is a man-made tower, old and dilapidated, with little on it but a large number of scorchmarks that were diluted and at least partially washed off by rain long ago. Some manner of old watchtower, now abandoned and re-purposed by someone else.

 

...Yeah, that's fairly in line with what you were expecting. And while the watchtower itself is small you can at least narrow down it's location based on angles. After all, someone must have been able to see it for it to serve as a watchtower, which means that it's located closer to the Imperial Reserve than further away from it.

--- Proceed with adventure ---

 

-You try every possible spell that could help you up to and including the Lesser Charm of Fixing, but without actually knowing who the guy is that you're looking for it's just impossible to get a read on him. You end up with just a few wayward visions showing you the landscape of this side of Mount Vuinna, without any sort of clue or context as to where anything of importance could be. And it looks like it's getting late. Well, you said you wouldn't give up until you failed repeatedly, and by your count you just failed repeatedly, so it's time to drag yourself back off this mountain and make sure you're better prepared in the future.

--- stop adventure ---

 

Scouting. You can *look* around no problem, *getting* around is the problem.

-You take another look at this gigantic area full of random rocks, trees and other assorted stuff that could all be a landmark just as much as the next thing. Maybe you overestimated yourself a bit. Once you can move around and look around easily enough, what do you look for? Someone who actually lives here could easily just remember stuff like "turn left at that one pointy rock", and you'd never know. There must be some sort of trick you could...actually, if someone frequently walked past a landmark that'd leave an impression on the grass they'd be walking over. Grass might be able to survive getting trampled, but that doesn't mean that won't affect it. You'll have to look very carefully at every point that might be a landmark, but if you could move around easily enough to check those places within a reasonable amount of time (not to mention effort) you think you could do it.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-As you mentally try to re-assure yourself that you could find this lair if only you could get around easily you take another look around and take in the absolutely massive amount of ground there is to cover. This lair could seriously be an entire underground complex accessible only through one tiny little hole that's wedged between two rocks and there's no chance in hell that you'd ever see it, not unless you were standing right in front of it. You can't think of where this lair would be located, no clue as to what to look for, even, so...yeah, no. Not that you can't look around, the issue is that you don't know what to look for. Even assuming you could effortlessly fly around here for hours on end, something well beyond your magical skills even at this point, what would you look for? Landmarks? Those could literally just be "that one pointy rock next to that one tree", and of course you'd never know it. Whoever lives here would know how the area looks and what to look for, even in what general direction to look. You don't.

 

...Yeah, this is just not going to work. You're going to focus on getting back to the Academagia before something happens that you'll regret.

--- stop adventure ---

So I've come to the conclusion that, notepad or forum, it remains frustrating to type Y2 stuff without knowing how Y2 works. Still, I...think I'm getting somewhere, so at least there's that.

Edited by Metis

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 4:

 

And a Lair to Find.

 

So that about covers how you're going to find the lair. Next question: How are you going to get around this mountain with any degree of ease?

 

Revision. Revise your legs into something more mountain friendly.

-You consider if you've learned enough Revision to turn your arms into at least semi-functional wings, but you quickly conclude that for one, that wouldn't allow you to really fly so much as make long hops, and for another, your hands and arms are kind of useful for doing things like catching yourself if you fall, or casting spells. So you go back to your old standby - goat legs. Nothing like a pair of strong hooves to carry your relatively minor weight as you try to climb up or along a mountain. Sure, it gives you little in the way of footing when trying to climb up rocks, but you're not climbing up rocks. You're climbing a layer of dirt and grass, and goat legs do wonderful on those. So, now both problems have been sorted, which means it's time to find this lair.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-You cast your spell, but before getting much of anywhere you end up tearing a muscle from incorrectly applied magic. Nothing that some more magic can't compensate for, but it's clear that the only place you're going like this is back to the Academagia before things get even worse.

--- stop adventure ---

 

Negation. Start levitating.

-The issue with trying to levitate up a mountain is that you'll end up ascending faster than your levitation spell can keep up with, so you end up half-walking your way up anyway. Thankfully this is only true for novice-level levitation spells, and you've learned enough by now to piece together a levitation effect that won't get outpaced by your forward movement. So, draw your wand, piece the spell together, and after you lift slightly off the ground you test your theory by trying to walk right into the mountain.

 

You end up being pushed up faster than you can walk forwards, so that spell was a success. It kind of makes you feel stupid for walking all the way up here in the first place, but eh, just call it an exercise or...something.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-You look a but questionably at your wand, knowing that an insufficiently strong (and, as such, complex) spell would end up being unable to keep up with you walking forwards into higher elevation, so you'll just end up walking anyway. Well, nothing lost, nothing gained, so you cast the best levitation spell you can manage, wait for your feet to lift off the ground, and test your spell by trying to walk up the mountain.

 

Your feet hit dirt pretty much immediately, and a second later those feet lift again. Great, so that spell didn't do it. Well, you're got some manner of levitation spell going, but not one that'll allow you to climb the mountain with any greater degree of ease. Unless you felt like climbing at a snail's pace. Clearly the solution here is to float down the mountain and look into getting a better levitation spell, because you are not walking up the entire mountain the normal way.

--- Stop adventure ---

 

Incantation. Direct the wind to carry you.

-A quick test with a pebble that's much smaller and lighter than you confirms that you're not going to be able to conjure a strong enough wind to actually "carry" you. Not without creating some manner of hurricane that'll blow away a good portion of Mineta. No, this clearly demands a different approach. And looking at a nearby stream of water, you've got it. Wand already out you create a small platform made of magically cooled ice, sit down on it (much to the chagrin of your soon-to-be thoroughly chilled backside), and use your wand to conjure a jet of cooled water powerful enough to end up sending the platform hopping pretty large distances for how much it weighs with you right on top of it. Landing is a bit of a precarious endeavour, but creating a quick pool of water for the platform to land it works perfectly fine. It ends up being pretty tiring to cast spells over and over again, especially when you slip off your platform and have to create a new one while watching your old one slide off the mountain at ridiculous speeds, but heck, at least it's a lot more fun than just walking around everywhere!

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-Several tests involving increasingly absurd levels of wind strength confirm that short of conjuring a full-blown hurricane, which you would somehow have to control, this little brand of laziness isn't going to work. With a sigh you end up walking down the mountain towards the Academagia, because you're entirely too winded - in every possible sense of the term - to do much more exploring now.

--- stop adventure ---

Mountain ice-boarding needs to be an official Academagia sport. And yes, that was, indeed, the best I could come up with. I still don't think Private Chariot creates an actual chariot, though even if it did that wouldn't do much good on a path-less mountain anyway.

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 5:

 

Roughly a half-hour after your quick strategic break you end up finding what you can only assume is the lair, build into the side of the mountain. A watchtower, build from brick and mortal that's endured so many fires it's turned the entire thing black, lazily poking it's head out of the ground below. You don't see any other buildings or some passageway into any theoretical underground complexes from here, but you imagine there is one around here somewhere. No one could feasibly live her for any reasonably length of time, anyway. As you slowly walk towards the tower, dispelling and foregoing any magic just in case that low visibility is going to be important here, you can't help but get an uneasy feeling. You're reminded of the Mastered pirate. "He took them all". The thought that the pirate's story might be real is worrying you. Why would it be real, though? That pirate was Mastered specifically to point someone to this location. If there's actually anyone living here...that wouldn't happen...right? They'd have long since fled or something...right?

 

You slowly stop walking, and notice that your body is shivering. And not just because it's freaking cold this high up. Should you really do this? Not just a question of whether you have the courage, but do you really think you should do this? Explore this ruin, alone, under the assumption that it's either empty or that you'll be able to deal anything you can find within? You've gotten pretty good at that wand-work over the past year and some change, but...is this really not just foolhardy?

 

Test the area for Mastery residue. If you find any, run and never look back.

-There's no reason to go off of assumptions when you have a wand that can confirm important matters, and if there's really a Mastery mage around you really should just run. Even if it's something you could handle, that's not something you should handle. Wearily you get closer to the watchtower, carefully check for alarm spells (you don't find any), and when you're finally standing on it you look around for any traces of Mastery. And you certainly are way in over your head here. The "traces" are so thick they've actually left an impression on the environment, not like one person cast a spell here recently but like someone taught Mastery classes here. You can only hope that this little stone tower, despite being outside, acts as some manner of study or testing location because if this is how much Mastery is being cast around here normally...yeah, you're in over your head. Way in over your head. Time to bail. You quickly kick loose one of the tower's bricks, grab it and start making your way back to the Academagia as fast as your legs and wand can take you. It's a tiring journey and you're beyond out of breath by the end of it, but nevertheless you drag yourself to Regent Briardi's office. Thankfully the regent is present, and she looks a little annoyed at you barging into her office. That annoyance quickly makes way for concern, though, when she sees the state your in. "What happened?" she curtly asks.

 

"Have you heard the story about the Mastered pirate?" you ask as you drop the tower's brick on the regent's desk. She look at it curiously before answering your question.

 

"Yes. What does this brick have to do with it?" You explain, much to the regent's chagrin, that you took it upon yourself to investigate what the guards didn't, namely the supposed lair of the mage that pirate-napped the rest of his crew, but when you found it and checked the area for Mastery residue you found a classroom's worth of it - enough that even the brick contains traces of it. The professor looks at you a little sceptically, but after casting a much better detection spell on the brick than you could hope to cast her eyes suddenly widen. "This brick was part of that tower you found? You're sure of that?" You nod, which prompts the regent to ask for directions. After providing directions you're dismissed and Regent Briardi runs out of her office, you presume to find Legate Orsi, and you decide to just go to the Great Hall and take a meal there for a bit.

 

A few hours later, while you're chatting with friends in the Great Hall, Regent Briardi walks in and over to you. She looks a bit winded, but fine otherwise. "(Player full name), you have the Legate's compliments for informing me of the situation you encountered when you did. Rest assured that it's been handled and none of you need to worry about it. However, in the future, please don't pursue such stories on your own. You were smart enough to know when to turn back now, don't assume that you will be again." You nod, and Regent Briardi walks off. Despite her warning she seemed pleased, though, so you have to assume that you've done something right.

--- END ADVENTURE, +Relationship with Briardi (along with other relatively minor bonuses) despite her reaction above - there's a reason ---

 

You can handle this.

-Perhaps it is foolhardy. But you're confident that whatever is about to come up, you can handle it. And you're never going to learn if you run away from these things. So with a new-found determination you walk up to the tower, and with it being build into the side of a mountain it's not a problem at all to climb up it. Heck, it looks like decades, maybe even centuries of avalanches have created a nice little ramp that goes right up onto the tower. Thankfully the tower itself is still standing and clear. And standing on it it's clear to see why. There's practically nothing on the tower, at least on the outside that you can see. All you can see is a giant basin that takes up a large part of the centre of the tower. And judging by the incredible amounts of ash and soot it's clear to see that this is some manner of beacon, maybe old lighthouse. It's strange that there isn't any sort of roof over it, though. Sure, this place doesn't look like it's seen recent use, but if the tower itself is still intact you'd expect that the top part would also still be intact. You don't even see any signs of where it once might have been. Well, add that to the pile of mysteries you may or may not end up solving before this day is over. For now you look around and find a small, narrow staircase that leads into the interior of whatever this outpost or lair or what-have-you is, so with your wand drawn you go down, open the unlocked and very creaky door, and walk in.

--- proceed with adventure ---

Just putting the "okay, that was fun, now let me off!" option up early, so that tomorrow (well, technically today, but details) I'll be able to, theoretically, focus on the meat of the adventure. Per usual, I promise nothing.

Edited by Metis

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 6:

 

The Watchtower.

 

Behind the creaky door you don't see anything but another narrow staircase at first, but walking down for what feels like several minutes later and you find yourself inside the interior of the watchtower. As you expected there's far more too it than just the tower, and you imagine that it goes even further and deeper still. Of course you can't exactly tell that from the empty, frankly boring hallway in front of you. There's two doors before the hallway veers off out of sight, so you try and quietly open the doors and take a look what's past them. The first room looks like some kind of dormitory, very small and packed, but otherwise fitting quite a large number of beds. Or the rotted, broken remains of wooden bed frames, anyway. There's nothing in here and nothing to suggest that this room has been opened within the past century, so you close the door and move on. The next room is some manner of common room, you'd guess. Tables and chairs (or at least what remains of them) litter the room, a few broken-down and empty cabinets and bookshelves line the walls, and there's a large fireplace set in one of the walls that's seen a lot of use. There's nothing in it but ash and soot, though. No signs that the fireplace ever got out of control and set the room on fire, either. Well, nothing here but trash and decay, so you close the door and start walking through the hallway, keeping your eyes and ears open.

 

The hallway leads into some manner of foyer, you'd guess. To your left a grand staircase, wide and large enough for an entire parade to comfortably march over it, leads to a decorated and statue-filled floor containing two doors on either side, and an excessively grand double-door right in the center. The double door isn't quite large enough for a parade, but with just a bit of squeezing you're sure that one could manage to get through it relatively painless regardless. The side doors are just normal doors, and other than the fact that they complete the symmetrical look of the upper floor there's nothing special about them. To your right, past a large hole in the wall that looks like it might have had doors one day, is the remains of a dining hall. Large table, several fireplaces, chairs galore, all in ruins now of course, but the remains are still there. So apparently this place is some manner of castle, even though there's nothing here. Like, you don't think there's anything to mine around here, and no one travels this way today or centuries ago, as far as you know, so why the giant castle? If this had to be dug out it must have cost a fortune to build. All the greater shame that it's in such a sorry state. Regardless, beyond that there's a few more statues, doors, a few banner holders bolted into the wall higher up than you can reach without your wand, and some other assorted junk that's been dumped there forever ago. Nothing seems more important than anything else, especially the doors don't give any hint as to where what is.

 

Still, you stop for a second and think things through. If there's indeed someone living in here, that person would likely not use the entire castle. That's simply more space than a single person could feasibly use, not that anything here looks like it's being used or maintained, but details. Further, if this person is keeping an entire pirate crew as prisoners, well, those prisoners would need to be cared for. At the very least they'd need to be fed, and they'd definitely need to be kept in a secure location. Now you imagine that the kitchen is close to the dining room, that the larder is close to the kitchen, that the servant's quarters (which would include the maids and cooks) is on the lower floor somewhere, and that the main access to the dungeons - if this place has any - would likewise be on the lower floor somewhere, and would be the location where the pirate crew is kept. And if there isn't a dungeon you'd imagine that the servant's quarters would be most easily converted into a make-shift dungeon. As such you would guess that, if someone lives here, this person would primarily use the lower floor, so if you want to find any clues as to whether the Mastered pirate's story is true, you'd need to search the lower floor. You decide to start with the larder. If it's completely empty and there's no stockpile of food anywhere in this castle at all, that rules out at least the idea of the pirate crew being here. You'd need a stocked larder to keep an entire crew around, even as prisoners that aren't kept well-fed, for any reasonable length of time, especially considering how long it takes to walk off the mountain. So you walk into the dining room, or what's left of it, and quietly work your way to one of the two doors at the end of it. Slowly you open one of the doors, slip in, and close it behind you.

 

As it turns out you've found the kitchen, which is not a surprise. But there's another two doors in here, one of which would lead into whatever the other door in the dining room leads to. The other door, as you expected, leads into the larder. And it's packed absolutely full with fresh, edible-looking food. Loads of sealed barrels and crates around, so you can't see most of it, but there's several slabs of dried, salted meat hanging from meat hooks, some more intact than others, and opening one of the barrels that isn't sealed you see that it's half-full with various dried bread. A quick check with your wand confirms that there is indeed a preservation enchantment placed on this room, so all of this food will decay at a relative snail's pace if it'll even decay at all. It's a great indication that someone is indeed living here, because you don't think all of this would have been left behind while even the furniture was left to rot. And one person definitely doesn't need this much, either...

 

Unfortunately that revelation comes a minute too late, because while you're looking around for clues that would point to when this food was brought in here you suddenly hear the door to the kitchen open, and than the door to the larder. Someone is coming! And seeing as how you'd likely not allow a prisoner access to the larder you can only assume it's the Mastery mage! You're going to have to defend yourself, there's nowhere to hide here. But how!?

 

Brute Strength. Meat Attack!

-It's not elegant, but there's a time and place for elegant and it is not now on both counts. Quickly, and as quietly as possible, you climb up a few crates and barrels and position yourself behind one of the giant slabs of meat hanging from a meat hook. You wait for just a few tense seconds, long enough for the mage to get to the bottom of the staircase and start turning the knob. And once he does you, with one quick series of movements, lift the slab off the hook and toss it in the direction of the door. The mage opens the door and doesn't even get time to look up before half a cow's worth of meat lands right on top of him with an unceremonious splat, sending him to the floor from the sudden force. You, before the mage gets the time to recover, quickly jump on the mage-meat combo, duck under the doorframe and start running up to the dining room. You get to the kitchen before your shoes are suddenly glued to the floor, sending you flying towards said floor, but you're quick enough to catch yourself and land without injury. An annoying, high-pitched voice coming from somewhere you can't see says, "Ha! Thought you could escape so easily, could you?" The owner of the voice gets closer, and after a second you see a fairly flying in front of you, seemingly amused with herself. You, wand in hand, prepare a nice little spell to blow her away, but it accomplishes nothing. You can only assume that she's responsible for that. "Tut, tut, tut. No more spellcasting for you, captain breaking and entering. In fact, no more anything for you. I'm sure my master doesn't appreciate what you've done," she says, after which she flies over to the door leading to the larder. "Even though (s/he) got you what you wanted!" she yells down, followed by a bout of maniacal high-pitched laughter that is drilling a hole into your skull. A second later the mage steps into the room, looking a bit worse for wear.

 

"I said I had a craving for some meat, but that was just ridiculous!" he says to no one in particular, although it prompts the fairy to laugh even harder. She seems like the cheerful sort, which admittedly only makes you want to silence her that much more. The mage doesn't seem to care or notice as he walks over to you, still unable to escape the fairy's hex. "Another one of those Academagia brats? Gods, and here I am just looking for some peace and quiet. Well, you'll not trouble me for long, I can tell you that." He turns to look at the fairy. "Senri, escort this brat to the prison. I'll remove (him/her) after I'm done getting these bits of cow leg that this brat kicked into my face out of my nose and eyes."

 

As soon as the mage walks out the fairy starts laughing even harder than before, and using some sort of magic she commands you to start walking where she tells you to. You try to do what you can to stop her or resist, but it's no use. She's just too powerful, and you're still under her hex, anyway...

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-It's not elegant, but there's a time and place for elegant and it is not now on both counts. Quickly, and as quietly as possible, you climb up a few crates and barrels and position yourself behind one of the giant slabs of meat hanging on a meat hook. You wait for just a few tense seconds, long enough for the mage to get to the bottom of the staircase and start turning the knob. And once he does you, with one quick series of movements, lift the slab off the hook and fail to catch it's weight, throwing you off-balance enough that you end up landing in front of the mage and on the slab of meat. Needless to say before you can recover the mage has drawn his wand and has you frozen in position, which wouldn't be as bad if you didn't still have your face buried in a cow's leg or something.

 

"I can't say that this is the kind of meat I expected to find in the larder, but I'm glad I found that out before I tried to eat it." the mage says with a fairly neutral tone. It's a bit difficult to make out, because halfway through an annoyingly high-pitched sound that's laughing heartily at your misfortune is drowning out the mage's voice. Looking behind the mage you see the voice's owner, a fairy that's landing rather cheerfully on the mage's shoulder.

 

Pointing at you, the fairy (after just a bit more laughing) says, "Oh, an intruder? Someone who broke in, went where (s/he) wasn't invited, ready to cause all kinds of trouble? How naughty, I think this little spoiled brat needs some more discipline. Right, dear?"

 

"I have a name, Senri." the mage says to the fairy with a tone that makes it clear that she's probably never used his name before, and short of Mastery likely never will. "Nevertheless, take (him/her) to the prison. I'll deal with (him/her) once I've had some edible meat."

 

The fairy nods, flies towards you, and using some sort of magic she commands you to walk somewhere entirely against your will. Of course you're unable to resist her, and considering neither of them thought to take your wand you're damn sure that one of the two cast some sort of hex on you...

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

Negation. Lock down his spellcasting abilities!

-Mastery mage or not, without spells you're sure that you can get away quickly enough. As such you quickly scurry over to one of the corners of the room, prepare your spell, and as soon as the mage walks into the room you let it fly. The spell hits the mage, who's now going to have to make due without magic, and it's pathetically easy to out-manoeuvre and out-run him even in these conditions now that he's been reduced to angrily throwing his wand at you. Of course he does give chase as soon as you're running up the staircase to the kitchen, but as it turns out that's entirely unnecessary. Because your shoes are suddenly glued to the floor, sending you flying towards said floor, but you're quick enough to catch yourself and land without injury. An annoying, high-pitched voice coming from somewhere you can't see says, "Ha! Thought you could escape so easily, could you?" A second later the mage storms in, completely apathetic to the owner of said voice - a fairy. "Tut, tut, tut. No more spellcasting for you, captain breaking and entering. In fact, no more anything for you. Though I suppose losing the first is as good as losing the second, right?" For some reason this is hilarious enough to send the fairy into a bout of maniacal laughter, and the high-pitched laughing is quickly drilling a hole into your skull. For some reason the mage doesn't care to stop her, even though you're sure that no one could ever get used to this noise.

 

After far too long the mage finally looks at the fairy and says, "Senri, take this brat to the prison. I'll deal with (him/her) after I've fixed this accused hex." The fairy nods, and commanding you with some form of magic you can't manage to resist you're forced to walk where the fairly wants you to walk. You do still have your wand on you, neither the fairy or the mage thought to take that away, although considering what you did to the mage it's a fair assumption that, at some point, someone (which would have to be the fairy, all things considered) did that to you, as well...

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-Mastery mage or not, without spells you're sure that you can get away quickly enough. As such you quickly scurry over to one of the corners of the room, prepare your spell, and as soon as the mage walks into the room you let it fly. The spell unfortunately hits the door - slight miscalculation on your part - and before you're able to build a second spell the mage has drawn his wand and frozen you in place. Well, you can't say that you didn't try.

 

"I know I said I had a craving for some meat, but this is not the meat I was expecting to find in the larder." the mage says with a fairly neutral tone. It's a bit difficult to make out, because halfway through an annoyingly high-pitched sound that's laughing heartily at your misfortune is drowning out the mage's voice. Looking behind the mage you see the voice's owner, a fairy that's landing rather cheerfully on the mage's shoulder.

 

Pointing at you, the fairy (after just a bit more laughing) says, "Oh, an intruder? Someone who broke in, went where (s/he) wasn't invited, ready to cause all kinds of trouble? How naughty, I think this little spoiled brat needs some more discipline. Right, dear?"

 

"I have a name, Senri." the mage says to the fairy with a tone that makes it clear that she's probably never used his name before, and short of Mastery likely never will. "Nevertheless, take (him/her) to the prison. I'll deal with (him/her) once I've had some edible meat."

 

The fairy nods, flies towards you, and using some sort of magic she commands you to walk somewhere entirely against your will. Of course you're unable to resist her, and considering neither of them thought to take your wand you're damn sure that one of the two cast some sort of hex at you. And actually hit you with said hex, naturally...

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

Flawless Timing. Surprise gut punch!

-There may be nowhere to hide, but there's a place to lie in wait. You run into the corner, duck for what little it's worth, and wait for the mage to open the door and step into view. He does, and before he looks in your direction you jump at him, give him a good punch and run while he's still figuring out what the heck just happened. You get to the kitchen before your shoes are suddenly glued to the floor, sending you flying towards said floor, but you're quick enough to catch yourself and land without injury. An annoying, high-pitched voice coming from somewhere you can't see says, "Ha! Thought you could escape so easily, could you?" The owner of the voice gets closer, and after a second you see a fairly flying in front of you, seemingly amused with herself. You, wand in hand, prepare a nice little spell to blow her away, but it accomplishes nothing. You can only assume that she's responsible for that. "Tut, tut, tut. No more spellcasting for you, captain breaking and entering. In fact, no more anything for you. Which is just as well, because you clearly don't need the first bit anyway!" For some reason that sends her into an annoyingly high-pitched laughing fit, the sound drilling a hole through your skull, but no matter how much you wave your wand around it's just not doing anything. And then the winded mage steps into the kitchen.

 

"Argh, another Academagia brat!? Don't your professors teach you to cast spells anymore or something!? Just as well, I suppose, because you're not going to anymore once I'm through with you." The mage turns to the fairy, who seems endlessly amused by this situation. "Senri, take this brat to the prison, I need to grab some ice..." The mage walks off, and through some manner of magic the fairy commands you to walk towards where she wants you to walk. Naturally you can't reach for your wand, whatever good that would even do, and you can't resist her commands, so you're left with nothing but a short walk...

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-There may be nowhere to hide, but there's a place to lie in wait. You run into the corner, duck for what little it's worth, and wait for the mage to open the door and step into view. He does, and before he looks in your direction you jump at him, completely fail to hit him with a punch, and unceremoniously sail across the floor as you trip over your own foot from the unexpected movement and momentum. Naturally the mage draws his wand and freezes you in place before you have a chance to get up.

 

"I know I said I had a craving for some meat, but this is not the meat I was expecting to find in the larder." the mage says with a fairly neutral tone. It's a bit difficult to make out, because halfway through an annoyingly high-pitched sound that's laughing heartily at your misfortune is drowning out the mage's voice. Looking behind the mage you see the voice's owner, a fairy that's landing rather cheerfully on the mage's shoulder.

 

Pointing at you, the fairy (after just a bit more laughing) says, "Oh, an intruder? Someone who broke in, went where (s/he) wasn't invited, ready to cause all kinds of trouble? How naughty, I think this little spoiled brat needs some more discipline. Right, dear?"

 

"I have a name, Senri." the mage says to the fairy with a tone that makes it clear that she's probably never used his name before, and short of Mastery likely never will. "Nevertheless, take (him/her) to the prison. I'll deal with (him/her) once I've had some edible meat."

 

The fairy nods, flies towards you, and using some sort of magic she commands you to walk somewhere entirely against your will. Of course you're unable to resist her, and considering neither of them thought to take your wand you're damn sure that one of the two cast some sort of hex on you...

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

Mastery Methods. Seal Against Mastery! (requires you to have Mastery and be able to cast the titular spell, naturally)

-If this Mastery mage thinks that he can just dominate you with Mastery he's got another thing coming. You piece together one of the forbidden school of Mastery's own spells, lie in wait for the mage to open the door, and throw the spell at the mage once he's through and within view. It hits him, and just like that his ability to command you around has been flushed down the mountain. Of course he's still standing in front of the only door leading out of this room, but you've got magic for that as well. Must be so annoying for him that the shoe is on other foot this time, but you just can't bring yourself to sympathize. Wand already drawn you quickly piece together a Mastery spell, but for whatever reason it completely bounces off the mage, not doing anything at all. In the mean time the mage has drawn his own wand and, contrary to expectations, quickly freezes you in place with a Negation.

 

Looking quite annoyed the mage says, "What, did you think Mastery is the only school of magic I study? The hell, kid? Have your professors finally lost their collective minds?"

 

You'd say that you're rather curious yourself as to why you were under the impression that Mastery was the only school he knew, but you're currently frozen in place. A second later you see a fairy fly down the staircase, looking at the situation with some measure of shock. "Apparently!" she says with an annoyingly high-pitched voice. "One of their students, studying forbidden magic? Scandalous! Heart-breaking! Just think of those poor professors and this little brat's friends, what few (s/he) might have. They'll all be rounded up and questioned, and oh, maybe they'll even be forced to attend your own execution to make sure they learn not to make the same mistake. But of course that's only if they learn, little brat, and guess who knows what you've been up to now."

 

You really, really don't like the way that fairy phrased that last bit...

 

"For once, I think we agree," the mage says, wand still pointed at you. "I'm sure you know how easy and satisfying it is to take control of someone else, make them do your bidding or have them follow your every ideal and hope. But there's other ways to make people dance according to your strings, and I'm afraid that you've just given me yours." He turns to the fairy. "Senri, escort this puppet to the prison. I'll break (him/her) as soon as I've gotten rid of this damned seal."

 

The fairy, with far more glee than she should, user her own magic to command you to walk in the direction she wants, and despite all attempts you can't break her spell's hold on you. Strangely enough neither her or the mage actually bothered to take your wand, but of course the fairy isn't going to let you use it and you suspect that even if she did, it wouldn't amount to much anyway.

--- proceed with adventure, add memory ---

 

-If this Mastery mage thinks that he can just dominate you with Mastery he's got another thing coming. You piece together one of the forbidden school of Mastery's own spells, lie in wait for the mage to open the door, and throw the spell at the mage once he's through and within view. It hits him, but fails to take hold, and before you've put together another spell the mage has drawn his wand and is commanding you to stay still. Naturally, you're unable to resist.

 

Looking quite annoyed the mage says, "What, did you think that Mastery was the end-all solution to all personal problems? Or that Mastery is the only school of magic I've studied? Even if that Seal hit I would have just frozen you with a Negation, kid, I'm not stupid. Question is, are you?"

 

You'd say that you're rather curious yourself as to why you were under the clearly incorrect impression that Mastery was the only school he knew, but you're currently being commanded to stay still, and so you do. A second later you see a fairy fly down the staircase, looking at the situation with some measure of shock. "Apparently!" she says with an annoyingly high-pitched voice. "One of the Academagia's students, studying forbidden magic? Scandalous! Heart-breaking! Just think of those poor professors and this little brat's friends, what few (s/he) might have. They'll all be rounded up and questioned, and oh, maybe they'll even be forced to attend your own execution to make sure they learn not to make the same mistake. But of course that's only if they learn, little brat, and guess who knows what you've been up to now."

 

You really, really don't like the way that fairy phrased that last bit...

 

"For once, I think we agree," the mage says, wand still pointed at you. "I'm sure you know how easy and satisfying it is to take control of someone else, make them do your bidding or have them follow your every ideal and hope. I'm sure you know that all too well. But there's other ways to make people dance according to your strings, and I'm afraid that you've just given me yours." He turns to the fairy. "Senri, escort this puppet to the prison. I'll break (him/her) as soon as I've gotten some obedient and edible meat to eat."

 

The fairy, with far more glee than she should, user her own magic to command you to walk in the direction she wants, and despite all attempts you can't break her spell's hold on you. Strangely enough neither her or the mage actually bothered to take your wand, but of course the fairy isn't going to let you use it and you suspect that even if she did, it wouldn't amount to much anyway.

--- proceed with adventure, add memory ---

Not the kind of "meat" of the adventure that even I was expecting, but I'm not complaining. And yes, that Mastery Methods option is a trap. How much of one you'll see later.

Edited by Metis

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 7:

 

Unexpected Turn.

 

Following the fairy's brutish, yet almost sing-song-like commands you, involuntarily, walk through the dining room and back into the grand staircase room (for...lack of a better term). You're forced to take a right turn and go through an unassuming door, but what's behind it makes your skin crawl. Past the door is a small hallway that quickly leads into a grand circular staircase, not an uncommon sight in castles, but this one doesn't have a solid pillar in the center. Instead there's a myriad of stone spikes jutting dangerously out of the floor, with several decayed corpses already decorating the spikes. It's difficult to tell how badly off these individuals were, their bodies have decayed down to skeletons and what remains of their clothes aren't in any better condition, but judging from how far the stone spikes jut out of their bodies it's clear that their fall, from however high it was, was fatal. Not the immediate kind of fatal, either, but the slow and agonizing kind. And of course the staircase has nothing akin to a guardrail, so this entire thing is literally a death trap or fatal accident waiting to happen. There's no signs that this room was renovated, but you imagine that this spike pit wasn't part of the original construction all the same. Even through the fairy's magic you grimace at the sight and thought of you falling off and landing in a very unfortunate position, and of course the (flying) fairy is amused by it. "The prison is at the top of this staircase," she cheerfully says. "The execution area is upstairs as well. Or downstairs, depending on your point of view. So be a good little brat and don't resist, or I might just make a...slip-up!" Again the fairy seems endlessly amused by her joke, which you definitely don't see the humor of. At least the fairy has the decency to not make you walk up the staircase right at the edge, or to drive you nuts with that high-pitched laugh again.

 

After a nerve-wrecking walk up the Staircase of Inevitable Doom (because, seriously, that's what it is) you finally reach the top. Nothing special, really, just a small guard post (what's left of it, anyway) and a hallway who's walls are lined with doors. It's clear just from distance that the doors lead to nothing but small cells, and through one of those doors the fairy commands you into a cell, locking the door behind you. The cell is small and almost entirely featureless, made entirely of stone and mortar except for a small hole in one of the corners. Looking around you don't see any way out. The door is locked, your wand is (as expected) not working, the door's lock is so oddly shaped and crafted that any lockpicks you have on you aren't going to make a lick of difference, the hole in the floor is nowhere near large enough for you to squeeze through - not that you'd even want to all things considered - and despite several attempts to yell for help there's no response. Not that you can't hear that there's other people here in nearby and adjacent cells, but the other members of the pirate crew (at least that's what you assume) aren't responding at all. After several minutes of trying just about everything you can think of you sit down, back leaning against the wall, and fighting your increasingly unnerved emotions you try and think about some way to get out of here.

 

Suddenly you get an idea. Air. This is a small cell inside an underground castle. There must be some way that air is able to circulate through this place, otherwise it would eventually become impossible to breathe in here. Of course it's possible that there are enchantments that take care of that, but enchanting the entire castle and every individual cell with something like that would be impractical at the very least. There must be some sort of vent, than, somewhere that you can't see. With new-found if still hesitant hope you get up and start carefully examining the walls, looking for anything that's loose or that was hastily bricked up. And you do find a loose brick! You rip it out of the wall with far greater force than was necessary, and see exactly what you expected to see behind it. It's very difficult to tell with how little light there is here, but you're sure that it's some manner of air passage. Unfortunately it's nowhere near large enough for you to squeeze through, but reaching your hand in and feeling around you end up grabbing hold of a few items. Taking them out and looking them over you've got a set of crazy-looking lockpicks, an unlabelled potion, and an unlabelled spell scroll, parchment with a one-time use spell inscribed on it through Orthography. Sweet salvation is here! Why is it here? Don't care, you're getting out of here!

 

Priorities are to get out of here and to undo whatever hex the fairy put on you, so that you can use your wand again. Opening the door is, frankly, a trivial matter - with your wand functional you can destroy that door in so many ways it'd make the lockpicks green with envy, though of course you'll be a lot quieter if you actually use them. So the big thing right now is either the potion or the scroll, but neither are labelled and you have no means of magical identification. You have no idea what they do. You're obviously going to need at least one of them to open that door, but which one do you use?

 

Endurance. Drink the potion!

-The smell coming off of the potion is worse than the smell coming from the hole in the floor, and that's saying something, but with determination and a whole lot of just not thinking about it you're able to drink the contents of the potion and, somehow, keep the vile liquid down. After only a few seconds that nevertheless felt like they lasted far too long you can feel the potion's effects on you. A malignant haze that's been clouding your head unnoticed suddenly lifts, and it's a surprising contrast to how you feel now that it's gone compared to how you felt before. Of course that begs the question of what that haze even was, and testing your wand your first theory is confirmed - it was the fairy's hex! It's gone! Your wand works again! With that obstacle overcome you turn your attention to the spell scroll. With your wand working it's child's play to identify it, and you easily determine the spell that's contained within - Sense Tumblers, a little-known spell that will greatly aid in any lockpicking endeavours.

 

It occurs to you that it's mighty convenient that you just so happened to have found a set of lockpicks that'll work on the cell door's crazy lock, a potion to dispel the fairy's hex, and now a spell scroll that'll allow even someone who's never held a set of lockpicks before to open the door inside that air passage. Very convenient indeed. You're not really in a position to look gifted horses in the mouth, though - that Mastery mage is coming and you need to get out before he realizes that you're slipping from his grasp!

 

Just to make sure you can not only escape, but escape quietly, you decide to use the lockpicks to open the door and even use up the spell scroll to make sure that you can make a quick, quiet escape. The door clicks open within a matter of seconds and you don't waste any time running away, wand drawn in case anything goes wrong.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-The smell coming off of the potion is worse than the smell coming from the hole in the floor, and that's saying something, but you force yourself to drink the potion's contents all the way. Unfortunately you're not able to keep it all down and end up having to fight back several gag reflexes, some of which have more success than others. You were going to have to clean your robe after this was done anyway. Once you finally stop wanting to throw up it take several very long seconds before you can feel the potion's effects on you. A malignant haze that's been clouding your head unnoticed suddenly lifts, and it's a surprising contrast to how you feel now that it's gone compared to how you felt before. Of course that begs the question of what that haze even was, and testing your wand your first theory is confirmed - it was the fairy's hex! It's gone! Your wand works again! With that obstacle overcome you turn your attention to the spell scroll. With your wand working it's child's play to identify it, and you easily determine the spell that's contained within - Sense Tumblers, a little-known spell that will greatly aid in any lockpicking endeavours.

 

It occurs to you that it's mighty convenient that you just so happened to have found a set of lockpicks that'll work on the cell door's crazy lock, a potion to dispel the fairy's hex, and now a spell scroll that'll allow even someone who's never held a set of lockpicks before to open the door inside that air passage. Very convenient indeed. You're not really in a position to look gifted horses in the mouth, though - that Mastery mage is coming and you need to get out before he realizes that you're slipping from his grasp!

 

Just to make sure you can not only escape, but escape quietly, you decide to use the lockpicks to open the door and even use up the spell scroll to make sure that you can make a quick, quiet escape. The door clicks open within a matter of seconds and you don't waste any time running away, wand drawn in case anything goes wrong.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

Orthography. Use the scroll!

-Orthography has a bad reputation for being able to do all kinds of bad things to people, but it's not like brewing - or magic in general, really - is any different, so you use up the spell scroll. Immediately the magic infused in it begins to weave itself around you, and a moment later you...well, you're not entirely sure how to describe it, but you can sense the lock on your cell door. Just touching it is enough to get a sense of how many tumblers the lock contains, where they are, in what position they need to be to unlock the door, that sort of stuff. On the downside it seems to have completely robbed you of your sense of smell, as well, but seeing as how the aroma coming from the hole in the floor wasn't all that pleasant you don't find yourself complaining about one or two "minor" side-effects. All in all you suppose that's useful for making damn sure that you can get out of this cell quietly using those crazy-looking lockpicks, but that doesn't really help you with the problem of getting your magic back. Unless you want to try and open the Mastery mage's nose, but considering the effects the scroll had you'd probably just succeed at opening his nose anyway. No, you're just going to have to try the potion it seems.

 

With your sense of smell still out of order you can't tell what the potion smells like at all, so a bit wearily you decide to drink it. Something between water and very thick juice, but that's about all you're able to tell. Holding it down is thankfully not a problem. Seconds later a malignant haze that's been clouding your head unnoticed suddenly lifts, and it's a surprising contrast to how you feel now that it's gone compared to how you felt before. Of course that begs the question of what that haze even was, and testing your wand your first theory is confirmed - it was the fairy's hex! It's gone! Your wand works again! Now you've got your wand back and a guaranteed silent escape out of this prison cell!

 

...That's pretty damn convenient, that you'd find those exact three items on that air passage, but there's a Mastery mage on his way to mess with your mind in ways that you don't even want to think about, so you set aside those questions for later. Right now it's time to unlock that door and leave. You do exactly that with great ease, and wand drawn you start to make your escape.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-Orthography has a bad reputation for being able to do all kinds of bad things to people, but it's not like brewing - or magic in general, really - is any different, so you use up the spell scroll. Immediately the magic infused in it begins to weave itself around you, and a moment later you...well, you're not entirely sure how to describe it, but you can sense the lock on your cell door. Just touching it is enough to get a sense of how many tumblers the lock contains, where they are, in what position they need to be to unlock the door, that sort of stuff. You suppose that's useful for making damn sure that you can get out of this cell quietly using those crazy-looking lockpicks, but that doesn't really help you with the problem of getting your magic back. Unless you want to try and open the Mastery mage's nose, but considering the effects the scroll had you'd probably just succeed at opening his nose anyway. No, you're just going to have to try the potion it seems.

 

The potion unfortunately smells worse than the hole in the floor does, and drinking the potion turns out to only be half the problem. After you finally get it down you have to suppress a gag reflex to keep it down, something you don't entirely succeed at, but thankfully you manage not to throw up so much that the potion no longer works. And it's not like you weren't going to need to clean your robe after this anyway. Seconds later a malignant haze that's been clouding your head unnoticed suddenly lifts, and it's a surprising contrast to how you feel now that it's gone compared to how you felt before. Of course that begs the question of what that haze even was, and testing your wand your first theory is confirmed - it was the fairy's hex! It's gone! Your wand works again! Now you've got your wand back and a guaranteed silent escape out of this prison cell!

 

...That's pretty damn convenient, that you'd find those exact three items on that air passage, but there's a Mastery mage on his way to mess with your mind in ways that you don't even want to think about, so you set aside those questions for later. Right now it's time to unlock that door and leave. You do exactly that with great ease, and wand drawn you start to make your escape.

--- proceed with adventure ---

Pardon for the rather rampant copy-paste action going on here, but I honestly don't see much reason to type out four different descriptions for pretty much the exact same actions, especially because ingame you're only going to see one per playthrough anyway. Well, barring save/load shenanigans, but details...

 

Oh yeah, this one's early because...eh, I guess I didn't have anything else to do. So...happy whateverday to the topic, I guess :huh:?

Edited by Metis

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 8:

 

The quiet escape for your cell is short-lived, as running through the eerily quiet hallway towards the Staircase of Certain Doom you end up running right into the Mastery mage, just making a turn towards the prisoner's hallway. You were ready with your wand already drawn while he has only just notices you without a wand in hand, so you've got a split-second to cast a spell before he does the same to you. Physical combat is out in this case because that staircase is not somewhere where you're going to have a fist-fight with anyone unless your life depended on it. Besides which, you're too far away. By the time you'd have closed the distance he'd have already cast a spell on you. You've only got the one chance, and in the moment you've got to decide what to do...

 

Revision. Change his bones so they're lighter than air! (requires NOT having stage 6's Mastery Methods memory)

-Lighter than air is probably a bit excessive, but the point of making sure that he can't feasibly use his body to cause you greater harm than you're planning on causing him still stands. It's naturally not a safe or friendly thing to do to someone, but you've crossed that bridge a long time ago. As quickly as you can you complete your spell and throw it at him, during which time the mage manages to draw his own wand, but unfortunately for him he's not able to defend himself in time, and he ends up with a set of hands that can no longer support their own weight. Needless to say that that's a slight problem when trying to cast spells with a wand that, while traditionally not an issue, is something you do have to be able to lift easily in order to use it. The mage fumbles horribly and manages to have his wand roll off the staircase, rendering that threat moot. With that done and no threat of an angry man's punches coming your way you prepare to focus on the fairy, who you know can't be far behind.

 

However, that proves to be for naught as suddenly a noise like some kind of monster's roar rings out from what seems like inside one of the walls. It's such a stark contrast to the eerily quiet rooms that even you stop dead in your tracks and jump out of the way, pointing your wand at the wall in case something is going to burst through it. Unfortunately by the time you whip your head around to look at the staircase the mage is gone, as is the fairy. You run up to the edge of the staircase and look down, and are just completely shocked by the sight you see. At the base of the staircase, thankfully having missed the stone spikes in the middle, is what you assume is the dead body of the mage. No visible bloodstains, it looks like he "just" landed on his head. Fatally. He must have jumped out of the way of that roar as well, and he might have misjudged his distance because he wasn't sure if you did more than just mess with his hands, but still...why? Why did that happen?

--- proceed with adventure stage 9a---

 

-Lighter than air is probably a bit excessive, but the point of making sure that he can't feasibly use his body to cause you greater harm than you're planning on causing him still stands. You're pretty concerned because this is naturally not a safe or friendly thing to do to someone, but you keep telling yourself that in this situation you should have crossed that bridge a long time ago. As quickly as you can you complete your spell and throw it at him, during which time the mage manages to draw his own wand, but unfortunately for him he's not able to defend himself in time, and despite the relative complexity of the spell he ends up with a set of hands that can no longer support their own weight. Rather painfully so, if his facial expression is anything to do by. Regardless, either is a slight problem when trying to cast spells with a wand that, while traditionally not an issue, is something you do have to be able to lift easily in order to use it. Both is just excessive. It's no surprise, than, that the mage fumbles horribly and manages to have his wand roll off the staircase, rendering that threat moot. With that done and no threat of an angry man's punches coming your way you prepare to focus on the fairy, who you know can't be far behind.

 

However, that proves to be for naught as suddenly a noise like some kind of monster's roar rings out from what seems like inside one of the walls. It's such a stark contrast to the eerily quiet rooms that even you stop dead in your tracks and jump out of the way, pointing your wand at the wall in case something is going to burst through it. Unfortunately by the time you whip your head around to look at the staircase the mage is gone, as is the fairy. With a chill washing over you and a cold sweat forming on your forehead you run up to the edge of the staircase and look down, completely shocked by the sight you see. At the base of the staircase, thankfully having missed the stone spikes in the middle, is what you assume is the dead body of the mage. No visible bloodstains, it looks like he "just" landed on his head. Fatally. He must have jumped out of the way of that roar as well, and with him in pain from your less than perfect spell...why? Why did this happen?

--- proceed with adventure stage 9a---

 

Glamour. Mess with his sense of direction! (requires NOT having stage 6's Mastery Methods memory)

-It'll be tricky to disable the mage without risking him falling off the staircase, but you're trusting him not to jump in a random direction after you've blinded him when he knows that about half of the directions he can jump in will result in his gruesome, horrible death. As such you piece together a nice little sense scrambling spell, and hit the mage with it before he's able to draw his wand and retaliate. Suddenly he's blinded and unable to tell left from right, so you're sure that he's not going to do anything or be able to slash out a Negation to counter your spell, so you prepare to focus on the fairy next.

 

However, that proves to be for naught as suddenly a noise like some kind of monster's roar rings out from what seems like inside one of the walls. It's such a stark contrast to the eerily quiet rooms that even you stop dead in your tracks and jump out of the way, pointing your wand at the wall in case something is going to burst through it. Unfortunately by the time you whip your head around to look at the staircase the mage is gone, as is the fairy. You run up to the edge of the staircase and look down, and are just completely shocked by the sight you see. At the base of the staircase, thankfully having missed the stone spikes in the middle, is what you assume is the dead body of the mage. No visible bloodstains, it looks like he "just" landed on his head. Fatally. He must have jumped out of the way of that roar as well, but with his senses messed up...why? Why did that happen?

--- proceed with adventure stage 9a---

 

-It'll be difficult to disable the mage without risking him falling off the staircase, but you're hopeful you can make this spell work without tricking the mage into jumping off towards his gruesome, horrible death. As such you piece together a fairly complex sense scrambling spell, and hit the mage with it before he's able to draw his wand and retaliate. Suddenly he's blinded and unable to tell left from right, so you're sure that he's not going to do anything or be able to slash out a Negation to counter your spell, so with some trepidation about the mage's safety you prepare to focus on the fairy next.

 

However, that proves to be for naught as suddenly a noise like some kind of monster's roar rings out from what seems like inside one of the walls. It's such a stark contrast to the eerily quiet rooms that even you stop dead in your tracks and jump out of the way, pointing your wand at the wall in case something is going to burst through it. Unfortunately by the time you whip your head around to look at the staircase the mage is gone, as is the fairy. With a chill washing over you and a cold sweat forming on your forehead you run up to the edge of the staircase and look down, completely shocked by the sight you see. At the base of the staircase, thankfully having missed the stone spikes in the middle, is what you assume is the dead body of the mage. No visible bloodstains, it looks like he "just" landed on his head. Fatally. He must have jumped out of the way of that roar as well, but with his senses messed up...why? Why did this happen?

--- proceed with adventure stage 9a---

 

That staircase... (requires having stage 6's Mastery Methods memory)

-As various spells fly through your mind a thought occurs to you. This guy knows your secret. If he survives, he's sure to try and use that information to his advantage somehow. And even if he's doomed to be executed for his crimes, that's no more reason for him to stay silent. He knows. He'll use that information against you. You have to make sure that he won't, but you can't erase his memory. You can't force him to forget, you can't force him to never talk about it. Even if you knew enough Mastery, people will certainly question him. People will far greater skill than you, than even he. So long as he lives, your own survival is put in great danger. And that staircase of doom right behind him...it'd be such a tiny push. One little misstep and all your problems are over. Your own life can go on. No one is around here. No one needs to know. Just that fairy, but you can take care of her afterwards. A Familiar without a master is much weaker, and she won't be able to save him. So you can take care of them both. To make sure that your secret doesn't come out, you can silence this man. You have to silence this man. This dangerous "criminal".

 

You have silence him. Permanently.

--- unlock below options, choose again ---

 

Incantation. Blast him off the staircase.

-You quickly build your spell and send forth the best blast of wind you can put together. Within a split-second the Mastery mage draws his wand, but it's too late. He's hit by the blast, which knocks his wand right out of his hand, and he's unable to keep a foothold on the ground. He's send sailing off the staircase, and down towards the spiked floor. His scream is only panicked at first, but that quickly turns into a loud, slightly wet scream of pain that echoes all the way up to the hallway, stopping only as his lungs and throat fill with so much blood that he can't even get a sound out anymore. Not that that stops him from trying to spit out a scream anyway, and the noise from his failed attempts is sickening. At the top of the staircase you see the fairy, looking in some direction you can't be sure of because your vision's gone a bit hazy. She flies out of sight, flying down to where the Mastery mage is currently trying to cough up a last breath.

--- proceed with adventure stage 9b ---

 

-You quickly build your spell and send forth the best blast of wind you can put together, unfortunately getting caught in it a bit as well, which is enough to send you slamming into the floor. You, however, got off easy. Within a split-second the Mastery mage draws his wand, but it's too late. He's hit fully by the blast, which knocks his wand right out of his hand, and he's unable to keep any more foothold on the ground than you could. Though unlike you he's send sailing off the staircase rather than into the floor, and down towards the spiked floor. His scream is only panicked at first, but that quickly turns into a loud, slightly wet scream of pain that echoes all the way up to the hallway, stopping only as his lungs and throat fill with so much blood that he can't even get a sound out anymore. Not that that stops him from trying to spit out a scream anyway, and the noise from his failed attempts is sickening. At the top of the staircase you see the fairy, looking in some direction you can't be sure of because your vision's gone a bit hazy. She flies out of sight, flying down to where the Mastery mage is currently trying to cough out a last breath.

--- proceed with adventure stage 9b ---

 

Glamour. Break his sense of balance.

-Faster than you've ever cast it you piece together the biggest, meanest Glamour you can manage, and throw it at the mage. It hits him, and you can see from his eyes that it worked. Wobbling around like a drunk so badly that he can't even grab and keep hold of his wand you twist his senses a little more, just right so that the mage stumbles over his own feet and goes falling off the staircase. His scream is only panicked at first, but that quickly turns into a loud, slightly wet scream of pain that echoes all the way up to the hallway, stopping only as his lungs and throat fill with so much blood that he can't even get a sound out anymore. Not that that stops him from trying to spit out a scream anyway, and the noise from his failed attempts is sickening. At the top of the staircase you see the fairy, looking in some direction you can't be sure of because your vision's gone a bit hazy. She flies out of sight, flying down to where the Mastery mage is currently trying to cough out a last breath.

--- proceed with adventure stage 9b ---

 

-Faster than you've ever cast it you piece together the biggest, meanest Glamour you can manage, and throw it at the mage. It unfortunately ends up hitting both of you, causing you to rather quickly run head-first into a wall and land rather unceremoniously on the floor, but through the haze and blur you can see that the Mastery mage isn't having any better a time of it. Wobbling around like a drunk so badly that he can't even grab and keep hold of his wand you twist his senses a little more, hopefully just right so that the mage stumbles over his own feet and goes falling off the staircase, and with the sudden disappearance of a blur of color from your messed-up vision you can only assume that you did that right. The mage's scream is only panicked at first, but that quickly turns into a loud, slightly wet scream of pain that echoes all the way up to the hallway, stopping only as his lungs and throat fill with so much blood that he can't even get a sound out anymore. Not that that stops him from trying to spit out a scream anyway, and the noise from his failed attempts is sickening. At the top of the staircase you see the fairy, looking in some direction you can't be sure of because even after dispelling your spell your vision's still a bit hazy. She flies out of sight, flying down to where the Mastery mage is currently trying to cough out a last breath.

--- proceed with adventure stage 9b ---

 

Mastery. Force him to jump.

-Feeling a sense of irony that's oddly isolated you piece your spell together and, as forcefully as possible, command the Mastery mage to jump. He naturally tries to resist, but a combination of being caught off-guard and you knowing Mastery well enough to do this sort of thing the mage is forced to throw himself off the staircase. You don't let control of him go until his panicked scream turns into a loud, slightly wet scream of pain that echoes all the way up to the hallway, stopping only as his lungs and throat fill with so much blood that he can't even get a sound out anymore. Not that that stops him from trying to spit out a scream anyway, and the noise from his failed attempts is sickening. At the top of the staircase you see the fairy, looking in some direction you can't be sure of because your vision's a bit hazy. She flies out of sight, flying down to where the Mastery mage is currently trying to cough out a last breath.

--- proceed with adventure stage 9b ---

 

-Feeling a sense of irony that's oddly isolated you piece your spell together and, as forcefully as possible, command the Mastery mage to jump. It's so forceful that the spell partially backfires, and you yourself are forced to the ground as you go from having your nose bleed to coughing up blood outright.The mage naturally tries to resist your spell, especially when you go down to the floor, but a combination of being caught off-guard and you wanting him dead more than you care about your own well-being at this point the mage is forced to throw himself off the staircase. You don't let control of him go until his panicked scream turns into a loud, slightly wet scream of pain that echoes all the way up to the hallway, stopping only as his lungs and throat fill with so much blood that he can't even get a sound out anymore. A feeling you can understand all too much, if not to that same extend, at this point. Not that the mage's less fortunate position stops him from trying to spit out a scream anyway, and the noise from his failed attempts is sickening. At the top of the staircase you see the fairy, looking in some direction you can't be sure of because your vision's a bit hazy. She flies out of sight, flying down to where the Mastery mage is currently trying to cough out a last breath.

--- proceed with adventure stage 9b ---

 

 

Apologies for, in order: Rampant copy-pasting, magic parent skill-heavy skill calls, and lack of obvious options. Excuses are, in order: Old news, lack of Y2 knowledge, and inability to worm my way around how to have the PC do something that's reasonably intelligent and seemingly meaningful while allowing plot to happen afterwards anyway. That Revision option took some attempts to get "right", I'll tell you that.

 

Oh, and eh, triple feature because...well...I've finally got this adventure's plot figured out (I know, that didn't took far too long at all!) and I'll tell you, I like it. Maybe the Team won't agree but, eh, cé la vie.

Edited by Metis

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 9a:

 

The Puppet who Held His Strings.

 

You spend a few moments staring at the mage's body in complete shock until you suddenly notice the fairy, still fluttering in the air besides the mage. Slowly - weakly, almost - she flies up to you. "What...was that!?" she demands, apparently out of breath.

"I don't know!" you answer with perfect honesty. "What was that...roar? Are there monsters living behind the walls-does this castle intersect with a cave system or something?" The flood of questions from your lips just won't stop, until the fairy literally kicks you on the nose and flies over onto your shoulder, clearly exhausted. It's evident more from her kick than her inability to continue flying, because even accounting for her size it was a really wimpy kick.

"Listen, you little...brat," she slowly says. "There's only one monster here...and that's me. And that wasn't me. So you...you did that, right?"

You shake your head. "No! I didn't want him to die, I just wanted him caught. Out of my hair, not in a position to cast a Mastery-hey wait a minute!" You draw your wand and point it at the fairy, remembering what she did to you before, but she actually holds up a hand.

"Kid, no...I can't...I'm spend. 'Sides, I'm not mad. He didn't die immediately. I just wanted to say, if that was you...you did good." Your eyebrows shoot to the top of your head, though your wand is still pointed at the fairy, and finally she picks herself up a bit. Sitting on your shoulder with a mischievous, if still worn smile on her. "Like I said, there's only one monster here. And that's me. As for you, I don't suppose you're just willing to forgive and forget, huh?" You shake your head and frown, wondering if you should magic the fairy into a non-threatening status before you regret not doing so. She seems to notice your indecision, and holds up her hand again. "Relax, kid. I don't have a reason to hurt you, so long as you don't hurt me. I got what I wanted out of this, so I don't hold anything against you." You ask the fairy what she "got out of this", and rather casually she points to the bottom of the staircase, to the mage's corpse. "That fool's the one who decided to build this stupid death trap," the fairy explains. "I told him he couldn't fly, I told him he'd trip and that it'd kill him one of these days, but did he listen? Nope. I've been anxiously waiting for his sorry hide to fall into his precious little spike pit, living just long enough to complete our bargain, but it looks like that didn't quite happen. Close enough, though. And I warned him. Repeatedly. So in the end, I didn't kill him."

 

"Neither did I..." you say to yourself more so than the fairy, but she casually waves it off. "Don't even care, kid," she says with that annoying high-pitched voice, though it's not as high as before. "It wasn't me and that's all that matters as far as I'm concerned. Only thing that matters to me now is who to bond with next, but I take it you're not looking for a Familiar?" The confused look on your face tells the fairy all she needs to know. "Yeah, didn't think so," she casually says as she stands up and flies in front of you. You're still debating whether or not you should act against her, but you remain perpetually confused and indecisive. Let's just hope that doesn't end up costing you. "So, eh, you sure you don't want to take credit for killing him?" she asks as she casually points to the bottom of the staircase. "I know that roar made him jump, but he'd have kept his wits about him if it weren't for you. It's fair to claim him as your kill, you know. I won't object."

 

You can't help but close your eyes for a second, take a deep breath, and let out a large sigh before answering. Or responding, at least. "Look, fairy, or...Senri, was it? Just what are you talking about? I don't think-heck I know I've ever met a fairy like you before and I can't make sense of anything you say! Why would I want to claim credit? Why does that matter to you? And...I mean..." You run out of steam in part because you're just so lost that you've lost your grip on the situation, in part because what happened has thrown you off balance. Really, you should be more aware and alert even in a situation like this, but everything combined has just...worn you out.

 

"Fine," Senri says with a calm voice. Honestly, for someone who's casually asking if you wish to claim credit for murdering her domitor she's surprisingly patient. "I'm not a normal fairy. I'm a fairy that was broken and corrupted by a demon, willingly, in return for power. Which I got, and which I continue to collect more of. The way I do that is by draining domitors, people who bond me as a Familiar...or so they call it, anyway. You've heard of the Gift of the Familiar, haven't you? Something like that, only dark and twisted. Or, again, so people claim, anyway. Other than the fact that it's tiring I don't notice any problems with it." The good news is that your eyebrows have not escaped the confines of your head. The bad news is that the contents of your bladder will escape the confines of it at this rate. "Since people 'accidentally' pushing my domitors to their, in this case, entirely deserved near-doom helps me greatly I have to be grateful, in turn. Especially since, as you might imagine, I'm not allowed to act against them myself. Once I'm bonded to someone...I lose myself, in a way." You have noticed that the fairy's demeanor seems to have changed, but...is she really telling the truth? "You can believe me or not," she says while staring at you with a knowing look, "I don't care. I just want to know if you're going to claim credit. If you do I'll have to repay the favor before I can be bonded to someone again, but that's honestly not that bad a deal for me. Sure, I'm compelled to repay that favor, but that's little different than being compelled to help a bonded domitor, and this way I get to keep my wits about me. I know it might not sound like it, but in a way you'd be doing me a small favor. Your call, though."

 

You're going to assume that Senri is telling the truth here because if she was lying she wouldn't come up with such an incredibly ridiculous story. Like, there's so many more rational, simple and reasonable lies she could tell. So, this...creature's offer. You don't feel too good about claiming any man's death as your doing no matter how evil, criminal and dangerous they were. On the other side, he was an evil, dangerous criminal who very nearly succeeded in taking you prisoner and doing unspeakable things to you. Claiming credit might not necessarily mean it wasn't in self-defence, either. Accidental, even. You...might have been the reason he died, but that wasn't your intention regardless. Should you "claim credit" for that?

 

Claim credit for the mage's death.

-You slowly turn to look at Senri with a cold, tired stare. "I...does it matter whether it was in self-defence? Whether it was accidental? I didn't mean to kill him, I didn't want for him to fall, but...maybe you're right. Maybe, if I wasn't there and he wasn't surprised by a prisoner escaping...maybe he wouldn't have died. Is that enough? Is that...does that make me responsible?"

 

You can feel your heart pounding every time you ask a question, but Senri just puts on the most disinterested, carefree look and shrugs. "Geez, you're more concerned about little rules than the fairy's court! Mage is surprised by prisoner, reacts badly to unknown monster roar as a result, falls to his death. There, that's it. That's all that matters. I'm serious when I say that the master of interior renovation and near-master of interior decorating down there has a greater capacity for caring about the rest than I do. And before you say that his ghost might care, no. He isn't coming back, ghost or no. I'm sure you can guess why."

 

You're honestly having a hard time believing this fairy just because you don't think anyone could be this...cold. Well, you suppose that non-humans can fall outside human norms. You let out another sigh and say, "In that case...I think I'll claim credit. With...many caveats and other details that you are completely uninterested in..." The fairy actually smiles at her perceived notion of you "getting it"...if you had to guess. You nod to yourself and say, "I...I'll claim credit. I'm the reason he died, if indirectly. If it weren't for me, he wouldn't have jumped off."

 

The fairy actually does a little somersault in the air, and with her smile it's hard to say that she's not happy. You...don't share her happiness, let's just say that. "Finally! There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Now, as claimer of the kill, there's two ways I can repay the favor. Though, realistically, there's only one." You nod, listening intently to the fairy's words. "The option that's not available is for you to become my next domitor, with all that that entails. You'd be amazed at how many people I find that way, though. So instead, I'm going to have to grant you what my contract granted me - and in my case, that is the power to choose. I accepted this life and contract because I wanted more, better options to leave my mark upon the world, so in return for this day, I'll find a way to grant you the same. Only the once, though, even if you off another domitor - once you know the trick, well...let's just say it's unhealthy to repeat it." You nod again, making an important mental note about that last part. "I can't say how long it'll take, I can't say whether I'll die before I'm able to repay you, I can't say in what form I'll grant you a measure of choice, but rest assured that I'm a lot more powerful than I look. I'll figure out a way, and one day, if I succeed, we'll meet again."

 

It just occurred to you that in order for this to work you're obviously going to have to let the fairy go free, but after what happened to the mage? Yeah, you're fine with it. Besides, maybe you're being too naive, but you like the sound of this arrangement. You're incredibly weary of there being some untold cost, of course, because it really feels cheap, but beyond that, you like the sound of it. With a final nod from you the fairy waves you goodbye and flies off, down the staircase and out of sight. She didn't stop by or even look at the mage once.

 

Now...this situation you're in. A part of you feels like going back to the Academagia, visiting a restroom, and staying cloistered in your room until after the sun sets. However, another part of you feels like you're not done. There's clearly something more going on here. That prison escape of yours isn't a question of whether it was a set-up, it's a question of when it was set up. The monster roar is likewise still unexplained, and you haven't yet confirmed the state and health of the pirate crew that is supposedly kept prisoner here. With the mage...no longer in the picture, you seem to have gotten free reign to investigate to your heart's content, and at this point? You're not leaving until you've at least tried to piece this little puzzle together.

--- Proceed with adventure, add memory (that won't be relevant until Y3, but when at time comes, it'll be relevant) ---

 

You couldn't admit that you even had a part in this, no matter what.

-You just shake your head quietly, and the fairy shrugs. "Suit yourself." With those parting words she flies down the staircase and out of sight. You maybe shouldn't have let her go, but...you're really not feeling good at this point. Still, this situation you're in. A part of you honestly feels like going back to the Academagia, visiting a restroom, and staying cloistered in your room until after the sun sets. However, despite the sick feeling, another part of you feels like you're not done. There's clearly something more going on here. That prison escape of yours isn't a question of whether it was a set-up, it's a question of when it was set up. The monster roar is likewise still unexplained, and you haven't yet confirmed the state and health of the pirate crew that is supposedly kept prisoner here. With the mage...no longer in the picture, you seem to have gotten free reign to investigate to your heart's content, and at this point? You're not leaving until you've at least tried to piece this little puzzle together...even if you might end up throwing up in the process.

--- proceed with adventure ---

As stated, the adventure is far from over. Well, "far". It's close to over, but it's not yet over.

Edited by Metis

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 9b:

 

A bit wearily you slowly walk up to the edge of the staircase yourself and look down. Your vision is too blurry to see what's going on, but you do notice that the sounds from the mage have suddenly stopped. That's one problem taken care of, which just leaves the next problem. That fairy is down there somewhere, where you can't see her, and she also needs to learn a lesson in not spreading unflattering stories. And with her domitor dead you're sure that she's weaker, now that she doesn't have their Bond to back them up. You've got free reign to rain death on her from here, in whatever manner you choose. It's just a matter of making sure that whatever you do, you see to it that the fairy's lesson sticks.

 

...No. You can't bring yourself to do this to a helpless target. (requires Ethics 10+)

-Your wand is out, you've got the perfect spell in mind, but for whatever reason...you just can't bring yourself to cast it. You know it's for the best, you know you'll be doing yourself a great favor in the end, but you just can't. Your hand just won't stop shaking. You can't cast a spell like this. After several moments of struggling with yourself you give up, let out a sigh and step away from the edge of the staircase. You sit down, back leaning against the wall, trying to figure out what's going on with you, what went wrong, and why you feel like crying right now.

 

For better or worse you don't get far before the fairy flies up the staircase and, for whatever reason, walks over to you. She seems wobbly, weakened, and you point your wand at her. And you know that one of those is just for show. The fairy sits down and holds up a hand. "Hey there, tiger, no need for more fire. I'm free, that fool got hoist by his own petard like I said he would, so I got what I wanted exactly like I wanted. You did good throwing him off that staircase, I don't hold that against you."

 

You blink, confused. "Wait...what? I killed your domitor and...was he controlling you?"

 

The fairy shrugs. "In a sense, I guess? I lose myself whenever I'm bonded to someone, but it's not Mastery-level of control. In any case, that's over now, and with you saying that I assume you're claiming the kill? You definitely earned it."

 

You, again, blink, confused. "Claim? I mean, I did...kill him, I...I did...I did kill him."

 

The fairy actually jumps to her feet and flies over to you. "Yes, yes you did, and it's a good thing that you did. I mean, what's not to like? He's not going to break you mind and turn you into a blackmailed puppet, I'm free from his bond and got my fair share of the bargain, those other human-types can go free or fall off a cliff or whatever you want to do with them, and the guy responsible got done in by the same stupid death trap that he used to get rid of uncooperative or broken test subjects because he was a fool who didn't think he could fall in it himself. Do you really need to feel bad about that?"

 

You can't honestly say that you feel good about killing the man, even considering why you had to and why you were planning on...removing the fairy afterwards, but when she puts it like that...honestly, it only makes you worry. You're also studying Mastery. Could you end up being that bad, one day?

 

The fairy sees the expression in your eyes and actually kicks you on the nose. It doesn't hurt that much, but it sure does get your attention. "No pity parties! Seriously, can you not see a good idea even when she kicks you in the face? If you're going to cry than cry for someone who wouldn't have done far worse things to you." It doesn't feel right to just forget or justify what you've done here, but at the same time you can't deny that the fairy has a point. You fight back the last few tears and ask the fairy what she was she was talking about earlier, about you claiming the kill. "That's better," she says with a questionable smile as she looks you over. "As for you claiming it the hows and whys are a long story, but the short version is that I'm contractually obligated to repay the favor when someone frees me from my domitor's bond and allows me the chance to drain their strength. Which you did. So if you're willing to claim that kill, I'll be off to repay that favor. And no, that's not a bad thing for me. I know it sounds odd but you'd actually be doing me a small favor, in a sense."

 

You look at the fairy confused and with questions written all over your face. "Well...I certainly did...do that. As much as I'd like to say otherwise, that...was my doing."

 

The fairy rolls her eyes. "Good enough. In that case I'll be off to repay that favor, so you'll hear from me later. Though, kid? Owe up to that fact a little more, please. You did nothing wrong. Try to understand that." With that the fairy flies down the staircase and out of sight. You're a bit confused by what she said, but you know it doesn't matter in the end. You couldn't have controlled her, directly or indirectly, either way anyway. It's a very conflicting and sickening feeling, but you suppose that you'll eventually come to some manner or terms with it.

 

Now...this situation you're in. A part of you feels like going back to the Academagia, visiting a restroom, and staying cloistered in your room until after the sun sets. However, another part of you feels like you're not done. There's clearly something more going on here. That prison escape of yours isn't a question of whether it was a set-up, it's a question of when it was set up. You haven't yet confirmed the state and health of the pirate crew that is supposedly kept prisoner here, either. With the mage...no longer in the picture, you seem to have gotten free reign to investigate to your heart's content, and at this point? You're not leaving until you've at least tried to piece this little puzzle together.

--- proceed with adventure, add Y3 relevant memory ---

 

With her weakened that fairy's surely learned her lesson already. (requires Intimidation 10+)

-You've got a spell ready to make sure you're never going to be bothered by either of those two ever again, but...is it really necessary? You really do feel like you've finished here, like you've made your point. With her domitor no longer around for support, both directly and indirectly through empowering the fairy through their Bond, she's much weaker, and you've clearly shown that you're not shy of teaching someone harsh lessons if they think they can teach you some in turn. Yeah. This is pointless. You step away from the staircase and walk off. That fairy's not going to be a problem anymore, and if she is, you can just remove her then.

 

For better or worse you don't get far before the fairy flies up the staircase and, for whatever reason, walks over to you. She seems wobbly and weakened, as you expected, and with a level of confidence you've never felt before you point your wand at her. The fairy sits down and holds up a hand. "Hey there, tiger, no need for more fire. I'm free, that fool got hoist by his own petard like I said he would, so I got what I wanted exactly like I wanted. You did good throwing him off that staircase, I don't hold that against you."

 

...You're not sure what you were expecting the fairy to say, but whatever you were, that wasn't it. "So I take it you've learned your lesson about spreading unflattering stories?" you ask, wand still pointed at the fairy.

 

The fairy actually laughs, and you note that her voice isn't as high-pitched as before. "Learned my...you're a real piece of work, aren't you? What, you're still hung up on that whole Mastery business? Do you really think I care about that?"

 

"You shouldn't, considering that you've studied the magic yourself."

 

Again the fairy laughs. You really don't see what's so hilarious about this, though. "Oh man you really are a piece of work! If only you could be my next domitor, I'm sure you'd have been a much more interesting person to hover over." At this point your confidence finally makes way for confusion. The fairy, who looks as happy as you've ever seen her, flies over to you and casually leans down on your shoulder, like she's found a comfortable bed. "Humans that can take my ideals are far too rare. Everyone is just like 'that's wrong!' this or 'that's illegal!' that. I get that most people need those rules and laws, I really do. But the few that should be able to rise above them are all just worried. No excitement, no thrill, no pleasure in being free to leave their mark upon the world. Just a whole lot of worry. It's not fun to worry, and of course they never even worry about what they should worry about either. I told that fool that his twisted sense of interior decorating would be the death of him long before any guard dared to set foot in this place, but did he listen? Nope. And now he's dead, having done nothing but worry about some legal retribution he didn't even live long enough to see. Such a waste, both for him and for me..."

 

Yep, definitely not the reaction you were expecting. Especially that wistful look at the end. Definitely were not expecting that. "So, just for reference, you really don't know the guy's name?" The fairy shakes her head. That figures. "I'd say that makes you a terrible Familiar, but...you were never his Familiar to begin with, at least a 'normal' Familiar, were you?"

 

You sit down after asking your question, and in response the fairy shifts a little on her make-shift "bed" until she finds a comfortable spot. You're not entirely sure whether you should be happy about that, or offended, or maybe disgusted, or something else, maybe some manner of combination thereof...but so long as it keeps her talking you guess you're alright with it? "I'm a Senri. That's not just my name, it's also what I am," the fairy explains. "I'm what happens when a fairy gets so tired of being just what little she is that she'll contact a demon, and willingly enter into a contract with that demon, in exchange for power and the means to get more power. That's why I was bonded with that mage. He gets me, the powerful little 'fairy' as his companion and whatever else he desires, but in return I get him whenever he's on Death's doorstep. It's something that humans can do too, with something they call the Gift of the Familiar, although I don't use exactly that. Something like it, but not it exactly."

 

Definitely, most assuredly, unquestionably and undeniably, not the reaction you were expecting!

 

"Whenever I drain someone I get more power. Stronger magic, tougher body, greater knowledge, all that good stuff. Of course it comes at a slightly exorbitant cost, but I'm not the one who signs on to pay that bill. I sign on to be someone's puppet until they do something incredibly stupid or tick off the wrong person. Generally both. And I lose myself every time I'm bonded to someone. I always feel like that bond brings out some different side to me that just has to be in control. It's annoying. But, you freed me from that. Hell, you can keep me free from it, at least for a little while. Heh, I guess you're not going to be my next domitor, but maybe I can play with you for a little while anyway." You don't say anything, but you don't really have to because apparently your shocked, horrified and confused expression tells the fairy all she needs to know. "I'm not talking about draining you, dear, I'm talking about repaying the favor. That contract I signed demands that if someone helps me by pushing my domitor to their near-deaths, which you did, I have to repay the favor by giving you what that contract promised me. And in my case, that's the power to choose. To have the ability to leave a mark on the world, to write even just a small passage in the history books that people will read afterwards. If you're going to claim credit for that mage's death I'd be compelled to repay that favor and couldn't form a new bond until I did, at least unless me forming a bond with you is how you want me to repay that favor. And honestly, either is fine with me. I'd like to be myself for a bit, and I don't mind working for someone who I can appreciate, but if you'd actually rather be my next domitor, well...like I said, I don't mind working for someone who I can appreciate..."

 

The fairy appears to start blushing near the end there as she looks over your face with a wistful, almost adoring look, fully completing your transformation from overconfident to thoroughly uncomfortable. Still, strange as this situation is, you can't deny that you like the sound of...most of it. "I'm not in the market for a Familiar, sorry. As for me claiming credit, well, don't expect me to publicly admit that I killed that mage, especially considering my reasons for doing so. But just between the two of us? Yeah. I'm definitely claiming credit for that. That was my doing, no question."

 

The fairy's adoring look turns outright loving for a second, but thankfully she composes herself before you lose your own cool. Slowly the fairy stands up and she flies in front of your face. "I couldn't care about public admissions any less than that mage couldn't care less about building safety regulations. You claiming credit to me is enough, and seeing as you did I'll be off to repay that favor, so I'll be back. I can't promise when I'll be back, or with what I'll be back, but I'll be back. Don't forget about me until then, handsome, and don't forget, just because I'm repaying the favor this way doesn't mean I couldn't become bonded to you afterwards anyway. I meant what I said, you know. Humans that can take my ideals are too rare, and I wouldn't mind working for someone who I can appreciate. Anyway, eh...goodbye then." With those parting words the fairy flies off, down the staircase and out of sight. Again, not at all how you expected that situation to end, but you suppose that if it all ends well...

 

Speaking of things ending well, this situation you're in. A part of you feels like going back to the Academagia, taking the longest shower you've ever had after scooping your brain out of your head with a large spoon, and staying cloistered in your room until after the sun sets. However, the lingering discomfort from that chat with the fairy (Senri?) aside you know that you're not done. There's clearly something more going on here. That prison escape of yours isn't a question of whether it was a set-up, it's a question of when it was set up. You haven't yet confirmed the state and health of the pirate crew that is supposedly kept prisoner here, either. With the mage no longer around to harass or stop you, you've gotten free reign to investigate to your heart's content. And at this point? You're not leaving until you've at least tried to piece this little puzzle together.

--- proceed with adventure, add Y3 relevant memory, add memory for maybe accepting the fairy's offer afterwards if the Team cares. I personally don't think any PC would accept it, so yeah ---

 

(Success/failure texts and benefits/drawbacks should be identical for all options following, so that it's not clear to the player whether the fairy actually dies (success) or survives and escapes (failure, add memory that the fairy survived). This is also the reason for a lack of options, because there has to be no body left behind visibly in both cases for that deception to work. Either way I won't be posting the same text twice every time.)

 

Incantation. Fire. Everywhere.

-With a slightly shaking hand you slash out the Phemes for the biggest inferno that you can manage, and literally bathe the bottom of the staircase in a glorious pillar of very hot, very burning fire. The sound of the fire blasting away and burning everything is absolutely overpowering, so much so that you can't even hear your own thoughts over it, but you take that as a sign that you're doing something right. Once you're finally satisfied that everything short of the stone spikes have been burned to ashes you go downstairs to check. And you're right. Nothing here but soot-covered spikes and a pile of charred corpse-pieces that you can't even identify. That takes care of everything. The threat of your secret being revealed has officially ended. Neither the mage or that fairy will have a chance to mention it, ever again. Thinking about that and finally smelling the stench coming off the charred copses you suddenly get sick and throw up, but stepping out of the room is enough to dispel that problem. You're going to need a Glamour to walk up that staircase again, but that's not a problem.

 

The problem is this situation you're in. There's clearly something more going on here. That prison escape of yours isn't a question of whether it was a set-up, it's a question of when it was set up. You haven't yet confirmed the state and health of the pirate crew that is supposedly kept prisoner here, either. With the mage and fairy both cooked well beyond medium rare you seem to have gotten free reign to investigate to your heart's content, and at this point? You're not leaving until you've at least tried to piece this little puzzle together.

--- proceed with adventure, add survival memory if failed ---

 

Revision. Drop the ceiling on them.

-With a quick Revision you soften the mortar that keeps the ceiling's bricks together, and as they fall down the staircase and reveal the stone above you slash out a number of Revisions to cut out a giant hunk of rock to drop down upon the spike pit. The spell goes off perfectly, and a pillar of stone that should have been there in the first place falls down with nerve-wrecking sounds as the rock supporting it is suddenly too soft to support it's weight. The pillar falls down quickly, and with an immensely loud crash lands on the spike pit and loudly destroys everything and everyone in it. Rock, bone, metal and muscle all combine with rock hitting rock into one quick orchestra of destruction as the pillar crushes any evidence of what went on here. Walking down to confirm shown that you're indeed right. The spikes are flattened to the floor, and everything caught on them is stuck underneath the pillar of stone. That'll make sure that you're never going to be bothered by those two ever again.

 

Now then, this situation you're in. There's clearly something more going on here. That prison escape of yours isn't a question of whether it was a set-up, it's a question of when it was set up. You haven't yet confirmed the state and health of the pirate crew that is supposedly kept prisoner here, either, although you imagine that if they have any senses left they'd have heard that little happening. With the mage and fairy both crushed flat under a giant pillar of stone you seem to have gotten free reign to investigate to your heart's content, and at this point? You're not leaving until you've at least tried to piece this little puzzle together.

--- proceed with adventure, add survival memory if failed ---

So unless I change my mind the next stage will consist of the investigation, there might be another stage after that with some more plot and maybe a choice, not sure yet, the stage after that will be the final one, so a total of 12 stages in all. Hopefully people like it.

Edited by Metis

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Captain of the Watchtower, stage 10:

 

So, trying to piece this little puzzle together...where are you even going to start? You think the pirate crew would probably be happy to tell you what they know, especially if you free them, but you don't really want to free them yourself. Not in the least because there's no assurance that those pirates will be understanding, responsive, or even sane for that matter. You can turn around and take a look at what you did to defend yourself after being kept prisoner here for, what, minutes? Those pirates may have been here for well over two years now, so it's entirely possible that if they might turn into uncontrollable blood-thirsty animals as soon as you open their cell doors. Not to mention, no one responded when you called for help in your prison cell. Not even a demand to keep quiet, just...nothing. That's not a good indication for that pirate crew still being mentally intact, one way or another. The cell doors don't have windows, either, so you can't safely check their condition. You'd have to let them out, and that might not end well. You could, you still have those crazy-looking lockpicks and the Sense Tumblers spell from that spell scroll hasn't worn off yet, but you just don't think it's safe. No, you'd better leave those pirates alone. At least until you've gone and found yourself some manner of backup.

 

So...well, speaking of those lockpicks and that Sense Tumblers spell, you'd very much like to know why those things just happened to be inside that air passage. More likely, who put them there. Like...even if you wanted to believe that it was just some manner of very old stash, something that some clever prisoner left behind long ago after he smuggled some stuff through any searches or something, that just doesn't explain the potion. That potion was just what you needed to break the fairy's hex without your wand, and that's exactly what you needed because said fairy's hex made you unable to use your wand. Someone must have put that stuff there, but who? Rather, when? Say you were followed by someone, someone who was significantly better prepared than you...no, even that doesn't make sense. Those crazy-looking lockpicks are definitely not standard, they wouldn't work on ordinary locks. The cell locks were definitely custom-crafted specifically so that normal lockpicks couldn't be used to pick them. Someone would have to know that and know the locks pretty well to provide just the right kind of custom lockpicks. How? Even if there's drafts for this building in City Hall somewhere you don't think they'd contain detailed drafts for the cell locks. And if these cell locks are some manner of standard somewhere, well, where? Following what place's traditions has this castle been build? There's nothing in terms of architecture or layout or anything of the sort that points to something like that, at least from what you've seen. But if those items weren't placed there by someone who was - and maybe still is - following you, why was the potion there? A spell scroll for Sense Tumblers, you can believe. Custom-crafted lockpicks for custom-crafted locks is a stretch, but at least it's a sensible stretch. But the potion is too specific...

 

Okay, just standing around and thinking is clearly not getting you anywhere. You need to focus on facts you can actually confirm for yourself. To start with a good question that you can possibly answer, is it actually possible to smuggle items around the castle using the air passages? It's wide enough for you to stick your hand into, but definitely no more than that. Shrinking yourself until you could walk through it would be incredibly dangerous, especially if the spell runs out at the wrong time. Not impossible, but dangerous. With some fear clawing at the back of your head you walk back to your cell, the door of which is still wide open, and you take a closer look at the air passage. With your wand now functional it's easy to conjure some more light, so that you can actually see into the passage properly. It's actually fairly wide. It's actually fairly tall, too, although for a castle this size you'd need such large air passages in order to keep the air fresh. It might be tricky to move around while carrying items like these crazy lockpicks, but you would guess that it is entirely possible to smuggle items around the castle through this air passage.

 

Okay, so that actually clears up one mystery. Good to know that you're making progress. So, next up, how extensive are these air passages? More importantly, could you move up and down different floors easily? If so, any animal small enough to fit in here could have easily carried these items to your cell from pretty much anywhere in the castle. Even from wherever this air passage connects to outside. Otherwise you can narrow down from where or what could have delivered the items, which would again be a step in the right direction. So how are you going to check the air passage?

 

Brute Strength. Excessive use of physical violence against the walls.

-Well, not like this castle isn't going to need to be renovated before it can be used again anyway. You Revise one of the broken furniture pieces into a sledgehammer and start hammering away on the various walls until you find a good indication of how easily an animal could move around the air passages.

 

Over a dozen holes and assorted piles of broken masonry later you have your answer. And that answer is something you didn't even think possible. As it turns out whether the air passage allows one to move up and down different floors is, for your purposes, entirely irrelevant. Because the prison's air passages actually connects directly to an outside vent that supplies the fresh air, level with the floor itself. You're stumped as to how anyone could have made such an obvious security mistake until you realize that this floor was not intended as a prison. It was used as a prison, but it was intended to be the servant's quarters, in which case it might make sense that this area has it's own network of air passages and vents. That way any of the servants couldn't use the air passages from their quarters to, say, send some manner of Familiar to spy on the rest of the castle. This area's air passages might not even connect to the rest of the castle at all. That might also explain why the air passages were shoddily bricked up by the mage - because he knew about that security flaw, but didn't want to break the vent entirely because prison or not it still needs some source of fresh air.

 

Unfortunately that also leaves you with nothing to go on. Any animal that's small enough to enter the passageway and has more bulk than a spider could have delivered you those items from the outside. Your cell might even be close enough to the vent that someone on the outside could just plain hear you scream for help earlier, too. Sound does weird things when it travels through a confined space like that, too, so...yeah. That explains that. You don't know how you feel about that, honestly, but that at least confirms that it's possible that someone smuggled in your little prison break package from the outside. Although that still leaves a few important questions. How did this individual know about the need for those crazy lockpicks? And that very specific potion? Actually, you might be able to answer that last question. You haven't yet looked into the mage's history, heck you don't even know his name, and he might have left a diary of some sort that could point to who might know about the fairy's tricks and who might have a grudge against him, or something. Either way it's worth a look, so you decide to head back downstairs and check. There's still that door next to the door leading into the kitchen in the dining room that you haven't checked, so you'll see where it goes and go from there.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-Well, not like this castle isn't going to need to be renovated before it can be used again anyway. You Revise one of the broken furniture pieces into a sledgehammer and start hammering away on the various walls until you find a good indication of how easily an animal could move around the air passages.

 

Over a dozen holes, assorted piles of broken masonry and a lot of bruises on your fingers, knuckles and toes later you have your answer. And that answer is something you didn't even think possible. As it turns out whether the air passage allows one to move up and down different floors is, for your purposes, entirely irrelevant. Because the prison's air passages actually connects directly to an outside vent that supplies the fresh air, level with the floor itself. You're stumped as to how anyone could have made such an obvious security mistake until you realize that this floor was not intended as a prison. It was used as a prison, but it was intended to be the servant's quarters, in which case it might make sense that this area has it's own network of air passages and vents. That way any of the servants couldn't use the air passages from their quarters to, say, send some manner of Familiar to spy on the rest of the castle. This area's air passages might not even connect to the rest of the castle at all. That might also explain why the air passages were shoddily bricked up by the mage - because he knew about that security flaw, but didn't want to break the vent entirely because prison or not it still needs some source of fresh air.

 

Unfortunately that also leaves you with nothing to go on, in addition to your worn knuckles. Any animal that's small enough to enter the passageway and has more bulk than a spider could have delivered you those items from the outside. Your cell might even be close enough to the vent that someone on the outside could just plain hear you scream for help earlier, too. Sound does weird things when it travels through a confined space like that, too, so...yeah. That explains that. You don't know how you feel about that, honestly, but that at least confirms that it's possible that someone smuggled in your little prison break package from the outside. Although that still leaves a few important questions. How did this individual know about the need for those crazy lockpicks? And that very specific potion? Actually, you might be able to answer that last question. You haven't yet looked into the mage's history, heck you don't even know his name, and he might have left a diary of some sort that could point to who might know about the fairy's tricks and who might have a grudge against him, or something. Either way it's worth a look, so you decide to head back downstairs and check. There's still that door next to the door leading into the kitchen in the dining room that you haven't checked, so you'll see where it goes and go from there.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

Engineering. If you just get a few pointers you can figure out the rest from there.

-Air passages aren't a common necessity for buildings by any stretch of the definition, so there are practically no variations in design. Just whatever the last building that used it, minus any flaws that came up later, is replicated exactly. There's no need to account for looks or style in the design either, let alone experiment with it, because for the most part it's all just hidden behind walls. And who's experiment with something like that, anyway? Just use whatever the last guy showed works, apply whatever methods you have to make construction cheaper, and there you go. Consequently, if you can just get a few pointers of how this building's air passages are set up and distributed you could easily piece together the rest. Of course for that you'll need to know where there's air passages behind the walls, but a simple knock on the stone and listening to the sound it makes is enough to solve that problem. Naturally, any bricks that hide an air passage are going to produce a hollow sound when you tap them.

 

Many dozens of taps later and you have extrapolated your answer. Judging by the fact that there's an air passage in your cell and every point where a hallway connects to the outer wall, but never behind any of the interior walls or in the staircase room that connects this floor to the grand staircase room, you must conclude that this floor actually has it's own separate air passage network, which would have to include the outside vents that supply fresh air. Since everything is entirely level you would guess that the vent is as well, in which case it'd be ridiculously easy to smuggle items behind your cell from all the way outside. You're briefly stumped as to how any engineer could have made such a catastrophic security error until you remember that, originally, this wasn't a prison. This used to be the servant's quarters, and the mage used it as a prison because of the many small rooms that it had. That actually brings another question to mind - why would a servant's quarters have doors with these weird locks on them? You suppose that ultimately they're not good locks, if you just have the right tools, but still, why the effort? Must be some sort of...design tradition thing, but you can't recall anyone or anything having such a tradition. Weird.

 

Still, that at least answers one question. Any animal that's small enough to enter the air passageway and has more bulk than a spider could have delivered you those items from the outside. Your cell might even be close enough to the vent that someone on the outside could just plain hear you scream for help earlier, too. Sound does weird things when it travels through a confined space like that, too, so...yeah. That explains that. You don't know how you feel about that, honestly, but that at least confirms that it's possible that someone smuggled in your little prison break package from the outside. Although that still leaves a few important questions. How did this individual know about the need for those crazy lockpicks? You certainly haven't heard of or seen them before. And that very specific potion? Actually, you might be able to answer that last question. You haven't yet looked into the mage's history, heck you don't even know his name, and he might have left a diary of some sort that could point to who might know about the fairy's tricks and who might have a grudge against him, or something. Either way it's worth a look, so you decide to head back downstairs and check. There's still that door next to the door leading into the kitchen in the dining room that you haven't checked, so you'll see where it goes and go from there.

--- proceed with adventure ---

 

-Air passages aren't a common necessity for buildings by any stretch of the definition, so...if you can just get a few pointers of how this building's air passages are set up and distributed you could probably piece together the rest. Of course for that you'll need to know where there's air passages behind the walls, but a good knock on the stone and listening to the sound it makes is enough to solve that problem. Naturally, any bricks that hide an air passage are going to produce a hollow sound when you tap them.

 

Many dozens of taps and a lot of racking your brain later you have finally come up with an answer. Judging by the fact that there's an air passage in your cell and every point where a hallway connects to the outer wall, but never behind any of the interior walls or in the staircase room that connects this floor to the grand staircase room, you must assume that this floor actually has it's own air passage network, which would have to include outside vents that supply fresh air. Since everything is entirely level you would further guess that the vent is as well, in which case it'd be ridiculously easy to smuggle items behind your cell from all the way outside. You're further stumped as to how any engineer could have made such a catastrophic security error even you realize immediately until you remember that, originally, this wasn't a prison. This used to be the servant's quarters, and the mage used it as a prison because of the many small rooms that it had. That the air passages didn't connect to the rest of the castle's at all was probably just happy coincidence on top of that.

 

Still, that at least answers one question. Any animal that's small enough to enter the air passageway and has more bulk than a spider could have delivered you those items from the outside. Your cell might even be close enough to the vent that someone on the outside could just plain hear you scream for help earlier, too. Sound does weird things when it travels through a confined space like that, too, so...yeah. That explains that. You don't know how you feel about that, honestly, but that at least confirms that it's possible that someone smuggled in your little prison break package from the outside. Although that still leaves a few important questions. How did this individual know about the need for those crazy lockpicks? And that very specific potion? Actually, you might be able to answer that last question. You haven't yet looked into the mage's history, heck you don't even know his name, and he might have left a diary of some sort that could point to who might know about the fairy's tricks and who might have a grudge against him, or something. Either way it's worth a look, so you decide to head back downstairs and check. There's still that door next to the door leading into the kitchen in the dining room that you haven't checked, so you'll see where it goes and go from there.

--- proceed with adventure ---

I seriously hope all that stuff about low-tech ventilation ducts and the like makes some sort of sense and preferably has some sort of precedence to it. I mean I assume it'd be necessary for an underground building, fresh air and all, but I've no idea if anyone would actually build it rather than, say, just throw Enchantment around. Sure, cost, but digging out an entire castle already costs a pretty penny, so...

Edited by Metis

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I suspect that spells to keep air fresh fade over time so wind up fairly costly - something for the areas used by the wealthy if necessary, but the servants would have to make do with the draft.

 

Like the adventure, a few comments:

1. The fairy describes herself as broken and corrupted by the demon - I suspect she would have a different perspective if she chose it, "remade by unchained spirits the timid call demons into a form where I could become a being of true power in time" perhaps?

 

2. Perhaps I am the violent type, but, um, why can only the mastery exits be fatal? My first thought was a wind blast t throw him off the stairs... Possibly a defect in my morality, but given how bad the 'hit and run before he gets up' tactic worked last time, the mis-match in skill, being out-numbered, and the 'run down the deadly stairs with 2 enemies with ranged attacks' tactical issue I would argue that the best defence is a good offence, and the time to pull punches is past.

 

3. A very interesting one so far, but presumably he must have a use for prisoners to keep them around. Perhaps he enjoys reliving their memories, dominating them and 'driving' them in the outside world to get the supplies he won't risk his own skin to get, or maybe he has use for slaves, depending on how wide the mastery pillar is there could be all sorts of options. Some sort of foreshadowing comment might be interesting: 'hmm, a child, a husk like yours may come in useful' maybe?

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That...that can work. It's a network specifically for what used to be the servant's quarters, the "rich" side of the castle is never explored, so there might be Enchantments there instead.

 

1. If that's a reference it flew right over my head, but suffice to say that the fairy's perspective is not in at all within range of human averages.

 

2. I thought it would cheapen the impact of the Mastery exits being fatal if the non-Mastery exits were just as fatal. The PC is only 13-14 years old at that point and the hit-and-run tactic could have worked last time if the PC knew about and prepared for the fairy, which is something s/he can do the second go-around, and there's also the fact that the PC saw the corpses of the people who died, in agony, littering the spike pit. Also the possible legal angle of bringing in a criminal rather than having to explain why that criminal ended up dead, but...rest assured that the PC probably didn't think that was especially relevant. Regardless I thought it would be a reasonably safe assumption that the PC wouldn't want to send the man to a slow and painful death him/herself, even if taking the kid gloves off would be a smart idea at that point.

 

Admittedly that probably would have worked significantly better if the mage didn't die regardless. That was...very poorly planned on my part, but plot happens and truth be told I didn't even do any planning until, what, stage 5 or 6. Incidentally I had originally intended to type the non-lethal options as maybe-lethal options - basically if you failed the roll, whatever you tried ended up directly sending the mage to his doom - but it ended up creating a situation where I'd need to either separate into a lethal/non-lethal path or otherwise type the Mastery option as just the "lethal" path. I chose the route that I did, flawed as I will admit that it is.

 

3. That'll be explained in stage 11 that I actually have open in another tab right now. Working on it when suddenly all the posts happened, so yeah. As for foreshadowing, well, there's definitely foreshadowing and clues from what I remember, but the mage's "research" is not one of them. Stage 8 in it's entirety is a...well, pretty anvil-welded-to-the-edge-of-a-sledgehammer indicator as to why if you can see it, meta-wise.

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