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The Wending Path (Quest Thread)

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Comments

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    "Come on," you say to Lien.


    You turn to head to the tavern you had entered when you first arrived in Iidan's Fall, but you hesitate. "Lien, you may want to take off your robes. They make you look intimidating."


    Lien makes an incredulous noise. "What? But why don't you have to take your robes off?"


    You scoff. "I'm a witch," you remind him. "The robes are in the job description."


    ---


    Originally, you only plan to stay in town for two days. That would give your muscles plenty of time to rest, your wounds would close properly and not constantly threaten to reopen, and enough time to earn a bit of coin.


    However, when you ask around for some work, you are absolutely swamped with offers. Virmir hires you to help him treat people injured during the Festival; a blacksmith hires you to look over his finances and check whether he is being cheated (one of his suppliers is overcharging him for ores, and his apprentice has been stealing from the storefront), and one kindly old lady pays you to check over her garden for disease and to keep the weeds down. You are simply too busy to accept any other jobs without pushing yourself to the extent it may cause you injury.


    Lien is also hired, but he sticks to the one job, cooking at a tavern on the east side of town.


    You end up staying in town for over a week. When you leave, it's with a caravan; you and Lien pay several silvers to be able to ride in the back with trade goods. A small smile spreads across your face as you finger your full purse.


    ---


    It takes several weeks to travel to Farever, probably a day or three longer than it would have taken you on foot, but you help out somewhat- treating any injuries that crop up among the hired hands, and foraging for food to help feed everyone.


    When you arrive in Farever, you are feeling well-rested. Your arm and leg occasionally ache, but it's mostly ignorable now, and they'll probably heal up within the week.


    ---


    Farever is a confusing place full of confusing people.


    The region of Farever is also the city of Farever. It was originally built around a large field, cut through with the Cliff's End River, with several dozen homes surrounding it. As more people moved there, they built a field around the houses, and built houses beyond that to live in. When more people moved, they continued on the tradition. There are dozens, hundreds of rings now, expanding ever outwards. It would take weeks to travel from the outskirts of the current outermost ring to the other side of the region.


    You and Lien wander around the outermost ring for a while, trying to find a good inn- not the most opulent inn, but one which is both comfortable and comfortably cheap.


    Eventually, you find one- The Blue Boar. (Privately, you wonder if you even want to know how the inn got its name.)


    You slip inside and negotiate for a room with two beds, then head upstairs with Lien.


    Somewhere in Farever, there may be somebody who can tell you about the kidnapping. You have absolutely no idea where to start, however.


    Lien shifts next to you, and you realize you also have no idea what to do with Lien.


    [A] You're going to go downstairs and mingle with the patrons. Maybe one of them has a clue that will tell you where to begin looking. Possibly.
    Ask around and find out where the slums are. You might be able to hire a shady character to find information on a cloaked figure with a girl following him- or not.
    [C] Go to the local constabulary and ask if they have any information. You are acting in the King's name, after all.


    And you are going to tell Lien to...


    [A] ... go and find work. Steady coin will probably help you a lot.
    ... stick close to you. If worst comes to worst, Lien might be handy in a fight. Maybe. 

  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

    [A] and, so far, .

  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆

    x2

  • Give us fire! Give us ruin! Give us our glory!

    [A]x2

  • OOOooooOoOoOOoo, I'm a ghoOooOooOOOost!

    [A], .

  • One foot in front of the other, every day.
    C, A.
  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    [Four votes for A; A wins. Three votes for A and three votes for B; initiating third option. Eventually. You'll see.]


    "Come on," you murmur to Lien, standing. Lien nods and follows you.


    You head downstairs, glancing around the tavern there. It's a very comfortable place; the walls are newly painted, the stools placed around the tables everywhere are padded and comfortable, and you can barely see the bloodstains on the floor, really.


    You and Lien sit at a table. You hold up your hand to call over one of the tavernhands wandering around.


    A tavernhand eventually wanders over. "Hello," she says brightly. "What can I get for you today?"


    You offer the woman a small smile. "I'd like a glass of wine, thank you," you say softly. "Lien, would you like anything?"


    Lien tilts his head, considering. "I would like an ale, please," he responds. "Preferably ale from Teyrnhill, if you have any."


    "Certainly," the tavernhand beams. "That will be four silvers; please have the money ready when I return with your drinks!"


    You nod, then wait until she is far enough away from you before you turn to Lien. "I need you to talk to me," you whisper loudly enough for him to hear.


    "What?" he asks, confused.


    "I need you to talk to me." you repeat. "I'm not going to listen, of course- I'm going to listen in on everyone around us. But I need you to talk to me, and I'm going to nod along like I'm listening, so that nobody around us gets suspicious. Okay?"


    Lien eyes you, arching his eyebrow. "... Okay?"


    You nod, satisfied, then tune him out as he begins talking.


    You nod every few seconds, as if you're truly listening, then try to listen in to the people around you.


    It's hard to get any specifics. You hear a lot of people talking about the increased Fae activity around the outer ring lately. People are also talking about how the price of luxury goods are increasing, including the wine sold here (so that's why it cost so much!), due to the increased difficulty of getting the luxury goods between towns.


    You do pick up on a couple of specific things. Crime has been getting especially bad, lately; the local underground has been organized by a man. Nobody seems to know the man's name, but they all call him the Hand- you assume it's a joke about pickpocketing.


    The constabulary around this location has been having trouble keeping up with the crime wave. The people sent to this area were mostly inexperienced rookies, signing up for the job for the pay without any real skill. They're lead by a veteran guard named Sir Rory, but he is only able to teach them so much. Many of the guards in the area are corrupt, making it even harder to pull in the people responsible for the crime wave.


    Outside of the crimes, people are also whispering about a rash of "mysterious" deaths recently. They are all among the upper class; minor nobility and wealthy merchants, mostly. They have all fallen dead in the exact same manner; their hearts burst inside their chest, leaving them to drown in their own blood.


    You eventually lean back, still tuning Lien out.


    [A] Follow up on the rumours of crime. This... "Hand" fellow might be able to assist you in your efforts.
    Follow up on the rumours of the incompetent guardsman. Sir Rory may be able to help you in your efforts, and if not, you may be able to trace the chain of command back until you find someone who can.
    [C] Follow up on the rumours of the rash of deaths. That sounds like an assassin's work, and you want to know why.
    [D] Something else. (Please specify what.) 

  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆

    [C]

  • OOOooooOoOoOOoo, I'm a ghoOooOooOOOost!
    seems most directly relevant to our goals.
  • One foot in front of the other, every day.
    B.
  • Give us fire! Give us ruin! Give us our glory!

    B.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    [Three votes for B; B wins.]


    You stay sitting for a few more minutes, slowly sipping your wine, before you hold your hand up, palm facing Lien.


    He pauses, looking inquisitively at you. You stand, gesturing at Lien to stand with you, and walk out.


    Lien follows you out, still looking confused. You take a deep breath of the cool night air, then turn to him.


    "Thank you," you say simply.


    He tilts his head quizzically. "I assume you learned something, then?"


    "I learned many things," you reply. "Come. We have to go see the constable."


    Lien still looks confused, but he trails behind you, so you don't bother to explain further.


    Constabularies always house themselves in similar areas. They almost always house themselves in multiple-storey buildings with a single, large entrance. The buildings are almost always built on top of a steep hill, or are walled off from the rest of the community. This is a result of the Massacre- the event that had sparked the Secession, which had led to Rain's Hold being folded into Fae territory and every one of the millions of people living in the region being slaughtered or becoming Fae themselves. Various inhabitants had turned on the constables, slaughtering every law enforcer in one fell night.


    You can see the constabularies office from here; it is a large, three-storey building made of clay bricks, with a tiled roof. It's on top of the largest hill nearby.


    It doesn't take you too long to reach there- streets around constabulary houses are always fairly wide, to allow large numbers of guardsmen to walk down the street in the case of a riot. Few people are around anyway, so it's easy to navigate.


    You knock loudly on the constabulary's door. It is opened a moment later by a weary-looking guardsmen wearing a leather vest.


    "Hello," you say, drawing your hood back to let him see your face. He glances back at Lien- you wince for a second;  you probably should have told Lien to don his robe again- and scowls, then looks back at you. "I'm on official business," you add. "By order of the King."


    The guardsmen scowls, then steps back and places his hand on the hilt of his sword. You understand- he is allowing you to come in because he does not have the authority to turn you down, but he does not trust you at all.


    You nod respectfully at him and step through the door. It closes as Lien walks in, nearly hitting him. Lien doesn't offer a protest, but you can feel him shift closer to you.


    "This way," the guard grunts, then turns and begins to walk to the back of the building. You follow him.


    The Chief's office is at the back of the building, on the third floor- the absolute last line of defence if people attack, you note.


    The guardsmen knocks on the Chief's door.


    "Yes?" a voice calls from within.


    "Girl here," the guardsmen says loudly. "Says she's here on behalf of the King."


    There's a pause before the voice responds. "Send her in, please."


    You incline your head respectfully at the guardsmen before entering. "Thank you for taking me here," you say to him. He scowls at you as you leave.


    Inside, the Chief- Sir Rory, you recall- is sitting behind his desk. He is unsubtly cleaning a knife as you walk in.


    "Hello," you murmur, standing. Lien stands stiffly at your side, standing at attention.


    You feel the Chief's gaze sweep appraisingly over you. You know precisely what he will see; a petite girl, standing at barely five feet tall, with messy hair, gaunt cheeks, bruises under your eyes, your body hidden beneath a loose-flowing black robe. Not exactly an awe-inspiring figure, but not overtly threatening (at least, to someone used to dealing with hedgewitches).


    He looks at Lien, and you barely suppress the wince this time. Lien is not exactly more threatening than you- his limbs are long and slender, but what muscles he had are fading due to lack of conditioning. His hair hangs down his head, fanning around his waist, and his eyes have trouble staying in one spot, constantly scanning the room.


    Only the knives tucked into your belts give any indication that you're dangerous at all.


    He nodded, then turns his head back to you and places his knife back on the table. "Hello," he replies. "I am Sir Rory, the Constable of this locale. May I have your names?"


    You smile faintly at him. "My name is Urien," you reply.


    "I am Lien," Lien says. He does not offer any further information- good boy, he's learning.


    Sir Rory looks down at his desk, then back up at you. "What may I do for you tonight?" he inquires. "My guardsman says that you have business on behalf of the king?"


    You nod. "I am investigating a kidnapping," you say softly. "I do not have many leads, but I know the kidnapper wore a cloak made in a Halavian style."


    Rory looks at you and raises his eyebrows. "You do not have anything further to go on?" he asks.


    You shake your head. "I did not have much of a chance to inquire for further details," you reply. "The guardsman I talked to departed the land of the living soon after I spoke to her."


    Rory's mouth turns down. "I see," he said. "And I suppose you do not have the time to go around asking every clothing store in Farever who bought each of their cloaks."


    You shake your head. "I cannot remain for long," you say. "The longer I stay here, the harder it will be for me to rescue the kidnapper's victim."


    Rory nods. "I can see why you came to me for help," he frowns.


    "Let's see. I could... Yes, I could do that."


    He looks up at you, looking you directly in the eye. "I can send a message to the other constabularies in town, asking them to check in on the clothing stores in their routes to check if any suspicious figures bought a cloak in that style," he tells you. "It could take some time, however."


    He looks down at his desk, then up again. He bites his lip, then goes to say something, before pausing and biting his lip again.


    "Would you be willing to help me out with a problem?" he blurts. "It is to do with my guardsmen. Some of them are corrupt, you see- but I don't know who, and I don't have anyone I can ask for help. I can pay you for your help, of course!"


    You sit down and ponder this.


    [A] Of course you'll help. Helping the law fight crime is nearly always a good thing, and earning some coin doing it is great. You need something to do while you wait for the information to get back to you, anyway.
    You regretfully cannot help. The work is simply too dangerous.
    [C] You regretfully cannot help- but, Lien can! However, Lien is not nearly as skilled at you at reading people- he is likely to do a poor job at it, thus resulting in a worse job done overall and thus less coin in your pocket.
    [D] Of course you'll help. You could use the coin, helping the law is nearly always a good thing, and you can send Lien off to investigate the assassinations as you do so.
    [E] Of course you'll help. You could use the coin, helping the law is nearly always a good thing, and you can send Lien off to investigate the local crime lord as you do so. 
    [F] Something else. (Please specify what.) 

  • OOOooooOoOoOOoo, I'm a ghoOooOooOOOost!

    A.

  • One foot in front of the other, every day.
    A.
  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆

    [A].

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    [All of the votes for A; A wins.]


    You smile calmly at him. "Of course I will help," you say.


    Rory sags in relief. "Thank you," he says gratefully.


    He sits up straight again and looks you in the eye.


    "I've known for some time that several of my guards are corrupt," he explains. "I've even managed to catch several of them taking bribes, which led to several sackings. However, it's not enough- I can't be everywhere, and I can't be sure of which of my guards I can trust. It's... incredibly difficult to try and catch them when I can't even have other guards investigate the others."


    You nod. "And you wish me to ascertain the trustworthiness of several of your guards," you surmise.


    Rory nods. "I have several in mind," he says. "Lyara Compson, one of my lieutenants, Ari Eveline, Osten Veristel, Feila Tachsten, and Uva." He slides two sheets of paper over to you. Examining them, you see they are a duty roster and a rough map of the area.


    You nod. "Do you have anything to use as bribes?" you ask. "I am afraid I do not have enough coin to spare.


    He nods and stands, moving over to his longbox. He withdraws half a dozen pouches and tosses them to you- you hear a metallic jangling sound; it's full of silvers and marks, if you don't miss your guess.


    You smile. "Okay," you say. "I will do this tomorrow."


    "Thank you," Sir Rory says, relieved. "I will get to work asking the other constables to begin asking around for you before I finish up my work for tonight."


    You incline your head, then turn to leave.


    You make sure to slam every door you pass through on your way out, as if what you have learned made you angry.


    The air outside of the constabulary's office is cool. You pause for a moment, breathing it in, before turning to head off.


    [A] Head back to the inn. You may need your sleep tomorrow.
    Wander over to the slums and check out the local thieving situation.
    [C] Wander over to the slums and ask around for the Hand. He may be interested in knowing about Sir Rory's investigation into corrupt guardsman.
    [D] Head over to a new tavern and begin searching for information on the assassinations.
    [E] Something else. (Please specify what.) 

  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆

    [A] I have somebody else's money on me, can't exactly carry it out into a seedy area.

  • "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

    Same, [A].

  • One foot in front of the other, every day.
    A.
  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    [Three votes for A; A wins. And postin' at midnight because why not.]


    You and Lien walk back to the inn. There's no urgent reason for you to stay up, and if Iidan's Fall taught you anything, it's to stay as well-rested as feasibly possible. (And also to not go charging into combat to save someone you don't even know, but you got Lien's service in exchange for that, so it wasn't quite as bad.)


    You navigate the crowd in the inn, trying not to brush against any people. They don't even seem to see you, casually going about their business. It's a harrowing journey of spilled ale and clumsy apologies just to make it to the staircase to get upstairs.


    In your room upstairs, you close the door firmly (yet politely; you don't want to be rude, after all) in Lien's face before you disrobe and pull on your nightclothes.


    Lien enters the room several minutes later, pouting, and takes his clothing to the communal washroom to change.


    You are asleep before he gets back.


    ---


    You are awake before the sun the next day. You slip into the washroom and quietly begin washing yourself.


    You are nearly done when someone else walks in. Turning your head, you quickly look them over before turning back you your washing.


    Your muscles tense as you consider the woman. She was tall- intimidatingly tall, standing head and shoulders above you. She was muscly, with a physique that suggested she had a job that required a lot of physical labour.


    You finish washing yourself as quickly as you can, then hastily dry off and dress yourself, ignoring the way your clothes cling to you.


    You hate tall people. (You hate feeling small.)


    You hurry downstairs and order breakfast. The cook shoots you a look- how dare you eat this early- but begins to work on cooking you something.


    You sit back on your stool and wait for Lien to come down as you eat. You know it will be a while, so you withdraw the map and duty roster Rory had given you, and begin to examine it.


    Lien does eventually come down. He sits at the table and orders breakfast (you wrinkle your nose at it; you really need to break him of this habit of needing meat with every meal) as you pore over them.


    Lien finishes up his meal as the sun finally rises. You stand and tuck away the documents in your pack, then leave the tavern.


    [A] Go and begin your investigation into the guards.
    [A1] Begin with Lyara, his Lieutenant. She is scheduled to be working in the merchant's district- a good hour's walk from the tavern- but, if she is found to be clean of corruption, she could probably help you a lot in your investigation.
    [A2] Begin Ari Eveline. She is scheduled to be patrolling the area around your tavern- as good a place as any to start.
    [A3] Begin with one of the other guards. (Each guard is patrolling an area fairly close to you, but still requiring you to walk some distance. Please specify which guard you would like to begin with.)
    Walk to another tavern and begin gathering information on these assassinations.
    [C] Send Lien to walk to another tavern and begin gathering information on these assassinations.
    [D]  Head over to the slums and begin investigating the local crimes there. You've determined not to help the Hand, but you might still be able to work something out with the criminals there.
    [E] Send Lien over to the slums and begin investigating the local crimes there.
    [F] Something else. (Please specify what.) 

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Oookay. And now, with that done, time for me to finally like, break character and ask some questions!


    So, for those of you who are unaware, I began to write this quest primarily for fun, but also to experiment with my writing style. I've found that it's remarkably easy to write like this, but I don't know if I write well. So, questions for whoever feels like answering them:


    1) What do you think of my writing? Do you think there are any areas I need to improve on to make my writing better?
    2) What do you think of the quest itself? Are the characters unengaging? Is the setting boring and unoriginal?
    3) Most importantly; what do you guys think of the quest thread itself? Is there anything you guys think I could do differently or better to make it more fun for you guys to participate in?


    And, that's it. Thanks to anyone who answers! 

  • One foot in front of the other, every day.
    A1.



    I'd give feedback, but phone.
  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    That's totally cool, I don't expect everyone to answer that! I'm just hopin' someone does.

  • All that really matters is we could be friends~☆

    [A1]



    1) What do you think of my writing? Do you think there are any areas I need to improve on to make my writing better?



    It's great, the only problem I really had was the action scenes and that was mostly because of our fight breaking skill (compared to our enemies then) at the time anyway.



    2) What do you think of the quest itself? Are the characters unengaging? Is the setting boring and unoriginal?



    Setting is pretty cool, I like the MC and Lien a lot. I'd like to see like, two recurring non-play non-party-member  characters but it's not really possible with all the travel we're doing.



    3) Most importantly; what do you guys think of the quest thread itself? Is there anything you guys think I could do differently or better to make it more fun for you guys to participate in?



    Give us seventy options every post because details. Naw, it's running great so far.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Give us seventy options every post because details.



    That is what I have been putting the last [Something else (Please specify what)] option in.


    I have actually wondered how to encourage you guys to talk amongst yourselves more often and use that option more. I have deliberately been leaving out options, putting in options that are less than optimal, and otherwise leave out details and things because I want you guys to engage with each other (and thus, through discussion, the story) more, but I can't figure out how outside of posts where I drop the choices completely and tell you guys to come up with something.


    It gets... it's not disappointing, per se, and I don't feel let down, but when I log on in the morning and see a few posts saying [A] or with no discussion, it feels... passive? Like I'm not doing a very good job in engaging everyone with the PC and the events surrounding them.


    I dunno. Bluh random writer's angst nobody cares about!

  • OOOooooOoOoOOoo, I'm a ghoOooOooOOOost!

    [A1].


    I get the feeling we might get arrested at some point during this mission if we run into any actual good guards :/



    1) What do you think of my writing? Do you think there are any areas I need to improve on to make my writing better?



    I'm quite enjoying it thus far. Areas that need improvement...I haven't thought on it much, so I'll keep an eye on it in the future.



    2) What do you think of the quest itself? Are the characters unengaging? Is the setting boring and unoriginal?



    Setting isn't hugely original thus far, but that isn't a problem because it uses the stuff it's drawing on well. Like the characters, would like a few more regular ones (though that appears to be happening, if I'm not mistaken).



    3) Most importantly; what do you guys think of the quest thread itself? Is there anything you guys think I could do differently or better to make it more fun for you guys to participate in?



    Loving it. I wish people would discuss more, but that's not really something you have control over.

  • edited 2013-01-17 15:01:57
    "you duck spawn, refined creature, you try to be cynical, yokel, but all that comes out of it is that you're a dunce!!!!! you duck plug!"

    I'd pick [A2], start from the closest.


     



    1) What do you think of my writing? Do you think there are any areas I need to improve on to make my writing better?



    I see no reason to complain. Which, I guess, means I'm bad at reviewing, but we can't have everything. 



    2) What do you think of the quest itself? Are the characters unengaging? Is the setting boring and unoriginal?



    The main complaint I have towards the quest is that the king apparently didn't have much better agents than a nineteen year old almost-a-witch. The characters are engaging. Although we got to choose the main character, so we could pick the one we saw as most engaging, I'm pretty sure you'd write any just as well. The setting is quite interesting, at first I thought you're aiming for Standard Fantasy Setting, but you managed to make it relatively unique with the limited options you had.



    3) Most importantly; what do you guys think of the quest thread itself? Is there anything you guys think I could do differently or better to make it more fun for you guys to participate in?



    You could move to some other time zone where you'd post at times when I'm here. When all pick the same option, it doesn't mean it's unengaging, just that this option seemed the best for the most people. The discussion is there, just not every case is controversial enough. Then, I guess it's often like the first one picks an option and others are like, me too. As for me liking the thread, it's been a great idea. Not to the point of wishing there'd be one a week, of course, but I'm all for the idea you had to start this.

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