>??: What got you into this cell in the first place?
Honestly, your mind's drawing a blank. The last thing you remember was that you were running to Alva, and then you ended up here.
>??: Whatever that is, it's yours now. Go lay claim to it.
Hold on a second while you put on something appropriate.
By your noble clan, you claim this weird tube thing in the name of the Yaren Peoples!
...nah, it's just a weird tube with some pretty nasty goo flowing off it. It's already crystallized though. You could feel the tube thrumming with something, but you're not sure. Nor do you want to find out.
>??: Examine light blue cylinders and severed conduits.
You take one of the cylinders and realize it's a large hunk of crystal. You think it might be aetherlite, but you're not sure. If you got something to harness it, maybe you could use it? It's probably spent though.
Those wires look like they used to be wrapped in some sturdy material. You don't wanna know what could've ripped it in half.
>??: Push the box to the side to see if there's anything under it.
Huh? this thing isn't stable, is there something underneath it?
Hey fancy that, there's a key here!
>??: Look out the window.
Normally, that window would be too high to reach, but being a Yaren, walls are no problem for you.
>??: You're in a cave? But how will you sunbask? That's a valued tradition amongst lizardfellows! >??: A cave?! You hate caves! How dare they put you in a cave! >??: It looks like there's lights out there though- at least it's not an unexplored cave.
This is the worst possible place to end up in. You do not remember how or why you got in here, but you have a feeling that it was something important.
And the worst thing about caves is how dark it can get inside one.
That's it, you're getting out of here ASAP.
>??: Either you're very unlucky or you're a very dangerous or interesting person to be in this kind of prison.
Let's go with "interesting" for now. You've always been good at making friends...but recently they've been the exact wrong kind.
>??: Key -> Shackle
The shackle stays ON
>??: Key → Door
There is no lock on the doorway, just some sort of panel. You give it a prod but nothing happens.
You probably need something to charge them up.
>??: Get pumpkin
What's a pumpkin?
>??: Bite into crystal cylinders.
>??: You seem a capable climber. Scramble to the top of the tube, and peer into the ceiling grating.
Hah! Of course! There's probably a way out of here through that grate. You check it out with your expert wall-climbing skills.
The grating is bolted firmly in place, but you can see something stashed inside just out of your reach. You would need something long and narrow...
Twelves' Mercy! There is something lurking in the ducts!
You scramble back down as quickly as you can.
>??: Key → Chest
Now we're talking!
Hey, there's a Conduit in here. That's great. It's a pretty common tool used to cast magic from an aetherlite crystal but it seems to be missing one.
Other than that, there's a green box and a bunch of papers in here. Are they important?
Well, either way, you take them all into your inventory later for safe-keeping.
>??: Recall name
Sure, your name is...uh...um...
You must've hit your head somewhere. What was your name again?
>??: Your name is a mighty one. It is the name of a great hero in your culture.
Fitan of Clan Trisker. You were named after a great apostle of Kineo, god of wealth, perfection, and diligence. Hearing stories of them from your parents put a lot of pressure on you to excel while growing up.
Then again, you've got a lot of aunts and uncles named Fitan too.... After a while, the name sorta lost its luster.
>Fitan: In what crafts were or are you skilled in?
You were training to be a Conduit-maker as was the tradition of your clan. That was what set you apart and marked you as nobility among the Yaren.
Until recently, that is.
>The room seems oddly well lit. Do you see any lighting fixtures? Or is your night vision just that good??
You have low light vision. You can't see in complete darkness, but even the ambient lighting coming from outside is more than enough for your eyes.
> Also, splice those severed wires back together to get the nasty-black-goop-O-tron up & running.
There is an entire segment missing between the cables, and not enough wire to join them together.
>While you're at it, read the notes.
The notes are a scrambled mess. Looks like someone was in a hurry or has the worst handwriting you've ever seen. You think you can make out something like 'west wing - - not safe - - the Warden hunts!'
These things don't have much of a charge left in them though, so you're gonna have to use them sparingly.
> If you push the goop-O-tron closer to the wall you should have enough reach to splice the wires back together.
The cylinder looks like it's made of solid stone, but you find out it swivels around like the prayer mills back home. It still takes lot of effort to push it, but eventually you manage to nudge it enough to connect the wires.
>That cylinder is trying to pick a fight with you. Don't take none of its guff, squire. Tube --> Open! >It's probably a new friend! >Or, you know, reveal something small, and yappy.
The cylinder starts to hum and whirr, as long rusted mechanisms slowly churn with life.
You feel the cool surface of the Conduit grazing your hand and you feel ready for anything. It is as much a tool for war as it is for crafting -- and countless drills by your father have made sure that you've become a fine hand with one.
You're suddenly face-to-face with a jittery, loud, and very angry monster that's about your size. It thrashes about using its jaws to widen the opening.
Whatever that thing is, it's definitely not a friend at all!
Wessolf here. Apologies for the late update. Things have been busy, and coupled with an attempt to increase the quality of the updates a bit, I've ended up taking much longer than usual with these. We hope that you'll continue to enjoy the story nonetheless.
We'll also be changing the structure of the updates a bit to better fit the number of suggestions we're taking.
>First, try talking and reasoning with it. Perhaps it's a sapient being but under stress of survival and capture.
>However, it could also be angry at containment, and possibly hurt. Healing the little critter might tame it.
>If the creature does not respond in a meaningful or non-feral way, prepare yourself and your body.
The creature looks like it is in pain, its body misshapen and having weird crystals growing on it. It also is completely rabid and beyond any help you could manage. All it wants is a bite out of your juicy lizard rump, and you're not going to let that happen!
>So, uh, trust your instinct. Maybe unpower the tube, sealing it again.
>Well, corrosive slime seems like an ideal weapon, especially as it's contained and not likely to dodge.
>Thirdly, using your conduit charge might be an expensive mistake.
> Smash the vent open with your muscles to release the frightening creature in there, then pry the goop-O-tron open to release that frightening creature too. Hide in the chest & let them fight it out.
>Don't worry, it can't get you. The door isn't open nearly far enough for it to get through. door opens the rest of the way Oh, never mind. Good luck.
For the moment it is trapped so you consider your options. The cylinder door is malfunctioning and stuck in a halfway open position, so unpowering it might release the lock mechanism completely.
The acid is fairly strong attack, but one might not be enough to kill the beast and you have only limited number of charges available to you perhaps better spent elsewhere?
Getting the two monsters to fight each other would be a clever idea, but there is no guarantee that they both won't end up chasing after you. The vent is firmly bolted in place, but you could use the acid to dissolve it if you so choose.
Suddenly there is a resounding crash as the beast rams the door open and flops on the floor. It howls and scrapes its claws against the floor as its sickened body struggles up. It turns to you!
>Bash the monster's head with the chamber pot. If it breaks into shards, commence with the stabbing.
Fitan: Smack beast in face with locked lunchbox to let the door slam shut again
>If the creature attempts to attack, assault it with green lunchbox.
>If it attacks back, avoid it.
You can't decide which one! Should you go for the pot? Or--or!
Before you could decide, the monster got the leg up on you, and you ended up tossing both of them on the floor.
Dangit! You decided too late and ended up wasting your moment.
Remember what animals in the wild do to scare off hostiles: They make themselves look big and make a loud noise. So, hunch down, raise your hands holding your cape above your head, open your mouth and yell as loudly as you can at the creature.
Due to the creature, momentarily forget that you are in a cave until you hear echoes of your yell bouncing from every wall inside.
>Realize that, while the yell might have been necessary, it has certainly alerted anybody in the cave to your presence. Or at least to your conscious state.
You're sure you've probably just called a ton of monsters your way, but you can find a way out of that later. Right now, you need to bail!
>Is that an actual control panel, or a two-way monitor of some kind?
You don't know if it's either of those, but that thing's probably your ticket out of here.
>While it's stunned, grab and prepare a weapon! The lunch box or chamber pot will do.
You grab the lunchbox and prepare for action.
>That looks like a rattle at the end of your tail. Is it natural for your kind to have rattles? And what are they used for?
Most Yaren do. Others have those neck frills that pop up, and you think you've heard of some Yaren having venomous spit, but that one's pretty rare.
Wait, this probably isn't a good time to be thinking about this.
>Is the creature something you recognize or something vaguely similar to something you know?
>Perhaps it's programmed to recognize your voice. Quick... think of something to shout at it! Like "help," or "hello? Is somebody there?"
>If you could somehow dominate this creature and make it your minion, you could have it check the panel for you. This is a good idea.
You're not really sure what the heck that thing is. It kinda looks like some kind of Kuduu, the sort that burrows a lot and likes to eat grass roots. Though you don't think this is anywhere near what a Kuduu's supposed to be. Especially with that weird head... maybe you could do that thing where you do that clicking sound with your tongue. They usually like that sound.
Welp. Guess not.
>Are the crystals some kind of stone or mineral you recognize too?
>Don't touch the crystals with your bare hands! As they seem to be growing out of the disfigured creature, you might get infected yourself.
Those crystals on the not-Kuduu look like a bunch of raw aetherlite... and that's probably not a good thing. Crystals like that can set off a bunch of magic if you're not careful and can really mess you up if you don't wear proper protection for that. These things need to be processed before they're safe to touch.
>Fitan: Bush putton! I mean kick button! I mean run button!
You make a sprint for the panel!
Yikes, that stings! You should've known from the color alone those crystals were Fire Aetherlite. You've got to be more careful!
The Not-Kuduu started wailing. Did the flames hurt it too?
(Fitan loses 5 HP.)
(The Not-Kuduu loses ?? HP.)
>Use the acid to open the vent.
Are you seriously suggesting to make this worse than it is right now? Just dealing with this thing is bad enough!
Last Edit: Sept 11, 2017 13:44:46 GMT by Wessolf27
> Hey, when those crystals erupt it hurt the monster too. Throw a canteen at the big crystal and dive for cover behind the tube.
You throw the lunchbox with all your might!!
Unfortunately, your aim was terrible and ended up hitting the not-Kuduu on the head. The monster flails about in pain, you've only made it angrier! You run for cover in the tube the monster was in and pray to Goddess Vakna that you don't end up infected by whatever's in that monster gunk.
Maybe you can try healing the creature? If it's attacking because it's in agony, that might pacify it. That or you could lose the only charge you have.
>You've got it right where you want it. Deliver the finishing blow.
You admit, you feel a little sorry for the plight of that not-Kuduu being forced into a weird tube and dealing with agonizing fire crystals. You spend one charge in an attempt to heal the monster.
OH GODS, THIS WAS NOT WHAT YOU WANTED!
Well... it looks like the unrefined aetherlite on the monster's back mixed horribly with your healing spell, and all that's left are bits and pieces of crystal all over the place.
That you do! For now, let's check your stats. It's new and improved.
Racial abilities are the unique skills and traits that many of your people share. The Yaren have a long history of living in forested areas and have sticky fingers that let you climb walls with little trouble. Other than that, you're able to stun and intimidate enemies. Some might flare out their frills to do so, but you have to make do with your cape.
Innate abilities tells what kind of magic you can naturally generate and use. The element one gets is dependent on the person's disposition, desires, and other factors like that. Most people have one or two, and you know at least one of yours already.
Spirit is a fairly rare element, though you're not entirely sure what's it supposed to be about. Like the Goddess of Secrets and Thresholds, Clavis, there's a lot people don't know about it. People say that Spirit is a pretty lucky element to have, but you doubt that a lot considering that you've ended up in a place like this. Still, you ended up learning one of your skills as well.
You've always heard all sorts of voices in your head ever since you started developing magic of your own. Though you try to ignore them sometimes, they've also been very helpful, even if they come up with weird things that you don't even understand, like "pumpkins", seriously, can anyone explain that? You've asked the Baylan about this, and all she said was that they're supposed to be voices from another world.
>do you have telekinetic powers? You moved the box without touching it, or was it just my imagination?
...let's just say that the powers that be didn't seem to have animated that panel properly. That's it.
>Yet another victorious conquest to add to the long list of successes that is your life. Time for a victory dance.
You... guess you can dance a little? You don't know if you can call it a victory since you didn't try to kill the creature. Then again, it was going to kill you so... hooray?
>First, examine the inside of the tube. is there anything there that might explain the state of the creature? Or maybe a feeding/waste removal mechanism?
You're not really sure what the tube is for, but on closer insprection it seems that this rotten goo has a bit of an aether charge in it. Water if you'd guess from the properties. And if it's gotten this black, it's definitely been overused in some way. Though you're not sure why keep the thing in there with it. Was it to contain it? Heal it? Strengthen it? Either way, you're not sure, but exposure to that much aether isn't good for anyone. Poor thing.
The wires dangling inside also seem to be laced with some kind of chemical... what sort of mad laboratory even is this place?
>Second, take a look at the items inside the box. I assume it's not actually lunch-related. Oh, and just what material is the box made of?
You don't know what the box is made out of, but sure as Enki, you know this it's a Conduit-Maker's kit which consisted of everything you need to polish and set Essence Aetherlites into Conduits! It's also got some thick gloves for handling Aether as well as a satchel to keep Aetherlite crystals in. The satchel seems to have a bit of weight in it when you picked it up. Turning it over nets you a very good quality Water Essence. Nice!
Unlike those fragments you have Essences have a bit more charges in them and most importantly, are reuseable! It takes at least a day or two to fully recharge a crystal though.
>Collect the crystal bits. See if you can reassemble them.
>Collect crystal samples. Get an insight of it. You seem fairly well versed on this subject.
>Third , see if you can collect a few of the unrefined aetherlite shards. You should have enough conduit fragments for them. And a pipe bomb could always come in handy. Or blow your hand off if you're not careful.
You wear your gloves and collect the shards of fire aetherlite left by the monster, careful not to jostle or drop them. You don't think you can fuse or reassemble them though, they started off as irregularly shaped chunks after all.
Judging from its deep red color, you're sure these things have a high density of aether inside, though you're going to need to polish the crystal to a sort of round shape in order to make them anywhere near usable. Any other shape and the aether just leaks out of the crystal over time.
>Earlier, you exclaimed "Twelves' mercy!" That seems religious. Who're the Twelves?
The Twelve are the gods that helped create the land of Thera with the Creator, Nevos. After Nevos's passing the Twelve were tasked with taking care of the world and the people they created. Each god had a different view on how to best take care of their people, and they fought and argued over it for a long time. But eventually they decided that they should teach them their knowledge, so that the people they created may one day become worthy of the gifts Nevos and the gods had given them.
At least that's what you were taught when you were young. Growing up, things were a little more complicated than that. Though everyone worshiped them, some are more worshiped than others depending on where you are, and some even have different versions of the same story depending on who you've heard it from.
Kineo, the Sculptor, is one of the Twelve. So are Vakna the Healer, and Clavis the Dancer. Each one commanded an element that best represented their ideals and philosophies.
Diligent, unrelenting, and always perfecting, Kineo was always associated with the unyielding nature of Metal, and many of your family did end up with Metal as one of their abilities - but not you for some reason. It's still possible that it could happen though.
Vakna on the other hand was always a famous goddess for being patroness to mothers and the sick. She never turned away a soul that needed her help, and she would cleanse them with her healing waters. However, to those she cannot help, she's also become the goddess of mourning rites.
As for Clavis, she's as you've said, mysterious and whimsical. Her name spoken always in hopes that she might grant them a bit of good fortune, whether in a small game of Patha or in the most darkest of times. She was said to be privy to all the innermost secrets of every soul, and with her key, unlock things within them thought to be all but impossible.
There are more, but you don't want to drag this any further.
>Oh, and have you checked what's on the ceiling yet? Are there any unlit lights, odd devices, or creatures there?
> Ask the creature in the vent if it's sentient.
Yes, yes there are things up there. Time to leave this place! And you're not spending a moment more to talk to it.
>Fourth, check the panel. Maybe now that it's active you can determine its exact function.
You guess it needs a Water charge to activate. That's simple enough. Spending a charge on the panel makes the bars open.
You find yourself in one of the west wing's corridors. Now what?
>This prison thing is sketchy. Yes, you are or were put inside a cell, but it doesn't make sense that it could be opened on the inside and could be opened by the inmate itself, unless some outside force gave you the resources and ability to, but keyhole on the inside still doesn't ring very prison-y. Labs also doesn't seem to belong in a prison, unless it's some sort of medical lab. This place seems like a testing facility. The question is, why are you in it? Are or were you part of the personnel of the place? Or are you a subject like that poor creature? Or are they testing their chances against you or someone like you? Or are they testing you against forces against them or/and you as well?
> why were you locked in a cell with a monster and just enough means to free yourself? Doesn't it all seem a bit too... Contrived to you?
The more you think about it the weirder it is. Being able to open the door from the inside probably means that this wasn't supposed to be a prison in the first place. In fact, this place seems like it wasn't meant to keep you in but something out.
And no matter how much you rack your brains you still can't fathom what got you here in the first place. The last thing you remember is that you were in Alva, and the road there is particularly dense with forests and it's not unheard of that some unlucky chump could get snatched up by unsavory folk out there... No, wait, you got in a fight with Xusohin and threatened to talk to the authorities, regardless of the consequences - but what were you two arguing about? You can't recall a thing!
You grimace as the jumbled mess of thoughts in your head makes you dizzy, and steady yourself against the wall. You can't think straight, especially not on an empty stomach like this!
>Bring the lunchbox with you.
Granted. You bring it with you.
>Wait! Do you actually hear us? Well, the narrator addresses to us as "you" rather than referring to you as Fitan; made me think we are you. Hello, I guess, Fitan.
"Uh... hello to you too!"
This is the first time you've ever heard the voices talk directly to you. Still, it's good to have some kind of company here however mental it might be.
>Go to labs. You might find some information on what's going on, and useful stuff. Plus, there could be feed.
>Head for the labs. It might be risky, but you might get some idea what is going on in this place.
You enter the labs... or turns out, the office next to the labs. The place smells like chemicals and mildew, a dead crystal tower lies at the center of the room and scrolls are scattered all over.
Your stomach's grumbling reminds you that you haven't eaten in a while now. Desperate to find food you start digging through the closest thing you find... which is this weird mushroom sitting all the way out here in the dark. You're not quite sure if that's edible though...
>Keep an eye on the warden the bloody note warned you of.
Huh? What? Oh right, you should keep an eye out for that Warden person. You don't think he's anywhere even close though.
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Twelve's Graces, this is foreboding. Whoever wrote this must have been seriously scared for their life. Wardens and Monsters... sheesh, you hope to Clavis you don't encounter either of them. They both sound like bad news.