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Within this ruined realm live a certain class of deviants who are neither outlaws nor quite explorers, but something in-between. Polite society tolerates them only begrudgingly, for on occasion, they are responsible for the recovery of ancient, long-forgotten treasures which, with remarkably little effort, pass through their hands for the more common and well-known pleasures of drink, damsels, and dice. They are called rogues by some. The faithful do not hesitate to label them as grave robbers and desecrators. A few are revered as heroes. But the title they have always preferred is simply: adventurer.

You are not one of them. You are hireling. A dogsbody, an assistant, on rare occasions a retainer, and perhaps one day, a companion. For the moment, your inexperience and ignorance have relegated you to the lowly tasks of carrying baggage and to serve as a canary in the dungeons they delve.

But how did you come to such an odd profession?
>You were master of a small dungeon once, but were ousted by a group of plucky adventurers. You've taken on the trade out of desperation, but also to study adventurers up close, so that your next villainous venture might be more robust to plucky adventurers.
>You come from a long line of hirelings and retainers. Your great-great-grandfather once served as the companion of Aleph the Dragonheart, whose name has passed into bardic song. The family business has fallen on some hard times, but you hope to change all that.
>You were once a moderately successful adventurer yourself, but time and chance have reduced you to an impoverished old man. Still, you retain all your knowledge and wisdom and hope to impart it on the newer generation.
>Write-in
>>
>>6052927
>>You come from a long line of hirelings and retainers. Your great-great-grandfather once served as the companion of Aleph the Dragonheart, whose name has passed into bardic song. The family business has fallen on some hard times, but you hope to change all that.
>>
>>6052927
>Your past or heritage has led others to believe you are cursed, which is made apparent by an obvious mark that attracts social stigma. Whether you really are the bearer of ill luck or not is anyone's guess, but they wouldn't allow you the opportunities or favourable deals to become an adventurer, so you settled for being a hireling as the closest thing to it in hopes of one day clearing your name.
idk not really vibing with any of the options, but veteran adventurer would be cool too I guess if this one doesn't fit.
>>
>>6052927
>...once moderately successful.... (veteran)
>>
>>6052927

>You were master of a small dungeon once, but were ousted by a group of plucky adventurers. You've taken on the trade out of desperation, but also to study adventurers up close, so that your next villainous venture might be more robust to plucky adventurers.
>>
>You come from a long line of hirelings and retainers. Your great-great-grandfather once served as the companion of Aleph the Dragonheart, whose name has passed into bardic song. The family business has fallen on some hard times, but you hope to change all that.
>>
>>6052951
>>6052956
>>6052974
>>6053086
>>6053219

You come from a long line of hirelings and retainers. Your great-great-grandfather once served as the companion of Aleph the Dragonheart, whose name has passed into bardic song. The family business has fallen on some hard times, but you hope to change all that.

Though your father taught you the rudiments of the trade, he was not around long enough to take you with him on an actual delve. He perished in the lower levels of an ancient tomb and you hope one day to recover his body (assuming it hasn't already been corrupted by the cthonic energies that dominate such places) and give it a proper burial. It would give your mother some peace of mind, if nothing else.

Truth be told, your father's untimely death and your subsequent fatherless upbringing has given you some perspective towards this profession and as a result:

>You have become ruthlessly pragmatic about everything. Gone are the days when adventurers dabbled in heroism and considered their honor. Now is the time of scoundrels and vagabonds. And the objective is always treasure, nothing more.

>You have become hopelessly romantic about everything. There is something truly special about braving the unknown, staring death in the face without flinching, performing feats of derring-do. If it is a shorter life, one is doubly more alive in it.

>You have become utterly devout to the powers that be. The demarcating line between Law and Chaos is one you tread every day, and every day you help the forces of [choose Law or Chaos] inch one step closer to victory
>>
>You have become hopelessly romantic about everything. There is something truly special about braving the unknown, staring death in the face without flinching, performing feats of derring-do. If it is a shorter life, one is doubly more alive in it.

Hope Chads stay strong
>>
>>6053252
>CHAOS! HAIL LOKI, ERIS, KEK, ARIOCH, & SHEOGORATH!
>>
>>6053252
>You have become hopelessly romantic about everything. There is something truly special about braving the unknown, staring death in the face without flinching, performing feats of derring-do. If it is a shorter life, one is doubly more alive in it.
>>
>>6052956
I feel the same way, I think it’s because they’re all “you/your bloodline was once somewhat successful but after x happened you have to start from the bottom again”. But it can still be a good quest since they’re pretty unique as well. The writing seems good anyway
>>
>>6053252
Forgot to answer this one lol
>You have become hopelessly romantic about everything. There is something truly special about braving the unknown, staring death in the face without flinching, performing feats of derring-do. If it is a shorter life, one is doubly more alive in it.
>>
>>6053252
>You have become hopelessly romantic about everything. There is something truly special about braving the unknown, staring death in the face without flinching, performing feats of derring-do. If it is a shorter life, one is doubly more alive in it.
The only option.
>>
>>6053252

>You have become ruthlessly pragmatic about everything. Gone are the days when adventurers dabbled in heroism and considered their honor. Now is the time of scoundrels and vagabonds. And the objective is always treasure, nothing more.

I like the quest, OP.

To the romantic-anons, what’s your plan here? Recite poetry to the awful tentacle-beasts and hope that they spare us? We should be ruthless-maxing to survive
>>
>>6053259
>>6053271
>>6053372
>>6053399
>>6053400
>>6053423
>>6053462

You have become hopelessly romantic about everything. There is something truly special about braving the unknown, staring death in the face without flinching, performing feats of derring-do. If it is a shorter life, one is doubly more alive in it. When your father was still living, he was always smiling whenever he returned from a job and whenever he was setting off on one. It was the time in between which gradually wore him down, the placidity of a domestic existence. You guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Hirelings, unlike adventurers, tend to be dabblers in all trades. A few will, with time and success, become specialists in some fields, and then the adventurers will seek them out instead of the other way around. With your father absent for most of your life, you were left to acquire such skills on your own. Skills you hope to advance and diversify with your future cuts of the loot.

What skills did you acquire? (CHOOSE TWO):
>You apprenticed for a time with a local blacksmith, together SMITHING iron into horseshoes, pots and pans, nails, railings. On rare occasions the master would let you assist him with the forging of blades for the local lord and his retinue, but you did not remain long enough with him to learn the secrets of armoring.

>Your mother, bereaved by the loss of your father, tired to usher you away from the family business and sent you to live with a small conclave of monks. There scholarship and literacy were beaten into you by ferrule and cane. The holy life little interested you, but being able to read in three LANGUAGES (one of them dead), may come in handy in the forgotten places of the world and help illuminate the arcane.

>You spent much of your youth outside the confines of the village, roaming the wilderness, sometimes for weeks at a time (which drove your mother crazy with worry), learning to survive on your own with nothing but your wits and your jackknife. A chance encounter with a hermit led to a fruitful apprenticeship in which you learned some of the more esoteric methods of SURVIVAL.

>The physician that would often treat your father's wounds from his work (as the adventurers were often stingy with the alchemical concoctions they themselves employed) was a kind-hearted old man. He took you and your mother in after your father died, perhaps seeing in your mother, the daughter that died within his wife. He made a nurse of her, and of you he made an eager assistant, teaching you how to dress wounds, how to distinguish one disease from another, how to make and administer MEDICINE, and when all else had failed, how to dull pain.

>Without the guiding influence of your father, you fell in for a time with a bad crowd. They were bullies, in a word, and at the time it seemed better to join their ranks than to suffer their abuse. Luckily you left them before you could turn to actual crime, retaining all the benefits of their ATHLETICS.
>>
>>6053489

These two are probably most valuable for spelunking purposes, although we'll definitely need to pick up some first aid if possible.

>You spent much of your youth outside the confines of the village, roaming the wilderness, sometimes for weeks at a time (which drove your mother crazy with worry), learning to survive on your own with nothing but your wits and your jackknife. A chance encounter with a hermit led to a fruitful apprenticeship in which you learned some of the more esoteric methods of SURVIVAL.

>Without the guiding influence of your father, you fell in for a time with a bad crowd. They were bullies, in a word, and at the time it seemed better to join their ranks than to suffer their abuse. Luckily you left them before you could turn to actual crime, retaining all the benefits of their ATHLETICS.
>>
>>6053489
>Your mother, bereaved by the loss of your father, tired to usher you away from the family business and sent you to live with a small conclave of monks. There scholarship and literacy were beaten into you by ferrule and cane. The holy life little interested you, but being able to read in three LANGUAGES (one of them dead), may come in handy in the forgotten places of the world and help illuminate the arcane.

>The physician that would often treat your father's wounds from his work (as the adventurers were often stingy with the alchemical concoctions they themselves employed) was a kind-hearted old man. He took you and your mother in after your father died, perhaps seeing in your mother, the daughter that died within his wife. He made a nurse of her, and of you he made an eager assistant, teaching you how to dress wounds, how to distinguish one disease from another, how to make and administer MEDICINE, and when all else had failed, how to dull pain.

The other stuff besides smithing can be learned with experience.
>>
>>6053462
Romantic != incapable. I understood the choice as more like a good / evil / holy+good / holy+evil thing.
>>6053489
>You spent much of your youth outside the confines of the village, roaming the wilderness, sometimes for weeks at a time (which drove your mother crazy with worry), learning to survive on your own with nothing but your wits and your jackknife. A chance encounter with a hermit led to a fruitful apprenticeship in which you learned some of the more esoteric methods of SURVIVAL.
>The physician that would often treat your father's wounds from his work (as the adventurers were often stingy with the alchemical concoctions they themselves employed) was a kind-hearted old man. He took you and your mother in after your father died, perhaps seeing in your mother, the daughter that died within his wife. He made a nurse of her, and of you he made an eager assistant, teaching you how to dress wounds, how to distinguish one disease from another, how to make and administer MEDICINE, and when all else had failed, how to dull pain.
>>6053500
We must survive to see us learning that stuff first.
>>
>>6053489

>Your mother, bereaved by the loss of your father, tired to usher you away from the family business and sent you to live with a small conclave of monks. There scholarship and literacy were beaten into you by ferrule and cane. The holy life little interested you, but being able to read in three LANGUAGES (one of them dead), may come in handy in the forgotten places of the world and help illuminate the arcane.


>The physician that would often treat your father's wounds from his work (as the adventurers were often stingy with the alchemical concoctions they themselves employed) was a kind-hearted old man. He took you and your mother in after your father died, perhaps seeing in your mother, the daughter that died within his wife. He made a nurse of her, and of you he made an eager assistant, teaching you how to dress wounds, how to distinguish one disease from another, how to make and administer MEDICINE, and when all else had failed, how to dull pain.

I like languages and magic. Medicine is near aways useful in this type of quests
>>
>>6053489
>Your mother, bereaved by the loss of your father, tired to usher you away from the family business and sent you to live with a small conclave of monks. There scholarship and literacy were beaten into you by ferrule and cane. The holy life little interested you, but being able to read in three LANGUAGES (one of them dead), may come in handy in the forgotten places of the world and help illuminate the arcane.
>The physician that would often treat your father's wounds from his work (as the adventurers were often stingy with the alchemical concoctions they themselves employed) was a kind-hearted old man. He took you and your mother in after your father died, perhaps seeing in your mother, the daughter that died within his wife. He made a nurse of her, and of you he made an eager assistant, teaching you how to dress wounds, how to distinguish one disease from another, how to make and administer MEDICINE, and when all else had failed, how to dull pain.
>>
>>6053489
>You spent much of your youth outside the confines of the village, roaming the wilderness, sometimes for weeks at a time (which drove your mother crazy with worry), learning to survive on your own with nothing but your wits and your jackknife. A chance encounter with a hermit led to a fruitful apprenticeship in which you learned some of the more esoteric methods of SURVIVAL.
The physician that would often treat your father's wounds from his work (as the adventurers were often stingy with the alchemical concoctions they themselves employed) was a kind-hearted old man. He took you and your mother in after your father died, perhaps seeing in your mother, the daughter that died within his wife. He made a nurse of her, and of you he made an eager assistant, teaching you how to dress wounds, how to distinguish one disease from another, how to make and administer MEDICINE, and when all else had failed, how to dull pain.
>>
>SURVIVAL
>MEDICINE
>>
QM?
>>
>>6055139
Still here. Just got a bit busy at work. Update in a few.
>>
>>6053491
>>6053500
>>6053509
>>6053734
>>6053796
>>6054138
>>6054533

Now you have come to the hinterlands. Beyond a thin border demarcated by a slow-moving river lie the untamed wilderness. Ancient civilizations which had once established dominion there have all come to ruin, leaving behind their temples, tombs, and buried cities for the brave or foolish to pilfer. Today you join one such motley crew, led by a young woman of moody disposition, dressed in the white and black tunic of her holy order. She rides atop a small sumpter horse, her leg of carven wood attached securely to her knee by some metallic contraption with intricate runes.

Of her party, only one seems to be there for reasons that are not purely mercenary: an older gentleman with enormous ears, the lobes elongated in the custom of the southern kingdoms. Every few minutes he tucks some sour-smelling paste into his lower lip and later spits out blood-red wads of phlegm on the grass. The woman, who introduced herself as Catherine Demoine, carries no weapon. The big-eared man, who has thus far only communicated with the woman, wields a sword with a long hilt. The other two are hires, like yourself (though they were promised an equal share of the treasure, whereas you are only getting a wage). A man and woman, partners, strangers to everyone but themselves. The man, Rolf, bears a round shield with an iron knob in the center and a spear, and two throwing axes. The woman, Hilde, carries knives, and makes a point of sharpening them whenever she has a chance.

Your destination is known to Catherine alone, on a map which she keeps in the hollow of her wooden leg. All you know of it is that it is a tomb, said to hold the body of some ancient king. There is no expectation of reaching its depths in this first outing, rather Catherine seems to be interested in something else. What this is, only she and her big-eared companion know.

At your last camp before arrival (so Catherine informs you all), you have a chance to get some rest. The food you've been scrounging up for them from woods, so as to save their provisions, has not yet been exhausted and for the moment, you are idle. Rolf and Hilde are enjoying a meal together. Catherine is scribbling in a book. And the old man is sitting in silence beneath the shade of a tree.

>Take a nap [Well-rested: +1 to your next roll]
>Eat together with Rolf and Hilde, asking them about their past travels
>Strike up a conversation with Catherine, to better understand her motives
>Join the old man beneath the tree in his meditative silence
>Write-in
>>
>>6055261

>Join the old man beneath the tree in his meditative silence

Maybe he’ll share some his red paste with us later?
>>
>>6055263
+1, old man might have some LORE to share with us, or khat
>>
>>6055261
>Join the old man beneath the tree in his meditative silence
From what I see survival + medicine won, is that correct? I see we've been scavenging from the woods so it must be survival, but just to confirm.
>>
>>6055647
>survival + medicine won
Yes, that's right.
>>
>>6055261
>write

>MEDICINE
>SURVIVAL
>Having spent many fruitful hours in the company of the kind old physician and his nurse daughter
>as well as bashing through the wilds and learning some botanical weirdness from that hermit
>You remember that plant poisons and cures tend to grow together.
>There is a fair chance for you to find a small quantity of both in this uncharted green.
>You expect to get only the poorer sort of stuff, since you have little time to pick and none at all to process
>But who knows: even a little edge can spare from death, and a little balm remembers a name.
>>
>>6055261
>Join the old man beneath the tree in his meditative silence
>>
>>6055261
>>Join the old man beneath the tree in his meditative silence
>>
>>6055261
>Join the old man beneath the tree in his meditative silence
>>
Sorry for the delay folks. Just been a busy few days and probably a busy few more to come. Update in a few.
>>
You join the old man beneath the tree. He opens one eye and watches you sit down, trying to emulate his cross-legged posture. You're not sure how he can maintain such an uncomfortable pose for so long without moving. You're only able to manage for a few minutes before you have to shift. He does not move nor open his eyes again until it is time to leave and in copying him, studying the pace of his breathing, you find yourself enter into a relaxed, easy state, your mind perfectly clear. It's something you've only experienced during long walks in the wilderness, and you squirrel away this shortcut for later.

The sense of ease passes quickly once you enter the tomb. The entrance, carved into the side of a large hill, with stone-cut steps leading up to it, is all faded white pillars and rusty doors. The interior is oppressively dark. Occasionally you can hear the settling of stone or a distant water drip. Once or twice you hear something skittering beyond the reach of your torches.

The first couple of hours pass without much excitement. At one point, Hilde puts her ear to a closed door and shakes her head, and the party proceeds along an alternate path avoiding whatever lay behind it. Eventually you come to a small chamber in which are stored large painted urns, each one big enough to comfortably fit an entire person. The figures on them seem to be of interest to Catherine and she pauses to study them and make sketches in her book.

The old man stands guard at passage from which you entered. Rolf, feeling restless, decides to scout ahead, leaving behind his shield in your care. Hilde is attempting to climb the urns to peek inside for possible treasure.

>Help Hilde, maybe you can get a cut of whatever she finds
>Stay close to the old man and keep an eye out for trouble
>Look around for anything else that might be interesting
>Write-in
>>
>>6057678
>Look around for anything else that might be interesting
>>
>>6057678
>Stay close to the old man and keep an eye out for trouble
>>
>>6057678
>"URN" YOUR PAY (LOOT)
>>
>>6057678
>Stay close to the old man and keep an eye out for trouble
>>
>>6057678
>Stay close to the old man and keep an eye out for trouble
We are only getting paid the wage, so I don't really care to find more loot
>>
>>6057678
>Stay close to the old man and keep an eye out for trouble
>>
You sidle up to the old man by the entryway. If you squint, you can vaguely make out some kind of shape, clinging low to the ground, sometimes the wall. The old man says something to Catherine, probably telling her to hurry up, but she hardly seems to hear it.

The old man's torch goes out, but you instantly supply him another from your pack. Again, he tells Catherine something, this time with more urgency. She waves at him to be quiet. Then, suddenly, a huge noise. One of the urns tips over and shatters. Hilde, in her overzealousness, had fallen inside. She appears unhurt, albeit covered in some kind of fragrant black oil from the urn that is now spreading across the chamber floor. The bigger problem are the three black-backed beetles, each the size of a fully-grown hound, that are converging on your position.

The old man shouts something that needs no translation. He even doesn't wait for Catherine to respond, simply picks her up like a child and throws her over his shoulder. You and Hilde form the rear trying to keep up with the old man's surprisingly quick pace. Rolf, bless his soul, has marked the walls with soot from his torch, indicating safe passage. But the beetles are closing in. Glancing back, you recognize them as the larger cousins of the blister beetles the Physic kept in his glass terrarium. He once showed you how to extract the vesicle, located just beneath their thorax, that contains a higly caustic liquid that can be used to burn away warts, moles and dead skin. Just a thimbleful, properly concentrated, was enough for the purpose. The beetles themselves would spray the toxin when agitated, but it wasn't enough to do more than cause a few small blisters. But at that size--you don't even want to think about it.

The gap between you and the old man is growing. It's Rolf's shield that's the problem. You should have strapped it to your back as he does, holding it in your hands like this is hampering your movements. You're about to discard it when, just ahead of you, Hilde slips and falls. You leap over her just in time, almost tripping yourself from the slippery oil she's been trailing behind her. One of the beetles leaps from the wall on which it was crawling on to her leg and clamps down on the bare flesh. Even as she screams in pain, she's able to drive one of her knives into the side of the beetle's head, in a weak spot between its black carapace. The beetle's legs twitch, and it releases its mandibles. But the other two are not far behind.

As you debate whether to help Hilde or to keep running, you hear someone shout your name. Rolf is calling for his shield, sprinting toward you like a mad man.

>Roll morale* (d6)

*Failing the morale roll will cause you to panic (I'll roll on a separate table for the effect). I take the sum of the two highest of three rolls. You must roll UNDER your morale score (which is currently 6) plus any bonuses, to pass. Your morale may increase as you gain experience.



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