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[WRITING] The Carnal Souls CYOA Thread [NSFW]

Discussion in 'User-Submitted Works' started by Dolfuss, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

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  2. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

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    [Hospice Waif's Affection +4]

    Whatever this girl is in for, the affliction clearly isn't worth suffering the cure. Holding her close, you say you'll help sneak her out. "R-Really?" she looks up, doe-eyed, "But you're a patient too, right? It's not like you can just walk me out of here..." You tell her you're due for discharge today so your leaving won't raise an eyebrow—but more importantly, you came from a storage room and there's clothing for the taking. "That... that could work," she mutters, voice tinged with what must be the first real hope she's had in a while.

    Sneaking back down the corridor, you lead her into the Lost and Found. It's a motley assortment of garments and it looks like you'll have to mix-and-match, but fortunately there are cloaks and boots suitable for the outdoor chill. As she sorts through the inventory, you consider finding Lord Astley some gear, but ultimately decide carting a pile of men's clothing through the hospice will raise more questions than you'll have ready answers. Oh well, surely he'll sympathize with aiding a distressed damsel. Even most of the women's clothes look too big for her skinny frame, but after a gauntlet of quick-measuring she pieces together a workable outfit:

    1. A ragged fur cape, embroidered blouse and baggy trousers, juxtaposing a low noble and outdoorswoman.
    2. A silver-trimmed, dark blue hooded cloak, stained woolen tunic, and striped pleated skirt, marking the acolyte of a very obscure sect.
    3. A thin, patterned shawl, fleece overcoat, and narrow, hide-padded leggings, akin to mountain guards.​

    [Easy Perception check - passed] As she fits the costume over the gown, you notice a thin black string around the back of her neck, attached to some jewelry she must be keeping hidden. No doubt it must be valuable if it wasn't stored along with the rest of her possessions when she was admitted... though if the staff thought her possessed, wouldn't they have removed it in case it was a catalyzing artifact? And if she knew what she was in for, how would she have kept it concealed? Perhaps you're overthinking things—it might just be a sentimental trinket, and if your nurses' bedside manner is anything to go by, they wouldn't be so heartless to part a scared girl from a token comfort, surely.

    "Alright," she says, spreading her arms, "How do I look?" It's a patch job and a lot of it still hangs loose, but you think it's passable—plus she can hide enough of her head that the staff probably won't recognize her unless they're face-to-face. Peeking around the corner to make sure the coast is clear, you guide her back whence you came and up the stairs; as you re-enter the main halls, she trails behind at a distance to stay inconspicuous. [Easy Stealth check - passed] While you're not familiar with the ground floor, you manage to navigate the wards without incident as you weave your way toward the main exit. Taking a corner a little too fast, you nearly collide with a nurse; backing up apologetically, you gasp as you find yourself face-to-face with Sister Roisin.

    "There you are!" she huffs, "The doctor was ready with your debrief but you'd vanished from the ward! One might think you didn't want to leave," she arcs an eyebrow. Guiltily, you follow behind, casting furtive glances backwards to see the girl's still ghosting. Returning to the psych ward, you arrive at Doctor Radwythe's office as the doctor himself arrives from the opposite direction. "We found her," Sister Roisin states, ushering you forward. "I'll bring up your belongings before you run away again." Her disapproving frown is tinged by the faintest hint of wry amusement.

    "Thank you, Sister," you sing.

    Doctor Radwythe cuts a fairly unassuming figure, middling in height with a bald scalp ringed by dark brown hair and a neatly-trimmed beard, rounded spectacles perched on a straight wide nose. "That's one less renegade to track down," he sighs, in a naturally quiet voice, more in relief than chastisement; you must appear confused because he continues: "A patient went missing from the intensive care unit—daemonic possession, nasty stuff. Not that she's dangerous, I don't think—oh, hello, I didn't realize you were together." You follow his gaze past your shoulder; the girl has crept up from behind, though not so close to make it obvious you're a pair. "Some patients prefer to receive in confidence," he focuses back on you, "But your friend can sit in if you wish."

    A) Have her wait.
    B) Invite her in.
    C) Oh, she's not your friend; you don't even know her.​

    You follow the doctor inside, sitting down in an offered chair before his desk. It's a tidy, if rather cramped room, the shelves behind him filled with books and sheaves of loose paper. As he takes his seat he shuffles a folder before him, fiddling with his glasses as he recounts your case from your initial admission and through the several days of therapy. True to form, the debrief is mostly dense medical jargon you can barely follow, but he highlights the important takeaways in words you can understand. "So," you boil it all down to the fundamental question:

    i. "I'm psychic?"
    ii. "I was possessed?"
    iii. "I can hear spirits?"
    iv. "I'm just stressed?"
    v. "I'm a seer?"
    vi. "I'm a soul-vessel?"​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 1
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Hospice Waif
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.
    Affection: 4
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
  3. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

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    2,B,v

    This was a tough one and I went back and forth on option 2 and 3, option 2 was easier, option 3 is the one that took the most time
     
  4. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

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    If these choices are forcing a dilemma, I must be doing it right! :p

    ~~~~

    [Hospice Waif's Trust +5]

    "In principle, yes," the doctor replies. "I'm not fully versed in the mechanics of it all, but your mind appears to be capable of brief synchronization with metaphysical signals, what the professional oracles believe allows them to interpret visions of the future. As a latent ability, it usually manifests as an overactive 'gut feeling', but especially vivid episodes can feel like hallucinations—hence, panicked reactions to people and entities that aren't physically present are often misdiagnosed as mania. As long as you know what to expect, there's nothing inherently dangerous, save perhaps spacing out during social functions. If you wanted to cultivate this ability, your best bet would be to seek out an experienced mage."

    Well! Sudden bouts of daydreaming seem an acceptable compromise if it lets you sneak a peek at your future. [Trait gained: Dudly Premonitions]

    A knock at the door signals Sister Roisin's return with your kit. The girl swiftly, but gracefully exits her chair, inviting the nurse to use it as a makeshift depository. The nun eyes the stranger as she straightens up, but probes no further before turning to you. "If anything is missing, you can report it at the front desk on your way out. You have been briefed to your satisfaction?" You nod. "Take care, my dear," she grins softly, squeezing your shoulder and making her exit.

    "I have a few minutes before I should attend to my next patient," Doctor Radwythe says, tidying up his desk, "Did you have any other questions?"

    1. Inquire into Lord Astley and why he was admitted.
    2. Ask about that missing ICU patient.
    3. Ask if there's anyone he can refer you to regarding your newfound powers.
    4. Ask him about his work in psych.
    5. Flirt with Doctor Radwythe.​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 1
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    Hospice Waif
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 4
    Trust: 5
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
    daedaddy likes this.
  5. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

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  6. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

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    The doctor frowns. "For a medical referral, no. Our thaumaturgy department doesn't provide specialized counseling. The only other option I can recommend confidently is the university, though it could be a hassle to get a proper tutor. The mages' college is notoriously gated against all but senior students. I used to know a professor there but we've fallen out of correspondence and he might have retired. Still," he opens a desk drawer, retrieving pen and paper, "The least I can do is vouch for you." A minute and flurry of faint scratches later, he passes you a signed referral, and you return your thanks. [Item acquired: Doctor's note]

    "Well, best of luck," he rises from his chair, extending a hand to shake. "My next appointment is a bedside visit so feel free to change in here." You make way as he slips by and shuts the door. You turn to the other seat and run a quick check of your gear, relieved to find unmolested your

    1. stubby hatchet, a woodswoman's best friend
    2. pocket scale; never know when there's trading to be done
    3. lockpicking kit, for legitimate purposes, honest
    4. student papers, confirming university registration
    5. pocket spellbook, for the hobbyist magician
    6. alchemical reagents; foundation of any potionmaker
    7. pop-out knife, geared for the streetwise life
    8. hand-carved flute, for instant busking
    9. vial of yeast, the key to luxury baking
    10. challenge coin, from the Nardaran campaign
    11. Lover's Salve, for that extra protection
    12. miniature sickle, for the garden crops
    13. mixed feed, guaranteed to summon the animals
    14. novice's prayerbook, for when you can't recall the words
    15. hammer and square, to knock on wood
    16. mallet and chisel, for high-end graffiti
    17. needle and thread, for that stitch in time
    18. first-aid kit, everything but what you needed
    19. brass housekey, to the servants' entrance
    20. beggar's cup, with secret compartment​

    "I'll go watch the door," the girl pipes up; she's pulled the hood back and you can see her full face. Since the door isn't locked, a sentry is prudent—though dressed as she is, she'll look a bit conspicuous loitering about. As you prepare your outfit, you note she isn't moving... in fact, glancing to her face, you notice her eyes seem to be roaming over you. A moment later her gaze snaps to yours and a faint blush rises in her cheeks. Reaching for her hood, she starts for the door.

    A) Let her go.
    B) Have her stay.
    C) Give her a show.​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 1
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    Doctor's note
    Hospice Waif
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 4
    Trust: 5
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2021
  7. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

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  8. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

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    [Chemistry +1]

    [Orientation (Female) +1] A sly grin spreads across your lips as you make a split-second decision. You raise your hand, and she halts so fast she nearly trips over herself. Reaching behind with your other arm, you pull up the free chair and wedge the backrest beneath the door handle in a makeshift barricade. "No need," you purr. She eyes you warily, stepping back a bit; raising both hands, you state there's no sense risking her exposure for the momentary inconvenience of yours.

    "Uh, OK, I'll just tur—" The statement dies in her throat as you immediately start gathering up your skirt. [Easy Seduction check - failed] Unfortunately you've misjudged her nerves: no sooner does your upper thigh come into view than she spins around, hands flying presumably to her face. Teasingly you ask if you're really so repulsive. "No, nothing like that," her cowl wobbles, "It's just—that's a lot to spring on a girl you just met, you know?"

    Sighing, you resign yourself to change in sanctity, though you try to bait her by drumming on your thighs and musing whether your boobs have gotten bigger from the hospice food as you pretend to fuss over your clothing. Alas, even as you see her shuffling anxiously, she doesn't so much as feign to peek, and you get dressed in earnest. As you slip into a functional but unostentatious bra and bloomers, you consider that maybe it's best her first impression wasn't undercut by decidedly unsexy lingerie. Your normal blouse and overdress are fortified with woolen leggings and a fleece shawl to break the unseasonal chill, swapping the hospice-issued slippers for well-worn nth-hand boots. You double-check your satchel to make sure everything's in order before telling the girl she can turn around. [Items acquired: Blouse, overdress, wool pants, thrift boots, fleece shawl, simple underwear, satchel, alchemical reagents, 115 copper, 2 silver]

    "Really?" she asks, "You're all done?" Yes, you sigh, you are fully, boringly clothed. Still wary, she takes tentative peeks to confirm you're decent before turning to face you in full, cheeks still tinged a little bright. You cock an eyebrow, smirking: some succubus she is if she won't even bite when you're throwing yourself at her! "Some people have standards," she retorts, "At least buy me dinner first!" If it's a date she wants, she need only ask. She scoffs, turning her head away in mock dismissal... but you think her blush is a smidgeon deeper. Despite coming on a little strong, it seems all is forgiven. [Hospice Waif's Affection +2]

    Tidying up the room, you proceed to reception with the girl following close this time, dropping off your patient's garb in the first laundry hamper you spy. After confirming you've been cleared for release and there are no outstanding discharge instructions, the attendant nun bids you good day, barely even glancing at your peculiar companion. Winding your way down to the main entrance, you encounter all sorts coming and going: old and young, a sling-armed leopardmorph, an underdressed man literally blue from exposure. You pull the shawl a little more snugly as you step outside into the unseasonable cold: you've had snow before, but this lingering blanket has formed drifts as high as your knees, and rumours are blaming everything from climatic shift to a sorcerous conspiracy. Fortunately the main roads have been cleared and you have no trouble treading the winding cobblestones to the town below.

    Once you've put some distance behind the hospice and the traffic tapers off, the girl falls in step beside you. "So, where to now?" you ask, realizing she never actually said what she intended to do once she was out.

    "Dunno," she mutters, voice tinged with the same dawning reflection. "She'd just throw me back in if I went home, but..." What's her job? Would they let her live on-site? "No job," she shakes her head, "Unless it's 'volunteer' work. I'm not responsible enough to handle money." She huffs, a cloud of condensation blooming before her. "I'll figure something out."

    No home, no money, and no immediate prospects; what she's gained in freedom she's forfeited in basic sustenance. You consider your own

    1. family household*
    2. friend's residence*
    3. boardinghouse quarters
    4. cramped apartment
    5. chronic inn-hopping
    6. transient lifestyle​

    as you ponder whether you can afford to take her under your wing, finally deciding to

    A) invite her along
    B) wish her well
    C) gift her some coin †​

    * You can specify the character(s) to your taste, if you think you'll be orbiting close to home.
    † You can specify the sum, otherwise I'll default to a random low denominator. A detailed currency overview is in the OOC thread.

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 2
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Chemistry: 1
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    2 silver
    115 copper
    Doctor's note
    Fleece shawl (worn)
    Overdress (worn)
    Blouse (worn)
    Wool pants (worn)
    Thrift boots (worn)
    Simple underwear (worn)
    Satchel (equipped)
    Alchemical reagents​
    Hospice Waif
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 6
    Trust: 5
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
  9. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

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    1,a
    Re 1:I'll leave family up to the authors discretion, no real decision on that front.
     
  10. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

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    Getting her this far just to dump her on her ass hardly feels an appropriate dénouement; you tell her if she needs a place to stay, your family would be happy to house her. "Seriously?" she stops in her tracks, "I've got nothing to pay you—I don't even own these clothes," she grins sheepishly. You shrug; it's no problem, you've got a fair bank from alchemical odd-jobs so you can more than support the both of you. She glances away, chewing her lip and failing to hide a faint flustered blush. "I'd be a fool to say no... You're sure determined to get under my skirt, aren't you?" Hey, she said it, not you!

    "Nasrin, by the way," she extends a hand, "If we're gonna shack up we should know each other's names." The pleasure is all yours, you smile, exchanging a cordial shake and your own moniker. "So I'm gathering," she smirks. [Nasrin's Affection +2, Trust +1]

    Several minutes later you arrive at the Circle Road separating the outskirt residences from the inner town. Fluffy clouds drift through the late morning sky, sunlight cutting through the chill as you ponder how to proceed.

    1. You have your mission: Go find Beatrice's home.
    2. Visit the Astley estate and get the family's story.
    3. Browse the market for supplies.
    4. Search for a mentor at the university.
    5. Check in at your father's carpentry business.
    6. Introduce your new friend to Mom.
    7. See about getting her stuff back from her stepmother.
    8. Head off in a cardinal direction of your choosing:
    North leads into a mountain pass;
    Immediately East is Saint Catherine's Hospice;
    South connects to the regional thoroughfare;
    West is forested foothills.​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 2
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Chemistry: 1
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    2 silver
    115 copper
    Doctor's note
    Fleece shawl (worn)
    Overdress (worn)
    Blouse (worn)
    Wool pants (worn)
    Thrift boots (worn)
    Simple underwear (worn)
    Satchel (equipped)
    Alchemical reagents​
    Nasrin
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 8
    Trust: 6
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
  11. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

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  12. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

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    Recalling Lord Astley's directions, you realize Beatrice's home is in the east end and shouldn't be too far away. You confess to Nasrin she isn't your first Good Deed of the day. "So you're a knight-errant, are you?" she teases, "Better watch out or a demoness will eat you up!" She punches your shoulder playfully. Not if you eat her first, you counter; the innuendo cows her into silence.

    Threading your way through the side streets, you enter a decidedly slummy quarter, the stench of waste creeping in from all about, ragged, unemployed denizens shuffling along the narrow corridors or slumped against grimy hovels. You wonder if you took a wrong turn somewhere; domestic staff may pull from all sources, but given His Lordship's demeanour it seems a bit odd he'd recruit from this low on the ladder. Taking a left turn, you scan the cramped rows of complexes, trying to find which two-storey house with the door on the left is the one you want. Nasrin keeps close, glancing about nervously, passersby eyeing the conspicuously-tidy-looking strangers curiously.

    [Moderate Perception check - passed] Just as she faces forward, a sense of foreboding runs up your spine. Spinning about, you all but throw her prone as you duck, narrowly avoiding the oncoming body. As it rolls across the ground, you skitter backwards, sizing up your assailant: a feline-morph, its face resembles a domestic cat's with tan fur and a white mouth, black tear stripes running from eyes to nose with lighter markings on its forehead. Black ears stretch high above its head, fur tufts reaching even further from their points. Drab robes suggest it's a local resident, but you don't have time to speculate further: it's already back on its feet, hissing sharply, baring pronounced fangs. You only have a split-second to decide your response before it launches a follow-up strike!

    1. Brace yourself for a fight!
    2. Try to talk it down.
    3. Take evasive action.
    4. Perhaps you can... distract it?​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 2
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Chemistry: 1
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    2 silver
    115 copper
    Doctor's note
    Fleece shawl (worn)
    Overdress (worn)
    Blouse (worn)
    Wool pants (worn)
    Thrift boots (worn)
    Simple underwear (worn)
    Satchel (equipped)
    Alchemical reagents​
    Nasrin
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 8
    Trust: 6
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
  13. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

    Joined:
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    3

    I didn't expect such a quick turn about. Feels nice.
     
  14. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    856
    Welcome to the DOMINATIONING!

    ~~~~

    Deeming discretion the better part of valour, as the cat-morph rears for another strike, you slowly back away and, making sure it's still tracking you, turn tail for a sprint toward the closest building. It takes the bait, overshooting the mark as you duck again; while it lands cleanly, it's right where you want it: you kick your boot into the lingering drift clinging to the wall, blinding the attacker with clumps of snow and mud. As it hisses and spits, you grab Nasrin's wrist and bolt down the first passage you see.

    Weaving randomly through the alleys, you run until you're out of breath, leaning against opposite walls as you scan your surroundings. Only when you're confident it's given up pursuit do you speak again. "What the hell was that about?" heaves the girl. You shrug: it's a poor quarter, and even modest dress like yours is a beacon to muggers. Nonetheless, this definitely complicates the house call, and you wonder if it's worth your while trying to circle back until later.

    1. Wait a while and try the street again.
    2. Visit the Astley estate and get the family's story.
    3. Browse the market for supplies.
    4. Search for a mentor at the university.
    5. Check in at your father's carpentry business.
    6. Introduce your new friend to Mom.
    7. See about getting her stuff back from her stepmother.
    8. Head off in a cardinal direction of your choosing:
    North leads into a mountain pass;
    Immediately East is Saint Catherine's Hospice;
    South connects to the regional thoroughfare;
    West is forested foothills.​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 2
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Chemistry: 1
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    2 silver
    115 copper
    Doctor's note
    Fleece shawl (worn)
    Overdress (worn)
    Blouse (worn)
    Wool pants (worn)
    Thrift boots (worn)
    Simple underwear (worn)
    Satchel (equipped)
    Alchemical reagents​
    Nasrin
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 8
    Trust: 6
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
  15. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
  16. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    856
    Deciding it's best not to try for Beatrice again until the heat's off, you opt instead to acquaint Nasrin with your family early, so they know to expect company for the evening. The streets widen as you leave the slums for what amounts to the town's industrial quarter, a collection of businesses in easy walking distance to the trading warehouses. One such office belongs to your father: you can smell the mix of fresh woodworking even before stepping inside, a half-dozen workers hammering and sawing what looks like furniture on the open floor. A young man—barely grown from a boy—catches sight of you and sets a half-finished chair frame aside.

    "You're out!" cries your brother, sauntering up and squeezing you in a tight hug. "You should've sent for us—Mom's been so anxious..."

    Patting his back, you assure him it's alright; in fact, it was probably best they didn't come, tipping your head toward your companion. "Who's this?" he turns to Nasrin, "Oh, are you here for business?"

    You ask if Father's in; besides shop, he also handles structural projects, and the persistent snowfall has led to more than a few collapsed roofs—misfortune to the afflicted, of course, but a windfall to businesses such as his, and he's been on his feet practically dawn 'til dusk for over two weeks. "He just came back from a job, I think he's still in—I'll go check."

    As your brother disappears into the back room, Nasrin leans in. "You get along well," she notes. You shrug, assuring her that there's plenty of sibling hi-jinks between you. "Yeah, but... at least you act like family." You turn your head, but she's already looking around the building; you're about to pick up that dangling thread when your brother returns with an older man in tow.

    "Oh, my desert rose!" cries your father, arms spread wide. Smiling, you walk into a bone-crushing hug. "When did you get out? Your mother was waiting for word—" Sighing patiently, you issue the same reassurances you gave your brother. "So what brings you here? Not that I mind, but I would've thought you'd head straight home to recover from... what was it?" his face turns grave, "Is it serious?"

    You shake your head; you'll recount the full story tonight. Backing up, you introduce Nasrin, a new friend you met on your way out.

    "Fair shade, Nasrin," he shakes her hand enthusiastically. "Any friend of my daughter is a friend of mine."

    "Only a friend?" your brother grins; as you blow a raspberry, Dad gestures as if to clap him upside the head.

    "Go to!" he growls, "A good apprentice is always searching for new work!" Throwing up his hands, the boy backs away, grinning innocently before returning to his table. You explain that Nasrin's domestic situation is complicated at the moment, and you'd offered to take her in. "Oh no," your father murmurs, "Do I know your family? I can pop 'round and have a word..."

    "Thank you, sir," she blushes, "That won't be necessary. I assure you, you wouldn't know them."

    "If you insist... but! Yes, of course, we can manage," he grins, endeavouring to play the good host. "That's my girl," he claps your shoulder.

    Though he no doubt has a full schedule, you consider if there's anything you want to ask your father before heading out.

    1. Ask if he's heard any rumours about the Astley estate.
    2. Tell him how you were attacked in the slums.
    3. Ask him how business is doing these past few days.
    4. See if there are any odd jobs you could do.
    5. Take your leave.​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 2
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Chemistry: 1
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    2 silver
    115 copper
    Doctor's note
    Fleece shawl (worn)
    Overdress (worn)
    Blouse (worn)
    Wool pants (worn)
    Thrift boots (worn)
    Simple underwear (worn)
    Satchel (equipped)
    Alchemical reagents​
    Nasrin
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 8
    Trust: 6
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
  17. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
  18. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    856
    "The Astleys?" He knits his brow. "Folks with their ear to the hoity-toities say that the Lord is at odds with his children; most people don't make much of it, but..." He scans the floor before leaning in, voice almost too low to make out amid the labourers. "Rumour has it a few nights ago he was arrested for disorderly conduct—they found him in a state of delirium, wandering the manor grounds in nought but his bedclothes! Word is he's cracked and they had him committed, but... well, it's not my place to speculate on the state of the nobility," he smirks, straightening up.

    Curious indeed! You can imagine why His proud Lordship might have withheld that part of the briefing... assuming of course he wasn't still living through a fantastic episode.

    "Why do you ask? I didn't think idle riche gossip was your circuit."

    1. Recount your quest.
    2. Just something you overheard at the hospice.​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 2
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Chemistry: 1
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    2 silver
    115 copper
    Doctor's note
    Fleece shawl (worn)
    Overdress (worn)
    Blouse (worn)
    Wool pants (worn)
    Thrift boots (worn)
    Simple underwear (worn)
    Satchel (equipped)
    Alchemical reagents​
    Nasrin
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 8
    Trust: 6
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     
  19. Azrin

    Azrin Member Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    7
  20. Dolfuss

    Dolfuss Well-Known Member Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    856
    You tactfully reply that you'd heard something to that effect from a fellow inpatient. "Ah, well..!" Dad claps your shoulder, squeezing reassuringly. "Never you worry about the blue-bloods: they've got more than enough money to solve their problems... whether we want to or not," he winks. Turning to Nasrin, he bows deeply. "I look forward to making your acquaintance properly tonight."

    "And yours, sir," she giggles.

    "Bah," he flicks his wrist, "No need for titles, my dear—I work for a living!"

    Chuckling, you bid your farewells and lead her outside as he returns to his duties. The sun is high and the porridge has worn off; it's still a little too soon to try the slums again, but it's probably worth revisiting on a full stomach anyway.

    1. Scope out the market for lunch.
    2. Rendez-vous for some home cooking.
    3. Visit the Astley estate to verify the rumours.
    4. Search for a mentor at the university.
    5. Pay a visit to Nasrin's folks.
    6. Poke around the warehouses for trouble diversion.
    7. Head off in a cardinal direction of your choosing:
    North leads into a mountain pass;
    Immediately East is Saint Catherine's Hospice;
    South connects to the regional thoroughfare;
    West is forested foothills.​

    Ego [7/8]
    Orientation (Female): 2
    Affinity (Nobility): -5
    Chemistry: 1
    Etiquette: -1
    Medicine: 0
    Perception: 0
    Seduction: 0
    Stealth: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Dudly Premonitions
    Your brainwaves occasionally tap into ethereal frequencies, granting you limited powers of prediction. Random chance for minor bonus to Perception checks.
    2 silver
    115 copper
    Doctor's note
    Fleece shawl (worn)
    Overdress (worn)
    Blouse (worn)
    Wool pants (worn)
    Thrift boots (worn)
    Simple underwear (worn)
    Satchel (equipped)
    Alchemical reagents​
    Nasrin
    A young woman you found lurking in the hospice basement. She claims her stepmother had her committed under false pretense of demonic taint.
    She has a soft, cute face, with a slender button nose, a plump, slightly protruding upper lip, and large almond eyes with bright amethyst irises. Her brown skin has a natural bronzed sheen. Black hair is cropped short, flat and wilted, curling slightly inward just beneath her jaw. Whether from malnourishment or the treatment she was on, her body is boyishly slim and without definition.

    She is wearing a silver-trimmed, dark-blue cloak overtop a loose-fitting stained woolen tunic and striped pleated skirt, concealing her white linen hospice gown. Loose-fitting boots adorn her feet, suitable for the snowy ground. You remember seeing a thin black string around her neck, likely part of some hidden jewelry.
    Affection: 8
    Trust: 6
    Lord Astley
    An old, and old-fashioned nobleman you met in the psych ward. Though hardly a gallant knight, he remains committed to honourable conduct.
    Attitude: -10
    A House Divided
    Among the psych patients is one Lord Astley, who claims to have been committed against his will so the family can seize his estate. He has requested you find his servant Beatrice, the only remaining member of the domestic staff he believes can secure his release.
    • You have directions to Beatrice's home and the Astley estate.
    • You may be able to sneak His Lordship out of the hospice, but he won't be enthused by the methods.
    • Lord Astley has hinted he will provide a reward for exposing the family's conspiracy.
     

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