Worth the Candle, Ch 75: Stats for Nerds

PHY

8
7 POW 20 Unarmed Combat 21 One-handed Weapons 21 Two-handed Weapons 20 Improvised Weapons
7 SPD 20 Thrown Weapons 20 Dual Wield 2 Stealth 15 Bows
7 END 21 Rifles 20 Parry 20 Dodge 21 Athletics
MEN

9
8 CUN 12 Engineering 1 Shields 3 Unarmored 9 Medium Armor
8 KNO 0 Heavy Armor 14 Horticulture 0 Vibrational Magic 0 Still Magic
8 WIS 24 Blood Magic 24 Bone Magic 20 Gem Magic 0 Tree Magic
SOC

3
2 CHA 0 Fire Magic 0 Water Magic 0 Velocity Magic 0 Revision Magic
4 INS 21 Skin Magic 23 Essentialism 0 Library Magic 2 Debate
2 POI 7 Analysis 0 Language 6 Flattery 6 Comedy
  1 LUK 6 Romance 10 Intimidation 6 Lying 0 Spirit

Quests
Straddling Worlds: There are others like you, those with dreams of a place called Earth. The so-called dream-skewered are studied at the Athenaeum of Speculation and Scrutiny. You can travel there to find out more.
God Botherer: There are gods in this world, titans of power and masters of domains, each their own creature with their own special rules. Tread carefully around these creatures, especially if you wish to someday join their ranks.
The Lost King, Found?: Five hundred years ago, Uther Penndraig, figure of legend, King of Anglecynn, and ancestor of Amaryllis, disappeared from this world while on a quest of grave importance. This enduring mystery must have an answer for those brave or foolish enough to seek it, mustn’t it?
Summer’s End – Return to the place where Fenn received her scars and bring justice to the elves. (Companion Quest)
They Say You Can’t Go Home Again – He had a life, before you, and you had a life, before this.
All That Glitters – Return to Darili Irid with Grakhuil once da has gathered enough gold to satisfy da nad self-imposed penance to da nad former clan. Speak with Grak to learn more. (500/1000) (Companion Quest)
Through the Lashing Glass – Far inside the Glassy Fields exclusion zone, the only place on Aerb where glass magic still works, lies a castle coated in shards. The treasures within are unknown to the world, but you could unearth them, if you dared.
A Room of One’s Own – The Boundless Pit is a mile wide and infinitely deep, a chasm from which little returns. The tuung call it their home, and imperial law agrees, but infinity is a large place, and a secure home stays stuck to the wall, waiting to light up with activity once more. Kuum Doona awaits.
Taking Root – The world’s last druid has died, leaving the last locus severely constrained and untended. Eventually the imperfectly self-regulating cycles of life within the bottle will fail and the locus will die, unless you can find a way to remove the locus and transplant it into the wider world, where it was always meant to be. (Companion Quest)
The Slayer of Horrors (0/13):
Murder in Duplicate – As soon as it was discovered by a precocious young girl, the ability for a person to duplicate themselves was excluded to a thousand square miles and that single person. Doris Finch lives her life in duplicate; to complete the exclusion, it will be necessary to kill every single one of her. (0/9,511,346)
Manifest Destiny – The fall of the Second Empire was, by some accountings, inevitable, but by others, it was the work of a single incident. The exact nature of the magic that allows the immortal man named Manifest to puppet his subjects from a distance is unknown, as is his exact location, but it is clear that with the magic excluded, his range is limited to only Lankwon, once the Imperial City, now the City Made Manifest. Defeating him will be an impossible task, but one that you have taken upon yourself.
A Door Into the Soul – Caldwell Gatesmith has the dubious distinction of being responsible for two exclusions. Through his portals, he keeps watch over his domain. If he spies you, and you do not meet with his satisfaction, his portals will cut with an edge designed to cleave time and space.
The Z-word – Captain Blue-in-the-Bottle is the reason that no one says it. That’s his word.
Everything Eater – More monster than man, no one has seen Rove’s face in four hundred years and lived to tell the tale. He sits at the center of a half mile of dirt, flesh, and garbage. If you slay him, you will be the first to have survived contact with him.
Better with Loops – Through magics unknown, a young boy of eighteen found himself reliving the same month over and over again, with death only bringing him back to the same crisp spring morning. Time does not behave within his exclusion zone, and only bringing a permanent end to his life will restore the area to normalcy. Beware, lest you be trapped in the cycle.
□ [REDACTED] – The more you [REDACTED], the more you [REDACTED], until [REDACTED]. Merely knowing his name makes him [REDACTED], and his gender alone is a piece of information you might wish you didn’t have, if [REDACTED]. Better to go in blind.
Unwavering – In the beginning, they said that the goblin inspired loyalty, until it became clear that what he was doing was more literal than figurative. To kill him, you’ll need to fight through a veritable army of his loyal servants, if you don’t end up becoming one of them yourself.
Fleshsmith – For millennia, fleshsmithing was a noble trade of Pendleham, one practiced by noscere and ignoscere alike. When a small cabal took the craft too far, exclusion reared its ugly head, leaving Pendleham as the City of Flesh, where none dare tread.
Aches and Plains – Perhaps farming might seem an innocuous thing to evoke the exclusionary principle, but given the time and attention brought to it by a billion minds, it was inevitable that someone would breach its deeper secrets. The land of Pai Shep is now guarded by a single warrior-farmer, his fields impeccable, his power absolute.
Guardian of the Underworld – A machine of vast intellect, funneled into the body of a broken man. The people of Aerb have yet to pass his tests, but perhaps someone of a different world has the wherewithal to be allowed within his inner sanctum.
Finger of the Sun – When the elves broke Celestar, there were a small few who continued on with their research. The product of their effort brought nothing but pain.
Gone to Seed – There is a place on Aerb considered worse than the first four thousand hells. Fel Seed sits on a throne of living flesh, unable to spread beyond his domain, but with a rule of horror within it. You know his weakness.

Amaryllis Penndraig, Loyalty lvl 15

Amaryllis is the most direct descendant of Uther Penndraig, the Lost King, which gives her special claim-in-fact to a fair number of his estates and heirlooms bound along cognatic or enatic primogeniture, ultimogeniture, and gavelkind rules. She was once a keystone member of a bloc of power within the Lost King’s Court, but now she has been cast out through means both semi-legal and downright nefarious. Her homeland of Anglecynn is forbidden to her now, at least until she’s gathered enough power to wedge open some doors.

Fenn Greenglass, Loyalty lvl 21

Fenn is a half-elf born to an elven father and human mother. Her childhood was spent with alternating months in the Isle of Eversummer and the colony of Rogbottom. While her ears marked her as exotic and dangerous among the humans, her teeth marked her as a hideous disgrace among the elves. She has never felt at home in either world and pretends to understand less than she does in order to highlight her differences before anyone can call her on them. After she reached maturity she held several odd jobs until settling into a dangerous, solitary life entering into the Risen Lands exclusion zone to take whatever wasn’t nailed down. That life ended when she was arrested selling contraband to a fence. When Anglecynn needed a guide through Silmar City, she was pulled from prison and given a second chance.

Grakhuil Leadbraids, Loyalty lvl 8

Grakhuil comes from the largely parthenogenetic clan of dwarves in Darili Irid (loosely, Gold Hole). Due to da nad skill in the game of Ranks and overall empathic nature relative to da nad kin, Grak was selected to leave Darili Irid for the Athenaeum of Barriers with the plan that da would return and become the next master warder of the clanhome. Upon returning home, da was entered into a rare arranged pair-bond with another dwarf, and fled from Darili Irid after refusing the Kiss on da nad bond night. Da has spent da nad time looking to make amends for the damage da nad absence caused to da nad clan.

Six-eyed Doe, Loyalty lvl 3

[I’d closed my eyes and paged through after my little experiment in experiencing awe and wonder, only to find that instead of text, the Six-Eyed Doe had a picture that expanded outside the box it was meant to be set within. This was the first time that the game interface had shown me anything other than text, symbols, or lines to make boxes.

The picture had various scenes, devoid of any clear chronology and bleeding into each other where they met. When I looked at it, the view zoomed in, leaving the rest of the game interface behind and filling my vision with only the pictorial story of the Six-Eyed Doe. Most of it signified little to me, because it was focused on rivers and forests, with the occasional animal. I focused in on people, where I could find them, and ended up looking at a full-on orgy with writhing, naked bodies of a hundred different species. To one side of it, up and to the right, armored men were coming in and slaughtering the people, but toward the bottom there were a handful of pregnant women sitting around, and beneath them various women giving birth, with naked children walking away through the woods, and some donning leather armor of their own to fight off the attackers.

This was the story of the locus, as told by some insane artist who had the ability to paint photorealistically at a yottapixel scale but lacked any idea of how to tell a coherent narrative. It took me some time to find the bottle, which sat all by itself, away from everyone. There was no attempt at being literal; it was only barely big enough to contain Solace, who sat with legs folded and her staff across her lap. It was such a small thing, in comparison to the rest, and that was probably the point.]

Valencia the Red, Loyalty lvl 16

Valencia is a nonanima, a humanoid without a soul, created by the essentialist Fallatehr Whiteshell in the Amoureux Penitentiary where she lived for the first seventeen years of her life. Until recently she was subject to repeated possession by demons and devils at random intervals, but now, touched by your magic, she has become something to be feared, for much different reasons than she was before. She is nearly a newborn, in some ways, trying to find her feet.

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Worth the Candle, Ch 75: Stats for Nerds

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