Dusty Throne Room

Image

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Encounter Conditions

Etheric
Wearing wispy hospital pants
Passed Shining Castle or Bedridden King encounters

Initial Text

You make your way into an ancient throne room. Dust clinging to the walls and dancing through the air seems to dull many of the figures or perhaps it's only their drab clothing.

Three people stand out: a queen sitting on the throne, a much younger man standing near her… perhaps her son, and the court's fool.

The atmosphere is heavy, with even the fool scowling as though he's forgotten how to smile.

Summary of Choices

  1. Approach the queen
    1. Bow your head - Gain 30 duration of Bent Knee, or learn Royal Decree with a consort crown equipped
    2. Talk about the king - something happens
    3. Speak for the sorceress (After besting the Fool and then talking to the Sorceress about it) - something happens
    4. Offer the flower - (Only with a flower of the dragon in inventory, not equipped, after talking about the king) - something happens
    5. Offer the draught - (Only with a draught of immortality in inventory)
      1. Of course - Get consort crown, ends wispy hospital pants encounters for the day.
      2. I must consider - Ends wispy hospital pants encounters for the day.
    6. Offer dragon's blood - (Only with dragon blood in inventory) something happens
    7. Leave her be - Nothing
  2. Talk to the prince
    1. Just chat - 2 XP in Perception
    2. Spar with him - something happens
    3. Give him the documents - Unlocks 'Talk about the throne', lose cellar documents. (With cellar documents)
    4. Talk about the throne - Get princely sword, ends wispy hospital pants encounters for the day. (After giving him the cellar documents and giving the queen dragon blood?)
    5. Leave him be - Nothing
  3. Heed the fool
    1. Join his chatter - something happens
    2. Change the subject - 2 XP in Reflexes
    3. Show him the documents - (Only with cellar documents in inventory)
      1. Let's go! - Get cap of fools, ends wispy hospital pants encounters for the day.
      2. I need to stay - something happens
    4. Leave him be - something happens
  4. Leave this place - something happens

Choice Text and Results

Approach the queen

You approach the throne, watched openly by the queen. Her gaze pierces and judges, leaving you feel as though your childish sins been laid bare and judged.

Or, if you've given her dragon blood today:

She glares at you for a moment, then waves a hand to dismiss you.

Despite her imperious demeanor, you can tell she's weakening. Unfortunately, it would seem she's not too weak to call the guards, who descend on you as you consider your next action.

The pain is unbearable, like needles digging into your flesh, but it soon passes and you find yourself staring at the world with clearer eyes.

Ends wispy hospital pants encounters for the day.

Bow your head

You bend your knee and she eventually bids you to rise. It's just a ceremony, but there's something simultaneously comforting and faintly scary about accepting a place in the world.

You've gained 30 duration of Bent Knee.

Or, with a consort crown equipped:

She chuckles softly. "There is no need to bow your head. Arise."

Confidence wells up unbidden, filling your chest.

You learned a new Technique: Royal Decree

Talk about the king

She looks down at you for a moment, as though considering whether you had any hidden agenda with the question.

"My dear husband lies dying. But we all must die in time… it's said the only way around it is a flower guarded by a dragon somewhere beyond the walls of our little kingdom. Made into a draught, it's said to convey immortality." She shakes her head.

"But many of us have sought that flower and many have failed, so I will only say that one who brings us the draught will be honored beyond all others."

Speak for the sorceress

She looks thoughtful. "No, I should think not. You may have made my fool look like his title, but knowledge of a single subject does not make you a judge of character."

Or, with a consort crown equipped:

She looks thoughtful. "My fool is anything but… but he is also not infallible, as you've so ably proved. Perhaps you can teach her to respect her position and that of others."

Her eyes flash cold for a moment. "Pray she does not fail again."

Offer the flower

Her eyes widen for a moment, then narrow back into her practiced gaze. "That is the one. Take it to our alchemist, he should be able to make the draught."

Despite her schooled expression, her whole body seems to thrum with excitement, drawing all eyes in the dusty hall. "Do this for me and you will be richly rewarded."

Offer the draught

Her eyes widen upon seeing the vial of liquid. "So, you will give this to me?"

Of course

"This," she lifts the draught up to consider the light sparkling through the dust, "this will extend our reign forever, into the boundless paths of the future. Until the world has changed and nothing is as it seems, no one will be able to stand against us."

She favors you with a rare smile and a crown to match her own, albeit less fanciful.

Time seems to pass into dust, leaving you in a strange world filled with pain and strife, but perhaps a little less alone than you thought.

You found: consort crown

(Lose draught of immortality)

I must consider

"No," her face flickers into a frown for a moment as she stares off into the dusty hall, "I suppose it's something you need time to think about."

As you retreat from the throne room, two of her guards emerge from the shadows, their gunshots piercing through your body with white-hot lines of pain. Soon there's nothing but the dulling roar of gunfire and fading light.

When you awaken, nothing remains of that strange place, not her, nor her guards, nor even the smallest fleck of dust.

(Lose draught of immortality)

Offer dragon's blood

(Before asking about the king)

She sneers at you. "Do you take me for a fool? An gift, unasked for, offered as my husband lies sick from poisoning. Guards!"

At her cry, guards manifest among the dusty shadows as though they had always been there, with hails of bullets tearing into your flesh.

When the pain stops, you find yourself somewhere entirely different… somewhere simultaneously clearer and more complicated.

(After asking about the king)

She accepts the vial from you with shaking hands and downs the contents. "I… feel unwell. What? What have you done?"

As the other guests approach her, you're able to slip into the shadows.

(Lose dragon blood)

Leave her be

She waves her hand, dismissing you imperiously.

Talk to the prince

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You approach the young man. He's well-dressed, complete with an ornate sword hanging at his waist.

He glowers a little over the room, but schools a more neutral expression as visitors approach him.

Just chat

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You pass some idle time with the prince. Beyond his duties here, he seems to spend a lot of his time practicing and drilling with the soldiers.

It seems like a pretty relaxed existence, but you can see some of the strain around his eyes and mouth, like an ancient mask ready to crack.

You've earned 2 XP in Perception

Spar with him

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You spar a bit with the prince, but can't quite match his movements without a sword. It's a fun bit of back and forth, though.

You've earned 2 XP in Reflexes

Or, with a sword weapon equipped and some stat check?

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You spar a bit with the prince, easily keeping up with him. It's a good workout, but even better for your self-esteem.

You've earned 2 XP in Reflexes

You've earned 2 XP in Will

Or, with a princely sword equipped and Swordplay (in your deck? Or maybe just having Swordplay and the sword isn't required?):

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You spar a bit with the prince, unlearning some of your old methods of using the sword in favor of his techniques. It's very formal and seems to be focused on fighting similarly armed opponents, but you pick up some interesting lessons.

You learned a new Technique: Princely Form
(Lose 1 instance of the Swordplay technique)

Give him the documents

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You offer him the documents. He looks confused for a moment, then flips through them.

"This… could have gotten me exiled or worse. Thank you."

He seems to think for a moment, then sighs. "There isn't much I can offer you beyond my gratitude, at least until I ascend the throne."
(Lose 1 cellar documents)

Talk about the throne

(After giving him the cellar documents)

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He glances around, looking up at the queen, who's distracted by her fool for the moment. "It's said that there's a dragon, living in a cave beyond the village. Its blood is toxic, able to burn through even magical defenses."

"It's one of the only ways power passes from one generation to the next. Some even believe my father was poisoned by it, to bring someone new to the throne." His eyes flick again to his mother resting on the throne.

(After giving him the cellar documents and giving the queen dragon blood)?

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A little of the stress drops from his face as he smiles broadly. "It's finally time. The kingdom… it's so beautiful and it's finally out of her hands."

"I'll be happy to have you by my side, but please take this gift even if you must leave." He offers you his sword hilt-first.

Time seems to pass into dust, leaving you in a strange world filled with pain and strife, but perhaps a little less alone than you thought.

You found: princely sword
(Ends dusty encounters for the day)

Leave him be

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He seems to be pretty busy. No reason to bother him.

Heed the fool

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As you approach him, you can see him challenging the nobles of the court with wordplay and tests of knowledge. Although they seem drab and grey, fading into the dusty background, he explodes with life and color.

His face seems frozen into a permanent frown, which is incredibly incongruous but somehow makes the whole thing funnier.

Join his chatter

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The fool starts babbling on in a stream of incomprehensible nonsense. The way he dances and capers suggests the shapes of strange flowers.

You can't name the flowers and, frankly, aren't entirely sure they're real flowers to begin with.

Or, with the tome of flowers equipped:

dreaming%20dustnfool%20100.jpg

The fool starts babbling on in a stream of incomprehensible nonsense. The way he dances and capers suggests the shapes of strange flowers.

Thanks to your book, you can name the flowers as he goes, taking a bit of the wind out of his sails.

You've earned 4 XP in Will

Or:

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The fool starts babbling on in a stream of incomprehensible nonsense. Judging by the context clues and the occasional gesture at the ceiling, you think he's discussing something about the heavenly bodies.

But they're not any stars or planets you're familiar with, so you just end up getting made fun of. It… could have gone better.

Or, with tome of stars equipped:

dreaming%20dustnfool%20100.jpg

The fool starts babbling on in a stream of incomprehensible nonsense. Judging by the context clues and the occasional gesture at the ceiling, you think he's discussing something about the heavenly bodies.

Thankfully you have your book here to give back as good as you get it, because these stars seem super made up.

You've earned 4 XP in Will

Or:

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The fool starts babbling on in a stream of incomprehensible nonsense. The fact that the lights of the palace flicker as he speaks and small objects begin to hover implies it's some sort of spell or something.

It seems to be all in good fun, but you get the feeling he's mocking you somehow.

Or, with tome of spells equipped:

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The fool starts babbling on in a stream of incomprehensible nonsense. The fact that the lights of the palace flicker as he speaks and small objects begin to hover implies it's some sort of spell or something.

You match him word for word, setting everything right with passages from your book while he attempts to twist the hall into increasingly strange vistas. Eventually he slumps in exhaustion.

You've earned 4 XP in Will

Change the subject

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Despite your best efforts to change the topic, you're instead dazzled by a display of juggling: knives, guns, plates, bowls, and priceless works of art join for a dance in the air.

It's as beautiful as it is uninformative.

You've earned 2 XP in Reflexes

(Or, after talking to him with a tome of flowers equipped?):

dreaming%20dustnfool%20100.jpg

He gives you a private smile. "Well, things aren't quite as they seem," he nods towards the queen and her son.

"I think there's some documents that may shed light on our recent troubles buried in an abandoned cellar. Alas, but I cannot tear myself away from my job here, as foolish as it may seem." He winces for a second, as though he realizes he's lapsed back into character.

(Unlocks the abandoned cellar)

Show him the documents

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He looks over the documents. "Yes! Yes, this proves it. The prince… he's been trying to kill his mother, using the dragon's blood… perhaps… that might be what happened to the king as well."

"I need to show this to the queen, but I'd like to escape before the prince finds out… with you, if you'll allow it."

Let's go!

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He smiles and accepts the documents from you. "Alright, let's go!"

As you leave the hall together, he doffs his cap and hands it to you with the first honest chuckle you've heard from them. "Won't need this anymore, not when… where we're going."

Time seems to pass into dust, leaving you in a strange world filled with pain and strife, but perhaps a little less alone than you thought.

You found: cap of fools

I need to stay

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"Of course…" he smiles weakly. "Well, if you change your mind, it'll take a while before the axe falls."

Leave him be

If you haven't talked to him?:

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Yeah, it's probably best not to involve yourself in that brand of foolishness.

You've earned 2 XP in Will

Otherwise:

"Of course…" he smiles weakly. "Well, if you change your mind, it'll take a while before the axe falls."

Leave this place

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Yeah, you'd just be getting in the way here. You head back outside.

Notes

This encounter does not consume energy.

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