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The Stew of Tiamat


Ridai

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The party and their king are barreling down Entrée Castle's roofs on half the Round Table and a royal tapestry, chased by dragon fire, and all this would have gone much better if they had stew.

A few minutes earlier

The Heroes of Light started their journey to defeat the Great and Terrible Demon Lord in Entrée just about a week ago, carrying with them the hopes and dreams of the culinarily-inclined small kingdom, as well as much of the peace-loving world.

While they are out on their perhaps soon to be legendary journey, four individuals are summoned to Entrée Castle's throne room. The streets are still abuzz with stories of the grand heroes that not many take note of them, save a few looks (more pleasant for some, less so for others). The weather was sunny just a few hours ago, but clouds have seen to fixing that state of affairs by now, and quite thoroughly so, grey light seeping in through the grand windows of the throne room. The fireplace further illuminates the grand Round Table, where heroes shared meals with royalty, and the aspiration of the kingdom's chefs, to see their creations served on the very same table. A selection of local delicacies is arrayed upon it.

On the dais flanked by tapestries showcasing the kingdom's heraldry and history, as well as the royal guard, King Consommé Entrée sits the throne, dressed in his red-and-white cloak, his great and remarkable grey beard, and his physique that is no stranger to the varied culinary treasures of his very kingdom. Beside the throne stands his radiant daughter Blanche, famed for both her benevolence and beauty, a warmly smiling face framed by golden hair, the young woman herself dressed in a white-and-blue gown.

The king looks at each of you in turn. "Thank you for coming. While the Heroes of Light defeated the greatest threats to our kingdom before they left, we nonetheless thought it prudent to draw upon your remarkable... talents.", King Consommé Entrée says in booming voice, looking at the motley party in front of him, filled with rather... atypical heroes. The pause seems to be especially aimed at Eleanora (given necromancy having been outlawed), Princess Blanche glancing to her father as if to wordlessly say "Father, please". The king gestures to the princess. "Blanche, if you would."

Blanche nods, turning back to the party. "Thank you all for answering our request so quickly. While I cannot imagine how you must feel, not having been chosen as the Heroes of Light, please know that the Heroes, my father, and I hold your abilities and courage in high regard, and we hope you will aid us in keeping our people safe." The king seems to shift a little again at the mention of high regard, and once again there is the slightest motion in Princess Blanche in response, as well as an apologetic look at the party. There were few interactions with the Princess in the past, but her faith in you all appears seemingly unshakable, since the moment she met you.

The Almost Chosen Eleanora

Born under the Harmonious Star, Eleanora had almost been part of the Heroes of Light, were it not for the last-minute arrival of a more "fitting" candidate. She had interacted with the other Heroes, and though they seemed a bit uneasy when it came to Eleanora's, ah, "life" magic, they seemed nice enough! But it was not meant to be.

The king seemed fairly royally miffed when learning about her specialties, and the local cardinal was very adamant about the newer Harmonious Star chosen one, Kale. He is definitely a proper good fellow, excellent priest, even one of the nicer ones when it came to interacting with Eleanora! But also less... interpretative when it came to the arts of channeling life. Princess Blanche tried to reason with the cardinal to put both candidates to the test before the gods, but the cardinal would not listen, the gods' judgment apparently already having been delivered.

Eleanora was halfway to the remote (very remote) temple nestled in the Kipferl Mountains when the runner caught up to her, handing her the summons, handwritten by the Princess.

The Almost Chosen Santokumaru

Coming from the renowned village of Honyaki, seeking to master the Perfect Cut, displaying impressive skills with the blade and strength of character, Santokumaru was almost a shoe-in for the Heroes of Light. His choice of weaponry and technique were seen as a bit... unorthodox, true, but what is important is what is accomplished with those, right? The king seemed confused at first, while the princess seemed delighted to have a swordsman displaying such Entréean qualities in his profession. Well, the slander of Honyaki's Five Great Clans arrived soon after Santokumaru, casting doubt on his qualifications in the eyes of the king.

It did not help that a strapping young lad called Clove, wielding a longsword, wearing knightly armor and a dashing cape, and graced with a magnificent mane of blonde hair was also one of the hopefuls. Worse, he beat Santokumaru in a duel demanded by the king for the right to become a Hero of Light, and the lad beat Santokumaru! Fair and square, even! The worst thing is that the lad was also being so damn likeable all the time and extended excellent sportsmanship to Santokumaru! That is just unfair!

So while rumors started to spread and it seemed Santokumaru would continue to be shunned even here (curse those conniving Great Clansmen!) and would have to continue his search by himself, a letter from Princess Blanche arrived, asking him if he could still aid the kingdom with his steak knife swordsmanship and courage.

The Almost Chosen Tourna

Now, Tourna was a bit of an unusual choice to begin with, on account of being unable to speak normally, and being a Stewbot. They absolutely came with a lot of popular support from the Entréean people, rooting for the local mascot, and they could whip up all sorts of really nifty stews on the spot. Just think of the utility and morale! Who wouldn't want Tourna as part of the team?!

But the lack of normal speech was a problem after all. The one who got picked in the end instead, Saffron the Swashbuckler, ultimately ended up reading as more "Hero" than "Mascot" material. Saffron even felt really bad about it, asking the king and cardinal that since the prophecy didn't talk about mascots, maybe they could just take the little guy with them? Alas, her attempts fell on deaf ears, so only she became a Hero of Light among the two. Princess Blanche needed to console her more than Tourna, who... probably just went back to the tavern to cook more?

Anyway, a letter for Tourna arrived soon after. After having made sure Tourna didn't try to cook it somehow, the princess requested the stewbot to come to the castle to aid the kingdom.

The Almost Chosen Vesper

So, fun fact: while Vesper certainly was hired by Lord Reuben (a dabbler in a great many magic disciplines who is as jovial as he is dandy) to serve as a first-rate butler, it was also because Vesper seemed like part of the prophecy, if in an unorthodox way. His reputation preceeded him, of course, having graduated from the Elysium Academy of Culinary Excellence, with notable talent in the arts of Combat Butlering.

Still, Vesper arrived at Lord Reuben's manor, only to find his new master gone. An overworked-looking maid (Brie) seemed on the verge of tears of joy when Vesper introduced himself as the new butler, and also handed him a note from Reuben. Apparently, there was a slight oversight in the prophecy interpretation, and it turned out that Reuben was one of the chosen heroes! So he was off joining the Heroes of Light, but he would be back eventually, and he was very much looking forward to finally meeting Vesper. Brie would introduce him to anything he'd need to know, and how to access their finances.

There was some correspondence with the princess, apologizing to Vesper on behalf of Reuben for having been called to Entrée only to not be chosen and his master going away for quite some time. The elven butler, meanwhile had his work cut out for him, as Reuben had left the manor in a truly... individualistic state upon learning he was chosen (the dark rings under Brie's eyes spoke volumes of the lord's habits), so it felt like the blink of an eye to Vesper when a letter from the princess arrived, requesting his presence at the castle.

 

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At first, Santokumaru had almost considered not returning; the shadow of Honyaki's deception stung far worse than his tournament loss, and there were other kingdoms where word of his banishment had not yet spread. He had lost battles before in his path to prowess, and there was a great deal to learn from Clove's incredible cuts, slicing through defenses like blocks of tofu. But the knowledge that everyone assembled mistakenly viewed him as a traitor, to his village and to his people, was the hardest weight to bear. Santokumaru had already made plans to move on to the next kingdom, and he had one foot on the caravan when he received the Princess' letter, heavy with a tone of pleading desperation that struck him as odd. He had assumed that all warriors who lost in the tournament had been summoned back as a formality, to be offered jobs as gate guards or toll road attendants. When he returned to the castle, however, he noticed that the other 'hero candidates' hadn't been from the tournament at all. Why was it that the Princess would want him to return, disgraced as he was? Regardless of her reasoning, Santokumaru was oathsworn to accept.

"A knife is but a lifeless piece of metal, without a hand to wield it," Santokumaru says, bowing before the Princess and the King. "So too, is the warrior aimless without his cause. I do not understand your decision to call back someone as small in skill, and as..." He pauses, wincing. "...damaged in honor, as I. But if it pleases you, I would gladly be wielded by the kingdom, to whatever end you deem just."

Santokumaru turns to his newly minted companions, and bows again. "For those who do not know me, I am Santokumaru, a humble swordsman of Honyaki. It is an honor and a privilege to fight beside you, if you would have me."

~ Butler, priestess, mech.

The knife stirs; the first cut of

A new adventure. ~

Edited by Zashuan (see edit history)
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It was probably fairly safe to say that Tourna wasn't really that fussed about the whole 'not being a Hero of Light' thing. Or, at least, it hadn't shown any sign of being upset. Some more cynical people might have wondered whether it understood at all, given that it had happily just scampered back to the tavern to see if there were any new ingredients for it.

Sure, logically, it could understand that the Great and Terrible Demon Lord was, indeed, great and terrible, and far stronger heroes than it were needed to triumph. But in comparison to the dangers it had seen at the time it was first created, before it had somehow found itself centuries in the future...the Great and Terrible Demon Lord might as well have been a slightly inept bandit. And so, by extension, whether or not it was assigned to the mission to vanquish the Great and Terrible Demon Lord...just kind of wasn't a big deal to it. (Although, admittedly, it had drooped a little when it had realised that that meant it wouldn't get to see if the Great and Terrible Demon Lord had any Great and Terrible ingredients for it to experiment with.) It had even done its best to cheer up Saffron, patting her on the head with one of its manipulators when she'd tried to apologise to it.

Being summoned back to the palace having just been told it was unneeded didn't seem to bother it either. It came scuttling down the roads of Entree just as happily as it had left them a week or so earlier, and arrived in the throne room with a wiggling of its many arms that might have been its attempt at a bow.

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"Well, shoot," Eleanora's bright, cheery voice rang out, carrying with it the broad, thick accent of the more rural areas of Entree. Her voice matched perfectly with her brilliant smile, long blonde hair, and pristine priestess' robes (also in blue and white; part of Eleanora wondered if that was deliberate, but she set it aside)--and contrasted perfectly with the ebony staff crackling with unearthly energy she held in one hand and the black tome that seemed to be whispering in an unknown tongue at her hip. "There's no need for all this formality and fancy talkin'; as a priestess of Beneficent Life, I'm always glad to lend a hand where I'm able, and that goes double for my king an' princess, o'course!"

She turned to Santokumaru next, acknowledging his smile with a cheery wave. "Nice to meetcha, Santo--or can I call you Umaru? You've got quite the collection a knives there--lookin' sharp! Name's Eleanora; as I said before, I'm with the church of Beneficent Life. Lived most've my life here in the capital, 'cept for the first bit, that was on my dad's'n'mom's farm, waaay out east've here. Now I'm off to the Kipferls, or I will be once this job's been done. Hello Tourna! And I don't think I've met you, or maybe we met during the whole hero gatherin' thing? I don't know, it's all a bit of a blur, so many new faces there an' gone the next day! But speakin' of jobs--"

Quick as a flash, Eleanora's turned back to the king and princess, dropping into a perfect curtsey that still somehow looks twice as energetic as it should be. "There's a thing t'do then? Well, there's plentya ways to do it, I'm sure, so I'm happy to get started once we know what it is!"

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Vesper had a rather different take on the unique state of Lord Reuben's manor than the maid, maybe because he hadn't had to put up with it for long, what better way to prove his worth to his new employer than to make sure that everything was running like clockwork by the time he returned? There was so much to do, resetting traps for the cranium rats in the wine cellar ("They'll have to do for now, unless you can find me a psychic cat."), dusting and reorganising the collection in the grand library ("Does Æ come before A...?"), ensuring that the topiary stayed in its maze ("Clever girl...") and talking Brie down from tendering her resignation ("Lets not say anything we can't take back now. Why don't you put the quill down and we can talk about this. Look I made tea.")

He'd barely made a dent in things when a very official looking letter arrived from the princess herself, waiting until people back home heard he was already rubbing elbows with royalty! With his shoes and buttons polished to a near mirror sheen and every crease in his uniform meticulously ironed out he had arrived with the others and listened to the royal family speak.

"I am eternally at your service Your Highness." He spoke in return, giving a deep bow of his own before turning to regard the other not-quite-heroes he had been paired with, they weren't the most traditional looking group but he trusted the judgement of the king and his daughter implicitly "I look forward to working with all of you."

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Posted (edited)

The way the king furrows his brow when he sees Eleanora's staff and tome reminds the priestess of the Kipferl mountain range. The grey eyebrows and the deepening shadows cast by it all because of the ever-darkening weather outside aren't helping matters.

Princess Blanche raises her hands in an assuaging gesture at Santokumaru. "Please, there is no need to denigrate yourself! We are fortunate to have someone of your caliber." Looking to Eleanora, she says "Cardinal Rosemary sending you away came as a surprise, and I am glad the runner still found you in time."

The princess smiles at the assembled party and their greetings, and where the hearsay surrounding Santokumaru and the less-hearsay-more-physical-and-present-evidence of Eleanora may be weighing on the king's mood, the brave little Stewbot and the impeccably dressed and polite Vesper seem to balance things out again, more or less. Let's count it as a net positive starting position!

Moving on to the business at hand, King Consommé Entrée speaks. "As you know, the Heroes of Light, in preparation for their journey, rid Entrée of dangers that were poised to strike. While this did much to ensure the safety of our kingdom, there was no time to handle every potential issue. And vigilance remains as important as ever." It almost feels like his voice is accompanied by a low rumble underlining the importance of the matter. It is clear this whole idea came from the princess, but despite his misgivings with the party in front of him, the king is not blinded to them still being able to serve the kingdom, and he supports his daughter.

Nodding, Princess Blanche continues without delay. "Our guard has reported that the beasts of the Entréean Plains have grown restless as of late. At the moment, it is unclear whether the roads are safe enough for out citizen and traders to travel, and we would like to request you venture out to see if this a false alarm. Additionally, the Great Granary has submitted an urgent request to have produce from Sage Knorkus' gardens delivered safely to Entrée." She looks almost a little apologetic, knowing this hardly measures up to the Heroes' noble quest. To each of you, she hands a small insignia, carrying the heraldry of Entrée, crossed grains on a wreath of laurels.

"These insignia will identify you as having been sent by the Crown, should you need to interview anyone for information. I know these tasks may not seem like they require formidable individuals like yourselves, however I am certain our people would rest easier know that-" The Princess stops, having heard a rather unusual sound through the howling wind outside. As have you.

The next moment, part of the windowed wall to your left explodes inwards, as a massive dragon comes roaring into the throne room. Red scales glinting in the flickering fireplace light, black horns ominously silhouetted against the roiling clouded sky twisting above Entrée Castle, mountains of muscle beneath the nigh impenetrable armor tensed to strike. Baleful red glowing eyes pierce into the very souls of everyone present.

"FROM A HUNDRED YEARS OF SLUMBER, I HAVE AWOKEN!" the dragon roars, each syllable shaking the ground with barely contained ferocity. The kingsguard, shocked by the appearance of the terrible beast towering over them, draw their swords and move to protect their king and princess.

"I AM HAXENSPARGILIS" The kingsguard charges, and the wind rushes through the throne room as a claw bats them through the large windows in the opposing wall, leaving behind silhouettes of their passing in the glass and their yelling. The king has long risen from his throne, looking after Princess Blanche who had been knocked to the carpeted floor by the sheer force of wind. All of you fared hardly better, getting knocked against the Round Table. "AND I HUNGER!"

A tense moment passes, the dragon looking at the remaining creatures before it, making them wonder if they will soon be used to sate its hunger. The dragon reaches out with a claw, tearing through half the Round Table as if it were made of paper, lifting it and the greatest delicacies of the kingdom up, where they soon tumble into the great maw. Chewing, Haxenspargilis growls.

"PATHETIC!" Talons dig into the floor just behind the prone Princess Blanche, separating her from the group and king. Haxenspargilis fixes all of you with his terrible gaze, his maw coming dangerously close, as if to drive home the difference in scale even more. "BRING ME THE STEW OF TIAMAT! OR THE LIFE OF YOUR PRINCESS WILL BE SNUFFED OUT... AND THE KINGDOM SHALL FOLLOW!"

Princess Blanche looks at all of you. Fear is written all over her face, but despite this, she gathers her courage. You all hear her voice in your minds.

Run. Save yourselves, do not worry about me. Go to the Grand Granary.

"GET ME MY FEAST!" And the dragon roars, the force slamming the king and the party against the remaining half of the Round Table as you can all see the glow of fire starting to emerge inside the maw. Your motion does not stop, the Halfround Table getting picked up with you all, a tapestry getting torn from the wall and tangling all over you, and finally, sending the entire haphazard package crashing through the grand window.

Tumbling, you all find yourself desperately gripping the broken table, still partly wrapped in tapestry, as you duck beneath the flames roaring past above you. Haxenspargilis does not appear to pursue you. But that is the lesser of your worries right now.

You and your king find yourselves on the underside of the Not Very Round Table now pointing upwards instead of downward, barreling down the tiles of one of the many roofs of Entrée Castle, towards a sharp drop. You rush past jutties and their heavily ornamented windows and sills. Other, lower roofs can be seen at various angles beyond the edge, with oriels and poles along the walls just below the decorated roofs. But said lower roofs rudely do not deign to intervene by themselves on your behalf.

Save your king and your lives, so you may save the princess and the kingdom!

Chef Time Event!

You are going fast at a downward-diagonal angle, and you are about to go even faster at an entirely vertical angle unless you do something about it! The goal is to reach the bottom with all of you and especially also the king intact, one way or another.

We are firmly in the not all that serious fantasy action genre, so there is a degree of Rule of Cool at work here. Plus, all of you are actual (TT)JRPG protagonists, so if anyone can save the day, it's you.

You can all coordinate and try to succeed with one method together, or everyone contributes in their own ways which together lead to getting to the ground safely. Depending on your plan(s), I'll ask you for rolls to make.

You can also use your Fabula Points to make additions or edits, as described in the book. Remember that while you can save up Fabula Points, spent Fabula Points also provide additional experience points at the end of sessions. So maybe not succumb entirely to "Gotta save it for the final boss!"

 

And as a side note, given how Villains work in Fabula Ultima, the Villain Haxenspargilis just had his first entrance. Which means a free Fabula Point for all of you!

 

Edited by Ridai (see edit history)
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Without hesitating an instant, Santokumaru runs his index finger along the roof tiles as they splinter and crack by way of the careening table. He rubs the powder between his fingertips, contemplating something.

"Like... coconut shell. And... cashews," he mutters, to no one in particular. With a flick of his wrists, a pair of carving katanas suddenly appear in either hand, clasped between his fingers like assassins' claws.

In a blur of motion, Santokumaru whirls to the front of the table, and kneels down so he can plant his blades in the roof as they continue to slide. A stream of stone dust, ceramic shards, and red-orange sparks flows from each blade, while Santokumaru tries his best to maneuver them away from the rooftop's edge, amidst the terrible commotion of metal grinding furiously against stone.


Roll

Edited by Zashuan (see edit history)
Name
Roll
10
1d10+1d8 4,6
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Tourna had chirruped happily at hearing the fact that their task was to transport produce to Entree, without caring that it wasn't exactly the most exciting of tasks. It was...possibly a good thing that it hadn't actually ended up being assigned that task - most of the produce might have arrived at Entree already cooked into various dishes of wildly varying edibility.

Its response to the sudden arrival of a dragon was a fairly muted one, bouncing back to its tendrils with a friendly little wave in the dragon's direction, because there was no reason not to be polite even - or especially - if somebody else wasn't being as polite. The Princess's telepathy caught it off guard a little more, though, and it tilted its head on one side quizzically, looking around as though expecting to find a second Princess standing right besides them.

Before it had the chance to think through that, though, of course, they were defenestrated, which it would've probably been very happy to have something so exotic happen to it if it knew the word 'defenestrated.' It was still very happy despite that lack of knowledge, though, warbling in delight at the impromptu ride before reflecting that actually falling off a roof would be quite unpleasant.

Tourna's glittering eyes narrowed slightly and it gripped one of the table legs with its little hands, whipping its tendril-legs around and slamming all three of its feet into the tiles of the roofs, trying to slow the group down...

MIG + WLP

Edited by Llyarden (see edit history)
Name
MIG + WLP
9
1d8+1d10 7,2
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Nothing wrong with a simple protection/fetch quest! Eleanora beamed, opening her mouth to happily accept the chance to bring along some produce--

--and then things went abruptly (and somewhat literally) sideways.

Eleanora found herself somewhat bemused, riding on half of a round table and careening over the roof of the castle. She blinked, then smiled wider; well, saving the kingdom by making some stew is honestly more interesting than fetching produce, so this is a net plus! Well, once they stop the table from plunging off the roof to their immanent demise, that is.

"Aw, are we tryin' to just stop? We could'a leaped over to another roof, maybe... well, I wouldn't want to argue with the group, so stopping it is!" Eleanora commented cheerily, sounding like she was sitting in a comfortable room having tea rather than a half-round table falling off of a roof. She turned to Tourna, still smiling. "Here, fella, let me see if I can give ya a hand, of sorts."

Laying a hand on the wooden table, Eleanora's eyes suddenly lit from within with a bright, somehow black gleam. Her voice when she spoke was just as cheery as before, but was now oddly layered, with overtones of bright, lively chiming and undertones of deep, hollow gongs. "Say, you were a tree once, weren't ya? Don't ya want to plant yer roots and try growin' again?"

Name
INS + WLP (DC 10)
13
2d10 9,4
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"Don't worry Your Majesty, the situation is well in hand." Vesper reassured the monarch, his new companions seemed more than competent and wonderfully proactive. Still their impromptu transport was just a little too unstable for his liking but it was nothing that he couldn't handle. In many ways balancing what was left of the table was no different to carrying a drink tray at a dwarven embassy party and years of Bistromathics flashed before his eyes.

"Pardon my boldness Lady Eleanora but if I could bother you to take a small step to the left and Sir Santokumaru if you could just shift your weight on to your other foot?" He addressed the first two members of the party but as his gaze fell on to Tourna he faltered. How should he address the small mechanical creature? Did it have a gender? Time was of the essence, he'd work out the proper form of address later. "Keep up the good work."

Taking up a position of his own and standing just so Vesper was the picture of composure as he adjusted his glasses, this was surely going to go like clockwork...

WLP+INS

Name
WLP+INS
10
1d8+1d10 8,2
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Posted (edited)

King Consommé reaches out to his daughter Blanche and calls her name as they are all forcibly evicted from the throne room, followed by gripping the apron of the table with one hand, his crown with the other, and mostly unintelligible yelling vocabulary with his voice box as they are hurtling down the roof. Luckily for the regent, this unlikely band of lower-case heroes immediately spring into action with a well-considered plan and tightly coordinated action (from the king's perspective, colored heavily by Vesper attending him and directing the group, while showing not an ounce of nerves).

Santokumaru's blades carve through the roof in a shower of wood splinters, cut tiles, and sparks, the table curving to the right and away from heading directly into the sharp drop into the courtyard, just as Tourna has its legs dig into the tiles to slow the descent. The Semicircular Table's wood has a nice dream about being a whole dang tree again, with lovely southern-accented voice-over to boot, and decides yeah, why not, gotta stretch one's proverbial legs a bit. Thus roots spring out of the table's edges and surfaces, which has the upside of helping with the sttering and slowing down, but the downside of Tourna getting increasingly tangled in a mess of surprise roots.

Given their immaculate positioning, the Remains of the Round Table are surprisingly stable as it goes over the roof's edge, tangled Tourna flapping in the wind.

The roots snake their way into the masonry and the next thing the group knows, Santokumaru's curved trajectory is continued as the table swings around the corner of the central castle building by rapidly lengthening roots as more and more table feels like turning back into living wood.

On the inside, alerted guards briefly glimpse through a window their monarch and the Heroes of Light candidates rush past on parts of the tentacly-looking Round Table. Leaving the guards quite stunned for a moment before half of them hastily turn around and head back down the stairs.

The length of the roots is limited, however, losing their grip and sending the Table Crew sailing through the air unsupported, with a brief touchdown on a turret roof (they also see the previously defenestrated kingsguards hanging from a distant roof, and their colleagues in the process of helping them get into a window), further altering their trajectory, sending them straight across one of the balconies.

The servants looking out the balcony door to see what is going on and where that terrifying boom and voice came from, very briefly come face-to-face with their very stressed-looking king on a semi-circular-looking mess of shaped wood and roots, alongside a glowy-eyed Eleanora, Santokumaru looking like he is steering a ship with red-hot-glowing katanas, a suspiciously Stewbot-shaped trailing tangle of roots and tentacles, as well as an ever-immaculate Vesper simply standing perfectly upright on the high-velocity platform. The servants reflexively bow and curtsey to their king.

Going over the edge once more, the roots take hold again, the table remaining level as it swings down below the balcony in a half-circle before sending it flying towards the courtyard again, where they finally land on the ground, digging a path through the cobblestones, and finally coming to a halt. All in one piece, if perhaps a bit swirly-eyed in case of the king.

The guards on the ground rush over to them after a moment of stunned silence. "Are you alright, Your Highness?"

"Y-yes, mostly," King Consommé answers shakily, getting helped to his feet by his men (and/or Vesper, perhaps). "Thanks to their quick action." Gesturing towards the party. "What about-"

And an angry "ANYONE WHO IS NOT A COOK, OUT!" echoes over the courtyard, alongside a burst of flame and the calls for retreat. The king's expression takes on a glum pokerface quality as he looks at the top of Entrée Castle, framed by the swirl of thundering clouds above.

"Gather the troops, we need to regroup immediately and prepare for a counteroffensive to save my daughter, but not before everyone has been brought to safety outside the castle," the king booms to the men and women of the guard, who salute in response before getting a move on.

King Consommé turns to you all, but with somewhat of an emphasis on Vesper, who may or may not have been singled out as the party leader. "Thank you. Go to the Grand Granary and see that they bring the ingredients for this 'Stew of Tiamat'. It should at least buy us time for the actual efforts to rescue my daughter." The party knows the place, the Entréean Grand Granary, foodstore of the kingdom, also holding a repository of seeds for various crops and monitoring/directing farming efforts. All to ensure the well-being of the kingdom's subjects, and the quality of its produce, both points of local pride.

You also get the feeling you were assigned the side quest of the situation, at least from the king's perspective. But you have the king's gratitude. Baby steps?

The Table Formerly Known As Round, meanwhile, has happily dug its roots into the ground, starting to like this becoming a tree again thing.

OOC

Well done! Through your combined efforts, the king has been saved, and you all also more or less safely reached the ground (give or take some jitters and queasy stomachs, perhaps).

Feel free to talk to the king if you like, do things around the castle, or head out of the castle to the town of Entrée and/or the Grand Granary located there.

 

Edited by Ridai (see edit history)
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As soon as the table comes to a full halt, Santokumaru lifts his carving blades from the courtyard, and with lightning-quick spins, re-sheathes them into the massive knife block buckled to his back. After helping the king and the others to their feet, he assists in freeing Tourna from the rooted snarl with some fast cuts, creating a woody sound like chopping ginger. He then investigates the slashes hewn into the cobblestone, and jots down a quick sketch of them into his journal, along with a poem:

~ At times, your road will

Be uncertain. Do not lose

Hope. Cut a new path. ~

He bows once with his eyes shut, as if in contemplation, then turns back to the king.

"Your Highness, I am not from this region, so I know neither the creatures nor the legends. Is Haxenspargilis a threat known to the people of Entrée? If so, I beseech you to share what you might know, about both him and this stew he asks for, so that we might sharpen our plan with precision."

Edited by Zashuan (see edit history)
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There was some muffled chirruping and warbling from somewhere inside the mass of roots and branches before Santokumaru's blades revealed an upside-down Tourna, who tumbled out, rolled to a halt by the king's feet, and kinda stumbled around woozily for a few moments before shaking itself and brushing itself off - and then it scuttled back to the vines that had entrapped it, picked up one of them and examined it...and then stuffed it inside its body, where it (somehow) kept all of its ingredients. Whether a magically-grown root whose only connection with food had hitherto been growing from a table that had had food on top of it would actually itself be edible was...probably a little questionable, but that didn't seem to bother Tourna much.

With the important issues thus dealt with, Tourna finally turned its attention back to the king, letting out a cheerful warble and a crisp salute with one of its tendril-legs.

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Eleanora's eyes do not stop her black-lit glow (in fact, there might have been a ghostly hint of spectral flames on the edges; she's been trying to cut down on the melodrama for the sake of others, but some things still pop out) until they are safely still on the courtyard cobblestones. Throughout the spectacular acrobatic fall, she makes appreciative comments at the proper moments, as well as waving cheerily whenever they passed a more living personage. She gives the tangle of slowly desiccating roots that was once a table one last appreciative pat. "Well, weren't you just the most wonderful ride; so smooth! And your roots--now, we may have to talk about wrapping up nice people, er... golems... stewbots--sorry Tourna--but they were lovely! What a tree you must've been! Now, Rest; we'll take it from here." The roots settle down with a whispery groan, any last minute twitches (which are definitely only coincidentally towards any living creatures in the vicinity) going still and dead once more.

If the king's rather obvious dismissal of the little group bothers Eleanora, she doesn't show it; she's quite used to people sending her on "unimportant" "little" "tasks" while the "real work" gets done. It's surprising how often those same people take an interest in what she's doing, a little later down the line! She swoops into another too-energetic curtsey, grinning from ear to ear. "Well, of course, Sire! If there's one place that knows where to find the ingredients for a legendary stew, I'm sure it's the place where all the people're already mighty interested in food of all sorts; we'll figure it all out between the four of us, believe you me!" A mote of darkness sparks out of one cornflower blue eye before disappearing in the light of the sun; probably just runoff from the slapdash spell earlier, nothing to worry about.

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Finally coming to a halt Vesper stepped gracefully off what was left of the half-table and/or tree and reached out with one gloved hand to help King Consommé to his feet, the other retrieving a white cloth square from one pocket to dust any stray debris off of the monarch's shoulders.

"Think nothing of it You Majesty, I was simply doing my duty and I'm sure that my compatriots here would say much the same." It wasn't that he hadn't detected the hint of dismissal in the king's statement, it just didn't bother him, in his own mind Vesper was but a humble butler after all and the praise for their quick actions was more than good enough for him. "I will see to it that those ingredients are delivered personally."

With another deep bow he stepped back to give the King some space, while he was more than happy to begin their journey it seemed that at least one of his new companions had some questions.

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