Part 120: Adventures with Briony - Part 1Awesome Adventures with Briony, Part 1!
The first thing we do is go to the party while knowing where the Old Forest is:
Then, we don't try to convince Briony that visiting the forest is a bad idea, or tattle on her to her parents; instead, we say, "Forest? Full of humanivorous monsters? Sounds great!"
After that, we meet back up with her at the palace. There can't be a civil war, or our options would be "let her go" or "hold her hostage". Here we have another chance not to be stupid (we could ask about her family), a chance to be needlessly cruel but nevertheless not suicidal (we could send her into the Forest alone), and a chance to underestimate Briony's dedication to this horrible idea (we could ask her not to go, in which case she'll go anyway) but instead we say, "So! About those humanivores! Let's put ourselves on the menu!"
There is no guard around the borders of the Old Forest. There isn't any need for one. Caloris has soaked in lore until the stain is permanent; even an illiterate fisher-child knows better.
But you are young and innocent, brave and strong. True heroes.
Hey, this isn't so bad!
It's kind of dark, but that's just because there's so much moss on the trees. It's pretty. It's like lace curtains. And it's quiet. You could build a secret hideaway here. And it's not too dark when the will-o-wisps are out. Little sparkly lights.
Don't you think, Briony?
You turn to look at your companion - and find her pinned against a tree, her eyes bulging wide, her fingernails clawing at the thick black ribbons which have wrapped around her body and mouth.
LET HER GO!
You are armed, but you can't slash wildly at the tendrils without harming Briony more than the beast which holds her.
In a panic, you slide off your horse, grab up a handful of stinging nettles, not even feeling the pain, and rub them against the black tentacles.
You hear a tearing sound, and the monster's ropy arms convulse, allowing Briony to fall to the forest floor.
Unfortunately, the horses, now free of their riders, bolt and leave you alone with an angry tentacled thing.
Grabbing Briony's hand, you tear through the brush, heading back in the direction you came as best you can.
After a few minutes of sheer terror, you are able to reclaim your steeds and flee to safer environs.
The two of you manage to return to the castle safely before the week's end, but with no time for any extra activities.
The Horses check is the one partial success possibility: if you aren't quite as skilled with them, it takes longer to get to them and Briony trips and falls, at which point you need to either leave her behind or pass a Dance check to keep running with her. I don't have a save without sufficient Horses, and the debugging console doesn't let you reduce your skills; can somebody else show this off?
The Sense Magic check, on the other hand, is just for flavor: when you ask Briony what she thinks about the forest, instead of repeating her name when she doesn't say anything...
There is magic in the air. Nearby... and strong.
Then you turn to look at Briony, and you find her in the same situation as before. All the other checks are pass/fail, also known as live/die.
Because the weekend activity is skipped and the afraid/angry axis is the leftmost of the four, Elodie will be afraid next week, even if all the other axes are also maxed out.