After learning that Dyson used an underhanded tactic to try to get ahold of another one of my sentient monsters for his “collection” by using the debt Maeve owes me, I decided to call him out on it and get to the bottom of what exactly is going on.
I know Maeve is probably not as blameless in this as she made herself out to be, but I am hoping that this isn’t just going all according to their plan. After sending Dyson a message however I receive a reply back that says. (Perfect timing, I actually just acquired the gift I have been trying to track down for you.)
(You might want to hold off on that until after we have our conversation, as I don’t think you will like it very much.)
(Will you be willing to meet me at the neutral zone?)
Dyson: (Very well, I am ready whenever you are.)
I then agree to meet with him a in a few minutes, and then make my way to Belinda to let her know about my meeting with Dyson. I then [Gate] to the neutral zone, and find Dyson has already arrived. Dyson however isn’t alone as there is a very larger lion looking creature curled up in the corner of the room.
If it wasn’t for the creatures size being equal to a griffon I might think it is a simple winged lion, but I can’t exactly be too sure what exactly it is as the way it is curled up its large wings are coving its head as it appears to be sleeping.
“What is this?”
Dyson: “Your gift of course.”
“I told you to hold off until you hear what I have to say.”
Dyson: “I went through a great deal of trouble to acquire you this monster, and we don’t exactly see eye to eye, so I simply have no other use for him. Now, what is it you think I will not like?”
“I found out about the deal you made with Maeve.”
Dyson: “I see.”
“That’s all you have to say?”
Dyson: “I have to admit this isn’t ideal, but I don’t see how this changes anything.”
“You know how I feel about sentient monsters. Do you think I would turn one over to Maeve knowing what would happen after that?”
Dyson: “I would prefer one of yours, but it doesn’t have to be one of them. With the male she already has, it might take quite a while longer for her to acquire the ability to summon them herself, but eventually she will be able to.”
“With the deal in place I have with Maeve when I gave her Sorin, if she tries to force Sorin into something like that it will unbind him from her dungeon.”
Dyson: “That is if it is forced. I hear he’s quite the night owl, trying to sneak in late night visits to not one but two of Maeve’s female elves, and if I give him a few more options to choose from I am sure Maeve will be capable of summoning her own swan beastkin within a year.”
“You are not going to ask for anything unreasonable from Maeve if I refuse to provide her with the beastkin are you?”
Dyson: “As I already said I might have to provide a few additional options for the one she currently already possesses, but that is all.”
“If that is the case, why do all this behind my back trying to get me to summon Maeve a swan beastkin for you?”
Dyson: “The females you summon tend to be second to none, and I would be taking a gamble on if Maeve would be able to meet my expectations. Not to mention the fact my entourage is shorthanded as it is, and I would like to fill it as quickly as possible.”
“After just getting the succubus, you are already looking for something else?”
Dyson: “The deal with Maeve was in place before I acquired Desiree, but Desiree seems to be looking even more invested in the growth of my entourage than I am.”
“I can’t say I agree with any of this, and the succubus was a onetime thing, so I will not help you continue to fill your bed, but as long as you are not forcing Maeve or Sorin into anything, then it looks like there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it…”
Dyson: “You are quite right about that, but you know. Maybe I will just take your daughter up on her other offer until she can provide the agreed-on beastkin.”
“Maeve is a dungeon core and can do what she likes, but I do think of her as a daughter in a way, and only want what is the best for her, so I might not be able to stop you, but are you willing to risk what taking such an action will do between us?”
Dyson: “A simple swan beastkin could prevent all that. I would even provide the xp cost for its summoning.”
“Then you are leaving me an ultimatum? Summon you a sex slave, or you will turn my daughter into one?”
Dyson: “I have already told you they are treated like queens and are not mere sex slaves. Besides the xp I could provide to Maeve while she us under my care could be invaluable to her growth.”
“Fine, I will summon your beastkin…But I want some assurances, and don’t think this is going to end here. One of these days you may come to regret this decision.”
Dyson: “I am in no means asking anything unreasonable, in fact you and your daughter are benefiting from this simple trade far more then I, so to make it sound like some nefarious deed to make you feel better about yourself is of no fault of mine.”
“I want assurances that you will no longer try anything like this with Maeve, or any of my daughters like this again.”
“You will also never ask for me to summon someone for this purpose for you, ever again.”
Dyson: “Never, is quite a long time…”
“I’m not done. I will do my best to summon this beastkin to want to do as you ask, but at any point she says no that is the end of it. I don’t care if it is now, 5 years from now, or 100 years from now you will not force anything on her, or abandon her because she is no longer of interest to you.”
Dyson: “This is just a beastkin we are talking about…”
A voice then sounds from under the wings of the sleeping lion that is quite majestic, while still powerful and deep.
Lion: “So these are the kinds of deals you make, young one?”
“Young one, do you mean me?”
The lion then stands tucking its large feathered wings against its lion like body revealing a large but human like head on the lion-like creature.
Dyson: “He means me… And what of it?”
Lion: “I have to say if you brought me to be impressed, I am far from it.”
Dyson: “You know why I brought you here, but I that doesn’t mean I don’t have other business to take care of as well.”
Lion: “I find this whole ordeal in bad taste.”
“I quite agree with you there…”
Dyson: “Don’t listen to him, he is just him being a pain in my ass, now are we going to do this or what?”
“Do you agree to my terms?”
Dyson looks to the lion then back to me and says. “Fine.” He then opens his [Menu] preparing a xp bead and tossing it to me after he is finished.
“I would like to speak to her before you meet her, so I will go to the other room.”
Dyson scowls at the lion, and it ignores him wcurling back up in the corner of the room. I then head to the other room while opening my [Menu] after breaking down the xp bead I summon some clothes and then select the swan beastkin.
I am not sure on what to focus on, I know what Dyson expects, and it was rather easy when summoning the succubus, but for a beastkin it just doesn’t seem right. I don’t know if I feel strongly enough for this to work, but I give it my best shot.
As the light coalesces into a humanoid figure, I can already tell she has a rather petite, but beautiful figure, with over half her height being leg length. Turning away as the light drips off her and briefly pools on the floor before disappearing, I offer her some simple clothes. As she’s not the first swan beastkin I’ve summoned, I already know which type would fit her, so I can soon turn around to find her already dressed.
Her face is round and cute, with an immediately endearing quality to it. She’s beautiful, but I wouldn’t call her alluring. As my sight takes in the rest of her figure and I notice the way in which her voluptuous breasts push against her dress, I realize I must have been putting a bit too much thought into it as they are somewhat large, when taking her overall height into account.
Her hair is like golden wheat and almost seems to shine from within, and it reaches down to the base of her hips, light and straight. She then looks at me with rather worried expression as she speaks with a song like voice.
Swan Beastkin: “I’m sorry Master, but I don’t know if I can do what you expect of me…”
“I am sorry for asking something like that from you, but I didn’t really have much of a choice.”
Swan Beastkin: “No, I understand, but that’s not exactly it. Your agreement will allow me to tell Elder Dyson no, but it isn’t like I don’t find the prospect of being near him to be appealing. I just don’t know if I can be all that he wants me to be.”
“Well what is it you want to do then?”
Swan Beastkin: “Well first, I would like to meet him. He can then give me a name and maybe that will put my mind to ease a bit.”
“You sure you want him to name you?”
Swan Beastkin: “If I am to join him, then yes I would like my permanent Master to give me my name.”
“If you are sure, then let’s go meet him then.”
I give her an ultimate command and she then follows me from the room no problem but once we approach to enter the room where Dyson is she seems to grow quite nervous. When I open the door she quickly hides behind my back, not that her wings will let her do a very good job at it, but she grabs the back of my shirt and I can tell she is even shaking a bit.
“Are you sure you are up for this?”
Swan Beastkin: “I have to be, right?”
Dyson: “What is this?”
“Just give her a second…”
The swan beastkin takes a deep breath and let’s go of my shirt. She is still shaking a bit as she steps out from behind me lowering her head not to meet with Dyson’s gaze. Dyson moves forward to check her out, but she uses her wings to shield herself from him.
Dyson: “Are you going to let me get a look at you?”
Swan Beastkin: “I’m sorry, I am a bit nervous.” –She says lowering her wings enough for her face to peek out above them, but she tries to avoid eye contact with Dyson.-
Dyson: “Well from what I can tell her appearance is what I have come to expect from your work, but her personality seems to have been a failure, perhaps we will have better luck on the next try.”
“There is no next try!”
The swan beastkin quickly steps forward grabbing Dyson’s arm, blushing quite severely before saying. “I’m sorry, but please don’t write me of just like that…”
Dyson: “Do you wish to join my dungeon or do you not?”
Swan Beastkin: “I do… But I just don’t know if I can be what you want me to be.”
Dyson: “I have only 2 needs for a woman in my dungeon, and that is either part of my entourage, or a soldier in my army, and a beastkin woman in with the soldiers of Mar is by far the worst fate of the two.”
Swan Beastkin: “I will join your dungeon, but I make no promises…” –She says while blushing bright red after realizing she is holding onto Dyson’s arm, and she quickly releases him covering herself again with her wings.-
Dyson: “So what name did Two-Twelve give you?”
Swan Beastkin: “If you will have me, I asked that you be allowed to give me my name.” –She says while peeking through the feathers of her wings.-
Dyson: “For those in my entourage, a name is something they must earn, but a name is required for you to leave here, so I will call you Angela.”
Angela: “Simple, but I like it.” –She says while lowering her wings again, while lightly blushing.-
“Are you sure this is what you want?”
Angela: “Yes, I want to be with Elder Dyson.”
I am still not too sure about this, but I accept her name in [Menu] and then say. “Then I take that to mean our deal is complete, and you will leave Maeve out of this?”
Dyson: “I am not sure your daughter will be happy in losing out on the xp she could have gained, and this is not exactly the deal I had in mind, but yes I believe this will work.” –He then turns to the lion.- “Now, it is your turn.”
The lion stands again and gives Dyson an angry look. “As if I answer to you.”
Dyson: “We shall see.” –He takes Angela by the arm causing her to blush and they then disappear before I have a chance to say another word.-
The lion then turns his human like head to me appearing to size me up.
“I am not sure what Dyson’s intentions were, but he called you a gift to me, but you are a sentient being so what is it you want?”
Lion: “Akil, you may call me Akil.”
“Alright Akil, what is it you want?”
Akil: “I have called more than a few dungeons home over the years, but to actually join a dungeon is something I have no intentions of. You do however leave me quite curious. Perhaps a deal can be struck.”
“What do you have in mind?”
Akil: “If you will allow me to take up residence inside your dungeon, you can gather the xp from my presence and it will give me a chance to get a better view on what it is you do next.”
“I do not know if I am comfortable with a one that could potentially do my dungeon a great amount of harm to freely move about in my dungeon. Especially with the one called the great hunter being able to manipulate others like he can.”
Akil: “You have no need to worry of the great hunter, as I predate the humans and the old gods. With the exception of the ancient dragons I am one of the oldest beings there is, so the great hunter has no control over me.”
“If you are that old, then your strength is even more troubling.”
Akil: “Age does not determine ones strength, or you would not still be alive today. Although I am capable of defending myself, I do not fight, and instead focus more on the path of knowledge.”
“You said you want to see what I do next, what do you mean by that?”
Akil: “I have heard a great deal about Dungeon Core #212, who not only has the ear of several of those referred to as the old gods, but some of the ire of several as well.”
“I am just trying to live in peace…”
Akil: “Even more reason for me to find you interesting.”
“Even if the great hunter can’t control you, I am still rather wary about having a monster not bound to my dungeon to be able to wander my dungeon.”
Akil: “It is your choice.”
“What was Dyson even hoping to accomplish with bringing you here?”
Akil: “After failing to kill me twice, I assume now he plans to use my curiosity in you for his benefit.”
“He failed to kill you twice…?”
Akil: “I am still here, am I not?”
“I don’t mean that. You said you could defend yourself, but enough to stop Dyson?”
Akil: “He was much younger then, although I wish I could say less wise, but in that aspect he hasn’t seemed to change much.”
“Then, why go along with him?”
Akil: “Because if there is one thing he got right, it is my curiosity in you might not give him what he wants, but still may end up to benefit him all the same.”
“I don’t really see how I can be that interesting…”
Akil: “There are many with their eyes on you, even the ancient dragons are at least aware of you by now.”
“Everything I have ever accomplished was either by pure dumb luck, or through the efforts of others. Even what makes my dungeon unique, is only because of what the old gods did at my birth making me different, and is by no way my own merit.”
Akil: “And yet your name still appears time and time again.”
I let out a deep sigh. “Well if you were capable of holding Dyson off, even if it was years ago, I don’t think if you wanted to cause me harm there is much I could do about it, but the xp I could gather from you could be quite nice”
Akil: “I will start off with the basics. I am simply going to observe you, and even at the cost of your life I will not take action to defend you or your dungeon. The xp you gather from me and maybe some wisdom I depart onto you will be the payment for allowing me to stay within your dungeon.”
“That is kind of harsh isn’t it?”
Akil: “You are only interesting because of the things you have accomplished, and being witness to your fall would likewise be just as interesting. Another point is I need plenty of space, there are rooms available in your dungeon currently that would serve my purpose, but if this extends for any great length of time, once the humans penetrate deeper into your dungeon a new space will have to be provided.”
“If you are not going to defend my dungeon the last thing I would want is for you to be a target, and rooms are relatively cheap so I am sure I can manage that.”
Akil: “The third thing is that I need my sleep. When you get to be my age you tend to require a fair amount of sleep and although I don’t mind you speaking to me when I am awake, but if I am asleep I am not to be bothered.”
“I am sure that is reasonable…”
Akil: “Very well, then I have traveled a great deal to meet with you here, so it seems like a good time for a bit of rest.”
I am still not too sure about this, but I could definitely use a large source of xp. I cast [Gate] leading to one of the large rooms on the second to last floor of my dungeon. Until the adventurers pass the orb door we shouldn’t have anything to worry about, and Akil should still have a great deal of difficulty reaching my crystal if he tried.
After arriving Akil looks around the room. “This should do nicely.” –He then spreads his wings flying up to the snipers perch on the upper section of the room and then curls up in the middle of it.- “Now if you will excuse me, I am quite tired.” –He says with a yawn then covers his face with his wing.-
There are still many unanswered questions, but I guess they can wait for now. I transfer to the dungeon core room to inform the bunnies about our new guest, and it takes quite a while to explain the situation to them.
I don’t want to leave Akil in my dungeon without me here quite yet, so speaking to Maeve will have to wait. I wanted to ask Akil more questions, but even by the time Belinda and I are preparing for bed he has yet to move a muscle.
We still don’t take any chances, setting [Menu] to warn us if moves from that spot, and hopefully by tomorrow morning I can at least get some answers.
It has been a few weeks since I first started my investigation for Dyson, and it has been far from easy. Speedy has been nothing but a slave driver, but I am starting to think she is punishing me just because of my appearance as she can’t punish the real Dyson.
I have been taking a few odd jobs and adventurer’s guild commissions to get by, and have even managed to gain quite a bit of experience, but I am sure it is just a drop in the bucket to the actual Dyson.
Following the trail of the shady merchant Darwin, Speedy and I departed from Korta making our way north into Livinston, and I am feeling hopeful we are about to finally bring this investigation to an end as the last spotting of Darwin was just the previous day in this very city.
After all these years, just the fact of a shady merchant like Darwin is still operating in the area is quite fortunate for us. After a bit more digging I find information about where this Darwin, is supposed to be tomorrow, so I decide to retire for the evening.
I can’t say the inn I am staying in is of the best quality, as it seems every piece of gold I have earned over the last few weeks that hasn’t gone to feeding me, has gone straight into the information gathering process.
Speedy sits in the chair across from my bed, that is little more than a bedframe with a stack of straw on it with a blanket thrown over the top, as I sigh sitting on its edge and begin removing Dyson’s armor. Dyson’s armor is quite elaborate and takes a great bit of effort to remove. There also isn’t much room for much else so I barely wearing my skivvies underneath.
I have grown accustomed to the looks Speedy is giving me while I have removed the armor over the last few weeks, but she just looks at the figure of Dyson in little clothing with a sense of longing.
“Thank you for storing away this stuff for me at night, I don’t know what would happen to me if I were to lose any of it to thieves.”
Speedy: “If something happens to Dyson’s sword or armor, you will not be the only one that will be forced to pay the price.”
“You know, I have been watching you for a while now, and I know I am not Dyson, but if it brings you comfort you can touch me if you like.” –I say setting down the last piece of Dyson’s armor.-
Speedy’s face quickly turns to one of anger, which is a face I am not unfamiliar with, as she looks at me with that face multiple times a day, and she says. “Don’t be absurd!” She and Dyson’s gear then disappears. I let out another sigh and get up from the bed moving over to shut and secure the window before heading bed.
I wake up the next morning by an ice cold wind blowing over me, and I find the window standing wide open with Dyson’s gear awaiting me at the end of the bed. I quickly move to the window closing it back and then start putting on Dyson’s gear.
Even Dyson’s gear is ice cold, and my hands even begin feeling numb as I am shivering while putting on the armor. After getting the armor on I quickly rush downstairs to warm myself by the hearth. Even after breakfast I still don’t see Speedy around as I set off in a light dusting of snow heading for the place in which Darwin is said to be at.
I arrive at a large trade building that seems rather reputable in comparison to what I thought a merchant like Darwin would be frequenting. A few squeaky wheels need grease until I find myself waiting in a large office for either the big cheese of this establishment. Apparently he is the one to talk to for any matters concerning Darwin.
I don’t have to wait long as a man enters the room in quite nice set of clothing. I wouldn’t call him an old man, but he isn’t exactly in his prime any more either, and he has seemed to put on a few pounds since the time he had those clothes made.
I stand as he enters and he quickly approaching me grasping my hand and giving me a firm handshake as he says. “Elder Dyson, what a surprise to see you here in my fine establishment.”
I am quickly taken aback, no one has recognized me as Dyson so far, but even if they did by calling me Elder Dyson they must be in some way associated with the dungeons.
Well-dressed man: “Please have a seat, I hear you have been looking for me.”
I don’t know if Dyson is supposed to know this man, but I don’t even know who he is. He is talking like he is Darwin, but Speedy didn’t recognize the name, so I am not sure how I should handle this. Luckily Dyson’s helmet is hiding my expression or I am sure it would of given away my surprise.
“Yes, I was tracing the origins of a particular item in Korta, and wouldn’t you know the name Darwin keep popping up, so here I am.”
Well-dressed Man: “I see, I see. I got this place off the ground, what was it…? Three years ago? It has been quite a while since I traveled around selling my master’s items. There are parts of the traveling I miss, but not being on the road 10 months of the year is quite a nice feeling.”
“So about this item…”
Darwin: “Yes indeed, what exactly was this item you were looking for? Was it something you were wishing to acquire another of or what exactly?”
“Something like that, it happened to be a slave cuff of all things, I knew they went out of style years ago, but it had some interesting features.”
As a merchant Darwin should be able to maintain composure regardless of the situation, but mention of the cuff makes even this seasoned merchant break out in a cold sweat. That also tells me even if he does know about the dungeons and he referred to someone as his master, he is at least not part of one himself.
Darwin: “Yes, that is quite curious my name show have popped up on such an item… I don’t recall ever selling such an item in Korta, or anywhere for that matter.”
“That is indeed curious, because I heard it was sold to a beastkin man in service of the Korta prince by you, and he was promised a great deal of the cuff’s magical properties.”
Darwin: “You know what it’s like trying to sell up an item to someone like that!”
“So you are acknowledging to the fact that you sold him the cuff now?”
Darwin: “I didn’t say that!”
“Look, I am not interested in you. I just want to know where you acquired the cuff.”
Darwin: “It was the same place I used to acquire all of my goods, from my master, but she didn’t make that item herself I believe she received it from another in a trade…”
“Another change of hands… Who did she receive it from?”
Darwin: “From your predecessor… Leland…”
“You are telling me your master acquired the cuff I am looking for from an Elder?”
Darwin: “Well maybe if you didn’t let your allies run around killing other dungeon cores freely, my Master would still be alive and you could of asked her yourself!”
I don’t even know how to respond to that as I don’t even know who this man’s Master was much less if Dyson was somehow responsible. Luckily I am saved from having to say anything else because the door of the office explodes and I find Speedy standing next to me.
Speedy: “Master, come quick.” –She then grabs my arm and we are gone.-
When Speedy finally comes to a stop we are standing in a large snow covered field.
“You really saved me back there… Not that I think he was about to attack me, but if I had to keep talking I was sure to expose myself sooner rather than later.”
Speedy: “That was the reason for my action. Dyson didn’t recall any Darwin when I asked about him, but after doing a fair amount more digging after you acquired the information yesterday Dyson and I were able to put it together. Darwin has contacts with Lucille, and his old Master was one of the dungeon cores she had trained. If Lucille managed to get information about Dyson having you act in his place it really could cause him some problems.”
“Then I guess it really is a good thing you bailed me out of that jam, but I was able to gain a bit more information about the cuff before you showed up. Apparently the cuff came from the old Elder Leland.”
Speedy: “That is impossible!”
“That is where Darwin said the cuff came from…”
Speedy: “I have to inform Dyson immediately!” –She says then disappears.-
“What about me?!” –I call out into the empty field, but even I know it’s too late for her to hear me.-
I let out a deep sigh and look around. I don’t even know where I am…