Mahou-Shoujo

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  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
Lumina too had become aware that it's host lacked certain survival instincts and fears that most people, humanoid or otherwise would generally have, something especially odd considering what it had seen of it's host's kin so far, it was also sure it wasn't responsible for this, after all, Lumina's priority was keeping the host alive, and making them more willing to walk into dangerous situations did not help that goal in any way... Even if the consumption of magic that such scenarios usually seemed to lead to DID benefit them both quite substantially.
"I... Will be your survival instincts".
Lumina declared, wanting to calm the host by assuring it would take over missing functions such as that, of course unlike most instincts Lumina was a lot easier to ignore, despite it's best efforts controlling the host's body was frustratingly out of reach, so forcing them away from danger was limited to mental pleading.

"Very well, I will see you any time tomorrow, I should have the weapons forged nice and early, so simply come by whenever you have the time".
Presumably he assumed Ratty was very busy with whatever it was that heroic rodents did in their spare time when not saving entire civilisations (albeit admittedly rather small civilisations going by the memories of the other world and knowledge of this new one).
The fact that they could forge both weapons in a day also sounded different to the memories of the other world, perhaps being able to gain as much experience as a master smith without the drawbacks of age were at play.

Fortunately finding a likely shop didn't take long, there was a building similar to the blacksmith in shape, though rather than a forge it's outside area had lots of different tables and tools, and a woman was currently using some of those tools on a long sheet of hide, upon getting closer a rather unpleasant smell would become apparent as well, wafting out a window that sat almost touching the dirt around the building.
 

Fyrra

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  1. 1-3 posts per week
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  2. Female
  3. Transgender
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I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
Reminded that it now shared a body with Lumina, the ratling flicked its tail aside and acknowledged that it had been acting recklessly over the past few days, but it couldn't think of any more careful maneuvers it could have used to avoid the dangers it walked into in the ruins, apart from maybe not placing the most dangerous entity in the room between itself and the only exit on more than one occasion, but in the end it worked out both times, the first because Lizzy was able to find them in time and their combined efforts made use of the long fall, and the second because spreading around the bone golem kept it occupied with turning and divided its attention enough to be a detriment.

Perhaps, all the creature needed was to be more mindful of potential escape routes? If Lumina wanted to help with that, that couldn't be too taxing on them, could it? It was just a little more complicated, thinking of these things in terms of a group of rats or people. To that end, orchestrating a retreat would be a matter of creating one's own diversion to make a threat hesitate, and the easiest way to do that was to act scary. Frightening, even. Or maybe sling that sleep-spell around like a rope or a chain. Really, Lumina was already hard at work developing more tools for survival in dangerous situations. It would be difficult not to be happy about how much progress was being made on that front. But, those tools were wasted effort if the ratling didn't make use of them and just focused on hurling stones. Perhaps it just needed to be more creative?

Truly, this was all just a big leap in things to adjust to, and the creature couldn't have done it without Lumina's help. Having friends felt nice, even if the ones this creature was assembling were turning out to be the oddballs in their own cultures. Being able to relate on that aspect alone must count for a lot.

On an approach to the likely shop, the ratling raised a palm up to cover its snout and winced. That stench was too familiar: seared flesh. Were it not informed of the community's lack of agricultural development, it would have expected material from some sort of woven crop or fiber from people as hesitant to harm wildlife as these were. The rat glanced over to Lizzy before making its approach to the tables, looking over anything that might be on display.
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
The rat's retrospection on how it had survived and beaten the golems caused Lumina to make some new calculations as well... So far it's host had relied on others to survive, while Lumina of course was a huge asset, it could not actively assist outside of Ratty's body... So it had only one conclusion to make.
"More allies are needed, more allies lead to higher rates of survival, I suggest acquiring more lizards".
The voice was robotic again, but very clear with no halting, perhaps Lumina was trying to strike a balance between speaking quickly and in a more organic manner? It also seemed obvious that by 'lizards' Lumina meant Lizzy, and more broadly, strong, loyal allies in General, the elf siblings were strong but their loyalty was to their home first while Lizzy... Didn't really seem to have anything else in life other than following around her new boss.

It seemed that the leatherworks was somewhat well stocked, not as much as some of the shops in the other town they had been to, but a decent array of practical things, mostly bags, quivers, sheathes, a few belts, there was quite a variety in colour and texture as well, suggesting that there was no one source of hides for these things, unlike in the majority human settlement that had most of it's leather goods seemingly made from the same kind of hide.
"Oh? The hero huh? Sorry for the stench, some of the hides the scouts bring back need some extra strength tanning solutions... I don't mind though, doesn't hit me as hard as most".
A woman's voice called out as it's owner exited the workshop, wiping her hands on an stained apron.
She seemed notably different from the other Syol, for one thing she was shorter, and her ears seemed a slightly different shape, there was also small signs of greying around her hair, which had only been present on the oldest of Syol.
"If there's something here that you need just let me know, if not I can make more, a scout brought down a pretty big diseased wolf and I've been processing the hide for the last couple days, seems like there's a lot more cases like that, they don't show it too well but I know it's got the scouts all shook up".
Her speech was different too, lacked some of the finesse and uncanny valley effect that seemed to cling to other Syol.
 

Fyrra

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  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
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  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
More allies. More lizards. One could misinterpret Lumina's meaning behind the suggestion, but it did point out to the ratling that it wasn't entirely keeping its companion in the loop regarding that plan. So, it started painting a little mental diagram: trees represented the forest itself, and small representations of syol or uhar together represented villages. There were a few of them to represent the periphery, and a few more nests of ratlings and lizzies to add into the mix, each linked by a road or a friend, or something. The point was, they all stood together and helped one another with their problems. Surely, it could have been a thought influenced by one of the elders, as Ms. Pellinta must have had something like this in mind for the long term (and might benefit most from it, if she considered rats the most threatening force in the forest), but it seemed like a nice enough goal to work toward. Besides, if allies are secured by the nests, then the matter of conflicting loyalties could only be a minor concern.

Assuming the other villages appreciated the sudden relevance of rats as much as this one did, in any case.

It was a fun little picture to dream up while fingering over the items on display, because for the life of it, the ratling could find no use for a belt on its robe. Perhaps with other clothes... but then again, carrying a sickle around might mean needing to hook the blade onto something to keep it withing reach. The creature almost missed the owner calling out to it, once again lost in conversation with Lumina.

"So this is a tannery," the ratling observed when greeted by the shopkeeper. When it finally looked up to make eye contact with her, the familiarity of her features were not readily apparent. "No need to apologize. A smell is but a smell, and this seems... necessary." The story and explanation that followed quickly captured the ratling's attention, to the point where it almost lost interest in the merchandise on display. Diseased animals in the forest made for a top-priority concern, and just like the scouts mentioned, the young guest's face wore a worried expression... for a moment, anyway.

The creature had never met a wolf in these lands, so to hear the word for it aloud got it scouring its memories again, until a certain dream came to mind. Two of them, even! The first batch of memories contained the faces and expressions of various breeds of domesticated dogs, and how to interpret their body language, from ear positions to tail movements. Evidently in its previous life the rat had spent a lot of time learning the language of these creatures, though the pool of knowledge was a little less helpful in interpreting the behaviors of wolves. All the ratling had to go on with them was that, instead of barking, they sing in the night, and that it was probably rude to join in their song. And captivity stresses them out? What an odd thing to specify, the ratling mused, captivity would stress anyone out.

The other memory was just a reminder of the festival dream, where the ratling wore its mustelid mask and danced with the bipedal wolf. Her. The one whose warmth radiated from within and resonated within others. Combing over the memory got the rat's ears flickering, and after a moment it turned to face Lizzy with a smile.

"Wolves are here." News that would terrify some people almost made this one look wistful, flush with feelings only reserved for biting into a big, juicy steak. "Wolves are here, and they might need our help." The child's tone dropped back to the deadpan that accompanied serious subjects. It turned to face the shopkeeper once more. "Umm, right. Do you have any bags... not made from wolf?" If there was something the ratling didn't want to chance, it was offending other beasts by carrying the treated hide of one of their fallen.

"But, perhaps we should find a weaver or a seamstress."
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
Original poster
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
Lumina quietly observed the diagram as it formed, marvelling at the ambitions of it's host that had been but a simple ratling not long ago, of course Ratty had benefited from Lumina's aid and was seemingly reincarnated, but even so neither of those guaranteed that they'd want to do anything more than basic survival.
"This is... Ambitious, I believe it will be for the best as well, it will make survival much more certain".
Having what would basically amount to almost a united nation backing Ratty up would certainly increase survival... And also Lumina had to admit to itself that it was kind of invested as well, the only people it had clear memories of were the people of this forest, and though it lacked the directive to protect them... It was perhaps a little interested in them growing stronger.

"Yeah, the elder said something similar when I first arrived... They'd just been burying or burning the hides of animals they had to kill, it didn't sit right with the whole not wasting any part of a life thing... So they let me set up this tannery, they always need new leather goods so it's a nice living, and anything other people here don't buy I trade for things we can't make from the other settlements".
The woman explained, it seemed she was probably not born here among the Syol, and the comment about having to kill animals suggested that hunting was not a normal activity, but rather a duty in some cases, perhaps they had been culling diseased creatures to stop the spread of whatever was ailing them?

The shopkeeper seemed bemused at Ratty's response to the knowledge that there were deadly canine hunters roaming the forest.
"You talk exactly like the scouts about things like that I swear... You'd probably get right along with them, they're not all as quiet as that one you went heroing with either".
She commented before nodding again.
"Of course, many creatures of the forest end up dead one way or another and I usually get their hides, scouts brought down a goliath stalker that was terrorising another settlement deeper in and I managed to get it's hide for some new boots, the leather is tough and inflexible, good for bags... If you want to go see the seamstress she's just across the way, we do a lot of work together anyway".
 

Fyrra

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FOLKLORE MEMBER
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  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
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I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
Truth be told, the big impressive diagram was so far beyond the ratling's own scope that calling the project ambitious and not impossible gave it a momentary pause. Something in its memories seemed to suggest that it was impossible, or at the very least dangerous... but that was just the danger of visibility. Zooming out a little bit in the mental diagram, the communities portrayed in the forest gave way to the trees, and in the hypothetical map, surrounding the forest were a few crowns and funny-looking hats. Ornamental headwear, for some reason or another, either made the ratling uncomfortable or awakened a quiet hatred that lurked deep in the recesses of its forbidden knowledge, but at least pulling small tidbits of knowledge from that side of things was starting to have signs of topics that shouldn't be delved into too deeply.

From what the ratling could guess between context of that history lesson with Pellinta and those thoughts, The Brotherhood of Funny Hats was a dangerous and persistent entity, far beyond the abilities of a single person to bring down regardless of power, and able to destroy worlds if left unchallenged, and willing to massacre entire cultures on a whim. To survive against that was simply not a goal the rat could reach for personally: it took Pellinta's entire life span just to escape from one of them and build a thriving community away from their prying eyes, and from what the laborers among the Syol had to say about life-spans, that was nothing to take lightly. yet if there were several generations of rats, forcing a descendant or an apprentice to continue the fight against impossible odds would be a bad choice, but since that was a long, long time from this moment, it could be worried about some other day, or forgotten entirely: The Arraness certainly wasn't being asked how they felt about their efforts being built upon.

Zooming in on the mental diagram, particularly to one of the rat representations, revealed the part that the ratling was having trouble with: replicating the uhar elder's ritual to bring the rest of the nest up to the standards of the surrounding communities, then improving on all of them. It was but a single rat, and a relative child at that, but it was already finding conflicting information between instincts inherited from its past life and observable reality in this one: averting a crisis was possible with a very small active party, support from influential people, and a concentration of power. If that was how this world worked, then it would stand to reason that future adversaries, the kind that posed any real threat that couldn't be outwitted, had already figured this much out. Perhaps that was why the syol had a word to describe the job of 'heroing'? Or, perhaps that was just a description of the action itself?

In any case, the depth of this project probably had a hand in why the little one didn't want to keep talking about serious things like The Future with other, more important people, even if serious things like a wolf disease were still on the table for discussion because Wolves, or that it was comparatively simple, or a very brief introduction to the subject of inter-village trading.

"We live in a similar state of mind," the ratling had to say of its similarities to a scout, a sigh escaping its mouth, "though I would love it if I never had to go heroing again. Commanding people in the face of a giant, frightened, angry automaton is harrowing. Could never dream of an unseen force of terror removing everyone from their nests on a whim though. Hoping everyone's okay, but we never really discussed recovery efforts.."

Suddenly it cleared its throat. "Forgive me, I am being rude. This... stalker leather should make a good bag. We have things we need to shelter from rain and mud, do we not?" Cue a glance toward Lizzy, then back to the shopkeeper, a little bit of a smile forming up. "What would be a good trade for that?"
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
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  3. 1-3 posts per week
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  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
Lumina had something it could report on that! It had obviously been analysing the ritual that had changed it's host so much, it wasn't completely different from what it had been slowly doing in fact, just a lot more sudden, the biggest issue was working out the stability that stopped such sudden changes from resulting in a chain of horrific mutations.
"I have begun to understand the ritual... It can be recreated with time, though... Will need much power, and some way to focus, perhaps that is the purpose of the ritual?"
It was probably good that Lumina was on top of things already, the sentient pearl actually seemed to enjoy breaking down and reverse engineering spells judging from the slight almost happy tone shift in it's internal voice.
"I have also... Finished the sleep spell, it has not been tested".

"Aye that's a fair request, I don't think I could have fought a thing like that, besides you've done more than enough heroing, for what it's worth I wish you a peaceful life, least you deserve for your role in saving everyone like that".
She shook her head at the apology.
"No need, most of the folk around here can't stand the smells long enough for a conversation, so if anything I appreciate it, and it's true the stalkers are pretty terrifying, something that big shouldn't be allowed to be so quiet".
Big and sneaky did generally seem like something that shouldn't go together, hopefully Ratty wouldn't need to encounter any of them.

"A fair trade huh? To be honest I do a lot of my trades for good the villages can't make, those folks in the Periphery have a tendency to find a lot of things they have no idea what to do with or have too much of that we need... I guess I do some exchanges for coin so... I'll take a small gold coin as a flat price, keeping in mind this will be custom made and the leather is apparently considered 'rare' by folks outside of the forest, I can promise it won't break to anything less than a truly well forged blade either".
Glancing at Lizzy would involve a moment of thought before she nodded, it was on the more expensive side of bags, and it was their last gold coin... But she remembered reading some things about the magical properties of certain hides...
 

Fyrra

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I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
No reason to believe the problem won't sort itself out if we maintain course then, but it might mean rushing headlong into danger. By the by, grasping something of that magnitude is amazing.

The ratling exchanged glances with its companion again, unsure if using the last of their funds on a single bag was the best decision, but to say that it would be embarrassing if Lizzy's strange textile object were damaged by rainwater would be an understatement after all the effort they put into acquiring it in the first place. As for the creature itself, it didn't mind using scavenged parts: all it really needed to carry were its weapons and any food or water it didn't want to scavenge for, and while rain might be a danger to iron, there was always the chance that the syol had their own countermeasures against that sort of thing. Or, perhaps that was the purpose of maintaining their creations.

In any case, the ratling nodded back to the others in the room.

"A comforting thought. Peace is unlikely, but a nice sentiment. We are having arms forged in... anticipation." Though to be fair, it could be more cost-effective to go back to the ruins and pick some weapons out, but given their age, the ratling didn't want to risk their decay leading to a malfunction. "I guess I can relate. Something small like me should not be strong, yes?"

The mention of other periphery communities trading goods for other goods caught the child's attention, and it quickly pulled itself from prodding at the other random bits of merchandise on display to give the tanner a direct look. "Oh! We should know about this for when we establish trade. It wouldn't do to focus our nest on creating things the rest of us in the forest have a surplus of. Are you familiar enough with the other villages to know what they tend to trade in?"

Naturally, mingling with the locals led to plans to mingle the nest with this village at some point in the future.

"Hm... well, the bag is for my friend. She carries the important stuff. Most of it." Cue a glance down to the golem core in the ratling's hands. Outside of Enial this might be a dangerous thing to have out in the open, but here it was getting sunlight and seeing the world.
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
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  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
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  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
Though it was the last of their small yellow coins, they still had some of the larger shiny white ones, though it wasn't like having no money was a permanent situation, just as they were buying things there were surely going to be things that the various villages would want to buy as well.
Lumina specifically seemed to have ideas.
"The ruins... Humans find them interesting, perhaps... Some things could be sold to both acquire funds and stave off their curiosity?"
Perhaps if the humans had a bunch of junk from the ruins they might stop sending people to loot them for a while? Since they would already have lots of things to eat, since that was presumably what they did with all the magical rocks and shiny things they stole, after all that was clearly how one would harvest the power of them.

"Hmm... You wanna know about trade and the like? Well normally that kinda info costs money but tell ya what, if you happen to come upon any random hides let me know and I'll consider this an investment".
She seemed to enjoy her craft, and seeking more resources to continue working was probably something difficult since she currently relied on animals dying from disease, age or other niche reasons like mercy or defence.
"There isn't a whole lot of complex goods made in this area, we are mostly set on things like tools, weapons, clothes and simple foods, one of the periphery villages also does a good trade on rough textiles, mostly linen clothes and flax ropes, and one of the uhar villages makes candle wax, but that's about it, there used to be a glass blower but he moved off to one of the big cities for a bigger customer base".
It seems this area wasn't at all industrialised, there were plenty of gaps for a possible trade.

"Oh? She's a mage right? Yeah I guess it makes sense to keep valuables with those types, they're less likely to be a position where something can be damaged in a fight, right then miss, if you wouldn't mind I'll do a quick bit of measuring to make sure the bag sits comfortable and then I can accept payment and get to work".
Lizzy seemed okay with that and nodded her consent, causing the leatherworker to quickly grab some marked pieces of string and do her measurements.
"Much easier to measure than the scouts... I swear they always puff out their chests and arch their backs... Then complain when their quivers and bags don't sit right".
 

Fyrra

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Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. One post per week
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  2. Female
  3. Transgender
Genres
I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
Would that not entice them further? To know there are things they desire could only whet their appetite, no?

Lumina's plan gave the ratling further cause to ruminate. Selling things to the predominantly human settlements still didn't sit right with it, but it could be the easiest way to bring in a decent amount of funding for their expeditions. The easiest way, apart from finding somebody to work for, in any case. That even the sharing of knowledge had a financial cost attached to it was even more annoying: if even the syol had fallen victim to this practice, it was no surprise they might be unable to devote effort to a proper solution to the... Shroud? Okay, no, that might be something that no amount of planning and effort could have fixed without assistance.

"Hides, huh? We cannot promise you a clean kill. Most likely cut, singed, or scorched." It might also not be nice to say something like this out loud in the middle of a syol town, but the rodent could at least admit it wasn't as adept at avoiding threats entirely as Daoin or Hin were. Evasion and harrying, certainly, but not avoiding. Add to that the larger body mass, and an apparent lack of patience, and one could predict there would be bodies to recover in the ratling's future without too much trouble. "Or, perhaps an impact.. At the very least, this spares us a chore on our tour of the periphery. If they're all like the last one we visited, that in itself is worth a handful of.... medicine?" It trailed off, unsure why it would focus on that as a trade good. Potential headache? "Or some hides, anyway."

In the end, that most of the day-to-day goods a community might need were already taken care of made things simple enough for when the nest was ready. All they had to do was find a few specialized goods to produce, and focus on improving what was already present, starting with agriculture and working around the different professions.

The complaint sparked an idea.

"You do a lot of business with the scouts. Are they the only ones who do that?" The ratling looked over toward another building, then back to the tanner. "I doubt I could do what you do. I'm too familiar with human anatomy: the similarities between one of them and the people here are enough that the difference in shape on its own would throw me off. Then there's the difference in distribution of weight, and the way they dance through the trees. It's surprising they don't get tangled up in bramble."
 
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Mahou-Shoujo

Useless Goddess
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Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Transgender
Genres
Yuri, Magical Girl, High Fantasy, Sci-fi, Ray-gun Gothic, Mecha, Steam punk. Scifi Apocalyptic,
"They are coming either way... This would allow us to prepare more... While possibly satisfying some of them at least for a time".
It seemed that the plan wasn't intended as a permanent solution, but rather a way to acquire time and resources, both of which would be sorely needed if Ratty intended to defend the ruins against the humans who came to loot them of everything they could pry out, coins especially seemed to be crucial in this world, and could likely buy just about anything in enough volume, such as the many things the other rats would eventually need to catch up to other societies.

"Trust me, I'm far more used to messy hides than clean, when the scouts are forced to kill an animal either they're focused more on safely dispatching it than getting a clean hide, or it's so sickly that the hide isn't very good anyway, not that I'm complaining, I'd much rather they come back safe and unhurt than with slightly better materials".
It seemed that damage to any potential hides wouldn't deter this woman much if at all.
"Medicine?"
The woman seemed to pick up on that specifically.
"We haven't really had anything in the way of consistent medicine production in these parts since the old alchemist up in Halan's Rest passed away, sure the elders know how to do and make a lot of things and a few people can do home remedies... But no one who can sit down all day and focus on making things, at least not to the scale you see in cities".
More research was going to be needed into what differences there were between medicine and herbalism... And into what Alchemy was exactly.

"Not just them... Seems like something about a lot of men, trying to seem stronger and bigger than they are, I can guess enough to make sure they don't get tangled up at least, but it definitely affects their movement and comfort".