>Rise in glory or fall in gore....Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/CaFpKVuWPrevious Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/28355446/The Rite of Joining, or more formally called the Ritual of Sacred Union, has always struck you as a reference to marriage. A silly idea really, since usually your lover isn't planning on consuming you if you fuck up the vows. Well, unless you are a preying mantis. Or a black widow. Or....Classifying that under Things You Don't Remember, you take a deep breath and prepare to put on the ritual robes. They'll come off later, but they don't really cover all that much to begin with, hardly more than a poncho with the sides squared off. It is real silk, which is a luxury, but an absolute necessity, and is embroidered with actual gold thread in the sigils and markings required by the ritual. You, Viss and Fanzi are using one of the lesser ritual rooms to prepare yourselves, while the men user another, and the sorcerers are preparing in yet another. The dark hall is lined with Tagers, Reapers of the Whirlwind and Sun's Righteous Vengeance who arrived just today. Their presence isn't required, but their choice to honor those who are undergoing the ritual is somewhat exhilarating.It takes a great deal of self control to go through the preparations without shaking or spilling oils or unguents everywhere. Surprisingly you're not very hungry or thirsty, though that will change. You've fairly sure the drugs you'll be imbibing will ease you through the first part of the ritual. [Con't.]
>>28394768Fanzi is looking curiously at Viss, who is nonplussed by the attention. “Do you know if you'll even be able to get tattooed once you've joined?” A quick glance at the young Nazzadi verifies that yes, she is in fact lacking any of the tattoos that signify Nazzadi coming of age still. “I thought you would have gotten one last night.”“The Saracen says I can get them afterward, and that they'll actually stay fairly well, as long as I get it done quickly. I won't have to wait for it to heal either.” Rubbing the unguent onto her arms and legs, as she sits, the thick salve gives her skin a silvery sheen, much as your own has now. “Anne, would you oil my back?” She dips her hands into the unguent again and works it into her long hair slowly.Fanzi is grinning at you; she expected this of course.  Shake your head and let Fanzi deal with it. Acquiesce and help her prepare. Make Fanzi do your back in retaliation. Other – Write in.CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 4ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 3
>>28394783[X] Acquiesce and help her prepare.No need to be rude
>>28394783>[X] Acquiesce and help her prepare.We could all die here, may as well let her enjoy it.
>>28394783Ha ha! Also make fanzi do ours in retaliation.
>>28394881>>28394940[X] Acquiesce and help her prepare.CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 4ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 3 You smirk at Fanzi, since Viss can't see you to take offense, and take one of the jars of oil to work it into the young Nazzadi's lean, muscular back. There isn't anything unusual in it, it's common for you to assist each other in rites and ritual preparations, and you're all women. Viss' attraction for you isn't a big deal to you right now, though you're sure it may be to her. You have other things on your mind, and have for a while. Maybe later that may change, but right now, the ritual consumes all. That was a terrible way to put that, it occurs to you.Viss works on your back as Fanzi does her own hair with the unguent. The oil makes your jet colored skin turn into a glistening obsidian, with the white tattooing on your chest and arms looking more like latex than flesh. Viss traces a few on your back, curiously. The scars they hide are tiny, almost invisible even if the nearly tribal markings didn't hide them. “Is this from....” [Con't.]
>>28395007You make Fanzi work on your back as you work on Viss, working the potent oils into her skin. You know the drugs in the oils are potent, but they're nothing compared to those in the unguent. The oil makes Viss and your jet colored skin turn into a glistening obsidian, with the white tattooing on your chest and arms looking more like latex than flesh. Fanzi traces a few on your back, curiously. The scars they hide are tiny, almost invisible even if the nearly tribal markings didn't hide them. “Is this from....” You nod shortly, unwilling to consider what she's asking for more than that. Wisely she doesn't inquire further about that. Fanzi does ask a different question however. “What do yours mean? If you don't mind, that is.” She presents her back to you, and Viss steps away, handing you the jar of pungent oil to work into Fanzi's pale skin. “I know a lot of the older Nazzadi and the soldiers use them like statements of identity, but you weren't a soldier when you got yours, were you?”“I received mine shortly after joining the Eldritch Society. I came of age here, like Viss did. As for what they mean....” You trail off of a second, thinking.  A promise to punish the people who kidnapped my mother. A curse against the inhuman monsters that ruined my life. Protection from the alien and inhuman forces of the world. Nothing important. Other – Write in.CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 4ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 3
>>28395047>[X] A promiseBut >>28395152 too. Lighten the mood a little.
>>28395152>>28395260[X] A promise to punish the people who kidnapped my mother.[x] Other – Pie Recipes.CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 3ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 3 “Pie recipes.” You say it with the absolute conviction that you do so well, but Viss snorts laughter, and covers her mouth, trying not to burst into laughter as Fanzi exclaims disbelief. He smile and glance back at her. “It's basically a swearing of revenge. I'm tired of people fucking up my life, and I am going to take control of it all myself now.” It's not quite so emphatic, perhaps, but it sounds impressive. “That's....almost like magic. Or like some warrior people from the distant past.” Fanzi seems almost awe by it. It's never been something you thought much about, like most humans consider proms or balls in school. That your culture is artificial you knew, and growing up with few role models, you have less invested in it than most Nazzadi, perhaps. Viss slides into the robe carefully, and it clings to her slicked skin. She tugs it into place, and mentions casually, “That's part of the reason I didn't want mine until after the ceremony. I want mine to reflect what I really am, not what I might be or am not yet. Some people think that if I die I my soul won't go to it's reward without markings, that I'll become a ghost.”[Con't.]
>>28395300“Maybe you'll join the Forgotten Ones, then,” muses Fanzi. You finish dressing as well the silk sticking to your arms and legs like the worst case of static cling ever. You can feel the drugs in the oils starting to take effect already. The ones in the unguent will take effect much more slowly, timed to precision.The Forgotten Ones, the ancient beings that the Ta'Ge Fragments were made for, or dedicated to. The ones worshiped, served, or perhaps remembered by the Higher Beings, the symbionts. You consider saying a short prayer to them.... Say a silent prayer to the Forgotten Ones; this is their blessing, after all.  Let the old gods remain forgotten; the Unspeakable One is proof dead gods should lie still.  Other – Write in.CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 3ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 3
>>28395306>[X] Say a silent prayer to the Forgotten Ones; this is their blessing, after all.
>>28395300>[X] Say a silent prayer to the Forgotten Ones; this is their blessing, after all.
>>28395333>>28395351>>28395410[X] Say a silent prayer to the Forgotten Ones; this is their blessing, after all. CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 3ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 2You don't speak aloud, but you say the prayer in your mind, writing in your mind the ancient script that was long forgotten before humankind walked the earth, before perhaps even the Mi-Go visited the hot planet. The ancient ones who penned the Pnakotic Manuscripts may well have lived when the Forgotten Ones were worshiped and served, and to them you write a prayer, asking for their blessing to be granted in whole upon you. When you open your eyes, the world is awash in light for a few brief seconds, as though your night-vision had become more intense, which is not really possible....A chime rings in the dark hall, and your vision is starting to swim, the potent medicinals and herbs affecting your body already. The Ritual of Sacred Union has begun, and the sound of vices raised in supplication filters through the half open doorway. A sorcerer in black robes opens the door, head bowed low; next to him another stands, holding a tray with three goblets of obsidian. A sorceress stands next to him, dressed in red silk, her eyes glazed and her lips moving in time to the chant. She picks up the first cup, and holds it out, offering the final drug to you.[Con't.]
>>28395421As a group, you had already decided ahead of time that “youth goes before beauty”, so it is Viss who takes the first cup, draining it slowly, her discipline betraying nothing of the taste. You take yours, and drain it swiftly, the potent chemicals making the fruit juice it is mixed into taste shockingly bitter. Across the hall, the men are taking their draughts from a sorcerer flanked by two sorceresses; like the one who is now giving Fanzi her draught or poison and power, he is dressed in red and will be helping Mordecai in the Rite of Joining.Slowly your group joins the men, silent for the moment, letting the chant fill your mind and the powers of magic and arcane drugs split your consciousness open. The golden sigils imbedded in the dark walls writhe and twist, forming signs and words, some of which you recognize due to your own studies, others as unintelligible as the thickly chanted words that fill your ears. Lining the dark hall are men, women, and monsters. No, not monsters. Holy Warriors. Flesh changed, bodies warmed into unrecognizable engines of destruction, they are hideous, and beautiful. A nightmare and an efreet stand at either side of the main ritual chamber's entrance, fire and flesh, hunger and destruction. There is Widower; it can only be her. There are others – the spectre you saw before and another besides; an echo, twitching and maw gaping slowly, seeming to mouth the chant though it says nothing. Several phantoms and whispers, even a mirage. Strange, otherworldly sounds, songs from Beyond perhaps, stream through your expanding consciousness. [Con't.]
>>28395430The ritual room is black, but the crystals, the glass, the metals, all are alight with mystical fires, power coursing through the glass in time to your heartbeat, everyone's heartbeat. The metal is burning with white flame, though how much is real and how much is drug induced vision you cannot say. Nor does it matter as you walk to the circle meant for you, and you alone. The sigils shift and change, becoming words, invocations to the Beyond and to the creature which will share your flesh....or consume it. There is no turning back now. As time passes, so does the calm, gentle flow of the ritual. Soon the sounds of the room are thudding, painful bolts of lightning that rip through your head, the robes seem to flow like blood with the rushing of words no more intelligible than the cries of a child or the screams of the dying. Your body is afire, and the sticky, hot thickness of the air around you is choking and fearsome. You're drowning in the world and there is no escape, though there may be relief. You are lost in the ritual, you no longer have a sense of when or how long, only that you are suffering in this stifling, hideous morass of reality. >Self Control Roll: 1d20+6 (Bonus from Conviction vrs Food score) Higher=better. No crits. Take the robe off. Take your skin off. Hold fast to yourself. Reach out Beyond reality.CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 3ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 2
Rolled 19 + 6>>28395439[X] Take the robe off.We were supposed to do that at some point.
>>28395439Try to remain calm. This is what you've trained for almost all your life.If that fails, >>28395489
>>28395563>>28395489[X] Take the robe off+keep calm.CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 3ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 2 You keep your rapidly scattering wits about you and shed the robe, resisting the urge to dig your movementfingernails into your skin and rip it off in an effort to ease the pressure that is crushing you. Losing the robe provides more than a small measure of relief: the world is brighter, filled with light that does not stem from the shifting lightning of the floors, the pulsing gems imbedded in the flesh of the world, or the flames that swirl and coalesce before you. The air is thick and slippery, gelatinous, or perhaps you've just become mist and can feel it moving through you as you move through it. There are pillars of light ahead of you, vast streams of metallic sludge that surge towards you and fold back in on themselves, shivering crystalline noise that crawls along yourmindskin. Something moves within the pillar, elongated flesh and bone, translucent and immeasurably dense. Vaguely you canawaresee the other pillars, one for each of you, the inner circles inhabitants finally approaching you. The symbionts, the Higher Beings. The one that splits the shifting pillar of grotesque flame-flesh before you is a mass of liquified flesh covered in metallic bone and sinew, less spider-like and more simian, yet truly none of those things. Your tonguefingerseyes burn as you try and make sense of what you are looking at; the body does not move in any ways that you can track, limbs and body parts simply appearing and disappearing instantly as it decidescrawls From Beyond towards you.[Con't.]
>>28395600All you canvomitfeel is a terrifying, unending hunger, not for flesh and blood, but for something more ephemeral and yet infinitely more real than mere matter. Distantly you can tastesee the others facing their own symbionts, their own far-spawned hunters approaching, hungry and twisted.>Self Control Roll: 1d20+6  Stand your ground. Embrace it.  Give obeisance. Other – Write inCnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 3ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 2
Rolled 14 + 6>>28395607Stand your ground. This is going to be a partnership, not a submission.
Rolled 18 + 6>>28395607> [x] Stand your ground.> [x] Give obeisance.We weren't supposed to give into our fear when facing this thing, but still, show some respect.Hopefully it will show some in kind.
>>28395641>>28395648>>28395641>>28395648>Self Control Roll: 20, 24[X] Stand your ground. [x] Give obeisance.CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 3ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 2 You will not break, not now, not ever. You stand before it fearless and in control.You gaze into it – literally into it, the flesh being both solid and immaterial, translucent and opaque, the ritually enhanced vision allowing you to observe the unobservable. It has no eyes, but you can feel its awareness of you like a wind, like something sliding through your body, into yourself. You can feel that awareness sliding against the inner wellspring of your orgone, of your mystical ruach, as though the mystical energy of life and magic is more physical than flesh and bone. So, perhaps it gazes at you, perceiving....well, whatever it perceives. Only then do you allow yourself to open yourself more fully to it. The sensation is raw, visceral, the intensity of its experience of you multiplied by orders of magnitude. But you've already taken the worst it can give as far as you are concerned. You didn't blink then, nor will you now.From a vast distance, you hear hear a faint cry, and you glance into the abyssal morass of realities both far and close. The others are facing their symbionts, cowering, standing tall, worshiping, pleading. Except Fanzi. Fanzi is floating in the air, hovering as the creature which has come for her holds her in vast limbs. Her pale skin is being stripped from her, opened, crimson light spilling out of her body and flowing into the creature that has come to take what is due it. Silvery threads of life are stripped from her one by one, her bone shattering in layers, the fibers of muscle in her body fraying, twisting, sliding out of her arms and legs and chest and belly like writing, living things. Her soft cry, from years away and thrumming through your head is anguished and plaintive. [Con't.]
>>28395726You turn to face your own symbiont, only to discover that it is not at the the infinite and miniscule distance between your circle and their circle. It is before you, filling your vision with hues of alien life. You only get a single impression, and that impression is like a weight crushing your mind, violating your being. This is what you are going to take into yourself, share your flesh and mind with, become part of! You called it, it has come, and it has but a single, mind blasting, horrific thought for you to cope with as your friend and comrade in arms is slowly ripped apart, molecule by molecule, devoured alive and in pieces. **??FOOD??**>Response?
>>28395738"No."Though I'm torn between that and "Only dhohanoids."
>>28395791>>28395864>“No.” “Hunter.” “Only dhohanoids.”You are not food. You are you. It is it. You and it will be one. And then one will feed upon The Prey. Forever is a long time to experience the sensation of being caressed, within, without, intangible limbs sliding in and out of your body, playing with organs gone soft in this place between two existences. You do not struggle, you do not fight, but nor do you allow it to pull you apart, something it could easily do with....whatever it is...experiencing you with. All the while, Fanzi howls, until her voice fades into the constant susurration of the Beyond, forever a part of it and utterly consumed by whatever had been called up for her. Then there is a tensing, a pressure in the filaments that pierce your flesh and bone. Liquid metal is poured into your nerves, your arteries are torn out of your living flesh and the pain that is left in that space becomes agony so intense your muscles and brain swell and explode. Your skin is pressed into your body even as your bones are wrapped around your flesh. You are turned inside out and burned alive, even as you feel your mind pulped and spattered across reality. >Self Awareness Roll: 1d20+7 (Bonus for Tolerance-Paranoia)CnV 9 – Maxed.PhD 3ToL 9 – MaxedPrN 2
Rolled 20 + 7>>28395949Poor Fanzi. But losing at least one of us was rather inevitable.
>>28396014I'm going with his roll.
>>28396014>>28396063>Self Awareness Roll: 27Through sheer force of will you pull yourself back together. Not just for you, but for your comrades, your people. The Eldritch Society are your people, and they are besieged by The Enemy, and The Enemy WILL BURN. You open eyes that see the world as dark matter and effervescent flesh. Your own flesh is obsidian and basalt, your blood magma, your will as pure and undying as the fires that exist within your white hot core. You tower over the sorcerers and Tagers within the room, illuminating them all with your mere presence, even the shifting mirage and the near undetectable shadow. Only scraps of flesh and blood remain of Fanzi, sacrificed on the altar of a war she can no longer fight. But you will lead to victory those whom have survived, and remember her. You will burn her name into your memory, as you will burn your name in the world. >Congratulations, Efreet Tager. You are reborn.TO BE CONTINUED.....
>>28396112> Efreet TagerFuck yes.Poor Fanzi, though.
It was a very close race between Nightmare, Vampire, and Efreet. The prayer and an offhand comment sealed it.
>>28396112FUCK YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESGONNA DISCO INFERNO UP IN THIS HOOD
>>28396154A poor set of rolls or a lack of conviction or too much paranoia and it could have been Anne.
For the curious:Anne: 19 year old Nazzadi female. Our Heroine, EFREET.Ann's Pack (or Murder).Fanzi: 19 year old Human female. Deceased.Viss: 16 year old Nazzadi female. No tattoos, may be a genius. WHISPER.Jakob: 26 year old Human male. Ex-N.E.G soldier. ECHO.Rechert: 17 year old Human male. Society child. SHADOW.Yen Chau: 19 year old Human male. Mystic scholar. SPECTRE.Irren: 20 year old Nazzadi male. Stoic gentleman. MIRAGE.Holmes: 21 year old Human male. Scarred arms, friendly. PHANTOM
Well, I'm looking forward to the next thread. FIERY BURNING SHENANIGANS AHOY.
>>28396189Well, we're apparently going to end up being the team mom. Fiery team mom.
>>28396215>>28396157Be careful. You're forgetting the other aspect of Efreets is that they're righteous and moral. They're 4e paladins with a pragmatic streak.
>>28396337You say that like it's a bad thing.
>>28396112It'll be interesting to see how the other Efreet reacts since they're supposed to be rare.
>>28396238That would be the best.
>>28396367First, we need to take care of our team - we just lost basically what's a family member.Then we'll seek the other efreet out and ask for some tips and advice.
At first you'll be kept together as a pack. That may change dependng on what sorts of missions are required and also the needs of other packs. Then there's the blooding....until you're blooded, the other Tagers dont consider you truly Tagers. It's unofficial and not condoned by the Elders, supposedly, but it's tacitly true even for them.
>>28396429Blooding? More like BURNINATING.
>>28396447This will be our new theme song, won't it.> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCU5hTCynkQ
>>28396462I prefer:>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvTLAHHEvxA>>28396155So, for somebody ignorant of Tagers... What so good about the Nightmare, Vampire, and Efreet? What are they all and what do they do?And what will it mean to others, that we became an Efreet? Is it an impressive/fortunate thing to happen? Or just rare but not really special?We apparently went for the "Exceptional Tager" Quality last thread. So these 3 Tagers are exceptional types? In what way?Also, what was the offhand comment that led to tipping to Efreet?
>>28397795It's just that they're incredibly rare, powerful and that they bring with them a higher risk of going mad.For example, the Efreet is immune to heat and all sorts of explosion, fire and plasma weaponry, while radiating enough of it to melt steel simply by being near it. The Vampire is a winged beast that can rip and tear through anything and drain its victims dry to heal itself. The Nightmare is incredibly strong and capable of regenerating from anything. Over time, these things evolve. The Efreet becomes the Inferno which is capable of manipulating fire and heat with its mind, the Vampire becomes the Bloodgod which is capable of fleshcrafting at will, and the Nightmare turns into the Torment which is capable of paralyzing its foes with immense pain simply by touching them (or being touched).
>>28397795>offhand commentOur ultimate goal is righteous vengeance, hence the mention of dhohanoids and the emotion we attached to them made it clear to an efreet that we were worthy.
>>28398068It's not that they're just incredibly powerful but they are more powerful than the other types.
>>28396189I had a question. Had Fanzi survived, what would tager would she bond with?
>>28398582I wonder if we could've helped her somehow. Maybe yelled her name during the ceremony or gave her a sign that we're there for her.Probably wouldn't have worked, or worse, would've gotten the Efreet pissed at us.
>>28398619The Rite is a very personal thing. I doubt we could have done anything for her and I expected her to die. I half-expected one the males to die as well. Although...considering the heroine's stats and the phenomenal rolling, perhaps we could have saved her?
>>28398688We heard her scream, and we saw the other participants and their symbionts clearly, so maybe we could've done something. Though considering all the death flags she was raising, we probably couldn't do anything. Maybe if we asked the Efreet to help our friend or said "friend" instead of "hunter", things might've been different - either it'd kill us or Fanzi would end up as the embodiment of righteous fire.
>>28398817Who knows. There's still a lot more people to potentially kill off/save so maybe we can try some other time!