You are Christopher Phillips, previously just another teenage nerd living in a small English town, and a lot of things have changed in your life since you died.Of course, you’re not the only person who’s died recently. Although the situations you’ve found yourself in for the past month or so - the rollercoaster of constant supernatural crises, fighting a werewolf and a demon, challenging a vampire and a King of the Fae - bear little resemblance to the post-mortem experiences of one Annabelle Lowe, or Anne to her friends. In fact, Anne’s life seems to have changed so little after she died, she hasn’t even realised she’s dead.This is a situation you’re currently hoping to correct. Anne could be a very useful ally, able to go places you can’t and find out information you can’t reach, once you clue her in to the truth of the world. You’ve got a reasonable amount of backup with which to demonstrate the supernatural - Avril with various tricks of Fae magic, Jill and Miranda with telekinesis to throw around, Isabella and yourself offering your own personal perspectives on death. But you probably need to start with the big news - that Anne herself is dead.Anne doesn’t remember anything of the night she died, beyond going to a party and (she presumes) getting quite drunk. And someone who’s up and walking around and doesn’t seem to have noticed any big changes is going to have a hard time believing that they’re actually a ghost now. Getting the truth across in the right way to make it understandable is going to take some careful thought. How are you intending to approach matters?((Cont.))
>>28512179Treat it like a plaster - best to get the pain over with quickly. Give Anne the bad news as quickly and bluntly as possible.Talk around things - bring up the odd things that Anne’s been noticing about her life lately, the people avoiding or ignoring her, and see if you can get her to work it out for herself.Leave that topic for now, and start with some demonstrations of magic. Give her the good news first, then the bad.Tell Anne your own story first. Well, she did say she wanted to listen to your problems, right? It’ll sound fantastical, but it might put her in a more accepting mood for when you tell her the story of her own death.Get some advice from a gentleman who seems to have much more experience talking to people than you do. His advice comes with its own agendas and a slightly skewed point of view, of course, but you’re fairly sure you can adjust for that.Other ((Archives are located at http://archive.foolz.us/tg/search/subject/monsterhearts%20quest/type/op/order/asc/and also athttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Monsterhearts%20Quest ))
>>28512187>[X]Tell Anne your own story first. Well, she did say she wanted to listen to your problems, right? It’ll sound fantastical, but it might put her in a more accepting mood for when you tell her the story of her own death.
>>28512187Tell her outright. Best to just get it over with and help her move along. It's gonna suck but it would just take a very long time to dance around the issue.
>>28512187We have that special trait that does something special if we talk about our dead, right[X]Tell Anne your own story first
Reminder for the people that missed the end of the last thread:The Man in White is from another P&P RPG setting
>>28512187[x]Talk around things - bring up the odd things that Anne’s been noticing about her life lately, the people avoiding or ignoring her, and see if you can get her to work it out for herself.We can bring up our own death if this fails.
>>28512187>Tell Anne your own story firstfollowed by >Talk around things
>>28512187>Tell Anne your own story first. Get some minor juju displayed with Jill levitating a pencil.
>>28512738Kinda on egg shells to see how she reacts once we get around to it.
>>28512738"Okay, Anne, sit down."There's a solitary chair on one side of the long table that you've assembled in the empty classroom - Anne sits, looking at the five worried faces across from her. She laughs nervously again."So tense, so serious. I feel like the centre of attention. Uh, what... what did you want to talk about? It feels like somebody's died..." She gasps, suddenly looking much more serious. "Oh god, did somebody actually die? I'm so sorry, I didn't mean..."You wave your hand dismissively. "No, no, don't worry about it. I'll... I'll get to that in a moment, all right? First, you said before that you wanted to hear my story. I don't expect you to believe me straight away - if I were you, listening to what I'm about to say, I wouldn't believe a word of it either - but some of the people here can prove that what I'm saying is true. And once we're done with that, a few things might make a bit more sense to you. Hopefully a lot of things will.""To start at the beginning, you normally start a story with a birth. This one starts with a death."Anne's facial expression slowly turns from confusion to disbelief, to worried concern for you, and then back to disbelief as you start to explain the stories of the other people sitting around the table, some of them chipping in as necessary. Once Jill takes a pencil and floats it across the table, she just stops, staring in total confusion before gingerly taking the pencil and turning it over in her hands. She prods and pokes it for a minute, looking for hidden magnets, wires, strings, anything to explain what she's just seen by any ordinary metric. By the time Jill mentally reaches out and lifts the pencil straight out of her hands, Anne's face is mostly a picture of mental exhaustion.((Cont.))
>>28513891There’s a long pause, as Anne sits there, staring at the pencil calmly floating in front of her face. Finally, she pulls herself up a little straighter and opens her mouth, her voice strained and almost croaky.“So, why... why me? All this stuff, the...” She trails off, lifting a finger to gently press down on one end of the floating pencil. As soon as she lets go, it rights itself again. “This can’t be real, really. I’m dreaming, or hallucinating, or I finally had a nervous breakdown. But there’s no way to tell which, so I guess I might as well go along with what I see. But that still raises the question, why me? Why are you telling me about all this stuff? Just because I took Jill’s case?”You shake your head slowly. “It’s a lot more complicated than that, I’m afraid. You remember what I told you originally? About how I died? It was quite quick, really. No pain, no tunnel of light. Everything went blank for a moment, that was it. It wasn’t until I noticed how cold my skin was that I really understood that I’d died.”A strange expression is starting to come across Anne’s face, a nervous sort of curiosity, the kind where you know you ought to look away from something, but can’t quite bring yourself to turn your head. You extend a hand across the table, and she takes it, gingerly touching your fingers and palm, turning your hand over and feeling the cold skin under her fingertips.“Nothing seemed all that different at first,” you continue. “I noticed some of the changes slowly, subtly, things that seemed different or felt different. You’ve noticed a few strange things recently yourself, haven’t you Anne?”She blinks, nodding slowly. “Everyone’s just been so weird. You’ve talked to me, but other people just ignore me, barge past me. I couldn’t get a bus, they just closed the doors in my face...”((Cont.))
>>28513909“If you couldn’t get the bus, how did you get from your house to the school this morning, Anne?”“Well, I walked, I guess... I must have walked, mustn’t I? If I couldn’t get the bus, how else would I have got here?”“Do you remember walking to the school?”“Well, I mean, not as such, but... but why does that matter?” There’s more nervousness in her face now, and she doesn’t quite meet your eyes when she answers.“I think you know why it matters, Anne. Tell me about what happened on Sunday. Tell me what happened after you left the party.”“I... I went off with that girl, and there were a few guys, and... and I got very drunk, and passed out, and I had a nightmare.”“You didn’t have a nightmare, Anne. Tell me what happened.”“But it must have been a nightmare. I...” She pauses, looking down at her hand. You quietly lift your free hand and gesture to Avril, and there’s a shimmering around Anne. Her hand, and her whole body, seem to grow less substantial, more hazy. She’s partially translucent. Anne looks at her hand, and looks through it at your hand, hidden behind it. Then she reaches out tentatively and slowly puts her hand straight through yours.“I’m... dead, aren’t I?”“I’m afraid so. But you’re still here.”“Does that mean I have unfinished business to take care of? One last task, and then I go to... wherever I go next?” There’s trepidation in her voice now.“Maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe life just goes on for you. This can be where you go next, if you like. It’s up to you. It’s your afterlife.”Anne sits back in her chair - and this time she sinks into it slightly, her body subconsciously shrinking a little further down.“I don’t know. I don’t know what to do. I’m dead. What do you do when you’re dead?” She looks up at you. “You’re dead. What do you do?”
>>28513921"The same thing I do every night, Anne... Try and take over the world!!"
>>28513921"Live, or at least try to." Smile
>>28513921"I go to school, plan for an education, I'm planning long term now that I don't have to worry about when I die. I continue living my unlife, because as long as I can think and can still do things, I've still got things to do."
>>28513921"I enjoy the same ordinary things everybody else does. Just... a little differently now."
>>28513921"After I died, I just continued to live. There is no such thing as real death for me. And for you as well, as long as you wish it to be so."
>>28513921"I hand in assignments and woo beautiful girls and make all sorts of interesting friends. I live more now, not less. It's like being an amputee, I guess. You get along just fine if you can figure out a way to make it work. And we're here to help."
>>28513921"Find a focus. Test the limits of your condition. Have priorities and make a plan... These things make it easy, and maybe someday you will even come to realize this may be a blessing in disguise"
>>28513964>>28514032>>28514053>>28514247>>28514252>>28514267>>28514281((I will attempt in some fashion to merge the common threads of these. Hopefully should not take as long or be as massive as the triple-post above.))
>>28514297Hooray for creative writing exercises
>>28514405Hooray for those who are dead but still living this beautiful life!
Question. So I know we die if we are reduced to a red paste, but if we remove our skin, muscles, and organs, will our Skeleton be animated by dark magic? Or will removing the muscle fuck us over?
>>28514297You grin, leaning back in your chair and spreading your arms to gesture at the girls on either side of you."Easy. I live."Anne looks confused, so you settle down a little and continue."I do the same things I did before, for the most part. I go to school, hand in assignments, plan for an education. I woo beautiful girls and make interesting friends. I can plan a bit more for the long term, the really long term, now that I don't have to worry about dying, but for the most part, I just live my unlife as best I can, and you will too. You can figure out a way to make it work - and we're all here to help, right girls?"There's communal nodding, and Anne finally smiles. "I, I just... thank you, I guess. Thank you all. So, where do we go from here?""Well, again, that's very much up to you and what you want to do. But I have one or two quick suggestions..."Anne eventually leaves with Miranda, the two of them chatting away about various grown-up things, particularly how much cheaper energy bills become when you can use slivers of magic to power your TV and computer, and Jill and Avril head off to the forest to pick up their dresses, insisting that you'll see both dresses tomorrow night and not before. You're left alone with your thoughts for the evening.Well, as alone as your thoughts ever really get these days, anyway. You pause for a moment, but there's no immediate, smug interruption from your 'partner'. You could probably grab his attention if you wanted to, but for a brief period you're genuinely left to your own devices.Is there anything else you want to do this evening? Or any questions you want to ask the Man in the White Suit?
>>28514778(( Um. No, removing your own muscles will prevent you from moving the appropriate part of your body until the muscles regrow. Removing organs may be less immediately problematic, depending on the organ, but you do still have a pulse, which indicates that your heart is, at the very least, doing *something*. ))
>>28514836Maybe work on our brain-to-brain thing with Isabella?
>>28514836Experiment with our magic, maybe?
>>28514836Find Zach, we did promise to help him. And perhaps it is finally time to convince him that binding himself to us will put his inner beast in line until another cure can be found. Use alpha dog terminology and such, that his wolf runs wolf runs wild because he is an uncontested leader, as long as he sees himself as the top dog, the wolf will do as it pleases, and continue to try to hurt people.
>>28514967I'm not necessarily a fan of the methods but I agree with the gist of it.
>>28514904Lets do this. Call Isabella and have a get together. A seance session, if you will
I compiled a list of some shit we need to get around to for your consideration:Louie - pretty sure he hasn't got his pelt back yetMasami - still gonna turn into a Deep OneJason - what the fuck is up with this guy? Especially now that we whacked his boss?
Didn't we vote on charming Isabella for awhile, a few threads back? Let's meet up with her. Queens are useful.
>>28515020Theoretically Isabella is right there. She attended Anne's Death Party.
>>28514904>>28515020>>28514967>>28514991((Five minutes for tiebreakers, then I roll for it.))
>>28515178Isabella for tiebreaker
>>28515197((Excellent. Writing now.))
>>28515207ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.Oh well, next time. Next time we will bring the Wolf to heel and gain a loyal ally and tank.
>>28515225>Implying we aren't already the tank
>>28515225Yeah, but we could have a second Tank ahead of us. We're the king, we need a knight.
>>28515257Not really, no. We may be able to get back up after being shot, but it takes time for the regeneration to happen. And while we may be tougher than an unaugmented and untrained human, we're not anywhere close to being able to fight a combat class and expect to be able to survive. Remember, ghoul though we may be, we have a beating heart and all of the weaknesses that it implies. And we already took our combat bonus perk.
>>28515658Being a tank is no good if the person that wants to kill us has a weapon that's super effective against our archetype.
>>28515678I assume we are a Dark/Psychic type?
>>28515207You stop Isabella as she's getting ready to pack up and head home, nodding back to the empty classroom."We don't want to be practising magic during class time or anything, right? Well, isn't now the perfect opportunity? Lots of empty space, no parents or teachers hovering around to interrupt, and we're both here and fairly free. Unless you have something to do that's more important than what I want?"You give Isabella a pointed look to back up your question, and she sighs and rolls her eyes at you."No, sir, I don't have anything more important than your experiments. Just chatting to people, finding out what's what ahead of tomorrow's dance, picking up on gossip and so on. You know, information gathering, the stuff you 'recruited' me to do in the first place.""We're not going to take long enough to stop you doing all that stuff later. I just want to test a few things. Come on, this worked well enough before.""Sure, sure, coming. Telepathic communication, right?"You settle down in the empty classroom again, sitting across from Isabella. After a moment she shakes her head, climbs up onto the table, and gestures for you to do the same. Then she sits cross-legged on the tabletop, arms resting on her knees."We need to relax. Using a link is easy - I do it fairly regularly if I need to drop in more directly on an interesting meeting, or eavesdrop in a couple of places at once - but forming one is complicated. Sit across from me, like this, relax, and try to extend your awareness in every direction at once. It ought to be easier in one direction than in all the others. Feel that path of least resistance, and let your consciousness slowly expand along it. Close your eyes. Block out the sound from your ears, except the sound of my voice. Just focus on your awareness, and your magic."((Roll 2d6, best of first two.))
Rolled 6, 4 = 10>>28515792I wish I knew how to propitiate the dread dice gods.
Rolled 1, 1 = 2>>28515792Rollan
>>28515855Roll 2d6 not 2d1, saboteur
>>28515843Is this a crit success or just a regular success?
>>28515855((You are substantially lucky that Monsterhearts doesn't contain rules for critical failures.>>28515843Much like Crom, the dice gods are fickle, vindictive, and uninterested in being propitiated. Which appears to have been to your advantage, this time.10, -1 Dark, +1 for Isabella's tutelage, = 10, an unqualified success.))>>28515929((That was 2d6, I can see it.))
Rolled 5, 1 = 6>>28515929I rolled 2d6.
Awesome! Send her a sexual image to intice her.
>>28515979No. We're not being a stupid little shit anymore. It wasn't funny the first time, and it's not funny now.
>>28515979How about instead we leave it? She's not very interested and it's super fucking creepy to push it, given that we literally hold her life in our hands.We've got two (three?) girls already, we don't need another. If we were gonna add one, Masami or Anne would be a better choice, since they actually unambiguously like us.
>>28516246Not that other guy but >implying Isabella isn't just tsundere>implying two, dead, bad peas like ourselves, wouldn't be a thousand year power couple.
>>28516246We send her a "testing, testing, one two three" message, wait for a reply, and then leave her to do our own thing. Once the link is usable, we don't need to keep her. We'll be in touch if anything comes up.In fact, make it a joke. "I thought you'd be happier about not having to be in the same room as me ever again, apart from class. Or have we become best friends without my noticing?"
>>28516322If Isabella wants to jump our bones she has to come out and say it. There is no way on Earth for us to make the first move without it being creepy at the very least; even with an extended "it's okay to say no" speech, there's still the "I can kill you with a thought if you make me angry" thing lingering in the air. Better to just not do it.
>>28516349This, because it's fun and light, and invites flirting in necessary>>28516246A king like ourself has many conquests. This is only correct, and we are nothing if not cosmopolitan. .
>>28515951You take hold of your senses, of your magical awareness of the world around you, and start to slowly push it outwards in the way Isabella describes. It's tricky at first, a little confusing to get your grip on the difference between your perception of the world and your awareness of it, but Isabella's guidance helps you to stay calm and make slow but steady progress.As you gently push outwards, you find that you can feel the easy path Isabella was talking about. It's like a soft patch in reality - you focus in on it and start to slowly push in that direction. There's a sensation like you're pushing against a sheet of rubber, then a sudden snap, and - confusion. Disorientation.You blink, and for a moment there's only one set of images flooding your brain. A sensation like the memory of a sigh crosses your mind, and you feel more than hear Isabella say 'Close your eyes, Chris. It'll make things easier.'You carefully close your eyes, and things spring into focus. You're looking at yourself, from outside - it's a lot like looking into a mirror, except that you can see your eyes are closed, and that the perspective is slightly off. You're seeing yourself through Isabella's eyes.'That's... huh,' you say, or subvocalise, or think about saying. The difference is a little fuzzy right now, although you can tell that Isabella's definitely not receiving everything that you're thinking, only what you intend her to hear. 'Is that meant to happen? I thought this was just for talking?''It depends,' Isabella replies. 'I can choose to share whatever I think is important, and right now I thought you needed to get used to the full capabilities of this sort of link. We can keep it as a sort of mental radio most of the time, though - even once you've learned to deal with the double vision, it can be distracting or confusing, especially in busy situations. If you need to see something I see, though, I don't want you doubling over with a migraine instead.'((Cont.))
>>28516734‘Okay, so what else? Is that just what the link does, senses and speech?’‘For the most part. You can communicate emotions, fairly vaguely, and images if you practice carefully. Images tend to come across a little fuzzy, though - it’s hard to hold them clearly enough in your mind and transmit them at the same time. And you can communicate certain magical sensations. Take a look at this.’There’s a familiar feeling, a sense of a connection, of distance, of chains, both the kind that bind and the kind that link together. Even filtered through Isabella’s perceptions and her own metaphorical interpretations, you can tell that she’s showing you her link to you - or rather, to the Man in the White Suit.‘Yeah, I see it. You ever have any run-ins with a character who looks a lot like me, only in a fancy white outfit?’You see what Isabella means about emotions - you get an instinctual feeling of caution, suspicion. ‘Not exactly, no. But I’ve seen someone in my dreams once or twice. Watching me from a distance, mostly. A woman who looked a lot like me, but in an elaborate white dress. I thought it was some sort of metaphor, service as the bonds of marriage or whatever. I think next time I see her, I’ll pay her a lot more attention.’((Cont.))
>>28516753‘I see. Has she spoken to you at all?’‘Once, I dreamt she walked up to me, right through... well, right through what I was dreaming at the time. She stared at me for a moment, and said “Ambition, but no drive.” Then she turned and walked right out of the dream. It was unsettling - a magic user of any sort isn’t used to not being in control of their dreams. If she’s something external, though, that explains it.’‘Do you think he, or she, can hear us when we talk like this?’‘I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the nature of the link - does it sound like this, when they talk to you?’‘No, not at all. It’s much more like speech. And he seems to be able to pick up on what I’m thinking.’‘Probably not safe, then, but it’s hard to tell. I seem to get less attention than you do. Not sure if I should be relieved or insulted. Either way... we know the link works. Just think about pulling back a little and it’ll close off for now. You should be able to re-establish it easily if you need to talk to me, and I can open it in the other direction if I need to tell you something urgently.’You do as she says, drawing back into yourself, and again feel a popping sensation, and see only darkness. You open your eyes, and see Isabella smiling back at you.“There now, wasn’t that a much easier way of doing things? Now, if you’ll excuse me, time is information.”“I thought it was usually ‘time is money’?”“Yes, but I have money already. Information is far more valuable.”“Right. Go gossip, then, and do your thing. I need to think for a bit, anyway.”Isabella gathers her things and heads off, already texting someone on her phone. Is there anything else you want to try and do tonight? It's getting late, so anything you want to do should probably be something you can do from your room, unless you want to stay out late yet again.
>>28516793Go home and practice our magic in our room. Also make sure our suit is ready for the dance tomorrow.
>>28516793Make absolutely certain everything on our end is ready for tomorrow.
>>28517186You know that your tuxedo for tomorrow is hanging up in your room, but you feel an urge to check on it, just to be sure. This wouldn't be a great time to suddenly find it was missing, but better to find out now than tomorrow night.Thankfully, when you get home you find your tux right where you left it. You have a brief polite dinner with your family, retire to your room for the night, and give it a quick check. For an off-the-peg tuxedo that you're renting for a few days, it fits remarkably well, no real awkwardness or random tight spots. It's a little bit loose all round, but you deliberately chose one that wasn't too tight. It might be a little paranoid to be thinking of how your formal wear might restrict you if you needed to fight in it, but based on your life lately, you think it's definitely a case of 'better safe than sorry'.Satisfied that that's taken care of, you move to your other priority for the night - your slightly odd new magic. You've seen that Avril's plant manipulations, and her glamours too, are both quite subtle things, shifting and flowing with the existing world, like ripples in a pond. Jill's telekinesis, though more visually dramatic, feels quite similar to your more metaphysical sense of things, a series of vibrations in the world. This thing, though, whatever it is, doesn't flow with reality. Reality flows with it. You hum, pushing a touch of power into the sound, and you can feel the air in the room tense up as the world around you subtly warps and shifts.The humming seems like it would be useful for something - it seems to shift your perceptions of things slightly, make you more focused on... something, but you can't tell what - whatever it is that you're meant to be seeing, there's none of it here in your room. It's a quick, effortless trick, though, not really costing you anything in terms of energy. Bigger displays of power, you feel, might cost you somewhat more. Your resources here are definitely limited.((Cont.))
>>28517733Still, there are a few things which seem like fairly logical extensions of the power, and shouldn’t be massively draining. You’re not entirely sure why you think they’re logical extensions, they’re just the things which feel right when you ponder them. It’s another magic thing, you suppose.The most obvious thing to do is to simply reinforce your voice with this energy. It wouldn’t make your words directly supernatural - you’d need to use about four times as much energy for that, enough to almost totally deplete your stores of power - but it would shift reality around your speech, making it carry more impact with those who heard it, making you seem more naturally authoritative, a born leader. Focusing on someone else, you could shift their perception of reality a little, making them a touch more suggestible and more easily led. Of course, that would take a while to wear off, and they’d be easily led by anyone, not just you, so it might be a double-edged sword. You could probably make someone more commanding, too, in the same way you could make yourself more commanding, if you happened to need a figurehead or a distraction.You push and prod a little, trying out other humming tunes and other ways of modulating your voice, but you don’t want to run out your energy too much, and you’re having trouble evaluating the effects of some of the things you’re doing, with no-one else to study or manipulate, and experimenting on your family members seems rife with the potential for trouble. Eventually you drift off to sleep, slightly more secure in your newest powers, but still wondering what else they might be capable of.
>>28517758((Next thread: the long-awaited Dance. May involve less dancing and more mayhem than previously advertised. But then, you knew that already.For the first time in ages I actually have a Thursday free, so the next thread will be in two days' time, on Thursday the 28th of November at around the usual time.Thank you all for being excellent players, as always. I'll probably be staying up for a little while longer, so questions and answers below.))
>>28517845Night, boss. Good thread.
>>28517845If Chris is ever catching a break I know which QM to report as presumed missing.
Good thread.Please give us the warm and happy and cute dance before shit hits the fan.