>Time, time, and time again....Twitter: https://twitter.com/XsQuestmistressPastebin Part I: http://pastebin.com/CaFpKVuWPastebin Part II: http://pastebin.com/2Bx9yvhc Previous Thread : http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/28671945/Character Sheet and Personalities http://pastebin.com/X9FcAg9bSettling yourself, you give each of them a once over. Viss is slight and like all Nazzadi, agile; in her case you'd call it lithe. A few years and she'll be athletic, assuming the symbiont doesn't slow her aging process too much. You can only imagine how bonding with the swift and nimble Whisper has enhanced her agility and flexibility. Whispers are not particularly tough, though they can be extremely deadly if cornered. Their usual methods of attack tend to involve tentacle whips used by their larger, more muscular main arms, or held weaponry since their smaller arms can manipulate standardized weapons. It might be worth remembering, especially with her array of senses to prevent anyone from getting close without her knowledge; you do think she hasn't the temperament for a sniper just yet. Of course those same senses and the feisty, pushy nature of a Whisper make her interest in you far more distracting than you'd prefer. Knowing that her crush for you is strong, it's easy to see why Yen would be worried about her being around you. [Con't]
>>28853609Rechert's symbiont is slightly more dangerous; poisonous and better armored, a Shadow is more capable at ranged combat. Invisibility counts for a lot, however, and while still lightly armored, he regenerates much better than Viss will while transformed. As backup to the infiltrators, he'll be very good. He's still growing, and your certain he'll be handsome and lean, probably quite stylish if he's smart, which he definitely is – again depending on how slow he ages. He's got that bookish naivete working for him too. You've never made much time for strong relationships, and you haven't a clue where Rechert's preferences lie either, but you can see what makes him attractive; if Yen thought you were into younger men, that could have been the problem, since Rechert hasn't given any sign of being interested that you've caught onto.But what if it wasn't relationships, or their relatively weak symbionts? What if it was something else? Other than the two of them being the smartest people in your entire murder, and the two of them together probably being smarter than the rest of the murder put together, there simply isn't any reason for Yen to have been jealous or paranoid. Viss has a crush, sure, but she has already proved she can rise above that. Rechert's symbiont would urge him to caution and consideration, and possibly assassination if he actually felt you were a threat. He's given no indications that would be the case – you're a fair judge of character, as long as the person is sane. Even their larger amounts of orgone, and thus ruach, wouldn't be useful to a magical novice like yourself, especially considering your symbiont demands all of yours making you a sorceress with no way to source. [Con't]
>>28853615So instead of working on that problem, you start on the problem that's easily solved – the Mission. Task, as the Elders put it. There isn't as much military organization when the military carrying out the mission is actually part of it's own command structure. “I will be joining you on the mission, just like you surmised, Rechert, but I'm going to be hands on as much as you will be. The Elders might want me to sit it out, but I'm not interested in that. Irren and both of you are going to be stationed on a nearby building or on the roof, depending on which is more convenient, and you will be looking for the device, while you are going to back her up, invisibly. Irren may not be invisible, but while he's in human form he'll be able to keep in radio contact and relay anything Watcher finds. Holmes, Jakob and I are going in posing as OIS, and we should be able to cause enough of a distraction that they won't bother looking at you.”“What about scans or wards?” Rechert gets to the stickiest problems first, the symbiont's caution mirroring his own. You already considered that issue. “Well, they certainly can't genetically scan us like they can Dhoan – er, Dhohanoids, especially since the Dhohanoids are already in the building, and I doubt they'd want the wards going off every time one wanders into a restricted area. I'm betting that they don't have anything like that set up just because the Dhohanoids would be caught by them more often than we would.” “What happens when I find the device?” There is absolutely no doubt in Viss' mind that she will find the device. Cocky little bug.[Con't.]
>>28853632“Depends on where we are and how quickly we can get to it. We can hammer that out a little more in detail when we meet the guys at dinner.” That situation is a little more difficult, and too much planning is almost worse than too little.Rechert frowns. “I wish they hadn't sent Yen away. He would have been perfect for that part.”Viss looks at you, her expression calm, but her eyes asking a question. You take a calming breath....”About Yen....” Ask why Yen was so worried about them. Tell Rechert about Yen's demise. Reassure Rechert that Yen is fighting the good fight. Other: Write in.
>>28853639> [x] Reassure Rechert that Yen is fighting the good fight.> [x] Ask why Yen was so worried about them.The Elders keep that a secret for a reason. Once the mission's over, we might tell him about what really happened to Yen.
>>28853639> Reassure Rechert that Yen is fighting the good fight.
>>28853681>>28853705[X] Reassure Rechert that Yen is fighting the good fight.[x] Ask why Yen was so worried about them.“You have to understand, sometimes a Tager's abilities are very specific to the sorts of missions he goes on. I have no doubt that Gravedigger's ability to walk through walls is critical to whatever mission the Elders sent him on.” The lies come easily, though they aren't truly lies; his abilities would have been perfect for this mission. “I wish that he was here too, and I'd have been honored and glad to get his skills and power on our side, but the Elders do what they do for reasons, just as when we start hunting, we will do things that make little sense to other murders and novitiates of the society.” You smile at him, and Viss lays her hand on his shoulder. “He's doing our work, and there is no work better.”Rechert relaxes a great deal and smiles, his hand covering Viss' for a moment. “I understand, Firefly. It would have been good to have him, but the Elders know best.” Dropping her hand, Viss nods agreeably, but her blank expression tells you that she feels differently at the moment.Leaving that touchy subject for another, you lean forward, elbows on knees, fingers laced under your chin. “I do have some questions though. Before Yen left, he was very adamant that I should stay away from you, and perhaps the others. You two in particular, though. Viss doesn't have a clue why he would do that, so I'm wondering if you have any clue. He did warn me that the future is set in stones. The Elders didn't have a clue what he meant. Do you, Rechert?” [Con't.]
>>28853824His first response is confusion, then a measure of understanding dawns as you continue. You mention of stones seems to ring a bell; Rechert isn't very good at hiding his emotions. That will change, you imagine. “Yen was a much more advanced student of magic than I was. He was an acolyte in the arts, at the very least, maybe even close to some level of mastery. Viss and I both used to help him with the more basic rituals.” Viss mentioned as much to you before. “I used to help him with some of the more complex rituals.” He flushes slightly. “And some other things as well. He was very interested in prognostication....” Viss speaks up when you look confused. “Fancy word for foresight.” She grins at you when you nod in understanding. “Prognostication, Far-seeing, and other long term, prediction rituals. And a few....um....ruach developing rituals.” Rechert is blushing, and Viss looks rather interested. Tantra, probably, increasing his orgone and therefore the ruach that orgone provides towards magic. Power gathering, in the most basic terms. “Go on, Rechert. Not a big deal.” Your reassurance goes quite a ways to calming him, and you swat Viss' leg when she opens her mouth, most likely to ask something embarrassing. She grins at you in response and pretends to zip her lips. Yeah, right.[Con't]
>>28853834“Well, I know he found some potent rituals, and I helped with a few of them, but there were a couple he had me help prepare him for but wouldn't let me help him with, if you can understand that.” Illegality of rituals wasn't as much of a concern for the Society, as long as the rituals could be verified as safe enough to use. Still, a sorcerer who is being secretive is a very dangerous sorcerer, ally or not. “I do know he acquired a case or a set of what he called seeing stones that he planned on using for a very powerful ritual to actually see the future personally, rather than just predict or gain insights. He was very adamant about me not touching them.”Viss frowns. “Do you think he saw something about us in that ritual?” It's the obvious concern of course. “I mean, he didn't warn Fanzi about what was going to happen to her.” She looks at you, leaving unspoken that Yen Chau's apparently fragile sanity had left him obsessed only with Rechert and Viss themselves, even to the point of threatening one of the few Tagers that could have killed him outright. “He may not have known. Foresight isn't exactly a perfect art,” Rechert admonishes gently. Viss sticks her tongue out and Rechert's eyes widen, not used to such displays from the usually serious Viss.  Go take a look at Yen's room. You can look later. Yaoi, huh? Were you and Yen actually lovers? Other: Write in.
>>28853843> Go take a look at Yen's room.If we find the stones we should call the sorcerer elder, he would know what to do with them.Also lets keep in mind to not touch anything weird, I doubt the stones where the only weird artifact Yen obtained.
>>28853843> [x] Go take a look at Yen's room.Be careful about it, no telling what else is in there.Do we know who was Yen's roommate? Maybe he has some more info about Yen acting weird.
>>28853843[X] go take a look at Yen's room.
>>28853870>>28853893>>28853957[X] Go take a look at Yen's room.The possibility of Yen Chau delving into magic that the Elders might not have condoned is too important to ignore. “I think we need to go take a look at what Yen was up to,” you say, rising from your cross legged position easily, without using your hands. Rechert gawks a little at that, and Viss pokes him in the side. “Don't stare.”“Uh, right. I have a key, he gave it to me so I could come in when he was already getting rituals prepared. It's a warded room, and his roomate was gone often.” Rechert pulls a set of key-sticks from his pocket, detaches one and hands it over to you. “Since you're our commander, I guess he wouldn't mind.” You bite back the immediate response that forms in your mind. He wouldn't have a choice, either, a fact your symbiont is quite adamant about. Even if he was assigned to a different murder, this involves your people, and you outranked him right from the start. “Maybe I should have chosen 'Mother' as my call sign,” you reply, which causes Viss' cheeks to darken faintly. Rechert doesn't notice her blush, and you open the door from the ritual room for them.[Con't.]
>>28853987It seems they have finished cleaning and cleansing the main ritual room. One of the others is in use, the door closed, but otherwise there is no one present in the black hall. It doesn't take long to reach Yen Chau's room, on the opposite side of the barracks from your own. Even approaching the door you can sense the presence of wards upon it, your symbiote reacting to them. They don't stop you from approaching the door, though Viss looks a little discomfited as well. Noting your reactions, Rechert explains, “He didn't want to be disturbed, so he warded the doorway against intrusion. It's something he developed himself, a sort of field of unease that makes anyone who isn't dead set on going in uncomfortable. It's not powerful, just enough of a discomfort to turn away anything less than serious business.” Yen Chau was a LOT more skilled in magic than you had believed, and if Viss' amazed reaction is anything to judge by, making a spell like that from scratch was damn impressive. Holding the key to the lock, you disengage it, and push the door open. Eerie greenish light, a sickening sort of chartreuse, erupts from around the door; he had it well sealed. “Phwaugh!” Both you and Rechert look at Viss, who has both hands over her mouth and nose, and is looking decidedly umber at the edges, Nazzadi skin tone not lending itself to either green or pale. “Can't you smell that? It's awful!” Rechert sniffs and shakes his head, eyes wide, and you definitely can't smell anything other than the faint ozone-like traces of some kind of active magical power, something Viss has certainly smelled before. You glance at the hallways, where few people are, and realize several of the nearest ones have taken notice of the eldritch illumination. Have Viss stand guard. Have Rechert stand guard.  Commandeer someone else to stand guard temporarily. Call on a Tager or Elder, you can find a comm unit nearby. Other: Write in.
>>28853994> Have Rechert stand guard.
>>28853994> [x] Have Viss stand guard.Rechert should be more familiar with Yen's room and anything eldritch we find in there.If someone asks what's going on, we need some books and stuff Yen left in his room for our mission.Calling an Elder would rise too much of a fuss about this.
>>28853994 Commandeer someone else to stand guard temporarily.Let's keep them close. They're tagers, we need to treat them like it.
>>28854015>>28854018>>28854040>Point of note: Both Viss and Rechert have more arcane training than Anne; Vis is incredibly intelligent, and Rechert is an adept (2nd ranked of 5 ranks) level sorcerer at least. >Anne does not know Yen's roommate except by sight.
>>28854060Can Rechert describe him to us? Anne could stand guard while the two arcane experts check out if there's something weird in there.
>>28854074>Yes, he can.>Writing.
Watch out for that roomie of his. He apparently was absent most of the time, maybe he is the one who brought Yen those stones.What does Rechert know about the guy?
>>28854074>>28854040>>28854018>>28854015[?] Have Viss stand guard.[?] Have Rechert stand guard.[?] Other: Anne stands guard. [S] Commandeer someone else to stand guard temporarily.While you try and decide who should stand guard, you notice a few more people have taken note of the situation. Before you can make a solid decision, you start to speak. “Viss, Rechert, stick close at first. We go in together.” Your head clears as your symbiont relaxes, and you feel absurdly pleased with yourself for having gotten through your thick skull that you are Tagers, and you have other people who can do petty things like stand guard. You're pretty sure that you're not who you were thinking about.Shaking your head, and realizing you'll need Rechert's and Viss' expertise, you quickly get someone’s attention. “Biru, Talliya, come here please.” The couple chatting against the wall quickly hurry over; a young Nazzadi man and a Human woman, both striving to become Tagers. Your status, known to nearly everyone, gets their attention and compliance much more quickly than it would have a day before. “I need you to turn away anyone who isn't a Tager; if you see an Elder, let them know we're investigating. I'll contact them myself shortly anyways. Rechert, what does Yen's roommate look like?”Rechert closes his eyes. “Lopert is about five foot-ten, heavyset, Negro, usually dresses colorfully. Bald, but he has a beard.” Rechert glances at you and you nod to him. “You two see him, keep him here, tell him I need to speak to him.” You look at Biru and Talliya seriously. “No one in or out, except Tagers or Elders, including him.”“Certainly, Dame Anne.” “Absolutely.” [Con't.>Stop annoying your symbiont!
>>28854167Both beds have been turned on their sides and placed mattress first against the walls, making the room seem much larger. There is only one dresser, the top of which is covered in ritual paraphernalia, beakers filled with reagents, and an empty case. It is very obvious that that case is the one Rechert spoke of: there are eight stones, currently hovering in mid air in a cubic pattern beg enough to step inside, about seven feet apart. They remain still in respect to their location, though all but one slowly rotate in position. The one not rotating is the focus for a green laser, which strikes it, and splits between the three other stones in its nearest corner, while they in turn redirect the now coruscating beam of chartreuse fire into the other two stones, until thee beams meet at the stone in the opposite corner, which is spinning the fastest. Looking at the stones hurts your eyes – not because they are brightly lit, which is true, but because they are each composed of six trapezoids which meet at the edges....and the faces are all the same size, which is of course impossible. The perspective changes that occur as they turn makes your head throb. The rug and its padding have been removed, and the floor cleaned, leaving a place where Yen apparently carved or gouged a slightly imperfect circle into the floor. The imperfections are purposeful, because the silver he apparently poured into it is given a faintly thorny look by those imperfections. In the center, a pile of salt crystals rests, supporting a very long dagger which has a spiraled blade – not waved like a kris knife might, but a blade which has been twisted in one direction and then another several times along the length, giving it a unique look. This dagger is arranged on the tower of salt crystals – some an inch across – to point at the uppermost and furthest trapezoid stone, the one which spins quickest. There are runs painted inside the circle and Rechert is studying them.
>>28854178Viss is creeping slowly around the edges of the room, towards the closet, her eyes slitted and still covering her mouth, making her voice muffled. “It's definitely coming from over here.” She glances at the closet, though she's still a little ways from it, and is in no danger of crossing the beams of energy. “Looks like his clothes and his roommate’s clothes are here, along with the other dresser and some luggage boxes. The computer is jumbled up on the shelf, and the dresser is shoved to the far side of the closet.”Rechert looks up at you. “We can definitely step into and out of the circle, as long as we don't touch it, or the beams. The spell is stable, whatever it is, and I'm guessing the dagger controls it, but I can't be sure until I can get inside and study it too. I can't make out enough details from here. I definitely don't know what the spell is other than some kind of divination.” You and Rechert study the spell. You and Viss check the closet. Viss, closet; Rechert, spell; you on guard. Everybody out. This is bad. Other: Write in.
>>28854185> Everybody out. This is bad.Call the Sorceror Elder, we are pout of our elements here
>>28854178>Trapezohedron>horrible implications>>28854185Everyone get the fuck out, call an expert on this
>>28854185> [x] Everybody out. This is bad.Shit, Yen, what were you doing.
The roommate's corpse is in the closet, isn't it.
>>28854185Oh come on guys, quit pussying out. We can at least let Viss check out the closet and Rechert check out what he can WITHOUT GOING INSIDE THE CIRCLE while we step back and tell one of the guards to go and call an Elder over for us.
>>28854194>>28854210>>28854216[X] Everybody out. This is bad.“Out.”Viss and Rechert both look at you, stopping in their tracks. “Out-out-out.” You stay in place, facing the glowing cube and the shining stones it is made from, slightly crouched, ready to change and burn to ashes anything that might come out of the terrifying, incredible sorcery you see before you.You don't need to repeat yourself: on the second 'out' Viss and Rechert are both moving, though cautiously, and by the fourth they're both at the door. Backing away slowly, you carefully make your way outside and shut the door....and lock it. “Did Lopert bring those to Yen? For someone training to be a Tager, being gone a lot is rather suspicious.” You can't imagine what the hell Yen was thinking, managing sorcery on this level in his own room, wards or not. You wish you knew everyone by name, but while making time for a more varied social life would have been more fun and allowed you to meet more people, it paid off in the end. Still, even the least studious of those who were striving to become Holy Warriors were not simply 'gone a lot.' “Whatever the hell he was doing, it was a lot more than just divination.”[Con't.]
>>28854295Rechert shakes his head. “Yen got them from Glory On High, a sanctioned implements and spell peddler. Julian is on the OIS list, white magic through and through. But with this stuff....I don't even know what kind of magic it's considered, other than high order divination. It's probably legal in theory, but in practice....I couldn't say. Lopert wasn't much of a sorcerer himself, but I could be wrong. I only saw him every couple of months.” Frowning, he adds, “I wonder how much of that was on purpose on Yen's part.”“Phone.” Biru glances at Talliya and immediately hands you the slender device. You didn't take yours because in this outfit it juts out like a third hand. You dial the central communications post. Before whomever is on duty can even begin, you're speaking. “A-55-SIU call sign Firefly.” that immediately shuts them up and you listen to the silence gratefully. I need Mordecai at Yen Chau's and Lopert's Quarters immediately. I don't care where he is, what he's doing, unless he's dead or interrupting him raises up another god. You get him here, NOW, and I will answer to Loco himself for it if I have to.” [Con't.]
>>28854351“Yes, Dame Firefly.” The male voice is gone, and you hand the phone back to Biru. “You two need to get Jakob, Irren or Holmes, any one of them or all three if you can, and send them here. Keep it quiet for as long as you can, please, because there's something going on here that the elders are going to have to look at.” You don't demand perfect secrecy, but these are people who will one day be Tagers; you have to trust them to an extent. “Try the mess hall or....” You glance at Viss.“Irren.”“....Irren's quarters.” Biru and Talliya nod and after a quick claim of who goes where, Biru rushes towards Irren's quarters while Talliya takes of running towards the mess hall. Viss and Rechert are looking at you like you sprouted another head.  Try and see what they could guess at with what little they have. Cool it, you're starting to scare them. Plan for what you'll do when Mordecai arrives. Other: Write in.
>>28854441I still think we should have at least checked the closet.Have Viss transform. She can see through walls, right? See if she can see into the closet from here.After that... cool down. We can start tossing out wild theories after we have the super-mage here.
>>28854441> [x] Cool it, you're starting to scare them.A good leader keeps a cool head.> [x] Try and see what they could guess at with what little they have.Have Viss transform and check what's in that closet - but the moment she notices something weird or potentially mind-breaking, have her pull out. In the meantime, see if they have any ideas what that Yen was doing in there.
[x] Plan for what you'll do when Mordecai arrives.
On a side note:>>28854167>Stop annoying your symbiont!Deal with it, Inferno.
>>28854517>>28854506>>28854479[X] Cool it, you're starting to scare them.[x] Try and see what they could guess at with what little they have.[x] Plan for what you'll do when Mordecai arrives.Taking a deep breath, you relax, allowing your symbiont-driven authority to slip to a more manageable level. “All right. When Mordecai gets here, I’m going to go in with him, and make sure he stays safe. If he declares it's safe, you two can come in and help. The others will stand guard, but no one is going in until at least one of them gets here except me, and then only if Mordecai insists on going in immediately. Understood?” They nod their heads once. “Viss, why don't you transform and take a look....what?” Rechert is shaking his head. “Won't work, it's scrying and interference warded,” Rechert tells you, making her look up in surprise. “He didn't want any kind of interference with his magic, and I didn't think it was a bad idea either.” “Well....what can you surmise with what you did see? And smell,” you add, recognizing viss' reaction as telling.Viss speaks up immediately. “There's probably a dead body in there, or he's growing something really, really nasty in the closet. I've never smelled anything like it, but I didn't smell anything at all before, in comparison.” She considers. “I'd say a dead body plus evil stuff. Maybe some secret spell ingredients got spilled.” [Con't]
>>28854631Rechert looks abashed. “I wish I could say you're wrong, but after that....” He glances at the door. “Well, there were salt and other kinds of crystals in that pile, and I think the ritual was on standby or hold. It was active, but not actually being used, which makes it something I've never heard of before.”Viss adds to that. “Well, a lot of the defensive orbs are like that – partially completed rituals inside ritual trappings, completing when X happens.” The young man nods. “I think that's what it was. I think....no, I’m pretty sure the dagger was a control mechanism, rather than sacrificial, and the runes weren't blood, so there's that at least.” That bit of news is somewhat heartening. “I think the runes were cinnabar paint, or alizarhin based paint. Something not normal red.” You've seen plenty of blood, wet and dried, so you were pretty sure it wasn't either of those. “I have no idea what the stones were, but they had to be the ones in the case.” Viss gets your attention and points down the hall.It's Holmes, arriving at a steady jog. When he reaches you he stops, not even winded. “Irren and Jakob are on the way. They'll be here in a few minutes. What's up?” You give him a breakdown of what is in the room, and what you are planning on doing next. It is Mordecai, escorted by Irren and Jakob, who arrives next. He looks very serious, and Jakob looks about ready to kill something or someone. Irren looks mildly amused by the whole thing.“I got your call, Firefly. I presume it is serious enough that Loco speaking to you wouldn't be an issue?” While he speaks somewhat casually, the implied threat is there.  Explain to him what's in the room. Open the door, let him see for himself. Agree, and patiently explain. Other: Write in.
>>28854631...if the room is warded, what's stopping Viss from poking her head in and looking from inside the wards?Unless they set up a zone, rather than a wall.
>>28854646> [x] Agree, and patiently explain.> [x] Open the door, let him see for himself.>>28854656It's most likely a zone.
>>28854646Agree, patiently explain why we decided to snoop, then open the door and let him see for himself.
>>28854656>Nothing, but most wards tend to be zones, rather than walls; Anne is aware of this. But a zone would prevent the spells from working on the inside - so they are most likely walls. She could stick her head inside; but, if there was a ward-trap....
[x] Open the door, let him see for himself.[x] Agree, and patiently explain.
>>28854646> Agree, and patiently explain.My memory is fuzzy but he does know what happened to Yen right? Also make sure to say what Rechert told us about Yen.
>>28854728Let's wait for Mordecai. Yen was able to pull this off, a ward-trap is entirely possible.
>>28854795>>28854783>>28854736>>28854669>>28854664[X] Agree, and patiently explain.[X] Open the door, let him see for himself.[x] Other - add Rechert's information.“Jakob, Irren, Holmes, guard duty, two meters clear space around this door, no one gets in or out except on Mordecai's say so. Including Elders.” This alone makes nearly everyone's eyes go wide – including Mordecai, who was probably seen things that would turn your stomach inside out. Jakob and Irren look at one another, and play rock-paper-scissors. Irren comes up rock, and Jakob paper; He grins, widely, and transforms, the powerful sea-beast that is an Echo turning in place and planting himself to one side of the door; Irren gestures to Holmes, and he transforms as well, the powerful Phantom standing guard on the opposite side. Irren remains a Nazzadi, and takes a position between them and into the hall, forming a sort-of-semicircle of danger around the doorway.Mordecai has the grace to look significantly worried at the new situation. “I really did mean everything I said to the comm-worker, Elder Mordecai. This is truly a situation you must see to understand why I phrased it so urgently and tersely. I apologize if I inconvenienced you, but Yen was acting very strange concerning members of my murder, and we thought investigation was in order. Rechert says that Yen was experimenting with very powerful divination, and seems to have collected some items from a source outside the normal channels.” You unlock the door, and open it wide for him. “Rechert says that Yen was experimenting with very powerful divination, and seems to have collected some items from a source outside the normal channels. I am afraid I was underestimating the situation, and may have also understated it.”The light makes his bushy eyebrows jump, and then seeing the cube of light makes them knit. He steps slowly inside, his eyes tracing the lines, the stones. “I...see.” [Con't.]
>>28854968He steps inside, and you motion Viss and Rechert to follow you. Viss covers her mouth and nose, once more,and waits for you to nod before moving over the the closet; once she is there she has a little more room to maneuver. She looks positively ill, however; whatever she is smelling is too faint for you to detect over the scent of ozone from the laser and burning metal from the magic itself. She rummages through the clothing first, and she does hold up one item of great interest. “Someone's PDA.” She tosses it to you and you snatch it out of the air easily. She pokes around a little more, before climbing onto the luggage so she can check the dresser more easily. Mordecai, knowing the horrible death that Yen suffered through, gingerly steps over the glimmering line of sickly flame, and glances cautiously at the one above his head, though he's in no danger from it as long as he stays low. Rechert would has no trouble at all, and gives Mordecai plenty of room, while he studies from the outside. Mordecai is also careful not to step on the circle of silver or the runes it surrounds, and then steps to the mount of crystals and studies them. “Definitely salt, but there's also some calcite. The dagger seems to be made out of titanium, which is an odd choice as well being an alloy of some sort. Handle and all, very strange, with....hum. I think that's Human skin on the hilt, Dame Firefly. Not standard issue for the Society.” Your stomach does a slow turn, while your head fills with fire. Sure, there's a half dozen legal ways to get Human-skin leather, but the idea of one of your own, a Holy Warrior in all but name, sinking to such depths is disgusting and frightening. The fear and disgust are eclipsed by the anger that arises seconds later. How dare that son of a bitch do something like this!“It is definitely a-”[Con't.]
>>28854984There is a soft clunk and almost immediately after the sound of Viss retching. Both you and Rechert stand immediately, Rechert going into a defensive stance, you about ready to turn inside out and kill whatever threat appears. Viss is on her knees several feet from the closet, swallowing convulsively as she tries not to vomit. The smell reaches you and then Rechert; Mordecai either cannot smell it or isn't as effective through the light-cube. It is not decay; it is so much worse than mere decay. It's a compost pile that has had a half dozen different foul smelling chemicals sprayed on it then set on fire, put out, left to moulder, then set on fire again and put out with corpses. You quickly move and yank Viss up by her arm and set her behind you, getting between her and the source of the horrific stench. Viss apparently opened the luggage case, and what is inside is the source of the smell. It was most likely Yen's roomate, who was gone so long because he was locked in a trunk after being killed. His body is partially liquified, and while the solid parts look as though he hasn't been dead long, the parts which are liquified look like simple brownish muck. The parts that are liquiyING on the other hand, are doing so because of some kind of semi-animate blue liquid that is slowly seething and consuming the body. The dead body smell is nothing compared to the other smells mixed in. There are several holes in his head and chest, and it's obvious that this stuff attacked him from inside those holes – the back of his head is gone, parts of his chest and gut, all opposite the holes. That's when you see his mutilated lungs inflate and his half-dissolved heart beat. >Roll 1d30+7 (Tenacity-Insanity)>Reaction, assuming you don't lose it?
Rolled 6 + 7>>28855001>Reaction, assuming you don't lose it?Ask Mordecai what we should do.
Rolled 19 + 7>>28855001Tell everyone to stand back. Ask Mordecai what we should do.
Rolled 22 + 7>>28855001Rolling
Rolled 18 + 7[x] Draw elder's attention to crazy case[x] Examine pda for further evidence of HERESY AND MUTATION
Rolled 5 + 7>>28855001Shut the trunk. The corpse isn't going anywhere, let's worry about the active spell first. We can make /some/ decisions around here without relying on an Elder, yeah?
>>28855018>>28855036>>28855074>>28855079>>28855091>Roll 1d30+7 (Tenacity-Insanity)>13, 26, 29, 25, 12You stare at the sight, narrow your eyes. It is undeniably one of the worst things you've seen when not in the midst of horrifying rituals to join your flesh and spirit to other-worldy predators while on a mess of psychotropic drugs....but you have a higher bar than most people. And have had that higher bar since you were the age you don't think about very much, not remembering those things. Even still alive, this poor bastard is not the worst you've seen, nor will it be the worst you will see. He breathes and his heart beats again, but there is no other movement; he may be 'alive' but he is apparently utterly paralyzed.You're not entirely sure Viss saw that part; if the smell is this bad to you, you're surprised she's not puking her guts up the way you do when you fail to not remember. Rechert starts towards you but you hold up your hand, and he freezes in place. It takes every effort not to just kill the poor bastard in the case, but sometimes the hard choices are the right choices. You need Viss functional first, so you close the case and lock it. You hope he's brain dead enough not to know what is happening. “I think you'll need to take a look at this later, Mordecai, before it gets moved by anyone to anywhere.” Noting Viss looks even more brown than usual, you try and get that taken care of next. “Irren! Don't come in, but get the biggest venting fan you can find and open the door, pull some of this smell out!” Your shouted orders get a 'Yes Dame!' instantly and you can hear him pelting down the hall. [Con't.]
>>28855141Viss is breathing a little easier now that the smell is once more enclosed, and she looks up, her eyes haunted by what she's seen, even as she struggles to cope. It's obvious that she did see what you hoped she hadn't seen, and you kneel in front of her.  We have work to do, pull yourself together. Go outside and wait, it's all right. Are you okay? Other: Write in.
>>28855161> Go outside and wait, it's all right.She isn't in immediate danger so its ok for her to take a small break.
[x] We have work to do, pull yourself together.There is time for gentleness and now is not that time.
>>28855161> [x] Are you okay?> [x] We have work to do, pull yourself together.If she needs a break, she can have one, but we need her to help us with this stuff.
>>28855161We know she's not okay, but she's going to have to pull herself together. This shit? What she just saw? Seeing things is her /job/ now and you can be damn sure the /actual/ evil people will pull out nastier shit than this.If she wants to take a breather, let her, but encourage her to keep a stiff upper lip.
>>28855197>>28855213Eh, she isn't really needed to be honest right now, we have mordecai here.
>>28855223The very fact that the elders are here is why we need to keep our shit together. They need to see that they can trust us to handle crazy shit out in the field, and while that was horrible it wasn't especially dangerous. If we let one of our crew take a fiver from something like that, what will they think of letting us see something horrible WHILE it's trying to attack us? Compassion can come in private.
>>28855222>>28855213>>28855197>>28855193[X] We have work to do, pull yourself together.[x] Are you okay + [x] If you need a break, it's all right.It is perhaps a little cruel, but you use the knowledge that while Viss is still relatively young and impressionable even by NEG societal standards, she is less so by Nazzadi standards and her symbiont is a wicked, feisty vicious creature. And you need her to be able to cope with worse than this. She is a Whisper – this is the tip of the iceberg for her. She's going to have to look at things like the things you don't remember ~on purpose~.“Viss, are you all right?” You snap your fingers in front of her face and she blinks, focusing on you. “I know it's harsh, but we have work to do, Watcher. But if you really need to take a break...it's all right.” Not a lie, entirely, you wish you could make it easier for her, but this is the job. She knows it, and you know it. She just needs a firm reminder. She nods and you can see the steel slide into her spine and her slightly insulted expression is somewhat gratifying. “I'll be fine. Let's get this done.” She stands on her own, her skin edged in that ruddy brown, but her eyes are sharp and she looks more focused now. “What's that all about in there?” She nods to Mordecai. [Con't.]
>>28855288Mordecai gestures for you both to join him; Rechert remains outside the circle, but is listening and watching attentively. Viss, on the other hand, gasps, then takes a deep breath. The scent is unnoticeable here, and she's taking the opportunity to breathe while she has it.Due to Yen emptying the room of everything he apparently considered unimportant, the circle isn't too crowded with the three of you. Unimportant things might have included his roommate, unfortunately; Fire knows what kind of spell that was. “It's okay to stand on the runes, they're not empowered or necessary any longer,” the old sorcerer says. Kneeling he points at the dagger then up to the rapidly twirling trapezoid-cube. “This is a kind of temporal....for lack of a better word, a window, through it's more like a dome or a holographic box. The dagger controls the location and how quickly you get to when you look, while the upper prisms determine which time you look at; I can only guess at what you would do with looking sideways.”Viss rubs her eyes and looks at the prisms. “~I'm~ guessing sort of....alternate whens to the when that is forward or back. Maybe alternate timelines.” Rechert brightens visibly. “That's probably it! The lower ones are sort of a memory in addition to a protective barrier against the temporal energies, from what Yen said about divining stones used in concert. They are the walls, but also they can take....I guess snapshots of times and locations.” Mordecai inclines his head, impressed by Rechert's knowledge. [Con't.]
>>28855295“Exactly that. They take holographic images, and can store a number of them – I am hazarding fifteen of them.” You look at him, bemused. “One for each face, less one for the power source. I suspect using a laser prevented the need for massive ruach or human sacrifices.” Rechert and Viss immediately look at the luggage case in the closet.“A bookmark on a page in time,” you murmur softly. Yen's final words echo in your head. “Can you access them, Mordecai?”Viss blinks and looks alarmed. “Wait, is this active now?” Mordecai shakes his head. “Not currently. It is prepared and ready to be used, but not in use.”Viss shudders, and looks at the case. “I think I know what happened to him....”Rechert looks confused, and then nauseated as he reaches he same conclusion. Mordecai's lips form a tight line, and he nods his agreement. “I am afraid so.” His eyes meet yours knowingly.With a slow, unpleasant turn your gorge rises as you realize what must have happened to Yen Chau's unfortunate roommate. “Hounds. The Hounds of Tindalos. Yen was trying to see the future, and his roommate must have tried it too. Except he wasn't as careful as Yen.” Yen might have been haunted by them as well, and their presence near him – even outside the same moment as the ritual – had skewed his joining into a horrible failure rather than joyous union.Viss turns to you, horror darning in her eyes. “Dark fire....” The same horrific thought slips into your head, though whether it is truly yours or that of your bosom companion symbiont, you cannot say. If the Hounds were aware of Yen....does that mean your entire murder is in danger? >TO BE CONTINUED
>>28855309>The Hounds of TindalosFUCKING DIMENSIONAL SHARKS ARE LOOSEFUCK
>>28855309NEXT TIME ON PAX MORTIS: FIREFLY THE INFERNO AND HER MURDER TAKE ON THE HOUNDS OF TINDALOS!EXCLUSIVELY AT THE THHHHHHHHHHHUUUUUNDERDOOOOOOOOME!
>>28855309>Hounds of TindalosSweet thread XQM! I look forward to the next one!Can anyone more familiar with the game tell me what the Hounds of Tindalos are?
>>28855359Very, very bad.
>>28855359>Can anyone more familiar with the game tell me what the Hounds of Tindalos are?See>>28855354>They are said to inhabit the angles of time, while other beings (such as humankind and all common life) descend from curves. The Hounds are thought to be immortal and are believed to lust after something in humankind and other normal life, and will follow victims through time and space to get it. Their appearance is unknown because no characters who meet them survive long enough to give a description. It is said that they have long, hollow tongues or proboscis to drain victims' body-fluids, and that they excrete a strange blue pus or ichor.>Though the Hounds are sometimes pictured as canine, probably because of the evocative name of the first story in which they appeared, it is not likely that they appear as such- the story states that the name "veils their foulness". Various pastiches suggest that the Hounds are more bat-like in appearance, like the byakhee, or may appear even worse. The name Hounds of Tindalos refers more to the creatures' habits than their appearance.>Because of their relationship with the angles of time, they can materialize through any corner if it is fairly sharp—120° or less. When a Hound is about to appear, it materializes first as smoke pouring from the corner, and finally the head emerges followed by the body. It is said that once a human becomes known to one of these creatures, a Hound of Tindalos will pursue the victim through anything to reach its quarry. A person risks attracting their attention by travelling through time.
>>28855359Beasts that move sideways through time and space, hunting those who attempt to alter or peer beyond their place in time. Something like that.
>>28855375>>28855371Thanks you! I am now suitably terrified.<Screams Internally>
>>28855309> Hounds of TindalosFuck.>>28855359Imagine a beast that can find you and eat you anyplace, anytime if there's an angle sharper than 120 degrees near you. And they never stop hounding you.
>>28855309>>28855371I'm not familiar with Cthulutech, do Jagers and powerful sorcerers have any means of defending themselves from those things? Cause everyone close to Yen and his roommate might be boned, including us.
Quick notes:Viss and all of the Elders are aware of how Yen Chau died, including Mordecai. not even Mordecai understands why such a thing happens. (Now, however, there is an unfortunately unpleasant clue.)When there is absolutely no agreement, the symbiont can and will overrule Anne. Anne's connection to her Efreet symbiont is very strong - strong enough that she can influence it's form to an extent (upgrade her combat abilities). The downside, of course, is that it shows through more easily, and in certain rare cases (total disagreement, or confusion basically) it will push Anne. It is not strong enough to take control when she sleeps. (Be happy.)Showing determination and actively asserting yourself pleases your symbiont, and strengthens your tie to it. Count is being kept, as are activities. Enough time and perhaps you could become an Inferno after all.Finally: Nice counter to the insanity test. It has been noted, and you may receive bonuses depending on the situation of others.
>>28855407The danger of the Hounds is their ability to appear and then continue to hunt you no matter where you go. As Tagers we are likely more than capable of fighting them off, but could not keep it up if they just keep coming until we're dead.As with many things in the Lovecraftian universe, your best defense is to remain unnoticed.
>>28855435Counter to the insanity test? How do you mean?
>>28855407Some wards - specifically those against Outside Influence such as are in your room, all of the ritual rooms, and the Elders' briefing room among others - can prevent them from entering. Not having corners around also helps. That does not prevent them from hunting you....
>>28855449> your best defense is to remain unnoticedBasically this. If they notice you, or become aware of you (a possibility because Yen fucked with those memory stones), they won't stop chasing after you. Combine that with the fact that they're apparently immortal and capable of appearing at any place or any time, you've got yourself bad news.I'm guessing wards and being in rounded rooms will be our best defense against them teleporting at random, but that doesn't stop them from appearing somewhere else and making their way towards us.
>>28855469I'm guessing the shutting the trunk part.
>>28855469I assume remembering that we had an expert of mambo jumbo stopped us from panicking.
>>28855469Exceedingly good roll. I don't use crits on either side, but good rolls do recieve in game rewards of a long term sort.
So, either Yen knew that the Hounds are aware of us and tried to get us as far away from the rest of the team as possible, or the Hounds are aware of Viss and Rechert and he wanted to isolate those two from the rest of the team.
>>28855763Yen's last words were "The future is set in stones." Hopefully Mordecai can access the stones and we can see what future he saw that had him freaked out.
>>28855540>>28855538The value of the rolls overall more than doubled what you needed. Apparently, a nightguant's "face" is much more horrifying than a half consumed living body that's being eaten by Hound ichor. Mordecai's presence wasn't what pulled you through (Anne's Efreet enhanced Tenacity helped though).
>>28855833Maybe he can access those things, and be more careful than Yen was. If I remember correctly, the Hounds usually become aware of you if you do some time travelling - which both Yen and his roommate did (it's a temporal window, as Mordecai put it).If they only take snapshots, we can see what Yen saw that made him freak out. Then we have to hope that looking into the future doesn't count as time travel for those things. Then again, if he took those snapshots of us in the stones, the Hounds are probably already aware of us because that's where he traveled to and what he observed.