>(Twitter)https://twitter.com/QM_Auri>(Previous Threads)http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Journal+of+the+Occult>(Character Sheets)http://pastebin.com/46DXX5zq>(Sophia's Journal)http://pastebin.com/fzbjzbay~Your journal snaps shut with a small echo and you idly trace the weathered leather binding with your finger. Your musings on what you saw when you further examined the ornate hairpin safely contained upon the musty paper. You stretch nosily and lean back in your chair. It’s been less and less frequent that you’ve been documenting your thoughts. What you once only dipped your feet into occasionally has become your reality, one that you’re not going to escape any time soon. So, is that the reason?“All things must run their course.”Your brow furrows upon remembering those words. They aren’t your words, and they’ve never sat well in your mind, but here you are thinking them. No.Irritated, you rise from your chair in hurry, almost sending it tipping backwards. They’re only idle thoughts. The course one takes into the future is determined by their own actions, thus nothing is set in stone. No destiny, no chosen ones, and no predetermined fate, all of these things are refuges for those too lacking to take what they want.But not for you…You slowly rub the growing tension away from your temples. It’s strange that you suddenly felt so worked up, so you calm yourself and try to reason out your current state of mind. Well, lugging around all your armor certainly doesn’t help so you begin the process of removing it, while pondering.[1/2]
>>41571166Potential problems are festering in your thoughts, and every day that passes, it seems that yet another is added. Your extreme fluctuations of emotion, this new found knowledge about the hairpin, and why The Empress has taken such an interest in a group of humans are the ones that sit most heavily in your mind. But immediately upon the removal of your cloak and last piece of armor, you feel substantially more at ease. A weight has been removed from your chest, and you feel much more like yourself. Your body must’ve been stuck in a sort of work mode, because now you’re more than ready to sleep.Three quiet knocks come from outside the entrance to your quarters.Of course.You sigh and walk over to the sealed door. “Who’s there at this time of night?” A long period of silence is broken by a meek voice. “I-it’s Vicki.” She responds quietly. “Madam Ali sent my here to tell you something.”Strange, but it must be important.“Well, go ahead.” You reply impatiently and lean against the door.“Uh- I think- I mean, I have to be inside your room to tell you.” Her frustration clear in her voice. Maybe Ali thinks that the walls have ears as well, and it’s too important to chance it. Then again, she’s the one that told you not to trust anyone. What to do?>Allow Vicki inside.>Send Vicki away.>Write in.
>>41571196>>Allow Vicki inside.
Hello and welcome to the thread!>>41571213Allowing her inside.>Writing~
>>41571379“This better be important.” You pull yourself away from the door, quickly wrap your body in your cloak, and then release the seal. You sigh as she’s yet to realize the door has been unsealed, so you open it to allow your guest inside. Her normal expression of constant worry seems heightened as she fidgets unnaturally in place, her entire body seems like it’s jumping around in the tiniest fractions of inches. A slight smile of thankfulness forms on her face, but upon looking up at you for the first time, it’s immediately removed. “Still not fond of me?” You ask with a wide smile and gesture for her to enter.She doesn’t reply to your question, choosing to stiffly walk into your room with hand tightly clutched upon her collar, in silence. The heavy door closes with a dull thud, and you replace the seal upon it out of habit. Vicki’s eyes widen upon realizing the seal has been replaced and she backs away from you in fear. You sigh yet again. “I’m planning on harming you. I don’t even have a reason why I would want to.” You follow her steps. She backs into your chair sending it tipping to its side with a loud bang. Vicki shrieks in response. Immediately you stop moving and hold up a hand. “Just…go on with it. The sooner you speak, the sooner you can leave.”Your words finally seem to resonate with her. Vicki collects herself and approaches as close as she dares to you. “Madam Ali has uncovered some information about The Empress’s plans that she wishes to share with you.” Her voice is so quiet you, it’s hardly fair to say that it occurred at all.You lean in and nod for her to continue.“Recapturing the inner realms is only to help her real plan.” Vicki’s eyes are heavy with graveness. “Her writings indicate that she’s preparing a ritual to unseal something.”[1/2]
>>41571968You turn to her incredulously. “How did you find this out?” You whisper.“M-madam Ali is resourceful, but its incredibly risky to find out even small pieces like this.” She looks at you for a brief moment, but then pulls her eyes away. “She asks that you do something to prepare for this.”Prepare? Maybe look into sealing more heavily…“She asks that you focus your study on delving.” Vicki states simply. You furrow your brow in confusion. “Why?”Vicki shakes her head. “She did not tell me. But…” She looks around and sighs. “We are to help if you have something that needs investigating.” She’s clearly not thrilled to state the last part. "To clear up your work..."You pull away from Vicki. You help her and she helps you, that seems to be the case here. If the two of them are capable of gathering information privy to The Empress herself, then the possibilities are limitless. All there is now is to carefully choose what you want to know more about.>Write in.
>>41571995>WHAT the aspect of each outer realm are>The nature of the realms and how their aspects interconnect, or how combining these aspects affect them>How to travel in the most undetectable way possible>How to lock out a realm from travel/conquest>How to mess up a ritual without causing a worse consequence than the ritual itself
>>41572071>>41571995I like this guys stuff.Add in anything relating to the Ancilitary Manta. and what lies beyond.
>>41572071That's quite a bit, so I'll cut it down to the two that Sophia would consider most important right now, and that are related to>>41572155>The nature of the realms and how their aspects interconnect, or how combining these aspects affect them>How to lock out a realm from travel/conquest>Writing~
>>41572177The Empress’s goals all seem to be headed toward the Ancillary Manta and what it guards. One of the main deterrents is the safeguard that prevents anyone from delving into their whole. Kyraen’Asils is similarly blocked off, so perhaps therein lies an answer to how to get ahead of The Empress.You beckon for Vicki to come closer, which she hesitantly does. “Look for all notes pertaining to realm interconnectivity and overlap. As well as finding everything you can sealing entire realms off.”Vicki’s mouths the words that you tell her repeatedly until, she finally gives you a timid nod. “Good.” You reply at normal volume causing her to jump in surprise. “Do you want to stick around for something to drink?” Flabbergasted, all Vicki does is shake her head vehemently, her long brown hair becoming a mess in the process. You grin slightly at her discomfort. “You’re free to go.” Immediately upon sensing the door has been unsealed again, Vicki completely vanishes from sight. You’ll certainly never admit it out loud, but you’re quite thankful for the visit because now you’re going to sleep in high spirits.~[1/2]
>>41572806You and Philomena watch as Justina plays with two blonde haired children, a boy and girl. Their adorned in matching dark colored tunics, and given their similarities in age an appearance, you’d guess that they are twins. Their light laughter and frolicking, completely contrasts their surroundings. “You’re not going to be allowed to bring them into the briefing, Justina.” Philomena warns.“I know that already.” She tussles both of their hair. “But we’ve been waiting here for hours for them to finish.”Indeed, the briefing with the Martial Council has gone on much longer than it was supposed to. You can’t say that you haven’t been growing impatient yourself.“How does she keep them so well…preserved?” You quietly ask Philomena. You recently figured out that their actions are all a result of Justina’s necromancy.“You don’t want to know.” Philomena responds in an uncharacteristically serious tone.“I’m not deaf!” Justina calls out. “I’d be more than happy to help you improve your necromancy. When time permits, of course.” She directs her words to the both of you. “If you’d just let me borrow your blood fruits for a five days.”A strange offer. Not that you’re actively using the fruits in the palace garden, at this moment, but would you be willing to let Justina of all people have it? Perhaps a token of good-will, or to be more accurate, the appearance of good will?>Accept.>Refuse.>Write in.
>>41572848>Accept, but keep a couple.sure, throw her a bone.
>>41572848>>Accept.4 days though
>>41572848Accept, but make a mild query about whatever she could be using that much blood for. Also keep enough on hand for your delving.
>>41572848>Accept.Also hey Auri! Sorry I'm late, was out on the beach!
>>41572928Going with this, four days and not one more.
>>41572903>>41572928>>41572931>>41572970Hello anon, that sounds like a lot of fun! Negotiations.>Writing~
>>41572928>>41573001guys, time is less important than making sure we always have a few on us.
>>41573025We dont have any of them. They're in the empresses gardens.
>>41573060we were rewarded with some. She wants our share.
>>41573081They're the size of a small car. We can't keep then in the one room we live in. We don't "have" them. We just have access to some in the gardens.
>>41573118>“They are alive enough to produce a full fruit in about a week, so I think five for the each of you will suffice.” She removes her hand from the fruit. unless Auri clarifies, I'm assuming we have 5 fruit.
>>41573182You do indeed have five, but they are very large and can't be moved from the garden.
>>41573060>>41573118>>41573214Huh, alright. So what's the point here? She wants our share, and I think we should keep/maintain "rentalship" of at least 1 if we ever need it.
>>41573017“Four days and only three of them.” You respond to her offer.Philomena sighs in disappointment. “Count me out.”Justina ignores Philomena and turns to you. Her expression as well as the two twins simultaneously show incredulity. “Four of them for five days.” The three of them demand.You don’t balk at this unusual sight. “Four of them for four days. My final offer.” You cross your arms.The trio is expressionless. “You’re a bitch…” A smile forms on only Justina’s face. “But I’m starting to like you. Deal!” She pulls you into a hug, in which the children join as well. You pull yourself away from that as you can. “That’s quite a substantial amount of blood you’ll be using. I assume you have something interesting planned.”“Oh, nothing of the sort.” She laughs and grips onto the little boy’s shoulders. “I just have been working on extending their softness, or preserving them, like you said. I’ve been able to keep them fresh for almost four days now-.”The enormous doors to the Palace hall swing open, interrupting your conversation, and signaling it’s finally time for your briefing.[1/2]
>>41573559Without skipping a beat, the three of you line up side by side, and march elegantly into the hall. Immediately you are surprised by the sight of four individuals all sitting to the right side of The Empress.The Empress stands high above you all. “Our plans are set in well into motion, and now it is finally time to take the first real step.” She motions for you to sit to her left side.The three of you obey, and now you sit directly across the Martial Council. A grotesque creature that looks like it crawled its way out of The Maw, a handsome male that would easily pass for a human were it not for the slight flames that trial his body, a beastly and heavily scarred creature clearly from Impel, and a completely shrouded male all make up the Martial council.“Now, Sophia…” The Empress calls out and you immediately perk up. “You did well in your mission assisting Ali, so I will direct this question to you first.” She takes a moment to let her words simmer in your mind. “Force, subterfuge, espionage, or tactics; which of these four things do you think you’d excel most in a war?”War. You’ll be going to war, so you must carefully consider what your part in the whole thing will involve.>Force.>Subterfuge.>Espionage.>Tactics.>Write in.[Pictures incoming of all the Martial council.]
>>41573584>>Tactics.I think I could be easily convinced to switch, though.
>>41573584>Leadershipbut barring that>Tactics.
>>41573618>>41573649>>41573670>>41573695The cerebral road.>Writing~
>>41573748“Tactics.” You respond simply.The Empress drums her fingers on her chin upon your decision. “I’d like to say that I guessed it, but I honestly didn’t know how you’d answer.” She turns her focus toward the human-looking male. “Virgil, do be a gentleman when you’re working with her.”“Have I ever been anything but?” He responds with a suave tone of voice which reminds you slightly of Manolo. He turns his gaze toward you. “Let’s do our best, shall we?” He suggests respectfully. “We won’t disappoint you, my Empress.” You bow your head toward her.“I’m counting on it.” She smiles placidly. “Philomena, you’ll be working espionage with Sivaht.” The Empress gestures toward the hooded man who doesn’t respond to Philomena’s nod.“And Justina, you’ll be assigned to subterfuge with Disgur.” She indicates the fleshy creature. “My oldest servant with one of my newest servants, this should prove to be interesting.”“I live to serve.” Disgur responds in a raspy and wet-sounding voice. It takes quite a bit of effort on Justina’s part to not show her disgust. “I will personally be attending to the forces end of this operation.” The Empress finishes off the assignments and lets all of you consider your roles for a moment before turning to the beastly looking general. “Zarn, how long does it take to regroup the army from The Maw back to Impel capital?”“Four weeks.” His gravelly voice responds almost immediately. “Three weeks when rushing.”“Three weeks.” The Empress repeats. “That’s how long we have to succeed in sieging the palatial city and toppling Nahldol Ignisval.” [1/2]
>>41574471Aya’s uncle and younger brother to the King of Kyraen’Asils. Your brief time with him gave you the impression that he was an honorable man. “The grunts will follow whoever’s strong enough to lead.” Zarn explains. “If that runt is torn asunder, then they’ll fall in line behind our Empress.”“History will repeat itself.” Disgur comments.“Nothing is guaranteed.” The Empress broods. “Impel palace is a heavily guarded stronghold, with still tens of thousands of guards, and plenty of measures to prevent assault or sudden infiltration by my teleportation.”All Nahldol need do is hole up in the palace and wait for the main army to return. Your numbers are practically even, but if what they say about the Impel soldiers is true, then you need not worry about losing all your forces. So long as you achieve your goal, the payoff in the end will be more than worth it.It would be much easier if you could just devise a way to get even a fraction of your flesh soldiers into the Palace.>Continue listening.>Write in.
>>41574507Do they send out patrols? If so couldn't WE kill all but one break him and them send flesh soldiers puppeted by Justinia in their place? She'd have to wear a disguise of course, but couldn't they get in the palace? I could even help if it's required.
>>41574507What do we have in terms of siege weaponry?Do we have chemical explosives?
>>41574632Your army is almost completely devoid of siege weaponry, which wouldn't do much good against such a huge stronghold anyway. Chemical weapons are available.
>>41574507Since we're in tactics now, what sort of structure does our army follow? Just a big mass of flesh solders? Any specialy units? Arranged in any sort of squads, divisions, legions? What sort of weaponry can we field and in what quality and quanity?
>>41574591>>41574632>>41574682Bringing all of this up.>Writing~
>>41574591Not our position to say, let her come up with her own plans. We tactics now.
Just spitballing ideas, here>Catapult huge clumps of flesh soldiers that then disperse into troops with a couple of losses.>We can't improve our morale, but we can undermine theirs. Stink bombs and make a feint on their supplies>Seal and cave-in random corridors so they are just as sure of how to get from point A to point B as we are.Now how do we fuck this up and let the main force arrive without it being our fault at all?
>>41574914I like the catapaulting idea.I also wonder if we would be able to split soliders up into smaller bits to infiltrate the city and then from back up. They seem to be pretty malleable.
>>41575070Wouldn't that fall under espionage or subterfuge which are under the others jurisdiction?
>>41575137No. Espionage is info gathering and subterfuge has more to do with decieving the enemy than anything else. If it has to do with the military forces then it is solidly in the realm of tactics.But also, Tactics kind of includes both subterfuge and Espionage to some degree so there's no doubt going to be some overlap. Plans we make can easily include elements of both of those realms and we can likely bring any of the other 3 groups in on plans we make if we so wish.
>>41574700You’re in charge of tactics, so you’re certainly not going to be left in the dark about crucial matters. “Our soldiers, how are they going to be divided?” You jut quickly into the conversation with your question. “Five divisions of approximately ten thousand.” Zarn crosses his arms. “All their minds can be bound to a single source, so chain of command isn’t a primary concern.” He rubs his rough chin. “The enemy on the other hand, would fall into several legions to defend against a siege. We counter that with skirmishes originating right under their asses.”“And our weapons? What do we have in terms of siege weaponry?” You ask.Zarn scoffs. “Impel palace has stood since the beginning of recorded history, and for a reason. Hurling boulders against it would be as effective as hurling pebbles at a fucking mountain.”“What about anti-personal weaponry?” You press. “We do have the gas. But not huge amounts since my laboratory is in Impel.” Disgur smiles eerily at you. “A very volatile concoction that’s capable of eating away at the inner lining of anyone who breathes even a whiff. Maybe enough to kill…five thousand if we’re lucky, and we can add all the bodies that aren’t too mangled to our numbers.”Winning against these forces doesn’t seem to be the problem, it’s time that’s your main enemy.“Is there any way that we could sneak a few of our flesh soldiers into the palace? Their numbers will grow themselves.” Justina suggests.“Their hounds would sniff them out before their numbers grew large enough.” Sivaht responds in a voice, hollow of emotion. "They stink like no other creature."[1/2]
>>41575292“Why do we need to sneak our soldiers in?” You ask both councils. “Our aim is to add the main Impel army to our numbers. If we win by losing every single soldier, then we still win.” You lean forward. “Catapult them over.”Virgil laughs upon hearing your words. “I like it, but it won't gain much momentum before they fully stop it. They’ll regroup their entire force within the walls.” “We’re upon they’ll be cut away from their supplies.” Sivaht adds.“How long can they last without outside supplies?” You demand.“Two, maybe three weeks if they’re desperate enough.” Zarn comments in a much more excited voice than before.It’d be cutting it very close, a single large setback would tip the battle toward defeat, but the progress you’ve made is extremely substantial.The Empress holds up a hand. “You’re doing very well in your position already, Sophia. If you have anything else you wish to add, then please do so, but let’s leave some work for the other members of our councils.”>You’re finished for now.>Write in.
>>41575328>>You’re finished for now.
>>41575328Couldn't someone seal the gates so they're stuck open?
>>41575328So the soliders we do get in need to go straight for the supply depots.Rot burn or corrupt in any way possible.
>>41575276Very true, I'm just trying to say let them do their jobs so we don't have to do theirs and ours.
>>41575328>You’re finished for now.
>>41575328>>You’re finished for now.That'll do for now. We've got some time to concoct some more plans and ideas.
Quickly closing then finishing. >Writing~
Here's another idea: use the gas on any stockpile of supplies, or just the main gate as soon as we cut off their supply route, sacrificing some troops to deter them from breaking through.
>>41575460Your mind quickly pours over your final thoughts on the matter. “Is it correct to assume that the palace itself is largely immune to our skills?” You indicate toward yourself and The Empress.“It was built with that in mind.” The Empress responds bitterly. Then you must continue along your traditional sense of sieging a stronghold. “The stockpile of supplies that they have…Could we direct those troops that we catapult over to destroy it as their first priority?” You suggest. “It would be a gamble. Not only would they not be equipped for that kind of destruction, they wouldn’t be able to quickly respond to changing situations without eyes over the walls.” Virgil furrows his brow as he tries to add upon your plan.“I could solve both of those problems.” Justina speaks up. “Using my dolls I could have eyes over their walls and a means of destroying the supplies.” She’s quiet for a moment before realizing something very important. “But I’m not doing it unless I get a guarantee that they’ll be replaced.” She crosses her arms. “By human children!”“Replacing your pets would be the easiest part of this.” The Empress assures her.“Then I’ll do it.” She responds happily and begins day-dreaming. “Oh, I had my eye on this white-haired little angel I saw at the festival. I’d give my entire supply just for him.”Something deep inside you begins to burn,you bite your cheek to maintain composure.“Calm down.” Philomena tugs at Justina before she gets carried away.You reel in your emotions as well. She has her fantasies, and plus, his hair isn’t white anymore.The Empress stands and looks at every single one of you individually. “Your goals and my goals are all dependent upon the outcome of the battle that’s to come.” She stops lastly upon you. “Everything is there for us to take, so long as we succeed in this first step.” She pulls away from you. “I will be relying on all of you, and I will help you in return. We march out upon sunset. Dismissed.”~
>>41575925I don't think it works on supplies from how he described it.
>>41575990Alright, that's where I'm going to end it for tonight. I enjoyed the creativity today, and I want to thank everyone that played! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them in the thread and I will do my best to respond to them. If not, then I wish you a good day/night, and hope to see you again next time!>(Twitter)https://twitter.com/QM_Auri
>>41576024thx 4 runin budi gud thredhow morally reprehensible have we gone?
>>41576024Thanks for running. Can Sophia now make counterplans to make other people fuck up and stall the offensive?
>>41576024Thanks for running again you beautiful person! When's next time for training? Both the necromancy with Justina and anything else? Also, the Usurpers favorite color and Sophia's favorite animal?
Damn we need to get in touch with Ali and inform her of our position change and what she suggests. She's a bundle of great ideas honestly. And she's best girl.
>>41576061You're very welcome!That is a heavy question that requires the consideration of many factors. Firstly is it personal or societal morals we're discussing here, and if it's the latter, then are we judging by our own society or the one written in this quest. But, it seems not to make much of a difference in that matter, it only changes the answer to varying levels of very. On a personal level for Sophia, she does what she must.>>41576099You're also very welcome! If you want to, then you can, but you'd have to be careful not to jeopardize your own success in the process.>>41576133Thank you very much!Next time for training will be necromancy and whatever you choose to do. The Usurpers favorite color would be violet, and Sophia's favorite animal is the pit viper.>>41576172That would prove to be troublesome since she is on a sensitive mission, but you could go through Vicki if you wish.
>>41576172Best girl indeed. Hopfully there more opportunity in the future to romance her or something along those lines.
>>41576257I thought that too as I wrote it so I added "something along thise lines" after because I didn't feel like correcting myself.
>>41576234Spitballing ideas on how to smuggle the uncle out.Would sealing a person's identity make them unrecognizable to other people?Are teleport FROM Impel to outside blocked?How ballsy is Vicki?Can we make it appear that the uncle was never there in the first place, as he was leading the main army?
>>41576241I can dig this. Ali scares me sometimes honestly with how dedicated she is to her goals and how much she has going on in her head, but that could really be a boon to us if we get in with her. Plus all other girls a shit.
>>41576312Sealing a person's identity would cause that person to stop existing consciously, and you can't apply someone else's identity in their place, but you wouldn't be able to sense them either.Teleportation from Impel palace heading out is not blocked.Depends on who's giving the orders.That depends on a lot of factors that I can't give answers to right now. I'm very sorry.
>>41576312>How ballsy is Vicki?Literally the least ballsy character in the entire quest, and that's including Aya back when she had her ballsyness sealed.
>>41575990That bitch touches Izu and she dies.
>>41576414Oh Dying would be too fast.>>41576413Agreed.>>41576410What do the generals think of us and our impressions of them?
>>41576434Virgil likes your aggressive intellect, Disgur seems interested in you for another reason, Zarn thinks you're a pushy runt, but at least you have good ideas, and Sivaht is an enigma.You think Virgil is a bit of sycophant, Disgur doesn't sit well with you at all, Zarn is just another grunt to you, but you sense his importance, and Sivaht is still an enigma, and you don't like enigmas.
>>41576524The one we're working with likes us. That's very exploitable.What's our read on Philo and Just right now?
>>41576410>That depends on a lot of factors that I can't give answers to right now. I'm very sorry.yeah, I just didn't have any ideas on how to make a convincing decoy
>>41576591Philomena is liking you less the more you agree with Justina, and Justina is slowly beginning to warm up to you.>>41576616That's perfectly okay, there's still the entirety of the war that needs to play out, and additional ideas will likely be needed.With that, I'll be stepping out for tonight. I had a lot of fun, and I hope to see everyone again. Until next time!
>>41576666Would we know if Izu was in serious distress?
>>41576690Saw it just as I exited out. Izu would very likely let you know if he was in serious distress, if he was able to.