Previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Devil%20Summoner%20London%20QuestCharacter sheet: http://pastebin.com/60se8siHTwitter: https://twitter.com/MolochQMIt was a big day yesterday. Important, eventful, and definitely tiring. You've had hard fought battles before – Ripper's duel with Cernunnos had been harrowing to watch, while your near death at the hands of Forneus' glacial powers isn't something you're going to forget in a while – but yesterday was perhaps your greatest victory to date. Defeating a high ranking devil – Lilith, the self-proclaimed bride of Lucifer – and the Archangel Raphael in one day, as well as seizing one of the four cornerstones. A busy day, indeed, and a great triumph.Why, then, does it feel like a defeat?Because of what you were forced to agree to, of course. Oberon, king of the fairies, let you know – in no uncertain terms – that you would be cast out from the court if you kept causing trouble. The fairy court, the closest thing to a new home you'd found in this new world, was already starting to turn its back on you. In your desperation, you swore that you would do whatever it took to stay – and already, Oberon has found a suitably vile task for you. Ensure that a young hero, and a possible rival, does not survive to claim his legacy.At least you were able to find Cassandra and patch things up with her. After your... theological debate... you tracked her down to a small church outside of the court and talked for a long time, about nothing in particular. Upon returning to the court – already, the place had taken on a vaguely sinister atmosphere – you had pleaded exhaustion and gone to your bed.Now, in the small hours of the following morning, you awake to find a hand clasped tightly over your mouth.
>>42190763Your first thought is that you're being smothered, but the initial panic quickly gives way to confusion as you draw a deep breath in through your nose. Not murder, then, but an attempt to keep you from crying out? Slowly, as your eyes adjust to the darkness, you see Titania's slender form sitting on the edge of your bed. She's looking down at you with her usual serene mask of a face and, when she sees that you're awake, softly brings a finger to her lips.“Hush now,” she murmurs, her voice nevertheless carrying through the silent room, “Don't talk. Don't raise your voice above a whisper. Can you do that? No, don't answer – just nod or shake your head.”Cautiously, you nod, and the queen takes her hand from your mouth. It lingers on your cheek for a long, over-familiar moment before she brushes a few strands of hair from your brow. The entire moment of contact between the two of you feels so uncomfortable, unnatural even, that you have to suppress a shudder. You had been expecting this meeting – although not in this exact form – ever since Oberon had given you his clandestine orders.“You know why I'm here,” the queen whispers, “No doubt my husband has drawn his plans, and marked you out as his chief agent. You wish to remain here, I understand that, but I urge you to reconsider his requests. They will only bring undue suffering upon my race.”So, it seems that Titania has a vested interest in seeing Setanta fulfilling his destiny, in direct opposition to her husband. Frankly, you're not surprised – you've already glimpsed the friction between the pair of them, and now you're going to have to pick a side. Then again, you've never been one to meekly go along with someone else's plan. If there's a third option...
>>42190770Titania looks down upon you in silence, her hand once again creeping across your head, stroking your hair like a noblewoman grooming a favoured pet. Where, you ask yourself silently, is your amber pendant? It wouldn't shield you against any magic the queen could bring to bear against you, but it would at least let you know that your mind was being toyed with. Turning your eyes to the side, not daring to move your head, you spy the little orange token sitting on the table next to your bed. Of course.Had you been wearing it when you went to sleep? Maybe – you can't remember exactly. The image enters your head, Titania creeping into your bedroom and delicately taking the pendant from around your neck, then pressing her hand to your mouth and waiting. Sitting there – watching you sleep – for how long exactly? It's exactly the kind of creepy mind game you've come to expect from the fairy queen.Swallowing hard to wet your throat, you open your mouth to ask your questions, making sure to pitch your voice as low as possible.>What do you want me to do?>What can you do for me?>Other
>>42190786>So, what are you suggesting?
>>42190786>Other"Make your case. And be blunt, its just us here."
>>42190822>>42190838What, you ask carefully, is she suggesting exactly? Your voice is quiet enough that even you can barely hear it – perhaps the massive din of Raphael's holy blast had damaged your ears somewhat – but Titania nods as though she heard every word. And you want her to be blunt, you add quickly, none of this delicately worded political business. It's just the two of you here, after all – she has the luxury of speaking freely.“Simply put, then,” she shrugs slightly, “I want you to do the opposite of whatever my husband wants you to do.”Right. You probably could have guessed that. So, Titania doesn't actually know what Oberon asked you to do? It's not often that you find yourself in the position of knowing something she doesn't, and you allow yourself a moment of smugness.“I'll find out soon enough,” Titania murmurs, “Nothing within these walls can remain hidden from me for long. Remember that, child.”You're not really in a position to forget, now are you?“I believe he is seeking to undermine me... and my interests,” Titania adds cautiously, “If you can safeguard them, I shall see to it that you do not go unrewarded.”With that, she smoothly gets to her feet and brushes down the flawless surface of her gown. “Get some sleep, child. Tomorrow will be full of trials, I'm sure, and you will need all your strength. I trust that you will be sensible enough to make the right decision. If it comes to...” she pauses again, struggling to speak in the blunt terms you prefer, “Open conflict between me and my husband... I would win. Fix that in your memory as well.”Having delivered her message – some might have called it a warning – Titania leaves the room as silently as she entered it, leaving you staring up at the ceiling with tortuous wakefulness. It takes a long time for you to get back to sleep, and it seems like no time at all before a horn sounds, marking the start of the new day.
>>42191186As you were told to expect, it's not long into the new day before you're brought a message by one of the ever-present pixie guards announcing that the king and queen seek your presence. The audience chamber, as soon as possible – and alone. That in itself is enough to strike a weary note of alarm through your tired mind – when has meeting them alone ever led to something good? - but you nod in resignation and finish the scant meal you gathered for breakfast. Business calls, and you will answer.It turns out that you're not alone after all. Setanta is waiting in the audience chamber, leaning casually on the iron spear he holds. Your first thought is of Gae Bolg, intact and reforged, but the weapon he holds is far plainer, simple in an almost brutal way. That's not a weapon that would need an enchantment to tear someone's guts out, you think to yourself, just a good lot of muscle and a dose of spite.“It is a glorious day!” Oberon announces from his throne, “Today, the day when our hero returns to us!” He's confident and smiles with every indication of genuine pleasure. Was the king always so good at covering up his true face, or was this a skill hastily learned for the occasion? You wonder, but you're certain that there will be no answer to that particular question.“It is not yet confirmed,” Titania corrects her husband gently, every inch the perfect and demure wife. “Noble Senanta, today you will have a chance to seize your destiny as the great hero Cu Chulainn. But first, your might must be tested.”“To the west of here, within a deep grove, lies the pit of devils,” Oberon declares with relish, “A cave of demons, each one fit to tear many men apart. You must defeat these villains, and reach the bottom of this hellish pit.”
>>42191313So those demons, those are the threat Setanta must face – the threat that you shall have to protect him from. Or at least, that's the official story. Oberon must be planning on having these demons kill Setanta, with you lying in wait as an assassin should the young hero live up to his birthright. A dirty deed, and one that sits badly in your stomach.“We give you this, the essence of Gae Bolg,” Titania holds out a shard of metal – the spearhead you recovered from Forneus' treasure trove, “Take this to the bottom of the pit of devils and, if your heart is true, it shall regain its original form – and with it, you too shall regain your true strength.”“And do be careful not to lose it,” Oberon adds, with a strangely forced note of humour, “It would bring infinite dishonour upon you – your entire line – if the great weapon of our people was to be lost again.” It only takes a moment, but his eyes flash around and lock onto yours as he says that. The intention is obvious – a dishonoured hero cannot be a figurehead.“Amelia, you shall bear witness to his deeds,” Titania tells you softly, “See that Setanta is spared from fate's cruelties, but do not stand between him and a hero's death. If that is what fate has decided for him, then that is what shall be. Witness his deeds, so that they can be recorded for all time.”Meaning, of course, to intervene if there's some dishonourable death waiting for him. A trap, perhaps, or some assassin. Meaning you, according to Oberon's scheme. Already, you can feel a pain growing in the back of your skull.“Now go, the pair of you,” Oberon orders, lounging back on his throne with a look of mounting boredom, “Return here, alone or victorious, but not until the deed is done.”Setanta glances your way and offers you the barest hint of a shrug. It seems that you're dismissed.
>>42191512“So you are to be my witness,” he says to you outside the audience chamber, “I had hoped...”What? Was he hoping that Cassandra would be coming along, to swoon over his fighting prowess? Your joke is forced, but you're secretly impressed. The fact that you're capable of spitting a gentle barb like that at a time like this is a feat in itself.“Guilty,” Setanta shrugs, offering you a charming smile, “But I'll be sure to impress you as well.”Is this really the legendary hero? He might be charming, but he's actually kind of... kind of a dork. Endearing, in a way, but not exactly reassuring. You get the sudden urge to warn him of the plots against him, but... perhaps that would just make things worse.>Give him a vague warning>Tell him exactly what's going on>Ask him how good of a fighter he really is>Other
>>42191528>Ask him how good of a fighter he really is
>>42191528>Ask him how good of a fighter he really isOn second thought, maybe we'll save it for later after this is all done. He needs to stay focused on surviving.
Actually Moloch is there any reason Cass can't come along? I'm sure she'd want to.
>>42191600>Tradition mostly. Officially, it's only ever the potential hero and their designated witness. Of course, that makes it easy to manipulate, but that's politics for you!
>>42191528>Ask him how good of a fighter he really isI'm actually surprised this didn't involve going to see his mythological teacher Scathach since she is right around the corner.
>>42191561>>42191578>>42191696So, you nod to the iron spear he carries, how good of a fighter is he really? You try and keep the question as innocuous sounding as possible. You don't want it to sound like a challenge, in case he risks his life to prove himself, but you don't want it coming across as a threat either. Just a normal, casual question, that's all. Just making conversation.“Well, I won't say I'm the greatest warrior in all the kingdom...” Setanta gives you a grin, exposing some gleaming white teeth. He seems to be waiting for a reaction, so you raise a questioning eyebrow and nod for him to continue. “No, I let my defeated foes say that for me!” he shouts, pumping a fist with youthful enthusiasm.That's... that's really great, you reply with a weak smile. How on earth are you supposed to keep this clown alive? Maybe he can just hold his mouth open above this “pit of devils” and drown the lot of them in bullshit – that would certainly save you some time. Ah, but you need to reach the bottom yourselves, and you REALLY don't feel like doing that much digging.“Well then!” Setanta announces, “We should get a move on, no? I have a feeling that this could all be over by noon, if you can keep up with me!”Oberon had it all wrong, this guy could never be a figurehead for anyone. The mascot of a comedy club, maybe, but not the leader of some grand rebellion. Then again, Cernunnos was able to sway a pretty big army to his cause, and he never wore trousers, so it can't be that hard to rile up the fairies.You're still shaking your head in vague dismay as Setanta hurries off down the corridor, his scarf fluttering in the breeze. Sighing again, you quicken your pace to catch up with him – before he can fall down some stairs or something.
>>42191811To your vague surprise, you don't actually leave the boundary of the fairy kingdom. Instead, you turn to the west as soon as you leave Oberon's keep – assuming directions are the same within this strange land – and set off at a march. It doesn't take long before the trees once again rise up and replace the ancient ruins as the dominant feature in the landscape, and it's even less time after that before they surround you completely.For all your sarcasm and scorn, you have to admit that Setana can pick his way through the undergrowth far better than you can. Even with his trailing scarf, he never seems to get snagged by low hanging branches or clinging bushes. You, on the other hand, seem to get caught on every little piece of the scenery that you pass. At least you manage to avoid falling on your face, or tripping and collapsing into his chest like the giddy lead in some bad romantic comedy.Even if his chest does look like it might be kind of comfortable...Focus, you tell yourself, as you concentrate on stepping over fallen branches and around thorny bushes. It's silent here – totally quiet, without even birdsong or insect noises to stir the air. Just the sound of your footsteps, crashing gracelessly through the undergrowth. If you wanted to have a private talk with the young hero, you couldn't think of a better place to do it.>Keep walking in silence>Ask him about his opinion of Cassandra>Warn him about the situation at court (Subtle)>Tell him about the situation at court>Other
>>42191899>Ask him about his opinion of Cassandra"You two seemed to get along pretty well.">Warn him about the situation at court (Subtle)
>>42191899>>Ask him about his opinion of Cassandra>>Warn him about the situation at court (Subtle)Don't want him to be completely naive to the courts bullshit.
>>42191899>Ask him about his opinion of Cassandra>Warn him about the situation at court (Subtle)
>>42191899>What's your opinion on the fairy court's use of capable....generals?>What do you need to prove, specifically? Might? Skill? Strength of Will or Mind?
>>42192001>>42191972>>42191935So, you say in a slightly breathless voice, what does he think of Cassandra? They certainly seemed to be getting along well when you saw them together.“Your friend is... a virtuous maiden,” somehow, Setanta manages to make that sound like a lewd term, “But we are very different people. Her faith, to me, is a strange thing.”Strange how, you ask as you climb over a great fallen tree, do fairies not have their gods?“For my mind, the boundary between man and god is not so easily drawn,” Setanta tells you, “Cernunnos was born a man, became the horned god of the hunt, and now he is a man again. On the other hand, I was born a man, but if... if I become the hero Cu Chulainn, then I shall become partially divine. The blood of gods will flow through my veins – was it always there, slumbering, or do I become a truly new person?”Well, you're not really the type to think about all this heavy stuff, you admit. It's easier for humans – or at least, it was. Now, with God preparing to drop his wrath down on your head like a cartoon anvil, things aren't as simple as they used to be.“She believed in her god through faith alone,” Setana smiles – you can hear it in his voice – as he walks, “Admirable. Tell me...” his smug tone intensifies, “Are you jealous?”Of course not! Your reply is a little too quick, even for your liking, so you hastily add an amendment. You're just looking out for her, that's all. After all, the court isn't the safe place she might think it is. You force emphasis into that last bit, hoping to pique Setanta's curiosity. It certainly seems to work – he finally turns around and gives you a strange look.“What do you mean by that?” he asks slowly, scrutinising you.
>>42192177>>42192175You're just saying, you tell him carefully, any court system is going to be rife with politics and schemes. You've read enough books to tell him a thing or two about struggles for power. He should be careful as well, you add with extra caution, heroes make excellent tools for those in power, and those seeking power.“Perhaps I should read these books as well,” Setanta replies with a wry smile, “I wonder if we have them in our archives. If I am to become a great hero – and I will be! - then I should learn what to expect.”Just... be careful, you tell him, before hastily changing the subject. You don't trust yourself not to blurt everything out if you're not careful. You ask, instead, what exactly he is supposed to be proving with this task. It sounds fairly simple – dive into a pit and fight a bunch of villains. Is that really it?“I believe so,” Setanta shrugs, “I think there is some final test at the end – to see if I'm pure of heart or... something like that. I'm sure I'll pass, though, would king Oberon have given me this if he thought I would fail?” Beaming, Setanta pulls out the shard of Gae Bolg. “When I return, the spear shall be forged anew, as proof of my identity.”The court, you ask as you both return to the gruelling walk, does it have a use for generals? Leaders of men and armies?“There might be a vacancy,” Setanta muses, “Now that Cernunnos is, ah, unavailable. Maybe the court will offer the job to me. Can you see me at the head of some vast army?”>Of course!>Not really>Avoid the issue>Other
>>42192264>"You're missing something, something that you need to gain in this test, probably."
>>42192264>>Other"Awhile ago I might have said no, but I ended up at the head of one not too long ago and also declared war on Heaven and Hell yesterday. Sooo yeah I can see you at the head of an army."
>>42192325>>42192264Can't judge a book by its cover I guess.
>>42192287>>42192325>>42192367>>42192515Your first thought is to say no. Setanta is missing something, some crucial element that a general would need, and probably the same thing that this entire test is designed to teach him. But then again, you yourself ended up at the forefront of Forneus' army not so long ago, and you never passed no fancy test of spirit.Of course, Forneus' army ended up getting slaughtered, but that's besides the point. You meant for that to happen.The point being, you really can't judge a book by its cover. In the end, you give Setanta a fairly non-committal answer. He needs to mature a little, maybe, and you're no expert in fairy armies, but you'll wait and see until what happens before making a concrete decision. Focus on the task at hand, you advise him, hoping that you sound like some kind of wise mentor.“You might be right,” Setanta replies, making an admirable attempt at covering up the disappointment in his voice, “Yes, it is not a position to be given, it is a position to be earned! When I return, victorious, I shall get my due reward!”Sure, you'll go with that. You get the feeling that it might be futile trying to convince the eager young warrior to take it down a few notches, so the last you can do is not encourage him any more. Best not to say anything else. Besides, if the plume of black smoke rising up ahead of you is any indication, you've reached your destination.“The pit of devils!” Setanta shouts with glee, gripping his spear tighter and plunging towards the cave entrance, “Follow me, Amelia! Witness me!” Before you can do anything, let alone shout a warning or for him to stop, he vanishes into the darkness within.Oh for god's sake... Cursing and shaking your head, you follow him into the cavern.
>>42192545Already, the sounds of violence are filling the dark cavern. Howls and roars mix with Setanta's various boasts and battlecries, with the occasional crumbling body getting thrown back into your path. The sight of the “villains” that Setanta is killing gives you pause. They're dogs, black with luminous red eyes and sharp teeth, tongues of fading fire leaking from their jaws as they die. You've seen these demons before, albeit in a picture. Barghests – copies of the same hellhound that Leon claimed to be able to summon.Did Oberon know about the brash, and missing, young man you once associated with? Or was this Titania's doing, playing some kind of game with your head? Or, perhaps these things are just a threat that Oberon needed slain, and Setanta was the perfect fool for the job. You've got to admit, he's doing a pretty good job of fighting his way through the pack. As you watch, he thrusts his spear clean through one of them and twists, wrenching his weapon out of the quickly decaying body to block another's lunge.“So you're the patsy that Oberon got to look after the boy,” a voice speaks directly into your mind. Scathach. It takes you a moment to place the voice, but the female demon's habit of invading your mind is unmistakable. “Keep him safe, won't you? He's a fool, but I have a soft spot for the arrogant ones.”You nod – not sure if she can see the gesture, or if she can skim the affirmation right off your mind – and watch the warrior in action. He's holding his own against three of the savage hounds, but there are another two creeping up on him from behind. Even without the advantage of surprise, he wouldn't be able to fight off five at once. If they were to get the drop on him, he would be as good as dead.>Hang back and watch>Take out the two reinforcements (Summon two demons)>Join him in battle against them all (Summon two demons)>Other
>>42192751>>Take out the two reinforcements (Summon two demons)Undine and RipperHave Ripper ambush the ambushers and Undine ice support.
>>42192751>Bring them out, but only engage when it's clear he is unable to sense them himself.
>>42192867Even if can sense them he still can't take 5 at once.
>>42192906honor thing, respect our position as witness, etc etc. It's our job to stand by unless he asks for help or has clearly shown incompetence.
>>42193030Do you really care about Oberon and Titania's traditions though?I'm personally more interested in befriending and allying Cu Chulainn.The question for me is whether he'd rather fight his own battles or would rather have another warrior at his back. Regardless we need to kill those two sneaking up on him.
>>42193106It's also about respecting Setanta as a warrior. We need him alive, but coddling him from his own mistakes can be interpreted as an insult.But this can be the first warning, of course.
>>42193150Fair enough.I'm just looking for that third option and I think Cu Chulainn is it.
>>42193150>>42193218Didn't Titania imply we could intervene if he wasn't going to get a hero's death? Getting ganked from beind isn't very heroic. So >>42192751>Take out the reinforcementsUse jack to do it quietly
Rolled 10, 32 = 42 (2d50)>>42192813>>42192835>>42193285Oberon can go to hell – you're not going to sit by and watch as this pack of mongrels tears Setanta limb from limb. He's still unaware of the sneaky pair, and they're still a distance from him, so you've got a few moments to take them out nice and quiet. He doesn't even need to know about them, if that would put a dent in his honour. Slipping your phone from your pocket, you call up Ripper and Undine, already sending them a silent order to remain unseen.Undine gives you a nod and a wink, pressing her lithe body low to the ground as she watches the pair of hellhounds stalking closer to the melee. Ripper, on the other hand, stands as tall as ever, letting his dark body merge with the shadows until only his cold, white eyes are visible. You can't imagine a better choice for a little bit of stealthy murder. Waving for Undine to hang back – you'll need her magic if you're forced to go loud – you point Ripper at the hounds.>Please roll 1D100, I'll take the highest of the first 3
Rolled 97 (1d100)>>42193479Let it rip jack
Rolled 20 (1d100)>>42193479Rolling futilely.>>42193510Love you Jack
Rolled 17 (1d100)>>42193479
>>42193510The first Barghest dies in seconds, without even a single whimper. Ripper ghosts up behind the thing and grabs it, pinning its jaws shut and plunging a length of gleaming steel into the thing's black heart. It crumbles to dust and filth almost immediately, sloughing away in grimy chunks as your favourite murderer lunges upon the second skulking demon. Seizing the creature, Ripper pushes it down to the ground and brings a longer knife down, sweeping clean through its neck and parting the head from its body.Bowing sarcastically, Ripper melts back into the shadows, leaving you staring at the scene of the crime with a slackened jaw. Looking back, you meet Undine's gaze. Smiling weakly, the little demon shrugs. A loud shout snaps you back to your senses – Setanta is violently finishing off the last of his trio of hounds. His spear, lodged in the crumbling body of another, is out of reach but he seems calm, wrestling the thing to the ground before giving its neck a savage twist, snapping the bone like a rotten twig.“The glory of battle!” he announces loudly, climbing to his feet and brushing a filth of blood and dirt off his clothes. Some of the blood is his, most isn't. Seeing your stunned expression, he plants his hands on his hips and laughs aloud. “Ah, were you dazzled by my martial prowess? Not an easy fight, I'll admit, but I had everything under control!”Oh Setanta. If only you knew.“That seems to be the last of them, though,” he muses, looking around the cave. You glance back yourself, relieved to see that both the bodies have faded and your demons have hidden themselves. Its good to see that your minions are as reliable as always. “Well then, shall we go? I do believe I have a date with destiny!”>Let him believe what he wants>Tell him what really happened.
I wish Leon was still alive
>>42193805>Tell him what really happened."Hey Setanta be sure not to overextend. There was two more demons sneaking up on you. You are a damn good fighter but you always need to be aware of all your surroundings."
>>42193878>>42193805Sure, a friendly tip from one warrior to another.
>>42193878>>42193915It was a good fight, you have to admit. Even without taking the little “ambush” issue into account, taking on three of those blasted hellhounds alone is no mean feat. You have to congratulate him on that part, but he got too cocky and overreached at the end. A warrior needs to have an awareness of his surroundings at all times, and that's where he fell down.“What do you mean?” Setanta asks as he tugs his spear out of the ground, “Are you saying I missed an enemy? Some skulking craven that refuses to face me eye to eye?”Two of them, in fact, you tell him, pointing backwards to the pair of smears decorating the cave floor. They were going to pounce, ambushing him while he was too busy to fight them off. He could have died – you decide to soften the blow somewhat, pretending that he had a hope in hell of surviving – if you hadn't intervened.“You fought them?” the young warrior is aghast, torn between surprised admiration and outrage, “You, a sworn witness, fought the demons I was sent here to kill?”Well, your demons did, you admit. But, if he's asking you if the hellhounds died on your orders then, yes, you can't deny it. You deliberately intervened in order to save him from a stupid, meaningless death. Getting torn apart in some miserable cave? Hardly a hero's death, is it?“Let's just get this over with,” Setanta pouts, looking like a child who's just lost his favoured toy, “If I'm to be found unworthy, I'd rather learn sooner rather than later. It's just down here, I think.” Then, spitefully he adds: “Unless you want to go first?”Oh grow up, you think to yourself as you wave the young man forwards, down into a strangely lit cavern.
>>42194327“Welcome, young champion,” Scathach, levitating in place with her usual casual grace, announces as you enter the cavern. Then, nodding to you, she adds: “Welcome, cursed one.”Well that doesn't sound good. Still, you keep quiet as Setanta kneels before the female demon and presents the rusted spearhead to her. “I... have fought long and hard to bring you this trophy,” he mutters, staring down at the craggy ground, “I submit to you, my teacher, so that you may judge my worth.”“Rise, young warrior,” Scathach sounds bored as she waves him to his feet, “I saw everything that transpired, as is my role as teacher and judge. You fight with the strength of many men, and a bravery that brings glory to your name.”“Uh,” Setanta gulps, daring to look hopefully up at the woman.“But there is one last test for you to face,” Scathach announces archly, “Tell me. Have you learned anything today? What lessons has this day taught you?”“Lessons? Learned?” Setanta looks confused for a moment, like a proud idiot confronted with something called “book learning”. This is it, the final test that he was so blithe about earlier and all his confidence has fled from him. You could certainly give him a few lessons – you already have, in fact – but now the ball is in his court. Can he really admit his error in front of the majestic demon?Watching him standing in place, shuffling his feet and sweating, is agony. You almost want to shout out something yourself, just to put an end to his misery. Then again, discrediting the young hero like that might make Oberon very happy...>Interrupt him>Stay silent and wait for his answer>Other
>>42194473>Stay silent and wait for his answer
>>42194473>>Stay silent and wait for his answer
>>42194473>Stay silent and wait for his answerMaybe give him an encouraging nod.
>>42194500>>42194528>>42194592This isn't your fight. You've intervened once already – to avert a senseless, pointless death – but this is a different matter. Setanta needs to learn from his mistakes and grow, not just as a warrior or a general, but as an individual. If he can do that, you're sure, he'll be found worthy. Desperation writ large on his features, the young warrior glances around at you, searching your face for something. You keep your features as neutral as possible, but give him the smallest of smiles – warm, genuine and reassuring.Seeing your expression, something in Setanta's face, his entire bearing, relaxes. Taking a deep breath, he returns his gaze to Scathach, now looking up into her masked face with a confident – not arrogant – glow.“I may be a ferocious warrior, but I can't achieve anything alone,” he tells the woman, “I'm only as strong as the man behind me, and it's no dishonour to share a battle with honourable friends. If I'm to be a general – to be anything – I need to be a man that my allies can trust, and I must trust my allies.”Scathach tilts her head to the side slightly, studying the young warrior in silence for a long time. “Um,” Setanta clears his throat awkwardly, “That's it.”“So it is,” Scathach nods, reaching down to pluck the fragment of Gae Bolg from Setanta's sweaty hands, “You've shown wisdom today, young one. Wisdom and humility.”“You mean...?” the words are barely audible as they slip from Setanta's mouth.“I find you worthy, Setanta – soon to be named Cu Chulainn, hero of the fair folk,” nodding graciously, Scathach places an affectionate hand on his head, “In time, you will become a great man. This, I foresee.”“Cursed one,” Scathach adds, turning her masked face to you, “You made bold decisions today.”
>>42194841Bold decisions, you ask, but were they the right ones?Scathach merely laughs. “Right and wrong are too vague, and yet too definite, for my purposes. I can see that you're the type to walk a dangerous road, to glory or disaster. That alone is virtuous enough.”“Young one,” taking her hand from Setanta's head, Scathach points to a darkened corridor that, until now, was hidden by a false wall, “Go, a deep pool lies within. Wash the dirt from your body, and emerge anew. I have matters to discuss with your witness here,”“Yes, of course,” Setanta nods, his voice already sounding more assured, more mature. Bowing to you – offering a grateful smile in the process – he turns and walks out, down the dark passage.“Now,” Scathach leans back in mid-air, apparently satisfied with the results of the day so far, “You have questions, do you not?”You did have a few, actually. You'd ask how she knew, but there isn't really any point, is there? She knew because she knew.>You called me “Cursed one.” What's that about?>Will I get in trouble for intervening?>Do you know what's going on at court? Do you care?>Other
>>42194867>>You called me “Cursed one.” What's that about?"Is it about yesterday's events?">Will I get in trouble for intervening?>Do you know what's going on at court? Do you care?"Any advice?"Never been a fan of the 'vote everything' but they all seem important.
>>42194867>You called me “Cursed one.” What's that about?>Do you know what's going on at court? Do you care?>if I made an offer for Cu Cuhlain to join me in glorious battle, and take him out of play for the court for time being would Titania and Oberon be appeased?
>>42194912I think Titania wants him there, but it might help appease Oberon.
>>42194903>>42194912Okay, first off. She called you “Cursed one,” and that's a pretty spooky damn nickname. Maybe she could explain what that mean? A reference, perhaps, to yesterdays events?“With his dying breath, the Archangel Raphael placed a curse upon you,” Scathach tilts her head to the side, as though examining you from a different angel, “It is said, among my people, that a curse pronounced with a dying breath is especially bitter, and particularly hard to remove. Tell me, do you feel cursed?”Well... Raphael cursed you to never know peace or contentment. Not long after, things at the court started to fall apart. The sudden loss of what you thought was a secure home – you'd certainly call that not knowing peace or contentment. Is that it, then? Are you cursed to never know home again?“I sense no magical compulsion upon you,” Scathach admits, “No malign influences, no sinister manipulations at work. If it was a true curse – and the soldiers of God do not deal in such subtle measures, typically – then it is invisible to my refined eye.”That's... good? It's not exactly confirmation that you're NOT cursed, but it's probably the closest you're going to get. Next question, then. You stepped in today, to save Setanta – is that going to get you in trouble?“Oh, I won't tell,” Scathach's shoulder tremble as she laughs silently, “And I doubt Setanta will either. It taught him a vital lesson, and in the end, there was no harm done. You're safe, in other words.”That's a relief. You're not finished with the questions though. Does she, Scathach, know what's happening at court? Does she even care? Everything is civil at the moment, but you can only imagine how easily Oberon and Titania could be reduced to clawing each other's eyes out.
>>42195257“The situation is volatile,” Scathach admits, “the court is rarely put in this situation. Introducing humans to any system – based in Law, Strength or the Traditions of the fair folk – is always going to bring about uncertainty and conflict. I, personally, live outside the court's grasp. I can do what I want and say what I want. Do not think I do not care, but I merely benefit little from intervening.”Well, if she's independent, perhaps she'd be willing to give you a little advice? You ask this hopefully, not really expecting much, but Scathach nods graciously towards you, urging you to ask what you may.Say you offered Setanta, Cu Chulainn, a place in your own forces. You'd take him out of the court and into a much bigger battle, a war where Oberon and Titania won't be able to use him for their own purposes. Would that, if not please them, would it at least ease their conflict? Without a vital player to fight over, could the pair of them be appeased?“An interesting question,” Scathach leans her chin on a clenched fist, “I have little doubt that the pair would find some way to fight amongst themselves. Taking their beloved hero out of the equation, however, might keep their squabbles hidden from view. For a time, at least, there would be a grudging peace between them.”You can sense a “but” coming...“But,” Scathach immediately confirms your suspicions, “Taking their hero away could harm morale among the entire race. Plus, the final decision lies with Cu Chulainn himself, of course. Kidnapping him would please nobody.”Well, yeah, you can imagine. Her advice is sound, but she was very careful to remain as impartial about it as possible. Not unexpected, really.Any other questions for the wise demon?>Yes (Write in)>No
>>42195315>>Yes (Write in)"Any estimate in when you think the next Archangel is coming down?"Thank her after we are done.
>>42195315>>Yes (Write in)What else is there besides faeries, angels and devils? What lies beyond?
>>42195359>>42195505Well, while you're having your little question and answer session, you figure you might as well try and clear up one last little bit of uncertainty. You're not hopeful, but can she tell you when the next Archangel is likely to descend to London? Even if she can't tell you exactly...“The ways of God and Lucifer are not always clear to me,” the teacher admits, “But, I dare say it shall be soon. Ah, Uriel, the flame of God. He burns so brightly, even I can sense him up there, waiting.”That's hardly reassuring, but at least you don't have to worry about some Archangel with an axe to grind stomping your arse into the dirt as soon as you stick your head outside. You were wondering one last thing, though. Is there anything beyond angels devils and fairies? Anything... strange lurking out there?“Often, I get the notion that there are other things out there,” Scathach's voice turns strangely wistful here, “Older beings, entities that defy our classifications. But these are merely notions,” she adds firmly, “Never have I seen proof of them. If anything, such proof seems to be specifically hidden from me.”That's unusual. There's something strangely deliberate about it, if what she says is true. Maybe...“Behold!” Scathach announces suddenly, cutting your thought short, “Setanta the man is no more, here before you stands Cu Chulainn, hero of the fair folk!”Turning at her behest, you look upon the reborn hero. Taller, slimmer and built like something sculpted from the most immaculate ivory available, Cu Chulainn stands in the cavern entrance, holding a majestic spear at his side. Willow thin, but with a beautiful point upon it, Gae Bolg is a work of art as much as it is a weapon.
>>42195690“It feels strange,” Cu Chulainn admits, his noble features hard but delicate, “Like someone else's body.”He's not kidding. He looks like a totally different person. His androgynous charm tempered into a kind of beauty that is somehow intimidating. Even his clothes are different, refined into slender, form-fitting armour covered in artful engravings. You can easily see how many would follow such a man, how he could become a figure of fame among a desperate people. You realise you've been staring and force your eyes away, ignoring the heat blooming in your cheeks.“At least you seem to approve,” he murmurs, grinning, “Shall we return, then? I'm sure the court will be all too pleased to see our return.”You share a look with Scathach, not quite sure how to answer that. The wise woman offers a minuscule shrug, but no guidance. So this is your decision, is it?Titania would only be too pleased to see Cu Chulainn returning in all his glory. Oberon, on the other hand, would not have a lot of good things to say about it. If you bring him back, you're only going to advance their game forward another pace. There has to be a third option, some different path to take that'll put them both on the defensive.>Return to the court with Cu Chulainn>Talk with him for a while as you walk>Other
>>42195875>Talk with him for a while as you walk>Tell him exactly what Oberon and Titania wanted and how both seek to use us as pawns.
>>42195875>>Talk with him for a while as you walk"Earlier I mentioned that the court was dangerous and...I feel I should elaborate on that. I don't like you walking into that blind,"Tell him what Oberon and Titania wanted.Maybe also elaborate on Amelia's situation as the Cursed One to understand how they are pushing her around like this.
>>42195969>>42195990You both bid Scathach farewell and start clambering out of the pit, the pair of you silent other than the grunts and gasps of your exertion. Then, once you're outside, you take to walking through the thick forest. Watching Cu Chulainn's back as you march, you reach a decision. You can't just leave him in the dark about this – if there's a danger for him back at the court, he needs to know about it.Wait, you announce, hurrying in front of him and holding your arms out to block the path. Wait, you need to talk to him. Earlier, you mentioned that the court was dangerous. You didn't elaborate at the time, you didn't want to distract him from the upcoming fight, but now you owe him the truth.“Go on, then,” the hero says, smiling a faintly bemused smile. He's not taking you seriously, not yet at least, but you can sense that he's willing to listen.Oberon and Titania are both trying to use him, you tell him, use both of us. Titania wants him alive, to give her people a strong figure to rally around. Maybe even rallying around him to the same extent that Cernunnos was able to draw the fairies to his cause. And Oberon... You shake your head, suddenly unwilling to continue.“And Oberon?” Cu Chulainn asks softly, a more serious look creeping across his features, “What does the king want with me?”He wants the hero... out of the way. Not causing a problem, or making any waves. If Titania wants a few figurehead to rally the fair folk, then Oberon fears them flocking to a figure other than himself. If they start to look elsewhere for leadership, you tell him gravely, he might be looking at a revolt.“So where do you come in?” the young hero looks cautiously at you, “What do the king and queen want with you?”
>>42196271The king, you admit eventually, wanted Setanta to fail. When you stepped in to save him from those hellhounds, you were going against Oberon's explicit orders. He wanted Setanta to fail, and he was willing to let the man die. Now that Cu Chulainn has been reborn, the king is not going to be pleased. That was why you were sent here, to act as the king's assassin, and now you've failed him.“But queen Titania wanted me to live, to become... who I am now,” Cu Chulainn strokes his sculpted chin in thought, “So she'll be happy to see me, will she not?”True, she'll be pleased. She'll do her best to keep the both of us safe, you tell the hero, but there's only so much she can do. There's only so much that either king or queen can do without some kind of decisive action. When you go back to court, you're just going to put yourselves in more danger.“But still,” Cu Chulainn admits, “My people need someone to look up to. That is my role, and I must play it until the end. I'll be a pawn of both the king and the queen, but that's my lot in life.” Looking down at you – he's grown a few inches since his rebirth – the hero smiles beatifically at you. “Thank you, Amelia, for your concern. I shall do what I can to protect you, at court.”You can't convince him to think twice about that? Can't convince him to come with you instead?“Sorry,” Cu Chulainn apologises, “I've got my own path to walk. But...” he offers you a smile and a shrug, “Fate might yet throw us together again, some day.”That's... a consolation, you suppose. You'll look forwards to it, you tell him with a weak smile as you step to the side, allowing him to lead the way back to the fairy court.
>>42196447A slow feeling of dread builds within your breast as you follow Cu Chulainn into the audience chamber, towards the waiting royalty. A crowd of pixies, of every kind of fairy imaginable, part before you, eyes wide with awe, as you trace the great hero's footsteps. The doors are flung open ahead of you, and a tremendous cheer rises up as you approach the pair of thrones.Oberon's eyes, when they fall upon you, are as cold as freshly carved ice. As cold as a knife poised for the killing blow. Utterly furious, seething behind the faltering smirk he is forced to don.“Our hero has returned to us,” Titania announces softly, her voice nevertheless carrying through the riotous hall, “This is a great day for me, for all of our people. But...”“A truly great day!” Oberon roars, the anger in his eyes transmuted into a violent tone of pride, “And who better to sing the praises of our newest icon then the witness charged with bearing his tale? Step forward, precious witness, and tell us what you saw today!”He's giving you a second chance, you realise. One last chance to redeem yourself, albeit by throwing Cu Chulainn into peril and dishonour. Slowly, forming the words in your mind, you prepare to speak before the crowd.>Sing Cu Chulainn's praises>Denounce him in front of the crowd>Other
>>42196648>>Sing Cu Chulainn's praises
>>42196648>>Sing Cu Chulainn's praisesLook Oberon in the eyes.
>>42196648A little ''sorry'' before, then>Denounce him in front of the crowdOberon is a jerk, but Titania is worst.
>>42196704Maybe but Cu Chulainn is better than both of them. The stronger position he has the more he can help us.
>>42196648>Sing Cu Chulainn's praises But do so softly, for heroes rarely are perfect, and often do they fail in the end.
>>42196648>>Sing Cu Chulainn's praises>>42196753What this anon said. We gain nothing from denouncing him. It may help Titania but it'll also help us.
>>42196648Sing Cu Chulainn's praises.That's right, I'm voting in this thread.
>>42196818Wouldn't hyping the crowd up be better? I think Cu Chulainn will retain his lesson in humility so we wouldn't have to worry about him getting arrogant from our words.
>>42196684>>42196690>>42196826>>42196818>>42196878If you're going to do this, you're not going to do this by half. You meet Oberon's gaze and narrow your eyes a little. You want him to see this, to see that you understand exactly what he wants from you, and you're still going against him. If he's so determined to keep a straight face through all of this, you're going to give his composure a little bit of a workout.As a man, Setanta was a brave warrior, you begin, gratified to see a faint twitch in Oberon's left eye. A ferocious warrior, you continue, and one that fought with the strength of ten men. He was not a perfect soldier, you admit, but his sin was that of overindulgence. He fed on the passion of battle, growing drunk on the honour his combat won him, and lived hand in hand with danger. As a man, the hero Setanta started death in the face and laughed.You pause here, waiting for a moment to see how the crowd is taking your speech. They're hanging on your every word, some of the nearest pixies even leaning forwards to brush their tiny hands against the worn leather of your jacket. Oberon's face has become a total blank, almost as though he seeks to imitate his wife's usual mask, whereas Titania herself has allowed a smile to grace her lips.But Setanta the man, you cry, is no more! Cu Chulainn, hero of all the fair folk, has risen in his place! Gae Bolg, and the hero to wield it, are united at last!You had more planned, but the crowd erupts in such a roar that any other words would be meaningless. You've said your piece – and, if the murderous look in Oberon's eyes is any indication, sealed your fate – and now all that's left is for the monarchy to pass comment.“My heart sings to hear this,” Titania announces softly, “Amelia Bishop, you have proven yourself again and again to be a friend of this court. May no man dispute your place among us as friends!”
>>42197093Was that...? Oberon's eyes grow wide, fierce, as he hears the same veiled challenge in Titania's words. Your position just got that much more dangerous, but everyone in this court just heard the queen's explicit defence of your position. You've won her favour, that's for sure, now you've just got to wait for things to pan out.“Then let there be wine!” Oberon shouts, covering up the stormy mix of emotions boiling behind his eyes, “Let us drink, let us indulge, and let no man fear tomorrow!”The crowd erupts, screaming his last words back to him. You shout them as well, raising your voice to the heavens and making sure that he can hear you. You're not afraid of him, you're telling him. You refuse to be afraid of him.“A good speech,” Cu Chulainn murmurs, leaning down to whisper in your ear, “You've lit a fire under me, that's for sure. I'll have a reputation to live up to now.”Oh, well, you got sort of carried away, you admit, but it seemed to work out okay in the end, right?“Certainly,” Cu Chulainn agrees as he watches Oberon storm from the chamber, “I would, however, advise against overindulgence tonight. I know I'll be watching my food carefully.”You know, you're not really in the mood for a party, you tell the conquering hero. In fact, you might just get an early night. You've earned it.
>>42197294Of course, your early night does not end up being the full night of restful sleep that you were hoping for. In fact, you're not even that surprised when you wake up in pitch darkness to find Titania's hand clasped over your mouth again. When the queen sees that you're awake, she takes her hand away and puts a slender finger to her lips.“Tell me, Amelia,” she whispers softly, “Why did you choose me, over Oberon? Am I merely the most tolerable of a pair of bad options? Or is this all some scheme on your part, some double-cross that you've been working on? I shouldn't need to say this, but...” Placing one hand on the other side of your head, she leans down so that her face is only a few inches away from your own.God, you think to yourself, why does she have to be so... creepy? If this is all some attempt to get under your skin, it's certainly successful.“I would advise against trying to play me. I've got a lot more experience in such matters, and I don't take losing very well. On the other hand, I am very gracious to those who help me win. So... why side with me?”Why indeed? Right now, you're really not sure. It's certainly not for her winning personality.>I think you can beat Oberon>I don't have much choice>I'm on my own side>Other
>>42197520>>I'm on my own side>>In my opinion letting Sentata, now Cu Cuhlain, live was the better choice. You really need to ease up on the cloak and Dagger Titania, your getting paranoid.
>>42197520>>I'm on my own sideNuthin personnel titania
>>42197520"I wasn't going to be a damn assassin for Oberon. If I was going to blindly follow orders without regard for my principles for a bit of safety I would have joined God and his angels. It wasn't fair to Setanta either.">I don't have much choice
>>42197570This.but adding>''You know, why scheme? I killed Lilith and Gabriel, I could easily kill those who oppose me was well. Why bother?''
>>42197657Don't get arrogant. Cloak and dagger can kill the best warriors. I mean we have Jack the Ripper we know that.
>>42197645>>42197520Oops copy and pasted the wrong choice.>I'm on my own side.Is what I meant to put.
>>42197657Also going to veto this.We scheme all the time and it helps immensely. Also it's Raphael not Gabby.
>>42197570>>42197597>>42197760You're on your own side, you mutter, forcing yourself to meet Titania's unreadable gaze. It just so happened that your goals aligned with hers. You were not going to be Oberon's assassin, just because he felt threatened by Cu Chulainn. You were doing this for security, but you're not going to throw away all of your principles for it.“That's it?” Titania murmurs, her eyes growing wide in what seems to be genuine surprise, “You did it... because it was the right thing to do?”She sounds so surprised, you whisper with a smile, maybe she should ease up on the cloak and dagger nonsense a little – not everyone needs to be paranoid all the time.“Maybe I am surprised,” Titania returns your smile quickly. You can practically see her putting a note in a filing cabinet – Amelia Bishop will do what she thinks is right. You'll have to watch out for that, in future. “Now, I should leave. I wonder how my husband is going. He's probably drowning his sorrows in the guard's barracks as we speak.”Does anyone in this royal family value monogamy? You really shouldn't judge, but jeez...“I'm sure he'll send for you soon enough, with some vile task or another,” standing, Titania moves away from you with sudden indifference, “Send me a message when he does, won't you? I'm sure that pixie of yours can carry a letter. Goodnight.”Goodnight, you mutter as the queen lets herself out. Looks like this might very well turn into another restless night.>I'll finish there for tonight. Next thread on Tuesday, I think, and I'll lurk for a while if there's any questions.
>>42197899Thanks for running! Can we have Eligor or Jack stand guard while we sleep? Cause at this point I'm sure Amelia wants a few nights of un-interrupted rest. How pissed is Oberon? Why hasn't he tried to get that curse removed?
>>42197899Thanks for the run boss.Amelia never getting a good nights sleep is going to be a thing huh?Whens the soonest Carnby can start digging through the Archivists collection?
>>42197946>Can we have Eligor or Jack stand guard while we sleep?That's certainly possible. They won't be able to recover while they're out of storage, but that's not really relevant at the moment.>How pissed is Oberon?He's not happy, that's for sure!>Why hasn't he tried to get that curse removed?The curse that leaves him with a child's body? Appearances, mainly - his people like it, kind of an "overcoming adversity" thing.
>>42198042>Appearances, mainly - his people like itWasn't the Oberon of old "beautiful but in a dark and foreboding way that most vampires wish they could be" You'd think the fae would enjoy have a majestic king, and Obie would enjoy not needing a step ladder to reach the top shelf, amongst other thing s like not jobbing in phys combat or being lucked down upon be every hero in his realm.
>>42198025>Whens the soonest Carnby can start digging through the Archivists collection?Starting next thread. I'd planned to do it today, but I couldn't think of a way to slot it in without breaking the rhythm/pace.>>42198085In better times, Oberon and Titania made a good pair. Oberon was popular among the common man, while Titania was majestic and imposing. Perhaps, now things are changing, Oberon might need to rethink his strategy.
>>42198164Was Cass and Carnby at the ceremony or are they keeping to themselves?
>>42198188They had cheap seats near the back - the acoustics were terrible!
>>42198164has Cass talked to Sentata since his rebirth as Cu? What does she think? Carnby managed to keep it in his pants while we've been away?
>>42198273>has Cass talked to Sentata since his rebirth as Cu?They got a chance to talk while Amelia was getting her early night>What does she think?Pic related>Carnby managed to keep it in his pants while we've been away?A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell!
>>42198334How would pointing out that he's fooling no one with his childlike form and in times of uncertainty people look to strength(or the appearance of it) go over with Obie? Cass have any luck with recruiting? BRA getting good use out of the books? Scathacth amused by all of this?
>>42198384At first, I think Oberon would get pretty angry - so what's new? - but later, he'd probably see the logic behind it. Of course, breaking the curse might not be so easy.>Cass have any luck with recruiting?Not much luck at all, unfortunately!>BRA getting good use out of the books?Not much themselves, but information is always useful as a bargaining chip>Scathacth amused by all of this?Well, the television isn't working, so she's got to get her fun from somewhere.
>>42198535>Of course, breaking the curse might not be so easy.Who placed it on him? It'd likely fray over time unless someone was maintaining it.
>>42198535>Not much luck at all, unfortunately!I had a small hope that Choo Choo was going to be her main demon.Oh well she still needs time to figure out whether she wants to summon non angels.
>>42198554>Who placed it on him?That's actually not something I'd expected to come up, so I didn't have something planned out at first. That said, I've got some ideas brewing - suffice to say, there is someone keeping it renewed.>>42198589That option might still be on the table, depending on how things work out for both Cassandra and Cu Chulainn
>>42198641>there is someone keeping it renewed.Titania?
>>42198666Are you suggesting that a woman might wish to leave her husband diminished and powerless, entirely at her mercy? I can't believe it!For real though, it's not Titania.
>>42198724Scathacth? I'd imagine it'd be someone at or near court.
>>42198778She certainly seems to be the local expert in curses, so she could probably offer some advice, at the very least
>>42198837So how angry is Lucifer? Or is he more amused?I know God is pissed though.
>>42198867>So how angry is Lucifer? Or is he more amused?Probably more on the "amused" side of the scale. From his perspective, anyone weak enough to get beaten by a human doesn't really deserve to be mourned. Of course, he doesn't want to lose any more than God does - he's a lot more interested in getting Amelia on side than God is, though. More willing to forgive, ironically.
>>42198948This thread go the way you expected it too. We kinda did make our intentions somewhat known at the end of the last thread.
>>42199063>This thread go the way you expected it tooThere wasn't any massive deviation from what I was prepared, no. Not a bad thing, though!>We kinda did make our intentions somewhat known at the end of the last thread.Well, it helped knowing the direction people were going to steer things, so I could write some extra notes ahead of time. Improv is fun, but sometimes my mind can draw a blank for a bit.