Even on Cici’s day off, the gorgon household remained a place of early risers, the girls tiredly wiping the sleep from their eyes as they made their way out to the cookfire where Mama was already working on breakfast. Eggs and bacon, toast with jam, Mama had gone a little further today than normal in celebration of the end of Cici’s first week of classes, and it was just as well that today they had a visitor, Iris looking like she could fall back asleep at any moment as she sits there, staring into the fire.“Good morning, Mama!” Cici calls as she makes her ways outside. “Good morning, Iris!”“Grrr mornin’…” the gazer grumbles with another yawn.“Did you sleep well?”“Slept too well. Need coffee …” she murmurs.“A girl your age should be careful with stimulants, you know,” Mama says, “but we do have some beans from the last time Cici’s Uncle Lee visited us, if you would like some…”The girl thinks about it, then nods.“Thank you.”A few more quick turns of the skillet, and breakfast is just about done, Mama slithering off and leaving the girls to serve themselves while she searches for the wayward beans. “So, is your head feeling any better today?” Vivi hazards. “Lil’ sis told me you had it rough yesterday.”“Headache,” she murmurs, a one word answer followed by a conservative shake of her head.“Hmm. Well, maybe breakfast will help with that, and then afterward, maybe we can go find something to do together. I’ve got the day off and so does Cici. So, was there anything you were wanting to try?”“…”“There’s lots of fun stuff to do!” Cici chips in with a smile. “There’s baking an’ exploring an’ I haven’t seen the bees in a long time.”“Brienne’s mom might also be able to magic away your headache,” Vivi notes with a shrug.> So many choices. Where do the voices want to steer this ship?> Write-in
>>1398137For any new players: Welcome to Gorgon Child Quest! Where-in you take up the role of a magical talking artifact being wielded by a young gorgon girl named Cici. Living out of the remains of a once great dungeon, the game will focus on exploration, character interaction, and learning as the voices of the players within the amulet help guide her along.For news about quest updates, my twitter can be found here: https://twitter.com/bananon_QMAnd the archive can presently be found here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=gorgon+child
we need to ask yesh to teach iris how to make mind barriers and we could offer her our company for a whie, since she is probably used to a constant stream of voices, maybe some non caustic and more quite ones will help her while she learn...
>>1398137The Queen might help. Lets visit the bees.
>>1398137Is bee time!Also give Iris another hug, she needs it.
>>1398137Time to visit the bees again.Also, ask if Iris would like to wear us around for a little bit, to help her ease into not having voices in her head. We can keep quiet for moments when she's comfortable, and talk to her when she's nervous or scared.
>>1398394Eh not so sure about that. She needs to learn to think on her own. If we should trll her things she won't learn.
>>1398418>>1398394>>1398345>>1398342>>1398142>>1398139“The voices also might be able to see if you have magic,” Cici explains to Vivi, stuffing eggs into her mouth. “Grampa said it might happen eventually.”“Maybe…” the harpy says without much conviction, but with the day’s agenda more or less settled and Mama promptly reappearing with a cup of coffee for Iris, breakfast becomes the more pressing matter.“Mama, do you know where Uncle Yesh is?” Cici asks. “The voices say he might be able to help Iris with her headaches.”“Hmm? Well, he has plenty of places to be today, sweetling, but I think he should be back by evening.”“’Kay. Till then I think we might go see the bees.”“Just be careful,” Mama insists. “And bring Din-Din and Jasmine with you.”The rabbit presently balanced on Cici’s leg seems to agree with this sentiment, his wide, soulful eyes begging for attention. Jasmine, meanwhile, is more interested in Iris’ unattended eggs, the cat gleefully gulping down a few mouthfuls before rubbing herself against the guest in thanks.“Would you like some coffee to wash it down?” Iris asks casually, proffering her mug.Surprisingly, after the first few curious laps, the kitten keeps going, splashing her chin fur with the black liquid until the remainder is too low for her to reach with her short snout. Iris, obviously a pragmatist, simply shrugs before finishing the rest.“Anyway, guess we should go now,” Vivi sighs, patting off her pants. “Us and the traveling circus.”It’s honestly a weird procession that leaves the tower that morning, a beholder, a gorgon, a harpy, a manticore, and a rabbit. It reads more like a bestiary than a traveling group, but considering whose home they were bound for, nothing was too far amiss.[“If you guys think you can help, Iris, I can lend you to her.”]> Write-in
>>1398468I don't know if right now is a good time. Her Coices might think we're coming back for Round 2 of their beating.
>>1398468I think she needs to learn to think for herself but if you think it might help, then yes.
>>1398468>>1398534>>1398537Not really having strong leanings one way or the other, Cici turns the decision over to Iris.“Iris, do you want to borrow the voices? I know they and your voices don’t get along, but they don’t want you to be lonely.”“Heh,” she chuckles. “I think I need a bit more rest before I try something like that again. It feels like my head’s about to split open from the inside. Thanks though.”“No exploding, please,” Vivi begs.“You’re quite right. No telling if in my case, that would be quite literal. Heheh.”“You’re so weird.”“Hello pot. Kettle calling.”Vivi, realizing she wasn’t going to win this debate settles for puffing up her cheeks the rest of the way to Brienne’s house, the fence line slowly coming into view and the gate along with it.“It’s Cici!” comes an excited voice.“And Vivi!” comes the expected compliment as Itsy and Bitsy both zoom into sight.“And, err… And…”“Iris.”“Iris,” Itsy finishes.“Did you guys come to tend the garden?” Bitsy asks. “There’s lots of weeds, now.”“Uh-oh.”Sure enough, time had not spared the garden the ravages of spore and seed, flowers coming into bloom even as they war amidst crab grass and clover. With Cassandra working overtime as the baroness, Vivi taking to her mail route, and Cici joining school, however, little else could be expected.“So, what brings you by?” Itsy prompts.> Do the voices want to weigh in?> Write-in
>>1398812Just wanted to visit your mother, ask her if she could offer us some advice about Iris and what we think is the source of her Voices. Also to see if she needs anything or might be able to offer to the school.
>>1398812The girls could also pull the weeds.Oh and Iris has a headache.
>>1398812Yeah, gotta pull some weeds first before we ask for the queen's help.
>>1398928>>1398896>>1398853>>1398812“I guess we really should pull some weeds,” Cici admits, “but Iris has a headache after my voices got in a fight with her voices.”“Did they win?” Itsy asks.“Um. I don’t know…” she admits. “We were hoping your mom could help, though.”“Maybe she can,” Bitsy says as she flutters toward the knothole. “Mom!”“Bitsy, what have we told you about shouting?” Brienne questions, rubbing her ear as she exits the tree. Then her eyes fall on Iris. “You again…”“M-me again…” Iris agrees.“Haven’t you already caused us enough trouble? Mother is still recovering from-“She stops short as a hand reaches out to swat the back of her head, Flora emerging slightly after it.“That was settled weeks ago,” the eldest sister reminds her. “And I’ll not have you berate someone who’s obviously ill.”“I don’t see anything…” Brienne sulks.“Of course, you don’t. Maybe if you spent more time practicing your aura sight and less turning yourself into a bug zapper you’d be able to see something more than a foot away from your face.”“I’ll show you a bug zzzapper!” Brienne threatens, a buzz growing in her throat.“Girls, girls,” their mother soothes. “No fighting, please. You’re family, first of all, and we have guests, quite a few of them.” As the queen emerges, she gives them all a pleasant smile. “So what did you girls need today?”“Umm. The voices thought you could help with Iris’ headache,” Cici explains. “An’ I wanted to visit.”“Well, I suppose I could take a look,” she concedes. “Though who knows how much I can really do. What happened anyway?”> Write-in
>>1399025We miiiight have forcefully subdued the voices in residence in her mindscape. A little. It was more like dismantling, actually. By which I mean smashing.
>>1399025We terminated the errant intelligence matrices in Iris that were deemed to be detrimental to her health. We killed them. Some of us with great relish, I might add. They deserved their deaths.
>>1399088I don't think they died. Well, not all of them. It was the wrong kind of screaming.
>>1399134>>1399088>>1399064>>1399025The voices take the opportunity to materialize as the girls, save Iris, retreat into the garden to begin tidying up.“Hmm. I see,” the queen comments, nodding along as the situation is explained to her. “Quite risky business, all of that, and not a task to be undertaken lightly. Still, maybe I can provide some relief. If you would allow me to put you back asleep first, dear, it will make everything much easier.”“I thought you’d never ask,” Iris yawns, offering no resistance as the queen gently guides her down to rest beside the tree and uses a wave of magic to send her off to hopefully pleasant dreams.“Poor dear,” the queen murmurs as she weaves a different spell, like a glowing net over Iris’ head. “It can’t be an easy life she leads. Beholders, the lot of them, are cursed with companionship, I suppose you could say, to bear the still living memories of their ancestors with them through the whole of their lives.“Imagine what it must be like, to constantly find yourself remembering another person’s life, in another body with another person’s hopes and dreams attached to them and the taint of madness ever-looming over every horizon. It’s no wonder so few survive with sanity intact.”As energy flows, patterns emerge in the mana, a sea of blue dotted with yellow and red connections that surge and wane as the queen inspects them.“Damaged connections,” she explains, gesturing to the red areas. “If one were to liken her soul to a plant, these are all roots that have been severed, bleeding tears where information once flowed between her and the spirits you silenced. If what you say is true, however, perhaps it was for the best. Even so, I’d recommend you take more care in the future.“Few understand it, really, that for all of their strengths, a single beholder’s spirit (their true self) is such a timid, fragile thing. It’s a miniscule ball of essence, full of openings and holes, and woven with more connections than you could possibly count, and yet it’s so empty. With just enough space for hopes and dreams, it needs the protection of other lingering wills to persevere.“Then, again, perhaps it’s simply that that founding soul never really gets a chance to grow on its own.”> Write-in
She had quite the personality before. Is that gone, too?
>>1399252So she is a puppet? That's sad.
>>1399287>>1399276>>1399252“I fear that I may be misleading you with my descriptions,” the queen says sadly, shaking her head. “Iris is no less of a person now than she was when you first met her. Rather, what’s happened is that… How do I describe it?“Imagine that Cici had worn an item such as yourself since birth. However, instead of encouraging her to flourish and grow on her own as you have, the voices in that item jumped on every challenge without any action required on her part. “When she needed to read, a voice read for her. When she needed knowledge on a subject or species of plant, again, they were there. That is essentially the beholder’s paradox, the seer’s paradox, that the unique nature of their kind allows them to know without knowing, to function less like scholars and more like books with constantly shifting pages.“Thought is food for the soul and the ego. It is what allows even the meekest soul to grow full and resplendent. By severing the roots that tied Iris to those voices, perhaps you have removed chapters from her book, but you may very well have made space for her to write new chapters of her own, to exercise her own independent thought and will. However, as I’ve said, it’s a risky path to charge into blind. The mind, the soul is a delicate thing.“Does that make more sense?”> Write-in
>>1399569Yes. So now Iris can be a child and go to school, even if she won't share classes with our beloved gorgon child.You are only a child once and now she can truly be one.
>>1399569A bit, although I still think I'm only getting a partial picture.I do hope that the connections we didn't sever aren't too wary of coming back, though. While there were some rather unpleasant individuals, a couple of others seemed rather friendly, if a bit eccentric or frustrated.The one who kept screaming 'NERD' at the top of his lungs, however, can go make out with a spider, the rude little pissant.
>>1399653Don't be racist with spiders. Arachne can be quite helpful, just avoid the black widows.
>>1399673I noticed you didn't disagree with him being a pissant, though.
>>1399721Shouting NERD all the time when you are making your charge build advanced tech is quite hypocritical.
>>1399746>>1399721>>1399673>>1399653>>1399605>>1399569“For now, making these disconnections more stable will likely alleviate a significant portion of her mental strain. If I had a better idea of what I was doing and her permission, I might be able to offer more, but as is, I think any further tampering should be avoided. For now, she simply needs sleep.”“Now where are my-“ she pauses as she turns around to see her two daughters riding on manticore back, the cat turning dangerously tight circles as the two pixies squeal with delight.“Faster! Faster!”“I might have to put a stop to that.”As the mother drifts after her children, the voices return to Cici, finding the small gorgon judiciously pulling weeds with Vivi’s help, heaping them into a pile containing a lounging and increasingly full rabbit.“Now, girls, you should know better,” the queen bee chastises the dynamic duo, holding them by their scruffs. Apparently, she works fast. “Also, Cici, you haven’t been by for lessons in quite a while, would you care for some tutoring while you’re here?”> Hmm. You never told her about the thing buried in Iris back…> Write-in
>>1399867First let's focus on the lesson. It's been a long time coming.
>>1399867We should mention the thing to the Queen; some of those voices are NOT those of Iris' ancestors. While we don't have the right to unilaterally cut her off from her birthright without her permission, some of these voices are invaders, rude guests trashing their host's home, and needed to be shown the door. Though if the scan and her interpretation of it are correct, we didn't succeed in killing them, just in silencing them. That will need to be rectified.
>>1399867> Hmm. You never told her about the thing buried in Iris back…"But we might want the help of the wizard who created the sheep kids to remove it. For a wizard specialist in biology, it should be easier to remove without csusing Iris harm than you could.""And yes, the baroness already punished said wizard for playing God, so don't worry about that."
>>1399867Oh yeah, There was something in Iris' back we couldnt identify. would you be able to help us find out what it is? We didnt want to mess with it.
>>1400006>>1399916>>1399910>>1399907>>1399867[“… Dear gods, that woman has a knack for finding trouble. Or perhaps it’s the other way around… As for Iris, I think I can see now something that was hidden before. It could explain quite a few things and possibly break quite a few more if it’s tampered with before I understand what it is. At first glance, however, it seems to be some sort of phylactery or conduit similar to your own.”]“Mhm! Learning sounds fun!” Cici agrees, unwittingly interjecting. “But could you check first to see if Vivi has magic first?”“Why, of course she does, dear,” the queen answers as a matter of fact. “I don’t have to look hard to see that.”“Wha- Really?!” Vivi asks excitedly.“Naturally. Maybe not the kind a mage could teach you to wield, but you do have magic and a strong tie to the Veil.”“Huh? What’s the Veil?” Cici asks.“Well, dear, the Veil is a little bit hard to describe. Think of it as a brilliant tapestry woven over and into everything we can see, and many other things that we cannot, tying together distant worlds and people into one great, quilt.”“How’s that different than regular magic, though?” Vivi asks, scratching her head.“Ambient mana is something that flows through all creation, formless and infinite,” the queen explains. “Mages gather pieces of it like wayward wisps and weave those diffuse strands into spells. The Veil, however, is more akin to a river with outlet channels that are defined by fate or occasionally very powerful spells.“It is an innate form of magic, restrictive but powerful. Dragon’s fire and beholder’s gaze, the medusa’s stare and the banshee’s scream are all examples of this given form. And as for you, you yet have the potential to develop an amazing skill other than the one you already have.”“Huh? What other skill?”“Your eyes, dear,” she says simply. “More than your father’s teaching, you’ve no doubt noticed that the mysteries of magic reveal themselves to you quite easily. Without spells and regardless of circumstance, you know what magical items and spells will do. You can simply see it and understand it though you don’t know why.”“H-how do you know that?”“Hmm? Because my family and I share a similar gift, the ability to see aura and the markings that grace others. It’s certainly no dragon’s fire, but it helps us appreciate the world for what it is, seeing the way all things connect and unraveling the whispers and echoes left by powerful forces.”“Could you teach me…?”“Would you be willing to learn?” comes the queen’s simple response.The hungry look in the harpy’s eye hardly requires the additional affirmation.> Did the voices want to try to learn something themselves or press Cici toward something?> Write-in
>>1400376Let Cici learn some more, though her grandfather is right in that she should still push her own internal mana reserves.They're like muscles; better to develop them and not need them, than to not have them and be in trouble.She should develop her mind, body, and spirit, all together.
>>1400376And let's remember to get the father of the sheep kids to look at Iris later, he can help.
>>1400450>>1400436>>1400376Think I'll leave this one open until tomorrow. I'm too exhausted to write.
>>1400376Let's take a back seat and let Cici decide how she should develop her abilities. We can't always be there, and we sure as heck are not going to seer's paradox her.Until then, let's practice form manipulation. RECTANGLE
rectangle.hug vivi, thanks the queen, go learn togheter.
>>1400913Maybe the queen can help us to change forms?Rectangle is okay. Maybe a roman shield?
>>1401602>>1401110>>1401086>>1400913>>1400450>>1400436>>1400376“Vivi, you’re magic!” Cici congratulates, excitedly hugging the still awestruck bird. “Now we can learn together! Um… At least I think that’s what that means.”“In time,” the queen promises. “In truth, I know little of use that I could pass on to the various children who attend your school, but I’m happy to teach you few what I can and offer help where I’m able. However, before we can do that, you’ll need to awaken your own gift of sight, Cici.”“Huh?” Cici questions, remembering the last Hallow’s Eve and that terrifying experience. “But I thought I already did that…”“You did,” she confirms, putting a soothing hand on Cici’s cheek, “but just for a moment, dear. And since then you’ve closed your eyes even tighter, as though you are trying to force them shut. Tell me, are you afraid of what you’ll see?”“Umm…”Cici shifts uncomfortably, eyes not quite able to meet the queen’s as she remembers all of the scary things that had happened that night. There was the incident with the werewolves and her magic running out of control, plus that vivid dream where the seer had explained how dangerous her gift could be. Angry ghosts and ethereal beings, it all just seemed like a terrifying world too vast for her to understand. It was so much scarier than the world she lived in day-to-day, the one filled with people she loved and familiar sights and sounds.“I don’t know if I want to be a seer…” Cici admits.> Rectangle noted for later> Write-in
>>1402056mind hugs.been a seer will probably help in the future, also you can help people pass on...
>>1402056Don't blind yourself, Cici. Open your eyes and see. It'll help you avoid bumping into things.
>>1402056No need to rush into things. Just remember that many good things can be scary.
>>1402056You don't have to be a Seer if you do not want to.
>>1402119Are you advising her to develop her latent skill or not?
>>1402125Is up to her. Is Cici's choice, not ours.
>>1402056>>1402070>>1402083>>1402102>>1402119>>1402125>>1402191A little reassurance on the part of the voices does seem to curb her nervousness, somewhat, but she’s still visibly unsure, something the queen clearly appreciates as she continues.“Having an ability never needs to define how it is you will live your life,” she assures her with a knowing smile. “It is simply a tool, a lens through which you can see the world in a different light. And, just like a spy glass, when it’s served its use, it can be put away.“B-but ghosts-” Cici objects.“Spirits will always be there, Cici, whether you choose to see them or not,” the queen finishes. “But they are neither all monsters nor things that can do you any harm so long as you don’t let fear consume you. Your own fear, in the end, is the only thing that you should be wary of. “Regardless of any of that, I’ve no intention of bringing you into contact with anything dangerous. Rather, in our remote corner of the world, there is only so much I can teach you and even less that I can show you. The tallest mountains, the deepest oceans, the skies, the plains, and the tall towers of bustling cities: I want you to know more of the world we live in and everything that surrounds us, but to truly know these things, you must experience them first hand.”“Maybe Vivi could fly me to those places,” Cici suggests.“Or maybe you can fly yourself, when you’ve learned what I intend to teach you.” That certainly catches Cici’s attention. “All I ask is that you trust me enough to take the first steps.”“Okay…” Cici murmurs after a long, pregnant pause. “So, long as it’s nothing scary…”“It is all a matter of what you choose to see,” the queen assures her.[“Though I imagine she could do with some guidance on your parts…”]> What should a seeing Cici try to see?> Write-in
>>1402273Something awe inspiring
>>1402273I'd suggest she focus on something familiar. No need to send her second sight to the other side of the world.Perhaps have her mother as the target of her sight? A little remote viewing of a familiar thing should help her ease into using it. She has a stronger connection to her parent than she'd have to some windswept peak or the noises and distractions of a big city, so it should make it all the easier.
>>1402273Maybe we can look for your mother.Or if we're looking for spirits, maybe some of the nicer people at the graveyard.
>>1402391>>1402291>>1402281>>1402273“Now, I simply need you to relax,” the queen instructs, encouraging Cici to sit down. “Relax your mind and relax your body as I give you a bit of mana to ease the process of opening your sight.”Cici does what’s asked of her as best she can, but actively thinking about emptying your mind isn’t the sort of ascetic practice you would expect a girl her age to have a firm grasp of. Still, she does her best, thinking of as little as possible even as fingers of mana begin to press their way inside of her head and her entire being begins to vibrate, the voices aware of this by proxy as their own conception of reality becomes painfully stretched out. Eventually, much like Cici, they just have to let go, surrendering their physical manifestation to better attune to the channel being opened by her sight. Vertigo follows after, a dizzying tumble through mental space as reality struggles to find which way is up, the scale and scope of the interior of Cici’s mind trying and failing to find a balance free of its mundane anchor. This goes on for what seems like an eternity while the voices are tossed around like ragdolls, everything a blur until suddenly, like a great white infinity, a pearl of reality is finally formed, a blank canvas emerging from the abyss and held in place by one girl’s will as she struggles to find the conviction use it. Now was where the voices would come in.Towering mountain tops and endless oceans, bustling cities and deep canyons, they consider all sorts of places to direct her mind. However, the more they think about it, all of those things might prove overwhelming for a girl like Cici. No, what they needed was something familiar, ‘someone’ familiar, and so, with a small amount of nudging, they direct the viewing glass to trace her thread.It’s bizarre how instinctual it is from there, the simple thought of her mother’s face causing the pearl to whirl in space, points connecting through the aether in an instant before the clear image of Cassandra comes into view, her tail twitching curiously as she lowers a tea cup from her lips and looks to the well-dressed woman across from her, Ms. Potsly wearing another ridiculous hat.
>>1402553“So, you stand to have the finest horses this side of the kingdom when all is said and done,” Cassandra retreads with a careful, sophisticated air. “And all it would cost you is a small initial investment.”“Two dozen horses is hardly small,” the woman scoffs. “It would hurt our enterprises moving forward considerably, not to mention there’s the risk of project failure. No, I’m afraid we ‘must’ ask for additional compensation if we’re to consider.”“In what way?” Mama dares to ask. Her tone makes it clear this isn’t the first time they’ve come back around to this.“Well, some gold would be nice,” Ms. Potsly notes.“And we’ve quite the border dispute going on with the Reginald’s down the way.” The much-decorated sitting room expands to show an older gentleman in a seat, a gloved hand adjusting a monocle over his mustache as he continues. “If you could offer a hand in settling it, ideally in our favor, we’d be much obliged.”Mama withholds a sigh, but the voices can almost feel it as she takes another sip from her tea.“Anything else?” she hazards.“Well, we’ve been considering bringing our young Richard into school,” Ms. Potsly mentions.“I don’t see where I could help there…”“Can you assure us it wouldn’t be a problem, if we were to say, bring some added security to watch over him?” Mr. Potsly elaborates. “Only two or three armed guards at the most.”One woman can only take so much, Cassandra sighing aloud as she places her cup back on the table. This was going to be a long conversation.Unfortunately, Cici’s time was up, the all too real picture shivering and shaking as both her and the voices are sent rudely back to the world of the waking, the tiny gorgon trying to catch her breath as the vertigo knocks the wind out of her.> Write-in
>>1402559Well, hopefully Richard Potsly isn't going to be too disruptive...(said without much enthusiasm)
>>1402559Cici, are you okay?
>>1402734>>1402704>>1402559“I… I think I’m okay…” she says between breaths. “I’m just really dizzy.”“You should eat food,” Itsy suggests, her and Bitsy flying from the hive with a honey comb between them.“Yeah,” Bitsy agrees.“T-thanks…” Cici says, taking the comb in hand with barely a thought as she sits up.It’s sticky and warm, the contents dripping everywhere even before it reaches her palm, so she wastes no time popping half in her mouth, chewing through the crisp comb with relish as the rich taste coats her tongue. However, that’s not all there is to it. There’s something else, like a feeling of warmth building in her stomach, maybe a trick of the vertigo, but as she swallows, Cici’s realizes it may not all be in her head.Rather, the feeling swells, the warmth creeping out from her stomach and into her limbs in waves, washing away the feelings of sickness and nausea before quietly receding. Curious, Cici looks down into the remaining honeycomb in her hand, curiously noting that it’s made of miniscule pentagons rather than hexagons. That’s odd.“It’s special honey!” Itsy explains happily. “Mom taught us how to make it!” Bitsy adds.“So, eat it quick before it all spills!” Itsy insists.Not wanting to waste their efforts, Cici does what she is told, enjoying the refreshing, vaguely floral taste of the honey before carefully wiping her hands on the grass.“Where’s Vivi, anyway?” Cici asks, looking around.“Over there,” Itsy points.“Brienne and Flora are trying to teach her how to use aura sight.”“Maybe you should take a break though.”Cici considers the wisdom of that advice as she spies the group in question, Vivi squinting curiously into empty space as Brienne gesticulates at it and Flora laughs.> Write-in
>>1402860>Take a break and pet your pets.
>>1402860Might as well see how Vivi's doing. After that, we should exercise your internal mana for a bit.
>>1402860Take a look at what your sister is looking at. Maybe a word of encouragement?
>>1402943Nope, using mana is not resting.
>>1402964>>1402943>>1402903>>1402860Even if she wasn’t ready to learn more magic, she could at least provide Vivi moral support. With that in mind, Cici gets up and dusts the grass off her butt, grabbing the snoozing Din-Din off the ground after a few pats on his overly full belly. That alone wasn’t going to bring him back around though, the enterprising hare having feasted on dandelions, clover, and wild onions for the better part of two hours now.--“Some sort of weird looking dog?” Vivi asks, Cici catching the tail end of a conversation as she approaches.“No. Try again…” Brienne sighs, apparently impatient.“I mean, I don’t think she’s far off,” Flora points out, looking at the empty space with a discerning eye. “Maybe a cow?”“It’s a horse!” Brienne objects. “Long snout. Long legs. Horns.”“Oh, so it’s supposed to be a horse!” Vivi says. “I can kind of see that.” She squints. “At least, I think.”> Seems her lessons are going swimmingly.> Write-in
>>1403072Yaya! See sister is a go! Hug times!
>>1403108Seer, that is.
>>1403153>>1403108>>1403098>>1403072“I don’t see anything,” Cici admits as she sits down next to Vivi, not even having to put down Din-Din to offer the harpy a hug before she has a wing pulling her close.“I’m sure you’ll pick it up quickly,” Vivi assures her. “You were out for a little while, though. Are you okay?”“Mhm,” Cici says, sidling in a bit closer. “It wasn’t too scary. I saw Mama an’ she was talking to the Potsly’s.”“That’s amazing!” Vivi compliments, resting her cheek on Cici’s hair. “Soon you’ll be able to see all sorts of cool stuff.”“Hmm…” Cici kind of just quietly enjoys the praise as Brienne prepares for another round, her arms waving toward the air.“Alright, how about now?” she prompts, again gesturing to empty space.“Hmm. Triangle,” Vivi concludes.“And this?”“A circle.”“And this?”“… is that a turtle combined with a giraffe?”“Urgh!”Flora continues giggling on the sidelines.> Hmm. You know, if she’ calling out basic shapes, maybe you could ask to borrow a little mana from Cici.> Roll 1d100
Rolled 84 (1d100)>>1403237> Roll 1d100Pixie!
Rolled 67 (1d100)>>1403237
>>1403237>>1403249>>1403355“Neat! So, you guys learned a new trick?” Cici asks as the voices explain their intention.“What did they learn?” Vivi asks.“Apparently, they figured out how to make shapes with magic!”“Neat.”“I guess we’ll try to make whatever shape you think Brienne is making so they can practice, too.”“Even the weird ones?”“They aren’t weird!” Brienne objects.“We’ll see, I think.”“Anyway…” Brienne buzzes, gesticulating.“Circle,” Vivi responds.And as soon as she does, Cici begins to focus, sending mana into her arm and joining her focus with that of the voices. It’s bizarre, honestly, more than a little different from their experience with Yesh as the voices feel the quantitative differences between wielders manifest themselves.After all, Yesh had spent years honing his mage craft, refining his mana control until a single inkling could send power seamlessly to one limb or even a fingertip. Conversely, Cici is still incredibly young and inexperienced, the flow of her magic like a chaotic series of sparks rather than a smooth current. The voices’ focus is there but her control isn’t, causing shapes to appear before snapping in and out of existence for long minutes before the voices pause to think on a solution.> Write-in
>>1403489And that's where we'll leave it for tonight folks. I'll hold onto the rolls until then. In the meantime, think of ways to help her to maintain focus.
>>1403489Cici, when I had a body, I used to practice meditation. Now normally, everyone will tell you to try and empty your mind, but that can take years of practice.A better way to do it is to try and simply count. Nothing else, no other thoughts, only the number that you are on, and then the next. Try and sit or lie down and close your eyes, and count.
>>1403489Now, as you focus, send your mana out as a steady stream. It doesn't have to be much, just constant and steady.
>>1403489Just try to relax and have fun.
>>1403489Cici, can you feel the flow of your magic as you cast? What does it feel like?
>>1404549>>1404526>>1404515>>1403670>>1403489“Umm…” Cici thinks about the advice the voices are giving her, closing her eyes and trying to think of just a number.But how was she supposed to focus on sending out mana if she was only thinking about a number? How would she know if she was doing it right if she couldn’t see the result? The questions swirl around her head as she attempts to focus on just one thing, her brow scrunching with concentration.“Cici, what are you doing?” Flora eventually asks as the young girl sits there.“Counting,” Cici explains with a strained voice. “An’ trying not to think of other stuff so the voices can concentrate.”“I see.”She waits a little longer, allowing Cici to continue with her efforts before interjecting.“You know, it isn’t a terrible idea to practice this on its own. Learning how to empty your mind is important to visualization. However, might I offer a suggestion?”“O-Okay…” Cici concludes, finally giving up.“The key to emptying your mind is to have something simple to focus on, something to fill out the rest of the space but not distract you while you focus on something else. So what do you do when you’re bored and have nothing else to do? Some people count, other people whistle, and other people…”“Hum?” Cici asks.“If that’s what relaxes your mind, then yes,” Flora agrees, moving a strand of long hair out of her eyes. “Try letting the simple sound of your own voice fill your thoughts, focusing on only that and letting everything else fall away. Well, go on. Give it a try.”Cici gives a nervous cough and takes a few deep breaths. She isn’t used to people paying so much attention to her, let alone her voice. Still, she isn’t quite at the age where embarrassment alone will immobilize her. And so, with a deep breath and a pause, Cici begins to hum a single, long note, a pleasant and gentle sound whose echoes she allows to fill her head as well as her chest, pushing out all of the clutter inside.Eventually, her lungs are exhausted, but she doesn’t need prompting to start over again, her voice echoing more clearly the second time as the voices feel the static of her mind begin to clear away. Given a few more minutes after and she’s focusing on nothing save the next repetition, eyes closed to better feel the state of her breathing and the vibrations of her voice.> Do the voices have any guidance? She is presently not circulating her mana.> Write-in
>>1404629Cici, try to have the mana flow to your humming. Like you would move your body to music. Freely, and without exerting effort.
>>1404629I'll put up an announcement on Twitter and QST discord in a little while. Unfortunately, some unexpected errands have come up. Be back soon as I can.
>>1404629I'd chime in but I think that would distract her from the exercise. I wanna see how she does.
>>1404629Nah, let's shut up and let her continue practicing her meditation. She needs to be able to hold this state better before we can have her channeling mana. Yesh would be a better teacher for that than us.
>>1404999>>1404756>>1404640>>1404629She still needs to move the mana to her hand. Eventually, that thought makes its way into her mind, hovering there on the edge of her consciousness as she continues her meditative humming. The question was how?Thoughts begin shifting as that idea grows, harmony struggling to keep as her brain attempts to fire off in a dozen different directions again to resolve it. However, as she takes another deep breath and begins again, her mind settles and empties once more, leaving only something very basic in its stead: a feeling more than a thought.After all, there was a sensation whenever she conjured up her mana, like something physical, yet intangible moving through her body, pooling and concentrating in the places she sent it. And just like her body, as she tries to extend her awareness to that feeling, she feels the mana inside of her also resonating with the sound of her voice. Like ripples on still water, she can sense it while still maintaining her focus, if only barely, and she hovers there for a good while in that state, aware, but unsure of how to proceed without disrupting her concentration further.Finally, she just takes the leap of faith, gathering her breath and her focus once again as she lets a new note leave her lips, trying as best she can to focus the ripples of sound into her arm. And, if only for just a moment, it seems to work, the energy entering the bracer with a sonorous hum of its own for long enough that the voices can form it into a small disk of light.“Cici, you’re doing it!” Vivi says excitedly.And naturally, it’s then, like a house of cards balanced atop its narrow end that Cici’s concentration breaks, her eyes opening just long enough to see the splinters of the voices’ creation vanish into nothingness.> Write-in
>>1405208That's good. You're getting there, Cici. It's hard work, which is why you have to keep at it to get better.
>>1405208Good job! How did that feel?
>>1405208>>1405269>>1405547The voices offer praise as Cici scrabbles to get the magic flowing correctly again, but it seems that’s about all she can manage for right now.“Sorry…” Vivi offers, after realizing what she’s done.“It’s okay, Vivi,” Cici assures her. “I just need to practice more so I can get better.”“But for today, I think that will be enough,” the queen says as she flutters back into view. “There’s no use working yourselves to the bone when you’re still so young.”“Maybe we could do some dancing instead,” Cici suggests. “I’m not too tired.”“Have some water first,” the queen insists. “Would Vivi like to join us for that as well?”“I… Um, I don’t think I can dance…” Vivi says.“All it takes is a body and a will,” the older woman laughs. “And to not worry about looking silly in the process.”“…”“C’mon Vivi. It’s really fun!”“Fine,” she relents.“Yay!”With the sun passing high noon, there’s plenty of sunlight to blanket the meadow as bee, bird, and gorgon stretch themselves out in preparation. “Wow! You can bend your legs really far!” Cici notes as Vivi almost touches her head with one claw.“Huh?” the harpy questions. “I mean, yeah, we use our feet for so much that we kind of have to reach lots of places.”“Life without hands must be weird,” Itsy notes, trying to mimic Vivi’s flexibility.“Really weird,” Bitsy adds.“I certainly wouldn’t object to having some,” Vivi admits, “but I manage just fine without them.”“But how do you put on pants?” Itsy demands.“Or shirts?” Bitsy asks.“I mean, I have fingers,” Vivi notes, somewhat embarrassed. “Right here at the crook of my wings.To demonstrate, she folds her wings inward and gently flexes the stubby dactyls.“Ha! They’re so tiny!”“Super tiny!” Bitsy laughs.“And you both used to be little grubs,” their mother reminds them. “Now, unless you want me to show them exactly what that looks like, I recommend you finish your exercises.”That certainly redirects the conversation as the blushing bees find other uses for their attention, everyone completing their stretches and regaining their nerves before it’s finally time to begin. Perhaps for Vivii’s sake, the moves from there start are simple and slow, the dance only reaching a proper rhythm after minutes of patient build-up.And to her credit, despite being utterly new and not being able to execute the arm rolls and other more top heavy maneuvers with her wings, the harpy still manages to keep fairly respectable pace with the others. All in all, it’s a pleasant, relaxing way to drift into the afternoon, sweat glistening off their bodies as their minds take a well-deserved break from magic.However, as it all comes to an end, growling stomachs make themselves known.> Any suggestions for lunch?> Write-in
>>1405741Well, if your mother's back from her meeting with the Potslys, see about shredding some cheese and chicken, chopping some tomato, basil and onions, and putting it in between two pieces of flatbread and frying it.Which reminds me, I need some dinner...
>>1405741Maybe some breads, cheeses, and vegetables.
>>1405839That sounds like a good idea! See if your mom would be ok trying something new
>>1405839>>1405883>>1405973>>1405741Realizing that the bees likely didn’t have enough to provide for people of their size, Vivi and Cici politely excuse themselves with many thanks and a happy wave.“Come back tomorrow, girls!” the queen calls after them. “I have something special in mind.”Having the feeling that’s all she’s going to get out of her for now, Cici just waves again, grabs her still half-asleep rabbit and begins walking home.“Woo. That was a lot to take in,” Vivi breathes on the way back, “but it was kind of nice.”“Mhm. The bees are nice people.”“Guess they’ll watch Iris until we come back.”“We should bring her lunch! The voices said we should make something called flatbread then fry it with cheese an’ chicken.”“What’s flat bread?” Vivi asks.“I dunno. Maybe Uncle Guyus would know.”> Write-in
>>1406098Basically, the bread we're talking about involves unleavened, water based dough made from flour that is flattened and cooked over a skillet. The resulting product can be used to make an alternative to bread based sandwiches by rapping the fillings in them. They can also be made into crunchy chips used to pick up sauces.
>>1406304>>1406098I think I'll take a break for today. I'm thinking that it's looking like Cici is about to take a trip into town to find Uncle Guyus and unlock the mysteries of flatbread. Get your recipe tips ready.
>>1406098Don't worry Cici about this ! Add chicken, bell pepper and oignons and it's a great way to make lunch !Quite nice to be finally able to talk to you, you should ask Uncle Guyus if he knows how to make Macarons ! But I'll try to keep these for later, they are quite difficult to produce !>Started reading this quest when I was sick. QM I enjoy so much reading about Cici and her adventures ! Have a nice day!
>>1406304>>1406098you forgot to say that it has to be made from corn grain, not wheat.
>>1408480I wonder if they even have corn as we know it yet?
>>1408523it doesn't need to be corn as we know it today. when the spanish explorers came to america, the aztecs already had corn. their leyends talked about them being created from it.It surely will not be the golden grainy thing we know right now, but it will suffice.
>>1408480Pretty sure the quesadilla I had last night was made from flour, not corn. Besides, wheat flour is more readily available at the bakery right now.
>>1408612i was referring to the process >>1406304 said. if you want the result he is thinking of(which is nachos from what i can read), he needs corn flour, not wheat flour
>>1406098>>1406304>>1406468>>1408028>>1408480Clink Clink Clink! Gonk! Clink Clink Clink! Gonk! Clink Clink Clink! Gonk! As Cici and Vivi roll into town, an unfamiliar sound fills the air, a sharp, rhythmic noise accompanied with the declarations of tiny, mechanical workers as they begin the long work of paving the streets. The market square, unlike normal is empty save for their number and a cart full of stone gradually being lowered and hammered into place by the industrious golems. “Hi!” Cici calls, waving in their direction, and as if as one, they all stop what they are doing to wave back, though one might have reconsidered when a brick knocks it on its comparatively small noggin. However, before Cici can panic, they’re already taking care of the matter, two golems hoisting the brick between them as a third carts off the dizzy, clockwork klutz. Not wanting to cause anymore distractions, Cici and Vivi decide then that it’s best to duck into Guyus’ shop, the loud ring of the bell overhead drawing the baker’s attention from his craft.“Ah! Good evening there, strangers,” he jokes. “It’s been a while since I’ve last seen hide, hair, scale, or feather of any of ye. How’ve you been?”“I’ve been good!” Cici assures him. “School has been lots of fun!”“Ha!” he barks. “School. Fun. Then again, knowing you, yer one hundred percent serious. Just as well, honestly. Lord knows yer mother would have to tan yer hide somethin’ awful if ye turned to playin’ hooky.”“What’s hooky?” Cici asks.“It’s a way of sayin’ ye run off before the teacher lets ye go for the day. A good way to wind up dumb as a rock, that, so don’t you pay it any mind, ay?”“I like school…”“Figured ye might,” the old man says with a smile, wiping off his hands. “Ye’ve got a good head on yer shoulders.”“Or twelve,” Vivi adds.“Ha! Anyway, ye look about ready to keel over without a bite of something. So what brings you ladies by?”[“Do you guys want to explain?”]> Write-in >>1408028Also, I'm glad to hear you've been enjoying it, anon.
>>1408685Let's get out and explain that bread. Without hominy and nixtamilization, corn tortillas are of the menu.
>>1408685Gotta manifest and explain the idea of flatbreads and putting meat and cheeses in between two pieces of bread and then pan frying it.
>>1408705>>1408701>>1408685The voices drift up out of the bracer to explain the situation to Guyus, the old man listening intently as they explain the basics to him. “Hmm. So, like a pancake?” he asks. “Nah, I see, less flour, nix the yeast, and add oil… But poor things will starve to death by the time I get all that done. Afraid that’ll be off the menu unless you got some sort of magic that lets you speed up time.”> Well…> Write-in
>>1408727Oh, very well. If you've got some regular bread, you can make a sandwich with cheese and meat, and then grill the sandwich to make a panini.
>>1408727While we do have the magic, I'd like to work on it a bit more. I REALLY don't want to discover the consequences of messing up a time spell. Spoiled food is the least of one's worries...
>>1408780Continuing off of this, we could come over after school the day after tomorrow to work on it. I'm pretty sure the Baroness could bring the necessary ingredients while dropping off Cici.
>>1408727Let's just make sandwiches then. Time magic is off the table until Cici enters puberty at the very least.
>>1408917I'd say that time magic should be off the table until Cici has a better grasp of Seeing AND puberty. Seeing very well be the key to chronomancy.
>>1408727>>1408780>>1408910>>1408917The voices explain that while that option might be on the table at some point in the future, for now, the safety of the time space continuum is a slightly more pressing matter than having a toasted flatbread.“Was joking more than anything,” the old man explains. “No sense getting more grey hairs than I already have over this. Besides, I’ve got some rolls around here somewhere…”A few minutes later and the skilled chef is quickly chopping chicken, peppers, and onion, adding all to the skillet with a flourish and a dash of oil before with a gentle turn, flames erupt and consume everything within.“Wah! It’s burning!” Cici warns him.“Yep! That’d be how you blacken the edges a bit. Adds flavor.”As one hand tosses the ingredients, the other goes for a dash of salt and other spices in turn, the sizzling flame hissing violently with each new addition before a final, quick motion brings a lid down over the top, extinguishing it just as suddenly as it had begun. Guyus, unwilling to remain idle for a moment, is immediately skimming strips off of a block of cheese before turning it into the mix.Toasted buns are piled high with ingredients moments later as the molten cheese still drips from the spatula, a slice of pickle placed on the side of the aromatic blend and a well-placed slice of his knife make more than enough, sensibly sized finger sandwiches to feed the three of them. “Give it a minute to cool off,” the man recommends, moving toward the back. “No sense burning the roofs of yer mouths.”A moment later and he’s returning with a pitcher of water, mixing the contents of a couple lemon and another pitcher of what’s presumably sugar before adding a few sliced strawberries and giving the whole mix a good stir.
>>1409147“Wow!” Cici gushes as she watches the whole concoction take on a bright pink. “Um, is this really alright?” Vivi asks as the older girl is more predictably aware of their surroundings.“Hmm?” Guyus goes to the front of the shop and turns the “Open” sign to “Closed”. “Yeah, it’s my shop, my rules, and it was just about time for lunch anyway. Anyhow, oughta be safe to eat now.”Hunger kind of precludes any additional conversation as the two hungry girls dig in with gusto, a veritable explosion of flavors hitting their tongues as the velvety cheese mixes with the fresh veggies and chicken. Paired with sour and sweet pink lemonade, the meal is just about perfect, and consequently, not long for this world, nothing but crumbs and fond memories left within the span of a couple of minutes.“Hungry?” Guyus asks teasingly as he clears the dishes.“Not anymore,” Cici answers as she tries to conceal a burp.“Good. Ain’t like I’d want to send ye packin’ back home with nothing in your stomachs.”“Does that mean you’re busy today?” Cici asks.“Ha! I’m always busy,” the old man dismisses, “but that’s good for us grown-up folks. Keeps us honest. Now, then, if ye wouldn’t mind flipping the sign on yer way out, I’d appreciate it.”“Thanks, Uncle Guyus!” Cici says as she offers the baker a departing hug. “Well, if ye want to thank me proper, I could always use a spare pair of hands to help me in the kitchen. Provided yer still interested in learning, that is.”“Mhm!” Cici agrees enthusiastically. “I want to learn to make all sorts of stuff!”“Well, good on ye, lass, but for today, you look a bit tired. How about you both go home and get some rest, ay?”With stomachs full, minds drained from magic, and bodies exhausted from dancing and walking, it doesn’t sound like such a bad suggestion to the two of them as they wander out of the store. They still needed to go get Iris, and Mama would probably be home soon anyway. After all, they would need to start gathering their energy for whatever great adventure awaited them tomorrow.
>>1409148And that's all I have time for this week. Hope you folks had fun, and I'll see you next Tuesday.
>>1409155See you later, bananon! Thanks for running.