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/qst/ - Quests

The soft and creamy wall of sleep is dragged away from you, a prodding in your side the main cause. That curtain falls, and a voice pulls you upward, quietly at first as if it were distant from your mind. Your eyes open despite your insistence that they don't.

"Come on Gyro, it's spring again." Your silver friend stands over you appearing to sway as his foot rocks you back and forth.

"Hn, Goshe? No it isn't, if I look at my shadow it's another six weeks. Oh look. Okay back to be--" Goshe picks you up by the collar, an action accompanied by a squeak from beyond the door from Kyanite. He sets you down on your feet and you groggily walk outside together.

"Good morning," says Goshenite, somewhat cheerily. You're about to mimic his attitude and do the same, but you notice something. Everyone's faces are anxious. At the front of the group, standing next to Kongo-Sensei, is Antozonite.

"Good morning," he replies. He closes his eyes for a moment, briefly thinking something secret but obviously troubling. When they open again, they bring words with them, "Everyone, now you're all awake I have something I need to say."

Sensei moves his hand to Antozonite's back to offer encouragement.

"During the winter Cryolite was taken."


"The Lunarians came, they attacked. The entire time we've known them, each of us who thought they were a friend was being tricked. We tried to fight them off, but I was ignited during the fighting, and Cryolite was broken by the last one remaining. Sensei was asleep at the time, and that last one took Cryolite's pieces away."

Antozonite's words leave everyone confused, not quite knowing what to make of them.

"Only one or two of you know this about me, but over the years being on my own I created methods of fighting. Cryolite was the only other who knew them, and if he hadn't used them as well as he did in the end, I don't doubt some of you would have been taken as well. The past few days I've started teaching them to Jet, but they are not learned in days or months. I don't know whether this attack was the only that will come, but the way that Lunarian talked about us... It's best that we at least prepare in the ways we can. I'm going to start teaching all of you those techniques, starting today."

Jet takes over. You notice his expression: he's already typically serious when addressing the group, but now there's a cold power behind him that makes you believe Ant's telling the truth.

"We'll temporarily be suspending the normal daily tasks. In the morning we'll all meet, and throughout the day smaller groups will practice whatever was taught. Also, as we--"

"Please wait!" The voice calls out from somewhere to your right.

Jet stops. "Cuprite?"

"This is... What do you mean? All of it, I don't understand..."

Jet struggles to find an answer, and turns to Antozonite. "Give me a moment, I know what to do." He walks off deeper into the school, leaving Ant and Sensei alone at the front.
"I know it's hard for all of you to process. Something like this, it's new and we don't understand it," says Antozonite, trying to regain control of the situation.

"I understand perfectly fine! C'mon Cuprite, don't even spend a second gettin' down about this. Ant, I'm in, whatever fighting you're doing I'm doing it too." Citrine steps out of the crowd and up to Antozonite. "If they want to hurt any of us, let's at least make sure it ain't easy."

However, Citrine's courage doesn't seem to inspire as it normally does. Most everyone remains still and quiet, either disturbed or confused, or some mixture of the two. The strange power that dread has to steal away the voices of even the strong is to some a sort of impressiveness. He... But I thought I made him happy? That same weight of worry tugs against your abdomen, every small breeze of spring air a toppling gust when you're fighting the urge to fall to the floor. Is it my fault... It becomes difficult to focus on any standing around you, and the hall begins to cave inward to your eyes. That Cryolite was--

"Woah, Gyro-!" Goshenite catches you from a fall.

"Taken..." You say, as the force of Goshe's arms snap everything back into view. Another feeling forms as he helps you right yourself. You look back to the front, feeling courage. "Ant, me too."

Goshenite lets out a surprised sound as you stand from his brace and walk up beside Citrine.

"What you're saying, I don't know how but I understand it. He was taken. I won't let that happen to anyone else."

Goshenite hesitantly runs up as well, but everyone else is still unconvinced. Looking into the crowd, the heartbreaking face of Cuprite clutching his gown shines through. His eyes tell you that he stands back not for a lack of belief, but that he refuses to acknowledge that he does. Those same motives are reflected in the others around him, as they all do the same.

The silence is broken by Jet's footsteps, returning from wherever he went. As he comes in to view, he carries something wrapped in a cloth.

"Everyone, I know you don't want to hear it. To all of us, they felt like friends. We hugged and we danced and we smiled together, but I think this will show you what Ant's saying is true." He closes his eyes as he unwraps the object, shock rises from the group as Almandine's head is revealed.

Ant explains, "During the winter, Almond came back from the moon. He asked me to go back with him, and to try and convince you to come too, but something was wrong."

"H-his eyes..." Says Cuprite. "Those aren't his..."

"That's right. And there was something else I can't quite explain. An emptiness, like he wasn't there. It turns out he was being used as a trap. They shattered him, and started attacking us. They shot arrows, and I even got hit by one protecting Cryolite, leaving a hole in my chest."

"So- it's real."

"It's real," says Jet. "They took the rest of him, we can't put him back together."
Cuprite takes Almandine's head from Jet and holds it tightly against his chest. "I'm sorry this happened to you." He looks up again, "Jet, what will you do with him?"

"To tell the truth, I'm not sure. Maybe someday, I'll go to the moon and get the rest of him back."

"When you do, bring me. I'll be ready." He says. Cuprite hands the head back, and the sentiment echoes outward, everyone finally seems to understand the implications of what's going on.

"I'm sorry we had to tell you like this," says Antozonite. "But for now it's all we can do. Then, everyone please listen. Today will be a little different from the new routine we're moving to. We don't have weapons for everyone, but the Lunarians that attacked left behind a few things that we can use for practice. Jasper, are you able to make more things like the icebreakers?"

"Probably, just get me the materials and there's bound to be some dangerous and convoluted carnival of chemical reactions just waiting to be uncovered!" He replies from within the group.

"Good. Then today will be the last that you all split into three major groups. With me will be the strongest, previously Almond's team. We'll practice using the weapons left behind. Jet will take the fastest and cover the basics of movement, and the remainder of you will be assisting Jasper."

Everyone, even though we all learned about something so sad, we're still together.

"And Gyrolite, that leaves you," says Jet as he turns in toward the small group standing at the front. "Today, which part of you is strongest?"

After a full winter of sleep, It's hard to tell, but I'm pretty sure it's my...

>Arms (Strength, Antozonite)
>Legs (Speed, Jet)
>Neither (Control, Jasper)
Previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=houseki
Vote closed for arms.
“...Arms. Looks like I’ll be one of the first to learn from you.”

“Alright. Then, it's into our new future." Ant nods to you, and returns to instructing the group. "Everyone, it’s time. Split up and start preparing. If they continue to come once every third sunny day, my guess is around a week from now they’ll be back. Let’s not waste time.”

“Before you begin,” says Sensei, “Please allow me to say something. The responsibility for the loss of Almandine and Cryolite falls on my shoulders, none of yours. I feared an eventuality such as this might happen, but offered no guidance for the possibility that it would. In trying to protect you, I placed you all in a greater danger.”

Your attention is drawn to his robes. You hadn’t noticed before he started speaking, but they seem to be smaller than they were before, as if some material has been removed, and not cleanly like Kyanite would have it done.

“For this I apologize. I will also explain why I chose to do what I did. Natrolite, even before you were born I knew the Lunarians to be dangerous. They are driven by vanity, and lust for luxury. He who we call their prince, I have known him for a great long time to be different, like us in many regards, and that he would prevent the Lunarians from giving in to their impulses."

Why is Sensei's clothing torn, and where did it go? You look around in curiosity, and spot the culprit. Antozonite's summer uniform looks a bit different than usual, and you notice a patchy pattern on his right side, just like that around the belt of Sensei's own.

"In fact, it was a promise that he made to me. Of all the things he is, manipulative and intelligent, depressive and morose, dishonest has never been one of them. I had no reason to believe that promise was not trustworthy, and so I thought it best to allow you all to be happy in ignorance of the truth. If you were all safe, there was not call for you to be burdened by mistrust and mire.”

I remember being told about it a long time ago, that Ant can get set on fire. His clothing must have burned, and Sensei must have made him a crude replacement while Kyanite wasn't able to.

"For a great number of years, this seemed to be the case. The Lunarians assuaged their destructive nature, and you were all happy. However, I knew that if you were to venture to the moon in curiosity there would be no way to guarantee your safety, and so I created a lie to protect you. But all this time I have misjudged him, and placed my trust where it was not due. But still, I was not surprised to learn he head betrayed that promise. I must then have had some doubt, dismissing it as paranoia."

It's something so simple, yet... And yet it's a true feeling. It's one we all feel back. I know, it's impossible any of us could feel differently.

"I was fundamentally in error, and now the situation is dire."

...Yes, I'm sure of it.
You break eye contact with the ground and stare directly into Sensei. "It doesn't matter."

He stares back, his eyes are wider than normal.

"Whatever you did, the outcome doesn't matter, it wasn't something you could have predicted, right? Everything you've done has been because you love us. Even to the smallest of threads that you try to sew with your big hands... It's all done with love. That's why, even though we're sad, one thing will never change. You love us, and we you."

Your words were clearly unexpected, not just by Kongo-Sensei. Cuprite, Citrine, Goshe, Jet and Ant, everyone around is somewhat surprised that you had the forwardness to say such a thing.

"G-guys, you all feel the same way right?" You ask, embarrassed.

The next sound comes from someone you rarely speak to: Siderite begins to laugh. It's not a comical laugh at your expense, but as if it's a realization he should've had a long time ago. "No no, that's right! I guess I'd forgotten." His laugh radiates outward, spreading to the others as well. With the heavy atmosphere lifted, Sensei places a hand atop your head, and after dressing for the new season the groups disperse to their duties.

Antozonite leads you to the storeroom, and from there he has you each grab an ornately made javelin.

"These are what some of the Lunarians used during the attack. Since it may take some time for Jasper to create personal weapons for all of you, we'll practice with these."

Each Javelin is unique, and decorated in its own style, studded with various colored stones. They're beautiful and enchanting despite the purpose they were used for. Immediately on picking up the one which you thought suited you best, you feel the weight. It's heavy, so heavy that were your arms not supported by their temporary fibrous form you're unsure you would be able to lift it at all.

"The stones on these, I wonder where they came from." Says Goshenite.

"I hadn't thought about it. If the moons were formed from the impacts, then it would make sense that minerals exist on them."

"Mm, I was thinking the same thing. Do you think these have inclusions?"

"Jasper could tell us."

"Let's remember to ask at some point."

As you nod, Antozonite gathers you back together and takes you outside, just to the west of the school. He takes out his icebreaker, a shimmering black obsidian shaped into the serrated sword that it is now.

"Keep in mind that those javelins won't feel like swords..."
He proceeds to demonstrate the best way to hold it, the proper way to swing to get the most power from the least exertion, and many more detailed descriptions. He goes very quickly, but most of it you pick up. Malaya and Uvarovite unsurprisingly pick it all up very quickly. The two are the same type as Almandine, and although they are quite a bit younger they share many of his talents for movement and strength. Goshenite is the same way, and before long you've been left trying to play keep up with all the others. Goshe tries his best to help you along, but as it stands you have a plain disadvantage, being that your body is a disorderly arrangement of variants of your base mineral, making coordination between segments more difficult.
At the very least, you take in the information, even if it isn't immediately usable. Someday, if you can regain control over your body's composition, undoubtedly these teachings will be important. Knowing this, you are the one who asks the most questions, trying to understand the reasoning behind the forms so that when you are finally able to put them into practice, their nuances won't be lost to time.

As the long lesson progresses, the sun begins to set. Everyone else slows in response, as their bodies aren't as well suited to the darkness as your own. You wanted to take this opportunity to regain some lost ground in terms of progression, but you become distracted by something. In the ground, you can feel a kind of tingling. It's weak at first, and you assume it your imagination, but it becomes impossible to ignore after a few minutes.

What... Is that? "Goshe, can you feel that?"

"Hn? Feel what?"

"It feels like the ground is sparkling."

He takes a second to formulate a response. "Those words don't have... any meaning together."

"Yeah, I know, that's why it's so weird. It's coming from," you close your eyes to focus on the sensation, and point in the direction it's strongest. "That way, I think."

"From the chord shore?"

Opening your eyes, you finger is pointed to the southwest, directly at the barely visible peak of the cliff face. "I guess so. And it's stronger now, it's like a hum, but one that I can't hear. It feels like I'm being pulled, even though I can tell I'm actually not."

"Maybe you do need another six weeks of sleep."

"I'm being serious!"

Antozonite calls out to get everyone's attention. "Okay, it's getting darker now, we'll go ahead and wrap up for today. I'd like for us to do one thing before we go back inside: is there anybody who would like to volunteer to try a sparring session? If nobody says something I'm picking someone at random, and it won't be Malaya or Uvaro."

Oh, this couldn't be more inconvenient! Why do interesting things have to happen at the same time... This would be a great chance to make up for lost progress. Either way, I can't just let this pass by. I'll...

>Investigate the strange feeling
>Investigate the strange feeling
>>Investigate the strange feeling
Might not be a bad idea to call Antozonite's attention to it as well.
I will be a bit late coming home today. The vote will remain open until I'm back in my computer.

If any of you ever do scheduling for private strings teachers please don't ever not email them if they have a student sign up
Why haven't we sucked some stone dick already?
Vote closed to investigate
...See what's happening to the southwest.

"Ant," you yell out.

"Gyro, you want to try?"

"No, Something's happening at the chord shore! Can't you tell? I'm going to see what it is!"

The pull is too strong to resist, and without time for response you've already begun running in its direction. Every impact of heel and earth is a warm sensation that spreads up your legs. You want to chase it. It's unmistakable now, your body has taken over, following after the sensations in an unrelenting hunt for satisfaction.

"Gyrolite," says Ant. He's caught up to you, and with him are Malaya and Uvarovite. "What were you saying, before you ran off, how can you tell?"

"I don't know how to explain, I just need to go there. Don't follow me!"

What am I saying?

Malaya dashes in and picks you up by your waist. "Come on, stop and talk for a second at least!"

Your legs cry out in withdrawal from moving to their destination. "I told you, I don't know why, but I have to go. Put me down and go back!"

Did I just say that?

"Well, that's that, you just convinced me not to."

"Ant, should we take him back?" Asks Uvarovite.

"I think we should keep going, but you keep hold of him. He's acting strangely."

Acting on its own, your body throws a tantrum, kicking and shouting as your escorts make their way to the chord shore. It starts to tire itself out, and as it does you can feel that warm sensation losing its grip over your actions, as if it's slowly drained out of you after being lifted. Calm and in control again, you examine what's around you. Ant, Malaya, and Uvaro are still walking, and you're still being carried. The sun has completely set, but there's light enough to see. They're cresting the final hill before reaching the shore.

"Malaya..." You say.

"Hn? You finally done?"

"Y-yeah, sorry about that. I couldn't control what I was doing, it was weird."

"And w-what about now, are you alright?" Asks Uvaro.

"I think so."

"Tell us what was happening," says Antozonite. "I've never seen you like that."

It takes a few moments to fashion a decent response. "It was like the ground was begging me to run this way, and more than anything I needed to do it."

"I see, but everything's normal again now, it seems. If it weren't for something that happened--" His voice catches, "something that happened in winter, I would've thought this was just an odd hallucination. Ah, we're here."
"Should I set him down?" Asks Malaya.

"Slowly if you do," you say. "Let me just put on foot on the ground at first, I'll tell you if I feel anything weird."

Malaya nods and he lowers you just a bit. Your foot touches down, and-

"Nothing. Whatever it was, it's gone." You're lowered the rest of the way, and you stand, relieved to be back in control of your body. Under night, the cliff sparkles brilliantly, as if the stars themselves sent down a wall of their own. It's still too early for the jellyfish to return, so the ocean is a flat black, broken only by highlights from the moon's reflection. You all search up and down the beach, and Antozonite stares up the cliff, looking for something.

"Gyro, I don't think anything's happened here yet." Says Ant as you all meet up from fruitless searches. "Still, I'm going to keep watch here for the night just in case. None of you have to stay, in fact I'd appreciate if one of you at least goes back and informs Jet about this."

"I'll go," says Malaya, "I'm beat."

"If it's alright, I'll go too. S-sorry Ant..."

"Bye guys, I'll see you tomorrow. Early morning for group training, remember."

The two wave and return to the school, leaving you and Antozonite alone.

"You know, you don't have to stay either, I'm sure you're tired too."

I am, but what if something does happen? Then again, this is something Sensei would want to know about, I'm sure...

>Stay for the night
>Return to the school
Vote closed for stay.
"I'll stay."

"You're not too tired?"

"It's not that bad. I just won't do much moving around."

Antozonite shrugs, and finds a spot to sit down facing the cliff. "So what do you think it was?"

You sit down next to him and pull your knees to your chest. "I don't know. As soon as I lost focus on it, it was gone. Maybe it was just my imagination."

"Could be. I thought it might be that," he nods toward the cliff, "but nothing looks any different from before."

"You mean with..."

"Yeah. It moved during winter."

"Oh, I wonder when it'll happen then."

"When he-- Cryolite asked that right after we saw it, I had thought it would be within a year, but Jet didn't see any more movement while I was recovering. I'm not so sure anymore, it might've just been a fluke. If so, could be tonight or could be years still."

"I can't make out any detail from here."

"We don't even really need to see it happen. If it does, the sound will be enough."

"The sound?"

"If you're unfortunate enough to be close by, the thud is like sadness and disappointment stuck together in an aural package.”

“And we’re waiting specifically to hear it.”

“You chose to stay.”

“Yeah, I did.”

The night walks on, the moons and stars slowly turning overhead. It’s the same sky I saw when I was very young, and the same as when the others were. Once, Natrolite told you that the shape of the shore is different than when he was younger. By far Natrolite is the oldest, it’s not surprising that he's witnessed the landscape change. You try to recall the first times you saw the beaches, but the memories are gone or were never really made. Was Natrolite always the same? Do we change like the beaches?

"Hey Ant, how old are you?"

"Hn? That's a sudden question. I'm about four thousand. Why do you ask?"

"I was just thinking about the island, how it changes."

"Can't say I pay too much attention to it. Although, now you bring it up, there is something that's changed. Just beyond the cliff, there used to be another short piece of land further into the sea. Back when there were only four of us, we would go onto that small jut and play a game. One at a time, we would make a wave in the water. The first always started small, and each wave had to be bigger than the last, otherwise you were out. I'd almost completely forgotten about it until now."

"I never knew you were one of the oldest."

He stares down at his arms. "Mm, oldest... You know what my ability is, right? Controlling the temperature of my body, in the upwards direction anyway. Just like you with your variance, I could only do that for a short time after being born before I lost it. My body is very weak, and it took almost a thousand years before I got that ability back. It ended up happening because of one of those games. One day, our game got a little out of hand." He pauses, but as he's about to start speaking again, he is interrupted by an incredibly loud and unpleasant sound.

"No, no that wasn't it... That sounded like it came from the school!"

Before you realize, he's already running that way. You give a final look to the cliff, and break after him. "Wait, Ant!" You shout as you sprint to catch up.

"No time for waiting, I know what explosions sound like, and that was one! They're back!"

"No, I mean- You forgot this!" You hand him his sword.

"R-right, thanks. Gyro, if Sensei's asleep already then Jet and I won't be able to handle this on our own, not if it's like the last one. I know you only started learning today, but--"

"I'm ready. I may not be able to fight like you, but I can help."

He nods. "Don't fight unless you have to." You return his nod and look forward. "There!" He shouts, as you crest the western hill. He points to the top of the school, and there you can see a reddish glow, and smoke rising. Antozonite turns to you and is about to say something, but all of a sudden he disappears. It's too late that you realize where he went as you trip over him.

"Careful not to trip," "There's obsidian everywhere." "Oh, Paraiba I think it's..." "I know, it's too late. They already tripped." "I know."

After a short pause, you feel water being poured on you.

"We should pour the water just in case it's still hot." "Paraiba, you already did that." "I know, so did you."

"Did I? Oh I guess I did," says Tourmaline. He then also pours water on you.

A groan escapes you as you stand up, and the same from Ant.

"Why?" You ask, knowing the answer won't be satisfactory.

"We're here to put out any potential fires." "It's dangerous work." "You should be thankful," "We just saved you from two potential fires."

"So the Lunarians aren't attacking?" Asks Ant.

"Lunarians?" "No, Jasper's attacking."

"There's that at least."

"Mind helping us find all the pieces? "Lots of small ones."

"Only if you promise no rhyming," you say.

"Promise." "Promise."

With your help, it takes hardly any time at all to gather all the pieces from this side of the school. The tourmaline siblings hand off their bowls of glassy black rock to you and Antozonite to take inside, as they go off to help others presumably searching other areas. Inside, laughter can be heard descending the steps to the main hall.

"I've done it! I can't believe that actually worked!" Shouts Jasper, happily bouncing down on one leg. "All they need now is a little time left in the sun." He hops over to you both, covered in soot, and sits himself on a bench. "Go on, ask me."

>Humor him
>Ignore him
>>Humor him

> One day, our game got a little out of hand.
I'm guessing that's the Lignite/Jet incident.
>Humor him
I'm sure Jasper would continue to try and blow things up anyway
>Humor him
Vote closed to humor him
"Alright, I'll bite. What was the--"

"I'm so glad you asked! You see, obsidian as a material doesn't quite form the same way we do, it initially forms as the felsic molten material is forcefully ejected through the air at high velocities. It's possible for the material to be underground, which is where I imagine the obsidian in the icebreakers came from, but it had to have been formed above ground. There may very well be more beneath the chord shore, but we don't have time to wait for it, so I just whipped up a batter of the stuff from raw materials and blew it to pieces. Forceful ejection. Now that's all well and good but if you'll notice the pieces are all too small to get put together and make a sword. Yes, this is where my brilliance truly shines. I knew actually making the obsidian would be the easy part, I had to figure out how to get it to come together if the pieces were this size."

Jasper flings his stiff leg onto your lap.

"You know what I did with your finger? Well that's why I can't move this leg right now. It doesn't have any inclusions in it anymore! They're all right there," he says, pointing to the bowls. "And also, with any other pieces that haven't been brought in yet."

"You what?"

"Genius right!?"

"Are you a-allowed to do that? I mean, will that even work?"

"Probably. Anyway, we'll just have to let them catch some rays, to see if they take, but it shouldn't be a problem. Obsidian is the same type as me. I'd say the inclusions hardly noticed a difference after they were out of the lava. You know what, if we carved the pieces right and gave the inclusions enough time to spread inside all the material we could probably make a whole new, y'know, one of us."

"I... Make someone. Nevermind that for now, you're not worried about losing all those memories?"

"Nothing went wrong so they probably weren't that important."

Reeling at his indifference, you sit prodding at Jasper's leg, pretending to not be wound up in existential confusion. As you do, quiet voices from just outside come wandering in, mid conversation.

"...was telling me he burned through both of his uniforms. I didn't want to say anything, but--"


"--I really want to just pin him down and tailor a new one."

"Shh, Kya...! He's right there!"

Ant stands up from the bench and walks toward Kyanite and Cuprite, still unbroken in his silence.

"I tried to tell you Kya, it's not nice."

"Oh, Ant, hey, really uh, diggin' the new look!" Kyanite laughs nervously as Ant doesn't slow down. "Feelin' like a hug, yeah c'mere I feel it-- ah!"

In a single sweep, Ant has him locked on the ground, arms behind his back and one leg pulled up. "Try to pin me down will you?"

"I yield!"

Cuprite giggles, and Jasper pulls his leg from you.

"I'm tuckered, gonna go see if I can get this leg working again. Later," he says, and salutes you a quick goodbye.

"L-later. Good luck, I guess."
You watch as more come inside, some carrying bowls of obsidian. Even though everything is changing so quickly, they smile. Looking on, your eyes start to close and sleep almost takes you, but a hand falls on your shoulder from behind the bench.


"Hn...? Sensei,"

"Please come with me for a moment."

"Oh, sure."

He leads you up and into his chamber, and rests upon a pillow in the center. Even kneeling as he is, his head is above yours. The lattice of woodwork behind him is nearly indistinguishable from the night sky, only visible as patterns of stars that appear to be missing.

"Today," he begins, "You felt something from the island?"

"Yes, I did."

"I see, then it has begun, and so soon after..." His face contorts to a completely normal expression. "I had suspected it might be you."

"Do you know what it was?"

"I do not, but I know why it appears. However, even were I to tell you, you would not understand."

"I still think I'd like to know, if it's okay."

He nods. "It signals beginnings." He waits for you to become frustrated pondering the meaning, then sensing that you're not satisfied, continues. "That is truly the best explanation I can give."

"Isn't that just about the new gem who's coming?"

In response, he smiles and stands. "Go on to bed now, it's late."

That's gotta be it. And so, you wish him a good night and leave to your bed, and let sleep take you.


"...Mnn, who's...?"


The morning comes with a refreshing sun.

"Hey, sparklefoot, time for the meeting." Says Goshenite.

"I'm up, no more kicking."

Long gone are the days of oversleeping on early spring mornings. Stupid Lunarians. You get ready quickly, and follow Goshe outside. A cloth has been spread out over the grass, and on it hundreds of small obsidian shards have been laid across. Jasper lay next to them, enjoying the sunlight. At the front, the unlikely duo of Jet and Antozonite stand ready to begin.

"Before we start training for the day, we're all going to help out and assemble the swords, so nobody's left without one. Jasper, you go ahead and explain what you need."

He sits up and looks around. "Gonna need three teams. Searchers, sorters, and I don't know, gluers. Searchers, you're out looking for stragglers we missed last night. Gluers, you're actually the ones sticking the pieces together, and sorters will find pieces that are close to each other in shape, then cut them if necessary to fit better. Gluers, you assemble the final product. Roles are at your own discretion, except Opal. You're a sorter because of your steady hand. Everyone else, pick and choose, I don't care."

Everyone begins separating out into the three groups he specified, and you join up with the...

Vote closed for searchers.

"Not staying here?" Asks Goshenite.

"I'd rather be out walking."

"Alright. I'll see you later, then." He says, as he falls into the sorters. You wave, and find yourself a place in a small congregation. Aside from yourself and these four, it appears everyone else has chosen to stay behind and work on the actual building process.

"Just us five for the 'searchers,' we're lucky any of us wanted to at all." Says Siderite.

"I didn't really want to think about fights or swords. This felt the most normal." Says Jacinth.

"It's the same for me. I wanted something a bit less frantic." Anatase echoes, and so too does Epidote.

"I hope we can still have times like these."

The five of you set out, picking through the grasses for yet to be found shards of obsidian. The spring sun follows your rounds, rewarding the diligent work with energy and an unmistakable friendliness. When a new shard is found, it's more often than not by an uncomfortable pressure on your heel, rather than by your own sight and hands. At some point while pushing blades out of the way, you find yourself knelt face to face with the feet of Siderite.

"Howdy, Gyro." He says from above you. He kneels down to meet your eyes.

You poke at his shoes, "I don't think this is obsidian."

"Aww, really? That's a shame. Oh, but I think-" He twists his foot three times on the ground, "Here, give it one last little tap." You do, and he pulls his foot from the soil, revealing a small piece of obsidian.

"Come on, that one's easy. You stuck it to your shoe beforehand and scraped it off just now. I can feel the resin too."

"You got me."

Dropping the piece in a small bowl that he carries, both of you stand up. You brush off the wide legs of your summer shorts, and pull the left suspender back over your shoulder. "Been a long time since you tried that."

"Been a long time since I've had the chance! You never seem to be around."

"Bad luck, maybe. Or maybe I just don't like you anymore."

"It's okay to be wrong." He smiles a quick smile, and ruffles your hair. "By the by, yesterday, I needed to hear that. I needed to remember the reason why change is okay."

"Change, honestly I don't know."

You look out over the field of grass and blooming flowers. Jacinth is among them, studiously examining the ground. Anatase and Epidote toss a small glinting piece of black between them, over his head. Either ignorant of it, or indifferent to it, Jacinth bends down and picks up a small piece of his own. He moves from place to place, carefully scanning around for clues of hidden shards. Anatase drops the one being tossed, and grabs another from his small bowl, restarting the count. Perhaps without noticing it was just dropped, Jacinth spots the fragment and repeats his unexciting motion to retrieve it.

"Then again, mayhap things haven't changed so much. For better or worse." Siderite is also watching Jacinth closely, a small look of worry on his face.
Siderite looks back to you. "That piece was the last I could find, are you doing any better?"

"Not really. Not with my eyes anyway. Safe to say we found it all?"

"Indeedy. Let's go back."

As they're not too far away and visible from your direction, everyone else is gathered around the cloth, working in pairs. Once a "sorter" has finished with a fragment, he passes it to his respective "gluer," who sets it in place. Out of curiosity you check to see who Goshe is with; he works with Natrolite. Antozonite and Jet work together in this task as well, but Ant occasionally stands to appraise the others' work. Closing the distance, you're within earshot.

"Here, and here. The curve is wrong, it's throwing off the balance, and it will slip if there's any motion along the cutting edge."

Surprised, you see the person he is correcting is none other than Kongo-Sensei.

"How odd, I must have become clumsy with my stone work. I am glad for this practice."

"Oh, well actually your carving was a bit too perfect! The canter needs a shallow area to account for the imperfect bend in our elbows."

"I see. Thank you for the lesson, I understand now."

"Mm." Ant nods, and something else catches his eye. "Ah, Aqua, Io, that's a bit wide near the base."

Kongo-Sensei places a bare hand against the sharp edge of the mostly complete sword, and situates it in the crook of his bent index finger. In a single pull, a new edge is cut just along the portion Ant pointed out, and just as was mentioned it is slightly shallower than the rest. He opens his palm over a bowl, and the obsidian he removed falls as chips. Arriving, you pour your collection of found pieces onto the cloth, and spread them out. After doing so, your curiosity takes you to the set of finished swords. There are only a few at the moment.

"Gyro, Catch!"

You turn to see a sword flying broad side toward you. "A-ah, wait!" Your hands come up and try to grip the weapon. A near stumble, and it bounces between your hands whenever you think you've found a grip. Soon though, you find stability, one arm and leg each outstretched, the sword carefully balanced, and you slowly return to normal position.

"Ah, ya actually caught it. Nice one."

"Citrine, you trying to knock me over?"

"Yeah, but I didn't."

"That's true. They're a lot lighter than I thought they'd be."

"Look at it up close, too."

You hold it just in front of your eyes. It's so shiny and smooth. "Oh, wait, it's smooth! The seams are already gone."

Holding it to the left and right, you practice the forms Ant taught you the previous day. It feels easy to move, even though today your arms are not as strong.

"We oughta get back to it."

Anatase and Epidote have already joined in the production line, while Siderite, Jacinth, and yourself are still unpaired. Two of us can pair up, the other will end up working with Sensei, I think.

>Pair with Siderite
>Pair with Jacinth
>Pair with Sensei
>Pair with Sensei
>Pair with Jacinth.
Let's get to know this gem.
>Pair with Jacinth
Vote closed for Jacinth
"Jacinth, you want to work together?"

"I don't mind."

Antozonite manages time to talk to you amid bouncing between mistakes to be corrected.

"Are you helping out? Take that one as a template and find a spot where you can both sit. Let me know if you need help."

Jacinth scouts a location, and you thank Ant. The place he chose is nearby Ant and Jet, and opposite the operation from the other two around his age.

"Do you not like them?" You ask.

"Who, Epidote and Anatase? Oh, and I'll carve if that's okay."

"Fine by me."

"Thanks. I guess it's not I don't like them, we're just not very similar. They're... I don't know how to say it."

"Leave it at 'different,' I get what you mean."

"Different. Not interested in learning."

"I can definitely tell you are. Every time I see you you're either completely focused on doing something or closely watching how someone else does it."

"Do I? I can't really think of anything I could do if I didn't first learn and study, so I guess I do." He picks up a piece of unaltered obsidian and turns it over in his hand. To his right, Jet sets down a finished piece, and Jacinth watches as he picks up another. He mimics the motions Jet makes to smooth the sides and shape the edge. “Now that you’ve mentioned, I’m noticing how much I am.”

"It's not a bad thing!"

"I guess I just do it out of respect. Like you are with Citrine, I've got someone who I've always wanted to become." He checks the curvature of the piece against the already completed sword and starts adjusting it. "We're pretty much the same age. Three hundred, four hundred, it doesn't really make a difference. But when you came around, I was very excited. The way Cider is for me, I thought I'd be that way for you, but I gave that up when I realized how little I actually knew. I can only imagine what it looked like to everyone else, a hundred and twenty year old trying to take a twenty year old under his wing."

He laughs, and you do too. "Okay, this one's ready." He uses it to match the shape of the next piece. When he's finished with the second, the first comes to you and you attach it permanently to the hilt. With each successive piece he carves, the last comes to you, and over the course of around twenty minutes the sword builds in length. The sun slowly creeps upward, and the breeze quietly juggles flowers and insects emerging from hibernation. With help from the wind, the armies of grass and windflower seeds encroach on your industrial obsidian territory, and you constantly fight them away from the sticky resin you use to attach the shaped fragments. By noon, they've all been finished.

"Everyone, thank you for your help. We'll actually start now, so grab a sword and spread out." Says Antozonite, taking the front.

"I guess this is it." Says Goshenite, coming up next to you.

"Everything's different from here on out," says Jacinth.

It will be, but you smile, because you're ready.

"...Who's there?" You call out instinctively. For some reason, you're awake in the middle of the night. However, there's nobody here.

Was it my imagination?


Several days have passed since the new routine began. In the mornings, everyone gathers together, and later split and come to small group sessions in shifts, practicing individually in the meantime. Yesterday was the second sunny day, and Ant made an announcement after all the smaller sessions had finished.
"If tomorrow is sunny, they may come. We don't know for sure, but let's not take any chances. I wanted some more time, so let's hope it's cloudy, but just be prepared. Now that you all have some skill in the basics, there's one last thing before I'll think any of you are even close to ready. In the winter, after it was over, I realized: I had tried to fight on my own, and lost control. Cr-- Cryolite tried to fight on his own, but had nobody to notice his fatal mistake. In the end, he was taken because despite being partners in winter, we were alone. On the other hand, it's very difficult for all of us to coordinate together, since we're not all the same type. Over the last week and a half or so since I woke up, I've fallen into a bit of a partnership with Jet as leaders, and we've complimented each other's strengths. I've seen the same thing in all of you, so I'd like you to take some time and organize yourselves into pairs. I know it's late, so if tomorrow isn't sunny, find someone who you work well with, and pair up. There won't be a morning meeting."
Looking out the window, the morning is foggy and grey.

"Thinking about what Ant said?"

"Aren't you, Goshe?"

"Of course. At first I thought you and I would be a good match, but I think friendship shouldn't be the only factor. Don't take that to mean I'm against it, but we should consider all options. It's a big decision."

"I agree. Do you know how many are already paired?"

"I caught Jet on the way over and asked the same thing. He told me that there were a few who approached him last night: Kyanite and Cuprite,
Tourma and Paraiba,
Malaya and Uvarovite,
Anatase and Epidote,
Morga and Heliodore,
and Aquamarine and Iolite.
He said that both he and Ant agreed to think about their own partnership, and that it wasn't set in stone. Also, that Opal and Jasper were being considered a pair, but that neither would fight. At least, Jasper said he promised not to fight without explosives."

"Any ideas?"

"I haven't given it much thought. Morganite and Heliodore are the only two with the same type as me. Maybe Natrolite, but his age intimidates me. Citrine's close to the same type, but I think our personalities clash a bit. I think I might wait and let someone else approach me first. How about you?"

"I'll talk to a few others and see what they think."

"Ah, who's first on your list?"


Let's first talk with Citrine, ask our senpai for some advice.
Vote closed for Citrine.

Goshenite smiles. "How'd I know you would try to get him? Well, good luck. I'm gonna go check on Worminite, he might be coming out soon. You know where to find me if you need me." He leaves and waves his exit. Although intending to turn in the opposite way, you follow him.

"Later Squishy, be a good... Thing." You say on your way out. The halls are eerily empty this morning, most everyone was reasonably anxious that today would be sunny. At this point, it's anyone's guess when the next sunny day will come, or even if the protective clouds will stay for the whole of today. It's because of that everyone is even more apprehensive. In a way, the school feels it too. Its quartz walls reflect their feelings, the countless pillars climb the sides of your vision, bending and warping to the curve of your eyes. Being out right now, it's claustrophobic.

If I was a grumpy six thousand year old orange, where would I be? Ah, I know.

"Good morning, Opal."

"Hn, Gyrolite? Didn't expect you to be out."

Opal stands on a ladder in his ward, one hand buried in the materials shelf and a pad of paper in the other. "Sorry to interrupt. Are you busy?"

"Yes, but I already know you're not going to let that stop you." He climbs down and faces you. "Finally, I get the time to count inventory amid that fighty bast-- ...Antozonite's craziness, only to have it so cruelly torn away by his little minty sidekick."

You smile and scratch the back of your head, "It's my job. Actually, I'm looking for Citrine, and I think I know where he is. Do you mind if I use some things?"

"Doesn't matter to me, just don't go overboard. We've got resource gathering on hold right when everything's blooming most, might be stretched a little thin this year."

"Will do. Thanks. Mind tossing me the resin if you're going back up?"

"Sure." He returns to his elevated task, and throws down the container of resin. It's recently been used, probably very early, before Opal was even awake.

You're predictable as you are dependable, Citrine. Heeding Opal's request, you're frugal with your use of the resin, spreading as little over your powder as possible while still coating it. Hope this'll work. You thank Opal one last time and leave, headed for the southern coast. Even the sky has an unusual weight. It's as if the greyness is affixed to an overbearing burden. The sun, so darkened by cover that it appears only as a brighter cloud in the distance, pulls itself slowly upward, not yet over the island. The ocean's soft waves give support. Wading into them, the water drains the tension from your body. Once they pass your head, the worries of the island are locked behind the protective surface tension.
The corals that populate the area several hundred yards from the shore are still, their inhabitants away while the deep water lags behind the surface's season. "Citrine," you call. Nothing. The complete vacancy of the sediment plains isn't the same kind as the ominous and unsettling such of the school. The emptiness here, it's a home waiting patiently for its patrons. The empty corals and lifeless features are hopeful, a still image of what will be lively again come the underwater spring. Near a close by mound, Citrine-sized footprints lead to the south.


You follow the footprints. The soft impact between your own heel and the sediments beneath ripple in time with the faint columns of weak light from above. The old light paints the trail as you go, deeper and deeper into the water, farther and farther away from the island. The repeating left, right, all the same distance from the last, you can picture his stride leaving them behind, not stopping for the miles you already must have come. This far into the plains, the trail of Citrine's footprints is the only distinguishable feature in any direction.

I've never been this far, I wonder if he does this often.

Still further the trail extends. The solid color of the ocean floor is broken only by the occasional plant, and the constant swing of lights refracted through the waves above. Eventually, the trail ends. It stops at a precipice, overlooking a yet deeper floor some hundreds of feet below. Sitting over its edge, Citrine's disorderly orange hair sways to the weak currents of water. His own sword, which you have all taken to carrying with you always, stands hilt up, blade embeded in the soft limestone.

Citrine himself, he stares over the blank world.

Not wanting to startle him, you walk to his left side and sit in the same way, legs dangled over the vertical drop.

"Came a long way to find me, kiddo," he says. He breaks his gaze from the unending dark blue and gives it to you, a kind of sad smile written under his eyes.

"I wanted to ask you about the pairings."

"Yeah, I figured that was it. To tell the truth, that's why I'm out here. Got all sad and stuff, thinkin' about a long time ago." His gaze is given back to the nothing. You look that way, too.

"Back when there were only--"

"Three of us, yeah. It was pretty soon after Ant was born, maybe twenty years after? I don't know, it's a bit foggy that far back. I was around two thousand, I know that. Up until then, it had been me and Natrolite, the only two like us. I thought it was like a partnership, but when Ant came around I learned that Natrolite was just takin' care of me all that time. When he was born, he was fragile but real strong, then around twenty years later he lost it. When his strength was gone, all he had left was how weak he was. At that point, it was time for me to step up, take on some responsibility, but I couldn't do it. I ran away."
He stops, and you notice his grip has tightened around the rock of the cliff, cracking it. It eases for a moment when he starts again.

"We had this game, the three of us. There was a little piece of land behind the cliff on the chord shore, we'd go there and play it. One of us made a wave--"

"And the next had to make a bigger one."

"That's the one. Ant tell ya?" You nod and he continues, "Funny thing is I can't remember any of us ever winning it, but anyway. As I was sayin', there came a time that I had to take off the kid hat and grow up. One game, Ant lost his strength right when it was his turn. He'd been usin' his power, whatever you wanna call it, to make the waves bigger, but I guess he panicked as he was comin' down into the water that he couldn't get it to work. When he hit it, it was a bad angle, and he broke. Real bad. Normally it ain't a big deal, but if you break in the water the tide can take parts of you away, so me and Natrolite went in after him. Thing is, I'd never had any real responsibility, so I was careless too. I'd grabbed a few big pieces, got caught in a riptide. My leg snapped from the torsion, and I didn't know what to do. They had to come and get me and the pieces that I almost lost. After that, Ant needed our help a lot, and I thought if all I was doin' was makin' it worse for him, I shouldn't be there. So I ran away."

"Ran away... Where did you go?"

"Here. I came and sat here, right where I'm sittin' now, for a good week. The whole time all I did was think, and a few times I thought about jumping down, just never goin' back and seein' what was out there beyond this place, but something stopped me. Inside, I knew I didn't want to, and eventually he found me and took me home."

"Who did?"

"I can't remember."

The earth shattering stillness remains so, and nothing changes.

"So that's why you came out this far."

"Yep. Ant's talkin' about partners and everything, I got scared that I'd screw it up again."

You lean on his shoulder, "Let's go back soon, Citrine. I don't want to walk that far again if it gets dark."

He laughs and pulls you in. "Sure." A few moments pass like that, both watching the unknown place beyond the cliff be still, then he stands. "Alright, let's--" He turns around, interrupted by surprise. "...Go?"

Doing the same, as you turn you see why. Behind you, the trail of footprints is gone. "Uh, do you remember the way back?"

"Well this ain't good. All I got's a general direction, but we're so far out if we mess it up we'll just walk past it and not even know it."

At that moment, you feel a strange tingling in the sole of your feet, the same you felt several days ago. "Citrine," you say, as it starts to become a warm hum, coming from an exact direction. "I think I might know how to go home, but..." It starts to become an urge to run that way. Resisting it, you...

>Ask Citrine to carry you
>Ask Citrine to follow you
Ask Citrine to follow you.
>Ask Citrine to follow you
This might be a mistake
>>Ask Citrine to follow you
Vote closed for follow.
...Ask Citrine to follow you. He has no problem keeping up at first, as you break into a dash.

“H-hang on, how do you know--”

“I don’t, my legs do. I might start saying things I don’t mean, follow me no matter what I tell you.”

“Your legs…? Hey, your legs! Look down, kid!”

“Hn?” You hadn’t noticed earlier, but some of the thinner coat of resin has worn away, and exposed your bare legs to the water. Much of the powder’s washed away, and you see it: just as your heel touches the floor, the underlying crystals rearrange permutation. White and smooth as they move forward through the water, green and sturdy reaching upward in response to the pressure and stress as they touch down. Whenever a wave of green crashes up like the tide against the island, it carries a warmth with it. “Citrine, it’s… They’re working!” But you hear no response.

Turning over your shoulder, Citrine is a decent length behind you, sprinting as hard as he can, and hardly making up ground.

Am I going that fast? Before, you had no reference for your speed. The sediment is all the same color, and there are no landmarks by which to judge it. Come on, slow down! You try to grab on to your own thighs to slow their movement. They burn in protest, but so long as they stay moving they seem to be relatively appeased. Citrine closes the distance over the course of a few seconds, speaking in bursts between exerting himself with running.

“J-jeez… Can’t you… Cool it, a bit!?”

“Sorry, I don’t know how!”

“It ain’t bright enough for this,” he says, half jokingly through pulses of his legs. “So you can control it again?”

“I don’t know, my legs are doing this on their own,” You concentrate on your arms. That same warmth of the crystal habit, you try to recreate it down from your shoulder, but to no avail. “Doesn’t look like it, but Citrine I can feel it again. I’d forgotten it, that hot sensation of chirality in my shins, but it’s back. Don’t you think that means something?”

“Yeah, but just like the word you just said the meaning’s lost on me. Oi, eyes ahead! I can’t believe it,” Cresting the horizon, the shelf rises from view, and where the water meets beach can be seen. “Your stunt actually worked!

Yet as you draw nearer to the island, it becomes harder to resist that strange force. Rather than risk saying something you don’t want to, you simply hold your tongue and focus on keeping a steady pace. The remaining stretch of shelf is over in no time at all. Citrine just behind you, and the cliff watching over you, the water falls from your hair and clothing as you step onto the shore. The strange feeling is still present, but whatever control it had taken has been given back.

“Y’alright? I thought I was fast, but that...”

It’s getting warmer.

It’s so warm now you can hardly think.

Then, it stops.

And after, something else starts with a sickening thud.
The horrible sound, it travels through your body, vibrating some kind of terrible note. It’s as if the sound is stuck inside you, and it scrapes the inside of your structure. Citrine winces, but to you it’s agonizing.

“I-is th...at...?”

He nods, and walks toward the cliff. You try to follow, but it pierces your chest. It feels like your torso wants to collapse in on itself. Pushing through, you manage a slow pace behind him, occasionally stumbling.

“It’s still going--”

“No, it’s not. You just think it is. Try to clear your head.” His advice isn’t exactly helpful, but you take his word. “I might need help if he’s heavy. If you’re not able, you should go back and get someone else.”

“N-no I can help,” The jaggedness in your voice eases, and the sound starts to fade from your mind.

Beyond the small talon shaped inlet, the base of the cliff rests behind two large rocks. And past those two rocks, he’s there. Motionless, still, unmoving, any would describe him in reality, but to your anxious eyes none are sufficient. Time moves too slowly for any one of them to capture the absolute calm.

Then he moved.

It was just a twitch, but it was movement. Rays of sunlight bounce through his translucent form, and you start to walk up to him, but Citrine stops you with a hand against your chest. He kneels down and slides his sword out of view, and taking his message you do the same. It's slow, but he moves again, pulling his head against gravity for the first time. His arms fumble around, finding contact with the ground. They shake under his weight, they don't yet know how to push properly. His naked yellow body is jagged and asymmetrical, sharp edges and flat surfaces run the length of his back and legs. His hair is the worst of it, no distinct form, and there was the matter of his face. Where you have eyes, he has none. No mouth, no proper nose. Even without eyes like yours, he can see you. Experimenting with the motion of his body, and perhaps out of a leftover instinct, he reaches out, prismic palm open, but he knows nothing of balance yet. The shift in weight sends him falling forward.

"I never knew we looked so scary," you whisper.

"Y'get used to it," Citrine whispers back. As the new yellow gem clumsily pushes himself back up, Citrine stands and pulls him the rest of the way, draping his arm over his, and supporting his right side from below. "Well, let's get him back to the school. I wanna find out what he is already." Citrine starts walking with him. His feet can't quite figure out what to do, and they drag over the sand. With the sun shining on both of them, you're reminded of--

The sun...

You turn to face the south. The clouds have parted, and the sun exposes the island. A sunspot hangs in the sky. If you didn't know any better, it would look friendly. Without giving you any more time to think, the sunspot opens.
"Citrine-!" you shout...

>"Run back and get help!"
>"Find a place to hide him and help!"
>"Find a place to hide him and help!"
protecc spoopy babby
>>"Find a place to hide him and help!"
>"Find a place to hide him and help!"
Hide and help, don't let the newborn get taken.
Vote closed for hide
“...Hide him, they’re here!”

Citrine turns his head over the bright yellow arm, and immediately his eyes shoot wide. He ducks and pulls the new life fully into his arms, running to the nearest boulder and setting him behind it. He hurriedly kicks up a pile of sand over him, and comes back to you, grabbing his sword in the process. “Best I could do on short notice. You ready?”

“No.” you say, unsheathing your own.

“Yeah well, neither am I.”

“Didn’t think it would be this soon…”

“Hey, if things go bad, you gotta take him and run. Run like you did underwater, not even Jet can go that fast.”

The music comes, and out emerges a platform carrying faces you recognize. In an instant, you see everything Antozonite said, and it makes sense. They’re different from before, the only joy in their eyes is the thought that they might take you, Citrine, or the newest.

I wish I had a name for you. We’ll protect you until we do. “All we have to do is like Ant taught us. First, assess.”

Citrine calls out the information he can, “They got at least twenty up front, all with bows. Can’t tell if there’s any more behind. One central figure. It’s the same size as the one Ant said had the special weapon inside.”

“Second, ready.”

The Lunarians draw their bowstrings taught. Citrine dips into a stance, ready to run at an instant’s notice. You do the same, ready to break left.


They let loose the first volley against you, a twenty count of long arrows.


You both sprint off in opposite directions. Looks like you drew the short end, all twenty are headed for you, while Citrine gets the opportunity to reach a better position.

Because of your inexperience, it's hard to follow their path and predict where they will go.

>Roll 1d100-20
Rolled 17 - 20 (1d100 - 20)

Rolled 58 - 20 (1d100 - 20)

Averaged, rounded, subtracted, to 18

Next roll would be 2d10 + 18, roll to match would be 20 so congrats on having the lowest possible roll to not get hit
To clarify, don't do that roll. It's impossible to fail.
As they get closer, the chances of keeping up with their motion are nill. Most miss, but two scrape by, not hurting you but leaving a mark.

In Antozonite's lessons, he would describe an order of things to do.
"When they attack you, they leave themselves open for an attack of your own. Don't give them time to attack twice. If they're on the platform, find a way up."
On the opposite side, Citrine has started climbing the back of the cliff. It won't take him long to get there, but more than enough time for another shot from the Lunarians.

There's not much immediately nearby to help me get up, but with a lucky jump and fancy swordwork it could be quick. There's also a raised mound on the back side, I'd have to circle around the rest of the way to reach it, that would take some time, but I could make that jump for sure.

You decide to...

>Attempt to jump from here.
>Circle around and take the safe jump.
Circle around and take the safe jump, no use getting shatterd by a failed jump.
>Circle around and take the safe jump.
Banger. Writing.
Rolled 48 - 10 (1d100 - 10)

...Circle around.

Around the back side, a further twenty or so, who were hidden from sight are armed, all still with bows. The front facing twenty can no longer see you, and instead take aim at Citrine, while the back twenty aim for you.

As you move to the mound, Citrine darts up the side of the cliff, and...
...Has no problem avoiding even the full barrage. Even though he's as inexperienced at fighting as you, being so used to moving quickly and having complete control over his body gives him a better ability to keep track of things happening around him.

As for yourself, you better know what to expect, you saw the beginnings of a pattern in the arc of arrows before. Now, it's a bit easier to see them as they fire to the base of the mound just as you arrive. You...

>roll 1d100-18
Rolled 81 - 18 (1d100 - 18)

Rolled 3 - 18 (1d100 - 18)

>>2365877 For future reference anon, although it probably won't really come up again, I'm most interested in the actual roll. If you typo the formatting, I know what's meant, really I just want you all to be aware of what additions or subtractions I'm making.

In this case, it makes no difference whether I count the lower or higher roll from qjfUVKkt. Both would pass because of the 81. Count yourselves lucky.
Rolled 9, 7 - 10 = 6 (2d10 - 10)

...Come out unscathed as well, all twenty missing as you pull away from their sharp forked points. This mound gives you just enough height that you can confidently make the jump to the platform. Citrine reaches the peak of the cliff as well, at this point well above the actual platform. From the top, he's more than a hundred yards away, but you still make eye contact. As if thinking in sync, you jump at the same time.

You touch down on the platform, somewhat unsteady. It's lighter than you would have expected, and the floor of it seems to shift beneath your feet, as if it's nothing more than a bundle of cloth. You nearly stumble, but quickly adjusting from the rush brought on by fear, you regain footing. Citrine, having jumped from very high up, hurtles toward the platform.

"Eat this!"

Citrine lands feet first on one Lunarian, and immediately goes for a swing on the others as the whole platform tilts slightly toward the front.

...Pushes his sword through six lined up just in front of him.
"Your swing, it can't be too hard, or too wide. It can't be slow or straight forward either, there's a balance, and it will depend on how many are there and where they are. Let the shape of the blade guide its motion. It's made to find its own way, and you have to trust it."
Trust it.

Your grip isn't too confident and your shoulders move too much, but you had extra time practicing, and had to focus on how to manipulate the weight of the black stone just right. Compensating for your lack of physical power and coordination, you exert a definite precision over the sword.
"Another thing, the central figure can be hurt too, and that degrades the platform itself. But you need to be careful. Of the two I've taken down, one had a very dangerous weapon hidden inside. While it can be a good way to take down the whole operation quickly, it opens the possibility of danger. You should take that risk into consideration when deciding what to attack."
"Then, I'll..."

>Attack the central figure
>Attack the group of 20 around you
>>Attack the central figure
>Attack the group of 20 around you
Pardon me if my ID changes, but my justification for this plan is the following:
>It’s the same size as the one Ant said had the special weapon inside.
Since we are inexperienced, we might be unable to defeat a combined attack from Lunarian archers AND the secret weapon.
>Attack the group of 20 around you
Closed, writing. Will be on a different ID for awhile, so I'll have limited formatting.
“...Just try to thin the numbers.”

With Citrine getting ready to defend on the front, the twenty that surround you on the back side waste no time. They watch you closely as you hear Antozonite’s words in your mind, swinging into the group and…

>Roll 2d10-14
Ah, alrighty. Apologies for that.
Rolled 2, 10 = 12 (2d10)

Closed for 12
Rolled 41 - 8 (1d100 - 8)

...Missing. Some combination of the unsteady floor and the dire circumstance leads to a misstep.

“Woah!” You say, as the sword’s momentum carries it up and around you. Nothing to be done, except try again when the next opportunity comes. The feeling of the padded platform is less alien now, and you have a slightly better sense of how your weight moves on the floating craft, the next attack should be easier.

In the meantime, there's a creak as all the remaining Lunarians knock arrows. Twenty at you, thirteen at Citrine.

...Weaves between the pointed rods. Once again, he’s very capable of avoiding their attacks, and even seems like he's getting better at it.

And you…

>Roll 1d100-16
Rolled 10 + 16 (1d100 + 16)

Rolling, I hope I did it right.
I don't knwo what happend there, I typed in -.
Rolled 65 - 16 (1d100 - 16)

Rolled 95 + 16 (1d100 + 16)

Forgot it's "+-16", not that it matters.
Thanks for enlightening me anon.
...Follow his example, having learned from the grazing shot last time.

Citrine seems capable of handling the thirteen on his side, but working together would certainly reduce the risk for both of you. However, it may give the twenty here an opportunity to do something different, at least for now they’re distracted at the cost of greater danger to yourself. The alluring prospect of ending it all quickly by going for the head also presents its own risks, namely it could be a simple jellyvote away from making the fight substantially more difficult.

>Circle back to the front and fight with Citrine
>Continue fighting on the back side
>Attack the central figure
>Continue fighting on the back side.
>>Continue fighting on the back side
Voting closed, chapter three will continue in the next thread, which will be posted once this thread falls off.
Until then m80.

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