Your broken spirit and body rests on a roof of a decrepit building in a city just as ruined. The sky is red and filled with black clouds, the sun not rising or setting, nowhere in sight. You have fallen here, the crater of your impact shocking both in its size and in the fact that you haven't broken through into the building. Pieces of what you were, what you could have been, land around the roof and into the street below. Laughter rings out, and the building starts to shake. You have failed, you know that much. More information is evasive - only that you are dying, and that dying here means not death, but something much worse. Some sort of wager, some sort of bet.But you are not dead yet. Yes, most everything that falls near you, within reach, is broken and useless. But here and there are pristine, beautiful things, more ideas than objects. It was you, you know, that gave them shape once. You built them from the nothing, the void that rests between consciousness and Dream, from nothing but ideas and wonder. They have lost most of their luster - whatever struck you stripped them of most of their glory. But here they are. Relics. Artifacts. Things that once were, and could be again. And if you want to live, you'll need one. You don't know why you know you could take only the one, but it's a reality that is apparent.The enemy is monstrous. A beast with swords for fur, and guns for claws. It laughs as it destroys another building, just nearby. You are sure that it is looking for you. It is only a matter of time, and there is no escape.What shall you take, DREAMER?>My GUN>My SWORD>My SHIELD
>>3090013>MY SHIELDThe best offense is a good defense.
>>3090043Also, get a trip OP. You don't want to be derailed.
I forgot that 4ch's captcha eats trips, but not text or file selections. Whoops! >>3090050>>3090040>>3090018A sword to cut down your foes. A weapon of division, seperation, and skill. Noble and straightforward. Fingers close around a hilt as if they were always meant to be there, tearing it from the stone floor of the roof with shocking ease. Things return to you, as you lift yourself first to your knees, then to your feet. The weapon is simple. A hilt widens into a long, uncurved blade that has a single edge. Unadorned. Unfinished. Incomplete. And yet, without question, it is yours. A thing of your own making that has your own power. /| GAINED WEAPON: @#$@#@#'s SWORD |\But even armed anew, you still feel outmatched. Looking over the edge of the building, your opponent seems to have found your building, and is laughing with simple joy as he opens fire with his arm-mounted weapons. They look like massive cannons, howitzers. Launchers of some kind. They slam into the corner of the building - which is easily six stories or more tall - and tear into its firmament with ease, scattering stone and steel, leaving massive, smoking holes. Into which the monster fires again, and again. The building starts to list, supports groaning, cracking loudly. There's not much time. There's a building nearby to leap to, lower down - it probably wouldn't hurt all that much to make the leap. Alternatively, now that you're armed, you could attack the beast with the swords for fur. He did seem to strike you down in your prime, but who knows? And you could flee into the building itself, hiding within it to try and get an upper hand through surprise. Either way - time is running low, and you certainly can't stay up here.>Leap to nearby building>Duck into your building >Attack your foe with the help of gravity
>>3090051>Attack your foe with the help of gravity
>>3090051>Attack your foe with the help of gravityFortune favors the bold
Rolled 95 (1d100)>>3090079>>3090066>>3090063>>3090052 oh boy
>>3090090>95I sure hope that's our roll.
>>3090090 are you fucking kidding meFortune favours the bold. After spending a moment to examine the geometries of the manuever, you steel yourself. You're not running from this one. You need to act. Else, what option do you have? The enemy has a range advantage, running away would no doubt lead to a death from those cannons. There's less and less doubt in your mind the longer you prepare for the leap, and as you reach the edge, your mind reaches a perfect point of focus: Drive this blade into your foe. The wind rushes past, and the enemy only notices at the last moment, crouching lower to try and impale you on your spikes. A sheer moment of intuition leads you to push your swird further ahead of you. Rockets fly past you, and finally, you land - the blade slamming into the opponent's dazed, confused face. For a moment, arms raise impotently. Then they fall to one side, and you ride the beast down, narrowly avoiding it crushing your feet or legs. "Of all the unexpected outcomes." your eyes snap away from the kill, looking up at a newcomer. The voice is odd, pitched strange, without gender or age. The source is just as strange as its source: A man in some sort of business suit of many colors. One sleeve is red, another blue, one lapel bright yellow, another an eye-searing orange. They shift from one to another, only the tie at its neck retains a solid black color. The rest of the sharp outfit is a wildly scintillating mess of colors and hurts to look at. Even the mask - or is it a helmet - shifts not color but textures, looking at one moment smooth, another rough, yet another bumpy. The thing raises one hand across its chest and bows. "I was asked to assist you, to save you, and a price for this was paid. I find myself in the rare and unhappy position of holding a hard-to-pay debt. Hm." The head tilts to one side as the corpse of your foe melts, leaving a glowing sphere where it once was. Even the weapons fade into nothing. "Well. Take your prize, $^%#%@. At least, your prize here." His voice buzzes on one word, like static. Your hand reaches for the sphere, and it slams into you, catapulting you up into the air.>TAKE THEIR ESSENCE [Gain an enhancement to your self derived from your opponent]>TAKE THEIR WEAPON [Gain a new weapon]>TAKE THEIR POWER [Enhance a weapon with their 'Essence'.]
>>3090107>TAKE THEIR ESSENCE [Gain an enhancement to your self derived from your opponent]
>>3090107>TAKE THEIR ESSENCE [Gain an enhancement to your self derived from your opponent]HAIR. SWORDS. Hair swords. A head of hair thar is swords.
>>3090113Wait just a second, if we take their power we get a gun sword.Gun. Sword.
>>3090115Better. Hair guns.A head of hair that is also guns.
>>3090107>TAKE THEIR POWER [Enhance a weapon with their 'Essence'.]They had sword for skin. If we imbue our sword with it, we get a swordsword! That's twice the swording!And if I might ask, OP, what was the real odds of us succeeding that roll? Did fortune truly favor us this day?
>TAKE THEIR ESSENCE [Gain an enhancement to your self derived from your opponent]Can I have gun fingers please?
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3090121>>30901131>>3090115>>30901192
Also, let's take a moment to consider.Dying means "some sort of wager, some sort of bet." This guy was hired by somebody to save us (until we rolled high on the dumbass suicidal option). He's now in debt to somebody that's hard to pay... ie, someone paid him to save us and he didn't, so he can't deliver.Conclusions:- This world runs on favors/bets/wagers/debts. Let's not make any promises we can't keep.- This guy might be hanging around looking for an opportunity to save us so he can make this work. Maybe he'll orchestrate some danger so he can get off his debt. Keep an eye out.- Someone has a vested interest in us. Who and why? And do we have some leverage now, after proving ourselves capable?
>>3090137G U N F I N G E R SUNFINGERS
>>3090137Power courses through your form, rippling through it and shifting your form. You feel it fortify, strengthen, and then the energy collects over one arm, bursting out into a cloak - a fur cloak. It blossoms down to your thigh. A rippling power thrums through it, and dagger-like spikes burst from the outside surface, a cloak of literal, actual daggers. Despite the spiky, steel-like nature, it's still light, and flows like cloth. Pulled correctly, it can cover your entire front, moved to your back instead of one arm, or completely cloak one side and arm. The material shifts from leathery hide into steel-like dagger seamlessly./|GAINED ENHANCEMENT: CLOAK OF DAGGERS|\ After swishing the cloak for a moment or two, you turn to the shining person, who chuckles. "It is a shame I can offer no further help." the masked man states. "I would offer more information, but it's no longer relevant. And anything I try to tell you would be caught by the curse inflicted on you." "...Curse?" your voice is devoid of tone, gender, or element. Anything that might identify you is gone. "Yes. Of memory and information." he says little else - or rather, anything else is just staticy noise. "See?" he spreads his hands with a sigh. "I am certain my client will be happy with this news and reimbursement. Bristleburr had this coming in any case."The name makes your cloak shiver, as if a wind tickled it. But there is no wind. A final whimper of a vanishing thing. "At any rate. You won't remember this, probably. And even if you do..."A beeping cracks the sky. Loud, imperative. Incessant. "It will matter none."The sky shatters. You awaken.You wish you'd used a different alarm clock - the beeping sound that penetrates you dreams feels like a chain reeling you in with a horrible meat hook. Eyes open to an empty room - unadorned and mostly unused. You don't spend much time here. Eyes stare at the far wall. Right.A dream. Ugh, you've got just enough time before your morning ritual to...>Write in your dream journal. After all, you've got that assignment going.>Check your social media. There's probably some new thing going on and you'd hate to be out of step with the gossip at school.>Read the news. It's important to stay informed. >Prepare a bigger breakfast than usual.
>>3090160>Write in your dream journal. After all, you've got that assignment going.But honestly my real vote is "anything but social media".
>>3090160lol, I had a feeling it would come to this, what with the name of the quest, and the way everything seemed really nonsensical and vague. >Bust out the dream journal, maybe you can use it as material for a story if you ever become an author.
>>3090160>Write in your dream journal. After all, you've got that assignment going.
>>3090163>>3090165>>3090166The morning fog dissipates as you write in the dream journal. You keep it brief and simple, keeping to the details, and sigh as you finish the page, flexing your hand to work out the ache from writing. A thought strikes you, and you look through the other pages - only to be greeted with a load of gibberish. Well, not entirely - the dates are legible, and the shape of the writing - not paragraphs, but lists - is intact. But the words mean nothing, even when you squint. For example:%&^$*$^$ BET %%$^#*&@^ -> &%*$&$^#$^ LOSS%&%&*#$* BET *%%&$*& -> ^&%&$*&%&* WINGAINED &%^%$^#$^%%^$%&%& BET *(%*%*%** -> &%*&%&&%$ WINGAINED %*%*%($$($$%*$*$&# BET (%R%*%*($ -> %$*%&$&*#$ LOSSAnd every page is like that, over and over, all the way to the very first page, which is a bulleted list. RULES is at the center top, so clearly it's a list of, well, rules. For what? You don't remember any of this. Will the teacher accept it at the end of the month? Who knows. Clearly you thought so earlier, but you can't remember writing in it. Only that you had the assignment. The handwriting - what you can parse - is yours as well. Besides. You've more important things to worry about - there's a test today, you think, in your mathematics class.You are Nanashi Clarke - a half-Japanese transfer student to an American school. As your name implies, you were born in Japan, to a Japanese wife of an American military officer. You're aware of some sort of scandal surrounding the matter, but it was resolved, mostly, before your birth. You take after your mother far more than your father, but you liked the idea of the transfer program. It would be interesting to learn more about your father through his culture, as often as he is away. Indeed, you're often left to your devices, thanks to earning the trust of your parents at an early age. You never really minded - Isolation never bothered you all that much, and habit left you jogging to school. It isn't far - barely a few miles - and the run wakes you up.(Continued...)
>>3090170It's a beautiful day, even in mid-November. Almost no traffic, making the run relatively quiet. It isn't long before you approach the school - a big, blocky, old building that has seen many renovations, none of which did anything for its appearance. You don't even really recall the name, it's just The School. And as you approach, you find yourself smiling, because Jennifer is there. You were surprised to find her the first time you ran to school, and the two of you hit it off as fans of various 'occult' rumors. Things like Ouija Boards, stuff like that (Though she would be hasty to state that one should never use one of those boards, as it is dangerous in so many ways...) and tabletop games. She'd always struck you as the mousey sort. Big sweaters, heavy cargo pants, thick glasses and a scarf. Though she always bundles up, according to your other friends - as if she's trying to hide in her own clothes. You don't blame her. She's not exactly a socialite princess."Clarke!" she jumps up, green eyes wide. "You're okay."...What?>"What, did you hear I was hurt or something?">"Yeah, I'm fine. Hey, do you know anything about this?" [Show her the dream journal]>"So do you remember what's on our math test?">"[Something Else]" Not all writeins will be accepted even on majority.
>>3090171>"What, did you hear I was hurt or something?"
>>3090171>"What, did you hear I was hurt or something?"I'm rolling my eyes really hard at the occult stuff. Consider this a vote for rolling our eyes in character too.
>>3090186What's wrong with occult stuff? Its a perfectly acceptable hobby.
>>3090189It's overdone, tbqh
>>3090191To each their own. Im a horror/thriller nobledark lover so I'm hardly an unbiased opinion.
>>3090195>>3090186>>3090179"Why would I not be? Did something happen?" you ask, concerned. Jennifer tilts her head to one side, then her eyes widened. "She did it. The bitch actually..." she sighed, rubbing her face heavily with both hands. "Oh, god, how do I even start." she looks through her phone, and shows you a Facebook thread: Apparently a classmate...Killed himself."Wh-what?!" you can't help but stare, this is sudden news. Sure, the kid wasn't all that popular."That's... Brandon? Brandon Burne?" You find yourself searching your memory. Always the sort to exist in the background. "Didn't he try to start that Kaiju Club, or whatever?" you're puzzled as to his relevance. It's sad, but..."Look, we both have a dream journal, right?""Yeah, for class.""Not just for class, for record-keeping. Because we're both... How to say this... Special. And so was Brandon. We can do something not many can. You just have to remember what." she frowns. "I can't tell you.""Why not?""Because you're cursed." she groans. "That's the worst part! All your memories of the %&^%*%^#$* are scrubbed out and trying to tell you about ^*%&%* won't work either! Because you won't understand me when I try. Even though you were %&*%$$*%." she rubs her forehead. "Look, maybe you remember this. Or maybe you can understand it." she digs in her bag, rummaging. The bell rings for classes. "Oh, for... Look. Come to my place after class! It's important! And stay away from Beatrice!"Class is boring. The test passes without incident - you feel confident you passed. Lunch comes, and goes - it's a quiet affair, today, even as heavily populated as our school is. No one wants to talk. A death in the student body always does that, on reflection, and this year has been terrible - three at least this year, a ring of accidents and now a suicide. The first two were even really popular kids, if you remember right, but being a transfer you don't remember. They even brought in more counselors to help matters... For that matter, you're not sure what Jennifer meant by staying away from Beatrice. Some sort of rivalry? They'd always been decent friends before...Your head aches.School is over.>Go to Jennifer's. >Go home. >Call Beatrice to see what happened.>[Something Else?]
>>3090281>[Something Else?]Be a lazy fuck and lag around, talking with friends and shit, though do go to Jennifer's once you feel like it.
>>3090281go to jennifers
>>3090281>Call Beatrice to see what happened.
>>3090281>Go to Jennifer's
>>3090305>>3090284>>3090341A long afternoon hanging with some friends from Track and Field, you decide that after a few hours you might as well go to see Jennifer. The area is sort of dense - everyone lives less than twenty miles from The School, sort of. Jennifer lives in a an apartment nearer to the school than you, but on the opposite side from your place. You barely reach the doorbell before the door opens and you're pulled inside with a little cry of surprise - both at the suddenness and at Jennifer's strength. "You made me wait.""Not all that long.""...Well, regardless, you're here. And Dad's not, so we can talk openly." she's still all bundled up, even adding a robe wrapped around her like a robe. That, and the various pendants, amulets, and other items hung up around her room give her a distinct feel as she sits opposite me, on her toy chest. She's lived in this apartment, as far as you know, since she was a child. "I was trying to show you something of Brandon's. His favourite figure. I was borrowing it." she reaches over to her desk and pulls out a foot-tall figurine. A hunched pose with stubby arms and legs, like a gerbil standing up. Two big cannons on either arm. And a back covered in spikes. "Remember this?" she asks, meeting your eyes. "We were all played, Clarke. You more than anyone, but me, you, Brandon, and the other ^%$&$&%. We were all played by Beatrice." she sighs, rubbing her forehead, "Thankfully, I bet you haven't made a proper Wager today. So you're safe tonight, at least for now... But I don't know if someone from her camp will challenge you at school tomorrow. And I don't know if you can win.">"What in the world are you talking about?">"...Are you telling me that my dream last night had something to do with Brandon's death?" >>"Did I kill someone?!">"Did you catch the chuuni, or what?"
>>3090356>"Did you catch the chuuni, or what?"We'll have no part of this. Until it turns out we have no choice
>>3090356>"...Are you telling me that my dream last night had something to do with Brandon's death?"
>>3090356>>"...Are you telling me that my dream last night had something to do with Brandon's death?"
>>3090408>>3090409>>3090606"Are you telling me my dream last night had to do with Brandon's death?" you ask, voice wavering. This is too much. If you caused him to... "Yes, and no." Jennifer says. Listen, I have to start from the top, because of this curse. But when I say curse I more mean... lost bet." she meets your raised eyebrow, and sighs. "I'm not sure how it works either. But some people, let's call them... I guess we can't use the original term, so we'll have to go with, uh, Dream Warriors?" "What, like the horror movie?" "No! ...Mmmostly no!" she rubs her eyes then adjusts her glasses back into place. "Look, some people are capable of lucid dreaming. You know what that is. It's where you're consciously aware of being in a dream, but in control of that dream.""Right." "Dream Warriors are capable of going a step further. I guess you'd call us espers." she says, "But only in the realm of dreams, and only even more specifically in wagers, bets, and gambles within those dreams. The first step is to approach another Warrior and demand something of theirs, or a specific task. Or even for them to change, in some way. The other warrior makes a counterbet. And then when you sleep, you fight along those terms.""And anything can be on the table?" "Anything. You could make someone a slave, if you wanted. There's something about the dream and the fight that makes it happen, changes the mind. And that's basically how your curse works, I think. You can't remember the name of your dreamself. So you have to start fresh. And until you reach that level of power you had before, you'll be vulnerable. Any fight among your peers here will be a struggle." she rubs her arm. "And the higher the wager, the higher the stakes, the more likely someone is to just... break when they lose." she says. "That's what happened to Brandon. Beatrice probably tricked him into challenging you. Gave him some sort of upper hand by fighting you first, I think - that's how you lost those memories - and then you just couldn't fight at the same level you could before. You had all your resources, but no knowledge of them. It was easy.""So what should we do?""...I'm not sure." she says with a sigh. >We should confront Beatrice here, in the real waking world.>We should fight normal battles until I'm strong enough to challenge Beatrice for my memories back.>Wait, so you're a Dream Warrior too? >[Write in]
>>3090622>We should confront Beatrice here, in the real waking world.
>>3090622>Wait, so you're a Dream Warrior too?
>>3090622>>Wait, so you're a Dream Warrior too?
>>3090622>Fight battles until you're strong enough
>We should confront Beatrice here, in the real waking world.Bitch.
>>3090622>>Wait, so you're a Dream Warrior too?Question shouldn't take too long, then let's go grinding.>>We should fight normal battles until I'm strong enough to challenge Beatrice for my memories back.Interesting quest so far, OP. I'm getting some Joker Quest vibes. I like how we are already thrown in neck deep, and most people are already in the know. Will stick around to see where this leads. Hopefully we can make some good out of this world, both dream and real. Or at the very least, get our memories back.
"We need to confront Beatrice here." you rise. She's probably at home - you know where she is. A face to face would - "No no no no!" Jennifer hops up, crossing the room. "That's a really bad idea. If we face her now, she'll know for one thing that you're aware of the Dream again. And if you anger her, who knows what she might do. Plus, there's $(%&%^ to worry about." After a long pause, she lets out a low groan. "Of COURSE she took that, too!" she kicks the toy chest and yelps, landing on her desk chair and clutching her foot. "Bitch...""I started a club. A dream-study club." She starts again after a moment. "Really it was meant to find more... Dream Warriors. You were the first member, and then Brandon. But more people joined and..." she looks, for a moment, distant and sad. "And for once... No, nevermind." she rises again. "Look, we can't face down with Beatrice unprepared. We have to approach her like, like..." she rubs her chin. "It's like that one RPG game. Where you can fight the last boss whenever you want, but it'll always kick your ass. Chrono something. Anyway."She looks through her phone, sitting down again. "Beatrice dismantled the structure we made from that club. She's either taken members for herself, made them forget, or killed them." "...Seriously?""What, did you think it was a coincidence that we've had so many student deaths lately?" she asked. "Any school is devastated by just one, this many is wildly unlikely without a shooter. "The other deaths were prominent members in our ranks. Randy, Kyle..." she sighs. "And don't forget she's getting something each time herself." she spins around in the chair. "This is our target." she says, showing you a picture. "Carl Spielson." you recognize him - one of the track and field kids. "He's one of Beatrice's orbiters now, but he used to be one of our (^*%&%$s. Er. A club member.""I know where he might be." you say. "All the track kids hang out at the same place after school. I can approach him tomorrow." "Great." she smiles, though you mostly see it in her eyes as she turns to face you - knocking over some papers.You lean down and pick one up. And memory floods through a truly excruciating hole in a dam you didn't know was there.
>>3092029(%*%&%^$&#*$*($*I'll%(**^%*%($*$($%(*%*%$%$( I'll always(%*%&^*&^*(%$I will always stand by you.
>>3092031The memories slide away - the horned knight in a hall, kneeling before you. "Geeze, are you okay?" Jennifer asks. "That's.... Carl's dream form." she says quietly. >I remember him.>Yeah. I'm fine. I'll be okay.>So what do I even say to him? Is there a format to this?>How do I not look like a huge idiot when I do this?
>>3092034>So what do I even say to him? Is there a format to this?
>>3092034>How do I not look like a huge idiot when I do this?
>>3092034>"I'll always stand by you.">Was he a friend, once? Did he join Beatrice too?
>>3092140>>3092576>>3093030"So what do I even say, is there a format? How do I not look like a huge idiot?""Well, really, it's just the two of you setting the terms. You make a wager, he makes a counter-wager, and that's the long and short of it." she sighs, "To think Beatrice had such an easy time of turning everyone against us." she tilts her head this way and that. "It just doesn't add up. She was never all that strong. Sure, she was capable of Dreaming, but I don't recall her being capable of beating you or Carl." "Just like I can't remember the club at all?""...Point." she frowns. "There is one last thing: You can meet peacefully in the Dream. Like, repeat after me: 'I will see you in the dreams.' ""...'I will see you in the dreams.' " you repeat, and something slides into place in the distant back of your mind. "So, what, when we sleep I'll see you in my dreams?""My dreamself." she says, "It's a little embarrassing, but I have to give you a crash course somehow, and tonight is open. Hmmm... Oh." she tilts her head to one side. "You're kidding." she spins her chair around, "You didn't need ^&^%^&'s help?""Uh..." "Shiny! Lots of colors! Talks like a damn lawyer!" "Oh! Yeah. He came to help but I got lucky." her mouth goes agape. "Lucky. You took a flying leap at a sword-covered hedgehog with bazooka arms." she grasps you by yuor collar and shakes you, "You could have died, you goddamn idiot!" wow, she's really strong. She releases you and pushes you across the room, making you almost fall on her bed. "Be careful, for god's sake. I don't want to keep losing friends like this, Clarke.">[Apologize]>"I saw a chance and I took it. Shouldn't you be asking for a refund?">>After all, it was you who sent him, right?">>>What did it cost you?">I'm flattered you care so much.>...Want to go see a movie or something? Bed's a long way off from now, and I'm bored.>[write in]
>>3093755>"I saw a chance and I took it. Shouldn't you be asking for a refund?">>>What did it cost you?"
>>3093755>"In my defense I had absolutely no idea what was going on, a sword, and a significant height advantage. I did what felt natural.">"Shouldn't you be asking for a refund?">Pomf =3>"W-what are we going to do on the bed?"
>>3093844Seconding this one.
>>3093755>>3093844I like this. Nice quest premise btw.
>>3093838>>3093844>>3094215>>3095175"...In my defense, I had no idea what was going on, a sword, and I was high up. It felt right. And shouldn't you be asking for a refund?" "How did you...""Basic reasoning.""...I don't think he can give back what he took." she says, crossing her arms. Her phone goes off - 'Mister Sandman" - and she answers quickly. "...Okay...?"She presses a button on the phone. "You're on." she puts it between you."Ah, Clarke! So good to meet you in the Wake." the voice is distorted beyond recognition, giving you a reminder of how you sounded in the Dream. "I thought I might as well talk to you both. A little bit of thought and I knew that our good mutual friend would be with you, so, I decided to call. This is the masked friend, from the dream." A single look at Jennifer's face confirms that yes, he's always this perceptive, and yes, it's infuriating. "I wanted to make an offer. See, I can't refund the price paid to help you. But I can give, how to say, 'store credit'. And I'd like to offer you one of three things." the voice, despite robotic, is oddly smooth. "First of all, I can come and crash your next encounter instead. Offer a helping hand. It's sort of cheating, hardly honorable, but we all know where honor got you. It got you here. "Secondly, I can give you a Core from someone I defeated myself. It's yet unused. ...Right, in case you don't know, we call that glowy bit from Bristleburr - the thing you killed - a Core. With the right technique, you can store them, save them, trade them. Novices like you just eat them like ravenous caterpillars. Can't tell you anything about the Core though. Part of the deal. Caveat emptor."And finally, if you offer me a Core later - when you're able - I could give you a new Name. This will give you power. But it will, unfortunately, make regaining your old Name much harder. So if you'd like to wait, you can. "Or we can part ways, and I can feel assured that I made every effort to give the young lady value for what was given. It's up to you.">Ask for Jennifer's input - after all, she did pay initially.>Take the assist>Take the Core>Take the name>[Writein]
Just so we are clear, honored Dreamers: What's on the table is what is on the table. I don't accept counteroffers for this sort of deal.
>>3098655>Take the CorePermanent power boosts are preferable to short term fight assistance.
>>3098655>take the core
>>3098655The core of course. Besides I want to regain our old name.
>>3098655>Take the CoreLike above reasoning, best to get a good power boost now, where it will matter most. Quality be damned, anything is better than nothing.
>>3098983>>3098944>>3098769"The core, then." you say, relaxing a little. "Can we get that tonight?" "Naturally. I'm sure she's meeting you, so it will be easy to pop in. Thank you for your business. Always a pleasure." he hangs up and Jennifer sighs, picking up the phone. "I think that about seals it for today." she says, flicking through her phone as she turns on her computer. "See you later.""...Did I, uh... Did I say something wrong?" "..." she's not facing you, one hand raising to touch the figure she pulled out. "I'm just not up for much else, Clarke." she says, quiet. "I know there's a lot going on, and you're probably confused. But I need some, uhm, some me time."You get up, looking at Jennifer's back. She feels so distant in this moment. Like there's a sudden distance between you. Your head hurts. You remember so much about your time together, but there's so much lost time and so many holes it's like looking through a fog. She starts to turn and your hand drops - you hadn't realized you were reaching out. "Right, sorry." you manage, "I, uh, I'll see you later." you hurry out of the house. THe long walk home gives you time to think, but all that's on your mind is the many holes. You almost bump into someone, you're so distracted. You look up, blinking. "Oh, so-""Clarke, didn't I rell you about hanging out with her?" Blonde, blue eyes, a swimmer's physique he emphasizes with thin, tight clothes. He's tall, easily having half a head on you. "She's way out of your strike zone, man. Need to shoot for sevens, at least. A girl that deserves you.">Fuck's sake, James, did you follow me?>Not your problem, James. Outta the way.>Really? Can we get into the current decade, or should I get you a varsity jacket?>[Ignore James]>[Write in]
>>3099063All these sound so aggressive. I don't really want to make any enemies if we don't have to, especially if we don't know if this guy is a Dreamer. Or if he was our friend in the past.Deflect it onto him?>Why don't you tell me about your private life then, James?
>>3099063>really? Can we get into the current decade, or should I get you a varsity jacket?
>>3099063>[Ignore James]Not worth our time
To be blunt, one could attribute a good fourth of the school's bullying problem - such that it might be - to James. The football team is fun to hang with no matter who you are, the basketball team tends to play harmless pranks (and will pay for damages if things get out of hand), and the baseball team tends to think themselves above such things. But James, the swim team, and even the track and field guys, when you're not around? Terrible. Only cheer squad can be worse. Needless to say, you and James, who happens to be the captain, don't get along well on the best of days. "Why not start with your dating habits, James?""A good man doesn't kiss-""Fuck's sake, James, tell that to your team and hell, while you're at it, yourself." you groan, "From what I hear half your talk in that locker room sounds like it came from a magazine. Oh, First String 100-yarders, I never thought it would happen to me~!" you start to walk around him. He slides into the way. "I'm sorry I'm out having fun while you're having so much trouble. Maybe let ol' Jimmy show you around town? I mean it - sincerely - Iet me be your wingman. You deserve so much better than a girl whose idea of fashion is to hide in it." "Not in the mood." you move the other way, and James sighs, leaning on the railing to block you. "Maybe you're not picking up what I'm putting down." he says, his voice falling to a lower, more sinister register. "I'm trying to be nice, here. I hate, really hate, this bullshit I've been roped into. So if I can get you away from that pity party in the shape of a girl like I was told, without resorting to other means, I'm more than happy to."He leans closer. "You understand. The old, uh, what's the word... The old battleaxe wants the two of you apart. And I'm trying to be subtle here. Cut a guy some slack." >[Just keep walking.]>Thank him for the offer, but decline.>[Defend Jennifer] (Write in your response)>[Write in]
>>3101958>[Defend Jennifer] (Write in your response)Smile "well, her fashion sense might not be the best, but at least shes got a personality thats tolerable, something alien to pond scum like you."
>>3101958>write in "Hey there Jimbo, that's my friend you're talking about." place hand on shoulder, "You're my captain and I respect you, but if you keep talking like that you won't be for much longer." *walk away then turn back* "I'd prefer someone who obscures themselves with fashion than an obscure nobody trying to make himself with it anyday." *over the shoulder wave as we leave*
>>3101958>Thank him for the offer, but decline.
>>3102076>>3102084It takes a lot to order your thoughts properly. Some of your initial urges remind you of your birth country, and you don't think it'd be a good idea to let that out. After a moment, you give him a little smile. "I'm sorry, James, I can't help you with that." you say, "I don't make friends or, god forbid, sleep with girls that yank me around. Maybe you can learn how?" you pat his shoulder as you pass, pushing past him and ignoring his protest. Even if he is a Dreamer like you, if you can't hear him, he can't challenge you. And you're fairly sure he's too cowardly to do anything in the Real of any impact. "Thanks for the offer, though!" you call over your shoulder as you cross the street, laughing as he's stuck when the intersection blocks him off. Oh, that's going to bite you in the ass later, for sure. But so satisfying.Your house - apartment, to be accurate - is small, utilitarian, undecorated. You never found much point in it, you never have anyone over. Simple food, a simple bed, a simple desk. A smartphone. A bookcase full of your meagre attempts at fitting in - manga of the first few volumes of any given series you tried to get into, comic books gifted to you in omnibus you never read. Fiction novels of all sorts of genre that go untouched. a graveyard of storiesYour head hurts, and you force yourself to look away from the bookshelf, back to your bed. It's already getting dark, so you lay down to sleep. Your eyes close in one place...And open in another. It's not the ruined city, anymore, but ancient ruins. Moss and ivy has grown over something that used to be majestic. Half-walls and crumbled ceilings, one building almost intact. Broken pillars, shattered tables... This used to be a great hall. And at one end, near where you stand... Your head aches again, a sharper pain than before when you were awake just now. A broken throne, split down the middle and useless as a seat. You find a bit of rubble that's comfortable and carefully avoid sitting on your cloak of daggers. And you're not alone. An armored woman. A helmet in the crook of her arm, a sword on her hip, and one arm covered in a heavier gauntlet than the other, massive and pitted with battle scars. The first face you've seen in the Dream - well, human-ish face, anyway. Strange ears flick at the air. Dog? "So... Now you know my Dreamself." she sighs. Both here and in the real, heavily hidden behind some sort of armor, so to speak. "One shouldn't be embarassed by such a powerful metaphor for loyalty, young lady." says a third voice, stepping from a shadow to glimmer into your Dream, mask, suit, and all. "So. Shall we get business done with so the two of you can-""Train!" Jennifer says, almost a little too fast. "So we can train. Yes. Unless, uh, %&$*$&^ wants to ask something?""That's not his Name anymore, you know." the Mask says with a chuckle. >Ask: Why the dog ears?>Ask: Did it always look like this? A ruin?>Ask: [something else]
>>3102516>Ask: [something else]>"So then what is my name? Everything has a name, even if its not a proper one with strength behind it. Oh, am i just called 'the nameless one?' now or something?"
>>3102537Agree. I too am curious on the importance of a name in this world.
>Ask: Why the dog ears?
>>3102516>Ask: Did it always look like this? A ruin?
>>3102537>>3102848"So what is my name? I need to be called something..." "You are a Dreamer." Mask states evenly, "Or for those who know your waking name that works too. One would be advised not to reveal who you are in the Wake, the Real, etcetera to opponents, naturally." he walks over to a ruined table, tilts his head, and snaps his fingers. The table reassembles itself. "A Name is special because it alters perception simply by being. It bends the Dream around itself and alters things. After all, for example... A very powerful name would be, say, Knight." he says, "And since we are between friends, Jennifer here is a Knave." he smiles. "Blood-bound bodygaurd to you, but a foul, tricksy opponent to others. Your noble hound."Her ears fold back as she fidgets in embarassment. "Further, a Name bends how Cores affect you, usually to the positive. For now, speaking of Cores." he holds out a hand, and a snake slithers out, landing on the table. White scales, silver eyes. It glows softly. "Kill it." he says, "And you can take its core. Before you ask, this is how cores are transported - placed into a living idea within the Dream as a container." he sits on a chair that moments ago had been shattered, and you draw your blade almost without thinking, impaling the snake. Power thrums through you like a wave, and the energy yearns to be directed...>TAKE THEIR ESSENCE [Gain an enhancement to your self derived from your opponent]>TAKE THEIR WEAPON [Gain a new weapon]>TAKE THEIR POWER [Enhance a weapon with their 'Essence'.]>>EMPOWER Your Cloak.>>EMPOWER Your Sword.
>>3103625>TAKE THEIR ESSENCE [Gain an enhancement to your self derived from your opponent]
>>3103625>>3103625>TAKE THEIR ESSENCE [Gain an enhancement to your self derived from your opponent]I feel like a sword and dagger cloak, while good, are not as versitile as we need alone.
>>3103759>>3103655You allow it to course through your body, rippling through your form. You feel stronger, more durable, faster. Armor begins to grow over your chest, hips, and lower arms, but that's not the most interesting part - the most interesting part is the spikes you can feel growing on your palms, feet, elbows and knees. Like hooks, almost. With some effort, you can retract them and extend them. They don't feel dangerous - too small - but in their numbers, you feel you could probably use them to scale walls and surfaces easily. You feel the power settle down, relax, and normalize, leaving you overall just... better, but also with this strange new ability. With practice, you bet you could run along walls, but that would take some doing. The armor is white, abd you feel something itch at your shoulders, and upon inspection, you have small, useless little claws there. "Giant spiders." Mask says with a sigh. "Depressingly common among lower-teir Dreamers, if you would believe? Well, then. I'll leave you two to your... training." he laughs, before vanishing into a puff of glowing smoke. "Ssssso." Jennifer, your 'knave', starts to approach. "I was thinking we could have a bit of a spar, maybe." her ears twitch at the air, "just to get you used to moving around. We can stop before either of us are in danger of losing fatally." she says, "After all, you need to get used to enemies being deceptive or tricky. Sound good?">I think James is a Dreamer working under Beatrice.>Sounds great. >If I win, can you admit you're cuter out there?>...Was he insinuating what I thought he was?>[Write in]
>>3103625>TAKE THEIR POWER [Enhance a weapon with their 'Essence'.]Entirely based on if the living-transport reflects in anyway what the core is.If its snake-based, I wouldn't mind giving our sword or cloak poison effect. Or some sort of corrosive debuff to enemies.I wouldn't mind some sort of ranged ability, but I'm not seeing a snake give us one.
>>3103883Never mind, a flat armor and mobility buff is rock solid.>I think James is a Dreamer working under Beatrice.Never not share info when it could be pertinent.>Sounds great. Let's get used to the fact that this body is not our own, and not limited to what we think a body can do!
>>3103883I support >>3103890
>>3103883>Ask how did it happen that she became our "hound">If it turns out we forced her to by a bet, apologize>I think James is a Dreamer working under Beatrice.
>>3103890>>3103896"I think James is a Dreamer working under Beatrice." you say, then explain your meeting with him. Jennifer's ears fold back, and her expression changes as you speak. "He might be a good first target if Carl doesn't work out." she says, "Sounds fresh. A good starting point. But first, you need to learn about how combat in the Dream is different from out there. I mean, your father probably taught you how to fight a little, right? Military background?""A bit, yeah. Mostly disarming people, getting them on the ground, that sort of thing." Dad had never liked knocking people out, he preferred if he had to to just scare the shit out of people who thought they could start shit. With a face like his it wasn't hard. "Right. Let me show you why that might help or not. On your gaurd." she puts her big hand on her hip and stops balancing herself, falling back. Literally into her shadow, vanishing into thin air. You leap out from your own shadow just as she lunges from it. That was all instinct, and as you land, she does too, coming in swinging. "The Dream is different because you're so much more what you want to be." she says, as you barely dodge punch after punch. "It's different because you're smarter, faster, more capable than in the Real." she swings a powerful backhand that you barely block with your forearm, sending you sailing across the room. She stands over you as you get up. "Maybe you wondered why Dreamers bother to make wagers. It's because this place..." she smiles as you get up, then lunges in close. Shit, she's so fast! "...Feels so right!" The blow to your sternum slams you into the wall, and this is the first actual pain you've felt in the Dream. It feels weird, distant, like when your face is numbed at the dentist. You're panting, but you need a moment. "So how did you become my 'hound', anyway? Was it from a bet?" There it is. A moment - her face begins to blush.>Press on with this to get in close and end the bout. [This is relatively safe and will not provoke a roll, but may not have the consequences intended.]>Disarm her using your new ability for an enhanced grapple. [This is risky and can fail with a diceroll.]>Try to get away, out of this shadowed ruin. [This is relatively safe and will not provoke a roll, but may not have the consequences intended.]>[Writein] [Most writins will be risky.]
>>3103935>Wait for her to answerLet's not use this question just as a diversionary tactic. It's clearly emotionally important to her.
>>3103935>>Disarm her using your new ability for an enhanced grapple. [This is risky and can fail with a diceroll.]If we fail, so what, this is a low/no stakes friendly spar.
Rolled 39 (1d100)
>>3103935>Disarm her using your new ability for an enhanced grapple. [This is risky and can fail with a diceroll.]We aint running from a fight but a fight also doesn't have to be fair necessarily.
You decide to wait for a moment to recover some bearings. She seems to be hemming and hawing on the question, finding it difficult to answer. "B-back then..." she manages to say, "Things were different. And, And since you don't know, then... it feels wrong to say anything. Because I... I think you should be able to decide for yourself. I don't want to be taking advantage. It's not an easy position for me." she says, as you ready yourself. "Anyway, back to the- Hey!"You rush in, grasping for her arm, but getting nothing. She's simply too fast, and the knee to your belly followed by the blow you barely dodge to your face is payment for trying. She sets you on the defensive, and you knock away a few blows. When she rears back for a particularly devastating one, you decide to try the grapple again - turning and sliding the incoming punch under your arm, grasping the lower arm with your new grappling ability, and then you keep turning - throwing her with her own momentum across the room. She bounces over a table, through a derelict chair, and into a shadow. Oh no.Just in time, you turn to get a gauntlet to the face, knocking you on your back. "That was good!" she says, helping you up. "Not the smartest move, but good. That throw there at the end would have been perfect against most enemies." she smiles again. "Looks like I've got little to worry about. But just so we're clear, I won this one." she taps you on the center of your faceplate with an armored finger. "I'm sorry I can't tell you more about the past, Clarke." she adds. "But I want you to either make up your own mind, or find out for yourself. Coming from me, it'd just be selfish.">That's fine.>I think I deserve to know...>So I'm ready, then?>Yeah, I bet Beatrice's boys are gonna be chumps compared to you.>[Writein]
>>3104036>So I'm ready, then?
>>3104036> I won't pry if you don't feel comfortable with it. But could you at least let me know if there was anything between us, dreamside?>I get that it is weird for you, but it's easier to at least get it out in the open, rather than keep it bottled up.
>>3104106Ill support this
>>3104106>>3104262" I won't pry if you don't feel comfortable with it. But could you at least let me know if there was anything between us, dreamside?""...We were the closest allies anyone could ask for." she says, "Listen, I'm sure... I'm sure you'll understand later. But this... It's too much." She waves goodbye as she pops out of the Dream, like a soap bubble. You sit down heavily in the chair that Mask repaired - somehow - and stare at the table. What did you lose with all that memory? Just what was Jennifer to you, aside from a close ally here in the dream? You feel an ache in the back of your head trying to think about it. Something isn't right, something is missing. Every time you try to think back to before your fall just the other day, it's like your brain is sifting through a mess of brambles. You can't think, let alone see what is gone. Hell, it's not even like you to rise to James' barbs that much. Normally you'd even laugh it off or pretend his jokes were funny. But this time you got upset, unreasonable. It doesn't make any sense and the more you think about it, the more it hurts. And then there's Beatrice. As if summoned, the blonde appears opposite you - but is a statue. A memory of blue eyes, a perfect face. Preppy fashion that serves to enhance her hips and legs. She came here not long after you did - a week, maybe? - and the whole school was rocked. For a few days it was a mess, this seeming supermodel landing into this bumpkin nowhere-town. Rich and pretty, she was in every boy's eye. You frown.You recall her perfectly. There's no holes in your memory regarding her at all, as far as you can tell."What did you do to me, Beatrice?" you ask the dreamy statue. "And why?">END OF THREAD ONE>GAINED TWO CORES: BRISTLEBURR AND WHITESNAKE>GAINED TWO WEAPONS: %&*%&#'S SWORD AND CLOAK OF DAGGERS>MADE ZERO WAGERS>REGAINED ONE MEMORY: CARL'S OATHThe next thread will be up tomorrow at noon! Hope to see you there. Feedback and speculation here until then, any of either is appreciated!
>>3104317>FeedbackA fun quest so far, OP. I'm definitely liking the general setting and tone thus far. Interesting system as well, I'll be waiting to see how else that in particular develops. You've also done a good job balancing exposition and action. Feels like we both learn new things, and stuff actually happens, at a fairly consistent rate.From a personal standpoint, I appreciate you stating flat out that you might disregard write-ins. It just gives me a bit of peace-of-mind, despite how often I try to write in.>SuggestionI'd also suggest you keep updating this thread, rather than jumping to a new one. Idk how long you've used /qst/, but threads typically last around a week or so, and even though we've autosaged, we are only on page 5. Its up to you, but each time you make a new thread, you tend to suffer a drop of users for a bit, while they realize the thread they are following has changed. Having smaller numbers in your archive is also less overwhelming for people trying to get in, which encourages more new players to join in.>QuestionOut of curiosity, is opening picture our body in the sleepscape? I take it that it is not set in stone, but I was just wondering what kind of general theme our body has right now. We have something analogous to 'classes' as it were, with Jennifer being the 'knave' class, and 'knight' class also being mentioned. But there also seems to be something along the lines of a 'race', with Nanashi's being mechanical, Jennifer's being humanoid/monstergirl, and Bristleback/Brandon being monster/beast based.Just wondering how much these 'races' and 'classes' are kept seperate, or how much they bleed together. Or if those comparisons were really just there for our sake, and not actually quite how it works.>SpeculationSpeculation wise, not too much to go for right now. Everything seems pretty clear. The only major thing I am not positive on is, how much memory did we lose. And what did that memory relate to. We seem to remember most of our average, transfer student background. We know most everything that a normal student would in the wake, including all of the friends and relationships we used to have(somewhat). We seem to remember always being friends with Jennifer, the track team, as well as James and our own interactions with him. But we seem to have completely forgotten about all the time we spent with Brandon in the wake, despite him being one of our first club-members. So that makes me wonder which memories of people were targeted and why.If Beatrice really wanted us to not be with Jennifer, she could've just made us think we never met her, similar to how she did with our memories with Brandon. Or if that's related to the fact that Jennifer herself hasn't lost a wage yet to her.I also imagine that we remember Beatrice perfectly, because she decided to leave all those memories completely intact after mind-blanking us. At least all the beautiful ones.
>>3105718>Out of curiosity, is opening picture our body in the sleepscape?It is, or at least it was before you picked up Whitesnake (your second core). Regarding your comments on the various types of forms you've seen, there's a lot that decides what a person looks like in the Dream - everything from personal interests to their self-image is important. A Name acts like a Class, but the longer a dreamself is active and the more Cores they take in, the more important it becomes. A Knight who took in Bristleburr's core, for example, might have gotten a spiked shield, instead of a cloak. Names and how they interact with Cores and your own starting Dreamself basically determine your whole set of abilities.I'm moving to a new thread to do two things: Keep this as a psuedo-discussion thread for the quest, and to have a nice cutoff point narratively. Someone can read this first thread and know very quickly if they're going to like the quest. Future threads will probably be much longer, and who knows, there might be a discord or something. I also plan on, after about the fourth thread, to put together an altogether recap pastebin or thread that can be referred to either instead of or in addition to the archive. And to update the pastebin every once in a while. Someone also mentioned Joker. I'm a big fan of Accel World and of a few of the things in Joker. The opening of the quest is probably one of the strongest character creation segments I've seen before or since. While it was running, I was fairly critical of it, and I decided to scale down the fights, make them more direct, and retool how things worked a bit. This is all from reading the first few threads, so take it with a grain of salt. It is one of those big, huge notable quests, and I definitely don't want to say I'm shooting to surpass it. Just that it's a bit of inspiration.
New thread is LIVE: >>3106367>>3106367>>3106367