Welcome back one and all into the fifth part of our adventure in Muribel, although at first glance our perspective will make a temporary change... Time to continue being busy little bees, or maybe take a break. Arawn hasn't had much of a chance to rest comfortably.Below are our usual lists.Previous Threads http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Lots%20of%20DialoguesTwitter for schedule updateshttps://twitter.com/TaleOfMonstersPerks and spells for our main character https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FFJHeWTu21_OktfrfYkJQhpV5HQw4PtFKav_QoMYjQY/edit?usp=sharingCharacters met by Arawn.https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ishEn1-U1A1i3FbZ-YiQd65xk2jXpLab1XnM2hTNZvs/edit?usp=sharing
''Siggy heart is still crying.''Hao always found a way to sneak a little surprise at the oddest of times. ''I'm... it hasn't been crying, why do you ask?'' The horned redheaded demoness replied in a mixture of puzzled kindness. Resting on her leg was Arawn second kindly knight, the short and spirited Hao Dasyu who had taken to gaze into the open sky, her forward-facing curved horns giving her an intimidating allure in the with the faint lights surrounding them. Instead of the stars, those green eyes settled squarely on Sieglinde and she couldn't' help but find it a tiny bit disconcerting, this foreign girl was a walking paradox; pure beyond measures yet also able to display the sharpest of minds at when one least expect it. ''Hao spy hidden sadness amongst the stars. Aegis is far from here, is that why?'' Hao had spoken very little about her tribe outside subjects of astronomy. Given how long she'd taken to find that hill back in Throne Town, Sieglinde held no doubts the night sky held great importance for her.''Am I so sentimental to be saddened by the absence of the Shield?'' She could only ask incredulously. Today was a clear sky but Zipangu couldn't see the Aegis shine, unlike her beloved home. ''She means Arawn.'' The source of golden luminescence near the girls spoke. Sitting beside the infernal woman was a familiar heavenly one using the aureole above her blonde crown to project light throughout their corner of an archery range the girls had made a temporary home off. Another source of light deeper in the range revealed the Embodiment of Love cooking something with a portable alchemical appliance, with a pair of unique kids beside her and their parents enjoying the sights of the stars in this strange building built into the queen garden.''Yes.'' The bronze-skinned, dark scaled girl nodded on Sieglinde thigh. ''We made the oath under the shield; it has five points; two are missing now and Sieglinde is sad.'' ''I-I mean aren't you two down as well?'' There was something in Hao tone that got to her, a wave of warm embarrassment blossomed into her face and she couldn't do a thing to stop it. Irritating, irritating. ''We've been here a week now and there's no trace...''''He's alive somewhere south.'' Came the casual answer of her angelic friend. ''I was kinda resenting this whole soul knot things at first but now that I've grown used to it... I don't mind as much.'' ''You're a bit of a grump when it comes to handling changing circumstances.'' Sieglinde chuckled, turning her attention at her winged friend. ''Shush, now's not the time to talk about me.'' Was her grousing retort. ''Right, nothing wrong with an angel flying like a loose arrow southward only to be brought back by the scruff of the neck by her older sister.'' Sieglinde giggled on hearing Elina groan, amused whispers from the children being up way past their bedtimes revealed that whatever activity Hadraniel was doing with them had reached its little climax.
''That was fun.'' Hao's voice rose from beneath her. ''Daiyu hasn't stayed long, Martha is with her too, Deruella is doing... something somewhere, Siggy looked happy with the children but now her heart is growing sad, yes?'' Sieglinde couldn't help but wince. ''Missing two links.'' She extended two fingers toward the twinkling night sky. ''This week was fun but we are missing two... and Hao thinks Siggy tries too hard in not looking sad.'' ''Come on now Hao, I'm a big sister. Being strong isn't just in look.'' Sieglinde went to caress the spirited girl's forehead but stopped on seeing her limb. Her hand covered in a dark exoskeleton made it difficult to see in the darkness but it was undeniably thick enough to almost encompass half of Hao's head. The slick dark had progressed past her elbows during that long sleep...''Sounds like something you want to believe.'' This retort came from her heavenly friend and Sieglinde was glad for the distraction when Elina invited herself to sit beside her: Hao inquisitive eyes were difficult to shoulder. ''I'm fine.'' Now that her hovering arm was brought into the light, their stares inevitably made a tiny deviation toward it. Sieglinde could only feel amused at how a decade long secret had been so easily uncovered. Rather sharp, that Arawn... Then again it was her fault for underestimating him. How can he ever find out anything? A whole lot of good that thought gave her! ''I don't feel any worse than usual. Why are you so concerned about my heart?''''Hao only saw you happy this week around the children.'' She stated softly, causing a nervous jolt in Sieglinde's spine that manifested in a twitch of her tail. ''Arawn and Klesiah, you miss them.'' This was no question.''Yeah, I'm not the only one.'' Frustration bubbled in her chest, she did her best to avoid frowning. ''Vilma has found a place for herself during our lost year, Teruko gave birth to a wonderful little girl... the world has changed so much so quickly that it's dizzying yet, you girls, Klesiah and Arawn; we've been robbed of an entire year. We've been told to rest and recuperate but I can't stop thinking about this lost time...''''My sister lost thirteen years.'' Elina's tone threw a cold bucket of water on her fiery excitement. ''I don't think dwelling on that will help. All we can do is move forward right?''''Yeah and for that, we need to figure out where Arawn is. Being ''somewhere south'' isn't enough to direct anything and with the powder keg that is the Allied Kingdoms ready to erupt...''Aah, so much worry. Who could have taken over the administration of Throne Town during that year? Where had Deruella disappeared to? That stalwart paladin, Klesiah, was alive but still in that infernal vixen clutch...
''It's been a long week.'' The chatty tribal continued, now hovering a hand outward toward the sky yet her green gaze always strayed for the demonic princess. ''I'm happy... Hao is happy for this time but everyone, Siggy mom, and that shiny fluff, really want to protect us far too much.''''Yeah, now that's a truth.'' Elina agreed with a lighthearted chuckle. ''We've lingered here long enough wouldn't you say?''''Yeah...'' Despite all of her worries, the anxiety caused by the recent change in her body, and the changing world that seemingly left her behind, Sieglinde felt strangely at peace; the sorcery that's been imposed upon her soul tied her with five people and being close to two of them was definitely something she found agreeable. Zipangu had enough expertized to cancel such imposition on souls but all three of them had stood unanimously to -not- do this even if its creation was done by a taboo. Arawn was the core of this mystical pathway, the circle that all paths led toward but he wasn't what made it all work. perhaps because friendships had blossomed in the short two months since his arrival, Sieglinde felt content with her two friends; of course, she loved her family but it would be a lie to believe she wasn't starting to put those two girls with her in a similar light, little by little...''I've been feeling strangely introspective these last few days...'' Sieglinde idly commented and swallowed her displeasure over her mutated limb. She couldn't resist a smile when she carefully rubbed Hao forehead, it seems the ferocious tribal girl welcomed the awkward gesture. ''...I keep thinking about this link, imagining what kind of path it makes in our soul and if we could be tied some-''A strange feeling, like sudden inexplicable goosebumps, made her entire body shudder as an inexplicable image wormed itself into her mind. A girl she never remembers encountering before was held up carefully by a much older woman who could, perhaps, be her grandmother had this bronze-skinned wolfish individual not been a Mamono. The poor girl looked in pain feelings of anger, guilt and worry tightened Sieglinde heart...''Who...?''Now, you realize, this wasn't a dream. This is what Sieglinde was doing when you fell asleep, idly thinking about her beautiful red hair and inviting horns, hoping that her health hadn't suffered complications... All three of their heads turned to you in perfect synchronicity.
--For a brief moment, your mind was adrift in the abyss until sensations from your thin sheet made you realize where you truly were; nowhere near the strange island of Zipangu alongside your soul tied companions but instead the very dark room deep inside the gilded palace of this country of Mamono you were -literally- forced into. Closed-door, no windows, and extinguished alchemical lamp made your room a completely dark one, hopefully, your biological clock hasn't betrayed you.''Ah...'' Zhu hadn't forced herself into your room after yesterday's events, or maybe it was because you jammed a chair on your door. ''...Now I'm missing her.'' You didn't know how to describe your feeling. Nostalgia, frustration, anger, sadness... Something it was a knot in your throat, a second later you boiled with brief impatience. You wanted to go back with them, to them, but...You've grown to care about that little princess of the desert too.''Fucking hell make up your mind.'' Being left alone to your thoughts was -not- good for your sanity. If Ama's game has a silver lining, it's that it leaves you exhausted enough to avoid being tortured by idle thinking. >Go and assess your Sun state of health right away. Showing due diligence is important... And there's the fact Banu somehow conjured holy magic without traces of Focus.>See if you can slip away to do something else. Some alone time could help your mood. (Investigate your gauntlet, complete your set of Magitek tools, etc.)>Free
>>3956908>>See if you can slip away to do something else. Some alone time could help your mood. (Investigate your gauntlet, complete your set of Magitek tools, etc.)We should attempt complete the set of Tooling we have, before we try and perform maintenance, or swap anything out. Time slots where we can do these things are rare, because we're always having to put out some fire somewhere so they should be used where we can, so we can do our best when we get called upon to do so.
>>3956946Making an expert set of tools will take until midday, you'll have the chance to do something else then. I'll wait about 20 minutes before closing votes. Deciding your activity is important!
>>3956908Wait, Hadraniel got revived too? As in, she's there with her own body and everything acting in the real world? That'll help big time against bad fluffy, but how? Did the fact they were sisters allow her to transfer energy to her despite not being linked? Deru disappeared as well? And did we beam an image of Shereen after she got shot into Sieg's head?Would it be possible to ask a servant or Banu how Shereen's holding up and then go work on the tools? Could we just go see her really quick and then go off and work on them? Violence is in our future after all, we do need our primary weapon in pristine condition and be able to repair it if/when it takes damage.
>>3957006>Wait, Hadraniel got revived too? As in, she's there with her own body and everything acting in the real world?Yep, couldn't exactly go into details as to how because it was sorta old history for Sieg now, but the Embodiment of Love is back in the world.>but how?You were linked to three people whose souls were ''hosted'' inside her own. 13 years to recuperate from her wounds combined by the osmosis effect of Shereen ritual allowed her to awaken.>Deru disappeared as well?Yup>And did we beam an image of Shereen after she got shot into Sieg's head?A subconscious effect, soul links are mysterious...>Would it be possible to ask a servant or Banu how Shereen's holding up and then go work on the tools?There are no servants beside Banu for the moment. Asking her will tie into the first choice. >Could we just go see her really quick and then go off and work on them?You could try, though you might be influenced otherwise once you go into Shereen room.
>>3957028Darn, I don't wanna be a total sneaky git so can we just ask Banu how Shereen's doing than inform her that we will be constructing our tools? Our weapon is a primary means by which we will protect our "owner" after all and we want to make it extra shocky/flamey/etc. so we can seriously hurt the fuckers who shot her!
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>3957062Yeah, but it'll still tie into the first choice even if the mindset is different so I'll roll on it, I'll go with the result unless another player speak up.
Opening your door allowed a stream of artificial light to illuminate the darkness of your little room and for a moment the sight of yesterday acquisitions -those tools bought from that Baphomet merchant- motivated an intense desire to put the ramshackle set of items into something useable, the mystery of the blue gauntlet attached to your arm demanded nothing else but...''Calm the hell down man.'' You grunted at yourself, rubbing away the lingering grogginess of your long sleep. Seeing your friends so very far away made you want to return you belonged so very much, yet it wasn't Lady Whtie alone tying you here now. Banu, Shereen, and Zhu weren't bad people. Your fingers briefly caressed Ama closed letter. Shereen said the thing held no blood magic influence, but you weren't so sure. For now, it'll remain where it belonged. Your Sun room was, as always, the center of activity for this secluded part of Muribel royal palace. Her double doors were wide open, the large open-air garden was fed by the genuine sun that was quick to rise in this corner of the world and three women lingered in this uselessly large area.''Oh! Arawn! Slept well?'' Shereen was the first to gree you. Breakfast had barely been served, Banu lingered near a single cart full of deliciousness for the start of the day and Zhu ate her fill while ignoring the older maiden stern disapproving gaze. ''Not quite, but I'll survive.'' Your honesty earned a wince from your little liege, the fact she looked so healthy after that bolt was amazing. Her good mood, too, was another blessing. ''Can I ask something?'' You quickly continued, walking toward the assembled girls to indulge your sweet tooth with some of Muribel royal pastries. ''Of course! You have all of my trust, my moon!'' Shereen happily retorted with a wagging tail, Banu and Zhu greeted your arrival with a simple nod. ''I'd like to take this entire morning to work on my craft.'' You showed your only item, the bundle of tools in dangling from three linked satchel. Your mace and shield were to stay inside Shereen room. ''I'll need a forge, is it possible to loan one from the docks?'' You noticed quite a few of them during your first foray outside to find your gauntlet. ''That won't be difficult to arrange.'' Banu answered, that probably meant ruining a crafter day by taking over their place temporarily. ''Want to do it now?'' ''Yeah.'' No time for breakfast.''Need any assistance?'' Banu continued as she finished putting the table.''N-...'' Actually, perhaps some company could help.>Having someone help you out could potentially increase or decrease your efficiency or do nothing else than helping Arawn loneliness and perhaps get a little discussion going.>''...How about you, Banu?''>''...Wanna help out, Zhu?''>''...I'm tempted to ask my Sun for help, even if the very notion is farfetched.'' >''...No.''>Free
>>3957173>''...No.''We should let them know that we found some things while investigating the church, that have some big implications that we should discuss later.One of Ama's lieutenants is definitely a necromancer right, that's how they made the Horrors during for attack.
>>3957214>One of Ama's lieutenants is definitely a necromancer right, that's how they made the Horrors during for attack. Yup.Usual 20 minutes wait for more votes.
>>3957173Ask if any of them are experienced in working a forge or if any of them want to come along. Obviously, if one of them is expereinced we bring them for increased efficiency as we've never worked one before (or at least we lack the memory of doing it).Where are the docks and which gang runs them? That's gonna be important given how we've allied with one and thus are going to be targeted by the other.
>>3957242>Ask if any of them are experienced in working a forge or if any of them want to come along.Banu is the only one with some passing experience. Shereen would actualyl be quite eager to tag along, the other two gals aren't so enthused.>Where are the docks and which gang runs them? That's gonna be important given how we've allied with one and thus are going to be targeted by the other.The palace general area is its own little city outside Marleon, no gangs would dare attempt to gain influence here so you can rest assured that you'll be safe. The Fortune have control of Marleon docks.
>>3957257So we're in a safe zone then? No way we get sniped or anything? Zhu would find it boring but Banu would put up with it and Shereen is becoming like a loyal puppy dog towards us it would seem.Bring Banu then, and if Shereen insists on coming along we can't exactly tell her no. Zhu's free to do whatever she wants, just hold back on the bloodthirst for a bit girl. You'll have plenty of opportunities to please Khorne soon enough.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3957214>>3957270Alright, rolling to see if we bring the old woman or we go at it alone. As always any anons can circumvent that.
>>3957274Just to clarify, my vote was to bring Banu because she has experience with a forge but we ask if the others wanna tag along. If Shereen wants to hang out as well she can.
>>3957282I see, I'll adjust accordingly. In this case Shereen will be the one tagging along in the long term.
>>3957292So we'll be accompanied by Banu and Shereen then? I wonder what Zhu's gonna do...
>>3957307Shereen will stick in the forge and Banu will be leaving shortly afterward. Shereen presence won't give you any malus for this craft.
>>3957322Just so long as Banu shows us how it all works and what we should be looking for. Y'know, things like how much the metal should be glowing before we try to bend or forge out a piece, whether we want to quench the metals in water, oil, brine, or if it'd be better to just let the air cool em' off when we're done, etc.We need a crash course in forging is what I'm getting at. Shouldn't take too long for oba-chan to give one of em' out. The collar is still deactivated yes? So we could use our magic if we want right?
>>3957343You already did, having apprentice-level experience in forging is tied with being a Magitek. Can't have one without the other.
>>3957343>The collar is still deactivated yes? So we could use our magic if we want right?As far as you know, yeah.
>>3957351Oh, shit, just occurred to me. Banu's gotta be pissed off to near irrationality about Shereen getting shot. Tell her not to go off half-cocked on her own on a crusade for vengeance or anything like that if/when she leaves. In hushed tone/whisper of course, questions along those lines from eavesdropping parties would be very bad for everyone currently residing in Redalley.We'll get em' soon girl, but there's an order of operations here. Hell, why you think we want the tools now? Shit's about to get real.
Strangely, your activity almost became a haggle as Shereen tried to impose herself without waving around her noble title; her endless quest for being a ''fair'' little goddess was always amusing to watch, you found yourself smirking midway through breakfast as she wondered about adequate compensation for forging a blacksmith to lose a day's business. Zhu gave you an uncomfortable cold shoulder throughout the morning and when prompted, she bluntly told you to not lock your door anymore.Ominous.Finding a forge was easy indeed. The palace had three civilized areas; one was the major mansion for servants where all kinds of hands-on manufacture were going on (mostly textile and clothes), the other was the royal residence itself and last were the docks which were a microcosm of industry. No shops were present, two taverns did business and enough forges echoed busily to explain why the royal guards here were so well-armed. Also, the administrative center of the capital shipwright was here: the Pharaoh was smart, she'd put a stranglehold on most of the administrative heart of Marleon in this excuse of a town. finding a forge was easy enough, Shereen strolled into the first one she found and gave the unexpected Mamono (a Salamander of all people) a week wage in exchange of leasing her facility for this morning; arguments didn't have a chance to even begin with that kind of opening statement, alongside the little sun ancestry of course. As you set out to work, Banu walked to you and put a hand on your shoulder. ''You'll be busy tonight so don't exhaust yourself'' She whispered when Shereen was busily observing all the tools and half-made weapons. Before you could retort she'd already left you and walked to Zhu. ''Come with me.'' She ordered your companion, leaving her briefly stunned. ''We haven't exactly known each other yet, I'd like to ask you a few things... and show you the arena.''''My.'' Zhu facial traits sharpened with her grin, looking like a crow. ''Guess I should honor my elder huh?'' ''We'll see about that.'' And like that, they walked off, looking extremely intimidating. Banu might be old but she had one hell of an aura and Zhu constantly looked like a bird of prey... She was also beginning to trust you, this is the first time you'll be alone with Shereen for some time.''So...'' The little sun opened. ''...Magitek needs forging?''''This is probably going to look boring, all I need to do is adjust what I've got.'' You responded, heating the forge and dumping your items on a nearby table while the gauntlet sat by its lonesome on another one. ''I'll need to make a few things that'll help me handle this gauntlet exclusively. Otherwise, it's simple forging. Fancy stuff happen later.''''How does it work?'' She asked curiously, approaching your weapon. ''Is it safe to touch?''
''Don't grab it and don't put it on, otherwise yeah.'' She promptly poked the metal with a paw pad. ''It's been modified, I'm making tools to disassemble it safely and understand how, exactly, it changed. Say, you got any area you don't mind being... damaged?''''Damaged?'' She asked, taking a prudent backward step with fluffy ears raised. ''This thing shoots lightning, remember? I'll need a safe place to test.'' Somehow, explaining these little things -teaching- was replacing your grumpy mood with a genuinely good one. ''Mmmh... We...'' Strangely she frowned for a second as if frustrated at herself. ''...I think that small hall you trained with Banu will do.''''Thank, your little highness.''''Hmph!'' Her large furry feet slapped the ground. ''We are your Sun and you shall call us such, damn you!'' --Two hours proceeded in almost total silence. Shereen had brought herself a book but could barely keep her attention into it as she watched you work. First, you calculated the length of your gauntlet and made diagrams of your needed items.Working the forge in a place like Muribel, you discovered, was a damnable experience because the country's natural heat did not agree at all with a high enough temperature to melt and mold metal to your need. After a simple hour, you were sweating enough to smell yourself, ruin your clothes and mair a hairband for your hair by tearing up a piece of your pants with a knife. Shereen, bless her heart, actually went out of her way to buy you much-needed refreshment, making you genuinely happy for her help. Outside of that, she'd just stay away from that infernal heat, reading and staring silently until the lull of slapping iron overtook the hissings of cooled metal.This would be the monotonous parts, your work was already three-quarters done already... perhaps you could start a discussion.>Ask your little liege how she's doing after yesterday. It feels like this could become a taboo if it's left to fester and linger. >Breach the topic of her sister, Ensan. What's their relationship?>Ask about her mother, the Pharaoh you've heard absolutely nothing about. >Ask about her relationship with Banu, how did things start?>Mention Zhu. Would your sun be, perhaps interested in another Moon?>Work silently gotta keep your focus. (Open more choices in what to do once your tools are finished)>Free
>>3957418>Work silently gotta keep your focus. (Open more choices in what to do once your tools are finished)We should probably keep focusing on our work, if we decide to say something, we should ask about information on the Pearls of Power.The way that Zhu is acting makes me think that there may be a hidden reason as to her actions, maybe we should look into getting a proper lock and key for our door for when we actually need to keep someone out for their own safety, and try and get a bigger bed, if one would fit in the room.
>>3957457Hm, no chat. Interesting.Will proceed soon.
>>3957496It won't take us too much longer to complete the set right? If it won't than I'm alright with chatting once we're done. The small talk can wait another 15-20 minutes.
Had some serious computer trouble for a little while, sorry for the delay.With the monotony of measuring your new equipment and shaping them into proper shapes to disassemble the gauntlet and most known Magitek items, your gaze idled toward Shereen often and your eyes would cross with hers almost all the time. The little princess was hard-pressed with keeping enthusiasm in her book it seemed; you'd catch her idly gazing your way, rubbing her neck or the general area of her shoulder whilst you slapped the anvil. This, of course, prompted some worries but you decided that wisdom was tied to being quiet in this case, Shereen was outspoken enough say something if she wasn't feeling well. After yesterday's events, there was likely a good deal of stress dwelling inside her small frame; you came to welcome the silence, your little liege presence being oddly comforting. Still, it was impossible not to worry the tiniest of bit; she seemed nervous.''Done.'' You announced after a few more minutes of hard works. Having place all of your precious items into the general pocket of your satchel and added with the lucky discovery of the Baphomet and her set of basic tools, you had everything you needed to start Magitek properly.Expert set of Magitek tools has been crafted!''O-oh?'' Shereen answered awkwardly, jumping to her feet. ''It's... probably not even midday? Or maybe soon? Hm, not feeling too hungry...'' You could only answer with a prideful grin, doing your best in being efficient and finishing quickly feels pretty good. Now if there was only something to do about this country's infernal heat... ''You still have things to do?'' Shereen quietly trotted close only to quickly pull back to avoid the heat radiating out of the forge.''Of course.'' You responded, using nearby clothes to sponge sweat off your face. You probably didn't look adequate in front of royalty right now. ''As I said, it'll probably look boring... although practical tests of my gauntlet might look cool. Might, can't promise here.'' ''Hmm...'' Her paw-hand briefly obscured her mouth. ''My Moon is certainly diligent in what he likes huh?''
''Well...'' You rubbed the back of your neck, trying to hide your discomfort. Your mood had thankfully improved thanks to Shereen's help, but you've been motivated by worry more than genuine passion; yesterday will have consequences. ''...Are you also sharing this trait?'' You decided to bounce the question instead of indulging in pride.''Of course!'' She answered immediately, furred hand on her small chest. ''I think so, anyway.'' Her pride was already starting to deflate, it hasn't been five seconds! ''I'm not... exactly certain I have what you'd call a passion, I think...'' There came insecurity. ''Really? You have one of the most impressive personal library I've seen.'' Important distinctions in praises mattered if you wanted to be honest! ''Can books be a passion?'' So simple a question asked with nigh irresistible vulnerability, Shereen wasn't gazing at you anymore, one of her furred hand was over the other, unexplainable weakness oozed out of her form... Making you want to slap yourself for finding her gorgeous at this moment. ''Absolutely. It's perfectly reasonable and respectable, there's great wisdom in books... and perhaps much more idiocy. what kind of books do you like?'' The way Shereen face illuminated during your little talk made you grin, in turn, this girl really was a trapped bird...''I-I like history. The Great Crusade mostly but it's important to try and keep widespread interest right?'' You nodded even if you were no authority in this matter. ''Oh, regular stories are nice too... There's something so nice and satisfying when you get engrossed into a good tale, even better with music! Having a bard play something adequate when you reach a climax is such a delight!'' She was practically bouncing in place and caught herself before doing so.''Ahem! I mean... does my Moon read much?''''I'd love to if I had the time.'' You answered, slipping your gauntlet on. ''I probably have a lifetime of good books I'm missing on because of that amnesia of mine.'' Shereen sudden surprise revealed easily enough that hse had completely forgotten about that. ''Would my sun be willing to loan me a room she wouldn't mind to see damaged now?'' ''I suppose... We suppose it would heavily depend on what kind of damage my Moon has in mind...''''Nothing unreasonable.'' You hoped.>With your set of tools completed, you won't need to pass any dc with investigating the new mysteries of your magical gauntlet!>Go to work on your gauntlet immediately, gotta make use of every second you can! >Relax a little, Shereen is here to keep you company. Perhaps you can enjoy your Sun company in this little town, finding something to eat shouldn't be difficult.>FreeLet's continue tomorrow.
>>3957714>Go to work on your gauntlet immediately, gotta make use of every second you can!The faster we do this the better, we can rest latter.
>>3957714Can we chat about something while we fiddle with the gauntlet in the private room? Disassembly, reassembly, and/or use shouldn't take too much of our mental capabilities/demand our complete and undivided attention.Banu also mentioned an arena, that might be a good place to try out the full blast setting. Perhaps Belph increased its max capacity so we can launch even bigger blasts without risk of breaking it or even perhaps added in the capacitor banks I wanted so we can "charge" a big attack that, again, doesn't risk the mechanism.I am a bit worried about what she said about tonight as well. Probably gonna get into another fight as we hunt down the poor fuckers who failed to kill Shereen. As the old saying goes: "When you strike at a king you must kill him". They're about to find out why that's sage advice. Can blood magic be used to track people down? The bolts might have a sympathetic connection with the users, might come back to bite em'.
>>3957811>Can we chat about something while we fiddle with the gauntlet in the private room? Sure, the other option is more or less a way to go on short an impromptu date.>Banu also mentioned an arenaOnly place that fit is where you fought the Salamander.>Can blood magic be used to track people down?Yes but it's very finicky and unreliable unless you have some of their blood. Buut there are methods...
>>3957830>Need blood for perfect blood magic trackingDamnit, if only Deru, Belph, or Martha was a sneaky/paranoid enough git to have nabbed a sample of ours somehow...
>>3957860Well, there's been plenty sample of your blood taken already, though the only real blood magic user available in the crew is Deruella and she went and disappeared on people... again! Zipangu is extremely against any and all blood magic usage and from what you've seen of your little foray into Sieglinde head, she's hasn't had a chance to do much.
>>3957882A rather interesting possibility. Can blood magic allow one to "spoof" their race? Like, beyond mere shapeshifting. To the point that unless you were specifically scanning for that spoof with your own blood mage you'd never know? Like, perhaps, a mamono passing for a true human or vice versa? I shudder to think of what that might cost but could it be done? About when did Fortune show up? Deru's not the most pure and kindest of souls I reckon. She'd do some downright nasty shit if it helped her family or furthered a significant goal of hers. Feel bad about it maybe, but she'd do it.
>>3957925I can't answer your questions about blood magic, you'll need to try and them in quest. >About when did Fortune show up?She's a pretty new boss for the Fortune gang. Naveed told you she showed up recently, about about a month ago.
>>3957958Ok then, thing to ask Shereen about potentially if we go with the Gauntlet option. She's a blood magic expert/natural user correct?Timeline matches up then. Deru had access to our blood and it sounded like Deru vanished recently else Sieg would have been more worried. New conspiracy theory, Fortune is Deru or that one subordinate she retained from Lescatie. She did retain a fallen maiden or two right? Has at least one person loyal to her above all and would thus do next to literally anything asked of them by her?
>>3957976She's a natural user, not an expert. Sieglinde and Deruella are expert in blood magic, though only one use the craft. >Fortune is Deru or that one subordinate she retained from Lescatie. She did retain a fallen maiden or two right? Who knows if she has any resources...? Interesting theory, though you might be a little too busy to try and prove it. Could make things awkward since you've gone and allied with Fortune now.
>>3957982Awkward, or just as planned from her side. It gives her/her subordinate access to us and our sun on a somewhat reliable basis. She's also a Tzeentchian Champion along with Good Golden Fluffy so that may be what they were hoping for.And as it seems its use isn't taboo in this part of the world, there should be tomes and grimoires on Blood Magic available to the royal family. A thing we may well want to nudge her towards pursuing given that our nemesis is essentially the goddess of Blood Magic and Chaos. Axiomatic binding works both ways. Such a god is "bound by rules" as it were. Learn the rules, learn how to avoid the worst of their BS.
>>3958008>And as it seems its use isn't taboo in this part of the world, there should be tomes and grimoires on Blood Magic available to the royal family.It's something more or less reserved for the royal family specifically because Shereen is a natural blood mage (something extremely rare). Blood Magic has a bad, bad reputation in every country you can imagine because of the Great Crusade; everyone is extremely apprehensive of it because of what their ancestors suffered. >Such a god is "bound by rules" as it were.Eeehehehe
>>3958022>Every nation on the planet hates blood magesEven this one? I mean, that ritual that revived us wasn't hiding shit and enough people were involved as to make keeping it a secret impossible. Shereen is obviously a blood mage, and everyone is well on their way to knowing that now. Do they care though? She, herself, never sacrifices anyone and has always looked out for the interests of the common folk. Finds the concept of human/mamono sacrifice utterly abhorrent in the most extreme sense even (hence her innate hatred of Bad Fluffy).That may be why we all almost ate bolts to the face though. The "Mother Earth" loyalists in Redalley might be full on Monodominants who believe "Suffer not the blood mage and their retinue to live" applies even to the likes of Shereen no matter how "nice" she seems. Hence that assassination attempt.>That spoilerYou really are good at getting me to worry y'know that? We have that letter on our person right now yes? Kinda important that we do. I'm almost about to suggest we open it with our soul arm in the private chamber after we test to see if holy shields are a thing the gauntlet can do now. Throw one up, get both us and Shereen behind it, use soul arm, open the letter, and pray that was enough precautions to avoid her fuckery.
>>3958041>Even this one? I mean, that ritual that revived us wasn't hiding shit and enough people were involved as to make keeping it a secret impossible. Shereen is obviously a blood mage, and everyone is well on their way to knowing that now.Oh yes, of course, it's not a secret in Muribel but the Royal Family is exempt from everything, people, in general, are nervous at best with blood magic and that feeling isn't exempt in Muribel. And as yo usaid, all adherent of Mother Earth are very hostile with the craft. >We have that letter on our person right now yes?Yep.
>>3958060Aww fuck. How does ME view the monodominant sect of her religion? We're probably gonna have to kill quite a few of them now so that question just became relevant.Is Klesiah a sympathizer with those orders? I don't think she is as she didn't seem to be on board with the likes of the "closed fists" but hey, never hurts to ask.
>>3958089> How does ME view the monodominant sect of her religion?Asking what a goddess think of her followers is a rather big deal. >Is Klesiah a sympathizer with those orders?No. The Inquisition has two main sects (Exemplar and Closed Fist) and a few minor ones alongside the more middle ground inquisitors. Klesiah chose Mother Earth as her favorite god while being a knight but that doesn't make her a paladin in the Allied Kingdom (a title more or less exclusive to the Exemplar even if they, themselves, resent that a great deal). She has shown some favoritism for fellow adherent of Mother Earth though, mostly because they tend to be Mamonos sympathizers too.
Probably gonna answer a bit late today. Need to be a bit careful is what I write here, after all this is a wonderful new toy...
''Shall we return? I'd like to work immediately. With a little luck, I think I'll be done sometimes this afternoon.'' Your statement brought a combination of ears and tail twitches on your little liege and she exited first with her book on her side and head held high to project as strong an impression as she could; she might as well have been invisible for the populace. Her occasional trips were honestly humorous.--''I hope we aren't interrupting anything...?'' Venturing back into the lonely living area of your little sun revealed what the other two women were up to. A multitude of broken wooden swords littering the ground alongside their heavy breathing and a handful of red potions on a table made it obvious that both had decided to do some forceful exercise that was brought into a sudden end by your sudden arrival.What you found truly stunning was the lack of noises outside the training room, for Zhu to have broken about five practice swords, she must have been going at it with serious gusto.''No.'' Banu responded to your query, dropping her stance and Zhu did the same, throwing a few leisure swings as she glared with her one colorful eye at the wooden sword. ''Didn't expect to have you two here so soon.''''Arawn finished early.'' Shereen answered while you moved toward one of the many tables to dump your tools and gauntlet on its surface, grabbing a chair on the way.''Then let's stop here, crow.'' Banu turned toward your companion who carelessly threw the sword away. ''I've got a good idea of your skills.''''Why yes.'' Zhu answered, grinning this dangerous sharp smile while closing her eyes. ''That goes both ways, you're no grandma that'll suffer youngsters pranks.'' ''Stop mentioning my age already.'' Banu growled in response, only to earn a teasing giggle from Zhu. ''Let's drop this mood anyway, better to rest up now.''With enough space to accommodate a genuine military squad, this training arena became a general hang-out spot. Banu brought in a trolley of refreshments, Shereen brought a few new books, Zhu teased you about your bodily smell as you disassembled the blue gauntlet... Things felt good, peaceful and you easily lost yourself in discovering what, exactly, was new about Belphegor gift. ......Calling this a mere ''gauntlet'' was a disservice, nay an insult, to Belphegor genius. First was the protective metal itself; everything has been thoroughly modified to become magically conductive, meaning the entire surface can be enchanted, transformed into a deadly close combat weapon.
Next was the configuration of the fist, previously you needed to commit to one direction, forcing you to choose your right or left arm but here the entire thing easily be modified -on the go- to your left or right hand. General flexibility was enhanced across the weapon, needing only some maintenance with oil to be kept comfortable. Redundant systems, namely a few thin pathways to conduct magic, greatly increased the weapon durability. Three tiny gems smaller than a fingernail, a topaz, ruby, and sapphire, had been placed together in a protective pocket deeper inside the singular cage. But that was simple surface value, going deep into the innards and, precisely seeing what kind of stone you were dealing with instead of the topaz revealed surprising enough secrets to make you swear out loud and attract the girls attentions a few times. That piece of quartz was an artificial creation; calling it quartz was likely wrong in the pure scientific term but the title had stuck in your mind. Gems like rubies, sapphires, and topazes have always been used in enchantment because each colorful rocks are naturally attuned to their respective elements (something about humanity collective belief over centuries influencing this reality but that wasn't your field of expertise.) Creating these through alchemy was nothing new but this... It absorbed your magical essence, breaking it into a familiar purity.Perhaps that could explain why it was useable by that salamander? If magic is broken down into pure essence -fuel-, Corruption can't interfere... But something so pure can't be made into lightning. Furthers answers would only be possible with a live activation and that's what you did. Armed with the knowledge of its main stones, the gauntlet drew your blood as always and activated without complications. It glew yellow. conjuring lightning was easy enough; you made arcs of deadly purples dance across your fingers carefully. Deducing the main piece of quartz being the gauntlet new magical generator wasn't difficult and the topaz was used to transform that energy into lightning but... imagining your palm becoming alight in flame or encased in ice did nothing. Why the ruby and sapphire?''Fancy.'' Zhu had been observing closer now that you had begun a more hands-on approach with the weapon, Banu and Shereen kept a respectable distance after your polite warnings. ''I think I see a button here... There's a strangely dark spot in that grayish-yellow color.''''Don't touch!'' Unfortunately, she did. Enough energy was drained from your reserve to fuel a strong spell.This energy manifested throughout the entire gauntlet in an almost violent fashion, its entire frame of blue lit up in new colors of reds, clearer blue, and the familiar purple lightning mixed in a chaotic maelstrom that also became a rainbow mixture projected by the quartz itself.
That's when you got the idea of imagining a simple campfire... The gauntlet immediately began to settle down, intense blue and purple replaced by reddish-orange and this time, you -did- succeed in lightning your entire palm on fire. The element had changed. However, the gauntlet was also full of energy that needed evacuation. Leaving a stunned Zhu behind, you ran under the circle opening of the room and evacuated this surplus in a pillar of flame the size of your entire torso, the fire reaching skyward in a glorious column that, perhaps, approached ten meters in length.''Next time...'' You breathed in relief and excitement, wiping sweat from your forehead. ''...listen to the guy tinkering with unstable military equipment.''''W-what just happened? Isn't this thing supposed to only produce lightning?'' Shereen bounced to her feet, approaching carefully while Banu stood in stunned silence.''I feel old, technology is amazing.'' Zhu stated, earning a mocking snort from the older Moon.''Normally, yeah, it's a singular element.'' You answered your Sun and pointed at the gem protected in its cage. ''But this thing changes everything because it breaks magic in its purest essence.'' Just like the statue you somehow created from the Magritew ''with the additions of three peculiar gems to act as... Imagine a red-colored lens, next take a magnifying glass and shine some light into it.''''Of course, that makes a red color.'' She huffed.''Those are the tiny gems; the magnifying glass is the wires linking them with the quartz.'' How the hell did Belphegor do it? This must have been some kind of joint effort between her and Martha, there's likely much more to discover behind that rock! ''C-can I try it?'' Shereen asked timidly, staring at your item in near child-like wonder. She'd already worked to shapeshift one of her arms to slide into it adequately. That... hm...>''Alright, but be very careful. It absorb your natural magic.'' (Science is made of the test. You've seen a Mamono use it once but seeing it again would cement this thing capabilities...) >''It would be safer to wait, Shereen. There might be a few more secrets behind this thing, I don't want my ignorance to hurt my Sun.'' (Better to be prudent here. You've only just found out you can switch elements...) >Free
So to summarize. The gauntlet MK2 possesses a unique stone that breaks magic down into its purest essence and can, at the price of a heavy spells, switch element by pressing a button near the cage. this surplus energy will need immediate evacuation so caution is needed when making a switch. Lightning, Fire and Ice are your potential elements.The gauntlet is also able to use heavy spells without risk of malfunctions unless many are used in quick successions. More tests could reveals tricks and perhaps something more... this information is the basic capabilities of your modified weapon.
>>3959188>''Alright, but be very careful. It absorb your natural magic.'' (Science is made of the test. You've seen a Mamono use it once but seeing it again would cement this thing capabilities...)What could possibly go wrong?
>>3959188A prudent question: How good is Shereen at measuring her magical output?>>3959197Nice, we upgraded from a mere lightning gun to a variable elemental cannon. Gotta mind a cooldown on the "cannon" uses but it's always good to have a desperation attack.Does it switch in an order or can we influence it (i.e. go from lightning to ice without having to switch to fire first)? Does switching elements always mean we gotta cast a "cannon" shot and fire immediately? Does that risk damaging the weapon if we quickly switch from one element to another?
>>3959210>How good is Shereen at measuring her magical output?One stage below you. >Does it switch in an order or can we influence it Entirely your choice. >Does switching elements always mean we gotta cast a "cannon" shot and fire immediately?So far, yes. It's an unfortunate drawback. >Does that risk damaging the weapon if we quickly switch from one element to another?Yes, this count as a heavy spell use so continuous switches in quick succession can damage it.
Alright, we'll allow Shereen a little use of the gauntlet. Unless I get a quick vote in the next five minutes.
>>3959250We did relate all the info above to her yes? It is essentially our most precious possession and the primary means by which we can most effectively protect her. Be sure to tell her to *not* push the button and do not allow her hand to revert to paw form.
>>3959255Oh, and please Shereen, do not go for a strong spell. Small spell, just enough to form a small flame or a dart sized firebolt at most.
>>3959278>>3959255Good thing you have a good relations with her and she's willing to believe and listen to you.
>>3959287We're a big sucker for a pretty face and exotic monstergirl bits. Her hatred of Bad Fluffy is a point to bond over as well.
>>3959293She still kidnapped you and made you her ''pet''!
>>3959295No, Banu "bought" us off of some slaver who was probably Ama in disguise. Ama kidnapped us and sold our ass into slavery for her own perverse amusement!Shereen acquired us and yes, we may be her "pet" but she's been an entirely reasonable master. She hasn't whipped us, abused us, or tried to pimp us out/use us for pleasure. She seems to be innocent in that last area, hope Zhu doesn't give her any ideas.
''Alright.'' Goddess, Shereen smile is impossible to resist. ''Just be very careful, this thing eats your natural magical energy so do -not- go overboard alright? It's important to impose strong limits and...'' Your little sun listened carefully to your instructions and the more basic uses of the gauntlet, observing you curiously as you disinfected its inside with generous use of liquids bought for this purpose.You were, after all, about to let royalty use it. Making it clean was polite. Shereen enthusiasm began to show hints of apprehension with your annoyingly overbearing warnings but she did her best to listen and her excitement was genuine indeed when she slipped her human, furred, limb inside the heavy plated gauntlet under the careful gaze of her stoic protector who, you noticed, also sported a little smile. ''Whoa!'' Shereen jumped on feeling the needle enter her skin. Her embrace of Focus created numerous lines of glowing carmine on her naturally dark body, the grayish stone shone its usual fiery orange.''Things look fine, do a small flame, nothing fancy.'' You stated, doing your best to swallow trembling excitement.''Mmh... Strange sensation.'' She flexed her arm, wiggling her hand, creating many noises of clicking metal. ''Small fire, small magic, controlled, controlled...'' She closed her eyes to concentrate. ''Whoa!'' Her entire body bounced upward when a small ball of fire was conjured in her hand. ''It work!?'' Indeed it did. this was undeniable proof: Mamonos could use this piece of Magitek. There was something strange about the magical phenomenon. As Shereen carefully observed the contained fire and begun to joyfully bounce it around in a controlled fashion -the thing was linked to her mind so it was safe enough to do so- the consistency of the fire looked... solid, or a least slimy. It burned with magical fuel and projected more than enough heat to feel uncomfortable but the fire was darker than the brightness you previously unleashed and, honestly, it gave you the impression you could pick up it. ''Shereen, is there some weight with the fire?'' You asked, shaking her out of her awed amusement.''Weight?'' She repeated, looking at you then the ball on top of her index. ''Mmh...'' She threw up in the air and grabbing it carelessly. ''Yes, I can fell some weight. Like a ball of cloth? Hmm, not exactly... There's a tiny weight.''Interesting. While the gauntlet could be used by Mamonos, there was some fundamental difference in the consistency of the magic itself, could it be related to Corruption...? After letting Shereen amuse herself for a dozen more minutes, she agreed to let go of your weapon without protest and probably awakened an interest in Magitek because she began to ask elementary questions about the craft.You were eager to answer.
''So you mean that magical measurement is that important?'' She asked, looking over your tools. Both of you were sitting near the table you'd used to disassemble the thing. ''Of course, too much can cause an item to, quite literally, blow up because of a surge of energy that cannot be contained so before being a genuine user of Magitek, one needs plenty of discipline with their magic. Next of course is math, blacksmithing... Need to know your numbers to make the proper calculation, drawing diagrams is a pain in the ass.'' Shereen looked to her paws at your statement. ''Mmh... Shapeshifting is a pain...'' For some reason, a deep frown settled on her gentle features and she pushed herself away from you as if driven uncomfortable by something. Her large hand rubbed her chest, her breathing got a little deeper, leaving baffled.''Shereen...?'' Your little sun coughed gently and turned to you with a smile.''It's okay, it's okay do not worry for your Sun now.'' She coughed again and the next instant... An unhealthy volume of pure dark tar exited her mouth, landing on the ground in disgusting wet splotch. The little princess had angled herself to avoid staining the table and your work, more and more volume of this exiting her little body in brutal rejection, dark liquid covered her chin, falling into her sundress, ruining it...''Shereen!'' Banu screamed, Zhu yanked you back, away from the biohazard.''I'm immune it's okay!'' You babbled while falling on the ground, leaving your companion genuinely dumbstruck.''I... We're fine it's... it's just rejection, tiny thing.'' Shereen's voice was a garbled mess as she spat more dark liquid out of her mouth. ''Clearly not.'' Banu answered sharply, prudently walking around the Corruption to worm her hand on Shereen's head. ''You didn't expunge last year?'' The Moon question was delivered like an accusation.''H-huh... of course...'' The little princess coughed and the one-eyed elder shook her head. ''You know damn well what's going to happen if you keep it all inside, Shereen! We can't have you... Surplus of corruptions can cause irreparable damage, we have to take care of this immediately.'' Did Banu hand tighten on her little charge head? ''And killing a ''sacrifice'' is somehow acceptable!?'' Shereen roared in defiance. ''I can handle this Corruption, it's nothing! There's still six months before the next ritual anyway, I can handle that long!''''No you cannot.'' Banu voice had changed into an iced, emotionless tone. ''It is sad, but those willing to exchanges their lives for others understand their situations.''''Do I need to impose myself as a daughter of Zerase, then!?'' Shereen spat more corruption on the ground. ''I don't... need any sacrifices!''''...I will have to inform your mother and accept any punishments I deserve for my failure in overseeing your health.'' Genuine horror appeared on Shereen's face after hearing this statement.
''N-no! That... What kind of princess am I if I need to... live like a parasite!? Is that what we are!? Parasites!?''You and Zhu stood a fair distance away, your friend's attention squarely on the little princess, single rainbow eye open. ''She's full of Corruption, enough to stain her soul.'' She stated plainly.Did using Magitek... precipitate this? Bah, that's a useless question for now. The old way of dealing with Corruptions before Teruko recent discovery was a ruthlessly sad one. Someone in their community was chosen as a sacrifice, a vessel for everyone surplus of Corruption then promptly killed to avoid their own degeneracy. Of course, the methods changed based on cultures and areas but that was the plain truth. Shereen... There's no better proof here, she hates that. Throne Town revolutionary solution hasn't reached these shores...>''I know a way to help.'' (You are no expert, Teruko solution inherently rely on summoning and nobody here is skilled in its employ but... despite the danger, it's better to try.)>Support Banu decision. (This is likely to wound Shereen but there's no helping it. She has a vast surplus of Corruption and it needs to be dealt with, especially with Ama cruel game ongoing...) >Side with your little Sun. (If she beliefe herself strong-willed enough to resist the influence of her Corruption... Believe in her.)>Say nothing. (There's a conflict between Banu and Shereen that you shouldn't step into.) >FreeThis is an important choice. Most important one so far in relation to Shereen.I'd like more than two votes if possible, possible that I'll end early to get them.
>>3959390Teruko's solution isn't well known yet? It had at least a year to spread and you'd think Daiyu and company would be littering mamono areas with pamphlets with "how to" instructions on them so as to smooth the notion of human-mamono cohabitation over with the humies who know about the "other" solution.Still, the summon option, the more corruption you've accumulated the bigger the nasty thing you will end up summoning and having to kill right? Can you throttle it so that, say, only 50 percent ends up powering the nasty thing or is this gonna be a big boss fight requiring a Supreme level monster to safely deal with? Are there even any summoners in Marleon or in the employ of the royalty? What of surrounding nations? Elven forest is on this side of the swamp but those people hate Shereen if I'm not mistaken. Gwen would know us though, might be able to leverage that.
>>3959417>Teruko's solution isn't well known yet? It had at least a year to spread and you'd think Daiyu and company would be littering mamono areas with pamphlets with "how to" instructions on them so as to smooth the notion of human-mamono cohabitation over with the humies who know about the "other" solution.Strange that it didn't reach Muribel huh? It's even bigger than Zipangu and there's not a whole lot of monstrous nations around...>Still, the summon option, the more corruption you've accumulated the bigger the nasty thing you will end up summoning and having to kill right?Yep. Since nobody is a skilled summoner, you might have to get a little creative in helping her out. >Can you throttle it so that, say, only 50 percent ends up powering the nasty thing or is this gonna be a big boss fight requiring a Supreme level monster to safely deal with?From what Arawn from Teruko lessons, ''throttling'' doesn't work; though it's not a subject you've lingered into so it might not be impossible. As for how strong of an entity you'll have to face... it's impossible to say. >Are there even any summoners in Marleon or in the employ of the royalty?A few, though it's nowhere near as popular compared to Throne Town. >What of surrounding nations? Muribel is actually alone for white a while. Closest nations are the Allied Kingdoms, otherwise, there's no close neighbors yet, only wide plains. >Elven forest is on this side of the swamp but those people hate Shereen if I'm not mistaken.Elven forest is right in the middle of the Allied Kingdoms, it's Overlord Gwendolyn territory now and yes, half of her entire population (about 90% of her entire armed force) are rebels from Muribel. >Gwen would know us though, might be able to leverage that.How do oyu intend to reach her?
>>3959390Would there be the possibility of attempting to into contact with her,or anyone else we know that might be able to assist us, especially if we're going to need to fight something. before we make the attempt in order to see if she can provide any assistance.Even if we can't reach her, someone should know of a summoner that should be able to help us.We could possibly ask fortune, for help finding someone.>''I know a way to help.'' (You are no expert, Teruko solution inherently rely on summoning and nobody here is skilled in its employ but... despite the danger, it's better to try.)
>>3959432>Would there be the possibility of attempting to into contact with herYou had a dream from Sieglinde perspective so it is technically possible... But achieving it will be difficult because Arawn doesn't have a clue how to start. >Even if we can't reach her, someone should know of a summoner that should be able to help us.Do note that Shereen doesn't want anyone to know about this so askin a summoner for help goes directly against that; she doesn't want her mother to know anything about her state of health.
>>3959440Shit, so she wants to keep this a secret. Do we got any form of mail we could send out nice and secret like? Can Fortune keep a secret? Can the sacrifice "have it coming" so to speak? Y'know, serial killer/death row inmate who is actually guilty or the like.Trying to contact our allies would also reveal the links I think wouldn't it?
>>3959460>Do we got any form of mail we could send out nice and secret like? Not unless you want to send out Zhu. No certainty about anything reaching who you want.>Can Fortune keep a secret?You'll have to be the judge of that.>Can the sacrifice "have it coming" so to speak?No, usually they are people who trained to handle all the surplus.>Trying to contact our allies would also reveal the links I think wouldn't it?Depend, if you ask for help with soul links then yeah, you'll have to reveal them otherwise it can be safely kept secretive. Also, Shereen health isn't visibly worsening. This was symptom that things are starting to get bad, she seem okay for the near future... but there's no certainty.
>>3959482So it's an astronomican type deal. Fucking hell, no wonder she hates that. I take it that using an "untrained" vessel runs the risk of generating a Slaaneshi Chaos Spawn. Hence the need for "specialized" sacrifices.Any stopgap measures in the meantime? Dosing her with holy? Hacking up some tar into a jar and burying the damned thing like so much nuclear waste? I think our immunity is such that our body simply cannot absorb and thus be influenced by corruption period so using us as a vessel is right out.
>>3959512>Any stopgap measures in the meantime?Nothing effective.>Dosing her with holy?This one work but you don't have ready access to it. Banu strange activity doesn't produce a big amount. It's nowhere near enough to help out Shereen.>Hacking up some tar into a jar and burying the damned thing like so much nuclear waste?That's more of a symptom than something helpful. >I think our immunity is such that our body simply cannot absorb and thus be influenced by corruption period so using us as a vessel is right out.Yeah.
>>3959516Shit. Well, we might not, but I bet Fortune has a holy mage or two on call. Might be able to mod the gauntlet to make it happen ourselves as well.It's a hard choice. Summoning might not involve a sacrifice but depending on how nasty the thing Shereen manifests it might kill way more than just one person.Wait... it *is* strange that info didn't get here to be honest. If nothing else some asshole wayfaring summoner could/should have sold that information for top dollar. It doesn't take much smarts to understand how valuable that knowledge is. That nobody did makes me think Ama's suppressing it for kicks. This situation in particular is dramatic, and she won't allow anyone to rob her of that level of amusement.Can we inform Shereen of Teruko's solution and lay out the risks to her? Again, it'll involve summoning a nasty thing proportional to her corruption that may kill far more than just one person, her and ourselves included in that death toll.
>>3959577>Summoning might not involve a sacrifice but depending on how nasty the thing Shereen manifests it might kill way more than just one person.Hmmhm, hence why the summoning trainees to handle this new solution are genuine military operatives. Mamonos of Throne Town would rather risk several people's lives this way instead of operating under the old solution.>Can we inform Shereen of Teruko's solution and lay out the risks to her? Again, it'll involve summoning a nasty thing proportional to her corruption that may kill far more than just one person, her and ourselves included in that death toll.Yeah, it ties into the first choice with slight modification...>''I know a way to help.'' (You are no expert in Teruko solution but you know enough to explain; perhaps a solution can be found with all of your heads put together...)Essentially, this means being less proactive and more investigative. Unless stated otherwise, I think this also fit this anon >>3959432 mindset.More votes are always welcomed of course, I'll update tomorrow.
>>3959596You can kinda rig the odds in Throne Town though. Team up with your buddies and help each other kill their nasties one at a time. Doing that like, say, every week ensures the nasty isn't potent enough to take on your whole kill team. Hell, you could even get mercenary about it. Kill teams for hire! Besides, nothing like "live fire" exercises to keep the instincts and skills sharp.In the case of Sieg and likely Shereen though, this is gonna be one hell of a horror that might be a bit much for an individual supreme to handle. Damnit, if only we still had Gardy. A medium fusion would be just what the doctor ordered for this and our mindset would be pretty united on it so it'd go well. Damned fucking Ama....
>>3959609>Doing that like, say, every week ensures the nasty isn't potent enough to take on your whole kill team.It takes about 6 months of accumulations to actually create a corrupted entity solid enough to handle one person accumulations but yeah. Throne Town has a whole lot of very strong Mamonos running around, it's by far the most efficient place to handle Corruption and warrior species have been flocking in the place to put their skills to use. Teruko discovery greatly helped rejuvenate the general mood of the city. >In the case of Sieg and likely Shereen though, this is gonna be one hell of a horror that might be a bit much for an individual supreme to handleDaiyu personally took care of Hao and Sieglinde accumulated Corruption. There's no way to gauge the strength of the creature Shereen would create with her ow accumulation... but hey, good thing Zhu is here.
>>3959623Daiyu counts as more than one Supreme. She's a whole supreme level kill team all by herself. Those two must have been saving up a bunch. Wait, if Sieg's excess corruption got flushed out why she still sick enough for it to have progressed past her elbows now? Shouldn't that have at least halted the progression for a time?
>>3959633Because her body produce two type of Corruption, the regular one and... that unfortunate mutation. She has to handle all the everyday problems that come with being a Mamono AND whatever is happening after Siegfried nearly killed her. Though finding out more will need you to talk to her.
>>3959638So the other kind cannot be expunged though Teruko's or the sacrifice method? Or can it be expunged through those means but attempting to do so either hurts Sieg or they aborted midway because what was forming was nasty enough to scare everyone off the prospect of taking it on in regards to the former and boy do they not want to risk the Chaos Spawn that might manifest in the later?If it's past her elbows it's not far from her spine. If that shit spreads to the Central Nervous System she'll turn into that horror again I fear. Damnit, we gotta get back there and help cure her somehow!
>>3959664>So the other kind cannot be expunged though Teruko's or the sacrifice method?Nope, it's sticking firmly and you've had a glimpse of what it can do -and its quantity- when you violated Sieglinde free will by imposing her body to heal itself. And well, there was that coma after...>Or can it be expunged through those means but attempting to do so either hurts Sieg or they aborted midway because what was forming was nasty enough to scare everyone off the prospect of taking it on in regards to the former and boy do they not want to risk the Chaos Spawn that might manifest in the later?Sieglinde kept her situation a secret until you went and revealed it so they haven't tried anything yet. At least, that's as far as Arawn know. Hard to tell if anything happened so far. >If it's past her elbows it's not far from her spine. If that shit spreads to the Central Nervous System she'll turn into that horror again I fear. Damnit, we gotta get back there and help cure her somehow!You have a Sun to help first!
>>3959671>You have a Sun to help first!You are correct. Hopefully we will glean lessons and information from this that will aid us in curing Sieg.This has reinforced my position that, upon meeting other Siggy we owe him a rib cracking punch to the chest with our soul arm. His waifu can heal it right quick now that she's back in play and he has that coming for what he did to our lovely and wonderful redhead!I'd say the Golden Fluffy is also owed a crack as I'm certain she goaded him into doing that somehow but lets not test our luck. Cracking her ribs might draw the ire of legendary Heroes if I remember correctly. They might find the whole episode amusing though as said waifu would also immediately heal her and we don't wanna kill anyone, just hurt em' a bit for perfectly understandable reasons.
''I know a way to help.'' You blurt out without thinking, receiving a pair of understandably emotional stare for your trouble. ''I'm honestly surprised I have to say it, isn't Throne Town handling of Corruption widespread?'' ''W-what do you mean?'' Quiet hope dwells in Shereen, the kind that sneaks past disbelief. ''A lady I know discovered a way for Mamonos to expunge their corruptions by shoving it inside a summoned creature and killing the resulting entity.'' No retort, they truly didn't know about this. ''It's not a knowledge Throne Town keep locked up in a vault or something, they've spread this as much as they can; Muribel shouldn't have been an exception, how come you guys still employ the... old method?'' Everyone you've spoken to absolutely abhorred the uses of sacrifices; Teruko solution could be argued to be much more dangerous but aligned with Mamonos pride organically. ''Ah.'' Banu stoic face is illuminated by recognition. ''There was an incident in Marleon about something related to Corruption, I wasn't there so all I've got is hearsay. Apparently, a handful of foreigners came to the capital to proselytize but the subject was apparently centered around Corruption...'' Her single eye narrowed into a glare. ''...Nuns from Narrow Hill apparently involved themselves in this matter, arguing at every turns and before long the foreigners had to leave.''That doesn't sound good. ''Sound to me they were trying to spread this discovery.'' Banu only shrugged.''Do you know how it works?'' Shereen had wiped her mouth with her dress, furthering the ruin of this tasteful dress. ''It was explained to me in details but I'm no expert. The solution relies on Mamono summoning, I'm not certain of my capabilities or if I even should, things get dangerous with poor handling of Corruption.'' Shereen crestfallen expression tugged at your heart. ''Which is why I think we oughta find a monstrous summoner.''''There are a few in the palace guards but the only trust they deserve is the one that throws them off our grounds.'' Banu Cross her arms, looking cold and pragmatic. ''Having an alternative is good but do we really have a way to employ it?''''I...I won't be responsible for killing someone so... so gratuitously!'' Shereen growled, rekindled spirit allowing her to stand her ground against her older guardian. ''Em...'' Zhu awkwardly scratched her cheek. ''...Why not ask Fortune? Maybe she knows folks.''
You were just about ready to say the same. ''That's an awful lot of trust to put in someone we met yesterday, especially with news of royal weakness.'' Banu protested.''Just saying.'' Zhu shrugged. ''Since everyone in the palace is apparently a bunch of backstabbing traitors and we can't kill em all, we might as well take our luck outside.'' Not exactly aptly put, her irritation was naked enough. ''Mh...'' Perhaps your swordswoman companion spirit managed to cool some of Banu disposition. ''...I'd rather use a tried and true-''''No! I'm sure... we can do something with Arawn if we can't trust that strange woman.'' Shereen growled, rising to her feet. ''Since you guys want to take care of my health so adamantly then listen to my desires!'' Her foot stomped the ground. ''I.'' Another stomp. ''Will.'' Stomp. ''Not'' Stomp. ''Kill anyone for my health!'' Banu remained silent, glaring with her single eye at her little charge who shouldered the stare with a vigorous spirit. This silence told plenty, the elder, it seems, wasn't going to impose herself.Using a sacrifice won't be happening now. >It'd be wise to make use of your newly established connection. Surely Shereen has a Mamono summoner that can be trusted somewhat. >While you aren't trained in using Teruko solution, you've had plenty of exposure to summoning in general. It might be a little clumsy and dangerous but keeping the number of people in the known of Shereen's current malaise is for the best. Handle this on your own. >Free
>>3961113>>It'd be wise to make use of your newly established connection. Surely Shereen has a Mamono summoner that can be trusted somewhat.We could try coming up with a cover story for why we want a summoner, and only explain it to them one we get them alone.So, nuns were involved in suppressing the information, there was that nun that was afflicted with something. Maybe we should investigate them see if they are hiding anything that they shouldn't, like a necromancer, or a bunch of bodies that didn't get burned when they should have.
>>3961113Damn, I meant Fortune should have a Mamono summoner. Guess it's unhealthy to keep a constant marathon.>>3961175Everyone is so suspicious in this place!
>>3961113Was it the nuns running that charity we broke into who chased off the foreigners?>>3961175I like this.
>>3961186It's not being overly paranoid if they are actually out to get you.
>>3961197>Was it the nuns running that charity we broke into who chased off the foreigners?Yeah, it's the only church in the city with human nuns in them.
Visiting the capital again would probably cause quite the stir after that assassination attempt but the decision was settled; putting hope in Fortune was, perhaps, a little ill-advised but it was better to make use of all available options before committing to something dangerous.''Let's at least try.'' Was Shereen final statement, quelling any protests. And so came a brief preparation for a sudden impromptu trip; Shereen had to change clothes and the Corruption handled safely (as much as it could anyhow). The solution was obvious enough: burn everything with cleansing, controlled flames, you had just the tool for the job. Magical fire had this handy little trick of being easy to command so burning the entire side of Shereen palace to the ground was, thankfully, easy to avoid though leaving a big burnt mark on the wooden ground wasn't exactly subtle... And of course, the area itself became condemned as a makeshift biohazard spot by pushing a few tables around. --''Hold, hold your majesty!'' Barely out of the palace's huge doors, a voice suddenly hailed your group.A man came running, flanked by a pair of sharp-looking reptilian monsters garbed in the armor of the palace guards. The man himself was rather odd, his entire upper body was naked and tattoos lined his body with surgical precision; deep carmine against skin scorched by the sun, glancing at Banu made the familiarity obvious indeed, this guy bodily drawing was very similar to the old Moon. He was also the bulky, trained sort and had a collar like your own around his neck.''What do you want, herald?'' Banu walked forward, the man thick eyebrows furrowed in displeasure. ''I've no business with you, Moon. I-''''You will speak to her as you would myself!'' Shereen replied angrily; she'd changed into her usual colors of dark purple and also sported plenty of spare in a backpack. (Her old cat, Rupert, had also been left a generous helping of food and water)''You heard your princess.'' The elder Moon continued, the pair of guards near the door took the wise decision of making some distance with this growing tension.Their armors were different from the pair accompanying this man, interesting... For a moment the man -Herald?- blue eyes surveyed your odd little group with the kind of animosity that was either grudge or pride. Probably both. ''Fine. A genuine Moon should not impose itself on the business of her majesty Shereen Roshanak, but I still need to uphold my duty to our fair mistress in seeing to law and safety in her absence, especially in the palace.'' Aah, this guy... Was he Ensan herald? That individual who made life hard for the noble who nearly bought your gauntlet? ''A renegade has been running in the palace for far too long, without explanation. She needs to be arrested and questioned!'' He pointed to Zhu.
''Renegade!?'' Shereen was so aghast in astonishment her voice came out like a breathless, dying animal. ''This is my guest! My... Our friend! Who dares... You would dare insult someone we personally invited into our home and besmirch our good name by calling her a renegade!?'' Zhu grinned a full, oh so very dangerous smile. That same one she sported when you cornered her in Marleon... ''It is not my role to imply any such thing.'' His reply was dry and humorless but that smile of his revealed he was fully enjoying these implications. ''This woman has been allowed inside her majesty holy ground with a weapon without any kind of supervision or indeed, documentations about her visit. Nobody but he-''''She was supervised by her majesty two moons.'' This is when you decided to step up, your interruption angered the tattooed freak but he didn't try to supplant your voice. ''And, as she stated, this swordswoman is her guest. You are someone else Moon, Herald. Your duties are nothing compared to those of the Blood.'' His glare felt like a reward, that annoying smirk was gone.''A new Moon should know his place: your own presence is highly suspicious.'' He took a step forward, arms crossed, another pair of those... inner palace guards came running out of the door behind the throne. ''My Moon is me; I am him. Utter such words again and you will lose your tongue.'' Shereen wormed herself between you and Banu, standing tall despite her tiny frame. ''Ensan is Marleon administrator and her laws are clear your majesty. We cannot allow someone of dubious lo-'' Again, he was interrupted. That was becoming a constant.''Huuuh...'' Zhu voice echoed throughout the hall. ''...didn't you get the memo?'' The silence that followed was one of genuine stupefaction, she laughed heartily. ''I'm her little majesty new Moon, how dumb are you? Do you think I'd be strolling this place otherwise?''''You say this without having been bestowed the Blood's blessing?'' The man retort with the kind of sneer that made it obvious he'd been expecting that.''We forgot is all.'' Zhu idly scratched the back of her head, walking next to you. ''Been having too much fun, right your little majesty? You've been teaching me how to read!'' ''Ah...?'' Shereen was far too stunned to say anything, it's true that she'd taken an hour to speak about books with Zhu during the busiest time of your investigation. ''You...forgot?'' The man could only shake his head in disbelief. ''A poor excuse, woman. We'll get to the bottom of who you are and afterward if your words are true, only then will you be trusted to walk these hallowed ground again. To dare imply being a Moon of the Blood without the vessel is preposterous.''
''Alright, let's make things simple.'' Zhu extended her arm forward, snapped her fingers then pointed at the guy. ''Hear me, Mamonos of Muribel!'' She put a strong volume in her tone, enough to resonate throughout the big hall ''This man insulted my liege-lord character and besmirch her good name by implying our little princess eyes for talent and loyalty is lacking!'' Still pointing at what was now an increasingly nervous tattooed man, she continued. ''I demand a duel to exonerate this stain on my liege honor! I'll show my sincerity here and now, by fighting and putting myself in danger for Shereen Roshanak!'' Letting out an exaggerated cough, Shereen relaxed her arm. ''Good enough?'' Stunned silence followed though you did spy a grin on Banu's face. This is, however, an excellent opportunity to add gravitas to Zhu proclamation... >Insist this duel occur right here, right now; this man, no matter his position, needs to pay immediately for insulting The Blood.>You have more pressing matters at hands, try to weasel a later date. Things happened really damn quick all of a sudden, best to salvage what you can. >Free
>>3961343>Insist this duel occur right here, right now; this man, no matter his position, needs to pay immediately for insulting The Blood.This is either a delaying method or a way to find out more information about Zhu and her capabilities before they do anything as she would be an unknown element.As far as we know Zhu doesn't have any way to create a smokescreen or cloud of dust to obfuscate the fight as far as we know right?The faster we can get this over and done with the better, since we want to reduce the number of observers, and the quality of information that they can gather as best we can.
>>3961389>As far as we know Zhu doesn't have any way to create a smokescreen or cloud of dust to obfuscate the fight as far as we know right?An immediate fight will still need to happen inside the arena you fought the salamander. Otherwise, yeah, Zhu doesn't have any magical ability that you know of.
Alright, I'll wait a last 10 minutes before settling on this choice, it also carries some importance.
>>3961451The duel isn't to the death is it?
>You have more pressing matters at hands, try to weasel a later date. Things happened really damn quick all of a sudden, best to salvage what you can.
>>3961468It has some good chance to be if a side doesn't yield.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3961389>>3961469Rolling to break stalemate, any other votes will break mine of course.
>>3961506Duel now, can't give em' prep time. Hope she's as good as she seems.
You take a step to stand beside your companion, shouldering the collective stares of servants, Moons, guests, and soldiers. Monsters were starting to gather curiously, a small crowd from the inner palace was spreading to look curiously behind the throne.''The honor of my Moon demand immediate satisfaction.'' You put strength in your lungs as you speak. ''You, Herald, who so besmirch The Blood, are you ready to uphold your demands in front of the eyes of gods and man alike?'' ''Who are you to be so presumptuous?'' The man reply, having managed to somewhat calm himself down, his face was a grimace of anger but his voice managed to keep itself composed. ''The princess authority does not supplant that of the Heir to the Blood! I am the herald of her majesty Ensan Roshanak and I have to ensure the palace safety, including that of our godly princess! To have such an unknown agent in our midst is unacceptable!'' ''Then you will have to kill her majesty Moons if you disagree to a duel of honor and thus, raise your hands against our gods.'' Your reply shut him up promptly. The sheer disrespect of this man was... Nobody in Throne Town would have the guts to supplant any of Daiyu's daughter's authority this blatantly. ''Hail The Blood! Hail our living majestic Goddess!'' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_KdqLi-0rwWhat sounded like a scream suddenly resounded throughout the grand palace hall and people, from servants to soldiers and curious guests, dropped on their knees with near mechanical synchrony and this spread like a wave of flesh, people dropped on seeing others do so, easily spreading out of the palace; perhaps the entire little town was reduced to people putting their foreheads on the ground. The herald was late in doing so but he followed this sudden collective insanity. It took Banu shaking your arm to restart your brain. ''Kneel you fools!'' She whispered, forcing you and Zhu to imitate everyone submission; only Shereen stood on shaky feet. You heard echoes of this solemn greeting outside the palace, then... finally you saw her, the Pharaoh, slithering at an angle behind the throne then effortlessly moving to sit on it by coiling her lower body, girthy enough to use all the space. She is a big snake, nearly taller than the throne itself. With a humanoid upper body of pale purple skin and the lower body of a snake covered in darkened scales, there was no doubting the Pharaoh monstrous heritage; doubly so with her long pointed ears and richly golden eyes swimming in an ocean of darkness. Long dark hair reached her hips, parting sideway to encompass her body like a picture frame. She was completely naked save for a collar on which countless black stones had been attached to, enough to act as a curtain on her skin.Her gaze crossed yours briefly, her purple lips curled into a deadly, venomous smile and you looked away, hoping to avoid arousing her interest.
''Unbecoming are ye who'd argue so loudly upon hallowed ground.'' Was her opening statement. ''Thankful are we to witness that some Moons do understand their role and places. A duel now is wise indeed.''''G-good tidings to you, Mother.'' Shereen announced, dropping to one furred knee. "Arise, tiny one'' Said Zerase and Shereen promptly obeyed, Banu tugged your arm to follow, Zhu rose last. Her single eye opened wide, her expression grave, unflinching. ''Such simple matters are beneath us of the Blood, shame to you indeed herald and shame to you, Shereen, for creating such a pathetic misunderstand. The Blood is better; always has and always will.'' Harsh, it was hard to keep a composed face when Shereen ears drooped. ''Your Moons have increased quite suddenly and thusly your honor does; have you been stained, girl?'' A dark, fanged tongue peeked out of the Pharaoh plush lips to taste the air. ''I...We...Yeah. We took a guest; she accepted to be my Moon.'' Zerase waved dismissively. '' It matters not how a Moon is made, only that it is. Ensan herald slandered your judgment and thusly hurt the honor of The Blood, rise foolish man. This matter is ours for you've been trusted with wisdom beyond your ken and failed.'' The man rose. ''I was wrong, your holiness.'' He stated calmly, sweat slowly crawling down his face. ''I... did not know that renegade had become a sudden moon of our godly majesty.'' ''How do you wish to die?'' the Pharaoh bluntly asked; a wave of gasps followed. The man profoundly tanned features had blanched. ''In battle before her glorious holiness.'' Zerase remained silent for a few tense seconds, deadly-looking tongue peeking out again. ''Blood shall water this hall, it's been a long time.'' The Pharaoh slithered in place almost like a belly dancer. ''Moons against Moons; lives need to be exchanged when The Blood disagrees.'' This felt... way too excessive. Throne Town Mamonos beat the hell out of one another for minor offenses, sure, but they don't go for death so quickly! A duel to the death before the Pharaoh will be happening...>Who should go?>Yourself. >Banu, she is the eldest of the Moons, the one people know...>Zhu, the wildcard who caused everything. >Free (something unrelated is possible if you can imagine it)
I'll try to continue tomorrow depending on what's voted. Could have to dump a big chunk of text or not.Say hi to best mommy!
>>3961633>Zhu, the wildcard who caused everything.They want to find out what she can do, why not show them.He done goofed, badly now someone has to die. He should have said that he wanted to die of old age, that probably would have avoided this situation.Then again he forced us to commit to this course of action, so it may have been planned.If we really wanted to throw them a curve ball and use the Samson option we could tell Zerase everything about Ama's cell and their suspected operations in the city we have found, we should be able use the letter and it contents to convince her her to allow us to continue living.
>>3961655>He should have said that he wanted to die of old age, that probably would have avoided this situation.I don't think being cheeky with this monster is a good idea.
>>3961633>Zhu, the wildcard who caused everything.
>>3961669Well he could have been honest about it, but apparently everyone who wants to die in battle gets to die in a battle. The way this got dropped on us feels like it was planned, either something is going to happen during the fight, or he gets a chance to pick a champion to fight on his behalf.
>>3961692It was planned insofar that the dude had a bone to pick with Zhu for some reason but the Pharaoh arrival... Well, let's say there's no predicting her majesty.
>>3961633>Moons against Moons; lives need to be exchanged when The Blood disagrees.Exchanged... Exchanged!? You mean that even if our side wins one of ours is gonna die anyway because reasons!? We have to choose whose gonna die or become Ensan's new herald!?
>>3961721Not THAT bad, no. What Zerase means is that when two people of the Blood disagrees, people dies as a result.
>>3961655>He should have said that he wanted to die of old age, that probably would have avoided this situation.That'd make him, and thus his sun, look like a pansy ass coward and thus further besmirch her name. At this point, he knows he got three options, fight and win/survive, die quick and painless at the hands of one of Shereen's moons, or die nice and sloooow or perhaps suffer a fate worse than that. Dude made the right call.>>3961731Oh thank God. That wording scared the shit outta me. Zhu and Banu had an intense sparing session where they didn't hold much back earlier correct? If so it means Zhu's somewhat acclimated to fighting the users of those strange tattoos and thus will probably catch whatever surprise attack he's going to go for.She could also just use her sword for a quick and efficient instant kill. Nobody will see it coming really. Not everyday you come across a soul-powered sword of light.Still, can't help but feel we'd be boned somehow no matter what we chose. Saying we had more important business means mommy asks questions we don't wanna answer. Dueling got us this hot mess, and trying to be ultra reasonable would have likely started a he said/she said between the Herald and Zhu resulting in an impasse that could only logically be resolved by, well, a duel.This happened because Zhu got ID'd during that break in or because they figured out she likely killed those Ensan aligned gang bangers isn't it?
>>3961765>Oh thank God. That wording scared the shit outta meThat was the aim. Zerase... likes to speak in circle. Hiss Lives are often wasted like that between nobles and their Moons, it follows that royal business would be -extremely- unreasonable. >Zhu and Banu had an intense sparing session where they didn't hold much back earlier correct? Everything aligned perfectly for that to happen since Arawn and Shereen were together for a long while.>This happened because Zhu got ID'd during that break in or because they figured out she likely killed those Ensan aligned gang bangers isn't it?Who knows?Look like Zhu is getting a fight. No rolls will be happening here since it's out of your hands.
>>3961778If I didn't... no, I do know better. Zhu had this planned out (or at least, came up with it on the fly the instant that Herald got uppity). She *wanted* to fight here. It's been days since she killed someone, days! Khorne demands his fill from his champion. His skull looks worthy of taking. He's buff, powered up by tats, etc. That tat part might make it especially worthy. Pansy ass magic users get the axe, so says the lord of skulls!
>>3961796>Zhu had this planned out (or at least, came up with it on the fly the instant that Herald got uppity).How much are you willing to trust Chaotic Neutral?
>>3961802Quite a lot actually. Trust her enough to not die here at the very least. Hope to high heaven she outclasses this Herald chap or deems him "worth" a swing from her sword. Again, that's an "I win" button. Costly to use, but it is what it is.Wait, "mommy's" a snake (Apophis type if I'm not mistaken), not an Anubis. How... how'd she birth a race radically different from herself? She some kind of Echinda variant?
>>3961813>How... how'd she birth a race radically different from herself? Very strange isn't it...? Now, monsters don't always birth daughters of their own races. Corruption tends to act as a wild card so even Mamonos who are particularly fertile (werewolves for examples) might actually have different races of beasts in their litters. However, as you noted, it IS unusual for a radically different race to be born... but it has been known to happen.Rare but possible.
>>3961823Oh, one last thing. Can Zhu even see details like tattoos on people's skin and the like? If she can't she needs to be warned that he's got similar markings to Banu and can thus probably pull the same kind of shit she can.
>>3962352>Can Zhu even see details like tattoos on people's skin and the like? If she can't she needs to be warned that he's got similar markings to Banu and can thus probably pull the same kind of shit she canShe can't see normal ones but the ones Banu and the Herald have affect their souls, so she's able to understand what's up.Also, I'll likely update tomorrow or later tonight. Need to rest my brain a little, and I have to decide how long I'll make this duel.
This feeling was new. Something about the lady snake presence rooted your legs on the spot, your mouth felt dry and pasty and you couldn't quite find words to help. Your gaze drifted toward your companion whose chromatic optic had also elected to observe you instead of the wide, tall, tenebrous snake Pharaoh. The sheer silence that followed her proclamation made it impossible for any message to be passed... But Zhu gently tapped her heart and you nodded grimly.''I'll take your bed for my reward.'' She whispered ever so softly and walked forward.''Z-Zhu...'' Shereen was the first to officially break the silence. ''We could say I'm the one who caused the mess.'' The swordswoman said leisurely. ''You've got your deadly spectacle, your holiness, can I get the stuff I'll need to gut this pig?'' ''An existence will reach its climax soon; the means are below our concern.'' Answered the Pharaoh, her neck craned lazily for the man who had managed to found his center again. His expression was one of calm resolution. ''Fetch your tools.'' She said simply and the man shook his head.''I need only my fists and legs to eradicate the poisonous presence that settled itself near The Blood. I will show the bountiful blessing of her holiness generous influence with the purity of my body.'' With this delivery, the Herald of Shereen's older sister walked down the steps that elevated the Throne. Those tattoos on his body glowered red, revealing how extensive his musculature truly was: this man was a statue of marble, meticulously sculpted by years of diligent effort. Meanwhile, Zhu had been walking toward nearby palace guards who had just begun to rise and bluntly stole their sidearms. The heavy noise of metal rattling against leather resounded throughout the hall with each pulls followed by metallic clangs as she carelessly threw the weapons into what was going to be an arena, a simple wide space in front of the throne. Scimitar, longsword, shortsword, scimitar, sword... five blades were dumped like sacks of grains under the gaze of a stupefied crowd and a bored Pharaoh.''Alright, that should be good enough.'' Said Zhu, keeping her latest acquisition -an arming sword- in hand. She gave the little pile of weapons a few kicks, making them litter the polished rocks that was the impromptu arena.''This man wasn't born of my tribe but he was still similarly trained.'' Banu whispered, one hand on your shoulder, the other holding Shereen. ''I wouldn't have allowed her to fight if we hadn't sparred earlier today. She has genuine foundations for her confidence.'' A battle to the death before the Pharaoh and an increasing crowd wasn't a fair assessment of skills, you've seen the way Banu can just... disappear, fighting someone like that in a duel sound nightmarish.
There was no announcement, no gongs, no remarks. Zhu suddenly charged her foes with a soul reinforced body like a bouncing predator, swiping with her blade; the contact was so sudden the man could only stand his ground but stand he did, his arm raised and blocked the sword effortlessly, causing a sharp resound from the metal as if Zhu had attempted cut a wall. His second arm attempted a punch toward his foe shoulder but she stepped sideways to dodge, bent under the grappling attempt then jump away from an attempted armlock, sword slide across the brilliant tattoos of his skin until it met naked flesh and drew blood, creating a fine red line on his back.The man promptly disappeared in a puff of red smoke and remerged a second later in front of Zhu, so damn quick...! His fist met a borrowed sword and shattered the weapon on impact, removing three-quarters of its length and he grabbed onto her dust cloak but only earned fabrics for his trouble as Zhu's reinforced body easily overcame the resistance of her clothes.''Urgh!?'' She somehow managed to maneuver like a snake and plant that broken sword into the man flank and crisscrossed her arms in front of her face to protect against a deadly kick. The momentum sent Zhu reeling backward and she took advantage of this momentum to fully jump back, pirouetting like a circus acrobat with a single hand on the ground, finishing by grabbing a scimitar with her second hand. ''This is nothing.'' The herald voice was reduced into a deep growl, blood spurted out of his flank has he pulled out the broken sword and threw toward the crowd. This was no superficial wound but he bore it with admirable composure.Zhu didn't answer, her stance, if one could call it that, was wild and unpredictable. Leaning left, then right, she kept a hand on her true weapon while swinging the curved blade like a toy once she was back on her feet. That single eye of hers glowered ominously in a mixture of chromatic color that'd often leave powdery rainbow traces as her head bounced left and right.''She wasn't doing this when we sparred.'' Banu confessed quietly.No... those movements, those twitches, that rainbow glow projected by that odd eye were all things that happened when she slaughtered those thugs. Witnessing Zhu's movements was akin to watching a spider crawl, there was no predicting her direction and it arouses an unexplainable feeling of fears into your guts and, in all likelihood, all the onlookers.In a way, you wondered if creatures from the Swamp caused similar feelings; everything about Zhu now was odd.''She didn't want to kill you when exercising.'' You said the plain truth. ''Now she's... having her fun.'' Her grin was all teeth.
Tense exchanges followed. The Herald strange teleportations gave him the initiative but Zhu evasive skills were simply superior. As you've deducted from observing Banu, the Herald could only travel in lines and would appear almost next to Zhu and try to strike or wrestle her down but the woman was like water flowing through his grasp, her highly irregular movements were impossible to predict, her instincts... bordered on the prescience. ''My old tribe made uses of one particular branch of the World Tree, it was why her majesty had such a hard time subjugating us.'' Banu began to speak in a whisper.Three blades had been broken, the fight had become a frenetic dizzying dance of death. The herald powdery teleportation had become an unceasing barrage of blows that Zhu precariously maneuvered while swiping and stabbing as he approached, carving lines after lines into the flesh that wasn't protected by his tattoos. Yet his main wound had seemingly begun to heal, in those few flashes of seconds where the Herald remained still, what had been a gushing bleed was now an ugly bruised scar. How...?''The elemental forces of the world have their own little worlds attached to our existence. One such plane is tied with the force of Holy magic, the plane of healing and bountiful health; I wasn't old enough to learn the lore of my tribe as to how but our warriors were able to make sudden, brief journey inside that plane.''You almost leapt into the arena when the Herald managed to slam his leg into Zhu's stomach. The strike violent echo has the noise of finality, yet Zhu slashed at the man's face in the same second with the remnant of her fourth sword, nearly bisecting his nose. Both combatants promptly separated, the man to hold his face and fail to staunch the bleeding and Zhu had to keel over and vomit her breakfast.''Is that how he's healing?'' Your question didn't find an answer. When the man disappeared again, Zhu threw the remnant of her weapon and found an unexpected purchase; the Herald reappearance was dodgy with the broken scimitar having unexpectedly landed bluntly on his chest, breaking his balance. Zhu was already upon him with her good, empty blade in hand, its clicking noise barely heard under the heavy stomps of her boots. Fist met with empty blade guard...''Uaaargh!?'' The Herald howled in incomprehensible pain, his entire arm seemingly erupted from within; blood burst from the inside out, coating the ground as a brief gleam stuck out of his elbow. Zhu had already maneuvered behind him, grabbing a broken piece of iron barehanded but the battle changed quickly when the Herald realized this; his tattoos flashed a deeper red and he disappeared once again, shifting into this plane he could tap into.
Zhu suddenly bounced leftward, holding out her empty blade. It was so very difficult to see the shine of gold extending out of it and downright impossible when the Herald presence reaffirmed itself into Mother Earth realm. Everything above his upper jaw was gone, marking such a sudden end to this enthralling duel that a cascade of gaps erupted throughout the crowd.''What just happened? Does she have an invisible blade?'' Banu asked, incredulous. You decided to remain silent, you didn't know anything about Zhu weapon and now wasn't the time to speculate.''That was middling, kinda like an overcooked steak.'' Zhu's stated, bringing a hand to cover her glowering eye, a fain carmine trail snuck past her palm to crawl down her cheek. ''His soul has already departed, the climax of his existence was sudden indeed. So end this dispute between Blood; we hope the weight of this life held some amount of worth.'' The Pharaoh spoke without emotion but Shereen noticeably twitched, her ears were flattened to a point of becoming part of her hair. The Pharaoh slithered over her throne, lazily departing; people remaining still for a few seconds as if unable to understand what just happened until the pair of guards that had been previously flanking the Herald went to take his corpse and remnants and a few servants -no, Moons- in these embarrassing seethrough dresses set to work cleaning the small carnage.''Z-Zhu...'' Shereen looked downright diminutive when your old companion returned. Zhu kept covering her good eye, effectively blinding her yet she moved without handicap. ''I'm okay, just had to take a little look-see is all.'' She wiped the blood crawling down with her second hand. ''You've made a strong statement.'' You spoke and she smirked, bridging the distance to pat your shoulder. ''Why not go all in together, like old times?''--There wouldn't be any incident after that. the Herald was acting as replacement administrator and it seemed his death had caused a little freeze in the general day-to-day activities because people were staring at your little sun, acknowledging her existence silently instead of the usual indifferent nonchalance. Undeniable infamy. That duel might have been ordained by the supreme ruler, it didn't change the fact that it had been a conflict between sisters; Moons represent their Suns even when one is away.Why, exactly, had that man been so adamant in trying to supplant Shereen authority and imprison Zhu? Total incompetence? Hard to say, he accepted his fate with genuine loyalty toward his missing leader; Zerase interruption was completely and utterly unpredictable. Something motivated him, what could it have been...?
''Oooh... This is.... This wasn't supposed to happen....'' Shereen furred hands went to cover her face once your group finally happened upon a quiet corner not too far from the gates. Zhu had recovered enough to no longer cover her artifact eye (as you've decided to call it) and opted to keep it closed, walking in complete nonchalance despite the circumstances.''...I...Ensan is going to... She's...'' Little quakes rocked her small frame. In Muribel technicality, she went and killed her sister representative. A possible gang leader associate was one thing, a Herald... ''She'll have to swallow her lack of judgment with giving her image to an incompetent.'' Banu voice was dry. ''There's something more important, your highness. Your health...''''That doesn't matter!'' Shereen's reply was a repressed scream. ''We... I... I-I killed my sister Herald she's... She'll want blood in return that's... I-I can't do that I don't want to... I've got new friends it shouldn't be going like that...'' Then came a series of worrying coughs as she leaned sideways to puke out a small gulp of Corruption.Good thing your group had made the detour to stand inside an alley between forges. Surplus of emotions only exacerbate emotions and now... she wasn't faring well at all. So scared was she of her older sister that her pride had flown out, now she was reduced to awkward sobs and gargles as she spat out crawling Corruption that oozed out of her soul.>Can you think of anything to comfort your little Sun?>FreeIf not... we can proceed with finding the gang leader.
>>3964824Well, that was surprisingly brutal. At least this will satisfy Zhu's bloodlust for awhile. I think she may have just viewed the memory she sacrificed.We're immune to corruption so we should give her a hug. Do we have a spare cloak or shirt? It may be raising a death flag but hey, Klessiah already did that good and hard and she's not dead yet. Assure her of the individual and collective strength of her moons. We won't die on her, and whatever happens we'll always support her.Boy is it going to be interesting in a few weeks when our former posse shows up. Hope we live to see em' now that we're definitely gonna have assassins hired out to "accident" us. Be sure to look up more often, especially around any construction going on.
>>3964868Oh, before we do that, make sure nobody else will see/notice that. Also, does hugging count as touching the exotic bits? If it does we should hold her hand instead.Damnit, this is much easier when the ruler/authority figure isn't held as a kind of deity as well. You could just up and hug demonic royalty and not worry *too* much about it!
>>3964868>Do we have a spare cloak or shirt? Nope, only the dust cloak you currently have. > Assure her of the individual and collective strength of her moons. We won't die on her, and whatever happens we'll always support her.That count as a promise and it's been established that Arawn doesn't break them. I'm fine with that, of course. >Also, does hugging count as touching the exotic bits?There's a time and a place for that and this isn't. But no, nobody's close, thankfully.
>>3964882>Arawn never breaks promisesOoof, just remembered that and we are still hoping to get scooped up by our former party members eventually. Swearing to *always* support her thus puts us in quite the bind as when we do escape, if we fail to convince her to come along and help kill Bad Fluffy like I want her to, we'll break a promise. Can't do that. Instead promise that we won't die and can handle whatever happens next on top of what I said earlier about assuring her of her moons' strength. We'll have to "handle it" after all, else we're all dead.No touching Shereen then unless it looks like she needs it to not suffer an emotional breakdown. A touch can re-center a person after all.
>>3964907Hm... Playing on words like this can work promising to support her is much more in line with Arawn character though. Putting wiggle room in a promise is quite mean, anon!
>>3964911It's not mean, because that whole "getting scooped up" bit might happen quite literally. Gwen will spill all the beans on this joint once it's ID'd as our location. Including the moon system and the collars. How moons are essentially thrown away in frequent duels will impart upon them a dire sense of urgency in regards to re-acquiring us before every noble and royal doing their best impersonation of Andrew Jackson gets us (and, by likely extension, Sieg and the others) killed!Any way to promise to support her that isn't as strongly worded? Or that "handling it" can also involve being a confidant or something? Again, it'll be quite awkward if we demand to "go back" after they "rescue" us and they will have every incentive to say "no, you're not" and thus force us to break a strong promise like "always" supporting someone.
>>3964928 I was just teasing.I'll be going with your option unless I get another vote soon.
''Whatever grim reality you're imagining won't be happening without a fight, Shereen.'' It was a rare thing for your feelings to overcome logic, Banu was the little princess unofficial grandmother and likely better placed to cheer her up but... You had to do something -anything- to try and help her ever so slightly; a princess shouldn't be crying and vomiting in some back-alley of her royal city. Pulling on your cloak, her squinting gaze upturned to observe you and a blush of indignation colored her bronze features when you used your cloth to wipe some of the dark stains on her face. ''I like it when my Sun is gallant, you don't have to be afraid of your sister.''''Y-you...'' She sniffed, caught between embarrassment, fear, and disbelief. ''You don't know her you... Neither of you has seen...'' ''I don't need to.'' Seeing Zerase in action was revealing enough. ''She doesn't know us either, you've seen the strength of your new Moon right?''Putting Zhu under a sudden spotlight made her feel awkward. She scratched the back of her head, eventually, a good-natured smirk came across her face, as always, making her look bird-like and without words, she simply extended an upward thumb. ''Banu has always been by your side and I don't resent my time spent with you; whatever happens, know that I'll be supporting you without coercion.'' You touched the collar on your neck. ''You too, right Zhu?'' You forced your companion who chuckled in turn.''Sure, I've begun to like you, little princess. I won't mind escaping in the night with you on my back.'' ''B-but this...'' At least her tears were dried, her emotional walls had been thoroughly eroded; from her perspective, this must have been a good day until that sudden puke of Corruption and then... things worsened far too quickly.
''I'm not going to lay down and die if your sister if your mother asks that of me; I'm no unwilling Moon Shereen, not anymore anyhow. If I can support you, I will.'' Both of your hands held onto her shoulders, her incredulous green gaze alight with honest emotions.''...Really?'' Oh so quiet. ''I... You were taken Arawn, kidnapped from the place you dwelled before, I put a collar on your neck, made you my Moon without you even understanding what it all meant. You... You're here because I thought you'd make me look good, that people would begin noticing that I exist, that... maybe it'd make my sister jealous you...'' She talked so quickly during that confession that she stumbled over a few words, utterly unable to shoulder your stare and look anywhere close to you; the death of that man rattled her something fierce, perhaps yesterday crossbow bolt hadn't helped either.This was it, the crux of Shereen awkwardly, the big bad ''jam'' in your relationship; something that she must have agonized for a long time indeed because the sheer horror that came on her face made it all too obvious that she'd gone and spoke well before thinking. There's not a single drop of malice in this little furred princess.You held no grudge for this. Neither for her or Banu; Lady white and whoever she coaxed into kidnapping you are the one responsible for whisking you away from the girls, your little sun was a simple unwitting pawn in Ama thrillseeking. ''I don't mind.'' ''H-how...?''>''Because you're worth protecting.''>''I've seen for myself that you're a worthy Sun.''>''You're not at fault for my presence here, I'm glad that we've become friends Shereen.'' >FreeThis is another important choice that wasn't supposed to be this soon concerning your relationship with Shereen. I think waiting for more votes will be the fairest thing to do, so I might stop here and wait for my players.Next two days will likely have impromptu updates because life is imposing itself, don't consider the thread over yet. I'd like to proceed a little more before closing things.
>>3965072>''I've seen for myself that you're a worthy Sun.'' We really need to decide what is going to happen with her once we're done here, otherwise she probably will be coming back with us when things go horribly wrong.assuming she survives, and I'd be totally ok with that.As a side note, it's almost like we're being used as a way to make sure that Ama's lieutenants plans have some sort of resistance, and aren't just some super boring cake walk to their eventual completion.
>>3965072>''You're not at fault for my presence here, I'm glad that we've become friends Shereen.''>''I've seen for myself that you're a worthy Sun.''The second part will have less impact, but I see one of the most important traits for a leader in my opinion, love for the people.
>>3965072Wasn't supposed to be this soon? About when would it have occurred had we been more, shall we say, bitter about all this?End of the day, she's a good person who would make a wonderful ruler given her concern for the common folk and how she values even the lives of random(ish) strangers to the point of not wanting to sacrifice one to save herself. Which option gets that across best or will I have to craft one?
>>3965472>About when would it have occurred had we been more, shall we say, bitter about all this?Much later or never. I'm honestly genuinely impressed at how positive the relationship has been. You guys stumbled once and then it's been smooth sailing with Banu and Shereen. >Which option gets that across best or will I have to craft one?That'd be saying she's a worthy sun but you can custom it too.
>>3965487Upon further thought, like how we emphasized that our knights were friends first and our subjects/retainers second, we should say that we see her first as a friend and second as a great potential ruler.Maybe after we're done rubbing out Bad Fluffy we can get her installed as Pharaoh once mommy abdicates or dies of old age. She does have a measurable life span yes? If no than things will get mighty interesting.Willing to bet Ensan's the one who cut a deal/is working with Ama or her cronies. We need to research/learn the "soul shield" spell soon. Ensan will resort to "curses" to be subtle I'd bet and I also bet those function at the soul level. If we can block them it'd force her to be direct and mommy dearest would probably not allow that which is good for us.
So, it's time to give some praises while still keeping a little distance... Our session will restart Saturday. Life is imposing itself a little bit, so I'll have time to properly focus on writing then.
>>3966318We were going to call her friend and then praise her weren't we? That's about as close as we can get to her without getting romantic.
>>3966318>>3966327Yeah, it's looking like two for "Friend, you're going to be a kickass Sun."One for ''I've seen for myself that you're a worthy Sun."
>>3966327Telling her she's worth protecting is the option for potentially ''closer than friend'' deal.We know how much stock Arawn put into that word.>>3966346Yeah
''I've seen for myself that you are a worthy Sun.'' The first emotion showing in her gaze was genuine disbelief, you continued before denial could worsen her mood. ''Your words often speak about caring for the gentlefolk of the realm and after what I've experienced today, I understand this is a precious thing indeed...''''I haven't... done anything...'' She protests, shaking her head, making the many jewels decorating her head clicks. ''That so? Even when you gave me another chance after my little slip during our first conversation? Or the fact you kept your malaise with Corruption hidden because you didn't want to harm an innocent? That's much more than nothing.'' One of your hands leaves her shoulder to rub that collar around your neck. ''It's impressive for someone in your position.'' She could so very easily abuse her authority. ''It's another reason why I consider you a friend, Shereen; if that's not the sign of a good Sun then I'd rather remain ignorant because, despite the circumstances of our meeting, I'm glad we've met.'' ''F-friends...'' She gently whispered, stunned by your frankness. Her tail was waving around frantically behind her, slapping the stone wall endlessly.''I don't need to pretend to be someone else around you; I'm not being paraded like a prized piece of meat because of my race. You are of The Blood, you are Zerase daughter, the princess of Muribel; your authority carries weight despite so many ignoring it and I haven't seen you abuse it. I've greatly enjoyed our time together this morning, you kept me company in the forge...'' Her tear-stained face had blossomed into a darker red shade. It was so adorable, you couldn't stop smiling. ''...and I liked talking Magitek with you. It's yet another reason to add for friendship and also why I believe you are a good Sun to your Moons.'' You establish a little distance, feeling glad that touching this living little goddess wasn't a provocation for Banu to bruise your face. Shereen was far too stunned to say anything, the emotional whiplash from her confession and your words had reduced her to an open-mouthed mute. ''I don't think a failure of a Sun would have convinced Zhu to fight for your honor.'' You turn at your companion whose closed-eyed expression tightens in a frown. ''Right?''''Well-huh...?'' Zhu hesitates, she might be unable to see your smile but your feelings were undeniably understood. ''Sure. That guy was annoying as all hell so I thought about the best way to shut him up. Protecting the weak feels nice anyway so I won't mind that collar, I think.''
''I-I'm not weak.'' Shereen growled, took a moment to stare at the cloak you left on her and threw it on top of the dark tar. You'll have to burn those off before setting off in the capital. ''I... We... So all of us, all of you will stand by your Sun no matter what? Even if... no, despite the retributions that my sister will do? Killing her Herald...'' ''Telling you not to worry would be the height of arrogance.'' Banu decides to step forward now, her hand goes to ruffle Shereen long dark hair. ''Arawn and Zhu actions weren't done on your orders, nor were they prompted by duress, fear of punishment or flattery. You've always said to me you wanted more Moons -true Moons- and you've found them. Strangers unknown to our customs make good fellows indeed.'' For perhaps the very first time, Banu face softened into a genuine smile as she looked at you and Zhu. ''So let's take care of what we have to do, one day at a time.'' Meaning, it's time to cure the little princess of her surplus...But that also raises another question; reaching Fortune won't be difficult but how about your approach?>Be honest with your ally. Tell her why you need a monster summoner, especially one trained in Throne Town new Corruption solution.>It'd be better to remain vague, it's still difficult to ascertain Fortune true disposition. Perhaps she could leverage the knowledge of Shereen weakness somehow, so imposing yourself and asking for a summoner while remaining vague with reasonings is in your best interest.>Free
>>3969993>>Be honest with your ally. Tell her why you need a monster summoner, especially one trained in Throne Town new Corruption solution.Even if she can"t find what we are looking for exactly, she could help us with two things, disseminating this information, and learning of any other strange goings on relating to the Nuns, at Narrow hill. After all if we're going to build a case to convince the Vigil's Leadership or even Zerase of their actions, we need more events and evidence of wrong doing.So far we have;1. The Nuns are stockpiling bodies when they should be cremating them2. The letter we recovered from the Crematorium3. The strange Nun4. The Foreigners that were evicted when they started to spread information about the new method to deal with corruptionWe bring the following to complete / support them1. The attack on Throne Town was supported by a necromancer using reanimated bodies. 2. We only found it using our "Ama" sense why would it even be there.3. A similar thing happened to someone we know in Throne Town, so we know that this fits their MO.4. Again if there is a "safer" way to remove Corruption why are they trying to hide it.
>>3970141Gonna wait the usual 20/30 minutes.Pretty good summary too.
>>3969993>>3970141Yup, that's a list of stuff right there. I agree.
''Okay...'' Shereen murmured, sniffed, coughed and then slapped her reddened cheeks. ''Okay. Nobody likes a forced martyr so... let's take care of my health problem.'' A good pep talk truly work wonders, your little Sun previous disposition toward her Corruption problem had seemingly flipped. Good thing indeed, this last hour was exhausting, it was no excuse to stop.Using your fire attuned gauntlet to burn your cloak, Shereen led the group outside wit ha spring in her step forcing Zhu -of all people- to stand beside her. the way into Throne Town was filled with her chatters and questions about Zhu's upcoming enrollment. Even giving her the chance of backing out, which the swordswoman surprisingly refused. --It took the better part of another hour to reach the capital and find the general area of Fortune gang; the sun was beginning its steady decline into the late afternoon, drenching the world in familiar strong lights of orange-red. The general mood of the capital seemed unchanged after yesterday night but the vigils and the Fortunes weren't so relaxed.Apparently, Naveed squad was to become a permanent security detail but the little princess wasn't willing to wait and thus forced her authority to get inside the city itself. The gang itself seemed to have bulked up its garrison around its headquarter. A few of the warrior species loitered outside and a pocket of lizard women oversaw the market that led into Fortune proper headquarters, swords and shields on display despite Marleon laws.Their shapely leader had been waiting in the hall right as you arrived in her business home and directed your entire group into an adjacent room that resembled a little cafe with a nice view of the road. ''I am gladdened beyond words to witness her majesty good health for myself.'' Were Fortune words as she personally brought refreshments, there wasn't anybody else in the room. ''I should have sent a few of my people with you, to think...''''We'll... talk about that later.'' Shereen interrupted the veiled woman, her hands seemed permanently stuck in their paws-like disposition now, so she hadn't touched any drinks. ''What happened, happened but there's something else we need to ask, a service perhaps.''With all of her Moons standing around her, Shereen must have projected some convincing gravitas for, perhaps, the first time. Fortune sat on an opposite chair, looking bemused despite the constant aloofness surrounding her. ''We.. have a little problem with our health.'' After some hesitation, Shereen explained her Corruption problem and subsequent wish to see it cured. Most of the discussions before arriving in Marleon had been centered around the subjects of frankness toward Fortune and, in the end, the consensus had been telling the truth because it'd be far too easy to guess Shereen's problem with any subterfuge attempt Fortune listened in silence, a wall of neutrality.
''I do have someone that could help.'' Responded the shapely woman ''Such skills are precious indeed in Marleon, the art of Throne Town summoning is useful but more than that, keeping Mamonos healthy is everyone's priority, I was lucky indeed to make a friend whose been able to learn from the foreigners that came last year.'' ''Ah...'' Shereen momentarily forgot herself, allowing a hint of hope to sneak past her rather weak emotional mask. ''...Good. How soon can this ritual be arranged?''''Today, in no more than half an hour. Finding a proper location is what matters most, however how... full would her majesty believe herself to be?'' Gentle clicks from jewelry followed Fortune's movement when she leaned forward, sharp green eyes piercing into Shereen with newfound fiery pragmatism. Everyone's silence was an answer in of itself but the princess pride wouldn't allow her to sulk. ''Maybe two years of buildup.'' ''Two...?'' The surprise was collective, it even broke fortune placidity. ''I see that her majesty will is not to be underestimated.'' Commented the fortune teller. ''Are your Moons strong combatants?''''Absolutely!'' While you had -many- doubts about your abilities, Shereen spoke for you. ''I see... two years of build-up, however, could be very dangerous. Usually, summoners are trained to handle the extermination but there's no telling how dangerous it could be. I would advise bringing more combatants, I have a few people who've shown aptitude in this unfortunate reality of life.'' Fortune pinched her chin despite the veil, highlighting the features of her jaw as the silk rubbed her deep brown skin. ''I'd-We'd rather keep the numbers of eyes to a minimum. My health is that of The Blood rumors would be problematic.'' Today has been a harsh lesson in this fact, The Blood can't allow itself to be weak. ''Would it be that dangerous...?''''I am no expert, but I believe it is better t obe prudent than reckless. Sometimes I've heard that inexperienced patient's inner magic can leak into a creature, thereby strengthening it, thus having more arms ready for combat would be to everyone benefit. The stronger the better.'' Fortune seemed quite knowledgeable about this topic, perhaps equal if not more than you despite having lessons from its creator! She does, however, raise a good point. >If Fortune has strong people, let her bring them. While that might make keeping a secret impossible, ensuring sure nobody dies is much more important. Shereen will have a hard time dealing with the guilt.>Have Naveed squad help out. You can trust them to keep their mouths shut. >This ritual should be done with Moons and summoner alone. It is royal business and royal it will stay.>Free.
>>3970363Two years eh? Ho boy, that's gonna be quite the nasty little bugger we're about to summon. From what Fortune said, not only will it be particularly nasty but it will also likely be an innate blood mage.How... effective is that in combat? Especially once the blood starts flowing because we or someone else gets cut or, heaven forbid. the thing gets a lucky shot off and pulps some poor unfortunate soul providing the surroundings with a fresh coat of crimson paint that can potentially be weaponized? Could go off the deep end and start using the dark side of that craft to call in red world horrors or, worst case, things from beyond the veil or straight outta that accursed swamp?
>>3970406>How... effective is that in combat?Impossible to tell because Arawn has never heard about how an innate blood mage handle this purge and thus, how a creature with its magic would do.Natural blood mages are Arawn level of esoterism, they are very, very rare. >Could go off the deep end and start using the dark side of that craft to call in red world horrors or, worst case, things from beyond the veil or straight outta that accursed swamp?These are things blood magic has been known to do.
>>3970414So the way I'm seeing it we can go with Fortune's folks which will maximize survival odds but pretty much ensure a rumor or two gets out because end of the day criminals are gonna do criminal shit and Info Brokers pay top dollar for info of this tier.We go in with Naveed's crew. They most certainly will keep their mouth shut if ordered but they ain't hardened veterans or master combatants like Banu and Zhu. This is the "meat shield" option which might bite us quite hard once they start fulfilling their function. Plus they're the personal security detail. If they start dying that means questions we don't want to answer will get asked as to attack/disappear them is to attack Shereen. We already know what tends to happen if that news gets out in public.Then there's good old praying to the dice gods to not bend us over a bloody barrel and take us roughly from behind as we do something stupid by going it fully alone.Further question, it seemed like Necromancers could "counter" each other like Vilma did in Throne Town. Can a blood mage "counter" another blood mage (i.e. try and shut down the effects)? Would the summoner be joining in the battle regardless of option chosen?
>>3970363>If Fortune has strong people, let her bring them. While that might make keeping a secret impossible, ensuring sure nobody dies is much more important. Shereen will have a hard time dealing with the guilt.Could we get Naveed squad to participate as well, they could be quite useful as a reference if we need to convince their higher ups that this method works.I'm sure that that she has someone that met the foreigners and learned from them while they were here, maybe we could ask them more about what actually happened, to cause their eviction.
>>3970441>Further question, it seemed like Necromancers could "counter" each other like Vilma did in Throne Town.Yep, toying with spirits can be interrupted by another one.>Can a blood mage "counter" another blood mage (i.e. try and shut down the effects)?Not in this case, no. Blood magic is a bit absolute.>Would the summoner be joining in the battle regardless of option chosen?Yes.>>3970447>Could we get Naveed squad to participate as well, they could be quite useful as a reference if we need to convince their higher ups that this method works.Possible, though that'll make for a whole lot of combatants... But hey, stacking the deck in your favor huh?So we have two different choices, I'll wait a little.
>>3970363>>3970447If the rumors do leak, then if anything they'd lead people to fear and/or respect Shereen. Anyone who can store TWO YEARS of corruption is a force of nature given thought by the reactions we've seen.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>3970441>>3970447Rolling between the votes. Usual rules, so don't be afraid to change and/or vote something else.
>>3970462So Shereen can't try and stop the monster from going full mad blood mage. Just friggin' swell.What are the two choices? I was only listing out what I thought each choice meant/entailed. Please tell me we fully stocked up on healing potions and that Fortune has a holy mage in the gang. One would think they'd be recruited quite enthusiastically by most everyone.Fortune's knowledge of this procedure is reinforcing my conspiracy theory about her.
>>3970503>What are the two choices?Bringing Shereen combattants or adding Naveed squad alongside those fighters, I tohught you voted for Fortune squad alone. >Please tell me we fully stocked up on healing potionsAfter yesterday, there's a surplus on everyone. >Fortune has a holy mage in the gang.Nope. though her strong combatants aren't pushovers.
>>3970462Having them all work together would be a good exercise to help prepare them for what is coming, eventually.
>>3970523Guess it's time to write.Hm... We'll see how long this'll need.
>>3970511I can get behind bringing every last warm body we got to throw at the end game boss that's about to spawn, but tell Naveed's squad to be conservative. Again, explaining any of their deaths is a thing we don't wanna do as it'll result in some city district getting familiar with the term "Exterminatus". Nobody wants that, least of all Shereen.
''I think we should bring Naveed squad with us.'' All eyes fell on you after your interruption. ''Having more combatants can only help.''''Hm... in which case I think it'd be better for this ritual to happen outside Marleon.'' Fortune didn't even protest, she flawlessly adapted and put forward her suggestion. ''Unfortunately, I do not have ready access to an area that can accommodate so many combatants.''''That's...'' Shereen quieted her protest.''Maintaining a veil of secrecy is impossible with such numbers, your majesty.'' Fortune said, tone growing gentle. ''I like the young man and his entourages, while I loathe putting them in danger it might be for the best with our situation...'' As if convincing herself, Fortune slowly rose from her seat, all clicks, and bounces. ''I will arrive my people arrival and direct Naveed here.'' And like that, Fortune exited.''I'm starting to see why this woman is a gang leader.'' Zhu commented after the woman departure. ''People are making one hell of a big deal about this, kinda make a gal blood flow...'' Killing the Herald hadn't been enough to sate her, Zhu had taken her sword out and stared into it with an increasingly wicked grin. ''Two years...'' Banu whispered, single eye glancing everywhere but Shereen. ''Why is everyone making such a big deal? This method has been tried and true, right?'' Protested the little princess, more out of fear than anger.''I think Fortune is taking the menace of your magic seriously.'' You answered your little liege. ''If a big amount slips into the conjured entity, things could get out of hands very quickly and since you're untrained in the method, things could get dangerous.''''I can do rituals...'' Retorted Shereen in a small voice of regret. ''It'll be okay, it'll be fine.''Silence followed.Naveed announced his arrival with a knock on the door. Opening it, you saw all of his squad behind him, looking sweaty and out of breath; they've run here from wherever they've been posted. Banu welcomed him in and they filed in dutifully.Naveed Sroosha, human archer.Yasamine and Zulaika Omid, lizardwomen warriorsSimin Merikin, lamia and the spear user of the group.Better keep that in memory, these young folks aren't some meat shields to hide behind. ''Your majesty, there hasn't been words about your wounds, as you wished. My superiors believed an altercation happened nearby, so your protectors got you out of the city for your security.'' Were his words and that brought a little smile on the Anubis face which, in turn, made the squad feel a little confident. It didn't last when they learned what was going to happen next.''A-an exorcism of corruption?'' The lamia of their group asked in disbelief.
''We'll all be together.'' Banu answered, walking to the group of afeared girls. ''Do not believe your presence useless; you'll be in the back, supporting us in bringing our enemy down and likely in the best spot to capitalize on any advantage we create.'' You saw her reach inside her pouch, extracting something that she gave each of the girls.''We will not shirk from our duty to The Blood.'' Naveed spoke firmly, his gaze looked hardened and resolute, the kind of face you'd see on a veteran of war; he was far too young to be sporting these stone eyes. ''Her health and security are those of Marleons.'' He didn't flinch when Shereen older Moon walked up to him and slipped a small emerald in his hand, leaving him genuinely confused.''Serving Shereen has its rewards.'' She smirked on seeing his face. ''Don't feel bad about accepting it, I think all of you could enjoy a little bonus.'' Another knock on the door, Zhu opened it to reveal another group, Fortune and three other monsters, their presence inside the relatively small cafe made thing stifling, there were a lot of people now.Twelve!''Hey kids! What the hell are you doing here?'' A tall and strong manticore spoke. With arms and legs being little more than animalistic, deadly claws she looked downright fiendish: the added deadly tail and odd things changed that into a demonic look even if she was rather cute. Freckles dotted her face and mid-long red hair gave her a genuine charm.''Protecting her majesty.'' Answered the young man without flinching, his friends weren't so enthused but the arrival of new Mamonos had at least rejuvenated their morals. ''The hell? Shit's too dangerous.'' Her yellow eyes surveyed your group.''Silence.'' Fortune imposed herself, squeezing past the tall and thick monster. ''Mojgan?''A snake woman slithered forward. Green scales covered her transformed lower body and darkened ones formed a hypnotic, wave-like pattern that continued up her hips. Long green hair cascaded down her back. A pair of living snakes hissing here and there somehow lived in perfect harmony with this strange lamia who bowed before Shereen.''Your majesty, I've been informed about your problem... I was fortunate enough to be trained in its solution.''Behind her, a most unusual girl peered curiously above the green snake-woman shoulder. With a body of dark slime mixing purple and white, the entire consistency of this strange woman felt alien to see and tendrils of pure corrupted darkness sprouted out of her spine to jiggle about without purpose. Her body was a mimicry of humankind with shapes to rival Fortune; many, many strange yellow orbs opened at random across her body as if staring at people silently.Where the hell has this crew been hiding...?''Y-you... I mean... That's a whole lot of people, ready to fight f-for me? To help my Moon?''''Such is our duty to The Blood.'' Naveed answered firmly.
''Plain truth spoken by our spirited young man.'' Fortune continued. ''Perhaps we are simply being overly prudent...''''No.'' Shereen shook her head, interrupting. ''I do not know anything about how my reserves can manifest but if there's a change that someones die, be it my Moons or anyone of you willing to brave dangers for my health -my health of all things!- I'd... rather be prudent.'' She'd have some genuinely good charisma if she wasn't staring at the floor. ''I do not know how to reward you guys, I'll find a way.''Was it? You've seen Teruko solution in action but everyone doing it had been training in handling their corruptions and keeping innate magic away... This will be another interesting day, that's for sure.>Will continue with actual choices tomorrow. Or try, this might be my longest thread so far!
This band wasn't at all how you'd expect your day to go; everything seemingly went out of control once you were done tinkering with your Magitek gauntlet. To think your afternoon would involve seeing your companion kill a man in a duel before the ruler of this land and now, you were setting with a genuine adventuring party.Ama plays a strange game indeed, or perhaps it's simply an organic progression to your involvement. Had you not offered another solution with this Corruption dilemma, you might still be in the palace. Armed with mace and shield, you mused in silence as you stood beside your little Sun once details about where to go were hashed out between Banu and Fortune. Small pleasantries were exchanged with the group, allowing you to learn the names of the Manticore -Sonja Meril- and that odd slimy woman -Francine-. The later seemed unable to speak, her deeply yellow eyes observed you and Zhu with enough fascination to make you uncomfortable... but there weren't any ill intents.Making your way out of the city was a long process and one that didn't go unnoticed but thankfully the nearby gate allowed a quick exit into the plains surrounding Marleon full of healthy vegetations. Small farms dotted the landscape, all the many paths leading into Marleon often occupied by travelers, vagabonds or the odd military squad venturing outside, people that seemed largely detached from the capital itself.The crouching sun was now beginning to disappear into the horizon, drenching the world in the colors of dusk, shades stretched all around almost unnaturally. you noticed that Naveed squad had crowded around Banu and the girls spoke with the older women at great length whilst the young man surveyed the countryside dutifully, arrow notched on his shortbow. Perhaps the group felt some kind of kinship for Shereen older moon or were grateful for being rewarded.''Hell, things are getting pretty wild all of a sudden huh?'' Zhu whispered beside you. With Shereen between both of you, it was impossible for the little princess not to overhear. ''Not getting bored I hope?'' You responded, smirking at your companion.''Ah!'' Her exclamation made a few eyes wanders your way. ''You're covering the interest of your promise pretty nicely, my vestal lord'' ''V-vir...?'' Shereen interrupted herself as you waved your mace in Zhu direction, of course, this damn crow dodged casually, chuckling like a bird. The ''secluded spot'' revealed itself to be an abandoned grain depot dug into the ground and covered by a wooden roof. More than enough alchemical lamps had been brought to chase off the darkness and the stairs leading down were wide enough to accommodate three people side by side. Wide empty space greeted your little company, seven lamps easily casting of all traces of darkness.''Told you.'' Banu voice had an echo in this emptiness as she observed Fortune with a triumphant little smirk. ''I'm not old enough for my memory to fail yet.''
''Mh, please forgive my doubts.'' fortune briefly gazed into the small crystal ball she had brought. Her vestment had also completely changed from the alluring, almost dancer-like attire. She was now in pants a (tight-fitting) shirt and dust cloak.''Man, this place is where a bunch of cultists could hang out and do something bad, or maybe somewhere youngun's explores at night.'' The Manticore heavy voice resounded particularly strongly. At her side was the strange slimy girl glowering in yellow bioluminescence. ''A good arena.'' The green lamia, Mojgan, made her presence known and slithered close to your little sun. ''Perhaps as good a way to keep a secret as we'll ever get, your majesty. I've been thinking about how to operate on the way here, shall we proceed?'' ''I...'' Shereen gaze fluttered toward you. ''I want my Moons close.'' ''That won't be a problem.'' The lamia smiled gently, her mannerisms were soothing and gentle as she led Shereen toward the middle of the empty space. Then she began to explain the ritual in greater detail: everything you already knew. The summoner becoming the new container of Corruption then conjuring an adequate entity was the safer way to employ this solution but the sheer mass dwelling inside Shereen coupled with her inexperienced at handling her own Corruption, unfortunately, made only a single solution possible.Everything dwelling inside the small Anubis will need to come out all at once, the summoning will likely become chaotic, dangerous and likely make Shereen into an impromptu summoner as spirits from the beyond will rush into her and create bodies of Corruptions for themselves. That's where the danger of magic will come in because things are liable to become very confusing for the patient (Mojgan was very insistent on that word). Risk of possession or pure panic can lead to an embrace of Focus.''I knew it'd be dangerous...'' Shereen winced, paw-like hands holding onto her elbows. ''...But now I'm really, really scared.'' ''Her Majesty had done very well to endure two years without showing symptoms.'' Mojgan smiled patiently.''I...'' Shame shadowed Shereen's gentle face. ''I'm not that strong, at night before I go to sleep I've often heard voices or noises.'' ''Then now is the time to get rid of this malaise once and for all.'' Banu stated. ''I'm... a little angry you kept that hidden from me, Shereen but I'm not holding a grudge; it is a noble thing to avoid wanting to harm innocents for one's health even if you have to endanger more people but I don't think this is something Mamonos will begrudge.'' She hefted her single stare at the assembled monsters. ''Right? Don't you girls hate having to know you've had a hand in the death of selected sacrifices?'' ''Fuckin' hell woman you've no idea.'' The manticore slapped her monstrous hands together. ''My little sis was one of em sacrifice y'know? That shit aint right. Never was, never will.''
Some pep had also infused the reluctant Vigil squad, the two lizard women took one of their javelins, Naveed produced a thumb up in your general direction and the lamia held her spear straight.It was a good mood, one that completely went over your head because your mind was hard at work.What if you sourced Shereen magic? Sure, you run the risk of being drained but wouldn't it be better to confront an entity made of souls instead of unpredictable blood magic? Would there even be a difference? Perhaps you could try a more invasive version of your Battery spell in a way to cut off Shereen magic entirely, but her will is highly likely to supplant yours... though it could be another solution. >Become the source of magic for this ritual. Better to face a being of souls instead of blood magic.>Try something risky and temporarily impede the source of Shereen magic, it'll be the best way to ensure a confrontation with a regularly summoned entity, one fed by two years of surplus Corruption... >Trust in your little Sun. This is something she has to do on her own.>FreeRolling will be happening no matter the choices so stay tuned.
>>3972215>Become the source of magic for this ritual. Better to face a being of souls instead of blood magic.Besides what's the worst that could happen
>>3972215Can we slap our collar on Shereen to keep her from embracing focus? Would it be possible, before it all starts, to simply do a battery spell with her so that we can encourage her with our emotions or let her practice keeping out an intent invader? We're not good at invading but it couldn't hurt her to get a bit acclimated to that alien feeling.Also, can we do a quick ping of this area with Ama's aspect? This *is* a perfect spot for cult activity after all.
>>3972347Oh, forgot to ask, how "smart" are the summoned beings? I'm a little apprehensive about it getting "soul" magic because if it gets "weaponize soul" it's going push our collective shit in hard. Blood's a wild card, but soul can wreck us mighty hard.
>>3972316What could indeed go wrong...>>3972347>Can we slap our collar on Shereen to keep her from embracing focus? Not in this case, it has far too much chance of interfering with the expunge of Corruption. >Would it be possible, before it all starts, to simply do a battery spell with her so that we can encourage her with our emotions or let her practice keeping out an intent invader?That is indeed possible. It's a full-blown choice that'll need a small update. >Also, can we do a quick ping of this area with Ama's aspect? This *is* a perfect spot for cult activity after all.Nothing you can sense aside from her letter. (That is still sealed by the way)>>3972354>Oh, forgot to ask, how "smart" are the summoned beings?As a rule of thumb, they have animal sentience at best but many are even more simple-minded. Elaborate summons are on another level but Mojgan won't be doing that.
>>3972361Then let us encourage her/practice repelling soul invaders a bit.We may want to actually open that letter now as well. If it is what I think it is it may give us a trump card should this battle go south.
>>3972367>>3972361I guess I'd be down for that, supporting.
>>3972367Opening the letter here means many people can potentially see what's inside. For now, we'll go with a little pratice.
''Shereen, I can help mitigate the risk.'' It was a long shot, your voice reverberated into the silence of the silo, prompting many curious ears. ''You know my magical nature, it can help sourcing spells so we'd -probably- be safer confronting an entity with my magic instead of yours.'' ''That...'' Shereen wanted to protest but couldn't, her furred ears had flattened on her head. ''More importantly, I think I could -maybe- ensure that none of your magic leaks into the conjured entity but in order to do that, it'll be safer to practice.'' Walking closer, you gently let go of your shield and put your mace on the ground to stand beside the shorter fluffy princess. ''It will be a mingling of wills and magical flows, I think it's better if you get an idea how to handle it before we try this summoning.''''O-okay.'' Shereen cleared her throat and the green lamia slithered away to give you space. ''I trust you, my Moon..'' Gently holding one of her furred hands with both of yours and explaining the concept of your spell, you embraced Focus with a smile, familiar gray luminescence coming out of your body worked to further cast off the darkness. The collar wasn't activated... She, too, embraced her magical nature. Her body lit up in gorgeous luminescent carmine, Shereen waited, bracing for change as you worked your magic.It's been a while since you've done this. Imagine your magical pathway as a long flow of rivers flowing endlessly flowing forward in a rush of great energy, only to suddenly ram against a gate.''Ah!?'' Shereen jumped and nearly pulled her hand away but you held on.''Don't be afraid Shereen, this is my will, my magic. Reaching into you make it subservient, you need to allow me inside your soul... and trust me. The authority of your existence is supreme, you'll always be able to cast me out.'' With a mixture of gentle insistence, you waited for your little sun to regain her grip. ''I do. I do.'' She repeated like a mantra. ''This is... strange.'' Slowly, ever so slowly, that gate of glittering gold lowered, each passing seconds, each disappearing imaginary centimeters giving the recipient of your spell more information about yourself. And then your magical flows mingled.''Oh...?'' This wasn't a scream of alarm. Shereen brow furrowed curiously. ''This is you, my Moon? This is... your existence?''
Soul and blood magic mingled beautifully, to such a point that you were left completely dumbstruck. The feedback of Shereen inner magic was... incredible, beyond words. You could feel your heartbeats, the blood flowing through your body, cells traveling, maintaining, rejuvenating your flesh. Pulses from your brain traveled the length of your spine, your magic infusing every vein of your body, enchanting your cells, soul reinforcing your flesh, adapting, changing living.The flesh of life, one crucial part of all living things. That is Shereen magic, THAT is blood magic!? ''You feel so serene, my Moon...'' She whispered, tail wagging. She felt so very alive that you couldn't say anything. ''...Like a cocoon, so safe but also there are pathways?'' So very inquisitive was this little anubis, she searched every inch of your souls as you investigate hers. ''Are you not alone?''Ah. Damn. How could you have known that your magic would synchronize perfectly with hers? There was barely anything distancing your existence, so perfect was the mingle of soul and blood... As if you've created an impromptu soul link. ''Questions will have to wait. Shereen, you understand this process now?'' She gently nodded. ''Blocking your flow or letting you take mine... I can help you there.'' This does convince you of one thing.If her magic flows into a summoned entity, the resulting creature will be alive. It'll only lack a soul. >This practice will give Shereen and yourself positive modifiers for the ritual. >Choices >>3972215 remain valid
>>3972494 still going to lean on>Become the source of magic for this ritual. Better to face a being of souls instead of blood magic.If the summoned entity is alive, does that mean that it's going to try and escape, over fighting to the death, it would probably be a good idea to try and prevent that if possible.
>>3972576Being alive means it can't be predicted so I can't give you any answers.
Phew, I'm running on nothing more than will for writing now. I think I'll wait for a majority vote and we'll proceed with rolls afterward.
>>3972630Ok, so far as I can gather if it gets "blood" magic it'll be able to mutate, adapt, and evolve at a frightening speed. That... would not be good for anyone.Don't know what happens if it gets soul but would it buff corruption somehow? If we "source" the spell will the creature most definitely get soul magic or will we get to roll to keep that from happening instead of Shereen trying to not let her blood magic leak out? Since our battery spell is almost a full soul link with her would we be able to help her against spirits trying to possess her? Could we get possessed instead? Do spirits and the like find our pasty soul magic particularly delectable? Any other mages in this group?
>>3972674> If we "source" the spell will the creature most definitely get soul magic or will we get to roll to keep that from happening instead of Shereen trying to not let her blood magic leak out?Sourcing the spell means it WILL get some of your magic, how much depends on your roll. And that of Shereen. >Since our battery spell is almost a full soul link with her would we be able to help her against spirits trying to possess her?Yes.>Could we get possessed instead?Yes.>Do spirits and the like find our pasty soul magic particularly delectable?Absolutely. Remember your time in the Red World, finding your pasty magic put them in a frenzy. >Any other mages in this group?Now that you know.
>>3972684Ouch. Ok, possession, can that be fixed if it happens in a way that doesn't kill or permanently disable us or Shereen?
>>3972697>Can that be fixed if it happens in a way that doesn't kill or permanently disable us or Shereen?Yep.
>>3972706Then sourcing it seems like the "safe" option. We'll go with that. Dice gods be with us.
>>3972802>>3972576Two votes on sourcing.I'll wait until tomorrow before locking things and asking for the rolls you guys need. this is another important choice so I'd like to offer a fair chance to everyone. And I'm also a bit spent mentally so I don't trust myself with asking the good numbers.
>>3972826Oh, well, one last question. What are the risks involved in interdiction/blocking Shereen's magic? Same as sourcing or is failure a potential to spawn the damned thing with both blood and soul? Is that a risk if we're sourcing?
>>3972886>What are the risks involved in interdiction/blocking Shereen's magic?She can completely reject Arawn influence, making him useless to help in the ritual or worse, dominate his will briefly. Catastrophic failure, well... let's hope we don't see that.>is failure a potential to spawn the damned thing with both blood and soul? Is that a risk if we're sourcing?No, she might drain you almost dry if you source something. That's a big risk in of itself but she won't use her magic in this case because she's still untrained in handling your spell and thus, will take from what she sees as an ''infinite source'' of magic.
>>3972900Ok then, before we start be sure to warn her that despite the fact our power seems inexhaustible it really isn't. We're a "big" battery, not an infinite one. Try not to get drunk with our power or carried away by how pleasurable it feels to use. It seems to be a hazard with mages. Teruko, Vilma, Klessiah, they all remarked upon how strong/good we made them feel. The things they felt they could accomplish with our magic bolstering their own....
>>3972923Arawn also has the luck of having rather big batteries so the girls got carried away... Who can blame them? INFINITE POWER
>>3972494>Become the source of magic for this ritual. Better to face a being of souls instead of blood magic.If it lives, but lacks a soul... oh god, we'd look real tasty wouldn't we?let's also hope we don't accidentally mingle the magic and make a sapient in stead.>>3972923Let's give this heads up too.
>>3972706Oh, one final bit of clarification. Can that problem be fixed in a way that does not result in us/her suffering a permanent handicap of some kind? Y'know, like becoming a paraplegic or something. We don't want that if we can avoid it. Also, given how our magic is that of "souls" does that give us a kind of unique resistance to being possessed? Or, in the event we are, they may have bitten off more than they can chew?For instance, say we get possessed. Oh yeah, they get a round of controlling our body and feeling good about themselves. After that, to their surprise and horror, they learn the hard way that soul>mind>body and we proceed to nom their ass, regain control of our body, and in the process regain a large portion of our magical reserves? Probably results in some interesting side effects but hey, long term side effects are but immaterial details compared to the shit show that's about to commence. Zhu's gonna either die or be one oh so very satisfied Khornate Champion.Warn her the horror is going to have at least a bit of our soul magic infused into it. She needs to adjust her strategy as a "soul" blade can be countered by soul magic of the type that either has or can make commensurate sacrifices. There are other/surplus weapons around for her to use right?
>>3973170>Can that problem be fixed in a way that does not result in us/her suffering a permanent handicap of some kind?You'll have to find out. Eehehehe.> Also, given how our magic is that of "souls" does that give us a kind of unique resistance to being possessed? Or, in the event we are, they may have bitten off more than they can chew?Yes, only Zhu can rival Arawn resistance to possession. Nature of soul sure is handy huh?>There are other/surplus weapons around for her to use right?None, Zhu will only use her blade she feel like it.
>>3973283Damn, gonna have to hope the dice gods are on our side then. Once again, you're a master at getting me to worry in a most hardcore of ways.I just remembered this but is "automail" a thing here? Did they work out how to make it function for mamono's in the decade after the crusade against Zipangu? Can elves even use it?
>>3973304Don't tell me you've never watched/read "Full Metal Alchemist". You know exactly what I'm getting at.I mean fuck dude, I was around for your last quest. One of your BBEG's there had replaced all his limbs with magitek prosthetics. It saved him from a soulphage backed ice needle barrage from other Siggy if memory serves.
>>3973307I must have forgotten, Magitek prosthetics don't function like that at all so that's why I was confused. It is possible to get limb replacement but... Let's say it's ''difficult'' to do.
>>3973308Hopefully our nature makes it easier to make happen. I mean, it's already very compatible with magitek.New question. We have the ability to alter our soul nature in regards to fueling magitek. Would our "homing" lightning spell translate easily into creating a "napalm" fire spell? If we switch to "ice" could we make several Ice Javelins for cheap at once that we could then proceed to use our Soul Arm to "Gravity Gun" into our collective target for maximum mana efficiency?We're about to lose most of our magic if the dice gods decide to screw us after all, so we gotta try and stretch out the remaining ammo we got. Max out overall damage per unit of ammo expended rather than straight up maximizing DPS if ya catch my meaning.
>>3973317>Would our "homing" lightning spell translate easily into creating a "napalm" fire spell? If we switch to "ice" could we make several Ice Javelins for cheap at once that we could then proceed to use our Soul Arm to "Gravity Gun" into our collective target for maximum mana efficiency?Unfortunately, I can't answer that. You'll have to spend time exercising and see for yourself if Arawn magic actually interact that way.
Rolled 8 + 3 (1d20 + 3)Alright, after taking into account your relationship with Shereen and everything that happened once you've come to know you little sun alongside this recent exercise... Shereen had a -3 for this roll that has been completely reversed. Arawn truly brings HARMONY to those around him huh?The option of being a battery is something Arawn know well, imposing his well on others has also become somewhat familiar after all of your practice in Throne Town and what you've done to Sieglinde... While you cannot force a conscious measurement yet, it's possible to automatically avoid the worst-case scenario because [blueShereen trust in Arawn is close to unshakable, you can feel that in her heart through this temporary soul link[/blue] >Roll 1d20+5You guys went and stacked all possible advantages I can think of for this ritual.
>>3974024Fucking up the text almost makes me want to delete and rewrite but dice are sacred!
Rolled 16 + 5 (1d20 + 5)>>3974024>>3974027You could re-write it, I will note here that the roll was 8+3=11 as the result for all to see. Now I roll.
Rolled 3 + 5 (1d20 + 5)>>3974027Let's see how badly this goes.
>>3974038Your heart is in the right place but it's fine my good anon, this is yet more proof that my brain has been melting. A whopping 21... I have a feeling you guys will stay on that. >>3974040At least it wasn't 1.Now then, we can have one more roll or stop.
Alright, I think it's safe to assume you guys will stick to that 21.Shereen dc was a whopping 18, so we'll consider her roll a failure; the ritual will, unfortunately, overwhelm her sense and the creation of an astral body inevitably thin the barrier with the Red World to allow entities to go inside, thus a possession is inevitable... Because there's something out there watching. Fortunately, she's a strong-willed little doggos. you'll see. Failure is a failure but it wasn't the worst-case scenario. Good thing Arawn is showing competence. 21 is the next best thing to a crit; while it'll be impossible to keep Shereen from siphoning some of your magic, you'll only lose the equivalent of two Heavy spell.Coupled with the magic you've spent today, Arawn spent roughly 1/4 of his reserve. He's more than primed for a fight. Shereen possession will also be taken care of, this isn't his first rodeo with souls and foreign wills.That's thing will stand; what's about to happen has a small amount of your mana and two years of built-up Corruption.Here's a little song for the struggle ahead https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLBTIUzPpEQ Now then, as for when the next thread will be... I'd love to make one entirely dedicated to this encounter and thus, it'll be short but I'm not sure if this week is feasible, I gotta rest my brain. I really wanted to go through my accumulated notes and I'm happy to have done so.Next week is Christmas so that's, of course, a busy time. I'd like to potentially do this fight on the 26 at the latest. Keep an eye on twitter! Also, for something unrelated... I've been wanting to run a science-fiction (heavy focus on the fiction part) quest for the longest time and after some soul searching I've been thinking of using the Battletech universe as a backdrop for all the fun things I've been wanting to do. Once Act 2 enter a little lull or potentially finish, would you guys be willing to try out something new?
>>3974106It's almost like everything we have encountered has been leading up to have this ritual take place under these conditions and entity come into existence, kicking and screaming. Hopefully we're not about to be ambushed while we're distracted by a superior force.If it counts as alive, does that mean that one of those control collars would theoretically allow for partial control to be exerted over this new entity, or at very least restrict it's magical abilities as i'm sure that there would be a bunch of terrible things one could force it to do, like teleport it somewhere and let it go free.
>>3974137>If it counts as alive, does that mean that one of those control collars would theoretically allow for partial control to be exerted over this new entity, or at very least restrict it's magical abilities as i'm sure that there would be a bunch of terrible things one could force it to do, like teleport it somewhere and let it go free.Theoretically, it would work yes but the creature will only have soul magic, it won't have a proper body made by blood magic. >It's almost like everything we have encountered has been leading up to have this ritual take place under these conditions and entity come into existence, kicking and screaming. Hopefully we're not about to be ambushed while we're distracted by a superior force.Funny you say that. Originally, my plans were about handling a potential escape and how you guys would survive in Marleon; Zhu was more or less meant to be a light in the darkness and the two gangs have a rather colorful posse (as you've seen with Fortune combatants). Naveed squad could also have been another potential ally in your runaway status. Of course, Shereen and Banu situation hasn't changed at all from my original plans; curing the girl of corruption was something that could have happened much later but your stellar relationship with her had me juggle a few events here and there.I was expecting you guys to embrace a RETURN TO THE GIRLS ASAP mindset but you embraced harmony instead.
>>3974156I was of the mindset "DON'T LET THIS BECOME A NEW FRONT AGAINST THE BAD FLUFFY." But yeah, Shereen is nice too.
>>3974204I'm honestly surprised you guys swallowed your pride over being enslaved and gave her the benefit of the doubt.
>>3974225Cultural differences can be worked through. Also prudence suggest observation before action. She has shown herself to be concerned about the people, and not as bloody minded as others.
>>3974391There's also the fact you guys made Arawn honest. You slipped once and didn't try to lie again despite having plenty of opportunities to do so.And now here we are... It's becoming evident that Arawn is liking his little sun quite a bit.
>>3974397I don't remember lying, just not trusting the people we've NEVER seen before immediately like the last time.
>>3974547You lied about being a mage at first.
>>3974566That we did, because that was the smart play. Sadly (or thankfully), that fucking collar had other plans. We need to study how they work sometime. If we can find a way to activate or deactivate them without the "key" then that might give us a surprise our enemies won't see coming. Conversely, if such methods already exist, we must ensure they can't be used against us so as to surprise our enemies when no, no the elf is still glowing and that strange tendril coming out of his back is *splorch*So the creature we just manifested doesn't have a proper body? Shit, do physical attacks still work against it or are the other combatants just going to be distracting "tanks" while we, Zhu, and possibly that Shoggoth and Shereen are the only ones who can actually deal damage to it? And her DC was 18! Damn, seems someone is intentionally trying to screw this ritual up or use it for their own purposes. Hope Shereen can tank the sanity hit. Out of curiosity, on a scale of 1-10, 1 being easy mode and 10 being the worst case "prepare to be violated roughly from behind" kind of encounter, how bad is this nasty bugger we're all about to fight?As for the overall attitude, mine was initially more devious and vindictive. Gain her trust, use that trust to escape when the girls inevitably launched a rescue attempt which we'd know was about to happen via soul link proximity alarm. At least one of them would have to lead the rescue team to us logically so we just had to wait this shit out until the perfect opportunity to backstab em' and catch a portal back to Throne Town/Zipangu happened. Hopefully with her and Banu in tow to become *our* maids as payback because why not? Now, now I'd actually feel bad about executing that plan. Now I want to bring her and everyone else back with us as new friends.
>>3974715>So the creature we just manifested doesn't have a proper body? It'll still appear physically in the world but not fully manifested since it only embodies one of the three main components of life, a soul. A creature like this can be hacked apart with good steel regardless and still bleed too but it'll only have a fraction of its full Red World strength because it's not fully ''alive''.It's why necromancy and summoners have limits in their otherwise impressive capabilities.>how bad is this nasty bugger we're all about to fight?I'm still tuning that up because of the rolls... but having all that reinforcement was wise indeed so, I'd say it'll be a 7, possibly lower. Arawn rolled really high so that help out tremendously, I'll need to think on that in the next few days.>Now, now I'd actually feel bad about executing that plan. Now I want to bring her and everyone else back with us as new friends.Adorable.
>>3974566>>3974715We never said "I'm not a mage." We never lied, just tried to not talk about something. The loss of trust is the same, but it sets a principle that at least we won't outright LIE. Sorry that I'm so anal about it, but my autism will not stop nagging about it.
>>3974899Hm... true. You've got a point there anon.