Previous Thread & New Avalon Quests: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=New%20AvalonZoe's sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharingYou are Zoe "Zippo" Morris, Fairest of the Autumn Court and contender to succeed the throne after King Raven, and you are pretty sure there wasn't this much drama trying to set up parties back when you were mortal. Well. Not this much drama with implied violence, anyway. "I need to go see Rachael Reeds," you tell Moira, at length. "I need to head something off before it can start, and maybe get her support for July at Christmas. Maybe Summer already has it, maybe they're having trouble finding her, but she hasn't been around the Freehold lately either. I'd like to start at her house.""First of all, fuck you," Moira says flatly. "Second of all, coming right up, but I ain't staying near Reeds. No way, no how.""I honestly can't be mad at you for that."You keep your head on the dash for the entire trip, your temples throbbing. You always feel like shit when you're low on Glamour and this is twice in one day you've dipped down. You just, you need to pull over for a minute and - No. You won't go staggering into the street for this, not when you've already asked Moira for so much. You're fine. You've got some. You can handle this. Rachael makes most of her money through Pledges and retains a mortal accountant to keep the authorities off of her back. A bad experience a year into her life as a newly returned Changeling taught her that the IRS will catch shit literally everyone else misses, and while Reeds may be insane, no one has ever successfully accused her of being stupid. The end result is a surprisingly pastoral property, with (admittedly thin) front and side yards and an actual back yard - something you normally have to go to the suburbs to successfully find. Her front garden blooms with Winter flowers in anticipation of the season, and though her curtains are drawn you see a pair of cars in the driveway, one of them hers. Rachael had been talked out of driving a hearse, but she'd still insisted that it be a Cadillac.
>>976880You open the door and get out, carefully, so as not to disturb Reminisce. You shut the door and give Moira a nod, and the Darkling leaves as fast as she can without burning rubber. You take a deep breath, pat yourself down, and open the small gate in Rachael's white picket fence that lets you onto her property. It swings shut behind you and latches on its own while you approach the front door and, with your heart in your throat, ring the doorbell. Maybe twenty seconds later, Rachael herself wrenches the door open with a wild look in her eyes. The Waterborn Elemental's hair flows with seaweed and wet Autumn leaves, and her clothes are perpetually soaked by the thin layer of water that ripples and flows across her skin and visible gills. Her eyes, never quite focused on the best of days, are wide with pupils like pinpricks. You open your mouth to talk when she grabs you with inhuman strength, drags you inside, and slams you against the wall hard enough to crack the solid oak. The door shuts on its own and locks, bolts throwing to keep you inside. You take 1 damage"WHERE IS IT?" Rachael screams. "GIVE IT BACK!""Where's what? What are you talking about?" you protest, holding your hands up when you see her fist come back, lined with currents of water fast enough to cut steel. Your eyes stray to her hair. Her comb - her golden comb, inset with lapis lazuli, the one the Rook had tried to convince you she'd replaced - is gone. > Talk [Persuasion against difficulty 13; see Strife in the Court]> Fight [cutscene]You have LOW GLAMOUR (-2 on all rolls)Current Health: 6/7Current Glamour: 4/13You may be wondering at the cutscene. The short version is I wanna be able to show what Zoe's capable of. The longer version is that I also don't wanna slow down the pace of this particular story by doing granular combat, mainly because that's not what this particular one-shot is ABOUT. Either option is fine. Remember to greentext your votes and to include any expenses of Glamour you want to make.
At this point I gotta get ready for work, which leaves this vote open. I'm also open for all manner of questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms, which I'll address as I can via phone.
>>976919>> Fight [cutscene]we literally can't make a 13 with 4 glamour because of that -2.
>>977138Not true. Your base of 2 gets the +1 boost from Adroitness. You can blow 4 Glamour to bring that up to a base of 7, -2 from Low Glamour, which is an end point of +5. You may, or may not, also choose to blow your Virtue bonus on it. It's possible, just rough.
>>976919> Talk> Sink everything into it
>>977146>>977138>ffine, gonna change to talk and blow errythang on the roll
>>976919> Blow everything on the fight like a whore trying to repay her debts
>>977383Did you intend this as a fight vote?
>>976919> Talk [Persuasion against difficulty 13]> Spend the last of the GlamourI know that some anons want to see what Zoe can do in a fight, and that she isn't some rookie completely foreign to combat, but so far we've played this character peacefully. I'd like to continue that.We should tell Rachael everything about what's happened, and about the con Rook tried to pull on Zoe. Though, I wonder if she'll actually believe anything we have to say, given that she's 1) apparently quite unhinged, even by Changeling standards, and 2) Zoe is still an Oathbreaker, even if it was for a pretty just cause.
>>977456Oh and;> Use the Virtue bonus.And then later, we can get our Vice bonus when we burn Rook alive. Who wants s'mores?!
Not relevant to the current vote or one shot, but I just found some art from Wayne Reynolds that almost exactly depicts the headless horseman from Jesse's little adventure.
>>976919>Talk>Sink everything into itIt may suck, but it is gonna be worth it. I hope.
>>977657Aye. That picture is from a Pathfinder Bestiary, for their version of the Dullahan. The original is from Irish lore; he is a headless, mounted fairy with a whip of braided spinal columns and a superbly shitty attitude. This legend is the direct ancestor of the Headless Horseman associated with Sleepy Hollow, though in the American telling he is a vengeful, undead being. Pathfinder used the name of the former but the legend of the latter, which I find unbelievably lazy and annoying, but they got the look more or less right.
>>976919>> Talk [Persuasion against difficulty 13; see Strife in the Court]>motherfucker you think I'd show up here bold as brass if I just stole something from you? The fuck you think this, fucking Prime Time TV? Criminal always returns to the scene of the crime shit? You know that I'm not that dumb!
>>977785>>Blow glamour, virtue
So, quick soft survey, not binding in any way - based on what you've seen and learned in this and the other one-shots, what Seeming most has your interest? Which Court? Are you more interested in a Changeling trying to reclaim a mortal life or in one that wants to climb the ranks in their Freehold?Incidentally, "no Court" is in fact an option.
>>978215I'm more than a little interested in the Beasts and Elementals, but for me the Courts are still up in the air. They all have their flaws and merits. Whatever we choose, I'm certain that you'll make it awesome.
>>978215My immediate response is to follow a character who goes from city to city on a job, exploring the world. Other than that.. an Elemental sounds like it would be fun, perhaps in Spring if only to see a new perspective (though I do like Autumn). Hell, following a no court who wants to create their own niche could work.Being a smallish fish in a moderately sized pond with a couple big ones and all the rest could be fun. Trying to carve out our area of influence to suit what we need/want/etc could be interesting: forming a network with the things we do, basically. Nothing Freehold-shaking unless we happen upon a Big Deal, but things important to the character's situation and perspective of how they're living.Not everyone is as successful or as "well off" as who we've been playing as so far. Let's dig a bit deeper and see how people interact around and within the cracks in society, Changeling and mortal.
>>978215A Changeling trying to reclaim their mortal life isn't a story I'm interested in following. Keeping tabs on their old family, whatever. But actively trying to go back just kills my interest, beyond the cursory "I'm fresh out the Hedge and nobody's told me 'no' yet."
>>978420I'll bite - why?
>>978427It feels like a waste of potential from an in character perspective, and I personally am not a fan of fantasy stories where the main character is practically guaranteed a bad ending.
>>978435The problem there is that Changelings can't help being tortured by their memories from the Fairest of Lands. And its all made worse by the fact that those they love have NO idea how to help them, or why they react like they do to seemingly innocent or harmless stimuli.The aren't some random plucky normal person who found out they had superpowers. The got dragged from their lives, kicking and screaming, physically and emotionally abused for years on end by supernatural beings with no real analogue in a modern age, and clawed their way back through the Hedge.A character is only guaranteed a bad end if you play them badly or if the system is shit.
>>978215I vote for elemental and spring. My beard is made of lightning your argument is invalid.Commence partying.
>>978215I would be interested in spring to be honest, and a beast it would be neat to see what the life of a blacksmith would be for a changeling
>>978435Well, I mean, this - >>978499At the core of Changeling as an RPG is a singular question: What are you willing to do to go home? How a given Changeling defines 'home' is a big part of that. Their old life and old loved ones may be the only home they're willing to envision for themselves, and the obstacles in the way of going home define the deeds and sacrifices they commit to in order to get what they want.
>>978649It's probably not feasible but honestly I'd be interested to see a changeling trying to gather the people and resources necessary to start invading/studying/blocking off the hedge. Basically motivated by the need to ensure that no other mortal will have to go through what they went through.
>>978732There's been various kinds of Lost that try that, actually! Most are...not...great ideas. The colloquial name for attempting to cut all ties between Earth and Arcadia is 'Bridge-Burning' and it sounds super attractive until you realize it doesn't fucking work. Bridge Burners destroy active Hedge Gates, torch the Thorns where they can, and essentially try to sever ties between Earth and Arcadia whenever possible. The trouble with this is threefold. One, Bridge-Burning is of necessity a local affair, which means unless everyone, in all places - including those with hideously insufficient personnel - does it, you'll never succeed in even eliminating the CURRENT gates. Two, opening a new gate, which is then a potential gate FOREVER, is as simple as one point of Glamour from anything that can use the shit and knocking on a door, window, or other portal and, three, there's no proof that closing off a Gate stops the True Fae from making a new one from the other side. Sure, Changelings can't (usually...) but who knows, with the Gentry?The flips side, Militias, are - to speak generally - groups that want to march on Arcadia or occupy a portion of the Hedge and create a 'true' homeland for the Lost. This, like Bridge-Burning, is an understandable urge but it's an incredibly, mind-blowingly stupid idea. The losses on such an affair would be staggering, the effects on the Hedge beyond comprehension, and even if you managed to make it to the Glass Gates with your army of Lost and mortal fodder (and 'fodder' tends to be the phrase there, which speaks worryingly of their typical moral character) you then face beings that are as unto gods in their own realms, in a place not meant for mortal minds or mortal souls, where madness is law and the terrain through which your supply lines move is in itself a hostile and malevolent force seeking your destruction. A third group, the Hedge Wardens, is a young Noble Order that believes the Hedge can be tamed and reinforced to help aid Earth against Arcadia. Time will tell if they're heroes or idiots. They claim some incredible victories, but for every battle where their knowledge and mastery won the day they can count two they were lucky to stagger away from, and their attrition rate is horrific. If it can be done, it will be the work of several lifetimes, paid for in the blood of heroes and sealed in fury and sorrow.
>>978737Has anyone tried something like stealing a Tsar Bomb and seeing what happens if you fire that into the Hedge/Arcadia?Iron does nasty things to Fae right? What about getting tonnes of powdered iron like they used for ocean seeding and just sort of creating a ferric dust storm?Does the other side have any diseases? Could they be weaponized?Basically my line of thinking is less 'burn the bridges' and more 'burn the world' or at the very least try and make crossing the boarder just as dangerous for the things on the other side.
>>978768Also yes I'm aware these ideas are probably stupidly dangerous I just find the idea of playing someone crazy and ambitious enough to try them an entertaining idea.
>>978768> Has anyone tried something like stealing a Tsar BombConsidering that there are a variety of government sponsored hunter groups that are actively trying to kill off all changelings (they mostly don't differentiate between changelings and true fae), trying to steal a nuke would bring down so much heat on you from the human side of the equation that it would probably end up doing more damage to the changelings than the true fae, even if they did manage to fire it off into Arcadia (where there is no guarantee that it will actually do anything, physics don't work the same in Arcadia),Remember, you're not just fighting the true fae. Humanity isn't a friend of the changelings either.
>>978768The trouble with trying weapons of mass destruction against Arcadia is running into severe null void errors when they try to go off. The last known case of a direct attack from Earth against the Fairest of Lands originated from Victorian London, when an extremist Wizened hijacked a train, dropped it onto his own private tracks in the Hedge, and tried to aim it at his Keeper's domain in Arcadia. You can find this adventure in Victorian Lost and it's noted that the assault itself would work if the train gets there...but the end result is miles of poisoned (but not dead - you wish you could be so lucky) Hedge and hundreds of deaths or worse from the passengers on the train. The thing to remember is the Hedge is the barrier between Earth and Arcadia. Not the walkway - the barrier. That the True Fae can successfully navigate it is because of overwhelming personal and mystical prowess. The Thorns have no love for them. The Thorns have no love for anyone or anything, and they'll drink the blood of Fae Princes if given half a chance - and they have.
>>978829Well as I said before the interest is more the ambition and the trying.Keep in mind my knowledge of changeling lore is limited.However the train thing raises some interesting questions I presume the train was for the effects of iron. In that case what would be the effects of the powdered iron dust storm. Much less conspicuous to acquire than a traditional WMD. Or for that matter just getting lots and lots iron of razor wire and making your own 'hedge'.Also how does it all effect technology? Could one buy some of those old degunned tanks the military sometimes sell off, rig up some sort of simple remote control and just send the steel plated vehicles barreling towards Arcadia?
>>978847Essentially the issue with Arcadia and technology is simple: the fundamental rules are different. On Earth there is an expectation and, mostly, the reality of concrete physical laws that all things follow whether you want to or not. Leaving aside the obvious exceptions formed by the Wyrd and the shit it does, all instances of a re-created test on Earth will work the same if all of the constants and variables are the same. This is not necessarily true in Arcadia. Arcadia is a realm where physics are defined by contract, oath, vow, and in some cases whim. Each Domain - that is, each distinct realm ruled by a Fae or group of Fae - may have wholly different rules from another, rules which only resemble physics in passing or if they've been deliberately created to do so. For complex technologies that rely on many of those physical laws, the chance that one or more of them simply never got installed goes higher and higher - or worse, that it deliberately and maliciously works completely differently. In Arcadia you may well find a realm where burning lava is a safe haven and travelers wading through it warn one another of the horrid ice patches that sap the heat from your soul and leave you as an undead husk. Ideas like 'up', 'north', or even 'sustenance' are defined between Arcadia itself and the lords of those places. Blowing it up gets complicated, fast, and the only real constant there is iron fucking hates the Fae, or they hate it, or both. Even then, iron, too, obeys laws. That baleful metal will be expelled, eventually, on obedient winds or carried out by mortal servants, no matter how many die or escape in the process, and then the Fairest of Lands will be angry. This isn't to say that all efforts here are necessarily doomed to failure - look at the Hedge Wardens - only that any war involving Arcadia and the Hedge is of necessity a personal war, fought essentially solely with boots on the ground. There's no other option.
>>978847> Could one buy some of those old degunned tanks the military sometimes sell off, rig up some sort of simple remote control and just send the steel plated vehicles barreling towards Arcadia?Steel doesn't really harm fae, too much carbon and other junk mixed in. And stopping a tank would probably be a fairly simple matter for a true fae in its own realm. Just warp the terrain enough that the tank can't pass.
>>978870Eh, in the chemical sense most steel has more iron than the stuff we think of as iron. The issue is more that steel is tamed. Raw or hand-forged iron is the hateful, bitter father of the obedient child that steel represents, and that father holds fast to its grudges. Steel is the friend of man. Iron is friend to no one.
>>978857>>978829If you really want to fuck up Arcadia you should go with the polar opposite magic, the whatever it is that's opposite it on the Mage circle of realmsI think that it's the flame one, which powers the prometheans
>>978877Which presumes that this includes Mage, which it does not, because Mage warps everything by existing. It's fine on its own but to be quite honest if you're gonna run nWoD or one of its splats the sane options are 'you're running Mage' or 'Mages don't exist'.
>>978895Would it be possible for a changeling to accidentally acquire raw iron abilities?
>>978987Accidentally? Definitely not. Purposefully? There's the holy grail of it. No one quite knows why iron hates fae creatures or what the True Fae did to piss it off, but to forge a pact with it against the Gentry would be an incredible victory for the mortal lands.
Called. Winner:> Talk [Persuasion against difficulty 13; see Strife in the Court]You expend 4 GLAMOUR. You expend your VIRTUE bonus. You gain a +1 STUNT bonus from a good supplementary write-in:> motherfucker you think I'd show up here bold as brass if I just stole something from you? The fuck you think this, fucking Prime Time TV? Criminal always returns to the scene of the crime shit? You know that I'm not that dumb!Roll me 2 dice at 1d10+9, and may God have mercy on your souls.
Rolled 2 + 9 (1d10 + 9)>>979378Where we're going, we don't need souls.
Rolled 5 + 9 (1d10 + 9)>>979378Once more, with vigor
>>979387This means we barely make it, right? RIGHT?
>>979388It means you OFFER YOUR S- no yes you succeed without style. 5 + 9 = 14; Success. You risked life and limb to uphold the Freehold's values of cooperation and brotherhood; you gain your Virtue Bonus. Writing.
>>976919"Hold up!" you shout, throwing your hands up in the (probably vain) hope that the muscle and bone in them will slow down that Contract-enhanced fist of hers. "I didn't take your comb!""THEN HOW DO YOU KNOW IT'S GONE?" Rachael's fist doesn't so much smash a hole in the wood next to your head as shred it like a water cutter. "It's not in your hair! It's always in your hair! Literally always! We showered together that one time and it was still there! Remember? Volleyball? Rachael, am I stupid?"The witch pauses, some focus entering her eyes. You spark Glamour, talking like your life depends on it, which it probably does."Why would I just show up to your literal front door if I'd stolen from you? You know that's not me, Rachael! We've got our disagreements but give me some credit the way I give it to you, okay? I came to give you a warning! Just a warning!""You've been talking to Raven," the sorceress growls. "Why?""He asked me to make sure Summer goes through with July at Christmas! He has the bird watching my every move!""I have a name," Reminisce drawls, from the doorframe. "She is telling the truth, Baba Reeds. King Raven ordered no theft against you."Slowly, Rachael puts you down. The water that whips and froths around her fist calms its fury, and she takes a step back, her eyes still distrustful. You keep the Glamour flowing. "Rachael, look - I respect your power. I respect your position. As the Witch of the Bitter Wind you've served the Freehold as our foremost expert on sorcery and Glamour with incredible distinction. Please, don't ever take our politics as meaning I don't appreciate all you've done."You're pretty sure her low growl is affirmative. Pretty sure. "Earlier today, the Rook tried to convince me that you were kidnapping humans to sacrifice with your cu - with your worshipers," you correct, quickly. "He had reports. Photographic evidence. All of it faked, some kind of faerie gold illusion. One of the photos he changed was of your comb. I almost made a Pledge with him but he chickened out when I offered a formal alliance instead of a Good Neighbor's Pact.""You would have tried to kill me?" Rachael says flatly. "Can we not get into a wand-waving contest here?" you plead. The Elemental laughs. "Fine. But why would he tell you that and then tell...me..." You let her work her way through it. This isn't the crazy talking; Elementals have issues processing the behaviors of others. "No matter which of us died, he cripples one rival and murders the other," Rachael concludes. "Cunning. Something I should have expected from the Rook. But no one ever quite expects that from him, do they? Murderous /cur/!"You flinch away from the backhanded fist Rachael puts into the wall behind her; the witch's blow cracks the wood. "You do need to live in this house," you point out. She looks at the damage and sighs. "I will see Spring about repairs," she murmurs. "My comb is gone. Gone! I need it, Paladin."
>>979411"I'm not really one for my formal title," you protest, keeping your hands where she can see them. "I mean, I appreciate the courtesy but even for my enemies, 'Zoe' or 'Zippo' is fine. The important thing is, we got past the Rook's trap. He probably has your comb, that's how he took the picture and baited you."Rachael nods, then turns. She's halfway down the hallway when she stops. "It's time we put him out of the Freehold's misery," she tells you, her voice as cold as a river in Winter. "Are you in or out?"> Join with Rachael> Do not
>>979415Rachael is preparing murder, so>Do notAlso we have a party to plan.
>>979415> Do not
>>979415Participate in murder? Probably not the best career move right now. Also Rook decided to mess with the powerful crazy elemental he can reap the consequences.Also we're kind of tied up with the whole inter-court politics right now so.>Do not
>>979415>Do notThe news about the party is more beneficial to the freeholds as a whole, making the asshole politician pay would be fun, but there are always more lined up.
>>979415>Do notGonna be a solid no to the crazy lady.
>>979411>We showered together that one time and it was still there! Remember? Volleyball?U-unf.
>>979415>Do not>Listen, take it from someone who's done the whole revenge thing. It's not worth it.>The man's a thief and he's running out of rope. We should drag him before the court and let them deal with it- that way it's justice, not revenge.>Not as satisfying in the moment but better in the long run
>>979443Seconding this instead>>979460
>>979415>>979432Would like to add in: >>979460
>>979415> Do notSeriously girl, we didn't just bust our ass not murdering you in order to turn around and murder him.
>>979448Summer at the beach is a hell of a drug. The Summer Court likes to organize friendly competitions between the Courts during its reign, which extends from the micro (pickup games) to formalized festivals. Generally beach showers are public. And yes, Zoe's hair steams in the shower.
>>979609Lewd pastebin please
>>979620...Wat? Of /what/?
Alright folks, I gotta hit work. I've got the next three days off free and clear, however, Friday features Adventures in Dental Care including the installation of a permanent crown and the extraction of a molar that's frankly just kinda too fucking expensive to save. I make no promises on Friday. I'll update first thing when I get home tonight.Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Please, feel free to speak your mind and questions; I have very little else to do at work in the post-holiday slump.Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>979714I think he is referring to volleyball showers.
>>979831... What do you expect out of a post-game shower with a bunch of other Autumn girls? Not even Spring is really into spontaneous public orgies.
>>979912I didn't really expect anything, it wasn't intended as a serious request.Didn't stop me from imagining it though. Two domineering rivals, one a crazy elemental with possessiveness issues and the other a fairest who is literally smoking hot, locked in a struggle for power and dominance. Showering together after a game of beach volleyball put on by the summer court, which is known for intentionally fostering competitiveness to keep people constantly simmering and maybe just a bit frustrated. Can you really blame me for going there?
>>979415>> Do not
>>979912Also I would maintain that two people does not qualify as an orgy.The other autumn girls would be watching, rooting for their preferred candidate as Zoe and Rachael each tried to fuck the other into submission.I am aware that I have a problem.
>>979999I can and I do. Still showed this to Domochevsky in case it captures his interest though. Just because I personally have an issue with porn pairings that I find implausible doesn't mean others do.
>>980645> I can and I do. O-okay.
>>979761Hey, Vox, I'm pretty sure this isn't the best place to ask but I haven't found an email on Dreamscarred. I ordered the kickstarter book softcover and digital bundle and I haven't received an email with the digital version yet. Did I miss it, is it given out another way, or what?
>>981988When I originally got my digital copy, my email popped it into junk. Of course, since I hadn't cleaned out the trash in my email for a while, I had to fish for it.
>>982016I checked it like you suggested but I'm not seeing anything from Dreamscarred.
>>982048The mail came from DriveThruFiction.com on August 1st:Dreamscarred Press has sent you a free downloadable copy of a title on DriveThruFiction.comNOTE FROM PUBLISHER:Thank you for supporting the Mourners: Scum of Shatterdown Kickstarter! Here is your PDF copy of the novel. We'll be adding EPUB and MOBI formats later this year (likely August, possibly September), and getting the short story anthology and other electronic rewards distributed as soon as they are available.YOUR LINK TO YOUR FREE COPY:When you click the link, the title will be entered into your shopping cart with the price set to zero. Simply click the link below to load up your shopping cart and then check out to get your free title.Mourners: Scum of Shatterdown
>>981988Hit up Bossman: Burger Edition at firstname.lastname@example.org and he oughta be able to get you sorted. You can also poke me on the ask for my quest tumblr (I know) if you ever need me in particular, found here: https://qm-vox.tumblr.com/I'll call and write once I get a new thread sorted for DLQ.
NEW DLQ THREAD>>982285>>982285>>982285>>982285
>>979415You clear your throat and try to ignore the fact that you're at the dregs of your Glamour here. You can panic later. Later god damn it. "Can you, maybe, um. Not do that?" you ask, a little awkwardly. "Like, drag him before the Court, by all means, I'll back you up, just, don't, kill him?"Rachael gives you a flat look. "I'm gonna be honest, I don't care if he lives or dies, I just don't want you fucking this up for me," you admit, with a shrug. "Plus technically King Raven's supposed to be approving any Freeholder corpse production.""He does hold the monopoly of violence," the witch admits. "...I make no promises as to how many pieces I deliver the Rook to the Court in. I presume you are out?""I need to finish seeing to this festival," you tell her. "I'm on a bit of a time limit, and it's Raven's orders too. As much as I'd like to watch that squirrelly bastard suffer, the Freehold has to come first."Rachael nods and gestures sharply. The front door unlocks. "Leave my home. You will be unmolested to the limits of my territory. Wyrd watch you, Paladin of Shadows."You leave through the front door without a doubt in your mind that Rachael has the control she claims she does. It's not worth repeating your protest about your title. You did earn the damn thing, after all. Autumn's Paladins carry with them the fear of physical violence and suffering. The title is normally bestowed upon more militaristic or savage Autumn Courtiers. You never liked it. Aside from the fact that your 'peers' tend to be thugs (on a good day), the implication is that you are a poor sorceress or even someone for whom the Court's emphasis on magic fails to resonate, and that's untrue. It's just that, well, in the last few months you can't find anyone to teach you more magic. Not after you murdered Fletcher. Not after you broke your oath. Jesus, your life is a wreck. No, that's just the mood talking. You're just low, is all, you, just, you need -"Fuck it, today is shot," you tell Reminisce, mostly to get out of your own head. "I'm going to the clubhouse.""You have a clubhouse?" the raven asks. "Not exactly," comes your not-really-an-answer. You text Brad to let him know you're not coming home tonight and change course. "The clubhouse" is a rickety-ass apartment above a bakery where you store two things and do a third. What you do there is let your Down-And-Outs hang out, lay low from the heat at times, socialize with one another, and turn in anything you've asked them to retrieve. What you keep there is your accountant and the records that help you keep their money straight. Mostly what your boys and girls need is cash - not in itself, but to help them with other needs. Families have medical bills. College needs money. Debts need paying. You make it all go away for the cost of their loyalty, and Trick Martin makes it all stay neat and legal.
>>982750"Jelly," you order, the minute you're in the front door. Trick whistles at the fridge, and it kicks its door open and tosses a small jar of teal jelly at you, which you catch one-handed so fast that Reminisce flaps from your shoulder and onto the back of a chair. Trick's Wizened, specifically a Chateline, though he doesn't quite look the part. Most folks like him are nearly skeletally thin and seem a bit stiff, a bit distant. Trick's got the look of a goblin bookie about him, all exaggerated paunch, huge ears, and gimlet eyes barely visible behind the cigar he's always smoking. God damn if he doesn't keep perfect books, though. "Long day, boss lady?" Trick asks, sympathetically. "Only a bit past noon and you already look like you wanna gut somebody.""I do, and it has been." You flop onto the comfy couch - your boys and girls have slowly replaced all the furnishings you originally bought without being asked to, mainly because they crash here sometimes - and let the door shut on its own. Whatever Trick's done to this place, it's like a haunted house that actually likes you. Well, until it doesn't. You pop open the jar and start eating the jelly, scooping it with your fingers. You can taste the Glamour in every mouthful, and it's a sweet, welcome relief, even if it's nowhere near enough. You gain 2 Glamour"Well, feel free to take a load off. Not that you need my permission, but...""No, this is your home, I definitely do," you answer, leaning forward on the couch. "Oi. I need...fuck, I need to make a decision here."> Stick around and send a messenger to Vickie Reeds. You can trust your subordinates and you need to get your head on straight, maybe snag some Glamour off of your Down-And-Outs. > Go back to the Juniper Building after you catch up with Trick. Best to attend to this yourself> Catch a nap before you do anything else. That'll let you check in on your Fetch
>>982763>Catch a nap before you do anything else. That'll let you check in on your Fetch>Send a message to Vickie Reeds though to wait for us and to watch out.
>>982763> Stick around and send a messenger to Vickie Reeds. You can trust your subordinates and you need to get your head on straight, maybe snag some Glamour off of your Down-And-Outs.
>>982763>> Stick around and send a messenger to Vickie Reeds. You can trust your subordinates and you need to get your head on straight, maybe snag some Glamour off of your Down-And-Outs.
Aight, I'ma leave this open and crawl into bed. I've got tomorrow and Thursday off free-and-clear so expect more updates in that timeframe.As always, questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.Thank you all for reading and participating!Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharing
>>982358Wait...two threads at the same time? WHAT DO I CHOOSE?!
>>982974All of the above, (that'll really tick off the lich)
>>982763>Catch a nap before you do anything else. That'll let you check in on your Fetch
> Wake up for the first time at 10 AM> Realize I'm sick> Immediately engage coma modeI'm gonna call and write after I get and eat some soup. Thank you for your patience.>>982974I'm mostly making sure my DLQ players see it. If you care to, the archives for DLQ are at the top of each of its threads.
>>983578Yeah about that, last time I went to try and look at the thread before the big move it said it was unavailable. Was that ever fixed, because I haven't seen any of the current threads on there yet? Or do we have a new one with the new board?
>>983583Are you following this link: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Dungeon%20Life%20Quest'Cause that's the entire archive aside from the live thread.
>>983588Huh...weird. Must be something on my side then I guess. Not sure what though, but whatever.
>>983583>>983588There's the /tg/ archive, and the /qst/ archive. Before it was fixed, you could only view the threads that came from that board.
>>982763> Stick around and send a messenger to Vickie Reeds. You can trust your subordinates and you need to get your head on straight, maybe snag some Glamour off of your Down-And-Outs.We can go cold turkey later, after the current situation is resolved.Also, I wonder if bringing Brad into the fold would help or hurt things? Making him one of the Ensorcelled mortals? I dunno. That might be something that happens in the background, when Vox goes on to Cinderella Sanction.
Called, writing slowly. Please bear with me.
>>982763You arrive quickly at your decision. "Trick, could you do me the favor of letting folks know that if they'll provide the bodies, I'll provide the pizza? And in a separate, and wholly unrelated story, get me...oh...get me Saint Nick, in a now sorta sense.""On it," Trick agrees. He swivels in his chair - hand-built by the same carpenter that helps out with Rachael's house, and just as well-done - and starts typing away at his laptop. "This an alcohol kind of party?""This a 'people are passed out in your living room' kinda night?" you ask, in return. "...I'd rather not," the Wizened admits, not uncomfortably but with a distinct sense of self-awareness. "Then no, it's not.""I hate to be that guy, boss, but is there a reason our presence is graced with Reminisce?" Trick asks at last. He gets out his phone - the mass email he just sent will go to your Down-And-Outs - and starts on a text. "I am to observe Ms. Morris and report her methodology in resolving Freehold problems back to His Majesty," Reminisce answers, primly. The bird flaps to the back of one of the dining room - well, insofar as this place has a "dining room" - chairs and perches there. "Thus far she has been rather independent in operation.""You got a comment there, bird?" you ask, your lack of Glamour making you snippy. "Delegation is an essential art in leadership," Reminisce chides, before settling down into quiet. "Saint Nick says he was already on his way over to check on somethin' with me," Trick reports. "He'll take care of your thing first."And sure enough, your little Darkling friend - and you really do mean friend - is there inside of three minutes. Saint Nick, the chimney sweep. In a town like New Avalon where so many buildings still have chimneys, the rubbery Tunnelgrub is an amazing asset to have on your side. Sure, he wears sunglasses at all times (really - even when he's sleeping. You've seen it) and he kinda gives off the impression that someone replaced all his muscles with rubber bands made of shadows, but Nick's alright with you. You and he go back so far that he remembers being your friend back before the Bisophric put your head on straight. "You look like shit, boss," is his first comment when he breezes inside, trailing little motes of candle flame off of his Mantle. "Got up close with Baba Reeds," you admit. "And I need you to convey a message to Vickie Reeds in Summer."You tell Nick what Misery told you, twice, and make him repeat it back to you, then send him on his way. You can trust Nick - he won't get intercepted or disrupted. You still shoot an email to the Summer Office to tell Vickie to expect him, though.
>>986745With Nick on his way you order the pizza and tell your wallet that you're sorry. You aren't, but it's a good thing to say every now and again, even if you don't mean it. Most of your Down-And-Outs are under thirty and absolutely none of them are ever gonna turn down free food. You fully expect to see the majority of them in and out of here before the night is through, and they don't let you down. You take the chance to cut loose and catch up. The college students are happy for an ear to listen to their troubles. Most of the others are happy just to have an ear. The name of the gang isn't an accident - you pick out people you can help, people who can't or maybe just won't get by without a little...spark...in their lives. You harvest 4 Glamour over the course of the day and evening.A text from Nick confirms that he got the message to Vickie and she relayed it to Arthur in front of him, which is a nice touch. You've gotten Winter out of the way and probably another third of Autumn. That's a good day's work, right?Right?Reminisice gives you a cryptic look as you flop onto the couch next to Vanessa and Rails, both of whom have better things to be doing than this - not that you're complaining, necessarily. "Trick, I -" you crack a yawn. "I think I'm gonna pass out here. If y'don'tmind.""Your house, boss lady," the Wizened answers, with a shrug. "Don't knife anyone on my nice clean floor.""Don't worry," you murmur, as you close your eyes. "I won't."* * * *Your Fetch's coma dream is a thin, wispy thing, barely a dream at all. You wear down the dreamscape in a little bit less than an hour and build something else, a theater - a bit like you used to perform in, but the way you always saw it in your head. The crowd is bigger, more enraptured, the stage more spacious, the equipment more professional. Your Fetch lays on the stage, and at first you think this is gonna be another night where she's just too far gone to talk. But then she sits up and blinks her glass eyes, and looks around for you. "Hey Zoe," the fake mutters, almost sleepily. She ruffles her fake black hair with both hands. "Nice t'see you. You okay?""Fine," you agree. You toss your Fetch a flask of vodka - it might only be dream liquor, but you're in a dream, so fuck it - and take one for yourself from the prop table before you sit on it and let your feet dangle. "I haven't been in for a few days. Things are...tense...on my side of it.""Yeah, I bet." Your Fetch stands up slowly and takes a slug of the vodka, shivering pleasantly. "Listen, about when I wake up -""We are not doing this," you warn, flatly. "Dad deserves to know the truth! He must be miserable!""Yeah, because knowing his daughter got turned into a freak is so much better," you rejoin. "He's your father too.""Since when?" the simulacrum asks, folding her arms.
>>986750"Since you nearly fucking died for him, you stupid slut," you snap. The stage ripples beneath your feet, the theater closing in to menace in an echo of your rage and grief. "You were there for him more than I ever was," you whisper. "I was only around when I needed something. Jesus Christ, you're a better daughter than I ever was. Fuck you for trying to take that away from him."Your Fetch stares at you, wooden jaw slack with shock, and then she starts to cry.Jesus, Mary and Joseph. > Comfort her> Just wait it out> Wake up
Okay so when I said I was updating slowly I still envisioned it going faster than THAT. I'm gonna crawl into bed and hope I either A. die (the preferred option) or B. wake up feeling less sick. Thank you for your patience and votes remain open.
>>986753>Hug her>Try not to cry>Cry a lot>Cry together
>>986753> Just wait it outThanks for running, you madman. I absolutely need a distraction from things going on in other people's lives right now.
>>986753>> Comfort hercry hug engage
>>986753> Comfort her.Y'know, I've noticed that even with the characters who have a legitimate reason to be pissed, vengeful or otherwise aggressive, we play all of your PC's in a similar fashion. Basically, because Brianna turned into a White Knight, everyone else is too. We WANT to do the right thing, be compassionate and merciful and just. More points to you as a writer, but it also makes me a little proud. Happy to know that we aren't entirely jaded assholes.
>>986753>Comfort herDad doesn't need more awful news in his life right now, what he needs is family(our Fetch).
>>986753>>986792>Hug her>Try not to cry>Cry a lot>Cry togetherSeconding
>>986892We'll see. Even now, Zoe's motives are a far cry from what you could call pure. As several anons pointed out when they voted, killing the Rook would have been inexpedient, not unwanted.
>>986892Well, in its own way a fetch is often just another victim of the fae. Even if they know that they're fake, which is not guaranteed, they never asked to be made. They were slapped together out of random junk and dropped into the changeling's life without any say on their part. Then, if the changeling ever gets out of Arcadia, the fetch is haunted by a constant feeling of dread and the knowledge that there's a powerful supernatural creature out there that knows where you live and could be coming to kill you to reclaim the life that you've been living for years. And in this particular case, Zoe's fetch is sitting in a coma because of something she did for the sake of someone else. Given that the fae that created her have at best an imperfect understanding of things like genuine human emotion or self-sacrifice, it's hard not to feel for her. Her creators barely understand what compassion even is, yet she seems to have plenty of it.Girl could use a hug.
You set the (dream) flask down and cross the stage to your Fetch. The crowd lets out an 'aww' when you pull her into a hug. You respond by lighting the theater on fire, sending the dream-characters scurrying in terror and agony. "I don't like you talking like that," you murmur. "The only person who has a right to hate you is me, and I don't. Okay?""You should," the Fetch sobs into your shoulder."No, I shouldn't. They're your parents too. They love you.""Because of a lie," the double protests, but she's making absolutely no move to leave the hug. You squeeze her around the shoulders and rest your head on hers. "Do you love them?" you ask, gently. "Of course I do," she answers, a little hurt. "Then it's true enough for me. And it has to be true enough for them too. Telling them what really happened, that's...it's just going to hurt them. For no reason, you know? It's not like I can just step back into my old life anyway. I mean. Do you wanna die?""No!""Then stop trying to make me kill you, Zoe." Your Fetch laughs, in spite of herself. "Now, let's go over it one more time, since the subject came up. When you wake up...""You're my cousin, on Mom's side. Distant but we became pen pals after we met online," your Fetch answers, dutifully. "We discovered we both liked fire dancing.""That's right," you agree. You stroke your double's black hair. "It'll be okay. You'll see.""I hope so," the simulacrum whispers. "...You gotta go soon.""Yeah. You just focus on getting better, okay?""...Zoe?" your Fetch asks, as she disentangles from the hug. "Yeah?""Put the theater out?"You roll your eyes and gesture dismissively. The sprinkler system kicks in, dousing the screaming audience. You give your Fetch a sideways smile, and then will yourself awake. Everyone else but Trick has left his house - you can tell because no one's up this early working on school shit, and also because your snuggles are gone - and the Wizened will be asleep for a bit yet. You get off the couch before it can make you fall back asleep and try to push down the soft, gnawing need to get a quick hit of Glamour. /Some/ things have to come first, like prowling the pizza boxes for a leftover slice, finding the spare clothes you keep here, and hitting the shower. The apartment itself might be a bit run-down, but Trick keeps the water pressure and the water heater top-notch. You spend some time to luxuriate before getting down to getting scrubbed, getting dried, and getting dressed. "Your friends are interesting," Reminisce comments when you emerge back into the living room, your hair still steaming from the water that stubbornly clings to it. "And astoundingly prone to underage drinking.""Mm, it's almost like nearly everyone their age is depressed, angry, and dealing with chronic poverty or oh wait that's exactly it," you answer, a little testily. You get a pot of coffee going. "Besides, underage drinking is the national sport."
>>989188"I thought that was baseball?" the bird asks, genuinely confused. "...Ask Raven to clarify that for you, I honestly don't have the patience right now," you admit. You check your phone. A text from Jennie confirms that Arthur got your message. One from Moira confirms that negotiations seem to have gone well. That's one worry off your shoulders. Excellent. "I need to figure out who I'm meeting with in Spring," you muse aloud. "Nothing gets to be simple in this wretched city, and this has gotta be fast.""I, of course, will be of no help whatsoever," the four-eyed raven comments. > Just hire a Spring Courtier to plan the party. It has to be fast, not brilliant. > Arrange an audience with Queen Ramona Rabbit. Regal backing will improve Spring's turnout. > You already know Princess Natalia, and you two are sworn not to harm one another. She might be easier to deal with than Her Majesty, and no one's ever accused her of throwing a bad party. You are JONESING (-2 on all rolls)Sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1L4ooBZNZtcQF6cnMNmJ3K9LaVOQ2A1skP7ICv-Ff-NM/edit?usp=sharingCurrent Health: 6/7Current Glamour: 6/13
>>989206>> You already know Princess Natalia, and you two are sworn not to harm one another. She might be easier to deal with than Her Majesty, and no one's ever accused her of throwing a bad party.
>>989206>You already know Princess Natalia, and you two are sworn not to harm one another. She might be easier to deal with than Her Majesty, and no one's ever accused her of throwing a bad party.
>>989206> You already know Princess Natalia, and you two are sworn not to harm one another. She might be easier to deal with than Her Majesty, and no one's ever accused her of throwing a bad party. She was involved in the fiasco with that other Fairest, Zoe's dad and her Fetch? I think we can trust her.
>>989206>> Just hire a Spring Courtier to plan the party. It has to be fast, not brilliant.We gotta delegate something at some point.
>>989206> Just hire a Spring Courtier to plan the party. It has to be fast, not brilliant.
>>989387True, but Zoe does have people she can trust when Fall comes around, like Trick and Hemlock (that dryad looking girl), and allies like Bishop Emma and now Moira.
Called, writing (more swiftly this time!). Winner:> You already know Princess Natalia, and you two are sworn not to harm one another. She might be easier to deal with than Her Majesty, and no one's ever accused her of throwing a bad party.
>>989206You pour coffee and sugar into a paper cup, whip it vigorously (you'd be amazed how hard you can stir something without spilling it if you know what the fuck you're doing) and set it on the counter while you get your coat on. "I'm gonna see if I can't talk Natalia into it," you tell the bird. You zip the coat, grab your coffee, and make sure everything you keep in your pockets is actually there. Satisfied, you pat your shoulder; Reminisce flits to it and gets himself settled. "You know, if I were you, I'd have tried to ditch me by now," the bird points out, while you write a thank-you note to Trick and set it on top of his laptop. "Mmhm. And if you were me you'd end up skinned alive and turned into Raven's new moccasins," you answer, with a shrug. "I wanna live. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to wake up a Darkling.""That's racist.""Don't even start with me, bird."Natalia makes a point of being available to her fellow Lost - it's part of her ongoing bid to take the throne of Spring - and you have her in your phone. You send a quick 'Hey, you up?' over text while you slip out onto the street and into the morning fog which is, thankfully, already starting to burn away in the sun. Your phone tweedles back at you almost immediately, and you look down in surprise. 'Just got up. Why?'"What," you mutter, flatly. You get a sharp peck to your pointed ear for the trouble; you jolt and swat at Reminisce, who caws in protest and starts slapping the shit out of you with his wings. The end result is a solid minute of you having a nerd fight with a bird on a public street before finally getting both hands around him and hissing at the goblin raven to fucking behave.. "Bitch," Reminisce mutters into your wounded ear. "Not the time, bird," you growl. You pick your phone up off the ground and send a reply text: 'Need to talk business. Breakfast?''Denny's. On me.'You set off, rubbing your ear the whole way. The Denny's - well, /a/ Denny's, but it's 'the' as far as most Freeholders are concerned - is only two blocks down from the Juniper Building, and sees a lot of Changeling business. Despite this, no one you know works there and as far as you know, none of the ensorcelled do either. It's nice, at times, to have a spot where you can get reality checked for weirdness that breaks the bounds of mortal tolerance. Like when you get into the front door and the hostess holds her hand up with a look that's more done than the eggs you're planning to order. "Bird goes outside," she says flatly. "He's a service -""He can be a service animal outside, where we'll bring you your meal," the employee interrupts, flatly. "Those are not hygienic."You look at Reminisce. "You going to behave?"The bird caws indignantly, and you head outside, where you set him atop the courtesy bench to scare away anyone who thinks they get to sit down while they smoke.
>>990024You head back inside, brushing off your shoulder, and tell the hostess that you're with Natalia Greene, nodding over to where you see her in a window booth. Natalia gives you a winsome smile and you remind yourself A. that she tried putting the moves on one of your Down-And-Outs and B. that in retaliation for this, you set her head on fire.These are good things to remind yourself of, because /god damn/.Natalia could be a maiden out of a fairy tale. Her long black hair (twining with ivy provided by her strong Spring Mantle, along with the strong scent of flowers and a warm, welcoming breeze) rests in a braided ponytail, out of the way of her heart-shaped face. The shadows that stay on it in spite of the light help accentuate her features, making her smile seem friendlier, her eyes deeper. She's dressed in green and black, with her jacket on the seat next to her, and her eyes are definitely up there, and not any lower than that. Hold yourself together there Zoe, she's a Leechfinger. You need your wits about you. You take a seat opposite Natalia and flash her a tired smile. She sizes you up and gives you a wink before signalling the waitress and spreading the fingers of her hand flat on the table. You ram the provided butterknife right between Natalia's outspread fingers the moment the waitress looks over, making the girl scream in shock. Natalia breaks down with that hypnotic laughter of hers.You gain 2 Glamour. You are no longer JONESING.Not sort of hypnotic, either - literally. You find your gaze pulled towards her while she's laughing, and so is everyone else's in earshot. They don't stare, exactly, but everyone gives everyone else secondary priority over listening to Natalia's siren voice. At length, the Emerald Princess wipes an imaginary tear from her eye and settles her elbows on the table. "You must be hungry," she invites. "Please, order whatever you like."You turn your head to the waitress. "Slamburgers. Two of 'em, hashbrowns, third plate of hashbrowns.""...How do you keep your figure?" the young woman asks in naked disbelief. "Vigorous physical exercise and an unhealthy attraction to fire.""It's true," Natalia adds. "And I'll take one too, since we're doing breakfast and lunch at the same time. Coffee all around?""Coffee works," you agree, immediately. "Excellent." Natalia stops talking so that the waitress can leave, then turns her attention to you. "I must admit, I'm a little surprised to hear from you. You're looking well, Zoe.""I...is it bad if I say I didn't expect your hair to grow back that fast?"The Darkling laughs prettily in response. > Take some time to catch up> Straight to business; it's the 18th now and you don't have time to dick around
>>990088>Take some time to catch upHave to keep up pleasantries if we are both to rule Courts one day.
Aight, I'm hittin' bed, followed by dentist in the morning. I'll check in when I can think/see/type straight. Votes remain open, and my thanks for your patience and understanding with the last few days. I chose a fun time to get sick. That in mind, this is nearing its conclusion. I don't expect it to need a third thread.Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. Thank you all for reading and participating!
>>990088>> Take some time to catch up
>>990088> Take some time to catch upAlso, try to refrain from setting her hair on fire again.
>>990088> Take some time to catch up.Yeah, there's no need to rush. Also gives us an excuse to keep her talking and see if she's got any lingering sourness about what went down, etc. Don't want to hear her laughing prettily as she plots Zoe's downfall.
>>990088> Take some time to catch up
Okay. I can feel my face again. I'm gonna try to write.
>>990088The coffee arrives first (as it damn well should), and Natalia requests cream before lapsing into a pleasant quiet so the waitress can leave. "You're sure you can't turn that off?" you ask, not accusingly. "Zoe, dear, I've tried," the Darkling admits. "It's here to stay. I can get around it somewhat if I distort my voice with a mic, but even then...""Even then?" you prompt, fascinated. "Anyone who can hear my actual voice still gets hit with the siren's spell," the Princess explains. "Hell of an edge when I need one, but it does make things a little bothersome other times. Still..." Her hands flash in quick motions. |That's why we have sign language||Preach it| you sign back, with a mischievous grin. The look of genuine surprise on Natalia's face was worth the price of admission. "One of my uncles is deaf," you explain. "So my parents taught me ALS pretty young. It stuck with me.""That was very considerate of them," Natalia agrees. She stirs sugar into her coffee. You opt for the Splenda. "How's Raven doing?""You know, same as always - threatening to die any minute but seemingly immortal." You shrug, helplessly. "No one seems to know what to make of the guy. We just...we don't get old the same, you know? He doesn't get sick, he's certainly not feeble if he doesn't want to be. I have no idea what's going to finally do him in. What about you, what's new with you and Ramona?""Ramona's well, and appreciative of someone to help share her burdens, as always," Natalia answers, primly. "...Our rivalry isn't like yours, Zoe. Neither of us dislikes the other or wants to hurt the other. She simply desires to remain in power, and I desire to have the power she holds. So we compete, and in the meantime she has my services.""That must be nice. Rachael nearly put me through a wall earlier." Natalia extends a hand in automatic sympathy and then retracts it, halfway to your shoulder. "That's unfortunate," she murmurs, in place of touching you. "Shit happens," you answer, with a shrug. The cream makes it to the table, by which time you're nearly half done with your coffee. "Vanessa made it into med school. It's kicking her ass but she's still at it. And since I know you're gonna ask, Rails is doing good too."Natalia raises her palms with an innocent look. "You made your feelings on the matter clear.""And they haven't changed," you emphasize. "My boys and girls aren't there for you to play with and throw away.""I still don't understand your objection, but c'est la vie," the Spring Princess shrugs again. "You certainly didn't mind a bit of fun before you got all...""Oh, do say it. Go ahead.""Before you re-evaluated your desires," Natalia finishes, arching her eyebrows. "...Nice save."
>>992386"Thank you, I try. And it's not wrong to no longer want something you used to want, or to figure out that what you actually wanted was something else. But that doesn't make me understand it." Natalia puts a finger on her spoon and stirs her coffee slowly. "Did I do something?"You sigh and put your chin in your hand. "No.""Did I do something to someone else?" the Princess presses. "Look, Nattie, lemme be blunt: they're already friends with a Changeling or two. They don't need the complication of falling in love with someone who's just having fun. They're young.""You're young," Natalia points out. "First of all, how dare you. Second of all, no shit. But I'm in the club, you know? I used to do the whole 'heartbreaker' thing because it made me feel powerful, and I'm not saying that's what you're into, I'm just saying I know how people can, y'know, fall for someone even and especially if they know better. You can tell 'em you're not in it to win it, you can say you're just having fun, and then their hearts get broken anyway and they don't need that. Not from you and not from anybody."Natalia stops stirring her coffee and takes a long, thoughtful sip. "...I appreciate that," the Darkling says at last. "And I think that does it for the last of any hard feelings I had over our little spat. You?""I mean, you did sort of," you waggle your fingers at her, "at me pretty hard, but in all I suppose it's not much different than getting the shit kicked out of me. I certainly don't feel upset.""Thank you for indulging my questions," the Princess compliments. She leans back in her seat and eyes you appraisingly. "But this wasn't business, and I am dying of curiosity as to what prompted you to seek me out."You finish your cup and set it to the side of the table so it can be refilled. "I need someone to get with the Summer Court and the Freehold library and plan the July at Christmas celebrations for the night of the 21st," you admit, openly. "I'd like you to be that person. And I think you'd like to be that person. Arthur'd owe you for that one.""He would," Natalia muses. "...But what do you get?""I get to not have to explain to Raven that I failed - oh no."Natalia grins. You groan in response. "Out with it, what are you gonna extort me for," you ask with weary resignation. "Nothing much," Natalia promises. "Just permit me to consult with Fleeting Spring to learn as many of your desires as I can glean with a single use of Cupid's Eye. Oh, and," she grins, wickedly. "Help me pay the Catch.""We're in a public diner," you protest, in vain."Get with the times, Zoe. A chaste kiss in public hasn't been shocking for at least two years now."> Accept> Refuse
>>992455>> Accept> The things I do for the good of the Freehold...
>>992455> Accept> "This does not leave this room, got it?"So, basically, she's going to use a special power/item to learn about Zoe's non-ensorcelled roommate Brad, whom Zoe was hinted at liking? ..Y'know what, she can go for it. She already knows that if she tries to fuck things up, Zoe can and will set her ass on fire.Also, c'mon, we know she isn't going to keep it chaste.
>>992653Not necessarily. You can dive pretty deep with Cupid's Eye, all the way from 'things they want literally in this moment' to 'things they want that they don't even know they want'.
>>992455"Alright, fine, but this doesn't leave this room," you tell Natalia, firmly. "It's bad enough, you knowing.""You hurt me, Zoe," the Darkling replies, putting her hand over her heart. "I'm just trying to be a good Spring Courtier, you know. You keep everything but your naked ambition bottled up.""Did you have to say 'naked' there?""It was a stark necessity.""...I'm not even mad." You shoot a glance at the other diners who mostly could not give a shit (there's the teenage boy who can't stop sneaking glances at the two of you but what the fuck are you expecting there) before you lean across the table. Natalia surprises you; she actually keeps it quick and chaste. Your wiaitress lets out a little 'aww' before refilling your coffee while you blush almost as hot as your hair is. "You really haven't had any action for awhile, have you?" the Emerald Princess teases. "Is that seriously what you used this on?" you hiss, while you tear open more Splenda packets. "No, it's the bit where you're blushing and fidgeting after I went and behaved myself and everything." Natalia makes a subtle gesture with her hand; the scent of crushed flowers strengthens near her, as well as a warm, welcoming breeze. She frowns, then nods. "Me too," she murmurs, almost to herself. "You too what?""Oh no, you gotta figure that one out for yourself. You've got a party planner, Zoe. I'll get in touch with Arthur the moment our meal is done.""Thank God. It's done. It's over." You take a long sip of your coffee. "...It is over, right?""Likely," Natalia agrees, mildly. "But who knows if it's finished until you see it finished, y'know? I do hope you'll attend. There's a traditional part of the celebration that I think you'd enjoy.""...Oh?" you ask, your curiosity getting the better of you. "July at Christmas usually has someone running the branding irons.""Oh baby. Say it again, nice and slow."* * * *The next couple of days are a blur of planning, purchases, setup, and running around Freehold territory to do all of it. Arthur arranges to use the basement of his apartment building, which gets immediately augmented with space heaters, braziers (including the one you'll be using; you picked out the irons yourself), speakers, a stage for something you'll call karaoke for lack of a better word, and food. Lots and lots of food. This-spread-was-definitely-ordered-by-an-ogre amounts of food. Arthur and Moira arrange for the other people who live in his building to be absent for the occasion, which you don't pry too deeply into. Moira's got her trade secrets, you've got yours. You get a text from Trick, about an hour before the festivities, telling you to go see Raven when you're done participating. You shoot him a reply and finish getting ready.
>>993796Arthur takes the stage just as the sun is setting outside. He's not wearing anything he minds losing; the Lord of July stands in a tank top and cargo pants, with only Excalibur's ornate sheath hanging from his belt to give any idea that he's a man of stature. "Brothers and sisters of the warmer Seasons, thank you for coming to our annual celebration!" Arthur begins, one hand holding the mic and the other gesturing to the crowd. "As you know, this festival almost didn't happen this year. I want to thank our absent friends, the Court of Sorrow, for being understanding about my Court's pledge with its Season. I'd also like to extend my thanks to Zippo Morris, over at the brazier -" you twirl a white-hot iron with a savage grin that makes the Spring Courtiers in the audience laugh nervously - "for making this happen. Winter is a time for sorrow and remembrance; we've all lost, and become Lost, and it's pure, clean, needful, even, to grieve for that. But July at Christmas reminds us that in our grief, we will also have our revenge. The Others won't take anything else from us but that we break their fingers and snap their necks first!"The roar from the crowd fills the air with a thin haze of Glamour and the sharp, crackling scent of Summer. The heat in the room is already sweltering, and it's only getting hotter. "For some of you this is your first party!" Arthur calls, hopping down from the stage. "Let me make this as simple as possible. Today's about the fury that comes from grief. Let your wrath out! Party hard! How hard?" The Ogre approaches you and whips his shirt off. You give him a wicked grin before you press an iron to his chest, branding a black sun into the Lord of July; he roars through the pain, drowning out the heavy metal in the background. Arthur steps away and turns to show the crowd his brand. "That hard! This ain't a party until you've got burns and bruises!"You shove that iron back in the coals and pull out two more, which you twirl casually. "Who's next?"* * * *You leave the festivities - okay, you drag your broken carcass up the stairs, groaning the entire way - only after it's become clear that the people who haven't passed out or been sidelined for partying a little too hard no longer have the energy to continue. You haven't cut that loose in - hell, in a long time. Not even at some of the parties Spring throws. Reminisce is waiting for you, just outside Arthur's apartment building, and you wince when he flits to your shoulder. You took 2 damage from the celebrations. You gained 2 Glamour from the celebrations."We did it, bird," you tell him, as you limp your way along the street. You can do Fairest thing where you act like your injuries are all beneath you when you actually get back to the Juniper Building (it's also a cat thing but try saying it that way around Beasts. Go on, try); right now you're sore and tired and it's glorious.
>>993842"And you've done well. I am to ensure that you make it to Lord Raven safely," the bird tells you. "...My time with you was pleasant. Despite our disagreements, at times, you treated me as an equal and respected the position with which I was entrusted. Thank you, Zoe.""Don't mention it," you answer, modestly. "I do try to be a good vassal.""It has not gone unnoticed," Reminisce answers, a little stiffly. The sun starts to rise on your way to the Building, and by the time you get into the elevator it's well on its way up. King Raven's still awake and awaits you in his chair, but what else is new. Reminisce flits to his place atop the throne-like seat while the old Beast beckons you closer. You give your liege a respectful bow and fold your hands in front of your lap. "Reminisce has given me his full report," Raven begins, frankly. "I have some questions for you as to your conduct and decisions in this endeavor."You check your conscience before remembering that just because it's being quiet doesn't mean you haven't fucked up. "Yes, Lord Raven," you answer, formally. "Let's begin with the big one," the King of Autumn decides. He whistles, sharply; a side door opens, and Rachael Reeds strides out of it, dragging someone behind her by the hair. "How responsible are you, would you say, for this?"Rachael throws the man at your feet. It's the Rook. Missing his left eye and his left arm, up to the shoulder. "My liege," Rachael nods to Raven, before she strides right past you and into the elevator. It gives a soft 'ding' before it starts to go down. The Wizened sits in a heap at your feet, dazed and distant. From the looks of things, he only gained consciousness recently. "Well?" Raven asks, leaning in on his cane. > What do you say?
>>993880>35 to 45 percent? More or less>Rook isn't half as clever as he thinks he is. Even if both of us had fallen for his bullshit we probably would have managed to stop slamming our heads together long enough to figure out we'd been had.>I think it's fair to say that I'm about 60% responsible for him being thrown in front of you alive though.
>>993896This. We put the important matters of July at Christmas, in spite of how much Rook's deception enraged Zoe, but we also made Rachael think about whether killing him would be worth it.We said nothing about sparing him his due comeuppance. Maybe - just maybe - if he begs the Autumn King for mercy, he might be granted it. Whether that's the chance to atone or the mercy of a swift death is entirely up to Raven.
>>993796Hang on, is Natalia really suggesting that she hasn't got any action for a while too, or am I totally misreading that?
>>993880Gonna second ILz wiht his choice of:>35 to 45 percent? More or less>Rook isn't half as clever as he thinks he is. Even if both of us had fallen for his bullshit we probably would have managed to stop slamming our heads together long enough to figure out we'd been had.>I think it's fair to say that I'm about 60% responsible for him being thrown in front of you alive though.
>>994041Nah, commenting on what she learned. Called, writing.
>>993880You look down at the Rook without much pity. He made his play and made the mistake of getting too involved in his con, and he paid the price for it. Maybe this was a bit much, but you don't feel sorry. "Maybe thirty-five, forty-five percent, more or less?" you hazard. "I warned Rachael about him. I didn't exactly try that hard to stop her from going after him. I just didn't want her going after me. Honestly, though, even if he'd played it completely straight and gotten us after each other? Maybe one of us dies, but the other one would have figured it out, and then he'd be dead himself. I asked Rachael not to kill him, reminded her of her place in the Court, and honestly that's about all he warranted from me.""If I were to offer you a shot at him?" Raven asks. "The poor bastard lost an eye and his entire fucking arm, Raven," you answer in exasperation. "The fuck do you want me to do, light my hand on fire and beat him off?"The Autumn King laughs, long and loud and wheezing, while the Rook groans and rolls away from you in bleary self-defense. You snort, in spite of yourself, and put your hands in your pockets. "You did well, Zippo," Raven tells you. "You handled the concern with the urgency it was due, took advantage of the connections you had in the Freehold, and showed a solid instinct for favor-trading and the sensitivities of Court politics. I feel that you could have been more assertive or at least more mysterious; in consistently seeking reconciliation you gave up on the sense of fear an Autumn ruler must cultivate. But you will have time for this, I think, as well as the chance to brush up on your sorceries.""Yes, my Lord," you agree, bowing your head. "Thank you.""Reminisce informs me that you built up some of your own influence during this exercise," the old Beast continues. You cringe, but he waves you off. "I am far from upset, girl. Each Court is bound to the other three, but each Court also competes for resources that are, by their nature, limited. This struggle without destruction is part of the defining nature of the Freehold that keeps the Gentry confused and at bay. Attending to your own good as part of attending to the public good is a skill to cultivate; you need merely scale it up in scope.""I understand," you agree, with a quiet nod. "And that also means that I can't define the good of the Court as being what's good for me. The best-case scenario there is like Summer was.""Aye, even so. Reminisce, fetch me my notebook."The bird wings off, and you watch him go with a curious look. "Be honest with me, Zippo. When do you think I'll die?"You suck a breath between your teeth and shift your weight. "...Honestly? I'd be shocked if you survived until the Summer solstice."Raven laughs again, long and hard, and only manages to compose himself when Reminisce comes back with a thick, three-ring binder bulging with papers and bookmarks. "Girl, I have another century in me yet."
>>994423"How?" you demand in sheer disbelief, before you can stop yourself. In answer, Raven holds up the notebook in one bony hand, his Mantle smearing dust along the cover. "Contained within this are my notes and research on one particular subject: the pacts and sorceries necessary to cause a member of the Lost to age in reverse. I have already performed them, to my notable benefit. I now age backwards; every day I grow younger, more hale, more hearty. I imagine I will kill myself sometime through reverse puberty - you could not pay me enough to go through that as a member of the Lost, let alone in this modern era. But that still leaves me with the lion's share of another century with which to walk the Earth and Hedge and do as I please.""Why are you telling me this?" you ask, confused. "Persuade me to abdicate," comes the simple, stark order. > What? No! Stay! Why would you abdicate if you're not going to die?> Do you really want to stay here forever, Raven? The Freehold you built has to grow up without you at some point. There's a whole world out there. > If you don't, someone's going to kill you to sit in that chair, and it might just be me.> Write-in?
>>994423> "Girl, I have another century in me yet."Jesus fucking Christ, I can't tell if he's joking or being serious. This old man is scarier than Misery.
>>994437Fuckin' hell, he was.>>994434> Do you really want to stay here forever, Raven? The Freehold you built has to grow up without you at some point. There's a whole world out there. So, he is literally Benjamin Button? That's gotta be fucked up.
>>994434start with this (as we are a loyal subject)>> What? No! Stay! Why would you abdicate if you're not going to die?and depending on the reason he gives, move to something like>> Do you really want to stay here forever, Raven? The Freehold you built has to grow up without you at some point. There's a whole world out there.
>>994434>To be completely honest, I don't want you to abdicate now. None of us three can take over the sheer weight and scale of Autumn that exists by the mere existence of ''you''. I would have you rule for a short while more until one of us is more capable, and then act as an adviser to your successor, showing us the paths and the ways to recognize them fully. If you don't, someone's going to kill you to sit in that chair, and it might just be me.
Alright folks, I'm hittin' bed. I'll try to update before work tomorrow but if that doesn't work out I'll update around midnight or so. Votes remain open. Questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. And, by all means, please - I sincerely welcome feedback on this quest, the previous two in this setting, and the mechanics that were on display here. I wanna refine this so that Cindrella Sanction can be the best I can make it when we get there.Thank you all for reading and participating!>>994444Yep. The Merit in question was introduced in Night Horrors: Grim Fears as an incidental part of a character for whom it will probably never come up. I liked the idea so I've kept it floating around ever since, waiting for a good spot to use it.
>>994434>Write-in?>Honestly, I think that if he sticks around for too long, we're going to have the same issue Summer had with its former king, that guy had left a huge void (which Arthur is doing great work to fill). It may not cripple the Freehold outright but it would certainly hinder some points. If he'd resigned earlier the whole thing with Rook might have been avoided (he may be an asshole but he's still a part of our court and losing an eye and arm is no small thing)I had trouble putting my thoughts into words.
>>994434>> If you don't, someone's going to kill you to sit in that chair, and it might just be me.> It might not be today, or this year, or next, but it's going to happen, and if you stick around to see it, you better /pray/ it's going to be me, because if it's someone else, chances are they'll make sure you /suffer/.> And while for now, people think you're likely to die off soon, and so are plotting and scheming against each other—and letting them continue to do so for too long /will/ gradually erode the cohesion of the Autumn Court—once they find out that you're going to live for another hundred years? All that ambition will turn to naked envy and resentment of you for outliving your share.> So yeah, it's in your best interests as well as those of Autumn to abdicate sooner rather than later.
>>994434>>994580>Also, what he just told us seems like a very selfish thing to do. If he stays king longer, Autumn has a high chance to stagnate and opposition would only grow by the day eventually /someone/ will remove him, possibly by force, and that is no way for a once loved king to go. I am reminded of the saying: "Die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain"I also kinda want to bring this in a threatening tone since we /are/ the court of fear but I'll leave that up to Vox.
>>994434https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOrXKiSy8ZYYou take out your Zippo, almost without thinking about it, and roll the lighter over and around your knuckles; it flicks on and off as you manipulate it, dancing for you like it always has. Jesus Christ, though. Another century? You knew Raven didn't play for small stakes but God damn."I'm gonna give this to you completely straight," you warn. "You shouldn't abdicate right now, but soon? Yeah. And I could talk about how if you hold on to power we'll end up like Summer. I could say there's a whole world out there, but to be frank? If you stick around here more than another year or two, someone's gonna kill you and sit in your chair, and it might even be me."Raven arches his eyebrow but motions for you to continue. "Do you really think Rachael is going to wait forever?" you ask quietly. "I don't know how powerful you are if you have to pull out all the stops but I've got an idea about her, and she scares me. You just sat back and let her walk away after doing this," you gesture down to the Rook, who has (probably mercifully) passed out, "to the Rook, so any love or respect he had for you just went down the drain. You almost want it to be me, because at least then all I'd do is kill you. Either of them will make it hurt the whole time you die. All this plotting, scheming, and fighting we've been doing with each other, you can't just make it stop. All that ambition is just gonna become anger at you for not stepping aside when it was your time. And honestly...that'd be a shitty way to end your reign, my liege. We all love you. Don't make us hate you."Raven taps his cane against the floor - you flinch for a knife without thinking about it - and nods, solemnly. "You are absolutely correct, Zippo," the old Beast tells you. "There are many reasons for me to leave, and only selfish ones if I wish to stay. This is why I have made arrangements with Misery Monroe and his Winter Court to be transported from New Avalon next year, on the Winter Solstice. This will give me time to make my final arrangements, to prepare the Court for the succession, and for you and your rivals to resolve matters before it is time for one of you to claim the crown."You relax, and nod, tucking a lock of flame behind your pointed ear. "Where will you go?" you ask, genuine concern in your voice. "Wheresoever I please, but I think I will begin with Tokyo. I always wanted to see it, as a young man. It will be interesting to experience what it has become. My grandmother was born there.""I didn't -"
>>994985"Know I was Japanese? Few do." Raven gives you a grim grin. "I will not endorse you, Zippo. But I do believe that you, in time, could become a worthy monarch for Autumn and for my Freehold. You have performed for me a vital service, with significant distinction and skill, and you must be paid for this. Understand this lesson: the monarch who believes vassalage entitles him to reward without obligation will not reign long. Loyalty is a circle, Zippo."You nod your understanding and close your lighter, forcing yourself to sit still. "Thank you, my liege," you answer, formally. "Honestly, I was happy to help,even if it was...frustrating...at times.""Indeed." Raven gestures to you, and Reminisce flits to your shoulder, his talons digging in to your coat while he settles himself down. "I offer you the services of my friend and advisor. Reminisce's oath to me lapses on the morrow, at midnight, and will not be renewed. He is prepared to offer you the same oath and loyal service that he has shown to me. New Avalon is his home as well, and he has much to offer you as an advisor and confidant."You give the bird a surprised look. "Me?""I always did like you best of the three options," the four-eyed raven opines, before he fluffs his wings and settles down with exaggerated dignity. "I'll even do you one better and refuse to explain to the public why you have the services of my most faithful companion. Spin it however you like," Raven adds, with a vicious gleam in his eyes. "I'm honored to accept your friendship, Reminisce," you tell the bird, before turning your attention to Raven. "And to give you one last show by stirring the pot before you leave, you sadistic old bastard."You share a laugh with Raven, echoed by Reminisce's throaty caws. It's going to be a good winter. * * * *And that's our quest, folks! Thank you for joining me for July at Christmas and letting me indulge in this frankly blatant excuse to show off more of the setting, worldbuilding, and mechanics. At this time I'd like to ask for any and all feedback, questions, discussion, comments, and criticisms you may have. This is likely the last one-shot before Cinderella Sanction and I'd love to know what you want to see more of, what I can improve on, and any suggestions you may have on how to tighten up the mechanics and make that part of the Quest more helpful and fun. Thank you all for reading and participating!Archiving now.
>>994998This was my favorite one yet, Vox. It was cool interacting with the politics of the Freehold, and seeing how the last two oneshot characters have made their own waves.MoiraXJesse 4 lyfe
These have been a lot of fun. Much as I've enjoyed DLQ, I feel like these Changeling shorts have flowed more freely. It's clear from reading them how much you like the setting.
>>995006What're your impressions of Zoe? The Autumn Court? The Freehold itself? Any thoughts or feelings on the nature of the political game amongst the Lost or the fact that they tolerate Zoe's "bad fairy" projects?Also, one thing to note: anyone you played in these one-shots won't be a playable character in Cinderella Sanction, but some of the people you've met already will be potential options.
>>995031As long as the politics don't rob the freehold of valuable assets it's fine, Rook took it too far and paid for it.Misery and Raven are assholes but not irredeemable,Natalia seems to have found some common ground in Zoe's hidden desire(?) which I'm really curious about.Arthur is best king4-eyes McBirdface is a cool feather.Moira x Jesse (eventually, because right now I'm just sad for Moira)Does Jennie think any different at all about Zoe after finding out the circumstances of the broken oath?
>>995043> Does Jennie think any different at all about Zoe after finding out the circumstances of the broken oath?Yes but also no? Like, before all Jennie knew was, "Zoe agreed to a duel, she broke her oath and murdered a guy." Now she knows the full circumstances but from Jennie's point of view Zoe robbed the Freehold of a valuable asset (the Sacred Couriers) for her revenge, broke her oath in the process, and is now trying to tell people she's a worthy queen. The hate isn't as visceral any more but she doesn't approve and she certainly doesn't like Zoe.
>>995043> 4-eyes McBirdface is a cool feather.I'm glad he's going to be ridding around with Zoe in the future. She could use a wingman.
>>995046Eh, I can live with a professional dislike. Just so long as she isn't actively trying to ruin shit for Zoe.>>995031Wait, so we could play as Vickie Reeds, or Moira, or Luscious Lou? Or Rachael Reeds?That would be interesting, but she's also pretty scary on her own.
>>995298I REGRET NOTHING.
>>995565At least one person you named is on the list, yes. For Cinderella Sanction, the plan is to have the players first choose a Court (or Courtless), then choose from six characters in the appropriate group - one from each Seeming. Some of those are people you've already met. Others you haven't. And a few only exist if they're the MC.
>>995709So, for example, one of the six options for Autumn might be that Hemlock girl that works for Zoe? Or, for Summer, one of the options might be Angel, the other Ogre that followed Arthur (the one that went from five to fifteen feet tall) into battle against the Lady of the Lake?
>>996176Things of that kidney, aye. Every option is an established Freehold member with at least some experience living their new life. This is part of the reason for the one-shots; introducing the setting from various perspectives so that my audience has an idea of what they're in for, what "normal" is, and why.
>>996236The only thing I think we haven't seen is the truly insane side of the Lost. I mean, there's Raven and Misery and Baba Reeds, but they seem to be exceptions.I mean, yeah, we saw Jesse and Zoe freak out from nightmares, and Arthur's paramour wasn't able to stay with him, but we weren't exactly holding conversations with the furniture, or carving runes into our skin. It seems more like broad post-traumatic stress than any other sorts of madness. The pains and scars from Arcadia fucking up every attempt at living a normal life. Maybe it would be more apparent with a Beast or Elemental?Also, Angel might be a more stable individual than some of the others, since his wifey is one of the Lost as well, and that actually brings up and another question; do the Changelings have children? Like, are they comfortable with raising children around the kind of fucked up shit that took them from their homes in the first place?
>>994998This was the best one shot yet, can't wait for Cinderella sanction. Keep on chugging vox
>>996282I mean, what is it you're expecting? The comparisons to post-traumatic stress disorder are both intentional and highly accurate. A Lost that's talking to his cereal spoon in public is crazy even by Changeling standards (or using Contracts of Communion (Metal)...). The thing is...The thing is, insanity is mostly a series of decision and associations that seem perfectly rational at the time. Insanity can be defined as deviance beyond a certain range accepted as the 'norm', but it is also, for the most part, what happens to perfectly normal and rational people who are put through shit that is not normal, not rational, and not okay. Post-traumatic stress disorder is kinda the poster child for that kind of 'insanity'; soldiers are not, by and large, crazy people. They're people like you and I that get put through stress and madness far beyond what a normal person can take, and have a predictable reaction to it. The things Changelings do, day to day, are the insanity of being Lost. The jolts when people touch them unexpectedly. The casual cruelty of a Fairest who needs, craves, to feel powerful and free. Sure, Beasts and Elementals are the furthest from humanity as a baseline but even they started out as (likely normal) human people and are still, in a very real sense, mostly those people, put through something too awful to bear without having to crack, to break, to bend, to make room for the horror. If the Lost were constantly, visibly crazy, they wouldn't be able to blend in against the backdrop of humanity. Eccentric? Sure. Prone to doing weird shit (especially if they're fulfilling a Catch or following a Pledge)? Definitely. But flagrantly off their nut? Not common, and usually a sign that the Lost in question needs the help and support of their Freehold. For those who don't mind spoilers, pic related is a preview for the first part of Cinderella Sanction
>>996282Also, this quest opened up with Zoe torturing a guy in a form of Autumn-themed vigilante justice, and Jesse used a quote from Cabin in the Woods as a moral imperative. Neither of those things is exactly sane.
>>997074When abouts did the Cabin in the Woods quote come up?
>>997209Right here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/904794/#p908265
>>996282Just realized I never answered this part.> Also, Angel might be a more stable individual than some of the others, since his wifey is one of the Lost as well, and that actually brings up and another question; do the Changelings have children? Like, are they comfortable with raising children around the kind of fucked up shit that took them from their homes in the first place?Sometimes, but it's rare. Incredibly, mind-blowingly rare. Almost all Changelings are infertile and the majority of Fetches are as well (though, sad-amusingly enough, more Fetches are fertile than Lost are). Exposure to Arcadia negatively impacts fertility both in the strictly biological sense and often in the creative, artistic sense. The True Fae cannot create, only imitate, modify, and steal, and the Lost they raise up in their image find that the Wyrd can taint and strangle their attempts to innovate, sometimes leading to the horrible irony of trying to use magic to overcome the block and ending up more and more enmeshed in it. Even in those rare cases that a Changeling can have children it can be a shocking and highly distressing event. Without a lot of ways to check beforehand if you're ready to roll, for most Lost a child is a sudden, massive change to their life, and 'sudden, massive change' - positive or negative - is not good for them. It sends their calm into a frenzy of clashing gears and emotional turmoil. Many male Lost who can sire children end up as absentee fathers rather than dealing with it. The women...face a difficult choice. But at the same time, for many people 'coming home' couldn't be complete without a family. Some wanted to start one before they were taken; others find a partner with whom they want to raise a family. Raising a child is possible but brings with it a new set of fears and concerns. Can you stay stable around them? Does your spouse know about what you are? Can you protect your family from the True Fae or from privateers who want a novelty to sell on the open market?There aren't easy answers there, and it's not a question you can really ask in mixed company without hurting people. Even the close friend of a Changeling might be best off leaving the matter alone.
>>996961Happy to say that at this point I'm more excited for Cinderella Sanction than I am worried about DLQ.Keep on trucking, coffeelich!
>>997378Hey, why are you so good at this? And why do you refuse to accept my money for the entertainment you have provided me?
>>1001446you could always buy vox's book
>>1001446We don't talk about his day job.>>1001486MOURNERS! I'm holding it in my hands right now, and it feels good against the skin.
>>1002126...Does my book need an adult?>>1001370I'm flattered!>>1001446I'm not really comfortable monetizing questing. And to be honest with the way my life keeps going I'm not comfortable starting a Patreon and promising writing only to not write because I've fallen into an unplanned hole of misery and fucking rage. And...I dunno. I have trouble accepting gifts, even from friends and loved ones. Growing up with nothing is a hell of a drug. Don't do it to your kids if you can avoid it.
>>1002191...on that note, where can I purchase your book? And a good way to sell DLQ would to make a book out of what you have written.
>>1002293Um. D'ya need print, PDF, epub, or Kindle?
>>1002191Is there someway you could do the digital equivalent of putting out a hat for spare change?I mean you provide more entertainment than most street buskers.
>>1002334I would like print fine sir.
>>1002603Well, buckle up real quick 'cause I'm gonna learn you a thing. There's a number of places that you can get Mourners in print, including the publisher's website (here: http://dreamscarred.com/product/mourners-scum-shatterdown/), the Amazon page, Paizo's website, and IIRC DrivethruRPG. My bossmen, Dreamscarred Press, are an RPG publisher. Most of these venues are RPG venues, which means a few things. Among them is that anything but DSP's own site is going to take a cut from the book. Now, that can be/is perfectly fine; that's normal business. But if you find yourself buying products from an RPG company it's generally best to hunt 'em down from the publisher's site if at all possible.This has been learning you a thing.
>>1002617I thank you for the learning, even if I am not sure of the relevance.
>>1002617Oh, I already use DriveThru.Let me go get my wallet and safe to throw at your digital face.
>>1002623TBQH it's mostly something I've been broadcasting lately in general. I make a habit, when I actually purchase something, to try and get it from the people who make it. Most RPG companies are small guys tryin' to get by and get through, y'know?
>>1002904Fair enough then.
>>1002944Plus, there's the fact that you can probably get it cheaper from the original publishers than you would from another distributor, who would charge that little bit extra in order to make their own money.
>>1003055Fuck those guys then
>>1003076Well, I mean, I would too in their shoes. Not an exorbitant sum, but yeah. Why the hell would I sell something for someone else in my own business and get nothing in return, y'know?Economics. Sometimes it makes perfect sense, and other times absolutely none.
>>1003076That is how a large number of companies make money. They sell other people's stuff for a percentage increase.
>>1003125>>1003357Aye. As I said, it's perfectly normal business. And there's all kinds of interesting logistical reasons to buy any given thing from a particular vendor. F'rinstance, purchases and reviews on Amazon give a product more exposure. Some websites save backups of PDFs you buy from them. Etc, so forth.I've learned more about publishing lately than I ever wanted to know.
>>1004474Better that you learned now rather than later. It'll hopefully make things easier when you publish again later. PLEASE SAY YOU WILL, LICH-SENPAI!!! My sister has also finished reading Mourners, and loves Contessa.
bump if necessary.
>>1004815We are well past the time limit for bumping.>>1004495 Ermahgerd!But yeah, Mourners: Ashes to Ashes is already in the works. It follows Kestrel more closely, but Contessa plays a big role.I have to admit, most of my readers seem to write poor Maddie off as a minor character. What caught your sister about her?
>>1004865 My own little sis has problems of her own (Asperger's, some social and learning problems, tends to behave more like a 12 year old than a young woman approaching 17, and just generally few people who can help her with then) that she said made her relate to the character. She doesn't get the D&D element, but she loves that Contessa uses gun-kata. My own favorite has to either be Duke, who makes Drow waaaay more interesting than D&D usually lets them be, or Margrave, who is such a gloriously evil bastard. Like, holy shit, I would kill to play a campaign against this foul sea reaver. And I would literally perform regular human sacrifice to you in order to play in your campaigns, you delightful motherfucker.