Warm orange light flickered across the tucked away enclosure, just barely escaping the hastily constructed dugout that housed your tiny campfire. It was well into the night now, and while the weather was mild enough that you didn't need a fire, the light it cast was a boon all the same. At your behest, Elly had begun to look Ari over almost immediately after the fire had been struck, necessitating the softly breathing Testament be cracked open from her sap-adhered ball for a closer inspection.Tim had taken to tending the fire with a tense smile, keeping a watchful eye on the woods as you waited for Elly's verdict. He made little effort to hide the way he flinched at the sounds of the forest at night, and while you were more concerned about the Luna Delegate stumbling upon your group in a misguided attempt to 'help' you, the encounter he had with the golem that had been fending for Ari was clearly still fresh in his mind.You had taken the distraction caused by said wooden golem as an opportunity to make a hasty departure from the Luna Delegate, and in the process managed to finally be reunited with your missing Testament... Though you admit that had you not been previously familiar with the creature, your first instinct likely would have been to set it on fire as well. The fact that it was still lurking obediently in the canopy above your camp was another issue you would need to broach when you found the opportunity, but until then, it keeping guard served to fill you with every inch the relief it caused Tim in distress.Which was fortunate, because with everything you had learned, you can't imagine you would have been any use had your attentions been scattered any further by the sort of anxiety gripping your companion.The Luna Delegate had come as a subjugation force, fully resolved to put everyone at the Shrine of Dryad to death in order to quarantine some nebulous 'contamination' passed from Dryad into its faithful. It was a course of action that was little more than an amputation, and more depressingly, one that had been issued a sanction by the Shrine as a whole... And as you had reluctantly suspected, they had confirmed that your involvement was critical towards its success.No... That wasn't quite right. Your involvement was just the most convenient outcome; What they needed wasn't you, but your late sister's bracelet.
You frowned as the campfire's warm light glimmered off its figure, giving the familiar bronze rings an almost molten gleam. You had treasured it as a keepsake of your sister, but the mystery surrounding it seemed content to only grow deeper and more confusing. The Delegate had theorized that it had the capability of commanding apparitions... Or, more outrageously, perhaps even the potential to compel the Mana themselves. It was this possibility that they had hinged their entire plan on, in the hopes that you could somehow lull Dryad into slumber.Given that you had only ever used it to cause extensive property damage and deeply seated psychological scars, this plan did not fill you with any sort of confidence."I've done what I can, though it isn't very much." Elly interrupted your thoughts with a soft murmur, "I think she'll be fine. Probably.""...Probably?" You echo back the diagnosis, perhaps more harshly than you meant to considering the reflexive recoil from your Dryad Representative. "What's wrong with her?""Nothing! Or, I guess that is the problem. I can't find anything wrong with her, other than how unusually frail she is. It seems like she's simply sleeping." Elly wrung her hands together awkwardly, shrinking under your crimson stare, "But she's... Not waking up, exactly. I'm not sure why."Your eyes drifted shut as you sighed. A healer, or some kind of Wisp adept would have been better suited for what you had asked Elly to do, but you didn't have either on hand. "As long as she'll be okay for now." You mutter in resignation. You had Ari back, and the Fae had promised to return your missing knights as well. With this, you had everything you had come out to retrieve; There wasn't any point in staying out here any longer. In fact, the sooner you could get Ari back to Carona and have a proper healer look her over, the better... Which meant it was time to leave.Yet there in lay the problem.You didn't fully understand where you were, much less how you could leave. Signs pointed tentatively towards the entire construct being similar to an Atelier, but that only spun more questions into the fray. If it was an Atelier, then where was its Guardian? What was the meaning behind it all? And who did it belong to? The path to Solving an Atelier was in coming to understand its creator, and the burdens that they couldn't leave behind. It was a feat of empathy, above all... And if you couldn't recognize the feelings that wove through it all, then only rejection awaited you.But even then, if by some fluke you did manage to Solve it... Would it matter? Solving the Ice Queen's Atelier hadn't magically opened some exit for you. The Atelier remained as it always had, it simply accepted your presence and stopped trying to freeze you to into its halls. In the worst case scenario, a failed attempt at Solving may force you into a confrontation with its Guardian.
You still vividly remembered the feeling of being so helplessly dwarfed in your last meeting with one of those watchful sentinels, and the chill that ran down your spine alongside that memory had nothing to do with the icy palace the encounter had taken place in."So what now?" Tim ventured after an uneasy silence, "What's our plan, Irue?""We need to return to the Shrine and warn the others." Elly piped up quietly, careful not to accidentally rouse Ari... Though she had admitted to be unsure why she wasn't waking in the first place. "Maybe one of the others will be able to help this girl, and at the very least she could use a bath.""Hmn. Well we got what we came out here for, didn't we?" He glanced at Ari, and then to you questioningly. "If Irue's done out here, then you'll get no complaints from me." Tim shared your general distrust for the Luna Delegate, and you knew as much... Though you doubted Elly realized those unspoken sentiments were an implicit approval for any plan which didn't involve going back to them.Or... Was that right? He had been helping you get away from them, but he had nothing personal against them other than the fact that you distrusted them. If anything, rather than share in your doubt, he seemed to simply take his lead from your judgement and trust you had good reasons."I pray my brother is still well." Elly let out a small sigh, curling her knees into her chest to serve as a chin rest. "Dryad, please look after him...">Talk about what you learned from the Delegate (what?)>Ask Elly about a pleasant dream for Dryad>Introduce the Oakenrue>Meditate (What?)>'A Spider's Web'>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)>Other? (write-in)
Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Valen+Quest Where things are said: https://twitter.com/Riz_QMWhere things are asked: http://ask.fm/RizQMAssorted Supplemental:Current Abilities - http://pastebin.com/PchcdWpwA List of Forgotten Things - http://pastebin.com/kPEscJ3hIrue's Memoires - http://pastebin.com/sWnicrK7Write-ups:Kara's Day Out - http://pastebin.com/8ZbiSKLsAdventures with Asche - http://pastebin.com/RNviCBJuThe Reclaimed Doll - http://pastebin.com/n6miP1qTIn Your Shadow - http://pastebin.com/EfeeHFAEFriends Forever - http://pastebin.com/Yn0QaTVBThe Woman Beneath Steel - http://pastebin.com/pMGgiHC3Misc notes:Search for the truth you already know. Turn, turn, turn until you see something else. Lie to yourself until you feel better.Memo:1. Get gifts for all our companions. Miniature Oakenrue for Ari, Tellenford Diary for Mim, Choker for Kara, mini-Vacation for Rinnier we can make Priat take her out on a social date. Maybe set up something where the people of Carona can thank her for her work and help remind her WHY she does it.2. Invite Marchovic on adventures next time there's a chance.3. Mim said "When are you going to tell her?" Tell what to whom?
finally caught a live one, good to see you back
>>1700668Welcome anon! I hope catching up on the archives was enough to tide you over until I came back!
>>1700677Aw shit, I just saw the thread up. I need more time for the Forgetting!I hope this isn't the special one
>>1700680It's not, anon! You will know exactly when it is, though. I promise.
>>1700639Worst thing about forgettings is that I never know to which thing in update it's related to.
>>1700639The Atelier can belong to no one else but the House Valen Founder1. If the plan includes both the Dryad Adepts and the Luna Delegate dead, with a cover-up following, who else could have done it?2. Our Founder penned a book on the Fae.3. Someone also had to make the compact with the Fae.4. This is somewhat tenuous, but in the Ice Queen Atelier we were inserted into the role of the Atelier's master in regards to the memory fragments inside. The same might be true now as well.It's Guardian(s) are probably the Fae. It were them who reacted to a violent action against the forest some time ago.The bracelet has previously belonged to Mint. It was probably its use that had driven Mana from the dead zones. The empirical evidence for separating a Mana's influence from its mind probably also comes from that time, since Dryad was allegedly driven out, yet there were living people inside.On an unrelated note, given how insanely Irue's character resembles that of the Fae, and how much the Fae like Irue, I think we're effectively a Fae Adept. We just either don't know how to use this, or the Fae can't grant any powers on the account of being separated from the rest of Dryad.>Ask Elly about a pleasant dream for Dryad
>>1700639Time for forgetting!I suspect the Forgetting relates to Tim, but he's been slightly different every loop.I want to tell them that Luna is coming to kill Dryad's adepts and put Dryad to sleep, but all that'll do is distract them at best.>Ask Elly about a pleasant dream for Dryadmight was well>Introduce the OakenrueDo this last, so if it goes wrong we at least get some info.No meditation until we finish talking. Go away Spider's Web, you don't work in here anyway.
>>1700639>Introduce the Oakenrue>Explain to them how we came in possession of it, who Ari is and how she was abducted.I'm thinking that since no one in the present time has any damn clue about our situation maybe these thousand year old dream constructs could have some kind of insight for us. It's not like it matters if they're weirded out by it, after all we'll either leave the atelier or have another reset. Hell, might even be the guardian speaking through them or something?>Talk about what you learned from the DelegateAbout the contamination. Maybe Elly has noticed something about herself or her peers if she is as favored as we think.>>1700705Well, I'm still certain that Irue is the reclaimed doll. What if they shoved a fae into it, or a piece of Dryad? If you are playing God, why settle for less?
>>1700705It's also mentioned in ask.fm that it is the Founder's direct bloodline that has the pact with Fae.
i'm guesing riz fell asleep?
>>1700705>>1700768Sweet dreams, Dryad!>>1700768>>1700818And now we are immediately introducing you to the Oakenrue.No one got the Forgetting, though you had some interesting ideas! Writing!>>1701072I did. I sleep through the day to avoid the sun when possible, and since the first option was a Forgetting, I figured no one would mind having some more time.
>>1701889Isn't Ari some sort of like, prophesized person of interest?
>>1701889>No one got the Forgetting>AgainWe're going to fail the special one, we are.
>>1703442he did hint which threads we should look at for the forgetting, maybe that'l help
You imagine Dryad was the last thing her brother wanted looking after him at this point. More over, something he had said was still bothering you. "Elly, do you think Mana can dream?""Huh?" She blinked confusedly, face brightening excitedly as she leaned towards you. "You think about that too?"You recoiled marginally at the sudden smile on her face. "I mean I don't think about it all the time, but sometimes at night, just before I fall asleep, it kind of occurs to me, you know? And the others think I'm being silly, but I really like my dreams, and I think it'd be sad if Mana couldn't dream too.""So... You think they can?" You almost felt guilty encouraging this conversation. It felt like she had just filed this particular kind of conversation away as something she'd never get to talk about with anyone... And now you'd opened the box."I don't know!" She chirped quietly, cheer invading her voice even as she tried to keep silent for Ari's sake. "I don't really know if Mana are capable of sleeping. The others keep reminding me that they're very different from us, so things we take for granted may not even exist for them... Like, what do you think Dryad's favorite food is? I think Salamander would like spicy things, personally, but for Dryad... Maybe pudding?" She folded her hands together in a show of earnest contemplation. "For a long time I thought it was really sad that the Mana didn't get to experience all the things we do, but Kole suggested that maybe they have things we can't imagine either, and they enjoy them just as much! ...He never told me what they could be, though.""Well if you can't imagine it, it'd be hard to imagine it." Tim contributed helpfull- Wait, no. Please don't encourage her."Oh! Oh that makes sense... So he wasn't just teasing me!""If they could dream-" You gently tried to lead Elly back to the conversation, "-What do you think Dryad would consider a pleasant one?""Wouldn't it be one where it was surrounded by people it loved?" She asked curiously, "When I was younger, I dreamed about my brother a lot. It was just after we separated, so I worried about him a lot... I don't do it so much anymore, but I remember they helped put me at ease back then." Elly shrugged, shoulders sagging as the conversation started to distract her from recent events. "It sort of felt like he was still there with me, I guess.""Or it could dream about pudding." Tim snorted, eliciting a mighty pout from the Dryad Representative."I only did that once!"
You let Tim work off his own anxiety by poking fun at Elly, listening to their hushed teasing drone on in the background as you thought more about what you had learned while speaking to the Delegate. There was a common factor in what both Elly and her brother had told you, and that was the sheer disconnect between how humans and the Mana exist. Could they even sleep? Was sleeping the same thing to a Mana as it was to the rest of you? And if so, could they dream? The entire plan of the Luna Delegate seemed to hinge on the assumption that something approaching both sleep and dreams were possible, but nothing suggested that it would be anything like the sort you could relate to.Then there was the contamination itself. Elly's brother had described it like a voice, or some sort of idea. It wasn't any sort of physical illness, but something else - Just what was it?"Elly, has Dryad been acting strangely lately?" You wouldn't get anywhere just asking yourself these questions, especially not when you had the Representative of Dryad right in front of you. If it really had been contaminated somehow, then Elly would likely be the first to know."Oh, yes.""..."You looked at each other blankly for a moment. "We talked about this a little when we met, remember? ...Though with everything that's happened, I wouldn't blame you for forgetting." You blinked, suddenly feeling at a loss as you tried to remember what she had told you. "Dryad has been unusually excited of late," she continued patiently, "It started shortly after we began to return from the dead zones, but it's... Almost like a song, I guess? It feels like reunion... And I've done my best to share it with the others." Her smile strained, but the warmth remained. "Many of us were disconnected and distant upon returning from the dead zones. It felt appropriate that we do everything we could to welcome each other back." This all sounded familiar. You had definitely had this conversation before. What else had you forgotten...?"It's more than just us, though." Elly continued with a comforting smile, "If you think about it, it's a time for everyone's reunions. Dryad's beloved returning to the Shrine, my brother coming to visit again after so long, and even you-" She laid her hand on Ari's shoulder, "-Found someone you had lost. We're all returning together."Tim chuckled softly to himself, poking the fire as he listened in. "Speaking of someone... Who is she, anyhow?" The hunter gestured towards Ari curiously, "She related to that thing you told me about?""Something like that." You settle on an answer after a moment. It took you a moment before you remembered what he was referring to, and even then... You thought he had just brushed it off. You sigh, and decide to go for broke. "She is, and I was lucky that she still had her guardian with her when she was taken."
"Guardian?" Elly blinked owlishly, "Like a bodyguard?""An apparition, sort of." You correct her, cautiously pulsing an invitation to the Oakenrue as you continued. "You're familiar with it already, but I had told it to protect her a long time ago... And despite everything that's happened, it did just that.""Oi. If it's supposed to be protecting her, what happened to it?" Tim stuck his stick into the tiny firepit, "I'd be sleeping a lot tighter tonight if we had an apparition out here to protect us from that monster from earlier.""...""...""Um, excuse me..." Elly interrupted the uncomfortable staring contest between Tim and you, which spared you the growing nervousness in his eyes as he slowly shook his head from side to side. "You said apparition... What sort is it, exactly?""...As far as I can tell, Dryad's." It had been something on your mind for a long time now, but you suppose it was time to admit it. "It's complicated, but when I encountered it first, it resembled a wooden golem. Since then it's been changing, and I'm not entirely sure why.""No, no that's not possible." Elly shook her head, "Dryad doesn't make apparitions.""Well." You crossed your legs as the Oakenrue descended from the canopy. Tim, suspicious as he had been already, was the first to realize it was there... And subsequently announced its arrival by tumbling back into the brush with a shriek. Elly's eyes grew wide in wonder as the flesh-covered appendages of the Oakenrue lowered it slowly towards the ground, introducing the elongated amalgamation of spindly limbs to the camp occupants. "Things change.""Oh my goodness..." Elly loosed a breath of awe as she slowly rose, delicately approaching the Oakenrue with an outstretched hand. It considered her curiously, but did little more to acknowledge the Dryad representative as she laid her hands upon it. "Oh, you poor thing. You really are...""When the fuck did that thing get here?!" Tim vocalized his displeasure from somewhere in the brush, "Are you telling me that is that girl's protector?""It's good at its job." You answered blandly, watching Tim very slowly come to terms with the sudden presence of the thing he had been trying to look out for since camp was made. "It's-" Your memories drifted back towards the golem you had bonded with before entering the Fae Forest. "-It's a good child. I trusted it with Ari, and that's more than I can say for most people.""Right." Even if he agreed, Tim wasn't letting it out of his sight. The man almost flinched at every twist or sway of the fleshy golem's appendages. "Of course. Nothing unusual. Should have expected shit like this. It's always shit like this with you.""Where are you going?""For a walk. Brush my horse." Tim answered mutedly as he slowly eased his way out of your encampment, "Just gonna... Calm down for a bit before I come back."
ou watched him leave awkwardly, almost wanting to call him back... But he would be fine. You'd give him some time to calm down before going after him. "This sap..." In the meantime, Elly had continued to pet the apparition as if trying to comfort a small animal. "It's the same as what's on her, isn't it? But why...?""It was keeping her inside of it to protect her." You briefly recount what you had experienced in finding Ari, "I don't know what's with the sap, though. It almost looks like something wounded it, but I can't imagine anything that could cause something like that.""They are wounds, but... I think they were self-inflicted." Elly answered softly, "I couldn't understand where your friend had found all of that sap, but it's thriving with Dryad's essence."Well, that would make sense if it came from an apparition of Dryad. Shade's sake, the way it oozed from the carved out gouges in the body made it look like the apparition's blood. "She had sap on her lips, and from what I could tell, it had drained into her mouth as well... I was suspicious she may have been trying to drink it, but... Perhaps this child had been attempting to feed it to her? I can't imagine why it would have done that, though.">Ask something else>Pet Tree>Go talk to Tim>'A Spider's Web'>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)>Other? (write-in)
>>1702441You know nothing about prophecies, anon! Other than ruining it somehow makes Maran upset, which is enough motivation for you.
>>1703692>It's always shit like this with you.I mean. Really what has happened that's been so crazy so far to Tim.
>>1703672>Pet Tree> Try some of the SapPUT ON THE MASK.
>>1703672>>1703733I am fine waiting for other people to weigh in on trying the sap. We should feed some to Tim and Elly first, actually.
>>1703448You mean the whole 2015 thing?
>>1703725When you're not around, Tim spends most of his days hunting deer and boar, anon.Meanwhile you have spent most of your time fleeing Luna Delegates, tracking down brutally murdered people, and befriending murderous tree monsters covered in a thin layer of cold, human flesh.It concerns him that you don't understand why this is distressing, but at this point he's resigned to it.
>>17036722 forgettings back to back? Do you hate us?>forgettingsomething about the forgotten doll tale he told us?>"Apparitions are born of a Mana, but in time they can grow. Become more than just a simple reflection of their origin.>In other versions of the story, the stolen people would be carved open and drained of blood by their family's doll>"The only way to lift that curse was for that family to find their doll again and break it open, then take the blood back."Or maybe something about the Sap?>Pet Tree
>>1703672Didn't I say it before? The Oakenrue was feeding Ari the sap to purge her of Luna's presence. Because that sap is the basis of Faedka.'A piece of us guards her.''Your blood fills its veins.''It has become stubborn as well.''Sings of selfish bonds.''Cradles the blighted child.''Begs for more time.''It will die.''Blood masks the scent.''Its veins will soon run dry.''Dedicated to its task.''Endures our memories alone.''We dare not draw their ire.'>Ask more about that song>Ask if Elly heard about any Goddesses.
>>1703672Tell Elly about faedka and the faedka bender.
>>1703873>"I couldn't understand where your friend had found all of that sap, but it's thriving with Dryad's essence."I don't think that's it, unless Dryad's essence is unrecognizable as a Mana at all.
>>1703943I don't think Dryad would purge its own essence. The defining characteristic of Fae is jealousy, so it makes sense that they purge all other Mana.
>>1703869It's your final exam, anon! There are lots of things you've forgotten, or just not put together yet!But I really want you to understand. I desperately want to see you realize it, and everything it implies. It's like watching with held breath, when you're only a step or two away. It just takes that one vital connection, and everything falls into place.
>>1703994> It just takes that one vital connection, and everything falls into place.I might have bad news for you then...
If East heaven were tasked with creating faedka to prevent the corruption, and irue has been force fed it for ages... Is she contaminated? A contamination vector?If it manifest as a song, is it related to why Ashe hardly speaks?Can someone not at work or on a phone go back and check for songs?
>>1703994I'm going to throw a bunch of insane theories I had at you.Irue's (and all of the main Valen bloodline's) purpose is to be loved by the Fae, thus providing positive experiences to Dryad. The Testament Rite is a tool to make sure they're trained in befriending.Irue IS the Dryad's tomb. Oakenrue look like us because they're apparitions of us.Irue is a Dryad Aspiration created by the bracelet and nurtured to full independence.Irue is the real main figure of the Prophecy. Maran misinterpreted it.The Testament Rite wasn't meant to evoke the founder's relationship with Mint, unlike what Caylen once told us. It was between the founder and the Fae.The Royal Cousin was our prospective husband.
>>1704142Some of those are silly, anon!None of them are relevant to the current forgetting, but I like that you're willing to reexamine things you were told, and realize that you've learned something since that changes what you thought you knew to something else. Because that is relevant.
>>1704120Also, is this why Clara confined us to the house no one even knew existed and his us from the world?
>>1704185Mhmm. What do we know that is put into doubt by later info?By Elly's words, Nymph's Wood is wood filled with Dryad's essence.The glowing saplings we know as Nymph's Wood scare Dryad apparitions. It might not be actual Nymph's Wood. Maybe something called this because of some similarity.Also, the merchant who sold it to us said it requires constant care. While Priat told us it can grow just fine in the middle of a desert. I think the merchant might have lied.Trying to sell the saplings was the beginning of the invasion of Teranford. Maybe the strategy was to make as much people care for the saplings because it consumes love, or something?What else, anons?
30m till the window closes, if there are any last second attempts.
>>1704142Your first and last guess seem plausibleBut as always, we are wrong.
>>1704298All I can think up is that Oakenrue was fed our blood so it protects Ari as we would. And it's been changing to be more like us, covered in flesh as we are. Oakenrues tried to mimic us from the very beginning.Or, since the apparitions are the dreams of Fae, maybe the dreams are changing. Maybe the Fae want to dream of something else.Or, remembering how an Oakenrue changed when the Fae possessed it, maybe this one is possessed too. By us, through our blood.
Hey if the golem a job is keeping her safe, and it's feeding her sap/faedka whatever, is it protecting her from the weird corruptions that happen when we talk about Luna in this place?
>>1703672>>Am I forgetting something...? (write-in)It's protecting her, from Luna
Damn it all if we don't get this, I'm pretty sure this is about Ari and not us. Typical Irue narcissism
>>1703733>>1703869Pet tree!>>1703733Taste sap!>>1703894Talk about our alcohol problems.>>1703869This is relevant to your circumstances, but not the Forgetting.>>1703873>>1703970While you didn't seem to fully get it, this is the correct answer.i had hoped you would completely realize the implications on your own, but this is till close enough to warrant Irue putting it together.
>>1704381What is this half triumphant and half horrified feeling?
>>1704381I don't get it either, please help us to understand!
>>1704381Is the implication that the Oakenrue loves Ari? Instead of us?
So evidently I must leave the house for a while. The majority of the update has yet to be written, but I'll leave you the first part now, since I don't know if I'll be able to finish it when I get back.
The flesh covered apparition didn't seem to mind Elly's gentle ministrations, but it also didn't seem to particularly care, either. It allowed her to poke and prod curiously about its body as she wanted, even as the vaguely familiar scent of alcohol filled the camp. Amber-like sap still oozed from those raw gouges, stoking the memories of the beverage that had all but become your bane.How many times had you wound up lapsing in discipline and drowning yourself in Faedka? You couldn't even remember when you had first tasted it, but at some point you had just come to accept its presence around the mansion... Right up until the beginning of your Rite, when you had told Asche to get rid of it.But of course it had kept coming back... Somehow. At first you had thought Asche had just missed some, but-Like Faedka? Is that where all the alcohol has been coming from?-Rinnier had made that connection instantly. You had felt so stupid back then. The origin of Faedka was the Fae. It was in the bloody name. Even still... You had never stopped to think about what that meant until now. Even if you knew that Faedka had been coming from the Fae, as your knights had suggested, it left so many things unexplained. Besides the somewhat horrifying implication that they had been wandering around and visiting completely without your knowledge, you never stopped to question what it was. Given Asche's report, you had initially considered it some of drug meant to cause Mana Purge, but... No, no that's not it. It did cause Mana Purge, but drugs weren't the only way to do that. From the beginning, there had been a much simpler method. All you needed to do was have an Adept of sufficient strength flush your system... Flood it with enough of another Mana's essence that it would forcibly drown out anything else.You run your finger along one of the open wounds, collecting a dollop of the sticky syrup upon the tip of your finger. It was a small taste, tentatively pressed upon your tongue, but the taste was unmistakable. It didn't smell like Faedka, it was Faedka. The origin of that misbegotten drink... It wasn't even a drink in the first place.You had been drinking the blood of these apparitions for Luna only knew how long. Watered down, perhaps, but it was impossible to mistake this taste. This sap - This blood - which was overflowing with the essence of Dryad... Of course drinking something like this would result in Mana Purge. You had all but swallowed the physical manifestation of Dryad- Literally gotten drunk on it....And it wasn't just you, either. All of your knights. Everyone back at your house had been freely drinking this for almost a month. Shade bless, Kara's pack had gotten addicted to it.
>>1704602Wait. Are WE contaminated now?
>>1704642It is liquid love
>>1704821No wonder Irulen never had any romantic feelings.Also. Feeling very angry. At someone, not sure who. Possibly everyone. Just saying that beating answers out of people is starting to seem more and more reasonable.
>>1704642For sure, assuming the sap is a viable vector.>>1704827I suspect that has more to do with being hidden a month's travel away from anyone. I'm more mad at our aunt for sticking us way out here. If we hadn't been all the way out here, we wouldn't have gotten in half as much trouble.
>>1704895Social interaction? Ugh, That is soooo yesterday.Loneliness? Abandonment issues? Put a lid on it, please, it's called building character!
>>1704947I can't wait to get back and yell at a little girl again.
>>1704954Pls no bully Mim
...Was it really any wonder you had never been able to garner an affinity with any other Mana? All of those years of study, of practice and meditation, and you had just resigned yourself to never finding the sort of favor that those of the Shrine were graced with. 'I threw myself into meditation and study every day; Burning, burying, drowning, falling, sweating, crying and studying. I wanted a Mana's Favour. I read and believed that if I just dedicated myself enough - If I just gave enough - That I could get that much.'You had struggled in vain for years, never once noticing the presence that had laid its claim so jealously on you.'Some of you are born beloved by the world, yet after a decade of giving, what do I have to show for it?'You staggered back, only barely arresting your own fall as one hand shakily rose to cradle your face. Elly was speaking, but the meaning of her words were lost on you. All you could hear was your own beating heart, and the rustling of leaves. The creaking of bow and branch. The same forest symphony that had been in your ears ever since you were a child.Are you talking to it? What are you apologizing for?Back then... Priat hadn't known what you were talking about. The way they spoke to you, the ebb and flow of the forest. It wasn't because they had chosen to speak only to you, it was because he was incapable of hearing them at all. As the Representative of Salamander, obviously he lacked to affinity to understand. He was deaf to the forest, and thus, deaf to the Fae.He couldn't have communicated with Dryad... Just as you had never heard the voice Salamander. The Mana would have jealously blocked each other out, possessive as they were.'Dear child.''Wayward gift.''Prodigal ward.''Beloved friend.''Shy attendant.'From the beginning, all the way back to that moment when you had first encountered Dryad's apparitions. They had done everything they could to mimic you. To understand and communicate. They had disguised themselves to accompany you, tried to protect you from the Oakenbear, and willingly devoted themselves to whatever you had asked.'You came back.''Our beloved child.'
But it was more than that. It wasn't just you. A contract, signed under a single name.'if they invited you, they consider your presence necessary.'The Luna Delegate had planned this meticulously. Had specifically baited the founder's involvement using your late sister's bracelet to ensure their cooperation. They had known that the only survivor of what was to come would have been House Valen's founder. 'Ideally we would use a portion of the land in this forest, preferrably one already segregated by some natural topography, which could serve as a border.'Someone who had, years previously, been gifted ownership of this very land. Who would go on to make their home in these thrice damned woods.'Further north than your estate, there is a river that marks the boundary between Valen lands and the Lords of the Forest whom allow us patronage.'Your entire... All of House Valen's lineage...'Something which the Mana could draw comfort from would be best. There is even the possibility that, if exposed to a dream it sincerely enjoys, it may actively resist waking.'The family crypts, The tradition of setting your dead adrift on the river, and returned to the forest...'What do you think Dryad would consider a pleasant dream?'All of it...!'Wouldn't it be one where it was surrounded by people it loved?'>?
>>1704964Is this the place where we fuck up and disappoint Riz forever?
>>1704964>All of it is going according to fucking Luna's plan.
>>1704974>No Irue your lineage are the tombs
>>1704964> Meditate on Dryad"Wake Up"
>>1704964hold the fuck onare you saying that us leaving the goddamn house roused dryad from its slumber and doomed the whole fucking world to meme magic
>>1704978>We are basically a teddy bear for Dryad
>>1704964>Meditate to DryadTell it to wake up.After all, if it is awake can just follow us around instead of getting lonely when we leave!
>>1704980>>1705003We can't meditate to Dryad, anons.>one of the most key parts of meditating to Dryad was an open mind and an open heart. This means unconditional love, acceptance of things you do not agree with, patience and forgiveness for those who wrong you, and the willingness to trust people inherently.That's not Irue at allWe could try meditating to Fae though.
>>1704964>it may actively resist waking.'>>1704989Thus the jealousy, and the mimicry, and the following us when we left.We have family crypts, but send the dead down the river?Asche knows; she's the protector/jailor of Dryad's favorite plaything. Our aunt and uncle can't know, they wanted to marry us off, send us away from Dryad; whoever we married wouldn't want to live all the way out here. They would have had to live here themselves, or send our cousin.We're still missing a link somewhere. From what we know of what happened here, our ancestor agreed to do this, but bailed on the delegation before it got to the shrine. Did they go back to the delegation and finish the job? But then Dryad should hate us, not love us.
>>1705023Probably something in the flashback with the children
>>1705023> Who killed our FamilyFuckers from the Empire probably. Luna probably knows.
>>1705023The ancestor's job wasn't killing the Adpets, it was lulling Dryad to sleep. Maybe after all the others were dead Dryad's love became concentrated on the ancestor?
>>1705035So we are going into the shrine to become the firekeeper?Anyway, how do we put it to sleep? Turn on the microphone on the bracelet and sing a lullaby?
>>1705037Probably by meditating extra hard.
>>1704964Plan B -> Chug the sap while meditating on Dryad while inside the Golem.Also yeah Ari is probably a Luna Adept and gonna get attacked by the Guardian once she is no longer mana-saturated w/ Dryad.
By the way, are we solving it by repeating the steps of what really happened or by, I dunno, fulfilling the Guardian's wishes or something?Going back to our favorite place in time it does look like we should betray Elly to keep time moving forward but is that what we want to do?
>>1705142We solved the Ice Queen Atelier by realizing a thing about its founder.
>>1704963wait, didn't irue already realise all of this?
Voting against the disastrous ->wake dryadand >drink more faedka- choicesI don't have any good ideas of my own. I suppose we could ->laugh hysterically>cry a lot
>>1704964One more insane theory: Asche was called our Guardian by the Fae.What if WE are the Atelier?
>>1704964Realized I didn't actually vote for anything.>Realize your only reason for existence is as the plaything of a sleeping Mana>Realize you're never getting out of here>Laugh hysterically>>1705200Then we'd have to... solve ourself?For solving: Still no idea how, but I suspect we have to say or do something to Dryad's shrine (as in the location not the people) or the Luna delegation.
>>1705359Feed the tree with Oakenrue's sap? Give it a lil sippy to perk it up
>>1705362An Atelier should be solvable without outside resources or info, especially one you can't otherwise leave; otherwise, they could become unsolvable due to loss or destruction.>>1705145It's a sample size of one, but it's all we have, unless we Remember something we've read about other ones?unrelatedly, is it possible for an Aeon to not be aligned to any particular Mana?
>>1705398Actually, hold on, who was the Aeon that created this Atelier? If our founder had become one, we should know about it, right? That'd be a fairly major part of the family history. I guess it could be Dryad's, or the Fae's, but that doesn't seem right. It slotted us in as the founder, but what if that's due to our blood? Tim is there with us at the beginning of each loop.
>>1705421The history of our founder is murky.
>>1704980>>1705003...Waking up Dryad?>>1705198>>1705359two votes to breakdown and cry.>>1705070I never thought I'd see a vote to willingly get shitfaced on Faedka in this quest... Much less one to do so while attempting to synchronize from the inside of an empathic bio-mecha.Technically the votes to breakdown, and the votes to try and wake Dryad aren't mutually exclusive, but given there's some resistance to the latter, what do anons want to do here?>Wake Dryad>Do Not Wake Dryad
>>1706745>>Do Not Wake DryadIt is one of those things you can't undo, and we still don't fully understand the ramifications.I voted for breaking down due to this being a rather shattering revelation, and the lack of other options. We're not in any state to ask Elly questions, and even if we were she couldn't answer anything relevant.We could always try and calm ourselves down with some nice meditation
>>1704985After laughing at this for several minutes, there's a couple things you're overlooking. One being that Dryad is still asleep currently, and the others... Well, I'll leave that to you to figure out.>>1705162Previous realizations and forgettings:1. Faedka came from the Fae2. The Fae were apparitions of DryadThings realized now:1. Faedka is literally apparition blood2. The Mana Purge it causes is due to flooding the drinker with Dryad, rather than purging all Mana.3. Why you've never been able to garner an affinity with any Mana4. What the Fae border actually represents5. The implications of what you (and your family line) are to Dryad, and what the previously mentioned "contract" with the Fae actually entails.There's actually more you could realize on your own with this information. Like... Two other important things off the top of my head. Or three.You may have forgotten them, though.
>>1706745>>Do Not Wake DryadJoke votes is always a bad idea
>>1706824>>1706960Looks like not waking is the verdict.So we're just gonna cry, then.Writing!
>>1707109Could I vote to still get shitfaced?
>>1707553If this is your heart's desire, anon.Though if your beverage of choice isn't Faedka, you'll have to wait till you get out of here.
So how is East Heaven even harvesting fae blood to distill faedka? Why are they handing it out to potentional adepts if it fills them with the mana off a forgotten, sleeping Mana instead of just using the regular method?
>>1707650I don't think East have is making faedka; that was a theory when we thought it was created to purge all Mana. In fact, this would be the opposite of the desired effect: flooding the target with Dryad, the contaminated Mana, the one they would have been trying to remove.
>>1707661I'm pretty sure that's what the book asche found in the library said. Hell it even has a name and a labelCan't look it up right now though
>>1707583>irue returns in corona>walks past everyone to a cabinet>grabs rum, drinks entire bottle in one go>yells about wooden forest psychopats and sleeping yandere mana>passes out, rinnier loses it
>>1707727Oh, anon... You don't remember, do you?
>>1707747>You don't remember, do you?This is our default state in this quest.
>>1707764Do you want a hint for this one? It's nothing you could make use of, but I thought someone would have realized it before now.
>>1707747>No reason for 'Jinn calls me.' to stop working>Irue does drink>We left rinnier in Carona???>>1707727>psychopats
>>1707775Rinnier has long drunk all the alcohol in Carone because of those same wooden psychopaths?
>>1707790Close!What is the last thing you remember about Carona?
>>1707793Shit.We gave all our Faedka supplies to Yuri to sell in Carona.
>>1707776me good spell words
>>1707814You can do better than that, anon. What is the last thing you remember about Carona?
>>1707823lot of demihumans addicted to feadka there? where we told all our supplies to be sold
>>1707823last mention about carona was that the tracks frome the shrine delegates came from them. and that carona has always been close to dryad
>>1707823Fucking hate that place.
>>1707823Does it have to do with the blood-stealing dolls?And a unrelated question: how did we obtain our sister's bracelet? Did she leave it at home?
>>1707869Rinnier was drunk and angry and sleep deprived and picked a fight with asche. Also beat her up with a stick too
You needed a drink.It was the first thought which sprang unbidden to mind, even while the faint smell of Faedka served to ambiently remind you of everything you felt the need to drink away. How you were even supposed to react to this? Finding out your entire family had served as glorified teddy bears for a sleeping Mana, deliberately forgotten by the world through the machinations of the Shrine... For Luna only knew why.And if anyone knew why, it was Luna. The Mana that had spearheaded the whole endeavour, and set this affair in motion, all to contain some vague contamination. If the notion of the Mana of Knowledge deeming it an acceptable outcome to commit genocide and thrust one of its own siblings into a sealed coma didn't make you so wary, you may have made good on your initial instinct to try and force Dryad awake again simply out of spite.The thought that Luna probably wouldn't have seen that coming was almost enough to act as a balm to the simmering bitterness you felt over all of this... But you were right to be wary. You had first hand experience with what Dryad's apparitions could do when roused, and they represented only the most minute scope of their Mana's feelings. As much as you hated the lot you had found yourself holding, even your imagination couldn't begin to paint a picture of what would happen once an awoken Dryad went berserk as its apparitions had. It wasn't a question of 'if' that would come to pass, but 'when'. The single minded and all consuming wrath Dryad still harbored over being betrayed was anything but forgotten, and the resentment you felt from having been used paled in comparison. Without the distraction of its dreams to pacify it, you doubted there would even need to be a spark to set Dryad off.No, waking Dryad up wasn't something you could take back. No matter how filled with spite you may have been, lashing out like that would be disasterous.Sobering as those thoughts were, they did nothing to abate your desire to find the nearest liqour cabinet and drink yourself into a stupor. In fact, the lack of alcohol to cope with was all the more damning, as you found yourself slinking down to your knees with grit teeth. "Irue! Oh goodness..." Elly finally noticed your deterioration, approaching you with a cautiously outstretched hand. "Did something happen to you earlier? Are you hurt? How can I help?""I'm fine!" You lie through your teeth, seizing control of your voice a moment too late to prevent the biting tone. You weren't fine at all with this, but you had no idea what else to do about it. What could you do? Demand answers from Luna's Dominion? No matter how furious you were with the current state of things, you were too late to change them. All of this had been set in stone since before La'Fiel even existed; Before your family was even considered nobility in the first place.
It was too late now. Far too late. You had always known the your family name came with heavy responsibilities, and this was just another to add to that pile... But Shade's sake, this wasn't at all what you had been expecting to take on.Irue Valen. Heir to House Valen. Heir to a line of wardens to a dreaming Mana. The one meant to succeed leadership of your family, and inherit the contracts and obligations of your predecessors. It wasn't something you had the luxury of running away from, even if you didn't like it... It was just.Unfair.Your eyes felt hot as the sentiment finally found a word, and all at once you wanted to do aught else but scream it. Everything you had gone through, all the times you had struggled to prove yourself during the Rite, the mistakes you had made along the way, and now there was more. More that you were responsible for, more that fell to your shoulders.Why had you even wanted to be the head of House Valen? You had no political ambitions, you never had any particular thirst for power. After everything that had happened, you couldn't even remember why you had worked so hard for it in the first place.Was it just because you had always assumed that's what you would be? That you had simply been born to ascend to that stage? No... It was never that complicated. You hadn't given any thought to what it actually meant to be the head of House Valen, even before connecting the dots in this baleful Atelier. When you had made the decision to assume the mantle of head, it hadn't been because you wanted it - It had been because of spite.You were going to overturn that sham of an arranged marriage and take control of your own life. That was it. You had started everything until now simply out of a stubborn refusal to let anyone else make decisions for you. It was only after that childish rebellion that you began to understand the weight of your family's name, and the obligations that came with it. ...And it seemed like even now, you were still learning just how heavy they really were."Irue I... I'm going to get Tim." Elly stepped back hesitantly, pausing only long enough to take your lake of response as approval before hurrying out in pursuit of someone she likely thougnt could help. You were thankful for the reprieve it bought you, as it allowed you some time to try and pull yourself together.Nothing had changed. Or more appropriately, this changed nothing. The bitter taste of what you had learned wasn't going to go away, and even if you hadn't known about it before, this had always been your cross to bear. One you had already born for at least the last decade. If anything, knowing your role as the Warden of Dryad would only make it easier for you to perform.
What it did was raise questions. Had aunt Clara known this when she arranged for you to live out here? Did Alouette know? Your parents? Was all of this just some family secret that no one had bothered to clue you in on? Had no one thought it a good idea to maybe tell you about Dryad when they had taken notice of your interest in studying Mana?And if you were beloved by Dryad, then was it safe to say that it favored you...? Or in other words, did this make you an Adept? More importantly, if Dryad's contamination could be spread to its favored, then wouldn't that mean you were contaminated already? If that were true, then anyone exposed to Faedka could be the same; As a physical infusion of blood from an apparition of Dryad, it was comparable to consuming the blood of a plague victim.Fortunately it only ever seemed to show up at your house, so at least it was... Contained...Shit."Irue, you alright?" Tim returned with that sinking realization, and you raised your face tiredly in response. "You look like shit, mate... Elly said you just suddenly fell out. Is something wrong?""I realized a lot of things at once." your throat hurt. You hadn't... Exactly cried, but your eyes were still wet. You had grown since this journey began... And you wouldn't forgive yourself if you broke down simply because something wasn't fair.Any less than keeping it together now, and you'd have been ashamed to look at your own shadow."I may have screwed up.""The L̨͘ún̷a̕͠ ̶d̢e̷͞l̕͟͠e̸̡͝g̸a̕te?" He ventured carefully, "It's not about your friend there, is it?""No... Well, she may be involved now." Luna would know, and while you couldn't ask the Celestial Mana directly, you knew a little Luna Adept that you could ask once you got out of here. "It's nothing I can do anything about right now, though.""If you say so." Tim allowed, forcibly pulling you closer as he squatted down and slung an arm around your shoulders. "Tell me what's up when we get time, we'll tackle it together, aye?">It's not his problem>Accept the offer>Sleep (Progress to the Shrine of Dryad)>Meditate (how?)>Other? (write-in)
>>1707924Inb4 Clara deliberately set us up with the marriage and inheritance to make us rebel and take the burden off her son.>>1707925>Accept the offerWe never achieved anything good by refusing help. Also, who's the best to know how to handle it than a manifestation of Dryad?>OtherAsk Elly about the Goddess already. Please stop avoiding this Riz.Also ask her where the largest known concentration of Dryad followers in the world is located.>Meditate>Without the bracelet!Use not what Elly told us about Dryad, but what we know about the personality of the Fae as the anchor. Try and see if we can elicit a response.
>>1707944>Please stop avoiding this Riz....I may have forgotten this vote. Making a note on it this time!
>>1707925>Accept the offer>Sure, confess /everything/Give him a summary of the quest and that he's just a npc in an atelier. What's the worst that can happen?"It's always shit like this with me isn't it? Well prepare to be shit on buddy">>1707944Supporting these too
Going to get some rest, and then call the vote when I wake up.I've made specific note to pet tree and ask about the goddess, though. I feel like there may have been another vote that got counted and I put in queue to "follow up with this after fluid events play out", but I can't recall what it was.Maybe I need a memo log too.
What's relation between dryad and prophet?
>>1708358I'm afraid it's for us to find out.By the way, based on Riz's remark that we have already met the Prophet, and the fact they were active for a decade, makes me think they're either one of our parents or our sister. Incognito.
>>1707925That's what we get for trying to deal with that poison in an amusing way, I suppose.We wanted to be Head of House because it was our birthright, because it was a way out of being forced into a marriage, and because we have no other prospects.We can't really ask our Luna friend about this; I doubt Luna would want its followers to know about this thing it's worked so hard to hide, and might react... unfavorably if we blow the lid on it.>Accept the offerI doubt we can tell him much of anything, but there's no reason to give him the cold shoulder.>>1707944>Clara deliberately set us upThat'd be a high risk gamble if so. And if she did, I would be ok with taking our revenge.>>1708189>What's the worst that can happen?Why would you say that?
>>1708358Rather, what is Artemis up to in lanafiel in light of this? They want knowledge to be free and accessible, iirc. Dryads corruption spreads via communication like a meme. The shrine banned them, caylen is messing around with them thanks to Maran and Aunt went to stop him. At first I thought it was because she didn't want any political bullshit from it but what if she knows something about all of this?Maybe those schmucks want to wake dryad
>>1708454I'd bet Artemis doesn't know about Dryad, or Luna would be more actively fighting them. What might have panicked Auntie is the Caylen does know about Dryad, this massive world-shaking secret, and is hanging around people tied to a group dedicated to the freedom of information. Or he might know some other secret, or maybe Auntie just doesn't like them.
There probably won't be an update today. My attention is tied up nursing this kitten, and I'm not sure it'll make it through the night.Here's the current vote tally, feel free to add whatever else you might think of in the meantime.>>1707944>>1708189>>1708420Accept Tim's offer>>1707944>>1708189Asking about the Goddess*Petting Tree*>>1707944>>1708189Asking about largest concentration of Dryad's favoured>>1708189>>1707944Meditating without the bracelet on Fae>>1708189Tim we have a life story we would like to tell you. Also your life is fake and meaningless.
>>1711722I could live a day without an update for a kitten.Kittens are justice. Good luck in your endeavour.
>>1711722Shit did I vote?If I did, add "Give Tim Existential Angst" +1
>>1712020Why are you so evil, anon?
>>1712241It's probably the Luna Envoys Atelier.He had a kid righ? Ari is maybe his descendent. That's the kind of shit prophecy loves. Also it resets if he dies. He was probably the shade of regret that failed.Also would explain why the Golem is trying to keep her doped up on Dryad. Prevent the Atelier from reacting to her since we're probably some sort of apparition of Dryad made with that Homonculus.Or Ari is the Homonculus mebbe. Nah. Too much of a stretch.Tim is probably the Guardian since he always is there to guide us at the beginning.
>>1712688>Also it resets if he dies. He was probably the shade of regret that failed.You're right, I had the same idea but forgot about it. Do you want to test it? Go and shank him or sic the golem on them and see what happens?
>>1712688Only issue I have with that theory is that the loop starts with us running away from the Luna group, and that they clearly didn't fail; Dryad is asleep and unknown.
Kitten didn't make it. I'll start updates up tomorrow; Probably spend most of tonight cleaning up its stuff and taking notes for future reference.
testing OP powers
>>1714034Aw is sad. At least someone was there with it when it passed.
>>1712762I mean. We could destruct test it by trying to see what happens when we kill each side. But first we have to get Ari out of here.And honestly I give very little fucks about the Atelier compared to that.That's why I think it's a good idea to just ask to be let go. Then we can come back later.
>>1714034Sorry to hear that
He didn't think twice to throw his lot in with you. It was so unfamiliar to you, and on some level you... You may have resented him for it. The unceasing loyalty he had shown you, the concern that drove a man to willingly throw his own life away just so you didn't have to stand alone. Without knowing what the problem was - or even if he could help at all - he hadn't hesitated to drape his arm around your shoulders, giving a reassuring squeeze and his word that he'd be there for it. The same way he had stepped up to hold you back when you had vented to him about Ari's kidnapping, with the same easily given assurances that he'd have your back.You hated it. You hated it because try as you might, you couldn't find a lie. Because you had spent so long looking for ulterior motives that the notion that some one would just help you was all but lost on you. This kind of devotion made no sense to you, and worse than that, you hated that of all the places you could have encountered it, it was in this faux world. Genuine words from the puppet of a long dead man, echoing his sincere feelings... But just as he wasn't truly the owner of those sentiments, you weren't truly their recipient.If he was going to offer, then far be it for you to deny him.So you told him. You couldn't start the Atelier... No, he needed context. He needed to know everything that had led you here. 'Always this shit', was it? A peal of acrid laughter spewed forth; He didn't know the half of it. He couldn't begin to know the shit you went through... But he would. Before you were done, he would.And he sat with you the entire time, silent as the grave as your mouth ran without pause. Memories tumbled out from between your lips, calm at first... But that would only last so long. Your temper had frayed before this conversation even began, and you would admit to no small amount of malice as your tale was woven with a serpent's tongue. It was venom which laced your words, meant to sink into his veins, an acid to burn him and his parroted promises of kindness. You didn't need them, you didn't need him, and you certainly didn't need to be taunted with something like that when you knew damn well that nothing he said really mattered. He meant it. He meant it all so honestly. Where did the truth blur into a lie? Was it because he didnt really exist? Was it because he was simply a figment? Was a recording of someone's feelings any less valid than the original? If you weren't who they were meant for, but he would carry through with them on your behalf regardless, did it matter?Hopeful thoughts. Trecherous thoughts. You wanted him to hurt for what he was doing. You wanted him to regret it. You wanted hesitation, you wanted scorn, you wanted his ire. On some level, what you wanted most of all was rejection. It was familiar. It was territory you knew how to navigate; A space at arm's length where you felt safe.
How long had it been since you talked about any of this. Had you ever really talked about any of this? You took an almost sadistic glee in dragging out the darkest and most disgusting thoughts you had held secreted away. Your throat grew hoarse, equilibrium fraying tenuously as the night grew deep, but that only spurred you further into this creeping spiral. It was a battle of attrition, as you struggled to rip out every self-doubt you had come to acknowledge. Every failure you had clumsily accumulated. Every misspoken word, and misunderstood intention. Every miserable lesson you had learned the misfortune of learning the hard way... And oh, how many there were. Have I done anything right?You wanted to scream at him.Everything I touch just gets worse!You wanted him to scream at you.You know nothing about me!Tell you off. Chastise you for being self-centered. Scold you for being so dramatic. Smack sense into you, and drive it home that everyone has problems. Spurn you, thrust you away, force you to stand on your own! Rake you over the coals, smouldering scarlet with the temerous flaws you had painstakingly divulged!The way you had left a man broken and alone, to end himself in the darkness! The meaningless death of a man whose reputation you had dragged through the mud over a petty grudge! The boy you had sacrificed without a second thought, along with Luna only knew how many others! The Shade you had failed to understand, even to the last moment!Hate me!The town you had left in shambles, all in single minded pursuit of your Testament. The pack you had left mentally - And emotionally - broken. The fracturing bond of trust you left with your cousin, which continued to crumble faster than you could possibly pick up the pieces.Vindicate these feelings!You knew it all. You had stopped running from it. They were thoughts which stubbornly haunted you. Ones you pushed aside each day as you woke up, determined to try and put one foot in front of the other; To move forward, and try to make things better. Thoughts that followed you, watching and waiting for that singular moment. Those precious few minutes of your life when there was nothing pressing on your mind. When you had nothing you could make pressing in your mind. When you thought you could relax, when you laid your head down to rest.Tim made you an offer. Without a second thought, he had said he'd stand with you. That he'd be there to help you.He didn't know what he was volunteering for.He didn't know what you had done.He didn't know what he was.If he knew, he wouldn't have said that. He'd have kept his distance, like normal people do. He'd have minded his own business, and let you handle yourself. He'd have... Have done something different. He wouldn't have done what he did.So you told him. Everything.
"I'm sorry." He pulled you closer as you fell silent, crimson eyes stinging in outrage and exhaustion as you were pressed into his arms. You were spent, in every sense of the word. Too tired to go on, too weak to push him away."I'm so sorry." He repeated wetly, one calloused hand shakily stroking your hair. "It's going to be alright."You couldn't accept this... But you were so tired."You're going to make it through this."Your eyes drifted shut, handfuls of his shirt curling weakly between your fingers as you beat feebly against the man's chest in one final act of stubborn defiance."We're going to make it."---http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Valen+QuestAnd we are archived.I am aware I didn't address meditation, tree petting, asking about Dryad, or the Goddess. I'm making those next thread's OP.Apologies to all anons who participated in Valen Quest but died at their keyboards wondering when QM would finally resume.To those who did not make it to the end, we will never forget your sacrifice. I wanted to get one last update out here before the thread ended though. It took me a little longer to get myself back together than I anticipated.
>>1728237>Have I done anything right?>Everything I touch just gets worse!This quest in a nutshell.We were... less stable than I'd realized. I wish Tim was still alive; though I suppose if he was we wouldn't trust him either. We could only pour our heart out to someone that has been dead for a long time; don't have to worry about ulterior motives. Also, I kinda doubt this is helping any with the Solving.I can't see us being a favored of Dryad, even if it does see us as a teddybear; we're much too untrusting and cynical. Shade seems more up our alley.Sorry to hear about the kitten; losing a pet is always difficult.Thanks for running.
>>1728228Irue has problems.>>1728231Irue definitely has problems.How long until this setting has therapists?>>1728237Thanks for running, Riz.
>>1728626>I wish Tim was still alive; though I suppose if he was we wouldn't trust him either.You don't even trust him when he's dead, anon!>>1729796>How long until this setting has therapists?The Dominion of Shade at the Shrine mostly handles that. In a way, it's actually their primary responsibility in a community!I actually had a really long post written up about people beloved by Shade, but none of the information was actually requested, so I scrapped it.
>>1730052We need to get a Shade Adept friend who will keep our secrets as we pour our heart out to them.That would require _trusting_ that person though...
>>1728626>Also, I kinda doubt this is helping any with the Solving.Man.It's not all about the solving, you know? Like. I got priorities. Number 1 right now is getting Ari out. Solving is a nice side bonus, but meh.And honestly being able to vent like this? We should repeat it with Mim. I mean. We kind of already did, but maybe with less self-loathing.Wouldn't it be a fucking hoot if solving the Atelier was simply letting Dryad forgive us, and letting us forgive ourselves, the way the creator of the Atelier probably couldn't if they were the same Shade apparition that we met in the temple?I mean. Dryad is all about unconditional love.> I can't see us being a favored of Dryad, even if it does see us as a teddybear; we're much too untrusting and cynical. Shade seems more up our alley.Unconditional love is just that. It don't care that you failed, that you're shit, that you don't deserve it. You're gonna get loved regardless. It's not about *you*, ya vain fuck.That's why Hell is the rejection of God, because it's willingly cutting yourself off from that love because of limitations one puts on oneself.
>>1730068>>1730052I got this.
>>1730068>honestly being able to vent like this? We should repeat it with Mim.Sometimes I feel like I don't really understand my players. I made a point of reading and playing a lot of quests before starting Valen, to try and minimize my starting mistakes and get a feel for what to expect. Sentiments like this, and earlier in this thread where we had an entire majority vote to dedicate an entire update to breaking down, are a reoccurring phenomena that I never really encountered when I was looking for what most players would typically want. As one anon mentioned, they don't directly contribute though you can certainly garner more hints and understanding towards Solving, escaping, or even dealing with the Atelier.I never ran across inclinations to pursue moments like these when I was reading/playing other things.There was a lot of "what can this do for me?" and "what will this accomplish?" type sentiments. Very goal oriented, with the end result in mind.I don't really mind, since exploring options like those are fascinating for me in their own way, but it's always a little confusing when I see such an interest in it.
>>1730079It's because your quest attracts players who are addicted to suffering.They wouldn't've been able to play it otherwise.
>>1730090In my head, I named the kitten Shadowrue.WHY DID YOU GIVE UP LITTLE KITTY. I wanted you to live :(
>>1730068>It's not all about the solving, you know?No, I know; it was more a comment on "a new problem has revealed itself that only makes the other problems more difficult, add it to the pile". Mim is a Luna Adept, there's no way I'd trust her with anything. Actually, as the entire Shrine was complicit in this, I don't think I'd trust any of them. We need someone completely unconnected to anyone we know, any machinations, and discrete enough to trust before we should confide in them. I doubt such a person exists, but I can hope.You're right, Dryad is all about unconditional love. My point was that we aren't, not even a little bit. Being a favored means being inline mentally with a Mana as said by Elly's brother, and we have none of the aspects of Dryad. Shade was suggested due to our self-loathing and doubt, and previous experiences with it.>Number 1 right now is getting Ari outI'm doubting anything is still a danger to her in here, especially with the Oakenrue; I'm in no rush to leave. I suck at puzzles, but Solving this has been pestering me since the Return; It's going to feel awful if we don't get it.>>1730079In Maverick Hunter Quest our Co made us see a therapist until he was killedMost quests always offer a few default options; if players don't know what to do, they can act... unpredictably.
>>1730458> Being a favored means being inline mentally with a Mana as said by Elly's brother, and we have none of the aspects of Dryad. Dude. We are almost thoughtlessly selfless (and self loathing!) At times to people we don't even care about or even outright despise. Like. Goddammit. It's been pointed out multiple times how batshit crazy we are and that we act like it's not just no big deal, but like it's our fault we can't solve every problem ever. And when we do lash out it's with mindless spiteful rage that gives no fucks *cough* Summoning jinn in Carona *cough* fisting and Oakenbear *cough* going off to fight the Fae *cough*.And our possessiveness! Daaaaaamn dude we are honestly less a human and more a force of fucking nature. We simply don't give a fuck about the cost to ourselves.Like.Remember when we punched a priest and smashed up a bunch of guards for being rude to our demi-human? We are totally in line with Dryad.
>>1730458> I suck at puzzles, but Solving this has been pestering me since the Return;Clearly the answer is murder-suicide with every one in here.Gotta kill 'em all.
>>1728626>We were... less stable than I'd realized.Really? If there is one thing I actually, honestly realized and understood 100%, it is that Irue has ISSUES. And they're our fault, every single one of them.>>1729796>>1730052>How long until this setting has therapists?I'm pretty sure I tried to convince ya'll to go see Malkovich after we returned from the mansion (before we got lost in a fucking atelier) for a bit of therapy. With our luck the shrine has probably exploded by the time we're done here, if we even make it out! In fact I've been advocating just... talking to everyone, just explain what's up and ask them for /help/ but Mana above what are the odds we'll ever get the chance?>>1730079I think it's because you make a point of running with every player's votes and write ins unless they're being ganged upon and told to stop by the others. We can do anything, more so than in any quest I've ever played or read. It also helps that all of the characters, Irue included, feel like real people. It makes all the self doubt and loathing real and the need to /vent/ real.
>>1730458>Most quests always offer a few default options; if players don't know what to do, they can act... unpredictably.And well, empirical evidence says that no matter what we pick or what we come up with by ourselves, the end result is one step forward, two steps back and the nagging feeling that everything just got more complicated.
>>1730616>but like it's our fault we can't solve every problem ever. There's an expectancy that we /do/ have to solve every issue as our responsibility as Heir. That it's our job, that we're proving ourselves worthy of being heir by doing those things; we don't do stuff out of the goodness of our heart. Even if we don't have to do everything, it feels like we do.I think you might be confusing selfishness with selflessness. Just about everything we've done was for personal gain, barring a few exceptions. We got our Testaments as part of plan to get out an arranged marriage, and they are, legally, us. Anything we do to or for our Testaments is essentially done for our benefit.>Remember when we punched a priest and smashed up a bunch of guards for being rude to our demi-human? That's the opposite of unconditional love. Unconditional love would have talked its way out, not beat it's way out.Possessiveness isn't exclusive to Dryad. Aren't jealousy and possessiveness traits of all Mana?
>>1730959I think I already said this, but while Irue isn't very much like the Dryad Elly knew, she's very much like the Fae. And since the Fae seem to be part of the modern Dryad...
>>1730959> I think you might be confusing selfishness with selflessness. Just about everything we've done was for personal gain, barring a few exceptions. We got our Testaments as part of plan to get out an arranged marriage, and they are, legally, us. Anything we do to or for our Testaments is essentially done for our benefit.What makes you think this isn't part of Dryad? Dryad IS life, everything that lives is part of Dryad.That's why Dryads selfishness and possessiveness comes out in the form of "Love" and not in the form of snubs.Dryad is Obsessive Yandere. She'll do whatever it takes to keep the people she loves safe, including murdering others and locking her loves away in a safe room forever. Other Mana leans more towards the possessive Yandere, where if they can't have a person NO ONE WILL.Also Irulen doesn't even care about the whole Heir thing, she only rebelled towards her aunt.