The morning came with a headache. It was an unsurprising revelation, considering the state you had been in when you fell asleep last night. Remembering it did little to quell the bitter taste in your mouth, or the way your stomach still churned in distaste at everything that had come tumbling out... Nn, the longer you spent trying to sort through it all, the less inclined you were to even remember it.'You're going to make it through this.'You don't know what you had expected to happen after last night's breakdown, but that wasn't it. At some point you would just have to accept that you hadn't expected a lot of things to happen lately, and maybe you were just not very adept at this prediction thing. At least you understood now why your Doppleganger had thrown such a tantrum in the Ice Queen's atelier; These places were despicable, vile existences. The longer you spent in them, the more they tested you. Prodding and poking your psyche, until they could find a crack to seep into; Remorseless claws stealthily burrowing in, until it was too late to realize you'd been caught.Or maybe it was your own weakness. You didn't know anymore. The time you had spent trying to understand the meaning behind this Atelier was affecting you, and the line between your understanding of it and your own problems were starting to blur. Now that you had Ari with you, your inclinations to do anything but leave this place were fading rapidly... But if it was that easy, you wouldn't have spent so much time in here in the first place.Not exactly the most optimistic thoughts for someone to entertain right after they had woken up, but given that you were apparently trapped in Tim's arms and under a blanket, there wasn't a great deal else to do except gather your thoughts while you figured out how to escape undisturbed.You crained your head around subtly, trying to get your bearings on the rest of the camp while tentatively testing how tightly wound the arm over your side was. While the little fire had gone out over the course of the night, Ari had been cradled back into the bows of her guardian apparition as it stood watch. The wooden golem, in turn, had done its job admirably through the night and swivelled its faceless head towards you curiously in response to your brewing alertness. You didn't realize how comforting it actually was to have it around until now, when your own sense of alarm seemed to drift back to sleep upon seeing how calm it was.Elly was already awake, sitting aside of Ari and passing the time by petting the golem. You couldn't remember much of her after last night, and while Tim had been as frustratingly supportive as ever, you don't recall Elly reacting at all. You won't even begin to guess what the timid Representative would have thought about the things you said back then...But it didn't really matter. None of this really mattered.
You needed to pull yourself together and focus on either Solving or escaping this Atelier.Several minutes of awkward shuffling later, you were really no closer to escaping Tim's sleeping hug than you were when you woke up. More over, he had laid on your hair at some point during the night, and having your hair pulled at in an attempt to free yourself had led to two very narrowly avoided instances of attempting to reflexively headbutt him in the face out of sheer indignation.Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, he remained soundly asleep through it all. It was only after managing to attract Elly's attention did you succeed in soliciting her aid in acquiring the much sought after freedom. Finally you could stretch out the kinks of your body in the morning dew."Sleep well, Ser Valen?" She asked softly, giving you some space to stretch and look over your hair. Tim had given little and less care to how your hair was arranged while you slept, which meant you had a small task ahead of you of picking out whatever bits of forestry that had gotten tangled up on it overnight...You weren't even going to start on the dirt."I've had worse nights." You answer evasively, acknowledging the unspoken distance between you. Should you apologize? You wanted to, but at the same time, did you even have anything to apologize for? ...No, even then, what you wanted wasn't to apologize at all - You wanted to ask her to just forget it had happened altogether. "The Shrine works to gather together those beloved by the Mana, don't they?"You'd settle for just changing the topic."What?" She startled, head bobbling as the sudden question shook her from her thoughts. "Oh, yes. We do a few things, I wish we'd do more, but our primary goal has always been to provide those loved by the Mana a place of sanctuary and understanding.""So if I were to look for the largest gathering of those loved by Dryad, then...""Then you'd have found it already." Elly answered with a smile, "Every Dominion makes their home in a slightly different kind of place, but we try to be as close to the heart of our Mana as possible. For Dryad, it's this forest." You stop picking debris from your hair as she confirmed that particular suspicion. It made sense, of course... If Dryad was put to sleep here, then obviously this place would have been richly saturated in its presence in the first place. If you were trying to create a gathering of those beloved by a Mana, naturally you'd pick a place with similar conditions.In other words, this really was the last bastion for Dryad's beloved. Everywhere else would be even less prepared than the ones you had seen here.
"This may seem like a strange question, but have you ever heard about a Goddess?" You let your hair fall from your hands, gently shaking your head until it could find a natural balance to settle in along your back. "Not a Mana, but something like it. Probably pagan, if I had to guess.""A Goddess..." She repeated the word, syllables colored lightly with confusion... And perhaps, apprehension. "I mean, yes. Most of the returners have, though I would guess we wouldn't know anymore about it than you would."Crimson eyes blinked at the admission, and you found yourself at a loss for how to proceed."The ones who came back from the Dead Zones." Elly supplied bashfully, "I'm sorry, I guess it's not really a term outside of the Shrine. I don't know much more than the phrase, though." "Why is it such common knowledge for people who went to the Dead Zones, though?" You tried to think back over what you knew of this Goddess, and until now you had always assumed it originated as some pagan worship from the foreigners down in Teranford."It's just information that got spread around." She admitted, "There were remains of something near where Lamiaceae halted the disaster. It seems like there had been something like an Atelier down there, and fragments of it were scattered in their conflict... so it wasn't unusual to come across bits and pieces of it during the recovery effort.">Meditate (How?)>Ask a question (what?)>Check on Ari>'A Spider's Web'>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:Hold me tighter. Even if it's a lie, I won't begrudge you these feelings. Even if they're meant for someone else, I'll accept everything you'll give. As long as we're together...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?
I don't know if anyone bothers reading them, but it's been a while since I did a write-up, so pick one of the following!>What is Love?>No One's Champion>Went Up A Hill>Paper Flowers
>>1791831Time for Forgetting Quest!>Check on AriFor lack of anything else to do. I am completely stuck with this Solving.>MiscThat sounds...unhealthy. Treat the cause, not the symptoms.>>1791944>Went Up A Hill
>>1791944>Paper FlowersThey all sound delightfully heart wrenching however
>>1791831>Ask more about the Goddess, that wasn't an answer.>Check up on Ari
>>1791831I'm so glad you're finally back.>This Shrine isn't the only place to find a returner, right?The Goddess is the infection, or so it seems for now.>What do you know of her beside the phrase?>Ask about how, in theory, there could be living things in the Dead Zones if Dryad wasn't present there. The same with air and Jinn.>Ask what effect consuming Dryad's essence could have on people aligned to another Mana or none at all.>Check on Ari>>1791944>Paper Flowers
>>1791970>MiscIt's heartening to know some of you are reading them.>>1792067>That wasn't an answer!Do you have any specific questions? I wouldn't expect Elly to know much.>>1792167I must finish this Atelier! I miss the rest of the cast, and politics!
>>1791831>>Check on Ari>Paper Flowers
>>1792202Well what kind of information was spread around? What are the remains, stone tablets? Surely there must have been something that could be read or looked at and understood to make people think "oh, a goddess, alright".
In fact we should consider asking for accurate directions and / or a map with the dead zones containing these remains marked so that we can investigate them in the real world later.If Luna has hidden everything we'll sock her in the face.
>>1792330They're in East Heaven, behind closed borders.
>>1791970>>1792067>>1792167>>1792294Checking on Ari!>>1792067>>1792167Tell us more about the Goddess.>>1792167Theories about how things exist without Mana>>1792167The effect of consuming Dryad's essenceWriting!
>>1792334Yeah? Not much stopping us from getting past unless we stay on the road. Riz has refused to fix his clerical error and the world is vastly underpopulated, there's no way there are enough patrols in the wild forests along the border
>>1792370This has some merit. Normally monster-filled forests guard themselves, but we have Oakenrue and Kara.
"What about that makes you think it's related to the Goddess?" Interesting as that tidbit was, it wasn't exactly an answer. "Were they tablets, or something?"Elly shrugged weakly. "Most of them had some kind of writing. Seems that some of L̶̸̶͡u̡̨n͠a̶͡'s Dominion made a point of trying to reconstruct the fragments and translate the script. I don't really know what they found, but word started to get around that they referenced some kind of Goddess. I think some of us had hoped it would have been a clue as to what had happened there, but if L̶̸̶͡u̡̨n͠a̶͡'s Dominion has found anything new, they haven't told us anything yet- Oh!" She clapped her hands together suddenly, brightening as an idea visibly dawned on her. "That might be what they're coming to discuss with us! It'd be the perfect time for you to ask, if you're curious!"Even now, Elly refused to believe that the Luna delegate were coming for anything other than a friendly visit. You had tried, on several occasions to convince her otherwise, but... You would let it drop for now. There was nothing else you could say to her that would cast doubt over that faith, which you hadn't tried already. "You never heard any rumours about what was translated? Besides it relating to a Goddess?""Erm... Well, there wasn't an actual agreement that it was a Goddess, exactly." She admitted after a moment of thought, "I remember my brother arguing about that, actually. Something about obfuschia nation?""Obfusication." You correct her absently."Yes! According to my brother, a great deal of it referenced some overarching entity that was greater than the sum of its fragments. The language describing it didn't exactly declare it a Goddess, but referred to it as an estranged mother.""Of what?" You raised your hand to greet the slowly approaching wooden golem, acquiescing thoughtlessly to its silent pleas for attention as the two of you spoke. You strained to push it away with one arm, finding it increasingly difficult to alternate between rubbing it and preventing its occasional attempts to nuzzle closer. "You said these were fragments of an Atelier, didn't you?""Like an Atelier." She agreed, seemingly paying no mind to your predicament, "I don't think Ateliers can exist without Mana, though... Or anything, really.""I mean... Something has to be there, right?" One arm became fully dedicated to bracing the oakenrue away from your face, "You said the Mana left, but if Gnome had truly left, where would you stand? What would you breathe without Jinn?"
"...I really don't like remembering it." Elly mewled plaintively. "You wouldn't recognize the ground in those places as ground. It was as if the land had been reduced to ash - Not just the surface, but... An entire sea of sifting, gray ash. No trees. No water. After a few days, people would even start to choke on the air, as if it it simply wasn't there." Her nails dug into the cuticles along her fingertips, nervously peeling back skin as she reluctantly recanted her memories to you with a haunted expression. "We had to rotate because of that... To recover, and be able to breath a little longer."This was the first you had managed to pry out a description of the Dead Zones from Elly. You had to admit, your vision of it had been more... Solid? You'd only read about what the sea looked like, never having had the opportunity to see it for yourself. Even still, East Heaven was all but known for its towering forests and dense overgrowth. When she'd told you the Mana had left, you expected lifeless husks, perhaps infertile grounds, but this... "Every day you spent in there... Drained you. Physically-" The scratching motions of her nails grew more defined, more punctuated. It wouldn't be long until she drew blood. "-Emotionally. It was like... You lost your colors in that place. Everyone faded, every day. It was so easy to forget who you were, or why you were there. To just lay down and... And stop.""But those fragments survived. Just what were they?" You muttered, eliciting a weary shake of her head as Elly closed her eyes with a deep breath... And it was difficult to miss the way that the grass at her feet seemed to grow and curl about her ankles affectionately in response; A circle of wildflowers beginning to bud in response to her impromptu meditation.What would have taken you hours was finished in less than a minute, as Elly's shoulders gradually lost their tension. She rubbed at the abrasions along her cuticles shyly, fingers tucking away as her arms crossed under her chest."Can we talk about something else? Please?"You nearly missed the small voice carrying her request, dedicated as you had become in preventing the Oakenrue from shoving you into the ground in an attempt to get closer. Its behavior wasn't significantly different from the one you had befriended on the way to the Fey Forest, but it was several orders of magnitude larger... You weren't entirely prepared to ward off the demanding affections of an entire tree."What..." You grunted, trying to push its face away from yours. "Do you mind? I'm- Go- Go away!" You finally snapped at the oakenrue, summoning up the strength to shove it away somewhat... Or, more likely, garnering enough obedience from it to allow you some room. You took a moment to level a baleful stare in its direction before turning back to Elly.
"Do you think Ari will be alright?""I don't see why she wouldn't be." Elly responded assuringly, "She doesn't seem injured, she's just... Sleeping. She'll wake up in time, I'm sure.""I'm worried about the sap she was fed." You frown, glancing towards your erstwhile Testament as the frail girl slept soundly under the care of the wooden golem. "Would consuming such a potent dose of a Mana's essence have some kind of side effect?""Most likely, yes." Elly agreed easily, approaching to stand nearby as the two of you looked down over the softly breathing girl. "I... I imagine they would differ depending on Mana, but as it was Dryad's... No, because it was Dryad's, I'm sure she'll be alright. There is no greater source of life, after all."That's what you were afraid of... But if all it did was help her stay alive, then you would have to grin and bear it for now. "There wouldn't be any kind of long-term effects? Like... An addiction, or something?""No, no." Elly covered her mouth to giggle politely, eyes drifting fondly between you and your Testament. "I expect she may be more affectionate for a while after she wakes, but that's to be expected after coming into such close contact with a Mana of such unconditional love... And of course, I bet she'll be glad to see you again."Right, you understood this concept. It was the same as having your system flushed with a Mana to create a purge. Naturally it would leave traces of its Mana's traits until the purge completed, and your body normalized again.Which would explain a lot about the general positive disposition of everyone who had been drunk on Faedka."Unless she had an affinity for Dryad that had gone unnurtured before now, I don't think there's anything to worry about." Elly reached out to squeeze your shoulder reassuringly, "She'll be fine.">Ask Elly something else?>Move on to the Shrine>Meditate (how?)>Am I Forgetting Something...? (write-in)>Other? (write-in)
>>1792566You know, I'm remembering how in the Ice Queen Atelier we saw a chest decorated with an image of a woman holding a sword and surrounded by eight globes. Call me paranoid, but there's eight Manas and a Goddess...'I won't let them take you. She'll come. She'll save us.''We are her children.' - seen in the Shrine ruins. It's likely about the Goddess.Okay, back to work. If there should be no addiction, what happened to Kara's pack?>Ask Elly what effect Dryad's essence would have on demihumans>If she doesn't know what those are, think sociopaths without any trace of love or compassion.>Ask also about the hangover-like symptoms. Doesn't much resemple love.>The children they found in the Dead Zones. They didn't fade or stop, they managed to survive there for longer than the rescuers. Does Elly have any hypoteses as to why?Also the children tended to make people uncomfortable - but not us and not peopel from Carona, which more or less means they only made Dryad adepts uncomfortable. Strange.The children seemed to know something about us, something bad. Did they see our ancestor in the Dead Zone before it became dead? Do they blame our ancestor for all this?Of course, none of this is related to the Forgetting, isn't it?
>>1792566but if feadka leaves you nicer, how come irue isn't nicer?, she's been bingin the stuff like a sailor for th e past years
>>1792668Maybe she would be even worse otherwise.
>>1792668Heh>>1792566>I've been drinking myself blind on it since I can remember, do I seem nice to you?>Am I Forgetting Something...?The last time an Oakenrue got clingy without regard to our personal space it was trying to protect us from an Oakenbear. Is something bad approaching?
>>1792668That's the thing, she's nicer than she would otherwise be. Isn't that a scary thought.
>>1792566>otherFlirt with Elly!
>>1792566I wish I was a drawfag, a giant flesh-covered tree demanding attention like a dog would make a great pic.I'm now quite curious about the fragments of the not-an-Altier, but we're not going to get much more out of her.Good to hear Ari shouldn't be any worse for wear from the sap, at least.>Ask Elly something else?About her brother maybe? I keep re-reading our talk with him looking for the key info we 'got' out of it.
So, crazy idea for the Solving:We do as our ancestor did, and put Dryad to sleep. This would, unfortunately, necessitate allowing the Luna group to slaughter Dryad adepts, so I'm not keen on trying this unless we run out of options.
>>1792655Ask about the effect on Demihumans! Also explain what a demihuman is.>>1792668And also why you're not nicer.>>1792655Ask why the kids weren't affected!>>1794221Ask about Elly's brother! What kinda things, anon?>>1793903....While flirting?Writing!---Unfortunately no one got this Forgetting, though one of you did remember something interesting. I actually thought this one would have been really obvious.>>1792655you already know what causes the hangover, anon! Your maid wrote an entire report on it!
>>1794404>What kinda things, anon?Small talk mainly, with some fishing questions about his personality and motivations. I don't quite know what I looking for, but I /know/ we're missing something in that conversation we had with him.>spoilerConsidering our success rate with them, are you suprised?
>>1794438>SurprisedI always have faith in you! All of you!
"I've been drinking a watered down draught of that sap for at least a decade now." You mention skeptically, "Somehow I feel like I should be nicer, if that side effect was all that noticeable.""Well... You're plenty nice, aren't you?" Elly looked over at you, smiling faintly. "At least, I think you care more than you let on. Why else would you have kept trying for so long?" Trying... You averted your eyes upon realizing she was referring to your story last night. Even if it was all something you did, even if it had always been choices made with the best intentions, those events weren't things you felt any pride in. If anything, it felt like your pride had been chipped away ever since your rite had begun."About that-""Don't." She interrupted entreatingly, turning to place her hands on your shoulders. "It's not something to apologize for... And even if I don't know what all you've been through, I do know that you've never left any of it behind. You're still carrying it all on your shoulders. You're a very kind person!" You'd wanted to argue with her, but the gentle insistence behind her voice brooked little room to rebel. You doubted there'd be much merit in going back and forth over whether you were nice or not, anyway."But that really has nothing to do with the side effects." She admitted sheepishly, "I um... I couldn't- I mean, I didn't... Know what to say to you, last night. I'm supposed to be the Representative of Dryad, but when I saw you like that, I... I didn't know what to do, or say. How to help." She let you go, voice shrinking as she continued. "I still don't, but I hope this does. Help, I mean. I hope it... Helps."You turned away, crimson eyes fixating back on Ari's tiny, sleeping form as the forest's song gently lilted through the morning air. Creaking bows and birds singing among the rustling leaves comfortably filling the gap in conversation as your thoughts stalled blankly. No witty responses came to mind, and you suppose that was a surer sign of your lingering fatigue than anything else."I'm sorry, I'm not very good at this.""I'm not either." You admitted dryly, "But... Thank you."That probably wasn't the right response. It came out awkward and stilted, and compared to how she had put herself out there to try and help, it felt so clumsy. You were grateful... Or flattered? There was a warm sentiment which made you want to bow your head, acting like a balm, but you couldn't find the words."Nn." She shook her head, "You've spent so much of yourself worrying for the people around you, that I don't think you ever saved any for yourself... Or maybe, you lost the one who used to do the same for you."
She had an almost tragically incorrect understanding of you. You weren't some kind of altruistic saint, reaching the end of your rope because you couldn't help everyone. 'This is why I can't give up.'Everything you'd done had been for personal gain. You knew what had driven you this entire time, and if it had ever benefitted someone else, it was a fortunate conincidence. 'Why I have to keep moving forward.'You brokedown because nothing you did seemed to go right. For your own selfish reasons, and your own failures.'If I fail, these people are the ones to take the fall.'...Right?
"Are you volunteering to fill that role?" You shuffle those thoughts into the recesses of your mind, turning to smirk at Elly's briefly muddled expression. "We've not known each other that long, but I could stand waking up in your bed more often.""Huh?" Her head tilted blankly, trying to process what you were saying... And the flush that crept up her face was a visible sign that the implication had begun to sink in to the poor girl. "W-Wha- No, I mean I wasn't- I didn't mean, or... Um, if you- Are you inter- No, no I couldn't possibly, we uhm-" She stepped back quickly, burying her face between her palms as she turned away stammering. "It's not that I don't, but... Not like... Maybe?" Statements began and ended faster than they could complete, words tumbling frantically out of her mouth as the bashful Dryad Representative all but crumbled into herself.That panic simmered to a halt after you accidentally let a snort slip out, her terribly flushed face about facing with an accusatory glare. "You- You were teasing me!" Elly's finger levelled towards you resentfully. "I take it back, you're horrible! I was trying to- To..." The palor drained from her face as her litany trailed off. "My bed... You knew whose room it was!" Tears were starting to well up in her eyes, as Elly fought to keep her lower lip from trembling. "I want my diary back, this instant! You... You jerk!"You obliged with a snicker, watching Elly snatch her absconded diary out of your hands and clutch it possessively to her chest as she continued to glower at you. At this point there wasn't even any reason to hide the fact you were laughing."Meanie!" She stuck her tongue out at you childishly, turning her body away as if to guard the diary. "I can't believe you!""Yes, yes. I'm horrible." Whether it was cruel or not, you felt lighter for it. The smile on your face wasn't so forced... And you weren't so perilously close to the precipice in your mind. "Please forgive me?""You're not sorry!"You weren't."Fine, fine." You held your hands up peaceably, "You said your brother was part of the group translating those fragments, didn't you? Can you tell me more about him?""...Why should I?" She answered petulantly, pouting."Well he might be my brother-in-law soo-Augh!" Eleanore primly rewarded your attempt at humour with a book to the face.
"Did you really want to know more about my brother?" Your conversation resumed later that morning, after Elly had stormed off to calm down. You imagine Tim would be waking up soon as well, which meant it'd be time to get moving before long."Yeah. You said he was part of the group translating those fragments, didn't you?" You gently rubbed at the red mark left behind by Elly's diary, "What kind of person is he?""He's a wonderful person! Very sweet, and caring, and really smart, too!" She answered beamingly, "My brother's always looked out for me, ever since we were kids, and he's never once picked on me!" You winced at the sheer adoration, "Well... He's also a bit too serious. If you're still curious about the Goddess stuff, I bet he'd know something!""Considering he was translating it, I'd hope so." You deadpan, "You seem to have a high opinion of him, though.""Well... He's my only family." Elly admitted warmly, "Even when we were taken into the Shrine, he refused to leave Dryad's Dominion until he was sure I would be alright... He's always worried a lot over me, really. I worry about him too, of course, but... He can do anything, you know? I know he'll be fine. I just need to get better at taking care of myself, so he doesn't have to keep worrying.""...Yeah." Even with Elly's glowing description... Or, rather, because of that description, you found the thoughts surrounding the man you had spoken to back at the Luna delegate to only grow darker. "That, or find someone to take care of you.""You're being mean again." She jabbed her finger into your cheek with a heatless scowl. "If anything, I think my brother needs someone like that more. He spends so much of his time thinking about what needs to be done, he forgets to take care of himself. As for me... I've been thinking about it for a while now, actually.""...Finding someone?" You blink at the sudden admission, but she shook her head."I don't think that kind of thing is meant for me. I've never... Felt like I needed anymore love than what I already had. Dryad's presence is everything to me, and when I think about how I might not be able to love someone else... In that particular way... I don't want to ever make someone feel like they're being ignored." She sighed, pulling her knees up to her chest. "I've been thinking... Maybe I'll start an orphanage.""One like you're trying to get the Shrine to start?""Mm." She hummed agreeably. "It's been hard taking care of the kids all on my own, but... It feels right, I guess. I have plenty of the sort of love that they need, and I enjoy getting to read to them at night, or when I get to watch them grow... If the Shrine doesn't approve of the orphanage idea, I've was thinking..." She trailed off, twiddling her fingers together furtively, "Maybe I'd just leave and make one anyway?"
"The Dryad Representative stepping down for that?" Put another way, it almost sounded like she was threatening to mutiny if they didn't acquiesce. You were skeptical as to how the Shrine would take that, but..."I'm really not very good at this Representative business." Elly smiled with resignation, "I don't remember scripture very well, I can't help the others meditate, I'm always forgetting things... I'm sure there are plenty of others far more suited to this than I am. They'd replace me soon, and I think everything would be alright." "I don't know." She finished after a time, "I'm probably not thinking of a lot of things, again... But seeing those kids fight to survive like they have, it makes me want to give them a chance. I'm sure there are more like them out there, too, who could grow up to be wonderful if someone was there to help them.""Survivors of the disaster?""No, not necessarily." Her lips pressed together firmly. "Normal ones, too... But I'd be lying if I said they weren't an inspiration to me. Even stepping foot into the Dead Zones was so... suffocating to me. And that was before I actually started suffocating! I can't understand just how strong their will to live must have been to survive on their own in there, until we found them."You sat beside one another as the conversation lapsed, memories of your encounters with the kids dredging up slowly as you thought about the little twerps that had thrown a frog at you. Kole had mentioned that they unsettled the rest of Dryad's Dominion, but... You hadn't felt anything different. Was it something unique to Dryad's favoured? Something off, that only they were attuned to? Or was it just that the Atelier's recreation of them lacked that mysterious property?"Have you noticed any side effects from it?" You hadn't spent a whole lot of time around them, and what little you had wasn't very pleasant. More because you didn't like children, than any fault of theirs. "If everyone else had a recovery period from the Dead Zones, then wouldn't they as well?"Elly hesitated to respond, as if struggling to really articulate herself. "There's... Something, I think." She finally admitted, "I'm sure it will get better... And I don't know if it's because of the Dead Zones, or just... The trauma, I guess. They try to hide it, but I don't think they ready to trust anyone. I'm... Not sure that they can, anymore.""What do you mean?" You frown, inklings of a comparison dripping together."They don't seem to understand kindness, or why anyone would do something just to help." Elly groaned in exasperation, "I've tried teaching them, but the whole concept of caring without a motive just isn't clicking for them... It's really difficult, sometimes. It's been a constant struggle to try and teach them compassion, and to stop throwing frogs!" Elly's frown set determinedly towards the end. "It's mean! And it's mean to the frogs! And they don't get it!"
"That's..." You actually weren't sure if that was normal for kids, or not. Your sister probably did far worse to frogs than throw them. More technologically advanced things. Involving buckets, and trebuchets, and the bedroom window of a visiting noble. "...Unfortunate." You end your statement half-heartedly. "Maybe if you force fed them some of that sap, they'd pick it up faster.""I-" Elly sat up to chastize you, but paused curiously. "You know, you might be right? Maybe they just never felt something similar enough to compare it to. If I could just get that first step, maybe...""I don't... Think that's a good idea." You back pedal, slightly regretting having made the joke... But it was too late. The seed was already planted."No, it won't solve the problem right away, but if there was something to start from, maybe I could nurture that? Maybe not with something quite that potent, but maybe if I personally handled exposing them to Dryad, to try and coax it out of them..." She brightened considerably, "It's worth a try, at least!""What's worth a try?" Tim interjected drowsily, pushing himself off the forest floor as he tried to get his bearings. He cracked his neck absently, looking around the tiny camp as he did so, before his eyes finally fell on you. There were words on the tip of his tongue; Too many to count. You knew the difficult expression he made, as he stood there trying to find ones to fit what he wanted to say.It was better if you said something instead. You'd had all morning to collect yourself, and he... Even from here, his eyes were red. Not the striking, beautiful red of your own - But that scratchy, ugly sort that told a story of how you weren't the only one who fell asleep crying last night.>What to say to him?And also>Time to leave (to the Shrine!)>Meditate (how?)>'A Spider's Web'>Other? (write-in)
>>1795644>"Teaching children compassion by feeding them tree sap.">"...">"Thank you, Tim">Try to meditate on Dryad (no bracelet, call up our feelings for Ariel)>Ask Elly to locate the Luna Delegation again. We need to talk with her brother.
I unexpectedly have two questions:1: Riz, could you pelase do a writeap on the known non-human species? I've seen a mention of some lizards.2: Had Irue ever been in the royal residence?
>>1795644>other >answer Tim's question Elly wants to feed children with Dryad's thick, sticky love juice! Make them understand what it means to love, by force! Also can we ask the oakenrue if it knows how to escape the matrix? >>1795652Why not?
>>1795644Oh! Also ask oakenrue if it can help us to meditation on Dryad.
>>1795785Why not do a lolrandumb thing indeed
>>1795789I thought it might lighten up the scene, I don't mind Irue's bitter self hatred as a character trait but it drags a bit if we dwell on it too long. Also I enjoy seeing what Riz does with curveballs.
>>1795797>Also I enjoy seeing what QM does with curveballs.That's basically the definition of lolrandumb though.It did lighten up the scene, on this I agree.
>>1794404>I actually thought this one would have been really obvious.Yes, twist the knife why don't you.>>1795644>Tim, I know what's going to happen when we get back to the Shrine. You do too, now, but I don't know what I should do. Let it happen? Stop it? I can't tell what is right or wrong on something that should be so simple...>In the end, this is still nothing but a puzzle with a hidden solution to me
>>1795644Was the Forgetting about how demihumans drunk on Faedka stopped killing themselves?
>>1795665Dryad meditation!>>1795665You want to go back to the Luna delegate? We just left!>>1795785Asking the Oakenrue how to escape.>>1795785Further bullying of Elly. This is all we live for now.>>1795955>>1795665Thanks Tim! But I still don't know what to do.Writing!--->>1795967It wasn't! I imagine the answer will be painfully obvious to you once you get out of the Atelier, though.>>1795718>Had Irue ever been in the royal residence?it's actually difficult for me to answer you. If I told you 'yes', then it would be the truth and you would likely come to the wrong conclusion. If I told you 'no', then it would be a lie and you might realize something important.Whether it's the truth or a lie, if all you care about is the end result then you don't actually care which you choose to believe, right?As for your first question: I checked the memoirs thinking there would be something on demihumans there, but apparently there isn't? If you really want a write-up on them, I can put one together for you; The question you're trying to answer wouldn't be related to what you'd read in it, though.There's no room in history for naughty children, anon!
>>1796952>If I told you 'yes', then it would be the truth and you would likely come to the wrong conclusion. If I told you 'no', then it would be a lie and you might realize something important.
>>1796952>could you pelase do a writeap on the known non-human species? I've seen a mention of some lizards> I checked the memoirs thinking there would be something on demihumans there, but apparently there isn't? If you really want a write-up on them, I can put one together for youRiiiiiiiiiiiz.Don't think I can't see what you're doing here.
>>1797007I wonder if you would come to the same conclusion as me anon.
"Elly's considering drugging her children." You supply blithely, turning away from the woman in question as she choked out an objection. "I am not! It's therapy! And... And it was Irue's idea in the first place!""I did say it was a bad idea." You shrug carelessly, teasing smirk losing its edge as you closed the distance between Tim and yourself. "Tim, I... Know what's going to happen." You took the initiative, sparing him the unenviable role of trying to think of what to say. You'd been in that position often enough that, even if wasn't pleasant, you were at least familiar with it by now. "We both do.""I'm in this with you." His features set stubbornly, "Don't try and talk me out of this.""I won't." Long blonde hair shifted from side to side with a shake of your head. This wasn't the time for speeches; Everything you could have said, you bawled through last night. His actions were his resolve, something you had to accept, and you... "I can't tell what's right or wrong anymore. When it comes down to it, I'll have to do something, but... I don't know what." You reach out, proffering your hand to the man to help him to his feet. The warmth of his skin against yours was a stark contrast to the cool morning dew, even as you braced yourself to support his larger frame rising. Your hands remained clasped even after he stood. Uncertainty flashed across your face when you tried to let go, only to remain firmly held in place. "You'll do your best." He squeezed, as if trying to physically force encouragement into you. "Whatever you do, we do together."You doubted him. It was reflexive, and you felt the skepticism well up before any conscious thought... But now wasn't the time for that, either. He had earned the right to be given a chance. You... You felt like you could trust him. You wanted to trust him."Thank you.""Spose we best get moving, then." He released you with a gruff shrug, "It's still a ride to the Shrine, especially if we want to get there in time to get your friend looked at.""Actually..." You frown, "We're not going back just yet. I have unfinished business with the delegate.""More important than the lass?" Tim hedged curiously, gesturing towards Ari's softly slumbering form. "I ain't exactly complaining, but we ain't gonna get anywhere fast if we turn around every morning."
He made a fair point. It was practically a given that the Luna delegate would know more about why Ari was still sleeping, but taking her back to the very people who had just professed the resolve to commit mass genocide in order to amputate Dryad's contamination was... You don't think there's any way that would end without violence, and the longer she was among them, the more opportunities they'd have. The Oakenrue also wasn't really an option. Its introduction had coincided with a massacre, and as an apparition of Dryad, it was almost assuredly not going to be suffered to live - Which was to assume that it wouldn't react similarly in turn, towards them. Tim could maybe be included, but Elly... You honestly didn't know what would happen if Elly walked into camp. There was a chance they would leave her alive until arriving at the Shrine, but you couldn't honestly describe that outcome as anything other than hopeful thinking. No matter how you looked at it, bringing most of this group back to the delegate would be like walking into a hornet's nest.And once you returned, you wouldn't get another opportunity to leave like you had last time. If it came down to it, you had to accept that you would be trying to deceive an entire group of people whose entire focus was perceiving the reality of things. ...You wanted to ask Elly's brother more questions. You also dearly wanted to punch him in the face. You could do neither of those things if you didn't return, but was it worth separating? Especially so soon after you had reunited with Ari?"Think it over, I still need to breakdown camp and get my baby ready for another day on the trail." Tim clapped you on the shoulder as he turned away, granting you some much appreciated time to think.Return to the Shrine, return to the delegate... No matter what you did, the clock was ticking down. You only had so long until both parties converged, and something forced your hand, but like you told Tim, you were still struggling to figure out what the answer was.But maybe there was a third option. You'd been treating this place like a prison, trying to find a way to escape it as if you had been trapped inside, but that wasn't right, was it? No one had forced you into this place. From the very beginning, the one who wanted to be here... Was you.
While the camp was being broken down, you had time to yourself. Elly had tried as best she could to teach you how to meditate with Dryad's attributes in mind... But whether it was due to her lack of teaching ability, or the sheer incompatability you had with the Mana, you hadn't had much success. In fact, it was almost more accurate to say it felt like you had been going backwards the harder you tried.Even if you understood it intellectually... Unconditional love was lost on you. That kind of easily given forgiveness and acceptance was something you couldn't comprehend. Even with your late sister's bracelet, it was like trying to light a wick without a flame - The key component was simply not there to cause a reaction.'I think you care more than you let on.'Yet your fingers traced the crossed brass rings adorning your wrist, warm to the touch from your body heat. If it was a matter of love, then who you were now wasn't suited. You had loved once, and dearly. You still remember how much it hurt to lose them. How even a decade later, that wound hadn't fully healed. The more you forced yourself to try and open your heart like that again, the more tightly it clamped shut.The crimson of her eyes.Her indomitable smile.Wild C͘b̷̨̀R̴̢̛͘l̶̴I̸̡o̕͝͡M̸̸n̸̴̛͜S̸̢͞͡d̵͢͡͠O̷͟͞ȩ͠N̷̴̛͜ hair. This was the only keepsake you had left of her. It wasn't the world, but it was all you needed to remember.
'Dear Child.''Cherished Companion.''Forgotten Ward.''Remorseful Jailer.''Beloved Friend.'Voices whispered through the leaves with a message too condensed to discern; One litany of airy voices intertwining their syllables with another, in a chorus of murmurs that greeted you warmly.'Your charge is found?''Your journey is over?''Your ears are open?''Your duty is undone?''Your heart is heavy?'The creaking bows, punctuating tones between rustling leaves and the familiar song of a forest that had ever been at your side, lulling you to sleep since you were a child.'Would you return to us?''Have you remembered?''Can you hear our voice?''Will you bear our tears?''Are you in pain?'>You want to leave.>Say something (what?)>Shake yourself free of the meditation>Other? (write-in)
>>1797699Wild C͘b̷̨̀R̴̢̛͘l̶̴I̸̡o̕͝͡M̸̸n̸̴̛͜S̸̢͞͡d̵͢͡͠O̷͟͞ȩ͠N̷̴̛͜ hair.
>>1797700That was all it took? I thought of so many questions for the fae during the hiatus but I've forgotten them all! For now ask them>do you know what has happened to salamander recently? >has Priat left the forest yet? If not would you be able to lure him out with a personal item of ours? Like our ribbon for example. >is there a way to talk to you again easily? Will Dryad meditation work outside the matrix? >ask for general advice I suppose >I want to leave
>>1797700>I am in pain, in fact. This history is pretty painful.>And it has a way of making a heart heavy>As I expect it was for you as well>But let me ask you in return: are your hearts heavy now?>Are you content with the situation as it is now? Or do you want change?>>1796952>It wasn't! I imagine the answer will be painfully obvious to you once you get out of the Atelier, though.What, will we observe less bitchy Rinnier?
>>1797700Ah, and if the general vote ends up to leave, I would like us to take a moment first to ask Elly about her brother's name. Purely to fuck with Maran later.
>>1797700>Say something (what?)>No.>Shake yourself free of the meditationWhy do we want to go back to the Delegation? We already asked her brother loads of questions.Note the difference between "Leave" and "shake free of meditation". Leave might have...alternate affects.
>>1797871>Why do we want to go back to the Delegation?I wanted to ask him about the texts mentioning the Goddess.
While I'm impatiently watinig for Riz to post, let me share some conclusions I came to.First of all, in the Ice Queen Atelier Irue recognized the floorplan of the royal residence. Since Irue has never left the forest, this is strange. The exquisitely evasive answer Riz gave to the direct question about it is even more suspicious.Second, the Fae constantly talk about Irue remembering, returning to them, spurning them before and so on. This had already caused confusion among the players.Third, the Luna Delegation was supposed to move in secret from even Dryad. Whose memories are we inside then? Who knew about them?Fourth, the way Irue's memories of Ariel suddenly have her with crimson hair. And the word "crimson" is corrupted in the same way as all the inconsistencies between the real world and the Fae Matrix. And crimson hair is a sign of East Heaven royal lineage, which a certain person much beloved by the Founder hailed from.My conclusion is Irue possesses memories/soul/parts of personality of the Valen Founder. It's these memories we're currently experiencing.Since there is no afterlife in the setting (and it has been cited to be an important plot point), this isn't something like reincarnation.My guess is the Founder's soul is reimplanted into a succession of host bodies to eternally guard Dryad's tomb. The means of soul storage is probably the Fae Forest, where "certain members of the family" (the ones containing the soul?) are entombed after passing away.Please look for holes in my reasoning. I don't trust myself to find them.
>>1797940It's like solving a jigsaw puzzle by sawing your own pieces.Your conclusion makes sense in context of The Reclaimed Doll... but pretty much every single time I've been sure we figured something out we've always missed the point.
>>1797913I'm curious too, but >And once you returned, you wouldn't get another opportunity to leave like you had last time.Going back there will close doors we can't re-open. The delegation is headed for the Shrine anyway, we might be able to weasel out a question or two then.>>1797940Seems mostly sound, but >crimson hair is a sign of East Heaven royal lineageDo you remember when we learned this?>My guess is the Founder's soul is reimplanted into a succession of host bodies to eternally guard Dryad's tomb.The only issue I have with this is that our Aunt was trying to marry us off at the beginning of the quest. That'd mean she was either unaware of what we were, or was deliberately breaking the system.
>>1797949>Do you remember when we learned this?No. I found it in the memoirs. Maybe it was only mentioned there.>The only issue I have with this is that our Aunt was trying to marry us offThat's an issue I had as well. The explanation that seemed most likely to me though was that marrying us off was a set up in order to give us an impulse to grow.
>>1797949>>1797969It says so in her write-up
>>1797969>was a set up in order to give us an impulse to grow.hmm, maybe. Dunno why she would want us to grow though. If our litternal reason for existence is to be Dryad's warden/plaything, why would she want us to change? And if we hadn't rebelled, she'd have been up a creek without a paddle.
>>1797988Because to be properly beloved we need to be more like the Founder? I don't know.
>>1797988>>1797993Read http://pastebin.com/pMGgiHC3She felt herself unfit to raise Irue and did what nobles do best, abandon their young. The marriage was her finally kicking us out of the nest and right now we are still floundering about trying to learn how to fly.The last couple paragraphs. Irue needed some life experience, something necessary to not fall in the clutches of the vultures. The question is who they are? The Shrine? Royalty? The nobility? Artemis? East Heaven?A... secret conspiracy???We just need to talk to her instead of treating her like a final boss like we've done since the start
>>1798104>Talking to auntie Clara>Like to a humanAnon
>>1798112>Like a humanAnon, I...Irue isn't capable of communication like an actual human being. I don't understand what you are getting at.
>>1798121>isn'tDid you mean is? Otherwise I'm not sure what you are debating?
>>1798121>>1798127I wrote "like to a human", anons. Meaning treating Aunt Clara like a human.
>>1798166Yes I missed a few words when I read your post apparently
>>1798104This is an interesting read, but it seems silly that The sister didn't just assassinate the Firebrand instead of declaring war on her. If she knew that fighting her would be Pyrrhic, removing her before she had a chance to make it Pryrhic would be the obvious solution.
>>1798246I don't think "fighting" meant literal fighting to death in this case.
>>1798249Maybe it should have been. She hated her so much she cost herself a lot of resources trying to get rid of her. It would have been easy to off her on one of those dungeon runs, and it would have saved her a lot of pain.
>>1798441That was just a social rivalry. Not a reason to kill people.
>>1798441>even if the only thing they'd seemed keen to do was stay at home and study Mana.Might that be because you hid them a month's travel from civilization, without even a horse? What else were they going to do? And good job honing their social skills, by the way. I'm sure the talkative maid was all they needed to learn how to talk to people.Also, I'm sure using the royal family as marriage bait helped ease the tensions between the nobles and the royalty.That was an enlightening read, but it absolves her of none of the blame for our current condition.
>>1798485No, it isn't. But pragmatically, it would have been cheaper.
You guys are breaking my heart, do you really not read the write-ups? What about the other ones, they've been at the top of every thread for like a year by now.What about the misc notes?
>>1798505I am onlyknow why. Also, several are OCC, and so contain things we shouldn't actually know.
>>1798505one person, but my attention just slides away every time I try to read them. I don't
>>1797744Time to leave!>>1797871Time to... Not leave?>>1797744A variety of questions for Dryad!>>1797747Attempting a heart to heart with Dryad! I'm a little busy tonight, but I'm closing the votes now so I don't come back to a massive list of write-in questions to try and fit into a single update.Can I get you guys to reply to this post to lock down whether you want to...>Leave>Not Leave--->>1797940>The exquisitely evasive answerIt wasn't evasive! I told you clearly what the truth was, and gave you a hint! When I saw your questions I was excited, because the fact you asked them together told me roughly what you were catching onto, so my answer was made just for you!And though I'm proud of you for being on the right track, you've forgotten something and missed something else. One supports your conclusion, and the other changes the end result. Both are valid.>>1798505I make them explicitly with the goal of them being optional content to read and enjoy. My intent behind them being that people who were interested could enjoy a more fleshed out world and cast, but those who weren't didn't feel like they were missing super important pieces of plot.Also I doubted many people read them in the first place, so it's not too surprising.>>1798550>>1798551What the hell happened here and why do the two of you form one coherent statement, 3 seconds apart?
>>1799641>Not LeaveAs long as it's dragged on, we can't just leave a story unfinished. How would we ever face Mim again?>>1791944>No One's Champion
>>1799641>>Not LeaveWe can't just.. give up after so long here. Besides, we came in here because the Fae took Ari. If we just leave, they might try to take her again. No, we need to finish this.
>>1797940>Fourth, the way Irue's memories of Ariel suddenly have her with crimson hair. And the word "crimson" is corrupted in the same way as all the inconsistencies between the real world and the Fae Matrix.I want to point out that it's only been distorting stuff said out loud... and we usually see spoilered text for internal thoughts running against our conscious thought.So it's more like we don't remember it properly.>>1797699>Wild C͘b̷̨̀R̴̢̛͘l̶̴I̸̡o̕͝͡M̸̸n̸̴̛͜S̸̢͞͡d̵͢͡͠O̷͟͞ȩ͠N̷̴̛͜ hair. >Reclaimed Doll>>A multifaceted hue shifted across the surface of the doll, limbs, hair and eye alike shifting with an unnatural grace. Changing size, changing length, changing color.>>"I figured out how to program it."
>>1800306If Ariel really had crimson hair, I'm sure Irue would've commented on it as soon as she saw Rinnier.
>>1799641>Not LeaveI want to grill the shitbro some more.
>>1799943>>1799999>>1800597I... I guess we're not leaving.Writing!
The voice of Dryad was... Vague. It said too many things, and never truly seemed to stop speaking. At times it felt like all that changed was the volume at which you could make out the persistent murmuring of Mana within the wood. You were more than a little shocked that you had even managed this much... But between you, and someone like Elly - Or even just your average Adept - You knew the gulf was still unnaturally vast. As you suspected, you honestly weren't capable of opening your heart the way Dryad needed. Just the shock of its voice was enough to jolt you from your fond reveries, and begin to lose your tenuous grasp on the state of mind required to hear it. "I'd be lying if I said this place wasn't leaving wounds." But you had so many questions for it, more than you could possibly ask now, and some that you simply didn't know how to ask. They largely fell into two veins: One which was driven by the urge to take Ari and escape, and another that loathed having taken the weight of this Atelier on without seeing it to its finish. Ultimately... "Misery loves company, right?"'Our memories stir.''Monument to loss.''Wretched tomb.''Cage of memories.''Artifical spiral.'"I hate it." You deadpan, conveying your general disapproval of the entire experience as flatly as you could muster. "Is this enough for you? Watching everything fall into place, over and over?"'They are all that's left.''An unchanging past.''The betrayal.''Would you change it?''The conclusion.'Dryad laughed. A cacophony of haunted cracking in the forest; Hollow, spiteful, mourning, affectionate.'What do you honestly hope to achieve?''The truth is unpleasant.''It hurts!''Lie to yourelf?''Some things are inviolable.'What did you hope to achieve? You'd done nothing but accumulate stress and bitter feelings since arriving in this place, and the longer you spent inside, the more confusingly they twined their way through you. You had Ari. You didn't need anything else here. Was there any reason to stay?"I hate it." Three words, repeated through grit teeth. Like a crying child. You had every reason to leave, but this poison wouldn't fade just because your turned your back on it. There had to be some way to fix it. Something you could do to change the outcome, to make it better. Things had seemed hopeless before, but you had still found a way to muddle forward... You just needed more time. More information. What were you missing? What had you forgotten? What didn't you understand? What signs hadn't you caught? What implications had been lost on you?
But you knew already, that the nature of an Atelier wasn't so kind. A crystallization of its creator's greatest regrets and flaws. The things that held them back from the Clarity of the Mana, clouding their place and purpose. The atmosphere was different, the presentation unique, but no Atelier was made to be concerned with anyone else. They were selfish sanctuaries, constructed for the express purpose of giving form to immaterial chains that shackled the occupant from Clarity.You knew that. You knew that, and still you stubbornly closed your eyes and refused to accept it. Too eager to be deceived, just because the people within spoke back. Because they lived as more than just recordings, and icy sculptures, waiting for someone to parrot the right lines."Is this what you want? Don't you want to change this?"'They cannot be forgotten.''This pain is preferrable.''Have you moved on?''No one wants to suffer.''So long as we slumber.'It was becoming harder to hear Dryad. It was only now that you were beginning to realize a particularly annoying fact about Mana, and the realization itself was making your brief conversation with Dryad all the shorter. You'd make use out of these last few moments to try and settle some lingering concerns. "The other one that came with me, is he still in the forest?" 'Beloved of our sibling.''A pleasant child.''He will abandon you.''You always worry.''Left disturbed.'"We agreed to split up, he's not abandoning me." You correct tiredly. "You wouldn't happen to know what happened to your sibling, would you? Salamander has abandoned its land, and its people."'We would never abandon you.''Our sibling?''Another victim!''We fear betrayal.''Beyond our dream is nothing.'"..." You shook your head, feeling the connection finally slip through your fingers.'Thank you for trying.''Shall you return?''Flee our nightmare.''We will watch over you.''It will soon be dangerous.'"No." Your mind was made up before you had struck fortune in managing to contact Dryad. There was still more you needed to know, and... And you couldn't bring yourself to just walk away. Not like this, not now. "I'm not done here, yet."'Time is nearly out.''We cannot protect you.''Blind agony.''Please return?''It is pointless.'Pick One:>Stay for Yourself.>Stay for Dryad.>Leave for Ari.
>>1801322>Leave for AriI hate to leave this unfinished after voting to stay, but at least with this it seems like we made peace with Dryad.I hope we can come back to it one day; I just don't like our odds with Ari and everything else on the line.
>>1801322>>Stay for Yourself.>You had every reason to leave, but this poison wouldn't fade just because your turned your back on it.There is absolutely no way we'll ever come back. Let's finish this, one way or another.
>>1801322>Leave for Ari
>>1801348If we're looking for a better outcome for Dryad, I don't see any other option besides slaughtering the Luna delegation. That doesn't feel like the right thing to do, but if the delegation makes it to the shrine it'll trip the reset, as evidenced by past loops.The other Altier was about empathizing with the creator, understanding what shaped them into what they were why they made it, often regrets apparently. Dryad was clearly aware of the delegation, else there wouldn't be the recollection of them in here. So then, what does Dryad regret?Also, "vote on x." "vote on x again." We made our decision already. If you don't want us to do something, don't let us vote for it.
>>1801322>Ask Elly about her brother's name, if possible>Solve the AtelierEvery time we didn't do something in this quest we didn't get another opportunity.
>>1801322>>Stay for Yourself.
Tfw never leaving Namek
>>1801413We will exit the boat yet anon.
>>1801364On the same token we've made irredeemable mistakes trying to grab at opportunities. In the last atelier our time limit was on the order of days, and we weren't in immediate danger.There's a strong implication Ari could die and there's a danger involved with lingering here - our meditation right now might be the only way to exit without consequences.That said... if it's an option to attempt a solution right now before our exit closes I'm all for that.
>>1801322>Leave for Ari.
>>1801322Isn't Dryad all about accepting? And forgiving and shit? > Solve the AtelierForgive the Luna Delegation for what they did. Forgive the Atelier for making you go through this. Forgive the past for having happened.Leave for Dryad. Trust Dryad to forgive you for not solving this. Accept that you can't make this place have a happy outcome and forgive ourselves for not being able to fix it. Stop refusing love out of guilt that we don't deserve it if we don't succeed. I've come to the decision that leaving this behind IS how it's solved because that's the only way to move on.But it's how we leave that matters. Instead of turning away from it, we walk through and past it.
>>1801363What if Dryad doesn't regret, what if Dryad forgives? Or if what Dryad regrets is not being able to forgive since that runs counter to its nature. Not forget. Never forget they said.But what cannot be forgotten can only be forgiven.
>>1801435this seems like the best option
If Dryad's reason for living this nightmare is so that no one here should be forgotten then I believe the healthiest way to wake them up is to remember. Observe, drink in every detail and write down everything, a tome of remembrance.Unfortunately the real world is out there and we have duties and responsibilities there, there is no time.>>1801435Forgive and put it behind us, but never forget. However I just want to note that I believe that if we forgive the Luna delegation then we need to forgive them in the real world too. We stop considering waking up Dryad, we stop being suspicious of Luna and her actions... Forgiving them is accepting the outcome and that their plan is just.
>>1801440>'The betrayal.'>'Would you change it?'>'This pain is preferable.'Doesn't sound regretful about not being able to forgive. It sounds angry.>>1801435Considering the lengths we went through to screw over the Gnome guy after he gave us trouble, I don't think we're going to just forgive everything, nor expect someone else to.
>>1801473>the healthiest way to wake them upThat.. isn't what we're doing. We're trying to Solve; Waking is something else entirely.>there is no time.we have no idea how long it's been outside of this place, but the Salander guy is still in the forest, so it can't have been that long.>we stop being suspicious of Luna and her actionsWe're suspicious of everyone by default. And considering what Luna did to Dryad the first time, trusting them sounds like an easy way to an early grave.
>>1801477>That.. isn't what we're doing. We're trying to Solve; Waking is something else entirely.I know, I was talking out loud.>we have no idea how long it's been outside of this place, but the Salander guy is still in the forest, so it can't have been that long.No but what I talked about would take ages>We're suspicious of everyone by default. And considering what Luna did to Dryad the first time, trusting them sounds like an easy way to an early grave.Trust and acceptance are different things, I never said we should trust them. Keeping a healthy distance is more than enough
No we definitely can't promise to change the way we think just to appease them. I'm afraid the solution may actually be the reverse -This is Dryad's nightmare. The Luna Delegate was trying to trap it in a good dream - it failed, but they were trapped anyway. How do we let it become a good dream? Can't we change it, even superficially?
>>1801486We stop the slaughter without bloodshed, unfortunately our little Oak already screwed that up. Stopping the delegation isn't enough, we need to change their mind.
>>1801489Why not just use the bracelet? An atelier is just a bigger apparition... right?We could just change it to a normal visit. Hell we've already altered the atelier just by existing within it and interacting, asserting ourselves over the role it gave us.
>>1801484Fair enough.Also fair.Dunno if we can just avoid any Luna delegates, though I'm certainly willing to try. I'd be happy to never see one again.>>1801486>'How do we let it become a good dream? Can't we change it, even superficially?We can affect any particular iteration of the loop, but not how it'd unfold without our intervention. Unless you're willing to spend eternity in here, changing the outcome of every loop.>>1801497>Why not just use the bracelet?We tried earlier, this place fought it.>An atelier is just a bigger apparition... right?No, it's a construction by something between a Mana and a human.
>>1801474>>1801473>>1801498The pain is preferable to forgetting. But what happened, happened.Maybe we could somehow talk about how Ellys dream came true. That the shrine now takes in orphans. That some of the Children survived as the Demi Humans.That love continues to exist even if Dryad sleeps.Or just accept our role as the inheritor of the past and that House Valen remembers now and will not forget. What about the children of the people in here? Descendents of the Luna adepts kids.Alternatively, what about using the bracelet on the sap from the Oakenrue to make it a direct connection to Dryad so that it can share the dreams of those who drink it and make new memories.What about sharing our memories with Dryad.The Oakenrue came in here, could we use the bracelet to put Tim and Elly into Oakenrue bodies? Honestly I feel like changing the loop is the wrong solution. The past happened and to change it is to forget. Accepting the loop, and forgiving what happened, changing the perception might be possible.
>>1801590>could we use the bracelet to put Tim and Elly into Oakenrue bodies? Dammit I so want it to be possible!
>>1801322So.If we leave can we never come back? This has existed long before us, maybe? Or was it just created for us as it is? Anyways, one other hail Mary option.> Tell Elly the truth about what this place is and that what happened is already gone. Tell her that Dryad hurts because of it, and that you want to help Dryad stop hurting. Ask her if, even if she doesn't believe it, if it would be okay for Dryad to forgive itself for losing them and to forgive the people who hurt it. Not to forget, but to choose to remember better times than this.> Tell her that she has descendants through both her brother and through the shrine that now takes care of orphans. Also the Demi-humans that you are caring for and can return to tell about where they came from.> Finally, tell her that there was a job left undone that you are already completing. That the children of the dead zones have lived not understanding love, but some are now learning and have already felt Dryads touch. What happened and will happen here is over, but it's not done yet. then> We're leaving this place for now, but we're also taking it with us. Elly and Tim are our friends that we care about no matter if they're with us now or just memories, our experience is just as real as the world or a dream.But ultimately we are leaving. Ari has to go.
>>1801618>But ultimately we are leaving. Ari has to go.Eventually, yes. I don't want to stay in here forever either. But Ari is stable, asleep, and well protected. She has nothing to fear in here, for any length of time.>>1801590>The pain is preferable to forgetting. That isn't the sort of statement one would make if forgiveness was even in the cards. That says "I would rather be angry at you than forget you exist".>some of the Children survived as the Demi Humans.I can kinda see it, but aren't the Demihumans semi-beastial, with tails and ears and fur and super-strength? Unless I've missed something again.>That love continues to exist even if Dryad sleeps.>You are superfluous. See how things still work without you around?Dryad hates Luna so much its name is corrupted in here. Anything positive related to Luna won't be looked upon favorably.>using the bracelet on the sap from the OakenrueAs far as we know, the only way to use the bracelet is by meditation to a Mana, or by focusing on an apparition. I doubt focusing on the sap will do anything, but what's the worse that could happen?>Tim and Elly into Oakenrue bodiesI like them as well, but they'd be ripped out of time, from everything they've ever known, and dropped into bodies they couldn't walk into town with, without being turned into firewood.
>>1801678>dropped into bodies they couldn't walk into town with, without being turned into firewood.They CAN cover themselves in flesh, you know.
>>1801678> Ari is safeShe is in a coma, protected by the Oakenrue which is dying. She's only safe as long as that holds out and we don't know how long it will take to leave.> The pain is preferable to forgettingHe pain isn't remembering the betrayal but what was lost. Even if it hurts to remember, you read dead friends texts and listen to their messages.Forgiveness explicitly isn't forgetting to the point we have saying about the two.> Demi-humans are physically different Maybe that's how they escaped? Note that Dryad exists in all life but animals aren't really noticed by Mana> Dryad hates Luna Hates just the other side of love. Can't hate what you don't also love.You know. I wonder if it's really Dryad we're hearing even. I mean, Mana doesn't really have a "self" in the identity sense. They just are.Maybe what we're hearing is the people who were killed and trapped here along with Dryad speaking through Dryad.A mind riding a concept as it were.I really do think that Elly and her relationship with her brother are the Crux of the issue here. How do Elly and Tim feel about each other? Unconsumated love? Tim also seems pretty beloved of Dryad with his whole hunter shtick as well.Just saying.I feel that if we do stay, we need to get Tim, Elly, and the Luna Rep together and see how they interact.
>>1801718>Can't hate what you don't also love.Eeeehhhh....
>>1801678>She has nothing to fear in here, for any length of time.If she's been protected by the Oakenrue from the start why is her time running out, if she's as safe as you claim? The thing is bleeding enough sap to turn us into an amber tycoon.>>1801718>Hates just the other side of love. Can't hate what you don't also love.Yeah you can
>>1801718>Oakenrue which is dyingDyad mentioned that, but it didn't seem like it was an immediate issue. And Dryad has an aversion to talking straight, it might have meant a metaphorical death or something.>The pain isn't remembering the betrayal but what was lost.Those aren't always so easy to separate. I suspect it's a mix of both of both of them. If the betrayal wasn't bothering them, they'd be dwelling on /what/ was lost, rather than /how/ it was lost.>Maybe that's how they escaped?Could be, but still doesn't answer the super-strength.>Hates just the other side of love. Can't hate what you don't also love.intense emotion =/= reliant on each other>>1801723>why is her time running outAri's? Oakenrue is on a long clock, yea, but Ari is stable as far as I know.
>>1801748>>1801723Hatefuck refutes your claims!But seriously, the characteristics of hate and love are the same. The obsession over the existence. Dislike without desire is loathing. Repulsion without attraction is fear. Truly not caring about someone leads to indifference. When you care about another's being more than your own. When you think of them always. When you seek them out to be with them. When their expression can lift your heart or cut it out.Hate is easily turned to love and vice versa more so than any other feeling. Anyways. Aside from that.Anyone find it interesting that Demi-humans are supposedly ignored by Mana, but that Kara was noticed by Salamander? Salamander that had suddenly changed, that we just learned may have been affected somehow by something that was involved in the current state of Dryad? "We agreed to split up, he's not abandoning me." You correct tiredly. "You wouldn't happen to know what happened to your sibling, would you? Salamander has abandoned its land, and its people."'We would never abandon you.''Our sibling?''Another victim!''We fear betrayal.''Beyond our dream is nothing.'Demi-humans that might have a connection to the children from the Dead Zones?
>>1801764> super strengthJacked up on Dryad. Super vitality aka excess "life" that makes them preternaturally beautiful, strong, and smart. The same internal "life" that gave the children in the dead zones the will to survive.Maybe the animalistic features are a side effect of their bodies having so much "life" mana that the following generations born developed characteristics that were present as regressive or undeveloped traits from humanities genetic ancestors.Maybe they are just more prone to mutation and imperfect or weak culls are quickly killed off, and the successful traits merely are similar to known animals because they're used the same way.I don't know man. I just can't shake the suspicion that Demi-humans are somehow like, fragments of Dryad that have been isolated and self consume like ouroboros the snake, or has been tempered by isolation into being a single viewpoint of it expressed overwhelmingly.
>>1801590I like this idea. Convey as much as we can to Dryad before time is up.On the other stuff, regarding hate/love/etc. do remember that Dryad is explicitly the mana of unconditional love, but also distinctly non-human. How it perceives things may not be as cut and dry utilitarian as we think. Remembering that betrayal is only natural given its very existence, and it would unconditionally hold on to that if it's all they had to remember something by.I honestly doubt it has it in them to hate, if being doomed to oblivion by its own sibling left them not with a desire for vengeance, but just remembrance.
>>1801820>Hateloath·ingnouna feeling of intense dislike or disgust; hatred.fearnounan unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.A stranger kills your best friend. What would you call your feeling toward them? Would you ever love them?But we're getting out into defining words using other words that have to be defined, etc.>Demi-humans are supposedly ignored by ManaI don't remember this, but it has been a while.>we just learned may have been affected somehow by something that was involved in the current state of Dryad? Pretty sure Dryad is referring to as it was betrayed by the one it loved the most, so now another is as well.
>>1801858I interpreted their beast features as being a consequence of being stripped of their aspects of divinity (mana) in the blighted lands. What is a man with none of the qualities of God? Just another beast. Making them cat girls is a particularly weebish way of portraying that but still. >>1801820Was she actually noticed by salamander? I remember her lighting a fire on the alter but anyone can do that. I do think she's closer to human than the other demi humans but we don't really have a good baseline on how they think so it's hard to tell.
>>1801363>if the delegation makes it to the shrine it'll trip the resetI don't think it will. It reset last time because of that corpse wagon, so I think the cause was actually the opposite: The delegate couldn't reach the shrine because they were all dead. If the memory is "inviolable", then it freaks out if it reaches a point where the end result is impossible to achieve....Which would explain why the oakenrue was killing the delegate, but didn't seem to actually go berserk like usual. Killing the delegate resets the dream, and delays the ending that Dryad is warning us about.>>1801489>>1801497The misc notes don't seem to support this.>If it could be changed so easily, it never mattered in the first place.Have we permanently changed anything major? Or is the end result still "inviolable"?>>1801820.>Kara was noticed by SalamanderI think i remember someone asking about this, and Riz said something about it being one-sided. Kara seems to just like fire, but Salamander hasn't shown any interest in return that we know of. I feel like we learned somewhere that Mana don't like demihumans because they're incapable of understanding emotions due to being psychopaths.I don't think leaving is the correct answer. If we don't get to the bottom of this now, we're going to regret it later.I vote we attempt to Solve. In the frozen atelier, trying to Solve gave us a review of everything we learned up until then, and the odds are in our favor if only one of us needs to get it right for it to count. We've apparently had everything we needed to know how to solve the Atelier for a while now, so we just need to figure out what we have, and what we've been told.
>>1802101>>1801871Huh. I swear at some point she was noticed. Maybe when we were reaching Ari?
>>1802101>I vote we attempt to Solve. In the frozen atelier,I'm not against a Solve attempt, but the frozen had a clear location to attempt the Solve: The giant window through which we could see the journal. There's not an obvious spot in here. There might be one somewhere in the shrine, but we don't know for sure.>>1801871>cat girlsI always thought of them as vaguely lizard-ish.
>>1801320>'What do you honestly hope to achieve?'>'The truth is unpleasant.'>'It hurts!'>'Lie to yourelf?'>'Some things are inviolable.'Honestly you guys, why can't we just suck it up and suffer what Dryad suffered. > "Misery loves company, right?"Lets just fucking finish it. Let the Luna delegation do its job. Let everyone get killed. Play the part of our Ancestor and accept that while it's not our fault, it's our responsibility as the heir.This shit wasn't an issue until we succeeded as the head, you all notice?Always gotta fight. This shit happened. Changing the dream won't change the past. These people aren't real, but they WERE, and we owe it to them to see what happens and not try to hide or twist it so that we feel better.
>>1801345>>1801356>>1801427Leave for Ari! She's gotta be safe!>>1801435Leave for Dryad. It'll forgive us, right?>>1801348>>1801364>>1801410>>1802101>>1803116Stay for yourself, you can't just walk away!That's one hell of a turn out. There were a whole lot of responses and discussion to parse through, but I think I got everything? I'll try to comment on some stuff I saw being talked about in the meantime.--->>1801363>SpoilersInitially I had you vote on it because there was a 1:1 choice as to whether to stay or leave, and I didn't want to flip a coin on a choice like that. It was only afterwards I realized that I hadn't made it clear that the decision was a somewhat important lock-in point for staying or going, and it felt obnoxious to just dump that as OOC knowledge, which led to this (along with providing a flavor for why you stay or leave). The end result is the same, and it's still my fault for screwing up on presentation though, so I'll work on it.>>1801477Priat has left. This wasn't made as clear as it should have been, but Dryad mentioned he "left disturbed", in the sense that he left the forest feeling disturbed, rather than he was left FEELING disturbed.>>1801590>>1801591>could we use the bracelet to put Tim and Elly into Oakenrue bodies? They're not real, anon. They're memories. But what's really the difference between the truth, and a lie that is the same in every way? Regardless, the bracelet can't really do that.>>1801618>This has existed long before us, maybe?Correct. It will also exist long after you're gone, and the iterations will never stop. Everything you've experienced here has happened in the space of 2 loops; It's been resetting constantly for hundreds of years, ever since it was created.>>1801678>>1801871>>1802164>tails and ears and fur and super-strength?>Lizard-ishTheir animalistic features are fairly light on the furry scale, but they're all mammalian and generally a mix between the larger cats and dogs (think lions, cheetahs, wolves, coyotes). At most you're going to see ears, a tail, claws, and some slitted eyes.Also the average demihuman is as strong as a fairly strong human. It's important to remember that Kara's strength is considered a freakish abomination, even by demihumans (and some Wisp adepts).>>1801871>>1802155Kara likes fire, but Salamander doesn't care about her. She just likes watching things burn.And finally...>>1801871>>Making them cat girls is particularly weebish There's lots of reasons for this! Good ones! Valid ones! Completely justifiable ones! You're not really wrong, though. I remember early in the quest an anon was irritated about babysitting Kara, and (I think?) considered her basically a moe-uguu animal girl... Anyone who has stuck around this long has probably internalized that nothing is just 2-dimensional, but the imagery is still a little misconstrued due to us not spending much time with them for various reasons.
>>1803291I'm upset, I'm really upset! I hope you shits know what you're doing! Anyway it's a pity Priat is gone, I thought it'd be a good idea to give him some information and a letter saying he's acting in the employment of house valen as opposed to being a vagrant.
>>1803291>Stay and play out your part to see and feel how it ends
>>1803291Oh looks like I forgot to vote again. I'm with >>1803584
>>1803594My Man! The lesson I've learned from Valen Quest is to just accept that you're shit and have ruined everything and that you deserve this misery.It was bound to be the right option eventually.Seriously though, this isn't something to be "fixed" but something to be understood. That's what Ateliers are. It's just going to be super unpleasant because of the realism as well as the personal connection but we have to remember that this isn't real. We can't save anyone here except Ari and ourselves.So let's shut up and listen to the story.
>>1801435For a moment I thought you were running late enough I could get in. If I can still vote I'll also support >>1803584Even though they voted like . . . 5 times lol.
>>1803633It's been strongly implied this is the last loop we'll be able to witness. We don't have the luxury of waiting another cycle to see how it's "supposed" to end. Whatever we do, we need to /do/ something.>The lesson I've learned from Valen Quest is to just accept that you're shit and have ruined everything and that you deserve this misery.Pretty much, yea.
>>1803670So we will solve it when it ends.We've seen the loop end with Luna dying before completing it's task.Let's see what happens when they succeed.The trick will be figuring out what our Ancestor ended up doing and replicating that.We know a bunch of people died trapped in the old shrine with the Shade and those night thingies that are scared of Fire and the bandits.And that Dryad WAS put to sleep and the Shrine wiped out.Oh yeah. Night things. Afraid of fire. Something new since Salamander was corrupted?
>>1804436so just to be clear because i completely missed the loop the first time, the luna delegates were found slaughtered right? then it ended. did we find out what killed them? (altough it was probably the oakenrue)
>>1804436This loop has already been modified by our and oakenrue's actions. Luna may not be able to be succeed with a reduced amount of people, or someone key may have been lost. We won't know until they arrive at the Shrine. If it can't work, it'll trip the reset (or whatever else is going to happen this loop).Simply put, there's no guarantee Luna will win this loop, and allowing them to try will lose us any chance of Solving.Also, I'm pretty sure "don't change anything" isn't the Solution.>Something new since Salamander was corrupted?The peasants were well aware of them, but most everyone else wasn't. I don't see and solid evidence either way.>>1804489> the luna delegates were found slaughtered right?It was implied, though at the time we didn't know if anyone was slaughtered besides Elly's brother.>"I'm sorry." An apology came, but not from a voice you were familiar with. Deeper and more masculine. You stepped through the orphanage curiously, catching sight of the mousey attendant looking strickenly towards a somber man in hunting clothes. "By the time we got there...">then it ended. did we find out what killed them?Nope.>Though scarcely had you begun to run after her did you find yourself digging your heels into the ground as the tell-tale sign of distortions ripped through your world,
"You're right." The final trickling strands of connection faded, as you listened to Dryad's whispers fade back into the familiar forest song of wind through the leaves and trees while you let out a resolved breath. The key to communication with a Mana was in changing your own thoughts to match their own frame of mind... And you'd never given much thought towards the implications behind it, until now. "But there's still more here that I want to learn. More that I need to know." Those of perfectly like minds thought in synch. Conclusions drawn by one were considered natural by the other, and so the conversation would always be amiable. In this way, you could come to understand the Mana, and if you couldn't understand them, then even their voice was indiscernable... In other words, wasn't it impossible to argue with them?You understood by now, that no matter what you did - No matter how hard you fought, or how much it was going to hurt - Nothing would change. Ateliers didn't exist to be 'fixed'. If such a thing was possible, then they wouldn't have existed in the first place... And no matter how much it tore at you, it wasn't your burden. The bitterness and frustration you felt was gained from coming to terms with the feelings of someone else's strife. Dryad was right. It was pointless. Every heavy step you took towards Solving was just another weight on your shoulders. But even so..."Even if it's pointless, I still have to do it.""You figure something out?" You opened your eyes to catch Tim's approach, noting that the camp had been broken down in the meantime. "Gotta admit, starting to feel a little left out between you and Elly. Both of ya'll just sit down somewhere and not a peep'll come out for the rest of the morning.""You're not missing a whole lot." You smile wryly, "I need Elly to-""Find the delegate again, right?" Tim smirked, "I asked her about it not long after you drifted off, figured that'd be your next destination after what we talked about earlier. Just came over to tell you she thinks she's got a lock on em, and we're ready to go."You grasped Tim's hand as he helped pull you to your feet, feeling the featherlight cradle of ivy which had snaked up around you break away weakly. You'd had the option to take Ari right now and leave, but after everything you'd been through to get this far, you knew full well that leaving now would have haunted you. Even if these were only memories, you owed it to Tim and Elly to see it through to the end. You owed it to your ancestor to retrace the same steps they had taken, instead of turning away and pretending it wasn't your problem.
But if you were being honest, even those were just excuses. Time and time again you had felt the acrid bile in the back your throat, encountering the last accounts of House Valen's founder. The regret that had drowned them ever since that day. The disgust and anger you felt well within you was all but irrational, and above all else you always found yourself furious that they had chosen to walk away from something so important.You were doing this for yourself. No greater reason, no noble justifications. You refused to become the same kind of hollow shell that your ancestor had.----http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Valen+QuestAnd we are archived.We still have plenty of thread life left, but this seemed like the best place to end it and pick up next time for the final thread of this Atelier. I'll probably use the last few days of this thread's life to work on a demihuman write up and... Looks like Paper Flowers won the write-up vote! Next thread will be the end, one way or another. You have exactly one chance to Solve the Atelier, and you've put Ari's life on the line to get it right... And most of Carona's.I'll lurk the thread for a bit to try and answer some questions if I can.Apologies to all anons who participated in Valen Quest but died at their keyboards wondering when QM would finally update.To those who did not make it to the end, we will never forget your sacrifice.
>>1805382>and you've put Ari's life on the line to get it right... And most of Carona's.I'm numb to this. If Ari dies though God only knows if I can keep going
>>1805382Thanks for running.>You were doing this for yourself. No greater reason, no noble justifications.See how nice it is to be honest with ourselves for once?>You have exactly one chance to Solve the Atelier, and you've put Ari's life on the line to get it right... And most of Carona's.That isn't ominous at all. Don't worry though, I'm sure we're all prepared to cause everyone pain and death due to our screwups. Not like it'd be the first (or last) time.
>>1805563>Numb to this
>>1805382Thanks for running!How badly did we fuck up this time?
>>1805843...Are you the anon that always asks this, or is this just normal for my players?As for your question, there isn't really an answer. There was no explicitly "right" or "wrong" choice to make here. Leaving would have its own benefits and consequences, and staying poses its own risks and benefits. if anything, I would be concerned about Solving properly, because you have a lot hanging in the balance over it. However, it's a decision you made for yourself. You've had plenty of time to rake over the clues and implications in the Atelier, and had the information necessary to divine the costs at stake. Whatever happens now is yours - For glory or grief.I will say that leaving was the more conservative choice. The benefits weren't as pronounced, but the potential repercussions were similarly less severe. Staying pushes both to the relative extremes in regards to potential outcomes.
>>1805846>benefits and consequences, and staying poses its own risks and benefits.One of these is not like the other. Risk and consequence is not the same
>>1805867There wasn't any implication meant there. The gist of it just being that staying creates a more extreme result in either direction, as opposed to leaving being more moderate.But it's moot, mostly. The choice is made!
>>1805846Wait so the guys saying Ari was stable now were lying? Because that would have changed my vote.I'll be a definite but so small it's not measurable amount of the salt I was after ShadpwRue was killed by the players if this ends up killing Ari.And the only reason the I specify how little of the Salt that would be, is because I'm still so fucking salty about ShadowRue that's it's a state not of infinite salt but Absolute Salt.>>1801764>>1801748>>1801678Niggas I trusted you when you said Ari was stable.
>>1804693Don't change anything is how we discover the solution.The outcome isn't the answer, it's what we LEARN from it that is the "solution". We already saw a loop where Luna failed and you want to waste our last shot repeating it?Luna definitely has to get to the Shrine alive. Trying to stop Luna before that point is DEFINITELY going to prevent solving it.Honestly we still don't even know what our Ancestor actually did yet, so how about we get to that point first before trying to force a "happy" ending. Ateliers are made to describe an experience and show a state of mind, they're like zen riddles not puzzle boxes.Dryad outright told us they don't want it changed.Pretty sure the important parts are all about Elly, the Delegate, Tim, and us playing our Ancestor.
>>1804693You're also the same guy that said Ari was safe. I'm pretty skeptical about your claims now.
>>1805846>...Are you the anon that always asks this, or is this just normal for my players?...I wonder which answer would please you more.>>1805878Elly was the one who told us Ari was stable. Calm down.
>>1805894Elly isn't real, anon.
>>1805878Dude, I did NOT say she was stable. The guy I quoted said she was safe and I asked how on earth she can be safe if her time is running out. The Oakenrue has been, presumably, protecting her from the start and it's bleeding out.
>>1805878Ari is perfectly stable, though as >>1805940 mentioned, the person who told you that isn't real... So whether you trust her or not is entirely up to you. All of the things said in >>1806029 are also valid, and things that have been mentioned for a while now.Beyond that however, she's not conscious, and the oakenrue is growing weaker (it's been trying to protect her for about a month now), the greatest source of danger for her isn't her condition suddenly taking a downward turn, but you failing to Solve the Atelier and you having to deal with the Guardian and whatever else is roused as a result of that.In other words, it's exceedingly more likely you should be concerned about her being killed during the fallout of a failed Solving, than it is that she would suddenly get deathly ill or something. Any harm that comes to her would strictly be from an outside source.
>>1806029Yeah I was pretty drunk.