Merry Christmas, /qst/! Not much to say that I haven’t said on twitter, but I’ll lay out the itinerary for this thread: Task Force 666 first, then crossover shenanigans with my other quest. So without further ado, let the madness begin!>Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Devil%20Summoner%20Task%20Force%20666%20Quest>Previous Session: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/849522/>General Pastebin: pastebin.com/u/TaskForceKaz>Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaskForceKazYou are Adrian Brown, a twenty five year-old third-year medical student living an otherwise normal American life in search of employment. That was until you woke up inside a derelict and demon-infested hospital with four other victims of short-term memory loss. Together, the five of you managed to somehow survive by negotiating with demons and defeating those that were not so amicable. And upon escaping, the all of you realized that it wasn’t as simple as that. Task Force 666 a multinational organization dedicated to combating hostile demons and those that would use them for ill intentions. And the hellhole you just went through? That was your ‘job interview’, one that you passed with flying colors. When properly offered employment as an agent among the ranks, you accepted without too much hesitation or second thoughts. Duty to humanity and whatnot. You are now a Devil Summoner in the service of the Task Force, and the de-facto leader of East Coast Operations Division IV Carina Squad. It is your duty to protect mankind from all threats involving the demonic, but how you choose to carry out your orders is entirely up to you. The choices you make shall not only affect those around you, but the fate of the entire world itself…==================[WELCOME TO THE TASK FORCE DATABASE][HOW CAN I HELP YOU TODAY][PLEASE INPUT COMMAND][…COMMAND RECOGNIZED][LEVEL 5 AUTHORIZATION REQUESTED…][PLEASE INPUT AUTHORIZATION KEY…][AUTHORIZATION ACCEPTED.][WELCOME, OPERATIVE BRADY.][ACCESSING SEVER…][SEARCHING WITHIN ESTABLISHED PERIMITERS…][LOCATED FILE…][RETRIEVING…][9:55 AM, Fr! dAy, \GwRlMOsqgszzreqqqqqqq FILE CORRUPTED][ERROR CODE 432][PLEASE CONTACT TECHNICAL SUPPORT FOR FURTHER ASSISTANCE…][OVERIDE COMMAND ACCEPTED.][RETRIEVING FRAGMENTS…]“XMAS SPECIAL”Washington D.C., United StatesSpecialist Adrian Brown, Carina SquadDivision Four, North AmericaDecember XX, 2@1&[BEGIN PLAYBACK? Y/N][STREAMING…](cont.)
so we fighting the white hag or krampus?
The best part about cycle rotation coinciding with Christmas is that in spite of the clock reading six in the morning, you can stay in bed for as long as you need to. Just lying there, content and toasty under the warm blankets and sheets…truly, heaven on earth. Especially since you forgot to pack your fuzzy slippers. Seriously, the tile of Carina Squad’s barracks could get cold enough to freeze the toes off your feet.Not that you have to worry about it that much. Last night, MacKay still had eggnog waiting for everyone in the squad fridge, a homemade recipe from the Jesuits that raised him. Getting everything together the night prior had been an exercise in making sure you didn’t blow up the cooking area, as well as sugar-toothed demons getting into the mix. But in the end, it was all worth it. It’s the best tasting (non-alcoholic) brew you’ve had in your entire life.There's a thermos with your name on it, full of the good father's brew. A quick trip to the kitchen, a minute to heat it up, and you'll have the perfect start to your pre-Christmas day-“…quit your squirmin’…”Blinking down, you regard the woman in your cot with a wry look. Bedraggled and bleary-eyed, Fitz stares up at you with what she means to be an intimidating glare. Only in the dim lighting and her general appearance of disarray, it comes off as a tired pout.“…sorry,” You mutter, raising your hands in an apology. You take a moment to untangle your legs from hers, taking your time to enjoy the sensation that comes as they glide against each other. She raises a wry eyebrow at that before pulling away herself. “Didn’t mean to wake you.”She grunts at that, casting a sideways glance towards the direction of MacKay and Brady’s rooms. “Ya shouldn’t be worried about me as much as you should be about them. Well, MacKay more than Brady-boy. That guy’d probably sleep right through a tornado.”The fact that MacKay was able to sleep through the Englishman’s chainsaw of a snore is nothing short of a miracle in of itself. It starts off as a nasal whine, like the revving of some great machine. Aside from the slightest of paunches due to his role as support, he really didn’t have the build to pull off a noise of that catastrophe. You’ve been eyeing that sleep aid for a while now…now, how to give it to him..Still, you aren’t about to leave your friend out to dry without getting one of your own in. “And that’s saying something considering the noise you make when you hit the sack.” You grin as Fitz frowns. “It’s not as bad as his…but I’ve been kept up more than once. Still, not entirely bad. You’re really cute when you sleep.”“…y’know, that’s really fuckin’ creepy,” She mutters, burying her face deeper into the pillow. Her cheeks are only slightly visible, but it’s enough to see the light blush forming at them. “Watchin' people while they sleep. And fer the record, I don’t snore.”(cont.)
>>970431I assume this is non-canon, still cute though.
You chortle. “Nah, Fitz, it’s…it’s actually really cute. I can’t even describe it…it’s like…well, it’s not a chainsaw, I can tell you that much. It’s drawn-out, yet soft, finding a perfect balance between nasal congestion and natural breathing.”You only realize what you just said by the time the last word exits your mouth. What the actual fuck? The look on her face that comes off the pillow is an exact mirror to your thought process. “…I can’t even begin to figure out how the fuck I’m supposed to respond to that…” She deadpans, straightening out her undershirt with a brief tug. “…I’m just gonna go with creepy if that’s alright with ya.”“Eh…” You rub the back of your head sheepishly. Wow. It’s not even eleven in the morning and you’re already enjoying the taste of your foot in your mouth. “…yeah, I got nothing. That…definitely came out wrong.”“Mhm…” The look on her face turns devious. “You can make up for it by givin’ me your share of the eggnog.”“Hell no.” There’s generally a far limit to how much you’re willing to give to her, but MacKay’s eggnog…that’s a tough one. “It’s not my fault you drank all of yours in one sitting.”Her rebuttal is cut off by the sound of your COMP going off, vibrating on your nightstand and flashing brightly in the darkness of your room. Frowning, you reach for it, squinting at the display. It’s an incoming call Alger. What the hell?“Hold up…” You mutter, hitting the ‘Accept’ button. “Brown, here. Oh, and Merry Christmas, sir.”“Stow it, Brown,” Your commander snaps. “No time for your smart talk. Get your team’s asses ready and met in the situation room by seven hundred hours. Something’s come up. I know Carina’s off the roster per the rotation, but we need all hands on board for this one.”…shit, that doesn’t sound good. And Fitz leans in, hovering over your shoulder as she squints at the screen. “What’s going on, sir?”There’s a moment of silence, before Alger sighs. “...where do I even begin?”>>Conference RoomBleary-eyed and yawning, the five of you manage to stumble into the situation room only a few minutes before the assigned time. Alger’s at the front, grim-faced as per the norm, suited up in a full DEMONICA suit of combat armor. That in itself is enough to get even Brady’s back to straighten. This is definitely not par for the course.“Alright, sit down and listen up,” the Commander grunts. “As some of you may be aware, Christmas or Yule is a time of year that has strong pagan influences that go back as far as anyone knows. The Christmas tree comes from the Celtic pagans, as well as mistletoe for Scandinavian Norseman. To keep it brief, winter is a season that has a lot of demonic activity, for ill or good will.”(cont.)
Victoria raises her hand, frowning in confusion. “Good will, sir?”“The more benevolent demons come out to play, leaving good things behind in their wake. Brownies gobble up the messes in the kitchen, snow fey bring frost and ice to the land, etcetera, etcetera, banal and mindless things.”“And…ill will, sir?”“…more than a few baddies to keep all of the agency on its toes.” He flips open his COMP, tapping away at the interface. “I’m sending you three possible missions for you to take. Some need to be done every year, but a few of these came courtesy of demons in need for assistance. And we can’t exactly ignore these ones.“You guys pick one, and we’ll shuffle the rest off to nearby teams.”Huh. You're actually given a choice as what to pick. That's rare. You motion for your team to form up as you go over the files Alger transmitted...>Pick a mission:>Hel’s Rebels: A rogue Devil Summoner has cheated the Goddess of Death, and stolen souls from the underworld. Locate the rogue and stop them by whatever means necessary.>Investigative Mission: Someone is carving pagan symbols into mugging victims. Investigate and stop the culprit. Whether they are brought in dead or alive is no consequence, but use extreme discretion.>Punitive Mission: Hunt the demon known as Krampus before harm comes to the people of D.C. His domain will be located somewhere in the district. Slay him before he can bring suffering to the civilians.
>>970570>>Hel’s Rebels: A rogue Devil Summoner has cheated the Goddess of Death, and stolen souls from the underworld. Locate the rogue and stop them by whatever means necessary.
>>970570>>Punitive Mission: Hunt the demon known as Krampus before harm comes to the people of D.C. His domain will be located somewhere in the district. Slay him before he can bring suffering to the civilians.You better not shout you better not cry
>>970570>>Punitive Mission: Hunt the demon known as Krampus before harm comes to the people of D.C. His domain will be located somewhere in the district. Slay him before he can bring suffering to the civilians.
>>970570>>Punitive Mission: Hunt the demon known as Krampus before harm comes to the people of D.C. His domain will be located somewhere in the district. Slay him before he can bring suffering to the civilians.Taking the fight to you, old man. This is for all the coal.
>>970570>Punitive Mission: Hunt the demon known as Krampus before harm comes to the people of D.C. His domain will be located somewhere in the district. Slay him before he can bring suffering to the civilians.
Brady snorts, before sobering up at the flat look Alger levels at him. “Krampus, sir…it’s just that I can’t believe he’s real.”“Oh, he’s very real,” he exhales. “Real enough to raise hell every Christmas for the last two hundred years. And that’s only since the German migration of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As of last year, his kill count has reached the thousands. And that’s just from records from the last fifty years, both here and in the E.U.”That alone is enough to shut him up.“…this all seems quite worrying,” MacKay whispers, frowning as he looks through the dossier. “You say that he comes every year, and every time you send operatives to stop him.”Alger grimaces. “That’s right. Thing is, belief in him is what keeps him coming. Demons feed off of it, and it empowers them, lets them regenerate from even the most volatile of magics we throw at him. Best I could manage was three years when I had Titania blast him with a Megidolaon, but he came back anyway. Why? Because humans continue to believe in him.”…well, that’s certainly not a grim outlook. Especially since someone’s going to have to do this next year. But you refuse to fall into the trap of futility. People are going to die, and you’re not about to let that happen.Fitz grunts. “There’s a first time for everythin’. Maybe we’ll one up ya, sir, and put the bastard into the ground for four years.”To your surprise, Alger manages a smile. A tight smile, more grimace than anything else, but a smile nonetheless. “There’s a bounty on his head. For every year, each member of the team gets a forty thousand dollar stipend. I managed to purchase stocks in arms manufacturers with my share of the money, and it’s paid out quite nicely for the last couple of years.”…that’s an awful lot of money. Easily an entire year for medical school…if you were still paying tuition. But your folks could easily use that money as well. Pop’s needed a new car, and the house could use a new coat of paint. That’s Christmas and everyone’s birthdays down the line if you take the demon out.And from the look on everyone’s faces, they’ve reached the same conclusion. Fitz…probably firearms. Brady…that new processor that cost an entire liver transplant. MacKay’s easy enough, donating it to charity, and Vic’s got nothing else on the mind save for that new motorcycle.“We’ll take the Krampus mission.” You tell Alger. “I mean, hell, I’m sure a lot of people deserve to be on the Naughty List, but having Saint Nick skipping over them is punishment enough. There’s no need for this goat-headed bastard to give them further grief.”The damn thing looked more like a devil than an evil version of Santa Claus. Really, the horns and teeth weren’t really doing it any favors.(cont.)
Alger nods. “Good. I’ll let Command know to pass on that mugging mission to someone else. I’ll take Kristoff and the rest of Squad Antila to take care of Hel’s little problem.”Someone might say that souls being cheated out of a Norse Death Goddess might not be a “little problem”, but considering Alger’s rank and the raw power of his demons…yeah. All a matter of perspective.“Oh, and one more thing: due to the danger that Krampus is, we’re clearing you for something that packs a little more of a kick. Guns are useless against the bastard, something we found out the hard way, even when we tag his weakness with elemental bullets. Best you can do is physical attacks and using Force spells as best you can.“To this end, I’ve been authorized to loan you one of my demons if you chose the Krampus mission. Rest assured that in spite of their power, they’ll obey you as long as I give them permission. Which I will as soon as you pick one.”Fitz seems put out, severely disappointed that her weapon of choice isn’t going to be any good against Krampus. But MacKay and Victoria are absolutely thrilled to have Alger loaning you one of his demons. Considering how they got a first-hand preview of how powerful they were in the Cocytus raid, there's little wonder as to their excitement. And relief.Alger gestures to the screen at the front of the room, blowing up the holographic display on his COMP to showcase the demons he’s offering you. “Alright. Pick the one that you think is gonna best suit your combat style. They’re all powerful Force-casters in their own right, but the rest of their skillset can be adapted to certain methodologies of combat.”>Choose a demon:>Cu Chulainn (Phys/Mag)>Garuda (Phys/Debuff)>Rangda (Mag/Debuff)
>>970799>>Cu Chulainn (Phys/Mag)
>>970799>>Rangda (Mag/Debuff)Just about all our demons focus on magic/buffs/debuffs with the exception of Gryphon.
>>970818Nope. You're giving it back to Alger when you finish up with Krampus.
>>970818Alger wil want it back>>970819Which is why we might want a beatstick so punch the fucker out with.
>>970832AlsoWe will need to get into melee range for this guy. Thus a Tank or demon to draw agro would be great.
>>970808>>970818>>970819why rangda? We're going to need a phys attacker to not get got by krampus since guns are useless.
>>970882Cause Garudyne coupled with Pixie's Luster Candy will make short work of him.Also it's fucking Rangda. You know that dude that reflects Physical which makes him a better tank than Cu Chulainn or Garuda.Work on your SMT-fu anon.
>>970799>>Rangda (Mag/Debuff)>>970882>We're going to need a phys attackerYou're going to have to explain why you think that. There is no 'aggro' mechanic in SMT and you're asking me to hit him normally instead of nuking his weakness.Also like guy above me said it's 'I hope you don't accidentally press auto while grinding and kill yourself off my Phys Reflect' Rangda.
>>970924>There is no 'aggro' mechanic in SMTbut there is in quest, especially in krampus knows to gank the summoner fist. Having someone to get in front of him to stop him is better than having someone sit abck and hurt him then we all get ganked cause he's not interposing himself.
>>970957>but there is in questNo there hasn't. The only fights where it was an drawn out fight or wasn't basically a cutscene the enemy demon attacked whoever they wanted.Orias and that crazy Kelpie didn't give a shit who was in front of them, physical or not.And even if you still believe that for some reason Rangda can interpose himself cause he can reflect physical.
>>970957>but there is in questWhere?Also it's a boss so I expect AoE attacks that are going to hit everyone anyways
As…questionable as she appears, it seems that the Witch Queen Rangda of the Bali seems to be your best option for dealing with Krampus. On top of repelling physical attacks, she also has a strong magical output for both offense and support. That Debilitate in conjunction with High Pixie’s Luster Candy should make the fight against Krampus go easier.Alger nods, firing up the DSP as you relay to him your answer. “A good choice.”Rangda appears in a flash of light, keening all the while as she floats in the air. Somehow, she’s able to wail past the leather cylinder in her mouth, all the while her fingernails carve dangerous trails in the air. As opposed to ducking as the others have, the Commander simply snaps his fingers. “Enough.”The demon subsides, bowing low towards the former marine. “My apologies, master. It was very cramped in there, and I needed to get out and release my pent up anxiety.”“You’ll have the opportunity to do so with them,” He replies, gesturing towards the five of you. “Rangda, you’re going to be accompany these five Devil Summoners for a single mission. You’re to obey whatever commands they give you. Within reason, of course.”You can feel the witch’s eyes, milky and white, twitching over you in critical analysis. Somehow, in spite of any pupils or iris. “They are your protégées, then?”“More or less.”“And the mission?”“…Krampus.”Rangda hisses, the bemused look on her face turning downright murderous. “I see…very well then, master. I will obey your fledglings to help slay the abomination.” She then turns to you, before inclining her head in a gesture of deference. “You do not have power to command me, Devil Summoner, but I will respect the wishes of my master. I am in your service for the duration of your mission.”She bows. “I am Rangda of the Femme Race of Demons. Let us pave the path of good intentions with the blood of our enemies.” With that, she disappears into your COMP, cackling as she dissolves into motes of data.>Rangda (Lv. 68) [Loyalty: Alger]>Race: Femme>Alignment: Dark-Neutral>Personality: Cunning, Protective>MP: 785>Repels Phys/Gun, Weak to Elec>Moderate Phys/High Magic>Skills>>Zandyne [Heavy force damage to 1 Foe]>>Mazandyne [Heavy force damage to All Foes]>>Debilitate [Debuffs all foes’ attack, defense and agility by 1 level]>>Endure [Once per battle, will resist a lethal attack]>>Blinding Claw [Medium phys damage, 35% bind to one foe]>>High Force Pleroma [Boosts force attacks by 25%]>>Mudoon [Heavy Dark Damage to one foe, 55% Kill]>>Mamudon [Heavy Dark Damage to all foes, 55% Kill](cont.)
>>970995I like her.
>>970995Oh right, it's a her. Forgot about that.Anyways going to sleep. Busy day tomorrow (more like today).glhf
>>970995“…well that wasn’t creepy at all,” Brady deadpans, shivering as the last echoes of the witch’s voice disappears into the air. “No really, Adrian. Really good choice you made.”Victoria elbows him in the ribs, nodding enthusiastically as the Brit grunts in pain. “Ignore him. She’s a really strong demon. I only saw her in action briefly before the Commander switched her out for another demon, but she really performed well in the Cocytus raid.”Your eyes flicker to MacKay, who nods to confirm her words. In that case…You throw an irregular salute towards Alger. “Thanks, Commander. The help comes appreciated.”He snorts. “Don’t mention it. Far be it for me to toss out my precious and woefully weak rookies to fend for themselves…which reminds me.”Once again, he points to the board, this time bringing up a map of D.C. Across the capital, three points marked in red crosshairs pulsate every few seconds. With these points, dates and percentage numbers appear to hover alongside the locations indicated.“These are the places where Krampus’ domain has turned up in recent years,” Alger intones, pointing to each one with a gauntleted finger. “In the last five years, his magnetite signature has appeared in numerous sites. However, the think tank has narrowed it down to these locations: George Washington University, the Old Post Office Pavilion, and the German Embassy.”He takes a moment to clear his throat before continuing, “You’ll have to investigate them one by one. And don’t worry about going to the armory. Everything’s been taken care of, and to supplement your lack of guns, Elemental Stones have been loaded into the trunk of the car to be taken with you when you confront the demon.“So get out there, and good luck.” He concludes, gesturing for you to head out the door. “And give the bastard a real thrashing to remember, you hear?”>Chose a preliminary location to scout:>George Washington University>The German Embassy>Old Post Office Pavilion
>>971028>>The German Embassy
>>971028>The German Embassyfirst so we have the most time to be subtle
Krampus ain't no joke, killing off the QM before we could even touch him.
>>971028>>The German Embassy>>971312Nah Kaz passed out at his cpu again most likely.
>Samarecarm -> KazAlso this made me think of you: http://mgsshitpostgenerator.tumblr.com/post/154773132615/nanomachines-son-they-harden-in-response-to-kaz
>>971028>George Washington UniversitySup Kaz, I used to work in the medical school there.
>9:12 AM>The CadillacIn your opinion, the only thing worse than traffic in D.C. is traffic on the day before Christmas. Virginians already have a shit disposition towards driving, but Northerners seem to have this inability to keep their wheels on the road if the temperature drops below freezing. So to circumvent that, everyone is moving at a snail’s pace, even with Vicky flipping the siren to get cars to clear the way.“Es gibt Verkher auf der Straße,” Brady mutters into his phone, all the while typing into his COMP. The only one who seems to have an inkling of what he’s talking to the embassy aid is MacKay, who’s eyes perk up at certain odd intervals. “Aber wir sind dort so schnell, wie wir können…Ja, Auf Wiedersehn.”You gesture towards him once he says farewell and snaps his phone shut. That much you can tell. “For the rest of us that don’t speak German…”“Just rang them up to let them know we’re stuck in traffic for the next…two or three blocks or so.” He squints down Canal Road Northwest, where the cars are still lined bumper to bumper. “They’ll be ready to receive us then.”Fitz grunts, tapping the shotgun armrest in a gesture of impatience. “So what’s the cover we’ve got again?”“Agents of an unnamed but federal task force meant to keep the peace,” You dutifully recite off the interface of your COMP. “They’ve already received our credentials, so all we have to do is present our identification at the door.”Suddenly, the car lurches, and Vicky curses in Japanese as someone cuts her off. “Chikusho!” She snarls, slamming the horn to blare out a violent HONK. “Get out of the way, jackass!”…the four of you pointedly decide to ignore her, save for Brady who begins to type on his computer. “Here, I’ll write him up. Gimme a sec to file a police report…”>9:54>German EmbassyEventually, the traffic clears, and it’s a straight shot to the Embassy once you turn into Foxhall and up onto Reservoir. The guards at the gate notice your arrival, sirens and all, and quickly move to let you into the compound. You’re no student of architecture nor a critic of one, but whoever designed the building has…a very unique taste, to be sure. The entire left side looks like someone botched the blueprints midway through finalizing them. Still, the colors manage to offset the questionable design, well enough. In conjunction with the Stars and Stripes, the flag of the Fatherland flies high in the winter sky, flapping along with the gentle winds.Once Vicky switches off the ignition, the five of you start unbuckling, grabbing equipment and supplies to take with you. Everyone takes an elemental stone, gingerly storing them away in specialized pockets. Just to err on the side of precaution...>Received 5 Zandyne Stones>Received 5 Mazandyne Stones>Received 5 Agidyne Stones>Received 5 Bufudyne Stones>Received 5 Ziodyne Stones(cont.)
Dressed in modest fatigues and outfitted with combat gear, the best someone could assume for you to be is specialized law enforcement as opposed to military soldiers. In lieu of magazines inside of your vests, you pack flash and stun grenades, as well as a few other miscellaneous support items. Flares, first aid kits, etcetera. Best to be prepared and whatnot.Before you even make it halfway towards the door, a man in a suit comes bustling out of the building. In spite of his graying hair and cane, he sets a good speed for someone over the age of…you guess fifty, but not a year over sixty. The full beard has more brown than gray.“Guten Morgen,” The man says in a thick accent as you file into line. “I am Cedric Muller, assistant of Rear Admiral Tomas Ernst. And I that you are the special polizei that our American friends have sent?”You nod, flashing the fancy identification badge Alger handed to you. “Yes, sir. I’m Operative Brown, and I’m the leader of this detachment. What have you been told about the situation?”Muller grunts. “Very little, but enough to get a small idea of what is going on. Not quite a terrorist plot, but…suspicious persons, I believe? And strange behavior observed among the members of the diplomatic mission.”“More or less. First and foremost, we are just here to verify something.” Not that you know whether or not Krampus is gonna show up. “We have no intention to start a firefight…even if we had the arms to do so.”The staffer regards your lack of guns with a questioning eye, but shrugs. “Then follow me. The holidays are upon us, and I would very much like to finish this quickly and quietly without incident.”“…and boom. He jinxed it.” Brady mutters into the comms.>Question the staff about strange behavior and events.>Scan for a possible entrance to Krampus’ domain.>Custom option.
>>971565>>Question the staff about strange behavior and events.Vic scans.
>>971571I'll second this.
>>971565>>971571Works with me.
So my internet went down. Again. Worried about future delays and more bugs in the new router, but I'll try to work as fast as I can.Writing.
>>971571>>971582>>971599>>971652>>971685You send Vicky to run a scan of the place, just to see if she can find anything that even has a hint of a domain. And just for good measure, you send MacKay along with her. There’s no way you’re sending someone all by their lonesome whether to get some scans or just to patrol in general. That’s bad protocol, and liable to get you in trouble even if something bad doesn’t happen. Better to be safe than sorry.But, you digress. Once Muller clears you past the entrance , you finally enter into the embassy proper,. The lobby itself is standard fare of what you’d expect in a diplomatic building, a large space with lacquered furniture and walls blasted to look like organic sandstone. Christmas decorations hang from the ceiling, and a modest tree stands in the corner of the lobby. The first floor itself splits off into two directions, left and right from the entrance point. To the right, you can see Victoria and MacKay spiriting down what appears to be a hallway full of offices and administrative perfections. To the left, the floor has a gradual incline, eventually leading to an antechamber and stairs towards a lecture hall. Probably for conferences, speeches or tourists. As far as you can tell, it’s been a slow day for the embassy, but the congregated staff members are still dressed formally, albeit with little spruces here and there to supplement holiday cheer. Christmas ties, red and green sweaters, and even a Santa hat on one of the younger interns. All in all, they appear calm, but you can feel a sort of nervous tension about them as Muller brings you to them.“Ladies and gentlemen,” he says in a sonorous baritone, “These are special polizei of our American friends. There is nothing to worry about. They just need to ask a few questions, and then they’ll be on their way and we can go back to perpetrations for the festival.”Clever. Compliant as Muller is, he’s in a hurry to get you out of the embassy. Something about a party, then? You can’t exactly blame him. If you were in his shoes, you’d probably be doing the same thing.Still, you aren’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Muller’s words causes the nervous tension to relax, with the twenty or so staff nodding in affirmation. You step forwards, spreading your hands out. “It’s as your man says. We just need to ask a few questions, and then we’ll be on our way. So, if all of you could form lines, the three of us will take your questions one at a time…”>Roll 5d100 + 10 Social.>Best of three.
Rolled 79, 4, 95, 69, 40 + 10 = 297 (5d100 + 10)>>971753
Rolled 54, 41, 56, 25, 47 + 10 = 233 (5d100 + 10)>>971753
Rolled 72, 28, 79, 14, 11 + 10 = 214 (5d100 + 10)>>971753
>>971762Mackay does work
>>971762>>971782>>971766>79, 41, 95, 69, 47 + 10>Bretty gud“The water tasted funny one day…but it was just a bad filter. Is there something wrong with the water?”“…that one person from accounting…Robert, yes? I think he’s taking supplies...”“Suspicious persons and strange activity? There was this one couple from New York who wanted to change their student visas into permanent green cards. They tried bribing me with sex of all things…”“…no, I don’t recall anything suspicious…oh, these papers? Sheet music for a choir. Those wonderful students from the local university are coming to sing Christmas Carols tonight at our party.”One by one, the three of you go over the employees of the embassy, with little to show of it. The answers that they give you are either inane, useless, or confirm the fact that if there’s anything strange going on, then the employees have nothing to do with it. And you can tell that they’re telling the truth. Turns out spending lots of time with Fitz made you into more of a people person than before.At least, that’s what you first believe. And then all it took was for one single person to throw it down the crapper.“Wait a moment…” This one is an old janitor, a wizened curmudgeon whose hands shake as he shuffles forward to answer your question. “The…the ornament on the tree…sir, I have decorated the embassy’s trees for the last twenty years, and I have never seen that ornament before. I would have recognized it, but it has never appeared on any of our inventory.”Muller frowns, quickly stepping towards the janitor. “Hans, what are you doing? It’s your day off, you need to get on the train to Bethesda…” At your confused look, the staffer explains, “An old friend of the embassy, who comes every Christmas to spend time with his children in Maryland. He decorates the embassy for all our major holidays.”“An ornament?” Brady’s eyebrow quirks. “What kind of ornament, exactly?”The old man struggles to concentrate, frowning as his mouth stumbles over his words. “…it was…it looked like a pinecone, that hangs from the tree atop a loop of small chains. But…but I have never seen its like before…and I cannot remember ever stocking it in our inventory…”Your COMM suddenly cracks to life, and Victoria’s voice comes into your headset. “I got nothing, save for residual traces that go back to…two thousand six. Krampus hasn’t been here for a long time, but if he’s been here, then he’s taken care of his tracks very well.”Neither are particularly good bits of news, made only worse by MacKay adding. “I see a bus coming up the road. Is that…it looks like a university bus…George Washington?”You quickly relay the information back to Muller, who frowns in confusion. “The choir boys and girls? Ah, they are here, then. Sir, if you are done, then I would respectfully request for you to vacate the premise.”(cont.)
“…I need the two of you down here, now. Something might be coming up…” You pointedly ignore Muller, instead focusing on the older man. “Mister Hans, was it? You said there was a strange ornament. What made it strange aside from never being in your inventory?”The old man coughs, wheezing into a faded Christmas sweater before replying. “...it…it smelled funny? I can’t quite explain…like burnt pine needles and ash…”“Alright, Hans, let’s get you seated…” That’s Muller, who guides the old man towards a nearby chair. “Can someone fetch him a hot chocolate?”MacKay and Victoria come sprinting down the hallway, skidding to a halt in front of you. “Is there…a problem?” The priests manages between breaths. You point towards the Christmas tree. “Scan it. Call it a hunch, but…” Your eyes flicker towards the old man, and your mind recalls the description he gave of the thing. It could be just the ravings of an old man with a scraggly beard, but in the business of Devil Busting, nothing is too small to be a coincidence.The two of them nod hesitantly, quickly moving towards the tree with their COMPs open and ready. As they begin their scan, you turn towards Brady and Fitz, who round up on you with concerned looks. “Choir’s pulling up,” He mutters, jerking his head towards the parking lot. “What’re we gonna do?”“…one we take the scan, we’ll pull out and go to the next point. Muller’s gonna get prissy if we stay for another ten more minutes-”And that’s the last thing you remember before a tremendous blow to the back of your head sent you crashing to the floor. Even with the helmet strapped tight around your head, the force of it is enough for your vision to start and tunnel. You can hear Fitz screaming, Brady cursing up a storm, before the sound of shattering glass and a demonic laugh accompanies the soft lull into unconsciousness…Gonna eat dinner. Will resume later after Mass and other stuff.
>>972511Read the spoilers faggot. He's at mass.
>>972511Now he's dead.
The first thing you notice when you wake up is the overwhelming scent of gingerbread and icing. That’s the entire reprieve you have before what feels like an ice pick drives straight into the back of your skull. Wincing, cursing, you try to raise your hands towards your head, only for all the blood to rush straight to it. Vertigo assails you, and it’s only though severe control of your gag reflex that you manage to hold in your bile.Now that your head’s coming out of the spin cycle, you take note of two things: one, your feet are bound, and are strung up with a rope, hanging from the ceiling; the second thing that you notice is that by some happenstance, you’ve still got all your equipment on you. Even your COMP and elemental stones. Not that it’s going to help you. Your hands are bound together, stuck fast by some tight, rubbery substance. Every time you try to flex and break whatever it is that holds your arms together, it snaps back into a tight position with a rubbery SLAP.The good news? Whatever happened to you, you’re still alive.The bad news? You’re in some nightmare version of a gingerbread house.No, seriously. Even though your eyes are blurry, all you can see are walls and floors of brown, and decorations of what looks like candy and…gumdrop. …you’d like one ticket off of whoever’s wild ride this is.Then it suddenly hits you. Krampus, and the assault on the German embassy. That’s all you can remember before waking up here. Where are the others? You crane your head as best you can, but to no avail. As far as you can tell, you’re the only one in the…gingerbread room.…you can’t believe you just said that.But form the way your COMP’s been screaming, repeating the words “ERROR: UNABLE TO MAP DOMAIN”, it looks like that whatever happened back there, you’ve been kidnapped. Presumably by Krampus, evil spirit of Christmas. Still, you aren’t one to just wait around and play the princess to be saved. If you could just…get yourself…down…You inspect the bonds that affix you to the ceiling. Some kind of brown, hardened substance that keeps you stuck fast, but lets you dangle like a human wind chime. Judging from the smell…molasses. Your captor has one sick sense of humor.Regardless, a method of escape has presented itself. Who knew that after six months with the Task Force, you’d get a body that an Olympic athlete would kill for?Now, to answer an age-old question…how many licks does it take to dissolve shackles made of molasses, and how many crunches is it gonna take to get your head up to the ceiling?(cont.)
...or better yet.“COMP!” You grunt, wriggling your arms as best you can. With enough maneuvering, you manage to get it past what you now know to be taffy and into the clear. “This is Operative Brown. Input Vocal Override: Sierra-Mike-Tango-Four-Alpha.”Your machine whirs, beeping and vibrating as it fires up the DSP. “Vocal command accepted,” the dry voice of the V.I. intones, muffled only slightly by the taffy. A neat little feature, just in case a Devil Summoner found their hands tied up but their voices still able to shout commands. “Awaiting further orders.”“Communications?”“Negative. Scans indicate interference both artificial and natural. Probable causes: chaff, and thick walls that obscure even scrambled communications.”Well, that’s a bummer. “Okay. Uh…alright, is the DSP impaired in any way?”“Negative. Summoning functions remain at one hundred percent efficiency.”“Good,” You grunt, maneuvering your head to let the blood drain out of it. You feel like some kind of caterpillar with all the wriggling you’re doing, and again thank some unseen god that no one’s watching you. “I’m gonna need you to summon…”Krampus itself was weak to Force, as far as you can tell. The data made no mention of any sort of thralls or minions the demon enslaved or made to its will, but you aren’t going to take any chances. And you didn’t notice it before, but the temperature’s starting to get a little nippy…a side effect of the domain, perhaps?>Choose two demons to summon:>Angel>Gryphon>High Pixie>Pyro Jack>Rangda
>>973358>Gryphon>Angelbig guy can bring us down and tank the initial strike, while pixie saves those buffs for Rangda
>>973424>>973448>>973541why are you bringing out the dude weak to ice?
>>973358>Gryphon>AngelHow was Mass Kaz
>>973358>Angel>GryphonI had to sleep or Santa wouldn't come.
>>973358 >Angel >Gryphon
>>973358>Sierra-Mike-Tango-Four-AlphaYou really do want SMT4 Apocalypse don't you Kaz?
>>970431Did we sex up fitz while my internet was down??
>>979525It's a non-canon special.But considering how the relationship is progressing and this special takes place 5 months later it might as well be canon :^)
>>979584Soon anon, soon.>inb4 nat 1 for performance>inb4 nat 100 instead.
Rolled 15 (1d100)>>980426Rolling for performance.
Rolled 65 (1d100)>>980572Oh anon. That's not a good sign.Bo3 though.
Rolled 47 (1d100)>>980572>>980580
Rolled 2 (1d100)How average.
Rolled 15 (1d100)>>980426Just for shits and giggles.
Rolled 2 (1d100)>TFW I got the highestRolling agin.
>>980806>>980829>>980842Fitz's ability to keep it together. Blue clam is blue.
Rolled 1 (1d100)Fitz x Brady bedtime results.
>>983371Hah! I'll be damned. Fitz wouldn't cheat so sayith the dice.
Rolled 20 (1d100)Mackay x Angel bedtime results.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>983371Fuck. Guess either Brady has a bad case of ED and/or a needledick, or Fitz is just THAT FUCKING BAD in bed.1 = Brady's fault and 2 = Fitz's
>>989233Nope. Just fighting off some irritants and delays.Writing...
>>989329So will it be canon that Brady has a microdick and/or ED?
Your demons appear quickly enough, materializing from the COMP only two seconds after you tell the V.I. the ones you need most. Angel and Gryphon immediately set about their work, fussing over you and inquiring as to whether or not you’re alright. To which you respond with a strained smile, gesturing as best you can towards the hardened molasses keeping you up on the ceiling. That, gryphon easily shatters with a series of pecks, with Angel to catch you once you finally break free.Thanking them, you slowly get up onto your feet, wobbling as the blood flows right back down to your limbs. Pins and needles flare up across your skin, and it takes more than a few moments for you to get your circulation back up and in proper order. In the meantime, you ask your demons a few questions while you stretch. “So you have no idea what happened?” You grunt, shaking a particularly nasty kink out of your arm. Angel shakes her head. “Unfortunately not. I had only a brief moment of clarity after you were knocked out before the mystic relic was overwhelmed by a powerful magic blast.”“Explain.”She purses her lips. “The closest analogy that I can think of is a magical-based electro-magnetic pulse.”You blink, surprised that a member of the Celestial Choir would know of an EMP, but you quickly brush past that. “A magical EMP, huh…be that as it may, are you alright? Any damage?”“Nothing that submitting the machine for maintenance won’t fix. Minor damage. And may I suggest that we have the casing lined with animal fat? It works quite well as a magical dampener.”Promising to send that to R&D, you quickly unsheathe your knife and have your demons fall into line. No more games, no more screwing around. You’re in an unknown environment, a demon’s domain nonetheless, cut off from your squad and any sort of communication. All you have with you are your own demons, five of each elemental stone, and your wits about you. Proceed with caution.You edge your way to the door, testing the gumdrop doorknob with a ginger touch. To your surprise, it actually responds, turning and opening the door with a single motion. Knife held close, you edge out of the room, peeking out to inspect what lies outside.From a cursory look, you can place yourself in what appears to be a prison of some sort. Outside the Christmas-themed comfort of your cell, the rest of the complex looks straight out of medieval times. The long passages are dimly lit, and the stone floors and walls are an oppressive grey, appearing to slowly move to crush you. The smell of rot, sickly and sweet, permeates the air, and you have to choke down an involuntary gag as it fills your nostrils with the odor of fermentation.(cont.)
Just in time, for what prison would one be without its guards or wardens? Down the hall, and on the floor above you, what looks like the resident security stalks the corridor. It is a tall figure, easily your size and three feet higher. Its eyes are alight with a malevolent blue, looking at everything and nothing as it makes the rounds, shedding light onto dark corners with an eerie lantern. In its other hand, what looks like a brand hisses and steams in the chill winter air, still orange and burning no matter how many seconds go.Your COMP vibrates on your arm, alerting you to the fact that whatever it is, it’s demonic in nature. Whether or not it’s organic, the jury is still out. It can’t get a good reading beyond the clothes it wears, black frock and headdress swaying in the draft. You’d have to get in closer to find out. Not that you’re about to take a tussle with the guard…yet.Still, your cell is not the only one here, with even more doors of gingerbread that have a stark contrast against the stone. You check the map of your COMP, tapping to home in on any of Carina Squad’s signals. To your disappointment, you can’t find them. And this feature is supposed to be independent of quantum communications and scrambling. But the fact that it’s just you in this cold hellhole is a small comfort in of itself.But enough analyzing! It’s time to take a course of action and take your first step in getting out of Krampus’ domain…>Check the other cells.>Fight the prison guard.>Sneak out of the ward.>Custom option.>>989330I will neither confirm or deny inquiries of that nature...
>>989646>>Check the other cells.
>>989646>>Check the other cells.>>989646How blue clammed is the Fitz?
>>989668Results are best of three. A 65 isn't too bad.
>>989675That was for us boning her, Her roll was 15.
>>989646>Check the other cells.>>989330I just figured he learned not to hit on Fitz the hard way.
>>989687>Implying Brady would have the balls to hit on her.Brady is too scared of her to even look at her in anything more than a professional friendship. And that's not taking into account that he knows the two of you have chemistry going on...>>989685Let's just say that the last session prior to the Krampus mission was less than lackluster for her and leave it at that.Writing...
In the end, you can’t leave the ward without first checking out the cells. Your training is enough of a kick in the rear to get you to stay behind for a cursory inspection, but your gamer OCD is starting to rear its head. Flashbacks of dungeons in every RPG you’ve ever played come to the foreground of your mind as you take a look into the cell right next to yours……only for it to be driven away by the overwhelming urge to vomit. The cell’s sole occupant is a corpse, the mangled remains of some demonic creature. That much you can tell from the bones: the elongated skull, the claw-like fingernails…all of it jutting out of half-congealed flesh and rotting sinew. Flies, bloated and glutted to monstrous proportions, swarm the corpse.A bad sign, but you truck on nonetheless, turning away from the sight and focusing on more pleasant things: MacKay’s eggnog, the smell of grease on Victoria’s motorcycle…the faint scent of shampoo that clings to Fitz’s hair…Your mood simultaneously sours as much as it brightens up. Fitz…damn. If your positions were reversed, you can’t even begin to imagine how you’d feel if she was in your place. Especially with her…grabby tendencies. The faintest pity for Krampus is immediately squashed out by the grim amusement of the image of Fitz driving an armored truck into the domain and running the bastard over.But, you digress. All the other cells are empty, devoid of any persons alive (or dead). No more corpses, just empty cells of straw and empty plates. From the thick layer of dust that’s settled, nothing’s been in these rooms for a very long time…“Hello…? Is…is someone there?”That is until you reach the last cell of the block. Immediately, you rush to the peeking hole, squinting as best you can to see the cell’s occupant, the owner of a weak and reedy voice. In the dim lighting, you can make out the image of…of a demon. Specifically, a Jack Frost demon. But the poor thing’s absolutely emaciated, its rotund belly almost nonexistent and its frame almost skeletal. Its eyes are hollow, devoid of emotion as it hangs suspended from the ceiling in licorice chains.“Yes, yes, I’m here,” You hiss through the eyehole, and it perks up at your voice. “But keep it down! The jailer’s around the corner, and I don’t want him noticing that I got out of my chains.”“…who are…who are you…”You cringe, noticing the distinct absence of the traditional “HEE-HO!” common to the Jacks. “The name’s Adrian Brown. I’m a Devil Summoner for Task Force 666. My squad and I were supposed to exterminate Krampus this year…but things got…messy.”The demon manages to wheeze out a laugh. “Hee…Devil Summoner…I’m saved…please…help me down…the jailer…the jailer has the keys…on his belt…”You recall the image of the demonic jailer, intimidating and wielding a hot branding iron…>Fight the jailer for the keys.>Promise to come back later.
>>989805>Fight the jailer for the keys.
>>989805>>Fight the jailer for the keys.
>>989831>>989833>>989836Oh what the hell. You’re probably going to have to fight the bastard sooner or later, so why not do it now?“Alright,” You nod, inhaling deeply as you grip your knife tighter, “I’ll bust you outta here. Just gimme a second. Somethin’ tells me that the demon isn’t gonna play nice or be too compliant…”The demon manages a weak grin. “…before you start…the demon…it’s weapon saps the strength…saps the energy from those it hits…avoid it at all costs…”“Got it. Anything else? Weaknesses, resistances…”“…do not use ice magics…resistant to the cold…that was how they defeated me…”Resists cold, its brand saps the strength from those it hits. Two good things to keep in mind. “Thanks, buddy. Hang in there, alright? I’ll be back soon.”“I’m…already…doing…that…”>>The EntranceYou time it just right. The jailer’s steps grow louder as it approaches the cell block, heavy steps and thuds echoing down the hallway. With your wall pressed to the back, and your demons in position on the other side of the portal, you lie in wait, waiting for the right moment to strike, for the guard to come into range…There. It’s only three feet away from you, and you can feel its presence beyond the wall. It holds its position, silent and unmoving as it directs its baleful gaze across the block. Then, its head turns, and it resumes its vigil, pivoting on its heel to continue its long march down the corridor.It’s back is completely exposed, and in this tight hallway, it would take tremendous effort for it to bring its brand around to strike you. You’re probably not going to get a better target than this…>The Jailer does not notice you.>Surprise round guaranteed.>Go in with the knife.>Use an elemental stone.>Custom option
>>989959>>Go in with the knife.
>>989959>>Use an elemental stone.Switch to Pyro Jack from Gryphon.Light him up with Hamas and Agis.
>>989959>>989969This sounds like it might work.
>>989805>its rotund belly almost nonexistent and its frame almost skeletalthat's a travesty right there>>989969Yeah let's go with this
>>989969>>989984>>990071You whisper into your COMP, ordering the switch of Gryphon for Pyro Jack even as you reach into your pocket. By the time you’ve found the selected stone that you desire, a crimson gen cut into a fine shape, the demon of Halloween has replaced your feathered friend. Pyro Jack bobs, nodding at you in deference before inspecting the current surroundings, dimming its lantern at your command.“You see the jailer?” You whisper to them, pointing to the jailer’s back. “That’s our target. Pyro Jack, blast him with your best fire spell. Angel, let’s see if Expel doesn’t work on him. Ice is out, and don’t get hit by its weapon.”“Understood/Yes, master.” Your demons simultaneously reply, readying their own magic in the palms of their hands. Once they’ve finished preparing their spells, you step out of the jail block and into the hallway, pointing one finger towards the back of the jailer while your other hand gets ready to crush the elemental stone. As if sensing something amiss, the jailer pauses in its steps. Whether or not it heard you, or if it was about to turn at the intersection between hallways is something you’ll never know. You crush the stone in your hand, the hard surface of the gem completely shattering under the pressure of your grip. A rush of magic fills your body, hot and feverish as it races up your arm, along your back and down towards the finger of your other hand. A heatless flame appears on your fingertip, growing in length from your fingernail to the size of a basketball almost in an instant. Without as much as a battle cry, you give the mental command to release the spell’s magic, to send the fiery projectile screaming down the hallway to slam into the jailer with a rocket’s velocity: Agidyne!There’s almost an explosion with the impact, loud enough to deafen you as it reverberates down the halls. The jailer staggers, planting its rod into the ground to keep itself from falling onto the floor. An acrid smell fills the air as its clothes ignite with a soft WHUMPF, slowly filling this partition of the hallway with smoke.But that’s something to worry about later. “Now!” You hiss to your demons, who respond in turn with their own magic. A smaller ball of fire races from Pyro Jack’s lantern, enveloping the jailer in another cloud of flames as Angel’s pillar of light slams down onto the demon. Underneath the impact of both of the spells, the jailer is unable to maintain its balance. It collapses onto the floor, twitching erratically as the flames lick at its body.The COMP chirps, alerting you to the fact that this particular…demon (whatever this thing is) has a weakness to both Fire and Expel magic. What luck! Things just got easier, but you check yourself. You don’t want to get a big head before the demon’s down for good.>Close the distance to finish it off.>Keep your distance and blast it again.
>>990167>Keep your distance and blast it again.Have our demons do it while we conserve stones. We can eat the candy around here for mama regen.
>>990167>>Keep your distance and blast it again.demons do so we gotta save these stones
>>990167>Keep your distance and blast it again.
>>990167>>Keep your distance and blast it again.conserve the stones, and we don't want to have to stand in the smoke if we can help it.
>>990167>Keep your distance and blast it again.save the stones
>>990178>>990180>>990199>>990206>>990231“Keep at it!” You have to shout to make yourself heard over the loud noise, the echoes of Pyro Jack’s explosion and the celestial song of Angel’s spell. “He’s almost down!”And sure enough, he falls easily enough. All it takes is another barrage of spells before the demonic jailer gives a keening wail, collapsing and ceasing to move with a final CRASH. It twitches occasionally, armored fingers fumbling in what you approximate to be death throes. Still, it continues to burn, and you quickly cover your mouth as best you can with the bit of your sleeve. Just to make sure it’s down before you get any closer, you pick up a nearby rock, throwing it as hard as you can at the jailer. It reverberates off its mask with a solid CLANG, leaving a sizable dent in the metal. Yep. Definitely down and out for the count.You quickly step forward, bending down at the jailer’s waist to reach for its keys. It takes a moment to untangle it from its belt before you finally manage to get it off the leather thong, a key fashioned to look like…candy cane. At this point, you aren’t even surprised. But, you digress. You have the keys, a whole ring of them, and you’re sure that in addition to freeing the Jack Frost, there’s bound to be one that’s the exit for the prison.However, before you go…You kick the mask off of its face, the steel toe of your boot violently impacting the demon’s skull. As it bounces away, rolling to clatter somewhere down the hall, you squat down to take a long good look at your jailer.Faded eyes on a wooden frame glare at you, shriveled and peeling from the flames and from the strains of time. A finely painted moustache is all that remains, alongside a detachable mouth that creaks pitifully as you nudge its body. It is nothing short of something to come out of a master’s workshop.The scan you take reveals the source of its demonic energy to be the shards of magnetite embedded deep within its eyes. Inert and without power, the shards are little more than dust, a chalky residue that runs down the nutcracker’s face to pool at the floor, like tears shed by a fallen soldier…>>Prison Cell “You…did…it…” The Jack Frost whispers as you stumble into his cell. You make quick work of the manacles holding him up, popping the cuffs that suspend him in the air. When the final lock comes undone, he falls, but you’re quick to catch him. He’s light, dangerously light, too damn light. “…humans are…really…amazing…”As you have Angel heal him as best you can, he continues to mutter: “Listen…the exit…is on the top floor…just one more floor up…up the spiral stairs…if we can make it…we can get out…”His voice trails off, and you shake him gently. “Buddy, buddy? Stay with me. C’mon, we’re gonna get outta here…”(cont.)
The demon laughs, a harsh and biting tone. “I’m…exhausted…not dying…silly human…and there….” Jack’s breath hisses as Angel’s magic soothes a particularly malignant bruise, “…there…guards…more powerful…warden…and underlings…”Shit. “How many can we expect?”“…one warden…three, maybe…maybe four or five…five…no less than three but…but no more than…than six…”Angel and Pyro Jack meet your worried look. Even though you have Rangda on your side, going up against a more powerful demon and six of its underlings isn’t a very appealing thought. If you were with Carina, then you’d probably charge headfirst, right after Fitz. But as you are right now, it would take a very strong effort on your end to get past those odds.“…but…but there’s…but downstairs…all the way in the basement…an armory…there’s the guards’ weapons…keep for safe keeping…” A coughing fit quickly overcomes the snow fairy, but it recovers after spitting a wad of...you don’t want to know. Either way, it continues, “…my weapons…my armor…they’re there…if we go there…I get my weapons back…we stand stronger chance…”You give the demon a wry smile. “A good suggestion. With that in mind, I’m sensing a ‘but’ at the end of this proposal.”“…they would know…that we are no longer contained…once we breach the armory…the whole of this prison…will be alerted…to us…”The goal of a prison break is to get out of jail, not go deeper in. Still, having another demonic partner aside from Rangda as his own independent entity is very appealing. “…how powerful would you be if we went down to get your stuff?”The Frost’s eyes narrow, and you can see a spark of animal pride flare up in its eyes. “…powerful…enough…”>Just head straight to the exit. Try to sneak your way out.>Try to find the jailer’s armory. Be prepared for a nasty fight.
>>990358>>Try to find the jailer’s armory. Be prepared for a nasty fight.
>>990358>>Try to find the jailer’s armory. Be prepared for a nasty fight.We arm a black frost. It goes ape shit wrecks face. Thanks us and when it destroys everything we'll get to go last.
>>990358>>Try to find the jailer’s armory. Be prepared for a nasty fight.Jack Frost hasn't given any direct reason to be suspicious of him, but he knows an awful lot about this place...
>>990363It was his before that slightly less evil Krampus locked him up. What a dick.
>>990362Nah, this Jack Frost armed with his weapons will be a Demonee-Ho
>>990358>Try to find the jailer’s armory. Be prepared for a nasty fight.
>>990363>>990383Inb4 this is depowered and deposed santa.>>990358>Try to find the jailer’s armory. Be prepared for a nasty fight.
Kaz is ded againOr drunk himself into dreamland.Or both.
Krampus may have an immunity to guns, but you’re fairly sure that his demonic…nutcrackers don’t share the same resistance. You weigh the pros and cons of heading down towards the armory, and decide that you’d be happier with more firepower than just your elemental stones and a knife. Even if push comes to shove, you could always just throw subtly out the window and blast your way out of the prison.“Alright,” You grunt, reaching for the jailer’s brand. It’s lighter than it looks, but it’s still heavy enough to really ruin someone’s evening. And it’s got three more feet of reach than your knife. Definitely a plus. “We’ll head down to the armory. What can we expect to find to take for ourselves?”The demon coughs. “Firearms…swords…armor…everything to arm both the jailers…and the prisoners Krampus has locked away…”“Good, good…but I forgot to ask. Buddy, who are you? In relationship to all…this?” You gesture towards the surrounding area, encompassing the dead sentry and the gingerbread cell. “What the hell did you do to Krampus to throw you in the slammer?”The Frost’s eyes narrow before exhaling deeply. “Fair enough…that I only tell you…as you’ve told me who you are…” It clears its throat, and raises a trembling hand to throw a weak salute in your direction. “…I was the field commander…servant to King Frost himself…appointed to protect Father Christmas…for the last thousand years…”A demonic bodyguard, then. Not quite unlike Titania’s own retainers and vassals that she surrounds herself with. All the Christmas stories your folks told you had elves attending to Saint Nick, but you suppose that with the demonic revelation you had in the summer…perhaps some exceptions can be made. But you’re not about to state banal curiosity when there’s more pressing questions to find answers to.“So what happened?” You ask. “Something must’ve happened…”The demon scowls. “…aye…Krampus happened…we were…we were caught unprepared…he had disappeared for three years…we thought that just like the last time…he was still putting himself back together after the last Devil Summoner blasted him into pieces…”He pauses, gently brushing away Angel’s hands to inspect his unblemished limbs. The demon’s still frightfully thin, but he’s not in any immediate danger of dying from disease. “…turns out that he regenerated sooner…somehow came back quicker…spent the last two years…creating an army of demonic automatons…an army that laid siege to Father Christmas’ realm of winter…”(cont.)
>>991525>Father ChristmasIs it gonna be Santa Frost?
...oh, Alger is gonna flip. Golems and other demonic-based familiars aren’t that dangerous. Gods knows that you’ve faced them before, but at the most, their masters could only create so many without significant drain to their resources. Three or four at the most for familiars or mindless drones to carry out only the most basic of tasks. But if the Frost is telling the truth and Krampus somehow made an army of them…“…so when they came after last year’s Christmas…we were unprepared and tired from the holidays…they slaughtered half of us…” the demon grimaces, and his eyes glaze over as some distant memory flashes before his eyes, “…burnt half of Father Christmas’ domain to the ground…and threw me into the prison…I’ve been stuck here…since January…”“…wait a moment,” You slowly intone, a cold pit forming in the bottom of your stomach. “…I forgot to ask…the COMP says that I’m in a domain, right? But it never said who’s domain…do you mind clearing that up for me?”The demon’s eyes close, shuddering at some horrible thought. “…we are in Father Christmas’ domain…that which you humans would call ‘The North Pole’…only this section has been corrupted by Krampus…an insidious process that turns the realm…of the holiday spirit into…an endless nightmare…”...yeah, that really doesn’t sound good. As a matter of fact, that sounds downright terrifying. From the dossier and report you’re hearing from the Frost, Krampus is gaining power, enough to power an alleged army of demonic nutcrackers. He hasn’t turned his attention to the real world yet, but that could change very soon…Hold on a moment. “If Krampus took over the North Pole, then what happened to Santa?” At the confused look you receive, you quickly amend yourself. “Sorry. Father Christmas. What happened to him? Is he alright?”“…demons are fueled by human beliefs and ideas…” Frost mutters, stumbling over to your gingerbread cell. It breaks off a bit of the stuff with a punch, taking a liberal portion of the debris before stuffing it into its mouth. “…Father Christmas and Krampus…are two sides of the same demon…day and night…the light and the shadow…they both exist simultaneously with each other…”The demon swallows his meal, continuing even as it breaks off another piece to eat. “…just as Father Christmas is sustained by the holiday spirit…Krampus feeds on the negative emotions…the ugliness that comes at this time of year…and as time went on ever since the turn of the century…the holiday spirit is dying…”(cont.)
Without any sort of warning, Frost slams his fist into the wall, hard enough to send a crack right through the stone. “…I watched Krampus, glutted on hate and sin, lead his army into our hallowed halls…I was helpless as he blasted Father Christmas into smithereens…only after he ran him through with a wicked blade of Corruption…”The demon’s voice is a low monotone, a deep and rumbling voice that is completely anathema to its kind. “…if we don’t break out of here...and stop Krampus in time before midnight…then he will inherit the Yuletide Mantle…and become the new harbinger of the season of Christmas…”He staggers out of the cell, a powerful aura of magic enveloping his tiny body. “…and trust me, Devil Summoner…that is something we do not want…because if we fail...then the multiverse goes on the Naughty List...forever...”>Choose one:>The Holy Man>The Interlooper
>>991660>>The Holy Man
>>991660>The Holy ManSounds Righteous, also sounds like the Father
>>991660>The InterlooperNobody fucks with Santa.
>>991643>Frost AceKaz, if he doesn't Henshin, I will be very unhappy.
>>991680>>991694>>991891Your name is Stanley MacKay, second-in-command for Carina Squad. In the absence of your leader, you have assumed command over the remaining three operatives: a concerned mechanic, a worried hacker, and an irate policewoman who’s only growing angrier by the minute.“Fuck!” Case in point where she comes off the comms with an explosive curse, literally snarling as she stomps back to the three of you. In the emptiness of the Embassy, evacuated of all employees in the wake of the attack, the Task Force has supremacy here. You are somewhat free to discuss the world of the supernatural without too much fear or worry for a security breach.Brady doesn’t even look up from his computer, still punching away stray bits of code into his latest program. “They still aren’t giving us the green light, huh?”“…not until we get Alger or another squad down here to back us up,” Fitz growls. If looks could kill, then that little area where Adrian had fallen would have been razed to the ground several times over. “All Goodwin’s doin’ is repeatin’ the words of the administration, over and over again like a broken record.”You decide to interpose yourself before things escalate. “Yes, because they don’t want anything else to come out of the portal. Just as we might be able to go into the demon’s domain, something else may choose to come into ours.”Fitz still remains sour, muttering profanities under her breath. “I know all that but…fuck…it’s been three hours. Three hours since they took him. The first thing you learn in law enforcement is that anythin’ can happen in three fuckin’ hours, MacKay.”Victoria winces at the words she offers, but you don’t take offense. You are not the object of her ire. That is reserved for the demon who absconded with your team leader and friend. You harbor no small amount of anger and concern, but it pales compared to the literal fire that’s coming off of Fitz. For good reason.The attack came that quickly. One moment, you were panicking over a crazed Muller smashing a bottle of champagne over your leader’s head. The next, what you best estimate to be a flash bomb detonated in the middle of the lobby. In the confusion, all you could do was swing wildly at anything that came too close, almost drunkenly stumbling after the demons that came and returned to their portal. Even your COMP had momentarily short-circuited, preventing you from summoning your demons.Someone’s head is going to roll. Krampus’ most certainly, but Muller’s would remain affixed to the man’s head. The retrieval team to pick him up confirmed signs of demonic possession, as well as some sort of geass and magical compulsion. The poor man looked absolutely devastated, aging almost a hundred years as they dragged him away in cuffs. Your sole comfort is that he probably won’t remember it come Christmas morning.(cont.)
The sole occupants in the building are the four present members of Carina Squad, as well as a non-summoning security team patrolling the perimeter. Whatever Central did, they’ve managed to suppress the information of an attack on the German embassy to an astonishing degree. As far as the cars passing down on the street are concerned, it’s some kind of field drill and exercise.Still, Fitz is restless. Out of the corner of your eye, you can see Victoria approaching the blonde, offering a comforting hand on her shoulder and a few words. The policewoman’s expression softens, and she exhales deeply, palming her face and muttering under her breath. Underneath the angry façade, you can see fear through the cracks of her mask. She’s worried sick about Adrian.You’re not so blind as to have missed the day when they became a couple, when a severe paradigm shift occurred in the squad. All you did was plead ignorance of the topic whenever Brady, Victoria, or the two of them came to you, looking for confirmation. You can’t say much about it because, to be quite honest, it’s none of your business. Until it becomes an active problem when it interferes with carrying out the mission, you’re content to let sleeping dogs lie...…okay, that was a bad metaphor on your part. Really bad. Still, you’re quite appreciative of their efforts to...*ahem* keep it down so that you can stay asleep while you’re on base. Investing in noise-cancelling headphones was a wonderful idea when Brady began to snore, one that has now borne additional fruit.But enough of that train of thought. You approach Brady, casting a wary eye on the portal as you take a look at his screen. “Any change in the entrance?”He shakes his head. “Scans are coming back negative. Nothing’s going in or out of that thing. I could try just sticking just the top half of my head in or send Jack to investigate, but that sounds like a bad idea.”You hum your affirmation as you squint at the scanner. “Anything else?”“Negative.”“Good. Keep me posted.”Just as you’re about to check up on the girls, your COMP rings. Frowning at Goodwin’s I.D., you answer the call, tapping the bead in your ear twice to pick up the analyst’s voice. “MacKay here.”Goodwin’s voice is the definition of apprehensive. “Something’s come up. Nothing benign, mind you, but…there’s been a development in the situation.”You frown. “Explain.”(cont.)
The analyst hesitates before continuing, “The Vatican has heard of the situation and is offering to send two of their agents to come and help with the problem. Two Summoners of the Inquisition, stationed here in D.C.”Now that’s a surprise. As far as you can remember from Alger’s lessons, the Vatican’s personal Summoners are equal parts reclusive as they are…not unwelcome to sitting down with the Task Force as much as they wish to keep both organizations from overlapping.“You’re in command since Brown’s been captured and Alger’s on his mission. If you give the word, they’ll get to you within the hour. They’re…willing to listen to your orders, but watch it. I hear that these ones they’re sending are real pieces of work…”“Define…’piece of work’…”“…aggressive, headstrong…” He lists off words as if he’s reading them off a sheet of paper. “…questions authority…prone to ignoring collateral damage…”“But are they good Summoners?” You interrupt him, quickly cutting him off before he can go any further. “Can they hold their own in the fight of whatever…whatever those things were that took Adrian?”The answer is immediate. “Yes.”>Accept the aid of the Vatican Summoners.>Decline and wait for Task Force Summoners.
>>992675>>Accept the aid of the Vatican Summoners.
>>992675>Accept the aid of the Vatican Summoners.Vatican summoner?Father Anderson?
>>992690>>992698>>992700In the end, you decided to accept their aid, questionable personalities aside. Especially since Carina squad is full of its own little eccentricities, both big and small. It would be in poor taste for you to cast your own aspersions when your friends are similarly…predisposed to acting that way to Central.“Vatican summoners?” Victoria echoes when you relay the information to her. “And when you say ‘Inquisition’, you really mean…like, the Crusades?”Brady snorts. “Witch hunts, Vicky, witch hunts. Heretic hunters and dispatchers of any who were accused of collaborating with the demonic. Not as much ‘Deus Vult’ as much as there is ‘purge them with fire’. Do you even medieval history?”As the mechanic scowls, Fitz makes a non-committal grunt. “So once they get here…”You nod. “Yes. We’ll have enough forces to make an assault through the portal. And since the Task Force summoners are going to get here only an hour after we leave, we can trust the perimeter security to lock down the area until they arrive.”She grins, and it isn’t a friendly one. Thankfully, it isn’t directed towards you. “Glad to hear it. I’m itchin’ to pay that sunovabitch for givin’ me the worst headache I’ve had in months.”The phrase “kidnapped Adrian” goes unvoiced, you hear it nonetheless.>>Half an hour later.The armored car that pulls up to the doorway is unassuming and as vanilla as most cars of its kind can be. Black, drab and with the symbol of the federal government emblazoned on its side. Quite efficient in clearing out traffic, no matter the time of day.The doors open, revealing two individuals that saunter down the steps of the truck. Both are dressed for combat, magazines and equipment tinkling together as they sway in the breeze. Between the organizations, you share a similar design in the Gauntlet COMP, but that’s where it ended. Holy symbols and Latin scripture are engraved onto the outer chassis, spray-painted a bright silver.Yet, that doesn’t surprise you. What brings everyone’s breath to a sudden halt…“They’re kids,” Brady mutters, incredulous. “What the actual…bloody hell, they can’t be older than seventeen, MacKay!”He’s right. In spite of well-defined features and the traits present of hardened soldiers, it’s painfully obvious that they are still in their late teens. It’s more so obvious with the girl, with just the slightest bit of her jawline that’s too smooth to be completely mature, and the way the young man holds himself together.(cont.)
You’re torn. The fact that the Vatican permits the Inquisition to recruit youths into their program is quite disheartening. Very disheartening, as a matter of fact, especially since the Task Force makes it a point to never recruit someone under eighteen.Then again, knowing the circumstances that most have joined under…they must have good reason. Maybe it’s your protective instinct as a “pater” kicking in, but it’s all you can do not to feel sorry for them on some instinctive level.Only for it to nearly evaporate when the young lady looks at all of you as if she stepped into something foul. Then she opens her mouth and you almost had an international incident on your hands.“What’s this?” The girl says in a thick Italian accent, flashing a grin that’s friendly in all the wrong places. “If this is the best the Task Force can dredge up, then they’re seriously slipping. I’ve seen acolytes with more experience and muscle than all four of them combined, especially with beanpole over there, checking our ages like that. ‘ch, no wonder they need help dealing with Krampus.”…you do a good job of keeping a calm demeanor. The others, not so much. Victoria looks extremely offended, while you can see Brady absolutely steaming at that “beanpole” comment. To her credit, Fitz looks calm, but she’s frowning, in equal parts irritation and consternation. Something’s on her mind.But you digress. The girl who insulted Carina squad flashes another grin, a pugnacious one that’s just begging for a punch. Her comrade is an exercise of the opposite demeanor. The young man looks surprised, but not with the same mocking incredulity that literally drips from his partner. Staring at the four of you, his eyes flash dangerously, an unreadable emotion flaring within them. But as quick as it appears, it is gone, and his surprise is replaced with a stoic front. “Please ignore my partner,” the boy rumbles in a deep baritone. American accent, you note, and one from around here. “Ahem…my name is Walsh, and I am a Devil Summoner of Malleus, of His Holiness Pope Martin the VI’s Inquisition. This is my partner, Conningway. We are prepared to render assistance in dealing with the threat.”>Chastise the girl for trying to pick a fight.>Inquire as to their prior combat experience.>Custom option.
>>992952>>Inquire as to their prior combat experience.
>>992952>Inquire as to their prior combat experience.>judge not, lest ye be judgedIn Latin.
>>992952>fill them in on the details of the mission and proceed.
>>992960>>992962>>992969Walsh seems to be willing to shove Conningway’s rudeness to the side, so you pay it no mind and introduce yourself. “I’m Father MacKay, and I’m currently in charge of Carina Squad.” You pause to point to each one of your friends, naming them with every point. “These are Fitz, Brady, and Yamane. All accomplished Devil Summoners of the Task Force with several missions and deployments to punitive expeditions under our belts.”They seem to be more surprised at your declaration as a man of the cloth more than anything else. Conningway seems to be somewhat remorseful, but that’s quickly replaced by an enigmatic smirk. Huh. So that’s how it feels when someone who isn’t necessarily on your side uses it against you. Fascinating…“The two of you should be in school,” Fitz grumbles, eying the both of them up and down. She picks a fine time to play truant officer, and she continues before you can stop her. “Not runnin’ around, chasin’ after demons, playin’ soldier.”Conningway laughs, and it isn’t a nice one. “I’ve been busting demons for the last six years, up and down the West Coast of Europe and in other places around the world. I’ve probably been in the business longer than you have...signora.”She playfully digs her elbow into Walsh’s side, who gives her a withering scowl. “Walsh here’s been only with us for half a year, but he’s a literal prodigy. Demon-slaying is in this man’s blood. Can you say the same? What great deeds make up your career in the slaughter of demons?”The young man coughs, cheeks slightly red as he waves off his comrade’s praise. “I appreciate the compliment, but we have more pressing matters to deal with. And, Father, I could not help but notice that you mentioned that you are ‘currently’ in command.”You grimace. “Yes, you heard right. Krampus has abducted our Squad Leader. If he were here, you’d be talking to Adrian, not me.”Walsh’s brows furrow in a deep frown. “…I see.” His voice is rough, even more urgent than before. “Then it is imperative that we act as fast as we can, before your leader becomes another victim to the False Saint.”>DomainThe first step into the portal feels as if you have plunged into a cold pool of water. It isn’t a liquid feeling as much as it is the sensation of chills running up your skin, sending gooseflesh prickling up and down your limbs. This is what you feel every time you transition from the human realm to that of a demon’s. The experience is a paradox. You feel it for an eternity, yet it only lasts for a second. And when that time is up, you find yourself blasted by the sharp and biting winds of winter.Your steps take you into a cold winter forest, where the howling wind sends snow into your face. You fumble at your goggles, sliding them down to protect yourself from the frozen water that billows in the air. Frostbite is just as lethal as demons are.(cont.)
>>992952>Custom option.>ask about demons/equipment, offer same info>fill them in on the details of the mission and proceed.Quick, calm, and professional. The sooner we get this done, the sooner they can leave.
>>993170Your teammates quickly follow suit, likewise fumbling to reach for their protective wear. The Vatican’s Summoners are soon to follow, already wearing their protection and fiddling with their COMPS. It only takes them the better half of five minutes to finish their preparations and take initial scans of the domain.“I’m sensing Corruption here,” Brady warns you, pulling you in close towards the holographic display. “It’s…bloody hell, it’s damn near concentrated all over that mass over there, just above the hill.”Walsh grunts. “Probably a settlement of some sort. Demons have to make some sort of domicile within their domains.”“A home within a home?” Conningway snarks, pulling out two firearms from at her belt. Berettas, if you were to make a guess. She sets those to spin around her fingers. “We need to go deeper…”You can’t see her eyes, but from the way Fitz’s mouth twists into a grimace, she’s clearly irritated at the girl’s utter flippancy. “Don’t twirl those around. Only showmen, actors and idiots do those little tricks with their firearms. Not to mention the fact that Krampus repels bullets.”“Oh, do not worry about me. These are just to supplement my demons. And even then, Krampus may have some demonic allies. Guns may yet work on them.”Can’t argue with that logic. Still, you just want to clear something out of the way first. “We’ve each got our own set of elemental stones, five of each of the heaviest with an extra five for Mazandyne stones. Our demons…” You quickly fill them in on your current armaments and demons. “And you? What’re you bringing to the operation?”Walsh shrugs. “A pistol, a few Expel Stones, and three demons of my own. I can call upon the aid of an angel of the Powers rank, as well as a Gogmagog and the Lorelei.”An impressive roster. What it lacks in numbers, it makes up for quality.Not wanting to be left out, Conningway is quick to join. Her voice is not boastful as much as it is filled with great enthusiasm. “Si, but they pale in comparison to my angels. The Dominion’s song is mine to command, as is the heart of the Virtue.”Angels…you’d feel envious if it weren’t a sin. Still, another impressive roster. “Alright, the plan is twofold.” You gather them around Brady’s holographic interface, gesturing to the map displayed on his COMP. “With the structures we’ve discovered, as well as the large numbers that came in through the gate in the embassy…we’re going to need to split up our forces. One team will cause a distraction, and the other will sneak in past the chaos. For this to work, I think that it’s best for…”>Carina will create a distraction.>They will create a distraction.
>>993291>>They will create a distraction.Carina operates, they raise heaven.
>>993291>>They will create a distraction.
>>993291>They will create a distraction.
>>993291From what I understand, they've got strength, we've got flexibility. I'd rather we get Adrian back ourselves, and if they're bringing every demon in the domain down on themselves, brute force is the way to go.
>>993291>>993340and the actual vote:>They will create a distraction.Be prepared for them to fight this decision though.
Took a brief break. Writing...
>>993291>“Don’t twirl those around. Only showmen, actors and idiots do those little tricks with their firearms."Good thing Agent Sparda is all three!
>>993306>>993325>>993336>>993346Surprisingly, it’s Walsh that has hesitations. “Are you certain?” He asks, meeting your gaze with his own. “Powerful summoners we may be, but if what you said is correct, then Krampus will have himself powerful familiars. Would it not be better for us to proceed as one unit?”You shake your head. “No. What we lack in power, we make up in versatility. We’ll be able to adapt to small and quick skirmishes, but our demons lack the strength to fend off a prolonged assault. On the other hand, your demons are better suited for application of brute force, especially since they specialize in Expel magic.“Besides,” You add, gesturing to the sidearm in his pocket. “You’ve got guns. We unfortunately don’t.”He still looks uncertain, but he nods. “Very well. You can trust us to stand against Krampus’ army. Just be sure to let us know when to pull out and book it back to the portal.”“I can promise you that.” You give him a reassuring smile and extend your hand. “Don’t be so modest. It is no small feat to command a voice of the Heavenly Host.”He looks uncertain before eventually accepting it, gripping your hand tightly and matching your smile with a confident one of his own. “Then we’ll see you once everything’s back in order.”With that exchange finished, the Vatican Summoners take off to a moderate jog straight towards the energy signature of Corruption. Meanwhile, Carina Squad heads north-east, flanking around the path to approach from a different angle. If Brady’s scan is correct (which it rarely isn’t), then the corruption is weakest…right along the south-eastern perimeter.“Walsh isn’t that bad of a guy,” Brady remarks, ducking past an errant branch. “But that partner of his is a real nasty piece of work. That girl barely looks old enough to drive, let alone pick a fight with someone at least seven years her senior.”Victoria hums. “Goodwin did warn us. I was honestly expecting worse.”“How so?”“Dunno…fire, death, damnation…” The mechanic shrugs. “They’re a far cry from the archetypal member of the Inquisition.”You cough politely. “I’d like to point out that not all of us are of that particular mindset…”A brief moment of silence settles around you, with the only noise that of the storm and the sound of boots crunching in the snow. The trees are old, as are the surrounding flora that make traversing through the woods an exercise in of itself. This is all old growth, not the cropped and arranged lands that one would find in a park. Just like Titania’s realm, this is a land untouched by the progress of man and his industry.Fitz breaks the silence just as you reach the edge of the forest. “…did you see the way the kid looked at us? Walsh looked like someone stabbed him as soon as he got out of the truck.”(cont.)
“Can’t say that I did,” Brady retorts, all the while adjusting the dials on his COMP. “I was too busy trying not to blow a gasket and pick a fight with Conningway. Okay, just got a little bit more till we get towards the settlement…”You interject just before Fitz would mouth off at him. “I noticed it as well. But he was too quick, and he has an excellent gambling face. Whatever he felt was quickly buried under the façade of professionalism and courtesy.”“Yeah…but it damn near looked like got uncomfortable fast, scared even. Like one of those shitty Halloween pranks that asswipes pull,” she answers. “…I could read that much. Dunno what’s his beef with us…or maybe it’s a Task Force thing he’s got a problem with?”“Either way, that does sound pretty off,” Victoria mumbles. “And not in the good way either. Weird is good, but strange is bad. At least Conningway’s easy to get a read on. Disdain for the Task Force and she’s quite proud of her angels.”Fitz snorts, kicking aside a bit of undergrowth to clear the way for the three of you. “Yeah…I definitely felt that offa her. Like she’s REAL proud of ‘em. Too proud, in my humble opinion,” she snarks, waggling her eyebrows. “Hey, ain’t that a sin, MacKay?”Pride cometh before the fall, but hopefully not until you finish the mission. Not the most Christian of thoughts, but you really need to get Adrian out of Krampus’ clutches as fast as you can. “…so it’s just over that hill, Brady?”“Yeah,” he answers, “Just right over that hill. It’s a kill zone, completely exposed. Gonna be a bit of a run, even when the Vatican’s agents pull off that distraction.”As if on cue, several pillars of light come from the Northern side of the domain, right where Brady estimated the main concentration of chaos to be located. Accompanying them is a series of explosions, the orange flare of fire and combustion a stark contrast against the grayscale landscape. In an instant, the place comes to life, the howls and shrieks of demons rising over the winds. You count down from twenty, gesturing for the others to hold their position as the sounds move further away, congregating to the source of the noise…three…two…one…“That’s our cue!” You hiss, taking off into a dead run. “Follow me!” >Roll 1d100 – 35 Encounter>Best of three.
Rolled 39 - 30 (1d100 - 30)>>996334
Rolled 16 + 30 (1d100 + 30)>>996334
Rolled 40 - 35 (1d100 - 35)>>996334
Rolled 52 - 35 (1d100 - 35)>>996334
ded RIP in peace
>>996380Bruh, I'm still typing...
>>996387Think he meant us.
>>996341>>996352>>996355Mercifully, your entrance into the settlement is devoid of any sort of run-in with the jailers, who appear to be more humanoid than you initially thought. They do not sprint as much as they do shuffle towards the source of the commotion at a regular, but determined pace. A small force of masked humanoids, each wielding a branding iron and a pale blue lantern, slowly makes their way towards the north side.The settlement itself is something straight out of a Christmas card. The domain takes cues from the commonly accepted image of what the North Pole would be: a quiet, 17th/18th century Germanic village completely covered in snow and Christmas décor. Gas lamps flicker to provide some semblance of illumination, reflecting off the snow-covered cobblestone in eerie shapes and colors. Just like the forest outside the settlement, this too is a place locked in time, preserved for all eternity. It would make a nice Christmas card, you suppose, if it was not for the Corruption.You feel it the instant you take a step on it, the oily and putrid stench of filth that you once smelled in Titania’s forest. Evil has taken hold of this place, turning this quiet town into one of horror and nightmares. Several of the buildings are little more than rubble, some still even smoldering wrecks. Blood stains the walls, the ground, and the air itself is filled with the metallic scent of iron.Yet that isn’t even the worst of it…Even behind her visor, you can see Victoria paling. “…are those…Santa’s…” She’s unable to finish her sentence before she loses her composure and the morning’s breakfast all over the wall.From the alley where you take cover, you can still see the horrible sight. In the center of the town, embedded on pikes that stick out of the ground, the sightless eyes of seven reindeer stare out into the distance. Their deaths had not been gentle, evidenced from the way their spines are still attached to their heads.“…oh, shit.” Fitz curses. "...whelp, this just got a whole lot worse than we thought, huh?"You whisper your agreement, even as a cold pit forms in your stomach. “Indeed…”To his credit, Brady only gags once, quickly transitioning into report mode. “…I’m getting a faint reading,” he whispers, patting Victoria on the back as she continue to puke. “…it’s…it’s a COMP signal…but it’s buried too much interference.”Fitz is on him in an instant. “It’s Adrain,” She mutters, “It has to be…Brady, where’s it coming from?”He frowns, adjusting one of the dials with his one free hand. “It’s small, but it’s there…pointing us in…that direction.” His finger points towards what looks like a warehouse, half-collapsed from both the heavy snowfall and a weak structure. At the sole entrance, what looks like three of the strange humanoids patrol the street. Two stand at the door, even while one makes circles around the street.(cont.)
“…any other mooks in the vicinity?” She asks, all the while analyzing the guards.“...no, the closest ones are all still moving in the direction of the Vatican agents. Why?”It hits you harder than an eighteen wheeler barreling down a suburban road. Oh dear. “Fitz, wait-” You hiss, but it’s too late. By the time the words exit your mouth and your hand reaches towards your friend, she’s already gone. She races towards the demons in a dead sprint, hand flying towards her COMP as she brandishes an elemental stone. Her demons materialize by her side as the guards take notice of her charge, cocking their heads curiously at the charging woman.But they’re too slow. Even as they begin to raise their weapons, Fitz already crushes the stone in her hand, summoning a torrent of winds that slice at the guards. Even as they stagger under the force of the squall, whose flurries are sharp enough to cut through metal, she already barks out another command. Lham Dearg falls upon the patrolling humanoid as Apsaras buffs the three of them.“…dammit, Fitz…” Victoria moans. She still looks green around the gills, but it seems that the worst of her spell has come to pass. “…we have to…to help her…”Brady curses, hastily standing up and fumbling at his jacket. “Damn. Is he that good in bed to just blindly charge after him?”It’s a joke, but you can’t help but give your friend a withering stare. “Come on,” You sigh, “If your reading’s correct, then Adrian’s bound to be in the building. And hurry. The sooner we take them out, the less chance we have of being discovered…”Case in point when another explosion from the north sends a deafening CRACK reverberating along the walls and stones of the North Pole…>Keep your distance and engage.>Move into melee range and fight.>Custom option.
>>996484>>Keep your distance and engage.Keep pace with Fitz as she bulldozes and cover her from enemies that try to flank.
>>996484>>Keep your distance and engage.
>>996484>Keep your distance and engage.
>>996493>>996498>>996500>>996501“Keep your distance and engage the enemy at will,” You shout, sprinting to catch up with Fitz. The familiar weight of your knife fills your hands, but it’s more of a last resort more than anything else. Against these unknown enemies that have more than enough strength to casually stop you from rescuing Adrian back in the embassy, it’s definitely better to be safe rather than sorry.With a flash of light, the demons best suited for this situation materialize into the air. Hua Po shivers by your shoulder, but whether or not she’s moving from the cold or the grisly sight is anyone’s guess. And Bastiel the Unicorn neighs, stomping its hooves onto the snow-covered ground. You know the gaze in his green eyes, one filled with hate and loathing towards evil. It’s one that you recognize all too well. Of all the things that Bastiel hates, it is those that have allied themselves with evil and darkness, those who have hearts of nothing but sin and whose souls and bodies stink with the taint of Corruption.“The enemy is before us,” You intone, reaching into your pocket. “Stand and fight against the corruption!”>Select which element stone you wish you use:>Agidyne (5)>Bufudyne (5)>Mazandyne (5)>Zandyne (5)>Ziodyne (5)>Hua Po will use…>Physical attacks.>Magical Attacks (Agi, Maragi)>Buffs/Debuffs>Bastiel will use…>Physical Attacks>Magical Attacks (Mazio, Zionga)>Expell Attacks (Hama, Mahama)>Buffs/Debuffs
>>996540>Agidyne (5)>Magical Attacks (Agi, Maragi)>Expell Attacks (Hama, Mahama)
>>996540>Mazandyne (5)>Buffs/Debuffs>Expell Attacks (Hama, Mahama)
Okay, you know what? I'll start a new thread tomorrow. Folks want to watch the ball drop. I hope you all have a happy new year. Thanks for bearing with me for Task Force 666, Bladebound Retainer, and Dungeon Officer. And for putting up with my eccentricities. See you for the next thread in the new year!
>>996605thanks for running, see you next year boss!