It is said everywhere, from trade-chatter in the Unfree Cities in the east to the Hoppalon Archipelagos in the west, that all rivers in the world share the same source. This is demonstrably untrue but nevertheless, if you know the right way, you can follow any river deeper and deeper inland up towards a single point. And rising there higher than any mountain, atop an aquatic plateau whose edges are perpetual waterfalls, is the city. It stands between the bickering central nations but obeys, respects and recognises none of them. It has a name, Aquitae Cogituum, but this name barely matters as its citizens simply call it the City. For only rarely would they ever see another. And why would they? It is the grandest city in all the world. It sits close to the heart of all things, above the Font and is both above and separate from all the Lesser Realms. To the city, the matters of the world outside...don’t.Down below, prophets dream of walking its streets and wars are fought and kings slain for their meagrest treasure. For here it is said that all magic is born. This is something only said by those of the Lesser Realms of course, as it is a statement that would only invite scorn above. Magic is a foreign word. The people of the city above have no word for magic in the same sense that fish would have no word for water. Of course you could say that a fish doesn’t have a word for anything but in the city it just might. It is the City of Dreams, the City of Reflections and the City of Revelation. It is also, rather more relevantly, the City of Duels.
>>3022609Twitter: https://twitter.com/OuroQMAsk: https://ask.fm/OuroQMArchives: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Court%20of%20Swords%20Quest
>>3022609The walls of Casa d’Zaffiro creak as you cautiously make your way down the hallway. It’s a little ominous. Perhaps it’s just ominous because of the ambience or because of the unfamiliarity of a strange house. Or maybe it’s ominous because of the rogue architecture that’s sealed the mansion off and is possibly intent on killing you all before the night is through. Yeah. It’s been a fucking day and no mistake.Your name is Sofia Pseudonym and you are a public defender and nominally at least, a professional duellist. But lately it feels like you’ve been defending yourself more than anyone and not even using your blade to do so.This is, without a doubt, your strangest assignment yet. What had started as an odd request to defend the rights of a reflection from his real self has escalated into a multi-layered mystery and now you’re trapped in a mansion with no way out. You don’t know why the real Claudio d’Rocco is doing this. You have some ideas but no concrete evidence for anything. Surely he knows this is just going to get him arrested! So what could his reflection have that is more dangerous than being convicted for blueprint theft and unlawful practice of architecture?And on top of that, something very strange is going on with the household itself. The owner of the mansion, one Eduardo d’Zaffiro, is conspicuously absent and your recent perusal through a ‘record room’ of his has him looking rather suspicious. And there is definitely something going on with his head housekeeper!And speaking of which....there she is now? You’re wandering the halls past the eighteenth doorway, taking the seemingly safe route to try and find your would-be opponent, Sabino Manfredi and the party guests that were all trapped in here with you. That’s right. Claudio even sacrificed his own duellist the moment you confirmed that the duel wouldn’t be until tomorrow. You haven’t heard anyone since the scream so tracking them down has been hard but you heard the sound of footsteps just a minute ago and you’ve been following them.And they’ve lead you straight to Adriana. Again. The housekeeper is looking a little frazzled, leaning against the wall beside a door. She’s dripping wet, looking as if she’s dunked her head in a barrel of water. But even so, you can see a little smidgen of blood still smeared along her brow. That matches up with the head wound you see her get before, during the confrontation with Claudio. And that would be fine except...you met an ‘Adriana’ in the records room who hadn’t been bleeding at all. So what’s the connection? “Sofia!,” she says as she turns around to see you . “It’s just you. The rest are just through here. I’m keeping watch.”She motions for you to go inside.1/?
>>3022615That last remark of hers prompts you to raise an eyebrow.“Oh? Keeping watch for what, exactly?”You won’t deny that the mansion has a problem but it shouldn’t be anything you need to keep a watch for. So why would she want to be on watch? Is there somebody else in the mansion?“It’s nothing worth being alarmed about….probably,” she says. “But as I was scouting down the Umber Hall, I thought I heard footsteps. I never found anyone but…”“But there might actually be something else in this house with us? Who? It’s not Claudio.”“I know,” she says. “I have no idea what it could be. I probably just misheard or was fooled by the acoustics of the shifting walls.”If she’s lying, she’s very good at keeping a blank face.‘And if there was an intruder, just what would you be able to do about it anyway?”“No comment.”You’re starting to get sick of what is apparently Adriana’s favourite phase. If you just leaned on her even a little, you’d be able to get a more solid answer. But is that the person you really want to be?“By the way, I thought I saw you earlier in Viridian Hall.”This is the real issue right here. You want to see what she could have in response to this.“Yes I know,” she says. “That was me. As I just said, I’ve been scouting. I was trapped in the records room until recently. After freeing myself, I made my way back here.”That hadn’t been the answer you were expecting.“Wait.Wait. If that really was you, why didn’t you tell me where everyone else was?”“You didn’t ask.”“But that Adriana didn’t have any blood on her!”“As I told you in the record room, I heal extremely fast.”“Her hair also wasn’t wet. But yours is. You washed the blood out just before, right? That’s why your hair is wet?”“I simply encountered a burst pipe.”She really seems to have all the memories of her encounter with you in the record room. Which means that it really was her. But how does that make any sense?>Just walk in. You can ask everyone else to try and find holes in her story.>Ask her something that only the person beneath the filing cabinet would be able to answer.>Lean on her. The time to be subtle has passed.>”How did you get over here so fast?”>”I think I know what’s going on here.”>Other (Specify)
>>3022619>>”I think I know what’s going on here.”She's some fucking magical house elf personification of the building
>>3022619>”I think I know what’s going on here.”Yeah, she's definitely not human. A spirit of the house I guess?
>>3022619>>”I think I know what’s going on here.”I don't but maybe Sofia does
You don’t believe her and while she might actually have good reason to keep secrets, it’s far from the right time or place. People might die if this keeps up. You think back to the woman’s scream you heard before. Maybe someone already has. “This place has been weird long before today, hasn’t it? And I think I know what’s going on here.”Adriana just stares at you blankly. Her vivid green eyes are hard to meet, even now. “Do you?”“Yes. I think I’ve figured it out.”“And what is it?”>”That’s not an ordinary mirror, is it? There’s something special about it.”>”You’re not human. You're something else.">”Eduardo uses this place to spy on people, doesn’t he?”>”You are human, I think. In fact, I think you're MANY humans.">”You killed Eduardo.”>Other (Specify)
>>3022705>”You’re not human. You're something else."
>>3022705>>”You’re not human. You're something else.">Other (Specify)"Come on fess up, we're on the same side, I think".
>>3022705> ”You’re not human. You're something else."She was also weirdly impersonal about Eduardo, so I don't think she's multiple humans. She's just not human.
Vote called, writing.
Sorry about the delay. Won't happen again. Post soon.
>”You’re not human. You're something else."She’s certainly been strange but is that enough for the accusation you’re about to make? You certainly think so. Adriana has been nothing but an uncooperative mystery for the entirety of the time you’ve known her and it’s well past time to set her right. Aren’t you supposed to both be on the same side here? You’re both just trying to make sure everyone survives. Isn’t she? If she is, this kind of secret-keeping is starting to get real unhelpful.“You’re not human, are you? You’re something else.”And really, what is she going to do? Tell you that you’re wrong?“Pardon?”Her eyes widen, affixing their curious stare upon you. She actually looks surprised! “I...just what do you think I am?”“Well...it’s hard to really put into words but…”“I see,” she says, a little sadly. “You think I’m some sort of house spirit, don’t you? A personification?”“Y-yeah! And considering that you just guessed it spot-on like that...you must be, right? How else would you know to say that? Am I right or what?”Her reaction, while unexpected, all but confirms it for you. Shit, you actually got it right! You finally solved one of the fucking mysteries in this big ball of mysteries! Maybe now you’ll be able to find a lead that helps you unravel the rest of it!“You’re right,” Adriana says slowly.“So what are you exactly?”“I am...what you might call a genius loci. The protective incarnation of the Casa d’Zaffiro. You’ve figured it out, Sofia. I didn’t want to tell you but you’re just too insightful.”“I was suspecting that from the beginning!”>Believe.>Disbelieve.
>>3023116>>Believe.Well the part about her being a spirit. Not about us being incredibly clever or anything.
>>3023116something seems skeevy here. I'll play along with the assumption, but I don't necessarily believe.The note hinges on either Adriana not knowing what happened to the Zaffiro dude, or is flat out lying. If it's the first, then that's a large gap in awareness for a house spirit. If it's the second, I dunno about believing her right now.
>>3023116>Disbelieve.This seems dubious. I'd suggest going tyrant to see if she is lying here. Matter of life and death here.
Sorry about all these delays. It is very hot and I’m feeling woozy. I know these are fucking tiny updates.>Believe.So maybe that bit about you being so damn clever is a bit of a trickery on the part of your curse but otherwise, you’re willing to believe this. You were right about Adriana. She’s not human. Instead, she’s something weird.You’ve never heard of a genius loci actually being real but it’s not the most farfetched thing in the world. You’ve heard of some but only in old wives tales and urban myths. But here she is, standing in front of you just like a real person would. “Why did you keep it a secret? You have to tell me.”Adriana’s eyes dart back and forth awkwardly. You can recognise the typical confusion of someone running headlong into your curse.“The master did not want it becoming public. Now...are you satisfied?”She motions for you to go through the door, clearly unwilling to volunteer any further information.>Agree.>”No, I’ve got something more I want to ask you.”>Other (Specify)
>Agree.You eye Adriana suspiciously as you walk past her and open the door. There’s still so much you don’t yet know. Why was she kept a secret? Has the rogue architecture had any effect on her personally? And how does it all relate to the mystery of the record room and whatever the fuck Claudio wants? No, you still have more for questions for her. Questions for It? Eh, you suppose she’s a ‘her’ if she wants to be. But those questions can wait. Right now, you just need to make sure that you and everyone else don’t get hurt.And with that, you enter the room where the party guests have congregated.What comes to mind immediately is that you really thought there would be more of them. Wasn’t this supposed to be a party? But aside from Sabino, there are only three other people in here! The room itself is sagging, the whole far end of the drawing room having regressed into a bulging lump of mixed wall, floor and carpet. Much like the scab, it hurts your eyes to look upon. Had there been some sort of exit here? The windows are clouded up and gray. “Sofia!”And here comes Sabino, the little duellist looking rather raw-edged and irritated. His nervousness from earlier seems to have been abraded away. “How is your client?”“Doing just fine, as far as I can tell. Are you alright?”“I’m fine, I’m fine,” he mutters. “It’s just that some of these guests are a little troubling.”“What do you mean?”“Where are you going, coward?”The voice is more akin to that of a crow than that of a man and it comes from one of the three party guests. The man that steps forward is darkly dressed in black, an ensemble that is then entirely thrown off by a purple cravat so loud that you can practically hear it. He gestures at Sabino, his pale hand festooned with unjewelled rings. “It’s all up to you!”“What?,” you ask. “Sabino, what’s going on?”“This-”“I can speak for myself,” the other man says coldly, though with a certain rough-edged volume that seems to be inherent to every word he speaks. “Is it not true that this man is the representative of our present tormentor?”He only gets louder, as if every sentence was a performance.“He needs to stop quivering and settle this matter at once! Or else….Or else we might need to show this ‘Claudio’ that we are deadly serious ourselves.”Sabino takes a step back, nearly colliding with you in the process.“I-Is that a threat? I can’t tell you why he did this! I don’t know anything!”“A likely story!”1/2
>>3023655“Uh, hold on,” you say, interposing yourself between both of them. You try to ignore how reflexive it is of Sabino to hide behind you. The other man stares imperiously down at you. He’s at least six feet tall and he has impressively aquiline features with the kind of porcelain pallor you only get from either exquisite tailoring, make-up or never going outside. It’s the kind of look that’d be easy to ruin, to look like a corpse or a fish but he makes it work. Must be the cheekbones. They’re so sharp that you’d probably cut your hand caressing them. “Hi, I’m Sofia Pseudonym, public defender. Can’t help but notice we haven’t been introduced!”“You may call me Lapo Passonelli. Remember that name.”“...Why?”“Because soon enough, it’ll be all you hear. I’ve been making waves in perceptive communities, so much that I was even invited here! My discoveries, once I make them, will change the very foundation of the way City life is perceived!”“I see. What exactly are you?”“I am a philosopher of practical vagaries,” he says, as if that meant literally anything. “A scholar of the Right Sight. A practitioner of transgressive mentalities and a seeker of paths. A student, if you will, of Truth itself.”Oh no. Oh no. What is such a stereotypical fascina doing in a place like this? Why would Eduardo invite him to anything? And why does he have to be so good looking?>Introductions done. Let him and Sabino have it out. It’s none of your business.>Keep talking to him. You need to get him to stop whatever he’s got against Sabino. It’s not helpful.>”So….a fascina?”>"How interesting. Tell me more." If you endure this, Sabino won't have to suffer any further.>Crush him.>Other (Specify)
>>3023659>Get Sabino to duel you. Let the terms be so that whoever loses, Claudio feels repercussions that will force him to stop this rogue architecture nonsense.>Even if it doesn't work, maybe being in the Wake will let them investigate the house without being caught up in the twisting walls
>>3023659>Keep talking to him. You need to get him to stop whatever he’s got against Sabino. It’s not helpful.>”So….a fascina?”
>>3023659>”So….a fascina?”>Keep talking to him. You need to get him to stop whatever he’s got against Sabino. It’s not helpful.
>”So….a fascina?”>Keep talking to him. You need to get him to stop whatever he’s got against Sabino. It’s not helpful.You sigh, doing your best to keep your patience. You don’t like fascina. Or well, you don’t suppose anyone likes them really. But you’ve defended one in the past and she, Vespa, had turned out to be surprisingly normal. Or as normal as a former wasp could be anyway. So you’re willing to imagine that not all these kinds of people are like this. But this Lapo is thus far a walking, talking stereotype, the kind you might see as comic relief in a play. But whatever he’s got against Sabino, you have to defuse it. It’s not helpful for anyone right now.“So….you’re a fascina?”“....Yes,” he admits, looking surprised with himself. “That is a term that could be applied. I prefer to think of myself in other ways however. The term ‘fascina’ implies a surrender to fascination when, in reality, I am it’s mast-”“You’re a fascina.”“I’m a fascina.”He is unable to disagree. He colours a little, no doubt blaming his slips of the tongue on your enchanting presence. Or maybe you’re just being a little too hopeful?“But you must be quite accomplished, even so. I didn’t expect to find anyone without a d’ appending their surname here.”“‘Quite accomplished’ doesn’t even begin to describe me,” he says, recovering quickly now that the conversation is on more familiar ground. “I am a scholar of the invisible.”“Right, right. But what does that mean?”“Why, of what cannot be seen of course! The Noumenon! I believe the noumenal can become phenomenal through a matter of correct perception. And while this is a common philosophy, I do not pursue this end through such crude means as my lesser brethren, humour overdoses, experimental architecture, mirror baptisms etcetera. No! Perception stems first and foremost from the MIND. I am an experimenter in correct mental rigour, discipline and visual expertise! Only with correct observation of the interior can we ever expect to see the truth of the exterior! Only the self-mastered man can master the world!”1/2
>>3023873“So, you’re a fascina philosopher or something?”You give Sabino a piercing look, hoping to remind him of how much you are sacrificing for his sake. He nods gratefully and returns to the other two guests. There are fascina versions of anything, you imagine. The boundary between a perfectly normal hobby, obsession or collection and the allure of fascination can sometimes be hard to find. But as a general rule of thumb, it’s when you start using it as a lens to comprehend the world and no, reality itself...that’s not a good sign. Looking beyond the world is hardly a crime but it comes off as pretty sad. Pathetic even. That’s something foreigners do. You’re already beyond the world, you live in the best time and place imaginable, why would you try to peer further inward?And yet, you cannot deny that the environment of the City must foster this attitude at least a little. No amount of social censure and humiliation seems to stop these weirdos from cropping up. “You could say that,” he admits. “I am a purveyor of the Visual Mind. I have attained high ranks in five brotherhoods dedicated to piercing the veil and I myself am the chairman and founder of the Ethical Art Watch. Now, I take it that you are a duellist of some experience?”“Yes,” you say slowly, already dreading what is to come. Fascina don’t become duellists or, to be more accurate, fascina don’t survive becoming duellists. A mind besotted with fascination can’t ground themselves in face of the ego death, not when all the Wake is calling them. And yet, as the closest thing the Wake has to masters, duellists attract these kinds of people. They come like moths to a flame but without the good graces of the former to die on contact with their desire. You’ve never had to actually deal with any particular ‘fan’ but your instructor has told you horror stories. Maybe you should change the subject before he can unveil whatever tedious bullshit he wants to badger you about. But what else are you supposed to be doing right now?>Talk about the duels.>Ask him what his issue with Sabino is.>Ask him what he thinks Claudio is trying to do.>Ask him what his relationship with Eduardo is.>”Ethical Art?”>You’ve had enough talking to this one.>Other (Specify)
>>3023877>>Ask him what he thinks Claudio is trying to do.>>Ask him what his relationship with Eduardo is.
>>3023877>Ask him what he thinks Claudio is trying to do.let's see HIM figure out with his super mind thinking.But I get the feeling he'll say something like duelling us, and that he's trained his mind to resist ego death or something.
>>3023877>>Ask him what he thinks Claudio is trying to do.
>Ask him what he thinks Claudio is trying to do.“That’s what I thought,” he says, something golden glinting in his hand as he pulls something free from a vest pocket. It’s a tiny golden looking glass, barely two inches long, the mirrored lens polished bright. It’s tethered to a little chain that leads back into his pocket. He holds it up and peers at you, an act that makes you frown immediately. Ever since that spate of ‘fabric-blind’ lenses from a few years ago, you’ve been wary of strangers with such things. “Yes, you have a splendid Wa-”“Put that down until you tell me what it is.”“This? It’s a Sleepwalker Glass. There’s a certain glassblower in Apocalypsis-”“It can’t see through clothes or anything, can it?”“What? No! Why would I do that?”He seems genuinely shocked by the implication. “Okay fine. You can look at me with it, as long as being looked at through it doesn’t do anything to me. That’s fine. But if I get my soul stolen I’m going to kick your arse!”“I assure you, there’s nothing-”He trails off into spluttering and puts the Glass away. Looks like he doesn’t even want to do it anymore now that you’ve ruined it with your accusations. You don’t feel bad.“Moving on,” you say with a tone that implies instruction rather than suggestion, “What do you suppose Claudio is trying to get out of this absurd assault? Can you use your super mind thinking or whatever and tell us?”“Naturally! In fact, I already know.”“Really?”“Yes! I myself do not know this Signore d’Rocco but it is evident that he knows of me and my work! He thinks that by holding us hostage, he can get me to surrender my magnum opus! Fat chance! I will starve to death ‘fore I so much as whisper a word of it to a thief like him!”“No that’s not it and you’re very wrong.”>Ask him about the Sleepwalker Glass.>Ask him for an opinion on the mirror situation.>Ask him about Adriana.>Say something else (Specify)>You’ve had enough of this fool.>Other (Specify)
>>3023966>Yes, you have a splendid Wa-hmm, so Sophia doesn't have much, but she's rocking a nice waist-I mean Wake form.>Ask him about Adriana>Ask him about mirrors>Go talk to Sabino
>>3023966>Ask him about Adriana>Ask him about mirrors>Go talk to Sabino
>>3023966>Ask him for an opinion on the mirror situation.>Ask him about Adriana.
>>3023966>Ask him for an opinion on the mirror situation>Try to stop staring at him>Go talk to Sabino
>Ask him about Adriana>Ask him about mirrors>Go talk to Sabino“So,” you continue, not letting him get another word in edgewise. “Regardless of what you think the origin is, we’ve found ourselves in quite the mystery, haven’t we? Mysteries upon mysteries.”“What mystery?”“What, you really haven’t noticed? For starters, Adriana. Don’t you think she’s odd?”You’re pretty sure you’ve solved her issue though. Or at least, you know what she is but not what she does.“Adriana? You mean the housekeeper? What about her?”“...Have you seriously noticed nothing?”“Hold on a moment, Signorina. I can assure you that there is nothing untoward about the housekeeper. If there was, I would have noticed! I assure you she is quite mundane!”“I see.You’re very perceptive, huh? Got that real Visual Brain or whatever you called it.”Well now that you’ve seen that it’s probably not worth asking his opinion on anything else but...he might know something about the mirrors. Mirrors are a very fascina thing, in a sense. You’ve heard of people like him who deliberately cultivate berserks. “As you may or may not know, my client is a berserk reflection. This Claudio wants to smash the mirror so badly that he’s done all this nonsense and I still have no real clue why. Do you have any idea why someone might want to kill their own reflection?”“Mirrors are not exactly my area of expertise, I’ll admit. Why would I look at anything that has already happened? And cultivating a reflection is of dubious ethics. They think and feel, do they not?”“Yeah but they also die. Nothing we can really do about it.”“There is, actually. I personally endeavour to appear in as few reflective surfaces as possible. To create life doomed in such a way is morally wrong and I will not participate in it. It doesn’t matter that they don’t know.”“Aren’t you also an artist? Seems contradictory.”“On the contrary, Signorina! I am, as I said, an ethical artist. None of my pieces ever feature a living person and only occasionally animals. I prefer the abstracts anyway. They are much better for focussing the ascension mentality.”Huh, it’s not often that you meet someone with the exact opposite viewpoint on art as you. It might be fun to tell him about your picture puzzles and to watch him squirm as he must recant his position but...it’d only be fun to the tyrant. And it certainly wouldn’t be helpful. “So no reason to kill a reflection?”1/2
>>3024038“Their lives are cruel enough. Verily! And there’s nothing of power to be gained of it. A reflection is just a lesser plane emanating from this one. Consuming your own emanation is a hollow feast. The only reason I can think of is that the reflection is a clue towards something he needs to remain silent at all costs. In which case, it might not even lie with the reflection himself but of something else the mirror depicts. If that was true, then the reflection’s berserker attitude is just a scapegoat for the true goal: destruction of evidence!”“That doesn’t really make sense when he’s doing this though,” you complain. “He’s just incriminated himself a thousand times over.”“You’re right. Nevermind.”‘Well, just try to stay calm alright. We’ll outlast the night and sooner or later, Claudio and his accomplice are going to be arrested and we’ll be free.”Leaving Lado’s company, you wander back over across the distorted drawing room to where Sabino stands with one of the other guests. She’s an older woman but one to whom age has been kind. Your counterpart steps away from her as he sees you approach.“Thanks Sofia,” he says. “I can’t believe I let that idiot break my composure.”“We need to talk,” you tell him. >”It’s about this duel. Maybe we can make use of it.”>”We can’t stay here. I’d like for everyone to move back to the guest room with my client so we can keep an eye on everyone.”>Share your suspicions on Adriana.>”What was he arguing with you about anyway?”>”Aren’t you going to introduce me to this lovely lady?”>”You should have a little more spine.”>Other (Specify)
>>3024041>”It’s about this duel. Maybe we can make use of it.”
>>3024041>Ask about Adriana's whereabouts this past hour or soLet's see if she was in two places at once.>Ask why there's so few people here.>Ask whether he knows anything about Eduardo
>>3024041>>”It’s about this duel. Maybe we can make use of it.”>>”What was he arguing with you about anyway?”>>”Aren’t you going to introduce me to this lovely lady?”
Sorry, dozed off for a bit there. Vote called and writing.
>”It’s about this duel. Maybe we can make use of it.”“You’ll have to stow whatever your disagreement with Lapo is for a moment, alright? I want to talk about our duel.”Sabino chuckles, a nervous sound. It’s fake. “I don’t think we need to worry about that anymore. We can hardly expect you to fi-”“No, I think we have to. Think about it, Sabino. If we get this duel over and done with, Claudio has nothing he can get from us. The matter will be settled. Maybe that’ll make him let us go.”“Would that really work?”“Probably not,” you admit. “But we can use the duel for other means.”“What did you have in mind?”>”Let’s try and renegotiate the terms. Do you mind if I ask for all sorts of awful things from your client?”>”Start the duel now. The City won’t like the mistiming, we might get a lawyer’s attention.”>”When the duel starts, we’ll enter the Wake but we won’t fight. We’ll use the Wake to escape.”>”We won’t be the ones duelling.”>Other (Specify)
>>3024152>>”Let’s try and renegotiate the terms. Do you mind if I ask for all sorts of awful things from your client?”
>>3024152>>”When the duel starts, we’ll enter the Wake but we won’t fight. We’ll use the Wake to escape.”I'm voting this not because I think it if the best option but I want it because it will be a cool adventure
>>3024152>”Let’s try and renegotiate the terms. Do you mind if I ask for all sorts of awful things from your client?”
>”Let’s try and renegotiate the terms. Do you mind if I ask for all sorts of awful things from your client?”“I know we’ve already negotiated the terms but is it possible for us to...renegotiate?”Sabino looks puzzled for a moment and then nods enthusiastically. It’s a little cute, you’ll admit. You can’t help but feel a little protective of him. Probably not the best feeling to have towards an opponent but it is what it is. “I think we can! Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”“Depends. Are you thinking of a plan that is as intelligent and exquisite as it is beautiful?”“Well uh, I mean, I was thinking of you...so yes?”He flushes red and you try not to speculate on just how much any of that conversation was curseborne. “We renegotiate and you let me name all sorts of filthy awful terms for dear Claudio. I mean, it’s nothing that anyone can blame you for right? You’ve been accepted into the Rose Blossom Ring but you’re a probationary member, a rookie, you don’t have negotiation experience. I just took advantage of your innocence to make a bunch of unreasonable terms. It happens to rookies all the time. You won’t be investigated for colluding.”A professional duellist being suspected of colluding against their client is a serious black mark on their reputation. But everyone will understand you leading this young lad astray. It won’t be his fault.“And so then, if he doesn’t let us out…”“We fight and I defeat you and now, in addition to whatever pain he has called upon himself with all this garbage, he has to abide by my free choice of terms. And they will be wonderfully terrible for him. So we’ll use the duel as a threat to make him let us out.”“But the duel will still have to be tomorrow morning. We can still renegotiate but the time has been set. Things will go bad if we do it any earlier.”>”Then we’ll just have to last the night.”>”Mistiming, Schmistiming. What’s the worst that could happen?”>”Oh no! We’ll have to spend the night together.”>Other (Specify)
>>3024196>”Oh no! We’ll have to spend the night together.”This is a sacrifice that I, in my enormous benevolence, am willing to make.
>>3024196>”Oh no! We’ll have to spend the night together.”
>>3024196>>>>”Then we’ll just have to last the night.”
>”Oh no! We’ll have to spend the night together.”You reach out and wrap an arm around Sabino’s shoulder, pulling him a little closer than you have to. He flushes accordingly and you are satisfied.“Oh no! We’ll just have to spend the night together.”Maybe this kind of teasing is a little unfair. After all, he can only ever agree with you.Sabino, though he goes redder by the moment, doesn’t exactly push you away.“Y-yes. We’ll have to duel in the morning.”“Excellent,” you purr. “Shall we begin the renegotiations then?”Taking his hand in yours, you lead him gently but firmly away from the other party guest.“Of course, we have to do it somewhere where nobody else can interfere. That’s just the rules. No outside parties allowed.”“Yes.”>Find a private room. You might be teasing but you’re not joking about those rules.>Go out into the corridor outside. You can talk to Adriana there too if you need to.>Just ask the other guests to give you some space and use the couch. In that case, you’ll need to keep it very quiet and very close.>Other (Specify)
>>3024232>>Go out into the corridor outside. You can talk to Adriana there too if you need to.
>>3024232>Find a private room. You might be teasing but you’re not joking about those rules.I will support /ss/ofia to my dying breath, but duels are serious business.
>>3024232>Find a private room. You might be teasing but you’re not joking about those rules
>>3024232>Find a private room. You might be teasing but you’re not joking about those rules.Sabino needs an adult
>>3024243We are an adult!
>>3024244No, sophia is a womanchild
>Find a private room. You might be teasing but you’re not joking about those rulesLet’s go somewhere private, alright? Just the two of us.”With control of his hand and shoulder, you can move him however you want. “Sure??”“I don’t make the rules,” you say, bustling him out the door. Outside, you see Adriana still standing in the hallway. Her hair is no longer wet. She raises an eyebrow at the two of you but otherwise says nothing.“Excuse me, do you know if there’s any room we can take here that’s been confirmed safe? And will stay safe?”Adriana shakes her head.“Most of the rooms in this corridor are now labyrinthine. The rogue architecture seems to be progressing quicker in places where nobody is present. And I can only be present in so many places at once.”“Really? Is there nowhere that Sabino and I can have a private moment?”Adriana takes a moment to mull it over.“Renegotiating your duelling terms, are you? Then this one.”She opens the door opposite of her to reveal a cramped broom closet. “I had to chase the maid out of this one just a few minutes ago. It is thus far unchanged and untouched.”“Brilliant. It’ll be a little bit of a squash but come on Sabino, it’ll only be for a few minutes.” You pull Sabino over and then push him into the closet, stepping in after him and closing the door. You are together in the darkness, mere inches away from one another. The chill of the coming night is banished by the warmth of your bodies. It’s the kind of place that’d get stuffy and suffocating after a little while but that’s fine. You don’t plan to be here longer than a few minutes. “So,” you say quietly, “ you’ll keep your terms just as they are.”“Uh...Sofia? Why are we doing this...like this?”“Credibility.”“What?”“Weren’t you listening to what I said earlier? I don’t want you to get your record stained with colluding. People have to know that you were just some naive rookie who got taken advantage of by a more seasoned veteran. That I used you to set some frankly unbalanced terms. Nobody will blame you. Everyone will say that I’m just. That. Good.”You lean in. You can feel his breath.“We have to sell the act, you know?”“Oh. Okay.”“That’s good. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to add some terms alright? And you’re not going to say anything in response. Just sit there all silent like a good boy. Now, when I win, this is what’s going to happen…”You need to come up with something so threatening that it'll put that fat idiot in his place. Something that'll make him back down before the duel even starts.1/2
>>3024290You may choose multiple options:>”Claudio has to leave the City. Forever.” >”Your client has to volunteer for High Court mock trials. Indefinitely.">”Your client is no longer permitted to breathe air in city limits. If he continues to breathe, he is subject to trial by High Law.”>”Claudio has to strip naked and walk the full route down from one end of the City to the other.”>”Signore d’Rocco has to become my personal servant for a year and a day.”>”Your client will be subject to extensive change of legal identification, to be determined by me later. The full deal. He won’t even remember who he used to be.”>”All of your client’s estate, wealth and possessions will be transferred to my client.”>”Your client will have his name legally changed to something to be determined later, by my client or his representative.”>Other (Specify)
>>3024290>”All of your client’s estate, wealth and possessions will be transferred to my client.”>”Your client will have his name legally changed to something to be determined later, by my client or his representative.”I would vote for the identification change as well, but I'm afraid that we actually will have to fight the duel. I'm not sure Claudio deserves this if we win.
>>3024292>>”All of your client’s estate, wealth and possessions will be transferred to my client.”>>”Your client will have his name legally changed to something to be determined later, by my client or his representative.”>Your client must speak every second word backwards and every third without vowels for ten years. He is forbidden from choosing to remain silent.
>>3024292>>”All of your client’s estate, wealth and possessions will be transferred to my client.”>>”Your client will have his name legally changed to something to be determined later, by my client or his representative.”>Signore d'Rocco will be legally forbidden from maintaining his silence. He must answer any greeting or question.That last one might fuck him up physically, if he's asked 20 questions in the space of a second.
Alright guys, I'm going to get some sleep. Vote will remain open until I wake and the session will resume then. Sorry about the really slow updates today.
>>3024292Let's think about this guys, Caludio is clearly so desperate that he's already risking punishment by high law with his architectural shenanigans, and those sentences are already fucked up. This seems like the only one more extreme than he may be facing already:>”Claudio has to leave the City. Forever.”*maybe* changing his identity as well, since that's basically death
I'm awake! Thread resumes in an hour's time.
>>3025203Remember to bully the cute dweeb.
>>3024416Seconded>>3025253Sabino is for headpats, not bully!Maybe lewds...
>”All of your client’s estate, wealth and possessions will be transferred to my client.”>”Your client will have his name legally changed to something to be determined later, by my client or his representative.”You back up just an inch and get a broom handle sticking into your back for your troubles. There’s really no pose you can take here that isn’t awkward. But at least it’s guaranteed to be much more awkward for Sabino. Stuck together so close, unable to avoid the other’s warmth, the tickle of their breath...it really puts you in the mood for a puzzle. But you’re pretty sure that the house doesn’t have any. “When I win, all of your client’s estate, wealth and possessions will be transferred to my client. No, shush, don’t respond.”You try to put your finger on his lips but it’s dark and you end up almost poking him in the eye instead. “And your client will have his name legally changed to something be determined later, by my client or his representative.”“So it’s your choice then,” he murmurs. “Your client can’t talk to anyone.”“Funny how convenient that is. Now, Sabino, do you agree to these updated terms or do you need to be taken further advantage of?”“I-I’m fine. Those are good terms! Good terms.”“Okay great.”You push the door open and squinting into the light, step out. “Well we don’t need to do that act anymore.”“Act?”Sabino blinks owlishly from the closet.“Yeah, you know, all that fake stuff about me wrapping you around my finger. I told you that wasn’t real. Don’t get any weird ideas because of it, okay?”“Oh.”“Oh? Why do you sound so disappointed?”You look around the hallway and find it empty. Adriana has vanished. The light from the chandelier flickers, sending shadows whirling. There is no light from without. “Huh,” you say to yourself. “Can’t tell if that’s ominous or not.”“So how is this going to work?”Sabino is hanging around awkwardly, hovering at a close distance but rebuffed from getting too close. You can’t blame him. Saying that you’ve sent him mixed signals would be an understatement. “What?”“You want those terms as a threat, right?”“You know it. In addition to everything else he’s going to get for this little stunt, your client’s life is going to be ruined forever if this duel goes ahead.”“So how do we threaten him with it? We can’t talk to him.”“...Um.”>”Maybe if we shout really loud?”>”We’ll give him a message that’ll show up on the blueprints he’s got..”>”We’ll write him a note.”>”Adriana should be able to help in that regard.”>Other (Specify)
>>3025430>>”We’ll give him a message that’ll show up on the blueprints he’s got..”
>>3025430>”We’ll give him a message that’ll show up on the blueprints he’s got..”
>>3025430>Check to see if the wake can give access to the outside worldIn hindsight my vote was the better choice. Hell if we can get outside to talk to him we could just as well call our godmother or something.
>>3025430>”Adriana should be able to help in that regard.”>"And if not, we’ll give him a message that’ll show up on the blueprints he’s got.
>”We’ll give him a message that’ll show up on the blueprints he’s got..”You hadn’t actually thought of how you’d pass the threat on to his client! Not that you’ll ever be able to admit it, of course. If you did you’d just tell him about how fantastic your plan is. “Of course I have a plan,” you say, thinking fast. “He’s got the blueprints for the mansion, right? We just need to give him a message that’ll show up on those.”“What, rearrange the architecture?”“It’s possible. It’ll take a bit of time but that’s the one thing we have plenty of. And it’s not like we’ll be moving walls around. We’ll just need to scratch up a big section of the floor.”“So we’ll need to find a big room that hasn’t been ruined?”You nod.“I think the entry hall might still qualify. If we mess that up on the blueprints he’ll definitely notice.”“Do you know the way back to the entry hall. Adriana told me that the hallways were changing.”“I can probably lead us back there.”As the two of you start off down the hallway, the door to the drawing room slams open behind you! You spin around, your hand on the hilt of your sword but it’s just Lapo and that other woman, the two guests who are still conscious.“And where do you think you’re going, Sabino!”Lapo practically bellows, pelting the words out as if they’d done him wrong. “We need to stay together!”He might have a point.>Bring the party guests with you. They might actually be helpful.>No, they should stay here. You won’t be gone for long.>Actually, you have a few questions about this ‘party’ you want to ask.>Other (Specify)
>>3025657>>Bring the party guests with you. They might actually be helpful.>Walk and talk
>>3025657>Bring the party guests with you. They might actually be helpful.
>>3025657>>Bring the party guests with you. They might actually be helpful.
>Bring the party guests with you. They might actually be helpful.>Walk and talk.It’s not worth splitting up, not when the house itself is against you. And now that you think of it, they might actually even be helpful. Not to mention that you still have a lot of questions for these two. What kind of ‘party’ just has three people? And come to think of it, where has Adriana gone? Something’s wrong so you can’t afford to be alone or ignorant. “Of course, come with us.”You ignore the face Sabino makes at Lapo. “We’re heading to the entry hall to try something out. You two will follow us and we’ll walk and talk.”You set off, trusting them to follow you. They do.“Talk about what?”That’s the other woman. You still don’t have her name.“Isn’t it obvious?,” Lapo growls. “She clearly intends to solve the mystery right here and now.”“Uh...not exactly. That’s a nice idea though. There’s a few questions about this party I want to ask though.”>”For starters, WHO are you?”>Ask why Eduardo invited them.>Ask about the size of the party.>Ask how the party itself went up until the seizure of the Casa.>Ask about the third guest, the one that was unconscious. He’s not here.>Other (Specify)
>>3025840>>”For starters, WHO are you?”>Ask about the third guest, the one that was unconscious. He’s not here.
>>3025840>>Ask why Eduardo invited them.>Ask about the third guest, the one that was unconscious. He’s not here.
>>3025840>>Ask about the third guest, the one that was unconscious. He’s not here.>”For starters, WHO are you?”>Ask why Eduardo invited them.
Vote called, writing
>”For starters, WHO are you?”>Ask about the third guest, the one that was unconscious. He’s not here.>Ask why Eduardo invited them.The hallway continues on. You’re pretty certain that it’s longer than when you first walked down it. But you keep your cool and you don’t mention it to anyone else just yet. You just keep walking past row after row of identical doors. And you talk.“Where’s the other one? The one who was asleep?”“Signore d’Armati?”It’s the woman, the one you still don’t know.‘Yes, the older gent. Where’s he?”“He’s still asleep,” she says. “He took a nasty blow to the head.”“Just like Adriana did, huh?”“What?”“Anyway,” Lapo interrupts. “He’s in a stable condition but it would be unwise to move him. I chose to let him be.”“Right. And uh, who are you again?”“I’m Lap-”“Not you, fuck! I know you! I mean you. Sabino never introduced us before I had to drag him away for our little ....rendezvous.”You adjust your vest meaningfully.“So who are you?”“My name is Romina d’Valenci.”“d’Valenci, eh? That sounds fa-oh! Wait. Surely...you mean the Romina d’Valenci?”She smiles, a hint of pride at being recognised.“The very same. Are you a reader of mine?”“Ah...you could say that.”Oh no. Oh no! Romina d’Valenci is the name of the author of the Imma d’Ambrosio novels, a long-running series of romances that has captured your imagination ever since you were young. The main character, Imma, is a scion of a wealthy family who, due to an improbable mishap involving her judicial godmother, was cursed with a birthright that meant nobody could ever believe anything she said! You had, when you were younger, found the books intensely relatable in a way that the author probably didn’t intend. You remember locking yourself in your bedroom to read more of Imma’s heart-pounding and unlikely adventures, starring a series of various hunks with whom Imma shared small and tender and ultimately doomed relationships with. They were chaste, mostly, but even so the ….prodigious descriptions had stirred something in young Sofia. But none of them could ever last. Imma’s curse made it impossible for her to be loved. Every love interest would be sent off eventually, often by Imma herself, conveniently just in time to make room for the next one in the next book. 1/2
>>3026401 The only person who ever remained by Imma’s side was her trusty maid, Tamara, whose constant devotion and service had also stirred something in young Sofia. Unfortunately the author had never even seemed to have realised that was a possibility.Somewhere out there, there is a very embarrassing manuscript written by young Sofia, where Tamara confesses the love that she obviously has for her mistress. You could have had that published if you wanted to, everyone would say it was wonderful. But you had some self-control, even back then. So instead you did the sensible thing and buried it in the garden.You still buy the new ones when they come out but they’ve become a bit of a guilty pleasure. Sure, it had been incredibly important to you when you were younger, to read and fantasize about a girl whose struggles so closely matched your own but...you’re an adult now. You’ve moved on to more advanced romance novels and now that you look back on it, the prose for Imma that once set fire to your whole body just seems clunky and awkward in comparison.And Imma herself has become less and less relatable as you’ve grown up. And it’s not just because extended experience with your own birthright has made it hard for you to suspend your disbelief about hers. Though honestly, she could abuse the shit out of hers! She could use it to make people do all kinds of things! But again, not the main point. It’s just that Imma now seems...spoiled. Now that you’ve met and worked for people with real troubles and real problems, the misadventures of a high society girl seem a lot less tragic.You suppose that applies to you too.But even so, you can’t deny their importance to you. And here she is, the author, standing right in front of you! Depending on you, even! You could ask her whatever you want, give her all the comments you always wanted to. You could even talk about Tamara! And you’re all still walking so it’s not like it’ll waste time, right? Right?>”I just know of them, that’s all.” Control yourself.>”I read them when I was younger.” Maybe you can talk a little bit about them. But nothing that might be heated, just stick to superficial comments.>Reveal your true nature.>Other (Specify)
>>3026407>Reveal your true nature.
>>3026407I have read most of them, your main character... resonated with me, especially when I was younger.
>>3026407> ”I read them when I was younger.” Maybe you can talk a little bit about them. But nothing that might be heated, just stick to superficial comments.
>>3026407>Your Imma novels were very important to me in my youth and gave me solace during some very frustrating times. Stick with > ”I read them when I was younger.” Maybe you can talk a little bit about them. But nothing that might be heated, just stick to superficial comments.But don't ignore the fact that her work was important to you.
>>3026458This is sensible, support
>When you were younger.“To clarify,” you say hastily, “I read them a lot when I was younger. Your Imma novels meant a lot to me when I was a kid. So thank you, I guess. Thanks for writing them.”“Oh it’s no problem at all. I live for readers like you. Whenever someone like you says something like that, well, you I can’t explain how happy that makes me.”“Really?”“Of course. Readers a-”“Is this really relevant?”Lapo looks unhappy, no doubt intending to have interrupted the conversation earlier but rendered unable due to your curse. “Just let them talk!,” Sabino snaps at him. “No no no, it’s all fine,” you say. You want an excuse to stop the conversation, to leave it at that pleasant remark before you accidentally give yourself away or say something bad. If you keep talking with Romina, the chances of you saying something about Tamara is close to certain. But that doesn’t stop you from feeling strangely refreshed by those few words you did exchange. You feel validated almost, a feeling you hadn’t even been aware that you’d been seeking. But it’s true, isn’t it? For some reason, you’d been thinking of it as something to be ashamed of. The stress of the day, having built up to something tremendous, feels a little easier now. And these dark hallways are just a little bit lighter. Maybe it’s nothing important. But it feels good to you. “Right, continuing where we left off, you three were invited to a party by Eduardo d’Zaffiro, right? Just the three of you?”Romina nods.“But I wouldn’t call it a party exactly. It was just a small soiree, a scheduled gathering of just a few friends.”“Well Adriana told me it was a party when I first arrived.”Lapo scoffs. “The words of a housekeep shouldn’t be too heav-”“Wait please,” Romina says, interrupting him and making it look easy. “When exactly did you arrive, Sofia?”“Not that long ago. The ‘party’ was still happening.”“And you spoke to Adriana? You must have, for her to tell you about us.”“Yes?”“Adriana never left the drawing room. She was with us the whole time until the incident, right Lapo?”“That’s...that’s right! And Sofia wouldn’t be mistaken…”“We’ll get back to that,” you say. “She’s weird but I’m pretty sure I know why.”Actually, that doesn’t quite match up to what she confirmed to you. Does being a genius loci let you be in multiple places at once? If it does, you’ve never heard of it. “What exactly is your relation to Eduardo?”“I’ve never met him.”“Likewise.”“It was an introduction. He wanted to meet with us. It’s not unheard of,” Romina says. “I’m given to understand that he is quite fond of entertaining people here.”1/2
>>3026763“No doubt he was in awe of my prowess,” Lapo adds, more or less uselessly. He’s fiddling with that looking glass of his again. “But he never showed up. A greater insult I’ve never received!”“Of course he didn’t show,” you say. “He was away on a trip.”“But he scheduled our appearances for today,” Romina adds. “We were going to stay here for several nights but the letter he sent me said that he would be present for my arrival.”“As did mine!”“That’s not what Adriana told me!”And with that, the four of you are back in the entry hall. It’s as grotesque looking as ever, the architectural scab slowly swelling and receding like a beating heart of twisted marble. Sabino steps forward and accidentally steps on a downed painting, putting his foot through it. “Surely this can wait,” he says. “We need to get a message to my client first.”Romina sways from side to side for a moment as she scans the room.“Adriana isn’t here either. Just where has she gotten off to?”Sabino draws his sword and, grimacing all the while, starts to hack into the marble.“Sofia! I need your help here! The rest of you, clear all this junk out of the way!”Oh! He can be assertive when he needs to be, it seems.It’s tiring work and you can feel the house tremor, vibrations coming in through the walls as distant rooms change place and twist in form. But as you are halfway through your alterations, something heavy slams into the front of the house and makes the whole thing shake!The four of you instinctively cluster up as a voice booms through the entire Casa d’Zaffiro.WHAT“Is that you Claudio?”Can you talk through architecture? You don’t know! You’re not an architect!YES. WHAT ARE YOU DOING.>”I’m giving you a warning, that’s what. Let us out or we’re going to duel and you’ll get straight fucked!”>”Look, just let us out. You’ve dug yourself enough of a hole already. I am willing to make concessions!”>You’re not too proud to beg.>Take the time to thoroughly humiliate him. He CHOSE to speak to you. Idiot.>”I know why you’re doing this!”>Other (Specify)
>>3026767> ”I’m giving you a warning, that’s what. Let us out or we’re going to duel and you’ll get straight fucked!”So Claudio lured all of these people here for some reason? Or maybe Adriana did?
>>3026767>>”I’m giving you a warning, that’s what. Let us out or we’re going to duel and you’ll get straight fucked!”
>>3026969I'm just thinking now that this could all backfire spectacularly and result in Claudio just trying to murder us this instant
>>3026767>>”I know why you’re doing this!”
> ”I’m giving you a warning, that’s what. Let us out or we’re going to duel and you’ll get straight fucked!”You don’t know if he can even see you but you throw up a hand theatrically anywhere, pointing up at something indistinct. “Thanks for letting me know that you can hear me! So with that in mind, I’m here to give you a warning. I was going to carve it out on the floor but it looks like we won’t need to do that. Sorry, Sabino.”WHAT IS IT.“Let us out or Sabino and I are going to duel and you’ll get straight fucked! Did you know that terms can be renegotiated after the fact? It’s true! As long as it takes place before the scheduled time and both representatives agree. And I’m afraid I walked all over Sabino and just did whatever I wanted. Do you want to know what the new terms for your loss are?”NO“Too bad! Firstly, you’re going to give everything you have to your reflection! Secondly, I’m going to get your name legally changed! Thirdly, and this isn’t even a term, when other people catch wind of what you’ve done you’re getting booted straight to High Court! So you might as well give up and let us out! There’s no path here that turns out well for you.”A long silence follows. You let your arm drop. FINE. I WILL FREE ANYONE WHO SHATTERS THE MIRROR.So that’s his plan, is it? He’s going to try and coerce or tempt one of you into breaking it before the duel starts tomorrow morning. But it won’t work. It can’t work. “What kind of person do you take me for, huh? I’ll never betray a client!’Stealing from clients after the fact isn’t betraying them, especially when you’re just stealing what’s already been stolen. Just a little heads up. “What about you, Sabino? Are you going to do what this arsehole wants?”Sabino just shakes his head.“You already hired me for a duel. So I’m going to fight that duel. And I can’t interfere with the client of another duellist.”“Needless to say,” Lapo growls, “I will not bow to such a cruel demand.”And that just leaves Romina.“It’s just a reflection, isn’t it? That’s not that big of a deal. If we just break it we can all go home.”And this is why you should never meet your heroes. You feel the happiness from earlier shrivel up and die. “If you so much as lay a hand on my client I will cut you down myself. I’d be well within my rights!”And that’s when, with a sudden crash and a burst of distorted noise, the roof caves in. 1/2
>>3027136*******You wake woozily in total darkness, blood trickling down your scalp and across your eyes. You feel bleary and your entire consciousness is dominated by a dull yet throbbing knot of pain. You try to get up but you just slump down instead, your every limb frail and uncoordinated. You can’t move, at least for now. You’re slumped up against a wall, you can feel the cold marble and as you slowly regain control of your arms, you feel out around and discover yourself to be in a very bounded space. Some of the roof must have struck the wall at an angle and stayed tilted, creating a little air pocket and protecting you from the rest of the rubble. And you’re not alone. You can hear the sound of heavy breathing. >Who are you trapped with?>Romina>Sabino.>Lapo.>Adriana.
>>3027145I'm torn between bullying the cute dweeb and trying to question Adriana more.Ah, fuck it.>Sabino.
>>3027145>>Sabino.Come on guys this isn't even a choice. Adriana will probably just appear from no where anyway.
Time to duel. I say right now because the client was obviously trying to do 'backsies' when he was declared he was going to sword law but it didn't work his way.
>SabinoNot that you’re going to let yourself be spooked or anything! Waking up trapped and helpless in the dark with the sound of a stranger doesn’t scare you at all. Don’t be silly. You’re stronger than that. And then something warm brushes up against your outstretched hand and you demonstrate this strength by shrieking at the top of your lungs.“Sofia!”You recognise Sabino’s voice, taut and strained as it is. In the darkness, his hand closes around yours.“Huh? Oh, it’s just you. Is it just you?”“I think it’s just me.”“What happened? Everything’s a blur.”“I don’t think my client took your threat very well. He collapsed the roof on us.”“So now he wants to add...oof, hold on...add attempted murder to everything else? What a fucking champion.”“Maybe not attempted,” Sabino says quietly. “I haven’t seen the others.”“Don’t say that,” you say quickly. “Nobody’s going to die. We’re all going to be okay. And...and and and I can’t believe your client is such a little bitch.”You’re trying to apologise. “When are we going to run out of air?”“I can feel a little draft against my back,” Sabino whispers. “So I don’t think we’ll run out. And maybe it means we can dig our way out of here?”Dig your way out? It’d probably be wise but it’d also be dangerous. And you still seem to be, well, you can’t quite describe the throbbing feeling but you are moving incorrectly. Trying to dig your way out risks collapsing what little shelter you have left.>”We’re not going to get anything done in here. Let’s go.”>”Let’s just stay here together for a little while. Someone else will find us.”>”Hey Sabino, you hurt? Because I am!”>Other (Specify)
>>3027397>First you hurt?, Second you know how to treat a head wound?
>>3027397>>”Hey Sabino, you hurt? Because I am!”
>>3027397>”Hey Sabino, you hurt? Because I am!”
>”Hey Sabino, you hurt? Because I am!”You lift your hand to your head. It comes back sticky.“Hey Sabino, are you hurt?”“No. I was pretty lucky, huh?”“That’s good. Because I am!”“What? Where?”“Oh just a few bruises, a few scrapes and an open head wound. I don’t know how bad it is but it’s bleeding a lot.”“Stay calm, it might not be that bad.”Sabino’s voice completely lacks the calm he’s advocating for.“The scalp often has a bunch of sanguine humours in it. It might not be serious.”“I’m going to have sanguine humour all over me at this rate, Sabino. Can you help me wrap it up?”“In the dark? No probably not.”You still feel woozy. You can’t help but wonder if it’s from the knock to the head or from potential blood loss. You haven’t lost that much, have you? You hope you don’t lost enough humour to unbalance your personality. “Don’t worry, I’ve always considered myself a pretty sanguine person. So that means I probably have a lot of blood to lose.”Will you even be able to notice it if certain emotions or thoughts are literally drained out of you?“Can you stand?,” Sabino asks.“I could if I want,” you say pettily, unable to admit you can’t. “I just don’t want to, is all.”You pull your cintura free and wrap it clumsily around your scalp in an effort to stem the flow. And then you are aware of a sudden warmth beside you and the tickling of hair and the whisper of breath upon skin, all the byproducts of a person being very close. Sabino’s hands quest out in hesitant, trembling ways but they quickly find yours.After that, they run up your arms, find your shoulders and then up along the side of your face. You can’t help but shiver beneath the touch. You’re holding your breath.“Here,” Sabino says in the dark. “I know I said I couldn’t help but I think I can get this thing wrapped a little tighter.”He sounds unconcerned, a far cry from the Sabino you know. No, instead, you’re the one offguard and blushing, shying away from him.Is a mere head injury all it took to turn the tables? Has the teaser become the teased?>Let him. You’re fine with this.>No, you need to re-establish control. That’s how this works.>Guide his hands back downward. You’ve got somewhere else in mind.>You really wish you had a puzzle right now!>Other (Specify)
>>3027534> No, you need to re-establish control. That’s how this works.We're supposed to be the one bullying him!
>>3027534>Let him. You’re fine with this.
>>3027534>>Let him. You’re fine with this.
>>3027534>>You really wish you had a puzzle right now!
>>3027534>>No, you need to re-establish control. That’s how this works.Ignore >>3027573
Rolled 2 (1d6)Looks like we've got ourselves a tie. Odds is Let him, odds is Re-establish control.
>>3027596>odds is let him, odds is re-establish.wut
Rolled 1 (1d4)>>3027599Whoops, I'm a little tired. Odds is the former, evens is the latter.
>Let him. You’re fine with this.And why do you care about this? Sure, it was fun to push Sabino around a bit like that but right now you should be concerned for slightly bigger things. And if that means you have to be pushed around a bit in turn, if you have to blush and be touched...well, you like that too. You can relinquish control.Besides, you can take it back whenever you want. Totally.You lean to the side and into him, letting yourself sink into the warmth of his body. There’s surprisingly little softness there but you know that, despite his demeanour, he hardly become a Ring-certified duellist by chance. There’s a lot of muscle there and it’s no doubt well educated, trained and hardened and optimised towards explosive bursts of power.Outliers like Maccio aside, most professional duellists share the same sort of build, products of the same kind of athletic regime. And under his soft attitude he’s no different. Slim and fast, lithe but with power packed into every inch. Anyone leaning up against you would feel the exact same thing.He has his arms up over your shoulders, working the cintura around your head. It’s hardly a suitable bandage but it’s the best either of you can do in the dark. It’s almost an embrace, if you were the kind of person to view it in such a way.“You’re a lot more assertive than you seem sometimes.”“When it’s important,” he admits. “And being a provisionary member of the Rose Blossom Ring has given more experience than might appear.”“Experience with what?”He hesitates.“Experience with, how did you put it earlier? Being taken advantage of?”“Oho?”“A rose has to be tempting. But if someone picks it too roughly they’re going to get cut.”You don’t know a lot about the Rose Blossom Ring, save for its reputation for femininity. You hadn’t even thought what inspiration a rose would be for duelling but now that he brings it up, it seems obvious. Alluring, vulnerable, tempting...and thorned. Sharp blades sheathed in silk.“I don’t think we’re getting out of here anytime soon,” you mumble.“No. And it’s long past dusk and we’re both tired. We need to sleep.”“Together?”“Uh! If you want to!” he says, retreating a little in the face of what you said. Good to know you can still throw him off balance “But we have air and it’s not going to fall. Let’s just stay here until the morning. We both need some rest.”>That’s a good idea. You need to rest.>You’ll rest soon. But for now you’d like to talk with Sabino a little while longer.>”What if I said I do want it?” Maybe it’s just the humour imbalance talking…>Other (Specify)
>>3027655>You’ll rest soon. But for now you’d like to talk with Sabino a little while longer.
>>3027655> You’ll rest soon. But for now you’d like to talk with Sabino a little while longer.
> You’ll rest soon. But for now you’d like to talk with Sabino a little while longer.“It’s a good idea. But I don’t know if you noticed or not but I just spent a little time unconscious anyway. I’m not sleeping for a while or at least, not right now.”“Neither am I, I think.”You feel Sabino move away. “What are we going to do?”“What else can we do?”You let the wall take your weight again. You’ve got a few things you wouldn’t mind talking about and it’s as good a way to pass the time as any. >You may choose from the following subjects. You can select multiple options:>The Rose Blossom Ring>’Being taken advantage of’>Adriana.>The mystery of the mirror.>The party guests.>The inevitability of death.>Your circumstances.>Duelling.>Puzzles.>Other (Specify)
>>3027710>AdrianaSeriously wtf is her deal.
>>3027710Also the mirror since we can pick more than one.
>>3027710>Adriana.>The Rose Blossom Ring>’Being taken advantage of’
>>3027710>The Rose Blossom Ring>Adriana>Duelling.
>>3027710>The mystery of the mirror.>The party guests.>Your circumstances.Focus on the task at hand. We need to understand what the hell is going on with Claudio, the guests who were invited today, and that damn mirror.
I'm going to rest for an hour or so. Vote will remain open until then
>>3027710>Adriana.>The mystery of the mirror.>Claudio and his weird behavior
Alright I'm back. Vote called, writing.
>The Rose Blossom Ring>AdrianaThere is a warmth in the darkness. Perhaps too much. Indeed, with the two of you cramped up in a fairly small and fairly enclosed space, there is a hot and merciless night promised for the both of you. Sweat intermingles with blood. “So.”That’s you.“So?”That’s the other one. “The Rose Blossom Ring, huh? Pretty rare for someone your age to get into anything outside the Upturned Eye.”“I’m just a provisional member.”“Even so. What’s it like? I’ll likely never be a part of any Ring, you know. It’s not something public defenders really need.”“It’s ah, very helpful. The amount of shared resources is incredible. They cover just about everything you’d need to get started, they train with you. Anything anyone doesn’t need, they give it back into the Ring’s communal storage and it’s free for anyone to take. You...you really get everything you need to be the best duellist you can be.”“Shit, it’s even worse than I thought it would be.”“What do you mean?”“That’s quite the advantage. So if you get into a Ring, you’re just way more likely to succeed than any duellist who doesn’t. That’s not fair.”“Well...that’s the world.”“I know it is. That’s why I fight for free. But you know, it’s not that I resent you for what you have. It must be great to be part of a Ring.”“It is. Mostly.”“Oh? Would this have anything to do with what you said to me just before? About being taken advantage of? Come to think of it, Rose are mostly women, aren’t they? They’re the only Ring that isn’t almost all men.”“It’s a little related.”“Well you might as well talk about it. We’ve got nothing but time.”“It’s about my teacher. Her name is Cataine d’Passero. Know of her?”“Not a clue.”“She’s pretty good. She’s experienced, with a good record and she charges the world but even if she wasn’t wealthy off the duels she has noble blood so it wouldn’t matter. And even though she should be older she doesn’t look it because she can afford a good tailor practically every other week. She’s elegant and powerful and beautiful-”“Alright loverboy. You sound like you want to jump right down her pants.”“That’s the thing. I have! Lots of times. Ever since we first met and she told me I was cute. What was I supposed to say? She just collected me”“Oh.”“Yeah, oh. She dotes on me. And she’s also the one who sponsored me to join the same Ring as her. So who even knows how good I am.”“You passed the tests though. So you have to be good.”“Probably. Maybe. But it doesn’t stop you from doubting. Makes me think that I don’t even deserve to be here. And I certainly wouldn’t have gotten her sponsorship without-”“Quick question. Does she still ask that of you?”1/2
>>3027961“Not as often these days. And that’s even worse because if I’m just here for her, what happens if she gets bored of me? And wherever we go together, she treats me like I’m just some little boy. That gets in your head. And she does it in public and now all the other girls do too.”“The other girls?”“Of the Rose Blossom Ring. They see Catalina treat me like that and now they all do. I feel more like a pet than I do a duellist.”“Ah. So what I was doing in the closet is nothing new to you, so to speak.”“Yes.”“To be honest, you are very teasable. You come off as such a cute and vulnerable boy.”“That’s because I am one. I mean, no, I am very cute...uh. I m-”“Never mind. I should watch my tongue a little more.”“But I’m a duellist too. And I just need to prove it.”“Was...this that match?”“It was meant to be. He went to Cataline first but she was already scheduled for today and he didn’t want it later. She give him to me and said it was time for me to prove myself worthy of a full membership.”“And now you’re going to fight me and lose.”“And now I’m going to fight you and lose.”“It’s a shame. But how did you put it? That’s just the world.”“The worst part is that I don’t even think she’ll be disappointed when I lose. She’ll just pat me on the head and tell me that nobody’s perfect.”“Unless they’re me. Wait. Wait. She pats you on the head?”“Yes.”“Does she hug you so that you face smooshes right up into her chest? You’re real short so…”“Yes.”“Shit. Now I’m just jealous. My instructor just hit me a lot. There was a reason. And you know, he’s not bad looking. He does have a bit of a grizzled older veteran look to him but I’ve already tried with him and it wasn’t very nice.”“Jealous?”“Is...is it wrong sometimes to want a taller woman to condescendingly treat you like sexy garbage?”“I-I’m having a hard time figuring you out, Sofia.”“Please just let me long for things that can never happen. Thanks to a certain someone, I was born with that dream forever out of reach.”“Can we talk about something else?”“Yeah, why not? What about Adriana. Is she weird or what?”“Yes. Yes she is. I don’t even know what’s going on with her.”“It’s because she’s a genius loci, the spirit of the house itself. She told me after I confronted her with my invincible logic.”“Is she?”“What do you mean?”“Then why isn’t she deformed? If the rogue architecture is everywhere, it should be ruining her too.”“But it’s been all but confirmed that she’s in multiple places at once!”“Maybe she has a twin?”“No, I solved this mystery. I got it right. She’s the spirit of the house!”>Change the subject to something else.>Go to sleep.>You know why Adriana said what she said (Specify)>Other (Specify)
>>3027963>You know why Adriana said what she saidTo make us stop guessing. Apparently being considered a genius loci is preferable to us discovering the real truth.She either is a clone, or a hivemind homunculus, or something like that.
>>3027963>>You know why Adriana said what she saidShe's actually a mirror reflections that left the mirror or something
>>3027982I thought about this variant, but consider the following:We know that when Ariadna got reflected and awakened in the room with the reflected Claudio, she suicided. Why would she do it if she knew reflections can leave mirrors and consequently she wasn't doomed?...That's assuming reflected Claudio was telling the truth though.And real Sophia doesn't know about these events anyway, so I'd like to amend my vote>>3027963>Add the "reflection that left the mirror" variant to >>3027979
>You know why Adriana said what she said“If she lied, there’s only explanation,” you say, thinking hard. “She must...she must be a berserk reflection herself!”“Pardon?”‘That would explain why there might be more than one of them!”It doesn’t explain what your reflection told you about the reflected Claudio’s account though. He said that Adriana’s reflection committed suicide. But maybe...maybe it can all still match up.“I don’t know,” Sabino says. “I feel like the more we learn, the less any of it makes sense. Maybe we need to sleep on it.”“Maybe-”Your words are cut off by a scream, a choked off shriek that absolutely came from a woman. And it sounds close!“What was that?”You’re suddenly whispering.“Adriana was insistent on keeping watch. She seemed convinced someone else was in here with us.”A chill runs down your spine. Why the fuck can’t any of this be simple?“I heard a scream like that before,” you say. “Before we met back up.”“Someone could be in danger.”“Or it could be a trap.”>If someone is in danger, you should try to get your way out now so you can find them!>If it’s a trap, you both need to stay down here where nobody should be able to find you.>Other (Specify)
>>3028075>If someone is in danger, you should try to get your way out now so you can find them!So Sabino isn't pure. Sad.
>>3028075>>If someone is in danger, you should try to get your way out now so you can find them!
Sorry guys but I'm going to bed early tonight. Votes will remain open until tomorrow morning. Have fun!
Meant to do at least one more update but a fucking shroud of fatigue just descended on me
>>3028096Thanks for running! Have a good sleep.
>>3028096Shoot I just woke up. Timezones are the worst I swear.
>>3028075>If someone is in danger, you should try to get your way out now so you can find them!
I'm awake. Vote called and update in an hour or so.
>If someone is in danger, you should try to get your way out now so you can find them!You shake your head, careful not to dislodge the bloodstained cintura.“Even if it is trap, if there’s someone out there in danger, I have to go help them!”“In your condition-”“And what if we find a corpse outside in the morning? What would you say to yourself then? So hurry up and help me!”You will your legs into action and they finally comply. You get up, nearly hitting your head once more on the impromptu ceiling above you. Feeling your way through the darkness, you stagger over to where Sabino is sitting. ‘Get up, Sabino. If you’re not going to help me, at least do me the courtesy of getting out of my way.”You feel your way past him and there, you can finally feel the draft he spoke of earlier. As long as you’re careful, you shouldn’t dislodge the shard of marble forming the roof. That’s held in place by its own angle against the wall. So, following the air, you should be able to just burrow your way out.You grab hold of a chunk of marble bigger than your head and with a grunt, slowly drag it aside. It’s not going to be easy.>Roll 1d6 for Sofia’s efforts! The first 3 shall be totalled and used!
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>3028538
Rolled 3 (1d6)>>3028538
>13It’s hard work, particularly with that dull pain still lurking in the back of your head at all times. The dark is near total and the rubble is heavy and it’s all you can do not to trip and fall and hurt yourself further. It takes less than a minute for your hands to start aching and now that you’re actually moving, the heat becomes so much more cloying. Sweat makes your grip all the more treacherous. But you’re not alone. You can hear and feel Sabino beside you. He must have taken your words to heart or maybe just the idea of you fucking it all up alone stirred him to pity. You’d prefer to believe the former.The breeze grows stronger as you work and you savor every trickle of cool air as it flows in.“Thanks Sabino.”“What else can we do? We can get some sleep later.”“That’s the spirit!”You burrow forward, your opponent behind you. All this time, all this work and you’ve cleared less than a foot’s distance But it’s all you needed. You reach up, now out from underneath the large shard that had created your shelter, and push the marble tilted over you aside. It’s much smaller and after you do so, your grasping hands feel only the cool night air.You push yourself up and through it, scrabbling up at the top of a heap of broken rock. You’re out, you’re free and you can’t see shit. The room beyond is dark, so dark that you don’t dare make another move lest you trip and roll down the side of the pile you’d been entombed in. The last thing you need right now is to crack your head on something else. Instead you reach down and pull Sabino up. He desperately grasps at you in the dark as he comes up and you let him cling to you. “Where are you?”You shrug. Even if he can’t see you do it, he can at least feel it.“The entry hall I presume. But it’s night now and there’s no more chandelier.”And no lights from the City outside either. This is a total dark of a kind that normally has no place in Aquitae Cogituum, the city loved by the sun and the stars. “We can’t find anyone like this.”“We won’t know until we try!”>Use the wall to direct yourself in the darkness and start walking. Maybe you’ll hear another sound to use as a direction.>You need to find some light first. >Call out. What’s the harm?>Other (Specify)
>>3028609>You need to find some light first.
>>3028609>OtherCan entering the Wake help us? Can we enter it without duelling?
>>3028634The only way Sofia has ever entered is through a duel.Also I kind of feel like I'm about to vomit so please excuse me for a moment.
Feeling a little better so vote called, writing.
This is a funny thread. Thanks ouro. Self-aware shota ftw! Goodnight.
>You need to find some light first.The answer seems simple. If you can’t search without light, the first thing you need to search for is light itself. Something that could provide a flame or even a spark, anything for you to see by. You disentangle yourself from Sabino and, ever so slowly, crawl down the side of the pile.You’re tired, sweaty and your whole body is aching but you keep steady footing until you find yourself on a patch of clear and unbroken carpet. It’s covered in dust but then again, so are you.“Just follow me down and don’t fall. There’s fucking marble all over the place just waiting to crack your skull.”You stand up and inch forward, passing one foot slowly over the other. It’s imperative that you don’t trip on anything.You find a wall and place your hand on it. There. Now you just have to follow the wall around the hall. You know that won’t work for the whole mansion, not anymore, but it’s a start. “Sofia? Where are you?”“I’m still here. I’m not going anywhere so just follow my voice.”You begin to walk again, slowly following the wall. The wall terminates in an open doorway, a somehow deeper well of black amidst the darkness. Reaching across it, you find the wall past it and keep going. You can hear Sabino moving, knocking aside various detritus.There are many doorways, which matches what you remember of the entry hall’s structure. Most of the doors are now either open or destroyed but each open doorway you feel has nothing in it. No sound and certainly no light. So what are you going to do? Even if you knew where they kept the lights, you’ve no way of knowing which door is which. That is, until you pass the warped doorway to Viridian Hall.You can tell it’s Viridian Hall as you pass over it blindly because for a moment, as you grope for the other side of the doorway, you aren’t so blind. There’s a light at the far end of the hall, a pale and flickering thing shining out from behind the ajar door of the distant guest room. It’s barely anything but in this pitch black darkness, it’s like a beacon and it’s enough to just barely illuminate the hall beyond so that you recognise it. “Over here,” you hiss, suddenly quiet. When you feel Sabino, or something you sure hope is Sabino, take hold of the back of your coat, you make your way down Viridian Hall. As you get closer, the outlines of things start to become clearly, light once again bleeding into your dark world. You can see your own hand and the outline of Sabino and the doors you’re passing. “What do you think this is?”“I don’t know,” Sabino murmurs. “It’s your client.”1/2
>>3028800Finally standing before the guest room door, you take hold of the doorknob and slowly pull the door just open enough that you can see inside. If there is someone in there, you don’t want to alert them. But the room is empty and the light is coming from the mirror.Within, you can see yourself and Claudio hunched over by the foot of the bed. Between them is a small fire blazing away on the carpet. How could they start a fire when you can’t?>There must be a way in this room to light a fire!>If you can find a way to talk to the reflections, maybe you could also borrow their light?>Cut the mirror loose from the wall and drag it with you. Your reflections don’t need to know that they’ll be lighting your way.>Other (Specify)
>>3028805>There must be a way in this room to light a fire!
>>3028805>>Cut the mirror loose from the wall and drag it with you. Your reflections don’t need to know that they’ll be lighting your way.
>>3028805if we start a fire, Sabino will most likely enter the reflection. Is there anything we can have him bring before that?
>>3028827Nothing save what you have on you right now.
>>3028805> There must be a way in this room to light a fire!
>>3028805>>There must be a way in this room to light a fire!Ouro what would happen if we brought two mirrors together?
>>3028861Many reflections. Anyway, vote called and writing.
> There must be a way in this room to light a fire!Well, that’s considerably less sinister then you were expecting! You’re oddly happy that the reflections are doing well, even though they’re not real people. You have a duty to your client after all. And it’s nice to see you look at least faintly happy. It might be just an image but even so. And more importantly, if they can light a fire so can you! All they have is the material in this room so you just need to find something that’ll burn and a source of spark! “Don’t come in Sabino,” you caution him. “We might need your reflection later to pass a message.”You step closer to better examine the reflection. You don’t need to talk to them or even to let them know that you’re watching. Deducing how they managed to light a fire will be good enough for you. You note that Adriana’s corpse is missing, even though all the blood remains. Is it back under the bed? No, you can’t see anything under there now that you’re specifically looking. So what did they do with it?Claudio has a large stack of purple paper notes in his hands, slowly tossing them into the fire one at a time. None of them last long but a fire must be fed by any means necessary. Your reflection is still clutching the notepad that you, in a roundabout way, gave it. Behind them, the wardrobe is open and you can see a jumble of clothes and documents within.Is that it?You open the wardrobe on your side but find nothing of the sort. It’s empty, cleaned out. Right. That was another of the pivotal differences between the reality and reflection here, isn’t it? There's plenty of stuff to burn here but whatever they used as the spark is no longer here.“It’s no good,” you say, frustration welling up inside of you. “Those arseholes are making a fire with stuff we don’t even get to have.”Are you jealous of your own reflection? And why not? Here you’ve been, doing with all kinds of real shit and it’s just got a blessed life with no responsibility or fear of anything. You almost wish you could take its place. You start muttering.“This can’t have just been a waste of time.”>No, there’s still something else you can do here!>Talk to the reflections. Maybe they can help you.>Leave. >Smash the mirror. Duty to the client is one thing but your life matters more than ANY reflection.>Other (Specify)
>>3029005>Talk to the reflections. Maybe they can help you.
>>3029005>>Talk to the reflections. Maybe they can help you.
>Talk to the reflections. Maybe they can help you.“How’s it going in there, Sofia?”“Fine,” you grumble. “Well, not fine.This was just a dead end. There’s nothing worth having here and there’s certainly no light.”“What if you cut out the mirror itself?”“Do you even know what that would do to my client?”“No.”“Me neither. But...actually Sabino, I take back what I said earlier. You should walk in. That way your reflection can take a message to them.”“Will that work?”“Yes. I just need to tell you what I want your reflection to say before you go in.”“Right. And what’s that?”>Just update them on the situation. >Ask them if they’ve noticed anything on their end.>There’s something you want to test with the curtains…>Double-check how they made a fire.>Ask for their permission to move the mirror.>Other (Specify)
>>3029070>There’s something you want to test with the curtains…>Double-check how they made a fire.And if that doesn't work.>Ask for their permission to move the mirror.
>>3029077This but also update them on the situation
>There’s something you want to test with the curtains…>Double-check how they made a fire.>Ask for their permission to move the mirror.*****You sit by the fire glumly, forcing a faint smile. How long has it been now? Hours? Days? How long, you wonder, can you last? How long can you persist knowing exactly what you are before you take the easy way out? Your eyes wander over to the door and you have to move your head to stop you from looking at it. No. That’d be too easy. Death is the easy route. Life is much harder.Claudio hems and haws as he shovels another wad of paper into the fire. How does he do it? Do you just get used to it in the end? Used to the idea of not mattering, used to the idea of the whole life you’ve lived not being your own? But somehow he seems to have resigned himself to living in this one little room forever. You don’t want to think about the idea of him being stronger than you. Because you hate this fucking luxurious shithouse of a guest room already. But oh boy, you better get ready to like it! Because it and Claudio’s company are all you are ever going to see again. Welcome to the rest of your life. Just be happy and don’t think too hard or else you’ll just start crying over everything you had that you’ll never have again!You cried earlier. In front of Claudio too, though he got the message and is pretending it didn’t happen. There hadn’t even been anything to provoke it at the time, it had just been a random thought about all the people you’ll never see again. That you never saw to begin with. That’s normal right? To just start crying for no reason at random intervals?You hadn’t cried since you’d been with your family. You’d feel bad about ruining your record but you haven’t ruined it, have you? The real Sofia is still going strong.You look back at the door. Even after all your resolve to live, you can’t ignore how easy it would be to just open it and step through. And behold, as you stare, it does open. And in walks a total stranger. It’s a brownhaired young man, maybe even a little younger than you. He’s short and though he might have once been dressed rather snappily, he’s also absolutely covered in dust and grime. It stains his tunic and his dweeby little suspenders and makes his waxed hair stand up at odd angles. He looks at you as if he’d just seen a ghost.“Sofia? Th-then I’m...oh noooo.”“Uh hello?”You stand up slowly, goggling at the newcomer. Someone else is finally here? Will they stay? Can you force them to stay?“I say,” Claudio says. “Do I know you?”“No,” the young man says. “And I don’t really want to talk to you, sorry. But I’ll talk to you, Sofia. Looks like I’m the unlucky one.”“That sucks, man.”What else are you supposed to say? You step closer, eager to have literally anything new spice up your life sentence. And aw, he’s actually a little shorter than you. Adorable. 1/2
>>3029187“I have a message. From you.”“Uhuh. I guess we’ll need to write more stuff.”You turn to the blank mirror and wave. You do your best fake smile.>”Please don’t leave or die. I’ll listen if you just stay awhile with us.”>Don’t ask anything of him and just listen. You’re not that desperate yet.>”Claudio, you grab the legs, I’ll grab the arms!” You don’t know who this boy is but he’s not leaving like the maid did.>Other (Specify)
>>3029191>Hug him to comfort him. I-it's totally not to comfort yourself, you're just helping out this boy here.
>>3029191>Don’t ask anything of him and just listen. You’re not that desperate yet.
>>3029191> ”Please don’t leave or die. I’ll listen if you just stay awhile with us.”
>>3029191>>”Please don’t leave or die. I’ll listen if you just stay awhile with us.”I really hope there is a way to do something with these reflections that don't involve them committing suicide by door.
>>3029225Would probably have to get a lawyer involved
Actually sorry, this update is turning out to be fairly big so I don't have time to finish it before leaving to work. I'd rather not cut it close.In that case, vote will remain open for a few hours until my shift is over! I'll try to update as soon as I get back.
>>3029191>>”Please don’t leave or die. I’ll listen if you just stay awhile with us.”
>>3029191>”Please don’t leave or die. I’ll listen if you just stay awhile with us.”You guys just flubbed the chance to ask reflected Claudio what's the deal with the real one.
May have noticed a lack of an update for the past few hours. That's because when I said I was writing, what I actually meant is that I was dying.
>>3029719Please don't die.
>>3029719>>3029739>Please don't die. Supporting.
I’m not actually dissolving!> ”Please don’t leave or die. I’ll listen if you just stay awhile with us.”You’re not going to grab hold of him or beg. You’re not quite that desperate yet. Instead you take his hand in yours. He tries to draw back but you hold it tight.“Okay, just please don’t leave or die. I’ll listen if you just stay awhile with us.”“I guess Sofia is Sofia wherever you go,” he says. He stops struggling. “She wants to know how you started that fire?”“Easy!” Claudio says. “We used the matches in the wardrobe.”The young man frowns.“There aren’t any matches there in the real world!”“Curious,” you say, still not letting go of your new eternal prison-mate. “The real Claudio must have had them cleaned out when he asked Adriana. Pretty comprehensive cleaning, huh?”“I say, I’d have no idea why. I am not usually so detail-oriented when it comes to cleanliness.”You turn away from him and focus on the newcomer, who you have not yet let go of.“What is your name, incidentally?”“Sabino Manfredi.”“Well, Sabino, what else does my dearest self want from us?”Your words twist around what you had been trying to call her. Call you. “Some question about that curtain? It’s ambisilk, isn’t it?”“Very true, don’t ask what we’ve been putting in there. It’s not worth it.”“She wants you to put something in it and then put up a note telling her what it is. She’s trying to test something.”“Test what?”“I don’t know. She, I mean you, are a very compelling woman.”“She’s in luck then. There’s something we slid into the drapes just a few hours ago.”You grab the notepad and pen, using the faint light of the fire to write down two words.ADRIANA’S CORPSE“I’m really stuck here forever.”Poor Sabino. You hold his hand tighter in order to emphasize the fact. “We’ll find ways to pass the time.”“Oh um yes. And...and she also wants to know if you give her permission to cut the mirror out of the wall. She wants to use your fire for light.”“Good to know we can be useful,” you say drily. But it’s something at least. You will have an effect on the real world ,even if it’s through the only real thing any reflection has: light. “But...she might want to look away from the mirror after the next few hours. You and I, we’re going to run out of things to do real quick.”There’s a certain nihilistic freedom of action when you know you’re not real. Poison to the soul.He blushes like the cute little thing he is and then keeps talking.“You don’t mind the risk?”“What risk?”Claudio speaks up.“I don’t know how it works but if the mirror winds up facing away from the room...we might die. Erased. Or...we will stay but the location will change around us.”1/2
>>3029763“You mean we might be able to get out of this fucking room?”“Maybe. Or we might just die.”But it’d be a death you’d never notice. You turn back towards the door. It’s open. >Give permission.>Deny permission.
>>3029765>Give permission.Even if we die, it won't be the worst outcome.(As for the real Sophia fucking up and accidentally killing her client, that'd be on her, the heartless bitch. We don't care about her anymore.)
If we destroy the room, evidence might be destroyed too.
>>3029763>>3029787Shit, you're right. Changing >>3029765 to>Deny permission with explanation
>>3029788Question is whether Mirror Sophia cares about the evidence anymore.
>>3029765>Deny permission.I'm still up for that whole reflections entering the Wake thing
>Deny permission. Mirror Sophia has too much to live for! (/ss/)
Feeling kinda dozey, hence the delay.>Deny permission. “There might be another way out,” you say. “What if...what if we had a duel? I see that sword by your belt. Will we enter the Wake if we duel?”Claudio looks doubtful.“I’d save that for a last resort. For all you know, the Wake to us is just death. And since we have no way of scouting ahead, so to speak, you’d be going in without knowing.”“So just like the mirror then,” you say bitterly. But still struck by the idea, you write down something else in the notepad. “This mirror isn’t moving by the way.”“Hold on,” Sabino says. “We need the mirror! It’s the only sourc-”“No.”You are not particularly moved by the plight of your real counterpart. Doesn’t she have it easy enough as it is? People never even examine how lucky they are to be real. You’re not going to risk it all just so that she can have a little light.“And besides, she can still cut the mirror free if she wants.”You’re fucking helpless to stop her. The curse stills the words in your throat.
>>3029070********You and Sabino watch as your counterpart scribbles out three notes. The first that she puts up in front of the mirror simply reads:ADRIANA’S CORPSESabino stares at it.“What?”“Don’t think too hard about it. But I remember them having her corpse in the mirror with them. Apparently her reflection immediately committed suicide and it really unnerved her. So they hid it in the drapes, huh? Ingenious! I probably thought of it. Well then, time to test my idea…”You unroll the drapes on your side, feeling the ambisilk pattern change from fabric to a gap beneath your fingertips. You plant your hands into it and give it a command.“Adriana’s corpse.”Nothing.“Adriana.”Nothing.“Adriana’s body.”Nothing. “Adriana’s dead body.”Nothing.Welp. Looks like you were wrong about your idea of the drapes leading to the same place as their reflection. Looks like you’ll have to just toss that entire hypothesis into the trash.“Sofia! She’s written something else.”You look up from the drapes to see your reflection holding up a note with-CAN WE WAKE?“Shit,” you breathe. “Can they?”“It’d be dangerous. I mean, how would they know? They can’t just stick their head in to check ahead of them.”“You’re probably right. Oh, there I go again writing something else. I-oh.”DON’T TOUCH THIS FUCKING MIRROR“Fuck,” you say. “Why am I so beautiful and intelligent?”Well that puts a crimp in your plans. But on the other hand...it’s not like you have to respect her wishes. She’s not REAL.>Comply with her wish.>Cut the mirror free, you don’t give a shit.>Also, you might have an answer to that other conundrum! (Specify)>Other (Specify)
I'm out of ideas. Really am. Completely lost, no clue. >Listen to her, just call out, you don't really need a light.
Can we tell the curtain to open for the civic authority we weild?
>>3029892I think something that was in the room before reflected Claudio awakened contains or points to dangerous information. Claudion became aware of it only after his reflection awakened, so the reflection knows nothing. Whatever it was, it has been removed from the real room, but left in the reflected one, and real Claudio is afraid that reflected Claudio will inadvertently reveal it.This implies that reflected reflected Claudio would not recognize this something as unwanted information, thus this information must have been made available to Claudio after the reflection awakened. What could it be though?>Comply with her wish.Mostly so that we don't accidentally kill Claudio. He's our client after all.>Also, you might have an answer to that other conundrum!Try to request the curtains for the light from the time Claudio and Eduardo met (in hopes it'll come out as an image).>If we can procure any light from the curtains, take them off and use as a light source>Ask reflected Claudio for the command stitch if needed.
Sorry guys I wanted to stay awake a little longer but it's been a bad week in general. Vote will remain open until I wake up, at which point session will resume.I should have all of tomorrow to spend on the thread too, which I intend to do so!
I'm kind of at a loss at what do. I feel like we are overlooking some obvious clue that is causing Ouro to bang his head against a wall.Is the fact that Adriana committed suicide instead of just leaving through the door significant? Seems like she took a way more painful way to end herself. Could she not leave regularly or did it has something do with her nature?We should probably throw our heads together if anyone is here before the session starts again.
>>3030247She tried to leave through the door but Claudio stopped her.
>>3030247Whatever it is it has something to do with curtains, I'm certain. Mirror!Claudio has no reason to hide anything from us, which rules out that Real!Claudio is actually Mirror!Claudio or other such shenanigans. I'm guessing he killed Eduardo and shoved him in the curtain, possibly with some other incriminating stuff. It would explain the desperate fixation on destroying the mirror (before Eduardo is noticed missing and the room turns into a crime scene) and why Eduardo isn't here despite hosting a party.If it's more complicated than that I think I'm too dumb to figure it out.
>>3030343I'm still confused about Claudio's attempt at a coverup though, what could he be concealing that's going to be worse for him than six murders and illegal use of architecture?
>>3030357The only thing that fits is reputation.He's on damage control: He knows he's going down and he wants to go down as a murderer rather than what he was actually doing here.
I'm awake. Vote called and writing.
>Comply with her wish.>Use curtains.No, you can’t risk killing your client. Not when you’ve come this far defending him. You’ll just leave the mirror where it is and figure out some other source of light. But what else is there? There’s nothing else that has any light! Or is there?What are the point of ambisilk curtains again? Besides being a display of incredible wealth? It’s that they completely block out all light. And they do that because…“Actually Sabino, I have an idea. Can you help me lift these drapes?”“Sure but why?”“You’ll see.”The drapes are too big for you to feasibly drag them around yourself for any length of time but with the two of you together, you lift the unrolled curtains high. Keeping one hand on the pattern, you give it one more command.“Light.”The sunlight that they had been storing over the years starts pouring out, eclipsing the pattern and transforming the curtain into a sheet of pure light. Sabino cries out and you almost drop it, both of you recoiling. Your eyes scream just a little bit. “Let’s go,” you say. “Before we fucking pass out.”You’re not sleeping just yet. You leave the reflections behind to their own devices, whatever they might be. You spare one look back to the mirror and see Sabino sitting in your lap. Right. With the curtains held between you, the Viridian Hall is lit up almost as if it was day once again. As you walk up, you note the open door to the records room. It is all exactly as you left it but the Adriana that had been pinned beneath the filing cabinet has vanished. But just as you’re contemplating going back in and reading more, maybe reading enough to solve this mystery, you hear that scream one more time. “Let’s go, Sofia!”You cast one more yearning glance back at the stacked up documents.>Can’t it wait just a little while?>Whoever’s in trouble needs your help! Forget about this nonsense!>Other (Specify)
>>3030447>Whoever’s in trouble needs your help! Forget about this nonsense!Showtime.
>>3030447>Whoever’s in trouble needs your help! Forget about this nonsense!>You spare one look back to the mirror and see Sabino sitting in your lap. Right. Reflection Sofia is going to get laid before real Sofia does.
>>3030447> Whoever’s in trouble needs your help! Forget about this nonsense!
>Whoever’s in trouble needs your help! Forget about this nonsense!The record room, and the mystery, can wait! Right now you need to follow that scream and if it’s a trap, it’s a trap. That won’t stop you from trying. You follow after Sabino as he runs down the Hall, the two of you practically tethered together by the need to both hold the drapes.“If it isn’t Romina...or Adriana...who is it?”“I don’t know!”The entry hall is a right and proper mess. The floor has sagged down in the middle to merge with the ground and chunks of broken marble is everywhere. There’s a small pile of it in the corner, which is where you and Sabino must have been trapped. The doors are all open into pits of inky blackness that retreats before the light.Sabino looks worried.“How much light does this thing have left in it? It’s throwing a lot out.”“Let’s be quick about it then. Choose a hall. We’ll check each one as quick as we can.”And with this, you enter the labyrinth. The corridors aren’t merciful. Instead they are twisted and turned, many of them opening into pits or blank walls, many more becoming winding little mazes. You and Sabino make your way through them as best as you can, as fast as you can. But you don’t dare run. “Hello? Is anyone there?”You round a corner in a corridor that’s shrunk enough that your head is brushing up against the ceiling. And as you do, someone punches you in the gut.You drop the curtain wheezing and doubled up as someone slams into you hands scrabbling against your face! You’re pushed to the ground beneath your assailant, the whirling light of the falling ambisilk painting everything in incomprehensible shades. >”Sabino! Drop your side of the curtains and help me already!”>Grab their head and bang it against the wall.>Draw your sword.>Weather the assault until they calm down. You are certain they are not your enemy.>Other (Specify)
>>3030516>Other (Specify)Grab their wrists."Sabino shine the light on me."
>>3030516> OtherGet our feet up against their gut and push them off. Use those deadly legs.
>>3030532>>3030530I'll switch to this.
>Grab their wrists.>Light!No, you can’t let them just grab onto your head like that! What if they disturb your injury? The last thing you need to do is the bleeding start up again! You push their hands away and as you do, you grab hold of each wrist as your assailant crouches over you. It’s not easy. Whoever this is, the tendons in their wrist feel like steel cables. “Sabino!,” you grunt, your hands shaking. “Shine the light on me, will ya?”The light steadies and you find yourself looking right into the faint brown eyes of...Zuana? The noblewoman is practically straddling you, her beautiful red gown now tattered and dirty. This is a position you’d love to be in under other circumstances but for now all you can offer is a stunned ‘bwah?’. “Sofia?”Zuana d’Zaffiro pulls back, plucking her hands out of your grip as if you wouldn’t notice her iron strength. She stands, backing away as she does. Her hair is an absolute mess and there’s a shell-shocked look in her eyes. And now that you’re both standing, you’re reminded just how tall she is. At six foot, Ormanno’s fiance towers over both you and Sabino. She’s not as tall as your godmother but she’s close. And on top of all that, she apparently has a punch like a street-boxer. It’s harder than it looks to send you down like that.“What are you doing here?”“What are you?”But even as you speak, you remember.. Wasn’t Adriana going to have her brought up to the mansion? She must have been trapped in here without you or Claudio knowing. You answer your own question.“You got trapped too, huh?”“Yes! What’s going on?”You give her a brief explanation of what you’ve seen, introducing Sabino in the process. Zuana absent-mindedly pats him on the head. But then her face twists into a snarl.“Oh, that Eduardo! Just wait until I get my hands on him! Where is he?”Oh right, she doesn’t know!“He’s not here. He’s away on a trip and scheduled to return tomorrow.”“What?”“Is something wrong with that?”“Yes! He’s family, you know. He lets us know when he’s not around. He’s always been very meticulous about it too.”“That’s not what Adriana says.”“Eugh.”Zuana makes a mock shudder. Or perhaps it’s real, you can’t tell.“That woman creeps me out. The way she says what you’re going to say before you say it? Feh. But Eduardo is so sweet on her. I’m not one to engage in petty rumour but I’m pretty sure her duties extend to the bedroom.”She has an easy contempt to her, one that you’d probably be getting the full brunt of if it wasn’t for the curse. “What makes you think that?”“Everyone in the family knows his marriage is in a shambles. Why do you think he lives out here and not with his wi-....”She stops.“Sorry. I didn't mean to go on. I think we have more important things to worry about right now.”1/2
>>3030628>”No, I want to hear about that.”>”Where’s your snake?”>”Why were you screaming so much?”>Ask her for more details on Adriana.>Ask her if she knows Claudio well.>Ask her about her strength.>Join her in patting Sabino.>Other (Specify)
>>3030628>”No, I want to hear about that.”"There might be a slim chance it could be connected to this craziness.">Ask her for more details on Adriana.>Ask her if she knows Claudio well.
>>3030634>”No, I want to hear about that.”>He's been doing some real SKETCHY things, and it might be related to Claudio doing all this rogue architecture
>>3030634>>”No, I want to hear about that.”>>Ask her if she knows Claudio well.>Other (Specify)"Is Eduardo up to anything sketchy or otherwise untoward?"
>”No, I want to hear about that.”>Ask her if she knows Claudio well.“No, it’s fine. I want to hear about it.”Zuana looks conflicted.“It’s not something that should really be shared outside the family.”“Are you going to stand there and say you won’t tell me?”“Of course I can’t,” she says, gritting her teeth. “I know what you are, remember? So I also know that I can just tell you everything you want.”Considering how she falls silent afterwards, you suppose that she meant something like ‘I also know that I can just choose not to speak’. And it’s true. For someone who’s aware of your birthright, all they have to do is stop talking. That’s not something that’d occur to someone unaware. Sabino looks puzzled.“What you are?”“Not now,” you say, glaring at Zuana. “Come on Zuana. This might actually be important. Something extremely weird happened here and I still don’t know what it is! Can you please tell us?”“If it’s important,” she eventually says. “I’m not opposed to speaking of it. But I don’t see how relevant it might be. Long story short, that Eduardo has family troubles is practically an open secret. He has a wife and a child and yet neither of them live with him. And neither he or his wife will say anything about it but I’ve met her and whatever’s going on, she’s very angry about it. Tight-lipped but in that cold way. Whatever she’s keeping secret, it’s not one she likes.”“Why would she keep it a secret though?”“I couldn’t speculate. Eduardo has always been...publically secretive. I don’t know a better terms for it. He’s very open about his lack of opennes. He’s meticulous in making sure people know what he’s doing but that just makes everything else more mysterious. I’ve got half a mind to say there’s nothing and he’s just cultivating it for the sake of it but… But regardless of whatever else, there can be no denying that his marriage is loveless.”“And part of that you think is because he’s sleeping with his chief housekeep?”“It would make sense! She’s even stranger than he is.”“Hrm. And do you know anything about Claudio? He’s sort of fucked us so any help would be appreciated.”“We are acquainted and that makes this all the more concerning. I never thought he’d be the kind of person to do this. Let me tell you. He’s a soft and blubbery sort. Smart but not particularly so. I’ve never known him to so much as throw an unkind word. And now he’s doing this? It seems right out of character for him. But you can never truly know someone soooo…”Zuana trails off into thought. Something about what she says sounds familiar to you. Where have you heard those three words before?“Adriana told me that he is a frequent visitor here.”1/3
>>3030855Zuana nods.“I heard about that. Eduardo loves to collect guests and Claudio is rather itinerant. I swear he spends more time in other people’s homes than his own. It makes sense that the perennial guest and the perennial entertainer would be fond of each other.”“What’s his home like anyway. Is he married?”You assume he is. You know from personal experience that marriage is deadly important to these kinds of families. “Never been and no, he’s not. He’s a widower, wife died decades ago. They never had any children and he never remarried. Perhaps his own house is just too empty for his liking these days.”“...You’re surprisingly naive, Zuana.”“What?”But before you can elaborate, you hear another piercing scream in the distance. The sound, exactly the same as it had been before, echoes down the hall and stills your tongue.Zuana cringes.“Do you know who’s been doing that?”Sabino goes pale.“We thought it was you.”“Why would it be me?”“Then who is it?”“There must be someone else in here that we don’t know about,” you say, hefting the curtains back up. “Come on. We’ve come too far to give up now.”Zuana runs after the two of you.“Wait, don’t leave me here in the dark!”“Scared of the dark?”“Oh Sofia, you’re such a kind-hearted person. Just let me fetch Sibilo and I’ll come with you two!”“Sibilo?”“My python. I put him down when I saw you two coming. I didn’t want him getting hurt.”“You named your snake Sibilo?”“I was younger,” she says defensively. “There’s nothing wrong with the classics.”With her little velvet python wrapped firmly around her shoulders, Zuana joins the two of you. She doesn’t help either of you hold the curtain.*******Twenty minutes of increasingly frantic search and increasingly labyrinthine corridors later, you’re starting to get desperate. It’s not just that you can’t find the source of the scream...you also can’t remember which way you came. You can hear the house shifting around you.The ambisilk is also dimming, making the light duller and throwing shadows everywhere you look. You don’t know how much longer it’ll last. Sabino stops, forcing you to do so too.“We’ve...been in this room before. Look at those doors.”He lifts the curtain enough so that the shrinking circle of light that surrounds you illuminates a pair of large wooden doors with silver handles. Above them is a bronze doorknocker clutched in the mouth of a grotesque face. He’s right, you remember that ugly thing. It had been locked. But…“That can’t be right. There are six corridors here. Last time we saw these doors there were two. It must be a different room. And Eduardo must just have...weird taste in doors. Maybe there’s more than one.”“Or maybe the halls are changing around us.”2/3
>>3030858“Shut up Sabino,” you say nervously. “That can’t be right. If that’s right...how are we ever going to get out of here?”You nearly jump out of your skin as Zuana taps you on the shoulder. You turn to shriek at her but you stop when you see her face. Her eyes are wide and she’s looking at something past the two of you.“You two...look where you’re putting the light. Look!”You follow her gaze and see, at the very edge of the light that Sabino had used to light up the door, there’s a shoe. It’s sitting right at the edge and as Sabino slowly lifts the light, you see it leading right up into a stockinged foot.There’s someone here. Had they just been standing there the whole time? Not moving, not making noise?It’s Adriana. The fading light lets you see her, standing up against the wall near the door. She’s facing away from you so you can only see her back. Her black dress, her blonde hair, her rigid posture. She’s got her back turned to you and is facing right at the wall, even though the wall could only be inches away from her face. Your grip slips a little and the light shakes, throwing her shadow around. She doesn’t move. ‘A-Adriana?”No response.“What are you doing?”No response.“What the fuck is going on?”No response. “Adriana!”>Turn around and leave. You don’t need this right now.>Approach and put your hand on her shoulder. Turn her around.>”...One of you go get her attention.”>Throw something at her.>Other (Specify)
>>3030865>>Throw something at her.
>>3030865>Approach and put your hand on her shoulder. Turn her around.
>>3030865>>Approach and put your hand on her shoulder. Turn her around.I don't like this anymore I want to go back to teasing Sabino
>>3030855By the way guys>Zuana trails off into thought. Something about what she says sounds familiar to you. Where have you heard those three words before?Pic related
>>3030913But you are teasing Sabino.Until both of you leave the mirror in fact.
>>3030924Could we be dealing with some kind of shapeshifter that is taking the roles of people, specifically the guests of this place, and doing bad shit with them to potentially frame or other dirty deeds?It could be that the Claudio that fucked with the architecture and generally was an asshole wasn't the real Claudio at all, but this entity? And that the Reflection Claudio retains Real!Claudio's personality because the mirror can't copy the inner shapeshifter? Could this explain Adriana's behavior?
>>3030953Or maybe the building can twist people's minds?
>Approach and put your hand on her shoulder. Turn her around.Your heart in your mouth, you let go of the curtain and slowly step forward as the light spins around you. Shadows pass in front of you, Adriana flickering in and out of view as they do. For some reason...for some stupid reason, you’ve got this fear that after the shadow passes and the light steadies, she won’t be there anymore.But of course she still is. She’s still there facing the wall. She’s not going anywhere so you have to do this yourself.Inching forward, afraid of who knows what, you reach out and put your hand on her shoulder. It feels real. “Adriana?”You turn her around.And…And!Green eyes stare into yours dispassionately. She blinks and then smiles. “Oh hello Sofia. I beg your pardon, I didn’t see you there.”She pauses for a moment.“I was simply resting.”“What were you doing?”“Not asleep, no.”“You trying to tell me that you sleep standing up?”“These are the doors to the master bedroom. As the master is out, they are locked.”“Where even is this place anyway? What’s up with that gross looking doorknocker?”You stop. Something has gone wrong. Something was wrong with that conversation just now. But for some reason you feel a little dizzy. A little light-headed. “There’s something I want to ask you,” you start to say but Adriana chimes in with ‘Ask away’ before you finish the sentence.“I pride myself on being observant of people.”“What are you doing?”“Oh! I’m sorry! Here, please lie down and rest your head. I didn’t notice you were injured.”“Why do I feel weird?”You feel very tired. Adriana looks embarassed. She looks past you at the other two.“Ah, Sabino and ...young lady Zuana. Are you the one I saw lurking about earlier? It’s good to see you’re all safe. Have you seen the other guests?”“No,” you hear Sabino say. It sounds far away or as if he’s underwater. There’s a roaring in your ears. “What did you do to Sofia?”“Nothing. I dare say her injury is catching up to her. I didn’t realise she was hurt. You should...take her away from me and let her get some rest.”>She’s right. You DO need rest. You were supposed to get some sleep...hours ago? How long has it been?>Punch Adriana. >”Unlock the doors then. I’ll use this bedroom.”>”What are you doing to me?”>Flee.>”Who are you?”>Other (Specify)
..Is...is this a case of the curse actually working in our favor for once?>”What are you doing to me?”
>>3031014>Punch Adriana. >”Who are you?”>”What are you doing to me?”Go full Tyrant guys. I'm pretty sure this is our culprit.
>>3031014>Punch Adriana. >”Who are you?”>”What are you doing to me?”
>>3031014seconding >>3031027Adriana is omnoming people
>Punch Adriana. >”Who are you?”>”What are you doing to me?”You shake your head, trying to clear the fuzziness from it. Trying in vain. Your head hurts. Why does your head hurt?“I’m not doing anything,” Adriana says, her tone becoming more urgent. “You need to leave and get some rest. Please.”“What are you doing to me?”“I’m serious.”“Are you fucking serious?”“I only intend the best. Please Sofia, just trust me.”“What are you really doing?”“Listen, I understand,” Adriana says frantically. “But there’s no need for violenc-”You haul off and punch her square in the jaw. Her head snaps back and strikes the wall behind her. She collapses, sinking to her knees and cringing away from you. The strange feeling in the back of your brain recedes as she looks away. “Get out of my head,” you pant. “Who are you?”“I’m Adriana. I’m not anyone else. We’ve already m-”“No we haven’t! Or if we have, I haven’t met the real you, bitch! Remember when I said you weren’t human? I was right! You’re not Adriana and you’re not human. You’re some kind of fucking monster!”“N-no comment.”Adriana tries to stand back up so you punch her again. You go to kick her while she’s down but then Sabino is there, his hand on your shoulder.“Are you sure it’s her?,” he says. Lying on the ground, blood welling up from her bruised cheek, Adriana has started crying. Ugly, wracking sobs. ‘I’m suh-suh-sorry! I didn’t mean to do that to you. You just guh-grabbed me and I didn’t know you were hurt! I didn’t KNOW!”“Uh.” All attempt at her usual elegance and dignity gone, Adriana bawls like a child. >”Maybe I made a mistake.”>”Don’t believe it’s lies!”>”You’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”>’Can...can someone else handle this? I feel sick.”>Other (Specify)
>>3031118>”Don’t believe it’s lies!”>”You’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”It said No Comment instead of a flat No when we said it was a monster. If it truly had nothing to hide it would have given an honest No.
>>3031118>”You’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”
>>3031118>>”You’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”
>”You’ve got a lot of explaining to do.”“It’s probably lying. I can’t explain it Sabino but she...it...whatever did something to me. Didn’t you notice it?”“I noticed that she was answering your questions before you asked them.”“She does that,” Zuana says. “Not usually this overtly though.”“I felt like my head was stuffed full of wool,” you say. “This thing was doing something to me.”“I said I was sorry.”Adriana’s still crying. Her voice is choked, barely audible between sobs.“I didn’t notice you were hurt. I-I didn’t mean to.”“Didn’t mean to do what? Tell me. Tell me! You’ve got some fucking explaining to do, alright? I’m sick of these fucking lies and bullshit! If I so much as see another mystery I’m going to scream!”“...I’ll tell you tomorrow. Please, get some rest and let your head close up a little more. It’s dangerous for you to be around me.”Adriana stares up at you but you refuse to make eye contact. She’s got snot dripping down her nose.“Hasn’t today been horrible enough?”>Agree.>Disagree.>Other (Specify)
>>3031214>Other (Specify)Punch her again and demand she answer our questions.
>>3031214>Oh it has been, but I want this solved, now. Answer or I'll draw my sword.
>>3031225Support. Tyrant if we have to, situation is getting bad.
Why do I feel like answering her question in any way will have something bad happen to us?
>”Oh it has been, but I want this solved, now. Answer or I'll draw my sword.”“You’re right, it’s been one real fuck of a day. But if you don’t answer me right now it’s about to get a lot worse. I want this solved and I want it now. Do you understand?”You brush Sabino off. “No co-”“If you say ‘No comment’ one more time, I draw my sword.”You let your hand casually rest on the ornate hilt.“This isn’t safe for you,” Adriana pleads. “Please...you can’t be here. Not now!”“Shut up. From now on, I make the rules. Get it?”“I-”“Get it?”“Yes.”“And you’ll do anything I tell you to, won’t you?”“Yes. I will? I mean, aaaah, I-”“You deserve a lot worse than what I’ve given you. Say it.”“I deserve worse.”“Yeah, this is just a bruise and a bit of blood. You should be grateful that I haven’t fucking slit you open! Say it. Say it!”“Thank you Sofia. Thank you for only hitting me twice.”“Would you mind if I hit you again?”“No. Please do.”“Nah. I just want to hear you admit that you’re a monster.”“I’m a monster.”“You’re not human, are you? Are you going to disagree with me?”“I’m not human. I’m sorry!”She’s starting to cry again.“You will be. Now what kind of fucking freak are you? And how much do you have to do with what’s going on? And you’ll tell me the truth.”“I will?”“You want to tell me the truth, don’t you?”“I do.”“Because deep down, you know you fucking deserve every inch of this. Don’t you?”“I do.” “So uh, are you a freak?”“Yes. I’m a freak.”“And are you sorry?”“Yes!”She can’t tell you to stop.“And do you have anything to do with Claudio? Do you?”“No! I s-swear! I’ve got nothing to do with him and I don’t know what’s going on and I’ve been really stressed out and I didn’t mean to do that I’m sorry please-”“No.”You were six years old when you first realised you could do this. Coincidentally, that was the time where your family really started going through governesses. “You’re going to tell me the truth about you. I don’t care if it has nothing to do with what’s going on. I won’t be satisfied until you tell me everything.”Of course, it’s a lot better when you can back it up with threats of actual violence. When you were a kid all people had to do was just to refuse to speak to you. Adriana just curls up into a ball and cries. You go to draw your sword, Sabino and Zuana watching in stunned silence, when the sound of footsteps down the hall cut you off. You turn around to see...Adriana standing in the hall behind all of you. She’s red-faced and sweating, as if she’s just run a long way. Maybe she has. 1/2
>>3031357You look from the person at your feet to the person in the hall. “I was wondering when you were going to show up.”“I was always here,” she says. Her voice shakes but it’s a good deal calmer than the one you’ve been abusing. “You deserved that.”“I did. I shouldn’t have lied. I’m sorry. And I really didn’t mean to do that to you.”Her eyes flinch away from the sight of the person at your feet. And when they do, the Adriana that was already here starts to speak.“It was an a-a-accident. You just startled me.”“I wasn’t expecting anyone here,” the Adriana behind you says, seamlessly picking up from when the other chokes off. “Right. Right right right. I see how it is. Here, tell me if I’m onto something, will you? And if you fucking iie again things will only get worse. I’m sick of these shitty-ass mysteries!”>”One of you is a shapeshifter of some kind.”>”You have more than one body.”>”The genius loci idea was right!”>Other (Specify)
>>3031360>>”You have more than one body.”
>>3031360...They figured it out. The reflection thing. One of them is a reflection that made it OUT.At least that's my guess.
>>3031360>>”One of you is a shapeshifter of some kind.”
>”You have more than one body.”
>>3031367She was talking ahead of us: Haven't we seen reflections in the city act before we do? I seem to recall a block during a duel we took inspiration for from the Sophia in the water beneath us.Wait. What color is the ceiling?
>The walls are a soft yellow stone and the rooftops are all completely flat, moving in steppes rather than in slopes. They’re a glazed blue, possibly made entirely of glass or sapphire. And as far as you can tell, it’s all seamless. There’s no visible gaps between the blocks of stone and if there are any roof-tiles, they blend together so perfectly that they could all be one solid piece.
>>3031454Not the roof. The ceiling.What does Sofia see if she looks straight up in the mansion with no sloped roofs and no overlapping floors.I really am worried the answer is glass.
>”You have more than one body.”“You’ve got more than one body, don’t you? You were some kind of freaky communal thing...blob. One mind, multiple Adrianas.”“There is only one,” the one in hall says. “I am a person, I just have more th-”“You’re a fucking monster.”“...I’m a monster.”“But I was born a monster.”This voice is down the opposite corridor. A third Adriana stands there. This one has dried blood staining her hair. Her eyes are puffy as if from crying. “So now, Signorina, please understand…”“...it is self-evidently obvious…”“...that I don’t have anything to fear from a sword.”You slowly lift your hand from your hilt. It does seem rather pointless now.“Are you just swapping words around to try and creep me out? It’s not working.”It’s working a little.“No, I promise. It’s just that…”“...when I get my bodies too close together…,” moans the one at your feet, still sobbing away like a kicked dog.“...I forget which mouth is which.”You shrug.“A bonafide freak. Neat. So why were you hiding this?”“I can be…”“...disconcerting…”“...People are so quick to judge.”“Bullshit! You did something to me before! What you were even doing, turned around and facing the wall like that?”The Adriana before you drags her hands over her mouth. The one behind you does the same thing, leaving just the one in the hall free to talk. “I have to guard the door to the master bedroom at all times. You accidentally stumbled upon the body where I was storing my stress and fear. I was trying to keep that away from all you.”“A likely story. What have you got to be scared of?”“Architecture.”“Oh that’s confusing yeah but aside from that cave-in, it hardly does anything. Just watch out for pits.”“Three of my bodies are dead,” she says coldly. “Those were my screams. The majority of this mansion is hostile and none of you are even aware of the dangers I’ve been ke-”“Shut up.”“Yes.”“So how’d you get like this? And again, I don’t care if it was an accident or not, what did you do to me! Give me the story right fucking now, freak, I’m fucking tired and I’m about to lose my fucking mind!”“I am not to divulge the master’s secrets.”“Oh yes you are. Say that again. Tell me that you won’t tell me.”“I...I’ll tell you.”“There you go! Wasn’t that nice? And if you back down, well I’ve still got this sword. And sure you may bluster about how much it doesn’t scare you but...considering how much you freaked out from even seeing your reflection die, I’m guessing you’re not a fan of seeing yourself die.”You unsheathe your sabre. “You’re not the only one who was born a monster. Now spit it up so we can get this over with.”“I suppose I owe you the truth.”1/3
>>3031522“Yeah. Now thank me again for being so lenient and understanding.”“Thank you Sofia. I...was born this way, you could say.”Adriana shares a glance with herself. She all looks distinctly uncomfortable with having to share this.“My mother gave birth to me but they didn’t know what they’d done. She thought I was just twins, a girl and a boy. I’m not the first person to be born with two bodies but my bodies being two different genders confused them and they thought I was two people, a boy and a girl. But in reality I was only ever just one girl.”You nod to Sabine and Zuana, indicating that both of them keep an eye on one of Adrianas each. This way all three of you can keep watch on her.“That evidently changed.”“Eventually. But the real trouble was when my parents misreported my birth. Because it meant I eventually got filed in the City records as a brother and a sister. Two people instead of one. And the City tried to make it so.”The one at your feet wraps her arms around herself.“It made me feel split. It put walls in my mind and seperated me into half. I was legally defined as two people even though I was one. I spent most of my childhood like that, as two broken halves. Everyone thought I was weird. Not just because ‘we’ were so clingy, not just because we were ‘creepy’ and not just because one half of me once hauled off and got into a fight because they kept being called a bo-well, irrelevant. It was because of my special talent.”“We don’t have all fucking night!”“I’m sorry! To overcome the dissonance between myself, I started to learn how to put myself in my own head. So that I could reach out, one half to the other, and know what my own mind was thinking. Without it...I probably would have gone mad. And after I got good enough at that, I realised I could do it to other people.”Her voice starts to go dry so without skipping a beat, she slaps her hands over her mouth and the Adriana behind you starts talking in her place. “It’s not an attack, I promise. The longer any part of me focusses on someone and the more open their head is, the more I can put myself in their shoes. If it takes strong enough I can know them as well as they know themselves. That scared people.”“Is that what you did to me?”2/3
>>3031525“Noooo, not exactly.”She doesn’t sound very willing to speak this next bit. “When I was finally old enough I managed to file for a reclassification of my birth report. Because I knew, you know. I’d always known I wasn’t two. And eventually, after a long and painful time, they agreed and they let me just be Adriana. It alienated almost everyone I knew but they always thought I was creepy anyway. I received a decree. No matter who or how I am, I am me, singular and myself. The lawyer told me it had to happen anyway since my continual refusal to bow to the City’s initial classification was causing low-grade urban dissonance.”“Is that why you look like girls now?”“I’ve always been a girl.”“You’ve always been a monster.”“...That too. But yes, if you mean on purely bodily terms, my new certification meant I was always me. I don’t think the lawyer really intended it but both my bodies gradually changed to finally match myself. That made it a lot easier for me but...it had an unintended effect on my natural skill to put myself in other people’s shoes.”You look around uneasily.“Yeah...can’t help but notice you seem to have a lot more than two bodies.” “I didn’t mean to take them. The first one, I didn’t even know what I was doing! I just put myself in them as usual and...anywhere I am, I’m me. I ‘acquired’ it. I couldn’t give it back and before I knew it, that body had become me as well.”“So that’s it then,” you think queasily back to how foggy you’d felt when you’d surprised her, when she’d begun speaking to you before you’d even spoken. Like your very sense of self was slipping away. “I don’t know the details but you’ve been doing this to get more bodies. Who else have you killed? Is that YOU in Claudio?”“No! That’s not it at all! Why would I do that?”>Believe.>Disbelieve.
>>3031525>Because it meant I eventually got filed in the City records as a brother and a sister. Two people instead of one. And the City tried to make it so.This City keeps being horrifying
>>3031528>Believe.He killed her multiple times, he'd not do that if he was her.
>>3031528>Disbelieve."I don't know why you would do that, why do you have comprehensive reports on the previous guests here? Has Eduardo been having you learn his guest's secrets for his own personal benefit? Zuana here seems to think Claudio's actions are out of character and he isn't the only guest here that has acted out of character now is he? Tell me about the dossiers and about Gennaro d’Beppe. What happened to him?"
>>3031528>>Believe.Because >>3031536Also jesus FUCK.Also also.Yes, yes, she's a monster, and so are we. So despite what we just said, I'd like to think we ACTUALLY don't give a fuck about her 'monsterhood', we're just pissed off at the situation right now.
>>3031548Ultimately Sofia's final reaction to it all is down to you guys. She's just a) a little pissed about nearly being hollowed out accidentally and b) really attached to 'Adriana is the culprit' theory.
>>3031549No, that's what I mean. Like, we're pissed, and rightfully so, but right now we're kinda just throwing down all our cards because fuck this.
I need to sleep, but though my vote didn't win be sure to ask the stuff in the write/dialogue portion now or later. They might help get to the bottom of Claudio's situation.
>>3031549And for my 2 cents regarding Adriana's treatment. If she isn't the main culprit I don't think Sofia would give a shit about her being different (cause Sofia is too) but still really irritated she kept hiding stuff during a potential life and death scenario.
>>3031561I think Claudio is actually eduardo. He perfected adrianas technique and got fully inside claudios head.
>Believe“No, that doesn’t make sense. But not everything is right here. Can you really ...do that to a person by looking at them?”“In a sense. It works better the more open their head is and I mean that literally. I didn’t know you had a head injury.”“Oh, that makes sense.”“I’m not as calm and impassive as I seem. I’m actually more of the reverse. But I just slosh all of my stress and anxiety into one body. I didn’t mean for anyone to interact with it.”“Yeah, now that you’ve shown me your true face...you’re coming off as real neurotic.”“That’s not my fault. After I acquired my third body I got scared and tried to cover it up, tried to act as if they were still them. But that didn’t last. It only takes a few days for any body I acquire to become a physical copy of me. The old body’s wife and children got very upset about that and I couldn’t keep up the act. And then and then and then, I had to keep them from telling anyone and I made some more mistakes. I panicked! I was in very big trouble after that.” The words stop for just a moment before the Adriana in the hall picks them up again.“I went on trial and it was all very secret because they didn’t want anyone to know that this was technically their fault. They were going to do something awful to me but then...the master pulled a few strings.”“Hey,” Zuana says, looking more lost than ever. “I know Eduardo. He doesn’t have that kind of influence!”“You don’t know him at all,” Adriana says contemptuously. “He was interested in what I was. He called me a very unique girl. It was the nicest thing anyone had ever said about me, not about one of my individual parts but me. He said that he felt, should I be able to control myself in future, that I would no doubt be a very good housekeeper.”You blink.‘That’s it? He just wanted a one person maid staff!”“We have other maids,” she says. “But I’ll admit that I really cut down on the personnel requirements. But that wasn’t all. For you see, the master has a very particular interest. Oh but..but this isn’t really my information to disclose.”“You said you would!”The one at your feet cringes away from you while the Adriana in the hall keeps talking.“...I did. The master is a spy. He buys and sells information to all sorts of people. Don’t bother interrupting me Zuana, I always thought very little of you. And I was very useful to him. With me, he could invite all kinds of people for his famous entertainments. He opened his doors to all sorts! And every single one of them was attended to by me. And I would put myself inside them but not enough to turn them into me. And while I was doing this and doing chores and managing the maidstaff, I was also constantly recording every single detail I gleaned. It helped the master a great deal.”1/3
>>3031622You think back to the record room, overstuffed with notes and files, most of it all in the exact same handwriting. Just one Adriana, sitting in that little room forever, writing things down. And all the while the rest of her was spread out all over the mansion, each with their own task, all coming together like well-greased clockwork. “That makes sense. So this whole mansion is designed to be a trap. Everyone comes in and leaves without even knowing that you’ve been rifling through their minds.”“When you put it that way it sounds dishonest.”“Have you been doing that to us too?”“No. It’s not easy and I have to practice fine control. With people like you I usually just lightly touch myself against you, enough to see most of your intentions. It’s not very accurate at that level.”“And that’s why you hide yourself and go to so such lengths to pretend you’re just one person. One omnipresent, mysteriously teleporting person?”“I...I am one person.”“Look, you know what I meant.”You can probably be a little less harsh now.“The master doesn’t want me to appear too strange. And while it is not my decision to make, ...I personally prefer not to let people know. People are rarely understanding. And it’s exhausting to have to try and justify my existence to every single person who calls me a monster. I can’t keep doing it.”“So that’s why you tried to keep it from us even after this whole thing started.”“I knew it wasn’t relevant.”“And what about Claudio? Does he know?”“Yes. He knows the master’s profession and even helps him sometimes. For that and other reasons, I am forbidden from ever focussing on him. Not even a little. But even though he knows about me, he’s always been very kind about it.”“Really? Even now?”“I’ve no reason to believe what he’s doing now has anything to do with me specifically so...yes. Now if you please, you really need to get some sleep. You’re injured and exhausted and I accidentally assaulted you. I wasn’t lying about my concern, the safety of every one of the master’s guests is of utmost importance to me. So please get some rest and in the morning-”“I have to duel in the morning.”“We can do many things in the morning. But I think we’ll all be calmer if we could get some sleep.”“Do you have to sleep? Can’t you sleep in shifts or something.”“It doesn’t work that way. I’m not many people. I’m one person. And that person needs to sleep too.”“Haha, well as long as you don’t jack our bodies while we sleep.”You are feeling very tired.The Adriana in the hall smiles.“If I wanted to ‘jack’ your body I could do so whenever I wanted, awake or not, and you would have no say in it.”You are suddenly very untired.“We need to look for the others,” Sabino says.2/3
>>3031624“No need,” Adriana replies. “I’ve already found them. I’m with them right now. Lapo is telling me about bees.”“...What about bees?”“You’re better off not knowing.”>You DO need some sleep. You can worry about it all in the morning.>”Why do you have so many bodies? Considering you literally kill someone every time you take one, it’s a little worrying.”>Ask her about that one file you read. The one with the handprint.>Stay awake as long as possible to keep an eye on as many Adrianas as possible. >”No we’re solving this whole fucking thing RIGHT NOW.”>Other (Specify)
>>3031628>>”Why do you have so many bodies? Considering you literally kill someone every time you take one, it’s a little worrying.”>Could it b he's afraid of you focusing on his reflection there by not going against orders but still getting a great deal out of him?
>>3031628>”No we’re solving this whole fucking thing RIGHT NOW.”>”Why do you have so many bodies? Considering you literally kill someone every time you take one, it’s a little worrying.”>Ask her about that one file you read. The one with the handprint.>Ask where did Eduardo fuck off to and why didn't he tell anything even to his guests.
>>3031628>>Ask her about that one file you read. The one with the handprint.
>>3031628>>You DO need some sleep. You can worry about it all in the morning.Because while I REALLY want to figure this out, I think this is a good rest point. Literally. We DO have a duel in the morning, and we might lose it if we're too tired.
>>3031628Question her about out of character experiences
>>3031646As long as Sabino is not sleeping too we won't be at a disadvantage.
Back from eating dinner.>You’ve got more questions!“Bees aside, I have a few questions for you. And I know I said it’s tiring to have to defend your own existence but...there’s a few worrying details.”“It’s about the bodies.”“It’s about the bodies. Also please don’t do that.”“I could have guessed even without it. It’s what people generally ask. When you arrived, I had a dozen bodies. Now I have nine. Two of them are the ones I was born in. Another four are from that unfortunate accident I told you about. Another used to be a servant here. It was an accident. Another was also a maid but it wasn’t an accident. The small amount of staff here that aren’t me know about everything but they’re under strict orders not to tell anyone. She broke that rule and the master insisted I use her. The body I’m speaking to you with right now used to be her boyfriend, the man she told. Another one of his insistences. The other three were criminals that the master obtained with his connections to the High Court. They were already destined for punishments that would obliterate their identity so the verdict used me as valid execution method.”“You do work for the High Court?”“Only as a form of punishment. I don’t really like it since the treatment feels dehumanising. But the master wants me to have a full complement of bodies at all times for staff purposes.”“...I bet the other staff are uncomfortable around you, huh?”“Getting to know people is how I destroy them . They know this and so they avoid me. It’s..It’s a sensible thing to do. The master doesn’t though. He trusts me.”“You don’t scare me either,” you say, lying. “But here’s another question. Remember the record room?”“Yes. I was trapped under that filing cabinet for some time. After you left I came over and freed myself.”“There was a particular file, one with a black hand print on it. No name, just the hand.”Looking around, you see all three Adriana’s slightly stiffen. “What about it?”“What exactly is an ‘out of character experience’? And how does it relate to a bunch of reports on suicides and crimes and business transactions? More importantly, it really sounds like something to do with you.”“Disclosing that would be a level beyond simply telling you my master’s job. I-I’m sorry Sofia. I would not like to say.”“I can force you to tell me.”“Can you trust me when I say that, if anything comes up that makes it relevant or otherwise greatly changes the situation, I will freely and happily tell you? And until then, I would only unhappily tell you?”>Believe.>Disbelieve.
>>3031743>>>Believe.>Because if you don't that number of bodies will get a lot thinner.
>>3031743>Believe.>But you might not know what is relevant, so fess up. Because Claudio is definitely acting out of character.
>>3031743Huh, so if we sentenced Claudio to identity death, he might've been executed via Ariadna.Also, it's clear she has the utmost loyalty to Eduardo because he's the only one in the know who treats her like a normal person. We can use it. If we show understanding, compassion and lack of fear, we might build enough rapport to recruit her on our side.
>>3031767>she has the utmost loyalty to Eduardo because he's the only one in the know who treats her like a normal person.>We can use it.>we might build enough rapport to recruit her on our side.Ah, there it is. The type of subhuman, disgusting bastardry I've come to expect from this playerbase.
>>3031768>Proposes to free someone from being emotionally manipulated by a ruthless spy for his gain>"subhuman, disgusting bastardry"???
>Believe.>Argue.“I believe you. But I don’t believe that you’ll always know when it’s relevant and when it isn’t. So fess up. Because while I don’t know what an ‘out of character experience’ is, I know that Claudio is acting pretty out of character for who he’s supposed to be. I’ve got multiple witnesses on that account.”Adriana tilts her head.“Is he, though? I have a hard time telling when I’m not in someone’s head.” “Please just tell me. Don’t make me make you. Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry.”“You are a guest and these are strange circumstances. Perhaps it falls beneath hospitality. But I’ll warn you, my own knowledge of its implications is much less than the master’s.”“Anything will be helpful at this point.”“Alright. Let’s conduct this privately. Walk with me please.”The Adriana in front of you beckons you forward down the dark hallway. You follow her until the light is just a spark in the distance. But you can still make her green eyes as she turns to face you. Once you might have called those eyes enchanting. Now you know the proper adjective is deadly. “Please promise me that this goes nowhere else.”“And what’ll you do if I don’t make that promise?”“I will tell you anyway!”“Good. Proceed.”Adriana sighs.“Some months ago, the master was contacted by one of his contacts from the High Court. They had a job that required his expertise and, as he told me later, his employment of me specifically made him a good choice. They wanted him to investigate a spate of odd behaviours. They were suspecting a phenomenon like myself and wanted to set a thief to catch a thief but instead it was something...else.”“What do you mean by that?”“If I knew I would just be able to say so. The master found a lot of patterns, a lot of seemingly unconnected things. Suicides, murders, particularly esoteric and fascinatory practices, strange financial transactions that revealed a web of uncharacteristic donations and payments flowing all across the City. The one thing they had in common was that each seemed to be rooted in someone acting dramatically opposed to their usual behaviour. Again, it all seemed to point to someone like me. Someone far larger, far less scrupulous and yet, probably, less powerful.”“How would they be less powerful?”“We deduced they probably couldn’t inhabit someone as fast as I could. Either that or their method involved the possibility of being detected,unlike me. I am undetectable.”“I felt you. I could tell you were doing something.”“I don’t doubt your incredible perception Signorina but that was probably because I was pulling back. I wasn’t trying to acquire you. In fact, I was trying very hard not to.”1/3
>>3031813“So if you actually wanted…”“The two of us would spend some time interacting and talking in order to set up a foundation and then...when I choose to move, you wouldn’t know it had happened. It’d be like blinking except after the blink is over you’re me.”“Great. Please Adriana, please consider working on your people skills. Your situation is bad enough without having to be like this.”She frowns.“I’m sorry. It’s just that- that I don’t get much opportunity to ever talk about the real me or what I can do to anyone who actually wants to talk to me. So when it’s like this I just find it hard to hold back. I want to be proud of what I am.”“You’ve got a lot of things to be proud of,” you say soothingly. “I know you’ve been through a lot. Your whole thing about choosing who and what you are and actually winning the decree to be so, that’s cool. Super cool. But please stop calling attention to how easily you can extinguish the rest of us.”You don’t like feeling like a candle flame. But proximity to Adriana, regardless of her other charms, is starting to make you feel like be blown out at any second. It's one thing to know, in the abstract, that you are mortal. It's another for a hot housekeeper to constantly remind you of how instantly and easily she could kill you right now. Or now. Or now.“But I don’t want to do that,” she says, her face falling. She’s in your head again to at least some small degree. “But as I was saying, the master eventually called on me to leave the house for some personal investigation. He had reason to believe that a Signore d’Beppe, a previous guest whom I had served and reported on, was now under the influence of his mysterious prey. So I left the house or well, most of me stayed here but I also left. I visited Signore d’Beppe under the pretense of carrying a message from the master. But while we were exchanging words, I stepped into his head. It was a full observation protocol, the kind I briefly perform on guests in order to get dossier material. That is to say, right at the edge of stepping into his shoes entirely. I’d done this to him before, remember. I knew what he was like. And now, everything was different. But it wasn’t something like me. The Signore had not been hollowed out and replaced by someone else. It was still him. Gennaro d’Beppe all the way down. But something was riding on top of it. And it wasn’t human or anything else I could understand.”She shivers.“I withdrew immediately. That report changed everything. Whatever it was, it was nothing like me. It was a thing. I couldn’t even read it. And that’s all I know about that particular case. Is it relevant?”“I’m not sure yet.”2/3
>>3031817Adriana yawns.“I’m sure of one thing. We all need to sleep, understand? I’m locating some safe guest rooms for you as I speak. The party guests are already asleep and I’m ready to join them. As I am acting in the master's place, it's my duty to see you all off to a proper bed. So please, are you satisfied? The cold light of morning will show us the truth.”>Yes, you’re ready to get some shut-eye. You’ll need some for the duel.>No. And that’s because you’re about to crack this thing wide open RIGHT NOW.>Other (Specify)
>>3031819>Wha tare the dangers in the house? What managed to kill three of Adriana's bodies?>Does she know what exactly was removed from Claudio's room when it was cleaned?>Current hypothesis: Claudio is overtaken by the brainjacker, but his reflection isn't. The brainjacker came in to stop Eduardo from investigating this case, and Claudio's reflection is a proof that Claudio didn't change but is in fact mind-controlled.
>>3031819>>Yes, you’re ready to get some shut-eye. You’ll need some for the duel.
>“D-do you mind if you tell me a little about what happened to you? How did you go berserk?”>“Enlightened,” he says, a tad dangerously. Perhaps it’s an important issue to him. You can understand. It’s all very well to say such words about reflections when you’re safe in the knowledge of being real. But now you’re not real. Now you’re just a painted puzzle person, waiting for the hand you can’t comprehend to descend and flip your legs the wrong way.Ah, you’ve been cruel.>“Very well. If nothing else it’s something to do. It happened on the night before I was due to depart. When was that, exactly?”>“Three days ago?”>“Three da-oh my. My word. It’s hard to tell the time. I was sitting on my bed and Eduardo was sitting beside me. He was telling me that he was leaving tonight.”>“Was it an unpleasant discussion?”>You remember what the housekeeper had told you, of Claudio being flustered and upset. Except the housekeeper didn’t tell you that. You’ve never met her. >“It could have gone better. Regardless, I don’t know at what point during the conversation where the experiences between me and my real self differed. We finished the conversation and Eduardo got up to leave the room. As he was walking out, I swear I saw something in the corner of my eye. It was like an...arm.”>“An arm?”>“A human one. One and then two and then a whole cluster, flooding through the world and into the mirror past me. I only glimpsed them and yet….that was enough. Something about seeing them shook me and lifted all illusions from my eyes. Because it wasn’t something that could be real. And I know what I was and where I was.”>“And that’s why you didn’t leave when your real self did.” >“Oh, he left?”>“Yes.”>“Then yes. It’s a little odd that he didn’t see anything wrong with his reflection in the mirror after that but not impossible. He...I...whichever. But yes, knowing what I knew, I was hardly going to walk out that door. I want to live!”
>>3031819>Yes, you’re ready to get some shut-eye. You’ll need some for the duel.So whatever that thing is probably got eduardo, who then got claudio.And whatever it IS doesn't have a reflection. It moves and probably thinks, but isn't alive. Kinda like a virus. That, or it IS alive, but doesn't have a body TO reflect. Instead of being born with 2 bodies, it was born with none.
>>3031837And it's likely the thing got them via the mirror. Those arms.
>>3031842Isn't it interesting that the arms got him /after/ he'd drawn the spy's interest
>>3031843Who got the spy's interest?If you mean Claudio, I had an impression that he and Eduardo were ol acquaintances.
>>3031843>>3031844Claudio might've mentioned classified information to controlled eduardo, which made him irate and actually resulted in flat out attacking 3d claudio
>>3031837>So whatever that thing is probably got eduardo,Why do you think something got Eduardo?
>>3031849I.m not sure Eduardo was controlled. His reflection didn't go berserk.
>>3031851We can confirm if we find the mirror again, but I'm pretty confident Eduardo was having an Out of Character moment.
Man I really want the ethicist's opinion on this whole thing. He's even got a device that might tell Mirror Sophia how feasible her Wake plan is.
>Yes, you’re ready to get some shut-eye. You’ll need some for the duel.Your thoughts are whirling, gears slowly slotting into place as your tired mind struggles to make sense of everything. But you know one thing for certain and that’s that the hand-print file is extremely relevant. Adriana doesn’t even know but she might have given you the single most decisive clue in this whole ensemble! That makes you feel a little better about how singularly you focussed on her as suspicious for much of your time here. And she was suspicious! She just turned out to be a wholly separate mystery that didn’t even really need explaining. But at least now you have proper context for a bunch of the strange shit you saw her say and do. There’s a certain feeling of accomplishment there.And, argh, you feel as if you’re on the verge of the breakthrough. You can almost see the entire shape of this incident in your head. But you’re tired and hurt and alone. Tomorrow, either before or after the duel, you’ll be able to get everyone’s help and you’ll all piece it together as a team. And maybe then you can tell Claudio to fuck off. Except he won’t even be Claudio then, will he? What name are you going to choose for him?You and Adriana walk back to the others, where Adriana, Sabino, Adriana and Zuana are busy talking. They stop as you approach, Adriana nodding in unison with herself. “We have…”“...located some appropriate…”“...guest rooms. This way please.”*********A little way outside the maze, you stand before three rooms. Adriana opens each door at the same time with six pairs of hands, revealing identical rooms. Each one has a luxurious double bed. “I have already secured…”“...safe rooms for the party guests and most of myself…”“...but for you and me here, these are the only safe rooms nearby.”Zuana looks suspicious.“What’s wrong with the other rooms?”“I haven’t checked…”“...them for traps. I have already lost one pair…”“...of feet to razors in the carpet in other rooms…”“...and I’ve been crushed by…”“...strategically unbalanced pillars.”“Are you serious?,” you say. “I haven’t seen anything like that!”“It gets worse the…”“...farther out you get. I…”“...have been scouting. We are…”“....closer to the danger than I would like…”“...So use only these rooms.”Uh,” Sabino says, already looking flustered about something. “There are only three beds.”“They are double beds…”“...so they can be shared. I’ll use the…”“...entirety of this bed and half of another.”Zuana just groans.“Why not? Let’s make it even worse.”Looks like you have a choice between Sabino, Zuana and the body left out from Adriana’s self-snuggling plan. 1/2
>>3031895>Sabino.>Zuana.>Adriana.>Force someone to sleep on the floor so you can have the whole bed to yourself.>You’ll sleep on the floor if everyone else is too uncomfortable.>Other (Specify)
>>3031896>Sabino>Re-renegotiate those terms again from under the sheets.We could be royally fucking Claudio over right about now. And Sabino. So let's pick some safer words while fucking with Sabino some more.
>>3031896>>3031904Seconding this.I'm not sure though how we can use the duel to help Caludio if he's really taken over.
>>3031910The snake's sleeping with her. Do you want to play ANOTHER snakefucker?
>>3031908We can probably compel him to surrender to high law for investigation and treatment
Patrician choice. Always pick the harem protagonist's bed to sleep in.
>>3031959Can force him to always tell the truth. (May interface weirdly with the City.)
>Sabino“I don’t particularly want to sleep with the creep,” Zuana says. “So...Sabino?”She starts forward but stops when you lean against the wall, barring her way with an outstretched hand. You don’t bother saying anything to her. You just slowly shake your head. And just like that, the rooms are decided.Room 1: Adriana and Adriana.Room 2: Zuana and Adriana.Room 3: Sabino and Sofia.Not that you have any time to savour your victory, that is. Sabino is far more eager for bed than you are and the moment his head hits the pillow, he falls asleep beside you. Well… that’s fine, you suppose. You guess that just leaves you awake. Awake and having to constantly try not to think about the person sleeping on the other side of the bed. Are...are you the one being teased? It’s a hard night.********When you wake, it is with great initial reluctance. There is a blessed moment where you remember nothing and know nothing, existing only as a languorous thing spread thin between the sheets. What a wonderful bed? When was the last time you slept in one so soft?This perfect moment only lasts as long as it takes for the rest of you to catch up. After that you nearly scream from the emotional whiplash.The window is still gray but at least now it’s a bright gray. Does that make any sense? Half-light streams through it.The bed is empty. Sabino is already up. And to think that you’d wanted to plan something.******You arise and put your coat on, no doubt looking like an incredible mess. You slept in your duelling outfit! You’ve got a bloodstained cintura wrapped around your head. Grumbling a little and still half-asleep, you unwind it and gingerly probe the scab as you walk out into the corridor.What you see out there wakes you real quick.Sabino and one of Adriana’s bodies are standing on either end of the hall, each facing away from one another. And yet, as the door closes behind you, they both turn to face with perfect synchronicity.“Sofia,” Adriana says. “I’m sorry…”She stops talking. And this time it’s Sabino that picks the sentence back up.“...there was an accident.”“Huh? I, uh, what? No..”Surely it can’t be. But they both stare at you with that same expression. You don’t know what to do. You don’t know what to think. Your mind goes blank except for a voice at the back. That voice is screaming. Sabino’s...gone? Just like that?Your going weak at the knees and you’re barely able to process the idea. But...but...but!“Nah, not really.”Sabino grins. Adriana outstretches a hand and he slaps his own against hers as they both start laughing. They both look like they’re having the time of their fucking lives.Meanwhile you, who had barely begun to think the unthinkable, find yourself having to drag it all back with the exact same speed.“Wha? Guys?”1/2
>>3031979“It’s just a joke!”Sabino hesitantly walks over.“It was my idea. But Adriana thought it would be funny too.”“And it was.”Adriana is still giggling.“That’s not something to joke about!”Your words wind up significantly higher pitched than you’d intended. You feel like your fucking heart is about to burst. “What if she actually did it? Doesn’t that scare you?”He shrugs.“But she doesn’t and she won’t. I’m not scared that you’ll stab me, am I? It’s the same principle.”Adriana finally calms down.“Thank you, Sabino. That was very nice. I don’t get to do anything like that very often. May I pat you on the head?”“People don’t normally bother to ask,” he says.“What? I would never do that to anyone without aski-”“Out of respect for the two of you,” you wheeze, your heart rate finally slowing. “And for the sake of stopping our common enemy, I will refrain from killing both of you.”You say it as if one of them isn’t a duellist theoretically right up out of your paygrade and the other isn’t the most dangerous person you’ve ever met. “Thank you for sparing us,” Adriana remarks. “The master will surely be home soon and he will save us. In the meantime, I am ready to offer my services to solve this mystery.”“Wait do you two already have plans?”Sabino looks embarrassed.“I thought we were going to duel first thing in the morning.”You try to glare at both of them and fail. It was kinda funny. “I’ve got half a mind to ditch the both of you and go wherever Zuana went. Where is she?”“She’s still asleep in bed with me and has yet to wake.”“Darn, there goes that plan. Guess we better get started then.”>It’s important to get this duel done first.>Solve the mystery first. You want to know!
>>3031980Change the terms to something less harsh in light of the mystery. Then duel so city isn’t pissy. ATA Guess a mirror monster replaces itself with the person reflected.
>>3031980>Solve the mystery first. You want to know!Depending on what we disciver, we might have to renegotiate the terms.Also don't know about Sophia, but I'm happy Adriana has made a friend.
>>3031980>>Solve the mystery first. You want to know!Gotta change the terms
Goodnight all. I'm off to sleep now and the vote will remain open until I wake. Updates will resume tomorrow.
>>3031986In fact, Adriana also is being a better friend to Sabino than Sophia would be. This probably should make Sophia hate herself.
>>3031980>terms, terms, merms
>>3031980>Solve the mystery first. You want to know!>>3031999I think Sofia's been doing a better job than with most of her other 'friendships' with Sabino so far. Curse still hampers it a bit though.
>>3032050I'm just surprised how long it takes for someone to figure out our birthright. We really abused it against Adriana and she still hasn't caught on. Gloriana knew something was up a lot faster.
>>3032094She's definitely caught on that something is up specially since Sofia said she was also born different, but probably doesn't know specifics. I'd imagine Sabino has an inkling as well. We should probably tell them when this is all over.
>>3031980>Pull the same prank on Zuana first
>>3032094it's not exactly a conclusion people are liable just to jump to without evidence. And the curse itself prevents them from accusing her of influencing them so when they get suspicious, they can't really voice it unless they word it carefully.Anyway, vote called and writing.
>>3032495I think Zuana won't give a fuck.
>Solve the mystery first. You want to know!“Sorry Sabino! The duel will have to wait for a little while. We’ll still do it, don’t worry, I have no plan of mistiming it. But I’d like to figure out just what’s going on first. That’ll give me the information I need to face this duel properly.”“I can see the wisdom in that,” Sabino says. “Can I help?”“Yes but I think I’ve got just about enough to blow this whole thing open regardless. Adriana?”“The party guests are awake and I am currently helping them navigate. I’ve told them that I believe you’re all alive. Once we convene, we can readily discuss this.”‘Good, good. Wake Zuana up please.”********A few minutes later, all four of you are assembled outside in the hall. Adriana has dispersed, leaving only one body behind with you. And with the exception of her, you all look like absolute shit. Hair’s a mess, clothes are a mess, it’s obvious that you all slept in your outfits. “I wasn’t exactly comfortable getting undressed in front of Adriana,” Zuana is saying as you walk. “Not after what I know now.”Adriana nods impassively.“I hope the experience was not too discomforting for you.”“I woke up with you still lying there just staring at me! Why didn’t you get out of bed if you’d been awake for hours?”“I did get out of bed. But I didn’t have any use for that body so there was no need to move it. Would you hold your arm up if you didn’t need to?”As this rather pointless conversation continues, you have an idea.“By the way Adriana, could I ask you to collect some stuff for me. There’ll be things we might need to check in order to properly solve this. I could do it but since-”“Yes, it’s easier for me to do it since I’m more spread out. What do you need?”>The notes from the record room.>The contents of the guest room’s closet.>The disgusting painting from the entry hall, if it isn’t totally destroyed.>The ambisilk curtains.>Other (Specify)
>>3032613>>The disgusting painting from the entry hall, if it isn’t totally destroyed.Given ouro's stuff seems totally subjective because I can't understand it's city, I'll go for this since something is WRONG with it
>>3032613>The contents of the guest room’s closet.>The disgusting painting from the entry hall, if it isn’t totally destroyed.
The cannibal scientists aren't that important, are they? They just do something different every day.
>>3032637Dude I have no idea.
>Guest room mirror>A note on how to empty the ambisilk to mirror(verb).Yes, by now the mirror ambisilk is full of poop. It might also be full of evidence. Once it's empty, we can move the mirror back and forth and empty the room of filth with a fresh reflection.
>The disgusting painting from the entry hall, if it isn’t totally destroyed.“There’s just one thing I think we’ll need. That painting you mentioned to me when I first arrived, the one with the scholars and the cannibalism?”“Five Gentlemen Fascinated By The Natural World?”“Yes, that’s the one. If it’s still in one piece, please fetch it for me.”“I can certainly do that. But…”She trails off.“But what?”“Why? I don’t see how it’s related at all.”You just tap your nose conspiratorially.“All in good time.”**********Twenty minutes later, the four of you are assembled in the hall outside the drawing room, the place where Adriana claims to have returned the party guests. She had another body there waiting for you, the two of them changing place without comment and the body that had been travelling with you quickly stepping through another door and leaving. “There’s one thing I’d like to ask of all three of you,” she says. “It may seem unreasonable.”“What is it?”“You three learned the truth of me and I was unable to stop that. However, for reasons already stated, I prefer for people not to know this. If you could just not tell the party guests? I’d be very grateful.”You can understand the urge quite well. You prefer it when people assume you’re normal too. But this might make explaining certain aspects of what happened quite impractical…>”Sure, I promise.”>”I can’t promise anything, sorry. If I have to, I will.”>”They have a right to know.”>Other (Specify)
>>3032698>I will endeavor not too, but I cannot promise that if it comes up and is relevant.>However given I have something of a similar issue, I will be discreet.
>I will endeavor not too, but I cannot promise that if it comes up and is relevant.>However given I have something of a similar issue, I will be discreet.“Sorry Adriana. I’ll try not to but I can’t promise that it it comes up and is relevant. However, given that I have something of a similar issue I will try to be discreet.”“That’s what I thought,” she says. “I think have an idea what it is. And can I rely on the same for the two of you?”Sabino nods.“Of course!”Zuana, on the other hand, looks less than impressed.“I feel like people have the right to know about a clear and present danger to them. These guests have no idea what they’ve really been dealing with. You wouldn’t let someone sneak in a hidden sword into a party, would you Adriana?”“No, not exactly.”“Even if you don’t intend to steal another body ever again, people deserve to know about the threat of it.”You find yourself sighing. Why can’t things ever just be easy?“People don’t deserve to know anything. Adriana has been a huge help, maybe more than she knows, so I don’t see the harm in it.”“The harm? She eats people’s minds!”“Well how’s this for an argument, Zuana? This is a secret that Eduardo wants kept and he’ll go to all sorts of lengths to keep it. Two of the bodies we’ve been talking to are people who wanted to do the same thing you do.”“I would never do that without reas-” Adriana starts but you interrupt her.“I mean, think about it, Zoo-zoo. You don’t mind if I call you that, right? You’ve discovered Adriana is this mind-reading body-stealing living crowd. You’ve discovered that she can take bodies pretty much at will and can kill someone as easy as blinking. She can certainly do it faster than you can talk and she can do it without anyone else even noticing at first. And upon learning this, your first instinct is to threaten her?”Zuana goes pale and comes to a stop.“She wouldn’t do that to me. Would you?”You answer for her before Adriana can be honest.“Maybe you should be a little careful. That’s all I’m saying.”Adriana doesn’t look particularly happy with this, even if it’s in her benefit. Instead she simply walks across to the door and wrenches it open, using a little more force than necessary. “I have located the others,” she announces to the drawing room.Romina and Lapo are within, with the other guest noticeably absent. Romina claps as you’re all lead in behind Adriana.“Brava, Adriana. And to think, you were only gone for ten minutes!”She gives the housekeeper a suspicious stare, something that seems to sail right over Adriana’s head. And for all you know, it just might. Outside of her talent, Adriana doesn’t seem all that emotionally perceptive and with just one body here, she can only focus on one person at a time. 1/2
>>3032887“Wait,” you say, giving a careful look at Zuana. “Where’s the third one?”“He has taken ill,” Adriana says. “I escorted him to safe room some time ago.”“Enough,” Lapo declares. He’s looking rather worse for wear than he was yesterday. “We’re not here for small talk. We’re here to uncover the truth! And, on an unrelated matter, it is good to see that you are all alive. The housekeep told us that she thought she’d seen the three of you, including the trespasser.”“I’m not a tres-”“Quiet down Zoo-zoo,” you say. “Thanks Lapo. Let’s get right down to it, yes? I think I know exactly what happened. But just to be sure, I’m going to work through it with you guys. If it’s something we can all be convinced by, it’s probably the truth.”“Gathering everyone into one place so you can expound on it all,” Romina remarks. “Signora Pseudonym, you have a penchant for the dramatic, do you not?”“Look, I just really liked that bit in Imma d’Ambrosio and the Mystery of the Forgotten Chalice where she solves the whole thing in front of e-I mean, I don’t know what you’re talking about. But here’s how it’s going to work! I’m going to say some things! You lot are going to come up with any alternative theories. And then at the end, you’ll all be wrong and I’ll be right.”You tie your hair back.“Let’s start with the start. Claudio wants to destroy his own reflection. Why would he do that? Knowing what I know, there can only be one explanation.”>He was afraid of some secret being outed by what the reflection said.”>”He was worried about use of his image.”>”Some visual detail of the reflection itself reveals a secret he wants hidden.”>”It was all nothing but a ruse to lure us in and trap us.”>Other (Specify)
>>3032891>He was afraid of some detail of his reflection being noticed as not just "being berserk".
>>3032891>He was afraid of some secret being outed by what the reflection said.”>”Some visual detail of the reflection itself reveals a secret he wants hidden.”
>Some visual detail of the reflection itself“It’s simple. He was afraid of some detail of his reflection as being noticed as more than just ‘being berserk’. The reflection itself is a dead giveaway to a certain secret of his. It reveals something he’d much rather stay hidden.”“I see,” Lapo says. “After all, if anyone asked the reflec-”“No. You can’t talk to a reflection in normal circumstances and he probably didn’t assume that. Which means it’s probably a visual detail he’s most worried about. Something about his reflection or the room around him has him really spooked. And I think I know why. That mirror contains a vital clue about…”>Something he requested.>Something he did.>Something about his person.>Other (Specify)
>>3032986>>Something about his person.
>>3032986>Something about his person.Alright it's really hard to think critically while you're making dinner so I'm going on the assumption that the 'Real Claudio' has the 'out of character' entity and that it didn't want people to notice the stark differences between it and the Reflection Claudio's behavior.Of course I'm not 100% on this because people that knew Claudio like Zuana could point this out as well.
Sorry guys, I've got to start getting ready for work. I'll be back much later tonight to finish this stuff off!Vote will remain open until then.
>>3032986>>Something about his person.>Something he did.>>3033025He's done something with Eduardo as well I'm sure of it
>>3033086Do we still think Eduardo is in the curtains somehow?
>>3033101I think so, or he's been grabbed by the out of character entity. We STILL haven't found the master stitch.
>>3033101Reflection claudio wouldnt be able to see real claudio stuff the body into the ambisilk, so possible
So good news: I had some kind of gut issue and am now home from work. This means I can keep updating. Vote called and writing.Bad news: I have some kind of gut issue.
>Something about his person.You snap your fingers. But unlike your godmother, your gestures are purely for theatrical effect and don’t kill any rats that you are aware of. “That mirror contains a vital clue about his person! There’s something there that could show people that he’s not quite what he says he is!”Adriana cocks her head.“How?”“What?”“How does it show that?”“Well, anyone who talks to his reflection will be able to see that they are obviously different!”“But people don’t usually communicate with reflections, especially not with the setup you used. Is he really afraid that someone would do that and then trust a reflection’s testimony over his own?”“Uh...I’m getting to that. Honest.”As far as you’re concerned, there really is something in that mirror that shows something wrong with his true nature. But maybe it’d be best to change tacks before anyone asks you just what that is. There’s a few things you need to establish first. “I mean, it’s also something he did. There’s definitely a big clue to both of them.”“By all means,” Lapo says. “What is it?”>The closet and the contents thereof.>The bed.>The curtains.>His clothes.>Other (Specify)
>>3033253I'll support this, I guess. >>3033263
>>3033253>His clothes.His fashion sense changed dramatically if I remember right.
>His clothes.“His outfit of course. He’s wearing a different set of clothes in his reflection than he was when he showed up to the negotiation! Doesn’t that strike you as a little odd?”You are met with mostly stares. Zuana is the first to speak.“Considering your birthright, it should probably be me to try and voice this. Sofia, most people change their clothes from day to day.”“But he was wearing something that was a totally different style!”"Even you can slip and make an honest mistake sometimes. Everyone can overlook something. It’s not uncommon for people, especially people of wealth, to have multiple styles of clothes. Particularly when comparing a stay with a friend to a duel negotiation.”“...I mostly wear the same stuff.”She smiles brightly enough for even you, dragging your eyes up to her face, to notice.“Because your fashion sense is impeccable. Not all of us can be like that.”“Where is this going?,” demands Lapo.Zuane adjusts her snake just a little as she leans against the wall.“I would like to raise an issue, if you all could be so kind. Ignoring everything else for now, where in the world is Eduardo?”>Hey! She can’t just derail the conversation like that. You’re the tyrant here and you haven’t finished talking about clothes.>Let it happen. This is something that might be relevant anyway.>Tell her to be quiet and then raise the issue yourself.>Other (Specify)
>>3033310>>Let it happen. This is something that might be relevant anyway.
>>3033310>Let it happen. This is something that might be relevant anyway.
>Let it happen. This is something that might be relevant anyway.Adriana is next to speak.“As I have repeatedly said, the master is currently out on business.”“But that’s wrong.” Zuana says. “Because he didn’t send word to anyone on our side of the family that he was going to be unavailable. And he always does that.”‘Excuse me, may I speak.”Romina looks worried.“The same is true for Lapo and I. We were not informed of any departure.”“Well I was informed,” Adriana starts to say but barely gets anywhere before Zuana cuts her off.“Did he tell you himself? Or did he just leave you a note? I know he likes to do that, probably because he finds it uncomfortable to talk to a freak like you.”“Freak? What now, are you impugning the housekeeper?”“It’s fine,” Adriana says. “I was informed by note. I believe Sofia has seen it, she can corroborate. If you are implying that I had anything to do with this…More specifically, he discussed his departure with me the night before and then, as I was tending to my early morning duties, I found the note in the usual spot. This was shortly after I had cleaned out Claudio’s room, if you must know.”“Hah! Anyone can make a note!”“I recognise the master’s handwriting,” Adriana says coldly, eyeing Zuana off. “And more relevantly, if he isn’t on business, where is he? He wouldn’t have any reason to be gone!”>He would be if he was abducted by someone.>Tell Adriana that he might be dead.>What if he was actually working with Claudio? >He’s still in the mansion somewhere.>Other (Specify)
>>3033356Remember that business with your talent running into that thing? How soon after did Claudio start talking about leaving?
Alright now I'm actually flaking because gut problems are not leaving. I'll be back in a few hours. Vote will remain open until then.
>>3033356>He would be if he was abducted by someone.Someone who can control people to write notes, say.>>3033253>It was said Claudio requested a thorough cleaning of his room when leaving>The difference between the real and reflected closets has come up many times>They vote for clothes
>>3033356Adriana, remember the classified thing you told me about? A handwriting can be copied if you have access to the source.
>>3033381Man I don't remember half this shit and I'm too lazy to reread archives and have other quest's issues floating around in my head.All much brainpower went into finding out Adriana's true nature yesterday and that turned out to be a red herring.Also I second your vote and am going to sleep
This is getting exhausting. I've got to reread the last couple of threads several times to try and make heads or tails of this.So far I'm failing.
I'm back and feeling better. Vote called and writing.
>He would be if he was abducted by someone.“Both of you can stop talking,” you say, regaining your confidence. “I’ve already figured this part out and it’s got nothing to do with clothes. Remember that classified thing we talked about last night, Adriana? The file with the handprint? It’s very easy to copy handwriting if you have access to the source.”Adriana is starting to look a lot higher strung. She doesn’t seem to appreciate this line of thought at all.“What? Are you suggesting that he was compromised? By that thing?”“Maybe. It would make sense, wouldn’t it? If whatever it is knew about him, it would want to remove him from the situation!”“And you think the symptoms match Claudio as well,” she says. “You think they were both taken?”“At this point, I think it’s very possible.”“But then why would he leave? Why wouldn’t he stay here and pretend and abuse this position to cover his trail? The files on the intruders wasn’t tampered with!”“Well, neither of us really understand just how it works but maybe it didn’t have him for very long.”“Excuse me,” Zuana says. “May the rest of us be enlightened on the subject of this conversation?”Oh, that’s a good point. Do the others deserve to know? Whatever this thing is, it may be a clear and present danger to everyone involved. Will you keep Eduardo’s secret? Or should you warn everyone else of what to watch out for?>You’ve revealed enough secrets lately. Nobody else has to know.>Tell them all. If any of them didn’t know and got hurt because of it...
>>3033607> Tell them all. If any of them didn’t know and got hurt because of it...
>>3033607>Tell them Claudio and Eduardo might be mind-controller. Don't tell them Eduardo is a spy.
>>3033607>Also don't tell them about Adriana.
>>3033607>>Tell them all. If any of them didn’t know and got hurt because of it...
>>3033607as per>>3033617tell them about the mind controller, but not the spy thing.
>Tell them about the control but not about Eduardo being a spy or Adriana’s role in things. It’d be irresponsible for you not to tell them. After all, you feel like you’ve stumbled onto something important here. This is High Court business, genuine intrigue! You can’t let them be ignorant of it lest it ever come for them. ...Not that you know how to defend against it either.“When I was exploring on my own, I discovered a certain secret of this house. It was being used as a repository for certain records and High Court business, you see?”You won’t mentioned Eduardo being a spy. You doubt the Romina and Lapo would take kindly to it, particularly since everything you know suggests they were just two more lambs to the slaughter, lured in to have their secrets scooped out without their knowing. And you especially won’t mention anything about Adriana besides her being the curator of said records. You promised not to out her unless it was absolutely necessary. “There was a lot, with a file marked by a handprint, about tracking some sort of...well, I don’t really know. A bodysnatcher? A mind fraud? Something that could induce ‘out of character’ behaviour.”“Sounds familiar,” Zuana drawls, staring directly at Adriana. The housekeeper only has to look back to make her abruptly drop her gaze. “All I’m saying,” you continue, ‘is that if this thing or person found out about all this, Eduardo would be a natural target, wouldn’t he? And we still know very little about them so we don’t know how they do it. Maybe, for some reason, they could only compel Eduardo a little. Enough to make him write a note but not enough to fully take him and use him as they should. How hard would it be to slip a note into the record room?”Adriana shakes her head.“It would be almost impossible. I am at my station in that room almost every hour of the day and I nev-ah!”Her eyes widen.“When Claudio called on me for help cleaning his room...I was in the record room. And as one the master’s closest companions, he knew about all about me. So instead of finding a maid or tracking me down in a more convenient place, he….he just opened the door to the record room, since it was right next to his guest room, and asked for me. I thought it was just for his convenience but…”“Convenience makes sense,” you say. “You would have been closest after all.”You hope Lapo and Romina don’t read too much into that.In her distress, Adriana just accidentally gave herself away.“But it would have also been a great way to remove you from the record room for a short time. You told us that you found Eduardo’s note ‘shortly after’ completing Claudio’s request? How shortly? Was it immediately? And what’s more, I think it was for more than just that getting you out of the room. I don’t have all the pieces yet but I’m certain his request had yet another use.”1/2
>>3033659>He distracted you from something else going on at a different part of the house.>He used you to unknowingly dispose of evidence in the guest room.>He stole the files on the ‘handprint’!>Other (Specify)
>>3033661>He stole the files on the ‘handprint’!This has to be it, it's the biggest thing that's stood out in our investigation so far.
>>3033661>He used you to unknowingly dispose of evidence in the guest room.CLOSET DAMMIT
>>3033661>>He used you to unknowingly dispose of evidence in the guest room.Adriana wrote all the files in the record room. If there's anything to steal, it would be something written by eduardo that she didn't know about.
>He used you to unknowingly dispose of evidence in the guest room.“He used you to unknowingly dispose of evidence in the guest room!”“W-what?”Adriana is not taking this well.“Think about it. That cleaning request was odd! However he had you do it, he used you to cover up something vital. I’m not totally sure what it was yet but it makes one thing clear. Something happened in the guest room that needed to be hidden, to be covered up. But the culprit couldn’t cover up the reflection!”“Hold on,” Lapo says before Adriana can say anything. “Are we really expected to solve a problem like this when we have no context? I’d never heard of such a ‘handprint’ entity before now.”Romina quickly backs him up.“How can we set rules on what this thing may or may not do? Saying that it only controlled Eduardo temporarily is just an assumption.”“But a sound one,” Lapo replies. “If Sofia cannot discern it, none of us can. If whatever this is had total control over him as it apparently has over Claudio, there’d be no need for this. Logically, there wouldn’t be any cover up. So, whatever the degree of control, Eduardo must have been...disposed of.”“No!”Adriana’s interruption is almost a shout, the housekeeper staring out at you with a wild-eyed glare. “That’s wrong. It has to be! Nothing is wrong with him! Nothing has happened to him! And you, Lapo, you can’t prove that it has! Th-this is all just speculation. You have nothing actually linking the guest room to the note! Nothing!”You shake your head.“Maybe he can’t...but uh, a quick question, Adriana. Do you have any paper I could write on?”“Of course. Though I hardly see the re-”“But say if I wanted paper of a specific kind of colour? Like the kind the note was written on. That’s a pretty distinctive colour, isn’t it? What’s the closest place to the records room I could find something like that?”>You’ve seen that kind of paper before. (Specify)>You don’t remember this detail. But there are other lines of reasoning you can use. Just move to one of those instead.
We're talking about this paper:>You prod a small stack of documents with your left boot. This dislodges a small piece of purple paper and sends it fluttering to the floor by your feet. You can’t help but read it.>Adriana, I will be out on urgent business for the full four days. The usual. Maintain the house.>Claudio has a large stack of purple paper notes in his hands, slowly tossing them into the fire one at a time. None of them last long but a fire must be fed by any means necessary. Your reflection is still clutching the notepad that you, in a roundabout way, gave it. Behind them, the wardrobe is open and you can see a jumble of clothes and documents within.
>>3033688Excellent work, anon.>>3033685Linking >>3033688 to the QM post because anon didn't do it.
>Answer“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she says miserably. She does. She just doesn’t want to.“The paper used for that notes matches the paper I saw Claudio’s reflection using during the night! Sabino, you were with me, you remember it too don’t you?”“Huh? Oh, yes. Didn’t you say he’d probably dragged it out of the closet?”“I did! The closet that was thoroughly cleaned out in reality but wasn’t in the reflection! The reflected Claudio never had any reason to try and clean the room out so thoroughly. And can you guess why?”“Because he was berserk!,” Adriana snaps. “Nothing further is required!”“My own reflection passed to me his own version of events. And with it, I think you can pinpoint the exact moment he went berserk. He reports seeing ‘arms’. Hands. Something that jolts him away from his real self. And just before that, he says that he had just finished talking to Eduardo. That Eduardo was just leaving. Then he says that Eduardo leaves the room. But that part is after I think he goes berserk. I think that, at the exact moment when the reflection went berserk, at the exact moment that the real Claudio went drastically off-script from what the reflected Claudio was doing…Eduardo was still in the room with him. His report doesn’t cover what happens next because he can’t know. But whatever it was, it made getting every part of the room cleaned out vital to the real Claudio. So vital that he’s willing to kill just to destroy a reflected image of what the room looked like beforehand. So what else is there? It has to be more than just paper I think.”“No,” Adriana moans. “I don’t believe it!”“I think I can show you.”>Break down the door to the master bedroom. Is everything accounted for? If he really left, there’s some things he should have taken with him, right? Adriana would know.>Fetch the drapes, unroll them and demand a certain object.>It’s time to get the reflections themselves up in here. Let her talk to them herself.>Other (Specify)
>>3033711>>Fetch the drapes, unroll them and demand a certain object.Just use the stitch to disgorge everything
I must sleep. Session will resume when I wake. Thank you everyone!
>>3033711>Tell Adriana her help will be vital in possibly saving Eduardo from a horrible fateHopefully this jars her out of just denying reality.>Fetch the drapes, unroll them and demand everything.Adriana probably knows the stitch>Convince Adriana to inspect the reflection of the room and tell us what is different from how she found the real room.Her reflected corpse is hidden now, so it'll be somewhat easier on that account.
>>3033711>>Fetch the drapes, unroll them and demand a certain object.Maybe Eduardo's corpse is in there?
>>3033711> Break down the door to the master bedroom. Is everything accounted for? If he really left, there’s some things he should have taken with him, right? Adriana would know.
>>3033711>>3033711>>Break down the door to the master bedroom. Is everything accounted for? If he really left, there’s some things he should have taken with him, right? Adriana would know.>>Fetch the drapes, unroll them and demand a certain object.Can we just say "paper" or "purple paper", and it'll pull it out? Could be a message from Eduardo when he was still in control.Aside from, you know, his body.
I am awake. Vote called, update soon.
>Fetch the drapes, unroll them and demand a certain object.You glance around the room, looking for the ambisilk drapes. Where are they? And then you remember that you left them behind and didn’t ask Adriana to fetch them for you. This might take some time.“Ah Adriana, what I meant by that is, I [i[can[/i] show you. I just need the curtains we were carting around earlier. I don’t suppose you could fetch them for me?”“Absolutely. Whatever you want.”Adriana doesn’t actually move from her spot, still cringing away from the rest of you. These last few minutes have hit her hard. “Are you-”“I’m getting it!,” she snaps, cutting Lapo off while not moving an inch. *********The door to the corridor outside opens and the curtains fall through in an ungraceful heap. There is apparently nobody outside.“Here it is,” the housekeeper says, a brittle edge underlining each word. “For all your perusal.”Romina looks unnerved.“What just happened? Adriana? What are you?”A painting is thrown through the open doorway, hitting the wall above her head and cracking. You gaze down at the ruined remains of Five Gentlemen Fascinated By The Natural World. Looks like someone had put their foot through it, even before Adriana had broken the frame by hurling it at the wall.“And here’s that other vital piece of evidence.”Her voice sounds like it’s going to lose coherency at any minute. “Isn’t this painting important, Sofia? You asked me to get it. Well here it is! Have at it!”For the life of you, you can’t remember why you’d requested that. You’ll ignore it for now, walking past it to unroll the ambisilk.“When I first arrived here,” you explain to the others, “These curtains were bundled up and deactivated. But the ones in the reflection were not. The real Claudio had seemed insistent on everything being packed up and cleaned, hadn’t he? But of course, you had no reason to suspect anything at the time…”Romina looks even more confused now, keeping one eye on the remains of the painting at her feet. The mangled remains of the scholars are twitching. “What purpose would that have? You can always retrieve anything in ambisilk!”“Yes,” you say. “But you have to request the specific thing. The command stitch releases everything but only recent storage. That is, the last three days and three nights. If you wanted to hide something in here you’d want to make sure that it wouldn’t have its stitch pulled for at least the next few days. And then after that, people would have to know it was in there to request it. And who would even suspect that when Eduardo will have apparently vanished several days later, gone missing in the midst of a trip?”“That’s not a very smart plan,” Adriana says, her voice shaking.1/2
>>3034099“I don’t think this thing is necessarily all that clever. I mean, consider our current circumstances. And you yourself told me that Claudio seem flustered that morning. Was it, perhaps, because he had panicked and done something hideously out of character, something that he himself might not have understood and had hidden it hastily in the only suitable spot in his room?”“I assumed i-it was because of his relationship with the master.”Adriana is just staring at the wall now. She sounds like she’s in a daze.Kneeling beside the unrolled curtain, you place your hands upon the pattern and speak a command.“Eduardo.”No response.Adriana’s eyes widen and a desperate smile spreads across her face.“Oh! Well! There you have it! It’s not like that at a-”“Eduardo’s corpse.”The drapes bulge for a moment before disgorging a middle-aged man out onto the floor in front of you. He’d be a gaunt figure, even in life, his hair already entirely gray. But he’s not in life because judging by his bulging face and the ring of bruises around his neck, someone throttled him. You hadn’t been ready for the smell. That is to say, you’d been ready for the smell of rot but there’s none of it. Just sweat and shit and piss. You’ve never seen a corpse so close before. Your eyes water.Adriana faints without a single word, hitting the ground with a thud. You hear a similar thud, more distant and muffled, from the corridor outside as well. You should probably stop Lapo and Romina from leaving the room until she wakes up. “Eduardo?”Zuana joins you by the body. She pokes at it gingerly with her foot, almost as if she can’t believe what she’s seeing. And for once, you don’t feel like telling her off. And that’s that. The mystery has unravelled, you think. “I think I understand how it all played out.”But now that you know, what are you going to do about it?>Confront Claudio with the information. You know EVERYTHING he tried to conceal.>The duel. The morning slides on and you don’t want to run out of time. If it’s not done, things will only get worse.>You should tell the reflections! And maybe you have some way of getting them out of that room.>Other (Specify)
>>3034101>>Other (Specify)Renegotiate the terms, then duel. We may be able to get out of the building if we're in the wake.
Also what the hell are we going to do with Adriana when this is all over?
>>3034101Yep, just like I sispected.BTW, Eduardo and Claudio were gay lovers.>Renegotiate the terms to make fake Claudio let us out and surrender to whichever institution is appropriate, then duel>>3034138Short term - hug her every body in turn until she gets better. Recruit Sabino to help.Long term - who even knows. Have Sabino marry her?
>Renegotiate the terms.>Duel“It probably happened like this: The true culprit, this Handprint for a lack of a better term, learned that it was being tracked and the records of this were being kept with Eduardo. To get close to him, they use Claudio, who...who…”You think back to what Zuana told you about Eduardo’s friction with his wife and about Claudio being a childless widower who never remarried. To the reflected Claudio’s testimony that mentioned them both sitting on the bed together. To Adriana’s comment and her apparent implicit trust in the fact that her employer had visited his guest room late that night.“Who was a close and trusted associate. Someone he would certainly let his guard down around. I believe the culprit extended their influence on the night before he was to leave, when the two of them were alone in the guest room together.”Lapo seems to be the only one following your train of thought.“Why?”“Because of what the reflected Claudio told my counterpart. He said that his berserk state was kickstarted by the sight of something that he described as ‘many hands’ streaming past him and flowing through the mirror. I don’t know what that means but that seems to have been the trigger.”“Hrm. So are you sure that the culprit is a person?”“Eh?”“Reflections are emanations of your being, cast by your ‘real’ self in the same way this world is cast by the shadow of Truth. The world is a series of outspread shells.”“Right?”“You make it sound as if the ‘Handprint’ passed through the reflection on its way to the real. That’s why it disturbed Claudio’s mirror image. If that’s true and this is all just hypothesis, this could be the work of something from outside.”“What does that even mean?”“...I don’t know.”“Well, ignoring questions we can’t answer for now, the culprit inhabited Claudio and possibly also Eduardo. Or it may have only inhabited Claudio and then used that to coerce Eduardo somehow. Either way, using the only paper that was on hand in the guest room, Eduardo was forced to manufacture the cover-up to his own death. Then with that done, Claudio strangled Eduardo to death and hid his corpse in the ambisilk curtain. It wasn’t that well thought of a plan so it may have been an act of pure opportunity. Regardless, it left Claudio desperate. He knew how the command stitch worked so he knew that if the curtains were flushed within the next three days, the corpse would be found and immediately linked to him. Both Claudio and his manipulator had a motive to cover it up. Claudio to protect himself, if he even had that much free will left to begin with and the Handprint to protect its new...vessel? I don’t know. We really don’t understand enough about this entity."1/4
>>3034300“Claudio couldn’t hide Eduardo’s disappearance forever but he could make it seems as if he’d vanished during a trip, far from the Casa and several days after Claudio’s visit. As long as the body was never found, nobody would have reason to suspect him for the disappearance. The thing got lucky as well. Eduardo had told Claudio he was going on a trip soon. So with that in mind, Claudio made use of Adriana. He knew she was always in the record room so early that morning, he asked that specific Adriana to tend to his needs under the pretext of her being the closest and most convenient.”“That specific Adriana?”Shit.“Don’t think too hard about that. He requested that his guest room be extensively cleaned and though she noticed that he was flustered, she naturally assumed it was because of some sort of tiff. That would also explain Eduardo’s decision to depart so rapidly. While she was doing this, he took the opportunity to deposit the note in the now-empty record room. He might have also intended to find certain files and destroy them but Adriana was too efficient at her job. He didn’t have the time. But that was fine because the cleaning served another purpose. Emptying out the closet meant disposing of the papers but that was probably only a minor goal. The real intent was to ensure that she took the curtains down and bundled them up. This deactivates them and since they’re already packed up, will probably stop any of the staff from trying to clean them on their rounds through the mansion.”And while Adriana might be able to put herself into anyone’s head, Eduardo had forbidden her from ever doing it to Claudio to even the most minor degree. Probably just out of caution and to prevent accidents. But what it meant was that Adriana only had her stunted social awareness and insight to rely upon. She was completely fooled.“They just had to remain that way for three days and three nights. That’s all it would have taken for Eduardo’s corpse to sink out of the grasp of the command stitch. And with his planned fate of mysteriously vanishing several days later in the middle of a trip, nobody would ever make that specific request to that specific piece of ambisilk. The corpse was going to be concealed forever.”“But he didn’t account for the reflection.”2/4
>>3034302“That’s right! He didn’t even notice his reflection was berserk and he certainly didn’t expect it to linger for days. But the reflection was remarkably stalwart. So three days later, Adriana discovers the berserk reflection and has a traumatic experience as a result. She sends a message to Claudio about his loitering reflection and probably, though I’d have to wait until she woke up to confirm, she remarks about the state of the room in the mirror. Or maybe Caudio just infers it. Either way, he goes fucking nuts. He is in big trouble! Not only does the mirror contain possible clues about Eduardo’s death, it also might have something that exposes the Handprint! At this point, I believe both of those things were prioritised over Claudio’s life.” “Which is why he was willing to go to such extremes. The true culprit doesn’t care about what happens to Claudio. It only cares that this mystery goes unsolved and that it personally is undiscovered.”“Exactly right, Lapo! Again not really the best plan but I can understand. He was stressed out, panicked, likely not in the best state of mind either. I don’t know what this thing might do to your sanity but it’s probably not ideal. He demands that the mirror be broken and Adriana refuses. This is where his cover-up bites him in the ass because Adriana, believing Eduardo to be out on business, is acting on his behalf and will pretty much refuse any request like that in the belief that it can just wait until her master returns. So he fucking challenges his own reflection, probably safe in the belief that nobody will bother to get its side of the story, and while he says it’s to protect the use of his image it’s all just an attempt to destroy the mirror. Because the longer it stays deviant, the more time someone has to notice that the reflection never had any reason to do that to the curtains. So we get me and Sabino. But then it just keeps going wrong for him! Because Sabino and I choose to hold the duel tomorrow morning!”“But if he waited that long, you’d pass the deadline he set for himself. Eduardo was supposed to return that morning, correct? And instead of his disappearance being noticed at a time safely removed from him, it would almost immediately be linked to his crazy obsession with this mirror!”3/4
>>3034306“Yeah! He wasn’t supposed to have anything to do with Casa after leaving but now after this he was going to look extremely suspicious because now people were basically guaranteed to look at the mirror. He’d fucked himself. Unable to make us change the date to something earlier, he took the matter into his own hands and we get this absolute mess. That’s the point of no return. Claudio is ruined. But as long as he could get one of us to break the mirror in order to be let out...or if he could just crush it by pure chance with all this rogue architecture, it would be fine! The Handprint doesn’t care what happens to Claudio! Even just killing all of us probably would have also been acceptable because that would overshadow anything to do with Eduardo or the mirror. Everyone would just say he was crazy and wrap it all up to that.”You stop, taking a deep breath to refresh yourself. That was a lot of talking. And to be honest? It doesn’t look like most people were listening. Adriana is out cold, Sabino is by her side, Zuana is still kneeling by the corpse and Romina is staring at everyone in quick succession with a paranoid look on her face. The only person who seemed to really be paying attention and asking you questions was Lapo, who stands opposite you.“An excellent deduction.”“Aw, thank you Lapo. It was very nice of you to just stand there and let me do it. You even asked the right questions.”“Of course. I have extensive experience monologuing my own fantastic discoveries to others and I know how valuable the right set of expository questions can be. Ones that enhance the flow of things rather than disrupt it. But what can we do now?”“I’m going to win my duel, is what. But while we’re in it I think we might just use the Wake to get out of this place! Then when the duel is over we can go get help!”“Another excellent idea, Sofia!”He retrieves his spyglass.“I will be sure to spectate appropriately.”“What about the housekeeper? What’s going on with her? Something is very obviously going on with her!”Romina does not look well.“Don’t worry about it. And uh, don’t leave this room either. It’s not safe.”You wouldn’t want anyone discovering Adriana in the hall outside. “Come over here Sabino! I’m sure she’ll be fine. For now, I want to do another renegotiation! You know what that means.”What exactly are you aiming to get out of changing the terms one more time?>You want to lighten them a little. Punishing Claudio won’t do anything.>You want to increase them. Because fuck everyone involved.
>>3034308>>You want to lighten them a little. Punishing Claudio won’t do anything."Claudio must hand himself over to the high courts for a full investigation into his out-of-character actions"
>>3034308>You want to lighten them a little. Punishing Claudio won’t do anything.yeah, just keep him quarantined
>You want to lighten them a little. Punishing Claudio won’t do anything.“She’ll be fine, Sabino. Kneeling beside her isn’t going to actually help at least.”You drag Sabino away into the corner and then, extending an arm, trap him in it. If he wants to leave, he’ll have to go through you. “Now, are you ready for me to bully you into even more terms?”“Sure but I don’t know what more you could possibly want. What use would it be?”“Oh, I can think of a few things I want.”You lean in and watch his cheeks flush. It’s almost too easy. It’s almost as if he has some sort of aura about him. And just when you’re about to get even closer, when mere inches seperate the two of you, you pull back.“Nah, I actually just want to lighten them. I kind of feel bad for Claudio now. If I’m right, nothing is actually his fault. So do you mind if I drop all my previous charges and argue that he be quarantined by the High Court? I don’t really want to add anything on top of what he’s going to get.”Sabino gives you a look you can’t decipher.“You’re a good person, Sofia.”“What? Did you only think that just now?”You don’t want to think about that possibility.“Whatever. I don’t care what you think about me. Are you ready to finally duel?”“I-”“Your choice doesn’t actually matter. We’ll have to do it here.”“Right. D-do you mind if I have a moment to prepare?”“Prepare? What do you need to do?”“It’s a Rose Blossom thing. I’m not comfortable duelling without it. Though...I think I’ll need Adriana’s help.”“Fine. Wake her up and do what you have to do. I’ll just be waiting over here.”You unsheathe your sword and wait as Sabino gently gets Adriana to her feet. He whispers something to her and she nods. The two of them leave the room. Unfortunately, you never really talked to him about duelling so you know next to nothing about his duelling style of him or his Ring save that it is ‘rose-like’. So how are you going to approach this?
>>3034469Choose your loadout! Choose six Techniques and one Ability. You can opt to take no Ability if you choose.ABILITIES>>Professional Provocateur: [ABILITY]At the end of each round, if you have successfully performed a Trick and have not lost any Composure dice, the single lowest die in your opponent’s Technique Pool is moved to their Strike Pool. If there are no dice in your opponent’s Technique Pool, the lowest die in their Composure Pool is moved to their Technique Pool instead.)TECHNIQUES>Brute Strike: [STRIKE]Siphon the lowest value dice from your Composure Pool to your Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. >Focussed Blow: [STRIKE]Siphon all dice from your Technique Pool to your Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage.>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.>Gritted Teeth: [TRICK]Move the highest value die from your Technique Pool to your Composure Pool. >Elegance: [FLOURISH] Declare either Strike, Flourish, Trick or Stance. Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. When your opponent makes their next move, if it is the same category of move as declared, generate a die of equal value to the lowest value dice in your Composure Pool. >Unassailable Rookie: [STANCE]Once this Stance is active, all dice that your opponent rolls out of their Strike Pool take a -1 penalty to their final result. Can only be active while you have a d4 in your Composure Pool. >Underhanded Deflection: [TRICK]Lower the sides of all the dice currently in your opponent’s Technique pool by 1.>Crushing Grip: [STRIKE]Siphon no dice. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. If no Composure dice are destroyed as a result of this, whether through damage or through an ability, destroy the single highest value die in your opponent’s Technique Pool.
>>3034475A rose is...beautiful, aromatic, and lovely, but sharp and prickly up close? I don't really know what that means in terms of a duel. Maybe that he'll be trying to distract us somehow?>Focussed Blow>Counting Coup>Gritted Teeth>Elegance>Underhanded Deflection>Crushing Grip
>>3034475Oh whoops. Circle Guard should also be in there:>Circle Guard: [TRICK]Your opponent cannot siphon dice into their Strike Pool this round. If they attempt to, destroy the single lowest die in their Technique Pool. This Technique cannot be used if your Technique Pool is empty.
>>3034500Add provocateur since it’s a free ability slot and backing>>3034475
>>3034475>PP>Underhandedmust bully>Crushing Grip>Focussed Blow>EleganceFor certainSo, two techs left.>Counting Coup>UnassailableI don't actually feel too strongly about these
>>3034475>Focussed Blow>Counting Coup>Crushing Grip>Elegance>Underhanded Deflection>Gritted Teeth
>>3034615>Not feeling strong about CC, out literal bread and butter.It's the main way to get Tech dice without gambling.
>>3034619I love gambling.It's more that if someone has a specific strategy in mind, I expect that cutting out CC would be part of the plan.
Vote called for using that loadout and not using Professional Provocateur. Writing.
>>3034664there are 2 votes for and 2 not for
>>3034676The ability choice isn't a separate vote, it's part of the loadout. There is a clear loadout winner.
>>3034698You'll note that the second pro-PP vote is for a different loadout entirely.
>Focussed Blow>Counting Coup>Gritted Teeth>Elegance>Underhanded Deflection>Crushing Grip>No Ability.You don’t know what to expect so, using the contents of your handbag, you ready yourself with a general all-purpose array of trophies. As always, the d’Rosarre brothers are your biggest supporters here. You slide on Maccio’s doublet, wearing it under your coat as an underlayer and tie Paolo’s collar around your arm.You catch Zuana looking at your trophies and you just give her a wink. It’s the family she’s marrying into after all. ******You raise your eyebrows as Sabino approaches you, everyone else keeping to the edges of the drawing room in order to give you space. “Some of that I could understand, I guess but...really? Eyeshadow?”“It’s customary,” he says, suddenly a lot more confident. “Adriana let me borrow some of her makeup.”And boy does it show. His lips are painted a bright and luscious red, his face is powdered and blushed and his eyes are ringed in smokey eyeshadow. You won’t admit it, can’t admit it, but it’s a lot better than any of your own attempts. It’s not too thick, just enough to highlight his cute little face.“It’s a duel, come on. We’re both about to get real sweaty. That stuff is going to run. There’s a reason I don’t wear any!”Well that and you’re really bad at self-application. You’d rather just not waste the time. You haven’t worn makeup for...wow, it’s been a while. When was the last time you felt compelled to look pretty for anyone? “I didn’t get into my Ring as a joke, you know. Not entirely. Their traditions are my traditions and I fight as any other member would. A rose must be as beautiful as it is thorned.”“If you insist. Don’t come crying to me when you get it in your eyes.”You suppose you’d have to be fairly bold to be criticizing anyone’s outfit choices considering your trophy choices. But what is he going to do about it? “We don’t have a lot of room in here.”“There’ll be more once we’re aWake.”He draws his sabre from his ornate scabbard. Compared to the rose-inscribed sheathe it was in, his blade is simple. The forte is tainted a sunset pink that deepens as it runs towards the hilt and the guard is in the shape of a silver rose. He takes a step towards you and you towards me, kissing your blades together as per the ceremony. You feel him behind the sabre. You taste his timidity and his strength. And he knows you for what you are.>Sofia’s Composure: 3d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d12>Sabino’s Composure: 2d6, ???“A rather stern little boy, aren’t you?”“I must warn you, Sofia. Just because I don’t want anything for my client doesn’t mean I won’t fight this lightly. More than just his fate rides on this.”1/3
>>3034791And with that done, you turn away from one another and take a good many long strikes until your face is to one wall and his to another. And in just a moment, he will turn and he will say-“Representing the challenger, I claim right to offense! Should I triumph, the mirror containing the challenged’s personage must be broken! Failure to comply with this will be met with punishment under High Law!”You turn around to face him.“Representing the challenged, I claim right to redress. Should I claim victory, the challenger will submit himself to the High Court! That is all.”You raise your sword so that the flat of the blade conceals your eye. Your reflection stares back. You wonder what it thinks of all this. Even as it thinks it’s you, does it sense on some queer level, that it is fighting for its own kind? “See and be unseen!”You See.The mansion disappears around you like breath upon a mirror, becoming as fog and shadows. A vast labyrinth of mist obscures all the world but far off in the distance, the fangs of the City can be seen reaching up towards the sky. And above it all the Noumenon whirls. It cannot be seen through the many layers of fog but it can never been seen in the first place. The ephemereal thing that was once the mansion is adrift on the breeze, flowing ever upwards towards it.You are Unseen. In the midst of the many shells of fog, two figures stand with swords upraised. One is a woman, pallid and two-dimensional. She twists almost out of perception with every turn and around her head is a crown of eyeballs. One is a man and all has been stripped away from them. They are various shades, blood-red, muscle-red, bone-red. They are an anatomists model with a painted shell of a person stretched across them instead of skin. Neither of these people are you. Only the sabres are real.*!You retreat from the ego death to find yourself, once more, Sofia. That is all as it should be. Isn’t it? Neither of you say anything. To tell the truth, you’re a little nervous of all this. Up to now you’ve just been fighting amateurs and gutter duellists. Here is your chance to prove yourself against a genuine Ring-member, even if they are provisional. You have to win this.That the lives of your reflections are riding on this is another reason but it is a secondary matter. And you know that Sabino won’t hold back. He’s here to win his honor in the eyes of his comrades. But you must deny that to him. With that in mind, you slowly close the distance and act.2/3
>>3034792It's time to commit to your opening strike! This single round should give you some idea of what to expect, after which the queues will be used as normal.In addition, I have put the rules in a clearer and hopefully easier to understand form! This should make the duel more accessible from now on. It is available here: https://pastebin.com/6eTp737yChoose one: >Focussed Blow: [STRIKE]Siphon all dice from your Technique Pool to your Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage.>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.>Gritted Teeth: [TRICK]Move the highest value die from your Technique Pool to your Composure Pool. >Elegance: [FLOURISH] Declare either Strike, Flourish, Trick or Stance. Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. When your opponent makes their next move, if it is the same category of move as declared, generate a die of equal value to the lowest value dice in your Composure Pool. >Underhanded Deflection: [TRICK]Lower the sides of all the dice currently in your opponent’s Technique pool by 1.>Crushing Grip: [STRIKE]Siphon no dice. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. If no Composure dice are destroyed as a result of this, whether through damage or through an ability, destroy the single highest value die in your opponent’s Technique Pool.
>>3034799>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.Nothing else to do unless you want to do an Elegance guess. Earlier we start the CC chain the faster we can get to the bigger dice.
I should note that the rules have only been reworded and not changed. The exception is Rattle, which has been buffed.
>>3034799>Counting CoupCould have stanced up, but this is fine.
>Counting CoupYou’ve already got a classic opener in mind as you advance, shucking your coat off down one arm. You’ll do a classic advance, feint a lunge but instead whip the coat at him! That’ll throw him off balance and give you dominance for the rest of the fight.With that idea, you cross the faded floor as quickly as you can, holding yourself low as if you were ready to transition into a lunge. Sabino doesn’t look like he even knows what he’s doing, slowly backing away as you advance. Look at the way he’s holding his sword! You don’t recognise that stance at all!>Sabino uses a Trick called Snicker-Snack!>Snicker-Snack: [TRICK]Your opponent cannot generate dice into their Technique Pool this round. By the end of the round, if they have tried to, generate a die equal to the largest diee they would have generated this way into your Technique Pool. This Technique cannot be used unless your Technique Pool is empty. You go into your false lunge and then pull back perfectly, twisting your shoulder to throw your coat forward!>COUNTING COUPBut as you do so, Sabino, who had just been standing there open and vulnerable, pulls the distance and grabs hold of the coat’s edge, stopping it and pulling you towards him! You stumble forward, totally out of control and a little too late, you realise the use of the way he holds his sabre.It’s the kind of way you’d hold it if you had to behead someone kneeling in front of you.You dig your feet in and, using as quick a burst of power as you can, you jump backwards just in time to avoid the descending blade! Your coat pulls free from his grasp but your plan has failed in every possible way. “Huh?”“I thought you might try that. It’s how most people open.”>Sofia’s Technique Pool: Empty>Sabino’s Technique Pool: 1d4You don’t have the momentum anymore. What other little tricks does he have up his sleeve? >Current Status: https://pastebin.com/kxsUALVU1/2
>>3034884Choose 3:>Focussed Blow: [STRIKE]Siphon all dice from your Technique Pool to your Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage.>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.>Gritted Teeth: [TRICK]Move the highest value die from your Technique Pool to your Composure Pool. >Elegance: [FLOURISH] Declare either Strike, Flourish, Trick or Stance. Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. When your opponent makes their next move, if it is the same category of move as declared, generate a die of equal value to the lowest value dice in your Composure Pool. >Underhanded Deflection: [TRICK]Lower the sides of all the dice currently in your opponent’s Technique pool by 1.>Crushing Grip: [STRIKE]Siphon no dice. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. If no Composure dice are destroyed as a result of this, whether through damage or through an ability, destroy the single highest value die in your opponent’s Technique Pool.
>>3034889>Counting Coup>Counting Coup>Underhanded DeflectionWell he can't use Snicker unless he empties his Tech pool (which he might but we have no way of knowing yet) so keep generating dice I guess while mitigating some of his tech pool's power. UD is at the end so if he does generate more tech dice over the queue those dice will also be hit.
>>3034912Let's save CG for when there's more dice in his tech pool, as that 1d4 isn't threatening yet, and take the chance to generate tech dice while he can't use that trick again.>>3034905Supporting this.
>>3034912Remember CG will empty his Tech pool allowing him to use Snicker again and potentially steal more Tech dice. Of course this assumes he doesn't generate more on his own or get rid of it on his own.Also using CG before UD makes UD potentially useless as he might not have any Tech die to devalue.
>>3034933What I mean is keeping a die in his Tech pool (based on the one ability we know, this could change) is beneficial for us as long as it's small. A Crushing Grip right now could potentially be counterproductive for us.
>>3034944I completely misread the first part of your post, and thought that you meant Sabino using CG would empty his tech pool then he'd immediately S-S again. It's why I deleted that post when I realized my mistake.
>Counting Coup>Counting Coup>Underhanded DeflectionThat was just a misstep! You’re not going to throw the duel away just because of one wrong step! You arrest your backwards momentum completely and hold yourself still. The moment he makes a move, you’ll obscure his vision with the coat. As long as you don’t advance towards that particular stance, it shouldn’t be a problem. He takes a step back and flips his sword and you strike. You lean forward on your front leg and not bothering with a feint, you swing your coat up to block his vision and to foul the movement of his sword. >COUNTING COUP>Sabino uses a Flourish called Ring’s Chosen! >Ring’s Chosen: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. If you possess the insignia of a duelling Ring and there are no Obstacles present, generate an Obstacle that matches your Ring. At the end of the turn, if the Obstacle was created by this Technique, transform Ring’s Chosen into it’s Ring-specific form.You succeed in what you were trying to do but he wasn’t even trying to strike you! Instead he strikes the tip of his sabre straight into the ground! He immediately retracts it to guard but there is now a bright pink crack in the stone between the two of you!>Sofia’s Technique Pool: 1d6>Sabino’s Technique Pool: 2d4“You were right when you called it unfair. The things they’ll teach you up there…”Sabino steps back and as he does, you swear you see the steel rose upon his guard gently unfold. Something screams above you in pure not-sound and the nature of the Shadow changes. The sword can cut and shape the Wake as easily as it may flesh. You take a step back out of pure instinct and then another as crack in the ground explodes into a burst of pink that obliterates the fog. The air is thick with the scent of roses.1/2
>>3035041You are standing in a small rose field, the flowers growing from the substance of the Wake itself and reaching high enough to brush up against you knees. Sabino is just a short distance from you. Errant petals dance in the wind as the world responds to your opponent’s desires.>Obstacles are a special kind of hazard that occur when a dangerous duelling arena is chosen or they are otherwise introduced by one duellist during the course of a duel. >Obstacles count as a third ‘duellist’ in the sense that they are modelled with Techniques and dicepools but they have no Composure to destroy and often can’t be attacked. Each of an Obstacle’s Techniques only activate when a specific trigger is set off. >ROSE GARDEN TECHNIQUES>Entangle: [TRICK]Target duellist is now Entangled until they lose a Composure Dice to an opponent’s attack. Trigger: When a duellist makes a Strike that does not damage Composure or when a duellist loses more than one type of Composure dice to a single attack. Cannot target duellists that have already been Entangled this duel.>Sweet Scent: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into the Technique Pool. Trigger: Only when a duellist starts a turn Entangled.>Prick: [STRIKE]Siphon all dice from Technique Pool into Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. Trigger: When an entangled duellist loses Entangled.You move carefully, all too aware of the thorns around you. If you aren’t careful, you’ll be bled and it won’t even be at the edge of his sword. But the same should apply to him too!>At the end of the turn, Ring’s Chosen transforms into Thorn’s Embrace! >Thorn’s Embrace: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. If your opponent is Entangled, increase the size of the d4 by a number of sides equal to the number of d4s in the Rose Garden’s Technique Pool. “Do you like it?,” Sabino asks, sounding like an excited little kid. “This way, I don’t have to worry about the defence choosing the arena. I’m always where I’m ready to fight.”“It’s nothing special.”You might have jumped a little out of your depth with this one. Claudio hired a real duellist. Treading carefully through the roses, the two of your circle one another. Just because you’re fighting on his home ground, he thinks he has the advantage. Well, you’ll show him! And once again, in mirror-perfect synchronicity, both of you advance!You move in intending to feint but Sabino? He’s just straight up gunning for you!>COUNTING COUP>Sabino uses a Strike called Masterful Blow!>Masterful Blow: [STRIKE]Siphon all dice from your Technique Pool to your Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. If no dice are removed from their Composure as a result of this, destroy the single lowest value die in their Technique Pool. 2/3
>>3035048Your feint leads him to the side, which is to your advantage as long as you can dictate where he needs to go but treading fearlessly through the roses, he just keeps on coming! >Sofia’s Technique Pool: 1d6, 1d8Ducking around your feint, he comes at you in a perfect fleche, his sword sweeping up to bisect you!>Roll 2d4 for Sabino’s damage.
Rolled 4 (1d4)>>3035058
Rolled 4 (1d4)>>3035058I'll give it a roll, since it's an NPC
>>3035110For next turn, do we bet on an Elegance guess into Focused Blow? It'd be a 1d4+1d6+1d8 at worst and have an extra 1d12 at best.
>8You lean back into a squat to pull the distance, his sabre sweeping up just past your head! And then you’re rising and turning as he continues his fleche and continues to advance right past you. It’s like he’s not even scared of the thorns at all!You, on the other hand...you’re starting to lose your nerve. What are you doing here? A thorn catches on your trouser-leg and you freeze. If that had just gone a little deeper, you would have scratched you leg and lost. No, it’s too much! You don’t dare move!>Sofia’s Composure: 2d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d12>8 damage destroys 2d4, 1d6 and 1d8!>Sofia’s Composure: 1d12>Sofia is now Entangled! It has no mechanical effect and will break when Sofia takes Composure damage again. However, when it breaks, it will trigger an automatic Prick Technique from the Rose Garden. Lacking anything better to do, you try to hide the fact that you’re too scared to move. Maybe you can get him to lower his guard…>UNDERHANDED DEFLECTION>Sabino has no dice in his Technique Pool!>ROSE GARDEN: Sweet Scent>Rose Garden Technique Pool: 1d4It fails totally as he keeps his distance. He circles you, walking in such a way that the flowers on either side seem to part before him. You can tell he’s ready to defend against your attack.>Sabino uses a Stance called Skin Unthorned!>Skin Unthorned: [STANCE]Once this Stance is active, any Strike pool targeting you cannot roll d4s. They remain in the Strike Pool unrolled. Can only be active while you have a d6 in your Composure Pool.“To be honest,” he says self-depreciatively, ‘Now that I’ve seen what you’re capable of, I don’t think this guard will stop you. But please, humour me.”>Battle Status: https://pastebin.com/Kn9fD5SAChoose 3:>Focussed Blow: [STRIKE]Siphon all dice from your Technique Pool to your Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage.>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.>Gritted Teeth: [TRICK]Move the highest value die from your Technique Pool to your Composure Pool. >Elegance: [FLOURISH] Declare either Strike, Flourish, Trick or Stance. Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. When your opponent makes their next move, if it is the same category of move as declared, generate a die of equal value to the lowest value dice in your Composure Pool. >Underhanded Deflection: [TRICK]Lower the sides of all the dice currently in your opponent’s Technique pool by 1.>Crushing Grip: [STRIKE]Siphon no dice. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. If no Composure dice are destroyed as a result of this, whether through damage or through an ability, destroy the single highest value die in your opponent’s Technique Pool.
>>3035117I'll let you know when I finish this Vermintide game
>>3035127His tech pool is empty again, so he's going to be using S-S again at some point. We've got a d6 and d8 in our tech pool, which might be enough to break his stance if we opened with FB, but odds are good he'll have at least a d10 in his composure and we could also just fail to break his composure at all if our luck falls through. Way I see it is that we've got a few options:1. Open with FB, CC to gain a d10, FB again. Might end the fight if we're really lucky, but Sabino might also use S-S at round 2 and screw it over.2. Open with CC, FB with a d6, d8, and d10, then use something else to prep for the next turn maybe CC again.3. Get lucky with Elegance, FB while his stance is still up with a d6, d8, and d12, FB with just the remaining d4 for the double-tap.Either way, for the moment we're mostly safe. Sabino's spent his tech knocking us down to our d12, but within this turn I don't think he can finish us off.
>>3035127Sabino's Masterful Blow can be used at no Tech to destroy our Tech. Then Sabino will be Entangled too, but we can't actually use it against him. And each turn he stays entangled he will feed dice into the roses Tech, which he can make use of with Thorn's Embrace.Based on this, I'm pretty sure his first turn will be Masterful Blow. I need to think on the rest for some time.
>>3035198The worst thing is we can't even block Masterful Blow with Circle Guard, we'll lose a tech die anyway.
>>3035127Elegance strikeFocused BlowFocused Blow
>>3035209Might be the start idea to open with Elegance [Strike] then. Even if we’re wrong, there’s still that d4 to keep the d6 from being destroyed from a later MB.
>>3035127>Elegance Strike>Focused Blow>Counting CoupI agree with >>3035198 's assessment. If we are predicting right he'll only kill the d4 and we'll get a d12 for a Focused Blow.Cross those fingers boys
>>3035226I’ll throw in with this.Odds are good that we won’t have that d4 to perform a second FB.
Vote called, writing,
>Elegance: Strike>Focused Blow>Counting Coup“It’s not that fancy, what you’ve done here. I duel people all the time who make roses sprout up everywhere.”You’re not really thinking about what you’re saying. You’re just talking for the sake of it, hoping to distract him while you make your next move. You won’t take a single step forward or back. ...And, to give Sabino some credit, he probably knows this. Which means he’s going to try and exploit it with another attack!Well, just let him try. He might be some sort of prodigy but you’re about to show him the difference that even just a little real experience makes.>ELEGANCE: Strike>Sabino uses Masterful Blow!>ROSE GARDEN: Sweet Scent >Rose Garden Technique Pool: 2d4Sabino extends into a lunge, the roses not so much as touching him. But you’re ready for him and you take him blade to blade, catching his sabre on yours and letting it slide all the way up to the hilt. With the tip of his sword trapped by the forte of yours, it’s trivial to toss it aside and leave him wide open! >Sofia’s Technique Pool: 1d4, 1d6, 1d8>0 damage.>Sofia’s Technique Pool: 1d6. 1d8>Sabino is Entangled!His swordplay might be fancier than yours but it doesn’t mean anything if you know exactly what he’s doing. And having been pushed so close to the edge already, you can’t lose. >Elegance Prediction Bonus: 1d12>Sofia’s Technique Pool: 1d6, 1d8, 1d12He hurriedly assumes that same stance as earlier but you’re wise to his tricks now. It might be set up to catch you if he can make you stumble again but it does remarkably little against you just trying to stab him in the gut. Moving cautiously yet quickly, you can extend a foot and let it carry you as far forward as possible! You lean into the lunge so low that you can feel rose petals brush your face. >Sabino uses Snicker-Snack!>FOCUSSED BLOW>Rose Garden: Sweet Scentx2>Rose Garden Technique Pool: 4d4Every muscle in your legs protest as you finish up the lunge and then, with as much force as you can muster, you slam your sword forward! This has to do it!>Roll 1d6, 1d8 and 1d12 for damage!
Rolled 1 (1d6)>>3035309
Rolled 5 (1d8)>>3035309Good luck boys.
Rolled 3 (1d12)>>3035309
Yeah that luck looks about right
>>3035319We broke his stance though, which means he’s about to take 4d4 damage from his own Obstacle.
Noted and writing.
>>3035320Least there is that. It's always kind of a bummer when a d12 is as useful as a d4. Wish damage wasn't so swingy even if it saves us sometimes but I'm not sure how you'd fix that in this system.
>9He reverses himself the moment he sees your plan, his sabre still helplessly far away. Instead he’s forced to pull the distance and scramble away. He loses balance and falls straight into the thorned clutches of his own roses! >Sabino’s Composure: 2d6, ???>9 damage destroys 2d6 and 1d8 of Composure!>Sabino’s Composure: 1d10, ?>Sabino’s Skin Unthorned Stance is broken!>Sabino is no longer Entangled!>ROSE GARDEN: PrickYou gingerly step over to the fallen duellist, your sword at the ready. Is it over? Has he been bled?>Roll 4d4 for the Rose Garden.
Rolled 2, 2, 3, 2 = 9 (4d4)>>3035336we need some hella high rolls for this to do anything.
Rolled 2, 4, 2, 1 = 9 (4d4)>>3035336
>>3035336And he’s got a d12 in his composure pool; great.We’re going to need to overkill the hell out of him with how our luck’s been going thus far.
Rolled 1, 3, 3, 2 = 9 (4d4)>>3035336Whoops.
>>3035352>>3035341>>3035340>>3035336Quadruple 9s. That's a thing
You guys really like 9s.
>>3035356Quick question. Does Ring's Chosen and Thorn's Embrace count as two techniques or one towards his limit?
>>3035368So that means we still have 2 techniques still unaccounted for. Sabino can still probably pull out some bullshit that can change the flow of the duel.
While we’re waiting, what’s the game plan going forwards? We’re gonna finish off this turn with a d10 from CC, which is a good start, but with that d12 in his composure we’re going to need more to break it.Do we go with CC spam for the consistency and dice variety? Or do we gamble with Elegance for the potential to get d12’s?Meanwhile, Sabino’s out of that Stance of his, but he’s still out of tech dice which means that MB and S-S are likely coming down the line. It’s also possible he’ll go with Thorn’s Embrace, but only when there’s more d4’s in the Rose’s pool.
>9Before you can close the distance however, Sabino frees himself with a quick swing of his sabre. Cut roses fill the air around him as he cuts himself free and looks defiantly up at you. You match eyes with him and inside, your heart beats just a little faster. You might have impugned the eyeshadow before but you can’t really argue against it now. Something about it when you’ve got him pinned amongst the roses is just doing it for you.Wait.Why are you thinking about this right now? Is something wrong with you?You hesitantly advance and take a few swings, hoping to force him back into the thorns. But he meets you strike for strike. Is he trying to do the same to you? Doesn’t he understand how much better your position is?>COUNTING COUP>Sabino uses Thorn’s Embrace!>ROSE GARDEN: Sweet Scent>Rose Garden Technique Pool: 1d4>Sofia’s Technique Pool: 1d10>Sabino’s Technique Pool: 1d5You’re getting the better of him with every exchange. Soon you’ll be ready to make him yours.>Battle Status: https://pastebin.com/ECWLgNhEChoose 3:>Focussed Blow: [STRIKE]Siphon all dice from your Technique Pool to your Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage.>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.>Gritted Teeth: [TRICK]Move the highest value die from your Technique Pool to your Composure Pool. >Elegance: [FLOURISH] Declare either Strike, Flourish, Trick or Stance. Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. When your opponent makes their next move, if it is the same category of move as declared, generate a die of equal value to the lowest value dice in your Composure Pool. >Underhanded Deflection: [TRICK]Lower the sides of all the dice currently in your opponent’s Technique pool by 1.>Crushing Grip: [STRIKE]Siphon no dice. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. If no Composure dice are destroyed as a result of this, whether through damage or through an ability, destroy the single highest value die in your opponent’s Technique Pool.
>>3035372SS is very dangerous coming up. We must under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES never predict it with Elegance cause he'll just steal the d12.
Poor Sabino really wasn't expecting you guys to blow the Rose Garden's wad before he got to the end of that queue.
>>3035377No one can be Entangled anymore right?
>>3035374We could always follow up an Elegance with a CG just to make sure he doesn’t get to keep that d12 if he steals t, but your point still stands.
>>3035378Correct. Sofia is still Entangled though.
>>3035373>Gritted Teeth: [TRICK]Move the highest value die from your Technique Pool to your Composure Pool.>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.
>>3035381Thankfully he has something is Tech Pool (for now) so we'll be okay on the first round of this queue.>>3035382Shit and with a d12 any loss of composure will kill us so we can't get out of it.Unless we get a d4 in our Composure with Gritted Teeth or something.
So he could do the same plan as last time and try to kill our d10 by using MB in which case we can nullify with Elegance Strike. But will he? He has two other moves
>>3035387Should we try for Elegance in the first round then go CC for the next two then? What do you think he’ll be opening with for us to predict then?
>>3035393That's what I'm thinking but it's also basically what we did last time and like I said he has two unknowns.But we can only really plan for what we know.
>>3035392Actually, we should CC as our first move. It’ll give us a d4 to sacrifice to MB if it comes, and it’ll let us get back towards the higher numbers faster. Second should be a CG, because he’s likely to use S-S either now or in round one in which case we’ll destroy a tech dice either way. Last should be another CC or Elegance.
>>3035398Our next CC is d12
>>3035387Dude. We got a 1d10 in our technique pool.We should slam that into our composure with Gritted Teeth.
>>3035399CC caps out at d10’s
>>3035402Damn. I forgot this.
>>3035404Elegance Trick is a bad move as, if we’re correct and Sabino goes with a S-S we’re giving him a d12.
>>3035399CC only goes to d10>>3035400We'd want to save that for damage. We should hold off on the Gritted Teeth idea unless we happen to have a d4 only in our Tech PoolAlso if the Rose Garden gets too high we SHOULD NOT Gritted Teeth because losing composure will have it unload on us with Prick.
Sabino has a d5 in his Tech, SS isn't coming first round
>>3035373>Counting Coup>Crushing Grip>Elegance Flourish>>3035406Going with your idea.
>>3035408>Entangle: [TRICK]Target duellist is now Entangled until they lose a Composure Dice to an opponent’s attack.>Opponent's attack
>>3035373I’m going with:> Counting Coup> Crushing Grip> Elegance FlourishFirst round he’s likely to use MB, so we need to get that d4 up to keep our d10 safe.Next round, with his tech empty, odds are good he’ll try for S-S, so we don’t want to build our tech pool here. If I’m wrong and he tried to build tech another way, this’ll destroy it regardless.Lastly, the Roses are likely to have a lot of d4’s at this point, which Sabino is probably gonna try to capitalize on to bolster himself. Calling this’ll give use a massive offensive boost we can use next turn.
>>3035412Yes. So if we lost a d4 to Sabino and Rose Garden was at like 6d4 we'd get Prick'd for potentially over 12+ damage.Forget I said anything about the gritted teeth. There is a lot of ways it could backfire.>>3035413UDing just to destroy the tech dice is wasteful
>>3035373>Elegance: StrikeSabino has a d5 in Tech, so SS is out of the question>Focused Blow>Crushing Grip
Rolled 4 (1d6)Looks like we've got a tie between >>3035418 and >>3035411. Evens the former and the odds the latter.
Alright I need to sleep so good luck to you all.Just a few things to keep in mind>Don't Elegance Trick his SS>Rose Garden will continually increase the sides of the dice he is able to pull so ending this sooner rather than later is preferred>Underhanded Deflection won't have much use unless he has a d12 that you need turned into a d11 to be perfectly safe.>Keep an eye if his tech pool is empty or not for SS predictions>If Rose Garden's dice get too high DO NOT Gritted Teeth>There are still two techs unknown as of this post so don't get comfortable>>3035437Well let's hope anon's prediction is right cause he could end this if he is (assuming good rolls). Otherwise we'll lose that d10 and have a long way to get in damage range again.
>>3035441Oh and>Liberal use of Crushing Grip may be required to keep his ever increasing dice in check
>Elegance: Strike>Focussed Blow>Crushing GripAs you continue to clash, you let your sword drop and adopt the guard you’d taken before. Hopefully he’ll see your faux-opening as an opportunity and walk right into it again. You’ll sweep his sword aside and take him to school!>ELEGANCE: Strike!>Sabino uses Thorn’s Embrace!>ROSE GARDEN: Sweet Scent>Rose Garden Technique Pool: 2d4You ready yourself and wait but he doesn’t take the bait, instead quickly diverting his swing away from where your own sabre is waiting. It goes low and sweep across the rosebuds instead, throwing a thorned flower right up into your face! Swatting it aside, you no longer feel so confident. You still have to be careful not to get pricked. >Sabino’s Technique Pool: 1d5, 1d6>Sofia’s Technique Pool: 1d4, 1d10.But even if your advantage isn’t as big as you hoped, you’re still going to try and it end this right here and right now! You have to, you have to, you’re sick of these damn flowers already!>FOCUSSED BLOW>Sabino uses Thorn’s Embrace!>ROSE GARDEN: Sweet Scent>Rose Garden Technique Pool: 3d4Sabino catches your attack on his, trying to slide the debole of your sword down to his forte for an extremely parry. At that point he’d probably force both of your swords downwards into the roses! You can’t stop him from doing it either. All you can do is to try to be quick enough to lift right off his guard and take him in the chest!>Sabino’s Technique Pool: 1d5, 1d6, 1d7>Roll 1d4 and 1d10 for Sofia’s attack!
Rolled 1 (1d4)>>3035486We are screwed
Rolled 3 (1d10)>>3035486
>>3035498That's what happens when you gamble anon. Thinking he'd do the exact same thing again as last turn was foolish.
>>3035503It's not like any other ideas were better. Including your nonexistent one, anon.
>>3035503Has Elegance worked even once?
>>3035508It worked excellently last queue, in fact.
>>3035486>“Representing the challenger, I claim right to offense! Should I triumph, the mirror containing the challenged’s personage must be broken! Failure to comply with this will be met with punishment under High Law!”Hey! Since our Personage is also in the mirror, if we lose can we challenge him again on behalf of her?Second, could we remove them from the mirror through the drapes and then let it be smashed?
>>3035512I don't think the drapes would work, but maybe we could reflect them into another mirror?
>>3035508The round before this.>>3035507The other plan that was rolled off for covered for potential MB, would've killed the 1d7 in Sabino's Tech pool, and kept the 1d10 for a better, more sure opportunity.If Sabino Strikes next turn a 1d5 and 1d6 can't beat us. If he Flourishes the Elegance would have been right and we would have had 2d4, 1d10, and 1d12 to use next queue.Sadly I did not get here in time to vote for it
>4But it’s to no avail. Your blade remains locked and he pushes them both down, depriving you of your chance to take him out then and there! But while you’re not going to let go of the sword, you still have one other hand free…>4 damage has no effect! >CRUSHING GRIP>Sabino uses Thorn’s Embrace!>ROSE BUSH: Sweet Scent>Rose Garden Technique Pool: 4d4Sabino probably thinks he’s being tricky by trying to force your hand into the thorns like this but you’ve got a little surprise for him. What kind of surprise, you ask? It’s got four fingers and a thumb and is currently punching him in the face hard enough to send him staggering. He retreats, freeing your sword and you let him go, shaking your hand slowly to relieve the pain. Now you’ve got foundation on your knuckles! >Step 2: >Sabino’s Technique Pool: 1d5, 1d6, 1d7, 1d8>Step 3>Sabino’s Technique Pool: 1d5, 1d6, 1d7“You hit me,” Sabino says and he has the nerve to sound betrayed. “And I’ll do it again if you let me. Welcome to the real world!”>Duel Status: https://pastebin.com/ffb7JbakChoose 3:>Focussed Blow: [STRIKE]Siphon all dice from your Technique Pool to your Strike Pool. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage.>Counting Coup: [FLOURISH]Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. Next time you use this in the same duel, upgrade it by 2 sides. This caps at d10 and if done again afterwards, resets back to d4.>Gritted Teeth: [TRICK]Move the highest value die from your Technique Pool to your Composure Pool. >Elegance: [FLOURISH] Declare either Strike, Flourish, Trick or Stance. Generate a d4 into your Technique Pool. When your opponent makes their next move, if it is the same category of move as declared, generate a die of equal value to the lowest value dice in your Composure Pool. >Underhanded Deflection: [TRICK]Lower the sides of all the dice currently in your opponent’s Technique pool by 1.>Crushing Grip: [STRIKE]Siphon no dice. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. If no Composure dice are destroyed as a result of this, whether through damage or through an ability, destroy the single highest value die in your opponent’s Technique Pool.
>>3035528And it was Flourish so the other plan was pretty much perfect. We have shit luck on rolls including Ouro's roll off.
>>3035533We've lost unless he rolls shit on his strike.UDCCCCUD will make our chances a tiny bit better
>>3035533So, he probably expects us to use crushing grip again then?So what would he use to counter it? Should we try to use Elegance again?
>>3035533EleganceUDCrushing Grip?We have to generate enough die to take him out, is it worth risking getting thorned with a 4 - 16 from the Rose Garden plus his other die by dragging it out a round?
>>3035551He's just going to hit us. Either he'll Flourish one more time and then Strike or Strike immediately.If you think it's the former then CG, if you think it's the latter UD.
>>3035533Let's get thinking. Discounting the unknown abilities, Sabino can open with MB or TE.Currently a MB has a 37.62% chance to down us. If he goes TE he'll get even better chances next turn. So I thing our first turn should be CG or UD, with CG being better if he goes TE and UD better if he goes MB.
>>3035520This is a good idea as well.
Can we target the roses with Elegance? They always use Sweet Scent, which is a Flourish. Free d12s!
>>3035533A probablility matrix of us getting broken:Sabino....Us: .....UD.............CG+UDTE+MB............67.38%........1.67% MB..................1.67%..........37.62%Based on this, I propose to go:>Crushing Grip>Underhanded Deflection>Crushing Grip
>>3035577And if he just keeps generating dice? His generation is getting higher and higher. Our position will continue getting worse. We might really need to gamble on an Elegance Strike combo.
>>3035577>Crushing Grip: [STRIKE]Siphon no dice. Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. > Roll all dice in your Strike Pool to inflict damage. We don't have any dice in our strike pool.
>>3035597You need to survive first.>>3035577The last CG is unnecessary. Fill it with an Elegance and hope you choose right.