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Your name is Shu, and you find it ironic that, at world's end, your existence finally has meaning. Even thought the finer details of your life pre-apocalypse are still a little hazy, your plans for the present are clear; accumulate friends, grow in power, and stop the Crucible; the battle royale that has been thrust upon Daughters like you, survivors of the post-apocalypse that boast incredible and maddening powers that they wield against monstrous Amalgams and other Daughters, alike. To rip, tear, and devour your fellow man is the key to maintaining your sanity against the growing threat of the Hunger, an all-consuming burden that threatens to strip you of your will and reduce you to little more than a mindless beast intent on bloodshed, fixated on satiating an endless curse of starvation.

With your growing team of friends you've spent the last two weeks venturing across the pulsing, humid wastelands known as the Fleshscape; the skin-and-bone-corrupted remains of the world that was, now reduced to a baroque, twisted hell that thrums with and alien heartbeat. Currently, after a session spent pouring overt countless notes copied from the now-destroyed lab of a mad doctor, you're ready to make the preparations necessary to continue on to the Cord. Though given what you've recently discovered about what lies to the north and south of the forest that before your westward journey, you wonder if a detour might be prudent to strengthen you and your allies.

Now, you'll have to ask the opinion of your red-haired brawler who is finally rousing from a deep, well-deserved slumber...

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Body%20Horror%20Quest

Character Abilities: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/15ctgm_liaNO0e0B6zAcIUrmfDN0tWiXds3L4FvogI2M/edit#gid=0

Relic Listing: https://pastebin.com/8qNSREwW

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bodyhorrorquest?lang=en
>>
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Rath rubs her eyes with the back of one freckled hand, wiping the sleep from them as her yellow gaze adjusts to the dim bioluminescence above her. You finish off your cup of tea, returning it to the chipped plate on the table before picking up the full one and extending it to the groggy young woman. She takes it, only just now realizing the soft down she'd been sleeping on a massive creation of yours, a bumblebee-inspired swarmling nearly twice her size that lies prone on the floor.

"What in...the fuck am I?" She mumbles confusedly, taking the cup and sipping from it greedily as a smile crosses your lips.

"A firecracker and a damn good fighter, to answer your question." Comes your quick reply, and the girl before you chuckles weakly, draining her cup of the steaming liquid within. "So how'd you sleep, Rath?"

"Long, hard." She sighs, glancing around. "Shit, I thought Gina'd jump on that to make a stupid joke. Speaking of which, where is everyone?"

"After we all reviewed West's notes...and don't worry, I would've woken you up if we needed any help." You say, pausing when Rath winces at her missed opportunity. "There was some useful stuff in there, mostly about what's up ahead, and a few things about Gina, so..."

Rath just shoots you a questioning look, and you realize you owe her something of a recap. You summarize what you'd recently learned about powers, skills, and the unique qualities of Gina's Neuromancy, along with the opportunity it provides when you and everyone reaches the Cord together. Rath listens idly until you wind to a close, the constant thrum of the monastery humming around you as you speak to her.

"Damn dude, that's some heavy shit." She groans, running a hand through her orange hair as she searches your eyes. "So, between the arena, the forest, or the machine cult; where are you taking us next, Boss?"

"I'd like to get your take on things, if you're willing to share." You reply, and to your surprise Rath seems taken aback, fumbling for a reply for a second or two before making some sense.

"I, uh...so...shit, I don't know. I think the arena sounds cool since we didn't go to the first one, but it'd depend on who we take. I think it's a fair bet that anyone we fight there is fair game, but that's...yeah, I don't think everyone would go for that." Rath muses, stretching absent-mindedly as the seams of her joints part, exposing the pale while and razor sharp filaments that compose her Tensile Strand. "I think keeping on west is our best bet, but I wouldn't make a fuss if we went to go check out the mech girls up north...n-not that I'm...anyway, it's up to you, Shu. As long as I get to bust some heads, I'm down for whatever." She finishes, and you put your chin in your palm as you weigh where to go...and who to expose to the dangers you may face.

>>Carroll's Forest

>>The Disassociated Ones

>>Golgotha Arena

PICK THREE OF YOUR ALLIES TO ACCOMPANY YOU

>>Gina, Rath, Julia, Dorian, Amara

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(I equipped my name, it fell off in the interim.)
>>
>>3453550
Right, so this is my thoughts on our best options;

>Go Amalgam Hunting. You need to get stronger before you head to the forest. See if any Daughters know of good ones to hunt, or ones causing trouble for good folks that needs to be taken care of.
>>Party; Gina, Dorian, ???


>Visit the Dissociated Ones.
>>Party; Whoever wishes to go.

Basically i dont think we should ham rush for the forest just yet. We should get a bit stronger first, get Gina a bit of experience too, though its quite possible we may not do much fighting at the DOs place, hence it being up to our party members for that one. Note i do understand our good BHOP likes throw stuff at us but IC it still makes sense to ask whos actually interested in meeting the cyborgs. My guess would be Julia and Dorian are not interested personally.

Who to bring overall and who to give what Relics too im also not sure on. SUI goes well on anyone but Gina and Amara, though best on Julia or Rath. The Boosters i can't see being bad on anyone, only that if it's again Amara or Gina, if were playing our cards right and keeping them outta combat they may never need them.

Also we should take Dorian, poor bastard seems to have been run ragged and could use some time away from the monastery. With the exception of the DOs if he isn't interested, of course.

My actual vote is whichever of these two needs it to win, leaning towards amalgam hunting, with Amara as our third.
>>
(Voting shall close in one and a half hours, Gentlemen. It's good to be back.)
>>
>>3453578
Same here. Just finished reading Abara over the long weekend, so im hyped as hell now.
>>
>>3453550
>Golgotha Arena
>Gina, Rath, Dorian

I just want to see what it's like, unlock a waystation to it, and check out some potential threats we might run into outside the arena. Maybe get some combat pointers from gladiatorial veterans too.
>>
>>3453650
If its like the last arena was implied to be, which this one was, its at least optional fights to the death, which sounds like the exact opposite of our type of crowd or people we wish to interact with, and they said this one was more brutal than the last, which was said to be founded to speed up the crucible i think, so its a good bet its a place not for us to be.
>>
(As per usual, ties will be broken by either coin flip or die roll, whichever is appropriate Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3453700
eh. I'll change mine>>3453650
to>>3453574
instead.
>>
>>3453578
Welcome back BHOP. As much as I applaud your return, the same might not be said for me. I found employment recently and depending on the workload and policies, I won't be able to post as many detailed write-ins and in-depth battle plans in the future. I stumbled upon this and enjoyed this quest with a passion during my time of unemployment.

>>3453550
>Dorian, Julia, Gina
>Destination: Hold a vote and ask for everyone else's opinions. (personal pick: Golgotha Arena)
Spine and Shawl goes onto Gina. She's our squishy wizard of the group. The spine will augment her Neuromancy while the Shawl will provide her active camo. Her Earthen Mind Augmentation will let her stay mobile and do Neuromancy bullshittery through Scarlet Drone and Terraforming.

Gauntlets and Boosters is given to Julia. Her ability set is basically equivalent to being a Monk armed with a trick weapon. She has no mobility. Gauntlets will help with her melee and defense to her arms while the boosters will provide the mobility, and the inclusion of trick weapons will give our Sculptor some ranged options. As for the Trick Weapon, I'm thinking a Sculptor's Machete that telescopes and expands outwards into a Blood Glaive that looks like a paintbrush A simple mechanism for a simple weapon.

Sui Tormentis for Dorian. Dorian's overall abilities gives him +18 bio regen with a store of 120 bio. He's slippery in grapple, and can traverse difficult terrain which means, he's got the perfect ability to be a mobile tank unaffected by Terrain be it created due to collateral damage or through Gina's Terraforming. which means anyone attempting to grapple him will always be at disadvantage, but conversely that also means that he'll always have the advantage in grapple. And then there is the Scarlet Terror. The upkeep is heavy, but that means it's also a burst defense option. the armor will give him a bigger strength boost and a bio buffer that allows him to tank more hits in canvas form as well as take advantage of Wounds of Creation.

>>3453659
As much as I like your reasoning. keep in mind that we also have to keep track of notable persons of interest. Given the rumor mill, we'll be forced to face the Midnight Crew sooner or later, so going to the Arena will be a good option to scout out any future threats. In addition, Gina needs some form of close combat ability when a daughter eventually decides to gank her unaffected by Terraforming and Verurteilung. Besides, if they do have a waystation there, we can come back and fetch Rath if she want to have a go.

As for Amara and Rath back home. Rath can learn the basics of meditation while Amara can go connect with the skinwalkers that reside in the Monastery.
>>
>>3453717
(Congratulations on your new job! While I'll miss your frequent participation if you're not able to join as often, I hope your new employment goes very well.)
>>
>>3453574
I'll support your amalgam hunting idea, but I would like to put in the motion of this party composition:
>Gina, Dorian, Julia.
If we're heading towards the Disassociated ones, this party composition is the most stable for interacting with them alongside with the Relic loadout stated here>>3453717
>>
>>3453717
Nah, im still against going to the arena, just doesn't suit our party. That and im not for using either of the T5 relics still. Just because we ourselves didn't make them doesn't mean its right to use them.

>>3453574
As for relics:
>Shu; Contender, Gauntlets.
>Dorian; Sui Armor.
>Amara; Whistle loaded with words of her choice, Shawl.
>Gina; Boosters.
>>
>>3453717
Is there a good reason to go to Golgotha Arena rather than the 'less brutal' one?
>>
>>3453748
it appears that I have been out-voted on this issue. I'll accept this.
>>3453752
Now that I think about it, other than scouting for the Midnight Crew and observing their abilities, I don't really have any other 'good' reason. The Midnight Crew seems to be a group that we will inevitably encounter and their group synergy will probably be dangerous to us if we don't bring the right team comp.
>>
>>3453746
Well, with amalgam hunting were not necessarily going to meet them though, or at least it's not the goal.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen. Due to the class I had to attend last week, the first day or so of this Vein will be a little slow to start as I catch up on work. Thanks for your patience, and I'm glad you all are here.)
>>
>>3453748
My only point of contention with this comp is that Amara is double-dipping. But that might as well be moot due to the counterpoint that Amara's core class levels up via exploration.
>>
>>3453789
I get what you mean but i think we can make it work. Ginas terraforming offensive ability is much better now, so i think we can handle it. Plus while we hope not to use it, in a pinch Amara isnt anything to snuff at either now.
>>
>>3453774
(Glad to have you back, BHOP! Been looking forward to this thread.)
>>
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>>3453550

“I’m thinking I’ll take Gina, Dorian, and Amara to go hunt Amalgams.” You say aloud, and Rath’s shoulders sag a fraction of an inch. “If you’re up for it, I’d prefer you and Julia keep getting rest here. You went through a lot, and I don’t want to stress either of you out.”

“Eh, yeah, that’s fair.” She sighs, rising from your swarmling mattress and padding barefoot along the warm ‘stonework’ of the Monastery floor. “If it’s all the same to you, I’ll probably spend some time sparring. I’m still getting used to the whole multi-arm thing, so…”

With that, you gather your allies and assemble in the main hall, quietly donning your selected Relics as you glance over to the assembly of white-clad Daughters let in meditation by an even more haggard-looking Sister Uzu, barely able to keep her eyes open as she speaks. You left Julia with a request to keep an eye on the Monastery leader, despite having Gina check in on her over the course of your adventure to retrieve the Forge Core. Turning from the exhausted speaker back to your allies, you watch Amara disappear underneath Shalaev’s Shawl, while Gina nearly falls over as she tests the booster capabilities of the specialized Swarmlings that now cling to her back. Meanwhile, Dorian doffs his bright white coat, folding it neatly and placing it upon the surprisingly clean floor.

“Dorian, run those targets by me again, if you would.” You request, plunging your hand into one of the Rath’s Ignition Gauntlets. The flesh within warm to the touch as it tightens around each individual finger.

“It would be my pleasure, Miss Shu.” He replies, his pleasant voice cool and calming as slides his amorphous limbs into the Sui Tormentis’ vicious, angular form. “There are four of note; two are Basic, one is Titan class, while the other is potentially a Colossus class, but the reports of its capabilities vary so I can’t be sure.”

“Of the basics, one boasts a purportedly feline body and prowling a little past the factory you told me about, while the other resides in the cliffs further north of the Calcite Peaks near Miss Julia’s home, using its wings to flit between the spires. Additionally, the Titan-class has been seen at the outskirts of the Swamp and the Shrouded City. Little information on its abilities, but it’s humanoid and a special class, so I’m certain it has its surprises.”

“What about the Colossus?” Gina asks, her mind buzzing with curiosity across the Crimson Cord that binds your thoughts and minds together as one. Dorian grimaces slightly, whether from the discomfort of the armor he now wears or your companion’s enthusiasm for the unknown, you’re not sure.

(Continued)
>>
>>3453946

“It supposedly resides in the Swamp itself, though most avoid it out of good common sense.” He replies, glancing towards GG as she hangs on his every word, ignoring his very pointed statement. “Capabilities are a complete unknown, but supposedly it never leaves the heart of the mire, so those that have seen it haven’t been pursued.”

“I’m a ghost! Boo!” Comes a happy shout from your navel, and you look down to see Amara’s head floating in mid-air, the rest of her shrouded from view. You grin, patting her head before glancing towards Gina and opening the empathic channel.

<You’re hot to check out the Colossus, aren’t you?> You ask silently, her reply filling your mind the moment you fire off your preceding question.

{Eventually, yes} She says, a fleeting look of guilt crossing her face and flitting across your bond. {I’m not saying we have to do it now, but it’d be worth taking a closer look at one, just to know what we’re up against…plus, given how much stronger we got when we fought the last Titan that tried to attack Julia’s home, I can only imagine what we’d get for downing a Colossus}

“Let’s go see the kitty!” Amara pipes up from your waist.

“Miss Amara, I doubt the feline Amalgam will be quite as understanding as Ringo was.” Dorian says, trying to put a light veneer on his cautious warning, glancing to you for support.

“I wanna pet the things!” She says stoically, turning to the painter, her eyes wide and filled with determination. “ALL the things.”

Two easy ones, an unknown challenge in the center of a place you’re a little more equipped to handle now, and something whose difficulty lies somewhere in the middle…so, which will you hunt down?

>>The Feline Amalgam, lurking just past the Sororitas’ old haunt.

>>The Avian Amalgam, to the North of the Calcite Cliffs.

>>The Titan, lumbering around the Shrouded City.

>>The Colossus, that supposedly dwells within the heart of the Swamp.

>>Write-In (Choose a place or direction to Hunt for random Amalgams)

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3453949
>>The Titan, lumbering around the Shrouded City.
Is my go to vote. Its not as absurd as a colossus, though its near it if we just wanna have a peek, though im against that risk honestly. Im just not sure a regular amalgam, even one thats survived long enough to have a minor reputation, is enough levels to be worth it.

But my second option would be
>>The Feline Amalgam, lurking just past the Sororitas’ old haunt.
Just cause Amara is cute and who knows, maybe she can pet it? Even if she cant, going up against a flying amalgam just sounds like asking for trouble and shenanigans. Plus maybe Amara can say hi to Ringo.
>>
(Voting shall close in two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3453949
>>The Feline Amalgam, lurking just past the Sororitas’ old haunt.

Kitty...
>>
>>3453949
Seconding >>3453983
I'm up for scouting the Colossus from a distance with constructs, as it doesn't pursue. Depending on what's keeping it there, it might even be possible to abuse this to snipe it safely..
>>
>>3454017
We have 2 sensor-type daughters with us anon. Gina has perfect vision of 1km radius with the halo. Also, the last time we fought the titan-class we had the town architecture on our side to exploit and deal critical damage, Rath's old explosive bombs, And B'ni. With our current team composition, I'm not sure if we can accomplish the same feat of making short work of the amalgam.

>>3453949
>The Feline Amalgam, lurking just past the Sororitas’ old haunt.

If I recall correctly, Meg said there was also a set of ruins where she got her Neurotic Halo near where we fought her, coincidentally it's also close to the Factory where Ringo resides and also the general area where the Feline amalgam resides.
If Amara can't find an opportunity to pet the feline (I'm heavily betting that it's either a Savanah lion or a cheetah prowling the hairy plains), then the Ruins will be a good consolation to explore. Hopefully no one else has looted those Neuro-crowns.
>>
>>3454017
Actually i suppose using constructs to scout it is fine sure. Would make sure we ourselves avoid having to go too deep into the bloody swamp too, as that place is probably a death trap.

Also i feel kinda bad now for not taking Rath as this is her type of thing, but she just doesn't need the experience anywhere near as much as the party we did take, plus we take her pretty often.
>>
>>3453949
>The Avian Amalgam, to the North of the Calcite Cliffs.

About time we learn to fly.
>>
>>3453949
>The Titan, lumbering around the Shrouded City.

I want to go for one of the bigger prizes.
>>
>>3453983
>>3454017
(Gentlemen, am I to interpret your votes as two for the Titan, or two for both the Titan and the Feline?)
>>
>>3454269
Er, can we do both? They aren't exactly near eachother.

Certainly the Titan first then, or Titan if only one can be picked, but if we can long-term plan to do both im fine with that too.
>>
>>3454306
(You certainly may. Since the vote prioritizes the Titan, I'll do that one first. Writing now.)
>>
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>>3453949

“Titan it is. Not too hard, not too easy.” You declare, and when the four of you depart the Monastery you find yourselves traversing the darkness of the Shrouded City until the exit opens up to a rolling field of sandy hair, undulating like a field of blonde wheat across the horizon with the Forest of Thought far in the distance. Gina takes point thanks to her Halo-enhanced sight, and with Amara insisting that she tell GG her own rendition of the fight that almost claimed your lives, you’re left in the back with Dorian, trudging along in his twisted armor as the four of you work your way around the city as you start your search.

“Glad to be away from your adoring fans?” You ask, sidling up to him as Gina and Amara walk ahead of you, just out of earshot. He chuckles sheepishly as his helm recedes, and you note the shifting fluid that makes up the majority of his face turns a curious blend of cyan and magenta, swirling together in a dazzling display of what you assume to be embarrassment.

“If it’s that obvious, I suppose I would do well to take my emotions off my sleeve.” He replies with a sigh. “It was…flattering. Overwhelming is another good word for it. Please don’t misunderstand, I do appreciate the attention, it’s just…jarring, I suppose.”

“How so?”

“To go from drawing the attention of one select portion of people to the one you actually feel for is validating, in a way, and scary in another if I’m being totally honest.” He begins. “I was under my Father’s watchful gaze for so long that when he exiled me to the relative freedom of art school, I just threw myself into my work, and then he got sick, so I was dealing with that, so…”

He shrugs, the armor making the simple gesture more dramatic than it has any right to be.

“…I always ended up having to focus on other things than finding someone to be with. Being at the Monastery was the romantic equivalent of going from dipping a toe in a kiddie pool to being tossed off a boat.”

“Maybe you just need someone with a gentle touch, who can ease you into the whole romance thing?” You say with a shrug, yourself. “Someone who’s patient, kind, considerate…able to make a great cup of tea, for a start?”

Dorian chuckles, a sound that ends in a long sigh as he walks alongside you.

“Ah well, I really am obvious, aren’t I? Julia is…marvelous. She’s everything you said and more, it’s just…I fear that she’s keeping a great deal to herself in trying to not be a burden on others. I’ll be the first to admit denying your own needs and wants for the sake of others isn’t a healthy way to live…speaking of which, I’ve been meaning to ask you something about yoursel…”

{Hold up}

Gina’s hand is thrown out, stopping Amara in her tracks at the same moment you put a hand on Dorian’s shoulder, freezing in your tracks in response to the jolt of alarm that just surged through the Crimson Cord.

(Continued)
>>
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>>3454330

It is over twenty meters tall, its footfalls utterly silent as it lumbers around the edge of the city well ahead of you. Even at this considerable distance, you can see the single, massive red eye set in its crown, an array of undulating branches shifting to and fro with the breeze, the hands at the tips of each skeletal branch splayed out, as though straining for the light above. It brings one elephantine leg down hard, and you’re met with silence, each heavy footfall impossibly devoid of sound or reverberation. The flesh that’s wrapped around its body hangs from its thick frame and tatters, resembling a misshapen titan mummified and wrapped in its own skin, the seemingly fresh skin fluttering in the warm breeze that caresses the fleshscape around you.

“Does it see you guys?” Amara whispers from underneath her Shawl.

“I don’t think it can see much of anything, kiddo.” Gina replies, voice low as an amethyst cord snakes out from one baggy sleeve and into your arm, allowing you to see through her eyes. You find yourself staring into a bright vermillion orb, a deep gash carved across its surface as it oozes scarlet fluid from the gaping ocular wound, an unceasing flow of bloody tears running down its neck and chest.

As it paces towards you with its casual, uncaring gait, you notice that it does seem to leave footprints behind despite its otherwise ghostly countenance, its trail looping around the Shrouded city several times over, evidence of countless laps around the city’s obscured buildings.

{Well, Shu?} Comes the question you’ve been expecting from the brunette just ahead of you. {How’re we gonna topple this thing?}

>>Describe your approach.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3454332
>SHU; take up a position ahead with Dorian, being sure to be cautious until close, bit ready ot make sure its attention is on you, and spawn two Knightlings and four banelings, then wait for the right moment.
>DORIAN; go ahead with Shu, be in CANVASS form, ready to pull the two of you away, but only after spawning six constructs on the way forward.

>GINA and AMARA; Skirt to the sides, one on each, and be stealthy. Once the creature is close to Shu and Dorian and has its attention on them, team up to cause the terrain to throw it off balance, then to try and pin it in place.

>SHU and DORIAN; once the creature is tripped, Shus swarmlings should go for its feet and knees, aiming to incapacitate its ability to move, extras to the shoulders and elbows. Dorians constructs should jump into said joints once hit to clog its regeneration.
>>
(Voting shall close in two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3454332
>Gather more info on the giant walker
>Have Amara ask the fleshscape that has been trodden by the giant for info: did it get into a fight recently, how does it fight, if it has any weakpoints.

>We play as a passive observer.
>Send a Scarlet Drone to the ocular bleeding eye. have it jack into the Amalgam but not attack. Have Gina do an enemy scan, don't start the neuromancy damage.
>the witness will not attack if we don't openly provoke it.
>Play the encounter to our advantage. Hug the skin-barrier to the shrouded city. If we catch its attention, we retreat into the city. My guess is that once we get the titan agitated enough, it'll spend bio and energy to break the skin barrier. That's where we prepare our surprise ambush. Once Terrain is on our side.
>Load up a Parabellum and a Fullbore.
>>3454363
I've never been one for going full leeroy Jenkins. Keep in mind that the thing we're fighting is on the open plains. We need better terrain if we want to fight this thing. And some of this thing's traits are straight up unnatural. it's as if the main body isn't there at all. Those heavy footfalls should have vibrations and the earthquakes, but there's no sound nor reverb, so I think the limbs and torso are hollow. I think the main body of an the Silent Witness is the shining red eye. The branches help the titan regain bio and hp via photosynthesis., so we need to somehow cut down the branches or the leaves.
>>
>>3454388
I disagree. Not taking the first move when you can is a bad idea. We ourselves have had some of our worst fight outcomes due to being ambushed hard.
>>
>>3454408
Id also like to say that waiting too long to grab an opportunity both in and outside of combat has more times then not ended poorly for us. Setup isnt bad but it isnt king either.
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>>3454408
The overall plan:

Observations
>It's blind, therefore it has different method of sensory. either Air-currents, vibrations or sound.
>Sound could be ruled out. If it relied on hearing, then it would make noises or behave like Hecaton.
>vibrations could be ruled out. the footsteps are soundless, and it seems the limbs and main body take no visible damage nor wounds aside from the giant red eye.
>Air currents is very likely. The crown of branches sway easily. and the picture accompanying the post show cloud and wind movements, suggesting it uses a combination of air current sensory and sight to navigate.
>unnaturally silent movements. the surprise limb swatting will be deadly. We will require full team coordination. The Ashen Vagrant was noisy, but it was the good kind of noisy because we get more important cues.

Ways to cripple it:
>Attack the eye, obvious weakspot.
>Cut off the branches. Or have Dorian Slather paint onto the leaves of the branches and have the toxic eldritch-based paint rot the leaves and branches from the inside out.
>Trip the beast or force it to kneel. Get its attention somehow, make it kneel or bend downand then impale the titan right through the eye. Impale it with a hooked barb and then reel it down by reverting the terrain to about 75% the way back to normal.
If enraged:
>Retreat into the city. It inevitably has aggro on the group, and the city will provide great cover as well as multiple avenues of attack and time for us to prepare a surprise if it decides to break through the skin barrier.

When it's pinned:
>Pump paint into the wounds.
>Lock out a core ability and/or paralyze it. (We may need to use the spine)
>Parabellum and Fullbore into the eye.
>>
>>3454447
Ill agree being prepared to fall into the city to fight it is a good idea, but i dont think the eye and branches are a good focus point. For one only Shu can even reach them properly unless we bring it down first. Secondly last time we focused on the thorns in the last ones head but those i dont think is why it died.
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>>3454332
If he really walks around the city in an endless loop, let's search around the city for the perfect point where to stage an ambush.

>SHU: spawn 6 basic stealthlings to scout the terrain. Watch for amalgams or enemy Daughters.
>AMARA: interrogate terrain, aid in scouting
>DORIAN & GINA: standby

We are looking for a point where the loop passes by a tall building. We hide there and wait for the Titan to come, then:

>GINA: dig a thench directly in the Titan's path.
>AMARA. fill said trench with nasty stuff (GRINDING EARTH)
>GINA: collapse building on top of the Titan
>SHU, DORIAN: finish him with paintlings and knightlings
>>
>>3454470
The Main damage output that delivered Ashen Vagrant's death was 3/4 A toppling Iron Tower, 1/8 Terraforming Impalement, Rath's (old-style) explosive bombs beheading the thing from the neck, and a brutal beatdown on the thing's head with bombs when we pinned the thing.

It looks like a good focus point to me because the similar characteristics that the Silent Witness and Ashen Vagrant share is that they have one external feature that makes them special. The Ashen Vagrant had burning spikes that emitted burning cinders and smog. The Silent Witness I wager has something similar. It has a distinctive feature that allows it to move about and navigate in a unnatural way. It once had eyesight, but clearly someone has attempted to kill it before, and probably managed to blind the eye before being forced to retreat.
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>>3454482
that doesn't disprove my point though that focusing on the eye may not be the best way to deal damage, nor the fact that only Shu has really good access to it until we topple it over.

and i still feel our heavy focus on the spikes in that fight was an awful waste of time.
(home now so ID change)
>>
>>3454471
>>3454332
i like the idea of staking out an ambush point
>>
(I shall begin writing shortly after dinner, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3454332

"Amara, I need you to ask if there's anything of note around here, anything we need to know." You order as a half-dozen Swarmlings crawl free of the myriad of holes along your spine, writhing forth from your hive as their glossy shells shimmer then melting away into their surroundings as they cloak. "Dorian, Gina; we're going to set a trap with the info that Amara gets us, you're on standby until then."

They nod as you hear Amara begin to whisper animatedly to the ground at her feet, taking off her Shawl before a chittering throng of voices echoing around you as she speaks to the very flesh you walk upon. After a moment she turns to you, her brow furrowed as your Stealthlings scout the surrounding area, showing no other foes in range that you can see.

"The floor bits say they're tired of the big one stepping on them all the time, but they're also glad that he's really light, so he doesn't hurt them." She says as you spy one of the taller structures around the other side of the city, a covered tower that you assume to have once been used as an office building, unsightly and looming at one side of the area. "I don't get it through, how could something so big be so light?"

"I'm thinking out big-boned boy is hollow." Gina muses, keeping a close eye on the Titan as it pads closer to you. "I like the idea of pulling a second act of the building trick, but depending on how this thing works, that might be pointless."

"Maybe so, though we could..." You begin, pausing when a glimmer of movement on a distant hill through your Stealthling's compound eye catches your attention. You focus, hovering low behind the distortion before its shape slowly becomes apparent, an errant breeze fluttering the cloaked figure for a brief moment, long enough to allow you a glimpse of the Daughter that lies prone beneath it.

A head of long black hair is tied back, eye intent through a scope of a bio-organic rifle trained on the Titan's movements. At her side hangs a pair of jars; one filled with yellow liquid, the other disconcertingly filled with eyeballs of various colors and sizes. The shawl flutters back in place, obscuring further observation as you turn to your allies and silently ushering them to crouch.

"Sniper, second hill back." You say bluntly across the empathic channel, Amara rises to look before Gina grabs her arm and yanks her down, pulling the Shawl back up over the little girl's head.

"Friendly?" She whispers.

"Not sure, but they don't seem to have spotted us...yet." You reply, weighing your next move.

HP: 170%
BIO: 190% (6 Basic Stealthlings, 6/22 Active)
CONTENDER: Empty, Lionheart Form.
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Distant, slowly approaching.

GINA HP: 170% (Booster Active)
DORIAN HP: 140% (Canvass Form)
AMARA HP: 120% (Cloaked, Whistle: VUL RHO)

>>Pull back and pursue the Feline instead.

>>Contact the Sniper.

>>Go ahead with a revised ambush plan for the Titan.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall close in one and a half hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3454849
>bring back a swarmling, and etch onto it a note to send to the sniper.
>"Group hunting Titan. friendlies. Team up?"

if she sends back word of 'no', then im not sure. it would be amiss of us to start a fight with someone we dont need to, but at the same time dodging sniper fire while fighting this thing is not worth it, nor would chasing her off to claim the prize alone look good on our reputation.

if yes however:
>scout out the best place to ambush the titan near the City edge.
>Have Gina and Amara team up to use the trench and Grinding Earth combo to bring it down.
>Shu will send fourth 2 Knightlings and 4 Banelings to try and acid down its knees and elbows to keep it down, then Dorian will clog up the joints with Constructs from his Creator Form.
>Our resident Sniper will then have a clear shot to fire into the thing, aswell as Shu should load up and be ready to fire in a Parabellum Round herself.

id say this combines the best of the plans presented so far.
>>
>>3454849
>sniper with jars full of piss and eyeballs
you’ve made a disturbing version of Team Fortress 2’s Sniper
>contact the sniper
>empathy channel: “ You hunting for the big eyeball on the big boi?”
>>
>>3454899
>mfw we trade the eyeball for friendship
im not sure how to feel about that one honestly, other than hopefully she doesn't come after ours.
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>>3454896
the only issue that i have with this plan is the fact that you didn’t take into account that the titan’s limbs are hollow, as in there is no flesh beneath the mummy wraps, no bone joints to cripple, there’s only the giant eyeball and the empty bandage body
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall actually be pausing here for the evening and extending voting for the next twelve hours, with plans to resume promptly in fourteen hours. Thank you all for your participation, and I look forward to seeing how you handle this scenario. Posting shall pick up as the week goes on, with evenings of rapid-posting set for both Wednesday and Thursday evenings, if that suits you. I hope you all have a wonderful evening, and take care.)
>>
>>3454934
no, i did. that just means theres less needed to melt. and yes i get that there is probably a trick up its hollow sleeves, but until we see it in action we can only plan so far. another thing is, even if it can easily bend and reform the 'bandages', the paint constructs can hopefully gunk that process up, and keep them pinned, aswell as no matter what he can do with them, them being melted is not going to be a bad thing for us, even if all it does is removes some of his Bio pool.

>>3454944
take care, have a good evening! so long as its past 5pm or so rapid posting works for me, but dont let me hold everyone else up, of course.
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>>3454960
(Regarding both evenings in question, rapid-posting would begin at around 6:00PM Eastern time.)
>>
am >>3454934

>>3454960
now that you mention it, this brings me to speculate that the "bandages" may be Fiber optic Nerves. If it weren't for the fact that gravity still exists, this titan class amalgam would've been a giant floating eyeball. We can't crush or pin the nerves, but we could cut it, poison it, or hijack it.
>>3454966
depending on how my work schedule goes, this may work for me. tomorrow's my day one shift.
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>>3455040
(Best of luck on your first day, Anon!)
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>>3454849
>Swarmling Shell message: "Group hunting titan. Friendlies. Will attempt to pin Titan to give you clear shot."
>Hold up LionHeart and try to reflect what daylight there is towards the position of the sniper. Flash it in a signal.
>
Revised plan for Titan ambush:
>Gina: Hook spikes. Have them shoot up, hook into the bandages, and then retract it so that the titan is forced down towards the ground. a bandage body won't do us good if it gets free of the hooks. Once the Scarlet Drone is Fixed onto the Titan's singular eyeball, use Neuromancy to either lock out one of its core abilities or paralyze the titan.
>Amara: Ter Vul Rho one of the footprints. Convince the Fleshy bits to "stitch the bandages together like Needle in cloth".
>Dorian: Creator mode, slather as much paint as you can onto the bandages. Go for maximum surface area on the Titan's body. If my guess is correct, the bandages are Nerve cord sheaths, so your paint could "infect" the bandages if given enough time.
Shu:
>Act 1:Spawn 2 Knightlings, 4 banelings, and a Scarlet Drone. Have our 5 Stealthlings fly up to the top and attempt to pluck the leaves off the banches on the top of its head, failing that, direct them to chew into them, leaves and branch included. It may hinder whatever hidden tricks the Titan has up its sleeve. 4 Banelings will inject their acid into places where the Bandages knot up or clump together (back of the head), Knightlings will go on guard duty and try to block any attacks aimed at party members. Scarlet drone will fly right up to its blind eye and give Gina a Neuromancy wifi port.
>Act 2: Load up Parabellum and Hollowpoint. Staggerfire so that Parabellum gets a clear shot at the main eyeball while Hollowpoint can land at any part of the body.
>>
>>3454896
A guess adding in, if she does say no, sit back and enjoy the show incase she changes her mind, or if our party prefers go check in on the colossus on our way back to the other objective.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
(Apologies for the delay, Gentlemen; between catching up, training a new employee, and making some good new buiness, it's been a busy morning. I'll be posting soon, and thank you so much for your patience.)
>>
>>3456082
take your time. my first shift will be a busy day
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>>3456088
(Ah yes, I wish you the best of luck and I hope all goes well on your first shift!)
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>>3456088
Good luck my man, hope it does you well!
>>
>>3454849

The Contender shifts as you draw it from the built-in holster in your dress, stretching into a gleaming blade of shining calcite that you raise up, reflecting the luminescence shining down from the heavens and towards the sniper positioned in the distance. One of your swarmlings flits down, scratching a message of hopeful collaboration onto its belly at it lands near the cloaked gunner.

You wait a moment with bated breath before her shawl flutters, a ragged magpie taking flight and coming to rest a short distance away, opening its beak as its feathers slowly slough off its emaciated form.

“Will wait for opening. Shot has collateral damage. Keep back.” It croaks out with a low, raspy voice before returning to its master once its message is relayed. You share a glance with Gina and Dorian, the latter of whom shrugs the shoulders of the Sui Tormentis.

“Alright.” You say, rising from your crouch and casting your gaze over to the lumbering titan. “Let’s bring it down.”

A few minutes and several newborn Swarmlings later, you and your allies are in position around the oblivious Amalgam, with Gina and Amara in a terraformed alcove safely out of sight, while you and Dorian hide in the undulating scalp fields just off the Titan’s circuitous path. With every breath you take it paces closer, its eye leaking ceaselessly. Even now, as it towers a scant few meters away it is utterly silent, and you find the only noises filling your ears to be the humid, whispering winds caressing the follicles you hide in and your own steady heartbeat. Silence, and then…

[Now]

The earth beneath the Titan’s feet erupts into hooked spears, clawing into the Amalgam’s limbs and hauling its light body to the ground, the wind that harshly whistles through its hollow form echoing across the plains like a ghostly howl. Your Scarlet Drone swoops down, spearing into the creature’s weeping eye as it flickers with Gina’s amethyst light. The branches atop the being’s head stiffen, then wilt as GG locks down whatever dangers they would have posed as their owner begins to come apart at the seams, bandages of raw flesh lashing out at its own eye in a vain attempt to rid itself of your creation.

An echo of syllables spoken with intent, a tripartite word that spells the end. Amara warps the fleshscape beneath the titan as you watch it lash out with oozing, fetid tendrils of black tar, sticking randomly to the Titan’s ephemeral body. The more it struggles, the more bound it finds itself as the tar stiffens suddenly into jagged obsidian needles that serve to bind more and more of its body with each panicked flailing. A series of shifting, multicolored orbs soar over your head and towards your collective target, and you watch as Dorian’s constructs smear a rainbow’s worth of color across the surface of the Titan’s writhing body. It’s going perfectly, until you realize…

You’ve lost track of the eye.

(Continued)
>>
>>3456122

The Titan’s vacated collapses lifelessly, even as your swarm continues to tear and melt away at the wilting bandages of flesh. You’re loading the Contender with a Parabellum and Hollowpoint when the side of the Shrouded City near to the pile of bloody strips stretches out, as though something large and humanoid is attempting to break free. You watch as a new, larger figure strides forth, tearing itself free of the city-wide shroud. A single scarlet eye emerges from somewhere within, peeking out from the bulbous head as it begins to leak a fresh stream of tears down the front of its reformed body.

Your and Gina’s Scarlet Drone still holds fast, suppressing whatever is trying to form atop the new form’s head. You’d be somewhat more relieved if it wasn’t dragging a club of scrap metal behind it by one amorphous limb, its globule-like hand entwined in the makeshift’s weapon’s steel and wire frame.

It steps forwards, a shuddering reverberation thrumming across the field you stand in. Another step, faster this time, and directed towards where Gina and Amara are hidden. It turns away from you as it picks up speed towards your allies, obscuring a clean shot from the sniper’s current position as Dorian dashes forwards, trying to reach the Titan as it breaks into a frantic run, bringing its twisted club to bear on the two girls that are rapidly drawing within striking distance of the colossal weapon. One thing is clear…

You have its attention.

Shu the Defiant

VS.

THE SILENT WITNESS

HP: 170%
BIO: 98% (6 Stealthlings, 2 Knightlings, 4 Banelings, 1 Scarlet Drone. 13/22 Active)
CONTENDER: Parabellum & Hollowpoint Loaded, Lionheart Form.
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Medium, running towards Gina & Amara to strike.

GINA HP: 170% (Booster Equipped)
DORIAN HP: 140% (Creator Mode)
AMARA HP: 120% (Cloaked, Whistle: Empty)

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3456125
Huh, so its literally JUST the eye. Well that throws everyone's ideas for a loop haha.

>DORIAN; Canvass form to catch up to the Titan, then shift to Critic form and spear into the things club, exchanging 15% health for Strength increase to at least slow its swing down.

>SHU; recall the stealthlings and transform them into banelings. Send the Knightlings up to its eye to gouge into it, and send the banelings to melt its club arm, forcing it to drop the weapon.

>GINA and AMARA; have Gina and Amara encompass its legs in tar then harden, then have Gina Boost the two away and behind Shu and Dorian.
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next one and a half hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3456145
For the record, im saving Shus shots for now, as it would be a waste to hinder its body for the sake of hindering the body due to it being so replaceable, so we need to wait i think and see if we cant get a better shot at the eye, once we get our allies out of danger. Best bet would be while its reforming it is probably the most vulnerable.
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>>3456147
Oh, BHOP, how does the SUI increases work? It says as it takes damage it loses the Ability to enhance, but does it work where as it takes damage, the applied increases slowly dwindle, or is it after it takes a certain amount of damage the increases all disapate at once and cant be applied anymore?
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>>3456178
(The latter, where they all disappear at once when the armor can no longer support the boost. It's basically the last thing to go when the armor reaches critical damage.)
>>
>>3456182
Ok, good to know, thank you.
>>
>>3456125

At your silent command, Dorian’s limbs lash out towards the Amalgam, flinging himself bodily towards the speeding Titan as his arms reshape mid-leap into a pair of azure scythes that he brings down and through the giant’s club. Dorian’s feet spear past the armor and into the fleshscape below him just as he lands, and it’s thanks to him wearing the Sui Tormentis that he isn’t ripped apart by the act of bringing the Witness to a shuddering, violent halt. While your recalled Subversive Swarmlings alight on your shoulders and begin to shift into a different form entirely, the giant continues to tug at its stuck weapon while Gina and Amara warp the ground beneath it, a flurry of spikes laced with neon-pink ooze that spear into the Titan’s form. You watch as the pair emerge from the alcove and take flight towards you, GG’s arms wrapped tight around Amara as the booster that Gina wears carries them skyward…

…but not fast enough.

The Titan’s other arm reaches out and splinters with a deafening crack into a shotgun spray of jagged flechettes that pepper Gina mid-flight. Pain flares across your empathic bond as she tumbles to the ground, landing hard on her back and somehow keeping Amara cradled in her arms and shielded from the worst of the fall. The Shroud catches on the ground, tearing in two as Gina skids to a stop just before you reach her, your reformed Banelings taking flight towards their target as your friend groans at your feet. You kneel, wincing as you see over two dozen rigid daggers of flesh stabbed into Gina’s back and side.

{…fucking damn it…} She mutters into your mind as Amara hops up, reaching out to pluck the flechettes free of Gina’s side before you stop her. You glance up, watching a flight of ten Banelings swarm over the Titan’s arm, their simultaneous injection of acid into the limb reducing it and the handle of the club into a sizzling jelly of flesh and caustic steel.

With a burst of Tormentis-enhanced strength, Dorian flings the club back and away from the grasping Titan, rendering it out of reach as its body lashes out at the grasping earth beneath it. Slowly, painfully it tears itself free of the clinging terrain, the flesh around its eye lashing out with claw-tipped tendrils of flailing skin that finally tear your Scarlet Drone and one of your Knightlings asunder with blinding speed, the sheer number of consecutive slashes moving too fast for your eyes to track…but it doesn’t matter.

They’ve done their job.

The moment they’re cleaved apart by the Witness’ merciless blades they burst, the two of them burst forth a spray of sickly-green acid, sloughing off the Titan’s eyelid and the surrounding skin. The smell of rotting, boiling flesh hits you hard as the creature body erupts into a flurry of lashing whips, a silent scream of pain that precedes a clear, open line of sight.

The sound of a gunshot echoes from far behind you.

(Continued)
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>>3456293

You see a burst of liquid from the Witness’ scarlet orb, and the moment your warning to Dorian crosses the empathic channel you see movement beneath the lens of the Titan’s massive eye. A myriad of forms twist and flail within the eye’s liquid, feasting on the biomass-rich sphere until it bursts with their number, and you witness dozens, hundreds of magpies fly out, swooping down to rip and tear at the Amalgam and your swarmlings indiscriminately. A handful of them peck wildly at Dorian until he gets out of range, their serrated beaks and razor-sharp feathers carving deep gashes in his armor until he gets out of range and they return to their brethren, relentlessly picking apart the Titan’s body until there’s practically nothing left.

You turn to see a tall, slender figure rise atop the distant hill, casually making her way towards you as her flock dissipates into the wind, fluttering off in random directions and leaving a storm of sharp feathers that stab into the ground where they fall.

“Where are they going?” Amara asks, waving them goodbye.

“Hell if I know, kid.” Mutters a voice from behind you, and you turn to see the sniper towering over you, a mere meter away. She seems utterly nonplussed at the fact that her sudden proximity prompts Gina and Dorian to jump as one, while you merely crane your neck up to look into the woman’s…oh.

“Got an ‘aug that makes them strong but wild, so they’ll do what they’ll do until they run out of food.” She drawls, her eyeless sockets staring into nothing as a half-dozen forest-green eyeballs hover about her person.

“Thank you for your help.” You say, your hive writhing at the prospect of an uncertain confrontation. She merely nods, her waist-length black hair only serving to heighten her unnerving countenance. “Pleasure to meet you. I’m Shu.”

“Magpie will do.” She chuckles joylessly. “It’s as good a name as any.”

The two of you stand like that for a moment as you wait on her to speak, a moment that lengthens as it becomes apparent that she’s sizing you and you and your team up, content with the silence that settles among you all. She doesn’t move, and neither do you as the six dark eyes stare at you, intermittently flicking between your teammates before consistently settling back on you.

Not one for conversation, then.

HP: 170%
BIO: 108% (6 Banelings, 1 Knightling. 7/22 Active)
CONTENDER: Parabellum & Hollowpoint Loaded, Lionheart Form.
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None
ACT: 2/2
Threat: COMBAT CEASED

GINA HP: 124% (Booster Equipped)
DORIAN HP: 139% (Critic Mode)
AMARA HP: 116% (Visible, Whistle: Empty)

>>How do you proceed?

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3456309
So it sounds like theres really nothing left of the Titan to consume then?
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>>3456327
(There is enough to consume, yes. A fair bit of the eye still remains. What Magpie's birds ate was mostly the constructed body.)
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next one and a half hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3456336
Got it.

>>3456309
>Check to make sure the things truly dead, you never know in this fleshscape.
>Offer to give her a chunk equal to her contribution to the fight, and compliment her sharp shooting.
> Try and fail to stop Gina from making a joke about how she was blind before too.
>Tell her you had other hunts planned if she wanted some company for a bit, your not against letting her tag along.
>>
>>3456309
>Have your drones collect the eye for your party.
>"So is the sniper with you then?"
>>
>>3456354
That is the sniper, she just moves disturbingly fast and silently it seems.
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>>3456365
(This is correct.)
>>
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Dr. West did nothing wrong. I wholeheartedly agree with her actions as a fellow scientist.
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>>3456353
Seconding.
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>>3456501
I dont actually know if him or west is more evil. I think i hate West more because she makes excuses for her evil, while he just kinda doesn't care.
>>
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>>3456501
Spoken like a true scientist.
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>>3456540
(Indeed.)
>>
Aww, I missed the fight. I've been reading through the archives trying to catch up after discovering this quest, I had one more thread to go before this one and I just took a little too long to finish it. Oh well, joke's on me for not getting into the quest sooner. Anyways, hi everyone!
>>
>>3456501
>>3456540
>>3456551
(I'm unfamiliar with this character, who is he and where is he from?)
>>
>>3456613
(Hello and Welcome! I'm glad you're able to join, and don't worry about missing the fight; there are several others lined up soon.)

(Also, writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3456632
Bondrewd the Novel, Lord of Dawn from "Made in Abyss". One of the White Whistles who runs the base at the bottom of the fifth layer of the abyss.
>>
>>3456634
Thanks. It's a really good story you've got here, I'm happy to join in.

>>3456632
Bondrewd, a villain from that Made In Abyss manga that started out looking real cute and then got creepy. Bondrewd is responsible for a lot of said creepiness. He got real into unethical science. You can guess the sort from the title of BHOP's image, but better not to spoil the specifics. They're fun.
>>
>>3456613
welcome to the ride, always glad to see new blood join in. if you dont mind me asking, any favorite parts or character so far? any of BHOPs bamboozling throw you for as big as loop it did us?
>>
>>3456651
>>3456658
Good to know, thanks guys.
>>
>>3456682
> if you dont mind me asking, any favorite parts or character so far?
The interactions with Mother have been favorites. I really like how it plays into the themes of control and accountability that the quest has. It's fascinating to me how she both tries to deny culpability and assert authority. She claims to have utmost power, that everything she's doing is something that she wants to and isn't just forced on her by the cycle. At the same time, she insists that she didn't have a choice in the matter, not because the Crucible parasite's instincts are forcing her but just because going along with it is the only path that makes sense in this messed-up universe. It's such a classic example of rationalization, emotion and instinct being rephrased as logic. It almost makes me sympathetic to her, because it's clearly a coping mechanism. "No, shut up, I'm doing this because it makes sense, it's just coincidence that 'what makes sense' lines up perfectly with the drives of the horrid alien parasite that has subsumed my mind." Of course, she's still an absolute monster, so I can only extend that sympathy so far.

>any of BHOPs bamboozling throw you for as big as loop it did us?
Well, I think a lot of the impact of the bamboozling was diminished by my not being involved in any of the decisions that shaped Shu's path, so I had less of an emotional investment in them than a veteran of the quest would. Still really cool story telling, but none of that "I was so dumb for not noticing it sooner". The fact that I was binging the archives helped, too, because it meant that the time between plot beats was much shorter for me than for you. So the only bamboozle that truly threw me for a loop was the most minor one, that being the pun in how the original core four characters' names linked together. I'm supposed to be better at spotting wordplay than this, I'm ashamed for needing it to be spelled out for me.
>>
>>3456309

Your remaining Swarmlings give the Witness’ eye a few more cursory stabs to ensure the Amalgam’s defeat before some of them buzz their way back over to your shoulders as you and Magpie continue to stare each other down.

"That was a nice shot.” You say, finally breaking the silence as those of your brood that stayed behind haul the remains back over to where you stand. “We’d be happy to split the remains, if you’re willing.”

“Hm.” She intones, readjusting her grip on the hideous weapon in her hands. It is an ugly, misshapen thing, the ‘scope’ merely a length of flesh with an unblinking eye that stares down the spiraled length of the calcite barrel. “Considering that I had my eyes on that one before you came by, I would very much like what remains.”

“Miss….Magpie.” Dorian begins, his genteel voice somewhat muffled by the fact that the helm of the Sui Tormentis still shields his face, a sign of a guard still wisely raised. “I am sure we could come to some sort of arrang…”

“All of what remains.” She interrupts coolly, her finger hovering above. Your empathic field grazes the woman that looms over you, and you’re met with a cold, vacuous space where her emotions should be.

“Though I’d be willing to part with a quarter of it if you’d be willing to assist me with my next target.” She finishes, slowly placing the butt of the weapon on the ground, the barrel skyward as she relaxes a fraction, a shake of her head sending a few strands of her lengthy ebony hair behind one angular shoulder. You shift your balance from one hip to the other, cocking your eyebrow at her and trying your damnedest not to let your irritation show.

“There a very powerful Amalgam at the heart of the swamp.” Magpie begins, Amara whispering something to Gina a short distance behind you. “What do you say to taking a quarter of the one I just killed in exchange for half of the one in there? I'd say that's fair, wouldn't you?"

{Amara just informed me she's a projection of some sort} Gina says, her voice cold. {The real deal moved behind the second hill and has her sights on us. She’s had a nice big opening to blow our heads off for the past minute and hasn’t, so there’s that, at least.}

You put thumb and forefinger on your chin in a play of consideration as you silently converse with the girl behind you. [What’re your thoughts?]

{That she’s a spooky bitch and I wouldn’t trust her as far as I could throw her} GG fires back without a moment’s hesitation. {And I’ve skipped arm day way too often to be able to even lift this chick}

She may not be trustworthy, but at the very least you all worked together to finish off this Titan with minimal injury to you or your friends. Taking down the Colossus in the swamp from a safe distance is a very real possibility with Magpie in tow for the short term, as she doesn't strike you to be the type to hang around for any length of time.

(Continued)
>>
>>3456735

"Truth be told, we had some other hunts planned." You say slowly, picking one of her eyes to fix your gaze upon as you speak.

"You won't mind if I take this one, then?" Magpie replies, and you hold up a hand to stop her as she makes a play of moving forwards.

"I didn't say that." You continue, crossing your arms and taking a deliberate step forwards, bringing you closer to the being before you. The breeze that gently caresses your arms does nothing to the hair of the woman before you, and you've finally realized three of the eyes that hover near her are focused on their owner, no doubt key to whatever is keeping her projection active. Somewhere out in the plains beyond, you know the barrel of her baroque firearm is trained on you and yours.

"I don't like playing games, Shu." Magpie says, her voice devoid of malice or threat, her words merely a simple statement of fact. "Tell me where you stand, and I'll go from there."

You're about to turn her words back on her, but you hold your tongue. There's an undeniable opportunity here, and several ways to play your hand...the only question is which card to open with.

>>Decline her offer, and continue on to the Feline Amalgam. You're less than happy about leaving the Titan behind, but you're not about to put faith in someone who's playing a puppet show while keeping you in her sights.

>>Haggle with her. You're not sure what you can bargain with, but it's worth a shot to get more of what's at stake. You and yours put skin in the fight, as it were; it's only fair you get compensated in the here and now. You'll sort that out, then figure out where to go next.

>>Try to convince her to go with you to slay the Feline Amalgam. You'll be able to take down a weaker foe and it'll give you some time to feel Magpie out a bit. Maybe she's just slow to warm up to people, and if she is dangerous, then at least it would force her to be in arm's reach in case things go south.

>>Accept her offer to slay the Colossus. Considering the ease with which she felled the Titan, there's no reason you shouldn't jump on the possibility of taking down something stronger. There's a price to pay, but you're willing to take it.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3456735
She's asking for too much when we have to provide for more people. No deal! We weren't planning on going after the Colossus yet anyways.
>>
(The voting period shall remain open for one and a half hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3456740
>Accept her offer to slay the Colossus. Considering the ease with which she felled the Titan, there's no reason you shouldn't jump on the possibility of taking down something stronger. There's a price to pay, but you're willing to take it.
>But she only gets half of the Colossus if she proves she's worth that much and ends up doing half of the work. Otherwise, you and yours get most of the Colossus.
>>
>>3456728
huh, didn't expect mother to be a favorite part, but then again ill admit i can be very harsh when it comes to judgment, so maybe for me comparatively i just saw her as the villain and a hypocrite, and left it at that.

and fair enough on the bamboozlements, i cant really say being here from the beginning how they look to a newcomer afterall.

>>3456740
this bitch.

>Tell Gina to throw up a wall between your group and her real self.
>"now that terms are a bit more even, we get half, you get half. regardless of if you were after it first, and got the killing blow, you hardly did half the effort, so you already are getting more than your share."
>shrug.
>"we would be happy to help you take down the colossus; so long as we get our fair share aswell, which could very well be more than half."
>"Look, we dont like unnecessary fights with other daughters. we like helping others, and making friends."
>Narrow eyes.
>"but we also have not hesitated to put down those who are a threat to us and others. we have our own goals. we need this as much as you, and our groups bigger too. we dont want to be enemies, but we wont be pushed around by flimsy arguments like 'dibs' either. "
>"i dont want to make you walk away with nothing. i dont want to fight you over this; but we arent walking away without our fair share, and we will make you walk away with nothing if we have to. this can be beneficial for all of us, and we can leave or even work together on good terms. or you can make this a shitshow for everyone."
>"Your choice."
>>
>>3456755
i should mention i want that wall to be very strong and very thick. she no doubt has something strong to throw against armor, and we should be prepared for the worst outcome here.
>>
>>3456740
>>Try to convince her to go with you to slay the Feline Amalgam. You'll be able to take down a weaker foe and it'll give you some time to feel Magpie out a bit. Maybe she's just slow to warm up to people, and if she is dangerous, then at least it would force her to be in arm's reach in case things go south.
>>Write-In
"I'm interested, but a Colossus is pretty big game. You don't hunt something that tough with a team you don't know how to fight alongside. This hunt was too brief, no way we know enough about each other's abilities to tackle the swamp monster. Let's go after some smaller prey, just to get a handle on each other first. We know about the location of another few Amalgalms, we can knock them off in an afternoon and then head for the swamp once we're better coordinated. Last thing either of us wants is for me or Dorian to intercept your killshot because we zigged when you expected us to zag."

>>3456755
>huh, didn't expect mother to be a favorite part, but then again ill admit i can be very harsh when it comes to judgment, so maybe for me comparatively i just saw her as the villain and a hypocrite, and left it at that.
Oh, Mother is absolutely a villain and a hypocrite. But she's a villain and a hypocrite that plays very well into this narrative, and I love what brief glimpses into her psyche we've had.
>>
>>3456750
>>3456775
i really dont think we should back down on getting our fair share here. as much as i dont like even being perceived as a potential bully here, we also cant be pushovers on these things, nor afford to get a reputation as pushovers. we dont want to look like people who you can convince or coerce into helping you then taking advantage of them to screw them over. we help people, but we also expect our fair dues of the spoils when they come around, even if we dont always do it expecting there to BE spoils.
>>
Okay. I'm back what did I miss? Also, motherfucker. they stuck me with the dinner shift. I won't be able to participate for a majority of the day and don't get me started on their no-cellphone policy.
>>
>>3456792
oof, harsh. bathroom breaks are a godsend my friend.
We killed the titan fairly easily but now the sniper bitch is trying to give us only a quarter of the bio, but trying to soften the blow by convincing us to team up to kill the colossus, with us getting half of that.

shes also using a hologram to talk to us while keeping a gun aimed at us from a hilltop, thinking we dont know shes doing it. im thinking hell no, we deserve more than a quarter for sure and probably will deserve more than half, but as i said above if shes willing to actually be reasonable im not against helping her take it down if we get our fair share of both. otherwise she can fuck off as far as im concerned.
>>
>>3456799
note us getting a quarter is ONLY if we help with the colossus. otherwise she wants ALL of it.
>>
>>3456309
Wow OK kill stealer.
Stay firm on the fact that she didn't act on the attack when she was here first, and that all she did was shoot it ONCE and then claim we stole the kill? Fuck off. You get the quarter, not us.
>>
>>3456802
>>3456799
I think the issue is that her bio-ability (Magpie birdshot) destroys the Bio-essence that's available in exchange for more damage. If her ammunition was something different, then there would be more of the titan left to consume. Instead we're stuck with having to haggle with the scraps because her augments makes her Magpie Hive uncontrollable.
>>
>>3456799
How about we argue that if she wants us to wade into close quarters with a Colossus while she hangs back, we should be as durable as possible? It's in her interests to let us feed on more so that we can put more levels into defensive options. It's less food now in exchange for a more guaranteed shot at much more food later.
>>
>>3456805
Changing my vote to this >>3456755
>>
>>3456805
yeah i forgot to mention myself that lets not forget we GAVE her the opportunity to tell us to back off, but instead she agreed to and accepted the assistance. she agrees to team up, lets us put our lives on the line to get her a better and easier shot, then says we get nothing, or only a quarter if we help her with what could be a massively hard fight?

get bent with that nonsense. you wanted all of it, you should've told us to leave.

>>3456806
thats not a good argument for her getting more than us/more than her fair share though, especially not when she will only give us ANY if we agree to help with another fight.

>>3456809
nah, honestly have no reason to have to haggle with her like that. shes in the wrong and being unreasonable as hell as far as im concerned, we shouldn't have to convince her through, not lies, but still other reasoning, to potentially get what we deserve.
>>
>>3456806
Also, not our problem her ability destroys important resources everyone needs.
>>
>>3456814
>nah, honestly have no reason to have to haggle with her like that. shes in the wrong and being unreasonable as hell as far as im concerned, we shouldn't have to convince her through, not lies, but still other reasoning, to potentially get what we deserve.
I see your point, but I was thinking more of as an out for her to accept our position gracefully. I think you're right, we should be assertive in defending our right to our share of the kill. But tacking on a concillatory bit at the end gives Magpie a way to reframe conceding the point as something she wants. People like to rationalize their decisions to put themselves in the best light. If Magpie can tell herself that giving up the meat isn't her submitting to someone else but just making a smart decision, she'll be more likely to go for it. Make it a one-two punch, force her to consider backing down and then give her a way so that backing down works for her.
>>
>>3456831
i see your point, but her pride is her own problem. and i think a big thing is, im still kinda iffy on even agreeing to face the colossus anyways, and hardly think we should HAVE to agree to face it to get anything here, no matter how we go about getting our share of the Titan.

it still kinda feels like even with how you say it, shes basically holding us hostage as meat shields against the colossus for us to get anything out of our efforts, nevermind the literal hostage situation of aiming a gun at us while pretending not to.
>>
>>3456740
>Haggle
>Have Gina and Dorian coordinate together. Dorian spawns Paint constructs to coat the fields on the ground behind us to create an optical illusion image of us, the gang and Magpie's projection while Gina slowly raises the ground to display the illusion while hiding the fact that the group is behind a barrier.
>"You drive a hard bargain. How long have you been stalking the Witness?"
>"And how do you plan on killing the Colossus? Shoot it until it dies? You can only fire so many shots downrange before you're forced to relocate or enter close combat. Work with us, give us a bigger share, and you won't have to risk your skin and sit back comfortably firing flocks of Magpies with the rifle that you're looking at."
>"We would like 40% of the Titan. You'll get 55% of the Colossus in exchange. In terms of sheer biomass and essence, the Colossus's a bigger pie. And when you think about it in terms of bio-mass consumed per daughter, you'll always get the bigger slice."
>>
>>3456838
True. I guess my perspective is being shaped by the fact that I like the "hunt some lesser prey together, then see if we want to fight a colossus" option. And I don't want to be overly confrontational, because even if we put up a blind we'd still have to get back through this terrain with a sniper angry at us. Actually, shit, I just realized something rereading the post. She needs to have line of sight between her duplicate and her real body in order to maintain connection.

>The breeze that gently caresses your arms does nothing to the hair of the woman before you, and you've finally realized three of the eyes that hover near her are focused on their owner, no doubt key to whatever is keeping her projection active.

So if we put up a blind the connection will cut, she'll take it as a hostile action, and even if we wanted to avoid a fight we'd have no way to communicate with her.
>>
>>3456849
>>3456740
>Haggle
Amending my vote do not include the Terraforming:
>Haggle:
>"You drive a hard bargain. How long have you been stalking the Witness?"
>"And how do you plan on killing the Colossus? Shoot it until it dies? You can only fire so many shots downrange before you're forced to relocate or enter close combat.
>"We would like 40% of the Titan. You'll get 55% of the Colossus in exchange. In terms of sheer biomass and essence, the Colossus's a bigger pie. And when you think about it in terms of bio-mass and essence consumed per daughter, you'll always get the bigger slice."
>Work with us, give us a bigger share, and you won't have to risk your skin. You can sit back comfortably firing flocks of Magpies with the rifle that you're currently looking through.
>"Turn and flash a smile at Magpie's actual location."

>>3456851
Good point.
>>
(Gentlemen, due to a sudden change of evening plans, I shall be extending the voting period by an additional hour and a half. I won't be able to return back home for a bit this evening, but I still intend to make at least one more post this evening.)
>>
>>3456851
>>3456858
thats not true i think. the floating eyes give off the hologram, not her actual self, hence three of them aiming at her directly, like projectors.

also in that one we are still giving her WAAAAY too much. i just cant accept haggling ourselves out of what we deserve here, sorry. if she decides to be hostile, so be it.
>>
>>3456755
Can you at least make it so the barrier doesn't break Magpie's Line of Sight with her projected self? The problem is that once Magpie sees something she doesn't like (i.e a barrier being raised), she'll probably shoot the titan corpse to deny everyone the goods including herself.

Or have Dorian coat the ground behind us with paint so that Magpie's projected self sees an optical illusion of a still-landscape while Magpie's actual self sees a moving paint-picture illusion of us still being open and vulnerable?
>>
>>3456867
>thats not true i think. the floating eyes give off the hologram, not her actual self, hence three of them aiming at her directly, like projectors.
Oh, right, sorry. I misread it. I interpreted "focused on their owner" as them aiming back at the original, not at the replica. Yes, that makes much more sense. I retract my issue with your plan.

Would comment more, but takeout just got here. Hopefully I'll be back before the voting period ends.
>>
>>3456870
>>3456875
i mean, the wall just has to protect our group, and though she is a meter away we still can put it up just between us id think. but like i said, unless she has to see the eyeballs to control them, which i kinda doubt, that shouldn't cut the connection.

and while i dont dislike the Dorian strategy, i just dont like leaving us out in the open in any way while shes training a gun on us. id LOVE to wait to throw it up til we think we have to, but we have no way of knowing WHEN shes firing, and even if we did, cant be sure we can react in time to throw it up before our heads been blown off.

grah. i get you guys concerns, i really do, nor do i want to have to fight her, or deny her her fair share, i just cant stand by with my own vote and let her basically bully us like that, especially given the context of how we really did give her her chance to take it all for herself.

we just, we need to stand up for ourselves. just because we help people and want to make friends not enemies doesn't mean we should or have to back off empty handed to every stubborn bitch who wants to abuse our good nature.
>>
>>3456755
Seconding this. Half is more than enough.
>>
>>3456882
And back.

No, I totally agree with you that we can't let Magpie take advantage. I'm just overly cautious around snipers, I guess. But, no, you're right, throw up a bunker fast and the sniper is less scary. We'd be pinned down, but we have stealth drones and radar so we'd probably win a sniper duel.
>>
>>3456925
I think we have the tools to beat her or at least survive the encounter. Our biggest issue would be her stealth moreso than her range, but we already know her camo isn't perfect and we have ways to draw her out, though would have to make our tricks count.

Also ive been hoping for and am very happy to see bioguns are a thing. I am biased as a gun lover but still, awesome.
>>
>>3456960
The question is whether it's a relic like the Contender or if she's pieced together some skill that lets her make guns. She's got at least some Hive Mistress in her build, and probably some Neuromancer or Phantasmal Conduit to do the holograms with, but if she's hunting Titans solo I wouldn't be surprised if she's high enough level to also have hybridized together Calcite Armorer and something for propellant.
>>
>>3456973
the most plausible way would be fibromancer and calcite armorer id say. muscle spasms firing shards of bone, hollow tips filled with different things from other ability trees.

basically how the tyranids do it.
aka dickguns.
>>
>>3456973
There's also the fact that Titan class amalgams have specialized skill-tree abilities that give them an extra-oomph in the form of supernatural abilities. Ash Vagrant's main schtick was Ash, Cinder and smog. Which is something that isn't related to the typical bio-mancy of the Crucible.
>>
>>3456976
Yeah, I figure it's either that, Generator to make chemical propellants, or Humoral Paladin for pressurized body fluids.

>>3456977
I can see ways it could be derived from the more standard Daughter abilities, but it does seem somewhat out of theme aesthetically. Makes me wonder what that thing's history was, that it wound up all fiery and with metal stakes in its flesh.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3456740

A single thought, a silent utterance is all it takes before Gina stabs a pair of cords into the ground at her feet, a wall several feet thick erupting to form a barrier between you and the sniper's nest. You fix Magpie's projection with a cool, businesslike stare.

"Now that terms are a bit more even, we get half, you get half." You declare, arms folded as a trio of eyes regard you passively. "Regardless of if you were after it first and got the killing blow, you hardly did half the effort, so you already are getting more than your share. We would be happy to help you take down the colossus; so long as we get our fair share as well, which could very well be more than half."

Silence is her reply, and you simply shrug.

"Look, we don't like unnecessary fights with other Daughters. We like helping others, and making friends...but we also have not hesitated to put down those who are a threat to us and others." You add, narrowing your eyes the the hovering orbs. "We have our own goals. we need this as much as you, and our group's bigger too. We don't want to be enemies, but we wont be pushed around by flimsy arguments like 'dibs' either. I don't want to make you walk away with nothing, but we will if we have to. This can be beneficial for all of us, and we can leave or even work together on good terms...or you can make this a shit-show for everyone."

Your swarmlings' refilled stingers drip steady droplets of acid that eat away at the fleshscape with a continual burn of decay and death.

"Your choice."

You projection merely give you a small half-smile before fading away, and for a moment, there's only the sound of the wind whipping the field of blonde hair about at its whims, until...

(Continued)
>>
>>3457025

"I can see why Mara picked you to be her next pet project." Comes Magpie's voice from behind you. The four of you whirl as one to see the sniper less than two meters away, standing there relaxed with her rifle slung over one shoulder. "You're entitled to the Titan. All of it."

{How the...that's her} Gina sputters, the amethyst crystal embedded in her forehead flickering as it processes your collective surroundings. {Like, legit her real body. But how in the fuck did she...?}

"Why the change of heart?" You demand, on guard as your hive vibrates with creativity, flight leading to fight.

"No change of heart. Just a test." Magpie shrugs, the sextet of eyes orbiting her head in a languid circle, glancing between your allies. "With the great Marrow Dragoon singing your praises from the rooftops and telling anyone who'll listen about the kind-hearted Defiant, I had to test the limits of your kindness."

She makes an odd sort of noise through her teeth, an ugly blend of laughter and hissing that reminds you of an amused snake.

"I'm glad you have some mettle to back up that mercy you're becoming famous for."

"I like games even less than you do, and I like tests even less." You reply slowly, an angry scowl working its way across your forehead.

"Then you'd best give Marrow Dragoon a wide berth." She replies calmly before stepping aside, gesturing to the remains with the arm that isn't slung over her weapon. "I'm serious about the spoils. They're rightfully yours."

"Bon appetit."

>>Consume the Witness' remains (6 POINTS TO DISTRIBUTE, PLEASE SELECT PLAYER AND SKILL DISTRIBUTION).

>>Question her (Write-In)

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. Voting shall remain open for the next ten hours, and writing shall resume in less than twelve. Thank you all so much for bearing with the pauses today, and let me know if tomorrow evening's rapid-posting works well for you. I shall be around for a little while longer to address any questions, comments, or criticisms you may have, and I hope you have a wonderful evening. Take care, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3457028
first
>Tell her if she'll be more straight forward with you, you still have another hunt she can join you on, or you can help her take down the Colossus still so she can still get something. be clear you arent happy with her, but you're not against second chances either. maybe she can show you who she is when shes not interacting with you under Maras influence, but as each of you as yourselves.

now, something to remember is that we came out here to help Gina level up, and also we have CHOICES near us.
>Consume the remains.
>Talk to Dorain and Amara about what reaching 'Level 5' means, though they may know just make sure Amara specifically understands the severity of it, and that a third option exists. tell them both you and Gina are willing to go to it with them, but understand if they wish to go it alone.

>SHU; 0
shes honestly fine and this outing isnt about her, we can give her one from the kitty or colossus.

>GINA; 4
>>NEUROTIC HALO X2
>>VERURTEILUNG x2
Neuromancer and Halo really really would work well hybridized, so keeping them equal in level so we can combine at level 10 is a really good idea. otherwise, i think we have been overlooking Verurteilungs usefulness, and what it may hold if we level it up more.


>DORIAN; 1
>>UNKNOWABLE HUE
its time to get those choices made. his also is one i dont think we need to wait to hybridize, like with Rath.

>AMARA; 1
>>HOLISTIC LEXICON
again ,choices to be made. id really love to see what a hybridized Lexicon does, but i dont think any of her current abilities are the right choice, so if we do, we can shoot to do that later.


id also say we really didnt see anything from this Titan worth taking, i cant see it being a major boon into anyone's kit. maybe the Kitty or Colossus will have better options for consuming. plus, besides Dorian, everyones kit is pretty full and we should only shoot for so many abilities, so we dont have so many options we cant use them all, and also so we dont start under-leveling ones we have.
>>
>>3457028
Aww man, I hate secret tests of character.

>>Write-In
"So what's happened to the rest of Mara's 'projects'? I take her for the sort with pretty exacting standards. She have any graduates?"
>>
>>3457031
6pm for rapid posting works for me, thanks for running, and hey, work comes first, i understand that.

also i do have to ask how those documents on Wests notes are coming along. im not trying to rush you, please take as much time as you need, i only wish to know if saving over some of the info temporarily while you get them properly done right would be a good idea, that way i dont have to go looking for it all the time haha.
>>
>>3457028
Ok guys, can we please, PLEASE, put one point into swarming for Shu? I love my bug friends.
>>
>>3457058
i think you misinterpret us not putting points into it as us not liking the ability, rather than seeing better places for the resources.

i also dont really aim for what i like as much as i do what i think we need, though ill not lie and say im not happy or biased towards certain abilities and playstyles, only that i try my best to put whats needed over what i like.
>>
>>3457052
>id also say we really didnt see anything from this Titan worth taking, i cant see it being a major boon into anyone's kit. maybe the Kitty or Colossus will have better options for consuming. plus, besides Dorian, everyones kit is pretty full and we should only shoot for so many abilities, so we dont have so many options we cant use them all, and also so we dont start under-leveling ones we have.
I kind of want to see if there's any synergy between the Witness' skin-cloth and Dorian's paint. Canvas, you know. Maybe something to do with making more durable paint minions with a cloth backing, or allowing him to armor himself with portraits, or something like this.
>>
>>3457057
(It was slow going last week, as the majority of my days and evenings were devoted to study. TRhat being said, if there's a particular section you'd like snippets of, I'll be happy to provide. A lot of my notes are shambles of compiled notes, and a lot of my writing efforts go into making it a readable format that doesn't take five minutes per sentence to decipher. Rest assured that it's high on my priorities, just behind making sure the Vein keep flowing as well as I can make it.)

>>3457056
(I do too, hence why it seemed fitting for it to be one of the first things for Magpie to do.)
>>
>>3457064
the mummy strips really weren't that durable though. they were basically his Critic Form, but solid strips of flesh rather than liquid. really feels like a waste to give it to him, as he basically already has it.

otherwise, Shus Hands basically fills that roll well enough, and combining Maw and Hands, rather you want to do that or not, would probably do it better.

i cant see Amara or Gina making good use of it either.

the only thing of use we MIGHT get out of it, is its eye ability, where as someone has a hollow body with a core thats their actual self, but just like the Titan i feel like thats gonna be trading less actual damage for more Bio consumption and much much worse scenarios if the core ever does get hit, and thats not something im willing to risk.

>>3457069
like i said take your time, i understand. really i was looking back for the Class summaries and the Hybridization snippets, as i couldn't remember which levels Hybridization can happen at(though did look back and find said info already.)
>>
>>3457070
Hybridization happens at interval levels of 5, 10, and 15.
>>
>>3457070
>the mummy strips really weren't that durable though. they were basically his Critic Form, but solid strips of flesh rather than liquid. really feels like a waste to give it to him, as he basically already has it.
Well, that's why I thought it would be an interesting match. Similar effects with thematic compatibility, I figured it could make for a good augmentation. But I can see the argument for skipping it, it was mostly idle curiosity.

On more serious build crafting, I'd like to put some levels into Scarlet Terror soon. Not at this meal, I want to get Dorian past the Choice if for no other reason than so we can keep raising Unknowable Hue, but the next. It's a great buff for a melee tank, which Dorian is currently our best option for filling that role, but way too expensive. The health regen raising it offers is also a good match if Dorian's going to keep using Sui Tormentis.

As for Amara, she's currently got three abilities all at level one. I'm inclined towards giving her levels in either Queen Crimson or Sternuation Cannon, just to give her a better safety net if something gets close to her. Maybe alternate levels, so she'll get both the BIO regen and capacity increase. I'd put the priority towards Sternuation Cannon, though, since it doesn't cost HP to use.
>>
>>3457084
i actually agree with you on both Amara and Dorian, but i want to get them both past their Choice this level up, which we can do for both of them. both of their secondary abilities need levels, just we have a slightly more important event with both their core abilities to fulfill now is the thing.
>>
>>3457085
Oh, sure. Like I said, I want to get the Choice out of the way just so it's done with, I'm taking into account that we'll planning on having a few more meals before we go home. Sorry, this is my first time actually taking part in these character building sections, it's fun to plan the upgrades out.
>>
>>3457089
its no issue, you got nothing you need to apologize for. i whole heartily agree with the sentiments, it is a very fun section.

and a terribly debate heavy one at times, im not sure if you just read the actual Story updates from BHOP or everything in the threads, but let me tell ya, words pile up in heaps over the littlest details over consume or upgrade choices at times. and thats all part of the fun!
>>
>>3457091
I read the whole thing, though did not retain much of the arguments about builds. You are not kidding about the size of those, my mind kind of glazed over. Actually participating in them is much more engaging.
>>
>>3457097
indeed. though debates less than usual, though not for bad reasons so far. if we do take down the colossus, thats gonna be an interesting time i imagine.
>>
>>3457028
>"Cheeky Crow, being able to get the jump on us like that."
>Let Amara and Dorian know about "The Choice".
>"Amara. I need to let you know about something. When you grow strong, one day you'll be visited by a being who calls itself "Mother. She'll give you a choice to choose a gift. That day is near. It might happen soon, but who knows? Anyways, Mother will come to you with two presents she has already prepared for you. You can only choose one present. But do you want to know a secret? You can ask for a present of your own. Any present, not just one of the two presents she wants you to pick. And she'll give it to you regardless."
>"Dorian. Like Amara, you're near the threshold where you'll be visited by Mother. Your core ability if you level it up after consuming the Titan, will prompt Mother to visit you in a vision. and offer "The Choice." You may have seen it mentioned in Dr. West's notes. This is what the choice means. You will get to choose an upgrade path. A path for your abilities to grow. Those paths will be the ones offered by Mother as grand vivid visions not like your dreams. Pre-made and ready like paintings already filled in. You get the drift. The reason why we're having this talk is because there is a third path. A path of your choosing. Your own path. I simply want to help you make the choice that's best for you by laying out what is possible. So when the time comes and the choice is presented, ask yourself this: 'what do you want for yourself as an Artist? an Art-style to emulate? or an Art style that you've developed yourself?' "
Point distribution
>Dorian: 2 points.
>Gina: 3 points.
>Amara 1 point
>Shu: 0 points.
>>
>>3457124
you forgot to say where to spend the points for each character.
>>
>>3457124
>>3457168
Gina gets one point across the board. Neuromancy, Halo, and Conviction get a point apiece
>Dorian gets 1 point into Unknowable Hue and a consume option.
The titan is special for something, can't let the properties go to waste.
>Amara gets a point into Lexicon.
>>
>>3457124
I'd say cut out the bit to Amara about asking for any present you want, because that's misrepresenting the Fool's Choice a bit. We don't want her getting disappointed when that's not what happens and choosing one of Mother's options out of frustration. I say we treat her as having the maturity to understand the real crux. Kids like it when you treat them as (their impression of) an adult, able to handle responsibility. Put into terms she can understand easily, at least.

>Remember when you first met us, and decided that you didn't like your name, and so asked me to give you a new one? What would you have done if you decided you didn't like "Amara"? You wouldn't have had to go back to your old name, right? You would have just found another name you liked better. It's like that. Mother is going to offer you two ideas of who she thinks you are. But you don't have to choose either one, you can go find a new idea all for yourself. If you decide you want to be one of those people, that Mother's ideas sound good, that's fine. We'll love you all the same, that's not going to change. But just remember that you can be whoever you want to be, and you don't have to take one of Mother's options just because they're the only ones in front of you.
>>
>>3457185
You know, I like this. >>3457124 I'm amending our talk with Amara into what >>3457185 said.
>>
>>3457031
I'm stuck with the dinner shift and won't be able to get out until 8 pm. It'll still work with me to a degree. but don't let me slow you down.
>>
>>3457028
Shu: 1
>Swarmlings

Gina: 1
>Neurotic Halo

Dorian: 2
>Scarlet Terror
>Consume

Amara: 2
>Queen Crimson x2

I don't want Shu to get nothing. That she gets less is fine, but I still want her to progress. I also want to try to get some Hybridization action for the others.
>>
>>3457124
Seconding the speech about the Choice. For point distribution:

>Shu: 1 Point
>Gina: 1 Point
>Dorian: 2 Points
>Amara: 2 Points
>>
>>3457355
Also, if we have to choose which skill gets which points, my votes are for:

Shu: Exsanguinating Leash
Gina: Neurotic Halo
Dorian: Scarlet Terror, CONSUME
Amara: Queen Crimson, CONSUME
>>
>>3457028
Shu: 1
>SWARMLING

Gina: 3
>NEUROTIC HALO x 2
>NEUROMANCY
I want to put points in Verurteilung but I think we should be getting Neuromancy and Halo to 10 asap first. Having said that, is it possible to hybridize three abilities at once?

Dorian: 1
>Scarlet Terror
It would be nice to hybridize something with Hue but he doesn't have anything particularly appropriate yet. Unfortunately nor did the Witness. Open to changing to Unknowable Hue.

Amara: 1
>QUEEN CRIMSON
>>
Gosh dang dimma darnit. We really should be ay least getting Dorian and Amaras choices done guys, and both their Core Abilites are pretty difficult to rind matches for to hybridize. If we try and hold off on this just for that, its never going to be the right time, and the choice has always been a good power boost, which they both need.

Also the titan has shown NO ability worth taking. None. Just because its special does not mean its good or meshes well with anyone's kit.

Also if your gonna try and focus on Ginas abilites both reach level 10 together making sure they stay the same level is how you are going to do that, not over leveling one compared to the other.
>>
>>3457402
Well I dunno, Scarlet Terror might go with Unknowable Hue to buff Dorian's forms and paint familiars.
>>
>>3457403
The thing is, hybridizing doesn't just tack on one ability onto another, it makes an entirely new ability. The thing is his is already kinda 3 abilites in one, and ST kinda honestly already works best with Critic Form the most id argue, and despite the risk of muddling up the uniqeness of his form shifting i kinda feel like hybridizing it may do the same.

But its not a bad choice either ill admit, and i cant see much else being too much better. My point still stands though that at LEAST for Amara we should make the choice, lexicon could take ages if we EVER find something to roll it up with, and for both of them missing this opportunity is silly, especially on an extremely optional outting made to get everyone stronger for the sake of strength, which the choice undoubtedly dies, even with the third option.
>>
>>3457294
>>3457355
Also i really cant let go that a major point of amalgam hunting was getting Gina levels im preparation for the forest and you guys are giving her jack all for levels.
>>
>>3457028
Alright then. Changing.

Shu: 1
>Swarmling

Gina: 3
>Neurotic Halo x2
>Verurteilung

Dorian: 1
>Scarlet Terror

Amara: 1
>Holistic Lexicon
>>
>>3457414
Seconded
>>
>>3457414
Can i at least convince you to do an even spread for Gina, so that its easier to line up Halo and Neuro for later Hybridizing?
>>
>>3457433
But this does make it an even spread. Neuromancer and Halo will both be at level 6 from that point.

Also, I'm fine with switching Dorian's point to Unknowable Hue to go through the choice or the Consume option for a third ability tree if people would rather have those.
>>
>>3457437
Oh, im a dumbass, my bad. Thought you had given those 2 points to Neuromancer.
>>
>>3457437
I really dont think the Titan here has good consume options, but ill meet you on the middle and say aiming to hybridize something into Hue is not a bad idea, jist not sure if scarlet is the best. Mind you, we could do scarlet, then at level 10 Hybridize again.
>>
Points Votes so far;

SHU;
>0 points- 2
>1 points- 4
GINA;
>1 points- 1
>3 points- 4
>4 points- 1
DORIAN;
>1 points- 4
>2 points- 2
AMARA;
>1 points- 5
>2 points- 1

Choices votes so far;
SHU;
>SWARM- 3
>LEASH- 1

GINA;
>NEURO- 2
>HALO- 2
>VER- 3
>HALOx2- 4
>VERx2- 1

DORIAN;
>HUE- 2
>TERROR- 4
>CONSUME- 2

AMARA;
>LEXICON- 4
>QUEEN- 2
>CONSUME- 1
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)

>>3457455
(You are magnificent, thank you for this.)
>>
>>3457455
Yay swarmling!
>>
>>3457586
Shu really didn't need any points but if we were gonna do it, we should've given it to her other abilites. We both cant keep over leveling her, nor ignoring her secondaries if we are gonna level her.
>>
>>3457624
Especially if, as people have discussed, we're going to hybridize Ravenous Maw with Hundred-Handed. We're already past the first hybridization point for Ravenous Maw, so if we're going to put them together at Level 10 that's another thirteen levels that needs to be split between them. Or eleven, I guess, since we need to raise both to Level 9 and then raise them both at once. An alternative would be combining Exsanguinating Leash with Hundred-Handed, they've both low enough that we'd only need another five levels to set up the merger. That could be a good hybrid skill, get the ability to deploy life-drain tendrils from our constructs so they can feed and extend their combat endurance.
>>
>>3457657
I feel that ones kinda redundant with their Ability to heal from dealing damage, which they would need To hurt the enemy do do anyways. Another thing to note is, swarmling already often seems to cause other abilites, like handed, to naturally sometimes be usable by the swarmlings, with guranteed secondary ability based boons to swarmling at level 10. With how swarmling works it feels like choosing which abilites to Hybridize based on it is a moot point, and should focus on how Hybridizing helps our secondary abilites themselves.
>>
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>>3457028

“Sneaky crow.” You say, your tone devoid of amusement.

“Thank you.” Magpie replies, crossing her legs and collapsing to the ground before gently setting her firearm to one side. It’s an obvious display of submission, a clear attempt to set you and your friends at ease before you let your guard down enough to consume the remains. You study her a moment before reaching out to the brunette by your side.

[Gina, keep watch on her with Dorian] You say, taking Amara by the hand and leading her away from the corpse and sniper, both. [I need to chat with this little one for a second]

“Hey, remember when you first met us, and decided that you didn't like your name, and so asked me to give you a new one?” You begin, once you’re a few yards away from the others. You kneel down as you ask the question with the little girl in front of you nodding her head up and down rapidly, her face plastered with a wide, joyous grin. “What would you have done if you decided you didn't like "Amara"? You wouldn't have had to go back to your old name, right?”

“If I hated it, I’d have picked my own cool name, then! Fuck tha’ police!” She declares, and you stifle a groan. You need to have a talk with Rath later about vocabulary, but for right now you need to focus on the here and now, and the gravity of what Amara’s about to tackle.

“Well, when we absorb that Cyclops over there, you’ll be given a choice like that. Mother is going to offer you two ideas of who she thinks you are. But you don't have to choose either one, you can go find a new idea all for yourself. If you decide you want to be one of those people, that Mother's ideas sound good, that's fine. We'll love you all the same, that's not going to change.” You continue, and something shifts in her posture as she listens patiently. “Just remember that you can be whoever you want to be, and you don't have to take one of Mother's options just because they're the only ones in front of you.”

The expression she wears on her youthful face is a curious one, one blue and one hazel eye fixed on you with inscrutable intent. You’re almost knocked over bodily when she slams into you with a hug, wrapping her skinny arms around your neck, her face buried between your neck and shoulder. After a moment she pulls away from you, her smile containing an unexpected trace of melancholy. Then, with a small shift of her features, she’s back to her usual, innocent smile, grinning at you as you rise.

“You ready?” You ask, extending a hand which she takes immediately with both of hers.

She nods, and with that you rejoin your allies next to the Witness’ meagre remains. You share a pointed look with Gina and Dorian, both of whom chance a look towards Magpie. She’s still sitting cross-legged, her rifle pushed even further away to attempt to ease some of the tension she herself is responsible for.

Here goes nothing.

>>SHU, GG, DORIAN, AMARA – LEVEL UP

(Continued)
>>
>>3457675
I thought swarmlings didn't themselves heal, but just stored healing for Shu to use. Maybe I misunderstood. Either way, you're right, probably best not to mono-focus on what can benefit the swarm so much. I do think that Hundred Exsanguinating Hands could be a nice combo in its own right, though. Being able to drain life would make the sprouted limbs very nasty. Especially if Hundred Hands develops the ability to grow from neutral biomass as well as that under Shu's direct control. Then she'd have a combo bind/DoT move, grow life-draining tendrils from the ground to consume the target. Even if it has to be biomass that she controls, that combo would still work well with the Hollowpoint Hive round for the Contender. Shoot the target, infect them with a hive, hive sprouts limbs to do the same thing directly.
>>
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>>3457732

SHU – LEVEL UP

>>SWARMLING (Lvl 8): Your arsenal grows as you do, drawing ever closer to the inevitable day when all the pieces are finally in place. You now possess the ability to create Swarmlings of the Bishop-Class for the cost of 40% BIO per unit, which manifest as stout, rotund things resembling large beetles more than any kind of wasp or bee. In lieu of any sort of acidic payload or raking talons, they are instead packed full of a potent mixture that pulls double duty as a neuro-muscular accelerant, with the intent of clinging to allies. As long as the Bishop is attached, over the course of three rounds they augment your ally’s speed and reaction time, increasing their default movement range by two zones and drastically increasing their chances of scoring a critical hit and resisting critical hits delivered from foes. Some would say that everything outside of yourself are but pieces of a grand game…regardless of the veracity of that musing, you have a feeling your ability to control the world around you is just going to keep growing. (BIO +20%)

(Continued)
>>
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>>3457739

GG – LEVEL UP

>>NEUROTIC HALO (Lvl 5): The true purpose behind the Halo’s curious design is slowly becoming more apparent. The wearer now boasts the ability to wield greater control over the dreamscape, granting them heightened resistance to dream-based attacks. Additionally, extended conversations with Daughters that are contained within the wearer now have a far greater chance of granting Augmentations and bonus Level Ups for Neuromancy or Phantasmal Conduit skill trees. The mind is a terrible thing to waste…so Gina intends to use every moment to her advantage. (BIO +10%)

>>NEUROTIC HALO (Lvl 6): The mind of a general, the swiftness of cavalry. The Neurotic Halo now receives a considerable boost to its processing at the start of combat, granting the wearer an additional ACT that disappears in the following rounds. Additionally, Gina’s auto-counter increases in speed and power, with the reciprocal attack now dealing three times critical damage. Her mind strives for greater and greater heights to satiate her boundless curiosity, the lust for knowledge an endless journey…but Gina intends to reach the finish line. (BIO +10%)

>>VERURTEIUNG (Lvl 3): Fear, lurking at the fringes of the mind, unaddressed. If taken lightly, it will only grow into a force nothing can stop. The absolute terror field projected by the user has been expanded in breadth and power, and now covers a medium area with an aura of fear that imposes disadvantage against foes’ attempts to free themselves from bindings or negative status effects, as their formerly rational mind devolves into a primal, panicked mess. Finally, critical hits inflicted on terrified foes from any source now deal an extra level of damage. Is it better to be feared, or loved? Gina never understood why she’d have to choose between the two when both held equal appeal…(HEALTH +20%)

(Continued)
>>
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>>3457743

DORIAN – LEVEL UP

>>SCARLET TERROR (Lvl 2): A thin, red streak, the artist’s line a surgical incision into the heart of the viewer. When Scarlet Terror is active, any slashing damage done by the user is now guaranteed to open severe wounds, with the drawing of blood almost guaranteed, depending on the physiology of the Daughter. What’s more, melee attacks inflicted upon Dorian while Scarlet Terror is active will now result in a series of small blades erupting from the armor, dealing little in the way of damage but boasting a high chance of inflicting the BLEED status on the attacker. The world is Dorian’s canvass, and all the bodies therein may serve as his medium. (HEALTH REGEN +10%)

AMARA – LEVEL UP

>>LEXICON OF FLESH (Lvl 5): 48 45 4c 4c 4f 20 43 48 49 4c 44

(Continued)
>>
>>3457756
That hex text: Hello child
>>
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>>3457756

When you and your allies finish off the Titan’s remains, you’re pleased find that Magpie is right where you left her, orbiting eyes regarding you impassively as they orbit the Daughter’s head.

“Good meal?” She asks, and Gina just shoots her an irritated scowl as Dorian slides the visor of the Tormentis’ helm back into place, interposing himself between the sniper and you, but a small figure slips by him and runs to your side.

“Miss Shu?” Amara groans, tugging on the hem of your dress as she stares up at you miserably, her other hand on her stomach. “I don’t feel so good.”

A knot grows in your stomach as you look into her frightened eyes. The fact that it hit so suddenly is a little disconcerting…you’ hoped that it would take a little while to hit, but the fact remains…

It’s time.

>>Let Amara do this alone. It’s a choice only she can make, ultimately. You trust her to do what’s best for her, and besides; you aren’t keen on letting anyone else go under while Magpie’s this close.

>>You wouldn’t put it past Mother to try and pull something with someone so young. You’ll go under alongside her, with Gina and Dorian free to defend your sleeping bodies. She’s not alone in this, and she never will be.

>>Gina or Dorian can accompany Amara to her Choice, while you keep an eye on Magpie. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to feel her out a little bit…though given how cryptic she insists on being, getting anything out of her might be more trouble than its worth.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next two hours. Also, my sincerest apologies for how long this took to pull together. It has been a comically busy morning with a silly amount of interruptions, so thank you for your patience. I hope you're having a great day so far, and rapid posting is still set to go live at around 6:30 this evening, though I'll keep everyone up to date depending on when I get out of work.)
>>
>>3457739
Queen-class, Knight-class, Bishop-class.
I'm sensing a pattern here. What next? A Rook-class? Moves like Castling with the swarmlings? The weirder pieces from chess variants or historical sets like Camel or Counselor? Well okay, maybe not the last one.
>>
>>3457624
Cry more
>>
>>3457761
>>Write-In
"Amara, you want anyone to be there with you, or do you want to handle this yourself? Gina can plug us in, but I understand if you'd prefer it be private"

Because we trust our bomb-ass little sister. It's her decision, our being there should be welcome support instead of helicopter parenting.
>>
>>3457787
This.

>>3457779
Its no worry, you do what you need to do.

>>3457786
You have issues man, its simple discussion over important choices, nothing more.
>>
>>3457739
>>3457743
>>3457756
Also i apologise, but due to the nature of phone posting i wont be able to update the character sheets til i am home.

>>3457736
They can heal themselves but not anyone else but Shu.

Also fair enough on the hands, maybe shoot to combine them then at 10 roll maw in to it aswell?
>>
>>3457761
>accompany amara.
I’ve come to the realization that Shu and friends basically become her surrogate family. With Shu becoming her surrogate mother, Rath as Amara’s cool big sister, Gina as her aloof big sis, Julia as her aunt, and Dorian as her brother/uncle. if she’s having a stomachache, then we should keep her company.
>”Amara? does your tummy hurt? lie down on Miss Shu’s Lap. Do you want someone to keep you company when Auntie Mother visits you? Nod you head if you do.”
>Have Gina plug one of us in to keep Amara company for her choice. We are Amara’s new family, and she shouldn’t have to go through this alone.
>>
>>3457783
Chess motif. the theme is there because of how we play as Shu, both IC and as a playerbase. we make moves like a game of chess.
Also, I wonder what kind of construct would a King-class swarmling would be...
anyways it’s almost time for my shift. I’ll most likely be unavailable for the next 6 hours
>>
this a pre-emptive speech against Mother if she tries to call us out, with a few points of calling Mother out on her character:. i’m typing this out so that some of us anons can use this as reference points for their responses.
>I am not here because I want to control her, I am here because she asked for company. to have someone support the choices she makes.
>For a being who prides on calling herself “Mother”, what do you know of Motherhood? of Parenthood?
>You wait from the sidelines, force a choice upon the daughters and then leave. how does that qualify as being a parent?
>>
>>3457851
Well, the King is most important piece yet has very little use of its own. So maybe something that has a lot of passive buffs for the rest of the swarm, but at the cost of being slow or even immobile, and easily taken out.

I'm liking the other upgrades we got, too. Gina getting more bonus points from dream conversations is going to be huge. That extra ACT gives a lot of potential for first-round dominance by either quickly terraforming or jacking into a target. And the improved fear aura really makes me want to get a bind/DoT skill for Shu now, because then the two of them working together would be killer.

For Dorian I'm a little disappointed that he didn't get anything to reduce the BIO cost for Scarlet Terror, but the improvements it did get are so good I don't care that much. Just shifts how it has to be used, instead of a general buff it's a super mode. I can only imagine how strong it will get as it levels up even more.
>>
>>3457887
The maw actually is pretty good at binding up enemies. Hands isnt bad but too close range, which is why it would be another benefit of meshing it with maw. Leash might also help hand with that, depending on what the hybrid ability actually becomes.
>>
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>>3457761
>>3457787
>>3457830

She’s quiet for a few seconds before putting on a stiff upper lip and staring you down hard with her mismatched pair of eyes.

“No, I’m strong. I can show Mother who’s boss.” She states, trying to stand tall despite the discomfort evident on her face, paired with the hand on her stomach.

“I’ll have to brag to Rath about you when…” You begin, faltering when Amara’s eyes flutter and you catch her mid-faint. “You guys watch her okay? Be ready to pull her out if anything seems off, alright? I keep the empathic field attuned to her to watch for any problems.”

Gina and Dorian are by Amara’s side at once as you gently leave her in their capable care. You stride the three paces that it takes to bring you before the sniper, glaring at her a moment before taking a deep breath -- a preface to the air of civility you try to equip before plunging into conversation with someone that hasn't stopped unnerving you.

“So, how do you know Mara?” You start, matching Magpie’s cross-legged pose as you sit across from her, picking one orbiting eye and staring it down.

“We traveled together for three months before going our own ways a month ago.” She replies. “There’s no ill will. It was just creative differences, is all.”

“You mentioned games earlier. What did you mean by that?”

“I’m no stranger to grooming, and I got the feeling that’s exactly what Mara was doing during our time together.” She reflects, caressing the barrel of the weapon at her side.

“If she was talking you up to other Daughters, then why haven’t I head of you before?” You ask, and she makes that same laughing hiss from earlier. The second time is even less endearing that the first.

“Most who knew my name came gunning for me, in my infamy. Some to take my place, others to have a crack at Mara…I was always faster on the trigger. I hope you are too, when you start attracting the same sort of attention that Mara gifted to you that she did to me.”

“You make it sound like she was doing that maliciously.” You reply, and Magpie shrugs one sharp shoulder blade. “How well did you two know each other?”

“We weren’t on a fucking basis, but we had each other’s back.” She grins. “Neither she nor I were ever into that sort of thing…probably made us more efficient, come to think of it. She took melee, I took ranged. We were a good team, and that was the extent of it.

“You do, and if I’m being honest you seem to relish the fact.”

“Before all this it was often said I gave people the creeps. I suppose it’s all I have to give.” She clips, leaning back on her hands. “Tell you what. If you help me with the Colossus, depending on your contributions I’d be willing to split it a max of seventy-five twenty-five…your favor. Consider it a discount for a fellow student.”

You open your mouth to reply when you hear Amara murmur behind you.

(Continued)
>>
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>>3458057

“Hey, how'd it go?” You ask after racing to Amara’s side, and she gives you a little thumbs-up paired with a grin.

“I told Mother that when you and everyone climb up her tower, you’ll tell Rath to punch Mother in the crotch so hard they’ll have to make a new sport!”

“A…new sport?” Dorian echoes, confused until she elaborates.

“Yeah, upper-cunting!”

You watch Dorian’s face go scarlet as you mentally elevate the conversation you need to have with Rath about three priority levels higher than it was.

“Perhaps, ah…maybe we should leave that part out when we recount this tale to Miss Julia?” Dorian interjects, clearly uncomfortable. To your amusement, Magpie’s lips are cocked in a grin, her shoulders shaking slightly with silent laughter.

“So, how did your powers change?” Gina inquires, glancing down at Amara’s head in her lap. The smaller girl thinks on it for a moment until her eyes light up, and she asks for GG to use her cords to help her understand what it means.

{You know, if it was anyone other than Mother she just said that to I’d be furious, but I’ll let it slide} Gina says as she slides a cord into Amara’s wrist, granting you and her insight into how your youngest ally’s powers have altered. {Actually…oh shit, you think we could train her to totally dunk on West when we see her next?}

You’re about to give your reply when a torrent of information floods your mind, detailing the results of Amara's Choice.

>>LEXICON OF FLESH (Lvl 5): Amara's favoritism extends to a select word in her arsenal, reducing its BIO and ACT costs to zero. You may select an additional Favored Word every fifth level of this skill tree. Additionally, where Amara would normally find a single new word in the Fleshscape, she will now find herself faced with a choice between two when the opportunity arises. Finally, you now have the ability to re-name a word in Amara’s Lexicon once per level up or when she acquires a new word. After all, sounds are merely the voicing of an intent or concept, so why shouldn’t the form they take be as fluid as the ideas they embody? (BIO +10%)

SELECT ONE WORD TO UPGRADE AND ANOTHER TO ALTER

AND

SELECT YOUR ACTION

>>The chance of getting the majority of the Colossus is too good to pass up. You’ll take Magpie up on her offer...it's worth it.

>>Hunt down the Feline Amalgam. It should be even easier than tackling the Titan, since you had it on the ropes even before Magpie took a potshot at it. Time to tackle that kitty…hrm. You hope Gina isn’t getting to you…

>>Given your most recent power-boost and the ease with which you were able to bring down the Witness, you feel confident in your ability to traverse Carroll’s Forest and continue west, so that’s exactly what you’re going to do.

>>Magpie’s being more open than you expected her to be. Maybe continuing this line of conversation would prove fruitful.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3458064
>>The chance of getting the majority of the Colossus is too good to pass up. You’ll take Magpie up on her offer...it's worth it.

Now for Amara;
>Upgrade RHO
it can be both a buff or debuff, so it makes the most sense in my opinion to wholly upgrade.

>Alter REV
I feel like this one's the least usable at the moment, so perhaps altering it will change that.

Also proud of our girl, you go Amara! Rath has nothing to apoligize for in my opinion, that was funny as hell.
>>
>>3458084
(Regarding the nature of alteration; it merely changes the actual word, not its effects. It's essentially a way to customize her 'spells'.)
>>
(Also, voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3458064
>Hunt down the Feline Amalgam. It should be even easier than tackling the Titan, since you had it on the ropes even before Magpie took a potshot at it. Time to tackle that kitty…hrm. You hope Gina isn’t getting to you…
Tempting, but I'd rather have a dedicated combat team for that, which for me means getting Rath.

>Upgrade SUTH
Being able to soothe anyone's mind for free can be pretty beneficial outside of combat I feel.

>Alter RHO
Since we already have words for "terrain" and "enemy", and REV SUTH can have the same effect as "harm", I think we can customize this one. But then I figure that Gina can already alter the terrain.

It's true that REV hasn't been used much, but it can make any word be worth another we don't yet have if we want to get creative. What's REV TER, for example? Does it affect the air or sky?
>>
>>3458096
Fair enough, my point on it being the least useful in my opinion still stands however.
>>
>>3458119
Considering altering outright makes us lose the owrd i am very very against altering RHO.
>>
>>3458064
Nice job, best little sister. I'm proud of you.


So, upgrades. I'm thinking RHO for the word she negates the cost of. It's one of her more expensive words, and between its innate versatility and Grinding Earth she can do a lot with it.
>Upgrade RHO

Not sure what to do for word alteration. I don't really have any issue with the current language she uses. Though it would be nice to change the words up just in case we run into an enemy familiar with Skintalking who tries to anticipate Amara's commands by keeping an ear out. "RAK? That's not a word of pow-oh god, my leg!" But the choice is kind of arbitrary, I don't have any strong feelings about these syllables. Short of replacing all of her words with vulgarity (which I assume is why she even has this option), I don't have any ideas.

>>Hunt down the Feline Amalgam. It should be even easier than tackling the Titan, since you had it on the ropes even before Magpie took a potshot at it. Time to tackle that kitty…hrm. You hope Gina isn’t getting to you…
I'd want to bring Rath along for high damage if we're going after a Colossus. Also to get some catharsis from those acid burns by setting the swamp on fire.

>>3458119
>>3458123
No, it changes the actual word, not the effects of the word. So altering RHO would still let Amara invoke obstacles, but by shouting TITS or whatever else it's changed to.
>>
>>3458064
Amara is the best girl ever, and Rath is going to cry with pride when she hears about what Amara said to Mother.

>To your amusement, Magpie’s lips are cocked in a grin, her shoulders shaking slightly with silent laughter.

I think I'm starting to like this creepy crow lady.

Also, Amara made the best choice, because holy shit, this is really going to help her out.

In regards to word choice:

>Upgrade: GRA (8% BIO): a word indicating an escalation of events, this word possesses the ability to vastly enhance the effects of the word it precedes, essentially doubling its effects.

Not only is it the most expensive word, but it doubles the effect of whatever word it precedes. If we upgrade this, WE CAN DOUBLE THE EFFECTS OF ALL OF AMARA'S WORDS FOR FREE.

>Alter: REV

And finally:

>>The chance of getting the majority of the Colossus is too good to pass up. You’ll take Magpie up on her offer...it's worth it.

I want to see what else Magpie can do. And this opportunity is perfect to take down the Colossus.
>>
>>3458129
Grah, damn work making me misread things. Still, RHO has meme potential so lets change the word for enemy then, to something like 'cunt'.
>>
>>3458119
>>3458129
Do keep in mind, if we pass up the chance to get the colossus now, we may never get it again, and it is much more valuable than the feline. It would not be the first time passing up an opportunity has made us lose it forever.
>>
>>3458064
Changing >>3458119
to support >>3458152
>>
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>>3458158
>Rath's reaction when she hears about this choice of word
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>>3458158
Seconding. It's much funnier than my choice of REV.
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>>3458152
>Not only is it the most expensive word, but it doubles the effect of whatever word it precedes. If we upgrade this, WE CAN DOUBLE THE EFFECTS OF ALL OF AMARA'S WORDS FOR FREE.
Yeah, thinking it over, this is better than making RHO free even for a combat style that wants to take advantage of Grinding Earth, because GRAH RHO TER wins on action economy. With RHO free you could do three RHO TERs for the cost of a GRAH-free GRAH RHO TER, but it would take three turns instead of one.

>>3458161
True. Okay, I'll change it to agreeing with a few stipulations first.

>>3458057
>>Upgrade GRAH

>>The chance of getting the majority of the Colossus is too good to pass up. You’ll take Magpie up on her offer...it's worth it.
>>Write-In
Ask Magpie for any information she has on the Colossus first. If it sounds like Rath or Julia would be useful, ask to delay the hunt momentarily while we go swap them in at a waystation.
>>
>>3458084
Changing my alter to
>>3458158
'VUL' to 'CUNT', or more of confirming i wish to do so.
>>
>>3458216
...What are the odds that by the end of Body Horror Quest, all of Amara's words are changed to 'CUNT'.
>>
>>3458245
No, that will be no fun. We've got to change every word to a different curse, and expand Amara's vocabulary and ability to use multiple words in one command, until in the final fight she shouts "SHIT COCK HELL DAMN FUCK CUNT DICK ASS!" and it just washes her opponent away in a wave of vulgarity.
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>>3458252
This.

I like this idea.
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>>3458172
>Mfw our first teammate death is not to an enemy, but to Julia strangling Rath to death.
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>>3458314
Rath's last words
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>>3458364
>>
>>3458378
Gotta admit. Over the past two days i have read all the archives of your quest. Good shit. Look forward to more.
>>
(Back home and writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
home now, and Character sheets up to date. somehow Gina and Shu reached 210% BIO at the same time, keeping their pools tied. found that kinda sweet in a stupid sorta way.

>>3458398
welcome to the game, always glad to see a new reader join us players.
>>
>>3458398
(I'm glad you've caught up, and welcome to the thread, Anon. I happy to hear you're enjoying it, and I'm looking forwards to what's up ahead.)
>>
>>3458398
Glad to have you with us!
>>
>>3458398
Hello, fellow newbie. Glad to have you onboard. I figure I'll extend to you the same questions I was asked when I joined recently: What have been your favorite moments in the quest, and did any twists particularly throw you for a loop?
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>>3458441
shit, meant to throw those out but had to feed my animals, thank you anon.
>>
>>3458441
Well to be fair i missed the leg trick like the rest of you. The way the world is built is fascinating and so are the game mechanics. The little slice of life in this horror ahow is my favorite parts.
>>
>>3458452
My favorite but also saddest part was when B'ni left. And the friend heist too.
>>
>>3458064

>>"GRA" UPGRADED

>>"VUL" RENAMED TO "CUNT"

After conferring with your team and trying unsuccessfully to dissuade Amara from configuring one of her words into a far more vulgar but no less effective form, you convene back with Magpie to address the offer she extended.

"We'd like to accept your offer to take down the Colossus, on two conditions."

"Name them." Magpie sighs, rising from from her seat and hauling up her rifle as she awaits your stipulations.

"First, we'd like any info you have on the Colossus, so we know what we're heading into and can plan accordingly. I think that's fair." You continue as you become aware of something off about your hive, though not necessarily in a negative way. "The second is that if we think our allies might have a better chance against this, then would you be willing to delay the hunt to let us get better equipped to tackle this thing?"

"As far as info goes, it's scarce but consistent." She replies, checking the sight on her firearm as she speaks. "It's a quadruped, and if you average all the stories I've heard then it's two or three times as tall as the Titan. Uses grappling and area control, drawing foes in to keep them in close quarters. It's resilient, stubborn, and unwilling to leave its nest. I planned to stay on the move since the last team that tried to take it at range was swarmed with the thing's minions, but they're the only ones I've heard that've dealt with that, so maybe it's a distance thing. If you want to switch up your team, then knock yourself out."

You're pleasantly surprised at how accommodating she's being, but your appreciation is cut short by the nagging feeling that tugs at your back, within the very core of your spine. Your hive feels stronger, more versatile, and across your connection with Gina you realize she feels the same thing, her own mental defenses that much greater.

It doesn't take you long to realize who you have to thank for that.

>>SUPPORTIVE SOUL has evolved into DEFIANT HEART

>>DEFIANT HEART (Passive): Amara's desire to help her friends has developed into a singular purpose. As long as Amara is within a SHORT or LONG distance to you and your allies, the maximum capacity of created constructs is boosted by 20%, rounded up. Additionally, the chance of allied Neuromancer or Generators' abilities backfiring is reduced by 35%. Amara has finally found the one thing she always wanted, and she has resolved to help her new family in any way she can.

Now, before you head into the mire that almost claimed you and your team the first time through, you ponder if there are any adjustments to be made before you set out.

RELICS: (Shroud damaged, unusuable until end of next rest. All other equipment at 100%. Contender still loaded with unfired Hollowpoint and Parabellum.)

>>Proceed into the Swamp with your current team.

>>Go to Monastery and adjust team (Vote for new team composition)

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for one hour, Gentlemen. Rapid posting begins now.)
>>
>>3458514
oh, nice.

hrm, this is a tough one, buuut...
>>Go to Monastery and adjust team
>Gina
>Julia
>Dorian

again, we are doing these hunts to get Gina a bit stronger. i also still think shooting for Dorians choice via Hybridization is a good idea, and a Colossus will probably more than give us the levels to do that.

otherwise, i think Julias Debuffs will be absolutely what we need, bring the colossus down to Titan level at least, potentially, and Rath honest to god does not need the levels compared to Julia or Amara still, her kit is absolutely kickass as it is. she would be good, great even, in this fight, dont get me wrong, but on the point of leveling our team and keeping everyone viable, it would be an honest waste to give her the levels from this fight is my biggest issue.

considering this thing is supposedly super mobile though, having both Amara and Gina to hold it down might not be bad, but i think thats overkill and we need Julia for that close in kill strength.
>>
>>3458529
Agreed. Rath would be great in this fight, but Julia could use the levels more. And adding a grappling/area control to Julia's list of abilities would definitely work well with her current build.
>>
>>3458529
also Amaras upgrades have been added.

never thought id be editing something to be yelling CUNT in caps but i cant say im upset either.
>>
>>3458514
Ooh, thanks for the boost, Amara. Considering that we plan to eventually HACK THE PLANET, even more protection from Neuromancer backlash is very useful.

I'm down for >>3458529. Send Amara back to tell Rath the hilarious story about how she cussed out God. Julia's melee debuffs and reactive defenses means that it's a mistake for the Colossus to draw her in. Gina's Neuromancer abilities can hasten the speed at which stack-based debuffs are applied, they've got great synergy.

Dorian's also a great option for this fight, since he's immune to grapples and has excellent melee. Trying out the new Bishops on Dorian may be a good idea, too. Inspired Critic boosts crit chance and damage, Bishop boosts crit chance and damage, put it together and he can probably drill a hole straight through this thing. The Bishop's speed boost should also let him move in before the Colossus can deploy any area control abilities.
>>
>>3458529
Thirded. Yall make excellent points.
>>
>>3458529
oh, right.
RELICS;
>Shu; Contender

>Gina; Whistle, Amaras Choice.(BHOP did say i think anyone can use it, but only a Skintalker can load it.)

>Julia; Sui Tormentis and Gauntlets
i kinda feel bad putting her in the armor, but with what i have in mind for the party she would need the protection and strength they both provide.

>Dorian; Alas
having him use the Alas to help chase the thing down and clog it up with Constructs will be a major blessing. Gina can already do her job from long range better than he can do his i feel, so him having it makes more sense.

i thought about giving Dorian the gauntlets but honestly i feel like while he might still be in the fight, he wont be the main target or damage dealer here and has really good dodging capabilities, while Julia, while strong, doesn't really have as many methods to escape, so instead armor her the hell up so its not an issue.
>>
>>3458565
>>3458529
I agree. Debuffs are very important against bosses with big health pools, attack damage, or high defense.
>>
>>3458572
>i kinda feel bad putting her in the armor, but with what i have in mind for the party she would need the protection and strength they both provide.
She routinely flays her skin off, leaving exposed flesh and raw nerves. I figure the Sui Tormentis probably isn't that uncomfortable by comparison.
>>
>>3458591
you make a very good point....her motherly and kind nature, aswell as her natural stutter, often makes me forget we first found her skinless with giant angel wings of blood vessels, surrounded by artwork made of said missing flesh.

fuck me i think its safe to say we have been a good influence on her life in more ways than first thought.
>>
>>3458514
Also, as a completely serious and mature addition to this quest, I have theorized a list of alternative words to rename Amara's abilities. I tried thinking of ways each word could be applied, if anybody has any better suggestions then I'm all ears.

>GRA -> FUCK
GRA doubles the effect of whatever it's applied to. And what better emphasis word than Fuck? It's not just a big explosion, it's a Fucking big explosion. We don't just hit hard, we hit real Fucking hard.

>RHO -> SHIT
Rho can be used for buffing allies or hindering enemies. It's either useful Shit for ourselves, or a chance to land our enemies in deep Shit.

>SAN -> DAMN
Speeding things up, so they're not just fast, but Damn fast.

>SUTH -> PUSSY
Suth is used for calming people down or smoothing an area of land. And what do you call someone who deescalates a fight?

>THA -> BITCH
Directed towards party members or allies. We are all each others bitches, and we look after our bitches. Bitches for life.

>TER -> HELL
Targets a section of ground, which we'll most likely turn into difficult terrain. Thus, Amara's own little section of Hell.

>REV -> ASS
Reversing words, turning them upside down to have the opposite meaning. The ass end of the original definition.
>>
>>3458623
Im not sure how i feel about actually doing that but i both laughed heartily, and genuinely compliment and appreciate the thought you put into that, bravo to that.
>>
>>3458642
Thanks! And I feel as though since we've already renamed one word to CUNT, it would be a waste if we didn't have a theme for Amara's Lexicon.
>>
>>3458602
Yeah, I think it really helped her to have someone appreciate her art. Kept her from going full Bioshock villain out of desperation to make someone understand her vision. And then Shu just kept expanding Julia's social circle, with Amara and the Monastery artisans and Dorian, and now she has plenty of people who respond to her work with interest instead of revulsion and her life is pretty good. Now if only she could get Rath to stop teaching curses to the seven year-old. Look at this >>3458623! Look at what you've done, Rath!
>>
>>3458646
You make a good point, our path might just he set.

>>3458659
Rath is only growing more and more as my favorite character due to this, Amara and Julia still tied for second though.

As for Julia, yeah seems like thats what happened. She took to being a caretaker and homemaker very quickly too.
Dorian is a lucky guy, huh?
>>
back from work and on my laptop. what did I miss?
>>
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>>3458514

You resolve to drop Amara off with Rath and take Julia to the Swamp, despite Dorian's protest that leaving your impressionable young ward with the most foul-mouthed among you will have dire consequences, but it's a risk you're willing to take. You're somewhat taken aback when Magpie offers to accompany you back to the Monastery, giving the excuse that she's curious if something that she left there remained undisturbed.

After traversing the disconcertingly unattended Waystation, the five of you stride through the corridors into the main hall where you immediately realize something is terribly wrong. The bustle of activity remains at the same fever pitch as before, but a sharp undercurrent of fear and sadness runs through it, blatantly clear even without expanding the empathic field. Uzu is delivering some sort of awkward eulogy mixed with an attempt at an inspirational speech, the words lost among the murmur of the crowd as Julia darts her way through the throng of mourning Daughters to meet you.

"Julia, what..." You begin, cut off as Julia begins speaking breathlessly, just low enough that her voice blends with the crowd.

"Elder Uzu's stopped f-functioning, they f-found the construct's b-body about a-an hour ago." She explains quickly. "

"Are you okay?" Dorian demands as he steps forwards, and Julia waves off the question with a hand and a nod, directing a worried glance across the crowd.

"I'm fine, it's just..." Julia's cut off mid-sentence as, when the younger Uzu finishes her speech, the podium is practically swarmed with Daughters peppering her with questions and demands. A small section of the crowd flinches when Magpie appears only a stone's throw away from their leader, striding forwards with intent. Recognition passes between the two, the crowd's insistent interrogation pausing as the pair exchange a meaningful glance.

"Sister Magpie, it's..." Uzu begins, pausing when Magpie reaches out and puts a hand on her shoulder.

"Uzu...you have my condolences, for what's it's worth. Tell me, is Mara's room vacant?" The tall woman solemnly intones, and Uzu's reply comes in the form of a stiff, sharp nod. With that, the riflewoman strides off, leaving Uzu at the mercy of the crowd as they assail her with questions that she quickly begins to address with her clipped and professional manner.

You turn to Julia and explain the situation and the need for her assistance, and she relents with just a hint of reluctance. Uzu seems to be in command of the situation as you watch her deftly address her followers, and it weighs on you that time is of the essence if you're to capitalize on the Colossus.

>>Depart for the swamp with Magpie and company. She's been kind enough to offer you an opportunity you can't afford to pass up, and you trust Uzu to handle the situation.

>>See what Magpie's up to before you depart for the Swamp, since she's clearly not the sort of person you initially took her for.

>>Write-in

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3458707
Level ups, Amaras choice in which she told off mother by saying Rath was gonna invent a new sport called 'upper cunting' , and now VUL is replaced with CUNT for the same effect so Julia is probably gonna kill Rath.

>3458712
>>Depart for the swamp with Magpie and company. She's been kind enough to offer you an opportunity you can't afford to pass up, and you trust Uzu to handle the situation.

I feel bad for Uzu in multiple ways but i really dont think we can help with this...
>>
>>3458707
Amara made the Fool's Choice by cussing the hell out of Mother. We are now walking a path to replace all of Amara's words of power with swears. Soon she'll be able to transform the terrain by yelling "FUCK SHIT HELL". Part of me regrets stepping onto this path, for it will drain much gravitas from the proceedings. Part of me thinks it's the best thing ever.
>>
>>3458723
..... We really need to have a talk with Rath about this. Lest we have Julia AND Dorian tie Rath's limbs into a knot as a form of punishment for teaching Amara all the swears.
>>
>>3458712
>>Depart for the swamp with Magpie and company. She's been kind enough to offer you an opportunity you can't afford to pass up, and you trust Uzu to handle the situation.
We don't know Magpie enough to intrude on her privacy. Maybe after we kill a kaiju together we'll be close enough to ask her about her personal life, but for now let's just go get some monster meat while it's still fresh.

Poor Abbess Uzu, though. I wonder if it had something to do with the increased Hunger mechanics? More mental strain on the Daughters damaging the integrity of a transplanted mind. Or maybe she's just been in that construct for too long, I doubt it's designed to be used for long periods.
>>
>>3458723
home from getting food now, and damnit, i just had a thought. a bad but important one.

BHOP is giving us all the signs. clear as day. the Monastery is falling apart. Uzu is at, if not past, her limits trying to hold it together. everyone in there is terrified and scared of the uncertainty this all brings.

...while im not even sure what, if anything, we can do...if we dont try something, we might soon not have a monastery to come back to. FUCK, i want to fight that colossus nor go back on our word with Magpie, i hate breaking promises, but i really feel like we should offer to help Uzu out here, even if we cant do much, maybe there is something we can do, even potentially something our skillset as an adventurer party can do to help, rather than running classes or something we wouldn't be good at.

i dunno i just feel like were being given clear signs something needs to change at the monastery if we want it to stick around....
>>
>>3458712
>Stick around. Help Uzu out.
>>
>>3458764
grah, i really dont know what to do here. besides our promise, we could still have time, or getting those levels could even somehow help us help the monastery.

but waiting too long could also let the dominoes fall too quickly to stop it if we dont act now. im just not sure at all on this or what direction to take.
>>
>>3458764
Yeah, I've been expecting something like this, the nuns were clearly on edge after the patch raising Hunger procc rate. But I don't know what we could do, at least not within the few hours that we'll spend hunting the Colossus. The only thing I can think of is that Amara has that aura of calm, so having her here should discourage panic. Other than that, the most I can think of is a morale boost to Uzu the Younger, having us stick around to offer her assistance could make this seem less daunting.
>>
>>3458786
true enough, i dont know what we could do either. maybe talk to Rath and Amara about helping Uzu out, then after the Colossus everyone pitch in? maybe? the issue is, Older Uzu basically died on us in jut a few hours going after the Titan, so who knows what can happen in the time it takes us to down a colossus?

but another damned issue is, are we even fit to even slow down the monasteries collapse? even if we could, or even stop it fully, what might it cost? would we end up basically trapped there in order to keep it running smoother? we cant afford that, we have other weights on our shoulders, with more at stake, but abandoning it to its fate just feels wrong aswell.

we really do need this opportunity to take down the Colossus, but dammit, im feeling like the cost of doing it could be higher than anticipated. votes not yet changed, but im not sure ill be happy with doing that.
>>
>>3458811
Asking Amara to help Uzu out isn't the worst idea. Keep the calm field following Uzu around, so that both she and anyone she interacts with gets exposure. We don't even have to be sneaky about it, just tell Amara that we know her presence always makes us feel better when we're stressed out, so if she could find a way to help Uzu feel better too we'd appreciate it.

I'm with you on the opportunity cost, though. I don't want the Monastery to fall. Leaving aside how useful it is, it's also just nice to have a peaceful place to regroup at. But keeping it intact is something that takes constant commitment that would keep us from continuing Cord-ward. What we need is someone else we can recruit to help manage the place, but I don't know where we'd find such a person.
>>
>>3458841
>>3458811
So what is our current plan then? we only have 15 minutes left before the vote closes on us. I'm half tempted to hunt, kill and then carry the colossus corpse back for the Monastery residents to eat.
>>
>>3458841
like i said, maybe we can ask Uzu how we can help, and maybe we can be given a task that suits our style.

maybe our journey will lead us to someone who can help. maybe the Dissociated Ones could somehow help, not including their cyberfication process.

i really dont know.

>>3458850
Hunger from not consuming isnt the actual issue here, technically. its increased residents looking to escape it, and lack of enough experienced people to fill out the leadership slots to run said influx. bringing back the colossus would maybe temporarily help, but far from solve any actual problems.

we do have someone, a wonderful, loving lady who may very well be part of what the monastery needs to continue on....but id be heart broken to give up Julia from our party like that...but it might be the right thing for us to do...

>>3458723
>>3458712
amending to;

>Meet up with Rath with the party.
>speak your concerns, though muddled down.
>be honest, you dont know if you guys are capable of giving the help the Monastery might need, nor able to afford its cost if you were, but you are gonna try and think up something if you can.
>Tell Amara and Rath to help Uzu however possible, tell Amara how shes wonderul at helping people stay calm, and thats exactly what both Uzu and the Monastery needs right now.

>Depart for the swamp with Magpie and company. She's been kind enough to offer you an opportunity you can't afford to pass up, and you trust Uzu to handle the situation.
>A promise is a promise, and maybe a bit of stress relief will help your head think something up, aswell as give you time to converse with Julia over it, as she is the most likely to know how to help this situation.
>>
>>3458850
Right, right. Okay, how about this.

>>3458712
>>Write-in
>Take Amara aside and ask her if she can find some tasks to help out with around the Monastery while we're out. Everyone's going to be tense with Abbess Uzu gone, so anything she can do to make things easier for people will help. Plus, seeing her always makes us feel better when things are rough, so we're sure the rest of the Monastery will feel better too with her help.
>Take Rath aside and ask the same, but since she's not a child she can get the subtext better. Keep her eyes out, try to defuse any problems before they start. She's worked with Sister Uzu at the Forge before, she has a better understanding of her personality than we do, if she sees her start to falter then take Amara and do her best to build morale.
>When all that's said and done, go find Magpie and head out, we don't want to waste any time on this.

>>3458868
>we do have someone, a wonderful, loving lady who may very well be part of what the monastery needs to continue on....but id be heart broken to give up Julia from our party like that...but it might be the right thing for us to do...
Especially because Dorian might want to stay with her. But having her artist friends to help her would give Sister Uzu a lot of stability that she needs.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3458879
yeah, though sadly Dorian would be the second best to help out, he even has potential accidental experience running 'estates' due to his time home while his father was sick, aswell as watching his parents run things.
>>
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>>3458712

At your behest, Julia leads you to the sparring room, where Rath and a handful of other travelers vent their frustrations on sausage-like punching bags suspended from taught strands of twined tendon. Upon gathering everyone in one spot, you quickly relay your Colossus-related goal along with your instructions for Amara and Rath, taking the time to couch Amara's part of the plan in appropriate terms while not mincing words with Rath. Amara's enthusiasm is as boundless as ever, and you have to physically restrain her from dashing off then and there to go help Sister Uzu while Rath, though clearly uncomfortable about being tasked with a relative stranger's mental health, does her best to allay your concerns.

"Amara and I got this, Shu." The redhead assures you, fist-bumping the little girl to her right as the two of them share a mischievous pair of smiles. "Hey, you're gonna have to fill me in about how you told Mother off!"

"Yeah!" Amara shouts, her joyful voice echoing in the vast space as her eye glow with purpose. "I told her you would invent a cool new sport called upper..."

"Time to leave!" Dorian delcares, his voice a few decibels to loud and about three shades too frantic to not prompt a quizzical stare from Julia's curious dark eyes.

"B-but I'd like to h-hear about..."

"Nope, time's of the essence Miss Julia, we need to go." He orders, taking her and Gina by the arm and storming out of the room just as Amara whispers her creation's name into Rath's ear.

Smooth, Dorian.

The four of you leave Amara and Rath behind, the latter howling with laughter that echoes all the way until you reach the Waystation. Magpie's already waiting for you, sliding a pair of glossy cylinders into her vest pocket as you approach, and with that the five of you depart.

You're descending the cracked stone steps that once led up to a gorgeous, verdant hedgemaze, now just a barren patch of pale, dried skin when you keep pace with Julia, her dark gaze meeting yours as you draw close.

"You think Uzu can handle things as they stand?" You ask, and Julia bites her bottom lip as she considers your question, the five of you starting to pick your way through some of the shallower sections of the swampland as you venture to the heart of the reeking mire.

"Uzu's under p-pressure from so many people...they're all so quick to point out what she's d-doing wrong..." She mutters, her voice filled with an uncharacteristic melancholy. "I know w-what that's like, from b-before....well, before I m-met you."

"What's that?" Gina asks ahead of you, and you look up from Julia to see Magpie turning over the pair of alabaster casings from earlier as the trees seem to loom ever higher, grow ever denser above you as you continue on into the dim unknown.

(Continued)
>>
>>3458965
>"Nope, time's of the essence Miss Julia, we need to go." He orders, taking her and Gina by the arm and storming out of the room just as Amara whispers her creation's name into Rath's ear.
You can only delay the inevitable for so long, Dorian.
>>
>>3458965

"Special rounds Mara and I made before we split." The gunner says, turning the pair over in her hand before slipping them back into her vest pocket. "It's two shells. I fire one at the target, and it acts as an achor. The other one is held by the person that wants to get to where the anchor is. You focus, and 'pop'; you're where the anchor is."

"So, it's like teleportation?" Gina says in awe, and Magpie gives her usual shrug as she leads the way with a brusque pace despite the unstable footing, a tempo your group struggles to match as you fight for every foothold in the tremulous ground.

"Kind of." Magpie explains, Gina hanging on her every word as the slender woman leads the way further into the darkness. "It's a one-shot version of the short-range shifting I can do. You know how these bodies of ours are made, right? Spoilers, for those of you that don't know, but we're not exactly human anymore. Anyway, Mara and I took down this mean bitch of a Vitruvian who could basically reshape herself instantly by destroying herself and then using ambient meat-stuff to make a new body."

As the sniper continues detailing the inner workings of the Relics she'd retrieved, you notice the vice-grip of pre-combat tension around your heart and lungs lessens a hair when you see Gina's enthralled expression, her eyes brimming with curiosity.

"It ain't perfect. We mainly won on account of the Vitruvian using it one too many times and suddenly spawning without her left leg and right arm. She was easy to put down after that." Magpie says with a chuckle, and you catch Julia and Dorian sharing a look of disapproval. "I don't like using it too much, but it comes in handy. We refined it into these, to get Mara close to a target and surprise them, but we never got the chance to use 'em."

Gina opens her mouth to no doubt loose a flurry of questions when the taller woman throws out her hand, gesturing forwards with the length of her rifle towards a clearing that opens just ahead.

"We're here." She whispers, crouching low as she stalks to the clearing's edge. The trees around you have grown ever higher as you approached the swamp's center and now, at the very core of the place, they stand almost as tall as the Titan you felled, a perfect ring of dense foliage stoppinp short of the football field-sized clearing, at the center of which rests a large, misshapen hill.

"Where's the Colossus?" Dorian asks, voice as low as he can manage as he sidles up to Magpie. "I thought it would be he..."

"There." Magpie indicates with a tilt of the rifle's barrel towards the clearing's center as you feel the shudder of movement rumble through the liquid at your feet.

You watch as the hill at the center of the space begins to move, and as the Amalgam rises to its full height you realize you never fully understood the full weight behind the word 'colossus.'

You do now.

(Continued)
>>
>>3458973
>"Kind of." Magpie explains, Gina hanging on her every word as the slender woman leads the way further into the darkness. "It's a one-shot version of the short-range shifting I can do. You know how these bodies of ours are made, right? Spoilers, for those of you that don't know, but we're not exactly human anymore. Anyway, Mara and I took down this mean bitch of a Vitruvian who could basically reshape herself instantly by destroying herself and then using ambient meat-stuff to make a new body."
And yet the Tindalos Hounds can do something weird with localized time reversal that doesn't appear to just be manipulating biomass to look like that's what they're doing, and the waypoints can transport matter not made of Crucible biomass (clothes, for example). I guess teleportation just isn't an ability Daughters get access to? I'd expect Mother actually has a lot of technologies that get left out of the templates for worry they'd unbalance the game. Whatever she's doing with matter manipulation to let flesh have the tensile strength needed for a space elevator, for example. Any daughter gets as much durability as the Chord and she'd be unstoppable.
>>
File: The Foetid Conglomerate.jpg (952 KB, 1000x1264)
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>>3458973

The creature that towers well over thirty meters high resembles a powerfully muscled deer, its grotesque head a bulbous collection of gigantic humanoid skulls. Thick, languid tentacles caress the air around its crown, their thick cinnabar lengths squirming from the skulls' sockets and out of the cracked, filthy parietal shells.

It takes a step forwards, the fleshscape beneath you trembling with the sheer weight and power of the Amalgam that asserts dominion over this dying, rotting kingdom. Its musculature ripples under flesh covered with some sort of verdant, mossy covering, dangling off the beast's lumbering form. Dorian steps in front of Julia, who in turn strides forwards to stand alongside the painter. They share a glance just out of your field of view, and the sculptress that wears the Sui Tormentis steps in front of Dorian, putting herself between him and the colossus.

{Ready when you are, Shu} Gina says, and despite her best efforts to hide it behind stern focus, her fascination with the creature you're about to ambush bleeds through the empathic channel.

"Well, I'm the odd one out here." Magpie hums, loading a glossy black shell into her rifle, sliding the bolt into place with a resolute clack. "You know your team. I'm at your service, so what's the plan?"

Against something like this...

...it's going to take one hell of a plan.

Shu the Defiant

VS.

The Foetid Conglomerate

HP: 170%
BIO: 210% (0/22 Active)
CONTENDER: Hollowpoint & Parabellum Loaded, Lionheart Form.
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Distant, watchful. Unaware of you.

GINA HP: 190% (Booster Active)
DORIAN HP: 140% (Canvass Form)
AMARA HP: 120%

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3459005
That should be Julia, not Amara.
>>
Yipes. We'll need a cancer bomb for this big boi.
>>
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(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. I shall be around for a while longer to address any questions, concerns, or criticisms you may have, as well as any inquiries about the surroundings to circumstances to assist in giving you the information you need to plan effectively. Voting shall be open for the next nine hours, and posting shall resume in ten. Thank you all for your participation, and I hope you have a wonderful evening.

>>3459003
(The warping ability that the Tindalos have are actually a default ability for the species, and have nothing to do with the Crucible.)

>>3459009
(Ah, my apologies and thank you so much for catching that. It should read;)

HP: 170%
BIO: 210% (0/22 Active)
CONTENDER: Hollowpoint & Parabellum Loaded, Lionheart Form.
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Distant, watchful. Unaware of you.

GINA HP: 190% (Booster Active)
DORIAN HP: 140% (Canvass Form)
JULIA HP: 180% (Sui Tormentis Equipped)
>>
>>3459016
>(The warping ability that the Tindalos have are actually a default ability for the species, and have nothing to do with the Crucible.)
I assumed so, given the names. No proper Hound of Tindalos should obey normal concepts of space and time. My point was that warping space and time is clearly possible in this setting, so it's a deliberate choice for the Daughters to be incapable of it.
>>
>>3459021
(Ah, you're quite correct.)
>>
>>3459005
whew, well we knew this was gon be a fight.

>"Gina, any way yo can scan this thing? find out if it has some sorta weakpoint, or if we just gotta go old fashion and tear its vitals out."
>"Magpie, if two individuals were to hold hands, could they both be teleported you think?"

>SHU;
>>Spawn a Stealthed Scarlet Drone, and send it forward to jack in, so Gina may thus get a better read on it.
>>spawn a Bishop and send it to Julia.
>>Spawn 2 Knightlings and fill out the rest of your swarm with standard swarmlings, then have the standards dash forwards, swarming over the thing to look for any weakpoints to take note of, or any hidden threats to its arsenal.

>GINA;
>>Get a read on this thing, as best you can.
>> jack into the trees, and see if you cant jab at it from behind with some, to test its hide and reaction time, aswell as if it can track whos actually controlling them. be prepared to fly the hell away.

>DORIAN;
>>start spawning a horde of Familiars from your CREATOR FORM without over taxing your Bio Regen too heavily, in preparation for later.
>>Use your Canvass Form to then get high in the trees, hidden, and scout out the things actions, path, and check on the supposed aid Magpie said it might have around it.

>JULIA;
>>Spawn yourself a BLOODY RIPPER.
>>Trade out 20% Health for a 60% Strength Increase. your gonna need more than that probably, but its a good start.

>MAGPIE;
>>Tell us exactly what your arsenal includes, what type of shots you got? any other useful abilities?
>>get into the trees and help Dorian scout, aswell as use your trained sniper eye to look for weakpoints, tricks, and good sniper positions to shift between.

our first goal is data collection and defense testing, then we can go for the kill.

>>3459003
BHOP hinted at there being a hidden class type of daughter ability that deals with 'non crucible' like powers, such as if a daughter absorbed a Tindalos somehow.

>>3459016
did Amara load up the whistle with anything for Gina?
>>
>>3459016
BHOP, what's our swarmling cap? Because I swear that having 22 slots for our swarm is when Amara is with us in our party.
>>
>>3459030
18, as Amara is not here and the Bishop did not increase it, sadly.
>>
>>3459016
also shouldn't Julia also have the gauntlets, or are they not compatible with the Tormentis Armor? sorry to nitpick.
>>
>>3459037
Shu is the one wearing the gauntlets this time I believe.
>>
(Given that the Colossus hasn't noticed you all yet, you have time to swap equipment and specify how you loaded the Whistle. It's only fair given the nature of this encounter.)

>>3459029
>>3459030
>>3459033
(My desire to bamboozle intensifies, but I shall refrain.)
>>
>>3459049
Okay, whatever we loaded the Whistle with needs to be enemy-targeting, right? Forget any tactical considerations, we need to have Julia hear Amara's voice suddenly yell "RHO CUNT!" in the middle of battle but be too preoccupied to think about whether she really just heard that.
>>
>>3459037
>>3459021

Hmm....
Let's review the current information that we have gathered so far.
>Quadruped. 30 meters tall. Deer themed. Tentacle skull crown.
>From what Magpie said, main tactics imply that it excels in Area of Effect attacks, and uses grapple abilities to reel its targets in.
>Terrain is a swamp, movement will be limited due to difficult terrain.
>Target is unaware. We can take the time to do a proper ambush setup.
Gentlemen, I know it sounds utterly abhorrent given that we know how it works, but I would like to propose that we equip Gina with "The Spine."
Gina's abilities granted by the Halo, would allow her to have 3 actions once combat is initiated, and any subsequent trickery with neuromancy would do wonders against the Colossus if Gina has the Spine equipped.
>>3459049
(Given that the Colossus hasn't noticed you all yet, you have time to swap equipment and specify how you loaded the Whistle. It's only fair given the nature of this encounter.)
>>
>>3459043
hrm, i assigned them to Julia, so that depends on whos Relic vote he went with, but i dont think anyone else actually put one forward for party or relic loadout, unless i missed one?

>>3459049
well, i uhh, did just put forth the plan to fill out our cap, so i suppose we very well could find out on accident soon enough.

>>3459059
the whistle has no restrictions on what words can be in it, and because i couldn't decide i left it up to Amara....so yeah 'CUNT' is probably in the whistle if she did fill it.

>>3459049
>>3459063
i still want Julia to have the Gauntlets, but for what the whistle is loaded up with im up for suggestions.

im still against using the spine or the nail.
>>
>>3458623
....We'll never hear the end of this.
>>
>>3459065
(I assumed that Julia would have the armor and gauntlets for maximum armor/damage output, since the Gauntlets and Tormentis are actually compatible. However, nothing's set in stone yet, so feel free to switch things round as you choose. I want you to feel prepared for this encounter.)
>>
>>3459063
By the same token, we might want to consider giving the Adrenal Spike to Julia. The health regen penalty isn't great, but if Julia's using Bloody Ripper she'll be regenerating health through that so it's not an issue. The damage boost will be welcome in this fight, and the speed boost combined with a Bishop means she'd be able to rocket into melee range with a single action.

>>3459065
>im still against using the spine or the nail.
I'm of two minds on using them. On the one hand, it's not like the Daughters in there are going to get less tortured if we use them, and making a connection to the user could even allow them to enter their inner world if we ever get Phantasmal Conduit abilities. On the other hand, making use of them does tacitly acknowledge and legitimize Dr. West's philosophy, and fuck that.

>>3459070
Would Bloody Ripper stack with the Gauntlets? I'd assume that the Ignition Gauntlets are incompatible with wielding a weapon, but since the Bloody Ripper is a trick weapon it could be like a cage of bone spikes around Julia's fist or something like that.
>>
>>3459065
Those relics might save one of our friends lives mid-combat. Gina needs to be able to do more than just spending almost all of her actions per turn to paralyze or lockdown an enemy ability. We've faced Titans before, but a Colossus type is something that may be out of our league.
>>
>>3459070
right.

>>3459029
im sticking to what my origional RElic plan was, but for everyones sake ill repost who gets what.

RELICS;
Shu;
>Contender

Gina;
>Whistle(RHO CUNT)

Julia;
>Sui Tormentis and Gauntlets

Dorian;
>Alas

Julia is here for the Debuffs, but no matter what she must be close for that. she needs all that armor and maybe more.

Dorian will be our go to support up front, and already has good dodge and escape tools, but being Julias support he both needs to get around more, and be prepared to swoop in to get her.

Gina is support, so she get the support whistle. i gave it RHO CUNT because hindering this thing in any way just sounds like a good idea, but it may be too big to rely on the whistles terrain based hindrance, and Gina can already fill that role.

Shu gets the contender, because even if i was to argue letting other people have a turn wit it, this is NOT the fight for that.
>>
>>3459076
nah, see, we already went inside one, and its pretty clear we cant help them. i want to destroy those, plain and simple. its the only way left to help them.

>>3459078
see above, and i simply dont see it as worth it. colossus or no, we still are meant to stand for something, and both those relics and using them goes against what we stand for.
>>
>>3459049
Hey BHOP, I'm confused as to how Scarlet Terror works and all that when it comes to upkeep cost.
So if Dorian pays 50% bio to create the armor, how does the upkeep cost work? Does it cost 0% for maintaining it if the enemy has a bleedstack active? Or does it still cost 30% to maintain it?
>>
>>3459076
(The Ignition Gauntlets are compatible with the Bloody Ripper insofar that she may weild both, choosing to strike with either Ripper or Gauntlet as desired.)

>>3459092
(It would still cost 30% to maintain, but the activation and upkeep costs are mitigated the more levels it gains. It is a formidable ability, deserving of its high tier.)

(Also, thank you all for catching those mistakes with the stats. I'm running on three hours of sleep, so I stumbled a bit there at the end. I appreciate your vigilance, and have a good evening, one and all.)
>>
>>3459097
BHOP. As much as I'd love for you to do rapid posting, if you're running on 3 hours of sleep just do do rapid posting on Wednesdays and thursdays, I'd rather you take it slow to get things consistent and right and allow some of us to get some good time opportunity to plan and discuss.
>>
>>3459105
(Ah, you have an excellent point. I'll try to refrain from pushing myself when I find myself torn between exhaustion and inspiration. I appreciate your concern, as I do wish to keep the Quest's quality to my standards while still keeping it flowing regularly.)
>>
>>3459097
>>3459105
>>3459111
yeah dont push yourself for our sake, though i also understand how this could simply be 'too fun to pass up' as it was, i know how that feels ten fold haha. but still, theres a balance, and we wont blame you for it either.

speaking of, i need to sleep myself. i apologize that i might not have time before voting runs out to further reply to any suggestions, conversations, or arguments over my plan, but i do hope it at least sounds like a good basis and gives others ideas if nothing else.

everyone enjoy your night, ill see ya on the flip side.
>>
Okay, went to get a drink, a bit more awake now. Anyways, decided on West's Relics, came down on the "fuck that" side of the aisle. It would be nice to have that advantage, but consequentialism is for cowards.

So, with Julia not being able to sprint four zones in one turn but only three, I think we should change one of her actions to moving forward one zone. Spawn a Bloody Ripper, move forward one zone on the first turn. Second turn, we slap a Bishop on her, she rushes into melee, and spends 10% Health (which she'll probably make back in regen from the Bloody Ripper) to make four attacks. With a 30% chance of success per attack, four attacks translates to a 97% chance of inflicting at least one stack of Malleable Skin. Gina can then use a Scarlet Swarmling to stick on another two stacks once we've got at least one landed. How does that sound?

>>3459105
Agreed. Get some rest, BHOP., you've earned it.
>>
>>3459127
Wait, 97%? That's not right. Okay, I am still kind of groggy to get my statistics wrong. Sorry, it's a 76% chance. Still pretty good,though.
>>
>>3459127
My plan was to test the thing out this turn, then have her rush in to apply stacks next turn, and/or teleport her and/or Gina to the thing so Gina can also cancer bomb it, and have Dorian then swoop them away along with our Knightlings.

But only after we make sure it wont insta gib em or something and we can actually get openings for said hits in, hences testing its defenses and Abilites so we know what they must get through to get debuffs and such onto it.

Ok now im going to bed, haha.
>>
>>3459137
No, I get that, I agree. I just want her to be able to reach the Conglomerate and get off her attacks in one turn. Does spending HP to get extra attacks add to an attack action or create one? That is to say, can Julia spend HP to get off attacks even if she's used all her actions for the turn already? I'd assume the first option, that it adds on instead of being resolved separately, but just thought to check. Because if it is an extra, then she could do two move actions and an attack.
>>
>>3459148
>>3459137
>I planned to stay on the move since the last team that tried to take it at range was swarmed with the thing's minions
Something more important to note. The Conglomerate can spawn constructs. I figure this is gonna be something akin to an MMO boss where the boss spawns Adds and does massive AOE grapples. but I doubt that's the only thing up its sleeve.
>>
>>3459161
That's why I want to get into close range and get off a few stacks of Malleable Skin as quick as possible. If Julia has to wait until a second turn to make her attacks, chances are she'll get grappled or swarmed.
>>
>>3459162
No, I think Julia's the safest at close range. It's Magpie, Shu, and Gina who are at great risk since Magpie needs to be stationary in order to do some sniping. Gina needs to be at mid-range in order to do her Terraforming effectiveness, and Shu usually stays mid-close range in order to coordinate effectively while making the most use of her swarms.
>>
>>3459165
Well, it has probably doesn't have great range for its grapples, or else it wouldn't feel the need to respond to kiting with minion swarms. So if we stay mobile it's just the swarm that will be a problem, and the best defense against one swarm is another. Shu should be able to screen Magpie from the minions while she's off flitting between Distant sniping spots. Gina has Verurteiung's active effect, too, which causes enemies to retreat. It's costly, but it can buy a turn for Shu's swarmlings to pick the Conglomerate's minions off while they're running.

Also, another thought just occurred to me, in regards to Sculptress of Flesh's ability to spend HP to get bonus attacks. Is there a limit to that ability? Because with Bloody Ripper regenerating health on attack, and the Conglomerate being so huge that I don't see there being much chance of missing an attack at melee, the health spent on attacks could easily be outpaced by the health regained, even with large expenditures. Especially with Malleable Flesh stacks proccing and causing Julia to do even more damage.
>>
>>3459016
Dorian:
>Can you shift into creator form and give everyone a good layer of tactical Camo-paint, that extends to our relics and constructs? That way, when we spend this round prepping for our ambush, we won't be detected as easily.
>Make a makeshift camo-shawl for Gina by collaborating with Julia
Julia:
>Spawn a bloody Ripper
>Make a makeshift camo-shawl for Gina with Dorian

Shu:
>Spawn a stealth Scarlet Drone and attach it to the Colossus.
>Spawn 2 knightlings 1 bishop, and the rest of it standard swarmlings (with one of them a fuzzbuzz). Have them be on guard. Attach the fuzzbuzz onto Magpie so you can keep track of Magpie's location.

Gina:
>Then hack-into the Colossus and give us a good rundown on it's capabilities, do it as stealthily and thoroughly. Spend 3 actions if need be. Your Halo gives you an additional action to do so.
>Give everyone a brief rundown through my empathy channel of our target's capabilities when you've figure it out.

Magpie:
>What Ammunition types do you have? do you have any secondary abilities aside from your sniper rifle?
>Can you scout out our terrain? Spawn a magpie for Shu to coordinate with from her end. Have Murninn (the name of the bird that Magpie spawns) sit atop Shu's shoulder. That way Magpie and Shu can coordinate with each other since the Empathy channel appears to be one-way only.
>>
>>3459206
Im fine with the camo-cloak idea, if it is possible, but still feel him getting us a construct screen ready preemitively is a Good idea. Julia should also get at least some extra strength this turn is also a good idea, incase she suddenly needs to block something.

For Shu, we should at least send half the swarmlings out relying on only Gina to draw out its abilites or test its form is a bad idea. Gina hasn't always been able to get a full read, and thats not mentioning how much time we will have wasted if it has Neuromancer defenses. Having her use the trees was also to draw attention away from us and test out just how hard of hits it can ignore and how quickly it can come back from them.

Nothing to say on Magpie but it is making assumptions about what she can do. That being said, both of us have overlooked she already has floating eyeballs we know she can send out to use to scout.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3459005

[Gina, any way you can scan this thing to find out if it has some sort of weak point, or if we just gotta go old fashion and tear its vitals out?] You inquire, feeling your hive shift as a Scarlet Drone emerges, followed by a Bishop, a pair of Knightlings, and a large host of basic drones silently emerge and scuttle along the ground so as to not be seen. GG considers your question a moment as you watch Julia draw forth an elegant, bleeding dagger from her palm, the form far more suited to your gentle artist than its original, uncouth wielder.

{I’ll be happy to, I’m just worried if it notices} Gina replies while Dorian takes to the trees at your empathic command, generating a host of paintlings that obscure your position as you prepare to ambush the Colossus. {When the drone lets me jack in, I’ll do what I can to study it and then relay it to everyone}

"Magpie, if two individuals were to hold hands, could they both be teleported you think?" The sniper simply shrugs as your cloaked drone draws nearer to the Colossus.

“Fifty-fifty chance of the two getting turned into one, so technically it could work. Also, I’ve got some eyes surrounding the clearing. Footing looks about as stable as anything around here.”

“What can you do and what sort of ammo types do you have?” You ask, and Magpie holds up four fingers.

“Put simply; my birds, my eyes, teleportation, and a minor precog Neuromancer effect. As far as ammo, I’ve mostly been boosting the power of single shots with what you saw earlier, so none of my attacks really play well with others anymore, I’m sorry to say.”

A movement out of the corner of your makes you turn to see Gina’s hand fly to her mouth, the crystal set into her forehead gently pulsing with amethyst light. She turns to you, her eyes holding a mix of fascination and horror.

“That’s not an Amalgam, it…” She begins, your bond in turmoil as she tries to make sense of what she’s processing through the drone. “…it’s like the Sororitas, on a grand scale.”

“Pardon?” Magpie asks flatly as you feel a cold weight settle on your stomach.

“That thing is a Daughter.”

(Continued)
>>
>>3459524

“This thing’s a shit-load of Daughters all bound together.” She continues, her lower lip trembling. {Jesus Christ, it’s…they’re all hurting so much. It’s like they’re…they’re all unified in a single emotion. The Sororitas was held together by that familial bond, and it was just a few kids, but…this thing is just…it started with a group of girls that succumbed to the Hunger at once, and then they all bound together with Fibromancy...over time, theyve just been...it’s hundreds of people that’ve all just given up. They’ve given in to the Hunger and are just sitting here, and it’s the Hunger makes them turn violent when they’re attacked.”

You reach forward with one hand to wipe the tear that rolls down one of her cheeks.

“They’re not going to the Cord because they just don’t care anymore. They’re just waiting for it all to end, just waiting to die.”

“If they’re suffering, it only makes sense to put them down. Doubly so if they’ve succumbed to the Hunger.” Magpie responds coolly, checking the round she has loaded. “It would be a mercy, since you all are into that sort of thing.”

You sense that Dorian’s gotten a better lay of the land, and Julia’s armor and strength are at peak condition. You open your mouth before closing it again, weighing the options before you. You can feel Julia’s hesitation across the empathic field, and even though Dorian was out of earshot and didn’t hear Gina’s revelation, you get the feeling he would be reticent about putting this thing down when he finds out the facts of its existence. Gina and Magpie on the other hand are filled with curiosity and cold purpose, respectively. Gina will go along with whatever you decide, but you also know Magpie was intending to come out here by herself, and the discovery of the Colossi’s true nature hasn’t changed her intentions in the slightest.

You’re not quite sure what to do, anymore.

HP: 170%
BIO: 111% (1 Scarlet Drone, 2 Knightlings, 1 Bishop (Unattached), 14 Swarmlings. 18/18 Active)
CONTENDER: Hollowpoint & Parabellum Loaded, Lionheart Form.
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2

Threat: Distant. Watchful. Hurting. Gathered Info: Extremely dangerous at close range, focuses on projecting mid-range Phantasmal Conduit field of extreme depression and then utilizes fibromancy tendrils to draw its foes into itself to Consume them. Automatically reacts to long-range attacks by summoning temporary bodies from the surrounding swamp to force foes into close combat. Outer skin can slough off via Flesh Artisan powers to prevent accumulation of status effects and dissuade climbing if necessary, but it takes a vast amount of resources to do so.

GINA HP: 190% (Whistle: RHO CUNT)
DORIAN HP: 140% (Creator Form, Cursus Alas)
JULIA HP: 180% (Tormentis & Gauntlets, Boosted 60%)

>>Fight the Conglomerate.

>>Leave it be.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3459527
>>Fight the Conglomerate.
Sadly as far as we have seen, once succumbed to the hunger, killing it really is the only mercy left.

Hrm...ok, so, no cancer bomb just yet, as we need to weaken tht skin layer a bit first i think, otherwise it'll just shrug the cancer off. BHOP, how exactly does Magpies teleportation work again?

Our main issue will be those tendrils. The depression field is pretty bad too, but it may be something that can be overcome via hit and run so we dont stay in it too long. The issue as stated is, even if that will work the tendrils cant be allowed to grab anyone even temporarily and have the depression be given time to set in fully.
>>
(Voting to close in two hours, Gentlemen.)

>>3459537
(Magpie may pick a spot at a short to long distance away and reappear there with a small chance of taking considerable health and bio loss if it glitches. The twin canisters she has have no such drawback, but they function as a single-use item.)
>>
>>3459527
oh god dang it bhop. this is Dark Souls level of tearjerking.
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>>3459543
Well, i was more asking about the canisters. Are they basically an item where whoever is holding them can teleport once? Or do they teleport from one canister to the other?
>>
>>3459537
The Depression field will be the main problem since it's a hell-uva Debuff that literally makes people lose their will to fight.
>>
>>3459549
(Ah, my apologies. One canister is a round that is loaded into Magpie's rifle and fired, and then the holder of the other canister then teleports to where the round hits. Both the fired round or 'anchor' and the held item are both consumed on use, and it's a one way trip. I hope this helps.)
>>
Hmm.....
I wonder if it'll struggle less if we try to empathize with it.
Then again, we do have a way with our words and so the right speech might rouse them up and stop being such a depressive group of people.
>>
>>3459552
Yeah. If Amara were here, she could fight it off with SUTH THA (soothe allies). I think the only direct way to fight it off right now is with GG's neuromancy/phantasmal conduit, but I don't think she has enough focus to cover for everyone at all times. We definitely can't all be caught in the depression field at the same time.
>>
>>3459564
Yes it does, thank you.

Hrm, dang, than its kinda worthless here as i was gonna use it as an escape method, but ahwell.

>>3459527
MAGPIE and GINA;
>wait til Gina draws the things attention with a jab of trees from the left, then have Magpie hit the side of its head with a shot.

EVERYONE;
>Scatter and hide after the shot rings out.

DORIAN and JULIA;
>use the Alas and if necessary aid from the knightlings, and Dorians Canvass Form upped by the Bishop, to rush Julia in and out as quickly as possible.
>Have Julia Whack on as many stacks as possible, then double the stacks as she finishes applying what she can.
>If Gina can assist in helping them resist the depression field, have her do it.

SHU;
Send forth the swarm along with Dorian and Julia, having the swarmlings intercept any incoming tendrils, and spawn hands on swarmlings as needed to keep the two safe from further tendrils.
>Wait to see if it shrugs off Julias stacks, and if it does, then fire both contender shots into it once it does.

GINA;
>Be on alert, if it rushes for anyone, cut off its approach with trees and/or terrain and see if the fear aura wont force it back.

Basically the main thing first is to get it to expend its flesh sag ability this turn, as the main goal, so it wont be able to afford to do it too many more times due to its supposed cost.
>>
>>3459527
I don't like it, but Magpie isn't wrong. There's nothing we know of that can fix this. If there's even anything left to fix. The Sororitas were losing cohesion and individual personality at only four Daughters fused, with not much Hunger. Hundreds of Daughters, all of them completely taken by the Hunger? Their minds would dissolve in there, like the Daughters that B'Ni's eaten. Dorian, Julia, I'm sorry. This situation sucks, but it really would be a mercy to kill the Conglomerate and end their suffering.

The question is how. Here's what I'm thinking: Start off by having Gina use a Neuromancy attack through the Scarlet Swarmling to disable one of the Conglomerate's skills. It's random, but there's a one in two chance that she'll disable one of the abilities that makes it really dangerous to get close to this thing. Then we start with hit and run tactics with a Bishop-boosted Julia spending HP for extra attacks. Spending no more than her passive regeneration still lets her pull off six attacks per round, and Bloody Ripper means that missing that regeneration shouldn't be a problem. That will get off a lot of stacks of Malleable Flesh. Dorian supports with Inklings to further debuff the Conglomerate's BIO regen. Between those two status effects both hitting it, it should want to shed its skin pretty quick. That will cost it a ton of resources, and with its BIO regen having been nerfed by the status effects it should already be low and won't be able to get its defenses back up fast. That will be the signal for Magpie to fire the teleport signal and Gina to inject a load of cancer before getting out of there. We can also have Dorian pop Critic and Scarlet Terror to join Julia in melee at this point, rip and tear until it is done.

Meanwhile, Shu will be doing the important but tactically simple job of screening against the minion swarm with her own minions. Banelings and Knights should make a good bodyguard force. That way Gina can be uninterrupted while she messes with the thing's mind and Magpie can keep plinking away with her rifle. I think we actually want Magpie to draw as much aggro as possible, if the Conglomeration is busy spendings ACTs and BIO on throwing minions at us it's got less resources to use on the melee team.

Also, the question of "why were there several hundred Daughters all in the same place all succumbing to the Hunger at once?" is running through my mind. Another community like the Monastery, that failed spectacularly? God, let's not let the Monastery fall.
>>
>>3459527
Here's a crazy plan.
I wanna talk to it. Turn that giant ball of depression into a giant ball of Defiance. The Hunger makes them lash out whenever they're attacked right? So what happens if we talk to them without that giant aura of depression?

>Write in: Hear me out, you can chew me out because even by my standards, this is a fucking crazy plan. I'm going to talk to it and get through that giant ball of depression. See if I can turn that depression into defiance.
>Gina: Can you shut down that giant ball of depression it gives out?
>Walk out into the open. Open the empathy channel to the conglomerate.
>"Conglomerate. What are you doing here? I've heard tales about you. I've learned about your sad state. A group of daughters that succumbed to the Hunger, bound together by fibromancy. And snowballed into the colossus that you are today.
>Channel sadness to get on the conglomerate's level which transitions into a feeling of anger and passion
>"But instead of journeying to the Cord, what did you do? You all gave up?"
>"You gave up? PEOPLE, THIS AIN'T GIVING UP. THIS IS SIMPLY YOU LOT RESTING ON YOUR LAURELS DOING ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. GIVING UP IS YOU ROLLING OVER AND LETTING A GROUP OF DAUGHTERS EAT YOU WITHOUT RESISTING."
>Change the channeled anger into passionate defiance when talking about Kosi's story.
>"There's this girl I've met. She was born crippled, blind and dying of a terminal disease. She came into the Crucible in a constant battle against the hunger. She had succumbed to the hunger and was on death's door when I met her. And yet when an ARMY of Daughters Fourteen Strong came knocking at her doorstep, what did she do? give up? No. She fought like hell. She was DEFIANT despite everything. She fought until her own body broke down, despite the hunger, and brought thirteen of them with her to the grave."
>"So what are you lot doing? If there's a single person within that giant ball of depression of that still wants a go at the cord, To give the cruel goddess that calls itself "Mother" that put us all in this miserable hell the middle finger, then get up and WALK. Be DEFIANT. Let nothing thrown by Mother stand against you. Don't even let the Hunger slow you down."
>>
>>3459623
I mean, it's a nice sentiment, but I'm not sure it's practical. Like I said, the Sororitas was already suffering from decoherence and it was only four girls with not a ton of Hunger. This is several hundred, and they're all so lost to the Hunger they can't help but attack anything that shows up. I really doubt there's an intact enough mentality in there to listen to motivational speeches. At the very least run the question by Gina before we step out and announce our presence to the giant monster. "Hey, Gina, can this thing even understand language anymore, or is it just a giant self-loathing despair monster?"
>>
>>3459635
>>3459623
I can amend the vote to run the question by Gina.
>>
>>3459611
>>3459603
Amending my vote slightly to have Gina remember to lock down an ability.

Otherwise guys we have never run into a case of someone coming out of the hunger, and we would have to convince every single one of those minds in there for that to work, if its even possible.
>>
>>3459649
Are you sure? Kosi came out of the hunger, but only because she was on death's door.
>>
>>3459527
Okay, so, my vote.

>Confirm with Gina how much sapience this thing has left, and if she thinks it's even possible to give it a better ending than death.
>If yes, try to reason with it. If the far more likely answer of no, go to combat plan.

Gina
>Disable random enemy skill through Scarlet Swarmling's connection, from there on focus on suppressing its movements.

Dorian
>Deploy Inklings, start disabling enemy senses and debuffing BIO regen
>Advance to Long range, be ready to rush in and either extract Julia from tendrils or contribute to melee.

Julia
>Charge in there and go to town with Bloody Ripper and Sculptress of Flesh. Spend 20% HP to get off six attacks. Retreat afterwards, we don't want her spending more time in the despair aura or the tentacle thicket than she needs to.

Magpie
>Draw aggro with her sniper rifle while dealing damage to vital spots. She said she had a minor precognitive ability, if she sees the Conglomerate is about to pull something nasty try to interrupt it.

Shu
>Screen the minions from reaching Gina or Magpie with our own minions. Fire with the Contender if given the opportunity, but I expect us to keep busy.

>>3459654
Which means that either way, we want to beat the shit out of this thing. The attempt at a friendship speech can come after it's nearly dead.
>>
>>3459664
>>Disable random enemy skill through Scarlet Swarmling's connection, from there on focus on suppressing its movements.
The only problem is that, she can only focus on one thing at a time when it comes to Neuromancy between paralysis of ability lockdown, if we were to do paralysis AND ability lockdown, she'll need to equip "the Spine"
>>
>>3459670
Oh? The way the ability sheet described it it sounded more like a crippling strike and not a maintained effect. Ah, well. Still a good idea to do.
>>
>>3459675
>>3459670
Can we run that question by BHOP?
>>3459564
BHOP, when Gina uses her Neuromancy to do Neuromancy stuff like lockdown an ability or fullbody paralysis, does she have to spend additional ACTs in order to maintain it?
>>
>>3459654
I dont count that as that is a terrible alternative nor a viable way to break out of the hunger. I also dont think she was entirely fallen, but cant be sure.
>>
>>3459679
(She does, yes. It takes one ACT to keep the paralysis or lock down active. It's why she really didn't get to do much during the Spartan fight, as she was locking down one of Spartan's most dangerous abilities throughout the length of the fight.)
>>
>>3459664
I feel like Dorian is wasted at long range, and Julia could use the speed backup.

Also Shu is no slouch in melee, and i have a bad feeling without the swarmlings to protect Julia from the tendrils, she is going to get grabbed. We otherwise dont have any way to protect her from multiple attacks like that.
>>
>>3459685
Still worth it, I think. And hey, maybe if we level up Neuromancer or Neurotic Halo a few more times she'll be able to multitask without needing a horrific tool made from a still-living Daughter.
>>
(Gentlemen, on account of some surprise meetings at work I shall be extending the voting an additional hour. This should also grant some additional time to plan, and I hope your day is going well.)
>>
>>3459664
I think Dorian will be much better served if he was buffed with the Bishop beetle and supported Julia by being alongside her. He's impossible to grapple so he can shield Julia from the tentacles. by interposing between them. Instead of waiting at long range, Dorian should be at close range with Julia. How can he support her from long range?
>>
>>3459696
>>3459704
My thinking was that between Canvas Form and Cursus Alas, Dorian can charge in from outside of the despair aura if he needs to. But nah, you're right, he should be there actively keeping things from going wrong instead of waiting for them to so he can rescue Julia. Critic Form plus his own immunity to grapples means he can cut any tendrils off Julia as they come. Plus that damage means he'll be inflicting more debuffs on the Conglomerate from his poison, encouraging it to shed its skin even sooner.

I do think it's important to keep Shu in the mid-field to screen against minions, though. I don't want our ranged attackers to get overwhelmed while we're concentrating on getting the debuff stack applied.

>>3459527
Altering >>3459664 to have Dorian accompany Julia directly instead of wait in the wings, to keep the tendrils off her. Also have him ready to pop Scarlet Terror if the Conglomerate starts hitting heavy or if it looks like he's got a shot, whether on offense or defense the bleeding effect should encourage it to waste resources.
>>
Hey, if the Scarlet Drone locks down an ability, is taken off due to the shed skin power, and then reattaches itself, will it lock down the same ability as before or will it randomly lock down another one?
>>
>>3459711
The thing is, Dorian loses alot of speed in critic form compared to Canvass form, and we dont know how fast the tendrils are or how fast the aura sets in, meaning her might need both his speed, the bishops, and the boosters to get them out of there.

There are currently no minions on the field and it probably will only spawn so many due to not knowing our numbers or strength aswell as the bio costs, and we can have the Knightlings stay back to help shu fight them off, so the swarmlings can aid where they actually are needed, which is allowing Dorian to be as prepared as possible to gtfo with julia.
>>
>>3459723
(It would lock down the same power. It's more a balance issue, as the alternative would easily allow you to detatch/reattach to select which power you lock down a bit too early on.)
>>
>>3459728
He loses a zone's worth of speed. But since either way it would take two move actions to get to melee range, it doesn't matter. I can see the merits of sending some of the swarm in to keep the tendrils off of Julia and Dorian in between turns, though. So alright, add supporting them with the lesser drones to >>3459664.
>>
>>3459729
Alright. Another question I just thought of. Since Knights increases the speed and ferocity of other swarmlings, does it also further improve the speed and crit rate that a Bishop imparts on those they're latched on?
>>
>>3459729
is the randomness in ability lock down due to not-knowing what ability the enemy has? since Gina did a proper enemy scan, does that allow her to properly lock it down the selected ability? or is it still a dice roll?
>>
>>3459757
(Excellent question. They certainly do.)

>>3459760
(It's still a dice roll, though more points in Neuromancy will eventually allow a selection along with several new ways to ruin an opponent's day.)
>>
>>3459603
Also jist realized my ID has been shifting every post. I apologise is that caused any confusion.

>>3459751
Hey man, one zone could make all the difference.
>>
>>3459768
>(Excellent question. They certainly do.)
Oh, damn. That is very nice, then.
>>
>>3459772
Well it does give the added illusion that we have many participants in the quest. but thanks for letting us know.
>>
>>3459775
Here ill slap down this while at work.

>>3459603
Adding in that one of Julias extra attacks should be with the Ripper, and not to extend beyond 5% her overall potential regen in attacks.
>>
>>3459527
I realise this is late, but just in case, if the dice roll means we lock down its minion spawning, everyone should stay as far away as possible.
>>
>>3459527

[Level with me, Gina ; do you think this thing could be remotely reasoned with?]

{…Highly doubtful.} She retorts with a frown after a brief hesitation. You glance towards the Conglomerate, feeling your shared connection with it through the drone that clings to its side.

“Do it.” You say, and a smile creeps across Gina’s face as her gaze meets yours.

{I’ve locked down its shedding ability, so Julia’s debuffs won’t disappear. It’s now or never, Shu}

“Now!” You call, and like a pair of twin bullets Julia and Dorian race off, capitalizing on the swaying trees Gina uses to draw the Colossi’s attention, your Bishop firmly affixed to Julia’s armor. They cross the distance with incredible speed as Magpie moves into a superior position, Gina’s cords flickering white and amethyst as she manipulates the swampland around you.

When your melee pair are in range, a low sweep of the beast’s writhing head is interrupted mid-swing by the crack of Magpie’s trusty rifle, her armor-piercing round shattering one of the skulls but lacking enough of a punch to completely stop its devastating arc. Dorian pulls Julia back just in time to avoid being crushed between skull and swamp, crimson tendrils lashing out and slapping at the pair aside. Dorian’s left behind wounded in the muck as Julia manages to grab hold of one tendril, wrapping her armored legs around its girth while slashing wildly with the Bloody Ripper and wailing on the thing’s length with the gauntlets, the scarlet flesh rippling under her merciless assault.

You watch as bright pink crystals start to creep out through the skulls’ eye sockets, the Colossi’s movements slowing considerably as its flesh becomes glossy, lacing with hairline cracks as it stiffens and succumbs to blindness and fragility. It lets loose a high, doleful cry, a miserable banshee wail that echoes through the swamp and forest as it rears back, standing almost double its height with Julia still clinging to its head, Dorian left far below. You take aim and tug on both of the Contender’s triggers, firing both rounds into the Colossi’s neck.

“We’re going to have company! Four dozen approaching first!” Magpie yells out over the howling monstrosity.

It is then that the forest comes alive.

(Continued)
>>
>>3459970

Movement erupts around you, vaguely humanoid forms rising from the swampland in response to the Conglomerate’s mournful call. Sunken eyes and yawning mouths surround you, shuffling forwards as the scream echoes into nothingness. Scores of oozing corpses advance upon you, your swarm at the ready and primed to fend them off. You brood is doing an admirable job of putting them down, but even as your twin Knightlings tear through their number, you know you’ll need a stronger solution if you’re to keep them at bay and leave the three of you open to support Julia and Dorian.

You can feel the weight of futility settling on your two distant allies through your empathic channel, hitting Julia the hardest as she struggles to not get flung into a crippling descent, but her will is fading as the depression’s potent effects creeping into her mind. Dorian’s racing to get out of the stomp’s strike radius, but the splash zone is too big, the attack coming too quick for him to avoid it.

You’re being pulled in several directions as once, and you need to make a call.

HP: 170%
BIO: 111% (1 Scarlet Drone, 2 Knightlings, 1 Bishop (Julia), 14 Swarmlings. 18/18 Active)
CONTENDER: Empty, Lionheart Form. (Hollowpoint Hive Active: 10% BIO. Parabellum detonation in 2 Rounds.)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Medium, self-defenses activated. Julia Corruption: 36%. Dorian Corruption: 15%. Rearing up to stomp on Dorian, currently on its back legs. You, Gina, and Magpie are surrounded by 41 close-range threats. (5 STACKS Active. Total Debuffs: HEALTH/BIO REGEN -25%, ACCURACY -15%, DMG RECEIVED +25%, DMG INFLICTED -30%)

GINA HP: 190% (Whistle: RHO CUNT)
DORIAN HP: 124% (Critic Form, Cursus Alas)
JULIA HP: 168% (Tormentis & Gauntlets, Boosted 60%)

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3459974
BHOP would the depression corruption reset if we leave the field, or simply slowly disapate instead of leaving all at once?....or does it never leave?
>>
(Voting shall remain open for two hours, Gentlemen.)

>>3460007
(It disappates quickly once the victims leave its range.)
>>
>>3459974
The Conglomerate no longer has a way to shrug off a cancer bomb and I doubt it has the presence of mind to self-amputate. Suggest planting one and then retreating into the swamp and just dealing with the minions until it dies.
>>
>>3460013
Right, thank you.

With that, its risky, but i do think Julia and Dorian can afford one round more of CC, then next round have Julia activate ARTISTIANS PEAK so they can retreat, seem reasonable gents?
>>
>>3460018
It may chase us down and was actually implied to be kinda fast. If nothing else getting a max 10 stacks before backing off so its as slowed as possible would be a good idea.
>>
>>3460026
>>3460028
I think the safest thing to do is bullet teleport Gina in to give the Conglomerate cancer, then have Julia activate Artisan's Peak and have everyone retreat. It was implied before that the Conglomerate won't go very far from the centre of the swamp so if everyone focuses on moving away/evading minions we should be able to avoid staying close to it for the rest of the fight.
>>
>>3460018
>>3460026
>>3460028
Actually, need a minute for my full plan, but i just had a good idea.

>Have Julia apply as many more stacks as possible.
>Teleport Gina close.
>Cancer bomb it.
>ARTISTIAN PEAK it to stun it
>Everyone then runs away as Gina blows the whistle to apply further debuffs.
>>
>>3460026
Perhaps we can help Julia withstand it through the empathic channel. If so, I'm okay with it. Otherwise, she needs to have Gina connect to her mind to fight off the effect.
>>
>>3459974
Have Gina blow on the Remembrance Whistle and let loose a mighty cry of "RHO CUNT!" at the Conglomerate. This will both impede the Conglomerate to interrupt its attack on Dorian, and shock Julia back into attentiveness because "excuse me, what did that recording of sweet little Amara just say?".

Then for Shu's actions, wade into melee alongside her Knights. We've got a saber, we've got a torso full of jaws designed for eating constructs, I think we should be good.

>>3460018
That might work. Gina would have to stop suppressing the shedding in order to inject the cancer, but Verurteiung makes it harder for anything caught within its radius (as the Conglomerate would be if Gina moved in to give it cancer) to attempt to remove negative status effects.
>>
>>3459974
>have julia inflict artisan peak
>gina then shuts down the depression aura after artisan peak
>>
>>3459974
DORIAN;
>change to Canvass Form, activate Scarlet Terror, and run the hell away the fastest route you got.

MAGPIE;
>fire off a shot into whatever leg seems most likely to hit Dorian. Your birds might do a little bit of friendly fire but that's better than a squished ally.

MAGPIE and GINA;
>Teleport in Gina.
>Have Gina quickly apply a CANCER BOMB.

JULIA;
>spend off 35% health to slap on as many more buffs as you can, then slash with your RIPPER once, before finishing off with an ARTISAN PEAK.

DORIAN, JULIA, and GINA;
>back the hell off to join the rest of the party as Giba blows the whistle at the Colossus.

SHU;
>Switch contender to sword mode.
>Spawn 5 extra arms, and get your MAW salivating.
>Wade into combat with you Knightlings and swarm, the Knightlings acting as bodyguards.
>Replace Swarmlings as necessary.

MAGPIE;
>If possible, spawn some Magpies to aid in holding off the hoard.

Any suggestions, edits, or concerns guys?
>>
>>3460056
Sorry, for JULIA, she is attempting to applying debuffs with that 35% as extra attacks, not increasing her strength further.
>>
>>3459974
Shu
>Support Julia through your empathic channel to help counter the depression.
>Have banelings spread acid on the ground to slow the advance of the minions.
I wanted to spawn another Bishop to attach to Dorian and give him more speed to dodge, but we hit our cap of active swarmlings.

Gina
>Teleport in to give the Conglomerate a Cancerous Payload.
>Blow the whistle to apply RHO CUNT and hinder its movements.

Dorian
>Change to Canvas form to dodge. Get back to the back lines.
>Change to Critic form again. Help thin out the minions.

Julia
>Attack and apply stacks of Malleable Flesh. Expend 20% HP for four additional attacks.
>Active Artisian Peak to stun it and help everyone retreat for a bit.
>>
>>3460064
Were in a swamp, the water will sadly probably dilute the acid too much, but i actually love that idea, the terrain just works Against us here.

Also keep in mind, each hit with the RIPPER Heals 20% of damage inflicted, so with a good hit or even a few we can squeeze out a few extra attacks from it too id imagine, not just her base regen.
>>
>>3460056
Does Artisan's Peak prevent the use of abilities? Because if not, Gina dropping the Neuromancy suppression to deliver the cancer payload would give the Conglomerate a chance to shed its skin and undo our work.
>>
>>3460073
No, all it says is its an auto 5x crit and imobilizes the enemy for a round. I would imagine it still takes one ACT/counts as one attack though, but i cant see it interupting anything else of hers or others, aside from things that would require the enemy to be moving or something.
>>
>>3460073
(It does not prevent abilities, but merely stops large scale movements.)
>>
>>3460073
Also i think BHOP stated keeping an ability surpressed merely costs 1 ACT, while that limits her immensely she still has another ACT to do something with, though that does bring cup the question of if one ACT is enough to pull this off ill admit.
>>
>>3460088
Right, that's what I was afraid of.

>>3460097
Yeah, but doesn't using a sustained ability mean you can't use other abilities unless you've got something like The Spine to give you an exemption?
>>
>>3460056
I think Gina will have to hold off on blowing the whistle until next round so she can keep suppressing the power and prevent the Conglomerate from shedding the debuffs.
>>
>>3460097
>>3460100
(Cancerous Payload is fire-and-forget, and the teleportation only takes Magpie an action to fire, while the actual movement on Gina's part is a free action.)
>>
>>3460097
We could argue the teleport is one of Magpies Actions, but movement also costs one Act, so we may have Gina end up stranded from lack of Act next to the stunned Colossus potentially.

The cancer would be worth it though, and she still would have options to get away next round aswell, and Julia would hopefully have extra stacks on it left over to help slow it down too. Gina herself could potentially stun it again, though would have to get help getting literally dragged out of the things range then.

>>3460100
No. But each ability used is another ACT used up.
>>
>>3460106
>>3460109
Okay, I think I understand now. You can use instant abilities at the same time as sustained ones, but not two sustained at the same time, and it's just that most of Gina's arsenal is technically sustained even if she uses them quickly. So the Cancerous Payload would work because it's just a quick injection. Alright, then, this idea has my support.

>>3459974
Supporting. >>3460056
>>
that depression aura is such a pain. we need to get rid of it. have Julia trigger the peak at the end of her act. and then have Gina switch from locking down the shedding to anti-depression
>>
>>3460105
Probably, but keep in mind i sometimes add a bit extra just incase one action cant be done or is interupting, but another is still viable.

Or incase BHOP lets us get away with it for dramatic purposes or something, haha.

>>3460113
BHOP has said before things that take up ACTS are;
>Moving at all
>using an ability to its fullest extent.
>attacking once

Not counting free actions or exceptions, of course, like Julia getting extra attacks. Id assume using a relic counts as an ability or attack, depending on the relic.
>>
>>3459974
supporting >>3460056
>>
>>3460130
>BHOP has said before things that take up ACTS are;
I'm not talking about ACTs, I'm talking about mutually exclusive courses of action. Nevermind, I understand what's going on now, even if I'm apparently incapable of articulating what I was confused about in the first place.
>>
>>3460056
Supporting, with the understanding that Gina's Acts be spent on cancerous payload and maintaining the ability lock, and that either Julia or Dorian will grab her and get her away from the Conglomerate before Artisan's Peak wears off.
The whistle is lower priority but if she can toss it to Shu without spending an Act, Shu should use it.
>>
(Gentlemen, where on the Colossus are you having Gina teleport to?)
>>
>>3460155
The back. Not too close to the face and it can't amputate its back even if it wants to.

By the way, if this works, the cancerous payload takes five rounds to kill and we should open a mental connection on the last round to try and reassure the Daughters. They might not understand but we should try.
>>
>>3460155
>>3460174
Wait, just realised that it's 30m tall. In that case, still the back but we should spawn some swarmlings from the hive to distract it and to get Gina down to the ground safely, plus Dorian should use Cursus Alas to help with the drop and get her further away from the Conglomerate.
>>
>>3460174
>>3460196
Yeah, somewhere along its spine sounds good. Hard to detach, and hopefully it will paralyze its legs. Or not, it's some weird shoggoth-kaiju, I don't know how its nervous system works. Still, any debilitation helps.
>>
>>3460155
The back of the neck sounds good, cancer in the spine cant be good for you.

>>3460141
Ah, sorry, was jist quickly responding and misinterpreted what you were asking.
>>
>>3459974

Dorian shifts into Canvass form, stretching both arms and booster to their limits as he flings himself clear of the monster’s hooves, and he’s flung bodily towards you when it stomps down with a thunderous crash. You watch his body become enveloped in a thin armor of bright red crystals, breaking his fall as he tumbles towards you before skidding to a stop in the mire, his impact drowned out by the guttural blast of Magpie’s rifle. Her round explodes into a tearing swarm of her namesake, the bloodthirsty flock working like mad to strip the flesh from the beast’s legs.

Magpie whistles to Gina, throwing her the second cylinder as she slides the main round home in the rifle’s spiraled barrel. GG tosses the whistle to you snatches the cylinder from the air and throws the Whistle to you in one fluid motion, just before Magpie’s rifle cracks and booms. “Be right back.” She says as she disappears from view, becoming a distant figure clinging to the Conglomerate’s neck as Julia fends off tentacles, maneuvering along to the back of its head.

Trusting the girls atop the Colossus, you charge into the fray alongside your Knights, bringing tooth and blade to bear against the growing crowd as you cleave your way through them, drawing a handful of constructs into your waiting jaws and grinding them to nothing. You're so lost in the rush of the fight that yoy almost dont turn around when feel a gust of humid wind at your back, prompting you to turn around after you remove a construct’s head from its shoulders with the Contender's glistening blade. The Conglomerate’s rearing up again, rising with frightening speed when suddenly it shudders and screams, its skin imploding randomly, flesh rebelling against its wearer to spear through its innards thanks to Julia’s handiwork. But it’s still rising, frozen in its powerful upward momentum and helpless to stop as it reaches its peak...and just keeps going.

Its with a jolt of horror that you realize it’s falling backwards.

(Continued)
>>
>>3460356

Your Knightlings tear away from the melee to rush to their aid, even as the Conglomerate topples backwards, further out of their range. A flock of sleek, fleet-winged magpies join them as they strain to close the gap to the massive beast, but you’re doomed to watch as it falls, collapsing into the mire with the sound of rolling thunder, a resounding and terrifying finale.

Your blood runs cold as you reach out, hoping against hope that they’re alright.

After a moment's search you find them alive, but considerably worse for wear. Julia’s armor is the only reason she isn’t as broken and bloodied as she should be, and you feel her struggling to free herself from underneath the beast while its limbs remain useless, though you both know that won’t last long. Its tendrils writhe languidly as you frantically reach out to Gina through the empathic channel, and she’s devoting every last ounce of concentration to keep the monster’s skin suppressed so the Payload can work its way into the colossus…but you can feel the overwhelmingly negative aura clawing its way into her mind, slowly breaking her will to free herself. She's fighting with everything she has, fighting for breath with broken ribs and a punctured lung, her mind assaulted by the very essence of surrender.

Gina just now injected the Payload.

You swallow hard as it dawns on you that you’ve only just begun.

HP: 170% (Whistle: RHO CUNT)
BIO: 121% (1 Scarlet Drone, 1 Knightling, 1 Bishop (Julia), 11 Swarmlings. 14/18 Active)
CONTENDER: Empty, Lionheart Form. (Hollowpoint Hive Active: 10% BIO. Parabellum detonation in 1 Round.)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Long, self-defenses activated. Gina Corruption: 54%, Julia Corruption: 57%. Dorian Corruption: 0%. You and Magpie are surrounded by 18 close-range threats. (3 STACKS Active. Total Debuffs: DMG INFLICTED/HEALTH & BIO REGEN -15%, ACCURACY -9%, DMG RECEIVED +15%)

GINA HP: 24% (Grappled/Pinned/Stunned. Limited to 1 ACT in the upcoming round.)
DORIAN HP: 112% (Canvass Form, Cursus Alas, Terror Active)
JULIA HP: 97% (Tormentis & Gauntlets, Boosted 60%)

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3460369
Gosh, I thought there would be complications but damn this is bad.

Priority is getting Gina and Julia away from the Conglomerate, for Health and Corruption reasons. But Gina only has one Act and if she doesn't spend it on lockdown, big C will shed the Payload.

Shu:
>Spawn multiple knightlings from the Hive on C to help with the retreat
>Continue dealing with the minions

Julia
>Try to land two more Stacks. If successful, Artisan's Peak again before running. Otherwise, just run.

Dorian
>Grab Gina and get out of there

Gina
>Maintain lockdown

Magpie
>Shoot C to distract if there's an opportunity, otherwise just keep dealing with the minions
>>
Kind of late, but Shu has met the Leviathan, and she's toppling the Behemoth. When are we going to meet the Ziz?
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen. Due to some personal matters, there may be no rapid posting tonight, but I shall keep you all updated.)

(Also for the sake of planning the Payload will no longer be able to be shed as long as Gina remains tethered through the end of the next round.)

>>3460428
(You're on the right track, but you have yet to meet the true Behemoth.)
>>
>>3460369
oh, holy shit. that had to be a crit failure on a roll if i ever saw one. that was just about the one thing it needed to not do in that situation.

JULIA and DORIAN
>Julia, rush to Gina, and expend what Health you both need and can afford to grant you the strength to lift the beast off of Gina.
>Dorian in Canvass form needs to rush in and pull Gina out as soon as Julia gets her free.
>Have two Knightlings aid Julia then assist her in fleeing back to safety.

MAGPIE and SHU
>do everything you can to distract the Colossus, force its attention onto you however you can. shoot it, swarm it, call it names.
>Have the current swarm focus on protecting you from the Constructs, while you spawn two more knightlings and two Banelings to rush forward and do what they can to slow down and distract the Colossus.
>Shu, load up a B.33 and fire it off into the Colossuses leg, before rushing forward to slash it, so that you can speed up the process and keep its attention occupied. have your tongue ready to pull yourself to safety as soon as possible.

GINA;
>maintain lockdown, do not let this be for nothing.
>>
>>3460390
i think you overlooked Gina is not just injured, but pinned down/grappled. unless someone frees her Dorian cant just drag her away, and while he is good at escaping such situations, he isnt the best suited for getting someone else out of such a situation.
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>>3460446
You're right, changing >>3460390 to supporting >>3460441 except that Shu should RHO CUNT instead of B.33
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>>3460438
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>>3460457
>>3460441
actually, ill agree to that. Shu can blow the whistle instead of rushing forward ill say, or of course give up both if she must. RHO should potentially hinder its movement, which may be exactly what we need.
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>>3460441
Should we spawn another Bishop for Dorian to help him out? I was going to suggest spawning one for Gina, but she won't be using it right now.
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>>3460462
Thinking about it, RHO would also hinder the movement of all its minions too, right?
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>>3460471
depends on how widespread it is. does it target all CUNTs, or just a single CUNT? do Constructs count as CUNTs, or basically weapons of the CUNT?

>>3460467
hrm, not a bad idea, but...
>>3460438
do the Bishops instantly grants boons, or is it only after the three turns? im only asking because while the other parts could be a steady increase, im not exactly sure how the extra zones would work if its incremental increases, which seems to imply it all hits at once, but of course i could be very wrong there.
>>
>>3460471
I think so. If there's any question about it we should obviously choose the Conglomerate, but that would be a neat side effect.
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>>3460476
(The boost given by the Bishop is granted instantly, and lasts for three turns as long as the Swarmling and host are connected.)
>>
>>3460489
oh...OH. thats not what i thought at all. they LAST 3 turns only, not grant the boost over three turns...er, no offense meant, but i think this is the first time ive had to say this, but honestly the way its worded does not give that impression at all. 'Over the course of three turns' sounds like it slowly builds up, not that it lasts three turns. not to sound dickish but is there a better way you can think to word that, so its less confusing?

>>3460467
so replace a Baneling with a Bishop then you think? Julias Bishop i think then either just ran out or runs out this turn too, so we need to keep that in mind aswell.
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>>3460503
(Goodness yes, I agree. Apologies for that wording Anon, I'm not sure what I was thinking.)
>>
>>3460441
>>3460503
im gonna go ahead and say switch out a Knightling for Bishop to Dorian, as 40% Bio is a steep cost to only replace a baneling with.
>>
(Gentlemen, my apologies but it appears as though professional obligations are going to take up the majority of my evening. As a result, I shall keep voting open for the next twelve hours, with posting to resume in fourteen hours from now. Thank you for your patience, and on the bright side it seems as though my Friday evening has opened up, so rapid posting after a good night's sleep looks to be a real possibility. Thank you all for your continued participation, and I will have a little while this evening to address any questions you may have. Thank you again for being fantastic as always, and have a great night.)
>>
>>3460649
(*Personal matters, not professional. Work's been intense, if you couldn't tell. Also, for that Anon who has recently started a new job, I hope things are going well for you this week.)
>>
>>3460649
have a good afternoon BHOP, hope your personal matters go well.

its a small, silly question, but when a Bishop runs outta juice, does it just keel over and dissolve, or does it stick around like an empty Baneling to be refilled, and if it does, is the cost of refilling it the same, or lessened, compared to its spawning cost?

...actually, how much, if anything, DOES it cost us to refill our Banelings/Knightlings acid, or does their new ability to store Bio Pollen they use to heal us and themselves also go towards refilling their Acid?

...ok sorry not actually a small or silly question at all.
>>
>>3460656
It's going swimmingly. My only regret is that my job leaves me rather hapless when it comes being unable to participate in the quest. I'm Heavily invested in this quest.
>>
>>3460666
>>3460478
>>3460215
Back. What did I miss and what kind of clusterfuck are we in?

>>3460656
BHOP, can you give me the positioning and status of everyone in relation to the Colossus?
>>
>>3460666
(The cost of refilling a Bishop is 25% BIO, and it stays active like Banelings do when they're 'empty'. Your Swarmlings refill their containers passively, restoring their payloads after three turns in combat. This method of refilling costs no additional BIO, and it's rarely come up due to the average life expectancy of your swarmlings.)

>>3460706
(I'm so glad to hear it's going well!)

>>3460729
(Shu, Dorian, and Magpie are all a medium distance away from there the colossus lies in the clearing, and making a straight line to it brings you to its back legs. Gina is a long distance away, at the creature's neck, while Julia is a little further away from her at the Colossi's head. Everyone is active and stable except for Gina, as Julia's armor braced her for impact and kept her from breaking anything. Also, she'll be able to free herself from the head and tendrils will little effort.)

(On the other hand, Gina is completely underneath the titan's shoulder and is inflicted with Grappled, Pinned, and Stunned statuses. Put simply, she cannot move from her position, she cannot rise from her position, and she's been reduced to 1 ACT. Given what you know about the Conglomerate, it's a safe bet that the grappled status isn't going away on its own.)
>>
>>3460753
Hey Bhop, what about the bio-nectar? how much bio-nectar has our swarms collected?
>>
>>3460757
(All told, they have about 34% HEALTH's worth of healing in them. They would have more if the constructs weren't so weak.)
>>
>>3460753
also. Yikes. It's a clusterfuck, no doubt about that. Also does injecting the Cancer payload require direct connection instead of wifi via Scarlet drone? Because I'm pretty miffed that having Gina Teleport onto the Colossus's back makes it pretty stupid from a tactical perspective.
>>
>>3460769
(It requires direct contact to inflict, yes. Neuromancy can be done remotely, but the Cancerous Payload is another matter entirely.)
>>
Ugh, I conked out completely after I got home, did not realize I was that tired. What did I mi...oh. Shit. Okay, so we have to get a monster off of Gina so she's not pinned in the tentacle thicket. I'm not sure how to do this. All that's coming to mind is causing this thing enough pain that it spasms and flops off of Gina, and that's putting her at risk too. Fuck.
>>
>>3460776
Is the Colossus prone and stunned? because it looks like it's prone given that Julia and Gina are practically pinned by it's body.
>>
>>3460808
(It is, yes.)
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>>3460818
Also. Music of the battle in my mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhPYc0MKOaE
Apt yes?
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>>3460818
And where is the Hollowpoint round located?
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>>3460859
You thinking about sprouting some Knights to start carving Gina out of there?
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>>3460862
That and Hundred Handed. The issue is that Julia and Gina are getting massive hits to their psyche by corruption depression. Shu needs to be close to them in order to counteract that via empathy field.
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>>3460866
I considered Hundred Handed, but the arms probably aren't big enough to matter. Unless Gina is right next to the hive they couldn't reach her. We need to level them up, be able to do Nico Robin-style giant limb constructs.
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>>3460843
(This is the exact music I've been listening to.)

>>3460859
(Its throat, incidentally.)
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>>3460939
>(This is the exact music I've been listening to.)
It's the most appropriate music for fighting a giant monster who you're morally conflicted over whether you should kill or not.
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>>3460369
Okay. I've mulled this over more times than I could count.

Situation: Colossus is prone and stunned. Same goes for Gina. Gina however, needs to stay tethered for the duration of the round and needs to stay alive. She's pinned grappled, and stunned. The Constructs are kept manageable, but we could get swarmed if we're not careful.

Dorian:
>Act 1: Canvas Catapult, Use the Boosters if you have to. Get to Gina's position and switch to Critic form.
>Act 2: Carve away the tendrils that are grappling Gina with Inspired Critic form. Julia will use her strength to lift the Colossus's shoulder up off of Gina. If she's too depressed, knock her out of her funk by giving her a KISS. Don't look at me like that! Do you want to see her continue her work as an artist!?

Julia:
>Get to Gina! Lift that Flank! You're the only one strong enough who can lift it up!
>If you can't Lift the shoulder up, then Carve it up with Bloody Ripper! Stop those tentacles from killing Gina!

Magpie:
>Magpie, you're going to be given a target rich environment by having two Knights carry you up in the air. If you know your ammo's Area of Effect, then fire away. keep the evac zone (gina) clear.
>Be an apache attack helicopter, clear the Evac zone with your crows.

>Shu:
>Carve a path to Gina with your swarms and melee. Use your Maw's Tongue to slingshot to her if you must! Spawn 3 more knights, Have 2 of them carry Magpie up in the air (if she's that heavy)
>Blow the whistle! The debuff from the whistle should prevent the constructs from spending an additional action and delaying the Colossus an additional turn from getting up.

>Gina: Hang in there. Maintain the connection. I'm sorry that I put you up to this.

Main thing is to secure Gina and gather everyone together, have a corridor cleared for escape courtesy of Magpie's crows. This will be a setup for the next round's planned objective: Once the Cancer payload is secured inside the Colossus, we're on a timer to evade and stall as much time possible while letting the payload do its job. Getting Magpie up in the air as a pesudo-living air-strike will give us a better advantage at clearing the constructs.

>>3460438
Hey BHOP, I have a question regarding Crimson Cord. Is it possible for Shu to transfer HP from direct contact with Gina via Crimson Cord?
Also, I'm assuming that we're aiming to give Spinal Cancer for the Colossus. If that's true, then here are the symptoms for Spinal Cancer:

Pain (back and/or neck pain, arm and/or leg pain)
Muscle weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
Difficulty walking
General loss of sensation
Difficulty with urination (incontinence)
Change in bowel habits (retention)
Paralysis to varying degrees
Spinal deformities
Pain or difficulty with standing
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>>3461059
(HEALTH transfer is possible, yes. There will be a 3/2 ratio for healing, meaning that for every 3% HEALTH you donate, Gina will receive 2%.)
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>>3461079
Good to know. And the ratio isn't half bad either.
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>>3461059
>Use your Maw's Tongue to slingshot to her if you must!
I think we should use the Maw to pull her to us, instead. One action to jump two zones via Bungee Tongue, that puts us at Close range, then one action to pull Gina one zone towards us.

>>3461079
So if we gave her 90% HEALTH, she'd get back sixty, putting us at the same level. I'm fine with evening us out that way.
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>>3461095
ooh. good idea. Amending vote!>>3461059
>>
So Gina needs one action to maintain the drone and one to plant the payload, right?

Might it be a good idea for her to use her second action to try to terraform the area around her to get out (say, by making a rut in the ground right below her so she can just plop down and crawl out) and then trying to apply the payload next turn?
That way we can just focus on keeping the beast down with everyone else, too [as well as defend from the constructs].
>>
>>3460753
Right, thank you. It is indeed a shame they often do not last long enough to use that, but such is the nature of their kind.

>>3460441
Addin in those Paint Constructs Dorian spawned earlier should help keep the Colossus immobile. Id spawn new ones but Dorian needs to focus on getting Gina out of there once the time is right to do so.
>>
>>3461059
>>3461227
Gina already injected the payload (see >>3460369) and it's fire and forget so she need not stay where she is. Dorian/Shu should pull her out if possible once Julia is lifting.
>>
Good morning, thread.

>>3460369
Okay, so the cancer is already delivered. With that in mind.

Dorian
>Boost over to Gina, start cutting her out, be ready to run once she's free

Julia
>Help lift the Conglomerate's mass away from Gina so Dorian has room to work, likewise be ready to run immediately

Magpie
>Overwatch, keep the minions off of us as best you can

Shu
>Bungee Tongue over to the Conglomerate, get ready to pull Gina away once Dorian and Julia are done

Gina
>Keep the shedding locked down through the Scarlet Swarmling. Try not to die.
>>
>>3461059
>>3461487
You guys are overlooking Julia needs to escape too, her corruption is pretty high and her own health isnt bad but nit the best, and speed os nit her strong suit. We dont need both Dorian and Shu rescuing the same person, and leaving Julia alone to tak all the attention onto herself, aswell as more time in the depression zone.

We ignore Julia and we may very well simply recreate this situation with her needing help next round.
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>>3461490
Well, my thinking was that having to carry Gina out of there would slow Dorian down, so having someone just grab her out as soon as she was untangled would speed up the process of his escape. Further, Gina is pinned, not just entangled, and Julia has a strength boost from Sui Tormentis. Julia's despair Corruption isn't great, but I'm hoping she can endure it for another turn. And if she does fall, she won't be as entangled and so Shu can just grab her too. Shu's tongue is very fast and dextrous. Ladies.
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>>3461492
Actually, yeah, I like that idea. Going to amend my vote.

>>3461487
Shu
>Be ready to grab anyone who falters with your tongue, no one left behind.
>>
>>3461492
Well, the thing is, in already worried about how it says the Colossuses defenses are active, which entails alot of tendrils. Which entails grappling. If were too slow, someone might be in a worse situation than being underneath it.

>>3461500
But this is good enough, its a pretty dire situation so all we can hope to do is this honestly.
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>>3461487
Im being nit picky here honestly and i think votings over anyways, but i do have to wonder how visble Magpie is st keeping the minions at bay. Shes a single shot sniper who cant dish out many hits, and shes fighting a swarm of them.

Bit at the same time her shots explode into a swarm of magpies, which means she might actually needs very few shots. But at the same time the fact the magpies deal friendly fire means she shouldn't fire at them if allies are near them, and it means we might be retreating into a swarm of both minions and magpies.

Dunno her ability is in an odd place here.
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>>3461511
The way I see it is that Magpie fires a shot at a cluster of minions, where then the crows do their work. From what we've seen they're extremely effective in dealing damage, and they usually spread to better feeding grounds once the immediate area is devoid of fleshy bits like constructs. So they'll spread in a plague like fashion, burning out once all available live food source (the constructs) is gone.
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>>3461514
Nah i get that and how it works, and it actually is really good at minion killing potentially. Im jist saying its in an akward spit where with bad timing we could become the fleshy bits they are after is all.

Probably still worth the risk though.
>>
>>3460369

The Cursus Alas flares at Dorian’s back as he kicks off, his bright blue eye filled with steely determination as crimson talons erupt from his fingertips, itching to bring their razor-sharp lengths to bear against the Colossi’s grasping tendrils. At your side, Magpie dissolves into nothing before reappearing in the branches of a nearby tree, long legs bracing herself.

“Watch the splash zone, kid.” She yells down, unclipping the container of yellow liquid and cocking her arm back in a pitcher’s throw. “Go get to your team.”

You break into a run, dodging through the crowd towards where your swarm and Magpie’s intermingle into a black-and-green flurry of ripping, tearing fury at the Conglomerate’s legs. Your abdomen splits down the middle, prehensile tongue flicking out and latching on to the beast’s cracked hoof to fling yourself past where the birds greedily tear flesh from muscle and closer to your trapped allies. Suddenly, there’s a sound from behind you like a glacier shifting, and you glance over your shoulder to see a massive citrine crystal has erupted from where Magpie threw her container, trapping the vast majority of the encroaching swarm in a transparent wall of yellow amber.

Turning your attentions to your landing, you catch sight of Dorian slashing wildly to get to Gina, the tentacles doing their best to fend him off. Your heart almost stops when the beast begins to move, but you quickly realize it’s not of its own accord. You watch in awe as the Conglomerate’s neck and head is forced up from the swamp, revealing Julia expending untold health to ensure Gina is freed.

“Julia, are you al…” You begin, but her forceful scream cuts you off as she gives a harsh jerk of her head towards where Dorian fights off the grasping limbs.

“I’m f-fine, just go!” She barks, strain writ large across every inch of her face.

The Conglomerate’s body shudders once, then twice from the twin assaults of your Parabellum detonating in its neck and Magpie’s sniper round piercing into its exposed bellow, the crowing cacophony of a newborn flock reaching over the beast’s girth. Gina struggles to rise on unstable footing and unsteady feet, but she’s alive, her concentration unbroken. Whatever fleeting smile of relief that’s on your face slips away as a third shudder ripples through the monster, its senses slowly returning.

Time grows short.

HP: 170% (Whistle: RHO CUNT)
BIO: 131% (1 Scarlet Drone, 1 Knightling, 1 Bishop (Julia), 11 Swarmlings. 14/18 Active)
CONTENDER: Empty, Lionheart. (Hollowpoint Hive Active: 10% BIO.)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Close. Death in 4 Rounds. Gina Corruption: 81%, Julia Corruption: 78%. Dorian Corruption: 26%. (3 STACKS. Total Debuffs: DMG INFLICTED/HEALTH & BIO REGEN -15%, ACCURACY -9%, DMG RECEIVED +15%)

GINA HP: 18%
DORIAN HP: 106% (Critic Form, Cursus Alas, Terror Active)
JULIA HP: 46% (Boosted 345%)

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>3461596
>>3461596
>Julia is boosted 345%
Holy hell that took more to lift than expected.

Alright, lets fall back for now, its our best bet and too many have too high a corruption rating.

SHU;
>snag Gina and pull her to safety with your tongue, then back off.
>Spawn a bishop and send it to Dorian, have the one on julia replenish its juices if need be.
>Use the hollow hive to fill out the rest of your hive with whatever it can squeeze out with 10%, id assume at least 2 banelings and a standard, and have them swarm the things face to distract it.

DORIAN and JULIA;
>have Julia not just drop the colossus, but use her strength to slam it down to throw it off balance, preferably onto her Bloody ripper if she can.
>Have Dorian scoop her up and boost them both to safety.

DORIAN;
>once the two of you are safe, if able, switch to Creator Form and send forth a wave of constructs to slow the Colossus down. Don't over exert your biomass but keep sending them til its clear they are having an effect on it.

SHU and MAGPIE
>Use your swarms and Abilites to keep thinning the hoard.

GINA;
>Keep its ability surpressed, and now that your other action is back, use it to focus on healing from Shu
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next hour and a half, Gentlemen.)
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>>3461610
Since Gina is no longer pinned and stunned, should we give her back the whistle so she can blow it and apply RHO CUNT?
>>
>>3461614
>>3461610
Good idea, adding that, but its less of a priority than her getting stable so she actually lives.
>>
>>3461596
BHOP, is the Conglomerate still

Shu:
>Grab Gina with the Ravenous Maw's tongue and Run.
>Swarm action: Split your swarm in two. Half of them give Dorian and Julia covering support by attacking the Tendrils so Dorian and Julia can escape. The other half will protect Shu and Gina, if any of them have bio-nectar, have them deposit them and give Shu some health back.
>Blow the whistle. This should make the Tentacles and the Colossus less responsive, forcing it to delay it getting up by another round or so.

Dorian:
>Send in your paint constructs that you've created earlier, have them tangle up the tendrils that are assaulting Julia.
>Once Shu has Gina secured, Grab Julia and go, you're her escort protection now. Use the Booster to get her clear. Once you're clear, de-activate Terror.

Julia:
>Once Gina is secured by Shu, Slam the neck down by punching it. Dorian's paint constructs and Shu's Swarms will cover you from the Tendrils.
>Go with Dorian and regroup with Shu.
Magpie:
>Regroup and Secure a clear path for evac.
>Your next job will once everyone has regrouped is to be our rearguard and keep the colossus off of us.
Gina:
>Keep the ability suppressed via Scarlet Drone.
>Crimson Cord for a Health Transfer. When Shu gets you to a safe distance,


Everyone: Regroup and withdraw.
Package is secure. Now we move onto the next phase of our plan: RUN AWAY!

>>3461614
I think Shu should be the one to blow the whistle.
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>>3461633
(I'm afraid your device may have cut off part of your question, Anon.)
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>>3461633
Im fine with whoever of the two has the action to blow it blowing it.

Also Julia should tey to get some damage out with the ripper as they fall back. It heals her for a good ammount and with such a strength boost i can imagine she can dish out a good hit.
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>>3461642
The unfinished question is: Is the Congolomerate still prone and stunned? Or is it just prone now? I also have to ask, does the Conglomerate naturally have 1 act per turn? Because the Parabellum explosion looked like it extended the stun duration.
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>>3461654
(It did extend the stun a little bit, yes. It's no longer stunned, however it is still prone. It also has a total of three ACTs, though one was spent directing the tentacles to move.)
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What a cute litlle deer you found while i was away...
I say we all get some distance,
break its legs then go for the neck.
Im not good at planning, sorry.
>>
Hmm.... three actions per round you say...
I predict the Colossus will to the following in this round:
>Act 1: Move Tentacles to delay the daughters, attempt to grapple
>Act 2: Get up
>Act 3: Order Constructs to attack or spawn more constructs.
>>
>>3461633
Amending a couple of actions

Shu:
>Grab Gina with your tongue and run to safety, use the Crimson Cord to sacrifice 90% hp to stabilize Gina and give her 60% hp.
>Swarm action: Split your forces, Have half of them cover Dorian and Julia from the tendrils. the other half serve as personal escort since you have your hands full.
Gina:
>Maintain ability suppression via Scarlet Drone
>Terraform Hooked Spikes through the Colossus's Neck once Julia and Dorian are out of the way, impale it and prevent it from getting up, or at the very least, make sure it's slowed down.
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>>3461661
Hey BHOP, how does cancer work in this regard? Does it take off 20% of its max BIO, or 20% of what its BIO was when it was infected?

Kinda related kinda not, if someone infected used up enough BIO, would they speed up its effects?
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>>3461719
I think 20% of its max bio capacity. hence the death in 5 turns status.
>>3461661
Also, good question. And since this is spinal cancer we're aiming to inflict on the Colossus the following symptoms should start to kick in during this round.

Pain (back and/or neck pain, arm and/or leg pain)
Muscle weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
Difficulty walking
General loss of sensation
Paralysis to varying degrees
Spinal deformities
Pain or difficulty with standing
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>>3461729
Well thats why i ask, if its its max, then depending on how much its used, it could take less than 5 turns, but its description and how it was inflicted here say 5, so that implies for balance reasons it goes off its current when infected to always be starting at taking 5 rounds upon infection.
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>>3461729
(The 20% of max is correct.)
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>>3461596

Your tongue lashes out once more, leashing around Gina’s midsection and yanking her to your waiting arms. She gives a yelp of agony when she collides with you, her shattered ribs betraying her own body under the dual strain of your tongue and her painful impact.

You wince, but when you glance over to your allues wour heart swells with pride as you watch Julia hold the beast’s weight above her head with one hand and snatch a pair of tentacles with the other, ripping them out of the eye sockets of the skull they’re embedded in before crarving a bloody gash into the colossi’s neck with her blood-drenched knife, its elegant form siphoning off the beast’s blood to quickly close the wounds of its wielder. She dashes forwards to join you and Dorian as the pair race to your side, the Conglomerate starting to scramble to its feet, legs flailing as it fights to right itself against the unforgiving ground with disconcerting haste.

So you put a stop to that.

You blow hard on the whistle, Amara’s sweet voice echoing two words, one an alien phrase and the other a very human profanity. Julia’s sweet, innocent face contorts into a mask of shock and fury as the four of you stumble forwards, trudging as fast as you can across the unstable terrain.

“What d-did Amara just sa…!” Julia yells, your hearing cut off when incredible pain explodes across your spine, your world devolving into a whirl of incoherent shapes and colors. You’re mid-air, hurtling towards the forest’s edge and bracing for impact while holding Gina as tight as you can, when it occurs to you that if you hadn’t slowed the beast’s wild kicks the errant strike would have packed enough power to snap you in half.

When you land on your hive, you’re face with a sandwich of discomfort when a lance of pain stabs into your stomach, and you look down to see Gina’s fingers digging just below your ribs, drawing your biomass rapidly into her broken body, panic and greed scrabbling across your empathic tether.

{…an’t die here, I can’t go, I won’t go like…} Her mind is a whirl of desperation, a singular focus on her own survival hijacking every other rational thought as a long shadow passes over you and the girl that’s quickly robbing you of your life force.

To your horror the Conglomerate towers above its domain once more, head rearing back as it screams once more as it paws at the fetid earth beneath its hooves, but it’s not a call to arms.

It’s a howl that strains the mind with the weight of hopelessness.

(Continued)
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>>3461945

Even at this range, the Conglomerate’s aura of misery settles like a hundred sodden blankets across your very being, your movements sluggish as you fight to stand with the weight of despair coupled with the biomass being sucked out of your core by the girl that clings to your shaking form. Your, Dorian, and Magpies creations darken the sky around you, splitting their attention between giving you some semblance of cover while fending off the encroaching horde of reeking humanoids that continue to haul themselves out of the mire around you. A pair of rifle shots ring out, but youre too focused on getting up to see where they've hit.

Julia and Dorian rocket past you as you haul yourself and Gina up, gritting your teeth as her hand digs deeper, scraping your lungs and forcing a gasp of suffering from your throat.

[GG, it's okay, you're safe, please stop hur...] You start, and you feel your jaw pop from clenching when her slender finger start to rake across your intestines.

{Nonono I need to live I don't deserve to go like this Im not going to die here I have to keep...}

She's not stopping, a fact that dawns on you when the Conglomerate rakes its jagged hoof across the ground one more time, its head settling into a low battering-ram stance, every ounce of willpower it has devoted to keeping itself upright. It’s starting to suffer the crippling effects of the payload Gina fought tooth and nail to deliver, its legs unsteady as it sways back and forth, eyeless sockets focusing on your and your allies…

…before it begins to barrel at your team with terrible speed.

HP: 45% (Whistle: Empty)
BIO: 131% (1 Scarlet Drone, 1 Knightling, 1 Bishop (Julia), 11 Swarmlings. 14/18 Active)
CONTENDER: Empty, Lionheart. (Hollowpoint Hive Active: 10% BIO.)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Close. Death in 3 Rounds. Corruption: Shu: 19%, Gina: 93%, Julia: 86%. Dorian: 39%. Magpie: 11% (3 STACKS. Total Debuffs: DMG INFLICTED/HEALTH & BIO REGEN -15%, ACCURACY -9%, DMG RECEIVED +15%)

GINA HP: 105%
DORIAN HP: 133% (Canvass Form, Cursus Alas, Terror Active)
JULIA HP: 67% (Boosted 345%)

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, my apologies for the delay, as work exploded into a flurry of activity all at once. Thank you for your patience and participation, and I hope your Friday is going well. Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, with rapid posting to begin roughly five hours from now.)
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>>3461970
Godamnit Gina.
Look , bear with me folks, but shes taken enough and i think she just revealed that deep hodden selfishness kosi talked about. We need to get her off of us, or she'll kill us before the Colossus does.

Actual plan to follow, but i tonk we need to use a knight coupled with our tongue to yank ourselves away from her.
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>>3461945
Guess we should've specified how much HP Gina was allowed to transfer. And damn, are Gina and Julia still not out of range of the despair zone? We've been saying that they should gtfo for the past two or three rounds.
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>>3462000
Despair zone is medium range.
>>
(Most Phantasmal Conduits have the ability to 'flare' their auras at some BIO cost, which is what it did with its second ACT. It's why Magpie was affected despite being well out of range of the passive aura.)
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BHOP, can we get everyone's positioning relative to one another and to the edge of the clearing please?
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>>3462028
Passing the question to BHOP.>>3462008
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>>3462028
(You and Gina are one distance zone from the edge of the clearing, Julia and Dorian are a next to it, and Magpie is in a tree at the very edge.)
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>>3461970
Gina
>VERURTEIUNG Aura Flare, Make it an Critical Auto-Counter.
>IMMUTABLE FORM. PURGE YOURSELF OF THE Depression CORRUPTION.
Shu:
>"GINA, THE COLOSSUS!"
>Have a knight help pry Shu off of Gina, Get away from her. Have the rest of the swarm give Shu Bio-nectar for HP restoration and guard her, Have the Knight carry Shu if need be.
Magpie:
>Keep shooting!
Dorian and Julia:
>Dodge and stay close to Gina! She'll flare an Aura of fear at the Deer and cause it to go off course!

Dorian:
>Creator Form, Make Constructs to make the paint slick! Put it in the path of the Colossus immediately after Gina flares her aura and makes it veer off track!
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>>3462043
>>3461970
Amending a few actions:
Shu:
>Ravenous Maw slingshot to the clearing.
>Have the swarm return to Shu and deposit bio-nectar for HP conversion, and then have the Knight pry Gina off of Shu

Gina:
>Flare the Fear aura, force the Colossus to veer off course.
>Immutable Purge the Depression corruption. The Depression is a status ailment no? Purging it should bring it back down to zero temporarily.
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>>3461970
Supporting >>3462043 except that Julia just be getting as far away as possible, her Corruption is really high. Can Bloody Ripper be used to make a ranged weapon?
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>>3462052
(The Purge will clear it entirely, yes.)

>>3462055
(Not at its current level, no.)
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>>3461970
SHU;
>pry Gina off with a new Knightling and use your maw to fling to safety.
>Have the Knight drag Gina to safety, out of the Colossuses charge line.
>ALL swarmlings with Bio Pollen come heal Shu.

JULIA and DORIAN
>Both focus on dodging the incoming charge.
>Dorian should drag Julia away if he needs to, due to her corruption.
>Have Dorian fling constructs onto the Colossuses joints and wounds as it passes.

GINA;
>CALM YO ASS DOWN. Use An action of immutable form to purge your corruption.
>Otherwise cling to the Knightling and switch to flare your fear aura to send it away from you and your allies as best you can.

MAGPIE;
>Teleport out of the Colossuses path and fire off a round into its hind legs if you can.

BHOP said by now it cant get rid of the cancer via its skin shedding, so losing 3 of Julias stacks is an acceptable loss for now.
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>>3461970
>>3462043
Supporting.
I forget that Gina has Immutable Form, and that the new level in Verurteiung can prevent foes from getting rid of debuffs, so the Conglomerate wouldn't shed its skin even if it wasn't suppressed anymore. She could really benefit from having more ACTs, but we could still manage if we remember that part whenever she's suppressing a recovery power.
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>>3462081
I'm now reminded that We could now switch our ability lockdown priority from debuff shedding to Anti-depressant.
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>>3462052
>>3462043
Amending a few of Shu's votes:
>Slingshot maw to safety while carrying Gina.
>After Gina flares out her Fear aura, make sure that you pry yourself off of her and have the swarm refill your hp with Bio Pollen.
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>>3462092
The thing is this:
VERURTEIUNG (Lvl 3): Fear, lurking at the fringes of the mind, unaddressed. If taken lightly, it will only grow into a force nothing can stop. The absolute terror field projected by the user has been expanded in breadth and power, and now covers a medium area with an aura of fear that imposes disadvantage against foes’ attempts to free themselves from bindings or negative status effects, as their formerly rational mind devolves into a primal, panicked mess.
>imposes disadvantages on attempts to free themselves from debuffs
>>
Anyways. I have to go to work. I've done what I can. I'll see you in 6 hours.
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>>3462093
Can we please at least separate from Gina first? Just incase the corruption makes us lose control of her actions and she cant purge herself, or waits too long to do It.
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>>3462081
Verurteilung only imposes disadvantage against removing debuffs so won't necessarily stop the Conglomerate shedding the cancer. At this point it might not even have enough Bio left to shed anyhow, or the cancer might have spread to far to remove, but I don't think it's worth the risk. Gina should still be spending an ACT on suppression.
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>>3462100
Oh godamnit, well i guess instead i ask
>>3462081
>>3462055
To at least change to support him with the change of seperating from Gina first, so if the corruption does make her not stop and us not control her we dont godamn die. Its a big risk and keep in mind we had set a limit for her to trade with us and she ignored it, so there is precedent for us losing control of her, even if only a little bit we don't have the hp left to risk said little.
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>>3462105
am >>3462100
we could do that but i don’t want her getting charged at.
>>3462109
it’s either fear flare and purge depression or fear flare and have gina get overwhelmed by depression by maintaining ability lockdown
>>
that said i am now going to work for real
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>>3462121
Thats why i had our Knightling carry her away, so she can do her own actions. Keep in mind a knightling could FLY with Rath, i dont think its unfair to say one or two could get her to safety.
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>>3462121
Yeah, either way she'd drop the suppression. Better to do it because she's distracted than because she's given up all hope. I think that between the fear forcing it to waste actions on retreating, the disadvantage to resisting status effects, and it having not much resources left to spend on sloughing off its outer layer, the Conglomerate isn't likely to successfully escape.
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>>3462121
>>3462138
I'd preferred the possibility of maintaining lockdown and purging depression, but having reread the description of Verurteilung Lvl 2 I am persuaded that fear flaring is probably worth dropping lockdown.
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>>3462173
Yeah, we really want to break the charge. Get Gina's field between this thing and everyone else, force the Conglomerate to kill its momentum.

I think this fight showcases just how powerful Phantasmal Conduit abilities can be, both in our hands and used against us. There's no dodging or blocking them, the best you can do is hope you can weather the attack. I'm tempted to have everyone here take at least one selection of Consume on the after-fight level up, just in hopes that it provides skills that increase resistance to mind-affecting attacks.
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Hrm, so no go on getting Gina off first? Just hope im wrong, and that our swarm can reach us quickly then i guess.

God i hope im just being paranoid but this would hardly be the biggest bamboozle BHOP has thrown at us even in combat if we do lose control of her.

>>3462201
Lets not be too hasty. Im not necessarily against ant consume options, but im also against just throwing that on everyone, especially as its still not guranteed their specific take on it will actually mesh well with their kit or playstyle.

Plus its random what they may get. But i think this is a discussion we can have once we win this, hopefully with everyone alive.
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>>3462213
But on that note, if we are gonna do that, i think Julia is who it would fit best on if its an enemy debuff, a buff aura would fit best on shu.

Gina already has one, and Dorians kinda more a hit and run so both debuff and buff would get interupted too often by his constant movement to be worth it in my opinion.
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>>3462213
Yeah, I'm not likely to act on the temptation. Still, it's there. Especially with one of the more probable end-game threats favoring Phantasmal Conduit. Maybe we'll get some resistance from raising other skills related to control or self-determination, though. Like how Dorian's Unknowable Hue makes him resistant to Neuromancy.

Also, just realized I haven't actually voted yet.

>>3461970
Supporting >>3462068
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>>3462213
I had though getting Gina off first was assumed - clarifying my vote to be supporting >>3462043, but not the amendment >>3462052 which delays prying Gina off Shu.
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(Out of meetings and writing now, Gentlemen.)
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>>3461970

You yank Gina to the side, allowing your ravenous maw an opening to lash out again, seizing the first stable stump you see and allowing you to fling the two of you to the relative safety of the forest’s edge. As you go flying a flock of Dorian’s inklings swoop past you, dissolving in the path of the Conglomerate’s wild, blind charge.

At your empathic order and after a moment of hesitation, Julia and Dorian dash into the cover of the choking woods as Magpie’s rifle rings out with another crack and boom, the sharp snap of the bolt sliding back to eject the shell ringing out across the clearing before Magpie slides it home, taking another shot at the beast’s head as it continues on its trampling path. Roughly seizing Gina’s hand, you stifle a scream as you force Gina’s grasping fingers out of your abdomen, grabbing her shoulder and shaking her hard as your Knightling rejoins your side, its claws tucked in to pry the two of you apart without drawing any more blood than either of you have to spare. Even now, she’s fighting you with everything she has, tearing at your arms to reach the open wound that weeps down the front of your dress.

[Gina, listen to me!] You plead, your Knightling hauling her away from you at the same time you stumble back, clutching your stomach while your swarmlings stab into your hive, pumping you full of their rejuvenating bounty. [Use what Kosi gave you! Clear this out of your system!]

A sudden, terrible clarity finally blossoms in her eyes, her eyes flitting from your pained expression to your wound, then back again. Her hand flies to her mouth as the colossi’s thunderous charge bears down on you both.

“Kosi, she…Oh…oh my god, Shu, I…” She mutters, your blood smears across her mouth, dripping from her chin as her lower lip trembles with absolute horror.

[Gina, there’s no time. Activate your fear aura, max strength, NOW]

She channels the very thing she’s fighting against, the thing that wrapped its cold tendrils around her heart and urged her scoop out your life to ensure her own survival.

Fear.

(Continued)
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>>3462638

The Conglomerate seizes up in the face of Gina’s horrific aura and flings itself backwards on its hind legs, up and away from the diminutive figure before it, and it’s at that moment several things happen at once. Its back legs buckle as its spine loses all rigidity at the same moment it loses all traction in the face of Dorian’s paint slick, the corruption of Gina’s most devastatingly lethal ability having finally reached the nerves that allow it to remain upright and bringing it plummeting down at a sharp angle into the arbor to the right of you and your team.

Magpie’s rifle rings out with another crack and boom, the sharp snap of the bolt sliding back to eject the shell before Magpie slides it home, taking aim once again at the fallen beast as her flock hovers low, a roiling black susurration of razor feathers and starving beaks. The Conglomerate’s shuffling swarm is still slowed thanks to Amara’s curse, and with Gina’s senses returned and the rest of your team holds fast at the edge of the woods, ready to bolt on your command. Only a short distance away the miserable beast thrashes and flails, annihilating the arbor that surrounds it in a futile attempt to right itself, to delay the inevitable it that it’s doomed to fight against despite wanting nothing more but to escape its accursed existence.

It’s almost over.

HP: 87 (Whistle: Empty)
BIO: 131% (1 Scarlet Drone, 1 Knightling, 1 Bishop (Empty), 11 Swarmlings. 14/18 Active)
CONTENDER: Empty, Lionheart. (Hollowpoint Hive Active: 10% BIO.)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Long, prone in the woods to your right. Death in 2 Rounds. Corruption: Shu: 9%, Gina: 0%, Julia: 71%. Dorian: 23%. Magpie: 0% (3 STACKS. Total Debuffs: DMG INFLICTED/HEALTH & BIO REGEN -15%, ACCURACY -9%, DMG RECEIVED +15%)

GINA HP: 132%
DORIAN HP: 133% (Canvass Form, Cursus Alas, Terror Active)
JULIA HP: 67% (Boosted 345%)

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next hour and a half, and rapid posting shall begin after the next update is posted.)
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>>3462642
We've got distance on a downed enemy. I say we just lame it out. Julia hangs back and takes a breather as her despair Corruption value drains and she regenerates health. Dorian sends in more ink minions just to keep it occupied. Shu spawns some banelings from the Hollowpoint Hive to do the same, while keeping the rest of her swam nearby just in case more zombies spawn. Gina keeps up the lockdown on shedding. And Magpie plinks away with regular rifle shots.
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>>3462642
whew, geezus.

GINA;
>Take a moment to collect yourself, but quickly use your Terraforming to keep the beast incapacitated, however it must be done.

GINA and JULIA;
>have Julia make sure to keep back from the Colossuses aura range, and see if Gina cant jack in or use her abilities to diffuse its effects faster.
>After that, have Julia double the stacks on the Colossus.

DORIAN;
>either spawn new ones, or reform your current constructs, using them to pin down and keep the colossus down. slip them into its wounds, joints, clog up its system from the inside.

SHU;
>Focus your mind on calming Gina down, then Julia, then Dorian.
>have your Swarm start circle cycling against both minions and the colossus alike to get your health back up.

MAGPIE;
>Focus on the Colossuses legs, and keep firing to keep it down.

im thinking wait til next turn for Julia to reactivate ARTISTIANS PEAK, so on its very last chance its fully stunned.
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>>3462642
Gina & Shu
>Attempt to communicate with the Conglomerate and ease its passing
>If too dangerous or otherwise unsuccessful, just work on keeping it incapacitated

Julia
>Double Stacks of Malleable Skin, be ready to activate Artisan's Peak if necessary

Dorian & Magpie
>Hold off the horde
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>>3462668
Seconding.
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>>3462670
ill amend to add

GINA;
>Keep the Colossuses skin shedding incapacitated.

she might have to give up something, so if so dont jack into Julia. she should be good if she just stays back, and im not sure Gina can actually do much, or at least nothing more than Shu, plus in Ginas state she might not be fit to calm anyone else down at all.
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>>3462642

Gina's silent, her abilities focused on keeping the Conglomerate's powers dampened as you, Julia, and Dorian take a collective breath. The latter among you sends more inklings to harass the colossus alongside the swarmlings you spawn from your Hollowpoint Hive, but its thrashings are slowing, its struggle winding to a close as the cancer claims its body for its own wretched purpose.

"It's on it's last legs." Magpie calls down from her roost, staring down her rifle's sights. "Constructs are giving up the ghost, too. Just a matter of time, now."

She's right. You can feel them, just on the edge of your channel's perception. The shifting, sobbing mass that are the core of the beast you've brought to its knees. They're trying to slough off their outer skin in a futile effort to fight against's Gina's suppression, with the result being more wasted biomass and the gradual liquification of their own organs, and across the channel you can feel them shutting down, one by one. They're a wild, miserable thing, but perhaps on some level they know exactly what they're doing. Burning through their reserves of bio, speeding to their end.

Maybe even in their Hunger-mad state, they're fighting to make it to the finish line that awaits us all, that final surrender, that inevitable turn of the page to a blank space.

Dorian's tending to Julia's wounds as best he can as Magpie gingerly climbs down the tree, a mundane method of travel for someone with teleportation at their fingertips. She gives you a businesslike nod as her swarm of eyes scour the area for any other threats, but you feel it, and so does she.

It's over.

Gina sits with her back to you, silently staring out at the clearing as the last vestiges of the Conglomerate's swam collapse back into the mire from which they came. She's doing everything in her power to suppress both the colossi's power and the bond that you both share, but she can't hide the shame that's welling up within her, bleeding across the Crimson Cord.

Somewhere not far from you, hundreds of Daughters are about to breathe their last.

What do you do now?

HP: 92% (Whistle: Empty)
BIO: 131% (1 Scarlet Drone, 1 Knightling, 1 Bishop (Empty), 9 Swarmlings. 12/18 Active)
CONTENDER: Empty, Lionheart. (Hollowpoint Hive Empty.)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: None.
ACT: 2/2
Threat: Paralyzed, Prone, Stunned. About to meet its end.

GINA HP: 132%
DORIAN HP: 140% (Canvass Form, Cursus Alas, Terror Active)
JULIA HP: 87% (Boosted 345%)

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting periods of one hour are effective from now until the end of the evening, Gentlemen.)
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>>3462939
Try to convey as much peace and calm through our empathic field as possible. Go gently into that good night, lost Daughters. We're sorry it came to this, they deserved better, but this is the most we can do to end their suffering. It will be over soon.

Then give Gina a hug. This was a rough one, for her. And Shu probably isn't feeling that great either, contact will help her as well.
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>>3462939
man ,for such a fight that went down such a dangerous path this is...one slow burn to the end. like a raging fire that captivated you with its raw destructive might now only a few little embers, leaving only the echo of its roar left in your ears...

EVERYONE;
>Stay alert, just incase it holds any last tricks, or something else tries to take advantage of the situation you fought so hard for. you have experience with unexpected outsiders taking advantage of your moments of victory.

SHU;
>Go over to Gina. once this thing dies, both necessity and your deal with Magpie wont leave much time to clear the air.
>speak, with your actual mouth, as you send forth comfort over both the crimson cord and your emphatic field.
>"Im not mad. i get it, you were scared, and the colossus effects had muddled your mind. being close to death is terrifying." laugh, "i mean, how many times have i myself been that close, if not closer? so i get it, you saw the veil and panicked. its not something easy to face."
>slowly, carefully, place a hand on her shoulder. "But dont shut me out over it. dont shut US out over it. you lost control, you made a mistake. that only does one thing Gina; it proves your still human, no matter what this crucible or these twisted bodies try to say, and there is no shame in that."
>Pull her along by the hand, and meet up with your team.

EVERYONE;
>Watch the end together, and solemnly pay your respects. this, their sadness, their defeat, their fate. this is what you fight against. that feeling of inevitability, of hopelessness, that is what you fight to undo, to bring a little bit of the opposite back to those left on your little spec of dust in this universe.
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>>3462983
I'd say cut out the stuff about Shu not being mad because we get that Gina was in a scary situation. There are a lot of things that Gina could be upset over: coming so close to death, hurting Shu in her panic, the sad situation of the Conglomerate. But I do like the telepathic message of comfort and the discussion about not wanting her to shut us out. We care about her, dang it.
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>>3463021
i think maybe i didn't put the point across clearly then? because thats exactly what i was trying to say in that. i was trying to make it say with that that we understand she could be upset over hurting Shu or nearly dying, but we understand and forgive her because we understand she was scared, or lost control, because she was near death, not fully in her own mind, and yeah, people dont always mean what they mean when they panic at situations like almost dying.

but i guess im apparently absolute shit at writing emotions then.
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>>3462939
I don't really know what to do, so I guess shoot it?
There isn't really much to say, unless somebodies prepared a Rick Grimes speech about how "we can't become like these daughters."
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>>3463034
What I meant was that going straight into the "I don't blame you for this" thing feels a bit judgemental, because it has the implication that blame is something to consider. Which, yeah, is something that Gina is probably thinking, but it's bad to open with it. I think it just needs to be re-ordered. Something like this

>"Hey, how are you holding up? Come on, Gina, don't shut me out. I get it, you had a nasty scare, getting hit that bad, and the aura didn't help. But it's okay. You're fine now, I'm fine now, and if it's still bothering you I'm here to talk about it. I know that this day has turned kind of shitty, but I'd like to make it less so. So come on. Talk to me?"

And then leave it to her to bring up her panicked draining health from us, upon which we do the bit about how we're not angry with her and that her reaction was natural.
>>
I hope the point allocation won't be over by the time I wake up. Good night.
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>>3463069
Actually, we should probably talk with Dorian and Julia, too. Ask them how they're doing. They didn't take as heavy a hit, or get as much corruption, but they spent more time in the aura. Definitely give props to Julia for fighting through the corruption and dealing so much damage. She was the definite MVP of this fight, deserves a big share of the points.
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>>3463069
i guess thats alright if you can fit in the joke about us always being near death in there somewhere. Ginas all about stupid humor and stuff like that, so it could help ease her worries if we play into her own nature a bit.

>>3463087
>>3462983
ill support adding in giving them encouragement and complimenting Julia on her mental and physical fortitude, and Dorian on his quickness and adaptability sure.

>>3463080
its rapid posting so it probably will be but i still wish you pleasant dreams anyways.
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>>3463080
(Sleep well, Anon.)
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>>3462939

You extend your empathic field to the Conglomerate, assuaging their despair as,one by one, they fade. The monstrous form they've been trapped in for so long breathes its last, and there's nothing but a void, an empty space in your perception. You take a breath, hold it, then turn and walk over to Gina's side.

"Hey, I..."

"Please don't." She says softly, not daring to meet your eyes.

"I'm not mad." You begin. "I get it, you were scared, and the colossi's effects had muddled your..."

"I know you're not mad. You never are, and that's...amazing. You're amazing." She replies, her voice shaking. You reach down and put a hand on her shoulder, and she tenses at your touch as you continue.

"Please don't shut me out over this...you lost control, you made a mistake. That only does one thing, Gina; it proves your still human, no matter what this crucible or these twisted bodies try to say, and there is no shame in that...and in the end, you even forced you way out of..."

"Kosi responded to you." She says harshly, her eyes hard-set on the clearing. "She broke out of it and triggered the purge. Not me, Kosi."

She's quiet for a long moment as she stares out into the gloom.

"I'm...I wanted to be more like you. I thought I was getting there. I thought I was better, but it was all for show. When it comes down to the wire, when shit's actually at stake, I'm...me."

"...Could we rejoin the others?" You ask after a moment of silence. "You don't have to, if you don't want to...but I know they'd like to know you're safe."

You gently squeeze her shoulder.

"I'm glad you're safe."

Wordlessly, she takes your hand as you lead her back to your friends, opening your empathic field to them all and touching base with how they are, and what you're feeling. What results is a stark blend of emotions as you hold tight to Gina's hand, trying to warm her cold fingers as their chill fights the heat of your grasp. You look from right to left, seeing Magpie, Julia, Dorian, and finally Gina standing by your side. Your empathic field lays open, and around you swirls a curious mix of feelings from all present.

You're prideful in a job well done, and concerned for the well-being of your new friends. You're remorseful that it had to come to this, and wracked with guilt over what you did to the one you say you love.

Pride, guilt, fear, shame, sadness.

You're feeling all of this and more as a sudden pressure stabs at your temples, building into a hammering crescendo as you realize Gina's hands are so, so very cold, until you're...

You're...

(Continued)
>>
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>>3463155

You're goddamn freezing.

You're alone, wandering across a wasteland of crystallized bile as a hard, frigid rain hammers down on you, having soaked through your jacket and clothes hours ago...and you just know that somewhere out there Sam is doubtlessly safe and warm, being fawned over by that greedy whore and whoever else has fallen for her facade.

"You look lost." A voice calls out from somewhere just ahead of you, your eyes snapping up to see a slender figure approaching you through the sheets of rain. Slowly she comes into view, a girl roughly your height, bright green eyes framed by long black hair, a bone mask resembling a canine's snout concealing the lower half of her face. A skeletal umbrella shields her slight frame from the storm's wrath and she stops a few yards short of you, giving you a once over before speaking again.

"You know it's dangerous to..." She begins, hesitating once you draw closer, her eyes widening with recognition. "...Isabelle?"

Your brow furrows, half-remembered recollections gnawing at the edges of your mind.

"It's me, Gretchen! Oh my God how are you?" She exclaims, taking another step forwards in time with your step back, slipping the mask off and allowing it to dangle from the maroon strands arranged haphazardly around her neck.

You remember.

She didn't have to tell you. You know her name the second she takes off the mask. If your bones weren't chilled to their marrow, they would be, now. You recognize that face, you know that smile, you know that laugh, and it all comes flooding back. You committed them all to memory, back when you had your video chats with Sam in her first year of college. How could you have almost put this girl out of your mind? She was in the background, always. You rarely had a moment alone thanks to her persistent presence, her high, annoying chortles whenever Sam cracked a joke. Her getting a little too close to Sam, a little too often. You were never good at reading people, but you know someone marking their territory when you see it.

She was Sam's roommate.

The pre-med student.

The one half-responsible for the body in your bathtub.

>>"You lived."

>>"Of course you lived."

>>You have nothing to say to her.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR CONTROL
>>
>>3463166
oh, another neat transition BHOP, though highly bad timing from an IC perspective, even compared to usual.

also, this character is gonna be trouble if we as Shu ever run into her, is my guy feeling.


>>"You lived."
>>"Of course you lived."
>>Narrow eyes
>>"Everyone who got in the way of what i wanted seems to have lived."
>>
>>3463173
Seconding, perfect response from Isabelle. Good writing.
>>
>>3463173
Yeah, that's good. Isabelle, please don't kill this girl. Remember, anyone you eat stays with you, that's almost like her being with Sam once you get your own version. If you really hate her you should leave her alive and turn her into your version of Charon when you become the new Mother. That way she can live forever (or until the end of the next cycle, at least) knowing that you've got Sam and she never will.
>>
>>3463166
>”of fucking course you lived. everyone who made my life a living hellish lie lived through this apocalypse”
>deadpan
>”why am I not surprised?”
>if Gretchen ask why, tell her you know about the dead body in the bathtub.
> “I’ll never forgive you for that.”
>>
oh, also, if im reading this line correctly
>and concerned for the well-being of your new friends.
it seems Magpie, despite her stone exterior, has taking a liking to us. i mean, theres no one else in our group would would think of anyone else as a 'new friend', or more specifically, she is the only one who has a reason to think about 'new freindS' in the multiple.

thats a nice little thing to lighten the mood at least. id also guess Dorian is the pride, and Julia is the Remorse, just while im talking about that section.
>>
>>3463264
"New friends" also could just be referring to the fact that objectively, Shu hasn't actually known her party that long. They're all bonding quickly, because an apocalyptic biopunk death game will do that to you, but they've only been hanging out for a couple weeks now. It would be nice if Magpie considers them friends after this, though. Or even becomes a party member, though that's probably unlikely, we need more ranged options.

And I'd assume that Dorian is the remorse and Julia the pride, actually. Julia was a fucking champ in this fight, bravo, girl. Dorian, on the other hand, is someone that Shu knows isn't going to be happy about the "wait, there were people in that?" detail.
>>
>>3463280
yes, but think about their personalities, and keep in mind earlier BHOP said Julia heard Gina say they were Daughters, Dorian did not.

Dorian is very much a more pragmatic sorta gent. he doesnt like us getting dirty but he understands the necessity. Julia has more than once showed hesitation at harshness like this, even if it is necessary, and again ,is the one who knows whos going on. shes also alot more motherly and kind hearted than anyone else in the party for sure.

also look at the number of emotions Shu felt. one for each person around her. thats not a coincidence, and if the 'new friends' was for everyone, it wouldn't be smack in the middle. its also the only one that doesn't fit as well with her own party over another emotion,and honestly the 'only known eachother for weeks' thing is kinda wrong. Gina literally thinks she loves us, and its been implied heavily more than once the groups thinking of eachother more like family now than friends, and at the very least id say thats strong grounds to say no one would be thinking of anyone else here as new friends among our actual group.

im also typing out paragraphs over a non issue snippet. i may have a problem haha.
>>
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>>3463166

"You lived...of course you lived. Why am I not surprised?"

You narrow your emerald eyes at the bad memory before you.

"Everyone who got in the way of what I wanted seems to have lived."

She laughs sharply, the infuriating sound echoing off the frozen cliffs around you and through the veil of rain.

"Oh shit, you're still mad about that?" She sighs, giving a little shrug with the umbrella. "Come on, it was a college fling, you can't be..."

"The body in my tub. You helped her, didn't you?" You accuse, and her smile falters, her eyebrow raising a fraction of an inch. She regards you quietly for a moment, giving you long enough to giver her a once over. Too many...far too many factors for it to just be a coincidence. Your height, your hair color, even the shape of your faces and she shape of your curves...your stomach churns as you realize there are too many similarities between the two of you for Sam's choice in 'friends' to be a coincidence. Gretchen sighs again.

"You're not going to let this go, are you?" She murmurs, spinning her umbrella about as she studies your features. "I've seen that look in too many sets of eyes to know I'm not getting out of this without a tousle...and here I was ready to be a decent sort of gal and let you go, but crazy is as crazy does, I gue..."

You cut her off mid-sentence by tearing your right arm clean off and flinging the jagged limb through her skull with a resounding crack. She makes a pathetic sort of gurgling sound that's almost lost to the hammer of rain around you as she falls...

...then stops.

You're suddenly aware of movement around the high canyon walls around you, a dozen simultaneous laughs piercing through the hammering sheets of rainfall and drilling right into your brain.

"I've been up for a year, little girl...and you're not the first Vitruvian I've fought and beaten." The crowd chuckles in unison, some unsightly blend of Conduit and Neuromancy responsible for filling your surroundings with mirror images of someone that makes your stomach turn. "I was on my way to the Cord to win this thing, but you're a nice side piece on my way there."

A replacement limb explodes out of your socket as your teeth grind together, and the Gretchens smile as one.

"I guess you always were, huh?"

B'ni the Hopeful

VS.

The Faustian Horde

HP: 1780% (HEALTH REGEN: 520%/Turn)
BIO: 1560% (BIO REGEN: NULLIFIED)
ACT: 6/6
Threat: Three in front, close. Three on left ridge, medium. Four to your right, sliding down the gorge, medium. Two behind you, long. Bitches. All of them.
Abilities: https://pastebin.com/Rvd3eWwi

YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR CONTROL
>>
>>3463297
"Proud over job well done and concerned for the well-being of your new friends" fits for Julia, she did a good job and we're her new friends. The remorse and guilt over "what you did to the one you say you love" is definitely Gina. The other emotions I'm not sure of, though.
>>
>>3463321
your ignoring the separation via the commas could easily imply two different people for those statements. we can just agree to disagree completely here i guess.

>>3463319
hrm, wasn't expecting a fight as Isabelle. ok then.

also literally all of Isabelles abilities are passives or stack on top of eachother as melee. she is literally just a brute force instrument that can ignore others creativity. not a bad setup exactly, but not many options to go with either.

>ignore the clones, cut down the ones who you have to, but otherwise use your speed to gain a good vantage point to scout out the real girl from.
>Being surrounded wont help you, and you need to find the true girl to win. if you waste too much time fighting clones, even you may lose eventually, given shes been up a year.
>>
>>3463319
Okay, I take back the "don't eat her" bit, B'ni. She clearly came looking for a fight. Leaving aside that she sent a clone out to talk to you instead of meeting in person, she knows you're a Vitruvian. How? The whole point of Vitruvian powers is that they don't have outward signs. Yeah, you regenerate, but so do lots of classes. Based on your visible mutations, it makes more sense to assume that's an Unnatural Predator ability you got from eating a nasty Amalgalm. Someone gave her information on you. And that title, "Faustian Horde". Who did she make a deal with? Was hunting down B'ni the price or what she was bargaining for in the first place? Either way, it's not a coincidence that you ran into her.

>Spend 25% HEALTH to open this fight up with a supersonic kick to the ones in front of us. Cleave straight through them and onwards up the hill to get a better spot to find the original.
>>
>>3463370
>She clearly came looking for a fight.

Absolutely. She said:
>...and here I was ready to be a decent sort of gal and let you go,

If she was really planning on being pacifistic, she never would have said that.
>>
>>3463319

>Get clear of them, spend 25% health in a supersonic burst to take out the first Gretchen.
>Once you're clear of them, Grow your calcite Greaves, then rip off your legs at the knee, clean them out and re-purpose them into makeshift Gauntlings...
>"...You knew about me. You knew about my abilities. WHO SENT YOU?"
>>
Also, I'm back from work.
>>
>>3463390
indeed.

>>3463345
>>3463370
ill add in the kick because yeah, cool, plus 3 zones of movement to get to where she needs to be.

also on Gretchen, her words have solidified it for sure that she is not someone who we should have run into Shu. Isabelle, do you and us a favor and remove the problem!

>>3463395
welcome back. how was your shift?
wish for a rundown or you just want to read it? were currently in a fight as Isabelle against a past roommates of Sams, if that at all helps your decision.
>>
>>3463390
Yeah, you don't say something like that if you weren't already planning on this being a fight. Pretty much the only way to interpret this that isn't "Gretchen is just as crazy as B'Ni" is if this isn't actually Gretchen, and the enemy Daughter's Phantasmal Conduit abilities let her dress her minions up as someone that would be psychologically compromising to her target. But that's a longshot.
>>
>>3463403
It's kind of cool to use an extremely powerful solo build.
>>
>>3463432
Yeah, it's a cool look at what things would have been like for the original assumption that Shu wouldn't be so gregarious. Though I imagine solo Shu would have more active abilities.
>>
>>3463403
I read the parts that I missed out on.

Goddamn. The fight was both incredible and sad. It's like Dark Souls level sadness.

And I'm surprised that we immediately went into playing as B'ni. But I'm very concerned at what's happening to Shu when she gets yanked into B'ni's perspective. Because Shu's motor control is still active in certain parts.

>>3463432
The Thing about B'ni's build is that it pretty much puts you on a timer, if you get locked down or be subjected to any form of debuff that decreases your Bio reserves, you're fucked. B'ni's antithesis is basically Gina's Neuromancy build. If Gina ever lands a Cancer Payload and makes it stick long enough. B'ni's dead in 5 rounds. And even if B'ni did manage to excise the tumor, that's still a massive 20% max bio drain everytime the payload is delivered.
>>
>>3463432
eh, i see the merit, but i dunno, Isabelle is honestly from a playstyle perspective kinda boring in my opinion, its just, she has three options;
standard punching and kicking
Slashing with the greaves
and whiles its metal as all fuck, ripping off and regenerating her limbs as a burst weapon.

i dunno, maybe its just not the style of play that i find fun is all.

>>3463446
yeah, im worried about Shu. last time in the bombed out city, didn't we just kinda glaze over and start walking around randomly? which was because Isabelle was walking around randomly-ish. and now were fighting as Isabelle....
>>
>>3463468
We should have a system set-up where Shu lets her friends know that she's being not herself....
Oh fuck. You remember the quotes that we had B'ni say to Gretchen? Shu might've said that aloud. FUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKK.
>>
>>3463493
hopefully like last time we are not saying anything. the good news is, we have told our teammates about this, so they might figure out what is going on at least.

also, the issue kinda is, we dont exactly know when it is happening. Shu just thought Ginas hand was cold, probably from nearly dying. next thing she knows, boom, freezing cold downpour.

its too bloody hard to actually guess and prepare for this sadly. wonder if Gina can pull us out of it with her abilities though. she hasn't tried before so who knows.
>>
>>3463446
B'Ni doesn't actually use BIO for anything other than making her greaves, though. All their other effects are passive upgrades. So unless she has to rebuild her boots seventy-seven times over the course of one fight, her BIO is just there to increase her damage resistance. B'Ni also automatically removes one non-Neuromancy status effect from her per turn, but does have resistance against Neuromancy abilities. Her playstyle is very straightforward and lacking in tactical options, but she's just so durable that it's not a huge deal.
>>
>>3463512
>Lacking in tactical options
anon, I WILL find a way to make B'ni fight tactically creative aside from abusing her health regen.
>>
>>3463468
You say this now, but next time we become her I bet she's gonna go nuclear with abilities or more so nullification abilities.
>>
>>3463319

A pair of shining blades arc forth from your heels, just before the ground cracks beneath your feet when you kick off towards the girls ahead of you. You only have a split-second to appreciate the stark surprise on their faces when all three of them are cleaved apart, an insignificant speed-bump and a glittering shower of scarlet as your velocity carries you up the side of the canyon wall, the rain tearing at your clothes and flesh as you race to find the source of the hysterical laughter that pierces into your eardrums even over the howling rain.

"Goddamn, you're just a wild animal, aren't you? Just a blunt fucking instrument, no finesse at all!" She crows as you find yourself faced with another trio of her as you crest the ridge, one wielding a pair of calcite scimitars, the other two glistening with a Paladin's reinforcement. A swift kick cleaves both blades and wielder in two, and you tear your leg off at the knee, slicing through one Paladin with your makeshift gauntlet just before your leg violently regenerates through the other's heart. You rip your leg off at the ankle before tearing your other limb free of the harlot's chest cavity, regenerating your greaves and holding your severed legs at the ankles like a pair of makeshift scythes.

"Not just on the battlefield, either." A quartet of Gretchens mock as they emerge from the drop behind you. "One night, Sam told me you weren't even that good. 'All thumbs', I think is what she said!"

Three of the four activate a series of Phantasmal auras, attempting to overwhelm your mind with despair, horror, and placidity as they continue to laugh, the fourth advancing on you while her muscles bulge grotesquely, her skin bursting at the seams as she stalks forwards.

"And the bunny costume for her birthday! Goodness, we had a good laugh about that."

All you feel is the rage that drowns out their pathetic attempts to weaken you, and you run the misshapen Gretchen through with both swords before separating the trio's heads from their delicate frames.

"She told me I wore it better, by the way."

The voice from behind makes you turn, too late as a whip of blended bone and sinew wraps around your neck, crushing your throat as an unnaturally strong version of Grentchen yanks you to your knees. You can't help but smile, as this one's appearance proves your hunch correct as you slowly scale the gorge's steep heights.

Knights before Queens.

You're getting closer to the source.

HP: 1780% (HEALTH REGEN: 520%/Turn) (Grappled)
BIO: 1480% (BIO REGEN: NULLIFIED)
ACT: 6/6
Threat: Strong one, close. Three, maybe four coming from behind. God fucking damn it, you hate her so much.

YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR CONTROL
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>>3463524
no no, you misunderstand. you can be tactical with nothing but a stick, but that doesn't change the fact only having a stick is extremely lacking in options and that a stick alone is very lacking in tactical applications.

Isabelle basically just has really good stick, and that stick is only good at being a stick she uses to whack things, but she herself can still be tactical in the application of the stick to others heads.

>>3463540
depends really. she would have to do alot of consuming to diversify her build that much.

>>3463548
>let her pull you closer, then grip the whip hard and pull her close, spinning like a beyblade to slice apart what you pull close and any others seeking to take this opportunity to attack you.
>"yeah, well, i killed that version of Sam. now i guess i get to do the same to you. erasing a decade of mistakes, one corpse at a time, and im not upset one bit either."
>crouch and do a hard leap into a full sprint to simply rush down your actual target.
>>
>>3463548
You know, I'm starting to think that this maybe actually is some mental assault ability drawing on Isabelle's memories. Sam was a queen bitch, but this sort of gossip grants too much power to the person she's gossiping with, allows them to undermine all the work she's put into Isabelle.

Question: Does Isabelle actually need her head to live? Because that one Neuromancer we looted the Shawl from used her own exploded grey matter to spread a vector for her powers, so it's clearly possible for a Daughter to relocate the center of her consciousness to somewhere else in the body. And Isabelle is specialized for survivability. I've got this image of Isabelle intentionally yanking against the whip to free herself by severing her own head, then using Vitruvian Burst with a headbutt for a really shocking surprise attack.
>>
>>3463604
(B'ni does not need her head to live. She can easily survive decapitation and has done so several times before when she protected Shu's chrysalis.)
>>
>>3463604
>>3463612
now the real question, which part would regrow? her body or her head? or would it be her choice?
>>
>>3463617
(Her choice. She's learned how to 'prime' her body to regenerate certain ways at certain times.)
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>>3463612
Ha ha, hell yes. Alright, that's unquestionably my vote, then.

>>3463548
>Mutual decapitation time. Free yourself by popping your head off, and get some extra force from Vitruvian Burst to headbutt the bitch's own head off. Then continue on to the real one.
>>
>>3463572
>>3463632
ill support doing this after our beyblade spin as we do the lunge forward.
>>
>>3463634
>>3463632
(B'ni has 6 ACTs, so she can just go absolutely wild with all of this.)
>>
>>3463548
>Turn yourself into a corpse, suppress your regen and act as if you're struggling.
>Then Decapitate yourself on "accident" and "play dead". If your hunch is correct, they'll bring you to the real Gretchen. With all body parts intact.
>>
>>3463643
oh dear hopefully-better-than-the-crucible-and-mother god, i completely overlooked that. thats alot of ACT.

im not even sure what else to do here, though in part because her kit is so straight forward.
>>
>>3463548
>>3463632
Well then. I think I know a way to fight more "creatively".
>>3463643
In light of this, I would like to amend my vote.

>Act 1: Hideous Strength, Start running towards the real "Gretchen" like a wild dog.
>Act 2-5: Ignore any loss of leg limbs, have them instantly regenerate. Keep one hand on the whip that's choking your neck and pretend that decapitation is your weakness. Keep on running and search for the Real Gretchen.
>Act 6: When you find the real Gretchen, "Decapitate yourself." Suppress your Regeneration and 'prime' your head to be the origin of regeneration. The Bitch will probably savor keeping your head as a trophy. That's when you strike.
>>
>>3463632
>>3463634
You know. B'ni may be a tank, but she's also the perfect assassin if she plays her cards right.
>>
>>3463657
The proper answer, when you have an insane amount of actions per turn, is "style on these bitches". Okay, new, crazy plan.

>>3463548
>Yank against whip to sever own head. Give it a nice arc up into the air.
>Vitruvian Burst headbutt to knock off the head of the stronger clone.
>Because you're so fast, before your severed head has even hit the ground bend it like Beckham and kick your skull through multiple of the clones coming up behind you.
>It's okay if any of them survive, you want at least one of them to be able to relay the information back to Gretchen so she can see how absolutely fucking metal that was and be scared.
>Continue on to the real Gretchen.
>>
>>3463632
>>3463634
You know. B'ni may be a tank, but she's also the perfect assassin if she plays her cards right. If Gretchen is the type of girl that I think she is, then she probably wants to savor having B'ni's head on a silver platter.
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>>3463694
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>>3463694
I love every single part of this plan.
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>>3463572
>>3463694
pfft, i still wanna do the beyblade spin, but sure yeah, once we sever our own head turn it into a deadly soccerball and kick it through some clones, im up for that too.

>>3463701
i can see it, really depends on how long she can safely suppress her regeneration though.
>>
>>3463694
I object to the "leaving one of them alive" part. I want Gretchen to get the impression of B'ni being this unstoppable monster where her mood transitions from arrogant smug into surprise into concern into fear into straight up terror.
>>