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Here, in a world of sundered flesh and creaking bones, stories flow like blood through the veins of conflict.

Shu is a woman of determination and fervor, having accumulated a family of kind and defiant souls in her time fighting through the merciless Crucible. With tooth and nail, hive and drill, she’s carving a path to the Cord that few can hope to interrupt…but what of the others? What of those left in her wake, for better or worse?

What you are about to witness is but a sliver of a much larger thing…one that doesn’t belong to Shu.

It belongs to them.

(Greetings, Gentlemen. This Intermission shall serve to keep the discussion afloat until the 35th Vein opens on December 2nd at 9:00AM, sharp. You’ll find the first of several side-stories you’ll be exploring started below, and I do hope you enjoy stepping into the shoes of some of the Crucible’s other participants. In the meantime, feel free to discuss plans for how to claim victory over the tumult of Laoc in addition to sharing your own ideas, Relics, fiction, and whatever else you’re inclined to post.)

(Also, I'd like to point out that the Quest has been active for one full year as of November 14th. Thank you all for your support, good will, and participation, and I look forward to many excellent moments to come. Thank you, one and all.)

Previous Vein: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3917562/

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

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

Trypophilic Hive, Ver. 3: https://pastebin.com/bUWG6TNF

*UPDATED* Relics, Ver. 5: https://pastebin.com/Qwme4CGr

Dual Techs: https://pastebin.com/2jZ5Zhyx

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bodyhorrorquest?lang=en
>>
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Your name is Sam.

It’s one of two things you can truly call your own, the second being the shell of cybernetics and steel that is your new form. It's a frail-looking thing, all awkward angles and straight, narrow lines that looks as though it might break at the slightest pressure. You know it's strong, though. You tested it, tried it, and found it pleasing to the touch. Pleasing to the eye, even, as you stare down at your tapered claws and watch the scarlet ichor drip between them, admiring how the viscera slides between your fingers as gravity pulls it to the rocky beach at your feet.

You.

"...ank y..."

You did this.

"...llo?"

This is a result of your choice.

"...ou hear me?"

You turn towards the insistent voice that finally penetrates your bubble of contemplation, and the short blonde girl that's standing just out of arm's reach hops back at your sudden movement. Standing there a moment, you just stare at her, waiting for words to come out of a mouth that isn't yours, in a stolen voice. You wait for kindness to pour forth unbidden...and nothing comes. There's only silence that hangs between you, this stranger, and the shredded Amalgam that bleeds out at your feet.

"Are you...one of the Disassociated?" She asks, her thankful tone slowly giving way to wariness as you take a moment to look her over. She's cute, in a thread-bare sort of way...she bears a worn yellow t-shirt and simple shorts, the light clothing leaving her limbs free to exercise their potent weapons; fang-lined mouths that are in the spaces between her bones, toothy gaps in both forearm and calf that threaten to hinge out like grotesque mantis claws.

She takes another hesitant step back, and it dawns on you that the growing fear in her eyes is from your leering silence...and it's with pang of disgust that you realize you were waiting for someone else to seize control.

"Yes." You lie, as easy as breath...something you'll never draw in again, but... "Yes, I am. Sorry, I'm still...getting used to things."

"No worries. I get it." She replies, relief working its way into her brow as she glances from you to the brutalized abomination before her. "That was pretty sick, by the way. I didn't even know you were there, when this thing attacked. You just came ou-"

"The Waystation." You interrupt as a sudden thought occurs to you. "Do you have coordinates to the other side?"

"Uh...yeah?" You replies, confused at the sudden turn of conversation. If there's a Waystation nearby, I'd be happy to take you back, but...can you not use it? I thought the Disassociated had a hack for it, or something?"

"No, I..."

You tried. You tried, screaming and clawing at it for...you're not sure how long, but long enough to know it's beyond you. Everything she did, everywhere she went...it doesn't apply to you.

You're not sure why you hoped it would.

"...I'm still getting used to a recent upgrade." You explain, less of a lie than before. "What locations do you have?"

(Loading...)
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>>3933305

"Uh, I got a station a little north of the crater just on the other bank, and I have the Shrouded and Envious Cities." She shrugs, watching you with a wary eye. "Sorry it's not much, but I only recently figured out how to use 'em."

Minimal options, but beggars can't be choosers. The Envious City is the obvious choice given its proximity to your current goal, while the Shrouded City would allow you some time to potentially pick through an area that would suit your power set quite well, given its main threats have already been dealt with. Then again, searching the remains of that painter guy's home might prove fruitful, as you always wondered why Shu never tracked back there to search for anything useful after the blast...or why they even blew it up in the first place. It was wasteful, when they could've had all the time in the world to figure out how to get it running properly with some input from the Neuromancer. Hell, it would have made a fantastic base. No vulnerable Waystation right underneath your feet, a defensible forest of ravenous trees circling the property...god, the missed opportunities ar-

"So, um...weird question, but are you gonna eat that?" She queries, pointing at the remains at your feet and interrupting your mental tangent. You turn your attention to the viscera that still sticks to your hands, flexing your talons as the gore rolls uselessly off them.

"It's all yours." You reply, and the girl's on the corpse in an instant, the biomass assimilating seamlessly into her hands as you just watch her partake. Another thing beyond you. Another thing you can't do. Another...

...no. You made a choice when the ghost in your shell gave you a second chance, and you'll deal with the consequences.

You watch the blonde chatter away, her words tuned out as you retreat into your own mind...with a bitter sort of irony. Thoughts, ideas, perception. It works differently, in here. With no true senses, time gets...weird. Even in the short time you've spent wandering, it feels like hours. Maybe it has been, maybe it hasn't, but you couldn't say. You never realized how much of time relies on one's ability to feel the world around them, to feel seconds ticking away by the beat of your heart, to feel hours accumulate by the aches in your spine. Without that, you're adrift, time slowing to a crawl as you watch the milliseconds grind by as the girl eats her fill.

At least you have time to think...

...though you could do with less, if you're being honest.

Now, there's something you want to see, and you know exactly where it is...the only question is the path you'll take to get there.

>>Take the girl up on her offer to go to the Envious City. From there, the Forest of Bones awaits you.

>>Venture into the darkness of the Shrouded City, and make your way to the light.

>>Explore the ruins of Dorian's home before continuing on...you have time, and you'll take it.

>>Write-In

YOU FINALLY HAVE CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next two hours. I do hope your day is going well, and take care.)
>>
>>3933307
>Take the girl up on her offer to go to the Envious City. From there, the Forest of Bones awaits you.
>>
>>3933303
>Relics V.5
looks good overall, but i think we may still of had a charge left on at least one of the two jars, and the Contender still is not up to date.

actually, didn't we make sure to leave a charge on both jars, or did that not pan out?
>>
>>3933325
(Bah, I must've forgotten to save the Contender changes. I'll have them up shortly! Also, I thought you'd already spent charges on the jars, but I'll look back to confirm.)
>>
>>3933307
>Then again, searching the remains of that painter guy's home might prove fruitful, as you always wondered why Shu never tracked back there to search for anything useful after the blast...or why they even blew it up in the first place. It was wasteful, when they could've had all the time in the world to figure out how to get it running properly with some input from the Neuromancer. Hell, it would have made a fantastic base. No vulnerable Waystation right underneath your feet, a defensible forest of ravenous trees circling the property...god, the missed opportunities ar-
We didn't have a good way to move the Engine at that point, and that thing had to go, Sam. I know you don't really understand the moral reasons, but can you at least acknowledge the practical reasons for us destroying it? Denying it as an asset to other Daughters, and not wanting to make use of a dangerous piece of corrupted technology. You were there when we read West Gamma's notes, a Corrupted Engine causes neurological damage so bad that Gamma had to perform brain surgery on herself just so she'd stop itching. Better to get rid of it, and if Dorian is okay with blowing up his house, then no reason not to.

>You never realized how much of time relies on one's ability to feel the world around them, to feel seconds ticking away by the beat of your heart, to feel hours accumulate by the aches in your spine. Without that, you're adrift, time slowing to a crawl as you watch the milliseconds grind by as the girl eats her fill.
Okay, score one point of sympathy. I can acknowledge that that sort of sensory deprivation would be pretty awful.

>>Take the girl up on her offer to go to the Envious City. From there, the Forest of Bones awaits you.
You will make a new friend and you will like it, Sam. You will hang out with this Daughter and you will find yourself developing emotionally if it kills you.
>>
>>3933307
>Take the girl up on her offer to go to the Envious City. From there, the Forest of Bones awaits you.
>>
>>3933330
I think we have a damn long ways to go if she doesn't understand why we detonated the corrupted engine. also, that was a regular engine that caused the twitchy finger, simple overuse of any engine will do that.

mind you ,she sat there hybridizing and unhybridizing abilities over and over and over again so i do wonder if anyone would regularly ever overuse it like that.
>>
>>3933337
>I think we have a damn long ways to go if she doesn't understand why we detonated the corrupted engine.
Oh, I know. Sam isn't even bothering to remember our party's names. Still, I'd like to think she could at least recognize practical decisions. But that's not really realistic either, is it? Sam's current situation is due to her being unable to be practical when it matters to her. If she was, she would have opened up discussion with us without making threats that led to us locking her even further down in the box.

>also, that was a regular engine that caused the twitchy finger, simple overuse of any engine will do that.
No, it was the Corrupted Engine, West Gamma was talking about taking B'Ni to it right before it detonated and her notes mention the Engine she was using being beneath a mansion across the river from her lab. And I vaguely remember BHOP saying that the pure Engine we have would cause much less serious side-effects even if we did abuse it as much as she did.
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>>3933307
>Then again, searching the remains of that painter guy's home might prove fruitful, as you always wondered why Shu never tracked back there to search for anything useful after the blast...or why they even blew it up in the first place. It was wasteful, when they could've had all the time in the world to figure out how to get it running properly with some input from the Neuromancer. Hell, it would have made a fantastic base. No vulnerable Waystation right underneath your feet, a defensible forest of ravenous trees circling the property...god, the missed opportunities ar-

God damn it Sam you can't be this stupid.....
Seriously you saw what happened to Johanna. That was not something that could be allowed to be accessible and we did not (and still not) have the know-how to fix it.
And the mansion was not defensible at all

>>Take the girl up on her offer to go to the Envious City. From there, the Forest of Bones awaits you
>>
>>3933328
>>3933305
>You tried. You tried, screaming and clawing at it for...you're not sure how long, but long enough to know it's beyond you. Everything she did, everywhere she went...it doesn't apply to you.

Wait. Sam's not able to use Waystations? Why is that?
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>>3933348
I seem to remember it being mentioned it was a different engine, as it was said she herself used Johanna as a guinea pig on it instead of using it herself, due to said corruption. im also very certain BHOP never said that, as best mentioned Maras sacrifices for her own specifically made it safer, not that engines in general were safer. but whatever, not an argument i care about.
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>>3933353
no Neuromancy for one, second may be not enough flesh(see, zero) for the Waystation to lock onto and teleport. it might not recognize her as a Daughter anymore, thus no access.
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>>3933352
>>B'ni: Sam is clearly an incredible mastermind. Conniving, clever, dangrous.
>>Actual Sam:

>>3933353
(All the known coordinates belong to Shu, so until Sam's traveled to at least to different Waystations, she has no way to use them without Charon present. That, and since she has no Neuromancy or flesh, the Waystation's inherently unintuitive to her.)
>>
>>3933352
>And the mansion was not defensible at all
Yeah. The trees would take out lesser threats, but we know that both Gamma and Johanna managed to make their way past them, so they're not that effective. And a big and empty house is a terrible defensive position, look at how many windows it has on the ground floor. We'd have to terraform up an entire Calcite fortress around it, at which point why not just make our own?

>>3933353
She doesn't have the coordinates. Like she said, she doesn't count as having done the things Shu has. So she never unlocked those Waystations for her own use. The fact that she doesn't have Neuromancy is also an issue, she has reduced ability to even work the controls.

>>3933354
There's no mention of any other Engine in her notes, and I'm not seeing anything about using Johanna as a guinea pig. Do you have a reference?
>>
>>3933364
>>3933352
Sam really did get by on her image we had of her based on Isabelles unreliable view of the world, didn't she?

>>3933366
>>3933354
>not an argument i care about.
>>
>>3933370
>Sam really did get by on her image we had of her based on Isabelles unreliable view of the world, didn't she?
That, our fragmentary access to her memories giving her a skewed initial impression of her, and her bizarre decision to go "yeah, I'm a scary murderer, you should fear me" to a person who had complete control over whether she ever got out of her prison. For fuck's sake, Sam, every time I start feeling bad about how we dealt with you I remember how you decided to introduce yourself and it all drains away. This could have gone so much better for you in so many ways if you had not decided that threatening us was your best opening move.

>not an argument i care about.
And I'm not interested in arguing, either. I just want to check a fact. It's quite possible I'm wrong, I've misremembered things about the quest before.
>>
>>3933370
>>3933364

No wonder Shu called her circumstances "I was born from two idiots breaking each other".
It was almost a literal case of the blind leading the blind.

Sam is gonna need to learn from scratch on "how to socialize like a normal person"

Ironic. A ghost freed from her shell trades a prison of flesh and fellow friendly dream neighbors for a cold solitary confined shell of steel.

>>3933379
And of all the memories she chose to let us view, she lets us watch what looked like a grisly murder scene. If she had showed us a different memory (like the many scenes of domestic abuse) we would've gotten a better first impression.
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>>3933384
>And of all the memories she chose to let us view, she lets us watch what looked like a grisly murder scene. If she had showed us a different memory (like the many scenes of domestic abuse) we would've gotten a better first impression.
Was that under her control? I can't remember. If it was, then yeah, super bad decision. Jesus Christ, Sam. You could have done things so much better if you had just said "yeah, I know I fucked things up with Isabel, but I've clearly got some major control issues and seeing how I already paid for my actions by dying I think I can be excused from further punishment".
>>
>>3933370
>>3933379
>>3933384

Yeah she did but I also think she just couldn't let it go. She had to try and be the alpha bitch even if right now she noticed that she waited for someone else to lead.
She wouldn't have survived long on her own on level1
And she has a really hard power cap. And she realizes it. Without companions she would get overwhelmed eventually and left behind in the dirt. I hope for her that it is still not to late to start being a decent person.
>>
>>3933384
yeah, though im sure the irony is not lost on Sam. why Isabelle was so utterly obsessed with Sam i will never know.

>>3933379
yeah, I have no sympathy for either of them. theres a point where it stop feeling like their fucked up situation made them dig their own ditch out of desperation, and to where it just feels like they were fully aware but still digging down and trying to drag others in with them.

i mean, seriously, Sam coerced a girl into giving her a REAL CADAVER. to frame her BEST FRIEND(even if her view on friendship was skewed) for MURDER. like, what the fuck Sam.

>>3933397
Sams just got the type of issues im not sure you can ever actually fix. also shes kinda heading to safer waters and i think Sam knows shes gotta just avoid some things. Relics bought from odd jobs or stolen will probably be what she uses to stretch her power, if she even cares to try.

Im half worried the only reason this one girls alive is because Sam both knows there no point killing someone not a threat due to the fact she cannot consume them, and she needed someone who can use a waystation.
>>
>>3933364
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQCp0sM_yvs

I found this gem of a video to be hilariously accurate in regards to you (bhop), Body Horror Quest, and the Body Horror Quest community in general.

>>3933397
>>3933401

It's a shame about stealth and assassin builds. They thrive when they're in a group, but in a solo 1v1 they get easily stomped when they lose the initiative.

>She takes another hesitant step back, and it dawns on you that the growing fear in her eyes is from your leering silence...and it's with pang of disgust that you realize you were waiting for someone else to seize control.

Damn Sam faced an entire childhood, teenage years, and brief adulthood having her sense of agency wrested away from her, she's been conditioned into a sort of learned helplessness and only recently just got a taste of true agency. It's a very alien experience for Sam.

Sam and Gretchen felt more like birds of a feather. Two bitches using each other for their own benefit.
>>
>>3933401
There is also the Damocles sword of Shus retribution hanging over her and she knows that we have started an information network and can ask the fleshscape. Eventually her failings would surface
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>>3933406
>I found this gem of a video to be hilariously accurate in regards to you (bhop), Body Horror Quest, and the Body Horror Quest community in general.
Brilliant.
>>
>>3933407
well, yeah, but I was more saying the way she was talking specifically made me semi-worried she didnt actually care about that, is what i was kinda saying.

>>3933406
i can see it working, though yeah, it would struggle at first.

>>3933406
>>3933364
>That video
BHOP, is that how you were born?
>>
>>3933406
on a semi-related note, wonder how Sams Calcite armorer would've panned out? thinking defensive based, and personally i can only imagine her having piercing weapons or weaponized torture equipment.
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>>3933415
oh god, horrible thought;
Pear of Anguish Constructs

but on a less specifically terrible note, living torture equipment via a Calcite/Hive hybrid sounds utterly horrifying and possibly actually effective, though without a doubt would rely a bit on fear factor. maybe combine it with a fear Phantasmal ability, and a Glutttonous ability that increases levels the more your victim is tortured?

I think the most terrifying thing is, as messed up as everything i just typed is, it would by far not even be close to the oddest thing or powerset we have thus far seen.
>>
>>3933415
Yeah, probably heavily defensive. The Calcite was representative of her need for control ultimately being an attempt to keep herself safe, so a lot of defensive abilities makes sense. Maybe reactive damage, too, growing spikes or reflecting force to literally punish people for getting close. Direct weapons I can see being focused on that idea of keeping enemies at a distance, so polearms and maybe mobility denial options like caltrops or bear traps.

>>3933420
>oh god, horrible thought;
Yes, yes it is.
>>
>>3933420
>Sam’s calcite armor suit looks like Harrow from warframe, flagellate mace included.
Iron Maiden’s and racks of despair as part and parcel for Sam’s mocea
>>
Fuck Shu and all Shu lovers, I hope Shu dies a painful death.
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>>3933436
Get in line Sam has a spot free right behind herself and Ozmas
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>>3933436
(It's not a Vein without you, Anon. Godspeed.)
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>>3933420
remember Gina’s Choice? the mind or matter branches? combine the tortures with skinnerbox neural conditioning with neuromancy and phantasmal conduit emotional manipulation and you have yourself a monster manipulator who has the tools to abuse their victims physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
>>
You know, I do wonder if there's any shitposting against Shu and the party on the Skinternet. Let's hope Amara never gets in a forum war. Yet another thing to warn her about when we give her the "these are the dangers of online posting and we have no reason to believe they haven't been transplanted to the current network" talk.
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>>3933444
anything popular will have its haters. plus, the internet breeds that sorta thing.
Little do we know, not only does Amara know about those, she starts them, after overhearing Gina talk about her old forum days once. or worse, and far from impossible, she learned from Kosi.
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>>3933444
>>3933447

If there are no shitposters on the skinternet i will eat a broom.

Its probably something that was one of the first things that cropped up on the skinternet.


I also just realized we could ask Ozmas when we get in contact with her again for the complete patchnotes she ran and maybe even what the next implemented change would be(if there is any)
>>
>>3933447
>>3933450
True, I suppose really the question I'm asking is "how bad are the shitposters on the Skinternet", not whether they exist. May our precious daughter never learn of them.

>>3933450
>I also just realized we could ask Ozmas when we get in contact with her again for the complete patchnotes she ran and maybe even what the next implemented change would be(if there is any)
Details on the Apocalypse Amalgams, too. We didn't ask Charon in-depth because we didn't think we'd be dealing with them soon, but if Ziz here is flying around causing sonic booms and Hunger waves it's a more pressing problem than we thought.
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>>3933455
>how bad
the worst, as the nature of the Crucible and situation make people have to delve even deeper into vileness to get anything that will garner a reaction from people.
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>>3933455
>. May our precious daughter never learn of them.

Shu gets skintalker powers and acess to the skinternet.
>Finds Amara as one of the biggest psoters on there. Memories of where she had been with her and Shu saying how great of a mtoher she is
>Shusheart.exe just melted
>Dives Deeper finds that Amra leads the Shitposting against Ozmas, Isabelle and Sam and suddenly finds out that Amara is one of the biggest shitposters herself

>>3933455
And not only the Amalgams but also about any good spots she knows where we could go hunting and maybe even spawn a couple of Amalgams there that we then were to stumble upon to consume
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>>3933455
And what the last two statues might be up to
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>>3933462
>>3933455
>>3933450
>ozmas did nothing wrong
a classic shitpost
>>
>>3933462
Yeah, that is probably true. I imagine gross-out images have died out entirely, everyone's too jaded to care about that.

>>3933464
And then Shu doesn't know whether to praise Amara or punish her. On the one hand, it's good that she knows what's what. On the other, please don't flame, Amara.

>>3933466
Oh, that's a good one, too. Yeah, what are they doing with those Daughter pods, and is it something we're going to want to stop?
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>>3933469
Oh Ozmas did a lot of things wrong

So did Magnus
Most of the things they did wrong were because they didnt know or assumed they knew things which they didnt understand. Still not knowing does not mean no punishment
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>>3933464
>Shu is both oddly proud of Amara shitposting capabilities, yet knows she really needs to tell her to stop.

>>3933469
truly, the best(worst?)shitpost of them all.

>>3933472
that, and vore and gore. i mean, posting those would probably just get confused for you posting an everyday picture now. which is... horrifying actually.

>>3933466
>>3933472
my first thought is still that they want actual bodies, but im hoping im wrong.
>>
>>3933472
>>3933478
And then some random glutonnous/Neuromancer daughter decides to make a thread of her sexually molesting a daughter pod in various ways.

Everyone agreed soon after that it was a line never to be crossed.
>>
>>3933482
>everyone else is throwing a fit and freaking out over her even doing that, much less posting it.
>that one observant Daughter who turns the tide and mocks her once she realizes she was molesting a pod that the daughter inside was still just in the goop phase, so there was nothing to actually molest.
>"Sick bitch is so fucking dumb she cant even find a half formed body to give her attention."

but yeah, humans are sick and the internet(and skinternet) is a easy way to 'consequence freely' act upon such horrible things.
we should probably thank that one podcaster or whatever for distracting Amara so much if we ever meet them.
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>>3933478
>that, and vore and gore. i mean, posting those would probably just get confused for you posting an everyday picture now. which is... horrifying actually.
Yeah, there's a lot of standard gross-out images that just don't work anymore. We're all gross, now.

>my first thought is still that they want actual bodies, but im hoping im wrong.
Maybe. Transfer themselves to Daughter bodies the way that Ozmas was planning on. One of them is the Neuromancer Phalanx, so they might not even need the Relic that Ozmas did. And they got four pods either because they had the good luck to find a cluster of pods like the Midnight Crew, or they just wanted back-ups. They might be doing something else with the Daughters, some other plan like brainwashing them to serve them and make their own miniboss squad, but mindjacking does sound like one of the more plausible motivations.

>>3933482
Yeah, I imagine everyone is still disgusted by rape. The murder and cannibalism at least has the excuse that people are just trying to survive, so Daughters have gotten desensitized to it. But there's nothing that requires doing that.
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>>3933490
>We're all gross, now.

not all of us. Shu is not gross. At least not any longer
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>>3933494
nah man, having a beehive in your backs still gross. covering it up with little plates does not make your back not like pic related.

that and you know, the giant extra mouth on her stomach that moves on its own a bit. also probably drools a bit. thats gross Shu, stop that.

>>3933490
also depends on how 'coherent' they are. i can imagine even just on instinct them going for an actual body, but not pod daughters, so id think they are probably somewhat there, but BHOP did say in their current form they cant escape their non-daughter nature fully. hrm, did we leave any Amara clones watching them?(and the digger?)
>>
>>3933489
Erica Arthur Blair. I remember the name because that's George Orwell's real name. Well, gender-adjusted, obviously, he was Eric. Point is, it struck me as odd. I wonder if her parents were fans of Orwell or if she changed her name?

>>3933494
She's still a cannibalistic monster with a giant ravening maw where her organs used to be.
>>
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>>3933307

“The Envious City.” You finally reply, watching the blonde rise as she wipes her blood-streaked hands on the sides of her legs. “I want to go to the Envious City.”

“Sure thing!” She says happily, gesturing for you to lead the way. You don’t blame her. Given your size, the way you look…it’s not hard to see why she’s keeping you at arm’s length. You’re used to it, from even before all this. There’s no exchange of words as you continue on to the cavern until the blonde places her hand against the cold, black wall of the Waystation, bringing out back to reality’s surface as you shake your head lightly, a meaningless motion that does nothing to rid your head of the foggy past.

“Uh…thank you, again.” She says, turning to you and tucking a lock of straw-gold hair behind one ear, even as the obsidian corridor stretches out into a seemingly endless void. “I know it’s not much, but, um…you want some company?”

“I’ll be fine.” You reply, starting down the corridor and hearing your metal feet quietly click along the cyclopean onyx tiles.

“Oh. Okay, good.” She says, her voice fading behind you until she speaks up again, louder this time. “Shoot! I almost forgot!”

You stop against your better judgment, letting the girl catch up to you and rifle in her back pocket for something.

“I don’t have much, but here!” She says, extending an item to you with a bright smile. “It’s a Relic! I mean, we’re still not even, but I hope it helps for now!”

Relics.

Of course.

Items of untold power, usable by flesh and steel, alike.

This…this is your key to strength, as you carefully take the Relic into your hands. Its arcane purpose slowly becomes clear, and there’s something like giddiness that filters into your mind as you realize that there’s an avenue of control open to you, yet.

This…

This is…

>>RELIC ACQUIRED

>>SHIPPING GOGGLES: An accessory relic that takes form of Binoculars or goggles. The Magnifying Lenses is replaced by a pair of Eyeballs that disconcertingly ogles those that fall under its gaze. The Daughter that looks through the Relic will be able to see the unseen network of Crimson Cords and Social links between Daughters. Upgrading the Relic allows the Daughter to gain more insight of any given relationship provided as long as the required persons involved in said social link/Crimson Cord are within eyesight (meaning if Person A has a link with Person B, both Person A and Person B must be visible). However when the Relic is in active use, the bonding pair of daughters which the Relic gazes upon will gain an uncanny feeling of being watched, and if the user is found out the Relic will send unavoidable feedback damage at the ogling Daughter.

…what the fuck is this.

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>>3933505

You just stand there in silence for a long moment, staring at the pair of binoculars as they stare back up at you with large, ogling eyes that impassively leer into your thin slit of a visor. You make a small noise of acknowledgement that comes across as a voxel grunt across the speakers, causing the girl to deflate, just a little.

“…Thanks.” You finally say, handing the Relic off to one of the strap-like tendrils that lazily undulate just underneath your cloak. “See you around.”

You think she said her name, and maybe she asked for yours, but the grinding of the walls around you drown out her words as you feel yourself carried eastward, deep underneath the Fleshscape. When you arrive, you take your time as you emerge from the tunnels, fully cloaked and cautious as you approach the light of nigh-endless dusk. Glancing around, you find the Envious City largely as Shu left it; silent and desolate, in the aftermath of the Defiant’s clash with the Marrow Dragoon. It’s with a twinge of irritation that you realize you can’t quite recall you way around the place, and the height of the buildings is making it hard to orient yourself…you need a vantage point, and a quick glance upwards reveals your ticket to finding your way out of this eerie place.

You begin your climb up the side of the broadcast tower in the center of the city, having seen nary a soul in the short jaunt over to the building’s base. To your pleasant surprise, your Frame appears to be quite capable of climbing, and paired with your cloaking abilities you’re able to keep a low profile without having to stalk your way through the halls of whatever lurks within the tower. It’s odd, though…you’re fairly certain the teal crystals that encrust the tower’s heights weren’t there before, and you keep a wide berth from their shining angles as you continue your careful ascension. Reaching the top in short order, you stand and survey the city’s surrounding terrain, finding the scalpfields to your left, with the alabaster trunks of the Bone Forest far off to your right. Excellent. Now it’s only a matter of t-

“Hey!”

You whirl in place, finding a diminutive woman staring up at you with large brown eyes. She blinks, and you glance down at yourself to confirm that you are, indeed, invisible.

“Cool cloaking! It still distorts the air a bit, if you didn’t know.” She says, her voice chipper as she raises the device in her hands; an antique camera, stitched together with what appears to be Flesh Artisanry. “Not to be rude, but could you step out of the light for a quick sec?”

You oblige, stepping aside as the girl re-focuses her lens to zoom in on a particular facet of crystal on a nearby satellite dish. You watch as she crouches, holding her camera with her normal arm while her chitinous, multi-segmented talon of a left arm smooths out her yellow shirt.

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>>3933510

With a snap and a whirr, she takes the picture, repeating the process several times over from slightly different angles as you watch in silence.

“My name’s Paloma, by the way!” She says, scooting to one side to get a fresh perspective. “What’s yours?”

“…Sam.” You reply, gazing back out at the calcite trees in the distance. You don’t have time for this, you need to-

“Well, hello Sam!” She says happily, rising from her crouch and striding over to you, forcefully taking your talons in her right hand and giving you a dainty handshake. “Actually, you’re pretty tall…mind taking my picture with the crystals? I think you’d get a really good perspective!”

“Uh…sure.” You say, your sigh coming out as a short blurt of static in the absence of breath as you fumble with the blocky device. “Why are you up here?”

“Oh, I post pictures to the Skinternet!” She says proudly, and when you tilt your head to the side, she gets the hint of your ignorance of the phrase. “Skintalker internet. It’s kind of like the regular internet, but with…less shit-posting, oddly? There’s a lot of blogs and stuff, and I’m doing my part to make something nice. I got tired of posting my teacup collection, so I’m venturing out to collect Relics, stories, and stuff. What about you?”

“Heading east.” You reply simply, snapping a picture or two before handing the Relic back to the girl before you as she gives you a wide smile.

“Going against the grain, I like it!” She approvingly declares, taking the camera back before muttering some arcane, yet familiar words to it. The Relic vibrates, the viewport enlarging to form a display of the pictures taken thus far, a modern convenience forced upon an aged device. You realize she’s a Skintalker as she looks up at you again with an even wider smile; such a thing you didn’t think was possible, given her boundless positivity. “Hey, you’re pretty good!”

“Oh…thanks.” You reply, rubbing your arm awkwardly and prompting you both to wince at the screech of metal-on-metal.

“You can ask me stuff, too!” Paloma suddenly says, her brown eyes going wide. “I don’t mean to steamroll you, so feel free to fire off anything you’re curious about! I’ve been lots of places and I collect a bunch of stuff, so if there’s anything I can do to help a newbie out, lemme know!”

You’re a little disconcerted at how quickly she pegged you as ‘new’ to this whole Crucible business, but she’s perceptive, at least. You weigh your options, wondering if there’s really any benefit to continuing this conversation with this overly-friendly Skintalker.

>>Ask her more about the Skinternet and why she wastes her time doing this.

>>Ask her about the new crystal growth on the tower.

>>Ask her if she knows what Shu is up to now.

>>Ask her about imparting some useful coordinates to you, if she’s willing.

>>Leave.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE FINALLY IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
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>>3933505
>shipping goggles
>bhop actually made it canon
>mfw
>>
>>3933505
>This…this is your key to strength, as you carefully take the Relic into your hands. Its arcane purpose slowly becomes clear, and there’s something like giddiness that filters into your mind as you realize that there’s an avenue of control open to you, yet.
>This…
>This is…
>>>RELIC ACQUIRED
>>>SHIPPING GOGGLES
>…what the fuck is this.

Bwahahaha. The funny thing is that it's actually pretty useful, but it's not what Sam wants.

>>3933511
Oh, it's the other girl that Amara is a fan of! Paloma, hi! Sorry you had to meet our family through Sam.

>>Ask her about the new crystal growth on the tower.
So who did this? It wasn't all crystalline a few weeks ago.
>>
>>3933511
>Ask her about the new crystal growth on the tower.
>Ask her about imparting some useful coordinates to you, if she’s willing.
>>
>>3933511
>>Ask her about the new crystal growth on the tower.
"Are these Crystals your doing? they werent here the last time i was here when the city was till contoled by that girl both Shu and the Dragoon came here to kill"
>>Ask her more about the Skinternet and why she wastes her time doing this.
>"is there any acutally useful information on that Net or is that just kinda a useless hobby of yours after the apocalpse?"

>>3933505
>>SHIPPING GOGGLES

God she had such high hopes and then just something borderline useless for her desire to gain strength
>>
>>3933511
also, holy SHIT is that girls feet are GIGANTIC in that picture. i dunno why but its giving off uncanny like vibes because of it.
>>
>>3933406
(This video is a thing of beauty. Simply glorious.)

>>3933412
(Also, yes.)
>>
>>3933364
This breings up one question. If she was so stupid how did she manage to get into university? Or hell even through Highschool?

Are grades worth like nothing over in the US?
>>
>>3933589
(B'ni helped her a massive amount.)
>>
>>3933592
>>3933589
BIG OOF.

I can't wait for Sam to slip up and show her 3 INT moments, like failing basic math or forgetting some basic common sense. Sam will inevitably come off as this deadly assassin robot that's somehow simultaneously clumsy and ditzy.
>>
>>3933592
Wow...............
So she was a crutch in more than one way to her.... Wow... Just wow
I guess i shouldnt be surprised that one human(Isabelle) could be so intelligent to get a literal rocks for brain into university and so stupid at the same time.....
>>
>>3933598
(They were designed to be opposites, stat-wise, with Sam being a classic 'low int, high charisma (intimidation, mostly)' character, while B'ni's the opposite; high int, low charisma. Sam can be quite charismatic, if she actually cares to try.)

(Both of them are severely lacking is wisdom, i.e. self-awareness and intuition of others, though.)
>>
>>3933600
Kinda what i would have guessed.

What stats are there I guess we have strength, Wisdom, Accuracy, Agility, charisma and intelligence.

Are there any we are missing?
>>
>>3933600
To be charitable to Sam, she's also too stubborn to quit once she's made up her mind. Kind of a mixed trait, often hasn't been a virtue for her, but I imagine it helped when she had trouble with the work. She'd be able to just keep grinding away at things until she got it, even if that stopped being as useful once she got into higher-level material. At that point you've got to change your study habits, not just do more of them.
>>
>>3933600
So then what's Shu? stat wise? Given the sheer approachable character she's built for herself and the fact that she's shown to be very mature in character and philosophy, it feels like we've got very high Wisdom and Intelligence (parallel thought processing is bullshit), middling Charisma (Shu's known to fuck up at times).

>>3933603
We're lacking STRENGTH and agility. We got weak ass noodle arms and mediocre constitution. And of all the combat ability classes we didn't pick up, we don't have a single strength enhancing fibromancer ability. Our main mobility options are more of Ravenous maw/Hundred Handed grappling hook utility options, using our Knightlings as hoverboards, or strategic teleport swapping with Rooks.
>>
>>3933612
i was thinking general stats that exist not what Shu has and doesnt has.

And the teleport move and riding on swarmlings are good mobility

Yeah and i missed constitution as a stat
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>>3933511

“So what’s up with all these crystals?” You ask, staring up at the shining gems that dot every available surface. “They’re new.”

“Oh, after Mara and Shu had their whole Kosi kerfuffle, the city was free real estate.” Paloma explains, smirking as she takes another shots at different angles. “A new streamer moved in by the name of Erica Blair. Kinda schmoozy, but she seems nice, otherwise. Her bodyguard’s the one that made the crystals, since they serve as surveillance devices and natural amplifiers for Blair’s Glutton-Talker-Neuro tri-hybrid. I wanted to come say hello to her, but I had to deal with her bodyguard before I could talk to Blair, proper.”

“You beat her?” You ask, intrigued.

“Yep!” The petite Daughter affirms happily. “She was pretty good, but my husband and I used to play a lot of board games, so I got her eventually.”

If you were capable of making a face, you would.

“…so she’s still alive?”

“Haha, obviously.” Paloma giggles in reply. “Caverna isn’t exactly a bloodsport, and afterwards that we had a lovely drink and chat. We shared a bottle of a vintage red that was just absolutely divine, and then I talked shop with Blair. Had a better time with her bodyguard, come to think of it…”

Dear god. It’s as if you took Dorian and Amara and smashed them both together into one insufferable being, and you just watch as she loses herself in the taking of pictures once more. She seems content to view the world through a lens…which gives you an idea. The tendril holding your recently-acquired Relic nudges your hand, and you quietly raise the Goggles to your viewport as the girl you’re training them on prattles on about some inane aspect of the people she just met.

At first you think it’s broken, a bright glow shining through the binoculars and triggering the glare-protectors to shutter down over your visor…and that’s when you can make sense of what you’re seeing. What you mistook for a shining light is in reality a tangle of multi-colored strands, vibrant and breath-taking, stretching out in every direction. Azure, viridian, and every shade of eye-catching gold is represented in the gorgeous collection of threads that stretch forth from the Skintalker before you, and you just stand there in awe as they flicker with warm, inviting light.

“Anyway, I don’t wanna keep you!” Paloma suddenly declares, rounding on you with a theatrical twirl and giving you only a split-second to hide the Goggles under your cloak. “Good luck heading east! Oh, and maybe you could take a couple of pointers on invisibility from your little friend there, she’s really good at it!”

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>>3933774

You freeze, following the Daughter’s eyes to the empty space beside you. You look back at your host, seeing Paloma fix you with a curious expression, glancing between you and the open air. Lunging out with one hand, you seize what feels like some type of blanket, tearing it off the being that’s now revealed to have been lurking at your side. The dull-eyed stare of the construct’s two-tone eyes listlessly focus in on you, lacking any of its creator’s typical energy or zest.

“…You.” Comes your voxel-distorted growl, Shalaev’s Shawl hanging from your grip as you glare at the brain-dead echo of Amara. “How long have you been following me?!”

The child holds up her forefinger and the finger next to it, her palm facing you.

“Two? Two what?!” You hiss, and it’s all you can do to not tear her to pieces right then and there when her hand turns, index finger curling in and leaving the middle finger coldly pointing towards the sky.

“Oh, fuck you too, you little shit. I’m out of here.” You snarl, throwing the shawl back on the emotionless doll before stepping off the side of the building, clinging to the calcite and metal while your talons slow your rapid descent.

You think you hear Paloma say something but it’s lost as the wind whips by your head, her words crashing uselessly against your rage.

>>NOW LOADING…

You’ve been walking through the Forest of Bone for the better part of…an hour, maybe more, when the infuriating pitter-patter of little feet finally breaks you.

“WHAT?!” You howl, your scream of anger causing your speakers to whine in protest at the sheer volume of your roar as you round on the Joyous. “WHAT’S YOUR DEAL, HUH?”

She doesn’t move a muscle even when you seize her by the collar of her dress and throw her up against the trunk of the closest tree, those damnably dead eyes just staring straight at you through the shade of the silent forest. Your helm is inches away from her face, your talons creaking into a fist as you glare into...

>>WARNING

>>HULL BREACH IMMINENT

You freeze, glancing down at the Joyous’ calcite blade that threatens to penetrate clean through your breastplate. Slowly, you lower the construct to the ground, with the thing giving you a stupid little nod when its feet meet the fleshscape. It sheathes the blade, both components of the summoned weapon recreating back into the thing’s forearm just before it leans down to pluck the shimmering cloak from the ground.

“…Where’d you get the Shawl? Your maker lend it to you, or’d you find another one?” You ask harshly, fists clenched as you watch the construct pat out its dress.

“…other.” It answers softly, much to your surprise.

“Oh, so you CAN talk, huh?” You fire back, meeting the thing’s dull, two-tone stare.

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>>3933777

God almighty, this thing’s pissing you off…you’re not a fan of being followed, for one, and as your nail catches on the divot where its blade was about to puncture your shell like it was nothing, it only serves to make your rage flare even higher. You can barely even stand a chance against a fucking CHILD…hell, not EVEN a child. It’s a goddamn CONSTRUCT, and if that’s the case then what sort of chance are you going to have against anything that isn’t a complete shitter in the Fleshscape?

“So, you gonna tell me why you’re tailing me like something I stepped in?” You demand once more, leaning forward with your claws on your hips, cords flicking angrily at the air like a pair of irate snakes.

The thing just raises an index finger to its lips, pre-emptively shushing you as it draws the Shawl back over its head.

“What the hell are you doing that for, you little-“ You begin before a single hand emerges briefly from thin air to point past you, retreating just as quickly when you hear voices closing in on your position. There’s a soft whir from deep within your frame and it’s with a fluid motion that you draw up your hood, darting into the shadows as your cloak shimmers and shifts to match your surroundings.

“…ere she fought the Chevalier! Ahh, this is so cool!” Declares a high, excitable voice that filters between the ivory trunks around you.

“Look, man…I know you’re a Hive Mistress too, an’ all, but we don’t have to re-trace *everything* the Defiant did, do we? I’m as much of a fan as you are but I’m exhausted, dude. We’ve been walking for hours.” Comes the tired tones of a second individual as the pair approach you. Glancing around the corner of your chosen tree, you almost trip over the Joyous, finding the thing’s opted to use you as cover against the two approaching strangers. Holding back an irritated curse, you finally set eyes on the duo; a short, plump young woman with short black hair and a pair of arms riddled with holes, each gaping orifice lined with thin calcite branches. Her bright, shining eyes are darting to take in every tree, every branch, as her tall, slim brunette companion heaves a long-suffering sigh, her utterly normal upper torso in stark contrast to her crustacean-like legs and anterior shell.

You could opt to skirt around them, but the sight of several oddly-shaped items strapped around the waist and on the shell of the slimmer girl catches your eye. They could be of use…if you can clench your jaw and stand to be around a couple of Defiant fans, that is.

>>Skirt around the group. You’ve spent the last few years trapped with Shu fan-girls, and you’re not spending another second with any more.

>>Introduce yourself, and see if they have or know anything you might find useful before heading on your way.

>>Write-In

YOU FINALLY HAVE CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3933780
>>Introduce yourself, and see if they have or know anything you might find useful before heading on your way.

>Step out and point towards the tree where Shu and Isabelle rested after the fight against the Chevalier

>"They rested over there but i think you girls knew that already from how you were talking about Shu"

Sam you had first hand experience of what Shu has done ever since she woke up. You might be able to tell these girls something they didnt know about her and you might be able to get somethign in return be it companionship or something like a favour to trade with them later on
>>
>>3933774
>A new streamer moved in by the name of Erica Blair.
Oh, wow, both of the bloggers Amara likes in the same city. That's cool, maybe we'll get the chance to visit them sometime. The Lair isn't that far from Envy City.

>since they serve as surveillance devices and natural amplifiers for Blair’s Glutton-Talker-Neuro tri-hybrid
Erica Arthur Blair made a panopticon. Behold my shock.

>“Haha, obviously.” Paloma giggles in reply. “Caverna isn’t exactly a bloodsport, and afterwards that we had a lovely drink and chat. We shared a bottle of a vintage red that was just absolutely divine, and then I talked shop with Blair. Had a better time with her bodyguard, come to think of it…”
And that's how civilized people resolve their conflicts. Good on you, Paloma.

>At first you think it’s broken, a bright glow shining through the binoculars and triggering the glare-protectors to shutter down over your visor…and that’s when you can make sense of what you’re seeing. What you mistook for a shining light is in reality a tangle of multi-colored strands, vibrant and breath-taking, stretching out in every direction. Azure, viridian, and every shade of eye-catching gold is represented in the gorgeous collection of threads that stretch forth from the Skintalker before you, and you just stand there in awe as they flicker with warm, inviting light.
Yeah...you probably shouldn't look at a Skintalker through a bond-o-scope. Hard to separate out individual signals when they're connected to the entire planet. Though maybe it's a good sign that Sam finds the light of connection beautiful.

>>3933780
>You can barely even stand a chance against a fucking CHILD…hell, not EVEN a child. It’s a goddamn CONSTRUCT, and if that’s the case then what sort of chance are you going to have against anything that isn’t a complete shitter in the Fleshscape?
Oh, Sam, if you haven't internalized the knowledge that the number of levels a Daughter has eaten is a lot more relevant than their age or stature you're not going to have a fun time. Like, I know you're being super dismissive of our party because friendship does not compute, but Amara's level forty-seven and you know it. It's not that you're weak, necessarily, it's that Amara is just that strong.
>>
>>3933820
>it's that Amara is just that strong.

And gets trained by one of the strongest warriors of the crucible. Cheruem the god damn Mall Cop/ Alien Ninja

I would guess that part of that ability pushes through to her clones as well whenever there is an update for her clone network

And Sam is what? In a level one forge body? Of course you will get wrecked by early mid level daughters.
She barely stand a chance if you get caught in the open with her pants down like that
>>
>>3933835
Also, she's got a stealth build. Be stealthy, Sam. Take Paloma's advice, learn from the Joyous Many. When you've successfully gone without being spotted by one for an entire hour, you know that you've succeeded.
>>
>>3933840
I guess that is what you get if you give the 3 Intelligence Character a stealth build...

I have a player kind of like that though he plays a warlock. barely uses any of the nice powers he got from hsi deal with the Archdevil that is his patron.
>>
>>3933780
>Skirt around the group. You’ve spent the last few years trapped with Shu fan-girls, and you’re not spending another second with any more.
>>
>>3933774
>“She was pretty good, but my husband and I used to play a lot of board games, so I got her eventually.”
a petite woman like Paloma having a hubby. wow.

>>3933777
>Amara's clone saying that she's been following Sam for 2 days in a very cheeky way

>>3933780
>skirt around the group.

Damn Sam's got quite a temper. Poor Sam. Stupid Sam. Sam and her 3 INT and 18 CHA that she barely knows how to use.
Also, I'm having this mental image of Sam getting taught by Amara's clone in a roundabout cheeky way of "how to ninja" and "Crucible tutorial 101".
>>
>>3933820
>That's cool, maybe we'll get the chance to visit them sometime.

Its actrually not to unlikely. The Joyous many clone was there with Sam so amara should be gettign that information eventually..... So we could justify talking with her about it once we talk with her about the skinternet.


maybe something like: "So from where do they stream. Do the yhave a base where they keep equipment?"

You may also want to vote i noticed you hadnt done so already


And i will now be heading off to sleep. Good Night Anons
>>
>>3933840
>>3933835
does kinda suck though that Amaras stealth was implied to be of a higher level than Sams. not something just pure experience can change there. whoever built those Shawls apparently knew what they were doing, if they can outclass a DO suit made specifically for that.
>>
>>3933844
>>3933874

What's worse, Sam's got 3 INT AND 3 WIS despite her stupid high charisma. there's dumb, there's bimbo tier, and then there's Sam.

Sam literally needs to have a minder in any way shape or form in order to function if she's to survive early game in her new body.
>>
>>3933873
True, Amara should know her favorite streamer is in town, now. The next break we take should be to go over and play board games with them. They've got Caverna, that's a good one.

>You may also want to vote i noticed you hadnt done so already
Yeah, I keep editing it. I'm trying to convey a proper level of awkwardness and not managing to nail it, I might just trash it and go with the non-write in options.

>>3933874
Probably someone who already had experience in metamaterials, the name is a nerdy reference to a famous scientist in the field of optics. Francine's a genius, but she's also a multidisciplinary scientist instead of a specialist, I can see someone beating her out in a specific field.
>>
>>3933879
nah, I mean i get the joke, but Sams already still shown intellect of a higher caliber than that. she respect the Crucible is a death game and that shes low level in that, which certainly isnt at all Dumb tier. she just has a temper, which to be fair, certain aspects of our party are no better at.
>>
>>3933874
(Technically speaking, Sam has much higher stealth abilities than anyone in your party, but she's just been getting garbage rolls this entire session, so I've just been rolling with the punches.)
>>
>>3933898
ah, so not even lady luck likes Sam. somehow, all too fitting.
>>
>>3933780
Holy crap, I figured that Shu getting praise from Mara as a big thing, I figured that Shu leading a successful raid against the Spiraling Fear with Zero Casualties would bump our threat level up for Mara to give us a title of "Hunter of Gods", and us knocking Ozmas down to the last peg was gonna get us a huge reputation, but it never really occurred to me the extent of Shu's image in the eyes of the common daughter. Already we have fangirls that are treating Shu's travels as a pilgrimage.

Wait....that also means Sam's original death and Shu's birthplace (aka the Sorority house) will be absolutely SWARMING with fangirls

>>3933890
How about going for the mysteriously intimidating cloaked skeleton that points towards the specific tree like a wraith? Sam wants to maintain a certain image about her, and doesn't want to engage in small talk, but man the fangirls are testing Sam's temper and making Sam sweat nervously.

>>3933898
Well now that Amara's clone spotted Sam, is she gonna tag along with Sam? It's the sort of thing where once you find out where the ninja (Sam) is, all you need to do is look for the telltale signs not to mention the growing familiarity.
>>
>>3933912
didn't we specifically NOT send anything to trail Sam?
>>
>>3933912
>How about going for the mysteriously intimidating cloaked skeleton that points towards the specific tree like a wraith? Sam wants to maintain a certain image about her, and doesn't want to engage in small talk, but man the fangirls are testing Sam's temper and making Sam sweat nervously.
Could work. I kind of want to have Sam interact with the girls, though, if only so that she has to make up a fake identity after realizing halfway through introducing herself that Shu's fangirls might know who the robot named Sam is.

>>3933918
I think so. So either the Many found Sam on its own as a coincidence, or Amara is in for a scolding once Shu finds out.
>>
>>3933918
(You're quite correct, as this particular Joyous has taken it upon herself to diverge from her search to trail along with Sam, instead. The odd thing about Amara's ability is that the clones will occasionally go off the rails if left unattended, represented by various checks they make against getting pulled off-task...which this one failed, obviously.)
>>
>>3933928
ah, guess thats the risk of leaving semi-intelligent constructs to their own bidding. that independence has its value, but drawbacks too.

>>3933926
sounds like oddly enough she wont. or maybe she will. hrm, this is a very unique situation. most kids do not have semi-intelligent semi-independent clones to take into account. but i guess Amara herself is pretty easily distracted, so i can see her not REALLY paying attention to what all her clones are up to most of the time.
>>
>>3933928
Well, it's good to know we don't have to chastise Amara for this. Just the clone. Clone Amara #1783, come over here so we can yell at you.
>>
actually, i wonder how much of a shot Sam would actually have to beat an Amara Clone. they actually have a stupendously low bio and health pool, and dont replenish either even outside combat. id imagine just for the natural necessity of it Sams suits got above low level health. if she actually got the drop on one, she probably could kill it pretty quickly, or certainly in the first attack drop it down too low to spawn a fresh one, and after that it would just be waiting for another opening, not to mention it then wouldn't be able to use lot of its other tricks too.

this would also of course, rely on Sam being smart enough to even think about that and pull it off, which, it seems luck alone wouldn't allow, let alone if she herself would be smart enough for it. I mean, the shawl is good, but surely there was SOME kinda tell you were being trailed, especially when you climbed the side of a building?

that is, unless the clone meant two minutes, in which case, fair.
>>
>>3933944
Well lets see here. Sam will have to contend with skintalker radar, an ability that lets the Clone multiply like Cats in a Dorf Fortress game, a Calcite blade that could easily one-shot Sam and pierce through her steel shell, Queen Crimson, Oxygenic Artillery, and the fact that she has to pass the save against aggression suppression from Lexicon lvl 8 (if the clone was updated)
>>
>>3933949
I actually dont think the Clone ability would come into play that heavily, unlike Amara the clones dont have protection of allies nor Acts or resources to spare to properly abuse it, only enough to possibly keep going fresh if they get injured. same with their other abilities, they simply dont have the resources to abuse them, especially not without putting themselves in danger of not being able to properly continue even if they win.

also the skintalker Radar i dont think is always active, and the Aggression Suppression is almost worthless if theres true intent to kill. its maybe once made something slightly hesitate in actual combat? but has never actually stopped or prevented an attack or combat from breaking out.

the clones work so well because they are disposable and have the rest of the team to give Amara her opening, which doesn't really work here. that, and they have Amara herself leading them, so they have full big brain power, which without could easily stifle them i imagine.
>>
>>3933963
>I actually dont think the Clone ability would come into play that heavily, unlike Amara the clones dont have protection of allies nor Acts or resources to spare to properly abuse it, only enough to possibly keep going fresh if they get injured. same with their other abilities, they simply dont have the resources to abuse them, especially not without putting themselves in danger of not being able to properly continue even if they win.
Unless the Joyous Many get to benefit from Joyous Many level seven as part of their sharing of Amara's powers, in which case you have to kill a clone in a single hit in order to prevent them from multiplying. It would be impossible to interrupt their multiplying with glancing blows, because if your hit doesn't kill them they just spawn a new clone at full Health. Every blow has to be a killing strike, any clones left alive will inevitably create more clones. Assuming that they get that, of course, BHOP might rule it's too OP for our already exponentially-multiplying army of little girl ninjas.

>also the skintalker Radar i dont think is always active, and the Aggression Suppression is almost worthless if theres true intent to kill. its maybe once made something slightly hesitate in actual combat? but has never actually stopped or prevented an attack or combat from breaking out.
I think they mean the new, upgraded version, which can actually deflect opponents instead of just make them more willing to talk.
>>
>>3933972
>>3933963
There's something that bothered me. Is there anyway to boost the health and bio stats of the Joyous clones? I know goes with the nature of choosing Quantity instead of Quality, but it feels like we should get slightly more stats the more we upgrade the joyous many.
>>
>>3933980
eh, the ability is already so damn powerful it has to have some balancing factor.
>>
>>3933980
It might show up as the skill continues to level, it's only halfway to the cap after all. Or we could always try Kadath-ing the Hollowed Clone it's made from, we got that from one of the Sororitas (damned if I can remember which one, though) so it should be valid for Kadath. Probably better to spend that on other skills, though.
>>
>>3933983
>>3933898
grah, really would be helpful BHOP if you could go over what is Kadath applicable or not. tried to do it on the sheet but honestly at this point i give up.
>>
>>3933991
(No worries, and my apologies for the hassle. After I post the next update I'll likely pause for the evening, so at that point I'll try to clarify and answe're the other Anon's questions regarding Zahira's party and the Ascendant Crown Calcite variant, too.)
>>
>>3933780
>>Introduce yourself, and see if they have or know anything you might find useful before heading on your way.
>>
(A quick reminder to vote if you haven't done so already as there appears to be a tie between staying or leaving, at the current time.)
>>
>>3933780
Eh, I dunno. Sam seems like if she approaches, she'll try to steal if she can't convince them to trade a shiny relic. On the other hand, the Amara clone would probably stop her if she tried, so she's got a minder. On the other other hand, I can get that she wouldn't want to be reminded of Shu and her accomplishments at every turn. Try to start her own life and not live in her shadow. But I don't want her to be antisocial.

I'm really torn on this so I'll flip a coin.

And first it is.

>Introduce yourself, and see if they have or know anything you might find useful before heading on your way.
>>
Y'know, now that I think about it, does anybody even know about Sam and Shu's splitting up? It took place at the DO's base, and I can't imagine that place has a skinternet connection.
>>
>>3934046
eh, i dislike that thinking, as you're thinking about what you WANT Sam to do, not what SAM would do.

>>3934048
i think someone mentioned it was on the Skinternet.
>>
>>3934048
it's got Cassandra as local admin on that regional server.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
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>>3933780

A tall, skeletal machine stepping from the shadows goes over about as well as can be expected, but once you indicate that you mean no harm the two girls ease out of self-defense mode and start to catch their breath.

"S-sorry for the, uh..." Begins the taller girl.

"Screaming. Sorry we screamed." Finishes the shorter one as she flashes you a sheepish grin. "I'm Susan, and her name is Judy."

"Good to meet you both." You reply, trying to inject your usually flat affect with something close to a smile. "Couldn't help but overhear you talking about the Defiant. That why you're out here?"

"Totally!" Susan replies, jumping at the chance to talk about your doppelganger while Judy just rolls her eyes. "We've been back-tracking a bit to hit all the major places where she's been! What about you?"

"Same." You reply as you glance between the two. "Where are you headed next?"

"The Puppeteer's Playground...or we would, if a report hadn't come through saying to avoid it." Jen says with a shrug, tapping a walkie-talkie strapped to her left side, the speaker pulsing like the beating of a small heart. "Big foreign Daughter's supposed to be headed through it, so we're gonna just mosey on back to the Envious City..."

"...*aren't* we, Sue?" She adds with a pointed glance at her companion.

"Oh, fine." Susan concedes, shifting from disappointment at her friend to excitement, aimed towards you. "So! Fan to fan, I gotta know your favorites!"

"Favorites?" You ask, and Susan just laughs.

"Moment! Moves! Ships!" She answers jovially, throwing her hands in the air. "Any of it, girl!"

Oh, for fuck's sake.

"...Uh, the...the plant girl. The one that kept shifting." You reply with the tone of a forced smile, trying to quickly dispense with the pleasantries as you eye the Relics on the other girl's belt. "What about you?"

"Why that one? Sucker for a tragic backstory?" Sue presses, leaning in closer to you before her friend tugs her back by the collar of her sweater.

"Uh...no. No, it's stupid." You say, and that only heightens Sue's curiosity.

"Was it just before that, when there was that really sweet Shu/Rath moment?" She speculates, and you can see the gears turning in her mind even as your own irritation mounts. "Wait...is it when Sam made her first legit appearance?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I kind of...what?" You ask, the flicker of pride in being remembered for that moment fizzling out in the face of Susan's scrunched-up nose.

"Oh." Susan replies disdainfully. "I'm just not a huge fan of cringe, sorry."

A second passes.

Then two.

"....Excuse me?" You say, suppressing a snarl.

(Loading...)
>>
oh no. it looks like Sam failed an anger check. This can't be good.
>>
>>3934145

"It was just really stupid. Sam could've been part of the team, but she shot herself in the foot." Susan explains, and your shoulders tense as Judy watches you with an odd look in her eyes. "I mean, you already know Shu's freaking out, so you, what? Make yourself seem like that much more of a villain by being all smug and shit? It was just really childish."

"...Sam scared her. Sam was angry, and she was trying to show she was still strong." You say, a sickening insistence slipping into your voice as Judy's eyes narrow. "That she was still powerful."

"About as powerful as a kid jumping out of the closet and yelling 'boo', maybe." Sue dismisses, as Judy gently reaches out as places a firm hand on her friend's shoulder. "I mean, how insecure do you have to be to take your first chance at human contact and turn it into a dick-measuring contes-"

"...You with the DOs?" Judy interrupts, her posture tense as her other hand rests on a large ring hanging off the right side of her belt.

"Yeah, why?" You snap, and while Sue just flinches back a bit Judy just nods, her lips a terse line.

"Sue. We need to go." She says, not room in her voice for argument as she keeps her unblinking gaze on you, watching your every move as your fists start to creak.

"Hey!" You bark, voice raised. "I'm not through wi-"

"Stay back, Sam!" Judy bellows, her enhanced voice tearing through the forest as you freeze in place, the vibrations rattling every plate and wire of your fragile frame. Sue's eyes go wide with realization while Judy's flare with protective fury as they retreat from you, not once showing their backs until they've disappeared into the haze of the surrounding woods. The expressions on their faces linger in your mind long after they flee, leaving you standing in the midst of tall ivory trees casting their long ebony shadows.

It wasn't fear, in their eyes.

It wasn't respect.

No.

It was disgust.

It was pity.

It was the same thing you'd seen countless times before. With Shu. With Gina. With Rath.

With Mom.

With your own reflection, close to the end.

You're unsure how long you stand there, just another motionless thing among many in these dying woods. You're brought out of your thoughts when the air in front of you shimmers, Shalaev's Shawl held in the construct's off-hand as it just cocks its head at you, waiting for you to move.

...and move, you do. Your feet carry you eastward as you trudge through the Forest of Bones, while your mind fights to discern which path to your goal is the smartest move to make.

You're not known for making those, apparently.

>>Go around the Puppeteer's Playground. You're having enough trouble avoiding people without throwing a foreign Daughter into the mix.

>>Go through the Puppeteer's Playground. There are plenty of shadows, plenty of corners to hide in. You'll avoid conflict and hopefully find a Relic or two, while you're at it.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL

YOU WERE THEN, TOO
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. Voting shall remain open for the next thirteen hours, with posting to resume in approximately fourteen, give or take.)

(Thank you very much for your participation, enthusiasm, and encouragement. I do hope your day has gone well, and I wish you a restful evening, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3934145
>>3934154
>Cringe
oi oi oi, i hate Sam too and hardly want to defend her, but cringe only applies if at the moment its done it was so, and within the context of the scene Sams appearance there was anything BUT cringe. was actually pretty fucking terrifying in its own right. respect the story girls, even if you dont respect the character, that scene had a profound impact on Shu and Co.

>>3934154
>Go through the Puppeteer's Playground. There are plenty of shadows, plenty of corners to hide in. You'll avoid conflict and hopefully find a Relic or two, while you're at it.
>Take time first however to scope the place out. see if theres any signs of that foreign Daughter, and if you cant simply wait for her to move on.
>>
>>3934157
so what 'level', as little as that can mean, is Sams suit anyways? sorry if you've answered this one before, but i cant remember. all i can think is i think it was supposed to at least give her a chance to survive and not be helpless, but thats alot of wiggle room still.

how much control can Amara exert over her clones? would it be obvious if she was more directly piloting it, or are they always just order based?
>>
>>3934154
>Let Sam decide.

>that spoiler
Sam...you're going down that path again aren't you?

>>3934161
It feels like Sam just keeps getting bullied directly AND indirectly. And it's hindering Sam's progress towards independence as well as just making Sam refuel her hate towards Shu more and more if that spoiler were to be put in context.
>>
>>3934167
yeah i think we forgot one big issue with letting Sam out into the world; regardless of if its her fault or not, when you have a reputation as an ass, people will treat you like one, and even for her, id not blame her for deciding not to stop being an ass when its the only thing you're treated like anyways.
>>
>>3934165
(Sam's Frame is roughly on par to you and your party members just after B'ni left. Capable of some interesting tricks, but no where near where you are now. As far as Amara's control, it's more command-based. If she's there to supervise then they can do complex tasks, but the further away they go and the more time out of the loop they are, then the more prone they get to getting off-task.)

(Now, if I may ask; what sort of explanations are you looking for regarding Kadath? Are you looking for a list of Dream Daughters and their powers, or are you looking for all eligible Kadath powers while excluding the ones that are from Amalgams and the like? I just want to ensure I fully understand what you're looking for before I plunge in, since I was in the shower when I realized I may have misunderstood what you meant.)

>>3934167
(Regarding the spoiler, it was actually more directed at Sam, herself...it was her slowly realizing that she had control, even back then.)
>>
>>3934171
im really just trying to make sure all of the Kadath available abilities are marked down correctly, so I and others can easily discern which ones we can use it on, without having to try to recall half remembered scenes and level ups and whatnot all the time.

...though id be lying if i said id not be interested in the Dream Daughters and what their own, actual abilities(or just cores) were, but your plates already pretty full id imagine so no worries there, you do enough as it is.
>>
>>3934182
(Would it be easier and less work for you to mark down the ones that *aren't* eligible for Kadath? Those would obviously be fewer, and I plan for future level-ups to also have clear descriptors as to whether or not they're Kadath-eligible powers.)
>>
>>3934191
would they? i have no idea honestly there. and i mean, id still need to know which is which. shouldn't be too much of a problem if i can just get clear, definitive confirmation on which ones are, thats the real issue, not actually marking them.
>>
>>3934198
(Alright, excellent. Thank you very much for clarifying, and I'll set to work right now.)
>>
>>3934199
oh right, while on the topic, any wording or format changes you would like before i put the Pandoric Script with Shus 'Other Abilities', or think its fine to add it as it is?
>>
>>3934255
(I think it's perfectly fine, as is. You've done a marvelous job!)
>>
>>3934258
copy that and added. thanks.

small warning for folks by the way. may not be a new thing, but never happened for me before ever, and i know its something some people might wish to know about, but Pastebin just had a 'hidden link ad' on it for me. went to copy the Pandoric Script Text, and suddenly new tab opening up. know those things can be a worry for alot of folks so new thing or not, just a friendly warning is all.
>>
(Below you shall find a list of the only powers you possess that are NOT eligible for Kadath. If you have any questions or concerns, then please let me know. They are as follows;)

SHU; All are now eligible.

GINA: All are now eligible.

>RATH: Unrelenting Cold, Alabaster Endoskeleton, Radiant Boil

AMARA: All are now eligible.

>JULIA: Badger's Barbarism, Frozen Fury, Depressive Weight

>DORIAN: Spring-Heeled Jack, Accumulated Charge

>FRANCINE: Primordial School

(While it can be argued that some of the abilities I've left off this list can be construed as not belonging to a Dream Daughter the weilder currently possesses, everyone interacts with their Dream Daughters enough to where trying to keep up with all that would be restrictive and a chore, so I've opted to try and keep things simple. If anyone sees that this might cause issues, however, then please let me know.)

~~~

(Now, to answer some questions left over from the 34th Vein, Zahira’s allies are as follows;)

>>Aahna - Zahira's Best Friend. Possessed a Flesh Artisan power that eventually fused with Zahira's Neuromancy to become her hybridized Core.

>>Kalaa - Aahna's Sister, betrayed group. Flesh Artisan, forgemistress, and origin of the augmentations found in Lepisma's level-up list. Her Core was discarded by her sister, with a select few augments plucked from her remains after Aahna was forced to put her down.

>>Schara - Hive Mistress, power eventually fused into Spiritus ex Testa. Capable of summoning large scarab beetles that were as hardy as they were cuddly.

>>Atma - Phantasmal Conduit, power eventually fused into Spiritus ex Testa. Capable of manifesting her own Dream Daughters directly into the constructs of foes and allies, alike.

(Now, on to the Calcite Variant of the Ascendant Crown.)

>>Calcite Crown, Tier 1 (7 Calcite Halos, Each Lvl 1 or higher) - Reduces additional damage tiers from critical hits suffered to a maximum of tier one, and renders wearer immune to both dismemberment and crushing damage. Calcite Armorer abilities used by the wearer cost 2/3 BIO to use, and if they are capable of scaling up in power, then they do so twice as quickly. Counter-attacks you inflict through Calcite Armorer powers have their critical cit baseline set at Tier 5, with any additional up-tiers stacking atop this new threshold. Additionally, if you would trigger a physical counter-attack from a foe, you now automatically trigger one of your applicable counters, if you have one.
>>
>>3934269
wait, peoples Cores are eligible?
>>
>>3934276
(They are, starting now. Considering that a major theme of the quest is not only dealing with others but also grappling with oneself, it felt like an arbitrary restriction that I've decided to do away with.)

(Allowing it gives you more freedom, and also lets Core Hybrids become more appealing, from what I can see. As I said, I'm open to counter-arguments if anyone thinks this is unwise in the long run, so if you have any concerns, I'd like to hear them.)
>>
>>3934281
honestly i dislike it for thematic reasons. the cross dream daughter aspects too. feels like it significantly weakens the point and feel of the ability, which was supposed to be that connection to your dream daughters and strengthening that bond. especially for allowing Cores it makes little sense in my opinion for the point and perception of the Ability. it also doesn't really make sense in my opinion for it to work with other Daughters Dream Daughters, especially considering how the Crucible works and the Abilities bending to the user, thus our playstyle, is supposed to be stopped due to us using the Appetites, which is supposed to basically be its one drawback.

that, and i do feel both those things mechanically allow way too much extra powercreep to the ability, and i already honestly have enough issues with powercreep feelings as it is.
>>
>>3934291
(Hm...you bring up good points, particularly regarding the feel of the ability in addition to the powercreep. I'll sleep on it here shortly, since I'll be able to approach it with a clearer mind in the morning. I appreciate your points as always, and thank you so much for all you do!)
>>
>>3934299
you have a nice rest, and keep in mind, ill probably be in the minority here once others have their chance to speak, but we'll see.
>>
>>3934299
>>3934281
I assent with this anon >>3934291 here.
Kadath was designed to interface with other dream daughters. Pulling a Kadath on yourself would mean you would have to actually talk with a separate entity that shared your same core as well by making a clone of yourself in the dreamscape which muddies up the concept of identity even further. the only way the whole "dealing with your shadow archetype" would work would be if everyone (and I mean EVERYONE including Amara) had the same special circumstances as the relationship dichotomy that Sam and Shu shared pre-split (having a shadow version of themselves to either talk with or simply kill).

and with the current mechanics in play, it would both feel cheap and exploitable by certain members of this community as well as some savvy daughters in-universe. Not only that, it feels like it would have more or less the same effect as Vitruvian Mental corruption, where the Daughter in question slowly becomes flanderized and one-dimensional as they either suppress or kill off aspects of their egos through the choices in their Dream sessions.

Self-realization and character development should happen within the context of the story through their actions and introspective reflections, not through plot devices where they simply beat the snot out of the "bad" version of themselves in a dreamscape al la Kingdom Hearts or Persona 4.
>>
>>3934291
>>3934328

(You both make compelling points, and I believe that I will retract my previous adjustment and leave it as-is. Thus, I think that the list below should be reasonably accurate, but if there's any iffiness, then I'll address any questions that arise in the morning. I'm a little tired, so I expect I left out at least *something*, but I'll wrap it all up in the morning.)

(Sleep well, one and all.)

>SHU; Trypophilic Hive, Spiritus ex Testa, Hundred-Handed

>GINA: Tensile Strand, Neon Ascendant

>RATH: Unrelenting Cold, Alabaster Endoskeleton, Radiant Boil

>AMARA: Holsitic Lexicon, Joyous Many, Oxygeneic Artillery, Veruteilung,

>JULIA: Sculptress of Flesh, Badger's Barbarism, Frozen Fury, Depressive Weight, Artisanal Appetites, Calcite Halo

>DORIAN: Red Death, Spring-Heeled Jack, Accumulated Charge, Calcite Halo, Verurteilung,

>FRANCINE: Creation's Strings, Primordial School

>All Neurotic Halos except for Gina.

>All Calcite Halos except for if it's put on Francine.
>>
>>3934154
>>Go through the Puppeteer's Playground. There are plenty of shadows, plenty of corners to hide in. You'll avoid conflict and hopefully find a Relic or two, while you're at it.

>Scope the place out first. If you stumble upon the forgein dauhgter stay the hell away from her.

>If the forgein daughter finds you and is not immediatly hostile dont be an ass. Your an assasine that would have been found out so your comabt options are out of the window immediatly if your spotted. If she is hostile....... run.... run for your fucking life
>>
>>3934377
Not to nitpick, but shouldn't Dominus Bloodline, Exsanguinating Leash and Amethyst Jack on Shu also be inapplicable? Leash came from Sasha, and Jack from Gina (and Dominus their hybrid, of course), and neither of them are in Shu's head. Also, shouldn't Neon Ascendant be valid for Gina, given that Neurotic Halo is and it's a component of the hybrid? Joyous Many on Amara, too, since Hollowed Clone is applicable.
>>
>>3934154
Well, I feel kind of bad, now. I was hoping they wouldn't catch on to Sam being Sam, and everyone could walk away from it just thinking it was an awkward conversation. Now those poor girls got spooked by the tour they were following becoming too real. Sorry, ladies. I hope they're going to be alright and not have their time too badly ruined. I'm feeling less bad for Sam, though, at least she got some valuable perspective of "everyone thinks you're a villain, but not one of the cool ones". It's harsh, but she needs to learn it.

>>Go around the Puppeteer's Playground. You're having enough trouble avoiding people without throwing a foreign Daughter into the mix.
Yeah, I think Sam would rather just not chance talking to people for a while. Forget the potential danger of whoever this Daughter is, them being friendly is the threat.
>>
>>3934269
Hmm.

Let's put the Calcite Crown on Amara and then go fight that Toad amalgam. She's got Invis and the Joyous Many, combine that with the ramp-up of her sheathed blade and we'd just need to stall for time until she could 1-shot the thing.
>>
>>3934725
besides the fact we dont have 7(not even sure 7 levels of it either) halos, im not sure thats a very good plan. for one, she has to hit, for another, it would be silly not to be trying to kill it up until then, which would very easily make the wait and buildup kinda pointless.

personally not really a fan of buildup abilities, or moreso, relying on them, over them just being there if you happen to end up having a chance to use them. too big a risk to put weight on them when oftentimes you could honestly have done just as good or better just having that character helping out without it.
>>
>>3934725
Invisibility doesn't matter, the Mole-Toad hunts by vibrations. It already can't see who its fighting. Which is why my preferred plan to fight it involves luring it up to the surface, where we can rain ranged attacks down on it from flying Knight mounts. It can also only terraform biomass that it's already clawed at, so on the surface it would only be able to manipulate the biomass of the tunnel it dug to get up to us. It could claw at the ground, but since it's focused through the claws we can use Dorian's dismemberment abilities (including the very nice one he just got this level of Resplendent Thread that specifically inhibits powers associated with a limb) to get rid of the Mole-Toad's claws. Then I'm thinking we glue its symbiote drill-Amalgams to its back with B.33 rounds in Honey mode, have Rath go to town with punches so the sympathetic damage-sharing of Honey mode kills all the symbiotes at once, have that cause her to emit a dozen flame pulses all overlapped on each other from Ignition level four proccing. Huge damage, and thanks to Burrowing Blasts the Mole-Toad's Heat resistance doesn't matter.
>>
>>3934764
might still be too difficult to trap all those minigams honestly. feels like too much of an assumption that will work out for my liking honestly, aswell as still feels like putting too much of our eggs in one basket.
>>
>>3934783
Sure, no plan survives contact with the enemy. Honey-mode B.33s automatically trap everything within medium range of the detonation, but it's possible that some could launch before we can get the shots off. But I still want to have some plans in advance, that we can adapt as circumstances change.
>>
>>3934791
doesn't it still take a turn to detonate though? BHOP still has not updated the Contender section of the Relics sheet and i cannot for the life of me find the upgrades again.

>>3934377
seriously, BHOP, i get it, but i think you need to just start pausing the Quest and updating this stuff immediately as we get it, to avoid this constant backlogging and forgetting. just even if its annoying, just not continuing until everything is in its place whenever you give it to us. im not trying to harp hard on ya, but i honestly can no longer remember a time something had not been forgotten or fallen behind in its information. putting it off only seems to be causing a cascading problem that doesn't seem to want to ever be fully fixed.
>>
>>3934800
>doesn't it still take a turn to detonate though? BHOP still has not updated the Contender section of the Relics sheet and i cannot for the life of me find the upgrades again.
Not if we double-tap. Each shot after the first that hits removes one round from the timer, thanks to Trigger Round. We can aim for the larger target of the Mole-Toad itself, it carries the drills on its back and ensures hitting it will catch them in the area of effect. Plus, we can do suppression fire with the Contender's current ammo capacity, so very good chances of getting at least two bees into the Toad.
>>
>>3934807
eh, we'll see, but not sure im for putting that at the center of our strategy.
>>
>>3934811
Nah, the center of my strategy is "get it away from biomass it can control". The B.33s are just another layer of things to add on top of that, if we get the chance.
>>
>>3934815
i mean fair, but i was being a bit loose with the definition of 'center of our strategy' there.
>>
>>3934800
(Ah, you're quite right. I'll spend some time over the small break trying to get everything in order, and doing a 'week on, week off' schedule like I'd proposed a few Vein's ago would help keep things in check.)

(Also, the latest Contender upgrades appear to be in the Pastebin, but I've posted them below for your convenience.)

>>TRIGGER ROUND: Any type of round fired by the Contender now accelerates timer-based abilities by one tick per round that hits the target.

>>[FORM AUGMENT] LIONHEART’S BAYONET: The form and function of the Lionheart Form may now be applied to any Form change, as the blade consistently appears across all forms as a wickedly powerful bayonet. Additionally, this blade also gains unique and additional quirks across the forms.

>>[NEW FORM] GATLINGGUNNER’S MAXIM: This hefty mutation of the Contender’s base design now allows for rapid-firing, akin to the machine guns so popular in the old world’s wars. Easily able to be wielded with one hand, while in this form the Condender’s current magazine size is doubled, allowing for a relentless barrage of rounds across a wide swathe of foes. Finally, the rapid-loading inherent in this form allows you to automatically slot in a number of rounds at the end of your turn equal to half the number of rounds fired during your previous barrage, ensuring that you will always have a round hot in the barrel. (Lionheart’s Bayonet: Repeatedly firing the Contender applies a stacking damage bonus to the Bayonet equal to 10% for each round fired, with all stacks consumed upon striking the foe with your devastating blade.)

>>GEMINI’S BLADE: While in Lionheart Form your blade splits into two identical copies, each one half of the ammo capacity available to you. While they each require a hand to hold, you may make two strikes with each of them using a single ACT as long as both are in your possession.

>>B.33 SPECIAL (Enhanced): The upgraded form of the adorable B.33 round has evolved from a cute distraction to a devastating round that can turn the tide of battle more drastically than ever before with two new detonation modes; HONEY and SWARM. Upon the HONEY mode’s detonation, the B.33 Special now bursts out of the entry wound, viscous ropes of semi-intelligent honey reaching out to automatically grapple all foes within medium range of the effect's target and hauling them into a paralytic cluster of limbs and honey, making all subsequent attacks against the cluster of foes hit everyone simultaneously. Upon SWARM mode’s detonation, the sweet-smelling aroma of the vanguard B.33 gives off a swarmling accelerant, resulting in a 10% Damage bonus for each B.33 Round detonated, drastically increasing the damage your Swarmlings deal in addition to decreasing the affected foe’s damage against your brood by the same amount.
>>
>>3933303
At 18th Vein now. between that Vein and now, has the question ever come up whether dickgirls were eligible to be Daughters ?
>>
>>3934830
we dont need to ask or have that question answered.

>>3934828
ah, my bad. I assumed you would mix the new stuff in and organize it so so I didnt see it was all just stamped out at the top.
>>
>>3934830
(While skirting some spoilers; essentially, the Crucible filters eligibility by determining who has the bigger hand in continuing a species, so it goes by purely biological criteria. It's how Dorian got in, though it has been alluded to that the process can be 'fooled', since the Crucible is by no means a perfect system.)
>>
>>3934830
What's in someone's pants is no concern of ours. Though we did make a few jokes about penile Relics.
>>
>>3934846
well, i mean that really depends. longterm goal of course, but the human race does need to continue so eventually that could be an actual thing to take note of.
we'll see just how that pans out though i suppose. maybe 'constructs to the point of new beings' really will be the only way forward. guess Hive/Phantasmal/Neuro hybrid Daughters will have interesting business opportunities at the very least.

>"come to 'design-a-baby today! our prices are the lowest this side of the globe, i hired mercenaries to make sure of it! buy two and the seconds ones half off! by popular demand, mystery box options are back!"
>>
>>3934862
>>(The future of the human race is basically Build-a-Bear but with babies.)

(I like it.)
>>
>>3934862
Okay, fair, what's in smeone's pants is no concern of ours within the timeframe the quest is likely to cover. Yeah, designer babies are going to be huge, though. Even if we do manage to get human reproduction working right again with however we reconstruct humanity, if the technology for designer kids is possible you know it's going to happen. Hell, we're on the edge of that right now in the real world.
>>
>>3934871
>>3934872
>"mom? why do i have three arms and why does my face look like a millipedes?"
>"because we love you but those options were on sale, and you were already getting pretty expensive as it was."

yeah, designer babies will certainly be a thing. whew though, im still wondering how raising children is gonna work. like, will your babies core be pre-set, or will it be a puberty thing and develop later once theres actually something to work off of? will the designer aspects basically make you have full control over what your child will have in that regard? would choosing that basically be forcing who your kid is going to be? damn, now im starting to wonder at the moral implications of that too.

on one hand, stifling the freedom on the next generation to make their own fate. on the other hand, rebuilding has requirements, and im seeing our settlement is sorely in need of more calcite armorers if it has any hope of surviving...
>>
>>3934882
Neuromancers and Flesh Artisans, too. Terrain-shaping, technology-interfacing and Relic-building. Gonna be some of the most important skills for rebuilding civilization. Whoever winds up with those Cores is going to be considered very valuable. Not sure how Cores would be determined in reproducing Daughters, though. Might just be a random roll, might be influenced by what your parents had, might take until later in life so it's appropriately fit to your issues.
>>
>>3934882
>>3934872
And then you get to the discount bargain bin babies...those poor unfortunate souls.

The only unfortunate thing about the rebuilding is that a caste system will inevitably come about as well as any form of discrimination based on the Core type of a person. Not to mention if/when a daughter ascends and manages to stop the Crucible, The core class that they are will be known to all and will likely be seen as "Top tier" in the in-universe meta.

>>3934830
There have been a few...anomalies that have been implied to get in. Like bhop said, it's no perfect system.
>>
>>3934906
>Not to mention if/when a daughter ascends and manages to stop the Crucible, The core class that they are will be known to all and will likely be seen as "Top tier" in the in-universe meta.
Good thing we're doing this as a team with representation of every class type. Though yeah, Hive Mistress probably will have a bit of extra shine to it thanks to Shu.
>>
>>3934918
I think Shus really stolen the spotlight too much for the team aspect to have too much of an impact.
>>
>>3934918
>Hive Mistress (Shu)
>Neuromancer (Gina and Francine)
>Vitruvian/Fibromancer/Generator [triple hybrid] (Rath)
>Skintalker (Amara)
>Flesh Artisan (Julia and Dorian)
>Warforged/Forge Core/Disassociated (November)

If we're talking Core abilities only, we're missing Calcite Armorer and Unnatural Predator.

But popular perception has made Shu in the spotlight instead of expanding the spotlight to everyone else in Shu's family.
>>
>>3934931
honestly i dont think Rath will be seen in the light of a hybrid. really her Generator aspects quite literally and metaphorically blind one to the other aspects of her core. at best maybe Fibromancer will get a call out from her, but probably not. the elemental aspects of her ability steal the show pretty heavily and would almost certainly be what people remember.
>>
>>3934924
The fact that there's Dorian/Julia shipping says to me that there's at least some fandom for the rest of the party. And they'll all be contributing to that final push up the Cord to save mankind, I think that will give some nice footage for the archives showing the entire party being awesome. Yes, Shu will get the brunt of it by virtue of being the leader, but I think that the entire party are going to be seen as exemplars by the post-Crucible society. Julia is not going to know how to handle being so famous and respected, it will be adorable.
>>
>>3934934
eh, thats just not usually how it works. on most occasions even with teams one or maybe two really steal all the fame even if they dont mean to. we're already seeing a pretty heavy focus on Shu overall for sure.
>>
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>>3934154

You continue trudging eastward until your feet carry you and your insufferable shadow to the Playground, a ramshackle assortment of homes in a once-idyllic neighborhood. As you stalk through the abandoned tenements, you pass the collapsed ruins of the church wherein Shu saved the red-head from the titular Puppeteer, a deathly silence now hanging over the town in the absence of life. Picking through one or two of the homes, it’s in the fourth one you search that you finally locate something of value…though certainly not to you.

>>RELIC ACQUIRED - GENERAL GENERATOR’S SUCCULENT SAUCE

“…fucking bullshit.” You mutter, thrusting the bottle of useless sauce into your cloak before carefully creeping over the endless vines of scarlet biomass that choke the home, floor to ceiling. You’re given pause when you’re about to step out over the ruins of the house’s crumbling northern side when the sound of irate voices carries across the shattered streets and withering tenements.

“You just thought you could waltz through my turf?” Snarls a brash young woman in the middle of the street ahead of you, a hybrid weave of crimson threads holding together a thick set of calcite armor over her powerful frame and shielding any distinguishing features from your view. She’s surrounded by what you assume to be her flunkies, given how they hang back, their lack of corruption betraying either an unusual concentration of Vitruvians or a gaggle of under-leveled Daughters. Before them looms…something you can’t quite make sense of, at first.

You take it for an Amalgam, only realizing it’s a Daughter when the thing quietly regards the women before it with an impassive tilt of its head. It’s as though horse and rider were fused into a single entity, the rider’s torso disappearing into its steed’s back in a tangle of oily wires. Its bare flesh vacillates between angry red and charred black, the horse-like part’s head staring straight ahead with sickly yellow orbs, devoid of pupils. The humanoid upper torso is no better, the rider’s chest a gaping cavity with a collection of vertical bloodstained strings stretched taught between throat and navel. A grim, horned calcite mask obscures its visage as it idly plucks at its own strings with long arms that end in tri-jointed fingers, too lengthy by far. You watch as it reaches out with one hand, the flunkies before it tensing as it silently motions towards their leader.

A small, simple wave of its hand, as if to gently usher them aside. Plain, dismissive…and infuriating to the Armorer.

(Loading…)
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>>3935010

The offended Daughter charges with incredible speed, sending shards of pavement flying skyward as she kicks off towards her foe. Even as she moves forward, her armor redoubles in thickness, siphoning biomass from around the environment to turn her into a human wrecking ball, unstoppable force and immovable object, all in one.

You’re as surprised as she is when her foe disappears, reappearing behind the Armorer’s allies as their leader flies to pieces. The clean lines that slice across her armor become clear as she scatters across the street, her thinly-sliced remains leaving innumerable streaks of blood down the calcite avenue where they skid to a gruesome halt. The dead woman’s minions freeze, slowly turning to see the abominable centaur pluck a few mournful chords in her chest with one hand, and reach out with the other, not even bothering to turn as she repeats her little ‘shooing’ motion from before.

The girls scatter, not needing a third warning to flee for their lives.

You remain very still as the unnerving Daughter clops down the street, busying both hands by pinking out a vaguely familiar tune as she continues west at a leisurely pace. You’re about to make your move to skirt around the thing when a flicker of furtive movement down the street catches your eye. Another Joyous creeps along the rooftops, keeping its watchful gaze on the centaur-like being before catching your eye. It clenches one fist while pointing at you with the other, and you’re confused before you realize the Joyous beside you has slipped off its Shawl and is giving her twin the same mirrored gesture. The moment passes, with the far-off Joyous continuing to stalk their target while the closest one slips its Shawl back on, apparently content to keep stalking after you.

You continue east at a quickened pace, eager to put more space between you and whatever the hell that woman had become as your journey takes you to a distantly familiar crossroads. From where you stand atop a gently throbbing mound of flesh, you can see the compound where Shu first met West…or one iteration of her, at least. You can also see the unexplored city far off in the distance, which means that…

…there, within an hour or two’s walking distance, you see it. The campus, the third point equidistant from the lab and city, both.

Your goal’s in sight.

Not too much longer, now.

>>Investigate the lab. It looks abandoned, but if previous experience is any indication then West might’ve left something useful behind.

>>Explore a little of the city while you have the time. The town may have been a bust as far as Relics go, but there’s still time before you finish this.

>>You’re so close. Continue on to your goal, and find what you’re looking for.

>>Write-In

YOU FINALLY HAVE CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next two hours.)
>>
>>3935016
>You’re so close. Continue on to your goal, and find what you’re looking for.
Im not sure what you're after here Sam, but when your goals in sight, go for it.
>>
>>3935010
Seriously Sam? That is still something you can sell or give someone as a piece of an offering/bargain.
>>3935016
>>You’re so close. Continue on to your goal, and find what you’re looking for

Do what you have to do Sam. Maybe it will give you a bit of peace. There is just no reason to run away from your problems any longer. You know how you dealt with things you didn't like. But now it's time to face your problems head on
>>
>>3935010
>Rider of black
>plucking the strings on her chest
That's Nuckelavee. And looks like she's taken to a Corruption totem form of a Horseman of the Apocalypse. Not to mention a popular folklore creature.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuckelavee

>A small, simple wave of its hand, as if to gently usher them aside.
For a Foreign daughter who's taken after a very malevolent folklore creature, she's quite considerate.

>>3935016
>You’re so close. Continue on to your goal, and find what you’re looking for.
>>
>>3935010
Sam, That Onions Sauce is a prized relic for daughters who are into their endgame stage.
>>
>>3935010
>>3935016
And that's Nuckelavee. Sam's running into all sorts of people that we've heard of but not seen, huh? Looks like Nuckelavee is pretty fast. She's doing full-on "nothing personal, kid" flash stepping. That's the goal to aim for, Dorian.

Neat to see the Many we sent to observe her interact with the one trailing Sam. It must be pretty surreal for anyone who notices the Many without knowing what they are, this legion of invisible children, all identical, stalking the fleshscape.

>>Explore a little of the city while you have the time. The town may have been a bust as far as Relics go, but there’s still time before you finish this.
Wait, "time before you finish this"? What are you planning that's so final, Sam? We don't even know what you want back at the college, and now you're talking about finishing things and not having time to do anything afterwards. Are you going to kill yourself? Oh, I'm getting very uncomfortable, now.
>>
>>3935028
The pic even uses the Grimm of the same name from RWBY to represent her.
>>
>>3935034
If she wanted to kill herself she could have let Cassandra purge her.

Maybe she wants to visit the place of her death to try and make peace with her past
>>
>>3935034
I wonder if Amara will have the ability to do a teleport swap with the Joyous Many as a free action like ninja log substitution.
>>
>>3935038
I hope you're right. Because she could also just want to go out on her terms or something like that. I'm probably just overly sensitive to this sort of thing, though.

>>3935040
I think there's an approximately 500% likelihood that that will happen eventually.
>>
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>>3935034
>be newborn daughter, don't know what the hell's going on
>find a little girl somewhere, she starts following me
>barely speaks, feels almost like a zombie or something
>meet robot lady
>she's also being followed by a little girl
>the same little girl, in fact
>
>>
>>3935034
im quite positive shes not planing to off herself. she wouldn't be so interested in Relics or anything if she was. i think shes just talking about her general 'retrace Shus steps' bit. she probably feels like she has unfinished business with the location itself almost, that she wants to put to rest.
>>
>>3935045
Could be.... I also hope I am right. We went through a lot of discussion to give her this second chance. If she wants to due that's in her. We tried at least to give her a shot at a new life. And we could not divert the resources to help her with her psychological problems.

If she just offs herself I would still be angry with her but I would not cry for her.
>>
>>3935051
Yeah. Yeah, you're probably right. I just get a bit twitchy when I see someone who's been experiencing despair talk about finality. Even if I don't like Sam, I don't want her to go out like that. But no, she's got too much spite to live for, I'm sure it will be fine. I hope it will be fine.
>>
>>3935056
hey, worse case scenario, she becomes an interesting stop on the Shu Tour.
>"and here we see both where Shu awoke and Sams robotic corpse. as you can see from the splatter marks of the artificial fluids, Sam chose to end herself with a...."
>>
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>>3935016

When you finally reach the campus, you know the route by heart as you pick your way around the random Daughters that wander through the space, idiotic tourists without context for the suffering you experienced here. They don’t know exactly where it all happened, not quite…and that allows you to find the sickeningly familiar building, go through the shattered doors, up the stairs, and count the doors until you find the room you’re looking for. Down the hall, you see the crater at the end from where Isabelle first discovered her powers, and to your left the door to her old room reveals the filthy remains of her furniture, choked with pulsing veins and steadily thrumming flesh. You step across the threshold, and into the realm of memory.

You remember. You remember the years you spent, locked behind your body’s sightless eyes as you listened to Isabelle’s unceasing vigil. You remember begging, pleading with whatever powers that be to let you just wake up…or sleep…or just DO something. You stare down at the wilted remains of your cocoon as the Joyous takes off its Shawl, and you just ignore the doll as it watches you from beyond the threshold. The door to the bathroom is closed when you try it, locked until your talons pierce through the feeble knob and you force it open, shoving aside the remains of the shattered table and all the useless junk Isabelle threw in here to clear the room for your eventual awakening…only you never did. Not really.

Heedless of the broken glass and jagged metal, you tear through the pile, claws ripping through wood and metal alike in your search. A few times you scar your own legs and cloak with your swipes, so easily does your frame blend in with what’s scattered and crammed into the cramped space as you search for the thing she left behind, the thing that meant nothing to her, and everything to you.

The thing she used to end your life.

You find it, at the very bottom of the collection of pointless, broken shards. The glass is long gone, but as your talons carefully curl around the base of the lava lamp, your fingers catch on the dent it made when Isabelle brought it down on your skull.

Relics.

Items of untold power, suable by flesh and steel, alike. Whether Forged with intent or left behind from ages long past, Relics hold incredible potential…even more so, when they’re things infused with meaning, with feeling.

With memory.

Isabelle tossed it aside so casually, but you know that the act of your first death had to impart something to this lump of metal that irrevocably changed the course of your existence.

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>>3935159

You hold it close, waiting for its power to unfurl before you mind, like with the useless trinkets you’ve picked up on your way here. Maybe it’s a weapon, to grant you the ability to carve your mark on this world and exercise control. Maybe it’s something that can strengthen this feeble shell, giving you the power to withstand those that would rob you of agency. You wait, standing there among the rusted and broken remains of a room that held all the meaning in the world to you and the girl that killed you.

You wait.

You wait.

You wait.

You…

…nothing’s happening.

You readjust you grip on the metal, claws creaking as you wonder what you’re doing wrong. You have to be doing something wrong. This is IMORTANT, this is something that affected you in ways you can barely begin to describe, it…no. No, you just have to wait a little longer, and maybe…

…it has to have meaning. The Crucible had to take notice. The years you spent, trapped in a body that as stolen from you. The loss of power, the loss of control, it had to…it had to mean something. So you wait.

You’re not sure how long you sit there. It’s with no amusement that when you sit down among the trash that’s been stuffed into the miniscule bathroom, you realize that you almost lose track of your own limbs among the detritus and filth. It all looks the same…but still you sit, waiting for…

…a reward?

A point, to everything you went through?

Your grip tightens on the base when you look up to see the Joyous just staring at you, that damnable, unblinking stare just affixed to you in silent judgment. Your hold clenches as you start to scream out at her in fury, and with a creak and pop the thing you hold just shatters. You freeze in horror, staring down at the shards of trash that now rest in your hands.

The base.

Your hands.

It’s just metal and plastic…mistakes and regrets.

Rising unsteadily to your feet, you let the pointless shards clatter to your feet, catching sight of your imperfect reflection in the chipped and faded mirror. You hold your own gaze for a while, the whirring of servos and the subtle click-click-click of your focusing optics the only sounds that answer your unspoken question. When something bumps against your leg, you’re reminded of the Relic you have, the first one you picked up in your journey to this horrible place. Your talons close around the binoculars, and with a glance back to the mirror, you raise them to your artificial eyes.

You look at yourself in the mirror, and you…

…you see your place in the world.

There are no resplendent feelings, no spectrum of bonds made manifest. There are only a few faint, ashen wisps of yearning connection that pathetically twitch, but…they’re fading. They’re all stemming from you, reaching out and trying to find purchase against cold, unfeeling ambivalence.

It’s one-sided.

It’s dying.

(Loading…)
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>>3935161

All your anger, all your rage…it’s pointless. You can feel these tendrils of blame reaching out and holding on to nothing. There’s one for each of them. For Shu, for Gina, for Rath, but there’s nothing in return. There’s even one for Isabelle, the only strand that has an inkling of reciprocation…but even that’s fading, her connection to you suffocating on her end for reasons you can’t fathom.

If you had a body, maybe your throat would be working to hold back the tears you can’t shed. Maybe your stomach would be in knots, maybe you’d feel angry enough to scream, to shout, to rage at the world…but what does the world have to do with any of this?

You feel nothing, nothing but the cold, hard weight of consequence.

You’re angry. You’re hurting.

You’re alone.

…and it’s all your fault.

The arm that holds the binoculars goes limp at your side while you just stare at your reflection, mind numb as the chill of revelation creeps across your trapped consciousness. You had power. You had control. You squandered it, went all-in with a gamble to get more and lost it all. You backed the wrong horse, with people, with time, with everything. Even with your second chance, the proof of your manic and misplaced hopes scattered at your feet with the rest of the forgotten trash.

You’re not the protagonist. You’re not the villain. You’re…nothing. A revenant, ambling along after stupid little trinkets that mean nothing, to no one. Dimly, you become aware of the child now standing beside you, two-tone eyes staring up at you as you regard her in silence.

“What?” You ask weakly, and she just reaches out to tap the binoculars with one finger.

“…you helped.” She says softly.

“Yeah?” You scoff. “What about it?”

“…your choice.” She replies, tapping the Relic once more. “Bond.”

For a long moment you just stand there, finally willing yourself to move as you return to the bathroom and try to open the medicine cabinet, the aged mirror breaking off in your hand and leaving with a sliver of its reflective surface. Silently, you bring the Goggles to your visor with one hand, the shard held in the other as you stare at yourself once more. Ash, wisps, and choking things…but you see something you missed, before.

A weak, tremulous cord of light gold. It’s not from you, not entirely; rather, it’s connected to you by the appreciation of another. The feelings of someone whose life was changed by your control, by your limited power. You wonder what you’d see if you looked at Shu and her family through this gifted Relic. What they have, what they nurture, together? It’s power, forged through choice...and you have no doubt that it would shine brighter than the sun.

The thought makes you ache, in a strange sort of way.

One goal is lost…but another is found, as you stare at the Relic in your hands.

You know what you need to do.

>>Write-In

YOU FINALLY HAVE CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next two hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3935163
Hrm, honestly doesn't feel like q good point to have a write in at at all ill be honest.
So ill just;
>Continue on. You DO have a second chance here. And its time you found out just what you want from it, separate from the past that never did you any good in the first place.
>>
>>3935163
>The girl you helped maybe you can meet her again one day. Until then remember what you have done for her and continue doing it for other people.

>Go out into the fleshscape and try to help people in need. It will be little and the road will be long but you as well can have a new chance. And one day the name Sam will no longer be connected with disgust and pity.

>Until then Continue on your journey. Who knows what the next stepp towards the horizon might reveal
>>
>>3935163
>Hug and headpat the child clone.
>The girl you helped maybe you can meet her again one day. Until then remember what you have done for her and continue doing it for other people.
>Go out into the fleshscape and try to help people in need. It will be little and the road will be long but you as well can have a new chance. And one day the name Sam will no longer be connected with disgust and pity.
>Your journey start, and you'll assert your existence through the lives you'll affect. Hopefully for the better.
>>
>>3935163
>>3935179
Oh, adding in;
>Toss the relic aside.
>Whatever you do going forward, you want to make it visible to the naked eye, not to some trinket. Only then will you know you've finally moved on.

>>3935182
>>3935192
But not these, especially not the hug and headpat.
>>
>>3935163
>"My Choice." you repeat.
>"I could always change my mind and choose to be a better person at any point in time." echo Shu's words.
>Gently pat the FuzzBuzz nestled around your neck.
>Stand up and walk out of the house, leave it behind. The past is the past.
>headpat the Joyous clone.
>Ask the Joyous clone "Are you going to follow me?"
>Regardless of the clone's answer, tell the clone this: "Relay a message through Amara will you? Tell Shu: 'I now know what I want to do to become a better person. Thank you.'"
>Hand the Goggles to the Joyous Clone.
>Go out into the fleshscape to help those in need. You've seen a small glimpse of someone who appreciated you, your actions, your choice. Maybe...if you help enough people, you'll gain more of those threads. And hopefully one day, the name Sam will not be connected with disgust and pity, but with warmth and appreciation. Hopefully one day, you can walk in the open head held high and know what you've done is visible to the naked eye, not to some arcane trinket. Only then you will know you've finally moved on.
>Until then, Continue on your Journey.
>>
>>3935163
I like this one>>3935207 better than my own so will my ammend my vote to support it instead of>>3935182
>>
>>3935207
Yeah no i really don't like this either.
Prefer for what i wrote to either be used or just ignored on this one honestly.
>>
>>3935163
I'm also changing from>>3935192
to>>3935207
>>
>>3935159
>You remember. You remember the years you spent, locked behind your body’s sightless eyes as you listened to Isabelle’s unceasing vigil. You remember begging, pleading with whatever powers that be to let you just wake up…or sleep…or just DO something.
Oh, you were awake the whole time? Well, okay, I guess that makes me think you're less stupid for how you introduced yourself, because you were already crazy. You already had two and a half years of locked-in syndrome, that can't have been good for your rational decision-making.

>>3935163
>>Write-In
>"...who? I didn't help anyone. I guess that girl who gave me these? I did kill that Amalgam. Or maybe the camera lady, when I took a photo for her? Is that all it takes?"
>"I guess I have to find out. I...thanks, kid. You're still creepy, but thank you."
>Head onward. Don't go following the cord, not yet, but get out of here. It's just a painful memory, at this point. Besides, hanging around here is just going to run you into more Shu fangirls.
>Changing takes time and effort. You've had an epiphany, but that doesn't mean you're suddenly going to dedicate your life to doing good deeds. You're just not that person. Not now, maybe not ever. But the next time you encounter people, you're going to actually talk to them. Not just try to take advantage, have a real conversation where you treat them as ends in their own right, not merely means. Probably won't lead to anything substantial, but you've got to try.
>You've been afraid for a long time, so terrified of being vulnerable that it lead you to hurt everyone around you. Fear has ruled you, brought you to this lowest state, and if you're going to get out of it you have to stop letting it drive you. Take responsibility for your actions, engage with people honestly, and start making the decisions you need to have a better life. It's going to be hard, but you're determined to make it work.
>You are in control.

Yeah, I got overly dramatic there, but I wanted to give a bit of an upbeat mood for Sam. This is the actual start of her journey to self-actualization, let's let her walk off feeling something positive.
>>
>>3935164
oh hey, i found a horrible set of images that made me think 'is this what the crucible would be like if it was food dishes'?

https://imgur.com/gallery/pehuoHY
truly, reality can be more horrible than the imagination.
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>>3935226
All in all, I'd rather eat a twisted abomination with too many eyes.
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>>3935231
without a damn doubt. why, why is so much of it jello based?!
>>
am >>3935207 on mobile at work.

changing my vote>>3935207 and amending it to support >>3935222 with willingness to merge the two ideas together in a composite write-in.
>>
>>3935240
forgot to link post to >>3935163
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>>3935238
A quick googling says that it was actually part of a push on the part of Kraft Foods to repopularize Jell-o in the face of declining sales as the Baby Boomers grew up. Huh. Well, good to know that this was an artificial thing and not a genuine trend.
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>>3935243
well, explains some of it for sure, but not all of it. still though, does help a bit.
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>>3935163
Ammednign my vote >>3935209
slightly to ask OP to try and fuse >>3935207 and>>3935222
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>>3935163
>>3935179
i still dont like it at all, but its the least of bad choices, so ill change to support
>>3935222
by itself.
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>>3935163

"My Choice." You murmur, letting the concept sink in for a long moment before you move again.

You have a choice to make. You have the power to do two very different things.

You can keep doing what you've done all your life...

...or you can take a page out of someone else's book.

Wordlessly, you exit the room, not looking back as you make your way back down the stairs and out into the main courtyard, your footsteps shadowed by the child that quietly follows behind you.

"You gonna keep following me, kid?" You ask, not bothering to turn around as you come to a stop, staring up at the crimson sky.

“…no.” Comes her faint reply, and you just nod while you search your coat for something you’d tossed in there, earlier.

In the process of retrieving the Succulent Sauce, your hand grazes something you’d forgotten about; a thing hastily stuffed away, whether out of spite or as a reminder of who granted you a second chance, you’re not quite sure. You pull the Relic and the FuzzBuzz scarf out from the recesses of your cloak, wrapping the latter around your neck and pulling your hood back up over it as you turn to face the Joyous behind you.

“Shu said this thing would keep me company, if I was…upset, or whatever.” You say, tugging lightly at the scarf as you hold both Relics in one hand. “‘To remind you that you can always be a better person, and that you are always in control’, she said.”

The child takes a step back when you thrust out your hand, and just cocks her head when it becomes apparent what you’re offering.

“Take ‘em.” You say with a voxel-distorted sigh, shaking your hand a little as Goggles rattle against the Sauce. “Both of ‘em…and a message, if you’re up for talking.”

The Joyous steps forward, cradling both Relics in her small hands before looking up at you intently.

“Tell Shu, through Amara, 'I know what I want to do to become a better person…thanks.'" You request, kneeling down to bring you eye-level with the little girl. She just watches you with that dead-fish stare for a long second before she…

It’s your turn to flinch back when the Joyous practically leaps forward, throwing her arms around your neck and catching you completely off-guard. You just kneel there, quite uncertain what to do as she pats your back mechanically before giving you a little space, which you use to rise to your full height.

“I, uh...thanks, kid.” You say, with some hesitation. “You're still creepy, but thanks."

She just gives you a thumb’s up, at that.

After mulling it over for a moment you tentatively reach out, patting the Joyous’ head awkwardly…and she seems to enjoy it, much to your surprise. Well, if watching through Shu’s eyes has taught you anything, it’s that you can’t go wrong with head pats.

Then, with one last little nod, the Joyous dons her Shawl once more and disappears, leaving you alone to make a choice…the first of many, you hope.

(Loading…)
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>>3935328

You resolve to head onward, far away from here. You’re not heading to the Cord, but lingering here just serves as a painful memory at this point…and you don’t want to have any more awkward conversations with the plethora of Shu fan-girls that are stalking the grounds. Change…it take time. It takes effort. You've had an epiphany, but that doesn't mean you're suddenly going to dedicate your life to doing good deeds. Screw that. You're just not that person. Not now, maybe not ever. But the next time you encounter people, you're going to actually talk to them. Not just try to take advantage, but…try to have a real conversation where you treat them as ends in their own right, not merely means. Probably won't lead to anything substantial, but you've got to try.

After all, you’ve seen a small glimpse of someone who appreciated you, your actions, and your choice. Maybe...if you help enough people, you'll gain more of those threads. And hopefully one day, your name won’t be reviled. Maybe you can disconnect it from disgust and pity, and hopefully…connect it to something better, at least.

Control, power…it’s a bitter revelation that you realize your pursuit of these things had their root in a primal sort of fear. It’s hit you that you've been afraid for so long, so terrified of being vulnerable that it lead you to hurt everyone around you. Fear has ruled you, brought you to this lowest state and dragged everyone around you down, too. You have to take responsibility for your actions, engage with people honestly, and start making the decisions you need to have a better life…God, you sound just like one of Shu’s saccharine pep-talks.

If you could make a face, you would.

You know this is gonna suck…but you gotta have hope that it’ll give you the sort of power and control that matters. Shu has both, thanks to the path she’s chosen, the kind that comes from not being alone. Defiance, stubbornness. Two sides of the same coin, really, and it’s something you share with the girl that’s walking around and doing more good with your body than you ever did when you were at the helm. You know it's going to be hard. You’ve got a crummy frame. You’ve got a shitty reputation. You…just gave away your relics.

Fuck, that was kind of stupid, now that you think about it. Goddamnit, you could’ve traded them for…no. Nope. It was a gesture of good will, to show everyone you’re trying to be different. No take-backs.

You hope that little weirdo gets Shu and her family the message. You hope she knows that you’re going to try something a little different than you’re used to by taking a page out of her book, for once. Making your mark and turning things to the better is going to take effort, but you're determined to make it work.

And you WILL make it work. After all…it’s like Shu said.

You are in control.

>>Sam Interlude: End
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. The next interlude was tied between Alpha and West Tau, so due to die roll I’ll be running Alpha’s rather short and goofy interlude first by starting on Monday, November 25th at 9:00AM, and then starting Tau’s after that wraps. Sam’s intermission was by far the longest of them, so in a way it’s good to have it done first before moving on to the others.)

(Now, on to some relevant information for both the Intermission Chapters; as you may have suspected, each of the side stories have the involvement of at least one Joyous if it occurs in the Waking World, meaning that the course of events depicted in each side story will be valid information for the party to know and act on, after re-capping with Amara post-Laoc. In addition, the odd item or Relic obtained will be added to the pool of rewards you’ll gain access to after things happen in Laoc, since Amara’s power to locate secrets throughout the Fleshscape has had a run of good luck as of late, and it’s fun to work that into the fiction. Thus, the following Relics will be added to the Version 6 Relic sheet, after events transpire at Laoc.

>>Shalaev’s Shawl x 1

>>General Generator’s Succulent Sauce x 1

>>Shipping Goggles x 1

(Finally, taking some time between now and Monday will let me catch up on IRL holiday prep in addition to devoting any writing time I have to tweaking the Relic sheet and making it look a bit nicer, while also addressing any other issues you bring to my attention between now and then. I do hope your day has gone well, and thank you again so much for your time, participation, and input, as always.)
>>
>>3935330
I am kinda oddly proud of Sam that she managed to figure this out and is willing to attempt to pull it through. You dont have to be ashamed of that 3 Intelligence. Just take more time to come to a conclusion after looking at all the facts you have
>>3935339
Nice looking forward to it.

had a good day and i will now head to bed.

So OP and all the Anons. Have a good night and take care
>>
>>3935330
Good luck, Sam. I mean it. You were kind of awful, but I look forward to seeing you try not to be. Or not seeing it, we probably won't interact with you again for a while. But it's still nice to know it's happening, somewhere out there.

>>3935339
Thanks for running, BHOP. This was a really good Interlude, and even if it's not one I voted for I'm glad it happened. Really looking forward to the next one.

>Now, on to some relevant information for both the Intermission Chapters; as you may have suspected, each of the side stories have the involvement of at least one Joyous if it occurs in the Waking World, meaning that the course of events depicted in each side story will be valid information for the party to know and act on, after re-capping with Amara post-Laoc.
Oh, that's cool. Nice to have more information on the goings-on of the Crucible. Going to be very valuable, once the party gets the chance to go over the info. Especially the West Tau Interlude. Unless that's in the Dreamscape, I suppose.

>>Shalaev’s Shawl x 1
Oh, the Many actually found another one instead of it just copying off of Amara's, I did not realize that. Huh. I wonder who's cranking these out? We're probably not too far from Purdue, did Shalaev himself get into the Crucible on a glitch and is continuing his work?
>>
>>3935343
(Sleep well, Anon.)
>>
>>3935330
>You…just gave away your relics.
>Fuck, that was kind of stupid, now that you think about it.
Poor Sam. In retrospect we just made her have another 3 int moment. On the other hand, I think the vote was only to give the Goggles, not the Sauce, so it might partially be on her rather than all on us.
>>
>>3935368
It was low Int but I think that having a symbolic moment of growth makes it count as high Wis. Which is what she really needs.
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>>3935330
...eh, its an ending to a story alright.

>>3935339
Oh, well... Not a fan of that honestly. Hrm, if i had known that BHOP id have voted for entirely different stories if i had not just shot the idea down alltogether honestly.
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>>3935330
Fuck, I'm glad after all this time, you finally get a bit of redemption. Oh you retard, It could have been so much better than this, but still, at least you've found a way to carry on with some hope instead of clinging on to the past until your death.

Good luck. You're gonna need It.
>>
>>3935330
Back from work. Well that's lovely to see Sam's resolve and grow a little wiser after realizing the meaning of having "power" and "control". That 3 INT moment tho...I find that endearing somehow.

For some strange reason, I'm starting to find Sam endearing due to the fact that she suffers from having 3 INT on her char sheet and has the potential to make her 'idiot moments' look either adorable or intimidating which brings out a different side of Sam's character. >>3935356

>>3935356
>We're probably not too far from Purdue, did Shalaev himself get into the Crucible on a glitch and is continuing his work?
Are you saying it's Purdue Uni?
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>>3933490
>>3933489
pic related.
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>>3935633
That uhh, that alien looks quite like something different in the thumbnail...
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>>3935735
that's giger's knack no doubt about that. giger was a strange man.
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>>3935339
Bhop. I have a question regarding the layout of Laoc.

From what information provided:
>Colors churn, ozone burns, and you suddenly find yourself looking up at the high marbled walls of Laoc, the scarlet sky overhead casting its organic hue across the imposing calcite structure. Julia and Dorian lead the way, and you chance a look behind you as you realize the town is situated at the top of a hill, overlooking a valley of pustule-covered dips and curves in the skin of the land's contours...an easily-defensible position, you note.

>What you assumed to be sewer drains lining the streets at regular intervals prove to be vents, keeping the thick, humid air of the Fleshscape at bay and providing a gentle breeze that follows you as you stride along the calcite paths.

>"The market quarter is to your right, down two streets and up a third." Dorian explains, bold confidence coloring his tone despite having only been here a matter of minutes before you interrupted his date with Julia. "Straight ahead is the town hall and tavern, where you'll likely find the Mayor. To the right is the library, and-"

>You’re admiring the layout of the place when the street opens into a large plaza, a spire in the center of the space looming above all present […] the myriad of multicolored lights trailing from the top of the central spire to the rooftops lining the square

>You both freeze when a door on the left-hand side of the alley you’re in explodes outwards as two women are flung bodily into the opposite wall to your right.

So let me get this straight:
Town's a circular walled settlement, with grates for ventilation and a cross-breeze, the town hall is in the center of the town (for town-wide broadcasting) with the Tavern right next to the Town hall.
The Market and the Library are on the right side of town? Or is the Library on the left side?
So then where's Ruth's shop and the town plaza (where we found Lara) located?
And where did Dorian and Julia run off to on their date?
>>
>>3935755
(I'm not near my notes at current, but in advance of the 35th Vein I'll post a description of the city layout and the resources available to you to aid in planning for the Laoc situation.)
>>
>>3935763
incoming bamboozle.
>>
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Also. I just thought of a relic idea, pic related:
>MR.BONES BLOCKADE BALL (consumable): A classic relic known by its name, this relic is composed of a mishmash of human skulls melded together in a tight ball the size of a softball. The skulls on the ball unnervingly rattle when shaken. To use, the daughter must infuse bio into the relic, wait 3 seconds, then throw the relic. Upon detonation, the Relic explodes into an army of skeleton constructs (10% bio per skeleton) that amble about and do their best to grapple and hold down the closest daughter they can find. The skeletons themselves are fairly weak individually but they provide a small yet crucial in aiding a daughter's escape or even provide a small buffer of protection. As an alternate function if the daugher by shakes the relic 5 times within the 3 second timer before throwing the relic, the relic instead expands into a giant rolling ball of skeletons that automatically grapples anything within close range (costs 100/200/300/500% bio for Small/Medium/Large/X-Large size ball. Small size = 1 rook) upon detonation.

Rate this relic.
>>
>GIFT STICK; What first is nothing but a crooked, twisted bit of wood, handed down with unassuming love and companionship, one after another, quickly transforms. But for each pair of hands in which it passes by, the Stick changes, shifts, and grows. Taking on small, unique changes based upon who last held it and why it was passed on, so long as deep, sincere meaning was behind the action, the stick slowly grows into a work of art, beating with the hum of a strength and power only possible though that strength one does not wield for themselves alone. What this relic may do or what its limits are… none could truly guess, but if ones willing to pass it on, someday, someone in need will find out, and know what the strength of bonds can truly accomplish.

Sorry this is honestly a pretty shitty and useless relic, but Im honestly just trying to distract myself. turns out 2019 thought losing one Grandpa just wasn't enough, and to say the least im not sure im getting back to bed tonight. sorry, venting, im an ass, just ignore this.
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>>3935770
is that name based off Mr Bones Wild Ride?
but basically, it stops the ride?
seems interesting. was expecting more of a wall than flood from the title, but it has its uses for sure.
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>>3935777
Yup. Although, if you threw the relic and had it expand into Skeleton ball mode (instead of instant skeleton army) on an incline...then Mr. Bone's Wild Ride will definitely be servicing and taking passengers.
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>>3935781
truly, Mr Bones Wild Ride is its own form of Crucible, a thing not even planet eaters can put a stop to.
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>>3935787
until the passenger decides to destroy the skeleton ball. the skeletons are fragile after all, and it's in a world of superpowered cannibal lesbians and a few good men, so destroying it isn't that hard. It'll be just rather annoying if you get caught by the relic be it skeleton army or skeleton ball.
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>>3935787
>>3935777
>>3935770
(...I have to admit that Mr. Bones' Wild Ride is basically one of my favorite things, so I really appreciate this Relic.)

>>3935772
(Hey,I'm sorry you're having to deal with so much right now. I think it's a clever Relic, and you're not an ass for venting. I know it'll be an uphill battle through all you're going through, but you're strong, Anon. I wish you the best, truly.)
>>
>>3935800
something for you in relation to Mr. Bones
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2DFD713FC2236822
>>
>>3935792
>>3935800
...now i want to see a Crucible theme park, where the Daughter who built it and runs it made everything seem sketchy and terrifying even by Crucible standards... but she is 100% legit just wanting to run a theme park to bring some joy to the Crucible and is just utterly oblivious to how her ideas and behavior looks off of paper.

>"COME ON DOWN TO SIX FLAGS OVER DAMNATION! ADMISSION IS FREE!"
>"....does that roller coast over there start by firing out of a giant cannon ad into the MAw of that giant, chained up Amalgam?"
>"Yes? Oh, dont worry, its perfectly safe, hes been de-organed and de-acidified! no bodily melting, mutilation, or consumption guaranteed! not responsible for any spittle that splashes you on the way in or out though, but theres free towels at the end!"
>Daughter watches as everyone backs away slowly.
>"...why does no one want to ride any of my rides... i spent so much time making them..."

>>3935800
thanks. and thanks for the effort you put into this quest. I know it might not make any sense, but having something like this has helped alot this year, and despite alot of things, it does mean something to me.
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>>3935812
poor girl. save that idea for post-crucible times.
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>>3935819
yeah, would be better saved for after, though we both know she would hardly be the only Daughter to jump the gun like that on an idea.
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>>3935755

(Now, on to the layout of Laoc and the resources available to you;)

(Laoc is indeed a circular walled city, divided into four quarters; North, South, East, and West, with the Town Hall in the dead center of Laoc, where you are now.)

(The Eastern Quarter is the first one you entered into, and it houses many vendors and their assorted wares.)

(The Northern Quarter is where the higher-class wares can be found, in addition to the Library.)

(The Western Quarter has a variety of homes and 'restaurants', which are really just tasting parlors for various delicacies and novelty food items. It's here where Julia and Dorian have found themselves during the Hunger outbreak.)

(Finally, the Southern Quarter is the upper-class neighborhood, with some of Laoc's most exemplary architecture can be found. It's here where you met both Lara and the Mayor, and the Mayor is currently engaged with some of the Hunger-mad Daughters there.)

(Speaking of which; there are enemy Daughters in every quarter, and the longer you delay in suppressing panic, the more rapidly others will succumb to stress and fall to the Hunger themselves.)

(In the face of this daunting task, you have access to the Town Hall's broadcast tower, which can transmit a Neuromancer, Skintalker, or Phantasmal Conduit's power city-wide thanks to the Relic installation high above the Tavern. Additionally, despite few of them being capable fighters, a number of the townspeople will be banding together to help push back their maddened former friends. The denizens' resilience is partly why the Apocalypse-Class Amalgam's field didn't trigger more Hunger checks...they're just that tough.)

(Now, if you have any questions the I'll be happy to answer them tomorrow morning, so please link them to this post so that I can address them a quickly as possible come morning.)

(With that, I shall be heading off to bed. I wish everyone a time of rest and relaxation if you can manage it, and thank you again for being the best group of players I could ever ask for. You're fantastic, Gentlemen.)

>>3935812
(Thank you for the effort you put into the community and the character sheets, as well as your own writings. And what you said makes a lot of since. I've made no secret of how much fiction helped me through the hardest points in my life, so even if my own writing has it's ups and downs, the fact that it can do for others what other have done for me is absolutely worth it. Thanks again for everything you do; it means a great deal to me, and I know it means a lot to everyone present, too.)
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>>3935846
hrm, besides even an inkling of an estimation of numbers of Towns and Mad Daughters in each area, which i understand IC might not make sense to know, i cannot think of any questions.

oh wait, there is one. does the town tower MAKE things an AOE effect, or only enhance its effects if it is one?

regardless, have a wonderful night BHOP.

and thanks, and back at ya. I know i dont pull my punches and that can be hard to take at times, but also know i wouldn't still be here if it wasn't out of respect and admiration for you and the story aswell.

>>3935812
huh... i did just think of a potentially sad twist to it, though unsure if it would perhaps making an already slightly sad idea too sad. but to fit the Mr Bones theme, what if her theme park was designed to try and make it hard to leave, but she was doing it out of a desperate want to not have those she can convince to come in to not have to face the horrors of the Fleshscape and just enjoy what fun she can provide instead?
>>
>>3935846

bhop thank you for providing such a wonderful quest. hearing this input makes me happy that my efforts in enriching the community (through flash fiction, thread archival, relic-crafting and some very witty write-ins) are greatly appreciated. This quest is what's kept me going and stable as something to look forward to throughout work and the year as well. To tell you the truth, I see a bit of Sam reflected in me in that interlude. She's just...relatable in a way.


>>3935867
I'm not really sure I told you this but I want to say this since the mood is right: Thank you for doing your share anon. In my stead, you've become the committed anon that's present in every vein as the first to put down a plan when I'm absent and at work. I appreciate your dedication and investment, as well as the effort you go through in maintaining the character sheet as well as collaborating with other anons.

And thank you for being a great 'verbal' sparring partner. I never realized how much I appreciate your presence. I feel like you're the go-to anon that consistently provides feedback to bounce and refine some of my zany ideas off of.

Working on Carter's Story, slow going, but I've made some progress. It's mostly just putting in some 'key dialogue' moments on a storyboard before I can fill out on the action. And it's shaping up to be something of a thriller story.
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>>3935885
thanks, and same back at you. we may not always get along perfectly but i appreciate the discussion and commitment from you and others aswell.

looking forward to that story, and of course take your time. im sure it'll be a fun one for sure.
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>>3935772
I'm sorry to hear you've been having a rough time, man. For what it's worth, if you want to talk I'll probably be up for a while, too. Sleep schedule is kind of messed up, lately, fall asleep early and wake up in the middle of the night. So, you know, if there's anything I can do to help distract you just ask. You're a decent bloke, I don't want your night to be shitty.

>>3935846
>In the face of this daunting task, you have access to the Town Hall's broadcast tower, which can transmit a Neuromancer, Skintalker, or Phantasmal Conduit's power city-wide thanks to the Relic installation high above the Tavern.
Damn, Amara got that new calm-down field at the exact right time, huh?
>>
>>3935978
If we didn't have Amara's lvl 8 Lexicon, we would've had to settle for Gina using herTerraforming to cordon off the hunger frenzied daughters.
>>
>>3935980
Or an OMA GRA SUTH, but that probably wouldn't be as effective as the new field. But yeah, quarantining the berserkers would be one of the better options we had. Probably should still do something along those lines, actually. Get everyone who can be rescued calm and then use terraforming to facilitate their evacuating the area.
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>>3935978
thanks, it means something for you to offer, but ill be fine. Just having this stuff to talk about helps and is enough.

>>3935980
>>3935984
Thankfully, with Amara we can both use the tower and go and give support to all the groups we can. Will also help us figure out where really needs our help and hopefully help coordinate solidifying the towns actions.

Only issue i can think personally, is we may not need to keep everyone with Shu in a single team, but no offense to those currently with her, but especially with any team needing someone who can help the townsfolk keep their mental state together, not just be a warrior to help them, the only two i would trust to lead a second team are already cut off from us.
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>>3935902
>>3935995
oh, and of course, am this Anon not home, for obvious reasons. No Idea when ill be home so I.D. could be sporadic for possibly days.
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>>3935995
Okay. Well, like I said, whatever I can do to help.

Yeah, Joyous Many is going to be very useful here. Broadcast the calming field from the tower, while individual Amaras go around town reassuring any Daughters still having trouble.

As for team comp, I'm thinking we could put Gina in charge of another team. Coordinate between the two using the Crimson Cord. Gina is decent at making people calm and relaxed when she's not wrapped up in her self-worth issues, I think she could manage it. Especially if she has a few Amaras to help.

I'm more worried about the unknowns in this fight. We've got Magpie and Lara here, and we're not really familiar with their abilities. We've got better knowledge of Mapgie, the sniping and crow-bombs and teleportation, but I definitely think she's got a lot of tricks that we've never seen yet and also now these Relic guns. And Lara we don't know at all, aside from making a few guesses at moth concepts. Figuring out how to deploy them will be tricky.
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>>3936018
I guess Gina might work.

And i mean, im more worried about the layout of the enemy vs allies in the town personally. It would help sure to know both their limits but im positive BHOP will give us a minor rundown and will be far from useless.

I mean, Lara can fly. Its not always as useful as people think, but here at least i think it'll help alot.
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>>3936022
Yeah, finding the hot points is going to be tricky. Thank god we've got so many different forms of enhanced senses and scouting methods in this party. We should be able to pick out the best place to start without too much trouble.

Lara flying can help, but it depends on what else she's capable of. If she can do that sedative moth wing-dust trick then she is golden for this. I hope she can.
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>>3936031
Hopefully people wont take that the wrong way heh.
>Friend just went insane.
>Is trying to eat you.
>Having to fight her to the death.
>Suddenly giant moth girl falls from the sky, vision going hazy from whatever drug dust is coming off her wings, as she whispers
>"Shhh, it'll all be ok soon..."
>Fight urge to scream in confusion and fear as your world goes dark.
>>
>>3936037
>>3936031
Given that Lara can fly, I can't help but think a good way to maximize the Moth&Magpie team is to have Gina Terraform the town to be an open yet isolated field by removing the roofs on the buildings and isolating the frenzied daughters, allowing Magpie and Lara to go full AC-130 air strike bombardment. As for mobility issues, I think having Shu scatter her swarm to serve as mobile flying grappling hook points for Rath, Dorian, Holly, and Shu would work wonders. However I do want to keep Holly close since she's in a Spirit Shell. I can't particularly trust their durability given that know its durability limits having fought Zahira before.
>>
>>3936044
Im thinking the towns too big for that to work, especially for how costly terraforming is.

Also, the spiritus durability issues were really just because Dorian had specific and heavy anti-construct abilities. Though yeah that is a risk someone will have that, but so far to the level he has it it seems pretty rare.
>>
>>3936037
Ah, true. What she needs is some sort of variable-effect dust, that calms allies but outright incapacitates hostiles. That's definitely something possible for Daughter abilities, but she probably doesn't have it.

>>3936044
Removing all the roofs might be too big a terraforming to enact, even with the broadcaster. It also wouldn't help for anyone in a building with more than one floor. But yeah, it's a possibility. Maybe just terraform line of sight for any place we know that berserk Daughters are in, knock out walls instead

I don't think that setting up grappling points will be particularly needed, though. We're in a town, there are plenty of buildings to grapple off of. Definitely agree on keeping Holly close, though. If we split into teams, she's on ours.
>>
>>3935772
>>3935846
Oh, and mind if i ask what tier this one would be? Its an odd one so unsure where it falls.
>>
(Magpie and Lara are going to give you a brief rundown of their abilities at the start of the next Vein, but I'll quickly summarize below;)

>>Lara: Despite her fragile appearance, Lara's shell and wings are incredibly durable, and her HEALTH capacity is quite high, being an Unnatural Predator. Her melee attacks deal potent slashing and piercing damage, while attacks against her have a chance to proc a blast of dust from her wings, afflicting the foe with a coating of chaff-like dust that has a chance to blind them, foil any extrasensory abilities they may possess, and renders them incredibly vulnerable to flame-based attacks. In fact, Lara may scatter a large cloud of this exceedingly flammable material over a wide area, subsequently flaring an incredibly bright light from her luminous eyes and reflecting the beam wildly off her dust, allowing her a massive AOE chance to blind her foes with a high rate of success. She may also flare her eyes in melee range as part of a follow-up attack to give her the edge in a skirmish. No mid-to-long range damage abilities to speak of, as most of her kit allows her to close the gap and inflict devastating melee wounds. Finally, her surplus of limbs coupled with her surprising strength allows her to easily carry up to two normal-sized allies during flight, with a third being capable at the cost of use of her upper arms.)

>>Magpie: if the single rifle and odd assortment of Relics at her disposal were Magpie at her least serious, the raven-haired woman’s current Loadout is her playing hardball. Her long, reinforced jacket grants her moderate protection against all elemental damage types, while the living necklace she has tucked into her shirt grants her a heightened chance to avoid critical hits and allow her a counter-attack on dodge. Meanwhile, the Heaven’s Guns are a sextet of devastating firearms that offer a ballistic solution for nearly every problem, though with an unfortunate drawback. Where’s Magpie’s concerned, violence isn’t a solution - It’s the question…and the answer is ‘yes’.

(Continued)
>>
>>3936371

-Magpie’s Arsenal-

>>Scylla & Charybdis (Twin M1911 Semi-auto pistols): ELEC-infused pistols that have the ability to generate a powerful magnetic pull between targets shot with their rounds, pulling them together and allowing Magpie to follow up with…

>>Lupara (Sawed-off Double Barrel Shotgun): The devastating buckshot delivered from each barrel deals catastrophically potent piercing and slashing damage, with the blade-like flechettes igniting furiously if left within a living target at the end of the round.

>> Strelitzia (FN P90): A curious weapon for a curious woman, the Strelitzia fires a cascade of alternating elemental rounds, ensuring that any elemental weakness her foes possesses is capitalized upon. Additionally, any elemental weakness hit while firing the Strelitzia automatically notifies the wielder of their foe’s vulnerabilities, making follow-up hits from other elemental damage sources (belonging to Magpie or her allies) much more powerful.

>>Red Dahlia (Pfeifer-Zeliska .600 Nitro Express Revolver): The second-most powerful weapon in Magpie’s arsenal, a single shot from the Dahlia is fully capable of knocking even large Amalgams and targets flat regardless of their ability to resist being stunned or knocked prone. Additionally, the creeping ACIDIC properties of the round spread through the target’s body, dealing unparalleled damage over time. However, this obscenely powerful weapon can only be fired once per round, rendering it a situational, if lethal tool.

>>Alex’s Mercy (Mosin-Nagant):, The crown jewel of Magpie’s arsenal is a thing of unrivaled damage potential, easily capable of piercing through the toughest of armors…even that of the living fortress, Marrow Dragoon. It is a simple thing, optimized for sheer, simple piercing damage, with untold amounts of biomass and sacrifice invested in its creation to ensure that even a single shot fired from this most terrible of weapons is enough to end any threat Magpie encounters across the Fleshscape. A single shot, a swift death…it’s a gift of mercy, in a world gone mad.

>>3935867
(It makes whatever's sent through it an AOE ability, as long as it's one of the three aforementioned ability types.)

>>3936156
(I would say Tier One, but depending on how/if it changes the more hands it passes through, then that may be variable.)
>>
>>3936376
So we could make Amaras Calm spell cover the entire city if we get her up there? Thenh that shoudl be a big priority to do while we make sure the hunger mad daughters dont do more damage and kill too many people
>>
>>3936415
we should also have Amara make her ninja clone army to act as a support force in the frenzy suppression.
>>
>>3936415
(You could, yes.)

(...and I'm only *slightly* irritated that you unlocked it literally last minute. I'm kid, as it's no a perfect solution, but I'm more just immensely amused at the timing of it all.)
>>
>>3936417
Oh definetly maybe have her create as many clones as possible while she and maybe Lara fly over the city to get to the Tower. So she can drop a replicating army while on the move
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>>3936420
I am not just talking about her holistic Lexicon power but a Skintalker Spell to bring a certain calm over teh city so those that are not yet hunger mad wont become hunger mad. I think that Spell would probably be: OMA THA GRA SUTH (ALL allies greater Calm)
I think that would be roughly it. Could all the daughters in the city be classified as allies since they will be fighting to stop the spread of the hugner madness(all the daughters that are not hunger mad at least)
>>
>>3936420
the timing and coincidence.

>tfw Bhop was banking on that one anon's distaste for Lexicon's apparent lack of utility
>sets up an encounter in town to spice things up in anticipation of having Shu/anons make difficult decisions
>anons suddenly remember Lexicon exists as a level up option and decide to put a point into Lexicon which unlocks the thing that eases the difficulty level.

>bhop's fw
>>
>>3936424
(Yes, it would be doable as all sane Daughters in the city can be classified as allies, since they'd do their best to assist you with whatever you're doing if you request their aid.)
>>
>>3936371
Okay, so ablative chaff moth dust was the right guess, nice. Also a potential fuel-air bomb, so if we're breaking into teams Lara should have Rath or November in her group. Decent mobility, defense and attack, too. No ranged aside from the blinding beam, but that's fine, those two have good ranged options. Hey, can the chaff cloud reflect and amplify other blinding attacks, too? Because if we're pairing her with November, a Kaiser Flare added to the mix would be handy.

>>3936376
Alright, nice guns. A lot of versatility and crowd control effects as well as sheer damage, great additions to her power set. I'm a bit confused as to what the drawback is supposed to be. Is it the "violence isn't a solution, it's a question with an affirmative answer" bit? Like, she can't not use violence when they're equipped, and has to resort to hostile conflict resolution?

>>3936421
They don't have to fly over the city, the broadcaster is above us. Lara flying her up would speed things considerably, but she's not going to get coverage over the area. Probably best to have her deploy some Many before they head up, have them start multiplying and dispersing while she's working. Each Many makes two clones then heads out, we'll get exponentially more Amaras pouring out of the tavern every turn.
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>>3936430
How about we air-drop the multiplying Amara clones like paratroopers? Keep one Amara clone in the Moth-plane and have consistently multiply then drop down into a district as Lara does a complete circle sweep of the town passing over each district.
>>
>>3936430
The Kaiser flare would probably set the dust off, or Rath just being close to it would do so as well.

>>3936430
I was jsut thinking tahat maybe Amara could make a couple clones while Lara is carrying her up there and deploy them via dropping them down. Though that would probably start killing them very quickly.

So maybe have her start her replication in the Bar and spend all ehrh acts on it before Lara carries her out and up the tower. maybe Shu and her swarm could do so as well..... hmmm possibilities possibilities, endless possibilities indeed. It should probably still be Lara to carry her up and mybe bring a clone with her to multiply and drop all around the city... That could work as well as >>3936441 pointed out
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>>3936441
Yeah, that could work. I don't think we should literally drop them, though. Have Lara plant them on roofs, they'll be drained of Health from replicating and we don't want them to die from the fall damage. Having dozens of melting dead little girls everywhere will not help the stability of the Daughters in Laoc.

>>3936443
>The Kaiser flare would probably set the dust off, or Rath just being close to it would do so as well.
Would it? Kaiser Flare is more about light than heat. Maybe it's a hot enough light, though. Fair point on Rath, she doesn't burn allies but she might still set off environmental effects early. Okay, pair Lara with November, she can detonate the dust-bombs from range with her guns.
>>
>>3936443
>>3936430
But here's the big question: How do we divide and conquer?

We've got 5 major locations:
>North: Library, No notable fighters located.
>South: Neighborhood and Plaza, The Mayor is located there.
>East: Vendors and Market district
>West: Restaurant District, Julia and Dorian are located there.
>Center: Town Hall, no notable fighters.

Our current available fighters:
>Shu
>Gina
>Rath
>November
>Holly
>Francine
>Magpie
>Lara
>Amara
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>>3936455
Well, we're in the Center, so we'll probably take out any berserk Daughters here along the way to the other zones. So we can cross that off the list, functionally, we have to handle it before we can do anything else. Then I'd say that the question is whether we should head straight to South and West to reinforce the fighters currently there before sweeping through to North and East, or if we should go North and East first to have a rapid response against any rampaging Hunger-mad there. The first prevents us from overextending ourselves, the second gives us the potential to help more people.
>>
>>3936455
I wouldhazard a guess that the East with its vendors and market is probably the fullest at all hours. So there are likely the most victims are going to be located

So we shoudl probably send in Shu, Holly, several Amara Clones and Francine to try and help out there.

The Middle will soon be flooded by Amara and an Army of clones(it hinkt he tower was located there) and Amara can help out with citywide buffs/debuffs as well if she uses the amplifier

The North isd wehre i would like to send Gina, Magpie, Rath and some Amara clones to try and control the situationt here

And Lara and November could help out in the West and come to the help of Dorian and Julia since they will liekly have the most difficulty to talk down many of the daughters

>>3936454
The Kaiser Flare is blinding searing light so there is probably heat in it. I would hope that it is not enough to set off the dust but we can not know until we were to try it.

>>3936465
I think the East and the west will havce the most potential victims and will be in need of the most assitance. The mayor can handle herself but many inhabitants of Laoc are not fighters as OP pointed out so they definetly need our help to keep loses to a minimum
>>
>>3936465
>>3936469
The Amara Ninja Squad could serve as a stop gap defense buffer for the districts that have hunger mad daughters but no notable fighters, provided the clones spend 2 acts making 2 clones in 1 round before spawning a Katana and suicide charging the frenzied daughters with some of them hanging back to serve a calming field effect.

Not to mention the sight of an army of cute ninja catgirls showing up with adorable katanas to defend the townsfolk would look badass.
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>>3936469
Yeah, East is market, West is residential, there are probably the most vulnerable Daughters there. You're right, we should prioritize those districts. I'm not entirely sold on splitting up into so many groups, but with an Amara swarm assisting it might be viable. Though if we're going to leave Amara at the broadcast tower, we should also give Lara a Rook to take up with her to keep watch. If anything goes wrong I want to be able to tele-swap to Amara immediately.

>>3936476
Walls of Queen Crimson, too. A perimeter of Joyous Many with Queen Crimson active can keep back hostiles fairly effectively and even reflect ranged attacks.
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>>3936490
>>3936476
It was a first measure i thought about that would require us to split a lot.

We could concentrate ont he East and West and send a swarm of Amaras to help the Mayor deal with the daughters around her. Though i can imagine her to be quite capable. To hold together a community requires a tremendous amount of strength and at leat some charisma even if she said she is not sure why the people made her Mayor. There is still soemthing in her that makes people want to follow her or at least willign to listen to her that goes beyond raw strength.

We will need to split to help as many as possible. What would be you guys proposal for a split?
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>>3936497
>>3936490
Dorian and Julia are in the West District. The Fastest Couple can easily secure the district and deal with the Frenzied daughters, but they need to link up with us in Communications. There's also the issue that Dorian's got the terror field and his abilities could easily set off another chain reaction of Hunger.

The Southern District has the Mayor which could use some support. A platoon of Amara clones would give her a support force to help defend the townsfolk that the Mayor has to defend. The Mayor can't go all out unless the townsfolk are ensured protection.

Which leaves us the Northern District, Eastern District, and Town Hall with a distinct lack of fighters on-station to stem the chaos.

Leaving for work in 30 min.
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>>3936497
I'm not sure. I think I might have misread your plan and thought we were splitting into more groups than we are. I suppose three groups is alright, though like I said if we're leaving Amara at the tower I'd want to leave a Rook with her. Just in case. I'm sure that...can't remember her name, the bartender...will keep out anyone trying to get up through the building, but maybe there are other flyers around and she'll need help dealing with them.

>>3936510
I think Dorian's fear aura won't be harmful, it doesn't affect allies. He can always turn it off if he's worried. Another thing to consider with them is that Dorian can spawn his own pretty powerful constructs, I'd hope he'd make a few Siblings and Matrons before headed out.

As for supporting the Mayor, definitely send a bunch of Amaras her way. I'm thinking that Amara's first act should be to make six clones. Each gets the exponential doubling started, then heads out to assist. Subsequent generations will do the same, so you get twice as many clones leaving the tavern each turns. We'll send one sixth of the output with each team, then a half to reinforce the Mayor. She'll get three Many, then six, twelve, twenty-four, etc. That should make things easier for her.
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>>3936534
I'm still of the opinion that we should have Lara do a fly-around and air-drop Amara squads. that way the districts that don't have a standing fighter will have at least a self-multiplying army of daughter constructs.

Although I do have to say, it's putting considerable mental strain on Amara prime herself. We'll have dedicate some serious alone-time with her.
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>>3936539
Well the clones get smarter the more there are. So they can mostly govern themselves and should not require to much in the turn of direction if they are jsut supposed to protect peopel and keep anyone going mad contained. But sure we can dedicate some more alone time with her when we get back home.(or we go on a real shopping spree with her)


>>3936534
Yeah keeping a rook there should be doable. We shoudl also give one too lara tigether with a Jackling to establish communciation and movement options with our Artists
>>3936534
>>3936539
Just a random thought or when this is over and the city secured
And if we help Laoc mayorly we could also have them help us protect the Ant Queen and her Cohorts by making sure that people know that messing weith that amalgam is gonna bring down some HUGE names upon their heads.

I think i will go and take a bath now so if i post it will be most likely form my phone and not that detailed of a reply..... I just need a bit of relaxation after a super boring day at work
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>>3936376
oh? Relics can actually be classified as a higher Tier eventually than they were built as? thats neat, though i was more asking what Tier you would build it as, but that answers the question anyhow, thanks.

>>3936371
>>3936376
ohhh.... BHOP, you heard me say 'theres not enough guns for this being America', and decided to do the writers equivalent of chugging a six pack, didn't you? i love it. im sorry Lara, your stuffs great too, but my inner /k/ sees those guns and it just steals the show.

>we can make any Neuromancer ability AOE
oh... OH!
well im not sure its the opening move, but if we use it right, well, Gina can fully stun an enemy with her Neuromancy....

>>3936441
>>3936539
I dont think that would work, or be necessary. we're already in the center of town, with access to all the districts. while the towns big, its less an issue of getting anywhere, and more whatever we send somewhere is probably gonna basically be 'locked' to that position for a good while, and that we dont actually know what we need to send where. whatever clones we spawn wont really have trouble getting anywhere, and it would honestly be a waste of a party member in my opinion to dedicate to that. maybe if Amara wasn't so clearly suited to staying at the tower, but she will be, so she'll already be in a central enough location to just send out new Clones wherever they are needed.

>>3936443
that depends, as the Kaiser doesn't do damage, but if you look, the same eye beam that reflects off the dust also blinds at close range. technically, her eye beams ARE a kaiser flare, just shorter range, so it may work, it just wouldn't be any more potent possibly than a regular kaiser flare, as it wouldn't be increasing the range like hers needs the dust to do.

>>3936455
>>3936469
>>3936465
we'll need to actually scout quickly or get an IC rundown of where our characters think/know things are going down. until then, too much speculation that could change in an instant once we get the actual scenario, including on teams if we're lucky enough to scrape together info on opponent types.

>>3936476
>>3936497
>>3936490
the issue is Clones cannot spawn further Clones the Round they are spawned. it might be too far gone to actually get a strong Clone army up, as the balls already rolling, and Joyous works best if we have prep time. best we can really do is have Amara spawn a number for each area based off how many we hear they seem to need(after initial scouts), and hope the area has enough to hold together til we can get them aid.

>>3936510
Dorian should be able to at least control those effects on allies and otherwise should be smart enough to not set them off if they would. BHOP has said before auto-proc abilities can be turned off, so he should be good, if its even an issue.

>>3936558
oh, Rooks. shame we cant teleport allies, but sending a Rook to each district would be helpful yeah. even just Shu having easy access to in person communication and quick reaction would help
>>
>>3937015
Also, if the Gift Stick can raise in base Relic Tier, then thats an interesting work around to specific forge limits. also makes me wonder if things like the Sui's technically count as higher Tier now, or will once at their final level.
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>>3937015
>well im not sure its the opening move, but if we use it right, well, Gina can fully stun an enemy with her Neuromancy....
Actually, while we're at it, Gina can also puppeteer allies that are making Death Saving Throws and pilot them out of danger while also absorbing any damage they take. That last part could easily overwhelm her, but being able to move those in serious danger could be very useful. Or, if we're getting to count hybrids as well as pure Neuromancy, Shu could attach Dominus Bloodlines to everyone in town to drain Health from the Hunger-mad and boost the regen of the civilians. Or have Francine drain all the enemies while healing all the allies. That might not work, though, the Humoral and Fibrous aspects might not work with the broadcaster.

>the issue is Clones cannot spawn further Clones the Round they are spawned. it might be too far gone to actually get a strong Clone army up, as the balls already rolling, and Joyous works best if we have prep time. best we can really do is have Amara spawn a number for each area based off how many we hear they seem to need(after initial scouts), and hope the area has enough to hold together til we can get them aid.
Maybe. But if we start with a decent population on turn one, even with the need to delay one turn we could get a large group going. We're likely to spend at least one turn just clearing out the issues here in the Central district before moving out, time to get the multiplication train rolling. I'm less concerned with an immediate overwhelming wave so much as a constant stream of clones that just keep escalating. So two entering each district on the first turn they're active, four the next, then eight, sixteen, etc. Continuous reinforcements, mounting over time. It's not perfect, but for what's essentially free after the first turn of investment I think it would be worth it. Have Amara spawn six clones on turn one before heading up to the tower, three of them go with the teams, while the other three start the train.
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>>3937115
yeah, need to see if its pure abilities or if hybrids work.

for the clones, i think people forget too often it still costs the clones part of their very limited health and bio pools to spawn more, and they cannot regain either unlike a daughter. over burdening the clone network will just result in alot of clones with nothing to actually spend and that kill themselves off too quickly. we also dont know the situation or how viable that really is. relying on them to have time or room to split once inside each district just sounds like a really good way to gt one area overwhelmed and lost, in relation to the clones at least.
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>>3937122
>for the clones, i think people forget too often it still costs the clones part of their very limited health and bio pools to spawn more, and they cannot regain either unlike a daughter
I'm not. I'm just talking exponential doubling. Making two new clones leaves the clones with 90% Health and 60% Bio. Which, yes, is fragile, but 150% Health is still kind of fragile in the current meta. Bio is worse, but still enough to spawn a blade, fire a single shot of Oxygenic Artillery, or cast a decent spell. And Queen Crimson consumes Health, not Bio, 20% a round so they can keep up a defensive screen for four rounds. The clones are still pretty decent, the trick is to focus on their disposable nature and not care if they expire. They're munitions, not combatants.

> relying on them to have time or room to split once inside each district just sounds like a really good way to gt one area overwhelmed and lost, in relation to the clones at least.
Ah, I think that might be where we're getting a disagreement going. I'm not talking about spawning them inside the district. I'm proposing that they spawn in the Central district after we've cleared it out and then moves to the other districts. Each clone spawns two more clones the moment it's able and then heads out. Yes, it means that they'll trickle in instead of a suddenly-appearing swarm, but it will be a constant flow that grows over time. Each turn twice as many Amaras will enter the scene as did the turn before. I think that could be pretty effective.
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>>3937143
eh, we'll see, but im not sold on the idea. feels like too many gaps in the idea that might serve our efforts better if the resources were used differently.
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>>3937157
It doesn't require that much resource investment. A starting population of four clones is only 120% Health and 80% Bio, below Amara's regeneration rate. So she makes them turn one before Lara flies her up to the broadcaster, and from there on the clones provide their own resources for multiplication.
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>>3937175
yes, but we may not have the wiggle room to have her hold back that much or try for a trickle strategy. we might have to just assign a clump of what clones we can and hold nothing back. we really dont know, and it easily could be a district by district basis. trying for a trickle strategy could easily just be too slow, with whatever we can throw right away being better than hoping eventually we'll have enough numbers to matter.

especially with us not knowing how long it'll take to even secure a beachead in the first place.
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>>3937180
Well, the clones are just going to be there for assisting the actual parties, so I don't think we'll need an immediate clone rush. The Daughters we send to those locations should be able to establish that beachhead. But you're right, if we don't have time to get the reproduction loop up we might have to have Amara just spawn as many as she can (forty-four, if we want to leave her enough Bio to flare the calm field) and send them off.
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>>3937143
>They're munitions, not combatants.
actually, wasn't that a massive point of contention in the past, that many anons didn't want to treat them as disposable? might be hard to sell then, if enough still view it like that.

>>3937234
will depend on how much we split up the party at all too. really hoping we can get some good scouting done quickly, way too many unknown variables for my liking.
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>>3937265
>>3937234
I think we seem to be forgetting an important factor here:
Shu and Francine are Hive Mistresses. Shu can spawn up to 45 slots worth of Swarmlings of varying classes, and Francine can summon a large school of Ancient fish. If Amara prime is with the party, Shu can spawn up to 54 as a temporary cap. If we bring out all of the swarmlings and send them out on active combat duty, our force projection is multiplied ten-fold.
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>>3933303
I swear this GM writes faster than I can catch up...
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>>3937311
(Gotta go fast.)
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>>3937311
you've got about a week at least to make some progress, as this is just side stories.

>>3937307
i have not been ignoring that at all, simply not the topic thats really been on the table and i guess i just assumed that was implied.
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>>3937015
Regarding the clone duplication issue. I have to say that if we start with a big population like 30 Clones that wont really be an issue.

Exponential Growth with such a large base will see the city flooded with clones in about 10 turns. if every clone has one turn cooldown before they can spawn we can make them replicate in the second turn to have a total of 60 clones that can reproduce while 30 clones head out. On the fourth round we would have 120 clones in there which can replicate leaving us with 240 Joyous Many....... 6.th round 240 head out while 480 stay to replicate. 10th turn..... 980 can go and replicate before leavign to join the fight.

Now if Amara starts spawing liek 4 every round as well that number will snowball even harder

I am sorry to say but they are Ammuniton Imperial Guard Style

We also dont have to sacrifice them even if they have little to no BIO/HEALTH remaining they can still help to drag people to safety ar sacrifice themselves to tunr leathal blows aside.

>>3937122
>>3937143
I think if we start with a BIG population that problem will resolve itself.....
Though we should ask Amara to do it only if she is willing and not just to please us if she is doing it. We will have to take into account that she will be feeling the pain of every dying clone.

>>3937307
They will be doing a lot of the scouting yes and Francine can just keep on spawning more fish as long as her BIO will hold out. So if we tag her with a BIO boosting Dominus she would be able to spawn a lot of shit very quickly.(Francine has no limit on her Hive Mistress Constructs)

I dont think we need Amara prime with Shus party Because that would mean either putting Shu on overwatch mode inside the tower while her talents would be much better use in the streets to help control mad daughters. Or it would mean pulling Amara away from the tower where her talents would be the most usefull(spreading a calm Aura and/or casting citywide buffs and debuffs.)
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>>3937637
well another issue is the clones cannot do anything else really if the replicate, due to their extremely small ACT pool. we really cannot rely on having that big of a pool if we wish to actually put them to use too.
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>>3937686
First round: they are spawned and can not generate new clones. They move out to better replication points to not overcrowd the bar we are currently in
second round : They spend one Act to create two new clones and then leave with their remaining act to help out in the city.

Easy replication and pretty much limitless numebrs as long as we keep on spreadign them out during the turn where they can not duplicate

We will have to clean the center of town out anyway so that would be a stbale place to start replicating massive numbers. And if we did not care to keep them alive we could duplicate them even more by drainign them dry and increase the speed of reproduction. tradign in short term supply for long term Army.

I think the variant where we spawn like thirty of them and have them start duplicating is quickly gonna help as many people as possible since we will have after two turns generated more clones than Amra could alone(with the first duplication wave.)

They only need one act to replicate so they still have one act to move or attack with and the cloens in the center of where we plan to spawn them wont be of much use either until they are in position. that however goes for all our party memebers.
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>>3937686
That's why the constant stream works better than trying to produce a swarm within each district. Their replication will be in a centralized location away from the combat, so the fact that they'll only have one ACT let on the turn they spawn the next generation won't matter.
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>>3937698
Dont think that would work, they would just wind up too drained to help like said before.

>>3937699
Eh, maybe. Feels like neither is a good balance in my opinion. Ill just hold off til i actually know what is what, as neither extreme being pit forth really sounds all that viable to me.
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>>3937710
Their passives can still help to keep people calm and their presence woudl be appreciated by people as well since they are still a pair of hands to help even if their reserves are low and they cant do much more than stand around and keep watch for anything that might become a problem.

After the first turn it will also be pretty much automated and not require anything much in the way of rescources and oversight by us. The clones are smart enough to be able to formulate their own basic deployment plans

While they may be to drained to help with big flashy spelly they could still cast small spells and help out for several rounds before they are used up and reduced to nothing mreo than what they can do wtih their own streength. Which can be tremendous if we take into account that the Joyous receive buffs the more there are of them(at least for the current round so they will be recieving temporary buffs every second round)

But we have to face it in a large scale deployment the Joyous are nothing more than Guardsmen.

The daughters are the spacemarines that can kill them by the dozen but can be brought down by weight of numbers of the Joyous eventually. That is why we need a lot of them Otherwise we will quickly loose them again and again puttign a massive burden on Amara to replicate new ones instead of doing actually productive things
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>>3937143
>>3937710
If we're going to utilize the Joyous Many in the future and get more mileage out of them, we're gonna have to use the Kadath process to upgrade the Hollow Clone component of the Joyous Many.
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>>3937847
maybe, but that also depends on what it gives us and how that interacts with the hybrid, as if a contention does happen, the hybrid supersedes the old. though im not sure it would give anything to fix the issue that the ability is built in a way where its mileage will probably always bee hampered if you dont have time beforehand or turns to burn.
>>
>>3936427
BHOP, how does Ignition lv.5 interact with the controlled-detonation boils of Boils Lv.3?

Ignition says 'teleport at the end of the arc', so does that mean she actually has a pretty limited window to teleport? I read that originally as more of it saying(of course) she had to activate the teleport before it detonated, but i am unsure actually. could she stick the controlled-detonation Boils around and teleport to them later, or would her ability to teleport to them wear off after they stick to something or after a round or something?
>>
>>3938599
(I admit the wordings a bit funky, but it was meant to work as a teleport beacon, essentially. Once you declare a bomb to be one that she can teleport to, then Rath can emerge from it freely. The ambiguous wording was a holdover from an older ability that didn't take your current augments into consideration. Thus, in its current state it's quite versatile.)
>>
>>3938702
oh, alright neat. thanks for the reply.
well looks like we can setup Rath to be able to get around the town pretty quickly too then, without needing Tensile. not sure if it'll actually be needed but without a doubt it does us no harm to have the option.
>>
(Also, I'd like to just drop by to point out that it's custom for Joyous to greet each other via Spiderman meme, as the two did earlier in Sam's Interlude.)

(That is all.)
>>
>>3938950
i mean, how else would they greet?
tried my best, but best i could really do given the only picture of her there is
>>
>>3938950
>>3939126
...How did I not realize that's what they were doing?
>>
>>3938950
>Another Joyous creeps along the rooftops, keeping its watchful gaze on the centaur-like being before catching your eye. It clenches one fist while pointing at you with the other, and you’re confused before you realize the Joyous beside you has slipped off its Shawl and is giving her twin the same mirrored gesture.

Goddamnit, I just got the reference. That is amazing and I love it.
>>
>>3938950
but here's the real question: which clone pointed first?
>>
>>3936376
also
>Fleshscape Mosin-Nagant
not only all of my want, but i feel theres a joke here about both how durable those rifles are and how there will never not be one in service somewhere.
>>
>>3939800
that could be a trait passed onto the next crucible if this one gets reset:
>ETERNAL SERVICE: A weapon in the shape of a strange rifle of unknown make. it is always in service and in the hands of a daughter who can use it. Once picked up, it refuses to be discarded.
>>
>>3939817
>yuo see Ivan, when it comes to glorious Nagant, Rifle is of wields yuo, not yuo the rifle!
>>
(I do hope everyone had a good weekend; Alpha/'A's Interlude will open tomorrow morning at 9:00AM, Eastern time.)
>>
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Your name is…

Your name is…shoot, hold on.

You’ve got this one, you just…dang it.

You have a name. It’s not ‘Alpha’. You’re sure it’s not, since it’s not even true. I mean, you’ve met the First to Wake, and she’s a…

…a.

Ah!

"'A'! My name is 'A'!" You declare happily, pivoting on your heel to face the girl behind you while the azure flames roar angrily around you. She just stares out at you from beneath her messy auburn hair, brown eyes wide in disbelief at what she's seeing, the ruins of the city stretching long before her gaze. Reaching out, you dust the soot from her night shirt and pajama pants as your flames just dance in her eyes, reflected just as well off them as they are off the shattered glass that remains in the buildings you're surrounded by.

"How...how did you do that?" She breathes, unblinking and uncertain of what she just witnessed. "The ground opened up and...and the girl that attacked me, she..."

"Make a girl a fire, she warm for a day." You reply sagely. "Set a girl on fire, she warm for rest of life!"

The young woman begins to mouth something, something that's lost to the crackling fires as the cobalt blue lights begin to die down to reveal the annihilated city blocks before you. She turns to you in a daze, stunned silent in the face of the madness that's erupted around her.

"...Is this a dream?" She finally asks, eyes searching yours for some sort of meaning.

"It's magic, I ain't gotta explain shit!" You answer with a smile, grabbing her by the hand as you turn, walking to...you're walking to...

...dang it.

You're fairly certain this place was called the Mirrored Hall, but you can't quite recall why you were here. Well, let's backtrack. That always works pretty well. So, you use power. You break up fight. You see hungry girl fighting brown-haired girl. You come here. You walk. You tell Defiant where bad-tasting worm is. Very nice. Very pretty. You meet Defiant. REAL SHIT. You sleep. You...you come to forest. You walk. You walk. You walk. You walk. You walk you walk you walk you walk you walk youwalkyouwalkyouwalkyouwalkyoufightifightfightfightfightfightfightfightyou...

You're on your knees, the ground beneath you throbbing with the pulse of an abominable existence. Tears stopped cascading down your cheeks half an hour ago, and for that time you're just been staring out at the primordial cesspool of biomass that you once called your home. At the sound of heavy footfalls behind you, you turn...and you see her, for the first time. Daughter of Daughters. The First to Wake. All titles she would hold, as her actions passed into legend even in her own time. Those that spoke them would go mad, or perish, but she...she will never stop.

...'What's your name?' She intones, staring down at you with those deep, endless...

(Deunitnoc)
>>
>>3941049

"What's your name?" You ask, staring into the girl's deep brown eyes as you tuck a lock of your untidy blonde hair behind one ear.

"A...Aimee." She says, her body trembling. You reach out, grabbing her by the shoulders to stop the shakes.

"World is very spook right now, Aimee." You say, trying to get the spelling right as your mind curls around the letters she spoke, letters your brain picks apart as the girl's title flits before your eyes. "Too spook for me, even. I am very strong, and still things in world are scary. For you, they are stronger spook. Three spooky, five me. One step spookier."

"I...I don't..." She mutters, shaking her head as confusion floods her mind.

"You need friend. Many friend, and strong." You say, clapping both your palms against her cheeks, watching as she flinches at the light double-pap. "You come with me. I keep you safe. I find you friend. Good?"

Her wide eyes search yours questioningly, glancing about you at the ruins of what must have once been her home. She's new. New to all this like you were, once. You had someone there to hold your hand, to lead you until you could stand on your own. You won't leave her. Not until she's safe. Not even if she fights, if she runs, if she goes...

...You're not leaving her side, until you're sure she's okay.

You're not Alpha.

So! You have options. If you're here in the Mirrored Hall, then...oof, you need to get moving or else Scudder's going to be out for your head. You could totally beat her, but that's not the point. It's the principle of the thing. You came into someone else's home and used your powers on half their place, reducing it to ash. You don't even like fighting. You can't do small stuff anymore, and whenever you fight your head gets all fuzzy and your thoughts get all fuzzed-up. You're not a huge fan of the fuzz. Fuzz. Funny word. Fuzzier. FuzzBuzz. Hot Fuzz. Fuzzy-fizz-fuzz.

Heh.

...what were you thinking?

...

So! You have options. There are a trio of places nearby where you could bring Aimee where you can be reasonably sure she'll be able to survive the Crucible until it's finished. And it'll be finished. Lucky sevens, and all that. The Mother of All will...um...

Huh.

So! You have options. You're weighing them as the girl you have by the hand is just staring at you, waiting for you to lead her like you said you would. Your thoughts get jumbled kind of easily, so now that you think of it, a list would really come in handy to sort of hash out your options.

Oh, here we go.

>>The House of the Rising Sun's a good place.

>>The Ikean Fortress, home of the cozy lady.

>>Swing by Hephaestus' workshop. She owes you a favor.

AND!

>>Explain a little about the world to her, to set her mind at ease.

>>Detail how Daughters and classes work.

>>Ask her a little about herself, and share some of your...some of...some...ask her a little about herself! Can't go wrong with that.

>>Write-In

YOU CAN'T (NOT) HAVE CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voing shall remain open for the next three hours.)
>>
>>3941050

>>Swing by Hephaestus' workshop. She owes you a favor.

Seems like an interesting place and if she owes A a favor all the better to get this girl on her feet
>>Explain a little about the world to her, to set her mind at ease.
Girl needs to know basic shit and I kinda hope A will slip up a bit and a joyous be close by so we can use it.
>>
>>3941049
>Daughter of Daughters. The First to Wake. All titles she would hold, as her actions passed into legend even in her own time. Those that spoke them would go mad, or perish, but she...she will never stop.
Huh. So the first Daughter isn't just special by virtue of having had the most time to level, there's something else weird about her. I'm guessing she's either the dodeca-hybrid or the null, then.

>>3941050
>You can't do small stuff anymore, and whenever you fight your head gets all fuzzy and your thoughts get all fuzzed-up.
I wonder if A made a Neurotic/Generator hybrid and is suffering from the backlash. She terraformed a pit of hellfire around the Daughter who attacked Aimee, so it's either Neurotic/Generator or Flesh Artisan/Generator, and A's brain being fried could be a result of backlash focused more on the Neurotic side (mental damage) than the Generator side (hit self with blast). Maybe she's so loopy as a result of long-term effects of repeated use.

>You're not a huge fan of the fuzz. Fuzz. Funny word. Fuzzier. FuzzBuzz. Hot Fuzz. Fuzzy-fizz-fuzz.
>FuzzBuzz
What happened to the non-fuzzy swarmling she took with her? Is ShellBuzz doing alright?

>>The Ikean Fortress, home of the cozy lady.
Yes, show me the post-apocalyptic Ikea.

>>Explain a little about the world to her, to set her mind at ease.
I very much want to hear the mind-addled explanation of "so, a godlike alien has mutated everything into monsters and is forcing us to commit cannibalism". I doubt it will set Aimee's mind at ease at all, but it will be amusing and either way she needs to hear it.
>>
>>3941050
>Give yourself a headpat once you come to a decision.
>>
>>3941063
I wonder what's the mental equivalent of a massage for A's brain?
>>
>>3941050
bah, always with starting it later or earlier then i expect BHOP.

>>The Ikean Fortress, home of the cozy lady.
im just imaging a bunch of swedish girls running a fleshscape ikea shop/fortress and... yeah lets see that

>>Ask her a little about herself, and share some of your...some of...some...ask her a little about herself! Can't go wrong with that.
>>
>>3941049
damn 'A' you-
>'A'
....you did that because that looks like an emote, didn't you BHOP?

ANYWAYS, damn 'A', you terrifying. we should totally meme-talk back to her next we meet, totally pretending we know what the fuck is going on while not knowing at all.
>>
>>3941082
I'm willing to bet Fortress Ikea is also mobile.
>>
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>>3941086
maybe. i mean, if its Ikean, then it should be pretty easy to take down and put back up again i suppose.
>>
>>3941086
Well, sure. All you need is an Allen wrench and you can take it apart for easy transport.
>>
>>3941051
oh, and speaking of Ikea, not super fleshy, but somewhat related and you might enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vcq1lLCgk7E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiB-dlLTUUQ
>>
>>3941092
(Oh, I love this story. Absolutely fantastic.)

>>3941085
(Also, I...I didn't even realize that.)
>>
>>3941092
>>3941097

I made a relic befitting of a daughter whose mad obsession to kill the Omni-hybrid daughter and the [Null] Daughter has resulted in this creation.

>Keystone Knife (T-1/5 Relic): A worn stiletto with a broken blade, sharpened into a makeshift point. A subpar weapon in and of itself, its power is exceedingly lethal for its true target: The Omni-hybrid daughter. Upon finding its target’s back, the knife drives a crippling splinter into her core ability and devolves the Omni-hybrid back into its individual components. (Mechanically, deletes stats bonuses and abilities of omni-hybrid ability tree, reduces and locks all component abilities at level 1,bans daughter from making hybrid abilities. Debuff is permanent once applied.) A keystone Army, an Achilles Heel, and a knife in the dark to bring a demigod down to mortality.

>Space-time Shiv (T-1/5 Relic): A shiv made of Tinadalian flesh and bone. The shiv flickers in and out of space, a paradoxical weapon, meant to anchor a paradoxical Null daughter: it's true target. Upon finding the target's flesh, it REMOVES the Core ability from the daughter and SEALS it into the Space-time Shiv, the Twin paradoxes canceling each other out and stabilizing the Core ability within the Relic, turning the Space Time Shiv into the DIMENSIONAL DAGGER.

>Dimensional Dagger (T-5 Relic): Twin Paradoxes made stable, Schrodinger's knife weaponized. The Daughter that wields this knife may travel to any location on the battlefield with a free action. Sneak attack bonuses are always applied to the wielder's attacks ,and the daughter may choose one incoming ability/ACT to completely negate per round as a free action.

rate these relics. Feedback would be welcome.

ForgeMistress's Notes: I wanted to theorycraft relics that was designed for a specific singular target in mind ever since the prison daughters were let out of their cage. I wasn't sure on the true limits of T-5 relics that have single target abilities that target a specific person, and thought the omni-hybrid daughter and the Null daughter were appropriate targets for T-5 Relics due to how broken the daughters themselves are. At first I opted for simply having the relics DELETE their targets from existence as a one-hit-kill weapon, but felt that would be way too cheap and negates the rewards that would've been gained from defeating them the hard way, so I opted for something less lethal but still had doubts on the effectiveness of T-5 single-target relics. The "T-1/5" label is to show it's a T-1 relic (near useless) when not used on its intended target and T-5 when it is used on its intended target due to the conditions of the relics' power.
>>
>>3941140
They feel a bit too binary. These Relics cripple their targets so thoroughly that the fight is functionally over once you manage to hand the hit. You still have to struggle past whatever defenses they have, but once you do it's over. I think it would be kind of boring to actually use. Something better would be to have them negate the targets' abilities to a lesser extent just from being around them, make them more vulnerable, so that they're less "weapons that kill these targets" and more "weapons that enable the user to kill these targets". Though something like that would require us knowing more about their abilities. We can make some decent guesses about Everything and Null, but we don't really know what they do.
>>
>>3941140
eh, these feel way way too powerful and Im both unsure you could build a relic for a specific target, as you would need to know exactly how that person functions to do that id argue, over just standard traits of the crucible to go for.

also just not at all a fan of that type of stuff at all too.
>>
>>3941161
>>3941168
thanks for the input. It was a good exercise for me, since your criticisms say a lot about relic power and balance. Time to toss the relics into the Artisan Appetite bin.
>>
>>3941173
actually the very last one isnt bad. it feels like it needs a cost for the wielder to be balanced, but the base concept is perfectly fine.
>>
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>>3941050

“So, much to say about world, now. I give you lekcja” You begin, dragging the beleaguered girl by the hand as you make your way in the direction of the Ikean Fortress.

Hopefully.

“Basically alien virus ‘nom’ed planet, and only girls are left.” You begin, giving yourself a little head-pat by way of congratulation on a smart move. “Is like Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball, but if it had freaky baby with Dead Space. You follow?”

“Um…no?” She offers.

“Good. Now, everyone has powers, and mission to get to Colorado, which is now giant noodle to sky. First to climb wins game, except not really. Is Catch-22. Don’t climb Cord.” You continue sagely, glancing back at the bewildered young woman.

“O-okay? So where are we-?”

“I take you to grand Ikean Fortress, where you will not have to fight. Good people. Great tea. Much cozy. No cannibals. Wow.” You answer with a grin, one that fades when you’re suddenly trying to tug on something that’s not giving. Turning around, you see Aimee frozen behind you, eyes wide.

“What?” She whispers, shaking her head slightly.

“Oh, sorry. Yes, when alien ate world, it made everybody have to eat each other to stay in control.” You explain, taking her other hand in yours as her brow knits in denial. “There are also monster, but world is running out of those, so soon only source of food will be other volleyball players. Like girl that try to bite you, back there.”

“You know ‘I can haz cheezburger’? Is like that, but onions green is people…sorry. Spoilers.” You add with a shrug, confused when Aimee collapses once more to her knees, her hands slipping out of yours..

“This has to be a dream. Please, I have to be dreaming.” She whimpers, tears beginning to stream down her face.

“Everything you’ve said is…awful. That…that girl that attacked me, she…she had the Hunger?” Aimee asks, shivering as you kneel next to her. “Oh my God…oh my God, that’s horrible. She couldn’t help herself, and then she…she didn’t have a choice, did she? That’s…oh God.”

“Oh, yes. Yes, Hunger sucks. Very, very much.” You admit, reaching to your side to retrieve something you hope might make her feel better. You thrust the swarmling into her arms, watching as she just stares at it for a long moment, her tears tapping against its glossy green shell. “Is not all bad, though. Good people out there, not just who I take you to. There is very nice girl out there, girl who made that cuddle-bug. She made it to show she wished to be friend. You are nice person, so I take you somewhere safe.”

“We keep walking?” You propose, and after a long moment Aimee nods, allowing you to help her rise.

“Okay.” She sniffs, wiping her eyes with her knuckles. “Okay, I…ow! Wha-?”

The back of her hand is bleeding, a thin flesh marred by a thinner line that begins to weep scarlet.

(Nieprzerwany)
>>
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>>3941219

Aimee reaches up to her face with her bleeding hand, the other clinging to the Swarmling like a life preserver. The shine on her tear-stained cheeks refracts the eternal dusk above, the sharpened crystalline lines that now cling to her face having sprung a series of glistening barbs.

“Ha! You very lucky!” You cheer, grabbing the Aimee’s hand as you use your own shirt to gently dab at her bleeding skin. “You Humoral Paladin! Very strong, very versatile!”

Aimee’s in awe as she tugs at the slender crystal, pulling it free of her face with a gentle ‘snap’ as she marvels at the light that dances within the sad, translucent gem.

“I can…weaponize my tears?” She muses aloud, finally looking up at you when you nod emphatically.

“Yes, so go cry, emo kid!” You encourage her, and to your pleasant surprise Aimee chuckles weakly at your words. Standing, you offer your hand to her, watching as she tosses the crystal aside, taking your hand while still keeping a deathgrip on the swarmling tucked under one arm.

“If it weren’t for the whole end-of-the-world thing, then this would be pretty rad.” Aimee mutters behind you, both of you making haste as your bare feet help you pick your way across the exposes platforms of calcite in the midst of a rolling plain of twitching muscle and taught skin. “So…so if I can do this, then is what you did back there your power?

Power.

Your power is...

“Your Vitruvian power’s incredible.” Alpha intones, looming over you in a dim and dusty memory. “You could very well be the key to saving this world, @/!(J@.”

You believed her.

You trusted her, as so many did.

As so many do, even now.

Her fingerprints are a maker’s mark on the madness that threatens to consume those that don’t deserve the yoke of suffering she’s placed upon their unwitting shoulders.

Your power was unbreakable.

You weren’t.

“I have Generator-Neuromancy mix!” You reply with a smile, holding your happy grin as you blaze a trail forwards with bare foot on warm bone. “Terrforming, then demolition! Like Bob the Builder in reverse, but with more fire.”

“I…I think I get it.” Aimee lies, her voice uncertain. “Kind of like Minecraft?”

“Yes!” You exclaim, proud of the rapidity of her understanding. “Like Minecaft, but with…”

“Blood and skin and fire. Yeah, I…I’m catching on to that.” She sighs. Continuing to trudge along, Aimee falls silent as the two of you finally settle into a sort of rhythm as you dance over the false cobblestones. A series of hills lie before you, and beyond them loom an intimidating array of jagged tree-like structures, stretching ever-skyward with angular limbs and blackened fingers.

Beyond them lies the Ikean Fortress…

…but behind you walks a girl that needs a distraction.

>>Explain Daughter classes.

>>Ask Aimee about herself.

>>Tell her more about nice people that are still alive.

>>Write-In

YOU CAN'T (NOT) HAVE CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, Gentlemen. Apologies for the bamboozle, I realized I left out an important clarifying word.)
>>
>>3941229
She has an interestign powerset. I would like to see what she can do in time with those.

>“Your power’s incredible.” Alpha intones, looming over you in a dim and dusty memory. “You…you could very well be the key to saving this world, @/!(J@.”

Interseting who is this Alpha...... She is someone people believe in.. COuld she be Mara...... Mara was awake for a long time but so long?

>>3941229
>>Tell her more about nice people that are still alive.

She does notz need to hear about the classes she can get filled in on those later. Hearign of people that are nice and can help her. one day she might need it or might meet those people and can avoid confronting them.

And i kinda want to know who A knows
>>
>>3941229
>>Ask Aimee about herself.
>>
>>3941229
Also, curious what the 'true alpha' is up to. If she just wanted easy levels she certainly wouldn't need to be doing all thats implied there.
>>
>>3941219
>Is like that, but onions green is people…sorry. Spoilers
I think that's probably just the word filter changing this sentence, but I honestly could see 'A' doing the replacement on purpose in her own dialogue.

>>3941229
>“I have Generator-Neuromancy mix!” You reply with a smile, holding your happy grin as you blaze a trail forwards with bare foot on warm bone. “Terrforming, then demolition! Like Bob the Builder in reverse, but with more fire.”
Yep, confirmation, 'A' has a Generator/Neuromancy hybrid. That's probably what's frying her brain, possibly literally.

>>Tell her more about nice people that are still alive.
It's okay, Aimee. There are a lot of cannibals, yes, but still plenty of nice people. Honestly, more nice people than cannibals, they're still pretty rare despite the falling Amalgam population. Let 'A' tell you about them. Like the comfy lady that lives in the Ikea we're going to.

>>3941233
>Interseting who is this Alpha...... She is someone people believe in.. COuld she be Mara...... Mara was awake for a long time but so long?
Could be. We know Mara had her fingers in a lot of pies. We also know that Mara was part of a network that may have included 'A'. I could see it being her. 'A' feels like the First Daughter pushed her into she broke, and while I do think that Mara is ultimately a force for good that is definitely a thing she does to her "proteges".
>>
>>3941233
nah, Mara was following rumors of the first Daughter, remember? it also wouldn't make too much sense, considering Alpha doesn't seem to be hiding who she is, or well, thats how it seems. could be wrong there ill admit, but not how the context seems to be coming off for me.

>>3941238
is me BTW
>>
>>3941254
>have ability that fries your brain but too high a regen for it to ever end your suffering, so you must keep using it to fight to avoid worse suffering.
>>
>>3941254
>>3941255
Or this first dauhgter is someone that even put ideas into Maras head what with the whole 'Your vitruvian Power is speacial and you could be the savior of the entire world' thing

Also her Hybrid Power is absoluutely awesome but without her vitruvian core she would probably melt herself from it
>>
>>3941256
Didn't BHOP say she had a Gluttonous power, too? She should focus more on that.
>>
>>3941259
depends on what her Vitruvian core actually does. curious what that cartoon bite gluttonous will turn out to be in more a official sense too.
>>
I also have to say that soudn signal of 4chan is awesoem i heard it even through the pillars of eternity battle music blaring full force
>>
>>3941260
yeah, she bit a cartoonishly shaped chunk out of the big worm Lepisma killed.
>>
>>3941229
>Tell her more about nice people that are still alive.
>>
>>3941233
>@/!(J@
a l i l j a?
ali-ja?
Elijah?
>>
>>3941285
Probably Alicja. 'A' is Polish, that's a pretty common Polish name.
>>
>>3941290
>You're on your knees, the ground beneath you throbbing with the pulse of an abominable existence. Tears stopped cascading down your cheeks half an hour ago, and for that time you're just been staring out at the primordial cesspool of biomass that you once called your home. At the sound of heavy footfalls behind you, you turn...and you see her, for the first time. Daughter of Daughters. The First to Wake. All titles she would hold, as her actions passed into legend even in her own time. Those that spoke them would go mad, or perish, but she...she will never stop.

strange. Is 'A' an alternate personality of Alicja/Alpha? because the fact that Alicja's docile yet kooky personality seems either intentional or unintentional on her part to go and slow cook her own brain in the long term.
>>
>>3941320
I wouldn't say "alternate" personality, she's shown no sign of another personality being present in the present. But altered, yeah. Something happened to her, separate though probably compounded by the brain-frying, and it broke her. Something to do with the First Awake.
>>
(Gentlemen, given the pace of work today in addition to some evening family plans, I will endeavor to post the update at some point this evening, or first thing in the morning, barring that. My apologies for the delay, and I do hope everyone is having a pleasant Monday.)
>>
>>3941430
I'm sorry to hear you've had a hectic day, BHOP. I'm glad you'll get get to spend time with family, though. Have a nice day, friend. See you when you're free to post.
>>
>>3941364
I feel there's something very conflicting about the statement though.

>Your power is...

>“Your Vitruvian power’s incredible.” Alpha intones, looming over you in a dim and dusty memory. “You could very well be the key to saving this world, @/!(J@.”

>You believed her.

>You trusted her, as so many did.

'A'/Alicja stated that her power is a Neuro/Generator Hybrid
But Alpha in the memory stated that 'A' is a Vitruvian at the core.
>>
>>3941434
Well perhaps both are true? She has a Vitruvian core, and also possesses a non-core Neuro/Generator hybrid.
>>
>>3941434
Waht is conflicting? A is mostly itly using her generator/Neuro Hybrid to kill things as well as her Glutton powers.

Vitruvian Powersets are usually not very obvious in what they do so it could very well be that her Vitruvian Core is nearly completely passive.

>>3941430
I hope the day and work are not to harsh on you

Post whenever your ready
>>
>>3941434
Well, which power was her Core was never stated. 'A' may have talked about the Neuromancy/Generator hybrid to Aimee as way of explaining what Aimee saw her doing, not because it's her Core. If she started talking about her amazing regeneration (or whatever her Vitruvian ability grants), Aimee wouldn't have any idea what she was going on about. Alternatively, the Neuromancy/Generator skill is her Core, and the First Awake was just talking about a Vitruvian skill that 'A' had acquired before they met. Hell, both explanations could be true and neither is her Core, it's her Gluttonous power or something else we haven't even seen.
>>
>>3941430
Hey that's fine, this was supposed to just be what you do if you have a bit of extra time anyhow.
>>
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>>3941229

So I'm thinking this through.
I don't think it's the generator/neuromancer mix.
'A' likely has some sort of Vitruvian core because she has almost no physical corruption and is crazy powerful. Thus, the mental degradation. Her mind seems very untethered to the here and now and is very... fluid. I'd argue this is the other type of Vitruvian corruption, instead of becoming locked into one mindset, she's just in a constant state of 'not all here'. Honestly she creeps me all the hell out as it feels like the times I've been manic. As angry as Gemma made me... 'A' (and now I can't unsee the emote) scares me.

Good job BHOP. First time I've had serious existential horror in the series and it's this killer clown. *shudders*

Also, in for a penny, in for a pounding.

>>Tell her more about nice people that are still alive.
>>
>>3941478
Actually, yeah, that sounds pretty plausible. That it's her Vitruvian Corruption messing with her, the "being pulled in all directions" sort that Yurei mentioned. I still think that there's probably some interaction with her Neuromancy/Generator hybrid, though, she says that the fuzziness gets worse after a fight. But maybe it's not a direct interaction, that the hybrid is causing her lasting brain damage, but that the fact that the damage isn't lasting is what's the problem. Her Vitruvian ability is healing whatever backlash she gets, and in the process that's causing flare-ups of the mental corruption as her Vitruvian powers have to become more active in response.

And yeah, 'A''s experience is pretty horrifying. If I had to compare it to any human medical condition I'd say she's got Alzheimer's. She fits most of the symptoms. Difficulty remembering recent events and overly intense memories of the past, deterioration of language fluency including word substitution and fixation on phrases, mood swings, confusion, and lack of self-care. Maybe her Vitruvian ability is based on healing over tougher than before, and that's functionally giving her the neural "plaque" that causes Alzheimer's.
>>
>>3941505
>>3941478
>>3941441
that's a very nice insight and all, but that still doesn't answer the question: Who is Alpha in 'A''s fuzzy memory? And is she a separate entity?

because the context of the following:

>At the sound of heavy footfalls behind you, you turn...and you see her, for the first time. Daughter of Daughters. The First to Wake. All titles she would hold, as her actions passed into legend even in her own time. Those that spoke them would go mad, or perish, but she...she will never stop.

suggests that Alpha is a separate entity.
>>
>>3941505
>pulled in all directions
Now I'm getting worried about Rath's mental health as her physical corruption levels start to visibly show.
>>
>>3941527
Well, yes, everything about 'A''s reminiscing about Alpha suggests that they're separate entities, the only thing that might suggest they are is that some people think that 'A' is the First Awake. At the moment, 'A' has a coherent enough inner monologue that I'm still inclined to consider her a reliable narrator and assume that everyone who thinks 'A' is Alpha are just getting confused.

As for who it is, I hate to say it but I'm starting to come around to the idea it's Mara. Alpha is an incredibly powerful Daughter, a legend in her own time. She's incredibly driven and determined, and will not stop until this has ended. She plans and organizes, has great influence in the development of the Crucible, and many trust her. She has interest in a Vitruvian power as a way to save the world. And she took on a protege that she abandoned when it became clear they wouldn't be of use for her grand plans. But the thing that really makes me think Alpha is Mara? This line

>...'What's your name?' She intones, staring down at you with those deep, endless...

All the times we've had a character referenced to by their eyes without further description, it's been implied to be Mara. Eyes are a big part of character description in general, because humans very much focus on eyes and BHOP is reflecting that. But a lack of defining physical characteristics except the eyes is associated with Mara and her plans. See the "intense grey-eyed woman" that Professor Uzu met on her journey to the Cord, or the "grey-eyed messiah" that the Altered Altar are waiting for. I suspect that the reason the memory cut there was to avoid finishing that sentence with "grey eyes" and making it too obvious.

>>3941534
We'll keep an eye out for her. Yurei said that she believed it could be ameliorated with social support. Combine that with Rath's corruption being split between mental and physical and it should be manageable. I hope.
>>
>>3941320
>>3941434
nah, she made it pretty clear they are separate. her oddity with what her core is vs what she said was using the excuse of explaining what ability she had shown the girl in order to not dwell on her core, which clearly brought back some very unpleasant memories. whatever Alpha did to her was not happy meme fun times.

>>3941478
its probably both, people seem to be forgetting corruption stacks. and the 'A' emote actually fits her mindset very well, oddly enough.

>>3941551
you contradicted yourself there by pointing out we have seen Mara described by her eyes. still doesn't fit the profile of Mara or what we know about her, in my opinion. Mara stokes flames, more than bends them to her will, even as far back as Yurei.

its just not everyone is prepared for the responsibility or can handle being an inferno, is the thing.
>>
>>3941800
>you contradicted yourself there by pointing out we have seen Mara described by her eyes.
I'm not sure what you mean there. What contradiction did I make? You mean that Mara typically has the color of her eyes mentioned, while the sentence trails off before we can hear the color of Alpha's eyes? Like I said, I think that might be just avoiding making it too obvious.

> still doesn't fit the profile of Mara or what we know about her, in my opinion. Mara stokes flames, more than bends them to her will, even as far back as Yurei.
>its just not everyone is prepared for the responsibility or can handle being an inferno, is the thing.
Oh, I agree. But the way I'm reading this, I think that might have been what Alpha did to Alicja. It's not quite clear to me yet whether Alpha actively manipulated her or just put too much responsibility on her shoulders, but I think 'A''s inner monologue could support this being Mara.
>>
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>>3941229

“There are lots of nice peoples in Fleshscape!” You suddenly declare, giving her hand a comforting squeeze. “There’s the Defiant like I said, and she’s made some other groups super-nice now, like the Midnight Crew and the Barbers!”

“…I have no idea who those are.” Aimee replies, trudging up the hill alongside you.

“Well, the people I take you to right now are really neat, too!” You emphasize, sliding down the other side of the hill to the base of another, hand-in-hand with the newly awakened girl. “There is girl who is Mayor of town east of here, and even though she run me out of Laoc, she very nice when you pose no threat! There is bar very far west of here, before world get even more spook than now! It is last bastion before no-woman’s land, and it has the best drinks…but not as good as Fortress! Paloma make best tea, and her Artisan friend will pain much beautiful picture of you, like it or not!”

Finally reaching the densely-packed thistle of towering barbs, Aimee lets go of your hand as she marvels at the sheer height of the obsidian spires.

"So what are these?" Aimee asks, reaching out to one of the trees before your hand flies out, snatching her wrist before her fingertips make contact with the thing's grainy black surface.

"No take, only throw." You say gravely, prompting a startled look from your traveling companion before you smile once again to reassure her.

"These things made to keep normies out, ree!” You explain, gesturing for her to stand back a little bit as your grin widens ever more. “I clear us path!”

“Okay? Are you gonna use the fire thi-HOLY SHIT!” She screams, understandably startled when your mouth yawns open, stretching long and wide as your distended, prehensile jaw lunges forwards and tears the beginnings of a path through the disgusting barriers.

"Blech. I took calculated risk but man, am bad at math." You say as you try to choke down the trees' foul taste. "I took one bite of worm only day ago, and it much too strong! Too sour, much bitter, no sweet. Flavor much too powerful, so I run and leave it to someone with less of palate."

At her silence, you turn to find her gaze fixated on one of the distant hills, the silhouette of a cat-eared child barely visible against the scarlet dusk.

“Is that…is that a kid?” She asks, glancing between you and the figure with trepidation. Squinting, your enhanced vision spears across the distance and catches the dull gaze of the thing that’s watching you at a safe distance.

“Hm…no, is construct! Like bee!” You explain, poking the shell of the swarmling under Aimee’s arm. “Lots of Daughters can make lots of things! Birds! Bees! Penguins! One poor girl even make giraffe!”

“…Kids, even?” Aimee asks, casting her eyes once more towards the child on the hill.

“Sure!” Comes your emphatic answer. “Some Daughters have found the answer to…the answer…the…”

(Nieprzerwany)
>>
>>3942203

“She’s the answer.” Alpha insists, her visitor’s silence speaking volumes as you listen from behind the closed door of your room. “Between what you’ve been doing with your settlements and this girl’s power, we can turn the Crucible on its head.”

“The Cord remains.” The stranger replies calmly, her deep, tenorous voice powerful against the walls of your temporary home. “A winner must be found. You’d only be delaying the inevitable…and while that’s admirable, it’s been my experience that the Hu-“

“Your plan’s barbaric. Mine is practical.” Alpha counters bluntly, a pang of something furthering in your stomach. “We use your Engine, we copy her Core, and we solve the problem.”

“So you’re certain it works like you think it will?” Alpha’s guest replies, the question hanging in the air for a long moment. “Ah. Going on faith, then?”

“She’s more resistant than anyone I’ve ever…” Alpha protests, her words interrupted by the other woman’s imposing voice.

“Resistance is not immunity.” She interrupts calmly. “Her power would need to be tested.”

“…Tested?” Alpha growls. “Just how do you propose w-“

You…

You can’t remember the rest.

You shouldn’t remember.

You WON’T remember.

Alpha is dead.

Alpha is alive.

The First to Wake is dead, long live the Daughter of Daughters. Alpha left you, then Alpha came for you. You never saw her again, until you met her for the first time. Your thoughts are strained, every errant idea and recollection creaking in your mind like piano wire pulled to its breaking point. Dimly, you become aware of Aimee asking what’s wrong, your hands pressing against the sides of your head so hard your vision’s swimming with stars.

“We…we almost there.” You insist with a forced smile, rising back to eye-level as you feel a terrible pit forming in your stomach. “I just Hungry!”

You can’t help but notice the spark of alarm flicker through the girl’s brown eyes, and you laugh…a fact that doesn’t seem to do much to alleviate her growing fear.

“Oh, no no! You in no danger!” You assure her, your wide grin doing little to assuage her fears. “Brain no go to mush many, many time over, but this is fine! Is like work in retail, yes?”

You reach out, prompting her to tighten her hold on the swarmling as you both hold your ground.

“We almost to bezpieczeństwo! Not much far, now!” You assure her, nodding your head further into the woods. “Come?”

You’re relieved when she reluctantly takes your outstretched hand, and you suck it up and begin chomping a path through the oversized brambles. Now’s one of many moments where you wish your body worked like your mind. In here, you can focus. In here you can THINK. In here, you have control.

You have no other choice.

>>Ask Aimee about herself.

>>Talk about something else.

>>Anything else.

>> REMEMBER

YOU CAN'T (NOT) HAVE CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next three hours.)

(Apologies for the delay, as the holiday season is certainly an intense one, though I do hope it isn't too stressful for any of you. Considering that 'A's Interlude is almost at its end and I'll have time for one more before the 35th Vein goes live, would you like to have West Tau or B'ni's Interlude next? The former is by far the darkest of the options, while the latter's the most upbeat, so I leave the decision to you. Have an excellent day, and take care, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3942206
I am quite tempted top mmake A remember but i think she does not need this as much and i think she also doenst wan tot remember. Not that we could take advantage of that noswledge unless she shares it with her new friend. Which i kind doubt.

But i will still tell A to remember she will have to... one day

>> REMEMBER

I think this is why she fries her own brain to not remember anymore...... but i cant shake my curiosity..... damn am i a monster for wanting to put her through this?

>>3942207
I would prefer to dive into Isabelles mind for a bit as i would quite like to see our "Dreamdaughter Isabelle torture squad" in action

and i hope your day wont be to bothersome from now on out
>>
>>3942206
>talk about Ikean Fortress
>ask Aimee about herself.
>>3942211

I'm willing to say that having 'A'licja remember will revert her back to her old ways.

And remember. Alpha was FEARED amongst the community. I'm willing to bet that 'Alicija' willingly lobotomized her self via Neuro overload with her Neuromancy/generator power in order to not remember.
>>
>>3942206
Well, now I'm all sorts of confused, which I guess reflects 'A''s mental state. Okay, so Alpha knew someone also working on a Crucible-saving plan, one that Alpha considered barbaric, and who worked to build settlements. Which could possibly kill the "Alpha is Mara" theory, I admit. Mara does like to build settlements. On the other hand, the visitor is also proposing performing experimentation on Alicja, and I don't think that's something Mara would be the first to propose, so maybe it's someone else. Not sure. Maybe if we knew more about Alpha's standards for barbarism.

Anyways, from their discussion and 'A''s comments about having control inside her head, it sounds like her Vitruvian ability affects how she interacts with the Hunger? Gives her greater resistance to it, or gives her greater resistance to the negative side-effects of something else that alleviates the Hunger. But whatever it was, it apparently was not enough, and the experimentation to see if it was enough lead to 'A''s current state.

And 'A' remembers Alpha having died, but still being around. Which is not impossible, in the Crucible. That could be 'A' just being crazy, or it could be Alpha reviving via Sparagmos Engine. But it's probably at least a little craziness, if the order of events is mixed around in 'A''s memory. Or she's got identities screwed around, that could also be the case.

>>Ask Aimee about herself.
Let's try to put her mind at ease a bit. I'm sure that Aimee is feeling pretty scared journeying with this madwoman. Let's have a normal conversation, see if 'A' showing interest in her as a person will make her less worried that 'A' is going to eat her.

>>3942207
I'm going to say West Tau, so we can end things upbeat before we go back to Laoc and its madness in the next Vein.
>>
>>3942206
Oof, sounds like the other women was probably Mara. Poor 'A' was put through one hell of a ringer it seems.

>>Ask Aimee about herself.

>>3942207
Im not really for either honestly so ill abstain from voting unless a tiebreaker is needed.

>>3942211
Eh, i think thats too cruel, and more importantly, 'A' has a girl to get to safety, she can remember her brain melting pain when she's not on a mission.
>>
>>3942206
Yeah no people are right...... A can have her peace of mind

Ammendign my vote from>>3942211
to >>Ask Aimee about herself.
>>
>>3942222
I think 'A' mind is just muddling the message a bit. Not lies, but she might not even have the truth fully anymore, if that makes sense.

My guess at the moment would be thus is the side of Mara that makes Magpie seem to almost fully hate her, aswell as this may or been much earlier, and Maybe Mara was a different person back then.
>>
>>3942206
>Alpha is dead.
>Alpha is alive.

>“Sure!” Comes your emphatic answer. “Some Daughters have found the answer to…the answer…the…”

The answer to creating children?

A lot of how 'A' talks feels very non-temporal.

Too many doors. Too many possibilities as to what any of this may mean. 'A' I empathize and am horrified by you in equal measure. May you find healing of mind in this world gone mad to find your own "healthy".

>>Ask Aimee about herself.
>>Wave at kitty
>>
>>3942226
Am on road so I.D. not stable,
(Also am >>3941800 for the sake of things.)

>>3942207
As it seems things are still at a tie, ill vote for
>Whichever BHOP is more eager to write.
But if he's gonna be a pickle on that vote backup is Isabelle for the sake its closer to home and makes more sense for us to get wind of.
>>
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>>3942206

Chewing your way through the scenery, you make surprisingly decent time to the Ikean Fortress, even taking a moment every seven bites or so to glance back and wave at the little cat-girl that seems content to tail you on your way through the forest of black brambles.

“You! Tell me about you!” Comes your sudden demand of Aimee, the silence between you both having lasted for long enough to unnerve you…to say nothing of the terrible taste that’s building on your tongue. “I want hear about you!”

"Oh, uh...I'm nothing special, really." Aimee dismisses, prompting you to round on her with a mouthful of tree stretching your lips to ludicrous proportions.

“Sensenon!” You protest, angrily swallowing a massive chunk of bark, the grinding teeth that line your elongated throat making short work of the neurotoxic material. "No-one special, so everyone special! You just special as me, or Defiant, or Paloma, or catgirl!"

Aimee just looks at you for a long moment in silence, and you're checking your face for any pieces of errant bark before you realize there's no mess on your lips to clean...rather, she's in awe of something you don't think she's ever heard before, as earnestly as you've just voiced it.

"...Oh." She says simply, her lips forming the sound as she just regards you with a warm expression on her tired face.

"So?! A/S/L!" You jokingly prod again, sticking out your tongue and prompting a small chuckle from her. "I need the deets!"

"Heh, I uh...I'm nineteen, I'm in college. Was, in college. I guess." Aimee begins slowly, her feet matching your footsteps as you continue to clear a path for the both of you.

"Nineteen, and I never learned how to fucking read!" You interject, prompting a second, longer chuckle from the timid young woman, prompting you to pat yourself on the head a second time for your successful efforts.

"Oh, I read a lot, actually. Mostly stuff from the revolutionary war and stuff...I really like history." She clarifies, a smile playing on her lips as she thinks about the world that was. "I...I want to teach. My mom was...she taught, when she was still around. Kids just loved her. When she was sick, a lot of her grown-up students came by, since she always remembered their birthdays, always sent them cards."

"She sound much nice." You say, stopping to face Aimee as she slowly comes to a stop, staring down at the big, round eyes of the swarmling held in her grasp.

"Yeah...yeah, she was the best." The young woman replies with a smile.

"Like mom, like mudkip...no." You pause, screwing your eyes right as you strain your focus. "She nice, like you. You are...nice. You are a nice person, Aimee."

She finally looks up at you, brown eyes meeting yours with a searching expression.

"...You really thi...woah!" She suddenly gasps, having glanced past you to the vista just over your shoulder. "What...IS this place?"

(Nieprzerwany)
>>
>>3942946

"Is Ikean Fortress!" You reply, throwing your arms wide towards the massive valley that stretches down before the two of you. Rolling fields of golden hair undulate of their own accord in absence of a breeze, framing a gleaming, majestic IKEA tucked into the very heart of the breathtaking valley, surrounded on all sides by the thorny black spires of pitch-black bone. You beckon for Aimee to follow you as you dash through the field, laughing as the wheat-gold follicles tickle your sides, and soon the girl's laughing with you as you approach the building at a break-neck speed. You're about twenty meters away from the entrance when the front doors are thrown open by a pair of powerful, yet sleek arms tat belong to a tall, androgynous young woman. With a shake of her head, she clears a few errant strands of light brown hair from her eyes and almost loosens the floppy canadian hat that's firmly tugged around her ears.

"Hey there." The powerful young woman greets, a toothy grin crinkling the corners of her eyes before slinging a long, l-shaped hexagonal bar over one shoulder. "Sup, 'A'? Felt someone crashing through my defenses with their teeth. Figured it'd be you."

"Is me!" You affirm, plating your hands on your hips. "I very glad hair not strangle us! Or I must nom again!"

"Yeah, I don't want any more blonde hairballs, thank you." She snickers, turning to the brunette beside you with a questioning look.

"I bring friendperson! She's Aimee, she's a Humoral Paladin, and she's new in town!" You explain, gesturing wildly to your acquaintance. "Meet Paloma?"

"Sorry, Paloma's out checking up on another Skintalker who's figured out the same shtick she has, so..." The woman replies, turning to the girl beside you and thrusting out the hand that isn't clutching an over-sized L-wrench. "...I'm Bogan, by the way. Part-time mechanic, full-time artist. Said your name was Aimee, right?"

"Oh, uh...yes. Pleasure to meet you, Miss Bogan." Aimee replies, and the taller woman just makes a face.

"Okay, two things. One, just...call me Bogan. And two, can you cook, clean, and-slash-or follow vague black-and-white instructions on crumbling paper to assemble things that may or may not be missing pieces?"

"Yes, yes, and...maybe?" Aimee answers as best she can, shrugging as she glances nervously between the two of you.

(Nieprzerwany)
>>
>>3942947

"Well, that's good enough for me. Heck, even just one of those'd qualify you in." Bogan replies with a grin, gesturing towards the magnificent, looming building behind her. "First thing we'll probably have you do is help harvest some hair to make some more blankets and stuff, and help make some more furniture for any newcomers like yourself who wander in or come to us through word of mouth. Also, you'll get your pick of beds...so, so many beds."

Aimee follows her lead, approaching the entrance with swarmling in hand before she stops, turning on her heel when she realizes you're not beside her.

"Wait..." Aimee hesitates. "...are you not coming with us?"

"I...no work well around many, so no." You reply with a weak smile. "Feels bad, man. But! Is better for everyone."

"I don't...I don't get it, why can't you...?"

"Hunger is very, very bad." You blurt out, hands curling into fists through the effort of making yourself heard. "I...I like girl that try nom you in city. She...she no lucky. Lucky like me. If I get too hungry, I go sleep. But if one day I no sleep, I...not know what I do. So we're walking, we're walking, all over the Fleshscape. That way, everyone safe if I go stale!"

She shakes her head, and you realize that maybe you were expecting too much in hoping for her to understand. You just smile your best reassuring smile, gesturing for her to follow Bogan into the cozy and cavernous space that will serve as her home, until all is decided...until all is finished. To your surprise Aimee steps forward, extending the swarmling to you with a sad look in her eye.

"I...think I get it." She begins, brow furrowed. "So, um...thank you. Thanks for bringing me here, for saving me...and for letting me hold onto this little guy. He helped a lot, actually."

"You ask, first thing you say, if this dream." You begin, taking the diminutive construct back with a small smile. "Can good dream be, if you let. Have good dream for both us, yes?"

You're not sure who hugs who first, when you end up holding each other tight in the middle of a field of gold. Aimee sniffs back her tears before she leans back, a sudden idea seizing hold of her as she takes her tears in hand, molding the shining crystalline liquid into a crude, semi-circular shape before she gently takes your hand in hers one last time.

"I really hope this holds up, but...here." She says, slipping the simple bracelet around your wrist.

"It's dangerous to go alone!" You snicker, hoping she doesn't notice how your eyes are misting over at the simple, heartfelt gift, only the second use of a power the Crucible intended to be used for conflict.

"Take this!" She quickly interjects, and Aimee just starts giggling at the goofy grin that's spread across your face.

(Nieprzerwany)
>>
>>3942949

With another quick squeeze of your hand and an appreciative nod, she turns, following the other girl into the fortress that is her new home. You stand there, even after the door closes and the sounds of her footfalls behind you are but echoes in your mind. Finally, you turn and begin trudging back up the path, making haste so as to capitalize on the path you carved through earlier, before the barriers reconstruct themselves and you find yourself faced with another difficult path to swallow.

Emerging on the other side and finding yourself tailed by the cat-eared child once more...or perhaps she never left your side. You couldn't say. You were distracted, if you're being honest. Distracted by the girl with the brown eyes and the kind heart. You'd like to see her again, before all this is over...and as you look down, your focus shifting from the bracelet on one hand to the swarmling in the other, you realize she's not the only one.

So you'll resist. You'll fight the pull, fight to keep hold of your mind in a world gone mad.

After all...

>>WIECZNA KONTROLA (Vitruvian - 'A's Core, Lvl 20): The pinnacle of mental resistance, this ability now renders the user immune to any effect or action that would rob them of physical control. Thus, they cannot be bound, stunned, possessed, or any subdivision of these effects. What's more is that any attempt to inflict such an effect will inflict catastrophic mental or physical backlash to the offender, with potentially lethal results depending on the severity of said attempt. Finally, even though the wielder of this ability succumbed to the Hunger through forced starvation well over a year ago, this power has defied the order of the Crucible by allowing the user to retain a tenuous level of control over her body and mind, despite both existing on the perpetual precipice of madness.

...you can't *not* have control.

>>’A’ Interlude: End
>>
(Gentlemen, the next interlude will go live on Friday at 10:00AM. I'll be present even over the next two days since I'll have a little bit of down time through Thanksgiving, so if anyone has any questions or concerns, then please let me know.)

(I wish to thank you for your time, participation, and patience, and I do hope everyone reading this in the present or future has a happy holiday. Know that I wish you nothing but the best, and take care ,one and all.)
>>
>>3942951
>>3942949
>>3942947
>>3942946
>('A')licja, the memetic madwoman.
She's such a tough woman, too precious.
>>
>>3942947
How encroached (in terms of Fleshscape Kudtzu coverage) is the Ikea building? I'm just imagining this giant mountain valley covered by golden hair and thorny brambles and a fleshy soil, and the IKEA building literally untouched and pristine all the way to the parking lot.
>>
>>3942975
(Oh, it's utterly pristine. The thought alone made me chuckle, so I'm glad I'm not the only one that got a kick out of it.)
>>
>>3942979
Now I'm just imagining a running gag in subsequent crucibles (should this one fail) where IKEA malls around the globe somehow survive and are kept in the same pristine clean condition despite the Crucible's attempts to encroach it.
>>
>>3943000
(Every experience I've had with IKEA has been overwhelmingly eldritch, so it'd be on-brand for the Crucible to avoid them outright.)
>>
>>3942951
A good ending. You take care of yourself, Alicja. We'll do our best to end this so you can get some proper sleep and start to heal. It's the least we can do, given your apparent faith in us.

>>3942955
See you Friday, BHOP. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving, too.

>>3943007
There's something about the way IKEAs are laid out, all these shortcuts between rooms that makes it feel very much like a labyrinth. You half-expect a minotaur to be stalking you.
>>
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>>3943007
>>3943027
Did you get lost in the furniture displays and the warehouse sections? That might explain why you think IKEA is an eldritch experience.

As for my IKEA experience, it's not that eldritch unless I get really really lost. I took the time to learn the design philosophy behind how IKEA designs their store layout and boom, I've deciphered the code. I've had to buy a few important pieces of furniture from that place so it was important and fun for me to learn.

For your sanity: An anon's guide to surviving IKEA:

>Food Court: Contrary to other malls where the food court (i.e. Costco) is reserved at the middle or end of the shopping experience, IKEA puts the food court at the forefront. This is to prepare customers for the long haul walk-through as they go section by section so that they don't go hungry half-way through the store-exploration. If they put the food court at the end, the customer would be more focused on food than furniture.

>The many, many sections of furniture on display: They're sorted by the rooms in the Houses. Need living room furniture? go to the section where Living room furniture is displayed. Need office furniture? go there.

>Why they hand out maps: Their design philosophy is to display all of their products in a simulated environment where the furniture is actually put to use in a themed room hence the many many themed rooms in a section that sells Office furniture. Of course that eats up a lot of space, so they had to use the Tetris effect to fit all of the furniture. It's confusing, but they designed it so that the customer gets maximum exposure to all of the products on the display floor, which tends to be very winding.

>Why there is a second floor: That's their Display showcase floor where all of their themed furniture is put on display for customers to visualize how their furniture would look like if they actually bought the product. their actual products are on the first floor where the real business is at.

>Warehouse on the first floor: The reason why the warehouse where the actual products are for the customers who actually planned out what furniture they want to buy, after they're done browsing the showcase on the second floor.

>How customers survive IKEA: IKEA is a raid boss in and of itself. You need to pre-plan and take all of your notes and information (furniture dimensions, the visual theme of the furniture,etc.) on the furniture you want to buy/replace, how you want it transported home, and where you want your IKEA furniture in your house, and the price point. I've had to bring measuring tape on one occasion. If you do all of that, you're good to go and should be able to navigate and survive the IKEA experience with your sanity intact.
>>
>>3943027

>>3943007
Here, a map to navigate the labyrinth.
>>
>>3942955
Have a good week OP and see you on friday
>>
>>3943049
>Did you get lost in the furniture displays and the warehouse sections? That might explain why you think IKEA is an eldritch experience.
I can't speak for BHOP, but I don't find it eldritch so much as labyrinthine. It's really not, as your diagram shows it's actually got a very natural path to follow navigating it. But it's laid out like a dungeon in a video game. That main winding path taking you past a maximum variety of setpieces, but with shortcuts so you can easily double back to points of interest? That's exactly how good level design should go. Mark Brown's got a video on that where he explicitly draws that comparison and how some studios actually have had their level design inspired by how store layouts (one of the examples being IKEA) funnel customers. So I don't get lost in IKEA, but I do get a sort of hyperreality experience. It is a real place that is laid out like a Dark Souls map, and that can feel strange.
>>
>>3943075
I think it's the sensory overload that gets to people. They walk, and the near constant exposure of products on the showroom makes them fatigued since they're looking for the telltale signs of a designated "break room".
>>
>>3943096
Yeah, I'd say that's a big part, too. It's a very dense place, keeps triggering that primal hunter-gatherer instinct of "ooh, shiny" without any reprieve.
>>
>>3943007
>>3943102
>IKEA, the Crucible within the Crucible
>meet the many leftover denizens of previous crucible iterations that survived the resets by taking refuge in the place
>meet the settlements inside the IKEA Fortress
>Brave daughters who venture into the Fortress, spelunk it's depths to find relics of past cycles!
>>
>>3943111
There's got to be at least one Daughter with a weird Vitruvian/Flesh Artisan power that lets her take herself apart and reassemble into new shapes. She assists the process with a Relic shaped like a set of hex wrenches.
>>
>>3942951
Oh... oh 'A'... You poor poor girl. That... That cant of been fun. Damn, cores really can be insane. Mental resistance so powerful forced starvation to the hunger could not truly work.

You hang in there 'A', well, you have been, but you know what I mean.

>>3942955
Well, this one was wonderful BHOP, and also somehow a bit terrifying despite just being two girls walking and talking, half in meme talk.

>>3942979
Im still laughing at the fact it was literally an Ikea and one girl actually had a gigantic hex wrench. I can only imagine what such a girls abilities are haha.

>>3943007
Remember, every Ikea employee is just the last person to get lost in their store.

>>3943118
If i was at home id have a good image for that, dangit.
>>
>>3943118
Actually, not the same but it does remind me of an old ability idea i posted.

>FLESH WELDER(Flesh Artisan); once meant to fuse metal together to make something new, now applied to flesh. This ability, while boasting no real combat prowess, is an excellent addition to any forgemistresses or construct lovers kit. In essence, this Ability allows one to pick and choose bits if relics aspects to combine into something wholly new, even taking their own or others raw abilities levels to apply ability effects to the mixture. They may even take relics parts, construct parts, or even parts of other daughters and amalgams to weld together to make themselves their perfect creation to release upon the battlefield. While all of this takes Biomass costs, some of considerable amounts, the ability to take what exists and fuse it into something better is a true sign of a skilled trades daughter.

Might work better if the ability allowed one to 'weld' things to living daughters too but maybe not.
>>
>>3943378
but the real question is this: was the starvation forced upon her by an outside actor? or was it self-imposed?
>>
>>3943386
Sounds like it was forced on her. Both the other person sating her ability 'needed to be tested' and her talk about why she doesn't trust Alpha in relation to the line 'her vitruvian core could not be broken, she could however.'

Someone forced her to the deep end, and technically, she passed, but the side effects of her "hunger immunity" were very clearly and easily deemed not acceptable.
>>
>>3943386
Alpha's visitor suggested that they test Alicja's Core. But Alicja trusted Alpha, so it probably wasn't "forced", technically. Just her agreeing to an experiment that she shouldn't have.
>>
>>3943378
I do wonder.
Could we help her if we were to feed her large amounts of rippened swarmlings with our new ability?
Could we essentially trick her body into believing it consumed massive amounts of daughters/Amalgams to make it easier for her to stay in control without fighting tooth and nail every second of her existence.
>>
>>3943423
Don't think so. Once you break to the hunger it seems to just be a specific permanent state you are in.

That, and she is in control, as much as she will ever be, that was kinda the point being made.
>>
>>3943403
>>3943398
>Alpha.
Doesn't that sound like the name of a Certain Doctor's Proxy?

If it was over a year ago, West Alpha would've had a heart like Francine had before Prime turned West Alpha into the Cyborg Terminator that Francine describes her today considering that there was someone else accompanying Alpha. It might even be West Prime and Alpha that experimented on 'A'licja.

I have a hunch about that needs to be confirmed regarding the two figures in 'A'licja's flashback memory. And they could be related to West Tau's visitors.
>>
>>3943423
>>3943428
That and it's implied that 'A'licja went on a gorging spree to try and remove the hunger-mad status effect but to no avail. Hence why she said that she was 'tired of eating'.
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>>3943423
I doubt it would work. If it did, 'A' could have just eaten things already. I think the idea is that even if she can avoid feeling the effects of it, the Hunger is still always growing, and she's gotten so hungry over time that there's functionally no amount of food that would put her back to normal. She's already long-since hit an irreversible threshold

>>3943429
No, that doesn't work. For one thing, West Alpha can't be the first Daughter to wake, because as a creation of West Prime there have to have been at least two Daughters in existence before her: Prime and whoever her victim was. The other reason it doesn't work is because Francine's told us about West Alpha, she wasn't very human. Incredibly angry all the time, a flawed first prototype, and that's why West Prime turned her into a cyborg so her anger could be aimed as a weapon.
>>
>>3943429
It was implied both Francine and Alpha west came out wrong, so Alpha West was always an emotionless Terminator. That, and this is meant to be a different girl, the actual first daughter, hence the Alpha title. Im positive even 'A' would say and could tell if it was just a west clone pulling her leg.

Also West never tried to setup settlements, just abuse them or get into their good graces.

>>3943431
Possibly yeah, im sure for awhile she desperately tried to fix her condition only to realize she couldn't.
>>
>>3943007
So if the Fleshscape kudtzu avoids IKEA, Do Amalgams also avoid IKEA?
>>
>>3943531
Wondering what other places the Crucible refuses to touch on our little planet. Theres some much more eldritch places historically than ikea.

Also interesting how it avoids 'eldritch' things. Its just funny to imagine this big bad crucible is afraid of an ikea just cause a bit of otherworldly energy has touched it. You ARE the otherworldly energy, you giant wuss.
>>
>>3943555
What about the Bermuda Triangle?
>>
>>3943557
Maybe. I could certainly see it but it is mostly open water so might not be the best example simply due to the fact there little interaction in that in it id imagine. Few daughters taking a route through it to see, ya know?
>>
>>3943555
I would imagine a truly eldritch being(one that can bend reality just by existing) would probably squeeze the life out of a crucible very quickly since it oculd do next to nothing and would probably just shrivel up and die......

>Cthulu wakes up in the crucuible
>Goes to make soem aldritch equivalent off coffee
>Looks out window.
>THe crucible is like
>"Right ima head out now."
>Crucible leaves and leaves humanity to deal with a very confused eldritch god


>>3943557
Ther is probabnly a Kraken Amalgam there i would imagine,. Just luring flying dauhgters in to feast on them and not even Mara and Magpie wanted to deal with it due ot the location and its sheer power
>>
>>3943562
I mean, you say that, but wasn't squid boy knocked out by a large boat? Maybe one of the beings above him but he is not by far the most disturbing thing in Lovecrafts writing, he Just happen s to be popular.
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>>3943562
more like it would greet big C as a cousin of sorts.
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>>3943574
maybe. SO big C could be confused why his cousin didnt give him a call when he was coming to visit so he could have prepared the party and all. Instead his cousin breaks into his backyard to start a party while he was still asleep.

>>3943573
A being like Yog Sothoth or Azathoth would probably shatter space time just by being there so that would be no fun at all

I was going for something much more tame.

Wasnt he also pretty much still asleep by that time and just went back to sleep instead of waking up?

Could have also been Dagon not sure though
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>>3943581
I don't remember the story exactly myself.
>>
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Merry Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans, ya bastards.
To everyone else, hope yer days great too. Eat a fried bird and join in the holidays.
>>
(Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you have a marvelous day, and I'll see you all in the morning.)
>>
>>3944638
>>3944647
Thanks, happy Thanksgiving to you all, too. Not going to do much myself, just meeting my family at a restaurant for lunch, but I hope those of you who go more in-depth aren't having too stressful a time running things.
>>
>>3944638
>>3944647
>>3944663

Well happy Thanksgiving to you guys i will have a drink over here in Europe to your continued good health.

I hope you will all have a good and relatively relaxing day you can spend with your loved ones
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>>3944647
Happy fire burd day.
>>
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Your name is Isabelle.

Some know you as B’ni.

No matter what you’re called, you let it all fade away as you find yourself in the midst of a savage combat. Keeping your center of gravity low to the ground, your unblinking focus is trained on the wall of power and muscle that is your foe. You’ve defeated ones like her before, even those that knew how to make good use of their overwhelming power…because victory for you has always come down to speed and surprises, two things you have in spades. When your foe makes her move, you're ready; she lunges head-on, closing the gap with surprising swiftness. You go low, ducking under her powerful arms as you dash off to her left side, your hands curled into fists with your thumbs tucked against your palms.

She's fast.

You're faster, and you’ve got her dead to rights.

With a flick of your thumb your fingers are annihilated, sending a flurry oOH godDAMMIT not AGAIN.

With a flick of your thumb you succeed in looking like an imbecile, giving a sideways thumbs-up at your charging foe the instant she’s on top of you, your world spinning not through the force of gruesome teleportation but rather the fourth over-the-shoulder throw you’ve been subjected to today. Watching the room tilt with dizzying speed, you find your mind filled with a single, frustrated phrase as you resign yourself to an uncomfortable and unfortunately familiar impact;

You're a fucking idiot.

You land hard on the mat splayed out in Johanna’s apartment, and as the air slowly filters back into your forcibly exhausted lungs, you just stare up at the ceiling while you catch your breath. A shadow passes over you as your foe looms over you, Johanna’s impressively muscular frame blocking the afternoon daylight streaming in from her open windows.

“You keep trying to use the abilities you had.” She observes, thrusting her hand downwards by way of assistance. “Perhaps if you tried-"

“-Not using the abilities I had?” You supply irritably, hesitating before taking the offered limb then finding yourself swiftly hoisted back to your feet by Johanna's powerful arms. "Yeah, well...not all of us had karate training before we got thrown into hell."

"Aikido. And we were not thrown into hell, Rabbit." Johanna corrects, stepping back from you to pour a glass of water from the pitcher that's accompanying the pair of glasses on the kitchen counter. "Hell was thrown at us. It's up to the individual. Take hell on yourself or reject hell entirely."

"Are we done?" You ask. "With training, I mean?"

"For now." She replies, handing you one of the glasses while she herself takes a long sip of water. "Now, we rest. Talk. Then...we fight again."

"I don't mean to be rude, but...why? It's not like we have bodies anymore, and even if I get the chance to fight again, then it'll be in a construct, so...what's the point, exactly?" You have to ask, having humored your gung-ho host for the better part of your time in the Dreamscape.

(Continued)
>>
>>3945347

"We still have our minds." Johanna fires back, wasting not a single second with her reply. "They thrive on two opposites; novelty and routine. Practice makes routine. Routine gives novelty it's weight. Novelty reinvigorates the mind to tackle routine. It's a perfect cycle, if balanced correctly."

"Hm." Comes your reply, quite unwilling to dispute philosophy with someone possessed with Johanna's level of fervor. While she finishes her water, you take a moment to look around her space. You have to admit, it's actually a really nice apartment. It's surprisingly spacious, and it has several cozy touches that make it feel more like it belongs to a pleasant older lady set and not...whatever philosophical cross-fit dynamo Johanna is. Anyway, despite the jarring juxtaposition, the location offers you a fantastic view of...Boston, you think? You were a little out of sorts after the time you spent with Holly, honestly.

"What did you do with Holly?"

Johanna's question comes across more as an accusation, given her stern tone, and the almost psychic prompt snaps you out of staring at her plants with laser-focus. When you round on the woman, you're ready to protest your innocence but instead find her completely relaxed.

"Um...we decorated my room, actually." You answer, left hand wrapping around your right bicep and rubbing it lightly as you speak.

"What kind of room?" She follows up, without hesitation.

"Pardon?"

"Dorm room. Childhood room. Parent's house." Johanna rattles off, glancing down at your full glass before meeting your eyes with her piercing stare. "What did you make?"

"...Something new." You reply with a shrug. "It's cobbled together from a bunch of other peoples' rooms. Stuff I liked about them, really."

"I see." She says flatly, and you're beginning to realize the full extent of this woman's inscrutability as you take a long drink of water to delay answers to any other weird questions she might pose in the interim. You're pleasantly surprised when she stays silent, though any jubilation you feel dies a swift death when she paces back over to the mat, gesturing brusquely to the opposite end.

"Another round." She says, and you just suppress a groan. You admit that fighting was something you were good at but never took any pleasure in, seeing it more as a means to an end than any end, itself. Now that you don't have any powers, what little pride you took in a bout well-fought is lost in the face of getting judo-thrown on your ass over and over again.

...Aikido-thrown, to be fair.

>>Ask Johanna something about herself. Maybe you can keep her talking and delay another sparring session. (Write-In).

>>Talk about your time with Holly and crafting your room. It's one way to keep Johanna from blindsiding you with philosophy...you hope.

>>Relent to fighting her again. She seems to be getting something out of it, and who knows? Sixth time's the charm...seventh? Meh.

YOU ARE BUILDING CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, Gentlemen. Posting shall occur at some point thereafter, as I was rather Gluttonous myself this Thankgiving. I hope everyone's holiday that had it went well, and you had a restful time of things regardless.)
>>
>>3945349
>>Ask Johanna something about herself. Maybe you can keep her talking and delay another sparring session.

>"Did you live in this city? Which city is it anyway? I am having a hard time putting my finger on it"

>"What are these flowers you keep and do they grow? Maybe i could pick up a new hobby... create something, from nothing but using my own mind"

>"Could you give me any pointers as to how to fight better against someone using martial Arts?"
>If Yohanna asks why
>"I know i am to reliant on my abilities but i dont know any other way to deal with someone like you so i think i will need some pointers on where to start"

>>3945351
Did you grow and extra maw to shovel down more food like Holly and forgot to increase your stomach capacity?
>>
>>3945356
(I was foolishly under-leveled for the Raid Boss that is Thanksgiving dinner, I'm afraid.)
>>
>>3945349
>>Ask Johanna something about herself. Maybe you can keep her talking and delay another sparring session.
>Ask her about how she came into her philosophy, not about it. Gods knows not about it. But her attitude and outlook on things certainly had to have come from someplace interesting, and getting another outlook on how one came to where they are can't hurt.

>>3945351
Glad to hear it sounded good, and take your time.
Mine was alright, good enough given the circumstances.
>>
>>3945357
Not everyone can eat for five

Well you survived the raid so you can always try next year
>>
>>3945349
>"So where and when did you adopt that philosophy? You sound like someone who lived in a dojo after getting picked up by an old man who throws people for a living."
>Try to pull a sneak attack on Johanna mid-conversation, get bodied by Johanna again. get visibly frustrated at the fact that Johanna somehow saw through it.
Terribly blunt, but in-character for Isabelle who lacks the charismatic tact. Also, Isabelle seems like the type of person that shows all the hallmarks of impatience, creativity, yet commitment of a martial arts pupil.
>>
>>3945349
>>Talk about your time with Holly and crafting your room. It's one way to keep Johanna from blindsiding you with philosophy...you hope.
I just want to hear more about Isabel and Holly's interior decoration hour. That sounds cute.
>>
>>3945349

I'm seconding >>3945372. Stubborn and impatient. Sounds like Isabelle.
>>
so im about a day late with this one, but really didn't want to try and put it down from my phone, so, it is what it is.

>THE THANKFUL AND GIVING GOBBLER; Neither Relic, nor Amalgam, nor Construct or Daughter, this unique, strange beast resembling that of a well ripened turkey happily and obliviously pecking and tearing away at the flehsscape seems naught to care about the horrors it has found itself in, as it wobbles around, happily and with a silly little walk trying to coax attention out of any Daughter who it happens upon. No, this unique being is not one of intellect, nor of vice or virtue. It is a simple being, one who unknowingly but happily passes on the gift it was given, a passing on of tradition. For any Daughter, Construct, Amalgam, or other that finds themselves within the presence or quite a large area of this strange round bird, will find themselves completely and totally immune and even cured of the Hunger and its effects, albeit only so long as they are within the strange, happy birds area of influence. No matter how deeply affected, how far gone, even the most hunger mad and driven Daughter will find the churning of their guts ceasing and their mind slowly cleared. For once, great men of a world now gone spared this creature, now too, does it continue the tradition onto others.

>>It is also rumored that is a Daughter stricken with hunger were to actually consume this creature, they would permanently be cured of the Hungers effects, but so far, none have tried, or at least succeeded in testing such a theory out, the odd bird having grown more than just a small following of admirers and protectors alike. Its odd influence from outside that of the Daughter-Amalgam rules also brings into question whether its abilities could properly cross the line aswell, as worrying reality making testing such a theory too great a risk for many aswell.

hrm, would this thing technically fall into 'eldritch' territory?
>>
>>3945503
Well, the eldritch is meant to on some level be frightening. A completely friendly non-human thing out in the Fleshscape probably would be frightening, if only for the paranoia is provokes in Daughters. "No way that's as harmless as it looks. No fucking way. I'm going to go up to pet it and it's going to split in half and kill me with giant wishbone fangs, I just know it."
>>
>>3945509
>"If thats the case, then why are you walking over to pet it still?"

and fair assumption.
>>
Sentinel's bump
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>>3945548
it's only on page 4 and far past the date possible to bump though.
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>>3945503
you could make a religion out of that. the chaos that happens when someone or something actually kills/consumes the turkey would be a sight to see.
>>
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>>3945503

>THE WHITE DEVIL: Bearing razor sharp feathers and a battle cry that demands attention, this strange beast illicits rage and frustration from daughter, amalgam, and Mother alike. While ultimately harmless and routinely flees at the first hint of combat, nevertheless it appears at the most inopportune times and causes misfortune to anything it targets, often setting up elaborate distractions to steal a crucial relic, construct, or weapon from the unwitting to start a wild chase; or simply surprise its victims with a HONK.
>>
>>3945357
Bhop. you there?
>>
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>>3946608
its a holiday weekend, im sure he is either sleeping off thanksgiving and/or friends and family are still indulging him in other activities.
>>
>>3946608
(I am, my weekend has just gothen a bit more frenetic than I had anticipated. I'll keep everyone up to day throughout the day and when to expect the next update.)

>>3946112
(It's an apocalyptic morning in the Crucible, and you are a horrible Amalgam.)
>>
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>>3945349

"So where and when did you adopt that philosophy?" You ask, approaching the mat warily. "You sound like someone who lived in a dojo after getting picked up by an old man who throws people for a living."

You're embarrassed to say you flinch when Johanna bursts out into uproarious laughter, a sound that echoes through the small space and rattles the thin panes of glass set into the white panes.

"Ha! That was good, rabbit." She chuckles, her laughter finally dying down as you regard her with apprehension at the surprising break in her stoic persona. "I developed it here in Chicago...and your guess wasn't that far from truth."

"In my early teens I was in a gang. Drugs. Shake-downs. Worse." Johanna explains, keeping her unblinking gaze on you as she speaks. "Tried to mug this older woman. Thought she'd be an easy mark. Wound up on the pavement."

"Your future 'sensei', I'm guessing?" You posit, and Johanna just nods.

"Asked me why I was doing what I was doing. Realized I had nothing but excuses." She shrugs. "She offered to let me come train. Then she offered to let me stay with her while I figured things out. Couple of years went by. Put myself through college. Worked while I did. Trained at her studio, too. She didn't have to do what she did...but she did."

Johanna chuckles again, when you slowly begin to lower your center of gravity, legs tightening as you prepare to catch her off-guard.

"Almost wasted the second chance she gave me." She continues. "Thought self-improvement was something I had to do on my own. Forgot it was something I *didn't* do alone. The engine. West Prime. I could blame the temptation, but I've no-one but myself to blame for giving in. I'm ashamed of what I did. And I'm going to make it right."

She's not even looking at you now, staring out the window as you're about t-

"Your eyes flare right before you're about to kick off. Nostrils, too." Johanna notes, eyes snapping to yours a half-second before you move and freezing you in place. "You favor attacking my left side. Your preference? Or some weakness you think you see?"

You just scowl at her for a long moment, staring hard as you weigh how truthfully to answer.

"Thought I saw you favoring your other leg a couple of matches ago." You finally reply, your honesty hard-fought. Johanna just nods on silence, beginning to pace back and forth on the mat as you hold your position.

"Not a bad move. Not a good one, either." She says, unblinking gaze trained on your every move. "How many times have you fought the same person more than once?"

"Just...Shu. Gina. Rath. The others." You reply, realizing what the other girl's getting at just before she speaks.

(Continued)
>>
>>3948789

"Capitalizing on your opponent's weakness is wise. What's wiser is to improve yourself to the point where you can counter what's thrown at you without having to rely on observed weaknesses." Johanna explains, her pacing coming to an end directly across from you. "Accumulate your own experiences. Stop relying on what's past. Cultivate the new. You're a good fighter. I know you ca be better, if you move forward instead of trying to rely on just what's worked before."

You sigh, nodding at the culmination of Johanna's lecture as you prepare to go again until the other girl holds up a hand.

"I think we're done for right now." She says with a small smile. "No offense, but even I get tired of sparring after a while."

"Oh...oh, alright." You say, rather unsure what to do with yourself with the fighting over and done with, for now. When Johanna speaks next, you realize with a start that you've just been standing in place as she watches you with an amused expression.

"You're welcome to stay. You're welcome to go." She intones, gesturing from the door to the table near the window. "You're in control, Rabbit."

Well, ou know Holly's out in the field with her shiny new construct form, and you've yet to really talk with Uzu...then again, there's something to be said for spending a little time alone before you speak with anyone else. You're trying to be a little more honest with yourself about how much mental energy you have where people and experiences are concerned, since...some people...used to push you to socialize more than you could comfortably handle.

In any case, where you go now is up to you.

>>Reach out to Uzu, and see what she has to say. You're trying to at least meet and greet all three of your neighbors in short order, and she's the last on your short list.

>>...Spend a little more time with your inscrutable host. You're experience with Johanna's been more...tolerable than you expected.

>>Go back to your room for a little while to reflect on your time with Holly and Johanna...and maybe make some changes, while you're at it.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE BUILDING CONTROL
>>
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(Gentlemen, apologies for the delay. It's been a busy weekend, and there's nothing quite like having an update all written out when your computer decides to just make it irrecoverable for no reason.)

(Now, given how busy the previous week and subsequent weekend was, in addition to factoring in how busy this upcoming week is going to be, I shall be delaying the next Vein until Wednesday, December 4th. Mondays are usually uniquely busy and doubly so after a holiday, so starting it then would only serve to frustrate my efforts to run it further given what I know is in store for me when I return to work, so I believe this is for the best. Also, it'l allow me to finish B'ni's interlude and put the final touches on some encounters you'll be up against soon.)

(Thank you for your patience, and I hope everyone has had a good weekend, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>3948790

>>...Spend a little more time with your inscrutable host. You're experience with Johanna's been more...tolerable than you expected.

>maybe ask for some tea or something to drink you dont feel quite ready yet to face Uzu. You are in a bit of disarray after all
>>
>>3948793
(Additionally, voting shall remain open for the next twelve hours, with posting to resume tomorrow morning at around 10 or 11AM, Eastern time.)
>>
>>3948793
I hope the weekend at least was relaxing and not to stressfull for you, so you can face the coming week refreshed and strengthened
>>
>>3948790
>>...Spend a little more time with your inscrutable host. You're experience with Johanna's been more...tolerable than you expected.
>>Write-In
>Does she have a towel or something we could use to dry off? The sweat is just a visual metaphor but it's an annoying one.

I feel that treating her environment and virtual body as being something real would be helpful for Isabel. It's kind of like what Johanna said about novelty and routine. Having to care for the needs of a body, even if she could just will the issues away, should keep Isabel grounded by giving some basic structure to her current existence.

>>3948793
Sure, BHOP, I understand. You do tend to be pretty busy on Mondays, I'm fine with starting a new thread off the list of things you have to pay attention to. You take care of yourself, man, we all want you to be unstressed and free to enjoy yourself.

As for my weekend, pretty good. Just enjoying the Thanksgiving weekend, not doing anything of consequence. Hanging out with family, did some baking, it's nice. You?
>>
>>3948790
>Go back to your room for a little while to reflect on your time with Holly and Johanna...and maybe make some changes, while you're at it.
baby steps, even the outgoing need alone time, and Isabelle is not the outgoing type.

>>3948793
hope your Monday isnt too bad BHOP, and you should Honestly look into a new computer as a self-present for the holidays or something it sounds like.
>>
>>3948790
>Go back to your room for a little while to reflect on your time with Holly and Johanna...and maybe make some changes, while you're at it.

>>3948793
Take care bhop.
>>3948846
Finally got the ball rolling on Carter's story. it's shaping up to be a story where its length warrants multiple chapters, and the first chapter is more or less complete. Do you want me to release the first chapter now?
I could use some feedback on my interpretation of Carter's character from what you've given me.
>>
>>3948864
up to you, but chapter-by-chapter tends to work pretty well for these things, probably due to their relation to Quests where thats kinda how it has to happen. if you post it, ill read it, though might not get back to you til sometime tomorrow depending on how some things go.
>>
>>3948790

You stand there a few seconds longer before you finally speak, having come to a decision regarding the inscrutable and rather intimidating woman.

“Can…may I have some tea, if you have it?” You ask, your voice coming out infuriatingly timid as you address your host. “And a towel, too?”

“Tea? Sure. Got Earl Grey. That good?” Johanna offers, and you nod just before she tosses a fresh dishtowel over to you with a questioning look in her eye. Wordlessly, you dab your forehead and neck, a little affectation of the real that you decide to keep in the face of the nebulous dream…and you think you see the hint of a smile just before Johanna turns, retrieving a kettle from the leftmost cupboard and filling it with filtered tap water.

“Not much for conversation. But I’ll try my best.” She begins while you take a hesitant seat at the table by the window. “More used to talking at people. Then them talking at me. A melee. But with words.”

“That’s…that’s how all of conversation works.” You reply, the sharp clicking of the gas stove giving way to the grumbling hiss of open flame as Johanna places the kettle atop the grate, giving a simple ‘hm’ at your words. She’s quiet, for a time. The half-remembered sounds of Chicago in spring filter in through the open window. It’s far too picturesque to be anywhere close to the real thing, you realize; the cars far below are softened, the sounds of children laughing and of dogs barking in the distance form a melody of city life that’s too good to be true.

It’s half-remembered, rose-tinted…but pleasant all the same, as you stare out past Johanna’s small garden. She settles into the small chair across from you when the tea is done, placing a mismatched cup-saucer set before you with surprising care, and the two of you sit in quiet contemplation for a time. The only downside is that you’re having to put a stranglehold as best you can on the anxiety that’s creeping in over the silence, and it dawns on you after a moment that you can’t remember the last time you sat with someone in silence that wasn’t in the aftermath of an argument or a…less than pleasant experience.

Like when you argued with your parents about your choice of college.

Or when they tried to ground you from visiting Sam after she stabbed the tires of that guy that was giving you a hard time in high school.

Or when you didn’t feel comfortable when she asked you to…

“You okay?” Johanna asks, snapping you out of the past and making you realize you were just staring at your cup, your arms aching a little from how tight you were holding them.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m good.” You reply, sipping your tea and finding it’s cooled a bit more than you’d have liked. When you return it to its saucer, you look up to find Johanna regarding you with an odd expression. “Is…are you okay?”

(Continued)
>>
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>>3949722

“You’re bad at deflecting. Not a bad thing, really.” Johanna notes, prompting you to knit your brow in irritation before she continues. “Don’t want to tell me? You don’t have to. Don’t want to tell Holly or Uzu? You’re going to have a bad time.”

You can’t help but make a small noise of amusement, given the fact you’ve parried a bit of Holly’s curiosity already in your time decorating your room.

“I’m an introvert. Like you.” Johanna says, leaning back in her chair, throwing one arm behind it while the other rests confidently on the table. “Need to spend some time recharging alone? Be my guest. Want some quiet company? My door’s always open. Just don’t push yourself to be sociable too quick. We can wait. As long as you talk eventually.”

The implication of interrogation aside, you appreciate the fact that she’s not pressing you further to open up and not monologuing at you, either. You just nod, and the two of you finish your tea in silence until you set your cup down on the saucer with a note of finality.

“I’m gonna go tweak some stuff in my room, if that’s alright?” You declare, and Johanna rises from her seat as you do, thrusting her hand across the table as you tense for a surprise attack…feeling like an idiot when she just cocks her eyebrow, the offer of a handshake still extended. You accept the bone-crushingly powerful gesture before striding to the door and swinging it open to your room before shutting it behind you, disconnecting you from Johanna’s dreamscape. Standing there a second or two, you find yourself collapsing on the floor with your back against your door, staring into your new living space…if it could even be called that, given your current state of existence. Really, though, you can’t be unkind. Holly really helped you make it as homey as could be, and her incess…continual conversation offered you a welcome respite from your own buzzing mind.

She was talkative, yeah, but…you can’t deny that she’s incredibly...

“Sweet!” Holly exclaims, doing a little spin at the center of the formless void that is your dream space. “It’s so open! We can do anything we want!”

“Yep.” You reply simply, hands in your pockets as you watch the creative gears turn in the blonde’s shining green eyes. You find yourself wondering if starting with this one’s boundless energy was really the best idea in dealing with your three neighbors.

“Ahh, I’ve got the perfect layout in mind!” She says, practically vibrating in place until she rounds on you, the smile running away from her face. “Sorry! I kinda got carried away.”

You’re a bit taken aback when she trots up to you, taking your right hand in both of hers and looking into your eyes with a warm smile.

“You do *you* want, Izzy?”

You blink.

You want to feel okay.

(Continued)
>>
>>3949725

You want to stop feeling like a monster. You want to be able to look at Shu…at Gina…and Rath, and not feel like they’re looking at you with derision and pity. You want to be able to feel good again without the guilt that comes at the memory of the mistakes you’ve made. You want to take it all back. You want to go back to that day outside the Monastery, and just…do something. Say something. Hell, maybe just do nothing. Anything other than what you did. You want for your brain to just shut the fuck up and quit churning the could’ve-would’ve-should’ve’s around and around in your head until you think you’re gonna to be sick. You want to die. You want to live. You just want a goddamn hug without an ulterior motive. You want your life back. You want a life where you never engaged with that girl. You want to have not wasted every part of yourself on a monster. You want to not be…you, anymore.

You…

You want…

“A PlayStation.” You finally blurt out, heat flooding your cheeks when you realize just how ridiculous a request it is. “One. PlayStation one.”

Holly just cocks her head to one side, and you feel like a complete buffoon.

“No. No, that’s stupid, sorry I…” You stammer, pausing when Holly’s face lights up.

“Don’t apologize! I pegged you as a Nintendo kinda girl, actually!” She says with a grin, promptly turning around and materializing the PS Classic in the middle of the void, a pair of controllers tethered to the nostalgic thing.

“So, can it…like, actually work?” You ask, glancing between the console and its radiant creator.

“Sure! Hera’s got a whole arcade in her dreamscape, you should check it out sometime!” Holly informs you. “As long as you remember it pretty well, then you can feel like you’re playing it!”

“So!” She cheers, planting her hands on her hips with gusto. “Where’d you wanna start?”

You open your eyes, back against your door as you stare at the room you made with Holly. Dampness on your shoulder finally clues you in to the fact that you still have the wet towel draped around your neck, and with a thought, it’s gone, your body completely dry and comfortable. This form…it’s just like the console, really. An imitation. A recreation. A fake. You thought it’d bother you more than it does, but you were so disconnected from yourself for so long that the novelty’s lost on you.

Shaking your head lightly, you think back on the part of the conversation that stood out to you the most, since Holly talked at length on a variety of subjects…at least some of which were of interest to you.

>>Describe your new room.

AND

>>Reflect on when you talked with Holly about her parents and yours.

>>Remember Holly talking about her own relationships in the past.

>>Think on when she helped you design a wardrobe to give you some variety.

>>Just chill out a bit, and think back on (Write-In).

>>Write-In

YOU ARE BUILDING CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next three hours, Gentlemen.)

>>3948807
(I appreciate your kind words, truly.)

>>3948828
(I'm glad to hear your weekend went well, and my Thanksgiving actually went far better than expected...spending a lot of time with people still drains me pretty quick though, regardless of how fun a time I have.)

>>3948846
(Honestly? That'd be fantastic. Maybe get something that Isn't a Chromebook so I can then use Google programs reliably.)
>>
>>3949726
>>Remember Holly talking about her own relationships in the past.

as for the room, i really honestly dont know or honestly care ill admit. so long as no one goes for anything related to her past or rabbits i think id be ok, as she seem overly done with those id imagine, especially with the connections the animal/nickname has to her past.

>>3949729
yeah, i understand that too. my own social battery is damn limited.

>not a chromebook
only you BHOP could make that a worry in relation to google applications.
>>
>>3949746

Cyber Monday is today. Get your online-ordered new computer. You're in Control Bhop. Act on it if you believe the cost is worth the computer.

>>3949729
Also. Here's Chapter 1 of Carter's new adventure:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NfQJ6mWlE5oV4lQz9PFgz7Uy8K_ZEjHQZlEc-tTU3JA/edit?usp=sharing

Read it and enjoy. His adventure in Cradleton has just begun.

Some feedback pertaining to my interpretation of Carter's character would be nice as well as the established names of Carter's spider hive, I took some creative liberties, so I hope you don't mind if I took Carter's spider friends in a different direction.
>>
>>3949726
>>Describe your new room.
>Relatively small. Enough room to stretch out in but still cozy.
>Loft bed up against wall, drawers in the space beneath.
>Big desk on the adjacent wall, with a nice lamp and built-in shelf space for books.
>Low bookshelves on other walls, posters of bands and games Isabel likes (but that won't remind her of Sam) above them.
>Floor is hardwood, but with a soft rug over it, filling the center of the room
>Window in corner of room so you can look out it from either the desk or the bed, looks out on city scene. City is lightly raining but the shadows of people moving by can be seen. Mood should be "it's nice to be indoors and comfy" rather than the rain feeling oppressive.
>Basically, the sort of room you could use as the image in a "lofi hip-hop to study to" stream.

>>Remember Holly talking about her own relationships in the past.
>>
>>3949726

>>Describe your new room.

>Its simple. A bed with white covers. At the end of it a simple desk sits with a comfortable chair in front of it.

>There is a a couple of empty books and different pens placed neatly on top of it. Maybe by writing down everything you have done you can have another way of working through it and reflect on yourself

>On the oppostie side of the bed is a medium sized TV with the Playstation sitting in front of it. There is a couch large enough to comfortably fit two people and a small coffee table in front of it. The room is divided by a divider that has the image of a night sky printed on it. It represents one of the only pieces of real colour in the room together with the grey plush rabbit laying on the bed next to the pillow.

>The walls are featureless and white except for two doors. One of them leads to the Dreamscape of the other people that share Shus Brain with you. This one looks directly at the divider so people that come in dont directly see you when your lying on the bed. The other is a bit of to the side and leads to a small kitchen space with all the amneties a small student kitchn would have with lots of frozen pizza in the freezer.

>>3949726

>>Remember Holly talking about her own relationships in the past.
I hope she could give Isabelle some good advice on how to deal with this kinda shit... or maybe jsut where to start.

>>3949729
Well you enjoyed yourself which is good to hear.

And yeah if the technology is starting to act up you should replace the stuff. God knows how much shit i lost when my hard rive decided to destroy itself after five years
>>
>>3949755

I know i am not the author of Carter but i enjoyed it notheless

... I liked how the spiders made him think of Luna so much and how annoyed he was at that. The "un-burning" thing was... well he is still a man even after all that happened to him.

Also those spidxers are one day gonna kill each other over what is better on Luna

I like how he treated Charon almost like a friend
>Carter isn’t one to favor having travel time within a fast travel station, but on occasions such as these Carter felt that taking it slow is something he could afford to do.

This line felt a bit out of place. it felt like we were looking into him form a third person perspective while the rest of the story is writtten in first person.

Overall it made me feel Carters weariness after he had to deal with Luna which made him quite relatable if you read the story before that. Well done
>>
>>3949726
>Describe your new room
>An iphone and an iphone speaker is jury rigged to a boombox. The boombox is playing lofi chillhop: Currently playing - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcaskjhhXWQ
>A small collection of Ghibi movies lay next to a dvd player hooked up to a tv.
>A large dakimakura of Carrot-kun (a giant anime carrot) lays on the simple twin-sized bed.
>An blank wall with an low empty bookshelf takes up space, waiting for new decorations and knick knacks.
>Two doors dominate one wall, with a coat-rack standing between them. welcome mats and slippers are provided.
>a laptop sits on the desk.
>>
>>3949768
>problems with occasional slips into 3rd person when story is written in 1st person.
Duly noted. I'll work on correcting that in future chapters.
>>
>>3949755
Personally, I like the spider friends. They're cute. Not sure why they have an interest in mammalian secondary sexual features, but I guess any sapient constructs are going to have some weird quirks that don't fit their biology, right?

Carter being friendly with Charon was pretty great, too. Charon needs more friends. Like, they respect our party a great deal, and we care about them, but we're not exactly friends. Our relationship is tied up in a lot of other mess that changes its tone. It's nice to see Charon have a moment to just sit and have companionable silence with another person. And I think that it was good for Carter, too, to have someone he could just get it all off his chest with. It was a cute scene.
>>
>>3949772
i think that was the only time it happened so your doing well on that front i think


An don one or two occasions you slipped into the present tense like here

> Carter never even tried mooncakes and already he hated the taste! And the woman in question is nowhere near him!

The previous sentences were written in the past and then switched into the present for one sentence. No big deal just something i noticed while going over it

I wont pretend i am innocent of that happening in my own writings and i think it happens to me more often than it has happend to you(or probably ever will happen), especially since i am not a native speaker so i am more prone to making mistakes
>>
>>3949773
when you make imaginary friends, you tend to model them after yourself and implant subconscious suggestions based on the repressed aspects of one's ego. Carter's got misconceptions on masculinity due to his upbringing if you cared to read his character sheet, so repressed traits (i.e. being a covert pervert) and thoughts will be projected, magnified, and brought to the surface by his spider friends.
>>
>>3949779
No, I got that. That's what I meant, that the minds he crafted were being influenced by his own subconscious. He's not really taking spiders and giving them sapience, he's making something of his own creation that happens to look like a spider.


And yeah, I figured it probably had to do with Carter's own mixed-up ideas about masculinity. That's probably why he felt so at ease with Charon, too. Charon is an asexual alien, but they're a bit male-coded and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for Carter to think of Charon as another dude he can commiserate with over this world full of crazy women.
>>
>>3949755
Carters original Author here.

Starting off, one thing you brought to mind that isnt your fault of course, but is still kinda hard to wrap ones head around, is just how LITTLE time has actually passed in this quest IC. took me a second to reorient myself to the fact Charon could’ve still been at a waystation around the time after we had finished up in the dome city, because OOC the timeframe was weeks, but IC, well, id have to go back and check, but it was at best a few days between that and other Charon related changes. You did nothing wrong, mind you, just a bit of whiplash i suppose on seeing it in effect, as it was.

The contrast between him and his Spiders was amazing, hilarious, and exactly what I was going for. Probably wouldn't make them all so, ah, perverse, if only to let their personalities be more unique, but it got the idea across still of them both being more sociable and trying to get him to be more sociable, even if they might be jumping the gun on just how social one should be so soon, haha.

I do have to admit the wording was slightly off at points. Nothing super distracting, and may be related to the perspective issues another Anon mentioned. Minor and rare things like
>Carter replied, he stretched his arms
That would sound better as
>Carter replied, as he stretched his arms
Again overall not too bad and nothing super distracting, just a note to mention.

As for his personality, overall nothing wrong with it. I do feel he should be a bit more… british pompous(?) perhaps? But at the same time it would make sense for that to subside around his spiders and others he is comfortable around like Charon, so really it seems ok, id have to see it more in contrast with your writing of him around strangers.

Overall though, a nice first chapter, well done. Enjoyed it. Look forward to where things go from here.

>>3949773
well, Spider or not, they were still molded by human hands afterall, their minds aswell. even if Carter did not intend for certain things, id think the base building blocks of the Human mind would draw them to 'think like a human' as it were.
>>
>>3949755
also, it just hit me Luna has access to the Skinternet. but then it also hit me that it might be the one place she is lost to the crowd, as it were. that is, unless her moon oddity allows her to rewrite things she shouldn't, or makes her act like a 'virus' or something.
>>
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>>3949853
>also, it just hit me Luna has access to the Skinternet. but then it also hit me that it might be the one place she is lost to the crowd, as it were.
>>
>>3949853
good thing Luna's lost much of her marble collection.
>>
>>3949881
i feel sorry for anyone who finds one of those marbles laying around.
>>
>>3949729
A bit late, but I've archived this Capillary.

http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3933303/

>An Interlude where bhop explores the perspectives of other characters in the Crucible world: Featuring: Sam, 'A', and Isabelle.
>>
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>>3949726

A chuckle is what prompts you to turn from your spot in the simple room, diverting your attentions from where you sit plugging in the PlayStation and back to the girl that's prompted you to do all of this in the first place.

"What is it?" You ask with a slight grin, finding the other girl's smile infectious even now, after the better part of an hour spent crafting the specifications of your room, all the way from the texture of the wallpaper to the grain of the wooden floors. "Oh, it's nothing really." Holly answers, shaking her head at the book of yours in her hand. "My first boyfriend tried to get me to read these back in high school. I tried to, but they were kind of intense and not really my style. The descriptions of their transformations were really creepy..."

"...ironically." She adds sheepishly.

"Animorphs?" You say, finding yourself smiling at the cover now, instead of the girl that holds it. "Yeah, I...yeah. I really liked them when I was younger. Never finished the series, actually. Would it be weird to say that I hope Shu finds someone who knows how it ends?"

"Ha, not at all! So, what about these?" Holly asks, holding up a few more of the books that you've conjured from your past to fill the shelf you now call your own, and you find your smile fading.

"The Artemis Fowl series." You say, instantly recognizing the covers of the paper-back books she holds in her left hand, a few of your favored series in her right. "Sam and I...we used to read them together when we were younger."

"Ah." Holly says, placing the books atop the nearby shelf and glancing about the room at the bric-a-brac you've made to fill it. "So...is there anything else in here that's, like, just yours?"

"Pardon?" You ask, and Holly purses her lips as she tries to elaborate.

"So like, the things we like, sometimes we like them because of just us, and sometimes we like them because of other people." She says, gesturing around the room. "So I guess what I'm asking is if the things that're here are here because you liked them, or are they here because of her? And if they are, do they still bring you happiness?"

You stand there for a long moment before you reach out, taking the Animorphs books from Holly as the others fade from existence. Striding over to the bookshelf, you slot the books in as Holly regards you for a long moment in silence.

"Hey, that boyfriend I told you about? We may not have worked out, but I learned a lot about equivalent exchange through him." She says, and you can't help but snort a laugh.

"You try and create a philosopher's stone?" You joke, and Holly just makes a face at her own wording before she answers.

"Ha, no, I mean...I'm really big on balance, tit-for-tat, that sorta thing." She clarifies. "Can you lean on the people you're close to as much as they can lean on you? Are they taking the time to learn as much about you as you are of them? Healthy relationships are built on balance and communication."

(Continued)
>>
>>3950222

"If you're balanced, but you don't talk, then stuff can build up that you don't even realize is a problem until it's a bigger deal." She continues. "On the flip side, you can talk all day with somebody but if things aren't balanced between you, then how're you supposed to build something that'll last on a wonky foundation?"

"...Which one?" You ask, mulling over her words as you busy your hands with rearranging the shelves. "With your guy, which of those happened?"

"The second one. Balance." She answers, her tone betraying a hint of regret. "I liked him a lot, but the more I looked the more I realized that he was the one doing all the talking and I was the one making all the compromises."

"...Do you miss him, even though you didn't work out?" You ask, your index finger lingering on the back of one of the Artemis Fowl books you unconsciously summoned that had worked its way into your shelf.

"I do. And even if he said some mean things, I still don't wish the Cord on him. 'Hold on to the good, learn from the bad, and keep on keepin' on,' like my Mom always said." Holly says, a bit more pep in her voice just before she pauses, listening intently to something only she can hear while her eyes widen with excitement.

"Hey, I'm really sorry to do this, but Shu's reaching out...I had lots of fun, though! Let's do this again soon, okay?" She offers, and just as you rise to your feet and turn around, she's wrapped you up in a tight, enthusiastic hug that nearly knocks the breath out of your lungs. "Oh! I know, I have this super-cool place I wanna show you, and all four of us can go! Ahh, it'll be a great surprise!"

"Oh...cool. Looking forward to it, then." You reply, with more honesty than you though your voice would carry.

"Now, when I come back, I demand a match of Crash Team Racing!" Holly playfully demands, folding her arms in a faux huff. "It may just be the poor man's Mario Kart, but I still had fun playing it back in the day!"

"Hey now, them's fightin' words." You fire back with a scowl of your own, prompting the girl to loose a giggle before she gives you one last hug, and then...she's gone, leaving you alone for the first time in your newly-furnished room.

The same one you stare at now, with your back against the door and lost in thought. Holly's comments about what's really yours got you thinking, reflecting back on just how much of who you are now is a result of someone else's influence. Eyeing the dull grey casing of the console across the room from you, you recall the only reason you picked it over the Nintendo 64 is that Sam wanted to play some game that was only out for the other console. The games, the books...the way you dress, the way you cut your hair. Just how much of you is *you*, and how much is from her...you couldn't say, and the thought makes your stomach churn.

Who are you, really?

As it turns out, you're someone who nearly bangs their head on the doorknob at the sound of knocking at your door.

(Continued)
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>>3950229

Cursing your own jumpiness under your breath, you rise and open the door, irritation giving way to surprise when you find Uzu at your threshold.

"I do hope I didn't catch you at a bad time, Sist...Miss Isabelle." The dark-haired girl greets you, Uzu's tone just as stiff as her spine.

"No...no, I'm fine." You say, catching your bearings as you step aside gesturing for her to enter. Closing the door behind her, you watch as Sister Uzu softly paces about your room and examines the minimalist fixtures therein, from bed to bookcase.

"Holly told me that you and she decorated, just before she took her maiden voyage in her Spiritus Shell." Uzu comments, giving you the second surprise in as many minutes. "It's nicer than she described...and she's fond of lengthy descriptions."

"Thanks." Comes your curt reply, and your shortness doesn't go unnoticed by your unexpected visitor.

"I take it you wanted to be the first to take it out on a spin?" Uzu questions. "Despite Shu speaking to the contrary just before you and she came to your current arrangement of existence?"

You just shrug, watching Uzu take note of the little couch-and-coffee table setup you have in front of your television set. With a subtle tilt of her head she wordlessly requests a seat, and when you nod, she takes it and pats the space next to her. You hesitantly take the seat next to her, keeping an eye on the stoic girl as she regards you with an inscrutable expression for a few lengthy seconds before speaking.

"I wanted to ask you what you think Shu and everyone did wrong." Uzu asks, her face impassive. "To you, specifically."

You're uncertain as to the expression that's on your face, but you're certain it's one of disbelief and suspicion, given how Uzu raises both palms in gentle defense of her question.

"Shu doesn't have to overhear, and what you tell me stays between us." She insists, keeping her gaze trained on yours. "I'm curious."

"Why do you care?" You counter.

"Humor me." She replies, a distinct lack of joviality in her tone.

You're...not sure where to go with this, or even what to do with the question she's posed. It's something you've asked yourself, to be sure, but...what is she angling for, exactly? You take your time, and she gives you all you need as you mull over how to respond to an unexpected query from an equally unexpected visitor.

>>"...Alright. Fine. They talked AT me, not TO me. Everything else just snowballed from that."

>>"...They never asked about me. Shu didn't ask about her past. She ignored just it...like she ignored me."

>>Fire back with a question of your own, first (Write-In).

>>Say nothing. You're not sure what game Uzu's got going on here, but the only winning move is not to play.

YOU ARE BUILDING CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. Voting shall remain open for the next twelve hours, with posting to resume in roughly fourteen, give or take. I do hope you have had a great day, and thank you so very much for your time, participation, and patience, as always.)

>>3949931
(Thank you so much for archiving!)

>>3949755
(Ha, excellent. I can't wait to read this, and thank you so much for sharing!)
>>
>>3950222
> Would it be weird to say that I hope Shu finds someone who knows how it ends?
Yes. Isabel, trust me, you don't want to know how it ends. There's a reason why the meme is:

>J.K. Rowling: What if wizards traveled through chimneys?
>K.A. Applegate: What if the living envied the dead?
>>
>>3950264
(...I am unfamiliar with this meme, and yet it pleases me greatly.)
>>
>>3950238
hrm, this is a hard one. the first one, honestly i just dont think is true at all. the second one, kinda fair on the first part, but Isabelle herself literally did not want that. that was literally part of the reason she left us. hell, actually, literally everything about the second option til the very last part is literally what stopping doing in part lead to Isabelle betraying us. and we certainly didn't ignore her either.

part of the issue is, even from just trying to look at it from Isabelles perspective, i really dont think the second one makes sense at all. the first one kinda does, but i feel like even from her perspective that wasn't entirely true and moreso contextually by now id think she would understand why we would ever have talked to her in a way that may of come off that way.

but im also struggling to think of anything else to write....

hrm...maybe....

>"Shu never asked me what i wanted. she just went with the flow, and assumed id be ok with things. Sure, its selfish, but she never even put it on the table about if i WANTED to travel with others, with Gina, Rath, anyone else. I maybe should've been more assertive, maybe should've made things clearer, but we we're supposed to be working together, and she ended up the one REALLY making any decision. wrong or right, letting others in, among other things, was never actually brought up with me, or ever actually discussed. it just... happened, and she didnt ever slow down to ask if i was alright with it."
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>>3950238
Blarg, I keep revising what I want to say. I've got a general idea of where I want to go, but the words aren't coming. Just checking in so you know my lack of posting is due to wanting to say things right, not because I'm not here.
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>>3950318
(No worries, I get it. Today was incredibly busy and I came home fried, so this update took much longer than anticipated. Apologies for the radio silence on my end, as well.)
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>>3950329
Yeah, I figured it was something along those lines, you said that today was probably going to be rough for you. No need to apologize.

On an unrelated note, can I ask a quick question? What time of the year did the Crucible land in? Somewhat relevant to an idea for a Daughter group I had (translation: characters from another story I wanted to adapt to this setting) over the weekend, only realized a couple hours ago when I started typing it up that their origin story might not fit the timeline.
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>>3950338
(I'd originally intended for it to hit in the winter...November, specifically, since it was snowing a lot where I am when I began the Quest. I hope this helps and doesn't throw off your timeline.)
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>>3950349
It throws it off considerably, the story takes place at the end of summer. But I can adapt, it might add some interesting nuance if they were together for a few months before the Crucible happened. Their story doesn't translate exactly, anyway, the happy ending doesn't quite work in a world where the Hunger exists. I'd have to make some changes no matter what, now I just need to add "figure out what they would have gotten up to in those three months" to the list.
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>>3950238
>"She was afraid of me. More than I think I deserved. I'm not saying that she shouldn't have been afraid of me at all. I get it, my obsession with Sam was scary. But Shu's great with scary things. You should have seen Julia when we met her. Creepy skinless Flesh Artisan with a stutter that made you worry she was going to snap at any moment. Shu still sat down for a cup of tea and had a pleasant conversation about Julia's hopes and dreams and artistic vision."
>"So why was I different? She was scared of me like nothing else, and I don't understand why. I think she wanted to talk to me, I'm pretty sure anyway. But every time she got started she shied away because she was scared. And so we never had a real conversation about what I wanted or what she wanted. We still haven't, really."
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>>3950238
God... i just couldnt decide what i wanted Isabelle to say in my own words.....

I will support>>3950437

I think it pretty much hits why Shu(and the Anons) would have trouble interacting with Isabelle as far as Isabelle is aware
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>>3950437
>>3950533
Eh, i really dont like this, I don't think it was fear at all from either side. It was her willingness to do things like let Rath die and her ignorance of what we were actually asking of her and talking to her about on our side that was the main issue(up until we learned about her connection to Sam at the end), and she never seemed to like us not being satisfied with how she did things on her end.

Fear just feels so so wrong and out of place as a reason, especially as we did have plenty of conversations with her. It just makes character breaking lack of sense to me for that to be the option.
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>>3950437
>>3950533
to put it into context, the only thing or time we even showed fear at her actions(Both IC and OOC), and didn't actually find the time to talk to her about something, was when she eviscerated the brain splatter girls body. anything else we actually did talk to her about, pretty regularly too actually. a fear of talking to her is just simply outright false.

and why didnt we then? because even if she went overboard, it was the one time her actions were still justified. sure, it was a bit much, but the girl had thrown us into a dream trance and was trying to eat us alive while we slept. yeah, she needed to die and Isabelle had a reason to be a bit tad more mad than her regular. hell the only reason us Anons even really mentioned it as much as i can remember was because it unnerved Rath that she had turned the girl into soup. but it was hardly fear that stopped us from bringing that one up as a major point of contention and really never was one. which, is actually bit ironic given our character had one of the strongest reactions to it, but that ones more of the slight disconnect between the character IC and the Anons choices OOC thats always gonna happen.
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>>3950291
>>3950238
this.
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>>3950763
>>3950773
I'm not saying this is factually what Shu's behavior was. I'm saying that I can see this being what Isabel perceived as Shu's behavior. In actual fact, the reason why Shu seemed so "scared" of her was not to do with thinking Isabel was any sort of monster, but simply because she was uncomfortable with the depths of Isabel's obsession with Sam and didn't know how to address it. It was a social fear, an awkward fear, a worry of how to proceed forwards in a way that wouldn't lead to either of them getting hurt. Thus Shu's typical guts not being of use in handling it, because creepy skinless monster-women (sorry, Julia) are an entirely different sort of intimidating than facing relationship drama head-on. Isabel's picking up on the fear, not entirely understanding why Shu had that fear (namely, that it was in large part a compassionate fear for Isabel instead of fear of Isabel, and that she didn't want to hurt her), and it's just making her confused.
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>>3950836
well, i extremely disagree with that, and its also simply wrong. we didn't even know Isabelle had any connection to Sam until it literally drove her to separating from us, and from there it was all on Isabelle, and she herself has already admitted to that. nothing, literally nothing, that lead to Isabelle splitting from us, was based on us knowing about her relation or obsession with Sam, until it was literally the last thing that drove her away, and was us outright trying to talk to her about it in the first place to try and fix it that caused it.

literally basically nothing you are saying is even remotely true from either perspective, let alone what actually happened. anything after Isabelle left wasnt fear either, we tried like all hell to talk to her about basically everything after that and SHE refused to listen, something she again has already admitted to being part of the issue.
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>>3950840
Well, no, Shu didn't know the full details about Isabel's relationship with Sam until the very end. But she did realize from pretty early on that Isabel was obsessed with her. And what hints about Sam that Shu got along the way certainly didn't help, when her understanding of the relationship between Sam and Isabel went from thinking Isabel was being groomed as a victim to being Sam's serial killer accomplice to not knowing what they were, just that Isabel clearly was in her thrall.

But you're right, it's not true that Shu was motivated by fear. Not really. She was motivated by awkwardness and uncertainty of how to address Isabel's feelings in a way that wouldn't just hurt her. Which is why it was so easier to be open to her after she left, because the bandage was already peeled off. But I don't think Isabel would understand that, she saw everything Shu did through the light of Sam. And I don't think that just because Isabel finally realizes that they're not the same person that she should understand Shu's motivations now. All she knows is that Shu was uncomfortable talking with her about her desires, and is confused as to why. I'm not trying to portray Isabel as being right, I'm trying to portray Isabel as being confused and working her way through her emotions in this impromptu therapy session with Uzu.
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>>3950851
and i highly disagree with your analysis of how or why Isabelle would ever come to that conclusion, especially with how you worded it, as the simple fact is, you said we were afraid to talk to her. we weren't at all. we talked to her significantly, both before and after. Isabelle herself both outright knows this and has admitted it happened. your entire point of what you are saying is simply wrong even by the level of disconnect Isabelle is at and how she has portrayed things since then.
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>>3950853
I'm not saying "didn't talk" in the sense of Shu avoiding conversation. I'm saying "didn't talk" in the sense of not having the meaningful discussion they needed to. If you think that's too ambiguous, then fine, let me try to revise it real quick.

>>3950238
>"She was scared to talk to me. I mean, we talked plenty about other stuff. But not about the important thing, about what I wanted and what she wanted and what we should do about it. I think she wanted to, but she always shied away from it. I'm not sure why I scared her so much. She's usually pretty brave, you know? Talks with monsters and mad Daughters and doesn't bat an eye."
>"So why was I different? Something about me scared her, and I don't understand what, and I hate that. All I know is that she didn't want to address my feelings, and that because of that it just sat to fester. I'm not saying I'm guiltless, I know my response was not...sane. But she could have done something to stop me before I got there, and she didn't."
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>>3950861
and i still simply significantly disagree with the angle you are having Isabelle view this at within the context even of how Isabelle has portrayed how she viewed things.
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>>3950238

"She was afraid of me.” You begin, glancing at the table, then the console as you speak. “More than I think I deserved. I'm not saying that she shouldn't have been afraid of me at all. I get it, my obsession with Sam was scary. But Shu's great with scary things. So why was I different? She was scared of me like nothing else, and I don't understand why. I think she wanted to talk to me, but every time she got started she shied away because she was scared. So we never had a real conversation about what I wanted or what she wanted. We still haven't, really."

“So, you’re saying she was too scared to tell it to you straight?” Uzu asks, her face still damnably blank. “Is that right?”

“Well…yeah, basically.” You relent, looking at her again with a wary expression.

“So all the times she did talk to you, she was scared?” Uzu presses, her words causing you to become acutely aware of your own quickening pulse.

“Well, I mean…she never really communicated with me in a way that wasn’t a monologue.”

“How so?”

“I’m saying she just talked at me, not with me.” You explain irritably, not caring if your distaste for the current line of conversation is obvious or not. ‘Shu didn’t know me. She didn’t take the time like she did with Gina and Rath.”

“So she didn’t know how to help you?”

“Exactly!” You half-yell exasperatedly.

“What did she say when you opened up to her?” Uzu asks, the answer causing your chest to tighten. “Did you tell her that you wanted help?”

"She never asked me what I wanted!” You counter, feeling your nails dig into your palms, fists clenched on your knees. “She went with the flow, and just assumed I’d be okay with things. Sure, it’s selfish, but she never even put it on the table about if I WANTED to travel with others, with Gina, Rath, anyone else. We were supposed to be working together, and she ended up the one REALLY making any decision. Wrong or right, letting others in, among other things, was never actually brought up with me, or ever actually discussed. It just... happened, and she didn’t ever slow down to ask if i was alright with it."

“Did you ever tell her you weren’t alright with it?” Uzu presses again, and her infuriatingly calm expression finally pushes your waning patience over the edge as you feel rage bubble up in your throat.

“What?! Are you just content to sit there and pick my mistakes apart, then?!” You roar furiously, rising from your seat. “What do you think would be different if I’d said what I really was?! How do you know they wouldn’t have run the other way if I’d told them what I’d done? What I’d become under Sam’s thumb!?”

“So you’re saying that since you were afraid that they’d run away first, you took the initiative?” Uzu offers.

“Yes! I…” You swallow hard. “…I ran because I…”

Silence, as your throat works to form the words that just won’t come.

(Continued)
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>>3950888

You ran, because you thought there was nothing left to say. You ran because you’d already decided how Shu and everyone would react, in your mind. You filled their mouths with words, ones you’d never know if they’d speak or not. Any time you considered speaking up, either to protest Shu’s decisions or finally say something about everything you’d suffered through…the gears in your mind would spin, and every outcome was judgment. Derision. Fear. Pity.

You were acting on a future you were sure would come to pass, on reactions you were certain they’d have, but now…after everything you’ve seen, your heart aches at the realization that you could’ve told Shu everything, and she’d...

“…she would’ve listened to me.” You breathe, voice shaky as your fingers uncurl, your hands going limp. “They all would’ve…if I’d just said something.”

You blink away hot tears as you look down, finally meeting the other girl’s gaze, and with a start you finally realize that her expression isn’t inscrutable.

She’s not judging you. There isn’t derision, or fear, or even pity in Uzu’s dark eyes.

There’s just hope.

She silently pats the seat next to her, and you take it, too exhausted to fight her on the offer.

“You just did a very hard thing just now, and I’m truly sorry I had to push you like I did.” Uzu says softly, reaching out and beginning to rub small circles between your narrow shoulders. “I’ve come to realize embarrassingly late that there’s a considerable difference between saying something and really, truly ‘knowing’ it…it sounds like you’ve finally started to actually believe what you said to Shu, when you she last talked.”

Just sitting there, you’re not sure how long you hold your face in your hands before you break the silence with a trembling question.

“Do…do you think I’m a bad person?”

“One hundred and eighty-two.” She replies.

“W-what?”

“One hundred and Eighty-two girls at the monastery died because I didn’t ask for help.”

“That’s different! Shu asked you if you needed help, she…”

“You’re right. She asked, and I refused.” Uzu gently interrupts. “I almost lost control of my powers right then and there, because I was so angry that she’d even offer. Even now, I don’t know why I ran Shu off. Pride? Delusion? Frustration, that I wasn’t doing as good a job as my Grandmother did? Maybe it’s all of the above. Point is, I could’ve said something, and one hundred and eighty-two Daughters would still be alive if I’d just asked for help. Not a second goes by in here that I don’t remember the faces of those I lost because I didn’t reach out when I had every chance to.”

“What if she hadn’t offered?” You posit, turning your head to look at her with your left eye. “What then?”

(Continued)
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>>3950891

“Then I should have asked, because I was drowning under everything I had to deal with and I didn’t have to be.” Uzu replies without hesitation. “If she’d have turned away, then that would have been on her…and I should’ve asked someone else. Niku. Mara. It’s not like I had a drought of people willing to hear me out, if I’d been brave enough to speak up.”

“So, no. No, I don’t think you’re a bad person, Isabelle.” Uzu concludes, giving your shoulder a squeeze. “I just think that you and I both need to be a little more honest with ourselves, and others. I’ve been trying to open up to Niku and Johanna, and they’ve helped me a lot. Please know that if you’re honest, no one's going to shut you out. We were serious when we said we wanted to get to know you…the real you.”

“I barely know who I am.” You sigh, running a hand through your hair as you look around the room. “I keep trying to figure out where Sam ends and I begin.”

“Well, now that neither you nor Shu have to deal with Sam anymore, I think that should be easier, yes?” Uzu comments. “You know what they say. When one door closes, a window opens.”

You turn, squinting at the other girl.

“…I hate that saying, and I’m pretty sure you butchered the hell out of it.” You say, half-grumbling, half-chuckling at her mangled phrase.

“I thought the window left some implication of a break-in scenario, or some awkward clambering through a too-small pane. It was…a joke, but…yes, I obviously botched it.” Uzu says with a disheartened sigh. “Niku’s said I should try to inject some levity when talking to people since I always come across as ‘dour’ and ‘professional’.”

“Oof. Pretty brutal, isn’t she?” You say, and Uzu smiles.

“Yes, well…she’s honest with me, and I’m trying to be more honest with her.” Uzu says, trying to inject some levity into her tone as she rounds on you. “So, for *your* first test of self-honesty; how are you feeling?”

“…Exhausted.” You answer truthfully. “Fried. Burnt out.”

“Well, would you like for me to leave you be, for now?” Uzu offers, returning her hands to her lap and leaving you immediately missing the surprisingly comforting gesture. You’re about to answer when you pause, taking stock of yourself before you speak.

Well, if honesty needs to start somewhere, you might as well give it a shot.

>>You really should’ve talked about Sam with Holly when you had the chance, but…maybe Uzu’s listen to you ramble?

>>”…You wouldn’t happen to have played Mario Kart, would you?” You ask, sheepishly.

>>Go back and forth with questions. It’s a two-way street, so you’ll start off with asking Uzu about (Write-In).

>>No, you…you’re actually feeling better, if only a little. Tell Uzu you’re good for now…and you actually mean it, this time.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
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(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next three hours.)
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>>3950892
>”…You wouldn’t happen to have played Mario Kart, would you?” You ask, sheepishly.
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>>3950895
Question regarding the upcoming Laoc hunger-riot suppression: Does Shu know the distribution of hunger mad daughters and daughters teetering on the edge in each district or is that number an unknown?

I feel like this would be a question that could be answered by Amara asking the Town fleshscape.
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>>3950898
(I don't have my notes on me at the moment, but at the beginning of the Vein you'll get a full rundown of the town and the combatants therein, the former from the Bartender and the latter from Amara asking the Fleshscape.)
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>>3950892
It's nice to see you're doing well, Uzu. Seriously, you playing therapist is really heartening, that you're in a good enough mental space (aside from the literal one you're in) to help others get into one. I'm proud of you, Uzu. Giving some seriously good advice, the sort that I think a lot of people need to hear, and Isabel especially.

>>Write-In
>"...You wouldn't happen to have played Crash Team Racing, would you?" You ask, sheepishly.

Mario Kart? Get out of here, this is a Playstation dreamscape. But in seriousness, let's just unwind from that intense moment a bit. Get to know Uzu outside of a professional context, too.
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>>3950892
>>”…You wouldn’t happen to have played Mario Kart, would you?” You ask, sheepishly.
>>while playing, Go back and forth with questions. It’s a two-way street, so you’ll start off.
>>"...do you think you could've just... not accepted the role of running the Monastery, or do you think your connections to the people there would make that metaphorically impossible?"
>>"I mean, i Get you could've just walked away of course, nothing was physically stopping you but... could you have seen how little prepared you were, how much it would grind you down, and still have stepped back despite that?"

while its not a perfect comparison, my question here is more of trying to give Isabelle some possible insight into the metaphorical 'trap of connections' and the fear of breaking them, even if they are not doing you any good.
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>>3950892

>>”…You wouldn’t happen to have played Crash Team Racing, would you?” You ask, sheepishly.

No idea what that game is never played(never owned a playstation either) it but i have played Mario Kart and that game is more suited to destroying firendships than building them up
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>>3950907
Am this >>3950533 Anon

No idea why my ID keeps changing like this in during the last half a week
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>>3950907
the newest Crash Team Racing seems more dickish at least in the campaign than ive ever seen Mario Cart be, at the very least. unsure how that translates to both multiplayer and the older games though.
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>>3950907
>>3950904
Crash Team Racing seems to be more of Shu/Sam's thing. Mario Kart feels more like Isabelle's thing.
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>>3950907
>>3950904
>>3950912
that, and i think the point BHOP was making was, Isabelle only played Crash due to Sam 'forcing' her to get a PS, so it is supposed to be symbolic of her making a choice to distance herself from Sam and what Sam chose for her.
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>>3950912
Huh, so it is. Forgot the bit about Playstation fandom being Sam's thing. Isabel was more into Nintendo. Focused too much on the "them's fighting words" part. Okay, so Isabel would probably prefer Mario Kart. Not sure if she has enough memories of it to play, though. Still, changing.

>>3950892
>>”…You wouldn’t happen to have played Mario Kart, would you?” You ask, sheepishly.
>>Write-In
>Change the Playstation to an N64 real quick.
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>>3950915
Yeah, I blanked out on that bit completely.
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>>3950892
Ammending from>>3950907
to
>>”…You wouldn’t happen to have played Mario Kart, would you?” You ask, sheepishly.

>Change the Playstation to an N64 real quick.
>Get a bowl with snacks for both of you to munch down on between rounds of playing
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>>3950916
>>3950919
Question is this: Which version of Mario kart? Mario Kart 64? Mario Kart Wii? Mario Kart double dash?
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>>3950922
whichever was on the GameCube honestly, that system is way too under appreciated.
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>>3950925
Mario KartL double dash is game cube one.
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>>3950925
Double Dash it is, then. Okay, swap the Playstation for a Gamecube, not an N64. Get Luigi's Mansion, too, while we're making mental copies of great Gamecube games.
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