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Your name is Shu.

Mere weeks ago, you woke to find the world you knew transformed into a hell made of flesh and bone, your own body transformed into a hive for a swarm that obeys your every command.

You’ve slain gods ascendant.

You’re planning to fight an engine of death, created by a doctor gone mad.

Now…you prepare for the unenviable task of confronting a woman you once called a friend, though the arrival of some unexpected allies softens that particular blow, just a little.

The Midnight Crew scans your improvised base, the spacious dwelling nestled in the heart of a forbidding swamp in the hopes that the aforementioned engine doesn’t annihilate your actual home. The quartet of newcomers make themselves at home, the imposing, rust-colored suit of armor that is Ace leaning up against one wall as she surveys the area, a pair of identical obsidian axes crossed at her back. Keane’s off dancing with your young ward Amara, the former’s organic witch-hat flouncing up and down as the two twirl while Quinn watches, folding her surprisingly muscular arms, the simple shirt she wears revealing it’s not just her arms that have become impressively toned since you last saw her and the rest of the Crew. Shifting your focus back to their leader, you give the dark-haired Jackie a weary grin.

“God, it’s good to see you, Jackie.” You say, moving forward to hug the slender girl that stands before the hilt of a sword bumps into your chest, the foreign object protruding from Jackie’s own sternum. You lean to one side, noting the absence of the blade you expect to be poking out from the back of the girl’s long coat. You just cock an eyebrow at her as she gives you a shrug.

“New weapon, long story, not the tale I’m here to listen to.” Jackie says, brushing off your unspoken question with a self-satisfied smirk. “So…like I asked earlier, what’re you n’ yours-”

“W-wait, you’re THE Jackie? As in…you’re all the Midnight Crew?!” Rosa suddenly cuts in, her wide red eyes darting between the new arrivals as she begins to breathe heavily through her mask’s grille.

“Uh, yeah. Who’s asking?” The dark-haired model demands, eyeing the Barbers suspiciously as they all converge on the Crew’s leader.

Seems like some introductions are in order…and given how much both the Midnight Crew and the Barbers have helped you, you’ll make them gladly.

~~~

Previous Vein: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4105787/

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

Character Abilities, Ver 3.9:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12N7NB6N8_CmjJJPUDMjijBBqSBNdvoYBc1um01TbXs0/edit?usp=sharing

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

Relics, Ver. 6: https://pastebin.com/6b2b720G

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bodyhorrorquest?lang=en
>>
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>>4142662

The following minutes are spent making introductions and the dispensing of autographs per Rosa’s fervent pleadings, and with insistent haranguing she makes off with a veritable royal flush of signatures etched in a place of honor just above her left hip. Once the Barbers’ leader has been appeased, you brief the Crew on what you’re up against, though it turns out that Dorian did a serviceable job on the way over.

“So you got Alpha tryin’ to hunt you all down, and you’re planning to split up into two groups; one to try and spawn an Amalgam with anti-Relic properties, and the other to go have a little chat with Magpie. That about right?” Jackie recaps, and you nod from your seat at the round table Gina’s constructed on the spot. “Cool, cool…what’s the plan for fighting Alpha, then?”

“Kinda don’t have one.” Rath mutters with a shrug of her slight, yet powerful shoulders. “Relics are what she relies on, and if we kick that crutch out from under her, then hopefully she’s easier to take down.”

“We’ve been changing up our fighting styles after the Spiraling Fear.” Ace rumbles, her heavy footsteps shuddering through the dark flesh at your feet.

“We sure have!” Keane chimes in, catching her breath after finishing her dance with Amara, the younger of the two barely even winded. “Quinn’s our opener, and she can amp up super-fast now! But before that, Ace jumps in and weakens ‘em, while Jackie gets the killing blow to level her-“

“Point is…” Jackie grins, shooting her younger ally a pointed glance. “…I’m thinkin’ that we use the same principle we’ve been going by, just with more people. Have several small parties that tag in and out as needed. Nobody’s in danger all at once, and we keep Alpha on her toes with having to shift Relics more often than she’d like. Now, as for where to fight her, that’s a whole discussion in and of itself…”

“We’re kind of playing things by ear right now, but I’d appreciate any help you’re willing to give.” You say with a genuine smile. “And like I told the Barbers – I owe you a lot, so after all this I’ll-“

“A duel.”

You blink.

“I’m sorry?” You ask, and Jackie’s thin lips form the slash of an anticipatory smile.

“A duel.” She repeats, resting her hand on the hilt of the blade embedded in her chest. “You and me, one on one…after all this silly bullshit with Alpha and Magpie is over and done with, of course.”

An odd asking price, to be sure…but while you’re not exactly thrilled at the prospect, you’d be willing to do much more than that to secure the allies necessary for what’s to come.

You can only hope it’ll be enough.

>>Construct your party or parties, and assignments plus Relic Loadout for both [Midnight Crew and Barbers are available].

>>You’d rather hammer out the details of how and where to fight Alpha sooner, rather than later.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
>>4142662
>“God, it’s good to see you, Jackie.” You say, moving forward to hug the slender girl that stands before the hilt of a sword bumps into your chest, the foreign object protruding from Jackie’s own sternum. You lean to one side, noting the absence of the blade you expect to be poking out from the back of the girl’s long coat. You just cock an eyebrow at her as she gives you a shrug.

>“New weapon, long story, not the tale I’m here to listen to.” Jackie says, brushing off your unspoken question with a self-satisfied smirk.

Oh my god. She's got a Legendary Piece of Shit. She has become the Seppucrow. Leaning real hard on your party's theme, huh Jackie?
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next four hours.)

(A few notes; there's a small addendum at the end of the Relic Pastebin regarding Forge Tiers. While I'd planned to include what I'd written regarding Sparagmos Engines, I realized in writing it out exactly why I hadn't shared it earlier, as their abilities and the differences between individual Engines is spoiler territory and something that's best answered in the fiction. Also, for the writer of Journeys Through Europe, I'll be answering your questions later this week, as I should also have an abundance of free time later on for when the Quarantine inevitably envelops my area and workplace. As it stands, I am still at work.)

(That being said, I do hope that everyone present is doing well, and I look forward to diving back into the Quest with you all.)
>>
>>4142665
>“A duel.”

I just hope its not to the death Jackie..... Seriously we dont nee do t kill each other. and we do kinda have other things to do..... And Shu is so not a powerhouse in a duel..... As long as we can keep her at bay it may be fine btu god if she gets into melee she will wreck us.

>while Jackie gets the killing blow to level her-“
What kinda power did you get Jackie? A weapon that eats daughtes and gets their movesets? is that why you want to fight Shu to get her powers? Just kidding but seriously Jackie we will need some knowledge about what you guys are rocking now


>>4142671
Ah yes the Quarantine. I am confined to home as well already as a precautionary measure by my company. Our execs are going fuckign crazy We do Home office now and god how much do i hate that one coworker.... he sent my bloodpressure sky high. If this goes on i will need some medicine to lower my blood pressure before i can get back to work in April.
>>
A refresher on Magpie's abilities, for planning this out:

>Magpie – The Raven-Haired Sniper

>CORE: Hive Mistress (Ravens)
>HEALTH: 420% (90% REGEN)
>BIO: 690% (130% REGEN)
>ACT: 3/3
>Abilities: The relaxed and composed ex-partner of the melee-focused Marrow Dragoon is a long-ranged threat in her own right. Her rifle is the result of a Calcite Armorer/Flesh Artisan/Generator Triple-Hybrid tree, while her Core skill tree is maximized to focus on wide area-of-effect damage, creating no-mans-lands of swirling, indiscriminate corvids that Mara could stride into with ease to dispatch their targets. Magpie is also capable of mid-range ‘teleportation’, which is a Generator/Vitrivian Hybrid that allows speedy movement with a chance of HEALTH/BIO loss. The rounds she fires can be specialized, and since you last interacted with her, she has a number of Anti- Flesh Artisan rounds at hand to lend her lethal expertise to your cause.

>>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’.

>cont.
>>
>>4142676

-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.
>>
>>4142665
weird price there Jackie, weird but fitting. we'll have to have medics on close standby for that for sure, but an issue for another time...

>>4142671
While I'd planned to include what I'd written regarding Sparagmos Engines, I realized in writing it out exactly why I hadn't shared it earlier, as their abilities and the differences between individual Engines is spoiler territory and something that's best answered in the fiction.
even just the two we have/what we have discovered about them? dont think anyone expected spoilers, but still having what they can do, at least in as what we have discovered, i think is what people were asking when they talked about that.

>(That being said, I do hope that everyone present is doing well, and I look forward to diving back into the Quest with you all.)
doing well enough. this whole virus going on is... a thing, thats for sure.
>>
>>4142671
Also didnt you want to put the Write Ups and Storys written into the front page post?
You were asking for permissions at the beginning of the last thread i seem to recall
>>
>>4142676
>>4142678
Magpie has likely much higher stats than listed here at the present time, though given how difficult it is to raise ACT number she hopefully hasn't increased that. BHOP has also mentioned that her deconstruct-reconstruct teleportation is a low-level application of the skill, and that she has higher-level versions that are genuine teleportation.

So, here's my thinking as to who would be useful for dealing with her.

>Gina
Burrowing should make Gina safe even from Magpie's heaviest weapons. Even Alex's Mercy would likely struggle to penetrate dozens of meters of fleshscape without slowing or tumbling in its path. Meanwhile Gina is free to retaliate with terraforming to remove Magpie's hide sites, Amethyst Jack level nine to wipe out crow swarms, and Neon Ascendant level four to penalize teleporting given that it's a Generator hybrid.

>Dorian
Dorian is fast enough that he would be hard to keep away from even with teleportation. He gets bonus ACTs for killing constructs now, with how many Magpie spawns and Dorian's ability to sweep through an entire swarm he might end up with even more ACTs than Julia did fighting Yurei. And if he can get into close range he could lock Magpie's teleportation down with Masque of War.

>Amara
For an attempt at convincing Magpie to stand down, Amara's calm aura will help considerably. In the likely incidence that we can not, she can render us all invisible to make things much harder on a sniper. Additionally, turning terrain hostile to Magpie will further impede her hide sites, and a mass field of Joyous Many running Queen Crimson should have excellent anti-projectile properties.

>November
Less certain on this one, we might want to send her with the Amalgam Spawner team. But they have some history together, November might help in talking her down. And if she can't...well, nothing flushes out a sniper like artillery fire.
>>
>>4142686
you're forgetting we need to go to the Amalgam spawning area too,and Gina, Francine, and Amara are the best suited for that. the Barbers and Midnight Crew really dont fit the profile for what we need there, save Sia, and she alone wont make the progress we would need.

with that in mind, my own votes going to be;

>Magpie Team;
>>Shu, Dorian, Rath, November, and the Midnight Crew

>Amalgam Team;
>>Gina, Francine, Amara, and the Barbers

any tactical issues with Magpie we can shift or cover alot easier than a lack of actual brain power and/or proper abilities at the Amalgam spawning area, and assuming Magpie will listen, its gonna be Shu or nothing anyways, as unlikely as it seems it will happen.
>>
>>4142689
I can kind of see the logic for sending Gina to the Amalgam Spawner, not sure she's the best fit but I get it. What's the logic for Amara, though?
>>
>>4142689
I can see the Midnight Crew though i think we should have Gina with us and instead send Rath tot he Amalgam Spawner. She will probably be helpful as our forgemistress for them helping them to fine tune tha amalgams ability. I think she might have an instinctual understanding on what could help against relics. And Nikus Expertisse on the matter is not small thing either.
>>
>>4142685
(Gah, you're quite correct. I'll rectify that with the start of the next Vein, and I'll try and remember to post the Pastebin with all the links when I get home.)
>>
>>4142692
i can make a note myself that i give you heads up again before the beginning of the next vein. Just to make sure you remember.
>>
>>4142690
Amaras Skintalking has more than once just given her oddly unexpected but deep insight into little bits and pieces of the crucible, aswell as gives her the best and easiest connection to a plethora of information to cross reference and build upon, aswell as ask for aid from should it come to seeing what a chat room can spit out.

Skintalking just seems to be an ability that significantly can help with these processes, but im not sure i trust Sugar to be able to cover it properly, aswell as we simply dont know how her personal Skintalking bends and weaves, as it was.

>>4142691
Rath would not at all be whats needed at the Amalgam Spawner(minus potential need for defending themselves, but i think they can cover that well enough without her.). we dont even know how the spawner might work, which would heavily involve needing the abilities and expertise Francine and Gina have constantly shown to have that works well in these situations. maybe after they actually understand the Spawner, but cutting out Gina could stop or slow that down significantly, and thus would defeat the point of Rath being there at all.

we could split up the Barbers and Midnight Crew to even things out maybe to send Rath in exchange for some of them, but i feel like they wouldn't like that and it would ruin the other teams effectiveness, whereas our family is alot more used to breaking up and working with other teams.
>>
>>4142679
(I'll give it a second look, and I'll update the Pastebin with your Engine's capabilities shortly.)
>>
>>4142697
>Amaras Skintalking has more than once just given her oddly unexpected but deep insight into little bits and pieces of the crucible, aswell as gives her the best and easiest connection to a plethora of information to cross reference and build upon, aswell as ask for aid from should it come to seeing what a chat room can spit out.
I guess I see it. I'm not sure the chance she'll come up with something is enough to have her definitely on that team, but she would have some value. I'd agree to send her to the Spawner if we bring a few Many along to see Magpie. Both for handy communications and for getting some buffs and terrain effects off, I think we'll need them.

I'd rather the Midnight Crew went to the Spawner, though. Given that Francine will be there, they're the more likely group to be hit by Alpha. The Midnight Crew are unexpected, Alpha doesn't have adaptations for them pre-installed. And they have their own adaptive abilities that might help in fighting off Alpha long enough to exfiltrate the team with the Gear.
>>
>>4142707
im not sure Alpha has pre-installed upgrades to face the Barbers, i think its just our team. that, and i cant see Sia being much help against Magpie, but i can see her potentially helping with the Spawner. mind you, im sure shes no slouch in an actual fight, but she still seems to have given up at least a little of that kick for other things, which makes her more suited to the spawner by a long shot.

the Midnight crew would just be muscle, but i disagree Alpha is a goo enough reason to send them there, as we would just need to hold off long enough to evac, which i think the others and Barbers could do just as well, but with the added benefit over the Midnight Crew of having one person almost certainly who can help with figuring out the spawner and... well Sugar theoretically could help too, but probably wont be of any help. but theoretical help is still higher than the Midnight Crew will probably be.
>>
>>4142709
I think Sia would be useful against Magpie, just not in a direct fight. We want to lure Magpie away from the Altar Splinter Faction, whether we fight her or not. Shrouding our group in one of Sia's prosopagnosia fields and running could get Magpie going after us, make her think we're her prey. That would be a pretty effective way to keep the fight away from the Altar Splinter while they flee.

As for the Barbers at the Spawner...I guess they might be useful. Not really sure how much, even Sia's field is less to do with biology and more neurology. I think both teams would be equally dumb muscle there. And I wasn't thinking that Alpha had upgrades for the Barbers pre-installed when she started out, but she knows about Sia and Sugar and so might have built herself some countermeasures by now. Depends on how much weight she can loft in her jet mode, I suppose, that determines what extra modules she has already on her,
>>
>>4142712
i guess i can see that for Sia, but that would entirely depends on just how far she can extend her field, which im pretty certain we have not seen her go that far. she would have to be able to reliably hold up a field she thinks can fool Magpie, otherwise however little it is, she and Sugar still can offer something to the Spawner besides muscle, over the Midnight Crews nothing, which could still make a difference and is enough of a reason to put them there.
>>
>>4142716
Maybe. I don't know, I'm just worried that without Gina to nerf most of Magpie's arsenal we're going to be on the defensive during the fight and need to do more setup to counterbalance. Maybe we can just terraform the entire area flat, leave Magpie no perches to snipe from.
>>
>>4142722
maybe, but with the ranges Magpie has, Gina probably wouldn't be of use really anyways, and especially not in the terrain department, no more than Shu at least. unless we happened to take Magpie in a close fight, but if we did that, arguably, we very much have a plethora of other ways and abilities to help counter and beat her down.

>>4142716
>>4142701
BHOP, what is the limits of Sias illusion abilities, as far as we would put them to use here, at least.
>>
(Gentlemen, I will say this regarding the team split and Magpie's state of mind; she both likes and respects Shu and her family, but that respect does not extend to the Crew or Barbers. The choice here is a balancing act; more numbers equals a better chance to succeed, but a higher chance that Magpie won't pull her punches when dealing with your reinforcements.)
>>
>>4142724
(Sia's field is such that she can reliably cover a medium-diameter area. I'll be happy to answer any other specifics.)
>>
>>4142725
Honestly, I wasn't expecting her to pull her punches anyway. But I guess it's good to know that she'd be holding back at least a bit. We won't be. Heck, my plan was to have Gina scramble her molecules by causing massive feedback on a teleport.
>>
>>4142725
i mean, kinda expected something along those lines, but i doubt if she forces us to put her down, she wont fight as if she hasn't just forced us to put her down. that, and honestly im worried the 'bad end' to our fight with her isnt death, but her temporarily crippling us, then Shu just hearing "Ill wake you up once its your time." or something, before Magpie dumps her and our family into basically cryo pods for who knows how long. and im not sure we would like what we wake up to.
>>
>>4142665
>Look at the blade embedded in Jackie's chest.
>"Is that a T-5 Relic in your chest? No wonder you're itching for a duel."
>"Sure. I can duel you. I hope I can satisfy your expectations."

>>4142675
Jackie's got a T-5 Legendary relic. Calling it now. Just like how our Contender gun can level up the more we fire it, I think Jackie's Soul-edge blade levels up the more souls she feeds it. I can't think of any relic that can ramp up in strength over multiple veins over each killing blow that isn't a T-4 or lower.

But the drawback feels just as lethal. The blade's embedded in Jackie's chest which means it's figuratively and literally a soul-blade as Jackie will have to put her life on the line every time she draws the sword. If the blade shatters....
But that's just my speculation.
>>
>>4142712
Actually I think Sia will be useful against Magpie. Remember her Illusionist abilities? She can disguise the reinforcements as Shu's family members so that Magpie will try to pull her punches as long as the disguise holds. As long as they don't talk that is... the illusion can cover visual tricks but not audible tricks. if we had Ace talk while wearing the disguise of Dorian then the discrepancy will tip Magpie off.
>>
>>4142733
>>4142667
>>4142671
im guessing then the thing in her chest is a blatant and obvious reference then?
>>
>>4142733
i can imgaine it is...... god i hope that thing was in here before i started writing my own story.....it would really suck if someone came here reading this read my story and thought i just copied this thing.

It might not even be that the blade shatters but that she does not manage to feed it enough souls to keep it satisfied. I would think something like that probably has its own very leathal mind and will kill and take over its wielder if it does not feel appreciated. Or maybe i just gave out to to many weapons and items possessed of dangerous and sometimes malevolent spirits
>>
>>4142736
that.... literally will not work at all. literally the second a fight breaks out, the illusion would easily be seen through, as they would fight nothing like our family. doubt someone like Magpie doesnt notice little mannerisms and ticks either, so before the fight, she might easily notice they dont act like our family, and might not appreciate us trying to trick her like that. i mean, shes in no position to point fingers, but it still might make her less likely to listen, what little she might.
>>
>>4142665
Vote;
>Construct your party or parties, and assignments plus Relic Loadout for both;

>Magpie Team;
>>Shu(and Holly), Dorian, Rath, November, and the Midnight Crew
>>>Take 20 Joyous aswell

>Amalgam Team;
>>Gina, Francine, Amara, and the Barbers

Relics:
>Shu; Contender(3 Honey, 3 Parabellum Each), Matrons, and Pacekeepers.
>>Holly; Shawl and Uzi(3x Elemental Mags, 3x Standard), and Gamma Pharynx.

>Dorian; Manus Caelorum, Ventrem Lanceam, and Sui Interitus.

>Rath; Gutgrab Daggers and Ignition Gauntlets.

>November; T5 Forge Core, Sacrificium(Chest), Ego(Leg), Nail(Leg), Dainsleif(Arm), Margraves(Arm)(Shu), Crimsons Jester(Head), and Whistle(GRA HIR)(T5 Slot).

>Gina; The Spine, Tollo Cadere, and Membrum Automata.

>Francine; Surgeon Generals, Inspectors Spectacles, Hydras Heart, and GoreGrowth Box(Gatling Fang).

>Amara; Vocem Virtutis(Free: OMA)(Enhanced: GRA and RHO), Vocalis Nocere, Red Devils, Hearth Rod, and Shawl(Upgraded).
>>
>>4142733
I think it's already broken, just a hilt with a bit of

>>4142738
Not a super blatant one, but given that the Midnight Crew are one big Homestuck reference it's hard not to see it as a reference to Dave Strider's swords. All of them are broken in half, and one of the two creatures that went into making his sprite (spirit guardian things made of fusion of two things, at least one of which must have been dead or doomed to die) was a crow with a sword stabbed through it, making everything prototyped with said sprite have a sword through its chest.
>>
>>4142742
I think we should also give everyone a plate-thoughtling as well. It would cut into our swarmling cap a bit, yeah, but everyone in the group benefiting from Psychica Spiralis is a huge survivability increase. Unlimited auto-counters stated to be "slightly weaker" than the Neurotic Halos' perfect counter should offer a lot of protection.
>>
>>4142744
oh.
thats actually what i thought it was a reference to, but the sword itself isnt really anything special in any of its versions, so the way you guys were talking as if the reference made you know exactly how it would work made me think it was something else.
>>
>>4142742
If anything else. Spawn 4 Rooks and have the Midnight Crew Wield them as a shield so that if Magpie has to look through her scopes, then she can teleport swap with the rooks to ensure that Magpie will be forced to hesitate when looking through the scope. Sure, Shu might take hits, but it's a good way to prevent Magpie from going all out on the Midnight Crew.
>>
>>4142748
>>4142751
i guess, but i was under the impression/saving more in depth planning for the next Vein Update.

also we still have the VISCERA VINCULA if anyone has ideas for it, but i cant see Tethering to Magpie at all working due to her Teleportation, and out of all her unknown abilities, escaping from grapples like that of any kind seems like exactly what she would have up her sleeve, given her build. but i otherwise dont know who on the Amalgam team would make much use of it.
>>
>>4142753
I think Viscera VIncula would be put on Shu. She's got Hundred Handed as one of her skills and can rapidly telescope her reach to put a hook on Magpie. If anything, the Hooks can be used to throw Magpie's aim off until she teleports away.

Given that our primary objective in facing Magpie is distracting her aim so that her window of opportunity of sniping settlement leaders is gone, or talking her down. We primarily aren't aiming to kill her and bhop has told us that Magpie will pull her punches when fighting Shu, so I'm thinking we get need Shu to be in Magpie's face as often as possible and as long as possible. Viscera Vincula would aid our grapple checks if marginally.
>>
>>4142759
i can see it, though that will only matter assuming we take Magpie at anything close to a 'close' fight, otherwise the hooks wouldn't reach. though again to be fair, alot would depend on taking Magpie in a close fight, over what she would prefer.
>>
>>4142761
I think our best chance is to designate Dorian as our spawning point for Trypophilic level fourteen, have him bum-rush Magpie, and then spawn a Rook from him so we can teleport in just before Dorian goes Masque of War.
>>
>>4142742
is Contender in Gatling Maxim or is it in default revolver?
>>
>>4142742
Oh, and we need to give the Gear to the Amalgam team. They're the ones more likely to need to warp out. Also, damn do we need to get another Gear. Got to find the blueprints somewhere.
>>
>>4142763
i could see it, sure. we'll see how that unfolds once we're at that point, assuming the most likely that we cant avoid it.

>>4142665
>>4142742 (You)
Amending Vote;
>Construct your party or parties, and assignments plus Relic Loadout for both;

>Magpie Team;
>>Shu(and Holly), Dorian, Rath, November, and the Midnight Crew
>>>Take 20 Joyous aswell
>>>Give each person on both Teams a Plate-Thoughtling.

>Amalgam Team;
>>Gina, Francine, Amara, and the Barbers
>>>Let them have the Gear, so as to be safer from surprises.

Relics:
>Shu; Contender(3 Honey, 3 Parabellum Each), Matrons, Viscera Vincula, and Pacekeepers.
>>Holly; Shawl and Uzi(3x Elemental Mags, 3x Standard), and Gamma Pharynx.

>Dorian; Manus Caelorum, Ventrem Lanceam, and Sui Interitus.

>Rath; Gutgrab Daggers and Ignition Gauntlets.

>November; T5 Forge Core, Sacrificium(Chest), Ego(Leg), Nail(Leg), Dainsleif(Arm), Margraves(Arm)(Shu), Crimsons Jester(Head), and Whistle(GRA HIR)(T5 Slot).

>Gina; The Spine, Tollo Cadere, and Membrum Automata.

>Francine; Surgeon Generals, Inspectors Spectacles, Hydras Heart, and GoreGrowth Box(Gatling Fang).

>Amara; Vocem Virtutis(Free: OMA)(Enhanced: GRA and RHO), Vocalis Nocere, Red Devils, Hearth Rod, and Shawl(Upgraded).

>>4142764
we currently have no reason to ever not have it in Maxim form, so until we do, consider it our new base form.

>>4142765
always, always right when i post....
anyways, i only went to bed at 4am with not the easiest time falling asleep and already this is gonna be waking me up at 12pm to check on it, so im heading back to bed for a bit.
>>
>>4142767
Have a nice nap anon

In the meantime>>4142665
Supporting>>4142767
>>
>>4142767
It didn't really specify which form the contender's in. All I see is (3 Honey, 3 parabellum each) which might not be enough of a hint for Bhop given the fast amounts of information the he will have to process when voting is over.

Also, I think it's safe to have a pair of Hundred Handed Arms out by default as a pair of spare arms while our original pair hold the Dual Contender Revolvers.


>always, always right when i post....
>anyways, i only went to bed at 4am with not the easiest time falling asleep and already this is gonna be waking me up at 12pm to check on it, so im heading back to bed for a bit.
I'll go amend your post and make revisions in your stead anon.
>>
>>4142767
>anyways, i only went to bed at 4am with not the easiest time falling asleep and already this is gonna be waking me up at 12pm to check on it, so im heading back to bed for a bit.
Good night, anon.
>>
>Construct your party or parties, and assignments plus Relic Loadout for both;

>>4142665

>Magpie Team;
>Shu(and Holly), Dorian, Rath, November, and the Midnight Crew
>Take 20 Joyous aswell
>Give each person on both Teams a Plate-Thoughtling.

>Amalgam Team;
>Gina, Francine, Amara, and the Barbers
>Let them have the Gear, so as to be safer from surprises.

Relics:
>Shu; Contender(Gatling Maxim with Gemini Glades active: 3 Honey, 3 Parabellum Each), Matrons, Viscera Vincula, and Pacekeepers.
>Holly; Shawl and Uzi(3x Elemental Mags, 3x Standard), and Gamma Pharynx.

>Dorian; Manus Caelorum, Ventrem Lanceam, and Sui Interitus.

>Rath; Gutgrab Daggers and Ignition Gauntlets.

>November; T5 Forge Core, Sacrificium(Chest), Ego(Leg), Nail(Leg), Dainsleif(Arm), Margraves(Arm)(Shu), Crimsons Jester(Head), and Whistle(GRA HIR)(T5 Slot).

>Gina; The Spine, Tollo Cadere, and Membrum Automata, Escher's Gear.

>Francine; Surgeon Generals, Inspectors Spectacles, Hydras Heart, and GoreGrowth Box(Gatling Fang).

>Amara; Vocem Virtutis(Free: OMA)(Enhanced: GRA and RHO), Vocalis Nocere, Red Devils, Hearth Rod, and Shawl(Upgraded).

Active Constructs:
Shu:
>2 Hundred Handed Arms as spare arms while Shu's original arms hold a Contender in each arm.
>16 Psychic-Platelings (platelings with Psychic Spiralis modifiers), one for everyone
>9 Bishops
>5 Rooks
>3 Stealthed Scoutlings
>8 Jacklings
>2 Grapplings
>3 Recursive Knightlings (4 Knights inside each)
>2 Recursive Banelings (10 banelings inside each)
>1 Basic Swarmling (50 swarmlings inside)
>Magpie's Fuzzbuzz
>Holly (Not sure if she counts as an active construct that eats up one of Shu's swarmling slot)
>>4142773
>>4142770
I've added Active constructs that we'll be crafting beforehand well before confronting Magpie. And gave Gina Escher's Gear.
Any thoughts on this amended loadout?
>>
>>4142797
Holly is a Spiritus Construct she does not count towards the swarmling limit.

The Arms are fine its just that we probably dont want to go in there with the guns already out.
It might be useful however since we wont have to spawn them then in the first turn.

And not sure on the active swarmlings. Rocking up with our army out will make Magpie be super on edge. She knows what our constructs can do so she would assume we are there to kill her instead of trying to talk to her.
>>
>>4142804
You make a good point there...Although I do want to lessen the damage dealt to the crew and family if push comes to shove. I'll need to think on it.
>>
>>4142797
>>4142665
Amending my vote
>Magpie Team;
>Shu(and Holly), Dorian, Rath, November, and the Midnight Crew
>Take 20 Joyous aswell
>Give each person on both Teams a Psychic-Plateling.

>Amalgam Team;
>Gina, Francine, Amara, and the Barbers
>Let them have the Gear, so as to be safer from surprises.

Relics:
>Shu; Contender(Gatling Maxim with Gemini Glades active: 3 Honey, 3 Parabellum Each), Matrons, Viscera Vincula, and Pacekeepers.
>Holly; Shawl and Uzi(3x Elemental Mags, 3x Standard), and Gamma Pharynx.
>Dorian; Manus Caelorum, Ventrem Lanceam, and Sui Interitus.
>Rath; Gutgrab Daggers and Ignition Gauntlets.
>November; T5 Forge Core, Sacrificium(Chest), Ego(Leg), Nail(Leg), Dainsleif(Arm), Margraves(Arm)(Shu), Crimsons Jester(Head), and Whistle(GRA HIR)(T5 Slot).
>Gina; The Spine, Tollo Cadere, and Membrum Automata, Escher's Gear.
>Francine; Surgeon Generals, Inspectors Spectacles, Hydras Heart, and GoreGrowth Box(Gatling Fang).
>Amara; Vocem Virtutis(Free: OMA)(Enhanced: GRA and RHO), Vocalis Nocere, Red Devils, Hearth Rod, and Shawl(Upgraded).

>Active Constructs
Shu:
>2 Hundred Handed Arms as spare arms while Shu's original arms hold a Contender in each arm.
>16 Psychic-Platelings (platelings with Psychic Spiralis modifiers), one for everyone
>16 Bishops one for everyone (the ones in the amalgam team are set to activate at the start of combat and deactivate once the buff expires)
>5 Rooks (1 for each of the Midnight Crew and Dorian)
>3 Stealthed Scoutlings
>4 Basic Recursive Swarmlings (20 swarmlings inside each)
>2 Recursive Banelings (10 banelings inside each)
>3 Recursive Knightlings (4 knights inside each)
>Magpie's Fuzzbuzz

The appearance of Shu's swarmling army will be mostly defensive, with half of Shu's Army being defensive boosters and support units that help our allies, while the offensive Units (the recursive swarmlings, banelings, and knights) will have a minimal presence at first and act as a Red Herring that soaks up Magpie's Aoe sniper crow bullets.
>>
>>4142773
>>4142804
I know this is something that we could discuss in the interim, but when, where, and how will we deal with Alpha?
>>
>>4142823
we need to find a suitable place. preferably somewhere where we can outmaneouver her where she cant easily turn whiel we dart around and hit her multiple angles. Sadly i dont think there is a place that she cant just level.

Her suppressors might also be coming off so she might start to turn into a wild animal so she might devlop a low cunnign or somethign similar.

SO we might need to go ahead and prepare an arena for her. and then call her there Somethign filled with traps and dangerous terrain that she cant simply circumvent. at least not without spending titanic resources.

Possibly something similar to the swamp. And Skintalker Spells.... Lots and lots of spells. We probably want a couple hundred JoyousMany to cast debuffs on her and buffs on us.
>>
>>4142823
I'm not sure. Someplace where her rocket thrust won't give her a significant movement advantage. Somewhere crowded, I guess, keep her from moving in a straight line any significant distance. I don't know where we'd have that fight that wouldn't be just as bad for us, though.

As for how we fight her, I have no idea. I had ideas, but then West apparently gave Alpha special anti-Defiant weaponry, and now I don't now. Because she's definitely got some heavy resistance if not immunity to Skintalking now, right? So GRAV REV VITA to knock off 87% of her max Health on turn one probably won't work.
>>
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>>4142665

“Gina? I’d like you, Francine, and Amara to investigate the spawning zone.” You declare, turning to meet the girl’s hazel eyes before looking to Rosa’s scarlet ones across the room. “Rosa, would you and yours be willing to accompany them?”

“Be happy to!” Comes her cheerful answer as Sia tilts her head towards her friend, and even with the Neuromancer’s facial distortions you can sense the glare she’s shooting Rosa’s way.

“Much appreciated. As for me, I’ll be taking Holly, Dorian, Rath, and November to meet with Magpie…” You continue, trailing off as you survey the Midnight Crew. “…and given the fact that we may come to blows there, I’d like to have you with us.”

“Now we’re talkin’!” Jackie says with a grin, throwing her arms wide, glancing over her shoulders at her fellows. “You hear that girls? We’ve got ourselves a hell of a challenge on our hands…”

“…and a hell of a payout, when it’s all done.” She concludes, flashing you a mischievous grin.

After an exchange of heartfelt goodbyes and well-wishes shared among all present, along with a round of hugs from Amara to literally everyone, you and yours finish gearing up with your growing collection of bizarre Relics. You take your leave of the swamp-obscured base, trudging towards the closest waystation with a team two-dozen strong, your numbers bolstered by the twenty Joyous that dutifully march in lock-step with your team. Keane pouts when she realizes they’re not nearly as playful as the genuine article, and after she abandons her attempts the only sounds from your party are their own stomping feet intermingled with the furtive whispers of the Neesons as they bring up the rear of your little platoon.

Your feet collectively carry you northwest at a respectable pace, the rolling plains of raw, reddened flesh slowly giving way to jagged fangs of calcite that rip and tear through the landscape seemingly at random, like bloody teeth bared at a false sky. Your eyes unceasingly rove the terrain, those set in your head as well as those embedded in the shells of the swarmlings that circle high above, an ever-present vigil against the Crucible’s innumerable dangers.

“Hey…you okay?” Holly asks tentatively, yet just as kind and hopeful as always. You smile, finding the expression a little forced given everything you’re up against.

“I’ll be fine.” You insist, though the suspicious look in the girl’s emerald eyes tells you she isn’t convinced, though she knows better than to press the issue. Silence settles among you all once more, and amid the steady static of your family’s squelching footfalls you have a moment to consider how best to pass the time until…

…well, until the inevitable.

>>Actually...you will ask Holly something.

>>See what Rath and November are talking about.

>>Speak to Dorian, he’s been quiet.

>>Catch up with the Midnight Crew.

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>4142878
(As an aside, this day is proving to be filled with meetings regarding recent news, so my apologies for the longer voting times. I hope to cut them a bit shorter soon, if I can.)
>>
>>4142872
>>Actually...you will ask Holly something.
>"What do you think Holly? Any ideas on what could get through to Magpie? I... I am afraid.. that i will mess this up... and will have to face her in combat"
>Try afterwards to clear up the mood a bit and gesture for the relics
>"On the other hand. Are you okay with that monster of a relic stuck in your mouth? Anything you could think up for the future so we can keep you competitive?"


>>4142882
Four hours are fine OP God on the day we were told that we would have to work from home we were in meetings constantly as well. I could see the color draining from my bosses face every every time i saw her. At the end of the day she was pretty done.
>>
>>4142882
>>4142878
Hey, it's the virus. it's inevitable that things will get tied up.
My state closed down all restaurants, so it's horrible for those waiters and bartenders. I think they do deliveries only now. Although I'm not affected by that so much as the paperwork regarding my leave of absence.

>>4142872
>Speak to Dorian, he’s been quiet.
>"Care for some company?"
>Let Dorian speak his mind and listen.

>>4142892
>that coworker
Big OOF right there.
How big of a pain is she in the workplace?
>>
>>4142882
hey, take your time man. alot of people no longer even have work or school at all anymore, so take your situation as you will.

>>4142872
>Catch up with the Midnight Crew.
>>Ask them how they've been, what interesting things they've been up to, and how things seem to be out there from how they can tell.
>>Jokingly ask Jackie whos all shes pissed off this time around too, and what sorta trouble she and hers has caused.
>>
>>4142892
>>4142896
(A big 'oof' to that coworker, indeed.)
>>
>>4142896
>>4142904
My Boss? She is a real stickler for the rules. But she is getting more relaxed now that routine has returned to the workplace after some big and sorely needed hires.

My Coworker on the other hand...... I will not badmouth him but god he makes my blood boil. Just thinking about him is making my blood pressure rise to unhealthy levels again. And having to walk him through the process of how to install a piece of software that we have a step by step manual for.............
>>
>>4142892
>I... I am afraid.. that i will mess this up... and will have to face her in combat"
im not really a fan of this line. feels way too fickle for Shu, and also way too late by this point to be having reservations about the most likely outcome of this situation.
>>
>>4142918
So more something like this? More forceful and direct. Seeing the Battle more like an unnecessary waste of resources than somwthing to truly dread to have to face someone Shu likes in combat
>"I hope that i can reach her and prevent this battle. Maybe you can help me find an angle that i haven't thought of yet?"
>>
>>4142919
that works yeah.
a main part of it id say is the fact us having to meet her in person is already based on the fact things failed, just, not Shu who failed id argue. also felt a bit too much like it ignored that however much it sucks, we are going there to kill her. we might hope that wont actually be necessary, but both we and Magpie had our conversation and said quite clearly we were gonna stop her, and she very much made it clear it probably wont be through words.

damnit Magpie, you didn't even deserve it, but all you had to do was accept a slap on the wrist. now, even if we talk you down, theres no way we wont still need to be harsher with you.
>>
>>4142872
Ammending my vote from >>4142892
to
>>Actually...you will ask Holly something.
>"What do you think Holly? Any ideas on what could get through to Magpie? I hope that i can reach her and prevent this battle. Maybe you can help me find an angle that i haven't thought of yet?"
>Try afterwards to clear up the mood a bit and gesture for the relics
>"On the other hand. Are you okay with that monster of a relic stuck in your mouth? Anything you could think up for the future so we can keep you competitive?"
>>
>>4142925
actually, i just thought of a good idea for part of Magpies punishment if she does get talked down.

she has to listen to a long winded lecture from Amara while we encourage her to use lots of words too big or complex for her age.
>>
>>4142950
that's cruel you know. good for comedy, but this is a sort of drama moment.
>>
>>4142952
well yeah, which is why i'd only happen afterwards assuming things calmed down.
>>
>>4142950
And Amara getting words wrong is definitely at least halfway intentional, so telling Amara to use complicated words would get her doing it for every other noun.
>>
>>4142872
>>Catch up with the Midnight Crew.
>>
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>>4142904
hey BHOP, heres something cool i just found, thought ya would like it.

https://imgur.com/gallery/j5jjErv

also, an awesome doggo picture.
>>
>>4142983
(Well this is just the coolest thing I've ever seen. Thank you for sharing!)
>>
(Headed home for the day Gentlemen, and I'll be posting once I arrive.)
>>
God damn it i thouzght i had fixed my sleeping schedule and with working from home letting me stay up longer but i still need more time to adjust.

Ah well i will head to bed now. Good night anons

Good Night OP
>>
>>4143257
Good night, anon. We'll try not to get anyone killed while you're gone. Sleep well.
>>
>>4143257
(Sleep well, Anon. You probably won't be missing much, as I'll likely make this next post the day's last so I can try and get some pre-work done and then get some rest for tomorrow.)
>>
>>4143264
(This is me, posting from the first time since I got home.)
>>
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>>4142872

You fall back a bit, weaving through the field of Joyous as you sidle up to Jackie and the rest of her Crew, intent on a much needed catch-up.

“Everything’s been going so fast, I wanted to pump the brakes a bit and ask what you all have been up to.” You announce, glancing among the four Paladins even as you survey from high above as your brood soars on translucent wings. “Who’s Jackie pissed off this time around? Anyone interesting?”

“Been busy.” Ace says, surprising you by the simple fact that she’s the first to speak up. “Boss here’s keeping us on the move.”

“To get stronger, that’s what we gotta do!” Jackie fires back, giving a pointed wink to her armored companion despite only having one eye with which to emote. “Took up hunting down a few Amalgams for some quick levels, to try and get some momentum going after you let us shuffle around our powers a bit. We’re all pretty happy about that opportunity, I’d say.”

“I know I sure am.” Quinn chimes in, giving you a playful wink as she flexes one powerful arm. “Now that I’m not taking freaking forever to amp up, I can play vanguard alongside Ace Attorney, here.”

“Oh, oh! Ace and I figured out a new move!” Keane interjects excitedly, struggling to shove her way past the Joyous that’ve boxed her in. “She drains whoever she’s in close combat with, but a lot faster now, so I suck off the surplus and use it to heal the rest of us!”

“Okay, first? Phrasing.” Jackie grimaces, prompting Keane’s cheeks to go red. “And second, Ace’s DPS is nuts now that we were able to clone that axe of hers, and Quinn’s a goddamn force of nature.”

“So…what about yourself? Gotta say, I’m getting curiouser about that sword by the minute, and you being all cagey about it doesn’t help my wonderings.” Comes your inevitable query, complete with your own wry grin.

“Ha, alright, if you insist…” The slender girl relents with a shrug of her sharp, angular shoulder blades. “Figured picking up an odd job here or there would help us cover the Relic side of things, so we took a job to plunge into some old Hexane ruins…and this time ‘round, we didn’t have a full-blown skirmish on our hands.”

She sticks her tongue out at you, continuing before you counter that Ozmas’ home was her idea.

“Anyway, we find what the commissioner was looking for, which was this weird-lookin’ tea set…at least, I think that’s what it was. Dunno how the Hexane drink, but anyway.” The girl just shakes her head, getting back on track. “In the same room there was the little shrine, everything cleared away from this sword. Biomass seemed to avoid everything but the sword, actually…the veins and gristle and shit just seemed drawn to it, like it was trying to eat it. I took it by way of payment since Paloma said we could keep anything else we saw there, and when we returned with the cups and junk, she was pleased as punch.”

(Continued)
>>
>>4143316

“So much so that Paloma gave us a second job! The one that took us to Carroll’s Forest!” Keane adds, a note of pride in her high voice. “Suffice to say that we nailed it, after only a pinch of having to deal with horrific nightmare trees!”

“Paloma…that name’s been thrown around a lot lately.” You muse.

“She pays well, and she’s about as safe a haven as you can get with everything that’s been going on, what with Hunger riots and the three big-ass Amalgams that’ve been on the move.” Jackie comments with a shrug, a diminutive bat fluttering away from one of the voids in her skull as it flits over to your shoulder. “She also said if we knew anyone who’s not trying to make the world worse off, then to send them her way.”

A brief series of chirps and squeaks issue from the bat’s tiny mouth, the sounds forming into a place, a destination…a purpose, as Jackie grins.

“So I told her I knew just the gal.”

>>IKEA Coordinates: Acquired

"And as far as my sword, well..." Jackie trails off with a sly smile.

"...I've got a keep a few tricks up my sleeve if I'm gonna beat you."

You exchange a bit more idle chatter with the Crew, touching on such topics as Quinn’s fixation on a rumored biological male that’s supposedly jumping from Waystation to Waystation around the Crucible, and all the way to Keane’s long-winded monologue about how she’d fix some of her more beloved webcomics, that vast majority of which you’ve never even heard of. You’re so immersed in conversation that you almost don’t notice the subtle shift in terrain, the teeth growing closer and closer together until you’re reduced to clambering over the interlocked fangs, measuring speed against caution as you all make your way over the treacherous calcite canopy.

The sight of smoke on the horizon makes your heart skip a beat. For a single, panic-stricken moment you think you’re too late, ice running through your veins as you surge ahead, propelled by the unrivaled force of your Ravenous Maw’s prehensile tongue. Your urgency carries you with utmost haste to the top of a pointed ridge, and at the summit you see an encampment nestled in the slope of the valley, trails of smoke billowing from the tops of the assorted tents. There’s no gunfire, no violence, no chaos, but instead merely an oddly familiar scent wafting up from the cavernous valley.

"Chris, is that a weed I'm calling the police?!" Quinn rattles off behind you, and you're turning around when Ace immediately counters.

"Nine-one-one, what's your emergency?" She urgently intones from within the confines in her armor, you you crack a smile as the Midnight Crew cackles among themselves. You have to admit a certain sort of relief now that you've located the Altered Altar's offshoot, perched at the edge of a...

...huh.

(Continued)
>>
>>4143320

You quint, realizing that their camp rests on the precipice of a yawning void, the teeth that you've clambered over leading into the rasping throat of a colossal, lamprey-esque maw. It begins to breathe in slowly, and you watch as the smoke is drawn downwards, slowly spiraling into the land's greedy mouth as it breathes deep, steady breaths. In any case, you've beaten Magpie to her next target and all that's left is to wait for her arrival...

...and for better or worse, you don't have to wait long.

She comes stalking up the ridge far below you, trudging up the path of interlocked fangs on long, slender legs. You have the high ground, waiting atop the lip of the massive mouth as you watch her slowly make her way to where you and your assembled allies stand. Magpie takes her time, walking as though she has all the time in the world as her hovering eyes orbit her head of raven hair. From your swarmlings' point of view, you see the twin pistols strapped to her waist, while her revolver's tucked into an underarm holster that's revealed when a fetid breeze wafts across the tooth-infested hills that surround you. Her compact machine gun's dangling lazily from one hand, while her rifle and shotgun are nowhere to be seen. Magpie's finally arrived, equipped for a fight...no.

Not a fight.

A massacre.

The older woman finally stops a few dozen yards below you, leaning her head to one side as her neck pops with an audible crack.

"I'll admit, I'm impressed you beat me here." She drawls, slowly reaching into her pocket as you and your allies collectively tense, until she reveals a cigarette and lighter clutched in the spindly fingers of her left hand. "Impressed...and a little disappointed, if I'm bein' honest."

"I want to talk." You declare, staring down at her as she cracks a smile.

"I'm sure you do." She grins.

"I want to *understand*, Magpie. I want to know why you're doing this." You continue, your defensive swarm hovering around your allies as you take a step forward. "I want to give you a chance. A choice...and I hope you'll make the right one."

"Kiddo, I hope you know that I'd tell you if I-" She says, and she almost drops her lighter as her hand spasms, a wince of pain crossing her features as her grin transforms briefly into a grimace before reverting back as she lights her cigarette.

"You want a 'why', Shu?" She finally says, every word deliberate as she tilts her eyeless sockets towards you. "I cannot say."

"We don't want to hurt you, Magpie." Rath growls, her balled fists radiating enough heat to prompt both the Crew and the Joyous to take a collective step away from her. "But we'll stop you from hurting anyone down there if that's what we-"

"You mean you'll kill me, is what you're trying to say. Hey, you'd hate to kill me. Heh, I get it." Magpie interrupts with a grin, followed by a shrug. "You seem a decent sort - I hate to die."

(Continued)
>>
>>4143323

"No-one has to die today, Magpie."

You take another step forwards, spreading your arms as you open your empathic channel once more to the woman before you. As her thoughts wash over you, you find they're like steel - cold, unwavering, and hardened in the rusted trap that is her mind. Guilt weaves through them, though not at what she intends to do...no, that is merely what must follow as a result of that which she should've done. Could've done. Would've done, if only she'd been stronger. If only she stopped her when she had the-

"Sure they do." Magpie replies, breathing out a lungful of smoke as her mind retreats from your own prying consciousness. "Look...I really don't want to hurt y'all, either. Nobody here wants to hurt each other...'cept your spitfire there. She's itching to acquaint her knuckles with my jaw, but that's just how she is."

It's Rath's turn to shrug.

"But what we have here is an impasse, a failure to communicate...though that's not the fault of anyone here....ow. Heh, shit...too close, huh?" Magpie softly chuckles, taking another drag on her cigarette after wincing once again. "Ah...but I'll make a deal with you, kiddo."

She extends her arm, her dwindling cigarette held taught between two long fingers.

"You want to talk...so I'll listen, for as long as it takes for me to finish this." Magpie says, a curious lilt to her voice. "Seems me talking is getting a little hard, so you've got this old woman's ear for a minute while I enjoy my last little vice."

She brings it to her lips, the ashes glowing bright as she inhales, and you watch as the light slowly fades as she exhales another deep breath of thick, whirling smoke.

Her eyes are on you.

You swallow, hard.

"Ball's in your court, Shu."

>>You have her here, face to face...and you can make Magpie understand [Write-In].

>>You can tell Magpie's not going to back down...so you know what you have to do [Initiate Combat].

>>Write-In

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. Voting shall remain open for the next fifteen hours, with posting to resume in around seventeen, give or take. As always, I'll be around for the rest of the evening to address any questions you all may have, in addition to any criticisms, comments, and the like.)

(I do hope everyone's day has gone well, and I look forward to seeing where you all take this encounter. I wish you the best, and take care.)
>>
>>4143326
>"Kiddo, I hope you know that I'd tell you if I-" She says, and she almost drops her lighter as her hand spasms, a wince of pain crossing her features as her grin transforms briefly into a grimace before reverting back as she lights her cigarette.

>"You want to talk...so I'll listen, for as long as it takes for me to finish this." Magpie says, a curious lilt to her voice. "Seems me talking is getting a little hard, so you've got this old woman's ear for a minute while I enjoy my last little vice."

Something's definitely off about Magpie.

>that filename: "Magpie, Bound and Gagged"

Okay. There's a big hint about Magpie. Bound and gagged? Magpie's bound by something, and that contract binds her from doing anything else except follow the terms lest she risks the consequences. Is there a Geas on Magpie? or does Magpie have something that's she's forced to be mum about? She seems like she wants to talk and willing to listen, but the same message we might be preaching might not work again.
>>
>>4143320
>Quinn’s fixation on a rumored biological male that’s supposedly jumping from Waystation to Waystation around the Crucible
oh, Guess Carter has a fan. good luck with that Carter, dont think the Midnight crew are the best to upset.

>>4143331
hope your afternoons quite good BHOP, and hope none of this panic or the actual virus is too close to home.

also, can Shu tell if this is the real Magpie? id assume so, as we got a read off her, but id like to double check.

>>4143335
i mean, her emotions seemed pretty clear. not saying you're wrong, only whatever she might be bound by, she almost certainly accepted willingly. that is, assuming its not saying she feels bound by past mistakes and such. she also seems to be suffering some disease cutting her time short. maybe that Spiral hit never healed properly? as far as we were aware, such effects shouldn't be permanent, at least so long as the inflictor is killed, which they were. but maybe the Spiral had enough materials to break the standard, which we know isnt impossible.
>>
>>4143335
>>4143326

It seems that every time she talks, she is inflicted with pain that she tries to suppress but she winces with said pain from some unknown geas.

>"But what we have here is an impasse, a failure to communicate...though that's not the fault of anyone here....ow. Heh, shit...too close, huh?" Magpie softly chuckles, taking another drag on her cigarette after wincing once again. "Ah...but I'll make a deal with you, kiddo."

>"though that's not the fault of anyone here...ow."
Magpie seems to go on longer but something seems to make her verbally wince in pain
>"Heh, shit...too close huh?"
Magpie chuckles at the bind she's in because what she's trying to do cuts too close to violating the terms she's apparently bound to. The longer she stays her hand from pulling the trigger, the more pain she's in.

>>4143340
That's not it. remember the relic weapons she's crafted?

>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’.

The relic weapons have a drawback. It's not stated, but it's heavily implied that Magpie must inflict violence and fill a quota in order to not receive a backlash. That's why the quote of " violence isn’t a solution - It’s the question…" is relevant. It's asking the wielder: "Will there be violence?"
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>>4143348
yeah.
but she still chose to pick the weapons up, and still has no qualms about what they are making her do, if they are even really forcing her hand, over just speeding up the process.
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>>4143348
Can we redirect the need for violence? Like, say, towards a killer cyborg? If she has to kill for whatever reason, and she says she's doing this to help us, maybe telling her that she'd do a much better job of helping us by fighting Alpha alongside us would manage to redirect the geas she's under.
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>>4143340
(As far as you can tell, this is the real Magpie. At the very least you can tell that this is not a construct or a mere illusion.)
>>
>>4143326
>As her thoughts wash over you, you find they're like steel - cold, unwavering, and hardened in the rusted trap that is her mind. Guilt weaves through them, though not at what she intends to do...no, that is merely what must follow as a result of that which she should've done. Could've done. Would've done, if only she'd been stronger. If only she stopped her when she had the-

>>4143350
look closely at the dialogue here:

>"Kiddo, I hope you know that I'd tell you if I-" She says, and she almost drops her lighter as her hand spasms, a wince of pain crossing her features as her grin transforms briefly into a grimace before reverting back as she lights her cigarette.

>"You want a 'why', Shu?" She finally says, every word deliberate as she tilts her eyeless sockets towards you. "I cannot say."

She was going to say something, but she was interrupted by pain. Then she switched her answer to saying: "I cannot say".
This means that she would like to say the answer, but she's been bound by a geas or an oath to not divulge on pain of death.

We're trying to save the settlement here and trying to talk Magpie down.
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>>4143363
Well, at least that means that if this does come to blows, Dorian should be able to use his initiative boost to Masque of War her and keep her from playing teleport sniper-tag with us.
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>>4143368
and you're outright ignoring what im actually saying, and the point im making, aswell as other info given to us about her mental state.
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>>4143368
Maybe if we can knock her out we can put the Neurotic Crown on her, remove that geas effect. To bad we don't have enough Neurotic Halos spare on hand to assemble the Crown right here and now. Oh, Ascendants' Crown, you're so powerful but so very impractical to make use of.
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>>4143326
>Have a swarmling do a quick whizz by, blowing out her cig with a gust.
>"Hrm, well theres at least a few seconds longer. you seem to not be doing too well, a last vice might not be a good idea, regardless of how this turns out."

>"We're not here to negotiate Magpie. You know what we stand for and why we're here. You're not hurting anyone else, causing anymore chaos or problems. just a matter of how much of yours and ours bloods on the ground before we stop you."
>"Just... please. drop the weapons. toss them aside, and we can take you in, and settle this like actual adults, instead of whatever you're pretending to be."
>"what is this really about? why are you so damn intent on doing this? sure, you've said your spiel about the Spiral and all that nonsense, but you'r either way too thick of skull or way less bright than you seem, if you think im blind to the clear picture theres more to this than just that."
>"This have to do with Mara? and what you helped her do? what? Mara didn't have the best intentions when she made all these groups, is that it? so because you and her were asses, it doesn't mean they cant be used for good, cant change their direction? it means they all gotta be killed and buried?"
>"Or maybe its something else. maybe those guns give you an itchier trigger finger than normal?"
>"....But none of that changes the fact you still chose this, you chose to pick up your weapons, and you chose to go slaughter people like cattle, and its you standing here not having any qualms about what you're doing... only what you didn't do."
>sigh, and let your tone go soft.
>"Hasn't the Crucible seen enough needless bloodshed? hasn't it seen enough people, who refuse to try something else but to cut a path forward? Whatever you did, or didn't do, stop letting it eat you up. ive seen enough of where that leads... and put enough people down over it. but i have put them down, as necessary, and ill do it again."
>"You need something to shoot, we need a hand against actual threat, actual problems. not ones you wish to make out of only possibilities, but real, current ones. We got some good, wonderful healers with us. toss down your weapons, come with us. we'll get that wince looked at, we'll figure out what needs to be done about what you've done, but at least you'll actually have a chance to do some good, instead of littering the fleshscape with corpses on a hunch."

>Take a moment to hint at your team to be prepared for the worst, and put your hand on your Contender.
>"Or. we do what you, not us, chose. we put you down, and save lives. its what we're good at, afterall, just like you said."
>>
>>4143377
(It's 'Awesome, but Impractical' to its core. Potentially game-breaking with some tinkering and forethought, to be sure.)
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>>4143326
>"Magpie, Look I don't know exactly your more personal history regarding the time you've been awake, nor your beef with Mara, but I think I get the basic gist of your situation. You're bound under a geas right? You're compelled to seek and create violence. I don't know what forged the geas, so I can only guess that it's the weapons that you've made."
>"I've made my heartfelt speech to you over the phone, but saying the same thing here won't work."
>"So...I'm going to have to try and convince you in a different way."
>Gather up your resolve and take a deep breath.
>"I want to hire you for a job."
>"I've got a problem that needs to be dealt with. And I need your help and your guns. Violence will be required."
>stress the word "will"
>"I have a veritable Terminator named West Alpha who is specialized in hunting my family down. Strong, durable, fast, melee based, Veritable cold berserker. Makes Relics and weapons on the fly and in great quantities due to having a working Forge built into her gut. A walking loot pinata. Fought Mara to a stalemate after 6 hours of constant fighting. My family is not equipped to deal with her. Not sure if we can even win."
>"Help me take her down, please. As payment, Any relics Alpha makes from her forge in combat will be yours for the taking."

You can yell at me for being a dumb shit, but hiring her is just a temporary stopgap measure. It saves the altered Altar from the immediate threat if Magpie is convinced, and we get additional help in fighting against Alpha. This will hopefully sate Magpie's Geas quota, but it also gives us time to help figure out Magpie's deal with her guns and her long drawn out hidden vendetta.
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>>4143413
>>4143326
yeah no im highly against this. it ignores the very real and very heavy fact that whatever else might be motivating her, she still very much had a say, choice, and has emotionally shown herself to be more than ok with the path she is going down.

plus, i refuse to give her payment, both after what she has done, and because again, she very much had a choice in getting down this route and very much still wanted it to some degree. the last thing we need is to make her more powerful, especially with Alpha tier relics, and im not gonna trick her either and say we will then refuse to give them to her or something.

even if she is under a geas, its a terrible plan, in my opinion.
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>>4143425
give me some time to think on this, you've helpfully pointed out Magpie's mental state and convictions. so I'll try to come up with some supplementary lines to go with your write-in.

>>4143413
>>4143326
Revoking my own vote.
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>>4143413
>>4143447
also, on the Geas part. your plan wouldn't work anyways. if it is a Geas, it seems to be per gun. shes taken down two factions, she is now missing two guns. she has at least two more, assuming the pistols count as a pair. Alpha would only count as one, assuming whatever 'contract' she has, doesn't have further rules, such as 'taking out groups.' which would mean, she either would have to take down the entire Proxy catalog, or at least enough to say she did, and no matter what she would still have at least one to go, and for sure needing a 'valid target' for it, not just any ol amalgam, which we actually after Alpha currently dont have.

this is, of course, an educated guess, but it may fall a bit flat due ot her having NINE other settlements she planned to hit. which implies one of two things; Quality/Quantity matters, the Contract is preset and cannot be changed, or she knows exactly how this works, and just planned to pick them up again. which, even if im right about the rest, both the amount she planned to hit, and he demeanor at all this, makes it clear the last one is probably true regardless of the rest.
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>>4143458
If I'm reading this right, then "for each settlement" Mara has founded, Magpie has made a gun solely for destroying said "settlement".
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>>4143494
not exactly what i was thinking, but... honestly? id not be surprised. at all. would mean less she plans to pick these back up, and that she has another stash somewhere instead though.
but, i think that would be semantics at that point, or at least currently.

damn, that really does sound like her though... yet is a very annoying idea if true.
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>>4143377
>>4143363
>>4143494
i think the phrase "id be highly impressed if you weren't such an asshole." is the perfect phrase for how im feeling about Magpie at the moment.
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>>4143458
>if it is a Geas, it seems to be per gun. shes taken down two factions, she is now missing two guns.
I'm not sure about that. She took out the Apex before losing the long guns, remember? So it can't be by group taken out, because she would have only lost one since last we saw her if that's how it works. It's either by value of target or number of targets. Assuming that she is able to discard guns as she completes hits, and that it's not something else. It probably is that, but the fact that Six Black Heaven's Guns is a reference makes me think that they're meant to be a set of six and that she didn't have a seventh gun before she took down the Apex.

Though I guess both discrepancies could be solved by "is able" not being the same thing as "has to". So she held onto one of the guns after taking out the Apex despite having the opportunity to lose it, and only decided to ditch it after seeing Shu at Laoc because...she's feeling guilty about us, maybe?
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>>4143523
She does see a lot of Alex (her son) in Shu, there may be some guilt associated with that. From the thoughts that we could glean when our field brushed up against her mind, her guilt has the "should've would've could've" thought of being able to prevent SOMETHING that happened in the past, and she's beating herself up about it.
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>>4143523
maybe she thought it was still useful. it being made to take down the Apex and being 'contracted' to them, doesn't mean it might not be useful against the Altar.

but then she took them down and ran out of an excuse to use it. could also be an ammo/ custom ammo thing. she had rounds leftover, then used them up. its also assuming she hasn't altered her loadout beyond the guns since she made them, even assuming they were made for specific settlements/contracts, and had custom ammo that now didnt fit the gun originally intended for said target.

just dont think her having hit two targets and missing two guns is random is all.
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>>4143532
wait, hang on a tic, where does it mention Magpie missing two guns from her repetoire?
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>>4143537
>>4143532
Never mind, found it.
>>
Okay, I'm reading over her words again, and I'm not sure that Magpie took the guns up by choice.

>"But what we have here is an impasse, a failure to communicate...though that's not the fault of anyone here....ow. Heh, shit...too close, huh?" Magpie softly chuckles, taking another drag on her cigarette after wincing once again.

Saying that the reason she can't communicate isn't the fault of anyone in the current conversation triggered the geas. And the "too close, huh" suggests she was trying to get around the geas. Someone else is responsible for her being set on this warpath, and she's just resigned to having to follow it. The "if only she stopped her when she had the-" isn't referring to Magpie's guilt over not stopping Uzu before she could become the Spiraling Fear, an event that convinced her she has to do these executions. It's referring to her guilt at not stopping whoever is making her do this.
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>>4143582
im not sure about that. still sounds like she just means she just feels we're not on the same page, but doesn't blame anyone for this.

it feels just about the opposite of Magpie and how she is to ever be ok being a puppet. her personality is more of one where she would just take the pain and possible death if it was that, and certainly wouldn't be so emotionally ok with the situation.

unless she was still ok with what goal she was given, i guess,but that wraps back around to her simply being ok with it and that itself being a major issue, regardless of anything else.
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>>4143589
Maybe. But the fact that saying "no one here is responsible for this" triggered the geas still has me worried. It suggests that either the person responsible is somewhere else, or that just the act of trying to communicate lack of blame makes the guns angry. Either one is really bad, but I'm hoping it's the first because at least then communication is possible. Very difficult, but possible.
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>>4143607
i mean, its a pretty vague statement, that could mean too many things to pin down, even considering the Geas. but she still is way too ok with all this for this to be entirely outside what she wants.
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>>4143612
She's resigned to it, not okay with it. She's feeling guilty for not stopping the chain of events that lead to this, but she doesn't feel she has a choice. I don't know, it's got me worried. I'll work on my write-in once I've eaten, I started making dinner way too late. See if I can say something that conveys "okay, I'm not sure how much culpability you have here but I've got to stop you regardless, so if there's any chance you're being forced to do this, I'm sorry for what has to be done and hope that there's a way to communicate with you freely afterwards".
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>>4143612
It could be a condition of "learned helplessness", Magpie's okay with this because she resigned to the fact that she'll have to slaughter more settlements, but that doesn't mean she's truly helpless. Otherwise she and bhop wouldn't have given out hints that she's under a geas.
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>>4143619
>>4143620
i disagree. heavily. shes not the type who would just be ok with being a puppet or resign herself to this, doesn't fit her personality at all, nor at all do i agree all the bits and pieces at all add up to that.
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>>4143620
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. She might be able to fight it, but whoever is responsible is strong enough that she thinks that even if she can it's not worth the struggle anymore.

>>4143624
Her personality has shown itself to be pretty depressive. I can easily believe that she'd eventually give up on fighting a geas. And the bits and pieces definitely add up to there being someone else involved. How else are you going to interpret the geas punishing her there?
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>>4143630
not so damn depressive she would be ok with this if it wasn't what she wanted, and nothing about the potential Geas means she didnt choose to pick them up and someone else is pulling the strings, nor that one line.

plus her personality is still way too stubborn for just accepting this, and earlier she was being pretty honest to use about still wanting to do this.
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>>4143639
>not so damn depressive she would be ok with this if it wasn't what she wanted, and nothing about the potential Geas means she didnt choose to pick them up and someone else is pulling the strings, nor that one line.
But she's not okay with it. You keep saying that, it's not true. She's resigned to it, that's not the same thing. She thinks she has no other choice but to do this, but she's not alright with that fact. We're explicitly told that she feels guilt she couldn't stop this from happening. And while that line doesn't necessarily mean she's unwilling, it does cast doubt on her culpability if there's another party involved that she's not allowed to speak of. I'm not saying that Magpie is some completely innocent didn't do anything victim in this process. But without knowing more I'm hesitant to have Shu castigate her. Honestly, I'm not sure what Shu's response should be, I doubt the geas will let her surrender. I'm leaning more and more towards just fighting.
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>>4143326
>>4143326
>>You have her here, face to face...and you can make Magpie understand [Write-In].
>"God damn it, you're clearly geased. Is there even a point to having this conversation, Magpie? Could you even surrender if you wanted to? Will the geas let you tell me that? I mean, I don't know if you want to, it's unclear how much of this is you and how much is you being controlled, but it would be nice to know if it's at least possible."
>"If you can back out from this, if that's an option, please just set your guns down. I've got so many bigger problems to deal with, and if you were honest about your desire to clear the way for me you could do that so much better by helping me with them. Kill some people and things that deserve it, instead of a bunch of hippies. Please, I'm begging you. I don't want to have to fight another person I care about because they're being too stubborn. Uzu and Isabel were enough."
>"And if you can't back out from this, if the geas is controlling you too much...then I'm sorry, but you know I have to stop you. I'm sorry for what would have to happen, then. Though afterwards, you're going to give me some answers on how you got this geas. I really hope you didn't put it on yourself, I don't want there to be some mastermind but I'd like to think of you fondly."
>"Either way, Magpie, the choice is yours. If you still have a choice. Please make the right one."
>>
>>4143326
>You take another step forwards, spreading your arms as you open your empathic channel once more to the woman before you. As her thoughts wash over you, you find they're like steel - cold, unwavering, and hardened in the rusted trap that is her mind. Guilt weaves through them, though not at what she intends to do...no, that is merely what must follow as a result of that which she should've done. Could've done. Would've done, if only she'd been stronger.

>>4143648
no, you're just reading it how you wish it was. nothing about that makes her seem non complaint, but actually outright ok and resolved to see this through. it doesn't sound defeatist, doesn't sound resolved, but sounds exactly like shes stubbornly determined to do this.
>>
Here's a thing that I noted:

Our conversation with Magpie over the phone:
>"You talked, now you get to listen." The older woman cuts you off with a hardness to her voice that wasn't there before. "The Monastery wasn't your fault; it was mine. Please don't feel guilty about it, Shu. There wasn’t anything you could’ve done, not with…"

>A bitter sigh, exhaled with intent.

"I was too much of a goddamn coward to stop it when I saw what was going on, and now that I have nothing in my way I'm damn well going to correct that mistake." She declares, her tone leaving zero room for argument."

Note that Magpie changes the subject mid sentence. and follows up with a declaration.

Here's our conversation with Magpie face to face:

>"I want to *understand*, Magpie. I want to know why you're doing this." You continue, your defensive swarm hovering around your allies as you take a step forward. "I want to give you a chance. A choice...and I hope you'll make the right one."

>"Kiddo, I hope you know that I'd tell you if I-" She says, and she almost drops her lighter as her hand spasms, a wince of pain crossing her features as her grin transforms briefly into a grimace before reverting back as she lights her cigarette.

>"You want a 'why', Shu?" She finally says, every word deliberate as she tilts her eyeless sockets towards you. "I cannot say."

Magpie also changes the subject here, but makes it plain that the reasons are enforced by pain if she intends to state the motive behind the killings.

>"But what we have here is an impasse, a failure to communicate...though that's not the fault of anyone here....ow. Heh, shit...too close, huh?" Magpie softly chuckles, taking another drag on her cigarette after wincing once again. "Ah...but I'll make a deal with you, kiddo."

Again, I'm seeing a common line here.
If Magpie tries to state a motive, she cannot answer properly. If she states that no one is at fault for something, she's interrupted by the geas.

Motives of why, the "who's to blame", if magpie cannot find a reason nor a target to blame, then the geas punishes Magpie.

Come to think of it, the Six heavenly Guns is a reference to Guilty Gear's song Six Black Heavenly Guns.
So...are Magpie's guns a set of Guilty Guns that demand a target to blame?
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>>4143582
Agreed.

>though that's not the fault of anyone here....ow. Heh, shit...too close, huh?

She's trying to imply that it IS the fault of someone who ISN'T here. And apparently, that was too close to the truth, and the geas triggered.

A thought, as to who's controlling Magpie: This occurred when we liberated all of West's proxies, like immediately afterwards. And when we did so, West Prime told us that we had made a big mistake. Could this be something that was triggered as a result?
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>>4143732
>>4143582

HOLD THE PHONE.
Didn't Magpie get one of those Crimson Cord Cutters implanted in her head by a West Proxy?
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>>4143676
This is why I think that she's being influenced by someone else. Because she did state a motive, earlier. When we spoke to her via Hivephone she did state a motive, that it was to prevent more Monasteries. If she's unable to state her motive now, that suggests that what she told us earlier wasn't true. It was a lie, and therefore not caught by the geas.

>>4143732
Probably not, Magpie was already planning on going after the Altar before we freed the Proxies. If our guess about the sparsity of Mara's notes being because Magpie took them is true, then she was planning this as far back as the Spiraling Fear aftermath, but at minimum she was preparing for it at Laoc. I don't think this is one of West's dead man's switches. I don't know who the person influencing her geas is, but it's probably not anyone we've met yet.

>>4143736
Yes, Francine. Are we going back to being paranoid about Francine?
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>>4143732
not really possible, and i still dont think its that. you're forgetting she was doing this and had the guns long before then. well, long game-time was, at least.

>>4143676
still doesn't change the fact she was very much ok with taking down both the first faction, and also the Altar aswell. also that first line isnt acting like the others, and just sounds more like a 'you wouldn't understand' type of thing, with how she did the sigh.

>>4143736
she got it from Francine, just like us.
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>>4143741
>>4143739
>Francine being the one that implanted the CC cutter.
Oh. right.

>Magpie.
Damn.
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>>4143739
the evidence points way too far back for this to not be on her. things that staple you with a Geas typically dont like you beg away from them, and the timeline doesn't line up with her being under their influence as far back as when she started planning this.

maybe, MAYBE, someone convinced her to use them, but the evidence simply does not point towards this not being on some level her choice and what she wanted. at best, our last conversation convinced her, but as she said at the end of our last one' its too late to change now'. if she is under the weapons or someone elses influence, it was by choice with the Altar and other one.

>Francine
no, and i think Francine by now would either have told us if she had made one compromised, or if there was a gap in her brain about it. but i dont think thats the case, from what we know, she was 'free' in terms of being away and doing her own thing and whatnot from the Proxy network basically since the moment she got to her position, and by the time Magpie visited id think she was probably already having doubts about the whole plan.
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>>4143331
Hey Bhop. Do we have any active swarmling constructs with us?
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>>4143753
I agree that she probably submitted to the geas, but I think it's likely it was a heavier control than she was expecting. There's just too much weirdness with how she's acting for me to think it's entirely her free will. I don't think she's blameless, I'm not saying that, but it's weird and I want to find out more before I make a definite judgement.

>no, and i think Francine by now would either have told us if she had made one compromised, or if there was a gap in her brain about it.
Oh, yeah, that was just me being sarcastic. I don't think Francine did any funny business. If she did, man would we have made some big mistakes. Whatever is going on with Magpie's weird behavior, I don't think it has anything to do with West, it's just an unfortunate coincidence.
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>>4143758
yes, the post says we have a good swarm about us and our allies. probably based off what was voted on while i slept.
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>>4143760
i guess fair enough, i guess its in my opinion a slight moot point, as it very much seems she even now is at least ok or very much was ok with the goal of it, and certainly had a part in the situation. ok, so maybe you're not as happy with the strength of the Geas or inability to stop once you got the ball rolling. you still decided to go along with it and were ok with it, to some degree, for more than an ok period of time and actions.

if anything, it sounds more like depressing ironic karma, or something.
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>>4143760
>>4143753

I've got no counterargument about the fact that the geas placed on Magpie was entered entirely of her own volition.

But I'm hoping there's a workaround on the Geas.

For now, lets try and figure out the terms and conditions of the Geas, and the apparent limits.
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>>4143758
(Yes, you have the fleet that was discussed earlier. However, I left their numbers/types vague so as to allow for last-minute adjustments if need be.)
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>>4143775
we probably dont have time. i doubt the cig timer was just a suggestion, Geas or no Geas.
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>>4143775
Well, clearly she's forbidden from talking about the actual motivations for why she's doing this. She's more or less outright stated that. I also believe that talking about the geas itself is forbidden, given that she got a shock for telling us that she'd like to tell us what's up but can't.

Other details are less clear. I believe the shock for "that's not the fault of anyone here" indicates an outside party that Magpie's not allowed to speak of, but I'll concede that that's still an unknown and I shouldn't assume yet. Likewise the guns seem to have something to do with it, based on their item description and the fact that Magpie is now missing two of them, but we don't know the particulars. Though removing the guns would be a good move if this comes to a fight anyway, so maybe we'll find out as we disarm her. Everything else is either unhinted at, or hinted at so subtly that we're not picking up on anything.
>>
>The sight of smoke on the horizon makes your heart skip a beat. For a single, panic-stricken moment you think you’re too late, ice running through your veins as you surge ahead, propelled by the unrivaled force of your Ravenous Maw’s prehensile tongue. Your urgency carries you with utmost haste to the top of a pointed ridge, and at the summit you see an encampment nestled in the slope of the valley, trails of smoke billowing from the tops of the assorted tents. There’s no gunfire, no violence, no chaos, but instead merely an oddly familiar scent wafting up from the cavernous valley.

>"Chris, is that a weed I'm calling the police?!" Quinn rattles off behind you, and you're turning around when Ace immediately counters.

>"Nine-one-one, what's your emergency?" She urgently intones from within the confines in her armor, you you crack a smile as the Midnight Crew cackles among themselves. You have to admit a certain sort of relief now that you've located the Altered Altar's offshoot, perched at the edge of a...

>You quint, realizing that their camp rests on the precipice of a yawning void, the teeth that you've clambered over leading into the rasping throat of a colossal, lamprey-esque maw. It begins to breathe in slowly, and you watch as the smoke is drawn downwards, slowly spiraling into the land's greedy mouth as it breathes deep, steady breaths.

Is it me or is the fact that the Altered Altar are camping out here means that the colossal Lamprey Land is kept pacified because the weed that the Altered Altar frequently smoke is keeping the damn Landscape High and pacified as a kite?

Oh shit. if Magpie massacres the settlement, the blood spilled will caused the Lamprey Land will become bloodthirsty instead of pacified and stoned out of its mind.
>>
>>4143888
That is actually a good point. They're keeping the sarlacc pit smoked out. They die and it awakens and hungers. We've already got three giant super-monsters running around, let's not add a fourth one. Unless this is the land-bound Apocalypse Amalgam, maybe, and they caught it early? Whatever the case, let's not let the Altar Spinoff falter in their duties until we're capable of killing something like this.
>>
>>4143902
would it be another good point in convincing Magpie to stand down? Speaking of which, how did we ever figure out that this place is Magpie's next hit?
>>
>>4143910
It might be worth mentioning, yeah. As for how we figured it out, off-screen research of what limited files on the settlements were left in Mara's office combined with the conclusion that she was probably not actually going to leave off on hunting the Altar.
>>
>>4143326

>Gesture at the Sarlacc pit.
>"We're standing at the lip of the mouth of a Continent sized worm. The Altered Altar are keeping the Apocalypse-class worm pacified indirectly through the weed that they smoke."
>"You start shooting up the settlement, you awaken a bigger monster than you intend to keep suppressed."
>"We've already got a Apocalypse-class flying Amalgam on the loose. What's there is to say that there's a sea-based Amalgam that's apocalypse class out in the fleshscape? or a Land-based Amalgam of the same category? Do you really want to stir up bigger shit just to fulfill your quota of 'violence'? Do you really have to make my job harder?"
>"Is it really worth obeying that Geas?"
>"If it's possible, if there's an alternative to help sate that quota that you've been compelled to do, then I'm offering you a job."
>"My family is being hunted by West Alpha. I'm sure you've heard of her. I need your help in stopping Alpha."
>"If you're able to, if you're being presented with the option to, if it satisfies the conditions that you're forced to do...then help me hunt West Alpha..."
>"If you can't...well...consider this an intervention."
>"Please don't make me stop you. You and I both know it doesn't have to end like this."
>>
>>4143961
>"We've already got a Apocalypse-class flying Amalgam on the loose. What's there is to say that there's a sea-based Amalgam that's apocalypse class out in the fleshscape? or a Land-based Amalgam of the same category?
We actually know for a fact that there are. Charon told us that, there's one for land, sea and sky.
>>
>>4143971
We do know that, but what about Magpie? does she know?
>>
>>4143980
Probably. I think there would have been conversation about the trio of giant monsters showing up. Even if she doesn't, it would probably be better to phrase it as a certainty instead of a hypothetical. There are giant monsters, this one is being kept asleep, let's let it stay asleep so we can focus on the ones we already have awake.
>>
>>4143961
>>4143326
Amending my vote:

>Gesture at the Sarlacc pit.
>"We're standing at the lip of the mouth of a Continent sized worm. The Altered Altar are keeping the Apocalypse-class worm pacified indirectly through the weed that they smoke."
>"You start shooting up the settlement, you awaken a bigger monster than you intend to keep suppressed."
>"We've already got a Apocalypse-class Amalgam on the loose. And Charon has told me that there are two more roaming the planet. Are you really willing to wake up one more apocalypse class amalgam? Do you really want to stir up bigger shit just to fulfill your quota of 'violence'? Do you really want to make my job harder?"
>"Is it really worth obeying that Geas?"
>"If it's possible, if there's an alternative to help sate that quota that you've been compelled to do, then I'm offering you a job."
>"My family is being hunted by West Alpha. I'm sure you've heard of her. I need your help in stopping Alpha."
>"If you're able to, if you're being presented with the option to, if it satisfies the conditions that you're forced to do...then help me hunt West Alpha..."
>"If you can't...well...consider this an intervention."
>"Please don't make me stop you. You and I both know it doesn't have to end like this."
>>
>>4143264
>>4143316
>>4143320
>>4143323
>>4143326
Wont be missing much my ass...... Its probably a good thing i didnt read this before bed. otherwise i probably woldnt have slept for the rest of the night

>>4143326
Supporting>>4144000
>>
>>4144000
>>4143326
yeah im voting against this. we have no idea what the pit actually is and this is really jumping the gun on that and relying on a total unknown too much. for all we know, its just a pit. we've been here all of 2 minutes afterall.

>>4143668
im still not a fan of this one by itself really, but at least being Geased seems much more likely and it doesn't totally ignore it was still probably her choice regardless.

for both, i still really feel like relying on trying to trick the Geas sounds like a horrible way to have it backfire even worse on us, and especially im not sure i want her anywhere near Alpha or what she could give her, especially if her minds not actually fully changed or worse, shes not in control even for that.
>>
>>4143668
i will throw my support behind this combined with mine >>4143378
as a comprise though, but i really dislike and think its a mistake to be trying to rely on the Geas here, especially basically only it like you folks are.we can only educatedly guess, not confirm, that its even there, much less what its actual rules are or why she has it in the first place, and what we can ascertain as the most likely possibilities really dont shed any better a light on Magpie, nor sound like they are something that will actually bend in a way that wont backfire. though, doesn't necessarily shine her in a worse light than before, but certainly not a better one. i think it also says something not to be ignored that she and Magpie would be willing to make something with such a drawback, she would go along with it, and she would keep them around too.

cant think of how to properly combine them myself though, but i trust BHOP to figure something out.
>>
>>4144182
>>4143326
whoops, forgot to link it properly.
>>
>>4143326

With a quick, furtive movement, a small swarmling darts by Magpie’s face. The sniper doesn’t even flinch as her cigarette flickers out, and she merely plucks it from her lips, cocking her head to one side as she regards you with sightless sockets.

"Well, there’s at least a few seconds longer. You seem to not be doing too well, a last vice might not be a good idea, regardless of how this turns out." You say, gesturing towards the edge of the ridge. "Look, we're standing at what looks to be the mouth of a Continent-sized worm. For all we know, the Altered Altar are keeping the Apocalypse-class worm pacified indirectly through the weed that they smoke. You start shooting up the settlement, you awaken a bigger monster than you intend to keep suppressed. We've already got an Apocalypse-class Amalgam on the loose, and Charon has told me that there are two more roaming the planet. Are you really willing to wake up one more?"

At that, Magpie’s lips twitch with the hint of an amused smirk as she lazily re-lights her cigarette.

“That’s…not exactly what’s going on here, but trying to play off that wasn’t a bad idea.” She muses, exhaling a trail of smoke. “Not sure if you were just reaching, or if that was a bluff…but I think Mara’d be proud, regardless.”

“Christ, Magpie…do you really want to stir up bigger shit just to fulfill your quota of 'violence'? Do you really want to make my job harder?" You growl, deciding to work off a hunch based on her recent behavior. It’s the last play you have left, really.

"Is it really worth obeying that Geas, Magpie?"

Her grin falters. Her hand spasms. In her silence, there’s no protest, no confirmation…

…but it’s confirmation, all the same.

"If it's possible, if there's an alternative to help sate that quota that you've been compelled to do, then I'm offering you a job." You continue. "My family is being hunted by West Alpha. I'm sure you've heard of her, and I’d like to ask you help in..."

“I see what you’re trying to do, kiddo…” The older woman interrupts, cigarette dangling from her loosened fingertips at her side. “…and I’m gonna make it real simple for you. Me coming here? With these?”

Magpie languidly gestures to the pistols strapped to her side, her machinegun still clutched in her off-hand.

“This is my choice, Shu. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but this is my solution.”

She sounds so…resigned. So very, terribly tired. Almost diminished, in a way…as though she’s less than a full-fledged being, in a way you can’t quite put your finger on.

"…Then consider this an intervention." Comes your stony response. "You and I both know it doesn't have to end like this. You know what we stand for and why we're here. You're not hurting anyone else, causing anymore chaos or problems. And now? It’s just a matter of how much blood is on the ground before we stop you."

She nods, slowly.

(Continued)
>>
>>4144340

"Just... please. Drop the weapons. Toss them aside, and we can take you in, and settle this like actual adults, instead of whatever you're pretending to be." You plead, taking another step as she regards her dwindling cigarette with a weary sigh.

“I’ve come too far to stop now, kiddo.” She replies, her forlorn reply nearly sending you over the edge.

"God damn it, you're clearly geased!” You growl, frustration mounting. “Is there even a point to having this conversation, Magpie!? Could you even surrender if you wanted to? Will the geas let you tell me that? I mean, I don't know if you want to, it's unclear how much of this is you and how much is you being controlled, but it would be nice to know if it's at least possible. If you can back out from this, if that's an option, please just set your guns down.”

Her grip is unwavering as you heart continues to sink.

"Listen, just…hasn't the Crucible seen enough needless bloodshed?” You ask. “Hasn't it seen enough people, who refuse to try something else but to cut a path forward? Whatever you did, or didn't do, stop letting it eat you up. I’ve seen enough of where that leads...and put enough people down over it. But I have put them down, as necessary, and I’ll do it again."

“So do I, Shu.”

“Then kill some people and things that DESERVE it, instead of a bunch of hippies! Please, I'm begging you! I don't want to have to fight another person I care about because they're being too stubborn. Uzu and Isabel were enough! Does…does this have to do with Mara? What? Mara didn't have the best intentions when she made all these groups, is that it? So because of that, you think they can’t be used for good, can’t change their direction? It means they all gotta be killed and buried!?"

In the face of your fury?

Silence.

"Christ, Magpie…you know what? If the geas is controlling you too much...then I'm sorry, but you know I have to stop you.” You say, your own resignation creeping into your exhausted tone of voice. “I’m sorry for what would have to happen, then. Though afterwards, you're going to give me some answers on how you got this geas. But either way, Magpie…the choice is yours, if you still have a choice. Please, I’m begging you…make the right one."

Bringing the cigarette to her lips, she takes one long, last drag, its dim light flickering out as your time…and hers…runs out.

“You’ve gotta do what you gotta do, Shu…” Magpie replies.

“…and so do I.”

The cavernous maw in the valley behind you draws in a steady breath, and in the interval between inhale and exhale, a cold silence settles around the Fleshscape. You stare, unblinking at the sniper’s halo of disembodied eyes, and with a twitch of her hand, the butt of the spent cigarette tumbles to the ground.

It lands at Magpie’s feet at the same instant a rifle crack rolls through the calcite hills with deafening finality.

(Continued)
>>
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>>4144342

>>ARBITER’S JUDGEMENT Activated: Unassailable surprise round in effect.

In a spray of scarlet and crimson, Dorian falls, his chest blossoming with a gout of his liquiform essence. The Joyous move as one to shield you and your allies as Magpie swings the Stelitzia up with the staccato of machinegun fire. A handful of Joyous are cut down on the spot as your Swarm mobilizes, forming an armored wall just as you hear something explode overhead. November’s twin blades swing out, covering you, Dorian, and her niece as a shimmering powder falls across you and the Midnight Crew. It doesn’t hurt, even as it shimmers around you and the vast space it’s been spread over…it’s not doing damage.

It’s doing something much worse.

>>AREA LOCKDOWN ACTIVE: Inbound/Outbound teleportation PROHIBITED.

“Dorian! Dorian are you okay?!” You scramble, darting to the young man’s side as the unceasing report of gunfire roars around you.

“I…dammit, I’ll be alright, I just…” He groans, struggling to rise to his feet as he finds his wounds refuse to heal, his movements sluggish and faltering. “…that shot came from the hill, northeast of here. I’m not sure how, but there’s two of her, and I don’t think it’s a construct.”

>>DORIAN: 1 ACT/Round. Regeneration/healing cancelled.

Diminished, tired…the Magpie that’s opening fire, the one that you’ve been talking to…it’s both real, and not. You knew she could teleport, but this?

Magpie may have surprised you once, but now it’s your turn.

>>COMBAT INITIATED

Shu, the Defiant

VS.

Magpie, the Blackwing Executioner
HP: 1680% (+345% [Dominus: Untethered], Matrons, Viscera Vincula, Pacekeepers, Matron’s)
BIO: 2570% (+320%. 16x Psy-Platelings, 9x Bishops, 5x Rooks, 3x Stealthed Scoutlings, 8x Jacklings, 2x Grapplings, 3x Recursive Knightlings, 2x Recursive Banelings, 1x Basic Swarmling, 1x Magpie's Fuzzbuzz. 50/50 Swarmlings active.)

CONTENDER: Gemini Forme - Honey x3, Parabellum x3 (Both guns)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: 2 Arms.
ACT: 3/3

HOLLY: 2,480% ([RESIST: Heat, Cold. IMMUNE: Acid] Shawl and Uzi(3x Elemental Mags, 3x Standard), Gamma Pharynx)
DORIAN: 578% (+0%, Sui Interitus, Ventrem Lanceam, Manus Caelorum)
RATH: 2950% (+550%, Gutgrab Daggers, Ignition Gauntlets.)
NOVEMBER: 4370% (Sacrificium(Chest), Ego(Leg), Nail(Leg), Dainsleif(Arm), Margraves(Arm)(Shu), Crimsons Jester(Head), and Whistle(GRA HIR) (T5 Slot).

JOYOUS: 14/20 Remaining.

MIDNIGHT CREW: Full capacity, itching for a fight.

THREAT: Twofold – One half of Magpie’s Biomass at Medium distance, continually firing at you with the machine gun Strelitzia (heavy elemental damage, cycling), second half at Long distance proving ranged support, invisible to the eye.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Voting shall remain open for the next four hours, Gentlemen. I wish you the best of luck.)
>>
>>4144348
(Also, for your information; the Relic that granted Magpie a surprise round can only active once per combat, so normal initiative order will be in effect. It's part of the specially-crafted Arbiter line of Tier 5 Relics, much like Arbiter's Appetite.)
>>
>>4144347
Damit Magpie.........

Alright Dorian is nearly down shit. I dont want to have to explain to Julia he got killed by Magpie..... So we probably need to keep him out of Magpies sight for at least a round. Which is gonna be hard.

And i have an idea of what she is doing she is trying to take out Dorian since he is the only one capable of closing in on her snipers Postion now with teleportation on Lockdown. And over 2100% Damage damn it i hope that was a critical hit due to the surprise round but i fear its not. if he gets hit again he is toast
>>
>>4144350
I kinda guessed it was with its name and all that......

Out of curiosity. How many relics does that line have? and how long ago were they created?
>>
>>4144347
Okay, so Magpie isn't missing her guns because of anything to do with her geas. She's missing them because she gave two to her other body to run overwatch with. Lovely. So that body has Alex's Mercy and Lupara, deadly sniper attack and a nasty short-range punch.
>>
>>4144352
(The damage from Alex's Mercy was on the low end of what it's capable of, and was not a critical hit.)

>>4144353
(They're a set of seven Relics, crafted well over a year ago by Mara when she found her first Tier 5 Forge Core.)

(Also, I forgot to mention that everyone's Halos are primed. I'll update the status tracker with that info next round.)
>>
>>4144340
>>4144342
whelp. like i said, this was clearly what she wanted to have happening. alright Magpie, then lets damn well do this.

>>4144347
smart move taking out Dorian first. probably our best bet is to use her own dust and situation against her. i doubt we can fully stop that damn rifle, over having to spend counters like crazy, but our options to get to said sniper are limited, and the sniper is most likely outside the anti-teleportation bubble too.

but the other one? bit closer to home.

>>4144359
which Magpie is the FuzzBuzz on?
>>
>>4144359
>(The damage from Alex's Mercy was on the low end of what it's capable of, and was not a critical hit.)
Ah....... fuck..... but kinda what i expected

>(They're a set of seven Relics, crafted well over a year ago by Mara when she found her first Tier 5 Forge Core.)
Good To know that Mara was terribly overpowered a year ago already.... considering the pure level of fuck you you need so much BIO to craft these things Could make for an interesting interaction though if she were to meet Mina and her Group
>>
>>4144359
>(Also, I forgot to mention that everyone's Halos are primed. I'll update the status tracker with that info next round.)
They've got Thoughtlings, too. So I guess that Magpie has a way to ignore auto-counters, then. Is it a property of Magpie's skills or of Alex's Mercy? There's no mention of Psychica Spiralis blocking the shots from Strelitza, but that could just be due to a need for brevity.
>>
>>4144360
(The FuzzBuzz is on the Magpie in front of you.)
>>
>>4144363
got it, thanks.
>>
>>4144363
Can we spawn the giant ball of arms from Hundred-Handed level six as an offensive move? I'm thinking that if she has a FuzzBuzz on her we can just have it bloom into a huge tangling mess that immobilizes this body and keeps it from shooting, leaving us free to deal with the sniper. Normally I'd hate to do that to a FuzzBuzz, it's a symbol of friendship, but if Magpie is going to be like this...
>>
>>4144362
(Magpie's skills - it's a weird interaction between her Hive Mistress skill tree and her bullets, where her Lvl 18 skill allows any piercing damage she deals to ignore any form of damage mitigation (much like Cheruem's late-game ability to do the same for slashing damage)...considering an element of her bullets is the beaks of her swarm, she's enabled the same effect on the rounds she fires.)
>>
>>4144365
(Absolutely.)
>>
>>4144365
please do not.
lets not use Fuzzbuzz as a weapon. it will defeat the point of them and taint their image. if we do that, all a Fuzzbuzz becomes is a tool for us to track others and keep them in line, over a gift we give to friends we trust. i just plan to bring it back, to show her she no longer deserves it.
>>
>>4144365
I think a fuzzbuzz arm ball might help us since she will most likely be unable to teleport though i wouldnt count on that she could not just move usign her semi teleportation as is may not count as proper teleportation. but worth a shot quite possibly.

On the same page. If we can find her other version we move there very quickly using the hundred handed ability since it is near instant to generate and collapse it might be our only way to surprise her there on her perch.
>>
>>4144366
Okay, that's a clever exploit. An annoying one, but clever. So Psychica Spiralis will be useless here except as a way to prevent some teleportation tricks. Not even all of them, necessarily, just some. Blerg.

>>4144371
Yeah, alright, that's fair. How about we shoot her with a bullet from the Contender and spawn arms from that? We can do that, the bullets count as our constructs.
>>
>>4144374
assuming we can hit her, sure.
>>
>>4144374
>>4144375
I think we may be forgetting that the arms expand near instantly(Generator constructs and all that) if we can get a construct just near her we can spawn the arms and grapple her in like a split second.

There shouldn't be much she can do about that so maybe even going for quantity over accuracy would be alright as well
>>
>>4144377
true, but near instantly is still not instantly, and if it comes from Shu she will be all the more prepared for it. i think ive got an idea for that, but gotta finish writing up my vote first.
>>
>>4144347
Vote;
SHU;
>Activate Dominus of MG Magpie and Dorian. If it cant get Dorians Regen moving, then attach it to Holly.
>Use the Rooks to Shield everyone from the sniper fire. Cycle out the Scoutlings, Basic Swarmling, and a Gappling, so they can double up their protection.
>Using your Jacklings, Dome in yourself, the Midnight Crew, and MG Magpie. She wants to keep you all here? Then you all will damn well stay here, for now.
>Use the Jacklings to try and keep track of the Sniper Magpie, incase she moves around, so the Rooks can keep blocking her.
>Unload with the Contenders, but purposefully miss with most, to use as a screen for one slightly ajar from aiming at her. Once that one is as close as its gonna get, have it explode into a ball of both grappling and angry fists, to at least disrupt MG Magpie, if not grapple her and beat her down.
>Keep the Knights back to act as extra Defense, but send the Banelings forward and out of the dome, to Harass Sniper Magpie.
>Call back the FuzzBuzz from Magpie. No tricks, no signs its going to do anything. It wont. FuzzBuzzes aren't for combat, and they will never be used as a weapon against those they were given to. That would ruin the image and point of them. But that doesnt means you cant recall a gift, from someone no longer worthy of having it, and you can make damn well sure your eyes tell Magpie exactly that as you bring it home.

DORIAN;
>Slip out some Inklings before the Dome forms, and have some go to harass Sniper Magpie, the others take up positions on any other hill or likely place she may try to teleport to. Have them try and keep a flat profile, to avoid detection as much as possible.
>Go Masque of War Form, but keep it inside the Dome and with the Rooks on its outside. Make sure she isn't immune to her own anti-teleportation, and if she is, is at least Punished for using it.

RATH;
>Toss out a 10 Boil strong barrage on MG Magpie, to give folks a moment.
>then, toss out a second 10 Boil Strong Barrage on her along with Shus Contender shots, but teleport in with one if it survives, as Shu unleashes her HH Swarm, to give you cover.
>Dig the Daggers into Magpie deep with one set of Hands, then start wailing on MG MAgpie with eight other Hydra Arms. try and work with Shu to twist her around, so she is exposed to the rest of the team, over Rath blocking sight to her.

NOVEMBER;
>Use the Sacrificium and Jesters combo to keep yourself at the height of the Initiative Order, and to lower Magpies Critical Chance and Damage, or at least try to.
>unload on Both Magpies with both Porcupine and Spooky, to give Shu and others time to react.
>Once the Dome is up, switch to only Suppressing MG Magpie, until you need to stop due to Rath and Shus plans.
>Once Rath and Shu give you your shot, if they can, hit MG Magpie through the skull with a REX round.

(1/2)
>>
>>4144390
>>4144347
HOLLY;
>Use your Maw to try and quickly get to the side of MG Magpie. We need to put some spacing between us all, just enough she can't suppress the whole group.
>spray MG Magpie down, to help give others an opening and give her a taste of her own medicine.

JOYOUS;
>Always have at least one Joyous back and hiding, to spawn new Joyous,though if extra can be spared from other orders, then have them split too.
>Keep a wall of Queen Crimson between us and Sniper Magpie, as best they can.
>Have the Joyous unleash a GRA RHO CUNT(or just GRA RHO, if Crimson activation takes an Act) with their remaining Act.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>We Trust you to know what to do.
>>Dorian needs aid, if Keane thinks she can fix his regen issue, and unless they think they can safely reach Sniper Magpie, quickly taking down MG Magpie, and making sure she goes down, over throwing any tricks at us, would do us good, and she needs to go down fast.

(2/2)
>>
>>4144390
Considering what you want to have holly do i would say that we just leash her directly. And Dorians Regen is suppressed completely there is nothing ther for the Leash to strengthen. if you add half of 0 to 0 its still zero

Other than that......

Seems good to me. I would also kinda guess that the MG Magpie will be also used as a spotter if we hide behind the wall so i would expect the others Magpies Aim not to degrade to greatly though the wall will help with deflecting the projectile. Could we weave random poles of calcite and cihtin into the wall to make sure that if a bullet penetrates it it will start being deflected and pushed off course by an inconsistent interior of the wall

The less Queen Crimson has to do the better i would say
>>
>>4144347
>tfw Magpie has a clone ability
of fucking course. Magpie can't really commit to the crow theme if she didn't have a whole murder of clones to back her up.
>>
>>4144390
Here's a thought, Have we tried aiming directly for destroying Magpie's guns?
>>
>>4144390
Oh, wait, I just thought of something we should do:

>ERUPTING GRASP (Lvl 5)[MAX]: At a cost of 300% BIO, Rath may prime a debilitating blow that is an escalation of this ability’s Lvl 3 power. On hit, this expensive attack automatically causes all equipped Relics on the target to violently recoil, turning boons into devastating status ailments or causing weapons to misfire in the user’s face. (HEALTH +60%, BIO +30%, HEALTH REGEN +10%)

Have Rath hit Magpie with this, disable her defensive Relics and make all the guns blow up.
>>
>>4144398
im not sure. i dont think we can really create new terrain types with terraforming, only use whats around.

lets ask.

>>4144367
BHOP, whats the... type? Quality? whatever of the terrain we have to terraform like? would trying to go full Abram modern armor at least in theory make the wall better? would it cost more?

>>4144402
Relics are notoriously difficult if not impossible to destroy, especially higher Tier relics. only Rath(as far as we know, as we dont know what the Midnight Crew has) has even slight chance of being able to dish out or have abilities that could do that, and that wont matter if she cant first get close and see if she cant even land a hit on Magpie.

>>4144403
that could work, sure, if Rath can get close and hit of course.
>>
>>4144402
I think unless you have an ability that can specifically damage relics they are near impossible to destroy with conventional means. If you have such an ability..... lets just say that they can crumble pretty quickly.... especially if the ability is pretty strong
>>
>>4144407
>that could work, sure, if Rath can get close and hit of course.
Yeah, but it's a primed ability, it will discharge when Rath hits rather than being an attack on its own. There's no downside to the action economy to add it into the orders.
>>
>>4144413
>>4144407

Well one thing's obvious right now, the old Crow's main way of attacking is with Relic Guns. Her innate abilities are currently secondary. We can disarm them, but one thing that's bothering me is that aside from her personal guns, she never shows any innate offensive abilities like spawning a storm of crows. I'm worried that we might never know what other hidden aces she has up her sleeve.

>>4144403
The other issue is that it only affects one "Magpie", and doesn't really state the duration.
>>
>>4144416
depends on how the clones work. if its like Isabelles Clone ability, it actually might effect both. depends entirely on how the clones work though, which we dont know.
>>
>>4144407
(The terrain is quite pliable, and would serve to slightly throw off the bullet trajectory of all her guns save for her revolver and sniper rifle.)
>>
>>4144416
She will definitely have her crows as an ability, i would guess if we force her to switch we will get a fight of the super carriers between Shu and her.

And that is no a battle i am to confident about in our ability to win without Dorian to clear out her constructs.

>>4144418
>>4144415
>>4144416
We should get on replicating that one Relic Dr. Fran has. her spectacles. Those things are super useful and we should have one for every party of people. i just noticed how we have so little real time information about her.
>>
>>4144420
oh, well, the one gun we need it to.
not surprised, just disappointed. well hopefully it will at least throw off her aim. even a 1% extra miss chance would be helpful against her and that thing.
>>
>>4144416
>We can disarm them, but one thing that's bothering me is that aside from her personal guns, she never shows any innate offensive abilities like spawning a storm of crows.
She doesn't have control over her flock, remember? She's got an Augment that makes them stronger and more numerous but at the price of not being able to direct them, they just attack everything, including her. That's why Magpie isn't using them, with one of her bodies in the melee with us it would be counterproductive. Now, once we take out CQC Magpie, Sniper Magpie will probably start dropping crow swarms.

>The other issue is that it only affects one "Magpie", and doesn't really state the duration.
Yeah, but just affecting the one Magpie will be effective. All her guns backfiring will deal some hefty damage, plus inverting her defensive Relics will help us deal more damage of our own. That way the CQC Magpie dies faster so we can put more focus on Sniper Magpie.
>>
>>4144347
>>4144390
Amending Vote;
SHU;
>Activate Dominus on MG Magpie and Dorian. If it cant get Dorians Regen moving, then attach it to Holly.
>Use the Rooks to Shield everyone from the sniper fire. Cycle out the Scoutlings, Basic Swarmling, and a Gappling, so they can double up their protection. It’ll be expensive, but keep those Shields up, unless they prove wholly ineffective.
>Using your Jacklings, Dome in yourself, the Midnight Crew, and MG Magpie. She wants to keep you all here? Then you all will damn well stay here, for now. Try and make the Dome thick and ‘Abrams Armor Style’ with internally shifting angles any shot has to work through.
>Use the Jacklings to try and keep track of Sniper Magpie, incase she moves around, so the Rooks can keep blocking her.
>Unload with the Contenders, but use them as a screen for one slightly ajar from aiming at her. Once that one is as close as its gonna get, have it explode into a ball of both grappling and angry fists, to at least disrupt MG Magpie, if not grapple her and beat her down.
>Keep the Knights back to act as extra Defense, but send the Banelings forward and out of the dome, to Harass Sniper Magpie.
>Call back the FuzzBuzz from Magpie. No tricks, no signs its going to do anything. It wont. FuzzBuzzes aren't for combat, and they will never be used as a weapon against those they were given to. That would ruin the image and point of them. But that doesnt means you cant recall a gift, from someone no longer worthy of having it, and you can make damn well sure your eyes tell Magpie exactly that as you bring it home.

DORIAN;
>Slip out some Inklings before the Dome forms, and have some go to harass Sniper Magpie, the others take up positions on any other hill or likely place she may try to teleport to. Have them try and keep a flat profile, to avoid detection as much as possible.
>Go Masque of War Form, but keep it inside the Dome and with the Rooks on its outside. Make sure she isn't immune to her own anti-teleportation, and if she is, is at least Punished for using it.

RATH;
>Toss out a 10 Boil strong barrage on MG Magpie, to give folks a moment.
>then, toss out a second 10 Boil Strong Barrage on her along with Shus Contender shots, but teleport in with one if it survives, as Shu unleashes her HH Swarm, to give you cover.
>Dig the Daggers into Magpie deep with one set of Hands, then hit Magpie with a barrage of Hydra Hands, aiming to activate the relic Disabling effects of Grasp on her.

NOVEMBER;
>Use the Sacrificium and Jesters combo to keep yourself at the height of the Initiative Order, and to lower Magpies Critical chance and Damage, or at least try to.
>unload on Both Magpies with both Porcupine and Spooky, to give Shu and others time to react.
>Once the Dome is up, switch to only Suppressing MG Magpie, until you need to stop due to Rath and Shus plans.
>Once Rath and Shu give you your shot, if they can, hit MG Magpie through the skull with a REX round.

(1/2)
>>
>>4144395
>>4144429
>>4144347
HOLLY;
>Use your Maw to try and quickly get to the side of MG Magpie. We need to put some spacing between us all, just enough she can't suppress the whole group.
> spray MG Magpie down, to help give others an opening and give her a taste of her own medicine.

JOYOUS;
>Always have at least one Joyous back and hiding, to spawn new Joyous,though if extra can be spared from other orders, then have them split too.
>Keep a wall of Queen Crimson between us and Sniper Magpie, as best they can.
>Have the Joyous unleash a GRA RHO CUNT(or just GRA RHO, if Crimson activation takes an Act) with their remaining Act.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>We Trust you to know what to do, so just some requests/suggestions.
>>Dorian needs aid, if Keane thinks she can fix his regen issue, and unless they think they can safely reach Sniper Magpie, quickly taking down MG Magpie, and making sure she goes down, over throwing any tricks at us, would do us good, and she needs to go down fast. If Jackie can spare it, we could use something to try and get rid of Magpies eye constructs, to blind her.

(2/2)
>>
>>4144347
Supporting>>4144429
>>4144430
>>
>>4144430
>>4144429
Have we considered jamming Magpie's Guns by stuffing our bees between the hammer and firing pins? swarmlings laden with honey could also work.
>>
>>4144429
>>4144431
Looks good. Block Magpie's sight lines, force her to relocate the sniper body, dazzle and preoccupy the CQC body so that she can't spot for it.

>>4144347
Supporting.
>>
>>4144434
that sounds way too micro and precise to be worth trying, especially on someone whos entire shtick is guns, meaning she both knows to protect them, and is probably already gonna be swift and hard to lock down, let alone aim specfically not just for the guns, but the back end hammers of the guns.

plus, it would depend on the model of gun if thats even really viable.
>>
>>4144434
Probably not worth the effort, we've got several other methods of disabling CQC Magpie's fire that we're using. Adding another would require too much micromanagement.
>>
>>4144439
True... Although another thing has come up my mind. Magpie has a secondary swarm. Her swarm of eyeballs right? We should have our scoutlings search for the eyeballs and have our swarmlings split into recursives in order to widen the search pattern. destroy her eyeballs and we limit her sight, and give her more distractions to deal with.
>>
>>4144442
>>4144439
We have 3 Honey B.33 rounds loaded in each contender. We could shoot Magpie's guns with the Honey Rounds and wait for the honey to explode and jam up her firing mechanisms.
>>
>>4144444
we dont the swarmling slots, so if you would actually read my vote, im asking Jackie if she cant spare some bats for that.

>>4144447
those are way too Macro in how big they stretch for that. the good news is, if they hit her, they'll probably do that anyways. the bad news is, they really dont work for that precise of an action.

that, and its the same issue with just trying to jam the guns in the first place. those are small targets to aim for, relatively speaking, and ones she would know to protect from such things. aiming directly for them without an opening is just asking to waste rounds.
>>
>>4144444
Right now just taking out CQC Magpie is the priority, since she could just make more eyes in this close area. But yeah, once we've got her dead we should do a sweep for any stray eyeballs.

>>4144447
If we bind Magpie up in honey that would keep her from firing anyway, no need to aim specifically at the guns. They make a pretty big splash.
>>
>>4144367

>AREA LOCKDOWN ACTIVE: Inbound/Outbound teleportation PROHIBITED.

Does this mean teleporting into the combat zone or out of the combat zone is prohibited? or is any form of teleporting within the combat zone prohibited?
>>
>>4144458
(Any form of teleportation is prohibited, unless it has has explicit exemption granted by a level in a given skill tree or via Relic.)
>>
>>4144459
So Dorian's Canvass Form movement, Shu's "Castle" Swap with her rooks, and Rath's Bomb swap are prohibited?
>>
>>4144459
Is Magpie exempt from teleporting? or does the anti-teleport field also affect her?
>>
>>4144462
>>4144459
ah damn, forgot Raths Boils are technically that. gimme a moment gents, gonna have to switch that out for just her strands and hope its good enough.
>>
>>4144462
(Yes, those are all blocked.)

>>4144463
(As I alluded to above, it would be a safe bet that she has some way around it at her current skill level and given her expertise.)
>>
>>4144464
Do you think we should send a Joyous to go warn the Altered Altar and have them pack up and settle elsewhere? Magpie's got higher forms of teleportation, and we may not be able to kill Magpie this encounter. If we could warn the settlement and have them flee the scene while keeping Magpie tied down long enough, then we could consider that a win.
>>
>>4144429
>>4144430
>>4144347
Amending Raths Orders;

RATH;
>Toss out a 10 Boil strong barrage on MG Magpie, to give folks a moment.
>Then, toss out a second 10 Boil Strong Barrage on her along with Shus Contender shots, using the momentum of throwing them to toss out a limb with your strands and combined with a boost from the Tormentis to slingshot yourself towards Magpie, while the Boils and Shus Arm explosion give you cover.
>Dig the Daggers into Magpie deep with one set of Hands, then hit Magpie with a barrage of Hydra Hands, aiming to activate the relic Disabling effects of Grasp on her.
>>
>>4144465
>(Yes, those are all blocked.)
Shouldn't Dorian still be able to mist-teleport? He has immunity to anything that would prevent his movement. It doesn't matter much, since he's in no shape to go mist-dashing anywhere, but once he heals it could be relevant.
>>
>>4144466
not sure we have the time or levity to spare on that. plus if one of her wants to go after them, its already too late just on account there were two of her and one can still teleport.
>>
>>4144469
(Ah, my apologies. I overlooked that he has that caveat. So yes, he could potentially do that.)
>>
>>4144470
We have the numbers. Sniper Magpie is currently trying to keep us pinned. Sending the Crew to try and occupy Sniper Magpie will tie her up, and while Shu ties up CQC Magpie and MG Magpie with her dome, that leaves the Joyous and several others free to assist and prevent potential collateral should we fail in the fight against Magpie.

Our overall objective here is not only by trying to stop magpie, it's to also ensure the safety of Magpie's potential victims. That includes warning them of the impending doom.
Should we fail to stop Magpie completely or if she somehow flees, the least we can do is to have the Altered Altar flee and prevent them from being massacred.
>>
>>4144470
The moment we let slip a Magpie clone from our attention, they will turn their attention towards the Altered Altar. That's why we have to warn the settlement and evacuate them.
>>
>>4144475
The Altar will be warned by a literal fight breaking out on their doorstep. I also kinda doubt they will care about a kid or anyone really trying to get them to move. I just cant see it if they are really as stoned out of their mind as i think they.
>>
>>4144475
theres only two magpies, and again ,the one outside can teleport. all sending the Midnight Crew out would do would send them on a wild goose chase, while the team fighting MG Magpie is half down a Dorian.

Magpie also just showed the ability to take our members down in one shot. however, we know this is a split process, where both Magpies are real. that means both have vastly more limited resources, and are a massive investment. Sniper Magpie abandoning MG Magpie to die could potentially cripple her ability to properly deal with the Altar Sect, or future plans, especially if she uses up resources trying to get past us to them, knowing the second she tries that we wont stop perusing.

that, and we cant do anything like that while both MG Magpie is pinning us down with machinegun fire and a sniper is aiming at us. Midnight Crew, Joyous, anything that tries to go warn them will be a priority target for both. we cant help anyone if we're dead. lockdown MG, Do our best to block off Sniper, and quickly deal with MG so Sniper doesnt HAVE any leeway in the first place.

>>4144480
this too. no way this is quiet. we cant babysit everyone to the degree you want. they either hear a damn fight and know to react, or they wouldn't react anyways.
>>
>>4144480
Yeah, it's going to get pretty loud, especially once November starts firing her railgun. I'm just glad we've all got regeneration, otherwise we'd probably face permanent hearing damage being so close to that thing.
>>
>>4144477
>>4144482
>>4144483
IF the Altar isn't completely out of their minds they will run as soon as they hear the fight. If not.. well some of them might run or maybe one or two of them might even check out what the hell is going on and could possibly be reinforcements mid battle.

Even if they would probably be nothing more than meatshields..... (I would guess magpie killed their heaviest hitters first in her first hit on them.)
>>
>>4144475
also, no, its really not a win. if we dont stop Magpie here, its a complete and utter failure. she'll keep hunting the Altar, who would constantly be on the run, and once they're gone, she'll just move onto the next target. we cant afford to keep chasing her or hopping in her way, especially if all we accomplish is people having to go on the run. it both defeats the purpose of trying to stop her, and doesn't even actually protect them for very long.
>>
>>4144486
>>4144485
>>4144483
>>4144482
Fair points.
>>
>>4144471
BHOP, how far does Shus empathic communication reach? could it be boosted with the halo or anything we have, like maybe jacking in a satellite dish Jackling? or sending an Empathic Comm to Gina or Amara, to use their powers or Orwells to relay the message to the altar Fragment?
>>
>>4144489
(It may be slight spoilers, but Orwell's already warning the Altar, now that she literally just set up and got eyes on you this round.)
>>
>>4144493
oh, fair enough.
though, would it still be possible to get our own message to them, regardless?
>>
>>4144493
Thanks, Orwell. We'll try to get you a good story to show on your channel as pay back.
>>
>>4144494
(Yes, your empathic field would be able to reach them given their, ah...'expanded' mindstate.)
>>
>>4144497
pff, haha.
not the reasoning i expected, nor am i exactly sure im ok with it... but it is what it is.
>>
>>4144497
What are they taking?
Ground up Forgecores?

Interesting that must be some heavy stuff if it can sedate what is probably a titanic amalgam and expand their mind like that
>>
>>4144497
>>4144503
>>4144500

in terms of modern comparisons what's the closest analog comparison between the drugs that humanity made and the drugs made in the Crucible? How big/bad is the trip?

Probably a combined cocktail of the Psycho Serum Relic and Sedatives. But given that they're smoking Weed as well....do you think there's a plant-based daughter that provides the weed?
>>
>>4144505
Maybe..... Or they get it like Julia gets her tea leaves.......

I have no idea on the drugs i dont even smoke or drink so..... I am not sure i can draw any comparison.
>>
>>4144505
Well, there are a lot of weird fungi that we've seen. There's probably something out there producing psylocibin.
>>
>>4144497
So what happened to the gifts that we gave to the crew? did they put it to good use?
>>
>>4144347
>>4144429
slight add-on to my vote, aswell as consolidating for BHOP;

SHU;
>Activate Dominus on MG Magpie and Dorian. If it cant get Dorians Regen moving, then attach it to Holly.
>Use the Rooks to Shield everyone from the sniper fire. Cycle out the Scoutlings, Basic Swarmling, and a Gappling, so they can double up their protection. It’ll be expensive, but keep those Shields up, unless they prove wholly ineffective.
>Using your Jacklings, Dome in yourself, the Midnight Crew, and MG Magpie. She wants to keep you all here? Then you all will damn well stay here, for now. Try and make the Dome thick and ‘Abrams Armor Style’ with internally shifting angles any shot has to work through.
>Use the Jacklings to try and keep track of Sniper Magpie, incase she moves around, so the Rooks can keep blocking her.
>Unload with the Contenders, but use them as a screen for one slightly ajar from aiming at her. Once that one is as close as its gonna get, have it explode into a ball of both grappling and angry fists, to at least disrupt MG Magpie, if not grapple her and beat her down.
>Keep the Knights back to act as extra Defense, but send the Banelings forward and out of the dome, to Harass Sniper Magpie.
>Call back the FuzzBuzz from Magpie. No tricks, no signs its going to do anything. It wont. FuzzBuzzes aren't for combat, and they will never be used as a weapon against those they were given to. That would ruin the image and point of them. But that doesnt means you cant recall a gift, from someone no longer worthy of having it, and you can make damn well sure your eyes tell Magpie exactly that as you bring it home.
>With FuzzBuzz encouraging you and yours from your shoulder, Send a message to the Altar Fragment; “Magpie is here for you. Me and my family and allies are doing our best to stop her, but shes no slouch, and not one who wouldn't be willing to slip away to come after you. You have a choice here. You could bunker down, but if we fail, she will not show you mercy. You could run, but if we fail, she will not stop hunting you. Or you can fight. I know you’re scared, I know shes strong, and I know its alot to ask of you. But this is your home she threatens, your lives, your friends, your way of life. And not just yours she threatens. There are nine other Settlements she has in her sights, nine other communities she plans to bring to ruin. With or without you, we will do everything we can to stop her. Here, now, before she can carve a path of death forward. But you have a chance. To help others, to help us prevent her from harming others. Anything you can do, if you’re willing, do it. But if not, be prepared for the worst, as Magpie wont hold back.”

(1/2)
>>
>>4144347
>>4144430
>>4144467
>>4144527
DORIAN;
>Slip out some Inklings before the Dome forms, and have some go to harass Sniper Magpie, the others take up positions on any other hill or likely place she may try to teleport to. Have them try and keep a flat profile, to avoid detection as much as possible.
>Go Masque of War Form, but keep it inside the Dome and with the Rooks on its outside. Make sure she isn't immune to her own anti-teleportation, and if she is, is at least Punished for using it.

RATH;
>Toss out a 10 Boil strong barrage on MG Magpie, to give folks a moment.
>Then, toss out a second 10 Boil Strong Barrage on her along with Shus Contender shots, using the momentum of throwing them to toss out a limb with your strands and combined with a boost from the Tormentis to slingshot yourself towards Magpie, while the Boils and Shus Arm explosion give you cover.
>Dig the Daggers into Magpie deep with one set of Hands, then hit Magpie with a barrage of Hydra Hands, aiming to activate the relic Disabling effects of Grasp on her.

NOVEMBER;
>Use the Sacrificium and Jesters combo to keep yourself at the height of the Initiative Order, and to lower Magpies Critical chance and Damage, or at least try to.
>unload on Both Magpies with both Porcupine and Spooky, to give Shu and others time to react.
>Once the Dome is up, switch to only Suppressing MG Magpie, until you need to stop due to Rath and Shus plans.
>Once Rath and Shu give you your shot, if they can, hit MG Magpie through the skull with a REX round.

HOLLY;
>Use your Maw to try and quickly get to the side of MG Magpie. We need to put some spacing between us all, just enough she can't suppress the whole group.
> spray MG Magpie down, to help give others an opening and give her a taste of her own medicine.

JOYOUS;
>Always have at least one Joyous back and hiding, to spawn new Joyous,though if extra can be spared from other orders, then have them split too.
>Keep a wall of Queen Crimson between us and Sniper Magpie, as best they can.
>Have the Joyous unleash a GRA RHO CUNT(or just GRA RHO, if Crimson activation takes an Act) with their remaining Act.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>We Trust you to know what to do, so just some requests/suggestions.
>>Dorian needs aid, if Keane thinks she can fix his regen issue, and unless they think they can safely reach Sniper Magpie, quickly taking down MG Magpie, and making sure she goes down, over throwing any tricks at us, would do us good, and she needs to go down fast. If Jackie can spare it, we could use something to try and get rid of Magpies eye constructs, to blind her.

(2/2)
>>
>>4144347
While i think it is slightly superfluous i will ammend my vote from >>4144431
to >>4144527
>>4144529
>>
>>4144532
eh, BHOP is colorblind and trying to piece together changes and add-ons is already pretty annoying as it is. figured if i was gonna add more, may aswell put it all in one place for him.
>>
>>4144534
oh no i was thinking it could be necessary so that OP wont have trouble finding what option i truly want to support. I am aware that he has his problems due to being colourblind.

I didnt mean to sound like i was criticizing you just making sure that OP will find it easier to count the votes
>>
>>4144534
>>4144537
(I appreciate the consideration, you two. Truly, it means a lot.)

>>4144521
(You'll see.)
>>
>>4144537
oh, my bad, sorry.

>>4144541
no problem.
>>
(Gentlemen, I'm nearing completion with the update, though posting may be delayed as I am in the office with my chattiest coworker, bless her heart. Thus, if I am unable to get the post out within the next half-hour, I'll update as soon as I arrive home. Thank you for your patience, Gentlemen.)
>>
>>4144347
Wait, I just realized something, looking through the character sheet: Platelings and Bishops don't count to our swarmling limit so long as they're attached to someone, we get that from Trypophilic Hive level twelve. Too late to account for that now, voting period has ended, but we should fill up our twenty-five spare slots on the next turn. Spawn a huge mass of banelings to dive-bomb CQC Magpie or to hunt down Sniper Magpie.
>>
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>>4144561
hey, i understand. take your time, and i hope she at least can keep a situation interesting for ya. plus, assuming she isnt a drag, dont cut socialization out of your life over us.
>>
>>4144561
No worries, BHOP. Take your time, we're plenty willing to be patient in getting our fix of this quest. Go, talk with your coworker, it's all good.
>>
>>4144561
Its fine. Such things sometimes just take time If you dotn post in the next half hour i will go to sleep then as i do still somewhat need it.... Even though my day hasn't been as much of a shitshow as yesterday. My coworkers mostly left me alone so it was actually a nice day
>>
>>4144563
well shit. You're right.
>>
>>4144564
>>4144570
(Ha, thank you. She's great, and I can't exactly say 'not now, I'm writing about apocalypse cannibal lesbians and need to focus' without sounding completely insane.)
>>
>>4144563
(I would like to say that while the Platelings won't count since they're equipped, the Bishops are free floating and not attached yet. However, at the beginning of your next vote you may attach them and then spawn more to fill those slots, if you like.)
>>
>>4144581
oh, i thought they were already attached, just not yet injecting. would've said to go ahead and do that otherwise.
>>
>>4144581
Wait, really, we haven't attached the Bishops yet? Shit, I wish I had known that, we should have attached Bishops. Ah, well, chalk it up to Shu being a bit rattled by the multi-body shenanigans. I just realized those are kind of our nemesis in this quest, aren't they? Any time someone shows up with more than one body, it's going to be a real bad time for the party.
>>
>>4144587
I have to say..... those multiple bodies for Shu now sound really tempting.... Well we melted the ability down for stats nothing we can do about that now. Could be really useful to just have an army of Shus running around capable of going to several places at once and all that....
>>
>>4144589
not sure it would be worth it, given the usual drawbacks of those abilities, and our family makes that much less necessary, especially with the Spiritus.
>>
>>4144589
I don't think it's really needed. The reason that multi-body opponents are so tough is because they reverse our typical set-up of ganging up on an enemy to take advantage of the action economy. Fighting more than one foe at once makes things harder for us. Fighting more than one foe, who are as coordinated as our team is, makes things very hard. Shu would only benefit from being a multi-body if she was completely separated from the party and her entire swarm.
>>
>>4144589
As tempting as is, I don't think it's worth the investment. A cloning ability sounds more like a playstyle suited for solo play. And with our current build, we're more of a support fighter that shits out specialized bees that defends and amplifies our allies while providing all the coordination and information control to maximize battlefield effectiveness. Besides, we already have a daughter who can clone herself. No need to wrestle our way into her gimmick. And moreover it just makes bookkeeping a bigger hassle.
>>
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>>4144347

November’s frame screams with speed, her Porcupine and ‘Spooky’ minigun roaring to life as she lays down a hail of suppressing fire on the Magpie in front of you. Magpie retaliates with a single pistol shot from Scylla, drawn with startling swiftness from her right-hand holster with its round clipping November in the shoulder. The quickshot throws off November’s downrange aim, even as a barrage of hot lead tears through Magpie’s coat and draws a spray of black blood.

In the moment that Rath’s first volley of boils gives you space to breathe despite the gunner's deft dodge, your Dominus stretches out in two opposite directions - tethering you to the Magpie before you and the wounded artist behind you. The former’s regeneration is rapidly siphoned to you, while the former fails to find purchase thanks to the ill effects of Magpie’s cheap shot. A legion of reinforced Rooks surround your party to deflect the incessant gunfire, while your Jacklings descend as one to terraform a dome around everyone as you shift the leash to Holly, who’s already lunging forward at your silent command with Dorian’s paintlings hot on her heels.

Holly’s own rapid-fire staccato joins Magpie’s in a deafening concert of lead, the former’s Uzi and the latter’s Strelitzia roaring at each other defiantly as the paintlings are promptly shredded int he crossfire. Magpie’s rounds crack and pierce through Holly’s carapace, their weakened elemental damage secondary to their devastating piercing capabilities. Holly tumbles, and with the same unerring speed with which Magpie drew Scylla, she holsters it and withdraws a familiar flask of yellow liquid in one fluid movement, hurling the container towards the assembled Joyous just as the terra-dome closes safely around your allies. Flask bursts against the ground as you and November evade the explosive radius of citrine crystals that spring to life, encasing both the remaining Joyous and your dome in a dense prison of unidentifiable material.

“Keane, if you can hear this, heal Dorian!” Jackie orders, stepping forward as she gestures to Quinn. “Break the kids out of that fuckin' piss-crystal while Ace and I keep pressure!”

“Aye, cap’n!” The blonde affirms, starting to wail on the wall bare-handed as the other two members of the Midnight Crew join you in rushing down the Magpies, the closest one’s coat stained with black ichor. You bring one of your twin Contenders to bear, a volley of shots spearing past the machine-gunner as Jackie darts past her, bee-lining towards the sniper’s nest with uncanny speed. Your intentionally sloppy aim peppers the area around the closest iteration of Magpie, but her attentions are drawn towards more urgent matters.

Namely the wall of angry swarmlings and incendiary boils that’re raining down on her head alongside Ace's deadly ace-swings…

…just as her bloodied wounds begin to writhe with black feathers.

(Continued)
>>
>>4144679

In an explosion of stygian wings, the black ichor on Magpie’s coat and on the ground springs to life, a flock of mad ravens billowing forth to become a blanket of burning flesh as they shield their creator from Rath’s Swarm. Your target may be obscured, but as you skirt around the chaos you catch sight of her through the flurry of wing and talon, aiming at you through her swarm just in time for you both to fire at once.

Or twice, in her case.

>>NEUROTIC HALO: Activated.

Your head involuntarily jerks to one side, Magpie’s first bullet whizzing by your ear at the same moment the round buried in the ground at her feet explodes with a tangled mass of limbs courtesy of Hundred-Handed, a pair of hands spearing through her chest as a result of your savage counter. A searing pain erupts at your side as you realize her second round hit home, and the effects are immediate as you feel your regeneration grind to a halt…

…and your feet lift off the ground as you’re hurtled towards November at breakneck speed.

>> Regeneration/healing cancelled.

>>Scylla + Charybdis Magnetism: TRIGGERED

Your violent collision with November throws off her aim with her potent Gauss Rifle, and with a resounding crack your lower torso goes cold with shock as both you and November are thrown to the ground with the force of the rifle bullet that’s pierced both of you simultaneously. You’re struggling to stand in the midst of a roiling storm of feathers and talons despite the hole that’s been run through you, and it’s int time to catch sight of Rath whirling around, trying to figure out where Magpie disappeared as your hands and her swarm go wild in the sudden absence of the infuriating sniper. Overhead, past the storm of maddened crows there swarms a fleet of bats that pluck Magpie’s hovering eyeballs from the air to deprive her of perception, but you wonder if it’s all too late…Magpie’s rejoined herself, with Jackie and Ace charging towards Mara’s old teammate, now made whole once more.

In the midst of utter chaos, you’re rendered practically deaf as November opens fire at the black swarm with the Porcupine, shredding through the innumerable swarm even as they peck and claw at all present, even Rath’s efforts to thin the flock only managing to scorch a scant few from mid-air.

And even through all that, the FuzzBuzz you gave to Magpie not so long ago darts back to your side.

A gift, revoked.

[Magpie is here for you] You declare to the Altered Altar, empathic field expanded to envelop them and everyone else present. [Me, my family, and other allies are doing our best to stop her, but she's no slouch...]

You drag in a pained breath, blood staining the front of your dress as it blooms into a scarlet flower against a starry cloth sky, oozing over the gaps in your chitinous armor.

(Continued)
>>
>>4144681

[...and she's not one who wouldn't be willing to slip away to come after you. You could hunker down, but if we fail, she'll show you mercy. You could run, but if we fail, she'll hunt you down]

You take a breath, fighting past the pain as you help November to her feet, focusing past the agony and gunfire intermingled with Rath's roar of pure, unadulterated rage.

[Or you can fight] You say, gritting your teeth as your empathic plea rings out in the minds of all within your reach. [I know you’re scared, I know shes strong, and I know it's a lot to ask. But this is your home she threatens, your lives, your friends, your way of life. And not just yours - there are nine other Settlements she plans to bring to ruin. With or without you, we will do everything we can to stop her. But you have a chance...anything you can do, if you’re willing, do it. But if not, be prepared for the worst, as Magpie wont hold back]

Within the scope of your field, you feel a collection of addled minds begin to stir, roused to alarm by your emphatic plea. Behind the dome where Keane frantically tries to heal Dorian, you sense the lone Joyous that slipped away from her siblings before their entrapment begin to divide, spawning another two of her kin as you cast your gaze down into the valley, squinting past the roiling swarm of bird and bug, in a vicious deadlock that sends scraps of chitin and bloodied feathers dancing around you like a macabre snowfall.

You focus, seeing a figure move atop a distant hill. Its body is pitch-black, a myriad of eyes dotting its form as it levels a double-barreled shotgun and heavy revolver at Ace and Jackie, respectively.

Of course Magpie's real body wouldn't look as normal as it did. Not with how strong she had to have been to fight alongside Mara.

You've never seen the real Magpie before, you realize...

...and maybe you never knew the real her, at all.

HP: 384% (+0% [Dominus: Interrupted], Matrons, Vincula, Pace. Halo: SPENT)
BIO: 2570% (+0%. 16x Psy-Platelings, 9x Bishops, 10x Rooks, 6x Jacklings, 1x Grapplings, 3x Rec-Knightlings, 2x Rec-Banelings, 1x Fuzzbuzz. 33/50 Swarmlings active)

CONTENDER: Gemini - Honey x1, Parabellum x1 (Both guns)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: 2 Arms.
ACT: 3/3

HOLLY: 1547 % ([RESIST: Heat, Cold. IMMUNE: Acid] Shawl and Uzi(3x Elemental, 3x Standard), Pharynx – 2 CHARGES)
DORIAN: 578% (+0%, Interitus, Lanceam, Caelorum. Halo: PRIMED. MASQUE - Active)
RATH: 2950% (+550%, Daggers, Gauntlets. Halo: PRIMED)
NOVEMBER: 2168% (Sacrificium, Ego, Nail, Dainsleif, Margraves(Shu), Jester, & Whistle(GRA HIR)

JOYOUS: 16 - 13 Crystallized, 3 Active.

MIDNIGHT CREW: Keane’s attempt to heal Dorian is slowed, while Quinn will shatter the crystal 2 rounds from now. Ace is jetting after Jackie while she closes the gap into melee, with Magpie’s current capabilities unknown.

THREAT: Singular. Long range.

>>Please reload Contenders with 2 ROUNDS, each.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next three hours, with the update to follow capping off the evening's posts. I hope everyone's days went well, one and all.)
>>
>>4144684
well, i guess Dorians masque had no effect, or did he roll too low for it to matter, so he just didnt do it and sat around doing nothing?
>>
>>4144681
>In an explosion of stygian wings, the black ichor on Magpie’s coat and on the ground springs to life, a flock of mad ravens billowing forth to become a blanket of burning flesh as they shield their creator from Rath’s Swarm.
Huh. Did Magpie hybridize with a Humoral power? Interesting.

>>4144682
>Of course Magpie's real body wouldn't look as normal as it did. Not with how strong she had to have been to fight alongside Mara.
Oh, that's why her Health was so low when we first met her. I always thought that was odd. My best guess was that she had spent max Health on Relics and activating abilities, and it had brought her temporarily low. But no, of course it was an avatar body, a high level Daughter would never sacrifice enough Health to bring her down to where she was then. I'm not even sure there are enough things to spend it on to do that.

Though now I have some very harsh words to give her, if she didn't bring her true body to go after the Spiraling Fear. You're going to give us shit about how tough things like that are when you were slacking off the whole time, concealing your full power out of....what, vanity? Mara brought her real body, you know, even if she didn't tell us until after the fight. You could have claimed you had a super-swarmling, played it off that way. Wow, there goes so much of my remaining good will towards you.
>>
>>4144684
also, how many/big a knight would we need to replace Quinn with to not lose how many turns we can get through the crystals?
>>
>>4144684
How long will the Regen block last for both Dorian and Shu?

And did Magpie reclaim her guns?

Motherfucker. Shu got hit thrown into November's Railgun blast and it chunked a major portion of her health.

Right now Ace and Jack are now in grave danger. We don't know if the two of them can hold their own against a Magpie who has now shifted into her true form.
>>
>>4144694
>Magpie being a shifty woman.
Of course it's obvious now. She's a bloody Magpie! Aren't crows and Ravens more known for their Vulture like behavior and associated with the dead? her epithet is called "The Blackwing Executioner".

Goddammit. She's a cool old lady but man is she a jackass when released from her fetters.
>>
>>4144689
(He's currently in Masque of War Form, and while he did considerable damage to her when she teleported away, it happened when the long-range Magpie shot Shu and November. But no worries, he dealt a hefty amount of damage, but it was a price she was willing to pay.)

>>4144695
I would say around seven, given that Quinn's amping abilities will allow her to bust through the crystal as her body adapts to annihilate it.)

>>4144697
(Answers, in order;)

>>How long will the Regen block last for both Dorian and Shu?

(For the remainder of combat, unless Keane can heal it. The rounds she's using were crafted specifically to deal with you and your allies, and utterly cripple you.)

>>And did Magpie reclaim her guns?

(Yes, all six guns are now in Magpie's singular possession.)
>>
>>4144695
(Oh, and an addendum; Quinn working alone will break the crystal at the start of the second turn, while the odds of it breaking that soon go down if it's anyone other than her. It's perfectly possible to help her, though.)
>>
>>4144703
alright, fair enough and thanks on both.
>>
>>4144705
(Any time, and it's tough to try and make you aware of things that otherwise would've escaped your obvious notice, and I was risking a fourth post, as-is.)
>>
>>4144704
oh, hrm, grah.
well no, sucks but i think Quinn being in the fight will be more useful than the Joyous getting out sooner.

>>4144708
id personally be fine with more posts if thats what you need.
>>
>>4144708
If it helps comfort you, I think much of us anons are very well in Shu's mindset and are very much roleplaying as Shu. So there will be inevitably be some details that we anons may have looked over. It also helps that you've made such wonderful characters for us to interact with.
>>
>>4144704
If we designated Jackie as the target of Trypophilic Hive level fourteen, would that count as us being sufficiently in contact with her to activate King's Envoy? Figure we might as well take advantage of us having a Dual Tech with Jackie. Then we could amp up Keane so that she could clear the healing-negation debuff that Magpie put on us.
>>
>>4144721
(It absolutely would, and Jackie's own ability-amplification powers have grown considerably stronger.)
>>
>>4144682
Vote;
SHU;
>Free Rounds; 2 Fullbores.
>load up the Contenders with 2 Honey each.
>Have a Bishop start boosting everyone present.
>send a quick pulse of Empathic warning to Ace and Jackie.
>Your Jacklings are still jacked into the ground. Use them to quickly throw off MAgpies aim however you can on Ace and Jackie, and have the others prepared for her to teleport reactively to dodge and get a better angle on them.
>Spawn Hands from Jackie and Ace both to both shield them from Magpie, and take some punches at the woman.
>Call back any and all swarmlings with health-pollen, sending out a wave of Banelings to replace them and keep pressure on the Crow Swarm.
>Tell Quinn to focus on Magpie, while you spawn a Knight of a potency worthy of replacing her to get through the crystals at the same rate, and have the other knights join it if need be.
>Send out a Stealthed-Jackling, not flying, but scooting its way through cover, towards Magpie. Have it get as close as it can, then try and spring a stun on her as Rath comes down for her Meteor Smash.
>Wait for the right moment, and Give Rath her shot at Magpie with a barrage of honeys and the Fullbores, but keep the Parabellums as backup as a last ditch effort to hit Magpie if she escapes even all that and your flaming friend.
>Keep the Rooks on everyone, with all the Extra on Rath as she goes for her swing.


DORIAN;
>Simply keep you and Keane safe, but try and keep punishing Magpie for any and all teleportations as you can.
>if you can, keep sending out Paintlings, to preemptively try and cut off and hinder Magpie as she tries to find new locations to attack from.

RATH and NOVEMBER;
>Have Rath get Unrelenting Cold up and running.
>Have Rath Latch onto November, giving her a Tormentis kickoff to help propel her towards Magpie with a Nova Lunge.
>as November gets close, have Rath use her as a pushboard to go high, as November does a double whammy, using her Dainself to try and fake Magpie out.
>After the Dainself throw, use it to pull herself to its location, then assuming she isn't a giant magnet again, fire off another Railgun round at Magpie.
>In reality, November is trying to give Rath both time, and get Magpie to wear out her potential teleportations and counters.
>While in the air, Rath should be building up as potent a Hydra Punch as she can, with both Tormentis, Ignition, Vulcans, and Grasp up to boost it even more, before coming down like a meteorite on Magpie, using her old style Boils and the rooks to correct her aim until its time to fall.

(1/2)
>>
>>4144738
>>4144682
HOLLY;
>Helicopter with your tongue to try and catch as many Crows as you can, to help Shu and Jackies swarm clear the way for everyone.
>Focus the Uzi on that too, unless it seems thin enough, then focus on helping keep Magpie distracted.

JOYOUS;
>have the still active ones keep hiding and multiplying, for now.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>we need a mix. While most need to be prepared to help keep Magpie off her footing, at least one needs to be prepared for if everything else, even Rath, fails, to at least block whatever Magpie throws out after being able to swerve past all that, assuming it happens.

(1/2)
>>
>>4144724
Nice. Let's do that, then, connect to her to both spawn a brace of banelings and get King's Envoy started to boost Keane.

Oh, hey, speaking of swarmling stuff, how much of our swarmling losses came from Magpie and how much from her murder of crows? Did Brood's Vengeance deal any damage? Because enough swarmlings have died to produce a minimum of two hundred and eighty-nine retaliatory attacks, by my count, possibly more depending on how quickly they were killed. That should be a pretty hefty chunk of damage, even at one fourth strength.
>>
>>4144742
(Only a single Swarmling's died as of yet - the 'losses' were me correcting the fact that equipped Platelings no longer take up swarmling slots.)
>>
>>4144744
Oh, dang? Curse my lack of reading comprehension, I checked both counts and thought some had died. Okay, so thirty-five blasts, still good. Though I take it they were aimed at a crow and not her?
>>
>>4144742
>>4144747
(At that point, they were directed at thinning out the swarm, since their DoT is incredibly high and Magpie has just retreated to recombine.)
>>
>>4144682
Shu:
>Your eyes might be blurry from the tears as you stood up and looked at Magpie's now Raven feathered form. A spare arm now clutching the gaping hole in your stomach in vain attempt to cover it.
>"All this time...all this time...I thought you were cool...An old hand of the Crucible, hardened but still a softie at heart...A cool sharpshooting lady who fought to stay alive in memory of her son Alex. A woman who had the hope of finding comfort and family again despite the guilt weighing her down."
>"I tried to overlook your nature...no...I didn't want to acknowledge it. I didn't want to acknowledge my fears that what you did was done entirely by your choice."
>You're saying this to Magpie as well as yourself, maybe your empathy field opened up a channel to Magpie as you said it.
>Give Magpie a pained look, as the realization of her true form and behavior sets in, your impressions that you once had of her now shattered.
>"Looks like I've been wrong about you."
>The sting of betrayal, a feeling you felt once before over two weeks ago, throbs again. Tears still flow down your cheeks, but the look on your face is hardened into one of acceptance and resolve in doing what needs to be done.
>"You and I... will need to have a talk after all of this is through."
>>
>>4144759
>>4144682
eh, not a fan of this. voting against.
especially feels like we kinda saw her true nature about twenty dead Altared ago at least.
>>
>>4144769
I know that, it's more of my way of verbally accepting Magpie's true nature. Shu couldn't quite believe it at first, but even then we kept holding out hope for Magpie and attempted to give her an out. But Magpie refused, and when it came to blows, Shu's still sort of processing the fact. What I wrote in was basically Shu's "heart" finally accepting the reality of the situation.
>>
>>4144786
I'd rather avoid saying anything to her until after we've got this debuff cleared. Keep her attention off of Shu, let someone else take her attacks for a bit. Also, when we do say something, I want it to be yelling. I'm gonna call her a dirty hypocrite.
>>
>>4144786
still disagree with the sentiment, and feels poorly timed.
>>
>>4144803
>>4144807
Very well.

Also, Hold the fuck up. I just remembered that our swarmlings have Flamethrowers courtesy of the Ant Queen. Why are we suiciding our swarm members when we can just have them be flying flamethrowers?

>>4144682
Revoking this vote: >>4144759
>>
>>4144803
yeah, Magpie doesn't deserve our tact.
also just thought of something. one of Magpies biggest excuses was she was trying to 'clear the way' for us... but... didn't that purpose fall flat on its face the minute we told her to stop? and especially now? whats her plan here really? she clearly doesn't trust herself to be the one to try and end the crucible, but so long as shes doing this, she certainly cant rely on us, meaning clearing the way is moot. she herself knew and admitted long-term this could backfire and make things worse, even cause more super-Hungers, but by doing this the short term window she thought she was creating is already gone tits up, and if she outright kills us, was certainly for nothing.

sure, she also says she wants to prevent more Hunger-Monsters, but again ,she herself admitted long-term she could make things worse and more of those, so thats pretty flimsy. and i get she still has a geas on her, but it doesn't seem so strong as to be fully unmalleable, or so much she couldn't at least hint at admitting she fucked up, over doubling down.

unless she thinks she has some way to force our hand upon a victory here, its gonna basically be a Pyrrhic victory for her if she wins.
>>
>>4144809
>>4144684
i just assumed they were using their flamethrowers as appropriate, such as burning out the crow swarm. unless against Magpie herself or it made a big difference, i assumed it was a detail BHOP scuttled for more important ones.
>>
>>4144758
Bhop, Is our swarm putting the flamethrowers to use or did they not use it in the opening round?
>>
>>4144823
(They are, and I was actually writing your swarm using them to considerable effect in the next update when you all brought it up, since I'd just rolled for them and they were a little more noteworthy than last time.)
>>
I just had an idea. Rath hasn't activated Ignition yet this fight, so she's going to create the start-up fire burst that detonates any nearby terraformed terrain. The resulting blast is proportional to the size of the altered terrain. And since Rath doesn't deal friendly fire with her Generator attacks, we can scale the blast up as much as we want and have it be safe. We shouldn't just terraform around Magpie to throw off her aim, we should prep the ground for Rath to Ignite.

Also, if there are any crows in the area around Magpie they'll get taken out by the blast, which will trigger Ignition level four. For each one killed Rath will produce another flame blast out to Medium range, and then turn the killed crow into a living bomb that she can toss at Magpie for free. I'm now imagining Rath's punch as this awesome combo move, landing with a huge fiery punch that cracks the earth and transitions into a firecracker chain of blasts, finishing with grabbing each crow with a separate Tensile Strand and slinging them all into Magpie's face.
>>
>>4144844
so... essentially... dont have Rath actually activate Ignition til she hit the ground? not Sure Shu can squeeze out enough to also terraform the ground around Magpie for that too, as we have no idea where Magpie will actually technically be, and i dont want to rely on only the Arms method to help Ace and Jackie. Magpie feels like the type we need to stack up methods on.

suppose Shu could forgo firing her Contender this round to terraform around Magpie as her distraction once Rath is hurtling down.
>>
>>4144857
Not necessarily when she hits the ground, because she's going to want the momentum of the fall to boost the punch and have Ignition ready when she punches. But when she's close to the ground, yeah, close enough that the fire pulse will set the blast off.

Fair point about us not being able to rely on Magpie being in any one spot when the punch lands, though. Ah, well, it's a nice idea, anyway. If we happen to catch some terraformed ground in the fire burst so that the bomb goes off, it would be a good bonus.

Unless we lightly terraform the entire area? We probably have enough Bio for that, and Rath wouldn't cause any collateral damage. Just catch the entire battlefield in a nuke that only hurts Magpie. But that might just waste time to do. Forget it, dumb idea. Let's just go with timing the Ignition to hit Magpie with the initial flame burst (which would be nice anyway), and if it catches any obstacles we terraformed around Magpie we'll call it gratis.
>>
>>4144682
Swarm Actions: 1 ACT from Shu.
>Bishops equip themselves onto everyone, freeing Shu of 9 slots.
>Recursive Swarmlings, Recursive banelings, Recursive Knightlings and 5 Rooks will accompany Ace, Jack, Rath, November, and Quinn.
>The 2 Recursive Banelings will suicide deep into the flock and detonate themselves, releasing their miniature brood and having the same miniatures detonate to create a chain explosive detonation. One Recursive knightling will serve as an escort unit in delivering the acidic MIRV Payload. Freeing Shu of 3 slots

>Have Magpie's Former Fuzzbuzz go into your pocket and go dormant to free up a slot.
>Rooks will Bodyblock any close range shotgun shots that directly hit the fighters going into close range of Magpie.
>Grapplings will play as a safety harness that yank Jack or Ace out of harm's way if there are no Rooks to block the shot or if they can't dodge.
>2 Recursive Knightling(s) will act as support units as well.
>Jacklings will cast Terraforming harpoon spikes (small scale spikes 6 inches long) to impale Magpie's foot and pin her down on her current location.

>Slots freed up: 10
>New swarmling slots: 23/50

Spawn:
>Swarmlings: 10 (recursive: 10 swarmlings inside each), cost: 100% bio, they will act as distracting targets.
>Knightlings 5, cost: 150% bio, they will shore up our swarm strength.
>Knight-Grapplings: 4, Cost: 200% bio, They will disperse throughtout the battlefield and act as Grappling hook points to assist our allies in traversing the combat zone back and forth, using Shu's bio pool spawn retractable slingshot arms to grab allies and launch them towards the direction they desire.
>Basic-Gurrenlings: 4, Cost: 124% bio, They will endeavor to drill through the Piss Crystal. their speed and attack will be amplified by the 12 knight-class swarmlings we have on the field.
Total bio cost: 574% bio.
total Swarmling slots: 45/50
Shu's remaining Bio: 1996%

>>4144844
>>4144857
Any thoughts on the micromanagement of our swarm? This is what I've come up with. I'm sending our recursives and our existing units to help assist our fighters, while creating grapplings to help with traversing the battlefield should Magpie teleport again. Knight classes will augment our existing swarm and we have 10 recursive swarmlings to fill as fodder. This will cost us 1/5th of our total Bio pool, which is pricey, but our low health and the fact that we can't regenerate means we're forced to make use of our bio pool in order to assist while keeping a healthy reserve for the long term. We can't afford to send wave after wave of suicide banelings in this fight. We're going to have to fight hard, but efficient.
>>
>>4144826
Umm bhop.

How can our Regen be cancelled if we have Isabelle's augmentation:

INVIOLABLE CONSTITUTION (Augmentation): A chance given, a promise made. A vestige of B’ni’s Core made manifest, your regeneration may no longer by reduced below its baseline, turned against you, or interfered with by any ability aside from sources you control. (HEALTH REGEN +100%, BIO REGEN +100%)
>>
>>4144876
That is a very good catch. Yeah, we forgot about Inviolable Constitution.
>>
>>4144876
(Oh, you'll see. Don't worry, it's a good thing.)
>>
>>4144870
>u
...actually... no. no.
thats exactly what we need to do.
think about it, whats the biggest issue we have with Magpie?
her teleportation.
while im sure she cant spam it freely, especially with Masque up, its still her biggest trump card.
but while it would be fucking expensive as hell probably, we do know it does have some form of limited range, and she can also only go so far if she wishes to still fight us, even with hoe long ranged she is.

if we terraform the entire ground, even just a bit, so Rath chain reacts it all, sure, she might sadly still escape the epicenter, but SOMETHING should still catch her, and if nothing else, the cost to spam teleport or lengthen it to get out of the way should both allow Dorian to punish her even harder, and cost her alot of resources.

gimme a sec, ill change things up for this. nothing says we cant also try to aim heavier terraforming right at her too while we do the rest.
>>
>>4144880
(If it helps, I will say that you won't have to worry about healing.)
>>
>>4144873
>>4144879
last BHOP said, Recursives did not have and could not have any special traits, and were always basically just standard swarmlings, at least at this time.
>>
>>4144879
Okay, I'll trust you on this, but I'm having trouble imagining any plausible way for it to be a good thing. Which leaves only the implausible ways, so now that I'm thinking about it I'm getting kind of hyped.

>>4144880
Oh, I imagined you'd be against the idea, consider it a waste of time and Bio. But alright, I'm definitely onboard. If we do that we should have Rath Ignite before we do anything else, then. Blow things up, catch all the crows around us right now so Rath can toss them at Magpie to further rattle her, then we go for the feint into meteor punch move.
>>
>>4144888
>>4144880
You know, instead of finishing off with the Relic Rejection Punch, why not open up with that move? If we save it for last, Magpie might get a few shots off on Rath. If Rath opens up with the anti-Relic punch, then all of her guns will inevitably jam, leaving her with no close-ranged response except for melee.
>>
>>4144891
because the fresher Magpie is the round, the more likely anything we throw at her will be dodged or blocked. Raths best chance is us running Magpie as dry as possible before she strikes, otherwise its all the morel likely to be wasted.
>>
>>4144891
If we're terraforming a big bomb then Rath won't need to get close first, just detonate the entire area. So it's only one close-in exchange, and that will be the one where Erupting Grasp makes Magpie's Relics backfire.
>>
>>4144682
>>4144738
Amending Vote;
SHU;
>Free Rounds; 2 Fullbores.
>load up the Contenders with 2 Honey each.
>Have a Bishop start boosting everyone present.
>send a quick pulse of Empathic warning to Ace and Jackie.
>Your Jacklings are still jacked into the ground. Use them to quickly throw off Magpies aim however you can on Ace and Jackie, and have the others prepared for her to teleport reactively to dodge and get a better angle on them.
>Spawn Hands from Jackie and Ace both to both shield them from Magpie, and take some punches at the woman.
>Call back any and all swarmlings with health-pollen, sending out a wave of Banelings to replace them and keep pressure on the Crow Swarm.
>Tell Quinn to focus on Magpie, while you spawn a Knighted-Drilling of a potency worthy of replacing her to get through the crystals at the same rate, and have the other knights join it if need be.
>Send out a Stealthed-Jackling, not flying, but scooting its way through cover, towards Magpie. Have it get as close as it can, then try and spring a stun on her as Rath comes down for her Meteor Smash.
>Wait for the right moment, and then Terraform as wide and far as you can, so that Raths Ignition Detonation will give Magpie nowhere to go to fully escape the damage. Aim to try and hit Magpie herself with heavier Terraforming too, if you can.
>Keep the Rooks on everyone, with all the Extra on Rath as she goes for her swing.

RATH and NOVEMBER;
>Have Rath get Unrelenting Cold up and running.
>Have Rath Latch onto November, giving her a Tormentis kickoff to help propel her towards Magpie with a Nova Lunge.
>as November gets close, have Rath use her as a pushboard to go high, as November does a double whammy, using her Dainself to try and fake Magpie out.
>After the Dainself throw, use it to pull herself to its location, then assuming she isn't a giant magnet again, fire off another Railgun round at Magpie.
>In reality, November is trying to give Rath both time, and get MAgpie to wear out her potential teleportations and counters.
>While in the air, Rath should be building up as potent a Hydra Punch as she can, with both Tormentis, Vulcans, and Grasp up to boost it even more, before coming down like a meteorite on Magpie, using her old style Boils and the rooks to correct her aim until its time to fall. Have her ignite Ignition as close to the ground as possible, timing it so it still boosts her punch, but is close enough to set off Shus terraforming trap across the battlefield.

(1/2)
>>
>>4144901
>>4144740
>>4144682
DORIAN;
>Simply keep you and Keane safe, but try and keep punishing Magpie for any and all teleportations as you can.
>if you can, keep sending out Paintlings, to preemptively try and cut off and hinder Magpie as she tries to find new locations to attack from.

HOLLY;
>Helicopter with your tongue to try and catch as many Crows as you can, to help Shu and Jackies swarm clear the way for everyone.
>Focus the Uzi on that too, unless it seems thin enough, then focus on helping keep Magpie distracted.

JOYOUS;
>have the still active ones keep hiding and multiplying, for now.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>we need a mix. While most need to be prepared to help keep Magpie off her footing, at least one needs to be prepared for if everything else, even Rath, fails, to at least block whatever Magpie throws out after being able to swerve past all that, assuming it happens.

(2/2)
>>
>>4144901
>>4144904
Alright, looks good. Let's remind Magpie of why the classic counter to snipers is artillery.

>>4144682
Supporting.
>>
>>4144901
How many banelings?

Also, I didn't get your input on the micromanagement of our swarmlings.

If anything I would like to add in spawning a group of Grapplings that act as grappling hook points for our allies to use in traversing the battlefield when Magpie inevitably Teleports.

Also, I'm getting a hunch that Magpie's next teleport location will draw us closer to the Altered Altar settlement.
>>
>>4144921
reminds me of a joke ive heard;
>"sir, why are we firing, we dont know where the enemy is!"
>"Sonny, we're artillery, we NEVER know where the enemy is!"
>>
>>4144926
i was just filling up our extra slots with banelings, after everything else was enacted.

and i never responded in part because BHOP never answered my question.
>>
>>4144932
And said question was...?
>>
>>4144926
>If anything I would like to add in spawning a group of Grapplings that act as grappling hook points for our allies to use in traversing the battlefield when Magpie inevitably Teleports.
We don't need to do that, we can spawn Hundred-Hands off of allies. Instead of spawning a chain from the Grappling to an ally and them only being able to grapple to select points, we can spawn it off of them and fling them anywhere in the battlefield.

>Also, I'm getting a hunch that Magpie's next teleport location will draw us closer to the Altered Altar settlement.
Hey, if she wants to split her attention between fighting us and shooting at noncombatants, she can go right ahead. We can use that.
>>
>>4144885
(This is true.)

>>4144932
(Apologies, I didn't see that you'd linked this to me.)
>>
>>4144942
>>4144944
well there you go.
i also agree with >>4144943
in that with all the terrain and our new ability, we dont really need to waste slots on grapplings. plus, theres like, teeth and stuff around, actually i think technically this would all be tough terrain, as BHOP said we were having to clamber over teeeth to move around, but of course he can confirm or deny that, and other terrain features.
>>4144944
>>
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>>4144944
also, its fine. while not the reason i thought you hadnt answered, id assume you arent doing nothing but staring blankly at your screen between posts, so if you're busy, you're busy.
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>>4144959
(I have literally thousands of pictures in my Body Horror folder, and yet you never fail to find new things to surprise me with. Thanks for sharing, as always.)
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>>4144971
We live to deliver.

Have a lovely horror short of a scary scarecrow from a popular video game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNn2F39G-6s
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>>4144971
hah, thanks, and its no problem. like sharing the neat things i find, especially if any of it helps inspire you or others, and/or ends up filling a picture gap you needed, rare as both may be. now if only i could remember to do it more often....my folder of things to post seems to laugh at my attempts to lower its count.
>>
>>4144979
(The next intermission Vein I run, I'll just have to turn it into a cozy image-sharing one, since I know I have hundred of images I'll probably never get to use.)

>>4144975
(Simply delightful! I love it.)

(Also, for an animation that I think you all might enjoy, here's something I found a little while ago by accident.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_75ffM3VBs&t=2s
>>
>>4144984
oh.
okay then.
nice find BHOP, not what i was expecting, even knowing the type of stuff to expect from here. thanks.
>>
>>4144984
That was probably the best thing to come out of A Dog's Purpose. Good to see such a banal movie inspire some nice horror.
>>
(Writing now, Gentlemen.)
>>
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>>4144682

The twin cylinders of your Hexane weapons cycle with fresh rounds as the earth at Magpie's feet violently tilts, your Bishops cleaving through the air as your entire fleet latches on to every ally at your disposal, save for the Joyous that are steadily multiplying behind the dome.

[Ace, Jackie - be careful] You intone as you watch the pair close the distance towards their target. [...and don't mind the hands]

Magpie's struggling to get a bead on her attackers when your Hundred-Handed erupt from the pair in a spontaneous explosion of limbs, instantly overwhelming her as her shotgun howls across the battlefield, drowning out the roaring flames that lance overhead. All around you, charred feathers and smoking corpses fall from the sky as your swarm begins to turn the tables, and a path is opened before you as Holly flails her tongue around the space, her tongue lapping up ravens as she gyrates in place.

A stream of freshly-inked set of Paintlings fly by you at Dorian's strained command as a pair of shotgun blasts roar out, joined by the sharp retort of a throaty revolver that echoes across the hills. A short distance behind you, November's finally on her feet as Rath climbs onto her back, the red-head's body coupling unfathomable heat with unrelenting cold while her aunt's boosters flare to life...and once Rath slams one foot into the ground, calcite buckles underneath them as the Neesons rocket off towards your common foe. A staccato of gunfire erupts from far below, and you watch as your wall of limbs is shredded by Magpie's relentless volley.

You...you need to help them. You need to MOVE.

You take another step forwards, faltering as you try to draw in an agonized breath, the attempt only amplifying the pain emanating from the wound that refuses to...

Suddenly your entire body jolts, a spasm of regeneration overwhelming your senses as a blistering heat blossoms in your torso. Looking down, you're in time to watch your wound stitch itself shut in the span of a single pounding heartbeat. You look up, your body thrumming with the effects of the violent overheal that's causing every cell in your body to sing. Magpie crafted a round to end you, in her single-minded quest for vengeance. She'd resolved to stop you in your tracks, but as you blink away the emerald lights that flicker in the fringes of your field of vision, you realize...

...Magpie's choices have brought her to the edge of madness, but it's *yours* that allow you to stand tall.

>>INVIOLABLE CONSTITUTION - OVERRIDE

>>REGENERATION RESTORED + OVERHEAL

>>HP: 2976%

"Kick her ass, Shu."

At the sound of a familiar voice, you can't help but smile.

And you think you'll oblige.

Yelling for Quinn to go after Magpie, a freshly-spawned Knightling struggles to free itself from your hive as your spine aches with the effort of birthing such a massive creature, its vicious drills whining like the cry of a newborn.

With that, you take a step forwards.

(Continued)
>>
>>4145128

Between Holly's frantic tongue-lashing alongside controlled bursts from her Uzi, she and your relentless Banelings have thinned enough of Magpie's swarm to allow you vantage to the impending chaos that threatens to shake the valley below you. Jackie, Quinn, Ace, Rath, November - they're all converging with killing intent on the vaguely humanoid form of Magpie, her tall, ungainly form blinking backwards, trying to put some space between her and the onrushing horde.

But she's only delaying the inevitable.

One half of the Midnight Crew reach her first, with Ace bringing a pair of identical axe-blades down in an executioner's arc, almost cleaving Magpie's arms off before she turns at the last moment. The blades swing down harmlessly as Magpie brings the Red Dahlia's barrel to bear against Ace's helm. She fires - and misses, arm spinning in mid-air with the revolver still clutched in its grasp after Jackie shears it off at the elbow with utmost ease.

You look at the blade, and it HURTS

Averting your eyes from the wound in space that is Jackie's unnatural Relic, you hear her scream out a warning that's drowned out by a pair of booming explosions, and you look back in time to see Magpie blinking backwards as Ace collapses, her torso shredded from the force of a point-blank shotgun blast.

>>LUPARA - CRITICAL HIT

>>ACE - DEATH SAVING THROW: 1 Success

Jackie's by her friend's side instantly as November and Rath hurtle past, and as Magpie's stump of an arm begins to roil with half-formed ravens, it just...STOPS

Magpie barely has enough time to process, confusion visible in her eyes just before Rath leaps skyward, propelled by November's incredible speed. The sudden movement causes Magpie's innumerable eyes to glance skyward, but she's still aware enough to barely dodge the Dainsleif as it's hurtled past her by November's skillful aim, followed closely by November herself. The cyborg soldier lands, immediately unfurling the Rex railgun from the depths of her armor as Magpie's eyes snap between Rath above, and November behind. A shot, a punch, an oppotunity.

Your stealthed Jacking plunges its stinger into the ground mere meters away from Magpie, and the older woman's given no-where to go as the terrain ripples with spikes in every direction, forcing her into the heart of a bulls-eye that's about to be pierced by the flaming dart that is Rath, a living meteorite that's too bright to observe as she sets herself alight, ready to detonate the entire plain in a wave of hellfire on impact.

It's a thing of beauty, as with the crack of a rifle and a gout of flame, November's railgun sends a lethal projectile spearing toward's Magpie's chest, with Rath's fist shining like a profane star, inching towards the other woman's skull.

Magpie's good hand twitches, feathery fingers curling into a fist as something so terribly *wrong* happens, faster than thought.

>>[@LDR!T{H {@N{ELL@T!0N: ACTIVATED]

(Continued)
>>
>>4145139

You blink.

Rath's paused in mid-air, November's round frozen in space against the back of Magpie's neck. Quinn's effort to flank your common enemy has been locked mid-step, the liquid lance that her arm's formed into stopping just short of piercing Magpie's ribs from dozens of yards away. The ground, too, is beyond your control, all movement and terraforming ceased for a single, impossible moment. And then...

...a rifle crack, in its cold finality.

>>ALEX'S MERCY - CRITICAL HIT

>>NOVEMBER - DEATH SAVING THROW: 1 Failure

November's helm explodes in a shower of steel and circuitry, and Rath's horrified scream is barely out of her throat before Magpie drops her rifle, her hand moving with cruel swiftness to curl around Rath's throat. There's a twisting, a warping of space itself as Rath is forcibly teleported backwards, slamming her half-in, half-out of the calcite terrain that now spears into her chest, even as the thorns begin to bubble and melt from the girl's radiant hatred. The discarded rifle stops just before it hits the ground, and as Quinn tries to retreat, the Red Dahlia flies to Magpie's good hand, and the blonde's chest bursts when a single, expertly placed round pierces her heart.

>>RED DAHLIA - CRITICAL HIT

>>QUINN - DEATH SAVING THROW: 1 Failure

Jackie stands, eyes wide and heart cold as she once more curls her fingers around the hilt in her chest, and she's visibly pained as she draws forth the unnameable weapon, its very essence bolstered by the icy fury that now pumps through her veins. Rath screams again, her throat threatening to tear from the sheer force of her anguish. You start to run, heedless of your own safety and you race towards your fallen friends, hoping, praying that you'll have a chance to-

>>ACE - STABILIZED, UNCONSCIOUS

>>NOVEMBER - STABILIZED, UNCONSCIOUS

>>QUINN - STABILIZED, UNCONSCIOUS

...what's going o-

"If I wanted ya'll dead...you 'n yours would be dead, kiddo."

(Continued)
>>
>>4145142

Magpie's unnatural voice echoes between your ears and above your throat, sending a chill up your spine as her cold, calm tone sounds like she's right there, whispering against your earlobe, her raspy voice ticking your grey matter.

"I came here to do a job. There's people that need killing, and people that need stopping, and I prepared for both." She explains, and as she lets go of the Red Dahlia it just float there, suspended mid-air as the other five weapons begin to ascend. "You were partly right, see? Nobody dies today that doesn't need to."

Every mismatched eye in Magpie's mind-bending form shutters closed before flying open once more, and in every eye there's a golden iris, shining, pulsing in time with the shimmering filigree of the Six Black Heavens Guns as their mistress begins to hover alongside her armament. Jackie glances towards Quinn, and you follow her empathic urging as you see Quinn's unconscious form twitch, her blood retreating back into her body unbeknownst to the angelic executioner who's stalking closer to you and your other allies.

"I'm not stopping Shu. I'm not stopping, because you CANNOT stop me."

The sextet of lethal weaponry orbit the hovering woman in an arcane ring, the bladed eyes revolving around her in another. She gestures, beckoning you, Jackie, and Rath forwards with her one good hand.

"Come, and I'll show you how I walked side-by-side with the devil herself."

Your hand curls into a fist, and you can feel it. The rage, the indignation, the bloodthrist that beats in the heart of you, Rath, and Jackie. You're unified in a singular, overwhelming *need* to bring the fires of your collective fury to the eerie, black-winged angel that hovers menacingly before you.

Angel? Devil?

It doesn't matter to someone's that hunted gods.

Heaven or hell...let's rock.

HP: 2976% (+345% [Dominus: Interrupted], Matrons, Vincula, Pace. Halo: SPENT)
BIO: 2570% (+320%. 16x Psy-Platelings, 9x Bishops, 10x Rooks, 6x Jacklings, 1x Grapplings, 3x Rec-Knightlings, 2x Rec-Banelings, 1x Fuzzbuzz, 1x Giga-Drill-Knightling, 1x Stealth-Jackling, 10x Banelings, 36/50 Swarmlings active)

CONTENDER: Gemini - Honey x3, Parabellum x1 , 2x Fullbores (Both guns)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: 2 Arms.
ACT: 3/3

HOLLY: 1294 % ([RESIST: Heat, Cold. IMMUNE: Acid] Shawl and Uzi(3x Elemental, 3x Standard), Pharynx – 3 CHARGES)
DORIAN: 578% (+0%, Interitus, Lanceam, Caelorum. Halo: PRIMED. MASQUE - Active)
RATH: 1799% (+550%, Daggers, Gauntlets. Halo: PRIMED)
NOVEMBER: STABILIZED.

JOYOUS: 22 - 13 Crystallized, 9 Active.

MIDNIGHT CREW: Keane's Heal: 53% complete. Jackie - Threat: Unconsionable. Ace - Stabilized. Quinn - Surprise Regeneration in middle of upcoming round.

THREAT: Currently wielding all Six Black Heavens Guns at once. Long range. @LDR!T{H {@N{ELL@T!0N - SPENT. Is now taking you seriously.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
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>>4142662
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. Voting shall remain open for the next twelve hours, with posting to resume in fourteen, give or take as work demands. Thank you all for your patience, participation, and enthusiasm, and I'll be around for a little while longer to address any questions you may have. Additionally, I'll be waking up a bit earlier tomorrow morning to address any queries I do not get to tonight. Thank you all again, and I wish you all a good night.)
>>
>>4145151
>>4145148
(Also, an addendum - Magpie is looking considerably more ragged than when she started. Teleporting away from Dorian's sphere of influence took more out of her than she'd like to admit.)
>>
>>4145153
(Last addendum - I'm a little frazzled since my computer ate the last two posts, so I had to reconstruct them, hence the longer writing period. Apologies for the delay, and if you catch anything I missed, please speak up.)
>>
>>4145151
do we have any indication on how long her space-time warping telekinesis might last?

regardless, damnit, Rath deserved that damn moment, but while its utterly terrible of a situation to be in now, its at least a good sign we were doing well and on the right track for her to spend something like that. only question is how the hell can we overcome getting stun locked and dragged through the damn air when anything near her just stops?
>>
>>4145162
(The cancel-counter has been spent, so you don't need to worry about it any more...you just have to worry about whatever other tricks she has up her sleeve and the fact that she can now pump out more damage at will than anything else you've ever faced.)

(When she grabbed Rath, that was an offensive use of her teleportation.)
>>
>>4145162
hrm... its a long shot, but only thing i can think of that could possibly work, is the fact we haven't seen her stop anything non soild.

>>4145161
nother question, sorry. does Dorian have any Charges built up? while Masque can cover a large area, Magpies been jumping around alot, so it wouldn't be too silly to think hes moved at least a bit?
>>
>>4145166
(He's being carried by Keane, but he has built up a few charges due to the forced movement. It'll be on his next status update, thanks for the reminder...it was one of the things that got eaten.)
>>
>>4145139
>that file name in leet speak
>"These toys are not yours to play with"
Jackie, just what in the fuck did you pick up? That hexane sword makes our eyes BLEED when we look at it!

>>4145151
Well shit. This is truly turning into some Shin Megami Tensei levels of Body horror and fighting. Magpie going SMT eldritch angel on us with her body full of eyeballs and a floating halo of T-5 guns while Shu and friends are playing Biopunk body horror.

For that, I found a really good soundtrack to rock to with a nearly fitting title to boot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBRIzXAk3HM

>MIDNIGHT CREW: Keane's Heal: 53% complete. Jackie - Threat: Unconsionable. Ace - Stabilized. Quinn - Surprise Regeneration in middle of upcoming round.

Mind explaining Jackie's status? why is there a threat gauge next to her? Also, Do the Psychic Spiralis Platelings do anything good for our allies in terms of utility? I thought they help counter by providing a passive anti-counter measure in the form of terraforming.
>>
>>4145139
So what, does every high-level Daughter get Eldritch Cancellation, or is it just something that she and Mara shared? Because if every endgame fight is going to have the possibility of someone pulling a space-time warp to save their ass, we've got to change our fighting style.

And damn it, that set-up for the mega-blast is wasted, only works the first time Ignition is activated per turn. Blarg.
>>
>>4145172
Silver lining: we've forced her to spend her catch-all reverse uno card this early, albeit at the cost of downing two of our allies.
>>
>>4145172
>>4145167
actually, the terrain didnt go off it seems, even just slow mo at Magpies feet, so she may of stopped Rath before she turned on Ignition. keep in mind, Rath is now always super lava bodied, so her burning things on contact has nothing to do with Ignition.

which also begs the question of just how much Ignition increases that.
>>
>>4145172
(The ability Magpie used was gifted to her by Mara. It's quite unique - there's nothing else like it in this Crucible.)

(At least, not exactly like it.)

>>4145171
(Jackie's new toy does some interesting things to how the interface and how certain abilities sort friend from foe. For the sake of abilities, she currently counts as both.)

>>4145181
(The ground did not detonate, so it's still primed.)
>>
>>4145165
oh, sorry, i think the wording is messing with me. i thought Shu, Rath, and Jackie were suspended in the air, and her gesture was pulling us toward the weapons, but she was just doing the 'come and git sum' gesture, i think?
>>
>>4145171
>Mind explaining Jackie's status? why is there a threat gauge next to her? Also, Do the Psychic Spiralis Platelings do anything good for our allies in terms of utility? I thought they help counter by providing a passive anti-counter measure in the form of terraforming.
I think that Jackie's sword is such a horrific thing that it's reading as a threat to us. An unconscionable threat, so that's really fucking ominous, Jackie. We've definitely got to ask Karma about this thing, see if she has any idea what it is. I don't think she will, though, I'm getting the sense that it being Hexane is just an assumption that Jackie has.

As for the psi-platelings, normally they'd do something, but Magpie has the power to bypass the auto-counters. BHOP mentioned it back when I asked why Dorian's Halo counter didn't trigger when he was shot. She's worked out some exploit where her bullets count as swarmlings, meaning that a high-level effect of her skills that lets her swarmlings ignore auto-counters applies to them, too.

>>4145185
>(The ground did not detonate, so it's still primed.)
Oh. >>4145181 is right and that was Rath glowing from Vulcan's Hand and her corruption, not Ignition. Okay, then. Rath is still conscious, just embedded in the terrain. Okay, let's have her free herself by Igniting and nuking the place.
>>
>>4145192
(You, Rath, and Jackie are completely free. She was merely gesturing for you to come at her.)
>>
>>4145195
hows Magpies eye constructs like? she still have them about, or has she given them up now that she has the body eyes?
>>
>>4145209
(A ring of them are floating around her, engorged eyeballs with the odd wing or two sprouting from them...you'll see more of them in the next update, to be sure.)
>>
>>4145214
oh fuck that shit.
>>
>>4145217
(Indeed.)
>>
>>4145151
Is Dominus Bloodline now back online?
>>
>>4145214
>>4145221
Yeah, fuck that shit. I say we open with the Ignition nuke. Burn away all of Magpie's eye-constructs, make her have to spawn new ones if she wants to play that game.
>>
>>4145229
(Absolutely. I had that in the last update that was lost, my apologies.)
>>
>>4145166
>>4145172

First things first, fighters that are down but stabilized (November and Ace) need to be taken off the battlefield, but their weapons and relics that they have can be put to better use in the hands of those that can still fight.

Ace has two Golgotha Axes that can be wielded as well as the Kuolema Rifle, November has the Nail, the Dainsleif, Margraves sword (its protective function now useless because November's robot head now has a hole in it), the Remembrance Whistle (words are Gra Hir), and Deliverance of Ego?

Rath can spawn Phantom Limbs and Replicant limbs and has the strength required to wield the heavy weapons. Give Rath the twin Golgotha axes, the Nail, the dainsleif and Deliverance of Ego.

Jackie can use Margraves Sword. she has Fibromancy augments so she has the strength required.

We should also hand one of the whistles to a Joyus so they can complete the spell Gra Hir Cunt with the whistle, but we'll need to tell Jackie to sheathe her sword beforehand lest she gets hit by the inaccuracy spell too since that dammable Hexane sword of hers makes her count as both friend AND foe.

Second, Magpie will definitely defend herself with her floating guns, If we're to ensure that Rath gets in close for that ignition nuke, we'll need a screen that shields Rath and lets her get in close.

>>4145232
Also, will November's Robot head need repairs if/when this is all over?
>>
>>4145232
What's the regen boost we're getting from Magpie? Please tell me it's not the 2247% needed for our current Health to be entirely the result of straight regeneration and not some weirdness caused by over-heal. I guess it's plausible for Magpie to have a regeneration of nearly 4500% Health per turn, but damn do I not want to face that.
>>
>>4145148
>>4145249
HOLLY;
>Keep yourself and your Maw Moving, thinning Magpies Crows and eyeballs alike, though be careful of any tricks the eyeballs might have over you trying to actually eat them.
>Then, once Dorian is ready, fire off your Pharynx.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>Have Keane focus on those actually down, but if she doesn't think she can do more for them, we could use any tricks she has to bear against Magpie herself.
>Jackie shouldn't hold back, but should hear Shus plan, despite its foolishness, and wit til Shu gives her an opening to finally make something here count for anything big she has.

NOVEMBER;
>Sit back and stabilize with the rest. You sadly cannot heal properly even with your tank, due to your body.

(2/2)
>>
>>4145249
If you're going to taunt Floating Gun Crow woman, at least do something to protect the downed fighters, otherwise Magpie will do the pragmatic thing and just shoot them as her first action!
>>
>>4145243
(November will need some repairs, yes.)

>>4145245
(The over-heal was the damage you took in the previous round added to your total HEALTH. You haven't yet tethered yourself to Magpie, but when you automatically do so at the start of the next round, you'll find her regen to be 2100%.)
>>
>>4145249
>At the opportune moment, force yourself close to Magpie, Use Maw, Relic, Honey, Hands, and Blade alike to pin her into close contact with you, and force her to set off your Halo. take the hit, and force her to give your allies their opening, stun her if you can too.

Anon. We already spent our Neurotic Halo counter.
>>
>>4145232
Is the piece of biomass that Rath is currently lodged in terraformed terrain or nearby terraformed terrain? Because I really like the idea of blasting herself out of her being trapped by Igniting the bomb. Frees herself, surprises a Magpie who did not see that move coming, destroys all the eyes before they can do anything, and then we follow up with melee.
>>
>>4145257
(She's embedded just outside of the terraformed zone, but if she burst out of it, then ignition would commence.)
>>
>>4145243
>>4145254
Magpies not aiming for the wounded, and swapping relics is implied to either be Act heavy or impossible in battle, and is far from worth it in the middle of a fight.

those fighters we still have up, we need to stay fighting. Magpie might not be after kills,but shes certainly not against taking a cheap shot at someone trying to evacuate wounded. the best thing we can do for them, is not give her a chance to go after them, assuming she even would.

also, im not lveaving them with nothing, but you never do actually read things so im not surprised you missed im both blocking Magpie off to give us time, and having Keane go try and help the wounded.

>>4145256
grah, fuck, too much damn info, i read the wrong persons. regardless, we have both our Base Spiralis, and our Plateling Spiralis, so ill just change it to slamming one of those down.
>>
>>4145148
Vote;

JOYOUS;
>split your crescendo. You should all have 3 Acts, considering Amara still has her relic on her.
>GRA SULK RHO CUNT for 4 of them.
>GRA CUNT REV SUTH for 4 of them.
>One still stays back, to keep the collection growing.

SHU;
>Scoff at Magpie, and dig daggers into her eyes.
>”No Magpie. This ends with one of us dead. You’re either putting me down for good, or I'm putting you down. You try to let me live? Try to walk away? I’ll hunt YOU down, just as ceaselessly and mercilessly as you are those innocent lives out there. You want them? You. Put. Me Down. for good. Simple as that.”
>”But whoever one of us dies here today, remember one damn thing. It was on you, your choice, and no one else's.”
>Send two Knightlings to help Rath get free, as your Rooks slam down between you all and Magpie, to obscure her sight, aim, and damage, even if just by a pennace.
>Rush Forward, bringing the contenders swinging, Maw slashing, and shots ringing.
>Keep her on her toes. Try and get her to spend off her Teleportation, run her resources there dry, and let Dorian work his magic.
>At the opportune moment, force yourself close to Magpie and spawn a Spiralis under both your feet. Use Maw, Relic, Honey, Hands, and Blade alike to pin her into close contact with you, and force her to set off your Counters. take the hit, and force her to give your allies their opening, stun her if you can too.

RATH;
>Get yourself unstuck with the help of the Knights, then start whooping on Magpie from afar. Use Boils of all kinds, and use your strands to slam flails against Magpie, forcing her back and to react, while casually leaving some about every now and again.
>Once its time, pull those strands and arms you have left about tightly, to try and trip up and tie up Mapie, even if shes jumped around, before slinging yourself forward and finishing your meteor punch you started last turn. The terrains ready, and this time, shes spent her own stun.

DORIAN;
>Spin on your axis, allowing you to get your free slices out at Magpies eye swarm, and technically be moving to build up stacks., despite just being a whirling cloud of blood.
>Once you see your prime opening, time it with Holly, and Strike Magpie down with your Charges.
>Oh, and if he can do it safely, slice and dash Magpie and her swarm, mainly the eyes, to bits with his Strands.

(1/2)
>>
>>4145148
>>4145268
HOLLY;
>Keep yourself and your Maw Moving, thinning Magpies Crows and eyeballs alike, though be careful of any tricks the eyeballs might have over you trying to actually eat them.
>Then, once Dorian is ready, fire off your Pharynx.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>Have Keane focus on those actually down, but if she doesn't think she can do more for them, we could use any tricks she has to bear against Magpie herself.
>Jackie shouldn't hold back, but should hear Shus plan, despite its foolishness, and wit til Shu gives her an opening to finally make something here count for anything big she has.

NOVEMBER;
>Sit back and stabilize with the rest. You sadly cannot heal properly even with your tank, due to your body.

(2/2)
>>
>>4145260
Found some good tracks for Magpie. They've got a Dark Country theme to it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so2s-NZVXZA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIrzOQyyy5A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io3af9r0dj4
>>
>>4145275
(Hrng, dark country music is my absolute jam. I love all of these.)
>>
>>4145268
Personally, I'd rather not say anything to Magpie. Don't dignify her with a response. She wants to be the big bad monster? We'll treat her like one, then, a thing and not a person. Just another beast to be put down.
>>
>>4145300
eh, i disagree, and its more of she thinks she can get away with this without having to put anyone down. she doesn't deserve to get to feel the luxury of that, nor feel like she can just win this and walk it off like there wont be any consequences if she stops us here in terms of how we react.

plus, we've given words to just as bad of people before.
>>
>>4145304
Hey anon, if Jackie's Sword Relic makes her tagged as both FRIEND and FOE, wouldn't the skintalker spells both buff AND debuff her?
>>
>>4145232
Hey bhop, for that Relic Sword that makes Jackie tag both as FRIEND and FOE, is it possible to deactivate that IFF scrambler and reactivate it within the same round? or does it stay active throughout combat once drawn? And how would it affect Jackie if a Joyous were to cast a skintalking spell?
>>
>>4145304
I don't disagree with you. But having dialogue feels to me like it's engaging in this delusion she has that this can be all resolved by her just showing us that she's right. Better to just kill her and be over with it.
>>
>>4145310
wouldn't that mean they just cancel out on here more or less though? i mean, yeah, an issue for Jackie and us, but we kinda need whatever we can scrounge up to at least slow down/hinder Magpie we can. plus, Jackie is probably prepared for such things. her team beforehand was very reliant on helping eachother, and while they seem to be able to stand on their own more, i doubt they just dumped those parts all away. so she would already have to be prepared for the wonkiness of things like Aces auras chipping away at her too.
>>
>>4145315
(Regarding Skintalker spells, the buff and debuff would cancel out. Also, because I'm tired and about to head to bed; what does IFF stand for?)
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>>4145322
IFF: tl;dr A friend or foe system.
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>>4145320
i mean, i guess i just dont agree? not personally feeling or seeing how telling her she cant have the 'easy' way out as it was, is playing into the delusion. if anything, its showing her we're just as stubborn and unwilling to change as her, which if nothing else, certainly doesn't seem to be what she wants, if only because its working against her.
>>
>>4145322
Identify:friend or foe.
>>
>>4145322
(I'll also say that Jackie having Debuffs would actually also buff her, on account of her unusual skill set.)
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>>4145322
hope you have a good rest BHOP.
lord only knows how long this is gonna keep me up...
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>>4145329
Huh. So she'd get double buffs from a Skintalker spell, or is it not inverting effects but something else entirely?
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>>4145337
(It basically works like this; if Jackie gets, say, a speed debuff, then all her other stats are buffed by the decrease to the one stat. If she's hit by something that hinders her HEALTH regen, then her BIO regen's boosted, and vice versa.)
>>
>>4145326
I'm just not feeling it. The time for talk ended, I don't want to engage with Magpie's ranting. Just leave her to it while we kill her. I might go for something angrier, if we really have to say something, the calm certainty feels off to me. Calling her out on her bullshit, that I might go for.

>>4145344
Oh, neat, so the debuff would be canceled out by the buff, but everything else would still be buffed. That's pretty useful, especially if you can get a broad spectrum of effects on you. Ace can probably do that.
>>
>>4145349
well, we'll see how that goes then, but im more than happy with spitting in her face metaphorically, and going full rant about her hypocrisy to me feels like something id be against.
>>
>>4145148

My vote:
>Take a deep breath, and release. Focus on the pair eyes where Magpie would have if she was originally human.
>The look you give her is solemn but grim cold fury.
>"Walked side by side with the Devil? Either you've submitted to her, or you've made a deal with the Devil."
>You take slow deliberate steps, using the Psy-plateling on your chest to passively pave the ground you walk.
>"You don't make deals with devils, Magpie. And now you've condemned yourself to be lost in your guilt."
>"This will not end until one of us dies Magpie. You do what you gotta do, so do I. You won't stop, and I won't relent, until one of us dies in the end."

Shu:
Total Swarm: 1 full ACT.
>Knightlings and rec Knightlings will fly around and be a nuisance, roasting eyeballs with their flamethrowers, taking them down with their stingers.
>Jacklings: Terraform Ablative shelters to protect the downed daughters as well as barricades to hide behind when sheltering against Magpie's gunfire.
>Bishops: Bishops on Ace, Quinn, and November will divert and re-equip themselves onto Jackie, Rath, and Shu.
>Fuzzbuzz: Go dormant, you're taking up a swarmling slot space.
>Rec-Banelings, Suicide yourselves upon Magpie's gunfire and release the mini-banelings. Mini-banelings will inject their acid into Magpie's actual body and start drilling.
>Standard Banelings will attack Magpie's floating eyeballs
>Giga-Drill-Knightling continue to try and free the 13 crystalized Joyous.
>The Grappling will act as a life-line support that yanks our fighters out of harms way or nudges the guns off-center to make a hit into a miss.
>Rooks turn into flying shields that body block Magpie, have all of them each guard one of our allies.
Spawn:
>Enough platelings that can cover Rath, Jackie, Quinn, Holly, and yourself into full sets of Chitinous Stalwart.
>2 spritelings to amplify Holly.
>1 Stealth-Succling to attach to Magpie.
>10 or 20 Nomlings to devour the eyeballs and carry the devoured pollen back to Shu.

Other Actions: 2 ACTs
>Throw out Dominus Bloodline out towards Rath, Holly, Jack, and Magpie if possible.
>Spawn another pair of arms tipped with Heavens Drill, have the drills increase in rev speed, and take pot shots at Magpie by harpooning shooting them at Magpie.
>Fan the hammers of both Contender Revolvers.
>Then Rush in spawn all the arms, grapple Magpie and her guns, Activate Ability Lockdown through Dominus Bloodline.
>Pin Magpie in the Grapple, any hands that you've physically grappled with magpie should turn into heavens drills that also drill into Magpie so that you're physically stuck on Magpie and ensure that if Magpie goes to teleport, she takes you with her Unless you've somehow locked down Magpie's teleport.
>at the opportune moment, give the signal so that your other allies can go ham with their alphastrike. Give the signal AFTER Magpie teleports, if she does that is.

1/2
>>
>>4145413
>>4145148

Joyous:
>4 spells sung in 4 pairs of duets:
>Spells cast:
>Gra Vie Rho (Makes Magpie's Constructs sluggish, Buffs Jackie's Bats)
>Gra Rho Tha (Defense up spell, makes allies tougher)
>Gra Cunt Rev Suth (Buffs Jackie's state of mind, Makes Magpie irrational)
>Gra Cunt Rho HIR (Debuffs Magpie's accuracy)
>one Joyous hangs back to produce more clones

Rath:
>Pull yourself out, ready your fist, you need to land a crucial punch that will knock Magpie's Relics out of commission. When Shu grapples Magpie, launch yourself at the Grappled Magpie but don't throw the punch, it will be a fake out that will force Magpie to teleport.
>After Magpie Teleports, Find Magpie again and then Launch yourself at her. This time activate ignition and throw the punch and make sure you hit Magpie!

Dorian:
>Find more creative means to build up Accumulative charges while staying in one spot. as Keane Carries you so that Magpie stays within range of your Masque of War.
>throw a fibromancy tether on Magpie to ensure that your Lightning strike does not miss. Do it after Magpie defensively teleports.

Holly:
>Do anti-construct clean up duty and devour those constructs. Keep yourself on the move.
>when Shu gives the signal, fire the Gamma laser.

Midnight Crew:
>Keane, focuses on those that are actually down, Ace and Quinn, November can't be healed properly as of right now, but also move Dorian close enough to magpie so that if Magpie must teleport again, she'll pay a big Bio price in order to do so.
>Jackie, Quinn, when you're Ready, you will alpha strike Magpie when Shu gives the signal.

2/2
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>>4145283
One more song for the night:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ce5zaDhvhm4
>>
>>4145413
>Jacklings: Terraform Ablative shelters to protect the downed daughters as well as barricades to hide behind when sheltering against Magpie's gunfire.
she not after the wounded and is implied to have even stabilized them. its extra resources we dont need to spend.

>Rec-Banelings, Suicide yourselves upon Magpie's gunfire and release the mini-banelings. Mini-banelings will inject their acid into Magpie's actual body and start drilling.
still not something we can do.

>The Grappling will act as a life-line support that yanks our fighters out of harms way or nudges the guns off-center to make a hit into a miss.
still a waste of swarmling slots when we can spawn arms on our allies to slingshot away. does the exact same thing without wasting slots.

>Throw out Dominus Bloodline out towards Rath, Holly, Jack, and Magpie if possible.
what are you even trying to do here? thats not how it works its basically a line of mist that we can connect to up to two targets at once max at the moment.

>Then Rush in spawn all the arms, grapple Magpie and her guns, Activate Ability Lockdown through Dominus Bloodline.
i still highly disagree this ability is worth it. its random what we stop, costs a constant Act to keep up, and cant be changed. its wasting Shus Acts on way too big a dice roll that could fuck us over from not doing other, more guaranteed things.

>Pin Magpie in the Grapple, any hands that you've physically grappled with magpie should turn into heavens drills that also drill into Magpie so that you're physically stuck on Magpie and ensure that if Magpie goes to teleport, she takes you with her Unless you've somehow locked down Magpie's teleport.
we cant guarantee her teleportation works in a way we would be dragged. relying on thats a bad idea.

>Joyous
id prefer to focus on boosting less spells, and BHOP already confirmed Jackie simply cancels out skintalker spells currently, so that spell is wasted on her.
>>
>>4145429
>what are you even trying to do here? thats not how it works its basically a line of mist that we can connect to up to two targets at once max at the moment.
Fair. I forgot about the limitations. then tether the bloodlines to Magpie and Holly.

>still a waste of swarmling slots when we can spawn arms on our allies to slingshot away. does the exact same thing without wasting slots.
Also fair.

>she not after the wounded and is implied to have even stabilized them. its extra resources we dont need to spend.
out of sight out of mind. She may take Shu seriously, but I am NOT taking any chances on the off-hand whim that Magpie will go full pragmatic "then let me be evil" and finish off downed allies, even if she did spend 87.5% of her current bio pool on stabilizing our allies out of respect.

>i still highly disagree this ability is worth it. its random what we stop, costs a constant Act to keep up, and cant be changed. its wasting Shus Acts on way too big a dice roll that could fuck us over from not doing other, more guaranteed things.
Fair.

>We cant guarantee her teleportation works in a way we would be dragged. relying on thats a bad idea.
Hence why I'm doing the Grapple so We can learn the limitations! Then again, you do make a good point. Considering that Magpie's now taking Shu seriously, I don't want a telefrag to happen.


>id prefer to focus on boosting less spells, and BHOP already confirmed Jackie simply cancels out skintalker spells currently, so that spell is wasted on her.
It will help buff our other allies! Magpie will get a decrease in her accuracy which is crucial when dealing with a gun toting angel crow woman!

well shit. I forgot to add cunt to Gra Vie Rho. Even if it doesn't help Jackie, it will still make an impact on Shu, Rath and the others! Also, why Gra Sulk Rho Cunt? why are you applying that on Magpie when she's got Cold Resistance from her Relics? wouldn't it be better to affect her constructs or her accuracy instead? I can understand Gra Cunt Rev Suth, but not the other spell.
>>
>>4145453
i dont remember her having Cold Resistance, but BHOP has let SULK slow down enemy movements before, which even if not as much as i thought, would still be pretty helpful, and wouldn't depend on terrain to do, which she can teleport away from and Rath is about to destroy too.
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>>4145460

>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’.

>Her long, reinforced jacket grants her moderate protection against all elemental damage types.

I don't want to chance the Sulk component of the somatic spell to be rebuffed by Magpie's jacket.

Your idea is good when it comes to slowing down Magpie's reaction time, but that could also be amplified by making her inaccurate as well. Her main damage dealing method comes from having accurate attacks. if we can throw her aim off just a little with Gra Cunt Rho HIR, we can stand a greater chance against her gunfire.
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>>4145465
alright, fair on that. i was mostly hoping it would give us better openings to hit her, which pure grappling and less accuracy wont do. but sure, even if its not full immunity, it might not be at a level enough to be worth it over lowering the accuracy. will make other things more of a dice roll though, but we'll just have to deal with that.
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>>4145469
Are you still fine with having Shu Grapple the guns out of Magpie's hands? if we're going in swinging, we should at least wrestle the guns in a direction so that on top of her inaccuracy and slow reactions due to Gra Rho Cunt, she has to make strength checks against Shu to even point the gun in the right direction.
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>>4145471
thats not what i exactly interpreted as you trying to do there, and not sure it would work, considering her guns are currently magically floating around her. i guess we can try and knock their aim aside though sure, but ive got a very strong suspicion they arent going anywhere. best case is that means Shu can actually possibly rush past them when she tries to get into actual melee, but we'll see.
>>
>>4145471
I don't think we'll be able to pull the guns out of her telekinetic grip, but shifting them aside while we get in past them, sure.

Also, it occurs to me that it's her eyes generating the telekinesis. They started glowing at the same time that the engravings on the guns did. I wonder if we can break her hold by forcing her to shut her eyes. Maybe when the Ignition bomb goes off she'll reflexively shut them to deal with the light and we'll be able to deal with them then. Terraform them deep beneath the earth, or something. She can probably just teleport them back to her, though.
>>
>>4145171
>That hexane sword makes our eyes BLEED when we look at it!
Feels like a Damon weapon looks like a demon weapon, does shit like a demon weapon...... Verdict Probably a demon weapon. likely with a greater demon inside wanting to be fed.

hence the threat gauge. She can probably go berserk if the weapon goes to long without being bathed in blood.

>>4145322
So i take it that Magpies ability makes it so that she counters everything that would damage her that turn? Which is a one time thing...... God i hope we can munch that ability off of her.... getting it on at least party member would be awesome...
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>>4145487
you're mis-reading, its the eyes actually on her that are glowing. so unless Rath boils blinding effect works, not much we can really do.
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>>4145494
>Every mismatched eye in Magpie's mind-bending form shutters closed before flying open once more, and in every eye there's a golden iris, shining, pulsing in time with the shimmering filigree of the Six Black Heavens Guns as their mistress begins to hover alongside her armament.

Umm.. I think anon actually has a point.

The guns are glowing with the same rhythm as Magpie's golden eyes.
>>
>>4145490
The name of the image accompanying it was leet-speak (which is used in this quest to indicate eldritch things and/or madness) saying "These toys are not yours to play with". The thing we met when we tried to commune with a Forge Core referred to the Silver Key as "one of our toys". I think the sword isn't Hexane tech, it's Crucible Builder tech.

>>4145494
No, I got that. I'm not talking about the bomb destroying the flying eyes, I'm talking about Magpie reflexively shutting her eyes to shield them from the light of a giant explosion engulfing her. That could break her hold on the guns.
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>>4145496
thats.... ok apparently i did not go into enough detail over this.
he said her floating eyes were glowing, so we may be able to get rid of them to stop her telekinesis. i was pointing out its the eyes on her body glowing, so we cant really do as much about them or that.
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>>4145501
we could obviously shoot those golden glowing eyes.
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>>4145501
I said nothing about the floating eye constructs. I'm talking about the ones on Magpie's body. That's why I was talking about making her shut them instead of destroying them. Though if we could destroy all the eyes on Magpie's body with the bomb blast, that would be nice too. I wouldn't object to that.
>>
>>4145502
not really viable when her entire body is covered in them. its like how you cant really shut up Amara, because she'll just cover herself in mouths. at best Raths explosion might hit all of her.

>>4145503
you said it very clearly here
>>4145487
>Terraform them deep beneath the earth, or something. She can probably just teleport them back to her, though.
what bloodly else would i think when your talking about eyes, but theres only one set of eyes that can be moved away from her?
>>
>>4145505
>what bloodly else would i think when your talking about eyes, but theres only one set of eyes that can be moved away from her?
I was talking about terraforming the dropped guns deep beneath the earth, not her eyes.
>>
>>4145506
well make it actually properly clear then.
>>
>>4145148
>>4145268
slight Vote amendments;

JOYOUS;
>split your crescendo. You should all have 3 Acts, considering Amara still has her relic on her.
>GRA CUNT REV HIR for 4 of them.
>GRA CUNT REV SUTH for 4 of them.
>One still stays back, to keep the collection growing.

SHU;
>Scoff at Magpie, and dig daggers into her eyes.
>”No Magpie. This ends with one of us dead. You’re either putting me down for good, or I'm putting you down. You try to let me live? Try to walk away? I’ll hunt YOU down, just as ceaselessly and mercilessly as you are those innocent lives out there. You want them? You. Put. Me Down. for good. Simple as that.”
>”But whoever one of us dies here today, remember one damn thing. It was on you, your choice, and no one else's.”
>FuzzBuzz go dormant.
>Send two Knightlings to help Rath get free, as your Rooks slam down between you all and Magpie, to obscure her sight, aim, and damage, even if just by a pennace.
>Armor up the Combatants still up with platelings, and top off their Bishops.
>Use your Jacklings to keep Magpie off her toes and her sight limited, as you otherwise make easier terrain to help Keane get to them and them out of harm's way.
>Rush Forward, bringing the Contenders swinging, Maw slashing, Drills reving, and shots ringing.
>Keep her on her toes. Try and get her to spend off her Teleportation, run her resources there dry, and let Dorian work his magic.
>At the opportune moment, force yourself close to Magpie and spawn a Spiralis under both your feet. Use Maw, Relic, Honey, Hands, and Blade alike to pin her into close contact with you, and force her to set off your Counters. take the hit, and force her to give your allies their opening, stun her if you can too.

RATH;
>Get yourself unstuck with the help of the Knights, then start whooping on Magpie from afar. Use Boils of all kinds, and use your strands to slam flails against Magpie, forcing her back and to react, while casually leaving some about every now and again.
>Once its time, pull those strands and arms you have left about tightly, to try and trip up and tie up Mapie, even if shes jumped around, before slinging yourself forward and finishing your meteor punch you started last turn. The terrains ready, and this time, shes spent her own stun.

DORIAN;
>Spin on your axis, allowing you to get your free slices out at Magpies eye swarm, and technically be moving to build up stacks., despite just being a whirling cloud of blood.
>Once you see your prime opening, time it with Holly, and Strike Magpie down with your Charges.
>Oh, and if he can do it safely, slice and dash Magpie and her swarm, mainly the eyes, to bits with his Strands.

(1/2)
>>
>>4145148
>>4145511
>>4145271
HOLLY;
>Keep yourself and your Maw Moving, thinning Magpies Crows and eyeballs alike, though be careful of any tricks the eyeballs might have over you trying to actually eat them.
>Then, once Dorian is ready, fire off your Pharynx.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>Have Keane focus on those actually down, but if she doesn't think she can do more for them, we could use any tricks she has to bear against Magpie herself.
>Jackie shouldn't hold back, but should hear Shus plan, despite its foolishness, and wait til Shu gives her an opening to finally make something here count for anything big she has.

NOVEMBER;
>Sit back and stabilize with the rest. You sadly cannot heal properly even with your tank, due to your body.

(2/2)
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>>4145513
>>4145511
I would like to point out that Magpie is currently not within Dorian't Masque of War range. If we want to make Magpie pay for every teleportation act, we should move Dorian so that Magpie will still be in Dorian's Masque of War range.
>>
>>4145518
We have Psychica Spiralis on, that should impede Magpie's teleportation some. I'm more worried about Magpie flying. She's levitating off the ground now, and she is kind of made of wings. I really hope she has a low flight ceiling and can't just bombard us from out of reach.
>>
>>4145518
dont exactly see that, but its implied he needs to move to have her in it if she is not. if i have to write out every single bloody tiny detail in order for this to work, the orders are going to be twenty godamned fucking posts long.
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>>4145521
fair enough.
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>>4145148
For now supporting>>4145511 and>>4145513

Fucking hell my computer crashed while i was in the process of finishing off my own post..... So i will support this until i can maybe find the time to redo it(after the f****** file got corrupted beyond recovery) Maybe
i will find some time while i work
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>>4145531
oh fuck, sorry to hear that. hope losing that was the worst of it though, and your computer didnt screw you over on anything else.

whelp, just realized its almost 2am here. rip. i need some sleep.
>>
>>4145532
go ahead and get some sleep we need you tomorrow as well. No its all that was lost but i will be glad once i get my hands on a new computer. This one is getting screwy and its only six years old.
>>
Hmmm... I think she wants us to win but can't say so due to the geas. Actually, she's probably right that if she wanted us dead, she would have killed us before we even started fighting, since her walking up the hill was just giving her actual body time to position herself and plan her shot. Maybe we can get her to give us an opening by asking for it?
>>
>>4145413
>>4145148

Amending My vote:
>Take a deep breath, and release. Focus on the pair eyes where Magpie would have if she was originally human.
>The look you give her is solemn but grim cold fury.
>"Walked side by side with the Devil? Either you've submitted to her, or you've made a deal with the Devil."
>You take slow deliberate steps, using the Psy-plateling on your chest to passively pave the ground you walk.
>"You don't make deals with devils, Magpie. And now you've dammed yourself with that Geas."
>"This will not end until one of us dies Magpie. You won't stop, and I won't relent."
>"But fighting us? that's on you. You've made that choice."

Shu:
>Total Swarm: 1 full ACT.
>Knightlings and rec Knightlings will fly around and be a nuisance, roasting eyeballs with their flamethrowers, taking them down with their stingers.
>Jacklings: Terraform Ablative shelters to protect the downed daughters as well as barricades to hide behind when sheltering against Magpie's gunfire.
>Bishops: Bishops on Ace, Quinn, and November will divert and re-equip themselves onto Jackie, Rath, and Shu.
>Fuzzbuzz: Go dormant, you're taking up a swarmling slot space.
>Rec-Banelings, Suicide yourselves upon Magpie's gunfire and release the mini-banelings. Mini-banelings will inject their acid into Magpie's actual body and start drilling in order to free up slots
>Standard Banelings will attack Magpie's floating eyeballs
>Giga-Drill-Knightling continue to try and free the 13 crystalized Joyous.
>The Grappling will act as a life-line support that yanks our fighters out of harms way or nudges the guns off-center to make a hit into a miss.
>Rooks turn into flying shields that body block Magpie, have all of them each guard one of our allies.
Spawn:
>Enough platelings that can cover Rath, Jackie, Quinn, Holly, and yourself into full sets of Chitinous Stalwart.
>2 spritelings to amplify Holly.
>1 Stealth-Succling to attach to Magpie.
>10 or 20 Nomlings to devour the eyeballs and carry the devoured pollen back to Shu.
Other Actions: 2 ACTs
>Throw out Dominus Bloodline out towards Magpie and Rath
>Spawn another pair of arms tipped with Heavens Drill, have the drills increase in rev speed, and take pot shots at Magpie by
>Fan the hammers of both Contender Revolvers, unload every thing and reload them with the following (Honey B.33, Swarm B.33, parabellum, Hollowpoint, 2 Fullbores)
>keep Magpie on her toes and grounded, if she starts to fly out of reach, use Heavens Drill tipped Arms to harpoon her and drag her back down to ground level.
>Then Rush in spawn all the arms, grapple Magpie and her guns, Activate Neuromantic Paralysis and Psychica Spiralis when you're close enough.
>stay with Magpie, signal for your allies to do a flanking counterattack to try and spook Magpie into teleporting and wasting her resources. She's bound to have a set limit of teleportation that she can perform each round given that she has 6 ACTs capable if she's as strong as Mara.

>1/2
>>
>>4145658
>>4145148

Joyous:
>have two choruses of 4 clones casting these two spells
>GRA CUNT REV HIR (Destabilize Magpie's aim)
>GRA CUNT RHO FOL (Disrupt or increase the difficulty of concentration actions)
>one Joyous hangs back to produce more clones

Rath:
>Pull yourself out, ready your relic punch, and spawn extra arms, you need to land a crucial punch that will knock Magpie's Relics out of commission. When Shu grapples Magpie, launch yourself at the Grappled Magpie but don't throw the punch, it will be a fake out that will force Magpie to teleport. She's bound to have a set limitation on how many times she can teleport with her 6 ACTs action economy.
>After Magpie Teleports, Find Magpie again and then Launch yourself at her. This time activate ignition and throw the punch and make sure you hit Magpie!
Dorian:
>Find more creative means to build up Accumulative charges while staying in one spot. as Keane Carries you so that Magpie stays within range of your Masque of War. lash out your fibromancy and have them lash/slice the eyes on Magpie's actual body.
>throw a fibromancy tether on Magpie to ensure that your Lightning strike does not miss. Do it after Magpie defensively teleports and when Shu gives the command to fire.

Holly:
>Do anti-construct clean up duty and devour those constructs. Keep yourself on the move.
>when Shu gives the signal, fire the Gamma laser.

Midnight Crew:
>Keane, focuses on those that are actually down, Ace and Quinn, November can't be healed properly as of right now, but also move Dorian close enough to magpie so that if Magpie must teleport again, she'll pay a big Bio price in order to do so. But also Help Dorian keep Magpie within range of his Masque of war.
>Jackie, keep on the pressure. Shu will give a signal for a flanking attack. Magpie may teleport/retaliate when you do.

2/2
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>>4145665
Aren't those spells too long for the Joyous to cast? I think they can only do three-word spells. We'd have to cut out the GRA and rely on volume of spells to overwhelm instead.
>>
>>4145725
Gra is a free spell due to Amara's Augmentations
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>>4145725
wait. let me rephrase. Amara has chosen GRA as her favored word (which makes it a free spell to cast as a free action)
>>
>>4145731
>>4145733
Oh, that's right, I always forget that effect removes the ACT cost as well as the Bio cost. Disregard that, I'm an idiot.
>>
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>>4145148

Scoffing at Magpie, your eyes glare daggers into hers as you begin to descent into the valley of bloodied fangs, as though the entire world snarls alongside you at the madwoman you’re staring down.

”No Magpie. This ends with one of us dead.” You declare, eight Joyous joining your side as you stride forward, your strength renewed. “You’re either putting me down for good, or I'm putting you down. You try to let me live? Try to walk away? I’ll hunt YOU down, just as ceaselessly and mercilessly as you are those innocent lives out there.”

Gesturing to the ridge behind you, Magpie’s golden eyes narrow in the face of your unbreakable resolve.

“You want them? You. Put. Me Down. For. Good. Simple as that.” You finish, the FuzzBuzz on your back going dormant as it nestles into your hive, while your Platelings and Bishops recalibrate to all allies still active. ”But whichever one of us dies here today, remember one damn thing - it was on you, Magpie. It’s your choice, and no one else's.”

“I’ve made my peace with that, Defiant.” She answers, resigned as she hovers a full meter above the toothy ground. “Come on then…show me why you’re her chosen one.”

The Joyous erupt into a chorus, their harmonized Lexicon tearing across the battlefield to ravage your foe’s mind and aim, both. The engorged, feathered eyes that orbit Magpie hurtle forwards of their own accord, surging towards you only to be shredded instantaneously as the tornado that is Dorian Gardner begins to move once more, Keane’s own blood augmenting the howling winds as she charges forwards to your defense, the way forward carved with Holly’s ravenous efforts.

“Keane!” Jackie bellows, her augmented voice rippling through the stagnant air. “Get Shu’s tin-man to safety, I’ve got Ace!”

Magpie’s machinegun aims, a sharp staccato of gunfire showering the space where Jackie just was with piercing lead, but her target’s too fast, and her aim’s suffered thanks to the efforts of your faithful Joyous. The leader of the midnight Crew is moving…no, carving her way through space, Ace’s hefty form slung over one shoulder with every swing of Jackie’s sword propelling her forward as though she’s cutting her way to safety.

At your behest, twin Knightlings are at Rath’s side, lifting her out of the pit of molten enamel just as Magpie levels Alex’s Mercy, the bolt racking with terrible finality in mid-air just before a spear of pure white liquid throws off the sniper’s lethal aim. Quinn’s up, her fearsome resilience allowing her to rise once more as she lunges into melee, the Red Dahlia swinging up in response to bring Quinn’s face into its annihilating sights. The trigger’s pulled, the round is fired, and Quinn’s head snaps back from the slug’s devastating impact.

But it’s not enough to stop her.

(Continued)
>>
>>4145822

Quinn’s uninjured face is twisted into a vicious snarl as she closes the gap between her and the shocked gunner, backhanding the revolver out of the guns’ orbit before her brutal haymaker savages Magpie’s chin. The angelic pretender goes flying, hurtling into the side of a hill as Quinn stumbles, reaching up to place a single finger against one nostril. She exhales sharply, sneezing out the bullet that pierced her cheek and lodged in the back of her throat. She’s gotten stronger, more resilient to that which should have killed her…and you can see it, the strange tether that conjoins Quinn’s adaptability and Jackie’s augmentation. It’s clear that Jackie’s reinforced Quinn’s powers with her own, but when you turn to look at the other girl, you find that she’s done so much more than that.

Jackie, Ace…the two of them are as one, the latter’s armor now integrated with the former’s lanky form, the hafts of Ace’s twin axes baring their obsidian edges at your insane foe, while Jackie’s own hands are clasped around her sword’s hilt, buried once more in her chest as it expands her own powers past what should be possible.

You’re focusing on your Jacklings’ terraforming, the ground shifting into merciless spikes to keep Magpie on the move when November’s unconscious form shudders, rising up and stumbling away from the conflict as threads of Keane’s Humoral power puppeteer the cyborg to safety.

[I’m moving in] You announce to Jackie, a Knightling lifting you from the ground as you tear through the air towards your foe.

“We gotcha, ain’t that right, Keane?! Do the thing, for me an’ Shu!” Jackie cackles with an unhinged laugh as she charges towards Magpie, moving to cut off her escape from Quinn. The three of you are converging, making way for the fourth…the one who you hope can end this.

A volley of Rath’s boils arc through the air, the fetid breeze sizzling with unparalleled heat as your Contenders ring out, the blistering assault forcing Magpie to dodge the hell of bullets and bombs that assail her from all sides. Alex’s Mercy begins to glow with an unsettling golden light, vibrating at Magpie’s side with such violence that it almost appears to overlap with itself in space, but before you can focus in on it, you’re forced to dodge as the Strelitzia hoses you down with a shower of shredding ammo. Rooks descend to shield you, the unbidden swarmlings deflecting the bullet spray as you hurtle forwards on chitinous wings, weaving around your own constructs and as you enter melee range. Pistols shift to blades in your hands as the Hexane contender’s blades edges through thin air, narrowly missing your infuriatingly evasive foe, only a hair’s breadth out of reach.

She dodges left, moving out of the way of the reloaded Lupara, and you realize you’re staring down the twin barrels just in time for them to explode in your face.

(Continued)
>>
>>4145824

Thrown backwards, you catch a glimpse of your swarmlings tearing into Magpie’s chest in retaliation as you suddenly stop, slamming into an unrelenting suit of rusted red armor. You…you should be dead, from a point-blank shot. Your throat is torn, your chest burning from the incendiary buckshot. It’s agonizing, but half as damaging as it should be. The wounds, the pain, the damage…

…exactly half, in every way.

Looking up, you see Jackie sporting identical wounds to yours as her jaw ‘s been reduced to little more than a bloody mess, the lethal damage split between the two of you as you find yourselves barely surviving due to Keane’s quick thinking. The Lupara reloads almost instantaneously, the gun lunging forward to finish the job as it snaps closed just before Quinn’s fist cracks across it, sending it flying out of the way as you and Jackie take the opening she gave you. You and Jack both duck mid-lunge as Rath’s flails arc over your head, her radiant boils slashing across the space as Magpie’s forced to dodge out of the orbit of the miniature suns that would set her ablaze. As one, you charge - you and the leader of the Midnight Crew side-by-side. Battered, bloody, defiant.

Every axe-swing, every cleave of your Contender is narrowly avoided, Magpie blinking away at shorter and shorter distances, and naturally evading more often than not as you keep her on edge. Dorian continually moves forward, his and Keane’s diligence keeping Magpie in range of Dorian’s merciless storm cloud, every dodge, every blink through space fraying her body bit by brutal bit. Her body suddenly unfurls, a quintet of massive black wings taking shape from her torso as the sniper tries to take flight, desperately trying to put distance between you and Jackie’s relentless blows.

There it is.

You slam your foot down, and the ground at your feet suddenly wrenches into a colossal spiral, churning endlessly underfoot as Magpie’s suddenly plummeting back to earth with the Jackie-augmented Fear to Tread. The second she lands, the fiery strands that scorch the air around you find their target as Rath tethers herself to the object of her rage, and your Knightlings swoop in to fly you and Jackie to relative safety as your brawler reels herself in, one blindingly bright arm cocked back and topped with an annihilating fist.

The closes the gap like a meteorite breaking orbit, and she’s two meters away from Magpie when Alex’s Mercy leaps to her aid, and promptly fires.

>>NEUROTIC HALO - ACTIVATED

A dodge, a counter, a punch – one with the wrath of a thousand suns.

>>RATH - CRITICAL HIT

Your red-haired fiend and your raven-feathered foe are consumed at the heart of the pillar of white-hot flame that bellows skyward, the sound and fury of Rath’s attack resembling a wolf’s howl as the air sings its scorched song for all to hear.

(Continued)
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>>4145825

The pillar fades as you and Jackie land a safe distance away, watching the pillar roar, sputter, then fade as Rath struggles to stand at the heart of the devastation. She’s barely on her feet, her left side shredded from an apparent counter-attack at point-blank range, but Magpie’s no-where to be s-

A pair of rifle shots ring out high overhead, and in the blink of an eye Keane and Holly go down.

>>HOLLY – DEATH SAVING THROW: 1 Failure

>>KEANE - DEATH SAVING THROW: 1 Failure

“How?!” Rath roars skyward, as you all fix your eyes on the burning figure that hovers several hundred meters overhead. Magpie is burning, her body holding together through sheer force of will as white flames continue to burn all over her scorched frame. Clenching one fist, her body ripples as five of her guns reload, with Alex’s Mercy rendered dull from her forcing it beyond its limits. Beside the faded length of her trademark rifle hovers the Lupara, its own sleek barrels marred with a thin hairline crack that oozes with the smallest trickle of ivory liquid.

“W-well don-“ Magpie starts, only to have her words drowned out by a resounding peal of lightning. She’s blown back, barely able to stay aloft as you follow the bolt to its source – Dorian, his physical form coalesced and fully healed, finger extended accusingly towards the sniper as electricity crackles around the tip if his index. With utmost care he lowers Keane to the ground from where he caught her, ensuring her sacrifice won’t be in vain.

Magpie’s feathers ruffle, and to your frustration it’s in time with the renewed fluttering of her fallen swarm, revitalized by her Hive Mistress powers to distract you further. Her swarm rises with yours, your focus transfixed on the woman that burns in the sky like an ugly, false sun. She’s backed into a corner, and you can feel her mind slipping further with every pull of the trigger.

She’s getting desperate, and now, she’s more dangerous than ever.

That makes two of you.

HP: 1798% (+1395% [Dominus: Magpie], Matrons, Vincula, Pace. Halo: SPENT)
BIO: 2570% (+320%. 16x Psy-Platelings, 9x Bishops, 10x Rooks, 6x Jacklings, 1x Grapplings, 3x Rec-Knightlings, 2x Rec-Banelings, 1x Fuzzbuzz, 1x Giga-Drill-Knightling, 1x Stealth-Jackling, 10x Banelings, 36/50 Swarmlings active)

CONTENDER: Gemini - Honey x1, Parabellum x0 , 1x Fullbores (Both guns)
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: 2 Arms.
ACT: 3/3

HOLLY: 1 Failure, spawning Dorian’s Matron Familiar
DORIAN: 1253% (+675%, Interitus, Lanceam, Caelorum. Halo: PRIMED.)
RATH: 628% (+550%, Daggers, Gauntlets. Halo: SPENT)
NOVEMBER: STABILIZED.

JOYOUS: 25 - 13 Crystallized, 12 Active.

MIDNIGHT CREW: Keane's Heal: COMPLETE. Jackie/Ace - Threat: Incalculable. Quinn – Amping up.

THREAT: Alex’s Mercy on cool-down. Lupara is damaged by Quinn’s attack. Long range. At least below half health.

>>Please reload Contenders with 2x rounds each.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, voting shall remain open for the next four hours.)

(I must ask your patience if there's a delay in answering your questions - I fought with my workplaces Internet for a good half hour to finally post this, as we're having issues here. Hopefully it's abated, but just in case, I thought I'd let you all know.)
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>>4145822
Alright yeah . that is fucking demon weapon. it is literally tearing apart space and time. holy shit.... I truly hope there is no greater demon or its equivalent in this thing...

>>4145825
Fuck yeah Keane

>>4145826
Oh come on Magpie just lay down and die.......

>At least below half health.
I hope considerably below half health

>>4145829
Its fine OP

Also did the Erupting Grasp ability come into play or did her relics resist it? Or didnt the attack connect?
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>>4145829
two things;
One, can Joyous stabilize allies?
Two, why has neither of Dorians special Constructs appeared? at this point, shouldn't both be out?
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>>4145839
Actually, Holly's statline says that the Matron is spawning right now. I'm not sure why the Sibling hasn't shown up, though. Maybe the debuff on Dorian was interfering with them, and it's only now that he's been cleared of it that he can manifest them?
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>>4145839
It takes time for that to happen. in the last round. Ace, November, and Quinn were downed but they were immediately stabilized by Magpie's merciful grace within the same round.

I'm not sure about this round so the Sister and Matron constructs will probably appear this time now that Magpie isn't playing around.
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>>4145829
>>4145839
also just an odd thing i want to double check. is you writing us shifting the Contender to blades just a 'for show' thing? because with the bayonet upgrade, we shouldn't need to shift it out of Maxim form to keep the Lionhearts advantages or use them.
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>>4145834
(Without spoiling too much, Rath's actual blow had secondary effects Neutralized in exchange for a hefty HEALTH & BIO fee due to Magpie's powers.)

>>4145839
(The Joyous Certainly can, and Dorian's constructs were paused as a result of Magpie's earlier cheap shot - it was part of the long list of negative effects that would've been infeasible to stuff into the update. Both will actually be spawning shortly now that he's healed.)

>>4145846
(Yes, it was just for show, since it looked cool in my head.)
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>>4145848
Ah okay so she had countermeasures for that.... actually a clever move on her part since she relies so heavily on these relic weapons.

>Both will actually be spawning shortly now that he's healed.
So we get practically two more Dorians? At least once they have stabilized our fallen allies
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>>4145848
How long until the Giga-drill knightling breaks through to the crystalized Joyous clones?
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>>4145848
alright, thanks.
and no problems on the blade, was more of just double checking. sorry, i dont disagree its cool, its just i think as a player sometimes i see stuff like that and as someone having to form and worry about the strategy, i see it in the context of that first over any thematic purposes.
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>>4145852
(Correct.)
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>>4145856
also, do the Psychica Spiralis and Fear to Tread naturally overlap or something, despite the ability not saying that?
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>>4145852
I actually think we should have the Matron skip stabilizing Holly. We can retract Holly from her Shell as a free action so long as we're touching her or tethered via Dominus Bloodline. One way or another she's out of this fight, and we can always build another Shell later. Scrapping the Shell instead of stabilizing it lets the Matron contribute to the fight sooner.
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>>4145856
also, sorry, for the message spam, but i just realized your Swarmling count is horribly off i think, actually its the same as last time, despite i think the numbers having had to shift at least for the armor?

>>4145865
this is a good point. plus, nothing says we cant recover the shell either. in matter of fact, we better, as it gets bonuses for lasting like all our swarmlings now.... albeit im not sure we have actually kept any around, though at least part of that is its hard to keep them alive.
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>>4145865
Actually a good idea. Having another Dorian in this Battle will help with the revitalized constructs.... They do have his entire moveset.

Lets just hope we can get the shell back then. We can make some upgrades to it. maybe model it some battlescars as marks of honor for our friend Otherwise we will jsut make antother. They are not that expensive to make
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>>4145854
(The end of next turn. They've been having a rough time.)

>>4145861
(They do, yes.)

>>4145866
(No worries, you're quite correct - not sure what happened there, but yes, it needs to be recalculated.)
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>>4145866
>>4145865
Both good points. But we still need to have the Matron spawn from Holly and Keane.

>>4145868
We keep the shell intact and repair it when combat is over. It gets stronger as it ages due to certain augments and level traits in our core ability tree.
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>>4145869
oh, ok neat. not to toss more work on you, it can be done later, but mind giving me just a slight re-word it its level one for the sheet to make that more easy to remember? thats pretty big thing to keep in mind about the Spiralis i think.
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>>4145872
Sure we repair it if we can recover it. Otherwise it hasn't been online for so long that losing it would be devastating

I am quite aware of that fact i was there when we go the augment and it has really burned itself into my mind. Because that is a really really nice augment for the long term
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>>4145865
Also, once we extract Holly we should transfer the Bloodline to Rath, she's in bad shape and needs the regen boost.
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>>4145869
>>4145874
(No worries, but I think I may have misspoke; for my clarification, when you were referring to their interaction, were you referring to how your Fear to Tread pulled Magpie down?)
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>>4145826
Vote;

SHU;
>Contender, 3x Honey, 3x Fullbore each, with 2 Fullbores each as the free.
>Get A spiral Rev up, but hold off on it for now.
>Once Holly is safe again, shift the Dominus from her to Rath.
>Fill out your swarm with Rec-Banelings, and clear you and everyone else a clear shot at Magpie past her Swarm.
>Keep the Rooks blocking Magpies Shots.
>Recycle the Grappling into a Spiraling, to sit and wait for us to set off our Spiral.
>Have the Stealth-Jackling hide in its Jackling Brothers, with only one staying back to keep our terraforming options open. Spawn 4 new Jacklings, and While the Banelings cut through the swarm, have the knights escort them around and up, to dash at Magpie to try and stun her once the moment is right.
>any Remaining Banelings should aim for Magpies Wings.
>unload the Contenders at Magpie, aiming to clip her ability to fly by either snapping them off with Fullbores at the joint, or sticking them closed with honey.
>Then while shes dodging everything else, activate your Spiralis, to start drawing her downward. She might be able to resist, but it still should limit her options.
>Once shes closer, use what methods you can to help pull her to the ground, into the spiral, and your awaiting drills.

RATH;
>While Magpie is in the air, making landing hell for her. Turn the battlefield into a minefield of Boils, so if she does land, she has to act like shes tip-toeing on egg shells, if she can land safely at all.
>once Shu and the Others get her closer to the ground, sling shot your GutGrab Daggers into Magpie, and start helping drag her down to the ground. If you can, wait til she teleports, to snatch her after shes burned more of those out.
>Once shes in range, Start shattering Fists on her with no mercy, making and spending them as you please.

DORIAN;
>Move to keep Magpie under your cloud of pain.
>spin if you need to, to keep getting your free hits on her Constructs, which should include her wings.
>as Shu unloads on her and starts dragging her down, unleash what Charge you may have into her back as you slash out at her wings with your Strands. If she wont fall to the Spiralis or you cutting up her constructs, maybe she’ll fall to gravity itself.

JOYOUS;
>Giga Drill-Kinghts working on getting you free!
>One two should stay back and keep splitting.
>5 Should Provide Queen Crimson Cover for the remaining combatants.
>5 Should cast GRA CUNT REV HIR again, to further lessen Magpies Aim.
>5 Should Cast GRA OMA THA BAUM to help give those still up a bit of an uplift and rejuvenation.

(1/2)
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>>4145826
>>4145903
MIDNIGHT CREW;
>Assuming the other Matrons not spawning on Keane, we’ll have a Knight carry her to safety, so worry about the giant crow demon in the sky.

NOVEMBER;
>Im sure if you weren't missing half your brain, you’d probably have an aunt level joke for this situation.

HOLLY;
>Re-enter Shu through the Dominus once the Matron is here. You’ve done fucking splendid, but you’re sadly out of the fight, and we need the Matron in the fight, not dragging you to safety.

(2/2)
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>>4145883
yeah. the order was for a patch of Spiralis, so we could get an extra Counter against Magpies attack, but then it suddenly had Fear to Treads effects aswell, so i was confused by that, as the Spiralis ability doesn't say they overlap.
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>>4145826
Draft 1 of vote:

Shu:
>Swarm actions: pending after Bhop gives us an update on our swarmling numbers
>Attach a Dominus line to Holly and eject her from the Spirit Shell. Once retrieval of our Dream Daughter is complete, detach the Spirit Shell and redirect it towards Rath and give her the HP and bio regen she needs.
>Have your Ravenous Maw retrieve the Uzi Bolter and reload it.
>Get the Jacklings to terraform cover for Keane, We don't want stray gunfire to happen.
>Keep running interference on Magpie.
Dorian:
>Do what you do best, Cull the flock of birds and eyeballs, tighten up the range in your Masque of war Form and make the mist ever denser and begin obscuring Magpie's vision. She's spent lots of bio teleporting to the point that it's more viable for her to simply dodge instead of teleport.

Dorian's Matrons Familiar and Sisters Familiar:
>Have one of you stabilize Keane, Then cooperate with Dorian. Sister's Familiar will go for hit-run attacks targeting Magpie's eyes on her body, Matrons Familiar will target the guns. Utilize Dorian's Masque of War form for camoflauge by changing your appearance to that of a misty blood tone.

Rath:
>You brought the heat, now unleash the cold. Switch to Unrelenting Cold. Change your Fiery Napalm to Sub-Zero coolant attacks.

Midnight Crew:
>Quinn, Jack, we're down a medic. She's safe, but she'll be out of commission. We're going to have to rely on our own regen and what I could spare from siphoning from Magpie.
>Quinn, focus on attacking her guns or knocking them out of commission. That haymaker on the shotgun did good work on it, and it's a start.
>Jack, got any creative tricks with that vorporal portal sword? I'm thinking about redirecting Magpie's gunfire.

Any thoughts?
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>>4145907
(Ah! That effect was due to Jackie boosting your ability, not due to the interaction, my apologies.)
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>>4145908
we've been told before we cant control the Matrons, think to the point even Dorian cant actually command them.

and weren't you the one who said using Cold effects on Magpie wasn't worth it? now you want Rath to do it?

>>4145911
oh, so they dont normally overlap, or at least not yet?
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>>4145918
fair points...
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>>4145911
With all of the constructs that Dorian has been slicing up even in his wounded state, did he manage to trigger Red Death level eight to hit Magpie with Fear? Though I suppose it's possible she's immune to status effects like that. I'm just hoping he could do that trick that lets him flash-step to frightened enemies in order to get some extra Accumulated Charges to zap her with.
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>>4145826
Looks good so far i cant think of anything that would make it better.

I think that will be the best course of action we can take.
I believe OP will use the flamers as he sees fit on the swarm so yeah supporting>>4145903
>>4145905


>>4145903
>>4145908
So if this fight is over. Should we ask Holly if she wants to get a 'tattoo' to commemorate the battle(like an etching for one of her chitin plates or something). She did what she could and i think battles won should have something to be remembered by. Since she cant get any Level to change and grow stronger any further we could do something for her to change her aesthetics(or try to get her a relic she always wanted for another powerup)... or go on a small date with her once things calmed down again
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>>4145934
>if
think you mean 'when'. Magpies showing some clear signs of being closer to done than not, but im sure she sadly still has some kick to her. i think i know how this might end, but im not gonna say, more not to jink it out of anything...
that, or im wrong and she pulls something similar to Yurei on us. which id not be happy about. dont think it would be to the same level, and cant see it not being a 'technically still dead' scenario, but i could still see her having some sorta dead-mans switch fuckery on her. that actually sounds so much like Magpie im exasperatedly expecting her to just dissolve into a dust that starts eating away at the level of all that breaths it or something upon defeat.
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>>4145941
>>4145934
mind you, im sure if BHOP did something like that there would be a way to reverse and stop it, but even if its a bit much im more of just saying it sounds exactly like her to pull a move akin to that.
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>>4145903
I think Magpie would prefer to stay in the air and wait for Alex's Mercy to fully come off cooldown. Currently she's several hundred meters in the air.

>“How?!” Rath roars skyward, as you all fix your eyes on the burning figure that hovers several hundred meters overhead.

So either we take the fight to Magpie, or we somehow drag Magpie down to the ground.
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>>4145941
Yeah she will ahve a deadman switch for sure. Maybe her weapons will explode so that no one can take her shit and will also vaporize her body and possibly take out whoever killed her

>>4145945
That is what the spiral is for to drag her down since Jackie boost our abilites to a tremendous degree How do you think Quin was ramping up so fast she took Alexes mercy without even flinching and then literally snorted the bullet out.
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>>4145945
>my entire plan revolves around trying to bring Magpie to the ground.
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>>4145950
My reading comprehension again fails me.
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>>4145945
We've got a lot of things dragging her down. We've got the Fear To Tread spiral going, we've got several attempts to clip her wings, we've got Dorian's Threads which actually automatically grapple if they hit (though she probably has some counter for "automatically succeeds" powers like that), and we've got the Ravenous Maw's tongue once she gets a bit closer. We're working to bring her down.

>>4145948
>Yeah she will ahve a deadman switch for sure. Maybe her weapons will explode so that no one can take her shit and will also vaporize her body and possibly take out whoever killed her
I'm fine with losing her guns, I don't want them. If we did successfully take them, I'd vote for recycling them for biomass. But losing her body would be really annoying. Fuck that, if Magpie is going to give us this much of a hassle she's going to give us some levels in return. She better be worth a lot, too.

Also, I want to interrogate her dreamstate. Figure out just what she was geased not to say. Clearly she does genuinely believe that the settlements need to go, but she's not saying the real reason. I think that the geas is preventing her from explaining her motivations. Based on what made her freeze up I think there's someone who stands to gain from the settlements being around and that put the geas on her to prevent her from just explaining what the problem is. Doesn't justify her actions, because the fact that she defaulted to "murder everyone" when she couldn't explain the problem is pretty monstrous, but I still want to get any intel that she might have on someone playing a long game. God, I hope it's not Mara. Magpie has been dropping so much shade on her that I wouldn't be surprised, but I really don't want Shu to lose faith in another authority figure.
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>>4145965
to be honest, i dont trust Magpies opinion on Mara. Mara never tried to be this godly figure who can do no wrong for us. hell, her first interaction with us was a negative, and one she never tried to bend or shift away from a negative, nor her reasoning for it. even with say, Isabelle, she knew we didn't like her potential reasons for going after her, but simply was like 'yeah, i dont care.'

Magpie acts like, and even says, Mara is the literal devil, and i dont doubt for a second Mara has done many a questionable thing. but she acts like WE need to see her as a devil, and like we see her as the opposite. but thats just not really true. hell, we took forever to even slightly trust her, and never did actually like how secretive she was about things or alot of how she went about things. but that didnt means she wasn't, and we couldn't see, that on some level Mara genuinely was trying to do good, even if maybe like... alot of people now, she was willing to step over lines she shouldn't for said good.

but apparently because we refuse to see her in black and white its a problem. it also confuses me a bit. Magpie acts like us being 'Maras Chosen' is this big deal, almost resenting us for being it and/or Mara for choosing us(Both for putting it on our shoulders and/or choosing us over someone else). yet she genuinely also seems to think we were the right choice and want us to succeed... albeit now it seems she wanted us to succeed Magpies way, not ours, sorta, but still. yet those two seem to conflict horribly. not just in a 'humans are contradictory' kinda way, but in a 'with how you wanted both, it was obvious you never could have both' kinda way.

and to top it all off... what does being Maras chosen even mean, and why should it upset her in any way? Mara.... literally gave us no instructions. sure, she helped by giving us some stuff, and by saying she'll give us time, but in the end, she really explained little to nothing to us, and never tried to give us any goal. we already had a goal, before Mara left, and somewhat before we even got close to her at all i think. at best(worst?) Mara just gave the thumbs up to giving our plan a try, nothing more. but i guess from what im seeing, anything Mara approves of, Magpie has at least some level of a bone to pick with.
>>
>>4145965
>>4145903
If Magpie's several hundred feet in the air, wouldn't that give her free reign to do strafing runs with her mid-range/close range guns? Her sniper rifle is on cooldown which means she can't do long range sniping, not that it'll help her since that makes her stationary in the air.

We could potentially exploit that if we match her crow swarm in number with our bees, bats, and living blood.

That aside, we still need to make anti-air cover to protect our downed teammates when Magpie does inevitably does strafing runs.

So instead of converting that grappling, why not use that grappling to be our net launching system? if she does a strafing run, our hundred-handed, hand net could potentially catch her.

Other ideas that I'm floating around is having our long-armed allies (Rath, Shu, or Dorian) attempt to Harpoon Magpie with actual Harpoons as a way to force Magpie to retaliate or perform low altitude strafing runs. Shu could fire Hundred Hands with the hands transformed into drills, Rath could Harpoon Magpie with a Rocket punch with a GutGrab Dagger attached to the end of it. Dorian could simply slice the wings off.
>>
>>4145986
>Strafing runs
sure, but we're already dealing with her, so by trying to limit her ability to fly in the first place, we limit that.

>Grappling.
i dont think that would work.

>Harpoons
too inaccurate on their own, but ive already got characters doing just that if we an slow her down or get her closer to the ground in the first place.

>Dorian
already aswell have him aiming for her wings.
>>
>>4145982
I don't disagree, really. I'm just paranoid, I guess. Whoever geased Magpie would have had to have gotten close enough to her to apply it but not just killed Magpie. Of the candidates for that we know of, the only one who would have done that would have been Mara. Easy to get close if Magpie still trusted her at the time, but having enough sentimentality for Magpie to not want to kill her. Mara is the only suspect with motive and opportunity, so I really want there to be another suspect.

And agreed on Magpie's weird position on Mara. I think the reason Magpie is so upset with Mara has to do with the fact that they journeyed together for so long. Maybe Magpie saw a transition as Mara became more ruthless, more willing to accept casualties in the name of the greater good, and that's why she thinks so poorly of her. Because she wasn't always like this, so Magpie feels betrayed.

That's probably why Magpie gets so upset about how we feel about Mara. There's concern in there, ultimately. She doesn't want us to feel that same betrayal, missing the irony that we feel betrayed by her right now. What she doesn't get is that we've made no promises to Mara besides "survive and reach the Chord", we're not caught up in any schemes accept in the most incidental ways, so there's nothing for us to be betrayed by.

And maybe if she just told us why she's so upset with Mara we could understand, come to resolve these issues, but she just acts like it's a given that we should distrust her. Even if the geas is Mara's work and prevents her from stating some awful crime of Mara's, Magpie doesn't seem forbidden from more general statements. Tell us how she made you feel, Magpie, explain the sense of betrayal you have. Don't just go "Mara's bad and I'm bad by association with her". We know Mara's way too utilitarian, we need something more to go on.
>>
>>4146004
yeah, Magpie really does just seem to lack communication here... dammit not a-fucking-gain.
if we had a core boost for ever damn time thats been an issue...
>>
>>4146033
It's getting to the point where I'm hoping that our capstone bonus for Trypophilic Hive effects the empathic field and not the swarmlings. Make it so that it doesn't matter if people say what they mean or not, we'll still know.
>>
>>4146033
oh the Irony.
Magpie, Johanna, Isabelle, Uzu, Holly. About half of them have issues expressing themselves. Uzu couldn't express herself due to peer pressure, Isabelle had hang ups, and now Magpie because she's got a geas on her and a hidden beef which she just refuses to divulge.

Not to mention she's got some maternal issues since Magpie did admit that she a bit of Alex in Shu.
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>>4146042
(That isn't your capstone, I'm afraid.)

(It's one of your Level 15 Core powers.)
>>
>>4146042
yeah, i think i might just agree haha.

>>4146047
i forget, we know what Magpie did before the Crucible?

>>4146050
oh, interesting enough.
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>>4146050
Ah, just too late to use it here. Well, at least it will help when talking to Magpie's dreamstate.
>>
>>4146042
>>4146050

Goddammit, I will have to say that we should be careful what we desire from our powers. Because the more of a mind-reader we become, the more we turn people away because we're basically gonna rip the words out of people's mouths. I've had that issue with my mother where everytime we've had a talk, it's more of her taking the words out of my mouth and leaving me no room for any sort of counter argument. Being on the receiving end of that can frustrate people.

And hindsight strikes again. Goddammit. That lvl 15 power would've given us an edge in convincing Magpie to stand down.


>>4146053
Magpie never divulged much of her past, she only divulged as much as her family and where her son is concerned.

Source: Vein #22

"Mara used to let me smoke in here, I don't have to if..." She begins, and you just give her a smile. She lights one end, taking a long drag as you feel her wrestle with what she's about to say, and how she'll say it.

"Shu, don't take this the wrong way, but..."

She breathes out a trail of curling smoke as she sighs.

"...you remind me a lot of my son."

"He was my hero." She says, lost in thought. "Alex was always there for his friends. Always there for me when his father left us. Took time out of classes when my eyes started to go. Don't know where he got that goodness from. Sure as hell didn't learn it from Gary, and he certainly didn't learn it from me."

She reaches up, touching her cheek just below the socket.

"No mother should be cursed to outlive their son. The Crucible didn't care about how good he was, it didn't care about who deserved to live or die. It just made a call, and...now I'm here."

"You're kind to your friends...to strangers, even. Always ready with a kind word where it matters and a fist where it's needed." She continues, tilting her head towards you. "Don't...don't lose that, okay? Don't get old, don't get bitter and angry and...and spiteful. You can make the world a better place, alright? Just...leave the ugly parts to people like Mara and me, okay?"

"I think your son learned a lot from you, Magpie." You say softly, putting a hand on hers. "We all deserve a better world. You, me, and everyone here. I think...I know that Alex would agree that you deserve kindness, too."

"...People like Mara and I don't deserve people like you, Shu. All we deserve is..."
>>
>>4146050
Wow.... I am very curious then what the capstone will be.
While i am thinking about it . Another Question OP. I think you answered it already. but i cant find it if you did.

Can you get the capstone if you hybridize the power once it reaches Max Level(LV 20 in case of a core) with another power or will you miss out on that Capstone?
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>>4146066
hybridizing means you cannot get the capstone. its the major drawback of hybridizing.
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>>4146068
ah okay. thank you i just couldn't find it anywhere and it was driving me crazy
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>>4146068
I thought it was stated before that the core hybrid could get it's own capstone if reached level 20?
>>
>>4146068
(You are correct.)
>>
>>4146066
>>4146070
or wait, i may of mis-interpreted that, you mean getting a level to max, THEN hybridizing it? you still get the capstone then, yes. as you got it before you hybridized.

but hybridizing before max level means no capstone, and hybrids never have capstones(minus rules breaking fuckery, of course).
>>
>>4146073
Is that really true? Interesting....

I thought you hybridize before you get the capstone but good to know..... Then Selene may get her Red Blade capstone after all.....
>>
>>4146071
dont think so? even Core hybrids drop to max level 15 and no capstone, its just you can take any base ability that reaches max level, including cores, and hybridize them after they reach max level. its so on a technicality growth is infinite, even without needing to get new abilities.

>>4146074
nah, the capstone is just a bonus for a non-hybrid ability reaching max level, id assume to help keep them competitive with how strong hybrids can be, buts background info i can only guess at.
>>
>>4146079
I am pretty sure you can push Hybrid Skill Trees containing a core up to level 20. Isnt that what makes them so special?

>>4146072
OP?
Can you push a Hybrid Skill containing a core to level 20 or is it capped at 15?
>>
>>4146079
>even Core hybrids drop to max level 15 and no capstone
They do? I thought Core hybrids still had twenty levels, they just lost the capstone. BHOP>>4146072, am I remembering wrong?
>>
>>4146083
>>4146085
i guess i could be wrong, but if so disappointing.
>>
>>4146083
>>4146085
>>4146094
(Just to make sure I get the details right, I'll wait to answer until I get home, as I don't quite trust myself with this persistent headache that come over me the last few hours. On that note, I'm aiming to follow the next update with another before I pause for the evening, but that'll depend on whether or not I can shake this blasted thing.)
>>
>>4146133
Alright. Then i should probably head to bed now.

I hope you will recover quickly OP.

And good Night to everyone present
>>
>>4146135
(Thank you, and rest well, Anon.)
>>
>>4146133
>Headache.
Bhop. please. if it's the virus, call in sick, see a doctor, let your wife know you're coming down with a bug, and quarantine yourself.
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>>4146133
Sure thing, BHOP. Sorry to hear that you've got a headache, I hope you recover soon.
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>>4146133
hey man, if the headaches too much, feel free to call the days end now even if need be. it sucks, i understand, but look after yourself, and we both know trying to force it when you know you cant put out what you would like will just nag at you... and probably make the headache worse, id imagine.

regardless, hope it goes away, and your day goes better.

>>4146135
night anon.
>>
(Back home and writing now, Gentlemen.)

(Also, Core Hybrids DO cap out at Lvl 15, with only Pure Cores going to Lvl 20. If you hybridize at Lvl 20, then you miss the capstone, which is almost always insanely powerful/versatile.)
>>
>>4146202
wait, but you said any max level ability can be hybridized later with any other lower level ability, but does that mean if you do that, you lose the capstone you acquired?
>>
>>4146202
Ah, I was mistaken. That's a bit bad in that the upper cap of some of our skills is lower, but good in that it means we can get them to max much sooner. Dorian's only got four levels to go on Red Death! Gonna be nice to not have to worry about leveling that anymore.
>>
>>4146202
Dammit. That means I have to edit one of my character docs.
>>
>>4146226
oh thats... thats not at all how you said that was limited to... like... outright have said/implied things to be quite different, and have said it worked differently specifically for 'infinite growth'.... in which, because you have multiple times confirmed it, i have made decisions based off said way you have in the past said things work.
>>
>>4146229
Yeah, we've been building for the last...however long it's been since we made Red Death, I think that was our first hybrid...on the belief that the individual levels of the hybridized skills didn't determine the strength of the hybrid, and that they only had influence in as much as some hybrids incorporate aspects of their components like how Dominus Bloodline still has Exsanguinating Leash's health-drain. Was that wrong? Would our skills be stronger if we took them apart, leveled them up, and then put them back together?
>>
>>4146229
(Jesus, I'm losing my mind. At least now I know why I keep getting confused - I've got two rival explanations of the system, one that's on my computer and one that hard-copy, and it's my computer one that's wrong (and was summarily the one I posted.))

(Lord, I was reading that and typing stuff up, and the longer I looked at it, the more confused I got.)
>>
>>4146235
(Well, that copy's deleted now so it doesn't screw me up again.)
>>
>>4146226
Oh okay, I don't need to edit much.

On a side note, I'll have a new character doc ready soon-ish.
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>>4146233
well some of that too yes, but that is not what im talking about.

>>4146235
>>4146237
er, and now im not sure whats going on, ill admit.
should i give you a moment BHOP to correct things, or should i explain what im actually talking about, just for reference anyways, or something?
>>
>>4146235
>>4146241
and by a moment i mean if you need some damn rest, lord know i understand and it sounds like you could use it.
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>>4146229
>>4146233
(Yeah, you're both right. My sincerest apologies for the confusion, and hopefully me transferring the hard-copy to the new master document will make things clearer.)

(Most of the system came together over a vacation where I didn't have my computer, but a lot of the initial bits and ideas are in this big, ugly Google Doc that I can barely open on this computer.)

>>4146241
(I would appreciate an explanation of how you think it works, since I'm working on trying to rifle through my notes and finish the next update before trying to go to bed early to beat this headache.)

>>4146141
>>4146144
>>4146145
(Speaking of which, I appreciate your concerns, truly.)
>>
>>4146247
so, how i thought it worked from past explanations is this;
If you got a Core/Base Ability to level 20/15 it would unlock a unique capstone.
If you hybridized either type before then though, you would not get one.
HOWEVER, once an ability was maxed out, it could still at any time LATER be hybridized even if it wasn't upon reaching max level, once another ability reached 5/10/15, despite the level difference.
what you said was this was to allow for infinite growth and to get continued use even out of a Maxed ability from what i can remember, and i assumed the drawback was having to wait so long to do that, considering Hybrids can be super potent in both ability and stats which especially inn early play incentives early hybrids to climb in power quicker, aswell as probably some hidden mechanics behind it we didnt know about due to having never done it before.

As for Hybrids not gaining more strength if hybridized later, i recall talks on that, and it doesn't sound familiar, but i i am less sure what was actually said on that in the past, but it would make sense you had it setup for Hybrids to not need to be higher level for higher benefits, as to make lower level hybrids more enticing and not feel like gimping yourself.
this is also why as ive said before, having a 'rules' document of what we have IC learned would be exceedingly useful.
>>
>>4146256
(Without going too much into it - yes, this is how it's meant to work. The main drawback is, as you said, the time factor and having to wait, which is what I tried and failed to allude to earlier.)
>>
>>4146268
ah, ok, so i was remembering right it seems, you just have a headache and bamboozled yourself by reading version 1.0 instead of 2.0.
id still love to see you talk about it in more detail, but, ah, it both sounds like you probably arent up for it right now and would need time to re-hammer it out how you like, but still, thanks for bearing with our own confusion as we asked you about this too.
>>
>>4146275
(It's no trouble, and the confusion's entirely my own doing, so thank you for having patience with my befuddlement.)

(Also, about your current combat plan - do you have anyone specifically stabilizing Keane? I ask because Jackie's set to do it after sending her bats to help thing Magpie's regenerated flock, unless you had other plans.)
>>
>>4146278
i was under the impression a Matrons would spawn on her to stabilize her, but if not, then once Hollys spawns it can go help Keane.
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>>4146278
Shoot. I was also under the impression that one of the Matrons Familiar would go and stabilize Keane after spawning. Have both the Sister and the Mother spawn from Holly and Keane respectively, then have the Mother stabilize Keane while the Sister goes to assist Dorian.

Holly will be ejected from the Spirit shell and taken back into Shu's dreamscape via Dominus Bloodline so no need to stabilize her.
>>
>>4146293
>>4146281
(Okay, I was just making sure I wasn't missing something. Jackie's AI rolled to stabilize Keane, but it looks like given the Matron has Dorian's speed, then she'll beat Jackie to it anyway, so it's all good.)
>>
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>>4146293

You feel something rev inside you, Uzu’s power spiraling within your very being as your Contenders rapidly reload. The Dominus reaches far behind you, tethering you to Holly as you draw her essence back into yourself for safety, your Rooks shielding you from Magpie’s inevitable assault as a fresh batch of Banelings and Jacklings squirm forth from your aching hive.

The inevitable doesn’t come, even as Magpie’s revived swarm clashes violently with your own in a flurry of feather and chitin, causing a rain of gore that splatters the battlefield. The cascade of viscera is intermingled with flaming carcasses that start falling from the sky, as your swarm takes every measure to carve a path for you with which to lay eyes on your foe. You see her, five active guns spinning around Magpie's bizarre form as they begin to glow with an ominous golden light while Rath peppers the charred and broken battlefield with a field of white phosphorus for when you force your foe to land…

…and you WILL make her land, as you open fire with both Contenders, sending a volley of gunfire to aid in your Swarm's efforts.

Meanwhile, Rath’s expert throws leave enough room for Dorian to weave through the fire and flames with peerless haste, keeping his target within the effects of the Masque when his physical body disperses once more, his destructive form tearing apart the ravens foolish enough to venture into his kill zone. With Holly retrieved, you switch the Dominus to Rath in time for Jackie's bats to join the fracas, clearing the way for you to strike, even as Magpie prepares something you can't quite understand as the five remaining guns glow ever brighter. The Ace-armored Jackie's darting after your Knightling, the one that's carrying Keane to safety even as the Matron familiar darts after her to stabilize the Crew's healer.

As your eyes sweep the battlefield they meet Magpie's...she's high above it all, the golden depths of what few uncharred eyes she has left now dilated with madness. She's not firing. She doesn't fire a single shot, even as your spiral revs at your silent command, tearing her from the sky as Dorian's whirling mist reduces her wings to shredded stumps. She's falling, tumbling down as she fights to right herself...and in a terrible moment of realization, it dawns on you.

She's taking aim.

Dorian realizes it a half-second sooner than you do, crossing the space to you in the instant before Magpie's form in lost in the annihilating beam that erupts from the space between the otherworldly weapons. Quinn lashes out valiantly before being consumed by the beam, while Rath's own radiance is drowned out as the laser arcs across the terrain, carving a swathe of devastation that incinerates Dorian's Matron construct just before it sears the crystallized Joyous from the face of the Crucible.

>>QUINN DEATH SAVING THROW - 1 Failure

>>KEANE - STABILIZED

(Continued)
>>
>>4146324

The heat of the beam is such that it almost sears your armor off your body, and even Dorian's own Baneling and Platelings melt from the intensity of Magpie's desperate attack as he races you to safety at the edge of the ridge. When he finally stops he collapses, back boiling with the stench of blackened chitin and charred paint, and from here you can see what Magpie's desperation has wrought.

She rises, the ground you'd prepared for her fall now rendered a charred ruin. The destruction stretches from where Magpie now stands to the lip of the ridge, a hole blown clean through its edge. Little remains of either swarm, and while Rath's resistance allows her to rise from the ashes, the charred form of Quinn wasn't nearly as lucky, and the same can be said of Holly's obliterated body, the Sister construct's bubbling remains boiling next to the destroyed Shell.

Rath breaks her feet from the crystallized ground, and the second the takes a step forwards, Alex's Mercy shatters her chest just as easily as it does the sound barrier.

>>MAGPIE - CRITICAL HIT

Rath stumbles back, the gaping hole in her torso weeping pure magma as she falls, and Magpie begins to stalk forwards as you feel an explosion of pure, unbridled HATRED from where Jackie stalks towards the black-winged angel at the other side of the battlefield, away from the unconscious forms of November and Keane. You turn to Magpie, finding that the Lupara's barrels are melted into a useless hunk of glowing slag, Quinn's previous strike rendering the weapon unable to withstand the power of Magpie's ultimate attack. At least for now, the other four guns aside from the rifle are as dull and faded as Alex's Mercy was mere moments earlier.

Magpie takes another step forward, and she's completely caught off-guard when Rath erupts from where she lay, clinging to life with her fist clenched around vengeance itself. She's fast, too fast for the exhausted Magpie to counter as your brawler lands a punch to Magpie's torso that sends her flying, a series of tumbling impacts obliterating the ground in a line at least fifty meters long from where you stand.

>>RATH - CRITICAL HIT

One good crit deserves another...and from somewhere behind you, you sense a stirring of emotion in the camp far below.

HP: 1438% (+1395% [Dominus: Magpie, Rath], Matrons, Vincula, Pace.)
BIO: 2570% (+320%. 8x Psy-Platelings, 9x Bishops, 2x Rooks, 3x Rec-Swarms, 17x Banelings, 36/50 Swarmlings active)
CONTENDER: Gemini - Empty
RAVENOUS MAW: Primed.
HUNDRED-HANDED: 2 Arms.
ACT: 3/3

HOLLY: SAFE
DORIAN: 825% (+675%, Interitus, Lanceam, Caelorum. Halo: PRIMED. Sister - Spawning from Quinn)
RATH: 1% (+0%, Daggers, Gauntlets)
NOVEMBER: STABILIZED.

JOYOUS: 2 Active.

MIDNIGHT CREW: Keane/Quinn/Ace - STABILIZED.

THREAT: Alex’s Mercy reactivated, other four on cooldown. Lupara -shut down. Long range. At least below one quarter health.

>>Reload Contenders with 2 Rounds each.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL
>>
(Gentlemen, I shall be pausing here for the evening. Voting shall remain open for the next thirteen hours, with posting to resume in sixteen, give or take as work demands. Thank you all for your patience, participation, and enthusiasm, and I'll be around for a little while longer to address any questions you may have.)

(I'll be heading to bed soon to hopefully fight off this headache, but I'll still be around for another hour or so to address any questions you may have before proceeding. I have to admit that you're doing better than I expected, given how things could've gone...time will tell, however. I wish you all a restful evening, and take care.)

(Also, Magpie has 3 FROST stacks active on her from Rath's Unrelenting Cold, which is still active.)
>>
>>4146331
>Alex's Mercy shatters her chest just as easily as it does the sound barrier.
Okay, if the cooldown is less than one turn, why even bother stating it? Magpie can use the guns again the next turn, it doesn't help our planning any to tell us the guns need to recover. We have to assume that all guns are in play at all times unless they're broken like the Lupara.
>>
>>4146336
hrm.
just realized something that i need to ask about.
does Rath have Bloodied Stand active? i had it in my original post for the opening, but only just now realized i never put it back in damnit, so id assume we dont have it sadly.
>>
>>4146338
(The cooldown for what Magpie just did has a full-round cooldown, as opposed to the double-shot, which has a cooldown that ranges from one round to a half round. I hope this helps.)
>>
>>4146331
Okay, good, Shotgun's down permanently.

And I think I get the gist of Magpie's weapons systems. Each of her guns (when glowing) allow her to make a critical hit when empowered in their next shot. After that's spent, that means it goes on cooldown.

What Magpie did there recently was spend all five of her empowered guns to fire an orbital laser and it's put her weapons into cooldown while Alex's mercy just got off of cooldown.

The Joyous are still there, we gotta set them back into multiplying again.

>>4146343
If Rath's Bloodied stand is active, if we funnel health and Bio into Rath, would that put her back into the green?
>>
>>4146341
(She does, since otherwise she'd literally be dead from that last critical hit - though I admit I made an error, as Rath's HEALTH should read as 898%.)

>>4146347
(Yes, it would.)
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>>4146357
ah, ok, fair enough.
>>
>>4146358
(I figured that considering the stakes of the fight, if no-one caught it, then it would be best to err on the side of caution. Rath would know well enough to activate it, anyway.)
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>>4146362
yeah, ok thanks for that.
>>
>>4146343
A little, but I still think that telling us that Alex's Mercy was on cooldown last turn wasn't helpful to us. We've got to plan in full-turn increments, and there's considerable variance in our perception of how long a turn is due to dramatic factors, so knowing that something would come back online in the second half of a turn doesn't give us much we can use.

Ah, well, no point complaining about it, I'm sorry for bitching. Let's just move on and kill her before the other guns come online. Or maybe disarm her? She doesn't have many eyes left, that could weaken her telekinetic grip.
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>>4146370
(No need to apologize, and I appreciate your feedback.)
>>
>>4146331
Vote;

SHU;
>Contender; 6 Fullbores each.
>Refresh your and others Plateling Armor.
>Recycle your Banelings and any unnecessary Bishops, using them to spit out as many of the biggest, meanest Drill-Knightlings as you can, and send them after Magpie from all Angles.
>Lash out with your Hooks, snag her and keep her from running, or at least using up any teleports as you keep swinging them back at her as you advance on her.
>Slam down as big a Spiral as you can, to keep her from having anywhere to escape it from, before lunging for her.
>Snap yourself to Magpie with an HH bungee cord like before, take a note from the Hecatanes book and become a ball of arms, all lashing out to pull you in and then start beating on her.
>Keep her on you, keep her close. Contender slashing, Point blank bullets Ringing, and Arms, so many Arms trying to tear her limb from limb, and batting and gripping for her weapons to keep them busy.
>Then, once Dorians caught her attention. Slam out with your Maw, and pull yourself into her. If she fires on you, she fires on you, but you’re taking something off of her in return.

RATH;
>Keep Magpie on her toes, Boils out and Arms being thrown in her direction.
>Once Dorian charges, Build up a massive slot of Fists to slam her with, and pull some arms tight that are around her, to make it look like you plan to come in for a swing… only to instead use the punch to absorb any attack she throws at you, stopping yourself short of her, so as to pull her attention off of Shu.

DORIAN;
>Keep Masque Form up to quickly get rid of any Construct Magpie tries to pull out, but edge as inconspicuously away from her as possible.
>Then, at the last moment, Solidify as far away from her as you can, then Give yourself a massive speed boost from the Internus, aswell as priming a Counter on it so as to double up on your protection.
>Then, with as much of a movement damage boost as you can give the Lanceam, slam into Magpie.

JOYOUS;
>have one jump back to keep up spawning more.
>the Other should buy their time, but just as things really kick off, cast GRA CUNT REV SUTH on Magpie, to throw off her concentration right when she needs it most.

MIDNIGHT CREW;
>The Matron will take care of Quinn Jackie, but if we dont take care of Magpie, that wont matter.

NOVEMBER;
>make unconscious robot noises i guess.
>>
>>4146377
(Your instructions for November are hilarious, by the way. I forgot to say something last time, but they had me laughing at work.)
>>
>>4146347
>If Rath's Bloodied stand is active, if we funnel health and Bio into Rath, would that put her back into the green?
Do we have any ability to do that? Dominus Bloodline can only increase regeneration, and that's negated on Rath thanks to Bloodied Stand. Keane can outright heal, but she's unconscious. I don't think there's anything else we can do.
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>>4146347
>>4146357
>>4146382
(To clarify, her BIO regen would be boosted, but aside from that, her HEALTH wouldn't regen as normal.)
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>>4146381
glad you like em. just dont want her feeling left out, heh.

actually why wasn't her tank here?
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>>4146331

>Shu:
>Grab a Rook, it will be your shield. Send your other rook to protect Rath.
>Detach Dominus Bloodline from Rath, and Reattach it to November. November has a t-5 Forge Core which means she has FIVE ACTS waiting to be exploited from Dominus Bloodline Level 3. We have 3 Acts by ourselves. Attaching Dominus Bloodline onto November would mean that Shu will now gain 8 ACTS
>Engage in close combat!
>Lunge towards her with Hundred Handed, and launch yourself at her with a Rook Equipped shield bash! That will prevent her from aiming the gun at you!
>Then Spawn more arms and Grab all of the other floating guns! To NOT let it point at you or float towards Magpie's hands!
>Go into a Grapple with Magpie! She's too exhausted to teleport! Use your Ravenous Maw and Heavens Drill to deal Close Range Damage!
>Activate Psychica Spiralis and Fear to Tread! She's grounded now! Keep her Grounded!
>Activate Neuromantic Paralysis and Ability Lockdown!
>Rec-Swarms and Banelings will put themselves in the guns path and block their shots!
>DON'T LET UP. Keep up the assault! YOU HAVE 8 ACTS at your disposal, USE IT!


Rath:
>Pelt Boils at magpie, alternate between Unrelenting Cold Boils and Napalm Boils. You've done a good job at dealing the hits and taking them, now it's Shu's turn to dish and take.
>Stay close in order to ensure that at Magpie's Frost stacks goes up to 5 Frost stacks.

Jackie
>Shu's going in close, but right now I need your sword to cut some guns. Magpie's guns.

>>4146384
Hey Bhop, Where is November's body? Is it possible to siphon November's Spare ACTs for Shu to use via Dominus Bloodline lvl 3? Because if so, I want to exploit it for all its worth.
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>>4146377
We should use the Ravenous Maw to sling ourselves to Magpie, not a Hundred-Hands chain. We get a free movement action with it once per turn, frees up some action economy.
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>>4146386
(Ha, it's because Tinker Tailor bribed November into allowing her to fiddle with it to grant a power boost that you'll get to vote on later. It ended up being merciful - Magpie knew you had the tank from when you all met up at Laoc, and she'd prepped a countermeasure that would've allowed her to remotely control it, as vehicle-based constructs aren't as rare in the Fleshscape as you might think. All in all, it worked out.)

>>4146398
(I'm afraid that it only works on active party members, at least at current.)
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>>4146398
(November's body is close to Keane's on the opposite side of your current combat zone.)
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>>4146405
>that spoiler.
I don't think Tinker ever knew about warforged daughters, so seeing November as a living Relic would make her super excited. Imagine Tinker upon seeing the Disassociated Base. She would vibrate so fast on the spot that she'll be blurry. and will actually need depressants to actually be coherent.
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>>4146398
this... seems like an iffy plan, not gonna lie. just beating on her with no real goal just doesnt sound like as good a plan... plus, with what
>>4146405
just said, it wouldn't really work.

you also forgot about Dorian.

>>4146404
yes, but its not as quick, and draws attention to our maw, aswell as puts it in potential harms way, making later use possibly impossible, depending on what happens. keeping it wrapped up seems to prevent it from being damaged really, and at the very least will make it less likely.

>>4146405
oh, er, ok then. what the bloody hell did Tinker bribe her with though? even cool sounding upgrades doesn't sound like something that alone would convince November to let someone mess around with both her babies(the tank and Marco being inside it).
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>>4146410
>I don't think Tinker ever knew about warforged daughters, so seeing November as a living Relic would make her super excited.
We were actually there when she found out about them, it was adorable. All excitedly asking questions to Rath about November and begging to be introduced.
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>>4146377
What if we formed the katamari ball of arms with Magpie inside it?
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>>4146417
(Ha, you'll see.)
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>>4146425
>>4146377
wait. my poor reading comprehension strikes again. I get it.
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>>4146331
>One good crit deserves another...and from somewhere behind you, you sense a stirring of emotion in the camp far below.
How long would Shu guess it would take for this stirring of emotion to result in action? Is it a really strong emotion, suggesting they're coming in very fast? Because I can't see this fight lasting more than another two turns, at the rate we're taking and dealing damage one of us is going to be dead by then. If whatever this response is shows up just after we're done here, I'm going to have so much sarcasm for the Altar.
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>>4146433
(It's building quickly, specifically from this Altar's leader as she rouses from her slumber.)
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>>4146434
Alright, then. Here's hoping they make it in time to do something useful. Like bring some dank nugs that are also healing herbs, that would be nice.
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>>4146398
>>4146331
Amending my vote:

Shu:
>This has gone far enough.
>Repair Plateling Armor, Refresh Bishop Fuel.
>Recycle Banelings, and unnecessary bishops, Create Knightlings. Knightlings and Swarmlings fly in Alpha formation. Target wings and any emerging ravens. Cook the birds, medium heat and flame.
>Now for the offense. Gather 1 Rook, wield as body shield.
>Hundred Handed and Viscera Vincula, harpoon and hold with Heavens Drill tipped fingers and iron hooks.
>Hundred Hands create Shell of hands, Encase Magpie inside.
>Fuse Contender back into single 12-chambered Maxim Gatling Revolver. Reload with Honey B.33s, Fullbores, and Parabellums. 4 of each round. Immediately empty them into magpie at point blank range.
>Grapple and pin. Magpie aims to move a limb? Devour with Ravenous Maw.

Rath:
>Throw boils, add fuel to the fire, Alternate between hot and cold boils. Maintain Unrelenting cold and ensure that Magpie gains Frost stacks
>Break the guns, Wrestle them and punch the guns to damage, Jam Frost boils into firing chamber, jam the weapon.

Dorian:
>Spawn and fling paintlings at Magpie's guns to jam her weapons.
>Maintain Masque Form until Shu's grappled Magpie, expend Regen and bio into Sui Interitus to prime a counter with a Multi-hit attack on top of your Neurotic Halo Counter. Your Neurotic Halo counter will be discharging the Elec stacks gained from your brief run-around. Then Dive into the Fray and attack Magpie.

Midnight Crew:
>Sister's Familiar from Dorian will Stablize Keane and escort her to safety. Jack, Shu will pin her down, Dorian will dive in first and proc any reserve counters that Magpie's hidden up in her sleeve. You'll go in for the coup de grace.

Joyous:
>One of them will stay back and replenish the ninja clone army.
>The other one will fire a spell: "Cunt Gra Rev San (Enemy, Greater, Reverse Haste), this will slow Magpie's reaction time further.

November:
>Live update from the empathetic channel. Magpie's exhausted after firing a man-made satellite beam bombardment, about 25% of her health left, Rath's at 1 hp on her second wind and gave Magpie a very powerful haymaker. Keane, Quinn, and Ace are down but Stable. Jack has taken Ace's Armor. Dorian's back on her feet. Holly's ejected from the Spirit Shell and is now back in safe hands.
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It was a very good thing we pulled Holly out. She would have died if we didn't.

Too close...
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Just had a thought: If we do actually kill Magpie, can Karma absorb her guns into herself for upgrades, or advanced forms? Cause that would be really cool...
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>>4146885
Not sure if we rally want those guns..... they may be responsibel for the Geas on Magpie or just make their wielder more violent.

WE could possibly feed them to Julia for a powerboost or melt them down to use in our own Relic creation.

>>4146331
Supporting >>4146377
I will start work early today so i can actually enjoy my weekend instead of being stuck working till 4 pm so no grandiose planning from my side
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>>4146331
Supporting >>4146377

>>4146885
Probably not, but I wouldn't be surprised if this fight was enough to trigger the Contenders to evolve again. Fighting against a set of enemy guns wielded by someone her own wielder has a connection feels like the sort of thing that would make Karma evolve.
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>>4146885
probably not, but would be an interesting idea. would be the one time it happens though id imagine, if it can.

>>4146895
that would depend on if Karma kept those specific negatives, assuming she even could, and it wasn't just extra level fodder for doing so. something we should look to take, and we kinda have been lacking taking advantage of, is Karma can take any and all custom made rounds we find/make, at least ones from a forge that is. even if Magpie doesn't have much left on her right now, im positive she has an actual 'main safehouse' or two she must be storing things in.

>>4146903
think Karma just gets normal EXP, but its a big fight, so i agree she probably will get an upgrade yeah.
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New character done. Most of the backstory is inspired by a webcomic character.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wHRD4JG_6WnwADUYWEDNb9ltWoZtZFHyfQMqfuIwNO0/edit?usp=sharing

I think this is the last one I'll do in this manner. I'll just have one doc with brief descriptors and their cores that I'll update from then on. Though I might do some updates for the others (Sinister/One, Restorer Krasue) later on as though they've been doing stuff and growing in power in the meanwhile.
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>>4147083
Interesting. I didnt read the abilities yet. though i will probably do so in the future.

An interesting concept for sure
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