A new traveler has found their way into the mysterious desert of Nowhere. An imperial Researcher afflicted with Rune-Plague, a disease of the mind, caused by knowledge not meant for consumption. Like flames, it burns in the mind - but you are not discouraged. Your journey has brought you to the Middle of Nowhere, in search for more information about your illness - and possibly, a cure. You have met new companions already: the Young Archivist, helping you to translate a coded book possibly related to your search, and the Silent Mechanic, an energetic adventuress wearing the memories of lives past on you rubbery skin. Together with her, and a locked box related to the encoded book’s author, you have begun to make your way to the City of Rover, seeking answers from the famously skilled mechanics there. In addition, you have been tasked by a greying Archeologist to find evidence pertaining to the whereabouts of a shipment of artifacts. In return, he would share another archeological piece related to the author. However, besides a few different rumors pointing in many different directions, you haven’t found any concrete evidence yet. Maybe that is why you took a small detour to an Imperial Dig Site. After weaseling your way into the compound, you began to explore the site. Under the sand, the empire had discovered what they believe to be a burial site. However, a brick wall has denied entrance deeper into the ruin. Faced with your mud-made adversary, you have turned to the faded paintings on the wall for answers.
Rolled 6, 5 + 1 = 12 (2d6 + 1)Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4202441Explanations of mechanics/rules, in order of appearance: https://pastebin.com/jA6tELz3Updates are made at least once every day. Rolls are made by the QM after an option is locked in. Bonuses to rolls are disclosed in the options for them. A 2d6-System is being used: 6=>: Fail. 7-9: Partial Success. 10=<: Full Success.>Rolling for examining the paintings.
At first, the paintings seem to be random depictions of a fantastical nature, but as you advance through the different scenes, you recognize some of the characters. You start walking up and down the mural. You begin to take notes. There! Another detail that you recognize from your research! Your companion tries to keep up with your discoveries until she asks you to explain, severely confused as to the meaning of all this. You sarts walking her through your process: When taken out of context, the pictures seem to depict some sort of ceremonial burial of possibly several members of society, all under the watchful gaze of a ritual master whose face remains hidden behind a silver mask of a closed eye. This could also lead to the false conclusion that the ceremonial master is a stand-in for some variation of Death, overseeing the burial of the dead and instructing the people to seal the tomb. However, the following parts show a burning human breaking the seal of the tomb and absorbing the coffins, only to emerge as a brilliant silhouette. The person then ascends into the starry night, becoming a star themselves. Having only added to the confusion of the Silent Mechanic, you start pointing out a few details: The people facilitating the burial all are branded by a closed eye on their shoulder, just like the mask worn by the ceremonial master. Then, the master himself is not depicted standing on solid ground and appears to float above the people. Then, one of the most curial clues: The coffins hold several symbols, which could be misinterpreted as decoration. Instead, they are a very old dialect of a language no longer in use. The literal translation: Memories Made Eternal. How do you make a memory last for a very, very long time? Yes! You write them down!What you are witnessing, you explain, is a burial of knowledge, as instructed by an ethereal entity - Not an uncommon depiction for the early second era. You, therefore, hypothesize that a survivor of the first era, the Era of Myths and Gods, instructs his remaining followers to bury their collective knowledge, to preserve them throughout the second era, the Era of Legends and Heroes. >[1/2]
Having absorbed all this, your companion asks about the last part. The two of you stand in front of the mural, watching the radiant person ascend into the sky. You are not sure with this one, you confess. It could be a play of words: The words describing a Torchbearer, someone to continue old traditions or a keeper of knowledge, can also be taken literally: Burning Man. It seems that this being uses the knowledge to overcome their current form and ascend into the stars, rumored to be the Lost Gods watching the world from afar - A possible rebirth of a god. However, you cannot decide if this is supposed to be a metaphor or a ritualistic sacrifice by fire.Having finished, the Mechanist begins to regurgitate your points, trying to understand what you have just revealed. You are not listening, a sudden headache nags at the base of your skull. White light flashes before your eye, the afterimages of the runes burn in your mind. You take a breather and massage your temples, as the pain subsides and the pictures fade.“Well, that leaves just one question:”, your companion mutters, facing the stairs which still end in that damned brick wall, “How does that torchbearer break through the seal? Or, is that more a thing that, well, you know how to do once you try?” A very good question, to which you have no answer. You ponder your next steps.>Take up a hammer. This wall will not stand in your way! [Vigor: 0]>Your fingertips itch. Your skin crawls. You don’t know what’s up with that wall, but a part of you does. The flames lick at your consciousness, they show you, if you let them. [Weird: 1; Learned of the murals: 1]>Ask the workers if they have any more… “potent” methods of getting through that wall. >Return to the outside - you got enough of this dusty air.>There's something else you want to try… (Write-In)
>>4251044>>Your fingertips itch. Your skin crawls. You don’t know what’s up with that wall, but a part of you does. The flames lick at your consciousness, they show you, if you let them. [Weird: 1; Learned of the murals: 1]
Rolled 5, 3 + 2 = 10 (2d6 + 2)>>4251142>>4251424Locked in - Rolling now, writing later.
>>4251142>>4251424You approach the stairs. You calm your thoughts, make way for the flames. They guide your mind through the darkness, as it stretches, reaching out for the veil. The air feels as if it’s filled with static, pins and needles rush over your skin. The Stars align and, for the blink of an eye, what festers in your mind makes complete and utter sense to you. As the moment ends, your mind is yanked back into the body. The flames rush out of your skull. Your arms go numb, you feel the runes snake their way across them. Now, the veil reaches for you. As it touches you, you lose control of your arms. Thrusting forth your hands, you feel unimaginable power jolt through you, punching through mud and mortar. The ruins rumble as the wall is shattered into thousands of pieces. Like heavy snow, the sand trickles on your head from above. The workers shout in panic as they dash for the exit, fearing the structure to collapse on their heads. Your companion, too, braces for the worst - But as the dust settles, she seems much more amazed.The flames retreat and you feel exhausted. Your vision is blurry. Your momentary state of understanding has passed, once more, thinking of this fire makes you grind your teeth. What has just happened? What is it, that lies in your mind? Your vision clears up, as you realize what had happened. Before you lies darkness, the smell of stale air rises up to you from the depths below. Your companion hands you a flashlight dropped by one of the workers. The two of you feel the mysterious pull. Questions of what, how, and why could wait. You step past the rubble into the black.>[1/2]
After a short descent, you stand in a pile of broken bricks, some had been painted - Was that what had stopped the crews of workers before? A seal as shown in the murals? You use your flashlight to illuminate the room around you. In small alcoves, dusty coffins made of some black material with a silvery inscription on the side. Could it be? You ask the Mechanist to lend you a hand. Together, you pull the lid off one of the coffins. You stare into the container. No. It can’t be. A hand reaches into it, grabs ahold of a hardback, and pulls it out. The two of you watch the book crumble to dust before your eyes. Time is a cruel mistress. You feel sad, for the loss of all this insight into eras past. But all that’s left is dust in coffins. You turn your gaze away, back into the room.The room stretches further down and ends in a wall with a pedestal carved into it. Something glints in the shine of your lights. You approach it. The silver had changed to a purplish-black, with streaks of colorful reflections. You cannot shake the feeling it watches you now: A mask, in the shape of a closed eye.Suddenly, the two of you hear the room above stir. The workers must have regained their confidence in the structure and found the big hole in the impassable wall. While you’d love to have your name on some artifact, this is probably not the right time for fame or immediate attention. The Mechanist shoots you a quick look, both of you know it’s time to leave, and quickly. But as you want to turn to leave, the mask twinkles in the corner of your eye. It watches you through its eyelid, you are sure.>This piece of silverware isn’t worth the attention. Time to b-line it for the buggy.>Grab the mask and make haste for your vehicle. You need no awkward questions, especially not from imperial officials. [Secrecy: 0]>Actually, let’s use the chaos to our advantage: While everyone storms for the ruins, you should be able to have one more look at the camp - with less prying eyes. [Choose a destination: Barracks, Restauration, Overseer’s Tent, Storage]>Before ditching this place, there’s something else you wanted to do… [Write-in]
>>4253050>Grab the mask and make haste for your vehicle. You need no awkward questions, especially not from imperial officials. [Secrecy: 0]Just stuff it under our shirt and get out of there
>>4253050>>Grab the mask and make haste for your vehicle. You need no awkward questions, especially not from imperial officials. [Secrecy: 0]
Rolled 5, 5 = 10 (2d6)>>4253067>>4253411Alright, Locked in, writing later.
Unforeseen circumstances will delay the update till tomorrow, I'll do my best to shell out at least two then. Cheers!
Are you a Fallen London/Sunless Sea fan OP?
>>4253050Take a look at the overseer's tent
You hesitate for a moment, observing the eye’s muted sparkle. You wouldn’t let the Embassy have this precious piece, would you? It’s now or never, and you decided for now. Quickly, you grab the ominous object and stuff it under your flowing robes - just in time too. The first lights of the working crew illuminate the stairway. Your companion and you hastily move for the stairs and doge past the excited men and women pouring downstairs with a mumbled excuse about informing someone or something. In the chaos, no one takes notice of you. Back on the surface, in the blinding light of the sun greets you. The camp is in disarray, archeologists and soldiers begin to flock to the entrance and enter to see the new marvel for themselves. It’s surprisingly easy to slip away through the small crowd back to the buggy. In a slightly overdramatic fashion, the Mechanist slams the pedal to the metal - The buggy bursts forth from the tent and quickly scales the surrounding dune, leaving nothing but a cloud of dust and a few confused guards in the lookout towers behind. Next halt: The City of Rover.As the rover whips through the sand, you unpack your loot: The Mask glints in colors manyfold, as you twist and turn it to get a closer look. While holding it, you feel the same tingling of static as you felt back in the ruin. It’s far less intense but noticeable. Also, and no less weird, is the fact that the mask is missing any slits for eyes or mouth - Wearing it, you’d be blind and unable to properly speak with anyone. You wonder if this is by design.>Gained: Silver ritual mask - Depicting a closed eyelid, there’s something off about it. You can feel it staring at you.The drive towards Rover takes time - As the Sun approaches the horizon, the moving city begins to cast its glow into the sky. You ask if the Mechanist wants to stop for the night, she simply laughs through the wind and dust flying at you. “Sleep is a luxury I don’t need! Don’t worry, I’ll get us there, just get some shut-eye. You’ll know when bullets are flying.” She probably meant to reassure you, but you feel just that little more unnerved. Still, sleep soon catches up to you as the stars begin to shine far above. Your dreams are plagued by runes. They burn in your sight as you try to get away from them. But there’s something else in the dark, something that wasn’t there before. Out of the corner of your vision, you think a silvery object stares at you. As you are about to turn and look, the fire closes in. Screaming, kicking, burning. You jolt awake, stifling a scream. The words burn like after images on your retina, a stinging pain bores into your skull at its base. The mask is still in your embrace.>[1/3]
“You awake again?”, the Mechanist asks, practically screaming from her front seat, “Great timing! Look!” In the morning red of the horizon, a cloud of dust envelops a large metal structure on gigantic treads. The structure itself looks like a layered city built on top of the existing compartments and machinery. “Welcome to Rover! The world’s best mechanics work here to produce awe-inspiring technology!” Your companion sounds giddy at the mention of it all. You are just very impressed that something this large and complicated is still operational, after all this time. Approaching the behemoth of steel, you drive between the treads, a ramp leading into the bowls of the beast has been lowered. You admire the moving parts of the machinery as you speed up the metal construction. Arriving at the top, you find yourself in a well-organized hanger filled with other visitors, confined to small individual lots. The characters “27-V” are painted onto the floor. A heavily armed guard shows you your way to an empty of your own, where you disembark. Your fellow visitors are divers and merry. Traders buy and sell, scrappers haggle over prices, explorers from beyond have built little camps to exchange their travel reports. All is overshadowed by a massive presence of guards, clad in high-tech armor and weapon systems, watching every move. “I know, it’s something else compared to the middle, but at least they keep to themselves.”, your companion comments, as she shows you the way out of the hangar.>[2/3]
A small portion inside the machine has been declared as “Visitor Areas”, where people from outside Rover can walk, talk and conduct business. More importantly, here you also find the various bureaucratic instances that keep the machine oiled and running. Just mentioning the word “bureaucracy” makes you retch. “If we want to know more that box, we will need an engineer. And they are… a particular breed. Don’t mingle much with us outsiders. If we want anything, we probably need to go through Requisitions - Which could be aided if we can get an order from Engineering and Maintenance. The former deals in trade with outsiders, the latter is more concerned with the inner workings of the machine.” You sigh, you can already see mountains of documents that need filling out. You ask if there isn’t any other way. “That would need friend’s on the inside. Unless you know someone, we would need to make an acquaintance… ”, she thinks for a moment, looking at the various signs for directions, “Ah! The Squeaking Cog!” She points to an open bar filled with people - engineers, researchers, and visitors alike mingle and have a drink away from the hot outside. “If you feel talkative, we could try our luck there.” You scratch your chin while you decide…>Try your luck with Requisitions. Maybe you can trade from some engineer’s opinion on the box.>Walk up to Engineering and Maintenace. There’s probably something you could do to earn your time with an engineer.>Off to the Squeaking Cog it is. You could use a drink, and maybe you are lucky after all.>There’s something else you want first… [Write-In]
>>4253067>>4253411>>4255804[Spoiler]Sorry again for the delay, be stoked for at least one more update later in the day![/spoiler]>>4255769Yes, delicious friend! The whole Fallen London universe and especially the Sunless games were a huge inspiration for this quest. I hope I can do both some justice.
>>4256118>>Walk up to Engineering and Maintenace. There’s probably something you could do to earn your time with an engineer.
>>4256118>Walk up to Engineering and Maintenace. There’s probably something you could do to earn your time with an engineer
>>4256119>Off to the Squeaking Cog it is. You could use a drink, and maybe you are lucky after all.I figured as much. The inspiration definitely shows (the naming scheme made me suspicious, "sorrowsalt" and the not!watchful/persuasive/dangerous/shadowy stats sold it.
>>4256733>>4256771>>4256982With a sigh, you ask your companion to lead the way to Maintenance and Engineering. Your time with an engineer will be earned, somehow. A short walk later, you find yourself in bureaucracy hell. A large hall with booths, tables, and waiting lines lie before you. The air smells of ink, paper, and frustration. Resigning to your fate, you queue up. A form for fitness to work first, proof of visitor status next, skillset surveys, asset and background check, and finally, a permit for contract work with a stamp of the date and time, as well as a signature from the head bureaucrat on duty with a sigil to top it all off. Exhausted, you queue up one last time at the booth for approved contract work. A short eternity later and with all the documents in tow, you enquire for a job. Your bureaucrat meticulously checks all the documents for any discrepancies - Luckily, your companion assisted work has been thorough. Satisfied with your thoroughness, they hand you a few open positions what require the help of an outside source: Lookouts of Rover have spotted a ruined convoy out in the sands. Suspecting it to hold some valuable salvage, the M’n’E is offering a salvage contract for anyone willing to go and retrieve any technological artifacts to be found. The Scouts expect you to not be the only salvager to arrive - You are encouraged to deal with “uncooperative elements” in any way you deem necessary. An engineer has recently died out in the desert, on an assignment. At first, you are confused as to how you are to help with this unfortunate circumstance until the Admin explains: “They were spotted to have reappeared in Memory Point. The contract is a passenger transport.” You narrow your eyes. This smells of a hook. “The passenger might need to be ‘persuaded’ to return. This is where an outsider’s experience could come in handy, we reckon.” “We are missing a shipment of salvage, to be delivered from the Middle. The convoy arrived in bad shape and without the cargo. A group of marauders launched a coordinated attack against our delivery contact.”, the admin explains. You are to return to the Middle and root out, who might have been behind the attack. “Our convoys are rather covert. For such a well-planned attack to be executed, these marauders need more than just blind luck - The higher-ups suspect an organization behind it all.” This story sounds familiar - It’s not the first time you have heard of planned and well-executed attacks on high-value transports around the Middle.>Accept one of the contracts - Honest work for an honest outsider. [Choose either: Salvage near Rover, Passenger transport from Memory Point, Marauders around the Middle] >This isn’t worth your time. You’d rather try another avenue of getting some Engineer to help you out. [Choose either: Requisitions or The Squeaking Cog]>There’s something else you’d like to try first… [Write-in]
>>4259017>Passenger transportLet's not waste the time we spent getting here.
>>4259147You decide rather quickly: You’ll be bringing the dead engineer home - A prime opportunity to venture to Memory Point. Two signatures and stamps of approval later, and you got the job. “Please keep in mind, according to article 7, subsection b ‘The retrieval of uncooperative elements’, you are to be paid upon delivery, no matter the condition of the cargo.”, the admin concludes your interaction and hands you a description of the engineer. You scoff. If your passenger is already dead, there isn’t much that could worsen their condition, right? “Sounds like we will be making another trip across the desert, huh?”, the Mechanist muses, “Memory Point lies past the Middle - We could make the small detour to the Middle, get the Sand cleaned out the buggy, and you could check back in with the Archivist or something.” In any case, the Mechanist makes it clear that she will take some time to restock supplies and refuel the buggy, giving you the opportunity to wander Rover a little more. With time on hand and the immediate problem of finding a way to access an engineer taken care of, you float along with the many other visitors and inhabitants. As you pass under the numerous machinery keeping this ancient place running, you wonder how the inhabitants have managed to preserve the knowledge to maintain all this technology. Most civilizations lost theirs when the last era collapsed - Reclaiming the lost knowledge has been a slow and dangerous process. As if the crowds felt your desire to find out more about this place, you find yourself emerge at one of the numerous checkpoints leaving the visitor area. “Research and Development - No Visitors Allowed!”, reads a sign in glowing red letters, guards check every person wishing to enter. You can only imagine the secrets that keep Rover from collapsing. Looking back at the flow of people, you wonder how to spend your time of…>Try to slip past the checkpoint. There are secrets behind those doors, and your mind has a mighty need. [Slyness:0]>Head towards the Squeaking Cog. Maybe you can make an acquaintance before you depart!>You remember you still have a story to spend - Requisitions could supply you with a piece of equipment of your choice. [Write-In what you’d like to purchase]>Mingle with the other visitors stuck in the hangar. They can probably tell you some interesting rumors about what has been happening out under the sun.>There’s something else you’d like to do before heading out. [Write-In]
>>4260612>You remember you still have a story to spend - Requisitions could supply you with a piece of equipment of your choice. [Write-In what you’d like to purchase]Something to help with our stealth. Dunno what our options would be there.And then...>Try to slip past the checkpoint. There are secrets behind those doors, and your mind has a mighty need. [Slyness:0]
>>4260612>Mingle with the other visitors stuck in the hangar. They can probably tell you some interesting rumors about what has been happening out under the sun
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4260997>>4261676Tie break incoming!
>>4260997>>4261676Before you head anywhere else, you’d like to get some shopping done - The Mechanist held this place in high praise, You want to convince yourself of that. Riding the waves of people around the visitor area, you arrive at Requisitions. Dozens of other Visitors try their luck at buying, selling and haggling over prices. Luckily, you have most of the documents already filled out, bypassing the small outcropping of the bureaucratic hell others are still stuck in. Quickly, you manage to secure yourself a friendly admin, who gladly procures you a few items that fit your need: making you stealthier when needed. “Lot Number 3432: A Memetic Distraction Apparatus - Or MDA for short. A refurbished artifact that allows for the deployment of effective distractions from a distance.”, the clerk produces a small metal can, twisting it apart to reveal a set of buttons inside. “The device can be armed via these, closing it up again engages the delivery. All that’s left is to throw it and get out of dodge.” As you are handed the device, you question how this is supposed to work - isn’t this just a glorified alarm clock on a timer? “Far from it! The MDA produces a memetic field that commands undivided attention from anyone in the line of sight. This effect lasts up to ten minutes on the strongest setting - However, the more people are distracted by it, the shorter the time the device works. One person, ten minutes - ten people, one minute each.” Diminishing returns, of course. You carefully hand the item back and ask for the next one.“Lot Number 0385: A flask of Liquid Night.”, the bureaucrat introduces, as he pulls up a milky-tinted glass flask with a viscous black liquid in it. “Once uncorked, the Liquid Night will disperse in the immediate area around the user, blocking light from traveling long distances. Perfect for denying visual contact - however, this artifact does not make any acceptions for the user.” You gently shake the curious content of the bottle, it throws hoops and loops, as if gravity was a mere suggestion to it. Lastly, the clerk trades the bottle for a small yet overly thick case. With careful motions, he opens it. “If you are willing to leave an extra story with us, we have something special on offer: Lot number 2530C: A piece of Fauxrium. The guy from R’n’D suppose it’s some form of reality-bending material, tho it’s rather weak. It manifests an object, that would come in handy in the situation the user finds themselves in.” >[1/2]
The clerk pulls out of the care a piece of paper and slides it to you. It’s a contract of sale… for your soul. Oh, and your first- AND secondborn. And your aunt twice removed’s fine china! What does that even mean?! However, upon closer inspection, you find the contract to be riddled with spelling errors, made-up words - even your signature at the bottom is a badly made forgery! “As you can see, the artifact produces unauthentic objects that usually do not pass closer inspection - But these could do in a pinch.” You do feel a certain fascination with this object, but how are you supposed to pay the price of two stories, knowing only one? Just at that moment, you can feel something shit in your memories: Your recent heist of the Imperial Dig Site, the pictures in your head morph into words, ever single one of them filled with an energy not unlike the one nagging at your skull’s base. A new story is born, for you to use. >Stories will be awarded for accomplishing notable things, moving forward in the main quest, and through other ways. I totally forgot to award one for the scene at the Dig Site - I’ll be more vigilant in the future. >Buy the Memetic Distraction Apparatus for one story.>Buy the flask of Liquid Night for one story.>Buy the Fauxrium for two stories.>Don’t buy anything on offer - You’ll spend your stories elsewhere.
>>4262731>Buy the Memetic Distraction Apparatus for one story.Seems most immediately relevant to the goal of getting past the checkpoint.
Rolled 6, 6 + 1 = 13 (2d6 + 1)>>4262790Alright, rolling for the following Check - +1 for our newly acquired MDA!
>>4264197we stealthed the HELL out of it
With some deliberation, you choose to trade a story of yours for the MDA. The clerk happily listens to your musings, before handing over a certificate of sale, as well as the item in question. Thanking him, you stash it in your robes and return into the current of people - You already have a use for your new purchase.>Lost: One Story.>Item Gained: Memetic Distraction Apparatus. It can be deployed to aid appropriate skill checks.You return to the checkpoint leading out of the visitor area, with a marvelous plan in mind. In the queue, you shuffle around with your papers, make flustered noises, lose the odd document only to scramble for it. Once you arrive at the guard, demanding the appropriate documentation, you pull a random document out of the pile you are holding, clumsy causing the rest to spill all around the guard. With a sigh, they start helping you by collecting your documents. Now was the moment to strike.As you drop the armed MDA, you shield your eyes with the fabric of your robe. For a singular moment, everyone’s thoughts are drained out of their heads - Guards, Visitors, Researchers, and other onlookers stare blankly into the aether. With lightning-quick movements you snatch the papers from the guard’s hands and pick the discharged MDA, thanking them for their help. As everyone snaps back into reality, the man looks at you, visibly confused, as he excuses himself and waves you through. While you hear the whispers of people being confused, their brains trying to cope with the momentary lapse in thought, you stroll on through the heavy gate beyond the checkpoint.Having weaseled yourself into Research and Development, you carefully stroll the hallways populated with Mechanics, Scientists, and other Researchers. Soon you manage to emerge out of the foreign labyrinth, now standing in a plaza. Small greenery is planed in neat plots next to imposing stairs and elevators, people sit around, chat, eat lunch. This central node seems to be connected to a myriad of different departments, according to the many signs pointing in all directions known to man. You realize your time here is limited, it’s only a question of when someone grows suspicious of you. Thus, you’ll need to make your little excursion count and quickly decide where to head next.>Head for the Factorium. Where things are produced, Engineers are not far. Should you be able to convince one, they might be willing to take a look at that box of yours.>Head for the Department of Written Sciences. What a weird field of study, nothing you have ever heard of back home.>Head for the Department of Antiquities and Restauration - Such a smooth talker like you should not be afraid to have sticky fingers too. There should be a wealth of things to take along for your journey.>Head for the Archives - They got their own archives?! How marvelous! You should feel right at home there! Who knows what the might now about, well, anything!
>>4264197>>4264212>>4264232Seems like some long forgotten deity is smiling upon you from the beyond, anon!
>>4264332>Head for the Archives - They got their own archives?! How marvelous! You should feel right at home there! Who knows what the might now about, well, anything!
>>4264332>>Head for the Department of Written Sciences. What a weird field of study, nothing you have ever heard of back home.Maybe we can find a Semi-Semiotician.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4264340>>4264344Tie breaking!
>>4264340>>4264344Your curious mind is set to explore the archives - You can only imagine what riches they hold. Following the signs sending you on a trek through the inner workings of the city, you finally arrive at the archives. A hall of gigantic proportions lies beyond the metal doors, bookshelves on multiple levels, large tables with warm lights, other researchers busy at work, towers of scriptures scattered around them. You do feel right at home and spare no time diving into the different sections. With such a well-organized archive, it is a breeze to find a few books that relate to the history of stories. One of the books goes into how stories were supposedly used by the Gods of the First Era to bend reality to their will, and that this power has waned in the time since. That there are only a few places left where the word can hold such power - how the entirety of Nowhere is such a place, to a lesser extend. Tieing in with this, another book mentions the existence of “words of power”, stories which have been passed down from previous Eras, whose power exceeds anything current day stories could ever achieve. Other books speak of the art of engraving, transferring the power of a story onto an object or even a person. Such engravings would allow for certain abnormal manifestations. It goes on to talk about the application >[1/2]
of such engravings in the art of machine-making, how to have the metal bend to your will. There isn’t much detail on this craft, but the more you read, the more suspicious of this place you become. The book speaks of heavy industrial systems running on nothing but the word of a long lost god, of how humans of the previous age attained their technology not through science alone, but through stories they stole. Even though this did not bring you closer to a cure for the plague you carry, yet you feel you learned more about the words that burn, yearning to consume your mind. Maybe there’s another way, to live with the word, instead of erasing it.>Gained: Condition: Knowledge of the Unknowable (Growing) - You have learned more of the burning word. Maybe a cure is not hat you seek?You’d love to get even further down this rabbit hole, but you can feel your time running out. Awkward looks grow more numerous, the first few have started whispering while looking your direction. You feel more and more out of place - Time to go.Leaving the gates of R’n’D behind you, you head back towards the Hangar. The Silent Mechanist is already waiting for you, the buggy fully loaded with new supplies. “Where did you wander off to?”, she asks with a smirk on her face, “Actually, nevermind - No need to share your naughty secrets. At least not without a stiff drink.” You give her a confused look, she only chuckles. “So, are we ready to go? Haven’t been to Memory Point in a while, I’m stoked to see how it has changed.”>Strap in, it’s time to head out - You have a job to do after all. Memory Point it is!>You’ll leave, but not without circling back to the Middle - Better check back in before heading out to Memory Point.>In fact, there’s something you need to take care of before heading out. [Write-In]
>>4266120>You’ll leave, but not without circling back to the Middle - Better check back in before heading out to Memory Point.
Due to my social life slowly recovering, I'll be unable to update till Sunday. I'll try to churn one out if I can, but no promises can be made. Sorry for the delay!
>>4266347>>4266845When you declare that you’d rather stop by the Middle before continuing on to Memory Point, the Silent Mechanist is visibly bummed, but not one to argue - Just because such a round trip is effortless to her, doesn’t mean it’s the same to you. Soon, the buggy emerges from the large cloud of dust produced by Rover’s treads. Speeding past and further away, you give this curious city another look over the shoulder. As you do, you feel it again - the same spark as once before. From your little excursion into areas forbidden to visitors, tricking the guards with their own weapons, a story grows and ripens. With a content smile, you turn back, and the Mechanist pumps the gas, the buggy jumps over a dune and out of sight.>Story Gained! New total: 2Time flies by like the dunes around you, nothing stirs the sand beside your tires. As the night lays its thick dark-blue blanket over the desert, you manage to drift off to sleep while the engine roars into the darkness. You find yourself at a funeral. Rows of benches, a walkway down the middle, filled with other people, their faces obscured by veils, masks, the absence of light. An altar comes into view after the stream of silent figures has moved you down the aisle. Ontop the altar, a contraption stands, chest-high, wires and tubes sticking out of the sides, buttons and control lamps blink in a frenzy. A person stands beside, their pale flesh held together by temporary means: Nails were driven into the bone, tacks keeping skin from moving about, plates connecting different sections, wire reinforcing tendons and what is left of the original muscle tissue. Their jaw moves about, yet produce nothing but deafening silence. >[1/2]
>>4277147Everyone surrounds the altar, the patchwork human finishes their litany of silence, suddenly all eyes are on you. Your body moves without your command and with every step towards the altar, you grow more anxious - Eyes all-round drill holes in your body, the Silent Priest seems to be this close to simply slip off the bone and melt away, the contraption begins to emit a low green glow. Peering over the edge of what you now realize was a tank all along, you observe a bubbling green substance, too murky to see what’s inside. Just at that moment, hands rise out of the bath. Goo splatters everywhere. Waves crash over the edge as a torso lifts itself out of the tank. Bones, dripping of goo, crack under the sudden action. Motors whirr, gears engage. The skeletal head swirls around. Like tumors, mechanical outcroppings grow out of the holes where eyes, mouth, and nose should be. The jaw drops. A deafening screeching rips you from your body, flung into the void above. You wake, feeling worse than yesterday. Your head aches, your ears ring. Calming yourself, you spot the city walls on the horizon, a welcome and soothing sight. Soon, your companion drives up to her shop, parking the buggy in the garage. Mechanics quickly gather around, begin maintaining the vehicle. “I’ll take some time to relax - You probably will take care of things for a while anyway, right? Just swing by once we can hit the road again!”, she tells you before parting ways.There are a few different things to do, places to go. While promenading down the busy streets, you make a mental list of what you might want to do…>There are two acquaintances left, which were mentioned by the Young Archivist. Maybe you should visit one. [Choose either: Diplomat; Monks]>Head over to the Archives. The Archivist will be happy to see you - And you could deliberate about your moves after visiting Memory Point. Plus, the Bulletin Board might hold news from the desert.>You still have a task from the Archeologist - And no concrete answer. However, unless you don’t mind lying to him, you could just trade for the artifact in question…>There’s somewhere else you’d like to go, something else to do. [Write-in]
>>4277149>Head over to the Archives. The Archivist will be happy to see you - And you could deliberate about your moves after visiting Memory Point. Plus, the Bulletin Board might hold news from the desert
>>4277153As the heavy wooden door closes behind you, the Young Archivist looks up from his work and greets you. He sits at his desk, surrounded by neatly stacked towers of books and other paperwork. Grabbing a chair yourself, he asks you about your first trip around Nowhere, you tell him of your visit to the Archeological Dig Site and Rover, of the task that leads you to Memory Point and how you wanted to check back in with him here while you were on your way.“There’s little news on my end, at least regarding your book.”, he confesses, a tang of disappointment in his voice, “The code has proven to be a very worthy adversary. But!”, his disappointment turns into excitement, “I have some good news yet: I have gathered a few new rumors that have reemerged between the dunes. I compiled all information down at the Bulletin Board. Have a look before you go.” You nod, the Archivist turns his attention back to the tasks at hand while you stride over to the Bulletin Board, your interest peaked. Old Locations and Rumors have been archived in their own paste bin here: https://pastebin.com/BZe8uJNr>[1/2]
>>4279761>LocationsSeveral caravans have reported spotting a walled-off garden with a large, dried-out tree as the only visible vegetation reaching over the high walls. While no one has been on record having been close to this weird occurrence, the Archivist dug out a few old reports from previous spottings. These seem less coherent, from people going missing after climbing the walls to a golem guarding an entrance to the garden. No matter the veracity of these reports, the question stands: who would build a garden in a desert? How have its walls endured the roving dunes?>RumorsTalk amongst the travelers of Nowhere has been filled with whispers of large statues of metal and stone roaming the sands, both on the hunt for caravans and unsuspecting travelers, as well as the odd opportunity to trade their spoils for other materials. Some claim a reactivated ruin is causing this, others have been dismissing this as tricks of the Weird.Recently, the Embassy seems to have been more hostile than usual. Private sources have claimed a Dig Site was robbed of artifacts and no one was none the wiser until missing staff was noticed. Internal investigations seem to be focused on the theory of an inside job, or a simple mistake of the Operations Overseers. Either way, imperial forces are on edge, and locals have made efforts to stay clear of the Embassy for the time being. With this fresh information noted for future use, you weigh your next steps.>Head into the Archives. Looking for something in particular will aide your search - If you want to face what stalks the rows of bookshelves. [Write-In of the knowledge you search for]>Show the Archivist the Silver Ritual Mask - Maybe he can tell you more about it.>There are two acquaintances left, which were mentioned by the Young Archivist. Maybe you should visit one. [Choose either: Diplomat; Monks]>You still have a task from the Archeologist - And no concrete answer. However, unless you don’t mind lying to him, you could just trade for the artifact in question…>There’s somewhere else you’d like to go, something else to do. [Write-in]
>>4279766>There are two acquaintances left, which were mentioned by the Young Archivist. Maybe you should visit one. [Monks]
>>4279772You decide it’s time to head out into the city again. Thanking the Archivist for his work, the two of you wish each other farewell for now. Setting out on the cobbled streets of the Middle, your destination is clear: The Temple of the local Monks. When you first heard of the “Monks of Agony” with their “Temple of Strain”, you immediately thought of a bunch of teenage aristocrats playing dress-up with last-century gothic outfits, doing their thing - Kids being kids. Rich and snobby kids, but nonetheless. However, that mental image quickly changed when you do arrive at the temple. Chiseled into a stone overhanging the oasis, the massive columns and stairs leading up to the entrance are filled with complex displays of the history of the monks, their temple, and The Middle as a whole. The Roof upheld by the columns display individual fates, stories of fights, battles, victories and defeats, memorized by the stone for eons to come. Standing out on the tiled plaza in front of this overwhelmingly large structure, you feel increasingly small, compared to the scale of both the building and the history it represents. Around you on the plaza are many visitors like you, taking in the feeling of the temple’s architecture, conversing with each other and observing the monks themselves. Clad in colorful fabrics, the monks perform various duties out on the plaza: monks arranged in neat geometric shapes sitting and meditating in the morning sun, groups of staff-wielding monks sparring for both training and entertainment of the people, some talking to the curious one passing by.>[1/2]
>>4281622More interesting to you however are the patrols of armed monks that can be observed to return from and leaving for the winding roads of the city. You had noticed these troops of colorful warriors manning the walls and gates as well as seemingly function as an independent peacekeeping force. Yet, you spot one last curiosity: An old monk stands atop the stairs, overseeing his fellow brothers and sisters. He may be grey, yet his wrinkly skin speaks of a life full of strife - Even from a distance, you can see the myriad of scars and old wounds he has endured. Paying closer attention to his fellow men and women, they too bare the odd scar, healed wound or permanent disfiguration. Maybe these colorful people of a spiritual persuasion are more hardened than you initially suspected them to be.>Make your way up the stairs and introduce yourself to the Old Monk. He can probably tell you a thing or two about this place and its people.>A few other outsiders have joined the monks in their meditation. Join them. Maybe a little mindfulness cannot hurt your current condition.>You feel like some morning exercise could be in order - Ask the monks if you could join their sparring lessons. Let’s see how much the time spent reading about combat tactics will help you now. [Vigor: 0]>Intercept one of the returning patrols - They should be loaded with juicy new rumors and news of the city. [Slyness: 0]>You feel sneaky today - And are wondering what lies beyond the grand entrance beyond the stairs, and why the few visitors are all accompanied by a monk, whether leaving or entering. [Secrecy: 0]>There’s something else you’d like to try... [Write-In]
>>4281626>A few other outsiders have joined the monks in their meditation. Join them. Maybe a little mindfulness cannot hurt your current condition.
>>4281738You decide to sit with the monks. A sister smiles at you as you take a seat next to her, her milky eye glints in the morning sun, the faded scar across it speaks volumes of a life spent in battle and pain. Trying to knot your legs into a comfortable position, you finally manage to settle down. The sun warms your face, a slight breeze picks up and caresses your cheeks. A metallic yet melodic sound rings and soothes your brain into the trance. You feel yourself slip away, one breath at a time until you are gone.You find yourself in a black void. It’s not cold or warm, just about comfortable. Neither are you flying or falling either. You stand on the void, stand in it. You are illuminated, not from anywhere particular, not in a harsh and bright spotlight, but a mellow warm glow. Looking around you, you spot something else besides you in your void. A set of armchairs - Red velvet with dark wood, expertly carved into rolling shapes. Between them, a small table made of the same wood, with decorative carvings rivaling the armchair’s. Ontop, a ceramic pot, a whisk of steam curls out of the pot’s spout. Two cups stand at the ready, sugar, milk, and more in the background. And you are not alone. Someone is already waiting, sitting in one of the chairs. Who is waiting for you, here in your void?>An old man, nickel glasses on the nose, a book in hand. His robes remind you of the ones Archivists wear. Has he even noticed you yet?>A stranger you have never met. Yet, you feel oddly familiar with their presence. They are already pouring you a cup.>Yourself. This is odd. You agree. You motion yourself to take a seat. Tea?
>>4284266>Yourself. This is odd. You agree. You motion yourself to take a seat. Tea?
>>4284759You take a seat, while you - Well, the other you, prepares two identical cups of tea for the both of you. In unison, you take your cups and slurp the first sip, followed by a satisfied sigh. A moment of silence passes before you ask what the other you is even doing here. This is your void after all. They let another moment pass before responding. “I guess, this is my void too, to an extent.” Now you are completely confused. How are there two of you in the first place. “Well, there aren’t. I am you, or more like a part of you. You are dealing with the stuff out there”, they gesture away from your seating arrangement, “And I deal with the world in here.” You conclude other-you must, therefore, be part of your subconscious. They nod in cautious agreement. “But that is why I’m glad to catch you like this.”, they continue, “An opportunity we don’t have much otherwise.” You narrow your eyes, you have that feeling of a stone passing through your guts: Is it about, you know, the burning words? “Sadly, yes.”, other-you confesses, “I know you are doing whatever you can… but the situation is direr than you might be aware of.” They roll up their arm’s sleeve. Words in flaming ink pulsate and shift on their skin. Suddenly, you feel rather uncomfortable. “I can deal with this for a few more days, but whatever this is, it will not stop. I can feel it drilling deeper into both of us, not only myself.” You point out the dreams filled with fire. Other-you nods.>[1/2]
>>4285114“But It has had it’s upsides as well.” Now you are curious. “What? Don’t tell you already forgot what happened in those ruins.” Other-you laughs. “All I am saying is that I’ve been more attuned to the Weird than I’ve ever been. Something we should capitalize on if we want to survive this. We are sitting on energy even I can barely comprehend.” You muse how the two of you could learn the secrets of this word and use it for your own gain - if you weren’t burning up from the inside. Other-you seems amused as they agree, “Well, you make sure we get that time together - and I’ll hold down the fort, alright?” A smooth metallic vibration makes the tea in your cups dance. “It seems that’s all the time we have for today. This was nice, come back someday, will you?” You nod, as the void begins to collapse around you. Another metallic ring wakes you out of your trance. The monks around you begin to shift and stretch, the first ones are already getting up. You feel weirdly content, however. Like the colors of the world have gotten that little bit brighter. Like you are more in tune with yourself and the world around you. The sister next to you offers you a hand to get up, you take the help. The group soon disperses, leaving you to your business.>Gained Deed: A shift in perspective - You have had tea with a part of yourself, deep within your own mind. >On Shifts in Perspective: Gained through deep meditation in certain places, a Shift in Perspective can be used to take note of things previously hidden to the unattuned eye.>Make your way up the stairs and introduce yourself to the Old Monk. He can probably tell you a thing or two about this place and its people.>You feel like some morning exercise could be in order - Ask the monks if you could join their sparring lessons. Let’s see how much the time spent reading about combat tactics will help you now. [Vigor: 0]>Intercept one of the returning patrols - They should be loaded with juicy new rumors and news of the city. [Slyness: 0]>You feel sneaky today - And are wondering what lies beyond the grand entrance beyond the stairs, and why the few visitors are all accompanied by a monk, whether leaving or entering. [Secrecy: 0]>There’s something else you’d like to try... [Write-In]>>4284562 forgot to quote you
>>4285116>Make your way up the stairs and introduce yourself to the Old Monk. He can probably tell you a thing or two about this place and its people.
>>4285183Due to this thread already having reach page 10, I'll be archiving it and putting up a new one later in the day. Till then!
>>4285183New thread is up: >>4286934