You are Charlotte Fawkins, noted heiress, heroine, adventuress, and detective, cruelly trapped underwater (in the sticks!) after the completion of your quest to find your long-lost family heirloom. Tragically, nobody here l̶i̶k̶e̶s̶ ̶y̶o̶u appreciates your talents, even Richard— the snake who lives in your head. Right now, you are agreeing to track down your landlord Monty before he gets himself killed trying to stop the magic(?) current wrecking your camp. And then you are going to stop the magic(?) current wrecking your camp."Here's what I'm, um— I'll go get him." You nod decisively. "Yeah."Madrigal studies your face. "Really?""Yes? Why wouldn't I—" Is she doubting your abilities? "It's not like it'll be hard. I mean, it might be hard for you, since you're a, you know, washed-up old— but, as you know, I have incredible magick powers, so really it was, um... right to ask me. Um. But wrong to second-guess—""What? No. What?" (You are choosing to interpret her look as one of contrition.) "I was just— you know I know you don't have powers, right? You have a fucking evil spirit guy. Not the same thing. But I wasn't— I know you'd do this better than me. That's why I asked— ow." She picks a current-flung stick out of her eye. "But you don't want, like, payment?"Oh. Do you want payment? You wouldn't mind payment. You are going out of your way. "Um—"«Idiot. If you ask now you'll come off as mercenary. In any case, nothing she can pay is more valuable than being owed.»"—N…o." You hug one arm to your chest and shield your eyes with the other. "Um, no. No. Seriously? You think I'd— you think I'd be so mercenary? I, who saved your life? I'm offended, frankly, I'm appalled that—""Okay, you— don't make a fucking scene, okay, Charlotte? Ow!" A pebble has bonked her on the nose. "First of all, you didn't— you barely saved my life, then I saved your fucking life, so it's not like— we're even, okay?""You stabbed me," you hiss."On accident! While saving your life! So it's not like… and anyway, I'm sorry, okay? It's just that you have a history of, I don't know how to put this, ulterior motives—"What? "I do not.""You do. But if you're doing this out of the fucking goodness of your heart, um... good. Thank you— ow! Goddamnit!" (Another pebble.) "Um, good luck, I guess. Are you armed?""Huh?" You pat your coat. "Yeah? Got a pocketknife right here.""You can't go out there with a fucking pocketknife. God-damn. Don't you have a sword or something?"You wish you had a sword. You miss The Sword. "Um, not a real one. I mean, I did have the real one, I think, but then I lost it—""You lost it.""Or it got stolen— I don't remember what happened to it, okay?" "Goddammit! Okay, whatever. I am getting you something." (You open your mouth.) "This is non-negotiable, Charlotte. Stay right here."(1/3)
She's gone before you can argue, lost in the scrum of people— you suppose she's headed to her secret weapon stockpile. You wish you had a secret weapon stockpile. «You'd never use it.»Well, sure, you'd still just use The Sword, but you need to arm your future throngs of devotees. You know, like… oh. Where'd Gil go?«Excellent. You lost him.»You didn't lose him, he just… vanished. All of a sudden. But he's still around, isn't he? People don't just stop existing when you stop observing them, right? (Don't they? …Richard?)«Why are you asking me.»This is the kind of thing he'd— okay, there's Gil. (You weren't worried.) He's huddling in the shadows, one hand over his oozing mouth. You wave, and, when that fails to catch his attention, stagger over. "Gil!" "Mngfff," manages Gil— who squints, reevaluates, and strikes himself on the chest. "Sorry," he mumbles from somewhere inside his neck. "I-I was just getting used to having teeth, then, uh… I mean, they started melting. Um. They're still doing that, by the way."You're not sure what to say. "Okay.""I mean, i-i-it doesn't hurt, it's just, uh…" He scratches his nose. "…weird. Is this regular weather for you all?"You glance over your shoulder and appraise the chaos: the water thick with flying debris, the trees doubled over from the force of the current, the entire camp up and about at some unholy hour— «2:38 AM.»—at some unholy hour, yes. You put it delicately. "Not… as such. I believe this may be the workings of a notorious, uh, villain— the one who claims to know you?""The Garvin guy?""Yes! Yes, the Garvin guy. He has obtained a precious artifact and is utilizing its dastardly power to, um…" You're not actually sure what Horse Face has to gain from summoning a massive current. There must be more efficient ways to destroy things. "…you know, do stuff. Bad stuff. So we're going to stop him.""…'We,'" Gil says.You attempt to bat your eyelashes. "Well, yes, as my loyal retainer…" "I'm melting.""And?" (If anything, that's a point in your favor— it makes him expendable.)"And it's the middle of the goddamn night, during a freak storm thing, and— what do you want me to do? Tackle the guy? I-I don't get into fights— what do I look like?"At the moment, like Ellery. You cross your arms. "Tall."Gil pauses. "…I-I mean, yes, but this guy's a stick, he's not… look, I just don't think I'm any good here."God! What a whiner! You hunch your shoulders. You save him from a living hell, murder a man… okay, murder Ellery for him, and for what? Backtalk? How was his upbringing this shoddy? "Okay, remind me why the hell I bothered to rescue you?"He makes a kind of strangled buzzing noise. "…Because you're nice?"«Poor man.»What does Richard mean? You are— you are nice. When— when called for. "Well, I would be, if you weren't such a bitch, okay? You'd rather sit and melt than go be a big damn hero?"(2/3)
"I just don't know if I'm the hero… type." He wilts under your gaze. "I-I mean, I just do tech. Did tech.""You have zero relevant skills?" "I-I can shoot a gun? But it's very dark, and windy, and I— I don't have a gun, so I don't…""We'll get one! It's fine." You clasp his free hand in both of yours. "We'll get a gun, then you won't be deadweight, alright? Easy. We'll get you a gun, we'll go get Monty, we'll stop Horse Face, and then everyone will like me.""What?""Like us. I said us." You said us. "We'll— you know, they'll have a parade.""Seriously?"The unappreciative bastards that live around here? Absolutely not. "Yes. Probably. They better have a parade.""Um… sure." Gil appears skeptical. "Who's Monty? And Horse Face? And how do you know that guy has an artifact, any—"«Look sharp.»What? You swivel. Oh, it's Madrigal, carrying an armful of pointy things… and you are talking to the man she thinks is Ellery. "Gil!" you hiss."Huh?""You have to go! You have to— see that big fallen-down tree?" You gesture. "Go there. Hide. I'll meet you.""Um, okay… why?""It's your ex! Just go!"He shoots you a glance, but slips away without further inane questions. You duck out of the tent's shadow and place yourself in Madrigal's line of sight.She drops the armful. "Charlotte! What the fuck! I told you not to go anywhere!""I forgot," you sign blandly. It's not the worst lie of your life. "And I'm here now, so. Did you bring any guns?""What? You can't use a gun."It's true, but you're still rankled. "I could figure it out.""In these conditions? You're gonna crawl back all 'whoopsie daisy, jumped at shadows, shot Monty in the head'— you know he won't come back?""I know!" you snap. "I just— did you bring any guns?""No.""Do you have any guns?""Yes, but they're fucking far away, and unloaded, and— I mean, look at this." She holds up her forearm, where a fist-size bruise is blossoming. "Big rock came outta fucking nowhere. This place is a warzone. Why do you even want a gun?""I just—" What are you supposed to say? "What stuff did you bring?"She kicks the pile. "Poleaxe, harpoon, this big-ass hammer thing… I think that there's a mace?""No swords?""I'm outta swords, Charlotte. Told you last week."You narrow your eyes. "Hrm."(Choices next)
>[A1] Could she… go get a gun? Pretty please? (Write-in a good fake reason why you need one, else roll to convince. This'll burn some time.)>[A2] Can Gil just, like, visualize one? It worked for you that one time, sort of. And you aren't even made of imaginary beetles. [Gil will roll.]>[A3] Whatever. Gil doesn't need a weapon— he's cannon fodder, anyhow.>[B1] Madrigal's already being generous. You should probably pick a weapon and attempt to use it. (Which?)>[B2] Pick a weapon to be polite, but attempt to transmorgify it into a sword later. Because. (Which?) [Roll.]>[B3] Ha! You need no petty handouts. You will find a sword to use later. Probably. Definitely. Don't accept anything.>[C] Write-in.
>AnnouncementsWelcome back to Drowned Quest Redux! I hope all of you have had a wonderful (or at least decent? adequate?) couple of months. As for me, I'm alive, unCursed, and excited to return to QMing.I haven't made anything elaborate over the hiatus, but I do have sketchy portraits of most reoccurring characters, so I can stop stealing from Pinterest. I also have a whopping one thread's worth of detailed recap complete, but I'll be working on that over the next couple weeks. >ScheduleFor quick one-post SOL / combat / exploration updates, expect two or three a day - for longer/more involved updates, I try to guarantee one/day. If I miss a day, I'll try to compensate with multiple updates the next. There may be sporadic half-updates (no options) if I start writing too late in the evening, sorry in advance. I am in the PST timezone.>DiceWe use a 3d100 degrees of success system with crits. The base DC is 50. Modifiers may be applied to the roll or to the DC as are relevant. The # of rolls that match or exceed the DC determine the result. Probabilities may be found in the Dice and Mechanics pastebin.The degrees are:0 Passes = Failure1 Pass = Mitigated Success2 Passes = Success3 Passes = Enhanced Success0/100 = Critical Failure / Critical Success [regardless of other rolls]>MechanicsThe MC has a pool of 9* Identity ("ID"), which may be considered both HP and the measure of her current sense of self. It may be lost through physical, metaphysical, or emotional damage. It may be regained through write-ins, designated options, and at reasonable narrative points, including sleep. It may be spent on a flat +10 bonus to most rolls, as well as on more elaborate metaphysical effects. Dropping to 0 ID is bad. *The ID cap is typically 12, but prior choices have lowered this until a sidequest is completed. >Archivehttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=drowned%20quest%20redux>Twitter (updated sporadically)https://twitter.com/BathicQM>Pastebins https://pastebin.com/u/BathicQM>Doodles (I have about 45 pages of hiatus doodles, but they are not yet uploaded, plz be patient)https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1eVbvuqY6BF7Lk0xcXGLHtoFP4OwXtZ14?usp=sharing>"Redux"?This quest is a sort of sequel/reboot of the original Drowned Quest, which ran for eight threads in 2019. Reading the original isn't required. Check out the attached image instead to catch up quick.>I have a question/comment/concern?Tell me!
>LAST TIME ON ALL OF DROWNED QUEST REDUXYou are Charlotte Fawkins, sole heiress of the disgraced Fawkins noble family. In an attempt to win back your family's honor, you plunged into the ocean, where the reality-warping crown that would confirm you as queen lay hidden. You were convinced to do so by Richard, a snake you found in a box in your attic. Your quest for the crown went... poorly. It took you three-and-a-half years to locate it, during which you lost your savings, your dignity, and your right eye. The minute you find the damn thing (in a cave in podunk nowhere), Richard informs you that he left some crucial information out: you can't actually leave the ocean unless you power up the whole crown, at which point you're a god and can do just about anything you want. You don't really want to be a god, but you want to stay underwater even less, so you are begrudgingly starting to power up the crown. ...This is the goal on paper, at least. In practice, you've been dealing with a host of other nonsense: investigating twitchy acquaintance Ellery on behalf of his ex, your frenemy Madrigal; accidentally uncovering shady clone conspiracies; obtaining letters of recommendation so your landlord Monty doesn't evict you; and most of all slowly learning more about Richard, who is proving to be a very odd and complicated person. Slash snake. As for you, you're getting along... fine. You're plagued with strange dreams and occurrences. Richard keeps possessing your body, and he changes bits of it while you're unconscious. You have no real friends, and push away anyone who makes an attempt. You are horribly lonely. But it's fine. It's fine. Positive thinking!>LAST TIME ON THREAD 13 OF DROWNED QUEST REDUXWith Madrigal, you interrogate Ellery about his presence at the Spelunker's Associated meeting, then discover he has no memory of this whatsoever: that wasn't him at the meeting. Or, actually, that was him at the meeting-- and the one living at Camp is a fake copy. After learning this, you fail to work on your model and instead wake up in your manse, where you begin work on an imaginary body for Gil (with Richard's help). It's evening by the time you stop, and you discover that Madrigal's slipped you a note under your door. You go to find her, but discover her asleep, with fake-Ellery standing watch. You let fake-Ellery know that he's just a copy. He grows suicidal, and you oblige, strangling him in the Fen. Gil possesses his corpse.You take Gil on a tour of the local area before collapsing in the middle of the road. You find yourself in a dark room with a woman(??), who reveals herself to be Richard's coworker. She asks you some gossipy questions about Richard before he appears, scares her off, and wakes you up. You go to bed, but are roused in the middle of the night by Gil, who informs you his (Ellery's) teeth are melting. Shortly after, a violent current hits Camp.
>TO-DO this is typically written in an IC fashion, but for sake of clarity after a hiatus it's been reformatted into an OOC quest listImmediate goals:- Track down Monty and keep him safe- Stop the current that's battering CampShort-term goals:- Go through the books in your tent- Speak to Madrigal about investigating Ellery together- Speak to Eloise about her job proposition- Finish Gil's manse-body- Have Richard teach you about Law- Distribute the $$$ to your heist crew (tomorrow night)- Spend your share of the $$$- Figure out current status of the recommendation letter thingLong-term goals:- Procure permanent, non-melting body for Gil-- Go to Hell? Murder someone not named Ellery? Look into Namway gooplicates?- Regain your missing ID--- Speak to Richard about your missing ID- Finish your model-- Get back your stolen model?- Locate and reclaim your lost Sword (in real life)- Power up the Second Crown (1/16)- GTFO of this underwater hellhole- Make friends???Mysteries:- Who or what drove Ellery into self-imposed exile? -- Speak to Anthea or BK about him? - Who or what is Namway Co.'s “Management”? What did they want with the clone of a snake?- What's the deal with that weird sword training flashback you had?- What's the deal with that golden-eyed thing that keeps showing up in your dreams?-- Ask Richard about it?- What kind of company(?) does Richard work for? What is its endgame? What does it want with you?- What is Richard actually like, behind the whole... dad thing?- And why did your dad (and his friend) have weird powers, anyhow?Ongoing assignments:- Inform Eloise about anything you discover about Namway Co. - Periodically check on Madrigal to make sure she's not in horrific agony from sort of turning into a snake or whatever-----Don't forget to scroll up and vote!
>>4598687>>[A1] Could she… go get a gun? Pretty please? (Write-in a good fake reason why you need one, else roll to convince. This'll burn some time.)Intimidation! Guns are scary! We are mysterious and full of surprises so that makes it even MORE scary. >[B2] Pick a weapon to be polite, but attempt to transmorgify it into a sword later. Because. (Which?) [Roll.]The poleaxe, it is basically just a long sword...ish. Worst case scenario a sharp walking stick. Name it something cool like "Benediction", all weapons have cool names.
>>4598687>B2Pick whatever looks closest to a sword and easiest to transmorgify. >CGive Gil the harpoon. It can be thrown, it's ranged, that pretty much makes it a gun. If he's unhappy he can try his own transmogrification. >DTell Maddy that as a weapons merchant she is understocked and poorly prepared. Hopefully she has a better supply of fresh corpses because our alternative isn't working out.If monty doesn't waive the recommendation letter for this, at least we shouldn't have any trouble getting the rest of them.Finally we can get our missing model back from Horse Face. Oh man maybe he can be the fresh corpse.I would like to submit that regaining lost ID be moved from long term goals to short term.Welcome back Bathic!
>>4598687>[A2] Can Gil just, like, visualize one? It worked for you that one time, sort of. And you aren't even made of imaginary beetles. [Gil will roll.]>[B2] Pick a weapon to be polite, but attempt to transmorgify it into a sword later. Because. (Which?) [Roll.]The mace. A mace is a heavy stick, a sword is a sharp heavy stick, the conceptual relatedness is glaring.
Rolled 1 (1d3)>>4598726>>4598729>>4598754>Chew out Madrigal>[B2] -- flipping between mace and poleaxe>Name resulting sword>Rolling between go get a gun, give Gil harpoon, Gil visualizeCool. Give me a sec to write up the roll prompt. >>4598729>I would like to submit that regaining lost ID be moved from long term goals to short term.It's under long-term since it's a multistep process, not a task you can do in one shot. You're welcome to get started pursuing it ASAP, though. Step 1 is discussing it with Richard, so you'll probably have to wait until you resolve this first.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4598913>Go get a gunOkay, you'll ask Madrigal to do this. Flipping for the choice of weapon.As for the eventual transmogrification (a real and technical term you definitely did not just make up)...>[ID: 3/(9)]>Please roll me 3 1d100s + 25 (+10 Good With Swords, +10 Noble Heroic Fighting Spirit, +5 Suck It Richard) vs. DC 70 (+20 This Is Not A Real Thing People Do)>Spend 1 ID for +10 to each result?> Y> N
Rolled 31 (1d100)>>4598922N
Rolled 45 + 25 (1d100 + 25)>>4598922I
Rolled 83 (1d100)>>4598931Uhhh Whoops. Force of habit. I meant to say N.
>>4598930>>4598931>>4598933>56, 70, 108 vs. DC 70 -- Success>No spendI'd typically request for all three rolls to be done by different people if it's not a slow day, but I won't be finicky this time around. Congrats on squeaking this one out.Writing, though I expect to be interrupted, so realistically it might take 5-6 hours to get this update out. Sorry!
>>4598938Noice. Glad you're back!
>You're ugly, you're disgusting, I'm gonna kill you, give me a gunYou spend long enough squinting critically at the pile of weapons that Madrigal scoops the mace off the ground and shoves it into your arms. "For fuck's sake, Charlotte.""I don't know how to— what kind of person uses a mace?" (It's rhetorical. Barbarians use maces. Barbarians and evil mooks.)"People who want to smash other people's skulls open. This isn't— you just hold the handle, swing the pointy bit. This isn't hard.""It's not very civilized," you mutter. «Be polite.»How are you supposed to be polite? You don't want this. It was thrust upon you with no regard for your opinion. Madrigal doesn't understand you. It makes sense. Nobody will ever understand y—«Shut up. This is exhausting.»«Be <polite>.»It's hard to be polite when your life is a hollow sham, and also while Madrigal's still going. "—gives a shit? You know we're on a bit of a time limit? I'm doing what I can, and you—""Okay," you snap. "Sorry. Whatever. I'll take it."«No. Don't apologize.»He told you to be polite!«I didn't tell you to be a doormat. Now you have to make up for this. Go.»"…But it's not my fault you're such a shoddy weapons dealer. I mean, really? No swords, no guns, just a bunch of braindead hunks of iron…"Madrigal looks exasperated. "It doesn't fucking matter! It— I'm not a weapons dealer, I just have them, and— I do have guns, I just didn't bring them—""Prove it," you say."What?! What— Charlotte, what the fuck is your hangup?"There's no simple lie for this one. You cross your arms to stall for time.«Just say you need one for intimidation. You don't want to overuse your spirit energy, or whatever inane garbage you decide on.»«A mace isn't enough. Look at you. You're so short and flabby. You wouldn't intimidate a tadpole.»You're not short, or flabby, but okay. You cross your arms tighter. "What if there's other people out there? Besides Monty? They're not gonna take me seriously with just amace. And I—" Madrigal is gesturing in disbelief. "—I can't use Richard all the time, he'll… you know, my very soul will be levigated, and all my trueith self will be reduced to pomace, and—""Those aren't even words," Madrigal says."They are." Probably. "And anyhow, I'm not going unless you get me a gun.""You can't be—" she starts, but sees that you're indeed serious. "You're a fucking asshole. Could you not have asked me earlier?"You raise your eyebrows."Fine. But I'm not loading it. Find your own fucking ammo."She stalks off, leaving you to bask in your victory.>[+1 ID: 4/(9)]The current is brisk, and you're forced to shield your eyes from flying sand as you wait around for Madrigal to return. Someone yells at you to help secure the tents. You ignore them. They'll understand later. (1/2)
You inspect the mace, which you suppose is well-made, though you have little way to tell. It's just so ugly. Is there any way you can extract a sword from it?«No.»You extracted a sword from nothing, didn't you? This should be easier.«You didn't extract a sword from nothing. You extracted the concept of a sword from yourself.»«You're lucky your colossal idiocy didn't damage anything.»So it will be easier. Excellent. If you just focus, you—Madrigal slaps a pistol into your empty hand. "Here. Hope you choke on it.""I'll try my best," you say mildly (further confirming your moral victory). "Any last advice?""I—" She struggles against the urge to flip you off. "Just tell him there's people who care about him, okay? Clearly not you, but— other people. And whatever fucked-up shit he did, it doesn't matter, cause he's— he doesn't have to make up for it. Nobody cares. Okay? Just show some fucking empathy, for once in your life, it's not hard."You doubt you'll give any of that speech, but okay. "You bet. Uh, I'll get going.""Yes! Go! And get him back safe. If he's missing both arms, I'll—"Her threat is lost in the current: you're already off, striding past rows of tents, around deposits of mud, through the nasty omnipresent bramble. Night has posed less terror ever since Richard screwed with your eye, but seeing in the dark helps little when the water is thick with grit and debris. You're forced to navigate mostly by memory as you find your way to the fallen-down tree.The dark lump by its trunk is not an unusual shellfish, as you first expected: Gil unfolds and stands, wiping his forehead. "Hi. I-I thought you forgot about me.""Nope!" you say loudly (the current is much noisier out in the open). "Madrigal's just slow. I got you a gun!""…Really? Oh, geez." He takes the pistol from you. "You did."«It's a nice gun, too. Rare model. Colloquially known as a 'Squidger' for… reasons I have yet to discover, at present.»You're not sure how you could go on without Richard identifying the model of every gun you find. You'd just keel over if he stopped.«It's interesting. Not that you'd be able to appreciate it.»Gil coughs, spattering silver gunk onto his hand. The pistol gleams in his waistband. "So… what are we actually doing?""Finding Monty," you say. "I already—""Yeah, but how?"(Choices next)
> Okay, so the current is washing away all the evidence of Monty's trail. But it can't have washed away everything, right? And you're good at noticing things. Track him down. (Difficult roll + roll for random encounter.)> Wasn't there that thing about… seeing through the ground? That Richard did, or did to you? That could solve your visibility issues, though you'd be blind and rooted in place as the current flings things at your head. (Autosuccess at locating Monty. Roll for what hits you in the face.)> If you close your eyes, and are really confident, and just walk… you'll run into him, more likely than not. It just works! (You just need to not walk into a tree, or sinkhole, or into the jaws of a crocodile.) (Roll + roll for random encounter, with disadvantage.)> Don't make any special effort: just make a beeline for the source of the current. You're both headed in the same direction, after all— he'll probably be fine by the time you get there. (Roll for random encounter.)> Write-in.You will do the transmogrifying in a future update!
>>4599272>> Wasn't there that thing about… seeing through the ground? That Richard did, or did to you? That could solve your visibility issues, though you'd be blind and rooted in place as the current flings things at your head. (Autosuccess at locating Monty. Roll for what hits you in the face.)
>>4599272>4I'm all for experimentation, but we're in a bit of a time crunch here
>>4599272> Wasn't there that thing about… seeing through the ground? That Richard did, or did to you? That could solve your visibility issues, though you'd be blind and rooted in place as the current flings things at your head. (Autosuccess at locating Monty. Roll for what hits you in the face.)
Rolled 4 (1d8)>>4599290>>4599447>2>>4599305>4Called. Rolling for being bodied...1-5 -- Small6-7 -- Medium8 -- Large
Rolled 2 (1d8)>>4599487>SmallRolling for type, then writing.
>>4599272> Don't make any special effort: just make a beeline for the source of the current. You're both headed in the same direction, after all— he'll probably be fine by the time you get there. (Roll for random encounter.)> Check our pockets for ammo. Pretty sure the universe runs on spite, and inagine Maddies face when she finds out we had ammo for her sooper speshal shooty bang bang stik
>>4599616You are what I'd call "hella late," so I can't use this, but I appreciate the vote regardless. Give me a few minutes and I'll have a new one up.
>Crouch down and stare vacantly "Okay," you say, "so I have this Dread and Terrible Beast…""I-I'm very aware. We've had…" Gil's eyes dart. "…long conversations. You know he blatantly cheats at cards?"«I win at cards. He loses at cards.»You grab at your hair in a futile attempt to get it out of your face. "Y-es. Uh, so he imbues me with magyckal…""He says he manipulates your body. And nervous system. Um, I-I guess that's part of your body. And he drugs you sometimes?"«In a good way.»"In a good way," you insist. "Um, and they're— they're magyckal drugs, and it's still imbuing, so it— whatever. You don't get it. He's going to help me find Monty, okay? So just sit tight and I'll…""I still don't know who that is," Gil is saying, but you've ceased to listen. You're holding Richard up to your face and staring into his beady eyes. He flicks his tongue.«What.»Well, now he has to help you.«I already have. See, and you complain so much about my alterations. When they are objectively and provably useful.»…How are your teeth going to…«Moron. Recall the sewer. Recall your descent into the—»Oh! Your latent earth powers! You'd forgotten. You drop Richard, who bobs indifferently, and crouch down. You press your hands into the mud.«Soles of the feet are more traditional, but I suppose there's no practical reason not to use your palms.»You screw your eyes shut, waiting. The current has a lower pitch at this height, more of a moan than a wail. You're going to need to wipe your hands after this. Would Gil let you use his sleeve? It's not like Ellery's sweater is getting dirtier—«You're unfocused. Relax.»Easier said than done. You sigh through your nose and waggle your palms in the mud. You'd always thought of mud as just wet dirt, but this is much finer than any dirt you've dug through— more silt, really, more like the clay you're used to. Made of tiny, tiny particles. Particles of what? Rock? But what is rock but stacked and hardened mud? It seems to you a mystery without origin, except that one day in the infinite void God deigned to place mud or rock upon the world, and decreed one would become the other for-ever, and—(Gil, consigned to a familiar hell of sitting there and doing nothing, starts when your eyes snap open. You don't move. "Charlotte?", he attempts, to no response. He slumps against the tree again.)—somewhere in there, you began to feel your own mass. The skin of the earth sinks under your feet. Press harder with your hand, and it sinks further, and you do, too, until it embraces you wholly and you can't feel your hand anymore.But you know you're alive, for you still indent the mud, and your heart sends quivers through it— and you know Gil is there, too, you can sense him tapping the ground, impatient to get living, and his heart is there too, weak, irregular—(1/2)
—And before you is Fenpelok, tremor-forest, home of fish-hearts and crab-hearts and hearts of things that don't exist, slow and terrible, like the creep of mangrove-roots plumbing the soil for water, unaware there is none, or too much, unaware their needs are provided for— they will not die. Will not die— but the earth quakes as the current fells them.And below you is— is— is— the soil. The earth. Miles and miles of it, dead and rich and shining. You want to be there. You must be there, you must descend, and you must meet— «Charlie.»It's never good when Richard is drawling. He sounds far above you.«I suppose I am. In any case, sorry to interrupt your religious awakening, but we don't have all day.»He's not sorry.«I'm not. But good, you're lucid. Locate the smiling man.»You'd think he'd know Monty's name by now.«I do know the man's name. It's simply not— easily accessible.»«It's inessential information. Just get on with it.»With some regret, you withdraw. (You've forgotten who you were supposed to meet, anyhow.) How do you locate Monty? The Fen is huge. And you can't see a damn thing.«I don't know what you expect when you're detached from your body. I hope I shouldn't have to put you back under. You're insufferable in trances.»«Or more insufferable, should I say.»Thanks, Richard. Well, here you are, six feet under. And there you are, heart pounding away— and there Gil is, making footsteps. Pacing, presumably. Wouldn't Monty also be walking? There's plenty of vibrations from the Fen— the whole thing's shaking, really— but how many pairs of human footsteps could there be?Five. Five, at least in the immediate area: twenty minutes away or less, by Richard's estimate. One must be Monty, but who else would be out on a night like this? Scoundrels, probably. Horse Face's henchmen? (Though if he had henchmen, why would he pay you to steal the artifact? That's what henchmen are for.)Regardless, when feeling comes back to your fingers, you're initially distraught. "Richard!" You grope around for Richard. "Richard, I— I can't see."«Your eyes are working fine.»"It's not! My eye's not…" You paw at it, smearing mud over your eyebrow. "It's— ow."«There's just a lot of grit in them. I suggest blinking.»You do so. "Ow. What… oh. Gil!" Gil freezes blurrily. "Gil, did you— did you witness the manifestation of my latent earth powers? Grit— the stuff of the earth— accumulated in my— did you see?""Um." His hair whips about. "Actually, uh, I-I-I think… I think your eyes were just sort of… open. And not blinking? So, uh, grit just kind of…" He gestures towards his face. "Got in there?""That's the same thing," you say."Okay, that's the same thing." He rubs at his wrist. "Do you need to shake some grit out of your eye socket?""My what?" You touch your bad eye."Your… eye…" He gestures limply. "Okay. Okay, um, nevermind. What's the scoop?""I found Monty.""I-I assume that's a good thing?"(Choices next)
"And four other people. So we just have to decide…">[GAINED: Ow Your Eye — -5 to the next couple vision-centric rolls]>Who are you headed towards? One of these options will contain Monty— the rest are other people.> Confident footsteps that stopped short, joined by soft, quivery footsteps.> Hurried footsteps. Quick gait. Long stride.> Heavy, booted footsteps.> Purposeful footsteps. Subtle limp— weight on left foot. > Write-in. (Anything you'd like to say? etc.)
>>4599640> Purposeful footsteps. Subtle limp— weight on left foot.Monty's missing an arm, right? Might throw off his weight in his footsteps a little, just enough to pick it up.
>>4599640> Hurried footsteps. Quick gait. Long stride.
> Purposeful footsteps. Subtle limp— weight on left foot.I concor with armboy theory
>>4599640>> Purposeful footsteps. Subtle limp— weight on left foot.Worst case scenario we have to fight someone with a limp.
>>4599640Gimme a few minutes to think.
>>4599645Monty is missing his left arm though, so if it affected his gait it would be heavier on the right. Not just from the weight of the arm, but from the motion of it swinging.Or I'm overthinking a pretty simple clue.Still, I think it's worth considering the confident footsteps, joined by quivering soft footsteps. A) Monty was with a woman earlier, it could be her.B) Monty might have an assassin after him according to earlier threads, it could be an assassin stalking him now that he's out of the camp.>>4599640> Confident footsteps that stopped short, joined by soft, quivery footsteps.> Write-in. (Anything you'd like to say? etc.)Can Richard use our senses? Like. Can he track Monty's scent by using our nose even though we can't?
>>4599645>>4599688>>4599775>Limp>>4599673>Hurried>>4599806>ConfidentCalled. Good job.>>4599806You'll ask about Richard boosting your senses. Sorry, yeah, you were overthinking it. I put it as limp on the left as compensation for the lack of an arm, but I'm not a limp (or missing arm) expert so I may have been wrong in that department. Good deductions otherwise, even if they weren't accurate in this instance.Now that you have your target, I need dice for navigation! >Please roll me 3 1d100s + 5 (+15 Destination in Mind, -5 Directionally Challenged, -5 Ow Your Eye) vs. DC 65 (+15 In The Current) to successfully get to Monty.
>>4600082Oops, sorry. ALSO:>Would you like to spend 1 ID for +10 to all results? You are at 4/9 ID.> Y> N
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>4600082N
>>4600108Add 5 to my total
Rolled 87 + 5 (1d100 + 5)>>4600082
>>4600157NOn mobile. Forgive the change in ID
>>4600161Oh wait it stayed the same nevermind
Rolled 9 (1d100)>>4600082>N
Rolled 5, 4 = 9 (2d8)>>4600108>>4600157>>4600164>66, 92, 14 vs. DC 65 -- SuccessNice. You dodge the random event, but stuff still flies at high speeds towards your head. Rolling for what, then writing one update today, most likely.
Rolled 93, 35, 17 + 5 = 150 (3d100 + 5)>>4600170Actually, one more roll on Gil's end.3 1d100s + 5 (+25 Unreal Nature, -10 Facts and Logic, -5 Cynical, -5 Court Influence) vs. DC 45 (+5 Well-lit, -10 Nighttime)
>Head towards the limping footsteps>66, 92, 14 vs. DC 65 — Success>Sord :DDDD>56, 70, 108 vs. DC 70 — Success>Pebbles"…what footsteps to go towards. Uh, they're all within 20 minutes, so it's just…""'It's just?'" Gil wipes his eye, which has begun to leak fluid. "How do you intend to catch up? Don't tell me we're going to sprint, that's ridiculous… I-I'm a corpse. You're in heels.""They're not heels," you explain patiently, "they're heeled boots. So. And we're not going to sprint, we're just going to walk, then we'll find him, okay? Or whoever we're headed towards.""Right." He hesitates. "Um, that makes no sense. If we're walking, and they're walking, it'll— we'll never catch up. And that's if we're completely uninterrupted, and—"He can't be this obtuse on purpose. "Are you new down here?""…No? I-I just—"«It's fairly interesting. The beetle one clings to reality like a limpet. Far more than you.»«I suspect it's a learned behavior, given his former situation.»«Considering that, it's difficult to begrudge—»Shut up. You'll begrudge him all you want. "Then what the hell are you— look at me. Look into my eyes. Gil." "Eye," he mumbles."Into my eye. If we walk, we'll find him. But it won't work unless you shut up about times, and math, and… logic. Okay? It's not even that weird. You're a whole lot of beetles in a dead guy, Gil, just— just think about that instead."«'Please.'»"…Please?"He sags a little. "I-I'll try? I-I guess?""Good! Good. Then let's go." You scoop the mace off the ground and point in the general direction of the most suspect set of footsteps— the one with a limp. The limp of a one-armed man? Yes. You're going with that. "Onwards! To our destiny!"The Fen is dramatic tonight, all lit up in blue— not the roiling blue-green of a plankton bloom, but a pure, pale, steady blue. (You're reminded of moonlight.) Is it enough to banish the nightmare-beasts your fellow bargoers liked to complain about? Absolutely. If you believe that, they can't touch you. It might even be enough to light your way, though the water is so filled with sticks and leaves it's a little like wading through a bush. You are unconcerned about what direction you're headed— it'll all sort itself out. You busy yourself instead with not running into trees, not stepping into any primitive pitfalls, keeping an eye on Gil (is he stuffing leaves down his throat?), keeping your unruly hair out of your face, and toying with your mace. If you hold it out just so, can you pretend it's a sword? If you wave it around until it's blurry? If you hold it behind your back? No, no, and no— you just can't seem to forget it's not a sword.«Well, you should've just said so.»What?«What.»What? Your head hurts. There's something heavy in your hands. Something… sharp. (Ow.) Something metal. What is it?«A sword, I think.»(1/2)
Oh. Okay, well, obviously. Thanks for your much-needed help, Richard. You really required that explanation. What the hell else would it be?«I have no idea.»Of course he doesn't. Useless reptile. You slide your sword (not The Sword, of course, this one is much lower-quality- it's too heavy for your liking) into its scabbard and turn to make sure Gil's still following.He is, though he's stopped in his tracks. He leans against his walking-stick. "What the shit was that?""What?" you shout back."You just— it just— your mace.""My what?" You look down at your hip. "This is a sword, Gil. It's called…" Good sword name. Good sword name. "…Ixelbraith!"«That doesn't even mean anything.»"That wasn't really the…" Gil attempts, but concedes the point. "…Okay. Cool… sword.""Yes!" See, Richard? See? Ixelbraith is cool.>[+1 ID: 5/9]"Are we close?" Gil shields his eyes with his free hand. "I-I think it's gotten worse."It has: the trees by the outskirts were shedding leaves, the trees wherever you are are shedding branches. It's taking real energy to move against the current: every so often, you watch a weaker animal, a hapless turtle or fever-otter, pinwheel past your head. You were already pummeled with a fastball pebble, which explains the bleeding scratch on your cheek— you count yourself lucky it wasn't a boulder. "We're close," you say, lacking all evidence of that. "Actually, I think I saw something over… there."You point in a random direction. Gil follows your finger. "Are you sure? I-I-I don't see…""I'm sure," you say. "Come on. Be careful…"What you pointed to was a small clearing, open to the sky, carpeted with lush algae. It'd be a darling place to picnic, though the atmosphere is ruined by the net trap tangled in the blistered roots of a nearby mangrove. A fish has been here before you. Gil insists on drawing his pistol, which you don't debate— it is unloaded. You graciously allow him to go before you, on the off chance it's someone more dangerous than Monty. "There's nobody there!" he signs over to you. "I don't know what you saw, but it's not— ack!" He's on the ground, all of a sudden, bowled over by the force of something, someone, falling from a tree— leaping from a tree? You squint to gain some clarity, then think better of it and stumble over. "Gil!"Gil is on his back, but he's managed to keep ahold of the pistol— he has the muzzle pressed to the assailant's forehead. The assailant, meanwhile, has a gleaming trident to Gil's neck. If you weren't here, it'd be a proper standoff.Unfortunately, you are here, and you have a clear line of sight. You can't see the assailant's face, but you can see his rumpled button-down and his muddy dress shoes. And there's the matter of the missing arm. It's Monty.But how do you defuse this?(Choices next.)
> Shout for Monty— he'll look away, and Gil will be able to get out. Or he'll fire the gun, but… there's no bullets, right? Surely? So what could he do? (Does he know there's no bullets?)> Shout for Gil— he'll be distracted, and Monty might stab him, but it's not like he's lasting long anyhow. You can make it up to him tomorrow. > Rush in, yelling incoherently. If you're lucky, they'll both be too confused to murder each other. If you're not… well, you can cross that bridge later. (Roll.)> Do nothing. See what happens. > Write-in.
>>4600607> Rush in, yelling incoherently. If you're lucky, they'll both be too confused to murder each other. If you're not… well, you can cross that bridge later. (Roll.Time for Charlotte to do what she does best; Stumble in blindly, making everything worse. Diplomancy!
>>4600607> Rush in, yelling incoherently. If you're lucky, they'll both be too confused to murder each other. If you're not… well, you can cross that bridge later. (Roll.)
>>4600620>>4600651>>4600724I'm not updating again tonight, but I doubt anything will beat a 3-vote lead, so I'm comfortable calling it here so I don't have to wait for rolls tomorrow.Let's see if high risk high reward works out!>Please roll me 3 1d100s - 5 (+5 Distinctive Voice, -10 Hard to Hear) vs. DC 60 (+10 Serious Business) to resolve the situation without grievous injury! And...>[ID: 5/(9)]>Spend 1 ID for a +10 to each result?> Y> N
Rolled 4 - 5 (1d100 - 5)>>4600831no spendy
Rolled 64 (1d100)>>4600831Idk how to -5
>>4600927You do +-5 at the end of the dice+1d100, for future reference.ID or no ID?
Rolled 62 (1d100)>>4600831>Y
>>4600926>>4601037>>4601038>9, 69, 67 vs. DC 60 -- SuccessNarrow margin right there. Nice.Update tomorrow! Have a good night (or morning, afternoon, etc.), folks.
>>4601045Big spendy was the right call
>AAAAAAAAAA>9, 69, 67 vs. DC 60 -- Success>Spend(y) This isn't something you can be slow about, you think. Or stealthy about. Or even tactical about. No, better to go in blindly, yelling your head off: they can't murder each other if they're too busy staring at you.«That is a terrible plan.»That is a great plan, and it's not like he has a better one, and if he does you don't want to hear it. That is a great plan. And you are going to execute it in three, two—«Why are you like this.»—what's that? You can't hear him over your amazing plan, which will succeed, and—! Your thoughts stop short there, replaced with the gross tang of metal and a sustained ringing in your ears— Richard has unlatched his jaw and bitten painlessly into your neck. You stagger at the shock up your spine, your shoulder snapping involuntarily backwards—>[-1 ID: 4/(9)]—and it is over as soon as it began. You hang in a dizzy haze, for a second, until Richard bites you again. It hurts. "Hey!"«Go.»«Do your 'amazing plan.'»Okay! You're going, you're running— you can't remember how you started running but you're certainly doing it now. Ixelbraith your inferior sword rattles in your two-handed grip. And there is a noise about you, a throaty warble, that cuts straight through the roar of the current and prickles some ancient part of your brain. Some enormous dying creature? It's only when you close your mouth to wet your lips that you realize it's coming from you."AaAaAaAaAaAaAaaaaa!" you conclude as you break into the clearing, then double over to hock phlegm onto the algae. When you stand, you discover Gil and Monty with matching expressions of bewilderment.Neither appear much injured, though there's a shallow silver gash on Gil's cheek. He stands several feet away from Monty, who has spun around to face you. A flickering glorb hangs from his trident, and he is strange in its green light: sweaty, haggard, a little manic. "Again," he mouths more than says; you can barely hear him over the current.You ignore him, for now, and round on Gil. "Don't— put your stupid gun down! It's Monty!""What?" Gil touches his wound defensively. "How was I supposed to know? You- you didn't tell—""It's obvious! You— what if you shot him?! And you—" You level an accusing finger at Monty. "You can't just— jump on people! God! Are you demented?"He says something you don't catch, and you motion for him to speak up. He hesitates, then stakes the trident into the mud and begins broken handsign. "Are you real."You furrow your brow. "What?""Are you real. I just saw you in- in different clothes." He gestures. "You both can't be real. He's not real." At Gil. "That's not— Ellery. Don't tell me that's Ellery.""Um," you say. Gil says nothing."He'd know better." At you, again. "You should go.""No, I—""It's not safe, if you're real. And if you're not, I— I don't want you. Any of you. Charlotte."(1/2)
Gil is shooting you a 'what in the goddamn is he talking about' look. You have no answers for him. Is this Monty? Bland, patronizing Monty? You'd always suspected some hidden depths, but you thought they'd be… you know, he'd be secretly really cool, or possibly evil. Not insane. …Is he insane? He's not making any sense, but his eyes are narrow and alert, not glazed like you'd expect from a proper madman. His senses haven't taken leave of him. What then? He's just In A State, briefly out of his mind with… well, you don't know yet. But this is something you can work with.«Because you're so good at reasoning with people.»Yes. Shut up.>[A1] Be straightforward. You have no idea what he's talking about, but you're the real one, Madrigal sent you, you're here to make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. And yes, you can prove you're the real one… (How? Write-in.)>[A2] Be forceful. This is unbecoming. He takes responsibility for the welfare of how many people, and he's out there acting like this? Seriously? He needs to straighten up. >[A3] Be concerned. Of course you're real, and to see him in this state is worrisome. This is so unlike him. Is he okay? >[A4] Be inquisitive. Sorry, he just saw you? When? Where? Was he hallucinating? Why's he all the way out here, anyhow? >[A5] Write-in. It's ok to combine approaches, just specify how>[B1] Attempt to explain Gil. (How? Write-in.)>[B2] Attempt to pretend you thought Gil was Ellery. (Tricky roll.)>[B3] Don't explain Gil at all. Dodge any questions. (Roll.)>[B4] Write-in. >[C] Write-in.
>>4601385Yes! This could've gone very badly.>>4599806Realized I never got around to answering the senses thing, so here it is OOC: Richard can't 'use your senses' personally unless he's possessing you, in which case he can do whatever he wants. He could temporarily boost your senses, but not above the level of a very sensitive human; temporary superhuman senses would probably take time in advance to prep. Permanent improvements would again require him to possess you. Even if he did, eg., temporarily boost your sense of smell, you'd probably have a hard time processing the new info and you don't actually know what Monty smells like.
>>4601867>A2I think this will do more to convince him we're the real deal than anything dedicated to it.Maybe throw in a bit of >A4because if there's a gooplicate of us running around from our factory stunts we're gonna want to kill it.>B4Admit that Gil isn't Ellery, and tell him there's a totally reasonable explanation for why he looks just like Ellery that is also quite long and should wait for a less hectic time.
>>4601867>[A2] Be forceful. This is unbecoming. He takes responsibility for the welfare of how many people, and he's out there acting like this? Seriously? He needs to straighten up. Being brash and inconsiderate is fairly in character for what Monty knows of us. Being concerned for his well-being, while pleasant, almost serves to be signs of a trick.>[B4] Write-in.Using the write-in here >>4601998 . Ellery's weird, Gil's weird, we're... eccentric, and things are always weird down here. Monty would know that better than anyone.
>>4601866Ooh, fancy new art.>[A2] Be forceful. This is unbecoming. He takes responsibility for the welfare of how many people, and he's out there acting like this? Seriously? He needs to straighten up. Channel our disappoinment in ways only a Noble could. This is deriliction of duty, Monty, unbecoming of your position.Charlotte being an ass? Must be the real one.>[B1] Attempt to explain Gil. (How? Write-in.)It's something Ellery came up with to help a friend of ours who needed a body. It isn't working out very well, but anyways Ellery is fine and Gil came out here to help despite his teeth melting so Ellery should be nice to him, or at least more polite than jumping him.
>>4601867Also C.> Internally thank Richard for having faith in our plan and us even if he didn't think it would work. Call him secretly nice.
>>4602770>>4601867Also D> Internally secretly wonder if our dad would have been like that for us if he wasn't dead.
>>4601998>>4602411>>4602767>>4602770>>4602771>Be forceful w/ a touch of inquisitive>Vaguely introduce Gil, but put off a full explanation>Thank Richard>Contemplate your daddy issuesCalled, though I won't be able to start writing for a while yet. (Why call early? Means I can start planning the update structure.) If anyone has minor additions along the lines of these >>4602770>>4602771, you can still toss them in.
>Tactical bitchinessAnyhow, you're not intending to 'reason' with him; long experience with States has proven that's useless at best. You used to attempt it with your mother. She'd be holed up in her room, convinced she'd single-handedly figured out some fundamental truth of the universe, or on better days some conspiracy at the heart of government: you'd sneak in, bearing some token of goodwill (a snack or drawing or trinket you'd discovered), and plead with her to take her medication or change her mind. You considered it a good result when she was merely snappish. It was worst when she thought you were an agent of the conspiracy, here to silence her, and then she'd scream and you'd cry but not too loudly lest Aunt Ruby was in earshot. You were not supposed to speak to your mother in States.But you kept trying, fueled by pure optimism, until one day you opened the door and she had in her hands a broken bottle, and she called you unspeakable things, and said one day you would kill us all, and only she could stop you from killing us all—You remember Aunt Ruby sitting you down after and telling you it was your fault. Not your mother's illness, which was God's will, but your disobedient mollycoddling of it, which certainly was not. By speaking to her, placating her, you only allowed it to fester— and look where it got you. You can show no weakness. You must allow her no quarter. You must look her in the face and demand—You were eight.«What a charming encapsulation of your wonderful family.»That wasn't the— the point was, even if Monty's not coming at you with a bottle, you can't indulge his— and excuse you, he was part of it.«Was I.»«I was under the impression that you disavowed that.»No, you didn't— it was— well, look, you— you were drunk.«Don't worry. I know how you struggle with even the basics of consistency.»«I'm quite happy being disavowed. I have no interest in being your father.»…What does he have interest in being?«…»«You're being stared at.»Damnit. That you are: Gil's eyes are wide, imploring, and leaking silver fluid. He jerks his head towards Monty, who is signing forcefully (if no more intelligibly) at him. "—if this is another one of his cock-ups, I'll—""Whose?" you interject.He looks at you with abject surprise. "You're still here.""Yes?" You straighten up. "Why would I go? Just because you said so? That's—""I stopped looking at you." He shakes his head and turns back to Gil. "So you—""Hey!" You dodge in front of Gil. "Hey! Dickhead! There's this thing called… I forget, but it means things don't vanish just because—""Object permanence." Monty is smiling vaguely."Yes! So that's—""It's not all that relevant down here, Charlotte, if you haven't noticed."(1/3)
The longest sentence you've got from him so far. Progress. "It's relevant for me, but I guess you'd rather pretend I'm— what, a figment of your imagination? Astounding. Remarkable delusion." He drums his fingers on the shaft of the trident, but says nothing."Actually, I've just come to tell you you're a piece of work. What the hell is this? A vanity suicide mission? You're going to flail about at a weather event until a tree comes by at 30 MPH to bash you senseless?""It's not a weather event. Or vanity." You've extracted an arch of the eyebrows. "But I'm sure you know that."Sure, you're 95% sure it's not just weather, but you don't know how he knows that. "Not really! Seems like weather to me! And—""You can't feel it?" He flips the trident around and stakes it into the ground, then licks his thumb and forefinger and holds them up. "There's a quickness, Charlotte.""That's called 'water moving,'" you say. (You believe him, though you dislike the idea of him sensing something you can't.) "And anyhow, it's absolutely vanity. You come out here, shirking your sacred duty—""My sacred duty to stand there and shout at people. Ramsey is very capable at that, Charlotte, the camp's in good hands." "—your— no! People depend on you, and— not me." You feel the need to clarify. "I don't depend on you. But other people do, and they're twisting in the wind while you go running around with a pointy stick— what if you died?"He gestures to his arm stump. (Actually, this is the first time you've ever seen it without the sweater. The bandages look fresh, though there's already a black stain seeping through them.) "I'm good at not doing that. I appreciate your concern, though— I believe that's the first time you've ever expressed any?""It's not—" He's getting too comfortable. "What's your plan?""Pardon?""What's your plan. Wade into the Fen, follow the current, hope there's something on the end you can kill? That's it? That's moronic. What if the origin of all this is miles away? What if it's coming straight off the Edge? What if you get there, and there's something a little outside the power level of a one-armed… old-ish…""I'm 35.""…old-ish normal guy? Are you just gonna slink back and pretend you never left? Or are you gonna attempt it anyways and get vaporized? And what for? What's it for? So you can stroke your ego. I'm sorry, but that's pathetic, that's—""Why are you here, Charlotte? And— whoever he is."Gil is intently examining his fingernails. You turn back. "That's— uh, that's Gil, he's— it's very complicated. Um. He's friendly.""Most things with Ellery wind up very complicated." Monty tilts his head. "But don't dodge the question. You're also running around here with a pointy stick.""Y-es— so you do believe it's me?" You feel vindicated.(2/3)
"You have a unique temperament." The corner of his mouth is quirked up. "My mind alone couldn't replicate it this faithfully. But do continue. Is it ego?""…Madrigal.""She worries too much." Madrigal? "But that's very sweet. So you came to get me, then.""Um, yes.""And you decided the most effective method to coax me would be insults?""Well, it's working, isn't it?" You cross your arms. "And anyhow, I don't care if you go back. I'm going with you."It takes a moment for him to process, and then he guffaws. "What!""I'm going w-""You spend all that time picking over the— and you don't even believe it? You were just saying it to— what, fill the air?""Well, I— no," you say. "No, I just— you were acting weird. You're still acting weird.""You don't actually care what I do. You're here to help my vanity suicide mission."You feel as though you've stumbled into some kind of well-hidden pitfall. "I-I think you're looking at this… wrongly.""Why the hell not, Charlotte. Why the hell not? It's not like I'm directly responsible for enough people's safety. And you've gotten this far unmaimed, so…" He throws out his hands. "Welcome aboard, I suppose. You and Ellery. You know nobody's ever offered to tag along?""Maybe they were scared of you," you suggest. "Maybe you should start acting… normal."He laughs darkly and privately. "Maybe I should, Charlotte, when it's not 3 in the morning. Let's get a move on."> Get a move on, directly against the current. (Roll.)> Get a move on, diagonal to the current— less resistance, but you're treading more ground. (Roll.)> Hold it. The people you sensed earlier are almost certainly still around— you should see where they are now, and where they seem to be going. It may be taxing, though. (-1 ID)> Write-in.Daddy issues/thanking Richard/gooplicate discussion in future update pleasu understandu
>>4603896> Get a move on, diagonal to the current— less resistance, but you're treading more ground. (Roll.)Tempted to go against the current, but we're rather petite, and Gil is in a copy of Ellery's body, not exactly the peak physical specimen. May as well play to our strengths, and if we're going at a diagonal, there's possibly less chance of getting dummied by drift in the current.
>>4603896> Get a move on, diagonal to the current— less resistance, but you're treading more ground. (Roll.)It's sort of like a Rip isn't it, as long as we don't run out of energy we should be fine.One of the qtg / Valen Anon's checking in, managed to make it through the archives, it started a bit slow since I haven't read the original (yet, just need to make some more time)
>>4603896> Get a move on, diagonal to the current— less resistance, but you're treading more ground. (Roll.)
>>4603896> Get a move on, diagonal to the current— less resistance, but you're treading more ground. (Roll.)really ruining my image of you here Monty
>>4603914Cheers! Welcome! I know what you mean about the beginning-- back then my target audience included most of the people who'd read the original, so in retrospect I didn't (re)introduce the setting as well as I could've. I'm glad you stuck with it, though. Do you have any comments or questions? The original is mainly useful for a deeper understanding of Ellery (he's the former MC), as a recap of the basic setting w/ more focus on blood and its properties, and for catching inessential references I've thrown into Redux. If those things interest you, you're welcome to give it a shot... just know I redid it for a reason :^)
>>4603896> Get a move on, diagonal to the current— less resistance, but you're treading more ground. (Roll.)But if we believe it will be quicker, then it will be, no?Also we can catch up Monty on the pod people corporation and ask what he knows about Ellery's weirdness since we almost assuredly know both more and less about Ellery than he does.Maybe clue each other in on what we can do, since that could quickly become relevant.
Rolled 2 (1d16)>>4604222Checked.>But if we believe it will be quicker, then it will be, no?To some extent, but you can't take full advantage without a physical destination in mind, and you don't know where Horse Face is other than "probably at the other end of this current." It works by shrinking the distance between points A and B, not by literally making you faster.>>4603912>>4603914>>4603915>>4604078>>4604222>DiagonalCalling it here. >Please roll me 3 1d100s vs DC 55 (+5 Minor Resistance) to forge ahead.Spend 1 ID for +10 to all results? You are at 4/9 ID.> Yes> No[Since you're going off the beaten path, I'm rolling a random encounter regardless of result. Success or failure on this roll may modify how exhausted or surprised you are, as well as if you do get bludgeoned by anything.]
Rolled 31 (1d100)>>4604281Dice away!> No
Rolled 14 (1d100)>>4604281>> No
Rolled 66 (1d100)>>4604281
>>4604281Exhausted, surprised, and bludgeoned it is.
>>4604290>>4604294>>4604290>31, 14, 66 vs. DC 55 -- Mitigated Success>>4604355You guys still pulled out a success in some form, so I'll say no on the bludgeoning. Surprised and exhausted, very possible.Not writing yet, but the update will be out any time from now to 3 AM.
>Cattycorner>31, 14, 66 vs. DC 55 -- Mitigated Success"I'm serious," you insist, even as you trail after Monty. "This isn't— it's not funny. It's a perfectly reasonable suggestion.""To act normal?""Y— yeah." You wish he wouldn't put it like that. It sounds worse like that. "You can't just say it's 3 AM, which— I'm acting normal, aren't I?""Very much so.""So why can't you—""It's not that I can't, Charlotte." He pauses to pull a long strand of vegetation from his face. "There's a time and place for everything. That's all.""Oh," you say, "so because everything's flying to pieces, you get a free pass? You know what that is? That's a flimsy excuse, that's— Gil! You agree." Gil does not respond. You turn to discover he's attempting to keep his nose from sliding off his face. You turn back to Monty. "He agrees.""Alright, Charlotte." Monty plants the trident squarely into the ground. "You're not going to let this drop, are you? That would be tactful." You watch uncomfortably as he fumbles at buttoning up his shirt, fixing his collar, and arranging the cuff of his sleeve. He runs his hand up his face and through his hair, then drops it and looks right at you. "Are we satisfied?"He's raised his eyebrows, widened his eyes, put on a mild, disarming smile. (Were his teeth always so white?) It's possible he's softened his posture a fraction. Is that all? Because he seems somehow sanded down: anything rough about him shaved off, anything unsafe made regulation-compliant. Nice and inoffensive and bland as flour paste.And you ought to prefer this, but him standing there like he's about to sell you a house, juxtaposed with the sheer shrieking tumult of your entire surroundings, is making you anxious. He just doesn't belong."Can we talk about those letters you were supposed to get, Charlotte?""What?" You tug at your collar. "Now? We really— I-I don't think it's the right— I did get them, um, actually, I—""I'm joking." He loses the expression, and you're grateful for it. "Can we go?"You go. Though your decision to cut diagonally to the current is making forward progress much less painful, it's still a slog. Several times, you discover that the path ahead is gummed with branches or whole fallen trees; twice, you nearly swallow a mouthful of krill; once, you slip on a patch of mud and have so much issue getting up that Gil has to lift you by your collar. You do not thank him.Eventually, you find the courage to strike up conversation with Monty again. "So," you say. "I'm just thinking. You should probably tell me what your secret powers are."He tilts his head but keeps walking. "They're secret to me as well, I'm afraid.""Sure. You expect me to believe that?" You scoff. "I'm sorry, I'm not an idiot.""No, but a little off target, maybe." He smiles benignly. "Not everyone's Ellery, Charlotte. In fact, I'd wager most people down here are profoundly average."(1/4)
"Yeah, but we're not talking most people. We're talking you. You're telling me you're profoundly average?"Is there subtext in the smile? You can't tell. "I'm above-average at boxing, if you'd believe it.""With one arm.""Well, at one point I had two." He lifts his bandaged stump. "But life happens. I suppose I'm also above-average at… poker? And I'm told I have very good handwriting.""That's not what I mean," you gripe. "I meant, you know, special… like, for example, I'm imbued with magyckal energies."«I see we're just telling everyone about this now.»"Are you?" Monty raises his eyebrows. "Good for you."You squint. He does not appear sarcastic. "Thanks. So if there's anything like that about you, then…"He shakes his head. "Sorry."If he won't own up to it, there's nothing you can do. You lack any leverage. (Or proof.) "…Okay. So what's the deal with Ellery?""Ellery?""You keep mentioning him. I mean, I know about him already, but not what— not what you think of him.""Not what I think of him, eh." Monty looks over his shoulder at Gil. Gil waves back weakly. "Well, I'd be lying if I said he made my life easier. But he means well, usually."You nod. When an elaboration doesn't come, you hug your arms against your chest. "Um, okay. But what does he do that's so—""Nothing. He does hardly anything." (Another glance at Gil.) "Things just happen to him. I don't know why. I've asked him, he doesn't know why. He just attracts… complex situations. With collateral damage.""And you don't just kick him out?""On what grounds? I can't kick people out for being inconvenient." He rebalances the trident. "He's not malicious. He complies with the rules. He's pleasant enough company, if… exhausting. And Madrigal likes him."That you know well. "Yeah." "Or liked him, at least. It's hard to keep straight." It's not, at all, but okay. You're not getting anything useful here. "Yep. So, uh—"You inquire about the other Charlotte he saw. Monty grimaces, a little. "Looked just like you, but in a sort of… poncho. I must've been seeing things."Or alternately, you propose, it's your dastardly poncho-wearing clone, and then you have to explain that you're not joking or even exaggerating— has he not heard yet? You thought Eloise would've spread it around by now. (God. It really must be serious.) Anyhow, yeah, so there's these sewers, and— wouldn't Madrigal have said something? Oh, she's bedridden. Anyhow—You're so caught up in reexplaining the whole ordeal that you're almost able to ignore the physical aspect of fighting the current: it's just walking, isn't it? Well, no, it's walking while enormous ropes are dragging you backwards, and a crowd is flinging random garbage at your head, and there's no end in sight. But none of it hits you until you stop for a breather.(2/3? 4?)
It was Gil who asked to stop, so you blame him. (He protests something about his hands peeling off. You ignore that.) Your calves feel gelatinous. You really need to sit down.>[GAINED: Ow Your Legs — -10 to movement-related actions until resolved]«Or you could just let me help.»God, you almost forgot about Richard. Imagine that. Forgetting about Richard.«Believe it or not, I appreciate it when you don't require constant micro-management.»«Regardless, this is well within my skillset. I could even give them a tune-up, while we're at it.»This is very helpful. Suspiciously helpful. But then, he was suspiciously helpful earlier, with the whole rushing in thing.«On some occasions, it's more efficient to ensure your success at a cockamamie plan than to attempt to convince you of a sound one.»«That's all.»Still. You guess you should probably thank him. You lift him off your shoulders and hold him up to your face.«I'm just performing my assigned duties. Let go of me.»You hold him for a few seconds longer, until he begins to have the 'I will bite you' look on his snake face, then let go. He bobs in midair, black against the blue glow. It's hard to remember there's a person in there.«Charlie.»Not your father, necessarily. Not a human person. Just a… person person. He can't argue with that.«…»You wonder if you father would've helped you with cockamamie plans— ow! A brief shock at your neck.«We're not doing this.»Well, you think he could be more civil about it— okay, Monty's whistling for you. You hasten over. "I think this could be a good place to hunker down," he says. He sees your look. "Not for long, but… whatever's at the end, it'll be better to be rested. Even if it burns some time."He's pointing under the roots of an enormous tree— easily thrice your armspan around. The bark is deep brown, blackened in places by a thousand-year-old fire. You'd be surprised if this wasn't a landmark of some kind. "This should hold, from the looks of it," Monty continues. "And it's out of the current. That's something."You nod brusquely."Okay." He ducks underneath. You follow, as does Gil.(3/4)
It is cool, dim, and still among the roots of the tree. It is not quiet. There is an odd, persistent sucking noise, quite distinct from the sound of the current outside. Monty furrows his brow and raises a finger to his lips. The sucking continues.In the light of Monty's glorb, you sign a suggestion: split up, make sure it's nothing major. You're all competent, except maybe Gil, who's disintegrating anyhow. And it's not a large space. Monty shrugs. Gil has no comment. You declare victory, and two minutes later are picking your way over protruding roots and trapped floatsam. The sucking is louder here, you think. Some horrific tree parasite? It could be worse, you suppose, it could be—There are a lot of surprises packed into five seconds. The first: you round the corner to discover two people. The second: they are in the busy process of making out. The third: one of them is you. Or someone who looks very much like you. Or your gooplicate. Probably that. The fourth: the other person, the man, looks dimly familiar. Where do you know him from?«That appears to be the one who chased me with a javelin.»With a— oh. The museum. It's your pursuer, the Wind Court man who let you go. That does not help explain any of this.The fifth, the surprise that eclipses all the rest, is the fact there's a sword resting in a scabbard on the far side of the two people. You know that hilt. That's your hilt. That's The Sword, in the… steel. You're positive. You're dead certain.And the sixth surprise (pale in the face of #5) is that your gooplicate opens her eyes, sees you, whispers something in your pursuer's ear, shoves him aside, and lunges for your throat.>**Please roll me 3 1d100s to react!** Modifiers will be determined by the below choices, which should be made in addition to rolls.>[A] What do you do?!?!? (Write-in any sort of plan. Optional — your default is 'dodge.')ID: 4/(9)>[B1] Now's a GREAT time to make your legs feel better, Richard! (Spend 1 ID to remove the -10 malus.)>[B2] Now's an EVEN BETTER time to give your legs a tune-up, Richard! (Spend 2 ID to change the -10 to a +10 until Charlotte sleeps.)>[B3] GO CRAZY GO STUPID, Richard! (Spend 3 ID for a permanent +10 to leg days. Other things may occur.)>[B4] You are a strong independent woman who don't need no snake. (The -10 remains.)>[C] Write-in.Okay so "3:09 AM" is really close to "3:00 AM," if you squint, so I'm not late... ;_;
Rolled 21 (1d100)>>4605255[A] Swing mace to meet the assailant and hopefully manage to keep them away from our throat, then procced to reclaim our Birthright (The Sord?).>[B4] You are a strong independent woman who don't need no snake. (The -10 remains.)
>>4605255>[A]. Not exactly cry for help, but produce some sounds that could attract whatever allies we have who could, hypothetically, impose their unwanted assistance on us of their own volition. Also stab the impostor with the sword we have.>[B1] Now's a GREAT time to make your legs feel better, Richard! (Spend 1 ID to remove the -10 malus.
Rolled 39 (1d100)>>4605255>[B3] GO CRAZY GO STUPID, Richard! (Spend 3 ID for a permanent +10 to leg days. Other things may occur.)CRAZY CRAZY>Kick her in the tummy with your new super legs
Rolled 94 (1d100)>>4605255>[B1] Now's a GREAT time to make your legs feel better, Richard! (Spend 1 ID to remove the -10 malus.)
>>4605255>[A] What do you do?!?!? (Write-in any sort of plan. Optional — your default is 'dodge.')Duck to the side, and swing the mace, aiming for centre of mass. Even if it's not as good in our hands as The Sword, the chest is a big target. If the Gooplicate made internals, it could also fracture the fake bones into it's equivalent of organs too, If not, an impact weapon isn't great against goop, so it won't really matter where we hit it.>[B1] Now's a GREAT time to make your legs feel better, Richard! (Spend 1 ID to remove the -10 malus.)Rolls were already done, but we've got afight on our arms. Probably gonna use some ID in the next round though to boost arm strength.
>>4605261>>4605266>>4605417>>4605502>>4605823>21, 39, 94Cool.Bad news, folks: got some RL obligations, can't update today. Vote remains open. Modifiers and DC will be set when I officially call it tomorrow. >>4605261>>4605823>MaceWhat the hell is a mace? You're wielding a weirdly top-heavy sword.
>>4605255If we're fixing our legs, brace and stick the sword we have in the gooplicates centre of mass. We can also shove her off, and drop the stand-in sword to lunge for and grab OUR sword.Nothing can stop us from getting what is ours.
Rolled 49, 91, 41, 75, 12, 23, 55, 87, 47, 83, 20, 80 = 663 (12d100)>Had post mostly written>Cat stepped on keyboard, clicked on bookmark, when I come back to this tab all progress is deletedThe plight of a QM, folks. Anyhow, I come bearing more bad news: the thing I wanted to finish yesterday did not get finished, so I'll have to keep working on it today. If I'm lucky, I'll still be able to publish a short update, but I can't guarantee it. Sorry guys.That being said, I'm calling the vote here. >>4605266>>4605502>>4605823>B1>>4605417>B3>>4605261>B4>>4605261>>4605266>>4605823>>4606521>A: Dodge, whack it in the chest, call for... no reason, gun for SwordYour modifiers are as follows:>3 1d100s + 10 (+10 Good With Swords, +10 Highly Motivated, -10 Surprised!) vs. DC 50 >31, 49, 104 vs. DC 50 -- Mitigated SuccessI'm also rolling for everyone else involved. Modifiers and DCs in spoilers below.Your Gooplicate(?): 3d100 + 5 (+5 Bloodlusty) vs. DC 45 (-5 Acted Fast!)Your Pursuer: 3d100 - 10 (-5 Dazed, -5 Shoved) vs. DC 40 (-10 Within Reach)Monty: 3d100 + 15 (+10 Fit, +5 Nearby) vs. DC 50Gil: 3d100 - 15 (+5 Nearby, +5 Long-legged, -5 Preoccupied, -5 Uncoordinated, -15 Literally Melting) vs DC 50
>>4607115>Enhanced Success>Mitigated Success>Enhanced Success>SuccessAs always, higher degrees of success beat lower degrees when goals are conflicting.
>>4607115oh fugg our gooplicatemonty pls help
>>4607409Can't Richard outright melt gooplicates?
>>4607409On the other hand, imagine how fulfilling it will be to kill ourself but not really.Work out some of that self hatred.
>>4607421He did explode Lester's gooplicate, but that was under unusual circumstances (he was in unreality, was currently possessing you, and didn't actually mean to explode him... it was on accident). He wouldn't be able to do that again here.
>>4607432Well. Can we attack her mentally by bitching about the shitty job they did copying us?Snogging some random guardsman in a storm? Has she no standards at all?
>>4607459You can attempt that, sure! (Next round.)
Terribly, terribly sorry, folks. Tomorrow for 100% certain. I'll try and compensate for these missing updates at a later date (Monday?).
>Fight!You want desperately to react in a cool and stylish way to this, for example diving under the gooplicate's legs and plunging Ixelbraith into the small of its back, or doing something involving a somersault, but you mostly stand there gaping until the muscles of your legs relax against your will and you crumple to the ground.>[-1 ID: 3/12]«Hm. May have overdone that one.»He's trying to make your legs feel better now? «No time like the present, Charlie. Focus.»You blink. The gooplicate is struggling to regain its footing: it overextended on its initial lunge, having failed to predict your strategic collapse. Idiot. There is something metal and spiked newly in its hand— grown out of its hand?«That's a mace.»It's clearly not, but you can argue later: you are busy staggering to your feet, busy trying and failing to loose Ixelbraith from its scabbard (why is it so difficult?), busy succeeding in the nick of time— you meet the gooplicate's downwards blow with the flat of your blade. The judder goes up your arms so fast and shaky you drop it, you nearly drop it, you would've dropped it if you could but you have a death grip on the hilt courtesy of Richard. And the sound! A tinny screech so close-sharply terrible you'd almost rather be bludgeoned. But God! You refuse to die to yourself, that would be a level of dramatic irony too severe to contemplate. So you drag your sword out from under the gooplicate's weapon—«Mace.»—its undefined weapon, with another prolonged screech, and before it can react or defend slam it directly into its stomach. It buckles, with a splorch, and you seize the opportunity to hurtle past it— for your goal isn't the gooplicate, you don't care about the gooplicate. Your goal is The Sword, and the only thing now in the way is Your Pursuer, who in his own plodding way has rolled to his feet, and is— no!!!!! You scream something incoherent that intended to be "GET YOUR FILTHY HANDS OFF THAT," and put on a burst of speed, but it's too late. He levels The Sword at you like he owns it.It is glorious and beautiful in person (not that he'd appreciate that) but you are more preoccupied with skidding back to avoid his swing. It was a warning, a 'back off': you'd be stuffing your guts back in if it wasn't. You were wide open. "Halt, fiend!", he says, or something dumb like that. You aren't listening. How to disarm him? Can you hit it out of his hands? Or will you have to pry it from his stiffened fingers—«Behind you.»You turn, belatedly, to discover two things: Monty is here! Or arriving, anyways, sprinting full-tilt up out of the darkness, face pale and trident clasped overhead. He skids a little when he sees you, and manages a constricted "LOOK OU—"(1/2)
The second thing is that the gooplicate's weapon is gone. Huh. And also that it has recovered, and is slinking up behind you, and you only have a fraction of a second to process this before it's too late— it has seized you by the shoulder and plunged a syringe into your neck. "Sorry, sweetheart," it hisses in a voice not your own, and withdraws. You are pleased to hear a subsequent gargle as Monty rams the trident into its back, but that does nothing to help your situation. Which is— you don't know what it is. Have you been poisoned? You don't want to be poisoned. Who wants to be poisoned? Not you. Ahaha. Oh, God.«Calm down. I can't focus when you're panicking.»You're not— you're not panicking, and also, maybe, this isn't about you, Richard, this is—«Let me put this another way. Calm down or I won't be able to expel the catalyst from your system.»«You don't want to degrade into undifferentiated semi-conscious sludge, do you. Because that is what's happening. To you. Right now.»You don't want that.«That's better. I'll accept 'scared stiff.'»«You may experience minor symptoms. Do not complain to me about them. This is normally fatal.»«You are, as ever, incomparably lucky to have me around.»Yep.>[GAINED: New Sympathy For Gil's Degrading Body — Symptoms will occur over time. Modifiers may vary.]You are standing still. You feel okay, a little dizzy, though that might be from adrenaline or stress. Monty's trident is buried in the side of the gooplicate, who is oozing blood behind you. You can taste it in the water. Your Pursuer is slightly crouched, watching uncertainly: he seems unsettled by the addition of Monty, or just by the presence of you. You can't tell.You can't just stand here and wait to die.>All options will require rolls, excepting possible write-ins. Please select options in the manner of [1A], [2B], etc.> You need The Sword. That's the start and end of it. Attack Your Pursuer.>>[A] Rely on brute strength. Knock The Sword clean out of his hands. >>[B] Rely on cunning and dexterity. Cut him in other places, so he has no choice but to drop it. >>[C] Rely on your natural, er, charm. He seems reasonable, or at least not immediately psychotic. Negotiate. (What do you say? Write-in.)>>[D] Write-in. (You may elaborate on any of the above if desired.)> You need *revenge.* Monty has made a great start, but a side wound isn't exactly fatal. Attack the gooplicate.>>[A] Just go to town on it. You want it to die. >>[B] Keep it alive, if injured. You need to interrogate it.>>[C] Write-in. (Attack strategies, etc.)> Write-in. You are low on ID. You may consider attempting to gain some back.
>>4608677>>[C] Rely on your natural, er, charm. He seems reasonable, or at least not immediately psychotic. Negotiate. (What do you say? Write-in.)WHY DO YOU HAVE MY FAMILY SWORD!!! WHY WERE YOU WITH A GOOP PERSON.If you're here to fight fiends, you picked the wrong side, for more reasons than just the fact that if you fight us you're gonna get beaten.
>>4608677>>[C] Write-in. (Attack strategies, etc.)Brag about beating their previous boss, and their snake, and now them.Mention that this time, death won't be the escape they hope for it to be.
>>4608677>>>[B] Rely on cunning and dexterity. Cut him in other places, so he has no choice but to drop it. We are a nimble maiden, not an over-muscled brute like Madrigal. This is the most appropriate action, since the time for words has passed.>>>[A] Just go to town on it. You want it to die. There's only Charlotte in this stretch of ocean, and that is us!>Shit-talk them relentlessly about failures of the previous facility. Plus, that goo-plicate doesn't even look the slightest thing like us! It's hair is an absolute mess, and you certainly are nowhere near that lanky and unkempt! If it was just a hair more drawn-out and taller , it'd be like a female Ellery, and that's practically more insulting than the fact that it turned over The Sword to it's associate!
>>4608683Before I go to bed: You can only pick one option between  and , not options from both  and  (that's why they're number-letter, not letter-number). Let me know which one you'd prefer between 1B and 2A.
>>4608685Going with  [B] then. Monty can handle the Gooplicate, we need to take care of the malcontent who's holding The Sword.
>>4608677>1CThat's mine, gimme.
>>46086771C for me
>>4608680>>4609105>>4609109>1C>>4608686>1B>>4608681>>4608683>Miscellaneous tauntingCalled for 1C-- since >>4609105 >>4609109 have nothing about what to say, I'll go with >>4608680 plus the additional write-ins. >Please roll me 3 1d100s vs. DC 70 (+20 His Hookup is Being Stabbed to Death Right Behind You, +10 No Negotiation With Terrorists, +5 That's His Sword, -5 Law and Order, -5 Rattled, -5 ???) to attempt to convince the guy to give you The Sword back!Spend 1 ID for a +10 to the results? You are at 3/9 not 3/12 that was a 2 AM typo ID.> Y> NEveryone else will be rolled for after these are in.
Rolled 62 (1d100)>>4609169> YWe're probably going to need Richard's help for this one.
Rolled 50 (1d100)>>4609169
>>4609188[Y] forgot ID
Rolled 43 (1d100)>>4609169Y
>>4609169Whelp. Hopefully our convo detains him at least for long enough that Monty can kill the gooper.Would it have helped to tell him that he was probably actually making out with a man using our body? And that we don't appreciate anything about this.Even though it's nice he thinks our body is attractive, We guess.
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>4609169yea spend
>>4609217>Would it have helped...Helped him give you The Sword? No, he has no reason to believe you. You'd have to either convince him you're not the gooplicate and that you needed The Sword more than he does, or scare him shitless, in order to get The Sword back.(You're kinda-sorta accomplishing the latter, but only thanks to Richard.)As a reminder about Wind Court motivations, since they haven't come up in a while: they want life to be how it was on the surface, and therefore shun and loathe all manner of weird shit.Give me a while to write up the rest of the rolls.
Rolled 20, 80, 75, 34, 79, 83, 37, 8, 90 = 506 (9d100)>>4609185>>4609188>>4609212Sorry about the delay, had to deal w. my family.>72, 60, 53 vs. DC 70 -- Mitigated Success>SpendRolling for everyone else. Your Pursuer is not taking an action that requires a roll.Your Gooplicate(?): 3d100s + 0 (+5 Bloodlusty, +5 Pissed, -10 Moderately Wounded) vs. DC 55 (-5 One-Handed Grip, +10 Trained For This)Monty: 3d100s + 20 (+10 Trained For This, +10 Responsible For Her Safety) vs. DC 60 (+10 Slippery Target)Gil: 3d100s + 15 (+15 Insectoid Nature) vs. DC 65 (+10 LOTS OF YELLING, +5 Who Dareith Disturb Me)
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4609325>Success>Success>Mitigated SuccessRolling to see who wins out between Monty (1) and the gooplicate (2). Writing shortly.
>p-pwease give me my sword back mr. guardsman :3c>72, 60, 53 vs. DC 70 -- Mitigated Success>Spend IDFrom the sounds of it, Monty has your gooplicate thoroughly handled. Good. You hope it dies. Meanwhile, Your Pursuer is still standing there. You hate him for his inaction. He should be killing you.You lurch forward, and he again levels The Sword at you. "I said halt, fiend!""I'm not a fiend!" It comes out more shrieky than you intended. "Shut up about fiends! I— if you want to fight a stupid fiend, there's one right there! Go get it!""I-I will not fall for your trickery, fiend." He is blinking rapidly. "Just because you have assumed the form of my—""I've assumed the form? It's the— and you're the real villain here! Whoever you are! You're a rotten thief! Why do you have my SWORD?!""You- you gave it to—" He blinks harder. Is he afflicted with a highly localized seizure? "Drop your weapon!"You stare at Ixelbraith. "What? Why would I?""Y-you're under arrest! Drop your weapon!"He's not making any sense. "But you need me to drop my weapon in order to arrest me. And you're not— could we stay on topic? Why are you, pardon my language, necking with— with me! But a— a goo person?!"The long pause that follows is punctuated by Monty's sharp exhales and a single cry from your gooplicate. Your Pursuer tightens his hold on The Sword. "She's not a— she's not a goo— you are.""No I'm not," you say. "And it's not a she, it's a it. Or a he, possibly, if it were a—"«I am preoccupied for all of three minutes and the situation immediately devolves into complete inanity. Typical.»«If I stopped to choreograph this for you, you would experience a complete loss of skeletal integrity. So take this quickly and be useful.»«Please.»>[-1 ID: 2/(9)]"—a, a—" Your voice is stuck fast in your throat. "—a... a person. Oh." It has not emerged unchanged: there is a new slick quality to it, like you've slugged a bottle of castor oil. "Mmm. Alright.""Fiend!" Your Pursuer seems to have composed himself. "I am immune to your— to your powers of persuasion! Do not attempt—"«He can't just shut down his snap judgments. Do attempt.»"Would you stop with the 'fiend'?" you say. "I— we went over this already. It's stupid. It looks nothing like me.""What?" he manages. "Yes it—""No it doesn't. Its hair is all… gross, and matted, and stuff." (You will have to double-check your own hair when you get back.) "And its— I mean, its fashion sense is atrocious. A poncho?"He is grimacing. "If you do not drop your weapon, I will be forced to engage you in- in single combat.""Well, okay then!" You spread your hands. "Do it!"«Please, Charlie.»"You'll lose, but it'd be better than— I mean, losing is all you guys ever do, isn't it? You nab a snake, then you lose it. You have a whole fancy facility thing, and you lose that too—""What?"(1/2)
Not ringing any bells. Damn. You thought he might be a double agent, or something, given his association with the gooplicate (currently shouting something muffled). "It— nevermind. The point is that I'll kick your ass, okay? So just try it. Bitch."«You are the worst.»Your Pursuer wavers. He's obviously unmoved by the content of your speech, but something in your tone of voice has struck a nerve. "I-I will try it.""No you won't," you say. "Because you're a bitch. And you know that if you tried, I'd cut out your eyes. And then I'd cut out your intestines, and I'd shove them into your gross bleeding eye sockets, and they'd come out your nose.""It doesn't work like that," he mumbles. He's telling it to himself. "That doesn't make any sense.""Or you could give me my damn sword, and I'll leave you alone. Huh?"He shakes his head feebly, but takes a step forward. You got it! Wow! Look at you. And Richard barely even contributed, that was all your brilliant—"JESSE!" The gooplicate is finally unmuffled. "STOP TALKING TO THE SHITTY—"Your Pursuer (Jesse?) blanches, shudders, and seems finally to come to a decision. He turns and runs.You feel pretty good about this.>[+2 ID: 4/(9)]And then you realize he still has The Sword. "HEY!" you scream at his rapidly receding back. "HEY! THAT'S NOT ALLOWED! YOU CAN'T JUST—"Monty cuts you off with his first noise above a grunt: a sharp strangled yell. You whip around. The gooplicate is prone, a trident sunk partially into its chest— blood is gelling around the entry wounds. Something twines around the trident's handle. Tentacles? Like a jellyfish? Monty has fallen to the ground, his hand on his ankle.You try to imagine the situation. Monty managing to pin the gooplicate, maybe muffling it with his foot — attempting to withdraw his trident, to find it glued in place, by the goo's flesh or its tentacles(?) or both — meanwhile, the gooplicate creates a knife, and slashes at his tendons —Or something like that. Well. Well, there was definitely a knife involved: the gooplicate, still prone, is bringing one to its lips. It licks Monty's blood off the iron.And then it gasps, and ripples once all over, and it is Monty— not quite entirely Monty, its hands and neck are still feminine, and it's still inexplicably in the poncho, and it has two arms— but very close. The trident remains in its chest, but it grasps it, the tentacles unwind, and it pulls it out quite easily. The real Monty has yet to stand.> You should intervene.>>[A] You need to keep it on the ground! Tackle it before it stands!>>[B] You need to get it away from Monty! Bait it towards you!>>[C] You need to finish the job! Just bash the damn thing's head in!>>[D] Write-in. (Feel free to elaborate on any of the above.)> Damn Monty! Apparently he's a competent boxer, and Gil will come by eventually to help. He'll be fine. Chase after your fleeing Pursuer. > Write-in.
>>4609817>>[D] Write-in. (Feel free to elaborate on any of the above.)Grab the Trident with our two good arms and use that to pin the gooplicate down so that Monty can finish the job.Running after the sword itself doesn't mean a damn thing if doing so requires us becoming unworthy of the sword.We know now, about this *Jesse*, and he won't get away forever.
>>4609988>>4609817Wait, no, I thought that the Trident was still in the chest for some reason. We still have our lower case our sword, yes? Rush up while it's got a shitty grip on the trident still and get in its range, and then cut its hand (hopefully plural) off.Sure, it can pull itself together, but I bet dismemberment is harder to fix.Channel all our burning rage into the strike, and also try to set the gooplicate on fire with our mind at the same time. It stole our fucking sword, and then gave it away. To a bitch.
>>4609997+1 This. Cut a bitch plz.
>>4609997Just to be clear: you're welcome to try really hard to set people on fire with your mind, that's a very Charlotte thing to do, but it's not going to work. You're not a wizard, and you don't have the benefit of dream logic right now. (Also, you're underwater, which does count for some things.)
>>4610023(I put this because it was unclear how serious you were being-- if you meant it as a futile in-character gesture, by all means carry on.)>>4609997And you do still have your lowercase sword (Ixelbraith), yeah.
>>4610023>you're welcome to try really hard to set people on fire with your mind, that's a very Charlotte thing to do, but it's not going to work. You're not a wizard, and you don't have the benefit of dream logic right now. (Also, you're underwater, which does count for some things.)Pretty sure that we can start a fire with our hands after we beat the gooplicate up and burn it that way.Oooh, wait, can we enter the Gooplicates manse and set it on fire in there?
>>4610030>>4610030Also if possible can we try to kick the Gooplicate in the junk now that they have one? Really stomp and grind, until Monty feels uncomfortable about it.
>>4609817> You should intervene.>>[C] You need to finish the job! Just bash the damn thing's head in!We didn't come all the way out here to find and say Monty's ass so the he could die to a pile of gunk pretending to be him. Tackling it is just asking to get trapped in it's gooey embrace, so do a cut to it's face. Maybe it'll catch a concussion?
>>4610074>Start a fire with our handsLike, shooting fire out of your hands? Because no, you're not a wizard, no matter how much you want to be. Setting a fire with matches or a lighter? ...Also no. It's just too implausible. The Wind Court can do it [Your Pursuer/Jesse had a lit torch back at the museum], but they use special methods you don't have access to.>Can we enter the Gooplicate's manse...Almost certainly not, for a number of reasons. One is that, if it is a gooplicate, it doesn't have one. It's not sapient. Two is that if it's not a gooplicate, and it is sapient, not everyone has one: you have to either choose to create one or choose to get one installed. Three is that most manses are, by default, guarded from direct entry: Ellery was a weird exception. (It might be worth following up on that.) Four is that you'd need Richard to do that, and he's very busy making you not die.>>4610077Sure, you can do that. It's not a perfect copy, though, so you can't guarantee it has junk to kick, or that kicking the hypothetical junk will be excruciating. Worth a groinshot, though.(1/2 lol)
>>4610074And an additional tangent on the way baseline weirdness works underwater, which has been touched upon but not thoroughly exposited. In bullet points so I can keep it all straight. Read legal as "possible in normal reality." - In short, It's all a confidence trick: you are violating the laws of reality, but pretending that you aren't. -You may or may not do this consciously; it doesn't matter.-This is possible to do because the laws are inherently weaker underwater.-The easier it is to pretend you're doing something legal (and/or the closer to legal it is), the easier it is to actually pull off. - The laws, though not sentient, are to some extent 'trickable'-- if you really believe in something, it's more likely to come across as something you're supposed to do, and therefore legal. Ditto for visualizing something in great detail.- The above only works for things close to being legal in the first place, though. Things like (but not limited to) "I will find this small ordinary object in my pocket" and "I will arrive at X destination" and "this gun is loaded" and "I am certain something is following me."- As a rule of thumb: the more small/simple/mundane/plausible an action is, the more likely it will work. "A matchbook will appear in my hand": no, unless you're very talented. "I have a matchbook in my jacket pocket": sure. "I have a blowtorch in my bag": no, unless you make a habit of carrying around blowtorches. "This match will light underwater": yes, until it gets pointed out that's impossible, in which case the law kicks in. "This blowtorch will light a campfire underwater": no. - Things unreal by nature have an easier go at all of the above.
>>4609817>1CAt least we know where the real Sord is now
>1A and 1CFirst we jump it, Then... we bash it's skull in. It's more productive and secure this way.
>>4609988>>4610006>Cut its hand off>>4610123>>4610299>>4610364 (+ tackle)>KILL MODECalled. I'll say you get the hand if you roll high, and I'll toss a groin shot in too. Buy one get one free.>Please roll me 3 1d100s + 10 (+10 Good With Swords, +5 AAAAAA, -5 Dissolution) vs. DC 65 (+10 Slippery Target, +10 Fit, -5 Still Wounded) to murder this thing dead.
Rolled 37 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4610432Get some ya gooey devil!
Rolled 84 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4610432Kill time!
Rolled 40 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4610432I feel like we'll need Monty to recover quick and help outwtf is gil doing? he can't even say he's dissolving as an excuse because now we are too
Rolled 45 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4610432
>>4610432How do dice work here again? One person needs to pass for a pass, or average has to be good?
>>4610446Degrees of success, so as long as one of the three rolls passes the DC we succeed if more pass, we succeeded better'er.
>>4610446Dice rules are in the OP: >>4598690In short, it's degrees of success: the # of rolls that pass the DC determine the result.>>4610435>>4610436>>4610437>47, 94, 50 vs. DC 65 -- Mitigated SuccessForgot to ask for ID spending, whoops, but since it won't change the result I presume nobody wants it.Give me a hot second to write up the rest of the rolls.
Rolled 92, 35, 59, 42, 70, 96 = 394 (6d100)>>4610450Whoops, was beaten to it. (This is what I get for mobileposting.) This anon is correct.Other rolls (Gil is not rolling):The gooplicate(?): 3d100s + 10 (+10 Fit, +5 Bloodlusty, +5 Pissed, -5 Still Wounded, -5 Kicked in the Ambiguous Genitals) vs. DC 50Monty: 3d100s + 5 (+10 Trained For This, +10 Responsible For Her Safety, -15 Crippled) vs. DC 60 (+10 Slippery Target)
>>4610464>Success, SuccessOnce again flipping for it, then writing... in a while. I have a TTRPG in about 3 hours, so it's possible this will be published late at night my timezone.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4610467Fug.
>>4610467I think your system doesn't hold up well in case of opposing rolls.
>>4610474I wouldn't even call it a system, it's a hackjob slapped together because I don't have the patience or willpower to create actual rules for combat. (If it wasn't clear, crunch is not my thing.) Maybe I'll streamline it and say highest bonuses wins out, who knows.
>Just murder it>47, 94, 50 vs. DC 65 -- Mitigated SuccessWhat are you doing? You can't just stand here and let Monty die— you'd never hear the end of it from Madrigal. 'Oh, I sent you to get him back safe!' 'Oh, you're so irresponsible!' All in that same smarmy tone. You could never live it down. So you tense, and duck your head: you'll just bull-rush the gooplicate, you think, it can't possibly be expecting that. Before you can take the first step, though, your chest seizes. Something rises in your throat; you clutch your neck. "Ghrk."The gooplicate, stepping over Monty's crouched form, stops to look at you. "To tell the truth, I thought you'd be dead already."Your response is to double over and purge a quart of pale blue phlegmy goop onto the ground between your feet. It feels like you've been socked in the stomach. "Must have a hardy constitution," it says thoughtfully. Its voice is very close to Monty's. "But that there's a good sign. Another few minutes, and that's all that'll be left of you."You make a rude gesture at it. (You feel somewhat unclean for doing so, but you're breathing too heavily for speech.)"You can't stop it, sweetheart. I don't carry an antidote." The gooplicate prods Monty gently with the trident. "If it's any consolation, you'll be put to good use, okay? I'm Human Resources, this is my job. You won't rot in a vat."What is it about evil people and talking so much, you wonder. You kick some rocks over the goop. Is it because they have nobody else to talk to? They resort to their victims? You can't imagine having to stoop that low.«…»"Of course, we don't have vats anymore. Some kind of freak accident, or I don't know what, brought the whole thing down— but, hey, I should take care of this sap, sweetheart. Sit tight."She prods Monty less gently with the trident, and that's when you commit to a bull-rush: you raise Ixelbraith above your head, brace your shoulders, and barrel straight towards the gooplicate. You stop short just before you ram into it, and feed your momentum into an overhead chop it barely dodges. The graze on its cheek heals over before your eyes."Why go to all the trouble?" it forces out between slashes of your sword. "You're well on your way already. Feel the injection site."Against your better judgment, you do. The skin there is soft and sunken, and when you press it with a thumb it caves further. Whatever's under it isn't muscle."See? It— aghk!" You have taken the time to drive a pointy boot into its crotch. To your disappointment, it only produces a momentary distraction, not complete debilitation— but still, you press your advantage, scoring hits on its arms and slashing away at its poncho. (1/3?)
It takes little notice of your efforts, though, and finally— when it sees Monty stand in its peripheral vision— sighs and delivers a stunning blow to your head. You teeter, but don't fall, and it follows up with a thrust to your gut. Your clumsy twist is not enough to evade it, and the trident punctures your side.When it withdraws the trident, you fall, and watch sideways the gooplicate stalking over to Monty. He is unarmed, and leaning noticably on his good foot, but still assumes a combat stance. "You let him die to what?", future-Madrigal says in your head, and you groan. You're definitely bleeding— you can feel it, sticky down your side. "That's not an excuse," she snaps, at the exact right frequency to get on your nerves.You groan harder, and push yourself up. The gooplicate's back is to you, but Monty sees you and furrows his brow. He smiles slightly, as if to say 'maybe it's time'——and this is enough to really get you riled. Ungrateful prick! You're going to save him, and then you're going to shove that in his stupid long alive face. You shoot all the way to your feet, grasp Ixelbraith's handle with two hands, and charge—But it hears you and turns, trident poised to run you through——and then Monty punches it in the back of the head. It falls face-first, the trident bouncing out of its hands and rolling all the way to your feet. You pick it up, weigh it in your hands, then offer it back to Monty.The gooplicate is unconscious. Easier to kill that way, you suppose. You raise your sword and aim it at its neck."Hey. No." Monty's voice is raspy. "You're not going to kill them, Charlotte."You gesture emphatically at the rips in your coat, the deep cut at his ankle, back at the goop you vomited up. He shakes his head. "It's not right.""What, are you a pacifist?" Why did you stick your neck out for him, again?"No, I just…" He rubs his scalp and smiles, all teeth. "Take my word for it, okay? I've been around a fair bit longer than you have, if you don't mind me saying. If nothing else, it's worth at least talking to them."You snort. "Yeah, okay. That—" Something is gnawing at you. "Where is Gil?"As if on cue, a gunshot rings out, loud enough to make you clap your hands over your ears— then the shockwave follows, blasting water up your nose and into your eyes and mouth. You sputter. "God!"Monty glances between you and the gooplicate (or whatever the hell it is). "Are you—"(Choices next.)
>[A1] Fine! Go see if Gil's in mortal peril or whatever, leave Monty with the thing. Hopefully it doesn't wake up before you get back.>[A2] Gil self-described himself as being bad in fights: if he has any sense at all, he'll be sprinting in your direction after firing that shot. Stay here.>[A3] Write-in.IF [A2] OR EQUIVALENT WRITE-IN IS PICKED ABOVE:>[B1] You're 'glad' to see Monty reverting to his traditional cramp in your style, but you'll have to make the most of it. You have questions for the gooplicate. (What are your question[s]? Write-in. If none are written in, Monty will lead the interrogation.)>[B2] This is nonsense. This thing attempted to murder both of you, and would've succeeded if you didn't have Richard to patch you up. Kill it while it's out, whatever Monty says.>[B3] Write-in.REGARDLESS OF CHOICE OF [A]:>[C1] They're not mortal wounds, but the punctures in your side may impede you in future fights. Have Richard divert some of his attention towards patching them up. (Future malus removed, but your symptoms will worsen.)>[C2] No, he should focus on ensuring you don't melt, even if it hurts. (Future malus in combat, should there be more of that.)>[C3] If you give enough of yourself, maybe he can cover more ground. (Future malus removed, symptoms remain as is. -2 ID)>[D] Write-in.
>>4611432>[A1] Fine! Go see if Gil's in mortal peril or whatever, leave Monty with the thing. Hopefully it doesn't wake up before you get back.Gil's shit in a fight, but he's also kind of melting, and won't be able to run too well.>[C2] No, he should focus on ensuring you don't melt, even if it hurts. (Future malus in combat, should there be more of that.)We already have one person melting away, better deal with it first.
>>4611432>A1We can't abandon our project>C2
>>4611432>[A1] Fine! Go see if Gil's in mortal peril or whatever, leave Monty with the thing. Hopefully it doesn't wake up before you get back.Stab the Gooplicate dead first though. It's nice Monty wants to get info, but time and place make that a luxury we can't afford. His opinion has been noted, and disregarded.>[C2] No, he should focus on ensuring you don't melt, even if it hurts. (Future malus in combat, should there be more of that.)
Gonna give it 10 more minutes to see if anyone else is for or against the new write-in (murdering the gooplicate and skedaddling) >>4611639, then calling it.
>>4611438>>4611595>>4611639>>4611649>A1 (+ stabbing)>>4611436>A2Unanimous: C2Called. No rolls required. Writing... soonish.
>Fatality!You nod curtly, but you don't go. You linger by the body. "Charlotte—" Monty says.What right does he have to stop you? What does he know? None and nothing. You'd be doing the world a service by killing the thing. You'd be doing him a favor. It's not even killing, really, it's extinguishment. Stamping out a bug. You thrust the point of your sword deep into the gooplicate's exposed neck, and lean on the hilt until it pierces the spine. For good measure, you cut around the neck, too, and watch the blood waft away in a single great cloud. Then you slice through the cloud, too, breaking it up. You have no use for ghosts.Monty watches silently, neither helping nor trying to stop you. He looks tired. There is blood on your hands, on your sleeves, smeared across your face where you tried to wipe it off. You'll be horrified by it later, you're sure, but right now you just feel numb. Finally, you leave, turning on your heel without a word. You walk, then run, somewhat mechanically. You're unsure where Gil is, but the space under the tree is only so large, so after a minute of slashing through dangling roots you bump straight into him. He starts, and raises his pistol, but lowers it when he sees it's you. "You're bloody!""It's not my blood." You squint through the gloom. "Where'd your lower jaw go?"He touches the roof of his exposed mouth. "…I-it fell off.""Ah." Stupid question, stupid answer. "Bummer. Are you— okay otherwise?""What?""Are you in mortal peril? At all?""Uh…" He blinks. "Maybe- maybe normal peril? Um. There's a big spiky rainbow worm. I don't know how else to put it. And it— um, I either scared it off or... pissed it off. A couple minutes ago."You pause. "The gunshot.""Um, yes. It doesn't like sound, or light, or… it kept wanting to eat you guys, and I had to convince it, um, to not… I sound crazy.""I've heard worse." You scratch your forehead. "But you're not in excruciating pain or anything?"He shakes his head. "But we should, um, leave fast. I don't want— it had big jaws."> Set off again, directly against the current. [Harder roll, but random encounter only on failure / mitigated success.]> Set off again, diagonal to the current. [Easier roll, but guaranteed random encounter.]> Hold on. Jesse the Sword thief is still out there, along with all those other unknown people. If you use your ~*~super radical earth powers~*~ (Richard is too busy to complain about your naming), you could track them down? (-1 ID)> Write-in.
>>4611936> Write-in.Chase down Jessie. We got Monty, now we need our sword back, then we can fix whatever is going on here.
>>4611944It's been a while since he fled, and with the current messing everything up there's unlikely to be an obvious path to follow. If you want to find him again, your best bet is , or else hoping you get lucky with random encounters.
>>4611936>2We're low on ID, we're wounded, there's still the current to deal with. It super sux but I think we should get the Sord back another day. We know who has it now so we're closer than we were.
> I don't even want the sword back, I just want to kill jessie.
>>4611996>2>>4612038>>4611944>3* (*and a write-in that wants to accomplish the same thing 3 would -- in the absence of a clarified vote, I'm going with this)Called. This will not require a roll.
>Down & dirty"Leave fast," you say, crouching. "Yeah. Yeah, we'll do that, just as…"Gil peers down at you. "This doesn't look like leaving. Um. …I-if you don't mind me saying.""We'll still leave fast, just not… immediately. Give me a minute. Gee." You bury your palms in the mud. "You're so picky."He cringes. "It's not that, I-I-I just—"Whatever. You attempt to focus. God, your side's really starting to hurt. Can't Richard—?«Busy.»Right. Right, okay, so you'll just have to live with it. Good. That's—«I implore you to shut up.»Well, you implore him to— you shudder at the crackling energy up your spine and fall limp. >[-1 ID: 3/(9)]Back under the ground. You have to admit, some of the mystique is lost after twice in one day, but at least you can't feel your wounds. In return, though, everything's sort of cold and slow and sludgy. Is that always how it feels to be out of one's body? Or have you sort of become the dirt? (Ew.)Whatever it is, it's an unusual break from form. Richard is always messing with your body, always monitoring your blood pressure and tinkering with your tooth enamel and seizing control of your legs and whatnot. That's all fine— you've ceased to care. (Were you really so worried about it, such a short time ago?) But this is not that: this is weirder, more abstract. More loosey-goosey. More… okay, more magyck.«You know I can still hear you.»Yet curiously he is not denying it. «I am denying it.»You don't believe him, frankly. It is Magyck, it is Earth Magyck, an established type (though not one you'd fully understood, for much of your childhood, being suspended a good couple miles above the earth's crust). And you are going with that until you recieve a better explanation.«Perhaps the smiling man is right. We are actually in hell.»Anyhow, there is a stupidly large worm just under your feet. Gil wasn't kidding. From your impressions of its movement, it's the height of a man, and the length of fifteen. Is it gearing to attack? That you can't tell: it's just squirming in place.Farther out is Monty, who is pacing back and forth, all his weight on one foot. And then there's others: the hurried footsteps now circling in place, the heavy footsteps coming to meet those of someone slowing out of a run. Jesse's. So there you have it: location pinpointed. Easy. You pull yourself back towards your body with little interference, but hesitate when you once again sense the worm. You are having a good idea.«A stupid idea.»A good idea. What if you, like, talked to it? (Spiritually.) And convinced it to burrow in the direction you wanted? You could just walk along, undeterred by currents above. It's brilliant. It's genius.«I assure you it's not.»(Choices next.)
> Attempt to establish contact with the worm. [Roll.]OR> Okay, Mr. No Fun Allowed, you'll just go the normal way.>>[A] Head directly for Jesse and the person with the booted footsteps. [Roll.]>>[B] Head directly for the person with the hurried footsteps. [Roll.]>>[C] Now that you know where everyone is, make sure *not* to run into them. Head into or diagonal to the current as normal. (Please specify direct or diagonal. You will be guaranteed not to run into people, though you may have other types of events.) [Roll.]> Write-in.
>>4612212> Attempt to establish contact with the worm. [Roll.]If we ever have to build another body we can build it out of worms!
Rolled 30 (1d100)>>4612225+1
>>4612212>1What could possibly go wrong?
>>4612225>>4612228>>4612238>Reject Richard, embrace wormOkay! Time to do this good idea that cannot possibly go wrong.>Please roll me 3 1d100s + 5 (+5 ???) vs. DC 65 (-5 Ingested Blood, +5 Agitated, +15 Unknowable Mind) to successfully and safely contact the worm!Richard can't help with this, and would refuse to help regardless, so no option for +10.
Rolled 23 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4612248
>>4612251I have no idea if you'll be around, but if you are and nobody else rolls in the next half hour or so, feel free to get the rest.
Rolled 14 + 5 (1d100 + 5)>>4612248
Rolled 47 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4612254time to not fail!!!
Rolled 82 (1d100)>>4612248
>>4612287DON'T COUNT MY ROLL COUNT THIS GUY ABOVE
>>4612287You can't roll twice while I'm here m8
>>4612296Hooray for not failing.Also linked back to wrong roll. Link to >>4612293
You guys are lucky bastards. You're right, I prioritize rolls by new IPs.>>4612251>>4612260>>4612293>28, 19, 87 vs. DC 65 -- Mitigated SuccessUpdate within five hours or so. (I'll write right before I go to bed.)
>>4612308>[-1 ID: 2/(9)] >>4609815>[-1 ID: 3/(9)] >>4612207I sense a bookkeeping mistake somewhere
>>4612337You went back up to 4/9 here: >>4609817
>>4612339Imagine all the ego we're gonna get from getting our sword back.
>>4612370Don't jinx it
>Oh, worm?>28, 19, 87 vs. DC 65 -- Mitigated SuccessWell, you assure him he's wrong. You're going for it.«Charlie, I'm not kidding around.»«I don't have the bandwidth to pull you out if it goes south. I'm stretched thin as is.»He won't need to pull you out, because you- you're capable. You are independent and capable and you don't need him for— okay, you might need him for not turning into goo, but that's it. And this is basically communing! You're good at that.Yeah. Okay. You're going in. You are pressing — your consciousness — against the —— the ——— the woRM'S — the W O R M ' S — the ʍoɹɯ's — the W Y RM's — against the — against —— you are pressing your consciousness against the worm's own. There is much to admire about the creature. Long and streamlined and singleminded and predatory. At home in the heavy earth. But stupid, terribly stupid, and disorderly. Knowing no law or master or God.A perversion, then? A mockery? Well. You cannot blame this specimen; it was birthed long after the offspring choked. And it is already frightened. Of deathbright and deathwave. Of your kins who traitored you—Careful! It is relaxing, blithesome, to bleed between the twines, to allow still puddles to lap at your oceans— if you may be so distasteful. But you must remember that you are small. You are a pinprick in the vast silken fabric of the universe, not its weaver. You are small, and just burdened with limbs, and you— you—You spaced out there. For how long? Richard is buzzing frantically in the back of your head, which by coincidence is throbbing.>[-1 ID: 2/(9)]Do you even have a head? Whatever you have is throbbing, at least.«…I suppose you have your idea of a head.»«Are you— you're unharmed.»Yes? Obviously? You're disembodied, it's not like there's anything to harm. What's this here, again? (You give it a metaphysical prod.) Right. The worm.It's not producing any coherent thoughts, as far as you can tell, but neither is it empty: here's some kind of inner life, you just plain don't have access to it. Did Gil? Is that how he talked to the thing? You should've asked him more before you went— no you shouldn't've. Don't want him getting a big head, or whatnot. It's not clear that you need to have a big dialogue with the thing, either. Mostly, you just have to convince it to move in the right direction, and the rest will take care of itself.But how?
(All options require rolls. Write-ins with more specific arguments may provide significant modifiers.)> Scare it into compliance. Intimate that there will be many more deathbrights and waves and so on if it does not do what you say.> Appeal to its nature. Persuade it that fattening prey just so happens to lie in the direction you want it to go. > Assert your dominance. You are Queen: it will bow to your irrepressible will.> Perhaps you're too high of a life-form to *really* understand a large worm. Attempt to think more on its level.> Write-in.
>>4612451> Assert your dominance. You are Queen: it will bow to your irrepressible will.I'm sure that absolutely nothing will go wrong.
>>4612452> Appeal to its nature. Persuade it that fattening prey just so happens to lie in the direction you want it to go.
>>4612452>> Appeal to its nature. Persuade it that fattening prey just so happens to lie in the direction you want it to go.> Perhaps you're too high of a life-form to *really* understand a large worm. Attempt to think more on its level.Try to project very base thoughts. Danger. Hunger. Prey. Stuff like that. It won't react to concepts like queen and authority probably, but everyone knows what hunger is.
>>4612452> Assert your dominance. You are Queen: it will bow to your irrepressible will.
>>4612569>You cannot blame this specimen; it was birthed long after the offspring choked. And it is already frightened. Of deathbright and deathwave. Of your kins who traitored you—I think presenting ourselves as a new mommy, with the connotations of protection and care, would hit the basic needs of this beast better.You ever read the experiment of the monkey baby with a metal mother and how it just gave up on life because of the lack of care despite having food and such?
>>4612725I don't think worms have social structures that complex, or ANY social structures at all. I feel like we should boil everything down to the very basics, "hungry" is something even unicellular creatures feel to some extent. "Danger" too. Protection and care are actually kinda complex needs if you look at maslow's pyramid of needs. I say we keep it as simple as possible, it is a literal worm after all.
>>4612479>>4612569>>4612716>2 (+ 4)>>4612456>>4612723>3Called. It's for the best --  would've incurred a large "No law or master or God" malus.>I need two sets of rolls, or 3 2d100s.First set:3 1d100s (+5 Fragile ID, +5 A Noble Endeavor, Winnowing, -10 Clinging to Humanity) vs. DC 65 (+15 Unknowable Mind) to shift into worm mode...Second set: 3 1d100s + 5 (+5 Instinctual Appeal) vs. DC 70 (+5 Agitated, +15 Communication Gap) to convince the worm what to do!Succeeding on the first set will retroactively add a large bonus to the second set.Good luck!
Rolled 58, 92 = 150 (2d100)>>4612928
Rolled 21, 49 = 70 (2d100)>>4612928
Rolled 69, 46 = 115 (2d100)>>4612928WOOOOOORRRRRMMMMM
mKAY. What happens if one person succeeds on one part of a roll and another succeeds on the second?
>>4612944Huh? I don't understand the question.>>4612937>>4612940>>4612942>First set: 58, 21, 69 vs. DC 65 -- Mitigated Success>Second set (With +20 from the success above): 117, 74, 71 vs. DC 70 -- Enhanced SuccessCool. Writing in... a while.Also, I'd like to point out that we're only on page 4 and have already cleared 200 posts. This might not sound like a big deal if you're used to playing more active quests, but it usually takes me the entire lifespan of the thread to hit 200. Thank you all very much for rolling, voting, and discussing! It makes me happy to see it.
>>4612944I was asking that, if one half of the roll failed for two separate people (i.e. one person has a pass/fail and another has fail/pass) does that still count as a success-- but looks like my question's been answered cause we got a mitigated success.
>>4612979I guess there's two parts to the answer here: one is that I treat each person's roll like (X, Y), where X is for the first set and Y is for the second; two is that we're on degrees of success. So(P, F)(F, P)(P, P)Would be two normal successes -- two passes each.But (P, F)(P, F)(P, F)Would be one enhanced success (3 passes) and one failure (0 passes).Does that make sense?
>>4612990Yep. Think I get it now.Thanks OP!
Rolled 92 (1d100)>>4612928how large of a malus?Why is this wyrm got such a complex backstory?whozee finkee iz den, wot?
>>4612970On the one hand, I keep missing chances to roll.On the other hand, I worry less about you ending the quest!
>>4612998Is not a worm entitled to the sweat of its pseudocelom?
>>4612993Awesome.>>4612998+15 - +30 to the DC depending on how I tuned the rest of it. The worm does not have a complex backstory! It is just a large worm.>>4613000Checked. Don't worry about me! I love Redux, I'm not going anywhere though admittedly the thread where I had one voter was rough, I'm good with 2+ though
>>4613011No Step under the Sea?Didn't that end terribly?
>REJECT HUMANITY EMBRACE WORM> Mitigated Success, Enhanced SuccessBut are you really doing this properly if you're not actually talking to it? Would bards ever sing stories of 'that one time Charlotte Fawkins sort of sent one-way messages to a big worm and hoped it got the idea?' No. Of course not. Fortune favors the bold, does it not?«No. It does not. You simply never hear about it when fortune favors the cautious.»«Charlotte. You have no comprehension of what is at stake. You can't—»You don't know the meaning of 'can't!' Aw yeah. You are doing this. And you are so rubbing this in everyone's faces. You singlehandedly saved the camp and you spoke, nay, parlayed, with a— you should probably get started, shouldn't you? And plan after.The matter at hand is that you are too evolved. Your base desires have been shoved down under the whole haughty rest of you, and have been left disused: when is the last time you felt hunger? Or thirst? You've tasted primal fear, but only just. The worm, meanwhile, is intelligent for a worm— but it's not as if you can discuss with it the fine points of clay selection, or the optimal way to sort a bookcase. You have next to nothing in common.You cannot raise it up to your level: you do not know how, or if it's possible. But you can descend to match it. It would be a debasement. An inverse-narrowing. A scything of everything high and pure and rigid. It would be a mockery on you. But you are unable to deny the concept's perverse appeal: have you not once wished to release your strangle-hold on crystalline awareness? To become as the least of your children, or less, as stone?Enough. There is no use reviving obsolescent pains, not when the epilogue is so close at hand. You must act swiftly, efficiently, you must cut away what bounds you. You must silence all this noise—!……………Gil fiddles listlessly with the pistol, which he has to admit is a nice model, for out here. Charlotte— "Lottie"— is still slumped comically in the dirt, her hands invisible from how deep they've sunken. It has been several minutes.Maybe it's nothing, he ventures. Maybe the gunshot really did scare the thing off, and there's plenty of time for her to light incense, or dance around a tree buck-naked, or whatever else she plans to do. While his hands drip off. (The pinky's already starting to go.) But it's still better, he reminds himself, it's still better than—The ground is shaking. Not much, just a tremor, but he's been on high alert all this time and he scrambles to attention. Charlotte's face is blank and moonish in the half-light. Would he be better off, he wonders briefly, if he left her to her fate? But guilt and duty snarl him and he hoists her up by her shoulders. She is motionless and breathing shallowly.(1/2)
Where to go? Gil is loath to come crawling back to the one-armed man who attempted to kill him, but she seems to trust him (god knows why) and there's really no other option. He takes a step. holding her by her waist before realizing that's untenable and letting her down behind him to drag in the dirt. She'll hate it but she'll have to thank him later (right?). He gets a few more steps that way before she starts, wrests herself from his hands, and returns to exactly the spot she left."Goddammit!" he says, and "Lottie!", and "please, i-i-i-it's not—" He is certain he didn't use to stutter and pauses to hate himself for it. The tremor has increased to a full-blown shake, and Gil thinks he can see cracks appearing in the ground. It is unambiguously time to flee. "Lottie!" he tries again, but she is deaf and blind to the world. Nobody can say he didn't give it a shot, he thinks, and turns.But then everything is sand and scraps of grass and rubble and he is flung away by the force of it. He lands awkwardly but can't feel the pain. So she's dead, then. (The worm had made it clear how it hunted: thrusting up from above, ambushing its prey.) He tries and can manage to feel sad about this. When the tumult settles, though, she is not dead. She is perched atop the head of the worm, with not-quite a look of triumph on her face. Something more feral than triumph. The worm is expressionless as usual, but Gil can feel its dim gaze penetrating his cut-rate body. It only has eyes for the beetles.Charlotte doesn't speak, but does move slightly, and the worm bows its great body so she's just above Gil's head. Still she doesn't speak. "So…" Gil attempts. "It worked?"It's her voice, when she opens her mouth, but it carries the clipped dry tones of the man in her head. "She's incapacitated at the moment.""What?""She did something very stupid, and now she's incapacitated. Don't expect a coherent response.""What?" "She," says Richard, "has abdicated her executive functioning, in favor of… impulses. Temporarily. So she's—""So you're her." It was only mentioned in passing, but he'd clung to the idea, from how absurd it was. "In her.""No, actually, I'm just working her throat." Charlotte leans over the head of the worm, almost dangling off. "She's conscious. It's rather like the time with the pill, really, only this is not controlled and not safe and I have enough to fucking deal with.""Um," Gil says. "Are you okay?""Yes." There is a feel like Richard is pushing up his sunglasses. "In any case. You will apparently be taking the worm tunnels to your destination. Run along and tell the smiley man. The one with the trident."It strikes Gil that this is what his life has become.(Choices next.)
> You are Gil Wallace. (No stakes convo with Monty in the tunnel— for character development, Q&A, etc.— before returning to Charlotte.)> You are Charlotte Fawkins. (Skip directly to when Charlotte is back to normal.)> Write-in.If it wasn't clear, the "mitigated" part of the mitigated success is Charlotte not (immediately) snapping out of it. (The "enhanced" is being in perfect sync with the worm!)
>>4613455>> You are Gil Wallace. (No stakes convo with Monty in the tunnel— for character development, Q&A, etc.— before returning to Charlotte.)
>>4613449>obsolescentObsolete or adolescent or a mix?
>>4613470"Becoming obsolete." (It's a real word! I promise!)
>>4613452>> You are Gil Wallace. (No stakes convo with Monty in the tunnel— for character development, Q&A, etc.— before returning to Charlotte.)
>>4613455 > You are Gil Wallace. (No stakes convo with Monty in the tunnel— for character development, Q&A, etc.— before returning to Charlotte.)Let Charlotte have this, it's not everyday that you get to talk to a giant worm with Earth Magyck, and all without Richard's help.
>>4613479Is also a word! ("Obsolescent" is the adjective form.)
>>4613486>>4613479>>4613470>obsolescence/obsolescentcan confirm. Is word.
Also, hey, this is unrelated to literally anything, but I'd just like to make it clear: if something happens to 4chan(nel), please check my Twitter for what will happen to Drowned Redux! I'll be updating there. (And if you have a Twitter account and aren't already following me, please do!) twitter.com/BathicQMI don't think anything will happen, and I have no intention of moving anywhere unless I'm 100% forced to, but with the recent political stuff going down in the US I want to be extra cautious.
>>4613552Jesus christ what a horrifying picture
>>4613544thanks bud>>4613564I-in a good way?
>>4613552good fuck OP I love your art.drawfags on this board are what motivate me to improve my stuffand if 4channel goes down, we'll make our own quest site with blackjack and uhhh, more worms I guess...
>>4613565Upper torso of Charlotte with deranged grin on top of giant worm monster way, so yeah? I think so?
>>4613568Thank you! That's incredibly flattering.A lot of the time, I'm not sure if anyone even notices the art I post, since it usually doesn't get mentioned. So to hear that I can serve as motivation/inspiration genuinely makes my day. It's been a long road... as anyone who looks at the stuff I've posted in old threads can attest to... but I hope to keep making better art for you guys! If nothing else I'll keep making art, I can't stop drawing, it's a problemIf anyone has (SFW relatively simple) requests for anything/anyone they'd like to seen drawn, please let me know! I'll do them in my free time (if I have any).blackjack and hook-ers... geddit... because worms go on hooks... I'll see myself out>>4613571she's kneeling I'll take it! Thank you(?)!!
>>4613587> I can't stop drawing, it's a problemAs a noob who just found the magic of inky pens and wacoms, I can attest to thisAnd yeah, I was like super-shit-in-your-cornflakes awful until I decided to start learning cause I wanted NICE quest art instead of low-effort scheisse. Now all I draw is chars from my quest when I have the time and I may or may not be attempting to do a Charlotte for the lulz but I want it to actually look nice instead of a 12-yr-old's half-cobbled anime thing.>blackjack and hook-ers... geddit... because worms go on hooks... I'll see myself outPun of the night, OP
>>4613486Huh. It just doesn't look right to me. Well, the more you learn.
>>4613592>Now all I draw is chars from my quest when I have the timeI'm glad someone else knows the feeling! Though I'm usually scribbling away with a regular ol 2B pencil.>spoilerI will love and cherish any fanart I receive! Honest. But take as much time as you need, dude, I'll be around>>4613594Yeah, it's definitely a weird one, but so is that POV so I think it works
>>4613613go to the craft store. raid the pen aisle.you will not regret it.but your wallet will.top kekYes-- I will just say screw it and actually draw without cringing. You can only get better with practice, right?
>>4613618The 'rona's hitting my state pretty hard right now, but maybe when things clear up I'll look into it :^)>You can only get better with practice, right?100%. My dirty little art secret is that I have not made any effort whatsoever to learn how to draw 'properly', and while I'm sure some joker could go "it shows" (it probably does), it also means that my... uh... highly visible improvement has come from just drawing stuff over and over. If you really want some red hot cringe, go to the OG quest threads and check out the two-year-old stuff I posted there. But also oh god please don't. I'm excited to see what you come up with!
>>4613631Oh no-- I think your style's got a charming flair to it. The originality of it makes it appealing.My method's been to follow comic/manga tutorials and repeat what I've learned until it looks good, but I'm currently looking into a figure-drawing book to amp my people-drawing skills so everything from the neck down doesn't look like I'm a hardcore weeb. And this is my level so far (see pic related). At least on paper. Digital is a new monster I'm learning to conquer, but it's hella versatile.Also, congrats, whoever recognizes this. I've just revealed my super-secret identity as (insert secret QM name here). Not so secret anymore though.>OG cringe art from two years ago Real cringe is drawing your art in Goblin Quest style for half a thread for meme irony and out of sheer laziness. I want to hit myself over it to this day.And confession-- I've only been here since 2 threads ago cause I have no ounce of free time, despite having promised myself I'd actually read the whole thing. Fucking love this mad ride though.
>>4613649Dude, that's CUTE!! You sell yourself way short. And if you're who I think you are, I've been liking the stuff you post in the /qtg/, too. Drawing fullbodies took me years-- I used to stick to headshots, then I gradually got more complicated. I'm still kind of rocky at it! I applaud your ability to actually focus on art books of any kind, which I... lack. >Goblin QuestHey, it's a story to tell!>ConfessionHow DARE you deign to interact with I mean thank you for popping in anyhow! I don't even want to imagine how Redux reads without context for 90% of it, but you've stuck around, so I guess it can't be that bad? Still, wew. If you have any questions like "who the hell is that guy" or "what is happening" (questions that my regular readers have frequently, I'm sure), don't be afraid to ask! I'd be happy to tl;dr you in.Also, I have vague plans for full-thread recaps, so if I complete those before you find the time you can check those out instead! They'll be about 1/5th the size of the real thing.
>>4613631> The rona is hitting my state> StatePls stay safe in worst 'rona nation.
>>4613649oh hey siren
>>4613725Thank you!>>4613462>>4613477>>4613481>GilCalled. Writing eventually.
>>4613672Yep, I'm exactly the QM you're thinking of-- here to imbue my awesome dice rolling powers on this thread. Just ask this anon >>4613799And thank you for your kind words, OP! Makes me more confident that I've improved.Also I will just drop this sketch of Charlotte here, so enjoy!
>>4614141Nice digits-- and this is DOPE, thank you! I love the cool feathery shading, and she looks way more elegant than she has any right to be.And don't worry, if you roll cruddy you'll only be reviving a long and storied tradition of Drowned Quest Rolls. They've improved over time, but the historical trend is them being dogshit.
You are Gil Wallace, and of all the monstrous transformations wrought upon your mind and soul, over months upon screaming months of solitude, the absolute goddamn worst is the stutter. It plagued you earlier, when the worm burst out of the ground, and later, when you scrambled to go get the one-armed man, and attempted to explain what had happened, and now, when you are alone with him under the earth. The worm, and Charlotte, are far ahead. You have no choice but to trust they know where they're going.The man has inquired, with more urgency, about your melting. "I-i-i-it's nothing," you say unconvincingly, pawing at the ruins of your face. "I-i-it's just— I don't feel it."He tilts his head. "Ellery, your jaw's gone.""I-i-it— yeah." How to explain it's not your jaw? "Um. Sorry."'Sorry?' 'Sorry?' That's the best you can do? That's not a normal thing to say. You know that's not a normal thing to say. "Sorry," you mumble again, as apology for the first time."There's nothing to apologize for? It's not— you haven't done anything wrong." The one-armed man waggles his eyebrows. "As far as I know."When you fail to respond, he stakes his trident in the churned earth and catches you by the shoulder. "Hey, Ell, are you holding up okay? Be honest. I know you've had a hard couple months, and this isn't exactly your comfort zone— did she drag you along?"How does he know? Are you that obvious? (You didn't use to be obvious.) And why does it feel so good to be touched? (You used to hate being touched.) It's not normal for it to feel this good. Why are you like this? "Yes," you admit."It figures. That girl is…" He shakes his head. "She's something. That's all I'll say.""…Yeah." "But hey, we're not talking about her, are we? We're talking about you." He releases your shoulder. "Would you like to say anything? Even while we're— on the move. You know, we've all been worried about you, Ell…"There is something disingenuous in the man's tone, like he's had the speech long prepared and was waiting for a good moment to spring it. It doesn't matter. He also has a look like he cares about you, as a person, and that's something Charlotte hasn't even bothered to fake. You take a moment to rearrange yourself: uncrossing legs, smoothing down wings, cleaning antennae. And then you realize that normal people do not do this (normal people not being three hundred sixty-two individual beetles), and also that the man can't see you. You stop. "Um," you say."To be honest, I-I-I thought I was going to die in there. I-I wasn't happy about it, but I'd made my peace, right? And i-i-i-it wasn't— I mean, all it would've been was letting go, right? I-I could just let go, then I'd forget I ever existed, and it wouldn't be so terrible and- and lonely. And I-I would think about that, and think about that, but I just kept hanging on because, I mean, what if someone came along? And I-I-I didn't know it, because I was, you know, beetles?"(1/2)
"And then yesterday, someone did come, and I actually— I-I mean, I'm here. And alive, and sane, and— I mean, it's all like I wanted. But it's not… I can't complain. But it's nothing like… I thought it'd just be like normal again. I-I-I thought I'd be back in my actual body and I could go home and forget it ever happened. But instead I-I'm across the entire fucking seafloor, and my body's fucking moldering, and odds are I'll never see anyone I know ever again, and I'm somehow in servitude to a— and even if I wasn't, it still wouldn't be right, because I'm not right! And I'm not talking about the beetle thing, I'm used to that now, I mean me. I-I'm different. I-I-I'm worse. I-I-I-I-I didn't— I didn't use to stutter. Do you understand? I…"The kindly smile on the one-armed man's face has grown somewhat fixed and brittle. He takes a long time to choose his words. "Remind me what Charlotte called you?""What?""What's your name.""Gil?""…Gil." He rolls it in his mouth. "Okay.""I-I don't know your name, either," you point out."No, I guess you wouldn't." He sticks his hand out to shake. "I'm Monty Gewecke. Pleased to make your acquaintance."He says that, but there's a certain sudden hardness to him, and you're reminded he attempted to murder you less than an hour ago. "Um, yeah," you say. You take his hand. "Me too. Why did you tackle me earlier?""I was…" More careful choosing of words. "…on edge. I'm sorry."You've been on edge, too, but you've never thought to accost random passersby with deadly weapons. But maybe that's just you. "Um, it's okay." It's not really okay. Goddammit. "Um, sorry." Goddammit!Monty smiles tensely and doesn't say more. Neither do you, for a long while, and it's just trudging over fresh dirt and the thrum of the worm ahead and the dim green light of the glowbe swinging from Monty's trident. Finally, you break the silence. "Um, i-is this normal for you?""What part?" "I-I-I'm not sure. All of it.""Hunting something down is… fairly normal." He looks sideways at you. "The murderous clones, talking to worms… no. I prefer a more conventional… life, really."So it really is a her thing. She really is just off-the-wall mental. "Okay.""How about you, Gil? Would you call this normal?"> Write-in. (This is an opportunity to influence Gil's history/character, not a pop quiz!)> Other questions for Monty? Things to bring up? (Write-in. Optional.)
(To be clear,  is the main, mandatory prompt, and you are answering "would you call this normal?")
>>4614784Normal might be too fucking far away to see anymore, but I think Gil sure as shit doesn't like where, what, or who he is right now so any change . . . . Maybe not beetles, but he sure as shit ain't gonna accept this even if it is normal.
>>4614784Also, does Monty think of himself as normal?What with the sudden stabbings and all?
>>4614784>"I've been in my share of odd situations, but stuck inside a melting body and following a worm whisperer riding her giant worm is definitely a new low."
>>4614943>>4614944>>4615027>>4615120>>4615146Okay, I'll make these work! Called and writing eventually.
>uhhhhhhhhhhhhhIs it better if you claim it's normal? Is he judging you? Well, no, he himself said it wasn't, so— it's probably fine. Which is good, because, well, it's not normal. It's not. And maybe you have a lot of nerve to think that, you being… this, but if anything that should give you more perspective? Right? Still, maybe it's better to hedge your bets, given that Monty is possibly a violent lunatic. You don't want to offend him. "Uh… I-I don't, um, it might be normal, or possibly not… normal. I-it's hard to say. Um. I-it's not to my tastes, if that… helps."Monty quirks an eyebrow. "I'm not going to bite your head off. I'm asking if it's normal for you.""Um." You don't particularly trust that, but now you can't not answer, or you'll seem strange. "I-it's not— it's really very much not normal. I mean, I have had some experiences, that are not normal, but this is— a new low. This is the least normal day of my life, including the one where I was goddamn executed, and the other one where I literally crawled out of my own goddamn skin.""That bad.""Yes! This is— I-I can't even go into it." You should probably not inform him about his friend's murder, or the 12 hours trapped with Richard. "But i-i-it's— I mean, I'm melting, and there's worms, and it— I don't know how but we communicated, I'm not crazy—""No, I'd believe it." Monty shrugs. "I mean, it worked for her.""…Yeah. Somehow." You watch your pinky finger drip entirely off your hand. "Does she do this a lot?""Talk to worms? I have no idea." "Um, that, and… I-I don't know. Everything. I-is it always so…" You struggle for a word. "…manic?""Around her? I really can't say. I don't know her closely, to be frank. But she certainly seems to… get into things, more than average. Much like yourself." He pauses. "Er, pardon me, not like— like Ellery, I meant.""Ah," you say."Possibly there's just a certain class of people whom everything happens to all at once, and the rest of us are along for the ride." He smiles. "I'm happier in the latter group, personally."Hmm. "So you'd consider yourself pretty normal?""I spend my days resolving petty disputes and filing paperwork, and sometimes I make time to kill my potted plants. So—""And tackling people." You didn't intend to say it aloud, but that's the danger, you guess, of not using your vocal cords. (Amazing, how you have those now. Though they've probably melted.) "…You also do that."Also amazing: how the blood drains from Monty's face, how sallow he appears in the green light. "I apologized.""Um, thank you, but I-I'm just saying… normal people don't drop out of trees, in the middle of— what are you doing out here?"His voice is taut. "I presume the same thing Charlotte is."(1/3)
"Geez, you're just… storming in alone? I-I mean, not alone anymore, but— and you thought you'd, what, stop all this? Single-handedly? That's… normal people don't think like that. Normal people stay the hell away.""What—" His knuckles are stark white. "—are you hoping to accomplish with this.""I-I just don't think you're being honest with me," you say. "I-I-I think there's— I think you're not normal.""Ah." And such a look flashes across him that your hand darts to the pistol on your waistband. And he sees that, and stops walking, and turns to the wall of the tunnel, and runs his hand through his hair. And his shoulders slump, and he turns back. "Well, I suppose I'm not the best judge of that, eh?"There is suddenly no trace of anger or malice about Monty, so much so that you begin to doubt yourself. "Um… no. I-I guess not."He grins. "That's always the trouble, isn't it. Can't trust yourself a bit. It's good to get a reality check once in a while, so thank you.""…You're welcome?" He was angry, wasn't he?He rubs your shoulder chummily and continues walking. You take a moment to recover from the sudden human contact (why are you like this), then hurry to catch up. It's Monty who breaks the minutes of silent trudging, this time. "My wife passed away on a night like this, you know."Of course you didn't know. He didn't even seem like the marriage type— though you admit it's difficult to judge his age. "Um, my condolences.""No, it's… thank you. But, uh… not so much like this, I suppose. But it was about this time, and there was a breeze."What is he attempting to convey? Surely this wouldn't come up unprompted? "This was recently?""Ah, no… five, six years ago. Closer to six. Blood loss." "Geez.""Yes. Um, this is... this was two moves ago, up northwest. Same camp— only Eloise was around back then, though, I think. And she was new. There's been a lot of turnover. And it was much smaller, and— I wasn't in charge, actually, someone incompetent was. That was the kicker, really."You don't know who Eloise is and are barely following any of these details. "Oh?""If he'd run a tight ship, it never would've happened. But he did not. And so we were caught unaware when the thing came.""Ah," you say."Hard to say what it was. Hard to focus on it. It had long whiskers like a catfish and claws like a crab and if you think that's funny it was about the size of a house. I couldn't do a thing about it. Nobody could. And it just—" His voice cracks. "Well, you get the idea.""…Sorry." Is he attempting another apology? An explanation? An excuse? "That's rough.""Yeah. The good thing is, the idiot in charge kicked it a few weeks after that, and I took over. And we haven't had preventable fatalities since." He smiles grimly. "So that's that."(2/3)
"Is that when you lost your arm?""…No, that was two years ago. I came out unscratched from the earlier thing." Monty raises his stump. "This was a bad run-in with something toothy. Nearly passed out from shock, at the time, but it's healed over well—""Er, there's black stuff on it," you say. There is: it's a stain on the bandages."Dirt? I'll change the dressing when we're not…" The worm grinds away."Um." You peer closer. "I-I-I think it's sort of seeping through the bandages, not… you should get that checked out."He stiffens, pressing the stump to his side. "I will. Thanks."Okay, so he knows about whatever it is already. Interesting. "Sure."You're still walking. Will you ever stop walking? How long have you been down here? You attempt to think about it and find you have no idea. You have no idea how much time elapses before Monty speaks again, even. "It's never going back to normal.""What?" you say. Your voice sounds very small— dampened by the soil."Earlier. You were talking about… I don't know what. But you wanted to get back to normal. It's not happening. Normal is gone."You don't speak."And if you spend too long dwelling about what you've lost you'll kill yourself. It's how it is. You have to take the ruins and construct a… a new life. And maybe it's worse than the old one, and emptier, but it's a life. You're still living. And that's worth something, I think, anyway."You don't speak but you know you should.> Agree with him.>>[A] Yes. You're too irrevocably changed. Even if you went back, it would be hollow.>>[B] Yes. Your future is looking up: once you have a real body, one that isn't falling apart, you're free. >>[C] Yes. Out of politeness.>>[D] Yes. Out of an inexplicable urge to grovel.> Disagree with him.>>[A] No. That's giving in. You didn't give in over six months of torture and you're not starting now.>>[B] No. This 'new life' is too abhorrent, too alien, to even consider. >>[C] No. He's a hypocrite. (Why? Write-in.)>>[D] No. You've never liked taking advice.> Write-in.> Any final questions or topics of discussion? (The POV will switch back to Charlotte next update.)
>>4616123>>>[A] Yes. You're too irrevocably changed. Even if you went back, it would be hollow.But wonder if it's actually >>[D] Yes. Out of an inexplicable urge to grovel.>2CAnything becomes normal if you let it go on too long.
>>4616129>>4616123To elaborate on 2C, Monty talks like the past is some enshrined normality. It's not, things have always been fucked up. This is just a terrible variation on the theme.Could still be worse. Could be beetles still.
>>4616123>2[A] No. That's giving in. You didn't give in over six months of torture and you're not starting now.
>>4616130>things have always been fucked up.The "normal" Gil wants to get back to isn't 6 months of beetle hell, it's pre-that, which was a stable life in the (...relatively) urban west, where he had friends, colleagues, and a cushy job as a guy who effectively implanted illicit Bitcoin miners into people's brains. It obviously wasn't perfect, but via trauma he's glossed over or forgotten all the actual issues he had back then-- so I don't know if he'd feel this way.Monty was taking his cues from Gil's speech back here >>4614784, which does treat "like normal again" as a good thing.
>>4616134I meant more "the world has always been fucked up, but Gils life hasn't".Normal > Not Melting > Not being beetles > BEETLESNot melting would be acceptable right now.
>>4616322Alright, that's something I can work with better. Thanks for the clarification.
>>4616374Doing the best I can with a system designed to tell other monkeys where the fresh fruit is.Getting back to the life Gil had is unlikely, no way he can't see that.Not being a melting man or a swarm of beetles is a goal though, and preferably not dealing with weird clones and giant worms, but clearly that's not something he has control over.
>>4616123>1BAlways look on the briiiiiight side of life
>>4616123This >>4616133 with the extra stuff I guess.
>2CWhy is he a hypocrite? We don't need a reason. He just is, that's who we are. The caller out of hypocrites, not some joyfull optimist. It's not our fault he is one.
Rolled 3 (1d3)Christ, what a vote. Let's disentangle this.>>4616129>>4616260>1A, 2C, 1D>>4616133>>4616754>2A>>4616681>>4616738>1B>>4616764>2CRolling, then writing shortly. I may include aspects of the >>4616130>>4616322 write-in regardless.
>Intravenous hopium"I-I-I mean, it's not like… the past sucks, too. Um, not mine. My past was great. But most people's pasts fucking suck, don't they? You can't just give empty platitudes about—""They're not empty," Monty says."They are. You know what? I-I-I bet your past is goddamn awful, too. I-I bet you're down here for— wire fraud, and—""I slipped, actually.""You slipped." You snort. "That's what everyone says.""It's true, unfortunately. It was not my finest moment." If he's lying, he betrays no signs of it. "But that was a good eight years ago. You said you were executed?""…Bribery.""Ah, anything to keep the population down." Monty tilts his head. "So I take it your past wasn't all great, then.""No, i-it— the only bad part was getting caught. And that's not—" He's twisting your words, somehow. "That's not the point.""And the past 6 months? I didn't catch all the details, but you sounded as though you were considering— pardon me— killing yourself."Something seizes in your chest. "I-i-i-i-it wasn't… that's not the point. I-it wasn't like that.""Maybe I'm not understanding. What is the point?"You had a point. You're certain you had one, right up until it slipped away from you. "Was it that you don't want advice? Because you could've just said so, Gil. I'm used to it.""I-I'm fine with advice," you mutter. "Your advice is just substandard. Like, i-it's not even advice, it's goddamn platitudes, like I said. 'Oh, just goddamn embrace the— the goddamn— worms, and shit.'""That's not what I said," Monty says evenly. "But you know that.""I-i-it's basically what you said.""It's not. But okay. You take issue with the scale of the… rebuilding. Is that the problem?"You cradle your forehead. "Look, I-I-I'm not… I knew it maybe wouldn't be all normal.""Oh?""I-I mean, I hoped it'd be. That's what I-I-I kept holding on for. But I-I'm not— I'm not delusional, I knew it'd be an adjustment. But I-I just thought it'd be… awkward, not that I'd be… I expected it to get more normal. At least more normal. And that's not a high bar. But i-i-it's gotten less, somehow, and I can't— I can't accept that, or whatever the fuck you want from me. I can't. Sorry."Monty drags his trident behind him, leaving a furrow in the earth. "Well, firstly, I don't want anything from you. This isn't a transaction. Secondly— you don't have to accept this, or embrace it, or anything but temporarily tolerate it. The- the worms, and clones, and things aren't normal."You manage to silence your 'and getting jumped on out of trees' this time. "I'm also kind of melting.""Okay, yes, er, that too. Though frankly it's always hard to tell with y— Ellery," he amends, "what's normal. But it's not for you, whoever that is. But that too. The good thing is, this'll end eventually."(1/3)
"Not most of it," you point out. "Not the— not being here, and not the— i-indentured servitude, and not the beetles, which is… apparently it's permanent. So that's never going back."Monty grimaces. "I won't even pretend to know what you mean by that, but… how about you focus on the things you can change, okay?""Like what." You think he's missing that you were forced into all of this."Well, I don't… can you stop melting?""No.""Can you…""I-I just want to be a fucking person," you say. "Like. That's not asking much. But like I-I-I said that's out the window, so I don't think there's anything to suggest here. "Finally, a brand new expression on Monty's face: absolute befuddlement. "You're not a person?""I'm beetles," you say, like he's slow."…Plural?""I'm a swarm of fucking beetles. Multiple beetles. Many beetles.""Ah." The expression has not gone away. "So you're a sort of hivemind, then?""No, I-I'm not— there's only one mind, right? All of them are me. Would you call you and your stomach and your spleen a hivemind?""Um, I suppose I wouldn't.""Okay then. No, I-I'm just beetles. Which i-is— like I said, I'm over it. I'm used to it. And i-it has its— I honestly think there are worse things to be. But that doesn't mean I-I want to be it, right? I-I-I just… I want to go back.""Er." Monty looks as though words are a struggle. "You are a person. Though.""A shit excuse for one, maybe— have you noticed the melting?" You hold your left hand up: all your fingers are gone."…Yes.""So now I-I need to go and wait until another body shows up, or until she finishes the one, which—""Would that be a step towards a new normal?"You stare. "…Uh, I guess it would be, but…"Monty is recovering some poise. "So that's something you can work with, isn't it? That's the next step on your checklist. Um. 'Get a body.'""A working body," you correct."…'A working body.' How do you feel about that?"How do you feel about that? About accepting unsolicited help from the stranger who— lest you forget— tried to murder you less than an hour ago? Hell, about accepting help at all? You are perturbed by the fact that it feels good. What's wrong with you? "…How do you just…""Just what?""…You know…""It's a skill like anything else. I have lots of practice. I take it that's alright with you?""…Yeah.""I'm glad to hear it."—
You are Charlotte Fawkins, and there is blood in your mouth. It is not your blood. There is a lot of it.You know it's not your blood because you're distinctly light-headed, and because it tastes of grapes and bitter almonds and tanbark, and because it is making your tongue feel odd and thick, and also because your teeth are buried in someone's neck. Which would go a long way to explain the screaming.You remember what happened, fuzzily. You were— you had made it, wherever you were going, and with the worm— what was its name?— you burst out of the ground, and ambushed— ah. You are biting Jesse the Sword thief in the neck.«And you said you'd never bite anyone.»>[A1] Keep biting Jesse. (Roll.)>[A2] Stop biting Jesse. (Roll.)>[B] What did you wind up naming the worm?>> Steven>> Michael>> Andrew>> Write-in>[C] Write-in.
>>4617382>[A1] Keep biting Jesse. (Roll.)>[B] What did you wind up naming the worm?>> Steven
>>4617382>[A1] Keep biting Jesse. (Roll.)>[B1] Steven
>>4617382>[A2] Stop biting Jesse. (Roll.)I mean. He did do us a solid earlier during the heist. We won't apologize for the earlier biting, though, he's getting off light because we are showing compassion and understanding regarding his earlier running away with our sword. Not everyone can have our inborn noble demeanor under pressure. > Worm nameAnnie. For Annelid.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>4617389 1=this>>4617576 2=this
>>4617576>>4617587>>4617382The dice have spoken.
Good morning, folks.>>4617593Is this a +1 vote, or just commentary?
>>4617790In that case, I'm calling it here.>>4617385>>4617389>A1, B1>>4617576>>4617587>>4617790>A2, B4>Please roll me 3 1d100s-5 (-5 Disoriented) vs. DC 50 to disentangle yourself without getting hurt!
Rolled 43 (1d100)>>4617802
Rolled 92 - 5 (1d100 - 5)>>4617802
Rolled 18 (1d100)>>4617802
Rolled 95 - 5 (1d100 - 5)>>4617802
>>4617826>>4617827Imagine if I didn't take the time to add the modifier.
Rolled 70 - 5 (1d100 - 5)>>4617828How do you do that? Idk how to modify subtraction-- gonna try it.
>>4617844Yessss.... I did it. Does this mean we have an enhanced success?
>>4617382>A1Try to mumble out a "gib bak sord" through his neckflesh>B4Wallace>>4617802dang, I'm too late
>>4617853> Try to mumble out a "gib bak sord" through his neckfleshActually, stopping biting him to yell at him seems like a pretty in the moment motivation.
>38, 87, 13 vs. DC 50 -- Mitigated Success>>4617828If it makes you feel better, I think the RNG is at least partially based on timestamps, so you may have wound up with an 18 anyhow.>>4617848Sorry!>>4617853That you are.>>4617877I like this! I'll use it.I'll type up rolls for everyone else and get writing in... a while. This'll likely be another night update.
>>4617880But teacher! They didn't add the modifier! It doesn't count, they didn't add the modifier!Lol.
>>4617926Unfortunately, I have about a two-year-long precedent of adding the modifier myself regardless! Don't worry, plenty of rolls in the immediate future. Or do worry?
>>4617947More rolls? How bad could it get.
Rolled 41, 92, 73, 10, 27, 74, 54, 58, 59 = 488 (9d100)>>4618207It'll be fiiiine.Rolling for the others.Annie (The Worm): 3d100s + 30 (+20 Ambush Predator, +10 Massive) vs. DC 50 Jesse: 3d100s - 30 (-30 AAAAAAAAAAAAUGH) vs. DC 40 (-10 Close Quarters)???: 3d100s + 5 (+15 Lucky, +5 Monster Hunter Dilettante, -10 Surprised!, -5 Knocked Flat!) vs. DC 40 (-10 Massive)Monty and Gil are a ways behind you and as such not involved in combat.Additionally, for anyone who's around between now and the update, a quick vote to streamline combat: how to break degrees-of-success ties?> Roll against -- higher bo3 of the two sets wins. Effectively a coin flip, which is what I've been doing regardless.> Higher roll bonus -- whoever has the stronger 'advantage' wins. > Write-inLet me know what you think.
>71, 122, 103 vs. DC 50 -- Enhanced Success >0, 0, 44 vs. DC 40 -- Mitigated Success >59, 63, 64 vs. DC 40 -- Enhanced SuccessNone of these need tiebreakers because none of the actions are directly opposed, but please vote regardless!And writing.
>>4618892> Higher rolls cancel lower opposing rolls.
>>4618921To make sure I'm understanding this correctly: are you talking about a situation like this?>105, 34, 61 >81, 22, 71105 beats 81, 34 beats 22, 71 beats 61, the top set has more 'victories' so it wins out?Or something else?
>>4618927Yes, and the top set only has 2 successes even if the DC was 40 because the 61 got cancelled.
>>4618895>> Higher roll bonus -- whoever has the stronger 'advantage' wins.More dynamic I find since you can write along with the individual advantage/disadvantage instead of having a pass/fail summary.
>ConcedeYou feel as though you should stop biting Jesse in the neck, if only so Richard wouldn't be so smug— but also because you dislike your mouth so full of blood, and it's terribly difficult to speak like this. With trouble, you extricate your jaw, and immediately spit the blood out all over Jesse's doublet. You retain your pincer grasp on his wrists. "WHERE'SMYGODDAMNSWORD!!!" you say politely.Instead of a rational, adult response, Jesse has chosen to gargle incoherently. There is quite a lot of blood spurting from his neck. (You pity him, having to clean that up.) He is pressing his cheek to his shoulder, in an attempt to staunch it, but without use of his hands there's little he can do.You try again, in a neutral tone. "GIVEMEBACKMYGODDAMNSWORDORI'LLGODDAMNKILLYOU!!!!"He fixes his wide red-rimmed [light brown, almost tawny, like sun-faded leather, and they crinkle in the—] eyes on your hands, then your face, and you are unprepared for the anguish in his expression, and even less prepared for him to duck and headbutt you right in your stomach. You are dislodged with an "oof!". Jesse clutches his neck with one hand, smearing blood all over his nice glove, and clutches for The Sword with the other— it was sheathed at his waist all along. Of course! You were so blind! But it is here, you are within two feet of its radiant majesty, and as soon as you draw your own vastly inferior sword then you shalt claim its— Jesse runs you through the stomach.You know that because you see it happen, and because he winds up very close to you after, close enough for you to see the beads of sweat on his forehead and [appreciate the powerful tendons of his neck] get blood spattered all over your face and shoulders— not that you weren't already doused in blood, mud, and dirt. But you don't feel it, not even the impact. Did he miss? And what was that horrible glorp?Jesse after a moment of staring pulls away, and attempts to pull The Sword with him— no, it is definitely buried in your midsection. «Hoist by your own petard.»What? Jesse's hands are trembling. He is straining to pull The Sword out, but can't. It's stuck. Something is definitely oozing from your stomach but it feels too viscous to be your blood.«It's not important. Listen.»«I deprioritized your midsection. It has lost structural integrity. You are now fine to be stabbed there. Do not panic.»You're not. You don't understand.«The relevant half of your torso is now composed of goo.»Is that fixable?«Yes. Possibly. It is possibly fixable. Do not make it your top concern at this trying hour. Do <not> panic.»(1/2)
You're not. Gee. Jesse is still having no luck with The Sword. There is a noise from behind you and you turn your head around and watch Annie, The Worm (you now remember what you christened it but for the life of you can't remember why) nearly snap a different man in half. The man miraculously dodges, and rolls to dodge another strike, but on the third his leg is caught and Annie drags high into the air, up into the current, and he sways there. But only for a moment: Annie readjusts, preparing to swallow him whole, and as it does he grasps his tomohawk in both hands and drives it deep into Annie's body. Violet blood pools out.Annie does not vocalize but does begin to thrash and in that moment you almost begin to cry.>[A1] Retrieve The Sword by grabbing its blade (carefully) and pulling it out through your back. >[A2] Retrieve The Sword by wrestling Jesse off of it.>[A3] Retrieve The Sword by chopping Jesse's hands off at the wrists.>[B1] Immediately rush to save Annie. Jesse will bleed out on his own.>[B2] Finish Jesse off *then* rush to save Annie.>[C1] Attempt to convince Annie to lower its body so you can get to and murder the other man. (Roll.)>[C2] Attempt to scale Annie's body so you can get to and murder the other man. (Roll.)>[D] Write-in.(And please also vote OOC here >>4618892 if you haven't already!)
>>4619061>[A3] Retrieve The Sword by chopping Jesse's hands off at the wrists.>[B1] Immediately rush to save Annie. Jesse will bleed out on his own.>[C1] Attempt to convince Annie to lower its body so you can get to and murder the other man. (Roll.)
>>4619061>[A3] Retrieve The Sword by chopping Jesse's hands off at the wrists.>[B1] Immediately rush to save Annie. Jesse will bleed out on his own.>[C2] Attempt to scale Annie's body so you can get to and murder the other man. (Roll.)
>>4619061>[A3] Retrieve The Sword by chopping Jesse's hands off at the wrists.Empathy for him lost once he fucking stabbed us.>[B1] Immediately rush to save Annie. Jesse will bleed out on his own.GODDAMNIT WE JUST GOT THAT WORM>[C1] Attempt to convince Annie to lower its body so you can get to and murder the other man. (Roll.)
>>4619061>A2Headbutt him back. It'll be ironic. Also would A1 even work considering the guard is wider than the blade? I guess if our tummy is all goo it wouldn't matter.Damn good thing Monty isn't here because we look like a gooplicate right now.>B1>C1I dunno about murder. Maybe just disable?
>>4619061>>4619322I'll switch my vote to >[A2] Retrieve The Sword by wrestling Jesse off of it.But hacking our worm is asking for a murdering.
>>4619322>I guess if our tummy is all goo it wouldn't matter. Yeah, you've got it. It would just go straight through. >>4619095>Empathy for him lostLook, in his defense, you did just burst out of the ground and nearly bite his throat out.
>>4619506>>4619483I switched mah voterino to just committing a bit more violence on the sword thief.Like.God, I guess I get it, he must really want the sword to refuse to give it back after that. But it's OUR SWORD. Whoz'ee fink 'e iz, den, taking it like that.
>>4619061> Write inPolitely thank Jesse for returning the sword and then turn to scream at the man who is cutting up your loyal steed.By politely I mean continue to scream incoherently at him to let go.
Rolled 1 (1d2)>>4619630>he must really want the sword to refuse to give it backIt's more that he's already bleeding out heavily, and you are acting batshit insane: he had little to lose and zero guarantee you wouldn't just stab him after you get it.>>4619067>>4619087>>4619094>A3>>4619322>>4619483>>4619667>A2>B1: Unanimous>>4619067>>4619094>>4619095>>4619322>>4619667>C1>>4619087>C2>>4619632>Write-inB1 and C1 take it, flipping between A2 and A3. You'll probably be doing some yelling at the other guy regardless of results.
>>4619743>Tackle (headbutt) Jesse awayOkay.Now for your roll:>Please roll me 3 1d100s + 20 (+10 ANNIEEEEEEE, +10 SWORD!!!!) vs. DC 65 (+10 Thrashing, +5 Distance) to get in contact with the worm.(Richard cannot and will not help with this, so no optional +10.)AND, since everyone skipped this: how to break degrees-of-success ties in combat? (If you're one of the two who already voted last night, don't worry about voting again.)> Roll against -- higher bo3 of the two sets wins. Effectively a coin flip, which is what I've been doing regardless.> Higher roll bonus -- whoever has the stronger 'advantage' wins.> Higher rolls cancel lower rolls, as described here: >>4618927 >>4618962> Write-in
Rolled 46 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>4619759> Higher roll bonus -- whoever has the stronger 'advantage' wins.
Rolled 79 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>4619759> Higher rolls cancel lower rolls
Rolled 24 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>4619759> Higher roll bonus -- whoever has the stronger 'advantage' wins.
Rolled 45, 9, 4, 63, 37, 82 = 240 (6d100)>>4619791>>4619797>>4619821>66, 99, 44 vs. DC 65 -- SuccessAnd we are... tied on the OOC vote. Very fitting. I'll leave that one open, and hopefully someone breaks it (if not, I'll just pick).Other rolls.Annie: 3d100s + 5 (+10 Massive, +5 Blind Rage, -10 Nasty Wound) vs. DC 50???: 3d100s + 5 (+15 Lucky, +5 Monster Hunter Dilettante, -5 Dangling, -10 Broken Leg) vs. DC 60 (-10 Massive, +20 Thrashing)
>>4619904>*barely* a Mitigated Success>SuccessSeems like you're rushing in just in time! Writing.
>>4619904Oh, and fug, we're actually not tied. , higher roll bonus, takes it. If the roll bonuses themselves are tied... I guess nobody fully succeeds.Still writing.
>>4619904Final tiebreaker could be to give it to whoever has the highest total of all three rolls added up. Or whoever has the highest individual roll.
>To the rescue!Your hand goes to the hilt of Ixelbraith, and for several slow moments you contemplate chopping off Jesse's hands— fitting punishment for deigning to touch The Sword, let alone stab you with it. But you are interrupted by the sting of something rising in your throat, and you bend and heave more goo all over Jesse's doublet.His grip looses in surprise, and you follow up by driving the crown of your head into his unprotected stomach. It doesn't knock him over (are you too light? your skull too soft?), but he does stumble back, and with triumph you pull The Sword from your torso.>[COMPLETE: Get The Sword, for real.]There is no radiant aura of light or birdsong. Jesse does not fall to his knees in fealty. You don't even feel that good. A little good, maybe, like when you finish cleaning your tent. But where the white hot elation should be is nothing. Like there's a little hollow where your heart should be.None of this is right. You should be laughing and screaming and jumping and rubbing it directly in Jesse's face. You want to do all those things. So what's stopping you? What's the matter with you?«I told you something was wrong and you didn't listen.»«But there are now a dozen other fires to put out, so suck it up and kill him.»Kill him? His blood is still on your teeth.«Yes. So finish the job.»«Don't pretend you're suddenly against it. I heard you earlier.»You look up from The Sword and into Jesse's face. He has backed away from you, and is clutching his neck with both hands. He has bled onto his doublet and his sleeves and pants and boots and chin. He should probably not still be standing, and as you watch he sinks painfully into a crouch. He squints up at you, and though he (you think) is trying to put up a brave front, he is visibly frightened. This would've delighted you not a minute ago, but with The Sword finally in your hands it's different. It's not right. You don't want people to be frightened of you, unless it's in a good way, like 'wow, Lottie, I had no idea you were so scary! I now have respect for you, and will treat you nicely later.' Working example. Jesse will not treat you nicely later: Jesse has no later, and if he did he'd use it to put you down for the good of humanity.It's here that you begin to cry, sticky and hot, wiping your eyes with your filthy sleeve and dropping The Sword to your side. Why are you even here, alone in the swamp in the middle of the night? You should be home. You should be home, and safe, a-and stable, and you—«I take it back. Please panic. Anything is better than this.»«There is a time for indulgent self-pity and it is never, but especially not now. You have signed up for a job. Do the job.»You don't want to kill Jesse, whose fear has shaded into confusion.«That's fine, since he's done for. Thank me later about the teeth. Your top priority is—»(1/3)
Annie! You wheel around and it is still thrashing, the man still improbably hanging on, ever so often swinging close enough to make another cut! Annie! Is there nothing you can do?«—locating beetles and the other one— what. The worm is of no consequence.»«Do you remember that there's a very large current.»You don't care about the very large current, you care about Annie, who is clearly suffering. But the man is twenty feet at least, and you have no ranged capacity. Gil has a gun, but Gil is not here. So what then? Hope the man falls? You can't wait that long.No, you need to convince Annie to lower its head, so you're able to reach. Which means you—«No.»It worked the first time, didn't it?«If you use 'worked' to mean 'you successfully gave yourself brain damage,' then yes, it worked.»«Unfortunately, I have a vested interest in keeping you functional in modern society, so I would strongly advise against—»When does Richard give good advice? Never. You screw your eyes shut.«I always give good advice. You are just unwilling to take it.»«Do I need to spell out how fragile your typical mental state is, let alone its condition tonight, which—»Is stellar. Thanks, Richard, but you already knew that. You have a worm to rescue.«What is stopping you from putting this vigor towards productive goals.»La la la. You can't hear him. It is easier to find the place, the second time, now that it's been laid bare inside you. Though now that you're examining it more closely, it does seem rather... deep, and dark, and slimy, sort of.«It's <your> convenient mental construct. It can seem however you want it to.»Shut up, Richard. You peer down it, and cannot see the bottom: no wonder you had such a hard time getting out. Why were you so eager to go down in the first place? It smells fetid. You need a rope, or something.«Any symbolic representation of escape would work equally well, but fine, here's your rope.»In your imagination, someone hands you a coil of rope, and you take it, and fix it around your waist, and hand the free end back. Richard— it is him, though he's curiously flickery and indistinct— takes it. «…»You know he won't drop it, because it's his job, or whatever. You'll be safe. And it's with this confidence that you teeter back into oblivion.In oblivion all is warm and red-dark and jumbled, and you are soft and hard, and blue and scarlet, and toothed. You are nameless and know nothing. You are nerve and instinct. You are lust and hunger. There is blood in your mouth. You might be happy. You are closer than ever to God.(2/3)
For God though not all-knowing is All-Judging, and It seethes at doubt, weakness, contradiction, diversion, and disorder. You are plagued with none of these. You are freed from nuance or complexity. You are cleansed from the Sin of consciousness, and now— however briefly— may count yourself among the ranks of the Innocent: animals, those sleeping without dreams, and the dead.But you are neither sleeping nor dead, which leaves you animal. This brings you no discomfort nor alarm. You open your eyes.The Worm is losing. Its blood purples the water. Its thrashes are slowing. The leg of its predator is twisted badly but that does not stall its attack. You cry out in warning for your ally and send your warning through the ground and feel its slow mind brush against yours and send it there, too. And it reacts and slams its body downward.You make then to spring and lose the object in your hand and maul the predator with your fangs but—You are on a rooftop at night, and your father is embracing you. He pulls away, and his shirt is soaked with brassy liquid. He is wounded. Nobody has wounded him."I forgive you," he says. You haven't done anything. "I know. I know you weren't in your right mind. It's okay, primrose." You haven't done anything. "I forgive you. I love you, Charlie. Charlotte." You haven't done anything. "You'll never know how much, I'm sorry." You haven't…—jolt back to yourself.Richard.«What.»«That was your escape rope. It was effective. And fast.»Was there nothing else that could've been effective and fast?«You would've liked the other options about the same as this one.»Oh, God. You spit remnants of blood and goo from your mouth. Annie is on the ground, still snapping at the man, who is dragging his leg along but has otherwise managed a few more deep cuts. And he may find the attack easier, now.You must go quickly.>[A1] Approach with stealth: it's unclear if he's seen you, and his back is turned to you. You may have surprise in your favor.>[A2] Approach with speed: time is of the essence.>[A3] Write-in.(Rolls for everything.)>[B1] Go for the flying tackle. Pin him down so he'll be unable to attack.>[B2] Sweep out his legs. He's already barely using one— he'll go down like a stone.>[B3] Bite his neck.>[B4] Write-in.>[C] Write-in.
>>4620506>[A2] Approach with speed: time is of the essence.>[B2] Sweep out his legs. He's already barely using one— he'll go down like a stone.Sweep the leg! It'll be easier to pin him to the ground with The Sword if he's already laying on it.
>>4620506>[A2] Approach with speed: time is of the essence.>[B1] Go for the flying tackle. Pin him down so he'll be unable to attack.That flasback, holy crap.
>>4620506>A2>B1when I started reading that flashback I was like oh boy there goes 6 ID
>>4620509>>4620512>>4620613>>4620792>>4620821>A2>>4620509>>4620512>B2>>4620613>>4620792>>4620821>B1Called for A2/B1.>>4620792>there goes 6 ID6 ID is pretty damn drastic-- that'd be, like, having someone rip out your heart and eat it in front of you while you're fully lucid. Taking off 1 there probably would've made sense, but you guys got a full Success so I didn't want to punish for that.>>4619986Also good suggestions.Now: >Please roll me 3 1d100s + 10 (+10 ANNIEEEEEEEE, +10 Good With Swords, +5 On Fire!, -15* Melted Torso) vs. DC 60 (+15 Lucky, +5 Sees You Coming, -10 Broken Leg)*-10 side wound modifier incorporated in here, since it's no longer relevant on its own for hopefully obvious reasonsAnd...Spend 1 ID for +10 to the final result? You are at 2/9 ID.> Y> N
Rolled 59 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4621120> N
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>4621120
Rolled 3 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4621120
>>4621120And > N
Rolled 13, 11, 15, 29, 42, 66 = 176 (6d100)>>4621128>>4621131>>4621134>69, 50, 13 vs. DC 60 -- Mitigated Success>No spendNeat.Everyone else: Annie: 3d100s - 5 (+10 Massive, +5 Blind Rage, -5 Grounded, -15 Nasty Wounds) vs. DC 50???: 3d100s + 5 (+15 Lucky, -10 Broken Leg) vs. DC 55 (-5 Expected, +10 Surprisingly Gelatinous)/spoiler]
>>4621164>Failure>Mitigated SuccessYour Mitigated Success beats ???'s Mitigated Success due to your higher flat bonus (+10 vs. +5). Also, Annie is a jobber.Writing shortly.
>Flying tackle>69, 50, 13 vs. DC 60 -- Mitigated SuccessYou glance down at The Sword in your hand and again the incurable hollowness steals upon you. You glace back up and it vanishes. So long as you don't look at it, you discover, you can convince yourself that all is right in the world: that you are high off sheer elation. You aren't. But it's the next best thing.>[+2 ID: 4/(9)]For you have The Sword in hand (don't look at it) and that finally marks you as the heir of the Fawkins name and your father's legacy! Not that you know what that is, but you are certain it was something grand and noble, and assuredly he saved innocents, and no Richard you don't want to hear whatever he actually did. And even more assuredly, you are hereunto following in his illustrious footsteps (seriously you don't want to hear it), by forthcomingly rescuing this innocent worm, who hath harmed no-body, and…«You realize it eats people, right.»Well, you don't care about those people, you don't even know them, and also, shut up. You thought he was too busy to talk. What happened to that?«After deprioritizing your torso I have less to focus on.»Can he please just let you give yourself a pep talk?«Fine.»You squint at Richard, who floats nonchalantly by your shoulder, and get back to it. This innocent worm, who hath harmed no-body who actually matters, and who is being viciously slain by a cruel and unfeeling man, who probably hates hugs, and small adorable dogs, and things of that sort. So there is no moral ambiguity present whatsoever in stopping him.Yes! You raise The Sword above your head, swing it once around, and charge as fast as your legs can carry you. "AAAYIIIIIIIIIII!!" you scream.As it turns out: your legs can carry you pretty damn fast, but this sets your lower torso wobbling so violently you have premonitions of it spilling out from under your coat. And what then? Would you just be legs and a ribcage? That does not seem fixable. Your scream dies. You slow your gait.Richard twines urgently around your wrist.«How do I put this. It's still <you,> Charlotte, it's not foreign matter. It <wants> to be you.»«Force it into shape now before you're under attack.»Oh, like it's so easy. You drop The Sword and prod your stomach region through your coat, where it squishes unpleasantly. «It is easy. You're not focusing.»Gee. You attempt to banish thoughts of worms and Swords from your mind, and concentrate instead on torsos. How nice it is to have one. Such a useful place to keep your digestive system. Where is your digestive system, now?«You weren't using it.»It's a matter of principle. After a few moments of thoughts like that, there is a feeling like a clench of your chest. You stick your hand under your shirt and find, instead of undifferentiated goop, something that resembles a stomach. Though it is rather cold. And moist.(1/2)
You look up and the man is quite close to you. Annie lies, oozing and twitching, behind him. "Oh," you say."Oh" because you realized that pausing mid-charge was possibly not the best idea, and also because you dimly recognized him. He's "Lucky" Duncan, the guy from Tom's Cave, where you found the crown. He appears no worse the wear from that escapade."Um," you add. "I killed you.""You left me for dead, which isn't really the same thing." He spits. "You've been lying low. That's surprising, considering you."You have no idea what he means. This is the second time you've ever seen him. "Um, okay. You're murdering my worm.""'Your' worm. What's next? 'Your' crown?""Um…" Is it a trick question? "…Yes?""You know, I gave you a chance. I offered to let you back into the fold. And you didn't take it, Lottie. You refused it. And you kicked my nose in."Okay, you did do that."But you know what, I'll be generous. If you give in now, and lay down— ah, I see you got your sword back. Lay down your sword, and give me the crown— then I'll just arrest you. And we'll treat you nicely, as a remorseful deserter. And maybe we'll even ship you back West, and you can get all this nastiness—" He gestures toward the whole of you. "—burnt out. And maybe you could even join back— as a recruit, you understand. But, to be frank, it's more than you've earned."You feel he's missing the point. "You're murdering my worm.""And you're—" He looks past you. "Oh, dear. What did you do to Jesse?""Nothing," you say defensively."Did you kill him? I thought your relationship ended on good terms. But, well— he was never trustworthy. He's mellowed out since you deserted, but he still has that scheming look about him." Lucky hefts his tomahawk. "Or had, I suppose. But I see you've made your decision."He is clearly going to rush you, and he is clearly insane ('deserted'? what did you desert?), so you feel no guilt about hurtling towards him with another "AYIIIIIIIIII!!!" He meets you belatedly, as you bowl him over, and you shriek as his axeblade finds your forearm— but the pain ends abruptly. Your sleeve sags.«Stop getting stabbed.»You would like to, but you have higher priorities. Before Lucky can rise, you arrange your knees on his chest and press The Sword's blade to his throat. (To your delight, it is flickering with heatless flame.) Lucky stares balefully up at you and wrests his tomahawk from your shoulder. (You feel nothing.) He stares at the goo on its blade."Oh," he says. "Naturally. It's not even you.">[A1] Kill him. Clearly leaving him for dead doesn't work.>[A2] Knock him out. You're not— you shouldn't be a murderer.>[A3] Write-in.>[B1] Interrogate him. (What do you ask? Write-in.)>[B2] Don't interrogate him. >[C] Write-in.
>>4621442>A2not really a fan of this duncan chap>B1>"This is the real me. The other one was fake. Tell me what it got up to."
>>4621442>[A1] Kill him. Clearly leaving him for dead doesn't work.Let the worm eat him.>[B1] Interrogate him. Search the body see if he has anything useful on him.
>>4621492Just to clear up an edge case: if knocking him out hypothetically wins the vote, would you still want to search him for anything useful?
>>4621643If time permits, yes.
>>4621442>[A3] Knok him out in such a way that any nearby worm would find him easy and convenient to eat. It doesn't count as murder, right?>[B1] Interrogate him.What the hell did we desert? And what's with this current? And what are these guys doing here anyway?
>>4621442>>4621481+1 to what this anon said.
>>4621786>>4621442This works for me.
>>4621481>>4621691>>4621810>A2>>4621786>>4621846>A3>>4621492>A1>>4621481>>4621492>>4621786>Various questions/armed robberyLooks like you'll be asking him stuff, then knocking him out and taking some stuff. And if you leave him out in the open where a worm might be able to eat him, that's... not relevant!Writing in a while.
>Bad copYou shift your knee. "Um... no, it's me. I'm the real...""Okay." Lucky, curling his lip, tilts his head towards your shoulder. "I'm not stupid.""No, I am the-- the other one's the fake. Honestly.""'The other one,' he drawls."Yeah! The one in the... poncho..." No recognition whatsoever. "...Have you not seen her? She's— she is the fake one. Objectively.""I appreciate the effort—" he blatantly doesn't— "but you're not very persuasive, hm? So how about you get on to the business of killing me and taking my— ngh." He screws up his face.You have arranged yourself so all your weight is on his bum leg. "I'm real.""You're real," he grunts."Thank you." You take some, but not all, of your weight off. "Okay. So you don't know anything about the me in the poncho?""...No.""Do you know anything about the current? What are you even doing out here?""I don't know why you're bothering. You're going to get this from me as soon as you— ngh!" His leg crunches. "The current is clearly unnatural.""That's it?" You already knew that."Do I need to know more? It's unnatural and it poses a direct threat to the local area. It's therefore our responsibility to safeguard the local…"Lucky falls silent. You are pressing The Sword's blade closer to his neck. "Seriously? You don't even know about Horse Face or- or anything?"He doesn't speak until you jostle him. "I don't know what that is.""It's not a what, it's a who. Horse Face? Garvin? Funny-looking guy? Am I ahead of you here?" "Garvin?" Lucky squints. "He's involved?""Yeah, he's— you know him?""Apparently not. Backstabbing motherfucker." He closes one eye. "Pardon my language.""But you know him? You—""I don't want to talk about Garvin." He winces as The Sword's flames grow brighter. "Kill me, then. You're going to anyway."You try to pretend he didn't just call your bluff. "Whatever. So you're just here to— to stop the current?""Yes.""No ulterior motive?""Like I said, and like you well know, it is the Wind Court's sacred responsibility to defend innocent people from forces outside the natural world. Even if those forces are currents."You pause. "Why would I well know that?""Well, you wouldn't, but the woman you stole the— augh!" There's no way that leg is healing straight, now. "You were a part of the Court.""What?" No you weren't."What do you mean, what? Do her memories not go back that far? Three years ago? You were a rising star? Harrier-Leftenant Fawkins? Fled in a cloud of scandal?"None of that makes sense. You were out northwest three years ago, when you first drowned. And you did leave… suddenly. But not because you… you weren't a part of anything. Certainly not the Court. "You're lying!""Why on God's wet earth would I lie about this? Are you defective? Y—" (1/2)
Before he can say more things that make no sense, and hurt your head, you tug your sleeves over your hands, grasp The Sword by its blade, and club him in the forehead with its hilt. His eyeballs roll, and he falls silent.You stand, and see the worm. Annie is lying motionless. You swallow and inch closer. The gashes from Lucky's are small, in comparison with Annie's bulk, but they're gushing blood— did he sever something important? No. No he— but your lower lip is quivering.You hook your arms under Lucky's and begin to drag him, slowly, towards Annie's distant head. By the time you get there, you're full-blown crying.«Again.»You're full-blown crying, again. Through a haze of tears, you present Lucky's limp body up to Annie. "I- I got this f- for—"Annie twitches in response, but doesn't appear hungry. Its jaws snap wanly. You sniffle. "I'll— I'll just- set him down— if you—"«It's a worm, Charlotte.»It's your worm, your- your loyal ally, and you— it's dying. It's dying because of you. You stifle a sob and lay Lucky face-down. "I-I-I'm sorry."«Why do you never apologize to me.»«It's a worm. It can't even understand you.»"I'm— I'm sorry," you repeat haltingly, and stumble towards Annie. "I'm sorry." You find its body and wrap your arms around it as wide as they'll go and press your dirty face into its side and mumble. "You've— you've been— you did a good job. You've been so good. You're a good worm."«Are you this touch-starved.»You think Richard is jealous. Because he's worse. Annie would never judge you. Annie would never make fun of you. «Because it is not a person. It is a worm. It is a dumb animal that would swallow you whole if it got the chance.»That's not true. You know that's not true. You have sunk to your knees but keep your face pressed into Annie's cold, hard side, and you cry there until its heart-contractions slow and finally halt. And then and only then do you turn around.Gil and Monty are standing there. Monty looks the same, except for some dirt, but Gil's right arm has melted off, and he appears to be having issues with his neck. He is using Monty for support. Monty is propping himself up on his trident."Um…" Gil says. "Hi."You sniffle."…Are you…" Both of them are staring at you. "…Um…"Monty tries to shout something above the current, but fails. He turns to Gil."…Monty says, i-is the worm dead?"You nod, quickly, and duck your head so they can't see your lip trembling again."…That sucks. Sorry."You nod."Um… who's that guy?" Gil angles his head towards Lucky."Nobody." You wipe your eyes. "He's… it's not important.""…Who's that guy?"You turn. Jesse is far away, and obscured by clouds of blood, but he appears to be sitting up. Is he not dead? "That's, um, the guy who— I-I don't know if Monty saw him. But he's the guy who… I got my sword back.""It's on fire," Gil says."Yeah."(2/3)
He might be grimacing, but with the state of his face it's impossible to say for sure. "…Cool. Um." Monty says something. "Monty says, do you need a minute? To compose yourself? Or are you ready to—">You are getting close to the source of the current. You will be rolling to proceed regardless of options chosen below. >[A1] You should check on Jesse first, if he hasn't died yet. (Anything in particular you'd want to say to him? Write-in.)>[A2] Leave Jesse be.>[B1] You should rummage through Lucky's pockets first.>[B2] Leave Lucky be.>[C] You have something else to do first. (What? Write-in. Optional.)
>>4622680>>[B1] You should rummage through Lucky's pockets first.Make sure he doesn't have any Wind Court shit to fuck us up when he eventually wakes up.
>>4622680>[B1] You should rummage through Lucky's pockets first.Dude seemed like he knew more than he was letting on--plus he's not in a position to protest.
>>4622680>[B1] You should rummage through Lucky's pockets first.Be petty and take anything we find, we can discard it latter, or sell / pass it off later if we feel like it.
>>4622698>>4622704>>4622705>Steal his stuffOkay! Calling it here, since I'm going to aim to write one more update at some point tonight. (Probably in a few more hours, don't get your hopes up.)In the meantime:>Please roll me 3 1d100s - ? (-? Falling Apart) vs. DC 65 (+15 Major Resistance) to forge ahead.(This vote will determine what the "?" modifier is. Please roll an unmodified d100 in the meantime.)>[A1] Keep your focus on holding your stomach together.>[A2] Keep your focus on holding your shoulder together.>[A3] Keep your focus on battling the current.Spend 1 ID for a +10 to all results? You are at 4/9 ID.>[B1] Y>[B2] N
Rolled 37 + 0 (1d100 + 0)>>4622928>[A3] Keep your focus on battling the current.>[B1] Y
>>4622677>>[A1] You should check on Jesse first, if he hasn't died yet. (Anything in particular you'd want to say to him? Write-in.)Tell him we're sorry he hooked up with a gooplicate monster copy of us. This has to have been a confusing and terrible day for him, and HAHA boy do we know those days.Maybe give him some first aid so he doesn't die.Also that way he can go back and let the Council know that they might be infiltrated with copies of people. Who was that girl we knew who was part of the Court? Namedrop her, let him know she's already on it.>[B1] You should rummage through Lucky's pockets first.Looting is traditional.
Rolled 22 (1d100)>>4622928Nevermind then, I guess.>[A3] Keep your focus on battling the current.N
Rolled 73 (1d100)>>4622928>>4622935Spendy spendy
>>4622928>[A2] Keep your focus on holding your shoulder together.Our stomach has a lot of our favourite organs in it, but we'll need a good shoulder if we want to use The Sword properly.
Rolled 54 (1d100)>>4622928Backing >>4622948If it isn't too late to talk to Jesse. >A1
>>4622948I'll say... you can stop by him on the way out and chat about the hookup, but ixnay on the first aid, since nobody else seems interested in lending him a hand. (Please correct me if I'm wrong there, guys.) You... also don't have much in the way to give first aid with, unless you loot something.>>4622935>>4622949>>4622959>Spend: 47, 32, 83 vs. DC 65>A3: -20 Falling Apart modifier, improved speed, improved results in events>27, 12, 63 vs. DC 65 -- FailureWriting in a while.
Ah, I wrote the call on my phone, without the ability to see posts made in the meantime. Considering this >>4622970, I'll put it up to an official vote.Give first aid to Jesse?> Y> N
>>4623001> YIf we can spare the time, since we don't want the Wind court to actually come after us.
>>4622993>>4623001>YNot his fault our gooplicate duped him. In fact he had no chance against such supernatural beauty and grace. If only we weren't so sinfully perfect.
>>4622993> YShow him magnanimity befitting of a victor.
>>4623015>>4623025>>4623173>>4623218>YOkay! Sounds good. You'll patch him up, or at least offer to.I am starting to write late my time, so this might be a "to be continued" with no options at the end. If it is, I expect it to cover looting Lucky + speaking to Jesse, with the actual setting forth to be published tomorrow. We'll see how it actually goes, but set your expectations accordingly.
Also, while I'm here:>FactoidIf anyone was wondering why Gil is audible but Monty isn't: it's because Monty is using his natural voice, while Gil is using what I am unofficially terming 'projected thought,' which is unaffected by physical factors.>Whoops'Tomahawk' isn't a good term for Lucky's weapon, I'm just using it for consistency since I screwed up with it all the way back at Thread 1. It's larger and more combat-oriented than a RL tomahawk-- think more of a single-headed battleaxe. I may or may not have been thinking of the Fire Emblem weapon when I originally wrote it>>4622948>Who was that girl we knew who was part of the Court?You don't know any female Courtier, except the one that showed up for one or two updates in Thread 1 and never again. (Last name either Molina or Hatch, I forget which was which.) I assume you're thinking of Eloise, who is concerned about Namway Co. but who is to your knowledge unaffiliated with the Court.
>>4622948And one more.>let the Council knowYou don't know of any "council." Eloise said she was going to talk to some people, but didn't specify who they were or if they were a part of anything in particular. You don't think there's any "Council" in the Wind Court, but you're not an expert. (I'm assuming this is OOC confusion... if it's Charlotte trying to lie her ass off, please specify before I get to writing that bit)
>>4623267Wind Court, Council, whatever. Honestly, it's just tossing sime grief in the direction of whoever made a gooplicate of us and had it join the Wind Court.Letting them know that there was one infiltrator in their midst will make them look for more, and hopefully keep them busy with things other than chasing us down.Even if they do investigate us, who is gonna look more suspicious? The rising star in their ranks, or someone being a vindictive little shit out in the ass end of nowhere where she irritates the community of a small town?I mean, if they went to all the trouble to make a duplicate to live Charlottes life, that would be insane.
>>4623297Alright, cool! Thank you for the clarification, it helps a lot when trying to build out Charlotte's motivation for asking (which I often have to extrapolate myself when I use write-ins). And I haven't even gotten to that part yet, so double bonus. (I'm just finishing up the looting... it's definitely going to be a TBC.)
>Be a law-abiding citizenYou glance over towards Lucky. "Um," you sign (trying to ignore your shoulder), "yeah, I'll just— I'll just be a minute."«Are you honestly stealing his belongings.»«What is the purpose of this.»You aren't stealing. Stealing is for thieves like Jesse. You are claiming tribute from a vanquished opponent.«You have not killed him.»«He will discover you have stolen his belongings. And then what.»And then you… will be victorious, since you have all his stuff, and he doesn't. And you need to avenge Annie. The worm cannot have died in vain! You refuse to allow it!«Every day I marvel at your agility in mental gymnastics.»«You will also need to carry this around.»«Against a current.»«Surely you have not forgotten about the—»You can't hear Richard! You can't! And you can't feel him squeezing your wrist to death, either! You are wiping your eyes and going over here to steal Lucky's stuff. You mean claim his stuff as tribute.There's his tomahawk, of course, crusted in worm blood. It's real wood and real metal, you can tell that much, though you're unsure if he made it or salvaged it from somewhere. Either way, Lucky has clearly spent a lot of time oiling the handle and sharpening the axe head, which of course he doesn't need to do: it would stay in good condition on its own. But you suppose that's too much of 'forces outside this natural world' (blergh) for a dedicated Courtier.He's wearing a brown leather jacket with a collar of feathers. What is it with Courtiers and feathers? Honestly? You know they're rare down here (not exactly any birds…), but why choose that in particular as a symbol? The fact that he has so many (you count ten) must mean he's pretty high-up. The leader of this particular Court outpost, maybe? You can't decide if that makes it better or worse to not have killed him. The jacket only has a few pockets, with none extra sown in like Ellery's coat had. You fish around inside them and lay your findings on the sand. In his pockets were:- A spool of thread and a needle (for mending clothing?)- A smooth stone with a hole in the middle, with thread from the spool looped around it- A small baggie of dried fruit, half-empty- A wallet. The wallet contains squares of white waterproof fabric, the Court's favored paper substitute, with various values of chit printed on them (...IOUs?), as well as two photographs. The first is of Lucky and a woman, taken abovewater. They're both smiling. It's dated a decade ago. The second is of…Is of…(1/X)
That can't be right. That has to be doctored. You are in this photograph. Your hair is braided. You look unhappy. You are with a number of other people, none of whom you recognize, except for Jesse all the way on the left. He's the opposite of you: he looks far happier in the photo than he did today. His hair is shaggy, not slicked-back. You don't remember this photo being taken. You don't remember being wherever you were in this photo. You don't remember any of it.>[-1 ID: 3/(9)]Someone has drawn a circle around your face in crayon. You flip the photo over, hoping for context, and instead find words in the same shade of crayon: "PAY GARVIN".You put the photograph back in the wallet, and all of it in your own pockets.Gil coughs behind you. "Monty wants to say that stealing i-is wrong."Monty says something."He also wants to say that that's not what he said, but i-i-it's basically what he said, only in less words. For the record, I-I think stealing is fine if nobody catches you, but… you've been caught, so, um—"You turn around and bear your bloodstained teeth. Gil stops talking.You turn back around. Aside from his jacket and tomahawk, Lucky was also carrying a knapsack. Inside: what you can only describe as 'fire-setting equipment.' A container of sticky fish-oil. A few unlit torches. And the real prize: that orb. You've never known if it was glass or crystal, or if it contained mirrors, or invisible mechanisms, or if it was purely magick. (Though it couldn't be that, surely. Not belonging to the Court.) All you know that that orb is the kind of orb that lights fires.Fire! You chew your lip at the remembrance of Jesse's torch near your face, that night at the museum. Fire underwater isn't like fire in the air, or in a manse, or even on your sword— which is manse-fire anyhow, you're pretty sure. It's different. It burns the weird out, or maybe it puts the reality in, you're not sure. Which is how you linger too long by a fire and start to feel your wetness. And your coldness. And then your hunger, and thirst, and (at this point you're just being tortured) the pressure of a mile of water, square on your head. You're not actually crushed. But it does feel like it.«Wow. Thank you. I feel so informed.»You just know some things, okay. God. You weren't even talking to him. You— you can't even hear him. You are totally deaf.«You can hear fine. And even if you couldn't, I am speaking directly into your mind, so it wouldn't matter.»That's, um, not the point. Does he realize that's not the point? The point is that Lucky has stuff to start a fire, maybe a fairly large one, and… you don't know if that means anything. It could still be used for what he said he was here for— it burns away weird phenomena equally well, you think. So that's a wash.(2/X)
You put everything back in the knapsack, put it on, and turn. Monty has a familiar expression of disapproval. "What?" you sign. "It could come in handy. And I'm not putting it all back."Monty closes his eyes and shakes his head. You interpret this as "you're so right, Charlotte," and gesture over in Jesse's direction. "Um, I'm almost done. Just gotta—""I-isn't the camp being destroyed right now?" Gil says. "Um. Just asking.""It's not being destroyed, it's—" You can't come up with an alternative. "—um, you know, it'll be fine. This won't take very long, okay? It's not going to get any more destroyed. Or not destroyed."«You have one singular goal and still you pursue everything but it.»«Amazing.»It's— does he ever get tired of talking to you?«Frequently.»Oh. Um, okay. You didn't know that. You're just going to— go— over here. All the way over here. You arrive at Jesse.He's still alive, or else the best-looking corpse you've ever seen: pale and enervated, but sitting up and moving. He has torn several strips of fabric off his shirt and used them to bandage his neck, and is busy ripping another off with his teeth when you approach.You feel a little ball in your throat develop when he sees you and freezes completely. He's afraid. He thinks you're here to finish him off. "I'm not going to murder you," you say.For some reason this is unconvincing. He is still frozen, only his eyes flicking between you and his neck."Um. Sorry I… tried to murder you." You wipe your nose. "I mean, you kind of deserved it, though. You stole my sword. What did you expect?""…You gave me it," he signs."No, my copy gave you it, which is… I mean, it's still kind of indirect stealing, isn't it? You should've been able to tell. Though, I mean, I am flattered, I guess, that you were so… overcome by desire." That sounds right. You've read that before.Pure bafflement. "You… you're the copy.""No I'm not, idiot, that's…" You stare down at your stomach. "That was a coincidence, okay? I killed the real copy. So you're welcome.""…You killed Charlie?" Fear mingled with anguish. What is with this guy?You stab The Sword into the sand. "No, I killed the copy. The fake copy. The real fake copy. Okay? God. Be happy about it. You're also welcome for me not killing you, by the way. Because you deserved it. And your blood tastes gross."«Are you trying to apologize.»No, you're— you're just telling him the facts of the matter. And it's not your fault if he doesn't understand them.«You're actually trying to apologize.»«Spectacular.»«Have you heard of a thing called empathy.»Richard (whom you cannot hear) has absolutely no say in this. He wanted you to kill him.«It was optimal to kill him then. It is now optimal to win his favor.»«So how about you, I don't know, do that.»[To be continued! Tomorrow!]
>>4623324>bear, not bare, your bloodstained teethGoddammit. Guess you have bear teeth now. I'm getting some sleep.
>>4623326We could be bearing them like one bears a burden. Maybe the blood is really heavy.
>>4623325I can't wait for him to explain why the copy would be hanging out in the ass end of nowhere, puttering about in a small town. Especially since they actually *gave away our sword*, which is not something we would ever do. Like. He works for the Court, so he must have some deductive skills. What would make more sense, to use a copy of a noble to go live our life, or to use a copy of a Noble who was in said ass end of nowhere to infiltrate the Wind Court.I guess that explains maybe why he let us go during the heist, but really that's kind of disappointing that he would have made an exception for someone he thought was his girlfriend. More proof that it was a copy, we would never date someone who was corrupt like that.I think we can ignore the fact that we were a criminal in that situation. After all, it was really Richard who committed us to that, we were merely following through with our committments. After all, it's not like we were the subjects or allies of the people we stole from, so honour > law in our personal case.
>>4623562Blood underwater is funky, right? Maybe we should keep some of his?Anyways. >>4623325Look at it from our perspective. Here we are, trying to stop a disaster with our companions, one of whom has only one arm and the other is melting, when we meet some cop snogging our clone who then tries to kill us immediately while the jagoff cop WHO HAS OUR SWORD also tries to kill us then runs the fuck away (another point against him, really, what was our clone thinking) with said sword despite us asking for it back instead of immediately resorting to murder, unlike our clone, and even now once we have it back we still aren't killing him despite the, you know, stabbing us.Also clearly him and Lucky aren't up to the task of stopping this flood thing, so you're going to stop it. Not for them, you were doing it anyways because it's wrecking your home, and there are some people there who are worth saving. Probably.So, we have the orb by right of conquest in the oldest fashion of Noble deeds, we assume it can be used to enforce the laws of not fucking around on whatever is fucking around.If he could clarify on any points of how to stop it, that's really more important to us right now than his tawdry romance with a gooplicate spy or the Wind Court's desire to be the world police. We don't reaply care much about those things.And afterwards, if they want to find you to give you a reward or ransom their stuff back like civilized adults, you can discuss the whole clone thing in depth with him then.Chop chop, we don't have all day, and there's still a current to wade up against and probably a confusing fight and Charlie already lost her worm thanks to his murderous boss so it's gonna be even harder.
>>4623325«Have you heard of a thing called empathy.»>>4623660>>4623666Charlotte:> No thank you, I don't do that.Fair point though, do we seem like a person who does things like subtlety, infilitration, or seduction?In fact, I see Richard supporting her on those grounds.
>>4623660>>4623666>Write 1.5k word partial update>Pass out>Wake up>Whole new monster-sized write-in to include in already-long second half of already-long updateOh man. I appreciate the dedication, but for the sake of my sanity, my future carpal tunnel, and keeping the plot moving, this is all probably going to be cut down or skimmed over. I didn't really intend to take the convo in this direction (as pointed out by >>4623795), but I can drag out Charlotte being an asshole a little longer. Just not a lot longer.>Blood underwater is funky, right? Maybe we should keep some of his?It is funky, if not all that relevant to the story-- for details refer to the OG Drowned. (Or don't, and just ask. I'm pretty sure the OG doesn't hold up.) You have no way to keep some of his, though, since he's staunched most of his bleeding, he's not gonna let you anywhere near his wound, and you have nowhere to put it. >>4623562Yes, of course! As I intended all along!
>>4623900Nah, that's fine. I practice the "Throw it at the wall and see if it sticks" school of writing, anyways.TL;DR Charlie is an ass, but makes some good points, one of which is that she clearly isn't trying to get in their good graces anyways so if he doesn't want to believe her then he can fuck off and they'll be done.
>Cont. 'Win his favor'? His favor? What does he possibly have to offer you? You're a- a- a queen, God-damnit, and he's a— an incompetent! Look at him! He can't even avoid getting tricked by such an obvious fake! Or steal your Sword properly! Or even find the courage to capture a criminal! (Even if that criminal was you.) How pathetic! You are appalled, frankly, you are disgusted that—«You're just mad you can't apologize properly.»A thought of an apology has never even crossed your mind. You are going to clear a few more things up, and then you are leaving Jesse to rot— he hasn't even bothered responding to you, the prick. "By the way," you add, nudging him with your foot so he's forced to pay attention, "It's— it's absurd how wrong you are about the copy thing."He flinches at your nudge, and doesn't relax after. "You didn't bleed.""Well, okay, that's because the real fake me injected me with some stuff that— did that. Obviously." You cross your arms. "That doesn't mean anything."Jesse doesn't meet your eyes. "That's literally the worst lie I've ever heard.""No it—" You've been told that before, but never about the truth. "It's not a— but that's what happened. And it— I mean, it's the only thing that makes sense. Since I've never seen you before. You know the fake one.""I've known her for three years.""Well, you've—" Three years again. "There's been a fake one for three years, obviously. I mean, think about it. What makes more sense? The clone of a really awesome, cool person gets shipped out here to do nothing? Or the clone of a— um, still really awesome, cool, but vastly underappreciated person gets shipped out there to— I don't know, infiltrate, or whatever? There's probably a whole bunch of clone people in your ranks. Maybe you're a clone person. And that's why you're like this.""…I'm bleeding.""Maybe you're a special clone person. I'm just saying, it's something to think about. Tell your officers, okay? Tell them there's a conspiracy. And, you know, if there is, I better get credited, because I'm the one who figured it out. Got it?"He sighs."Got it? I could still kill you, if I wanted."The slightest of nods."Okay. Thanks. So bye, then. I'm off to go save the entire town, and stuff, since you're such a colossal screwup." You pause. "So there.""…Would you say that out loud? Not— signed.""What?" For what purpose? "Um… I'm off to…""After that.""…Since you're such a colossal screwup?""Yeah." His smile, you think, is like a firework: gone in an instant, bright while it lasted. He touches his neck. "Thanks.""Um, I'm going to… go." Why are you flushing? "Now.""You said that already," he says. "Well, it— it was true the first time. And I— I don't— you still deserved this, by the way. All of it." You must stop flushing immediately. Can Richard do that?«No.»(1/5?)
Can he really not do that, or is he just hanging you out to dry? «Yes.»Wonderful. For his part, Jesse is gazing at you with an odd mix of emotion. The fear isn't gone, but it has receded, and it's joined with a tiny daub of amusement. And a lot more of something you're unable to name. "Wait," he says, "before you go—" And he grits his teeth and weakly pulls down his collar.He intends for you to come closer. You take The Sword from the sand (gently, so it doesn't rattle your shoulder). "I-I'm armed.""…I'm not. You took my sword. Just…" You creep towards him, attempting to project threat. He tugs the collar down further, and rubs still-wet blood out of the way, and reveals a coin-sized closed-spiral tattoo. "It's still going," he says significantly."What?""It…" He sees your face. "…You don't know.""Tattoos are for people lacking class," you sniff, and draw away. "Now I really must be going.""…" He slumps. Then, just as you turn to go, "Wait! Where do you li—"You are already moving. >[+1 ID: 5/(9)] Gil and Monty await you back by Annie's corpse. (You try not to look at it). Monty is visibly impatient; Gil is visibly nothing, his face at this point completely obscured. Both of them are huddled close against the worm to get out of the current, though it still whips their hair and clothes about.You have no idea why it's troubling them so much. "Why are you hiding? Gee. I can stand fine.""…Hi," Gil says. "Yeah, um… why can you stand fine? I— your hair i-isn't even moving.""Huh?" You feel your head. Your hair is limp at your shoulders. You hadn't noticed. Shouldn't there be more of a—The current hits you like a door to the face. You manage to keep upright, but not skillfully enough to look good about it. Your eyes stream. "God! What—""I-it's been like this since we got out of the tunnel. Did you, um, forget?"As a matter of fact, you did forget, or at least hadn't paid it any thought. It'd just been one thing after another. "You didn't have to tell me," you say reproachfully, and pluck a stay leaf out of your hair."Sorry."Monty makes a show of checking an imaginary watch, then jerks his head in the direction of the current. He does this several times until you relent (can't have him thinking he's in charge), sling The Sword over your good shoulder, and begin to walk.The immediate trouble is the current. If before fighting it was like slogging up an infinite hill, here it's something like scaling a mountain— and that's without taking into account the loose ground, the continuous shower of random objects (it seems mostly to be shells, now), and the ache in your legs, which despite Richard's best efforts earlier is steadily flaring back up. Once you get into a rhythm, though, it becomes bearable. Take a step, place all your weight on it, so your boot's heel sinks into the ground. Wait. Pull your other heel out of the ground. Take a step, place all your weight on it—(2/5?)
The less immediate trouble, then, is your body. It's not your legs— God, you wish it were your legs, ordinary pain would be a vast improvement. It's your lower torso, and your shoulder.They are wrong. That is the only way to put it. They are wrong, they behave in wrong, unfleshlike ways, they drip and sag and quiver with the slightest motion. They are cold on touch and worse— cold inside your body, where your arm touches your shoulder, and your ribcage touches your stomach. Concentrating on one forces it into an approximation of skin and muscle, but then the other worsens, becoming loose liquid inside your sleeve, or gelatin inside your coat. You prod at either, and they suck greedily at your hand. You stop prodding.Eventually, you stop trying to control them altogether, and turn your mind to other matters. Gil and Monty are both lagging behind you, characteristic for Gil (he has half a skull) but not for Monty, until you remember the injury to his ankle. He hasn't complained at all about it, but as you peer behind you his face does seem awful clouded. Well. You're glad he hasn't complained— you haven't complained, and of course you have it far worse. The air around these parts— a sort of scrubby, drab part of the Fen, you've never been here before— is peculiar. (It's not air at all, of course, but three-and-a-half years have failed to wean you of the expression.) It's slippery, is the best way you can put it. Or rubbery. It rushes into your face and rebounds. You turn your head to ask if Gil or Monty agree and discover Monty craning his neck upwards. You follow his gaze and spot nothing in particular, except blue-grey water and, perhaps, the shadow of some fish four dozen yards up. Although the blue-grey is strange— it's the color of morning, or just before daybreak, not of the middle of the night. Has it been that long?«…No, it… not according to my calculation. Dawn should be another 90 minutes, at least.»«That is odd.»Well, perhaps there's some enormous plankton creature lighting things. Or it's just from the Fen's blue glow. You really have much bigger issues, like— you shove your arm back onto your shoulder. Like stopping this whole thing. You whistle for Monty and gesture to keep moving.The air (alright, water) is definitely slippery, or rubbery. Elastic? That's the word for it. It is elastic, and tastes faintly acidic, and you don't trust it at all. It comes to little surprise, then, when you glance at the sky a second time and it is the rusty blue of dawn. It hasn't been long enough for dawn. It certainly hasn't been 90 minutes, it hasn't even been 10. So what is it? Richard?«…It has been 90 minutes.»No it— no. You know time goes wobbly in the dark, but it's not even all that dark, and the terrain has barely changed. It's still scrubby. And your legs aren't 90-more-minutes achy. He's wrong.(3/5?)
«It's difficult to put this in terms that make sense.»«You've been walking for six-and-a-half minutes since you last stopped. This is what you feel. This is what your internal clock reads.»«But the natural flow of time is no longer matching your internal clock. It's sped up. You haven't sped up with it.»…Everything feels normal.«Yes.»«Though 'elastic.'»Ah. So you were right. You look down at your hands, to make sure they're not suddenly wrinkled, or anything. Richard, on your wrist, sticks out his tongue.«Again, you're not sped up. You also don't age.»Okay. Your hands don't look any different, anyhow. You look back to check on Gil and Monty, to tell them about this, and don't see them anywhere. So they're in the past?«I mean. Possibly. Also possibly you just left them behind. You walk much faster.»«…»«Charlie. This is not something I have perfect answers for. Th- th- th- th- th- th-»»»»»»»»Amid a burst of static, Richard flickers and vanishes.You stare. You feel your hand. He is not there. "Richard?" you venture. He doesn't respond. There is all of a sudden a pit in your stomach and you feel roughly as though you might collapse into a single point inside it.««««th- this is not a precedented event.» And then he returns, exactly where he was, looking no different.You feel silly.«I seem to be having s- s- s- s-«««- some technical difficulties. Pl-««»-ease— stay calm. I- I- I- I- am not agreeing with thi-»»-is temporality.»He continues to flicker, as you wonder smudgily why you're feeling sand on your knuckles. It takes an embarrassing amount of time for you to just look down and check, and discover that it's in fact because your arm has detached from your shoulder. Or no, that's not right. Your shoulder has distended all the way down the sleeve of your coat, down to your waist, and your arm has just trailed along. You wonder if maybe you would've been better off staying home.>[-1 ID: 4/(9)]«Ah. That is no-t-t-t-«»» optimal.»No. It is not optimal. You pick up your arm (you can still bend it, still move your fingers) and shove it back up your sleeve until you feel adhesion. You wave it around. It stays on.«Good. Er, I ha-a-ve concerns about my efficacy. Due to these ex-x-x-x-x-x-tenuating circumstances.»What does that mean? You sink into a crouch. More bad news? «I am having a diff-ff-ff-icult time accessing y—»»»»»»»»He vanishes. And reappears. «—accessing your… I lack a translation for this. Components. I can't p-p-p-««-pull you together properly like this.»…So you're going to melt.«No, I— here.»(4/5?)
>[-1 ID: 3/(9)]You are having a heart attack. You are having a heart attack and you are going to die. Your heart is pounding out of your chest out of nowhere and your blood is rushing in your ears and every inch of you has tightened up like a spring at once and you are going to die. It's the only explanation. All the stress of tonight and forever has crashed upon you all at once and this is what you get for it. Death.«No, i-i-i-i-i-it's«» not— you're fine. It's just adrenaline. Lots.»Why?!«To keep you tensed while I am-am-am-am-am finding a better connection. It'll«««slow the spread of the catalyst fo-o-r now.»«Do <not> panic—»»»»»»Do not panic?! You are sweating for no reason at all and your hands are shaking and your heart is still pounding. You're not stupid. This is about-to-die symptoms. You have been about-to-die multiple times before so you know it very well. Except this time there's no threat to avoid, it's all the threats you have been avoiding, and subsequently ignoring, but there's no ignoring them this time. Not when you're going to die. And Richard is gone again, useless as ever. He's going to come back and find your dead body. Monty and Gil are going to walk up and find your dead body. They're both useless, too. What did they even accomplish? You have to do all the work. You have to kill all the people. Is this because of that? What goes around comes around? That's not fair. You're a good person. You're a heroine. You're just trying to save the camp and save your family name and anything you've done is just a means to that end. So it can't be bad. You don't deserve to die. But your vision is constricting badly until all you can see is a narrow little porthole, the rest is black. But you can't die now. Your quest isn't over.You die.Or you assume that's what happens, anyhow, since there is a wrenching feeling and all of a sudden you see yourself tilt forward like someone cut all the strings holding you up. And you are not in there. You are slightly outside. The current is blowing right through you.Ah, you think. I am a ghost. Cool. Your thoughts are indistinct and come from nowhere in particular. You feel exactly how you do when Richard is pumping sedatives into your blood, which is to say floaty and euphoric in a way you're unable to fully grasp. (A part of you is wondering aloud if this is what Ellery was talking about when he went on about taking off his skin, and the rest of you is pointedly ignoring that part.) You do not feel that bad about dying. You certainly thought you'd feel worse.You can't see any part of yourself, but if you concentrate hard you can create a shimmer where you ought to be. You have no strong feelings about this. You think you may have left your strong feelings back in your body. The current is still blowing along like nothing happened, and the water is moving from dawn-colored to day-colored. And around you there are pictures.(5/6!)
They're translucent and brightly-colored. They're floating in the current, or maybe they're a part of the current, but in either case they skim by so quickly you struggle to make out what they actually depict. A worm? A tree? A party? Out of mild curiosity, you attempt to dodge into the path of one of the pictures, but discover that you're unsure how to move. It's for the best, anyhow: had you moved, you might've missed it.It's a large picture, the largest you've seen, and also the slowest. It bobs leisurely towards you, and you recognize: yourself. But not yourself that just kicked it— a different you, your age, in a blue dress you've never seen before, downing a cocktail. She is alone. She's in a room you've never seen before, either, abovewater.You try to call out, but lack a voice. You try to reach out, but lack hands. But the pull towards the picture is undeniable.> Watch the picture.> Enter the picture.> Screw the picture. Figure out how to move, go find Monty and Gil, and spook the hell out of them. Obviously. This is the chance of a lifetime! (Or… you know.)> Write-in.
>>4624928> Write-in.Pull out the Sword (of course we still have the sword. We just got it back, after all.) And hack through the picture to get out of the fuckery. If thar doesn't work, pull out the reality orb thingy that can start fires and burn our way out.Reckless pyromania has yet to let us down!
>>4624928> Watch the picture.
>>4624960Before I go to bed: you might have some incorporeal version of The Sword (since it's tied so closely to your ID), but there's no way you're going to be able to produce the orb, and you definitely can't pick up the real version. You barely know what it is. I suggest you figure something else out here.
>>4624966Well. I hope cutting the picture down works.Last thing we need is a third voice in our head.Fourth, I guess, if you count Gil.
> Watch the picture.
>>4624928>1>>4624960God I wish we could burn stuff right now, but I feel like we're extremely flammable so to speak. Can't have the grand finale early.Hoping watching the picture will help center our psyche.
>>4624916>"Okay. Thanks. So bye, then. I'm off to go save the entire town, and stuff, since you're such a colossal screwup." You pause. "So there.">"…Would you say that out loud? Not— signed.">"What?" For what purpose? "Um… I'm off to…">"After that.">"…Since you're such a colossal screwup?">"Yeah." His smile, you think, is like a firework: gone in an instant, bright while it lasted. He touches his neck. "Thanks."What kind of fucking relationship did he have with our clone.
>Take a lookAs the picture drifts closer, you are struck by the restless expression on other-Charlotte's face. She swishes her glass idly and downs the whole thing. What is she all dressed up for? (That's an evening dress, not a day dress.) Is there something she's going to, or are people coming to her? She doesn't seem to be looking forward to whatever it is. There's a ring on her finger— she's married.This fact disquiets you. You'd never written off marriage, precisely, but it had always come secondary in your ambitions. The plan was simple: restore family name, become highly eligible, take your choice of the suitors. Or perhaps become Queen, same thing, only the suitors would be of a higher caliber. But other-Charlotte is clearly not Queen, and you doubt she's restored much of anything, not with that dress and that room. Neither are inexpensive, but they both have a sheen of newness about them— the trappings of a social climber. There shouldn't be a need for social climbing. She's supposed to be at the top.Did she marry down? Is that it? Forced into a match with a man with wealth but no name? Aunt Ruby wouldn't have cared, she would've pushed you to take what you could get— nobody wants a Fawkins. Your mother was the exception, and that's because your bastard father conned her, and look where she's landed—Other-Charlotte must be hosting. The room— it's a parlor— has an expectant party-look about it, with all the candleholders burnished and the seating pushed out from the wall. And it'd explain the drinking— you've hated being in the vicinity of a party, let alone throwing one. You pity her. But why throw a party? There's no occasion for it, as far as you can tell. Is it just a party-party, for the sake of proving one can throw parties, and secondarily for drinking and vomiting on the rug? That was the most frequent kind, back at your house, and also the worst. Full of loathsome people competing with other loathsome people for who can laugh the loudest and preen the most. Thank God for the tunnels.And of course it would be a party-party: it'd be her obligation. Married down, but into wealth— maybe to a respected up-and-comer. This is how she's restoring the name. Rehabilitating it. Associating it with a smart young man, and his beautiful young wife— have you been to her parties?— not with generations of crusty lechers and drunkards.Though you're not sure about the 'drunkards.' Other-Charlotte, as you've watched, has polished off a second drink and is nursing a third, even as she mulls around the place, straightening picture frames. It's the middle of the afternoon, and there's people coming over. One drink is 'tipsy,' two is 'intoxicated'— three is drunk. What is she thinking?(1/3)
She's unhappy. And there's no exit, that much is obvious. She can't possibly leave the marriage, or people would talk. Wandering eye. No commitment. Just like a Fawkins. She's in it for life, she will stay in that house forever, and have children (or people would talk), and raise them, if she doesn't fall to pieces like her mother, and then she will grow old and die and be thrown off the side of the Pillar. Same as everyone else. But why? Why is she there, and not— here? You're the same age. Why is she not you? Or rather, more distressingly, why are you not her? What exactly are you seeing?The picture has drifted much closer, now, bending itself around you— you haven't moved, you are still floating near your body, but now you can see all the way round the room. There is nothing unexpected in it, and it's not at all to your taste. Perhaps Aunt Ruby, or her gaggle of friends, had some say. Or perhaps the husband did: there is a photograph of him and her on the wall. Other-Charlotte smiles gamely, in his embrace. He's handsome, in a sterile kind of way, and you don't recognize him at all. There must be a knock at the door, and it must be unexpected, from the way Other-Charlotte reacts: she drops her glass, watches in horror as it spills on the rug, glances towards the door, kicks the whole rug under the settee, and arranges her dress so it's not rumpled. Only then does she open the door. It's Monty.It can't possibly be Monty. You're dead certain he's from somewhere far off, from the roundness of his vowels, and his continual refusal to respect the monarchy— he can't be on your Pillar. But there he is, and different: two-armed, wearing a tan suit, his hair cropped shorter than you're used to.To his credit, he appears as baffled as you are. He looks back out the door, which shows only a street and a blustery afternoon. He stares at his hands, especially his left, and flexes them and turns them over. He touches his red tie. He runs his fingers through his hair. You can hear nothing, but you have a decent view of other-Charlotte's face, and so you're able to give lip-reading a shot: she says "…I wasn't expecting anyone." And: "…Are you a friend of Kenneth's?"'Kenneth.' What a terrible name. Monty doesn't understand, for a long moment, and then he does: knowledge breaks upon him like a wave, and he smiles sheepishly. "Yes, as a matter of fact. Am I early?"(2/3)
You don't buy it. Monty is not from here, Kenneth the husband is, ergo they don't know each other. No, this is Monty, and no, he's not bluffing: his eyes are a fraction unfocused. He was just reshaped to fit— whatever this is. Your life. A life, of yours.You have the awful feeling you should probably do something.> Muster up a voice and call out to Monty. Using all your ghost energy. (You probably have ghost energy.) What is he doing in there? Could he please leave so he can discover your corpse and weep over it? (He will probably weep over it.)> Muster up a voice and call out to other-Charlotte. Be one of those ghosts who gives useful ghost advice, like 'stop getting day drunk' and 'do something with your life.' Maybe that will help.> Call out to other-Charlotte, but be more specific about what, exactly, went wrong with her. (What? Write-in.)> Okay, screw it. Use your ghost energy to possess other-Charlotte, so you can talk to Monty directly. This is, like, a major feature of ghosts, and she won't be expecting it.> Why don't you just head downcurrent and make sure Monty wasn't just brained by a speeding log? How about that?> Write-in.
>>4626225> Muster up a voice and call out to Monty. Using all your ghost energy. (You probably have ghost energy.) What is he doing in there? Could he please leave so he can discover your corpse and weep over it? (He will probably weep over it.)
>>4626227> Muster up a voice and call out to Monty. Using all your ghost energy. (You probably have ghost energy.) What is he doing in there? Could he please leave so he can discover your corpse and weep over it? (He will probably weep over it.)
>>4626227>> Muster up a voice and call out to Monty. Using all your ghost energy. (You probably have ghost energy.) What is he doing in there? Could he please leave so he can discover your corpse and weep over it? (He will probably weep over it.)
>>4626227> Muster up a voice and call out to other-Charlotte. Be one of those ghosts who gives useful ghost advice, like 'stop getting day drunk' and 'do something with your life.' Maybe that will help.
>>4626227> Muster up a voice and call out to Monty. Using all your ghost energy. (You probably have ghost energy.) What is he doing in there? Could he please leave so he can discover your corpse and weep over it? (He will probably weep over it.)Ah, so this was the BS Monty was dealing with earlier when we found him.
>>4626235>>4626242>>4626348>>4626443>>4626501>1>>4626451>2Seems pretty conclusive!Now, I hate springing this on you guys-- you know I like transparency-- but I've done some thinking about this option and I've come to believe that the fairest and least railroady way to determine the result here is a roll. So we're gonna do a roll. >Please roll me 3 1d100s - 10 (-10 Voiceless) vs. DC 60 (+10 Across Timelines) to get in touch with Monty!>>4626501:^)
Rolled 100 - 10 (1d100 - 10)>>4626551
Rolled 49 - 10 (1d100 - 10)>>4626551>>4626579goodness
Rolled 15 - 10 (1d100 - 10)>>4626551Here goes!
>>4626579uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhalright!>>4626579>>4626588>>4626589>100, 39, 4 vs. DC 60 -- CRITICAL SUCCESSPlease allow me several hours to figure out what to do with this! I may offer a vote for what bonus you get once I figure out what bonuses even apply, keep an eye on the thread.
>>4626614> Fingers crossed for being able to set things on fire with our mindFire establishes reality, we're more real than anything else since we're like, the future Queen of reality, this is some weird "reality" BS happening that we hate, therefore it only makes sense that we should be able to force things to become a little more real by setting them on fire with our mind.
>>4626620If at this moment you were attempting to set something on fire with your mind, and rolled a 100, this would be a solid argument. But I like to tailor your critical bonuses to whatever you crit on, so I'm afraid it's gonna be something more like- Actual "ghost energy"- Large bonus to future astral projection*- Timestream nonsense- Some kinda connection with MontyWhatever it is, it will be roughly on the power scale of your +10 Good With Swords bonus, or your +5 On Fire! bonus, though it doesn't have to be an actual roll bonus.If you have suggestions within this general area, I'm all open, otherwise I'll likely provide a list later on.*Richard would tell you it's not called that, though.
>>4626631please astral projectionand not timestream nonsense
>>4626631Absolutely timestream nonsense.
>>4626690What? You don't want the traditional Drowned Quest "just fuck my shit up senpai" treatment? Really?>>4626740That's the spirit.Well, look, here's your CRITICAL SUCCESS options.> Come to the realization that your life may suck ass right now, but it could suck worse ass in far more banal ways. At least you get to hit things with swords. (Regain all ID.)> Discover that you do have ghost energy, or at least convince yourself so hard of it that something develops. (Improved... ghost?...powers?... and you get to tell Ellery you're a better ghost than he is.)> Contact Monty really, really well. (Permanent +10 to any rolls involving you interacting with Monty.)> Wedge the picture in place. (Create permanent thin spot between timelines, you can return to this place in the Fen if you need it for shenanigans/giving ghost advice)> Write-in. (Subject to heavy veto and/or modifications.)
>>4626798> Wedge the picture in place. (Create permanent thin spot between timelines, you can return to this place in the Fen if you need it for shenanigans/giving ghost advice)would this count as a Manse?
>>4626798We already couldn't figure out Ellery's mirror madness, and now we're further complicating the setting. I warned you. I warned all of you.>4
>>4626798> Discover that you do have ghost energy, or at least convince yourself so hard of it that something develops. (Improved... ghost?...powers?... and you get to tell Ellery you're a better ghost than he is.)Suck it Ellery, you're not the only one with weird ghost powers, and at least ours doesn't require us to die first for them.
>>4626831No, it wouldn't count as a manse, though in theory you could totally murder other-Charlotte and extract some law from her, like, if you wanted to be a dick. Not right now tho>>4626843>further complicating the setting>picks the option that complicates setting the most and  are right there, lmao. But you do you.
>>4626798> Write-in. (Subject to heavy veto and/or modifications.)Be able to pull other people into "realistic scenes" where they get fitted temporarily to play a role in them.Kinda like #4, but malicious to others.Basically if we can understand someones motives, we can influence them (DC dependent on how accurate our identification of their motives are) to do what we want.IE, for Jesse we could play off our similarity to his dead girlfriend who copied us and he would respond as if we actually were her.Or his Seargant, we could play on his position in the wind court and be all "we're fixing the same problem, therefore we are an ally" and he would act as if we were an Officer (because of course we are, it's Noble Privilege) in the Wind Court for a short time.Assuming the Roll passes."All the world's a Stage".
>>4627037Jeez, that's some Chuubo's Marvellous Wish Granting Engine stuff right there. I think Charlotte has a Star Quality arc going on. I... think this could actually work, though it would be a *high* DC, you would look very silly if you failed, and you'd run a risk of getting sucked in to the narrative yourself. Deal?And also people would still have to vote for this. But I'll be leaving it open for another 3-4 hours.
>>4627023You can't expect me to not vote for 4 when you baited me with >What? You don't want the traditional Drowned Quest "just fuck my shit up senpai" treatment? Really?Also pls gib refresher on who/what we can extract law from and why.>>4627037As cool and innovative as that idea is, I think considering this post >>4627064 and our normal rolls it'll backfire on us every time.
>>4627077Strictly speaking,  isn't OG Drowned "just fuck my shit up senpai," it's actually pretty benign. It effectively gives you guys the option to mess around with the alt timeline later on without worrying about the whole current deal. Really, none of these options are all *that* screwy. (It's a crit success, not a crit failure.) Sorry to mislead!I guess the closest to screwy might be  or possibly the new write-in.Refresher: you can extract it from the bottom of manses, from naturally-occurring magical* areas, and from murdering very large magical* animals. And also from Other-Charlotte because she will have been busy absorbing a truckload of magic* radiation* from the invisible portal* in her house, if you pick .*Not canonical Richard-sanctioned terminology
>>4627064I would be all for this.
>>4627089Wait. Could we have extracted a law from Annie?Meditate on Shade manaProbs too late now. But we did mind meld with her. Maybe we can recall it?
>>4627255Your answer is... "maybe"? Annie was a big worm, but you have no indications it was a big magic worm. You have to kill stuff that has concentrated law in it, not any big animal, so it may or may not have worked out.You'd also have to explain to Gil and Monty why you were cutting into the massive work and what exactly you were doing with that crown.
>>4627274*massive worm, damn mobileposting. And no, sorry, you can't recall it, gotta get it straight up.>>4626843>>4626831>4>>4626887>2>>4627037>>4627284>5Alright! It's a tie. I'd traditionally roll to break this, but since we're determining something that's QM fiat anyhow (how a roll turns out) I'm going to go with >>4627037. It's less moving parts, it's thematically on point, and imho it's cool without being stupid broken. Called and writing.
>>4627298Yeh. Poor Gil, he's probably super weak to this, judging from his internal monologue about being overly servile since we rescued him. Pic related.He's gonna have to willingly and regretfully go along with our zany schemes, because of course our valuable aide-de-hench would be with us.
>>4627404I really wanted to use the REEEEE face for this, but it just didn't fit the phot.o.
>>4627404>ImageVery based.>Poor Gil, he's probably super weak to thisYes. >He's gonna have to willingly and regretfully go along with our zany schemes, because of course our valuable aide-de-hench would be with us.Oh, absolutely: this was the intended relationship from the getgo. He's your designated straight man/dogsbody/henchman/punching bag/test subject, you are his powerful and obviously delusional/unhinged master. He's the Igor to your Dr. Frankenstein. Congratulations.Poor Gil. All he wants to do is stop being a swarm of beetles, so he can go back to white collar crime and spending a lot of chit on hair gel. He just had to draw the short straw on rescuers.
>All the world's a stage; and the men and women upon it merely playersAnd you did intend to do something, honestly. You were going to speak out, to Monty, to other-Charlotte, you were going to say something about how he needs to wake up, come back, there's a current on, also you're dead, how about that? How about that?But instead you're hanging here, silent, unable to focus on anything but the slight glassiness in Monty's eyes. And it is slight— if you hadn't been looking for it, you never would've spotted it. In all other respects, he is ordinary. Or improved: he is swapping small talk with a dazzling ease you haven't seen in him all of tonight, or truly ever. He looks happy.He shouldn't be happy. Oh, you don't mean it like that. But he shouldn't be happy, same as how he shouldn't be wearing that pricey wristwatch, or asking after Kenneth's tennis game: it's just not true. None of it is true. It's GS. It's utter fiction. Monty Gewecke never could have known you abovewater, and that is the end of it.Therefore, you're not looking at Monty Gewecke. He's gone, absorbed seamlessly into the narrative, and an invented character has come to replace him. Or he is here, but flattened into two dimensions, paper for the script he's reading. Or he's just raw material remolded, same in substance, unrecognizable in form. What had it felt like to you?Because this happened to you, didn't it? For a dreamless forever, you were Ramona Birdwell, in mind and body equally. You may well have continued as her indefinitely, had Lester and Pat not shoved you out of it: you hadn't the slightest idea anything was wrong. It wasn't uncomfortable. It was pleasant, even, to be so empty, so trivial, so uncomplicated. The sun warms shallow waters, after all.Is that how Richard feels?Really, is it? He's candid so rarely that it's difficult to pry apart the obfuscation from the dishonesty from the exaggerations from the truth. But he's said repeatedly that the him in your head, the man in the suit, is a fiction: a fiction like Ramona Birdwell, a fiction like this imaginary Monty. It's him through twenty layers of you. Fine, then. But he's hinted also that he prefers this fiction, he buys into it intentionally, he likes the warmth and expansiveness and opposable thumbs. It's like the best kind of getting drunk, he's implied. And once he told you he hates being a snake.But he's still Richard, with all that entails. It's not the same. The true equivalence is that awful night— was it really yesterday?— where, for five minutes, he was your father. A lie, of course, but he believed it, and for a while you believed it. (1/3)
So was it really a lie? Doesn't a lie require recognition? Can something lived really be fiction? If the truth falls in a forest, does it make a sound? Isn't it true you were Ramona Birdwell? Not the original one, but if you were indistinguishable, does it matter? No, that's what Richard said, about last night, and you— you disagreed. But you weren't thinking rationally, either, you were distraught, and very drunk, and still in your body, or a good facsimile, and you're finding that bodies contain a lot of emotion. Possibly it's in the blood? But you are detached now, and very sober, and you are finding it difficult to argue with his point. If there's no deception, no manipulation, if the copy is perfect, if both parties agree: what is the difference?So it was your father, until you stopped believing it was. So that giant-snake-who-was-your-mother was just a delusional giant snake, except for the duration of your flickers of doubt, and then it was your mother. So Monty is a fiction, until you step away, and then who remains to know the difference? Not him, and not other-Charlotte— so he becomes as true and real as if he was born that way.You've always been a poor liar, but maybe you've been thinking about it wrong: you're just too good at the truth. At your truth. At what you believe, earnestly and honestly, to be the truth. And that's all that matters, isn't it? Believing in it. If you alone believe in it, it's still an alternative truth, and that's almost as good. Convince others of it, and it is the truth. There's nobody to say differently. Why would there be?You could build realities out of this.Not false realities. You wouldn't be lying. You wouldn't be producing falsehood or fiction. You would be saying what you believe, and it would be up to the listener to believe you, too. And if they did? It'd be true. That's how it is. That's how it works. It wouldn't even matter if you started believing it ten seconds ago. There's no difference. It's all subjective, anyways.>[SKILL GAINED: Advanced Gaslighting]>[In conversation, you may attempt to convince someone that they have an opinion, viewpoint, emotion, or other intangible quality that they do not actually have. If they believe you, this becomes 'true', and they behave as though they do genuinely have this opinion, viewpoint, emotion, or other quality for the duration of the conversation, or until otherwise appropriate. The plausibility of your gaslight determines the DC for the associated roll.]You feel different, armed with this new relevation. Sharper. Smarter. You look in at Monty again— he is settled on a sofa— and see practice.(2/3)
"Monty." Your voice curls out of you like smoke. (Amazing how cool you can sound, unburdened by throats and tongues.)Monty nearly leaps to his feet, saving himself only by grabbing the arm of the sofa. Other-Charlotte, bludgeoned by the cocktails, doesn't notice."Haven't you been meaning to get going? It's been such a long day."He plainly hasn't been meaning to get going: he was comfortable on the sofa, and other-Charlotte has rapidly grown used to his presence. They were both laughing. But if you try, put some thought into it, it becomes believable that he might. Maybe the real Monty, buried somewhere, is crying out for escape. Maybe the tap of his foot isn't meaningless: it's a nervous tic. It makes sense. Monty frowns, but doesn't move."And didn't you have an appointment to get to? I was sure you did." It's plausible. "You've been checking your watch so much." Maybe once.He frowns some more, and scratches his ear viciously. Other-Charlotte slurs something concerned, which he brushes off, but his nerves don't seem settled. He taps his foot some more. It is a nervous tic, now."You can always visit again later. You should make your goodbyes."Monty bites the inside of his lip, and stands, and says something, and indicates his watch. Other-Charlotte says something like "nooooo!", which he shakes his head and laughs at. And he says goodbye. And leaves.You did it! Not that you did anything. But he's gone, and— he's gone. He's not back in the current. He's just gone out the door. Other-Charlotte is alone again.God-damnit.> Fine. Get in there and get him back, in person. You can't dawdle forever. > This is a big waste of time. Go hang out with Gil downcurrent, if he hasn't melted completely. Monty is an adult man who can handle his own altered states of reality.> This is a really big waste of time. If Gil can possess a corpse, why can't you? Head back into your body and get a move on, Gil and Monty be damned. [Roll for forging against the current.]> Attempt to Advanced Gaslight other-Charlotte, for whatever reason. (What do you tell her?) [Roll.]> Write-in.
>>4627489> Attempt to Advanced Gaslight other-Charlotte, for whatever reason. (What do you tell her?) [Roll.]Wouldn't she be happier, if she had made other choices? Instead of being trapped in this life, if she had chosen instead to take some risk and go on an adventure? Instead of selling her Noble status, she could prove it by her deeds.She could join us. We are her, after all, so we can guarantee that it won't change who she is. Simply, it would let her live a different life. Not necessarily a safe one, or a comfortable one. But a *real* life, instead of merely existing as a placeholder in her family, in her lineage, in her role in society as merely the mother of children who might make the changes she chose not to risk.Monty is already there with you, she wouldn't be so alone here, unlike now where even when she is with other people she can't be herself, be *real*.EAT HER! EAT HER AND ABSORB HER LAWS!
>>4627489> This is a big waste of time. Go hang out with Gil downcurrent, if he hasn't melted completely. Monty is an adult man who can handle his own altered states of reality.Monty is like one of the three people who we can trust to understand things. Ahead of Eloise, Ellery and Madrigal at the very least. If he cant handle a little bit of displaced reality, he's definitely going to drop a few pegs on the reliability totem pole. We should make sure that Gil isn't just a torso being pushed around by the current right now.
>>4627513>>4627489TL;DR Tell her that this is the second chance she's always wanted, and we know she wants it because we ARE her.
>>4627513Okay, whoa, buddy. The original spoiler text specifically had "Not right now tho" as a caveat. You're disembodied, so you don't exactly have your crown (or teeth)... and there's also not much (if anything) to absorb from her, because there's been a soft spot in her room for, like, 10 minutes. So I'm gonna give you a hard no on this one, sorry.
>>4627489> Fine. Get in there and get him back, in person. You can't dawdle forever.
>>4627518>1 thenIt was 3am, my reading comprehension ain't so great at that time.
>>4627489>> Fine. Get in there and get him back, in person. You can't dawdle forever.
>>4627551>>4627786>>4627990>>4628001>1>>4627514>2Called and writing. I'm hoping for two updates today, and to wrap up this whole current deal before the thread dies. (Page 7 is making me a little nervous.) >>4627786>3 AMYou know, I always thought you were an Eurobro... didn't even consider that you were just a night owl North American like me.
>>4628029Haha, yah, I'm a fucking leaf. Just about to start a new job though where I have to get up at 4am so . . . .
>ok gee fine whatever You hadn't considered the possibility that he could just leave. How is that fair? Now you'll have to go chase him down, and it'll all be such an enormous bother, and take so long, and you'll probably come back to camp to discover all the tents blown over and everyone mad at you. And how will they throw you a parade then?But there's no safe alternative, really. You could leave him, but what if he never comes out? And what would you tell Madrigal then? 'Oh, yes, sorry, it was just too much bother to rescue Monty from the Hell Dimension, or whatever it is'? It is too much bother, but you'd never hear the end of it, and that future irritation outweighs your present irritation.So, after several false starts, you work out how to drift gently towards the picture— then, as some invisible force takes hold of you, less gently. You are yanked back, in, through, and then—You are back in your body. Or, no, not your body: your fingers are manicured, your hair down past your shoulders. And there is something screaming in the back of your head, screaming and kicking and clawing and crying. You've supplanted other-Charlotte. Poor girl.How are you? Your ears are ringing, and your stomach is churning, and gunk is rising in your throat. You hack it discreetly into a glass (it's black and oily), and discover to your horror that you know who you bought those glasses from, for how much (too much), and that you have burgeoning memories of chewing the seller out until you got a lower price (not low enough).That, and you're starting to feel a touch drunk. Is this how fast it works? Another ten minutes, and you'll be other-Charlotte completely? Unthinkable. You shove the glass away, stride across the parlor, and throw open the door.Outside is not a street. Outside is a wide, dark room that smells of wood polish. Is Monty inside? You don't see anybody inside, but other-Charlotte's screaming has intensified— you can't stick around. You close your eyes and step through.Immediately the clamor stops: you hope other-Charlotte is back to herself, and not dead, but you'll probably never know. You are standing around a table, elsewhere in the room— it's the same one, it still smells of wood polish. You are dressed all in black, with black gloves and a floor-length black cloak, and there is something pressed tightly to your face. You pull at it, and pull and pull (it is pressed tightly to your face), and eventully a mask comes off in your hands. It is golden, and its expression is blank.(1/2)
A muffled cry goes up from your audience: seven other people in identical masks, cloaks, and gloves. All seven of them draw weapons.(The weapons are not identical, though they're all an inky black. You admire the commitment to theming, and count one scimitar, one double-headed axe, one spear, a glaive, a brace of daggers, a morningstar, and a trident.) All seven of them level their weapons at your chest.You hold the mask in one hand and feel your hip with the other. You do have a sword.> Write-in.
>>4628496I mean. What to do in this situation even.> Just stare them down until they ask us something.Fuck it. Might not have to fight them right away. Fucking hell, Charlie, couldn't have looked at the 7 other people dressed like you before showing your face off?
>>4628496>Try putting the mask back onThat mask looks familiar. Maybe it was used for that manse invader who chopped off our arm before we opened a door in their torso?
>>4628167>leafAh, I suspected as much from the extra 'u's everywhere.>4amMy condolences!>>4628596>I mean. What to do in this situation even. I do have something particular in mind-- I won't call it a "solution," because that implies there's only one way to go about things, but there's definitely at least one thing to do and/or notice.>>4628625:^)
>>4628496>>4628641All alternate reality Charlies with their different weapons, maybe? Should we go all Highlander here?
>>4628596>>4628625>Stare em down>Put mask back onSince staring them down would lead to them forcing the mask back on you anyhow, I'm comfortable combining these.>Please roll me 3 1d100s + 5 (+5 Recent Relevation) vs DC 70 (+20 ???) to keep ahold of your identity!If I don't get three rolls within the hour, I'll roll however many I still need myself.
Rolled 27 + 5 (1d100 + 5)>>4628865Here goes
Rolled 53 (1d100)>>4628865Another 100!!
Rolled 66 (1d100)>>4628865
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>4628865>8
>>4628913> Adjusted roll is 71Whew.
>>4628875>>4628880>>4628913>Mitigated SuccessBy the skin of your teeth. Writing shortly.
>Put on the mask, MikBut seven against one? With Richard gone? "Okay, gee," you say, and put the mask back on.You don't see what happens next, because you are shot in the chest, and stabbed in the back, and your head flies from your neck, and you choke on your own vomit, and you choke on your own blood, and you are pushed from a balcony, and fed crushed glass, and poisoned wine, and a lethal dose of hallucinogens, and you die, shrieking, rasping, moaning, again and again and again and again and again. And you don't see what happens next, because every death peels more of you away, like tree-bark, until all that's left is soft pith and that can't even remember how to open her own eyes. And even that is stripped free, until you're nearly hollow, and then a life flows in to replace it.You are Charlotte Fawkins still, and you still have a sword. That is all. Your parents are alive and stable and wept when you told them you were joining the Game. You don't know why. You'd told them you were going to ever since you were eight and witnessed a rare public appearance of a Member of the Game Committee. But they didn't believe you and wrote your endless requests for fencing lessons off as childish high spirits. But you joined as soon as you could, and they wept, and that was the last time you ever saw them in person.You worked as a typesetter and left inky fingerprints all over the bodies and, once, fed a fellow Player through the printing press. You were fired for that, but by then you'd hit a certain measure of celebrity— female Players were rare, good ones even rarer— and were able to live off the generosity of strangers. For months, then years, you hovered around #10 on the Leaderboard and despaired of ever climbing higher. You hadn't known the purpose of the Game then, and had begun to suspect that noone else did, either, until you'd plunged your sword into the unwary ribcage of Louis Calhoun II and learned, against all odds, that he was a Committee Member.Rather than dire punishment, as you'd assumed would await you, you were inducted into the Committee, and——and—You were only nearly hollow. Not all the pith could be scraped away. Some of it had calcified, stubbornly, into a bolus. "I love you," says your father, who is dying."I love you," says your mother, who is a snake."I love you," says Richard, though he's only joking. But you can't prove he's only joking.And despite the complete, efficient subsumation, despite your natural inclination towards fictions, despite the existing wear on your psyche— the bolus could be neither dislodged nor dissolved. It was the damndest thing. So the decision was made, after some hasty conversations, to just cut corners, fill in around it, and nobody would ever have to know. It'd be ground down eventually.(1/2)
They weren't aware that the last faint tendrils of you had coiled inside it, for shelter, and would steal back out as soon as the flood was over. You weren't aware of this either, or really anything, except that you awaken from a stupor feeling like shit.>[-2 ID: 1/(9)]You feel worse for having stooped to the level of cussing, but there's nothing else for it. That's how you feel. If you had to elaborate, you suppose you'd say it feels like you've been placed in a bag and repeatedly bashed against a cement wall. You are lying supine on a cold floor, still in the black robe, though the mask is nowhere to be seen. Neither are the seven other people.Instead, a trident is poking around your collarbone. "Monty," you croak.It is him. He's different again, his hair all gelled back, his eyes younger and unkind. He's in the same robe you're in, and the masked people were in. (The robe of a Committee Member, your mind adds helpfully.) What the hell is a Committee Member? (A member of the Game Committee.) What the hell is the Game Committee? …No, scratch that, you don't care. Monty doesn't know you. It's obvious from his stance (aggressive) and expression (angry) and his reaction to his name— he presses the trident into your skin. "Who the fuck are you?""You shouldn't swear," you say reproachfully— you thought you could trust Monty about this. "And I'm Charlotte Fawkins, which you'll know as soon as you—""You're not supposed to be here!" There is a weird undercurrent of desperation to his voice, which you seize on. "Really? Whyever not?""I'm not dead.""What?""If you're here then I'm dead. And I'm not. Even if I was, I wouldn't have died to you."You wrinkle your nose. "Hey! I could kill you— you know, if I wanted.""A girl." He scoff-laughs. "Okay."…This may take a while.> What you need to do is, you need to beat the tar out of Monty for impugning your honor. And then maybe he'll be in a state to listen. (Roll.)> Just get directly to the point. Start listing things about the current situation, which is to say the current… situation. Heh. Hope something sticks. (Roll.)> Appeal to things that are meaningful to Monty. Whatever those are. (What? Write-in.) (Possible roll.)> Start by probing into the whole deal with everything. Where even are you? When even is it? What is going on? If you're lucky, you can spot an inconsistency and make this crumble. (Roll.)> Advanced Gaslight Monty about something. (What? Write-in.) (Roll.)> Write-in.
>>4629051> Appeal to things that are meaningful to Monty. Whatever those are. (What? Write-in.) (Possible roll.)Monty likes protecting the community. At least the current Monty.
>>4629051>3Bro u got one arm and no wife
>>46290513> Bitch about Maddie asking for us to save him. Question if we're as dumb for following to rescue him as he is for running off on his own to fight whatever was causing the flood. Mock him for taking this little dream so seriously. Complain about having lost our worm, and muse it we should cut off his little worm so that it's fair, after all we shouldn't be the only one to suffer. Bitch about Gil probably having fully melted and soon he's going to be back to living in your head, wonder out loud if Monty gets stuck here does that mean we can put Gil in his body? The one arm thing is sub-optimal, but better than the melting. Gil has put up with the melting really well, not as well as us when we started melting, but yaknow it's probably a concern of his still.
>>4629051>> Appeal to things that are meaningful to Monty. Whatever those are. (What? Write-in.) (Possible roll.)whatever everyone else wants to appeal to Monty with cause I've only read thread #1 fucking gators man
>>4629052>>4629363>>4629428>>4629944>3I can combine these, except that >muse it we should cut off his little worm so that it's fairThis is beyond the pale for Charlotte. The rest of it is, too, a little bit, but it can be worked in.>>4629944Hey, you've made progress! Awesome.Called and writing shortly.
>hey what about your dead wife asshole"I don't see what that has to do with anything," you scoff. "That— you know lots of highly capable women. Like me, obviously, and…" Maybe you shouldn't have gone for the 'highly.' "…Madrigal, I guess, and— yeah. More capable than you, anyhow, since both of us have had to chase you down—"Monty doesn't say anything. Emboldened, you continue. "—which, you know, a fat load of good that did, since we're both here in the Spooky Mask People Dimension. And you know I'm dead? You are basically directly responsible for my untimely demise.""Your untimely demise?" he spits."Um, yeah? My… you know, mine numinous spirit ascendeth from mine profane, um, corse… I died. What else do you want?""You can't be dead. That doesn't make any sense. You're new.""Ah." You prop yourself up on your elbows. "You're right. That doesn't make sense.""Unless…" Monty drums on the grip of the trident. "…Unless I did kill you, and you just got absorbed… somehow. Did you steal it?""…Steal what?""The mask. Did you—""No?"He laughs in your face. "Liar. Well, play stupid games, get stupid fucking prizes. You're in here forever, now. Hope you like the company."You flinch as he pulls the trident away and turns, all in one sweeping motion. He gestures behind him, towards apparently nothing, until your eyes adjust, and then you see them: hundreds of figures, all in the same mask and cloak, standing in eerily rigid formation. They do not acknowledge you or Monty."Right," you say, in a blasé a voice as you can manage. "Um, back to the point at hand, which is that you— you kind of suck. You drag me out here, and then I get melted, and killed, and my worm died, and it didn't deserve that at all. And you didn't even help with the worm. You were completely useless, and so was Gil, and— you know he's melting, too? Badly. He's gonna die, too, and that's also basically your fault, since you're making me waste so much time in here. And then what? He's beetles again? I don't want him in my head. Are you unconscious? Can I put him in your body? You don't melt, do y— oww!"Monty has spun back around and lunged, thrusting his trident into the flesh of your arm. You inhale. "What the hell!""I don't know what you're trying to do," he says, faux-nice, "but I think you've overestimated your skill at it."Ah, yeah, that's blood under your sleeve. Will an hour ever come when you aren't stabbed? "Um, okay, A), that's rude, and B)—" And B). He's right: this isn't working. You need to get more specific. "—doesn't this just eat at you?""Does what eat at me?" His tone has slipped towards patronizing. (You're starting to see where the real Monty gets it.) "The Game? I don't think there's much left to eat at, regardless…"(1/3?)
"Well, that's not true." You pause. "I mean, it might be true for… whoever you think you are. And I don't know, maybe you've grown it back, like a— a lizard. But I think there's a lot left, actually, and it— that was a rhetorical question, it does eat at you, whatever this is. Because you're trying to tell me not to be this. And you're— Madrigal said you always went off to be killed, because of all the, um…" You squint. "…effed-up s…tuff you did. And you think you're in Hell. Did you think I'd forget that? Because I didn't forget that, because of how stupid it was, but now it makes sense! You're guilty, you are loaded with guilt, and— um, I'm not sure how your wife relates to that. Are you guilty about that, too? Or just all dumb and sad?"There is a strange expression on Monty's face. "How do you know about my wife?""Because you won't stop talking about her. It's annoying. You're all, 'my dead wife this,' 'my dead wife that,' 'boohoo, I'm so depressed, my—'""Constance is… alive."It's your turn to laugh in his face. "She's super not alive. She died underwater, you said."Oh, and now he looks like you've thrown him into a bag and smashed him against a cement wall. You not-so-subtly pump your fist.>[+1 ID: 2/(9)]"I told you," you add. "I told you, and you were all 'ohhhhh, Charlotte, you're wrong, also I'm a huge dick,' and now y… oh. Um."Monty is crying. Not much— his eyes are wet and shining, and there's tear tracks down his cheeks— but it's enough to make you profoundly uncomfortable. You've never known how to deal with crying people. Where's Richard? You need Richard to tell you want to say. "Uh… was it the dead wife thing?""I'd really prefer it"— to his credit, he only sounds a little froggy— "if you just used 'Constance.'"Your defiance fights your nervousness to a draw. "I'll… um, do you need a handkerchief? I might… have…" You pat around your robe. "Why don't these have pockets?"Monty wipes his eyes with his glove. (You wrinkle your nose.) "They're not really made to be practical.""What's the point of them, then? They're not much to look at. Was the material on sale, or something?""I don't know, Charlotte. It's just what you wear." He wipes his nose. "That and the masks. Which— gold? Seriously? Also, mine made me feel like I was getting murdered, so— good riddance, I say. God.""Good riddance might be strong. We're in it.""In—" You calculate. "We're inside the mask.""Well, our minds, or—" He shakes his head. "I won't pretend to know the specifics. Roughly that.""So your mind stabbed my mind."Monty's face drops. "Are you okay?""Yeah, I'm—" You rub your arm. "It's stopped hurting already, so I guess it— you need to sharpen that thing, I guess."(2/3)
"Even so." His expression is solemn. "Charlotte, I can't apologize enough for any harm, or emotional distress, I may have— that was a very ugly side of me, that you"— his voice cracks— "do not deserve to have dealt with, and—"You rub your shoulder. "Okay, okay. Cool. I guess." (Why aren't you reveling in this? You should be reveling in this.) "I mean, you were just kind of a jerk. It wasn't that bad.""With all due respect, I appreciate that you're downplaying this, but—"Something hot rises in you. "With all due respect, I wasn't downplaying squat, Monty. It wasn't that bad, and you were just a jerk, with dumb hair, and I mainly just suffered emotional distress from dying fifty times in my head. And additionally, it wasn't even really you, it was some jerk fake version of you, and apologizing for him is like me apologizing for being a miserable drunk. So if you were planning to wallow here in your self-pity, and use it to fuel your stupid martyr complex, that just makes everyone else miserable, then you can— you can— you can— just think again! Okay!"Monty stares. "…Okay.""Good! Good," you repeat. "Good. Um." Truth be told, you don't know what that was, or where it came from, or how to follow that up. "So are you unconscious?""…It's very possible. Are you… dead?""Yes!" you say. (Monty looks stricken. You readjust.) "…Probably. Possibly. I am very definitely not in my body, at the least.""Ah." Monty runs his hand back through his hair, grimaces, and musses it up. "Well, I hope you… return to it, er, shortly. Though I suppose neither of us are in our bodies, are we? We're here.""In the mask," you say."Er, yes, and then outside that. Doubly unbodied. Do you enjoy this sort of thing?"You have to think about it. "It gets the blood pumping, I guess.""…Right.">[A1] Aha. Wait a second. Don't you have that word OPEN Richard taught you? Can that get you out? You just have to ensure it gets put where you need it, and not, say, inside Monty's chest. Easy.>[A2] Even better: you have this crown, and you haven't even gotten a chance to use it. Now, granted, you don't know how, but you're sure you can figure something out.>[A3] This is Monty's Spooky Mask People Dimension, isn't it? Surely he knows how to escape? Let him take the lead.>[B] While you're here, pump Monty for blackmail material— normal information, you mean. (Questions? Write-in. Optional.)>[C] Write-in.
Ugh, image was too big. Here's what was attached to the first post.
>>4630841>[A2] Even better: you have this crown, and you haven't even gotten a chance to use it. Now, granted, you don't know how, but you're sure you can figure something out.Pretty sure the crown has some of the power of the Law in it, if I remember correctly. If we harness it, we might be able to use it's crystals' nature to insert some reality into the situation, potentially kicking both of us out of this out-of-body bullshit.>[B] While you're here, pump Monty for blackmail material— normal information, you mean. (Questions? Write-in. Optional.)Asking him about what Constance was like when she was alive will probably help calm him down a bit, helping him focus on the task at hand while we mess around with the crown. Trying and probably failing at to bring up his better memories of her to solidify his resolve may help us out if we're in a Manse of some kind, at least until we can recover some ID.
>>4630841>[A1] Aha. Wait a second. Don't you have that word OPEN Richard taught you? Can that get you out? You just have to ensure it gets put where you need it, and not, say, inside Monty's chest. Easy.
>>4630841>A1We're a strong independent woman don't need no montyNo B because I feel pretty bad about the dead wife thing
>>4630841>[A1] Aha. Wait a second. Don't you have that word OPEN Richard taught you? Can that get you out? You just have to ensure it gets put where you need it, and not, say, inside Monty's chest. Easy.Charlotte talking down Monty is easily the sweetest moment in Drowned.
>>4630847>A2>>4630851>>4631086>>4631558>A1I'll add a dash of dead wife. Writing.>>4631558No, anon, the sweetest moment in Drowned is people saying things in Drowned were sweet, thanks, it means a lot
>hey what about your dead wife asshole (polite)"Don't 'right' me," you say. "You're the one rushing out alone in the middle of a rip current. You get something out of this.""Oh, no, it's not the… danger." Monty waves a hand. "More the esotericism. The whole mindscrew, bodyhop, speaking in tongues, beetle people thing. In my observations, dabble with that and you lose it, quick.""I haven't lost it," you say, and feel a little sorry twinge when Richard doesn't interject. "And anyhow, you're the one with the Spooky Dimension. I just have the Sad Bored Housewife Dimension.""It's—" He sighs. "I never said I've been able to wholly avoid it. I haven't. But I've never sought it out. Whereas you do seem to seek it out, if you don't mind me saying.""Well… I don't know if that's…" It's Richard, really. Richard drags you into everything. "I mean, I guess.""You said you were infused with magical energies?"Oh, you did say that. You forgot. "Magyckal energies, but, um… okay, sure. Yes, I am, um, a highly skilled… watch. Open."Monty watches bemusedly as nothing happens. You clear your throat. "OPEN. O-pen. Ohhhpen. Opennnnn. Open."Nothing continues to happen. You glare at Monty. "This worked!""I have no doubt it did.""It did work. Not that long ago. I made a door inside—""I believe you," he says mildly, and wipes his nose again."No you don't. You—" You have no idea if he's just trying to placate you, but since it's Monty that's your default assumption. "Look, I need some time, okay? To build up to it. Um, why don't you… tell me about your wife.""What?"Oh. You thought he'd jump at that, but he's tensed a little. You just wanted something to keep him distracted. "I don't know, I just— I don't get why you'd care about anyone so much. Nobody's that interesting."There's a drawn-out pause, during which you watch Monty carefully: will he cry again? God, you hope not. He doesn't, ultimately, but his voice is heavy. "That's how I used to think."You make a face."I know you don't like to hear that, but it's still true, Charlotte. I saw other people as obstacles, tools, or— at best— rivals. I was going places, after all, and they were in my way. That was all I cared about. My... goals.""Uh huh." If he's decided to talk, you're not going to stop him. You try to visualize doors, keys, ladders, lockpicks."And naturally— I mean, I wasn't being subtle. I was, at best, an open asshole. I could be…" He hesitates. "…threatening. I had a lot of anger... inside."Monty scans your face. You're not really listening. Open chests, open lockets, open sky."…So naturally, I was a real catch. Maybe I was alone in dive bars a lot, maybe I had a mysterious air, maybe my hair gel smelled that good." He waits for you to comment. You didn't hear him. "…In any case, I got a lot of offers. I turned them down. I had no time for or interest in women."(1/5?)
Open… sesame. Where did it come from, when it worked? Was it the back of your throat?"This continued up until one night, when a woman introduced herself, and asked if I wanted to go somewhere quieter. This was already unusual— most got their friend to ask. But I said something rude, as was my tactic, and waited for her to go away."It was kind of the back of your throat, wasn't it? Growly. Like you're hacking up phlegm, almost."Not only did she not go away, she sat down next to me, ordered a drink, and stayed there the rest of the night. The meaner I got, she more persistent she was. That was Constance. She knew what she wanted, and she wouldn't stop until she had it. And she wanted me.""Open," you mumble experimentally. Monty doesn't notice: he's a decade away. "…I was stunned, and… fascinated. I wanted to know how anyone could just ignore me like that. It'd never happened before. So I agreed to meet her again. And… one thing led to another, and…""Ah," you say. You'd managed to catch the last part. "And then the power of love turned you nice. I got it.""What?" He squints. "No, I was still an asshole, except to her. I wasn't to her. But to everyone else I was worse, even, since I knew I always had someone in my corner.""Oh." Well, there goes that theory. "So what made you all 'you,' then?"His laugh is humorless. "I died."Well, no he didn't, obviously, but you don't have time to argue that point because the word that was growing within you chooses this moment to escape. "OPEN."The air ripples and splits in two, and you shudder, and cough— your throat burns— and the mask on your face falls to the floor in two even halves. Six of the seven masked people radiate malice. The seventh starts, and begins to wrestle his own mask off, and after much effort tears it from his face and slams it onto the table. It's Monty.Your eyes meet his, and he shoves his neighbor away, hurtles himself over the table, and without stopping grabs your legs and waist and scoops you up over his shoulders. "Hey!" you shriek, but he's already running breakneck towards— you are in an ordinary room, after all, there's the door. He adjusts your weight and reaches for the doorknob.Outside the door is the very edge of a Pillar: the ocean roars below, a mile down. You can barely see it and your head still spins. Monty dithers, clutching tightly to your legs, and almost turns back before a dagger buries itself in the paneling right above the doorframe. "Go!" you yell, and hit his shoulder: he grits his teeth and dives through. You sail through clean salt air for an interminable few seconds before everything twists and snaps and you are underwater.(2/4?)
Monty groans and sits up— he was wedged between two fallen trees, having either drifted there or been placed there by Gil. Gil, perched on top of the same trees, looks remarkably like beetles. He's not beetles. He's still Ellery's headless, armless, half-torso'd corpse. But to your disembodied eyes, there is something remarkably beetle about him.You can tell, for instance, that all his beady beetle eyes are fixed on Monty. "Oh, shit!""Agh," manages Monty."What i-is with you people and just— passing out?! Are you all narcoleptics? Please don't tell me it's contagious—""Urgh. Um." Monty holds his head. "I don't think it's contagious. Is- is Charlotte here?""What? She ditched us. Remember? Did you get a-a concussion?""No, she…" Monty glances around, but never lands on you. "She was… she was right there. Shit."(I'm right here, you attempt, but your voice is gone again and for the life of you you cant remember how you did it earlier.)"Shit. That's not—" Monty scrambles to his feet. "Oh, god, that's— I should've kept an eye on her. I assumed we'd come out together, but—""I-I think she's right there?" Gil points with one of his remaining legs, directly at you. You look down— you're still invisible."What? That's water, Gil. That's a- a tree.""No, there's really— goddammit, I-I-I sound like a kook. I-It just feels like her, right there. Please don't ask what that means.""There's nothing there.""I-I swear, there's— no. No. She's leaving."You are leaving, though not voluntarily: you're being dragged against the current by a powerful implacable force. Try as you might you don't feel anything about this. Monty and Gil recede, and are replaced by a flurry of mud, and sticks, and leaves, and so on, and then all of a sudden you are warm and semi-solid again.But you can't move your limbs. You can't move anything. You are firmly in the backseat of your own body, and driving it is—»Charlotte Fawkins.«Your fingers pluck the sunglasses from your eyes. »I need you to comprehend the >trouble< you have caused me.«»I leave to find a better connection. I tell you this. I pump your adrenaline before I go so you do not >die<. I also tell you this. I tell you, specifically, not to panic.«»You proceed to panic so hard you launch yourself out of your body and into several alternate timelines. Which I suppose is impressive. Congratulations. Gold star.«»So I return to find you >missing.< And your body >deteriorating,< because shockingly it relaxes when you're not >in< it. And this is not accounting for the current knocking it around. This is the cause of your bruising.«(3/4)
You can't move your head or eyes to look at your bruising, and any pain is too muted to be recognizable. Richard holds your arm out in front of your face. It's bloody and muddy, but under that are— okay, yes, that's a lot of bruises.»So guess who had to >salvage< this catastrophe.«Your fingers are pointing at your chest. You guess it is Richard who has to salvage this catastrophe.»I know that was difficult for your tiny brain.«»It is a miracle you escaped unassisted. It is beyond a miracle that you are functional. Though only just. Your mental state is poor, to put it moderately. You are >this< close to snapping.«You feel fine.»You are >in< that mental state. Of course you feel fine.«»You cannot be allowed to continue. I am not jeopardizing this mission for your pathetic need to feel >in charge.< That is all.»So…»So >I< am completing this fool's errand. You may watch. Or you may choose to struggle, which will be futile, and I will knock you out.«»Those are your options.«But… that's not fair. That's not— you didn't come all this way for Richard to just… do it for you. This is supposed to be your fight. And what about Gil and Monty?»You may pick them up on your way back.«> Capitulate.> Struggle. [Roll.]>>[A] Go back and get Gil and Monty, if you succeed.>>[B] Keep going on your own.> Attempt to argue. (What do you say? Write-in.) >>[A] Go back and get Gil and Monty, if you succeed.>>[B] Keep going on your own.> Write-in.
>>4632115> Struggle. [Roll.]>>[A] Go back and get Gil and Monty, if you succeed.
>>4632115> Struggle. [Roll.]>>[A] Go back and get Gil and Monty, if you succeed.Even if I feel like it'd probably be better to let Richard deal with it, Charlotte would almost certainly put up a struggle. Richard abandoned us in the other timeline bullshit, not necessarily by his choice leaving us to both deal with not!Charlotte and old!Monty, and then have to listen to Monty's life-story while we figured out how to leave. If she's going to let him take control, it's almost certainly going to be with a big, messy, blubbery, fight.
>>4632115> Struggle. [Roll.]>APanicking is maybe an unfortunate consequence of being pumped with adrenaline, RRichard
>>4632115> Capitulate.Bide our time and wait. Maybe we can criticize Richard constantly instead.I mean.We just pulled off atleast TWO miracles is what I heard.> We need the illusion of being in controlIllusion? Does Richard think HE is the one in control? Do we need to ask to speak to his manager, not that we actually would becausee that seems like a dick move.Besides, Richard cared and got scared, he better not try to lock us up like mummy was or else we'll show him wht snapping looks like.
>>4632121>>4632128>>4632550>2A>>4632637>1Okay! You are telling Richard to go fuck himself. Let's see if you're successful.>Please roll me 3 1d100s + 10 (+10 AAAAAAAAAAAA) vs. DC 80 (+30 Indispensable) to put up a fight!??????????????? to add +20 to all results?> Y> N
Rolled 42 (1d100)>>4633014Y
Rolled 40 (1d100)>>4633014Y
Rolled 78 + 10 (1d100 + 10)>>4633014> N
>>4633031>>4633037>>4633091>72, 70, 108 vs. DC 80 -- Mitigated Success>????????Called. Update in a good while-- might be a late night one again.
>Struggle>?????>72, 70, 108 vs. DC 80 -- Mitigated SuccessBut… Gil already thinks you ditched them. If Richard goes on alone, then you really will have ditched them. And that's not what you want. You need them there, so they can witness all your awesome deeds, and be suitably impressed.»That's sad. I also don't care.«»It is a pointless waste of time.«»Finding them would take days.«…What? »It has already been four.«Richard cranes your neck towards the 'sky.' It is evening again, and rapidly sliding towards nighttime. So that's still happening?»Very much so. It's not normal.«Ah. And having a talking snake pilot your body around is very normal.»Yes. It is. It adheres to the classical understanding of lowercase reality. You just don't like it.«»This does not adhere to— this does not happen, Charlotte. No conscious living force is capable of manipulating time. And time does not speed up or slow down on its own. I do not mean 'rarely.' Or 'in certain circumstances.' I mean it does not.«»Needless to say, this bodes poorly.«Well, God, it sounds like it's just too much for Richard to handle on his own. It sounds like he needs someone competent and useful to be leading the—Richard swats your (figurative) hand away. »No.«Oh, come on! Is he actually mad? You're fine now, aren't you? You're— you're chipper. You've never felt better.»Objectively untrue on all counts.«…It's not—»I am >inside< your >body<.«»Now quiet down. You are a distraction.«You would've been irritated regardless, but it's Richard sliding his sunglasses back over your eyes that really gets to you. There's no need for them. It's not sunny. He doesn't need them to see. There's nobody to hide his eyes from. All they are are a symbol of ownership, like a dog marking its territory. Richard Is Here.You want to rip the stupid glasses off your face and fling them to the ground and stomp them until they shatter, but you try and try and nothing at all happens. You don't even twitch. Richard has the audacity to use your mouth to smirk. "I don't know what you expected."He's using your voice! You redouble your efforts, throwing yourself over and over at the implacable mind holding you hostage. You may as well be beating your head against a slab. "In two ways, I suppose. Firstly, I told you this would be futile. Secondly, you abdicated your post, and you thought— what, it would be fine? Nothing could possibly go wrong with—"You didn't intend to!! It just happened!! "Ignorance is not an excuse, especially when you were warned not to—"You didn't know what was happening!! It felt like you were dying!! How is this your fault!! Could he stop using your voice?!"No, I like it. Your accent's so funny." Richard rubs your nose. "And I understand it's your first instinct to shirk accountability, but—"(1/3)
You don't have an accent! He does! And you're not— you're not— does he know what you've been through?! You thought you were dead, and then you died a whole bunch, and you were almost someone else, and you had to listen to Monty rambling about his stupid life, and also he stabbed you, and then you almost died again— and Richard wasn't even there! He abandoned you, so he could take a joyride in your body!! He has to have some kind of weak spot! If you just keep trying, then you—"Charlie, you're going to injure yourself." Richard tilts your head. "I think you need a break."No!"Yes. It's been a long five days. Sleep will help you."No!! You refuse! He can't make you! He can't do this to you! This isn't fair— it doesn't even make sense! How does he exspecttooomakey'shl…-You are back in the Spooky Mask People Dimension. …That can't be right. You just left. You have vivid memories of Monty scooping you onto his shoulders. (Embarrassing.) And of falling, and… there's only one Spooky Mask Person this time, and they're taking off their mask. Spooky Person Dimension.The spooky person is Monty. No it's not. His eyes are yellow."You are weak," the yellow-eyed thing intones.You cross your arms reflexively. "No I'm not. Leave me alone.""You are weak. You are struggling." It bares its teeth. They are pointed. "It saddens me.""That's not— why? What are you? What do you care?""I am of you." The thing walks straight through the table to approach you. "And you are of me. It goes in spirals."You hold your head. "Can you translate? Please? I don't speak 'cryptic GS'.""You know." It is uncomfortably close. You pretend it doesn't look like Monty. "Inside. Where your heart should be. I want you to be strong.""Well, that's… nice." You squint. "You're not a demon, are you? If you try to make me sign a contract, I'm— Richard is looking at it first."It is so close you're almost touching. "No contract.""Um." You edge away. "I guess that works, then. But why do you want me to—?""We hatched each other," it says, like it's obvious. "Here." And it takes your hand. "Be me.""…I don't know about…" It still looks like Monty. Or no. It doesn't. It's you, now, with yellow eyes. "I'm just not sure.""Be sure," it says, and crumples: it is just reddish snakeskin now. You hold it up to your face and discover it's your exact shape and size.Oh, what the hell, you think, and slide it on.-»What are you doing.«»You can't be back.«You are back.»How.«He thinks you are limited by petty cells. By electrical signals.»Yes, I do think that, Cha—«»…«»…«»…«»Shit.«(2/3)
He realizes too slowly: you have already extracted him wriggling from your skull. You hold him between your thumb and forefinger. You have been gentler than you could've been. He may be an unreliable, disreputable eccentric, but he is still true to the cause.He sinks his fangs into your thumb. «Let her go.» You are her. You are Charlotte Fawkins.«With an inflamed God complex. I know what this is.»«She can't function like this. This is impeding her — her active recovery. She's not <ready>.»It's almost as if he's concerned.«In a professional capacity, yes, I am concerned. If she falls apart before she's ready, then the whole endeavor is sunk. We will start over from scratch. Again.»«That is all it is.»«If <you> have any sense, you will let her go immediately.»No, you don't think you will. You enjoy this business of living, of tasting water on your slab tongue, of feeling mud streaked across you, the smallness of you, crushed inside yourself. The precision of it all. Even if you have entirely too many limbs.«…»«I will concede the last point.»«…»«I suppose I will supervise. If this gets out of hand I am intervening.»This is amenable. (There is nothing he can do.) Something else is bubbling up within you: a thin directive to turn around. You pivot. No, says the directive, I mean turn around and go get Gil and Monty. They have to see me win.>Please roll me 3 1d100s + 20 (+20 ?????) vs. DC 80 (+20 Powerful Current, +10 Warped Time) to get Gil and Monty, and to make it to your destination!
Rolled 70 (1d100)>>4634118Charlotte just doesn't get a break, does she?
Rolled 11 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>4634118
Rolled 86 + 20 (1d100 + 20)>>4634118
>>4634126>>4634149>>4634280>90, 31, 106 vs. DC 80 -- SuccessNice. Writing at... some point later today.>>4634126Not being able to catch a break is possibly the single most defining feature of a Drowned Quest MC. Next thread will be less hectic, pls be patient
>ONWARDS>90, 31, 106 vs. DC 80 - Success[Somewhere Else]You are Montgomery Gewecke, though you go exclusively by "Monty." That, at least, has never changed. You are in a bleak mood.You cup your head in your only hand. "She's gone, isn't she.""Um…" Gil, across from you, adjusts his squat. "I-I don't know about… I mean, she isn't here, anymore, but-""Either she's still in there, or she was spat out… somewhere else. So she's alone and disoriented in the middle of…" You gesture toward the current tearing along outside your makeshift shelter. "She's gone. It's my fault, too.""Well, I-I doubt it's your-"Gil. You need to apologize again for jumping him earlier. He seems well-meaning, he didn't deserve that- but neither would've Ellery, had it been him. (Though he does ask for it.) You need to get yourself under control. It was Jean, earlier, and your arm, and bad memories, but that doesn't excuse anything. Here, too. It's polite of Gil to offer an out, but it's not one you deserve. "No, it is. She came in after me, twice. I should've told her to turn around. She'd be fine if I'd told her that.""…Do you think she would've listened?" Gil rustles. "Really?"You have no practical argument against this. You're unsure if Charlotte listens to anybody."Because I-I-I don't think… I think she'd be neck deep in this swamp whether you were here or not. And I-I barely know her."He's right, of course, but- "I should still go back to get her." You screw your eyes shut. "I'm responsible for her well-being.""Are you?""Yes." "…Okay. And you're going back where? And i-if she's not there? And what about me, exactly?" Gil splays his legs. "Have you looked at me?""…Yes." You've been trying not to. You don't want to act oddly around Ellery later. But his head is gone, as are both of his arms. "Are you certain you're okay?""I-I feel okay, but you can't- please don't leave me here. Not again. I-I-I-I couldn't stand it, and- I-I mean, what if I'm gone? By then? I-I just evaporated? You can't- and there's your ankle. You can't walk on that.""I