This is a message, the first in a series of thirteen messages. You must pay attention to them! Leaving these messages was important to us, as we know things that you may not. This is not a place of honor. No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here. Nothing is valued here. What is here was dangerous and repulsive to us. These messages are warnings about that danger.The danger is still present in your time, as it was in ours. The danger is as great as it is in your time, as it was in ours. The danger is to the world, and absolutely everything in it, including yourself. It can spread. It can kill. The danger is effects from the universal degeneration of magic, effects that we called the Strangeness. The danger here is sealed in with lead, but it can be loosed if the site is disturbed physically. The danger may have already bled out from containment, fouling the ground underneath you. Do not drink from wells or streams near this place, or eat plants and animals you find around here. Do not linger, do not settle, do not cultivate this place, or any land within sight of this stone. For your sake, for the world, and for all you hold dear, shun this place, or you will suffer for our sins.- A series of messages to future civilizations, engraved in several languages on a warning stone, buried by the Inquisition above a Leadbelly grave. Leadbelly graves are an absolute last resort used only for bodies or artifacts that are both too dangerous to mitigate and are Strange enough that their Strangeness will not naturally dissipate for hundreds or thousands of years. Your name is Chlotsuintha, and among other things, you are in danger. You are a sneakthief, who after robbing a foreign merchantman at anchor is now wanted as a pirate. Additionally, in the commission of that crime, you forced the ship’s captain to open up his own strongbox, which the Port Authority has decided constitutes illegal hostage taking and illegal ransoming. Obviously, they cannot hang you three times, so it is likely that before any execution took place there would be some form of corporal punishment for you instead – probably several hour-long sessions of being strappadoed, if only because the winch-gallows doubles as a strappado. But whatever that punishment would end up being, it would be nothing compared to the punishment for being caught as a Leper who broke curfew and removed their Spotted Cloak, or what would happen to you if you were discovered by the Inquisition as a Witchlet. You are actually hard pressed to say which would be worse.
>>4994632Mitigation on a Stranger is a brutal process – and they do not kill you beforehand. Strangers lose all stability they had when they die, so all of the Strangeness that has accumulated in them through dissipation comes surging back. To protect themselves and their surroundings against this surge, the Inquisitors and Cleansers will attempt to mitigate away as much of this accumulation as possible before the Stranger dies. For someone as Strange as you are, you guess that you would probably be alive for a week or so at the bare minimum, while they target your body, piece by piece. What exactly you would go through would depend on whether a Cleanser or a Mitigator was performing the mitigation, and what where they were mitigating you with, but whoever it was and whatever they were using, the pain would be unspeakable. But it is possible that maybe your luck would turn white one last time, and you would be declared too Strange to mitigate safely with the equipment and personnel on hand, so you would get buried alive in a Leadbelly grave, or you would be left to die from dehydration inside a Lead Maiden. Neither of those are pleasant ways to die, of course, but are quicker and less painful than any manner of mitigation.On the other hand, the fate that awaits as a Leper who tried to change out of their spots is not quicker than mitigation, and at points could be as painful as a mitigation. There is no doubt some official name for this punishment, but all of the denizens of the Midden call it ‘death by donation’. The bastards at the Chirurgeon’s Guild will occasionally request convicted criminals or Lepers to be sent to their guild house or the University’s Medical School, so that they can be practiced or experimented on … but those that have been requested are expected to be returned in good working order, or at the very least, in condition comparable to how they were when they were sent in. And while there is always a chance that someone who was requested is not going to be coming back, or that they will come back all frayed up, those are exceptions – if not rare, then at least very, very uncommon. Of course, those conditions only apply to those that have been requested. For Lepers and others convicted of capital crimes who have been sentenced to death by donation, they are never going to be returned or released. Which means that the vultures can be much more … vigorous with their experiments, not to mention that and that they can deliberately inflict injuries or induce illnesses to practice healing and treating. Father occasional has some dealings with members of the Chirurgeon’s Guild and with their representatives in the University’s Medical School, and he told you a couple of horror stories about what they get up to. And as they do not get too many ‘donations’ they make a point of keeping them alive for as long as possible – months, years even, strapped to a bed, hopefully drugged out of your mind.
>>4994634A true worst-case scenario would be that you are caught as a Leper that broke curfew and removed their Cloak, get sentenced to death by donation, then while you are being picked apart, your blood – which carries the Strangeness – manages to seriously contaminate the operating theatre, so then you will get donated and then mitigated. And right now, you are closer to getting caught then you ever have been. After performing a remediation on today’s client and finishing your errands, you immediately headed straight to the Leper’s Lift in the Cavity, to get the hearse up to the South Burying Grounds, on the Promontory. But when you arrived, you found to your complete and utter shock that the Inquisition had gone and commandeered the lift. Earlier in the day, they had mobilized to investigate and remediate Strangeness present on the third floor and roof of a house near the cemetery – it seems that they are still moving men and equipment up there, and to save themselves time and effort, they took over the least used lift in the cavity – the one that traditionally, only Lepers or the unclean are allowed to use. Now, there are unclean Cleansers in the ranks of the Inquisition, those who are responsible for any corpse handling, gravedigging and other general clean-up duties after a mitigation, but there are only a few of them for each chapterhouse, or at least, there were back when your father was still in the Inquisition, eighteen years ago. You had also heard that the men of the Inquisition were willing to risk fouling their own souls to fight the Strangeness – but you had never seen that in person like this before. Cleanliness* is pleasing to the Patternmaker, and you would never have expected a proud and dutiful Inquisitor to take the Leper’s Lift. And for him to be so cavalier about it! *Theological Note: the lift itself is not physically dirty, but because it is used exclusively by those that are spiritually (and often physically) dirty, most people would shun it out of association, worried that using this lift would indicate to others (and to the Patternmaker himself) that they are willing to take risks with the cleanliness of their souls and the integrity of their moral fiber.But enough about that, this fresh-faced Inquisitor asked you a question: Over the past few days, did you see anything unusual happening in the area? Now, he has a duty to investigate any Strangeness that he finds, and questioning possible witnesses, such as yourself, is obviously part of that duty. The issue is Inquisitors also investigate suspicious individuals, such as yourself. It is more than just taking people in to take shout questions at them, or to look for any signs of the Strangeness or magic use by stripping them naked – and despite how scared you are at the moment, insanely you can feel yourself blushing at the thought of being inspected in such a manner by his – focus! Focus!
>>4994647The Inquistion, they can be pretty damned sly when they are of a mind to be. Asking casual, seemingly innocent questions, or just getting their mark to start talking, in the hopes that they reveal something. That’s how your father met your mother – he was on assignment, disguised as a journeyman pewtersmith. She had caught the attention of the Inquisition by purchasing suspicious amounts of raw lead, and they sent him to her, on the pretext of trying to buy some of that lead for his work. Of course, here the Inquisitor is dressed as an Inquisitor, so … so what? So, what does this mean? Pattern’s peace, where were you going with this? Just – just answer the question. “Actually … I do not know if it was anything, but yesterday, when I was trimming the hedge by the rear entrance, I noticed that a bunch of birds – Hook Gulls – were flocking to a house across the street. I … something about it looked odd.” “Really? What about it struck you as odd?” “Well … it was only on that house. None of the others. They were only coming and going to that one roof. I – I couldn’t figure what exactly they were doing. I suppose that’s what made it odd.” He is still looking at you. The broad smile that he had on his face earlier has since faded, but his lips are still slightly upturned, and his expression remains pleasant … but clearly expectant. You have said all you intended to say, but as the silence and his stare begin to weigh on you, you wonder if you should mention that you asked an Animal Control Leper about those Hook Gulls. >Please choose ONE of the following: >You should mention that you asked that Animal Control Leper about those Hook Gulls. If this Inquisitor knew about that Leper, it would demonstrate that you were being completely honest and open with him. >You should keep quiet about asking that Animal Control Leper about those Hook Gulls. That level of interest towards something that turned out to be caused by the Strangeness could come off as suspicious. Well, it took about a week longer than I thought it would, but it is good to be back in the saddle! For new players, welcome! This quest is very very loosely inspired by the Dishonored and Darkest Dungeon games, and uses a slightly modified version of Forgotten's 3x1d100 system for rolls, except for spells, which are 1x1d100, as we usually cast a bunch of them in one sitting, and having to wait for three rolls each would turn it into a real slog. The previous thread is at http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Graverobber%27s+Daughter. I am working on getting a glossary of terms written up, but in the meantime, feel free to ask any questions you may have, about definitions, or the setting, or whatever. Also, if anyone subjected themselves to /tv/ last week, you might recognize where I got the idea for the opening: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-time_nuclear_waste_warning_messages.
>>4994663>You should keep quiet about asking that Animal Control Leper about those Hook Gulls. That level of interest towards something that turned out to be caused by the Strangeness could come off as suspicious. I was going to do the other prompt, but on reflection this inquisitor should be able to connect the dots that we were likely the one to talk to that animal control leper if he went to talk to the inquisition. If we are later detained or something we can then later mention us being the one to talk to the animal control leper as proof of our honesty and good intentions. Also, weren't we potentially worried about getting the animal control guy mitigated? If he didn't mention it to the inquisition even though he was leaning towards it, we don't wanna let them know because he could be put in danger from getting close to the site.
>>4994663>You should keep quiet about asking that Animal Control Leper about those Hook Gulls. That level of interest towards something that turned out to be caused by the Strangeness could come off as suspicious. It’s very unlikely the Animal Control Leaper would have told anyone about oddness of the Hook Gulls yet before Ablution, especially since the Inquisition was moving on it when we got to the South Sexton this morning, unless he somehow left the previous night and told somebody important. What’s more likely is someone living in the building squealed about how weird the room seemed, and the amount of Hook Gulls coming in and shitting on the building was strange in of itself, and that triggered the Inquisition to move in. I say we got until tonight or tomorrow until they fully mitigate the room and start searching around for other Strangeness in the area, and at least until tonight for the Animal Control Leaper to notify them of the Strangeness and potentially get picked up by the Inquisition. Assuming worst case scenario, Animal Control rats us out, but it’ll take a full day for them to get something together to look for us if they wanted to, and by that time we should be fully prepared to leave at that point (again, assuming worst case scenario). To be honest, I expect them to be more focused on finding, trapping, and mitigating the Hook Gulls than I would on investigating a conversation between one leaper to another, but that’s just my outsider perspective on this. These hormones will be the death of us though, I totally believe that.Btw, welcome back! When I saw this quest was back, it made my day. Thanks for coming back, TrashQM.
>>4994663>You should keep quiet about asking that Animal Control Leper about those Hook Gulls. That level of interest towards something that turned out to be caused by the Strangeness could come off as suspicious. The animal control leper had clothes with strangeness on him, if they find out about that then they might check us as well as a "just in case"
The screeching of metal as the Leper’s Lift draws your attention, as well as the Inquisitor’s, so the both of you look away from each other to watch as the platform starts to ascend. Thankful for the time that it buys you, you take the opportunity to do go over it back and forth in your head. In the end,you are almost certain that you should keep your mouth shut. At least until you figure out how the Inquisition managed to learn about this. Because Animal Control does not have a process in place to make reports of potential Strangeness with the Inquisition, like the Morgue does, the first opportunity that the Leper you spoke to would have had to contact anyone about it would have been later today, after Ablution. Did someone else, like the owners of the house, or maybe one of their neighbors raise the alarm? It is possible. If that Leper picked up that something was off with the place, then they might have as well. And you need to remember, the room was communicably Strange. At that level, if you stay around something that Strange for long enough without proper shielding or protection, it can start to affect your mind, even without actually contaminating you. Headaches, seeing spots, and inexplicable paranoia area all possible with relatively short bouts of exposure – though the second you move away from the epicenter, the effects will fade away. Which brings up another point. While you are not going to stick your neck out needlessly, especially under your current circumstances, by the same talent, you do not want to get that poor sap into any more trouble than he already is, unless of course, you have no choice. After a little bit longer, the Inquisitor, finally accepting that you are not going to say anything else, asks another question – about what time did you see these gulls? You tell him the truth, that you are not certain what hour, but it was definitely in the late afternoon. He nods at that, and does not ask another question … but he does not return to the foot of the lift or to the wayhouse. Instead, he just stays where he is, and starts absently brushing your horse’s head with his hand. While the shaft is a cacophony of mechanical noise, his silence is still getting at you, making you doubt yourself as you scrunch down on the driver’s bench of the hearse. Should you … ask him something? Would that be suspicious? Or would it be suspicious to not ask questions. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Ask him if the house that he was called out to investigate was the one that you saw the Hook Gulls on, and if it was, do they know what was going on over there? >Do not ask him anything. He has already said that you are not in danger in the South Burying Ground, so you have no real reason to get nosy here. I'm going to leave this one up for a bit, but I intend to get at least one more update out today.
>>4994799>Do not ask him anything. He has already said that you are not in danger in the South Burying Ground, so you have no real reason to get nosy here. We've been silent so it's normal to keep being silent. Plus, his silent staring is probably a tactic to make us fidgety. That, and us asking would open us up to being asked why we would think that. If we are curious we can investigate ourselves later.
>>4994799>Ask him if the house that he was called out to investigate was the one that you saw the Hook Gulls on, and if it was, do they know what was going on over there? A bit of healthy curiosity wouldn’t hurt us, right? It couldn’t be suspicious just to ask some questions in return, and gaining some info would actually help us out, which was part of the reason why I didn’t want to go full mute here. If our luck stays white, we may get a feel for how long the mitigation process will take, since it seems like there’s a lot of effort pouring into this, even though it’s getting late in the day.
>>4994799>Do not ask him anything. He has already said that you are not in danger in the South Burying Ground, so you have no real reason to get nosy here.yeah let's just keep this month shut for now.
>>4994799>Do not ask him anything. He has already said that you are not in danger in the South Burying Ground, so you have no real reason to get nosy here. If it were up to me, I'd say we just ask him something simple, like where he's from. Make some kind of small talk without letting it go anywhere dangerous. But, I don't know if Chlotsuintha has the social tact or speech ability to do so without being awkward.
>>4994799>Do not ask him anything. He has already said that you are not in danger in the South Burying Ground, so you have no real reason to get nosy here.
Seconds continue to slowly seep pass, but the Inquisitor is still here, still messing about, brushing the old mare’s hair. Unfortunately for you, the old mare’s appreciative whickering seems to be encouraging him. If those damned fool Coroners brushed her down properly, she probably would not be so keen on all this attention, and maybe he would be done and gone by now. But he is not going anywhere. The Leper’s Lift continues to grind its way upwards, and elsewhere in the shaft, you can hear another lift begin to move. Whichever one it is, you can tell that it is descending – you can differentiate it by the noise it makes. While you listen, you casually turn your gaze upward to the hewn ceiling of the tunnel for a few moments. When you look down, you are startled to see that the Inquisitor has drawn much closer. He is now standing by the horse’s flank, intently looking up at you. Unable to help yourself, you physically recoil. “Oh! Apologies, I did not mean to give you a fright.”“N-no, it – it is just that, that you were so quiet, that’s all.” “Quiet? Nay, not particularly. It is just that surroundings are so loud.” “Uh - No doubt. No doubt.” You actually do doubt it. You have excellent hearing, so even with all of the reverberating ruckus going on in here, had he drawn closer with normal footfalls, you would have heard him. You are certain he was sneaking, you would certify that he was sneaking as a professional sneaker. Was he trying to get a rise, a reaction out of you? What purpose would that serve? Would it, Pattern preserve you … prove something? No, no you must not panic, if he pulled that stunt on anyone, they would react like that, would they not? So then what, is he trying to get you off balance, to intimidate you? But why would he do that, unless he suspects –“How long have you worked for the South Sexton?” What? What kind of question is that? He is looking at you with this intense expectation, and whatever ghost of a smile he still had is gone now. With no idea where this new line of inquiry is leading, you have no other recourse but to give a completely honest answer. “I’ve been a gravedigger for as long as I have worn and borne this Cloak - for nigh on eight years now. Every month, the assignments can be shuffled around, so sooner or later, you will end up in every one of the five; the South Burying Grounds, the North, the North-Eastern, the West and the Lichyard. That said, I’ve been assigned to the South Burying Grounds for the past three months.” “Oh. Is that … typical?” “Aye, I’d say it is.” “So, it would be fair to say that you know the man.” “Uh … not socially.”
>>4995061It seems that you were right in your first impression, laughter does come quick and easy to those good lips of his. He takes the absurdity of the joke well, and the tension in the stale, exhaust saturated air of the shaft begins to lessen. When he is finally done laughing, the smile remains, and insanely, you feel encouraged by its presence. “What I am getting at, is that you would know something of the man’s nature, correct?” “I would say so.” “So then, what is he like?” >Please choose ONE of the following: >Speak of the South Sexton in positive terms. Do not lie, simply make him out in the best possible light.>Speak of the South Sexton in vague terms. Do not lie, simply refuse to give this Inquisitor anything he may find useful. >Speak of the South Sexton in negative terms. You will not need to lie, the man is a skinflint and an ass.>Before speaking of the South Sexton in any terms at all, ask the Inquisitor why he is asking.
>>4995063>Before speaking of the South Sexton in any terms at all, ask the Inquisitor why he is asking.If the Inquisition is taking an interest in the South Sexton, we're gonna need to mitigate that coffin. This is obviously no small interest boytoy here has shown.
>>4995063>>Speak of the South Sexton in vague terms. Do not lie, simply refuse to give this Inquisitor anything he may find useful.
>>4995063>Speak of the South Sexton in vague terms. Do not lie, simply refuse to give this Inquisitor anything he may find useful.
>>4995063>Before speaking of the South Sexton in any terms at all, ask the Inquisitor why he is asking.I don't know if this will make him more suspicious for whatever reason, but we ought to judge whether he is suspicious of the Sexton, we don't want to give him reason to unjustly harm him, ass though he may be as far as we know he is not guilty of any crimes.I'm certain now that this guys behavior is deliberate, he is trying different tactics to get reactions out of us in order to gauge them, no doubt this isn't unusual for inquisitors.
>>4995063>Speak of the South Sexton in negative terms. You will not need to lie, the man is a skinflint and an ass.If the guy has a reputation for being an asshole we shouldn't beat around the bush, otherwise this guy will take ANYTHING we say with a few grains of salt.
>>4995063>Speak of the South Sexton in negative terms. You will not need to lie, the man is a skinflint and an ass.This is probably the most honest answer we could give.
>>4995063>Speak of the South Sexton in negative terms. You will not need to lie, the man is a skinflint and an ass.Guys an asshole and people probably know it, so let's go with this.
Let's take a tally: >>4995310 Positive 0 Vague 0 Negative 0 Question 1>>4995318 Positive 0 Vague 1 Negative 0 Question 1>>4995321 Positive 0 Vague 2 Negative 0 Question 1>>4995324 Positive 0 Vague 2 Negative 0 Question 2>>4995340 Positive 0 Vague 2 Negative 1 Question 2>>4995435 Positive 0 Vague 2 Negative 2 Question 2>>4995499 Positive 0 Vague 2 Negative 3 Question 2Pretty damned close, and I am still not going to be ready to sit down and write for an hour or two. I'll leave this open until then.
>>4995514So, I have started writing the next update, but I am fading fast. I'll try to get it up tomorrow for you guys. Going forward, I am going to shoot for two updates each day, but that could be a bit of a stretch. We'll see. Oh, and in case it was not clear, as I have started to write, the vote is now closed.
You cannot help but wonder if this is some sort of Inquisitor’s trick – a tactic to get you talking, something in that vein. Part of you just wants to say as little as possible, give him nothing to work with, in case this is actually a trick … but on the other hand, if it seems like you are being evasive, that could end really badly for you. Likewise, it is also tempting to ask why he wants to know about the South Sexton’s nature – and considering how out of the black that question was, asking him would be understandable … but you are just not comfortable enough. After having been completely off balance since you first laid eyes on him, it finally feels as if you have something solid under your feet. If this is a genuine line inquiry, and not some rhetorical trap for you to blunder straight into, then asking a pointed question, like ‘why do you ask’ could shift the focus of this discussion back on to you. And that is the last thing you want. So … by process of elimination, that leaves you with giving a truthful accounting of the man’s many faults.It takes more than a few minutes, and by the time you are done painting the Inquisitor a picture of a cheap, capricious and ignoble man who acts more akin to a merchant than the religious official that he actually is, the Leper’s Lift has made it to the top of the Cavity and is being unloaded. After letting you finish, the Inquisitor has some follow up questions for you. “Now, the South Sexton, he lives in the rectory, correct? In the graveyard?” “Yes, the house by the entrance.” “With his family?” “Yes.”“Only his family?” “I … I don’t follow.” “You said that he has a wife that you hardly ever see, two daughters at three and six years of age, and a son, Ralx, who helps him with the day to day running of the South Burying Ground.”“Yes, that’s right.” “But there are no servants at the rectory?” “Servants? No, there are servants. He has a cook, Engelbert, and there is usually a maid. They don’t last long though – between working in a cemetery, and having to deal with him, most quit before I even have the chance to learn their names.” “So then, these servants live in the rectory?” “Oh, no. Is that what you meant? No, none of them do.” “Alright – now, as a Leper, your shift ends at the seventeenth hour, correct?” “Yes.” “And would you say that Engelbert and the maid, if there is one, would have left the South Burying Ground by twentieth hour, at the absolute latest?” “I wouldn’t know.” “Yes, I get that – but if you had to take a guess.” “Well … if I had to, then yes, I suppose that sounds reasonable.” “And do you gravediggers or the servants arrive first, in the morning?” “Oh, we arrive long before they do.”“And what time would that be?” “Around the seventh hour.”
>>4996415“Then you are saying that between the twentieth hour and the seventh hour of the next day, the only people who are present in the graveyard are the South Sexton and members of his immediate family?” “… the twentieth hour was a guess.” That elicits an amused snort. “Were you not a Leper, you might have been a solicitor or a barrister. Alright then, would you guess that between the twentieth hour and the seventh hour of the next day, that they are the only ones there?” “Yes. I would.” “You also mentioned that he behaves as if he was a merchant, as opposed to an officiant. What did you mean by that?” “It … it is hard to articulate, but with the other Sextons, you feel that they have a sense of duty and reverence for their cemeteries. On the other hand, the South Sexton, he seems to treat it as if it was a job. And it is, I suppose, but – it does not seem to be one he is particularly happy to have. And … and he has gone and let the gravesites in the Old Section fall into disarray, some of them pretty seriously. None of the other Sexton’s would have let get as bad as it has.” The Inquisitor just looks at you for a long moment, and all your fears that this was some sort of trap come rushing back. But then: “Wait here.” He turns on his heel, and heads back out the access tunnel towards the wayhouse at a brisk jog. By the time he returns, the Lepers Lift has been unloaded, and it is descending. As he approaches, he pulls out a bright red neckerchief out of a pocket, and you notice he has a scrap of paper in the other, that has just been written on.“The things that you have said here, would you be able to say under oath*, in front of a Justiciar or a Tribunal?” If this is a trick, it must be the most elaborate trick that anyone has ever played. You can see what is happening here quite plainly; the Inquisition is coming for the South Sexton. What you cannot possibly comprehend is why. You can say with absolute confidence that he is not a Witch, and that he has no indicators of latent magical ability. He is not Strange either – he might just be the most mundane human to ever live. The Inquisition is making a mistake, but if they are involving the courts then your boob of a boss should be able to prove his innocence and cleanliness before any interrogation or mitigation is done to him, unlike that poor Animal Control Leper. But why has suspicion fallen on the Sexton so heavily? It cannot just be because there was a seriously contaminated house a stone’s throw from where he lives – there has to be more to it. Maybe you should have asked this fresh-faced Inquisitor why he was inquiring into his nature after all. Oh, he is still expecting an answer.
>>4996649“Uh … yes.” He hands you the neckerchief and the paper.“Good. Now, as I’ve got to stay here at the lift, I am invoking my Immediacy to temporarily muster you, as is the right of all of the Emperor’s direct vassals. All I ask of you is to deliver this note to the ranking authority at the ongoing mitigation across the street from the South Burying Grounds. Should be the Master Abbot, but if not – well, it is no matter, they’ll take you to whoever is. Just say that Ossavian sent you with a note.”Pattern’s Perdition, he … you … oh … oh …“There is a watchword at the perimeter: ‘under salted seas’. Even if they see the letter and the scarf and hear my name, the Cleansers on duty will not let you in unless you say ‘under salted seas’. You got that?” “But – but – the, the coffin…” That came out as a particularly feminine sounding squeak, but it seems that he does not notice. “Fine, drop the coffin off first, but nothing else. You understand? Straight to the perimeter.” >Please choose ONE of the following: >Tie the neckerchief around your neck, and follow his instructions.>It is one thing to have Cleansers milling around outside the cemetery or to have to talk to a single greenhorn Inquisitor. Presenting yourself to the fraying Master Abbot and the rest of his chapterhouse is another thing entirely. Try to talk your way out of this. [Requires Rolling] *Legal Note: When Ossavian is asking Chlotsuintha if she can repeat what she said under oath, it is important to understand that he is not asking her if she is willing to provide testimony. Courts have the authority to compel untitled witness to give testimony, and if they do not, they can be charged in contempt of court, which is treated as a serious felony. Rather, by asking if she can repeat what she said about the Sexton under oath, he is simply asking if she is willing to swear on her body and her soul that what she said is the truth to the best of her knowledge. Sorry it took so long to get this out. If we get enough votes soon enough, I should be able to get a post up overnight.
>>4996659>Tie the neckerchief around your neck, and follow his instructions.If we play our cards right, we'll be absolutely fine. We get to drop off the coffin first, which is all that could possibly be detected by their instruments. We already know we are essentially undetectable unless they were to press very sensitive equipment right against our skin. We have his permission to drop the coffin off, alleviating any suspicion doing so. Frankly, trying to worm our way out of this will make us stand out far more than simply doing the favor. In addition, getting close enough might allow us to figure out what they're up to, and by extension might give us a clue as to father's whereabouts.
>>4996659>Tie the neckerchief around your neck, and follow his instructions.After we're away from the lift we should see what the note says, to make sure that we're not walking into a trap.
>>4996659If we drop off the coffin and go straight home, what are the odds we can load everything up into the wagon and escspe town right now?Would the wagon be difficult/neccessary to disguise? Do we really need the lifting oil? What could we leave with if we don't have the oil?
>>4996710I'm gonna go out on a limb and say slim to none. Not to mention it would immediately make us target, and all they have to do is ask around the burying yard workers to figure out where to find us. Almost certainly not a good idea.
>>4996694Good idea, anon. I bet he thinks we can't read.
>>4996659>Tie the neckerchief around your neck, and follow his instructions.
>>4996659>Tie the neckerchief around your neck, and follow his instructions.Oh.. oh... o-ok.If anything, we may be able to turn this to our advantage. If the Inquisition is going after the South Sexton, this may be a luck break for us. We're definitely mitigating that damn coffin though, and read the letter when we're out of sight.
>>4996659>>Tie the neckerchief around your neck, and follow his instructions.
>>4996677>>4996694>>4996741>>4996838>>4996858That is five to zero, an overwhelming lead if there ever was one. I'll get to writing up the overnight vote.
saying it now: it won't be the old fuck, but his nice son who'll end up in the cross hair.
There is now way around it – you have been mustered. You lower your hood to tie the kerchief around your neck, all the while carefully keeping yourself positioned so the fresh-faced Inquisitor, who is apparently named Ossavian, cannot see your shoulder length hair all done up in a bun on the back of your head. You did not need to worry though; as you have clearly acquiesced, his attention has reverted back to the old mare. After you get the madder-dyed linen tied down around your neck, you whisk your hood back up over your head. Eventually, he stops his ministrations on your horse long enough to walk your through everything once more. Soon the Leper’s Lift finishes its descent to the bottom of the shaft with a loud but desponding sounding thump. After easing the hearse on to the lift and securing it tightly with the provided straps and blocks, you hitch the horse to a post integrated into the lift. To ensure that the horse does not panic and hurt itself, while the lift is in operation, you are going to need to stand right next to the animal to keep it calm. It turns out to be an unnecessary precaution. This horse has no doubt been up and down on the Leper’s Lift more than you have. Even still, it is nice to be back on your feet again. And it is not like there was anything else you could be doing at the moment – this portion of the shaft is very poorly lit, so reading the note that Ossavian gave you would be practically impossible, especially considering that you have slightly soiled gauze covering your eyes under your mask … which reminds you. In a matter of minutes, you might just be coming face to face with a Master Abbot of a Chapterhouse – a terrifying prospect, to be sure, but since you are expecting him, it does not scare you quite like the arrival of the Cleansers or your meeting with Ossavian. Ossavian. Hmm. It is a very southern sounding name, but oddly enough, he does not look that southern. Well, now that you say it, you could definitely see his hair being southern. That nose though, with the flat upturned tip – you have never seen anything quite like it. And his skin was fairer than most in the south, but that just might be because he is always wearing the red Capello Romano hat that rank-and-file Inquisitors are issued. They –
>>4997249Pattern’s Perdition, you need to snap out of this nonsense. There was something about gauze, something important. Now, what the Hell was it?Oh! Right, the rest of the gauze. You still have the rest of the gauze wadded up in your pocket, with the graven steel musket ball inside of it. You performed a near flawless Salt-Mitigation on it, so it is neither magical or Strange at this point, but the damage that has been done to it is clearly from a mitigation, and the glyphs are still legible, obviously marking it as a formerly magical artifact. It is not something that you would want the Master Abbot to see, nor is the suspicious amount of salt that you are carrying with you at the moment. You hold off on making a decision on what to do about that until you are off of the lift and back outside in the sunlight at the Landward Crossroads, the spot on the Promontory where the Cavity, the quickest route to and from Cleanport, and the Chip, the quickest route to and from Stickport, meet up.You put a little distance between you and the upper wayhouse, much larger than the one at the other end of the shaft, to better accommodate all of the lifts’ machinery. Finally satisfied, that you are far enough away, you slip the slip of paper into your hand, cradling it against cupped palm and fingers, so you may surreptitiously read it as you make your way back to the South Burying Ground.Granduncle (or Saturno, or whoever is actually reading this):The bearer of this note presumably witnessed the device we found in operation. Their testimony corroborates the statements taken from the residents and the Leper we have in curative custody – both for the function of the device and that the device had been active since yesterday afternoon.Additionally, the bearer of this note is a gravedigger, who has worked underneath all five of the Mount’s Sextons. When I asked him about the South Sexton, after some initial hesitation, he gave me a scathing and surprisingly articulate portrait of the man. Unfortunately, there is nothing to act on, but it seems that out of the five, the South Sexton is most worldly. Some possible indications that he is ‘living beyond his means’, strongly recommend taking a closer look at his finances.If nothing definitive comes up and we do end up needing to go before a Tribunal or a Synod, then I would consider cultivating this individual as a professional witness. Their testimony will carry more weight than the others.-OssWell, there is a lot to work through there, but right now, the important thing is that unless this is some sort of code, you do not seem to be a person of interest, at least to ‘Oss’. But now that you have read the note, and have a better idea of what might happen to you once you present it, what should you do about the graven steel musket ball?
>>4997254>Please choose ONE of the following:>Keep the ball on your person. Nothing that you have read indicates that they would physically search you, and after having been Salt-Mitigated to completion, the ball will not register on a dosimeter.>Hide the ball somewhere on the Promontory, outside of the South Burying Ground. If it is not already the thirteenth hour, it certainly will be by the time you get to the graveyard. If you are just dropping the hearse off and then going over to deliver the note, you might not have the time or the opportunity to hide the ball in the cemetery – people will probably be by the entrance. >Hide the ball somewhere inside the South Burying Ground. It might be late, and it might be difficult to sneak away, but you have already randomly run into the Inquisition twice today. And if you hide it somewhere out here, then who is to say that it will still be there when you get back. Lots of thieves around here, you have got to be careful.
>>4997219You know, there was this one quest (I believe it to be L5R Chanbara Quest, great quest btw), where I knew from foreshadowing something that would become immensely relevant later in the quest (funnily enough, it was also in the second thread, like in this case). The difference between us is that I just made a cryptic remark hinting that I knew more than I should using a meme from earlier in the quest (I believe also created in the same thread), about our protagonist creating beautiful artworks, yet leaving one detail in the background to give it a dangerous unease to it, an unnatural addition to an otherwise peaceful painting. Subtlety is a beautiful thing in art, both written and colored, and should be cherished when you recognize it, not spoiled. Just some noodles for thought mate.
>>4997255>Hide the ball somewhere on the Promontory, outside of the South Burying Ground. If it is not already the thirteenth hour, it certainly will be by the time you get to the graveyard. If you are just dropping the hearse off and then going over to deliver the note, you might not have the time or the opportunity to hide the ball in the cemetery – people will probably be by the entrance.Ditch it near a bush or tree or something out of the way, where we can get it on our way back.Also now that we know that the South Sexton is being investigated, we either need the body Discovered, Cleansed or to tip them off that they are being looked into to prevent worse things from happening, it also serves as a better excuse as to why we were late.
>>4997255>Keep the ball on your person. Nothing that you have read indicates that they would physically search you, and after having been Salt-Mitigated to completion, the ball will not register on a dosimeter.
>>4997255>Hide the ball somewhere on the Promontory, outside of the South Burying Ground. If it is not already the thirteenth hour, it certainly will be by the time you get to the graveyard. If you are just dropping the hearse off and then going over to deliver the note, you might not have the time or the opportunity to hide the ball in the cemetery – people will probably be by the entrance.>>4997266well my predictions are usually wrong so there's that.
>>4997255>Keep the ball on your person. Nothing that you have read indicates that they would physically search you, and after having been Salt-Mitigated to completion, the ball will not register on a dosimeter.We are a Leaper, who has been mustered by the Inquisition by the Grandmaster's own family. They shouldn't have any reason to search us unless we give them cause to. Still, we should properly hide the ball on our person (maybe our hair-bun?) and wrap some unsoiled gauze around our face when we get some time and the gauze.What peaks my interest is the Strange producing machine, whose purpose is to attract Strange Hook Gulls? Whether this relates to the broader Sexton investigation, or that this is a mere happenstance, is unknown. We do know that they have reason to suspect the South Sexton (or one of the Sextons) of something naughty, but it seems like it wasn't targeted at any particular Sexton. That means we not only successfully talked our way into the Inquisition snooping around our workplace, but also made us stand out as a key witness in an Inquisition trial against our boss. Truely, we have outdone ourselves this time. Phenomenal process on digging our own grave.Jokes aside, this is quite a pickle we've found ourselves in, one that will force us to either stay or be singled out as something other than a simple gravedigger. All isn't lost though- this may be a hidden opportunity by the Patternmaker. We not only have an in with the Inquisition, but their leadership as well. Maybe sticking around a little longer will be worth whatever leverage being mustered gives us in not only finding Father, but throwing them off his scent as well. We should still prepare and be ready to bolt at a moment's notice however.We also have to investigate Smil's residence, and dispose of the corpse before our adventures tonight (which now includes coffin mitigation). Fun.>>4997327I'd take it as a compliment that I believe you're right, or that it would be an interesting twist at least. It just reminded me of my temptation to blurt my predictions out there at the time. I'm just glad I had the wisdom to not ruin the other anons' experience with the quest. Snape kills Dumbledore btw.
>>4997254Oh, I realized I should clarify two things in the note that Chlotsuintha would know, and that you as the reader would not.1. Curative custody means that the family and the Animal Control Leper are locked away in a chapterhouse somewhere so they can be remediated or mitigated; probably remediation for the family, and mitigation for the Leper. Neither of them are pleasant as they involve the application of pressing stones, open flame and salt, but remediation is less likely to maim or kill you. Remediation is harder to perform, requires more material, and is more likely to leave residual Strangeness, as opposed to mitigation. In this society, the family would be worth the extra effort and the marginal risk that not all of the Strangeness was removed. On the other hand, the Leper would not rate this kind of consideration. 2. In the setting, a professional witness is not someone who provides expert testimony at a trial. Instead they are like an informer, or undercover detective. Anyway, it is great to see all this discussion, so I am going to wait for a tiebreaker instead of rolling for one.
>>4997255>>Keep the ball on your person. Nothing that you have read indicates that they would physically search you, and after having been Salt-Mitigated to completion, the ball will not register on a dosimeter.
Alright, we have our tie-breaker. I'll get to work on the overnight update.
The unfortunate reality is that as long as you are wearing the Spotted Cloak and driving a hearse, then you are going to be the center of attention on any street you pass through. The Promontory is not like Stickport, there are no deserted streets, no rows of warehouses to slip behind. It is just houses and businesses everywhere, all of them seemingly full to bursting. If you were to stop and get off to go hide the mitigated remains of the graven ball, you would definitely be seen, and probably even be accosted by homeowners, landlords and merchants angered by your presence. Ultimately, you would have to hide the ball without leaving the driver’s bench of the hearse – so you would either have to find someplace that you could drop it as you passed by, or you would have to throw the damned thing somewhere. Neither of those are acceptable. And you are similarly uncomfortable with the idea of leaving the graven ball in the cemetery, for what amounts to the same reason – the second you get through the main gate, all eyes are going to be on you until you leave. So, for now, with no other viable options, you are going to hold onto the ball, as well as suspicious amount of Sea Salt you are carrying. Obviously, if the Inquisition finds them on you … well, if it happens, then there really is not going to be anyway to talk your way out of it. You are going to have to run for your life. In fact, now that you think about it a bit, it might have been a good idea to have stashed the steel ball and the Sea Salt somewhere in Stickport. Even if you did not know that you were be running an errand for an Inquisitor, you were perfectly aware that a bunch of Cleansers were milling around the South Burying Ground. Fraying Hell. But with everything that is bearing down on you at the moment, you have to keep moving forward. With your line of sight blocked by buildings, you actually smell the fire before you can see it. The old mare smells it too, and whickers nervously. Pattern’s Perdition – if they are doing what you think they are doing, an on-site Leadfire burn, then the house must have been much, much more contaminated than you thought. Just what was going on in there? The note specifically mentioned a device that they found; a device that apparently was responsible for attracting the birds. Does the device only work on Hook Gulls, or was something done to those particular birds for it to affect them? Are the birds Strange, like you originally thought, or are they mundane and simply effected by the device? Did they find anything else out about the mysterious University Student who just disappeared with all of their belongings? You have a lot of questions, and maybe, just maybe, if you keep your eyes and ears open while you drop off the note, you might just get a few answers. But of course, you cannot afford to take any real risks, not in front of a fraying Master Abbot.
>>4998391By the time that you reach the gates of the South Burying Ground, you can just make out the tops of the flames on the far side of the cemetery – and while you do not fail to notice the white tint to what little of the flames that you can see, indicating that your guess about the Inquisitors using Leadfire was right on the money, what really catches your eye is the funerary wreath placed on the door of the South Burying Grounds interment temple. The wreath that is made out of distinctive, naturally black leaves, as opposed to the typical tarred laurel. Now, you cannot know with absolute certainty that this was the wreath that you saw earlier when you passed the house that had the Strangeness outside in the alley. It is a possibility that some florist has started carrying these wreathes, and that there are a few of them out there right now in circulation … but at this point, you are pretty much convinced that today’s client lived and was shot in that house with the graven ball. As you take the hearse around the back of the temple to get to the coil’s vestibule, you find that a harried looking Vaclav is already there, waiting for you. “Sty! By the Pattern’s Perfection, what took so fraying long? There’s a fully ordained Priest and two Undertakers in there, all just twiddling their thumbs, waiting to start the preliminary rites. Family members have even –” “Aye, aye. I saw the wreath. I’m sorry. It was unavoidable; an Inquisitor commandeered the Leper’s Lift, and while I was waiting to be put through, he mustered me to deliver a note. I –”“Wait, our lift? They were using our lift?”“I know, right? Anyway, I need to get the note to whoever is burning that house across the street. I’ll be right back.” “Wait, you can’t just leave! Smil never showed up, and there is no way I can carry a coffin by myself.” “I shouldn’t be long – I just need to put a note in someone’s hand. I’ll be back before you know it.” “Before I know it! Sty, please, if the Master Sexton comes back here and sees me just standing around next to a still-loaded hearse, he’ll probably exempt me. And he’ll definitely exempt you.”
>>4998393Exempt Lepers are no longer allowed to work anywhere, which means that they have to survive on the questionable free meals provided in the Midden, and the potentially dangerous public water. Obviously, you do not want to see an older, more vunerable Leper like Vaclav get screwed like that on your account, but … it is not just bringing the coffin into the temple and then leaving. Once the coffin is inside the temple, the service begins, and you will need to be on hand through the entirety of the Last Ablution to move the client from bier to bier as the ceremony progresses. And then there is the added complexity of having three officiants (or four, counting the South Sexton, though his is a very small role). The last time you were at a service with a Priest and two Undertakers, it took the better part of two hours. Ossavian made it pretty damned clear that you were to get the note delivered as soon as possible, and to take a delay … you are worried that it might come across as suspicious, like you did not want to go see any more Inquisitors, or something like that. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Deliver the letter immediately, as you were instructed.>Bring the coffin into the temple, but then immediately attempt to sneak out, hoping that you are back before you are needed again. [Requires Rolling: Difficult]>Bring the coffin into the temple, and stay at your post as you are expected to.
>>4998395>>Deliver the letter immediately, as you were instructed.We can ask the Master Abbot to explain to our boss that we were asked to deliver the note, if we are feeling ballsy we can even condition our being a "professional witness" on it.
>>4998395>Bring the coffin into the temple, but then immediately attempt to sneak out, hoping that you are back before you are needed again. [Requires Rolling: Difficult]Might as well try and help Vaclav out. It's a tough spot we're put in, but even if we fail the sneaking roll, it'll be just us that takes the flak, and given the the Inquisition has mustered us and that the South Sexton will need two Leapers to finish the Last Ablution, he won't attempt to exempt us until after the coffin is laid to rest, and maybe he'll be considerate of Master Abbot's letter (if we're even lucky to get a letter explaining our tardiness), but even if we're exempted, it isn't the end of the road for us.
>>4998395>Deliver the letter immediately, as you were instructed.yeah sorry Vaclav, this takes priority.
>>4998395>Deliver the letter immediately, as you were instructed.Deliver the letter and excuse ourselves as fast as we possibly can, we are just messengers, after all, if not at least try explaining about the inquisitorial letter.
>>4998395>Deliver the letter immediately, as you were instructed.If it helps settle him give him todays wages.
>>4998395>>Deliver the letter immediately, as you were instructed.
With five votes, delivering the letter has a commanding lead. Now, here is a trickier question. Do you want to activate your Hide-Eyes glyph? It creates a wearable glamor, to conceal your normally blank eyes. The spell does not produce enough Strangeness to spread, so it is invisible to ranged-dosimeters, but if a sensitive dosimetrist were to point an equally sensitive spot-dosimeter directly at your eyes, or at the location of the scarification glyph on your back, there might be some feedback - or if someone were to touch your eyes, the glamor would be dispelled. On the other hand, if you were to not use the glamor, and you were asked to take off your mask and the gauze for some reason, then you would be just good and frayed, as the glamor gradually constructs itself over the course of a minute. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Activate Hide-Eyes.>Just rely on your mask.
>>4998753>>Just rely on your mask.
>>4998753>Activate Hide-Eyes.They have no reason to use a dosimeter on us as far as I can tell so let's go with this.Man what the fuck are these captchas.
>>4998753>>Just rely on your mask.They are probably waving spot dosimeters all over the place, and knowing how paranoid these guys are, I wouldn't be surprised if they just waved one over us just to be sure. On the other hand, they probably wouldn't want to take the mask off a leper.However, hypothetically I could see them needing to see our face for witness identification purposes, but I imagine our name would be enough.
>>4998753Does the Lead Burning mitigation lead to some strangeness polluting the air, making the sensitive spot-dosimeter more faulty in the immediate area. If so, Activate Hide-Eyes.If not, just rely on our mask. We're a Leaper after all, would the Inquisition really risk unmasking a potential infectious Leaper when said person hasn't tipped off any strangeness on the dosimeters.How fast would Hide-Eyes deconstruct btw, and could we charge it while we're talking to a person, like say, the person in charge?
>>4998963Btw, assume this is my official vote (as non-committed as it seems), as I may not be back in time to make a proper vote. Good luck lads, and may the Pattermaker bless our fabric, wherever it may lead us.
>>4998753>Just rely on your mask.Just rely on your mask and if it seems you need to take it off you could make a minute-long excuse while the glamor constructs itself.
>>4998963>>4998969It can be dispelled instantly, either by you willing it away, or the glamor being physically disrupted. And as for the Leadfire affecting the readings, as long as it is properly burning, then it should not be releasing any Strangeness into the air at all. It will release lead particulates, which have Strangeness permanently sealed away inside of it, but no, assuming everything was done properly, there would be noting for a dosimeter to pick up on. Anyway, there are enough votes in to close it. I have two smaller assignments that I need to get in for midnight, but after that, I should be able to write up an overnight vote.
>>4999030>minute-long excuseJust start coughing violently, and slowly unravel our bloody gaze first, maybe ask for some fresh gaze from them. That'll stop the mask from coming off.
>>4999218I like this idea. Just closeour eyes, bend over and let loose with the snot.
Hey guys, just wanted to give anyone who was still in the thread a heads up - I'm not going to be able to finish the post tonight (or at this point, this morning). Sorry about that. I'll get it up sometime later in the day. The good news is that I barely have any homework for over the weekend, so I should be able to get in more posts than usual to make up for this.
>>4999222Lovely trips mate.>>4999477Thank you for telling us, I can’t wait for the next update!
>>4999477Do you sleep?
>>4999570He's in university, so I assume not.
>>4999572Eh, who needs it anyway.
He is right, the South Sexton is definitively petty enough to exempt him for something that was completely out of his control. In fact, after being embarrassed like this in front of people that he personally knows, you and Vaclav might just get exempted, even if you brought the coffin in right now, considering that you are already running late. It is funny; realization that you might be exempted barely even registers; you have had so much more dire things on your mind since you first saw the Cleansers that the prospect of losing your job had not even occurred to you until Vaclav actually brought it up. Compared to being hanged as a pirate, ‘donated’ as a curfew-breaker and Cloak-slipper, or getting your ass mitigated into oblivion for being a Witchlet, the ‘fear’ of being unemployed … it does not even register for you. The brand that all exempted Lepers get is of slightly more concern to you, but only as a potential inconvenience. A small, mostly external injury like that, especially while it is still fresh, could be fixed with the Life-Loom, even by someone at your level, so long as they had a supply of human flesh to work with. And lucky you, you have a perfectly good body to work with, waiting for you in your room. Even the pain associated with the branding is not scaring you, because you have three scarification glyphs subdermally etched into you, and there is no way that a quick little kiss with a metal brand can hurt more than the hour-long process of getting flensed, salt-prepped, and then inscribed. And if you lost the gravedigging job, but your father did return? Well, you are not fretting about that either. With everything going on in the Mount, you are convinced that father would be looking to flee as well – if he was not, then … hopefully, you could make him see reason, but if you could not, and you were going to stay here, then with nothing to do but sit around in the belfry all night and day, perhaps your magical education would finally pick up speed. And now that you think about it, there are other ways that getting exempted might actually be to your benefit – even if father does not return. If you were not working during the day, then you would have much more time to prepare for your escape to the frontier. Additionally, if you were no longer working or around the South Sexton, then you would be worthless to the Inquisition as a professional witness against him in whatever manner of case they are building against him. For a Witchlet who is about to deliver a message for a Master Abbot, you are feeling remarkably good about things … until you realize that Vaclav is still waiting for a response, looking at you with plaintive, pleading eyes.
>>5000350You find yourself looking away awkwardly under your mask. There is absolutely no way in Heaven or in Hell that getting exempted benefits him. With his humors ill-balanced by the Masticating Pox, getting branded could be a serious risk to life and limb for him – and that is not even considering what drinking only public water will do to him. But … you cannot afford to bring down the suspicion of the Inquisition on your by delaying delivery of this note – that is simply not an option, because as a Witchlet, your life would be on the line. At the very least, you should say something. Something to explain yourself, some justification … even if it has to be a lie, or at best, a half-truth.“Vaclav … I’m sorry. But I have to do this. I mean, I was mustered. And not as part of a larger group, it was just me. Ossavian, er – the Inquisitor who mustered me – he could easily find me in the Midden if he found out that I shirked or delayed in the duty that he gave me. And consider this – if the man is crazy enough to use our lifts, then who knows what the Hell he’ll do to me if I don’t comply.” Now, none of that is a lie, or even a half-truth. But it is a bit of a misrepresentation, as you seriously doubt that Ossavian would even impose the traditional penalties for a muster who failed to follow orders – either hanging, flogging, or for free citizens, indenturization – let alone get creative and come up with some new method of execution or torture for you. But when Vaclav’s shoulders slump, and he does not offer up any new objections, you know that he bought it. While the Inquisition is afforded great respect for their fight against the Strangeness, that respect is colored by more than a little fear. You depart without looking back, moving through the South Burying Ground as quickly as you can while still remaining respectful. While you cut through the Old Section, you contemplate activating the Hide-Eyes glyph, but by the time you pass by the last of the old-model graves, you decide that with all of the dosimeters that are presumably going to be around you when you deliver the note, relying on your mask would be the smarter play here. There is another decision that you need to make, but this one is quite a bit harder. And by the time you are finally in sight of the rear entrance, and seeing more and more of the flames with every step, you have made no progress on it. After you deliver the letter, assuming you have an opportunity to do so, should you ask the Master Abbot to intervene with the South Sexton to keep you – and Vaclav – from being exempted? Exemption would give you so much more time to work with, which will make things easier, and more importantly, safer for you during the Refinery heist, the final preparations, and the actual escape itself. But if Vaclav got exempted too (and knowing the South Sexton as you do, he probably would), it could easily be the death of him.
>>5000352 >Please choose ONE of the following: >It is hard, but you have to look out for yourself. You do not even know for sure that he will be exempted … and if he is, then he has already lasted this long. If anyone could survive on the free food and swill in the pumps, it is him. You just need to keep moving forward. >It is hard, but you have to do the right thing. Vaclav might just be an acquaintance, but you have known the man for years. Dooming him by not asking for the Inquisition to intercede on your behalf would just be too cruel, even if it would be to your benefit.
>>5000354>It is hard, but you have to do the right thing. Vaclav might just be an acquaintance, but you have known the man for years. Dooming him by not asking for the Inquisition to intercede on your behalf would just be too cruel, even if it would be to your benefit.
>>5000354>It is hard, but you have to do the right thing. Vaclav might just be an acquaintance, but you have known the man for years. Dooming him by not asking for the Inquisition to intercede on your behalf would just be too cruel, even if it would be to your benefit.Considering the note we read, there is a good chance that it could be traded for our service either way, depending on how we play things.
>>5000354>It is hard, but you have to do the right thing. Vaclav might just be an acquaintance, but you have known the man for years. Dooming him by not asking for the Inquisition to intercede on your behalf would just be too cruel, even if it would be to your benefit.Even at great risk and added difficulty to ourselves, we chose to save the Captain's life. What's one more difficulty to deal with, and risk to manage, in service of saving another life, this one known for half of our life?
>>5000397>>5000424>>5000455>>5000572Well, this is a lot more unanimous than I thought it would be, which is good. It means that there is a strong sense of the MC's character.Now, I've outlined the next update in my head, but I'm going to actually get some sleep instead of flushing it out, so I can be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for the run I promised you all over the weekend. I'll put a post up in the /qtg/ when I am ready to start, considering that this thread is no longer bumping, or it won't be by the time I'm ready.In the meantime, I do have something for guys to vote on - another character question, but this one is just cosmetic, as opposed to the right or left handed vote in the last thread, which had future gameplay implications. What color is Chlotsuintha's hair? It seems kind of silly to have decided how she wears her hair without deciding what color it is, but honestly, I never really settled on anything. The Waifubowl or whatever the Hell it's called got me thinking about trying to draw her or something, and that's when I realized I had not settled on a color. Also, while I'm thinking about it, I'd like to thank the anon that nominated Chlotsuintha - I appreciate it. >Please choose ONE:>Dark or Dirty Blonde>Blonde>Platinum Blonde>Dark Redhead>Redhead>Light Redhead>Black>Brunette>Auburn
>>5000669>BlackI dearly hope this isn't an indication we are about to have our hood thrown off.
>>5000669It's a good quest, and Chlotsuintha is a well written character. It'd be criminal not to nominate her for the Waifubowl.When it came to hair color, I always thought of her as Black, or Raven haired, if you will (and not just because it's black hair on the title card btw). Thematically, I think it's appropriate, as she does her best to hide in the shadows and stay out of the spotlight, plus Dark quest = Dark hair.Now with that said, I'm wondering if Platinum Blonde or Auburn is really the way to go. I think it would be neat to have something else stand out about her appearance- whether that be hair as fiery red, or as white as the driven snow, I'm a bit undecided on.Thinking back on the dominant hand vote, I'm sort of kicking myself from abstaining from that vote. Thinking from a character standpoint rather than a mechanical one, being left handed would have suited Chlotsuintha's character and the story more, as being the Strangehanded, or the Black Sheep, would have done more to make her distinctive as a character, especially as she struggles to hide what would be an instinctive use of her dominant hand. Not only that, but it would've also subtly highlighted the constant threat that she's under, and the risk of being discovered. It definitely would have been another incentive for Chlotsuintha to become really considerate and self-conscious of her habits and the need to conceal herself from society, and it would've emphasized her careful and cautious nature in the beginning of the quest.Unfortunately, I can't really come to a snap decision on character development without letting my brain chew on it for a couple days, and I'm afraid I'm in the same position here with Chlotsuintha's hair as I was with her hands.
>>5000669>RedheadI do enjoy playing her as a character, but I'm not really getting waifu vibes from her, sorry
Even with the Inquisition waiting for you on the other side of the rear entrance’s door, even will all of the trepidation and terror buzzing around your skull and rending your guts, the thought of you throwing Vaclav to the wolves somehow manages to make you feel even worse than you already do. You have known and worked alongside the man for half of your life. The thought of throwing him to dogs – and for what? Yes, not working during the day would give you the time to shop for everything that you could possibly need. You would be able to give the refineries a proper stake-out, to ensure that the heist went off as quickly, cleanly, and safely as possible. And, yes, if you were exempted, you would be effectively worthless to the Inquisition as a professional witness, which would hopefully be the end of your dealings with them – forever. But it is not worth it. Truly, it is not. You can do this without allowing yourself (and Vaclav) to be exempted, you are certain of it. It will harder, to be sure … but it is the right thing to do. Pattern’s Peace, you spared the captain, even though the easier, the ‘smarter’ thing to do would have been to stick him like a pig to keep him from telling any tales – the damning fruits of that mercy are going to be hanging over your head for years, perhaps the rest of your life. Any complications that stem from keeping Vaclav from getting exempted are only going to last what, two days? They might be an important two days, but still – no, it is settled. Drop it. Your long legs have finally brought you to the door – an affair of wood and iron, located in the basalt brick wall that runs along the border of the South Burying Ground. The hedge that you trimmed needlessly yesterday sits right inside of that wall, helping to screen the sight of graves from the view of the outside world – though obviously, there is a gap in the hedge to get to the door. As you take the final few steps, you realize that you can actually hear the fire – it is just a little bit up the street from you. You want to take a minute or so to prepare yourself, but you are worried that if you stop, the enormity of the danger here is going to crash down on you and you will completely lose your nerve. So instead, you do not even let yourself break your stride as you swing the door wide. But when you finally get a good look at the extent of the Inquisition’s operation here, you do come to a stop. This is not just a detachment, dispatched to deal with some Strangeness, this is a fully-fledged, full-strength Hunt – there is easily one hundred and twenty Cleansers here in full environmental kit, keeping a perimeter, moving material around, and assisting the Inquisitors overseeing the Leadfire. And the Leadfire – they are not just burning contaminated material or recovered artifacts, they are burning down the entire fraying house!
>>5001248The five houses that used to surround it have been torn down and doused with water, to prevent the Leadfire from spreading any further, and now that you look, a lot of the Cleansers seem to be standing by what appears to be an impressive looking machine emblazoned with the three white needle swords, fanned and gleaming white on a black field. The mundane construct is an absolute hodge-podge of steel valves and cranks, leather hoses and copper tanks, mounted on a flatbed wagon, surrounded by other wagons bearing copper tanks of their own – it is almost certainly some newfangled firefighting equipment. They are really pulling out all of the stops for this. Either things were much, much, much Stranger in there than you previously thought – or this Master Abbot is not taking any chances. As you watch, you can see a few Cleansers take debris from the torn down houses and throw it on the conflagration. Do they truly intend to burn everything? You inadvertently glance at the now slightly crumpled note in your right hand. Just what exactly did they find in that place? You actually physically shake your head to snap yourself back to it. You have been mustered after all, and even though you do not think that you would be punished for taking too long to get the message to the Master Abbot, or whoever is in charge here, you should not take any chances. You approach the perimeter that the Cleansers have established. A small crowd of onlookers have formed, but they make way as they see you. The Cleanser nearest to you moves to intercept you, his leaded poleaxe at the ready, but when he sees the red neckerchief, he lowers it – not much, mind you, but you will take what you can get. You explain your business here to him, and without any prompting from him recite the watch-word (or really, the watch-phrase) that Ossavian gave you; ‘under salted seas’. Before you know it, you are being brought to the Master Abbot, who is still overseeing the operation here. He was standing on the other side of the machine, so you could not have seen him from outside the perimeter. But there is no mistaking him now. You immediately take note of how he is dressed. Unlike the Cleansers all around you, or even the children standing near him, presumably Acolytes at his chapterhouse, he is not in uniform. And that hat of his, it looks like something a merchant would wear. A prosperous merchant, perhaps, but it is pretty ostentatious for someone who is in what is effectively a monastic order. He does not even seem to be carrying any weapons, though you definitely should not assume that. It is strange, but dressed as he is, he seems more intimating than he would be as if he was in uniform and armed. Perhaps it is the hubris of the survivor on his part, but he really gives off the sense that he is simply not afraid – at least for himself.
>>5001251He is watching the Leadfire with the children, the glow of the flames bathing their faces. As you and the Cleanser escorting you approach, the Acolytes all turn to face you. The Master Abbot keeps his long, angular face forward, but he does glance at you sideways as you approach with his rather predatory looking eyes. Returning his attention to the fire, he speaks in a loud, clear voice. “And what do we have here?” The Cleanser who brought you over starts to speak, but the Master Abbot immediately interrupts him. “The children, Sallust, I was asking the children.” For a moment, the only sounds are the roar of the fire and the distant milling of Cleansers up and down the street. But then, one of the older ones pipes up.“It is a Leper, Master Abbot.” The Master Abbot nods solemnly at that, but still does not look away from the blaze.“I suppose that is as good of a start as any, Catullus. But can anyone tell me anything more substantive about this Leper?”Another one of the students chimes in. “It is probably a gravedigger, Master Abbot.” “Are you saying that just because we are right outside of a graveyard?” “Uh … no, not just because of that. Lepers that labor in public areas have to wear sashes to identify their purpose – ours wear white, Animal Control wears red, Sanitation wears brown, and other have other colors. The ones that do not work around cleaner souls, do not wear sashes. Of those professions, the most physically demanding is gravedigging. While it is hard to tell, this Leper looks to be of sound body; his back is straight, and there is not hesitation, slowness or stutter in his steps, as there might be of someone who is sick or deformed. If I were to assign them to a task that did not require them to wear a sash, it would be gravedigging. That, taken with our current location, is why I said that he is a gravedigger.” “Very good, Miloš.” Like Hell it is! You are standing here, fully dressed, and you feel as if you were naked with all of this attention on you. Between your nerves and the heat of the fire, you are beginning to seriously sweat. But as you are trying not to fidget or do anything besides just stand still as a stone, the Master Abbot suddenly starts smiling, and once again, he looks at you out of the corner of his eye. You thought he looked predatory before, but - “But not perfect. This Leper is a woman.” Before you can stop yourself, you shiver – you noticeably shiver – in fear. The children and the Cleanser that brought you over react with some surprise at the revelation, and it is all you can do to keep from breaking down. “Now, what’s your name, Leper?”
>>5001252>Please choose ONE of the following: > “My name is Sty.” Obviously, that is not your birthname, but most Lepers try to distance themselves from their pasts out of shame, and assume new identities or nicknames after entering the Midden. Maybe it will be good enough for the Master Abbot? > “My name is … Desiderata.” You have the look of someone from the Old Hinterlands, so it stands to reason that you should use a name common to the area. There are no records anywhere to contradict your claim. But will the Master Abbot pick up on your deception? [Requires Rolling: Easy] > “My name is Chlotsuintha.” Why not tell the truth? It might mean that you will not be able to live under your real name once (or if) you leave the city, but if the truth does not work here, nothing will. >>5000760Oh I get it, I haven't really written her as a 'waifu'. The ongoing competition just made me think about trying to draw her, which is what made me realize that I never actually decided on a hair color. That's why I brought it up. Anyway, I'm going to post this in the /qtg/, like I promised. As for the hair color vote, I'm more than willing to wait for a tiebreaker.
>>5001261>> “My name is Sty.” Obviously, that is not your birthname, but most Lepers try to distance themselves from their pasts out of shame, and assume new identities or nicknames after entering the Midden. Maybe it will be good enough for the Master Abbot?
>>5001261>“My name is Sty.” Obviously, that is not your birthname, but most Lepers try to distance themselves from their pasts out of shame, and assume new identities or nicknames after entering the Midden. Maybe it will be good enough for the Master Abbot?>BlackI gotta agree with what another anon said. I always imagined her as having raven black hair.
>>5001261>“My name is Sty.” Obviously, that is not your birthname, but most Lepers try to distance themselves from their pasts out of shame, and assume new identities or nicknames after entering the Midden. Maybe it will be good enough for the Master Abbot?
>>5001261> “My name is Sty.” Obviously, that is not your birthname, but most Lepers try to distance themselves from their pasts out of shame, and assume new identities or nicknames after entering the Midden. Maybe it will be good enough for the Master Abbot? If you need a tiebreaker vote for hair color then>Black
>>5001763>>5001583>>5001492>>5001311Okay, that's enough to close the vote. Hopefully the Master Abbot will be good enough to let you slide with just a nickname. And there are definitely enough votes - Chlotsuintha has black hair. I'll get a short post up for an overnight vote.
>>5001261>> “My name is Sty.” Obviously, that is not your birthname, but most Lepers try to distance themselves from their pasts out of shame, and assume new identities or nicknames after entering the Midden. Maybe it will be good enough for the Master Abbot?i know i know
>>5001261> “My name is Sty.” Obviously, that is not your birthname, but most Lepers try to distance themselves from their pasts out of shame, and assume new identities or nicknames after entering the Midden. Maybe it will be good enough for the Master Abbot?
>>5001261> “My name is … Desiderata.” You have the look of someone from the Old Hinterlands, so it stands to reason that you should use a name common to the area. There are no records anywhere to contradict your claim. But will the Master Abbot pick up on your deception? [Requires Rolling: Easy]option 1 will invite further probing, option 3 is highly undesirable (probably daddy is still on some most wanted list). So it's time for easy rolling.
>>5001785>Chlotsuintha has black hairShame. I was beginning to think a little color would've been neat.
You feel another involuntary shiver coming, but you manage to force yourself rigid in time to hopefully prevent the Master Abbot from noticing it. He wants your name. Why would he want your name? It is certainly not just to address you in a more polite and personal manner. Is this some sort of trap? Does he somehow already know you name, and is testing to see if you will tell him? No, that does not make a lick of sense. Maybe it is a tactic that Inquisitors use when they are questioning someone – but if that was the case, why did Ossavian not ask for your name? Damn it all – why cannot you wrap your head around this, why are you so fraying stupid? “Sty. M-my name is Sty.” ‘Sty’ is obviously not your birthname, but most Lepers make a point of distancing themselves from their past lives by exclusively going by a nickname, or making up a completely new name after entering the Midden. The Master Abbot should accept it – truly, why does it matter to him what you are called? When you entered into the Midden, they did not even bother asking for your name – the record of intake only refers to you as ‘daughter of Liutprand, age 7’. The only other person in the entire world who actually knows your real name is your father – oh, and your mother, of course. “And why exactly are you here, Sty?”“A note. I was told to – to deliver this note. By Ossavian.” “I figured as much. Give it here.” It seems that the Master Abbot shares his grandnephew’s disregard for spiritual hygiene. You approach, coming no closer to him than you absolutely have to, then you reach out to hand over the scrap of paper. He finally turns away from the flames to accept take it from you, then scans it quickly. “So, who taught you to read?” Suddenly your heart has jumped up into your throat and your stomach has dropped into your bowels. How? How is it even possible that he figured out that you read the note? It is not. It is simply not possible. This has to be a bluff. He is wondering if you read the note, and just taking a shot in the dark, that is all this is. But … then again, he figured out you were woman by barely even looking at you – is it possible that you left some sort of clue behind on the slip of paper when you read it? No, that does not even make sense. Pattern’s Peace, what do you do here? When Ralx asked you the same question earlier today after handing you the slips, you were able to just brush it off – but you doubt that the noncommittal route is going to go over well with the Master Abbot, especially after not giving him a real name. Being evasive is suspicious, just like being able to read is suspicious, just in a different way. And if somehow, he actually does know that you can read, and you say that you cannot, then that is extremely suspicious. Of course, if this was just a bluff, then a flat denial is obviously the best choice …
>>5001925>Please choose ONE of the following: > “My father taught me – he is a Leper now, but before that, he was a clerk”. > “I’m sorry Master Abbot, but I really don’t know how to read.” > “I’m sorry Master Abbot, but I don’t really know how to read.”5:22am - so much for an overnight post. Also, your father's name is not Liutprand, it is Odovacar.
>>5001928>> “My father taught me – he is a Leper now, but before that, he was a clerk”.
>>5001928He's not assuming we got Ossavian's name from the note, his full name isn't in the note. We must assume that he could tell by how it was crinkled or something that we read it.I'm guessing the difference between the latter two prompts is between saying we don't know how to read at all and saying we don't know how to read well.> “I’m sorry Master Abbot, but I don’t really know how to read.”
>>5001928> “I’m sorry Master Abbot, but I don’t really know how to read.”I don't see why we can't get away with saying that we know a few letters but can't exactly read the thing.If he calls that bluff, we might as well go with option one.
>>5001928> “I’m sorry Master Abbot, but I really don’t know how to read.” It's a shot in the dark. Even if he knows that we've opened the note somehow, it just means that we're curious, not necessarily able to read. It's just a bullshit mind game, or he's Sherlock Homes with a burning passion, and if he's Sherlock, we're probably dead anyway.
>>5001928> “I’m sorry Master Abbot, but I really don’t know how to read.”I agree with the guy above me, he's fucking with us. Unless he has some sort of mindread powers, intuition? And the half-assed explanation could be seen as an admittance.
>>5001928> “I’m sorry Master Abbot, but I really don’t know how to read.”Gonna just bandwagon with the two above me, reasons seem reasonable enough.
>>5001928> “I’m sorry Master Abbot, but I don’t really know how to read.”how did he know we are female? This guy definitely has either magical help or some Sherlock Holmes autism powers. So he is somehow able to infer we took a peek, maybe he can see it was folded twice or something. We can explain taking a peek if we say we picked up a few letters here and there and were curious to see if we could decipher it. We can't however explain taking a look if we say we cannot read at all. So this makes the most sense to me.
>>5001935 Father 1 Illiterate 0 ~Illiterate 0>>5001938 Father 1 Illiterate 1 ~Illiterate 0>>5001955 Father 1 Illiterate 2 ~Illiterate 0>>5001960 Father 1 Illiterate 3 ~Illiterate 0>>5001973 Father 1 Illiterate 4 ~Illiterate 0>>5001996 Father 1 Illiterate 5 ~Illiterate 0>>5002011 Father 1 Illiterate 5 ~Illiterate 1With the votes 5 to 1 to 1, we will be pretending to be illiterate (as opposed to being 'functionally illiterate').
“Your pardons, Master Abbot, but I really don’t know how to read.” “Is that so? Miloš, come here. Now, you did very, very well deducing this Leper’s function earlier. Can you tell me why I think that she can actually read?” The youth Miloš, a boy on the cusp of adulthood, nervously approaches the Master Abbot. At this point, you have broken out into a cold sweat, and it is all you can do to remain still. “Now, someone has taught you how to read, of course. Here is the note.” The scrap of paper is passed from the Master Abbot to his Acolyte. The youth brings the paper up to a comfortable position to read, but a second later, the Master Abbot interrupts him.“And of course, someone has taught me how to read. Would you give me back the note?” The boy, looking as confused as you are, passes the note back to the Master Abbot, who takes it in his hands, and positions the paper as if he was going to read it again. But instead, he pointedly looks at Miloš. “Do you understand now?” The Acolyte stares at the note long and hard, as if willing for the answer to appear on the back of the paper scrap, but eventually he admits that he cannot.“Anyone else, children? Sallust, what about you? Any ideas?” But none of the children or the Cleanser have anything to say. Some of them seem to have given up, no doubt assuming that an explanation is forthcoming, but others seem to be deep in thought, trying to figure out what just the Master Abbot has picked up on. Time seeps by, and the tension becomes more and more physically painful for you before the teacher finally gives up on his students and shares the answer. “It is a small thing, and it not definitive. But if you were to write a note, the letters would all be right side up. Now, if you were to hand that note to someone standing in front of you, and they were to take it, for them, the letters would be upside-down. So, if they were literate, then without thinking, they would instinctively flip the note, so it would be right side up for them. Of course, you could say that Sty here simply adjusted her hold on the paper on her way to us, or that it made sense for her to hold the paper right side up. But if she was just mindlessly adjusting her hold on the note, is it not odd that she ended up holding it exactly in the right orientation to read it? And of course, there is the paper itself. It is not a sheet, but rather, a torn scrap without an obvious top and bottom to it. If a similar note, written on an identical scrap of paper was just found sitting on the ground somewhere, and it was written in a cypher, or in some foreign language with their own alphabet, then we would have absolutely no idea how to make ‘heads or tails of it’, in a physical or literal sense.” “And to someone who is illiterate, everything written is in a cypher. So is it not … peculiar, that Sty here was holding the note perfectly?”
>>5002291Patterns’ Perdition – out of all the things to be suspicious of, this has to be the most fraying ridiculous. And it is made only more fraying ridiculous because his intuition is completely and utterly correct. Doubling down, and flatly denying, or insisting that it is all a coincidence seems suicidal – but suddenly, a flash of inspiration strikes you. A way out! Finding some steel in yourself, you speak up without being spoken to. “I – Master Abbot, I-I don’t know h-how to r-read. That’s the Pattern's truth. But - but I’ve worked eight years in the Mount’s graveyards. And one of the things that I do is install headstones. The headstones all have a right way up, and they have all got letters on them too, so –”“So you do know how to read?” “No! No, I don’t! I just know which way is up and which way is down for a letter. That doesn’t mean I can read. I – I know which is the top and the bottom of a house, but that doesn’t mean I can build one!”There is a smattering of laughter at that analogy, and even the Master Abbot’s smile becomes marginally less predatory looking. “Is that right? I suppose that is as good of an explanation as any.” A loud crack finally draws everyone’s attention away from you – after burning for quite some time now, the house is finally beginning to collapse. The roof crashes down into the third story, presumably because that it where the Cleansers started the Leadfire, as it was the area most fouled by the Strangeness. You are thankful for the reprieve, but as soon as you can feel yourself starting to marginally calm down, the Master Abbot starts to speak again – though once more his attention is only on the flames. “If your name is Sty, would I be correct in assuming that the affliction that sent you to the Midden was one of the eyes?” “Yes.” “Did you know that the eyes are the organ most sensitive to the presence of the Strangeness? They will be adversely affected before even the brain.”“I – I might have heard something to that –”“Did you also know that one of the possible symptoms of Strangeness in a living thing is unusual size? Typically, that means being unusually large, but there are cases where they are shrunk and shriveled instead.” “… I’m not a s-Stranger.” Once again, he looks at you sideways, with his face bathed by tinted firelight. It is reminiscent of the way that a hawk or a kite would glare at a potential meal.
>>5002293“Oh, I don’t think you are. Because if I did, if I thought that the Strangeness had taken such a hold of you to cause physical deformities, then I would have had you cast straight into the flames here, without a second thought. But … if you were that Strange, as a rule, your mind would have been ravaged away by this point. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. And I would sleep much easier tonight if I knew you weren’t one of them. As you have been good enough to deliver this note to me, I suppose it would be ungracious if I were not to ask if you had a preference between being physically inspected by a Vestal in some private spot or being scanned here by one of our Dosimetrists. >Please choose ONE of the following: >Activate the blighted version of Hide-Eyes, and ask for a Vestal to physically inspect you for signs of the Strangeness. Hopefully the clouded over, infected, lump-besotted look is enough to keep them away from getting close enough to dispel the glamor. >Activate the standard version of Hide-Eyes, and ask for a Vestal to physically inspect your for signs of the Strangeness. Hopefully your ‘normal’ brown eyes do not draw any undue attention, so they do not get close enough to dispel the glamor. If asked, you can simply say that your condition comes and goes. >Ask to be scanned by a Dosimetrist. Hopefully, they will not ask you to take off your mask (or any other article of clothing), nor will they happen to point the machine at where your always active Strange-Staining scarification glyph is located on your back.
>>5002294>Ask to be scanned by a Dosimetrist. Hopefully, they will not ask you to take off your mask (or any other article of clothing), nor will they happen to point the machine at where your always active Strange-Staining scarification glyph is located on your back.If the vestals are as thorough and as paranoid as this guy, they will try and touch our eyes. We need to take the scan instead.A big worry of mine is that they will do the opposite of the choice we pick.>Be prepared for the Abbot to pick the opposite choice of what we pick and to immediately be ready to activate our Hide-Eyes, the blighted version.Damn, I didn't think the name choice would have some consequences.I suppose we can play off not wanting to be examined physically as fear of spreading disease or unclean substances or something.
>>5002294Finally caught up in this quest and you've really outdone yourself with this one Trash QM, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading the archive. Excellent work on getting readers invested in the world, the characters' lives within it and building some nerve wracking tension. Hueg Chlotsuintha has her work cut out for her.Speaking of, did I miss the handedness vote getting closed? Or is it still going? I hope its the latter since it was neck and neck and I would've liked to vote for left handedness.Lastly, what does Chlotsuintha know about the Empire, the Principalities, the Outremer and the Old World? I have my hypotheses about what they are analogous to, but I would like to know more before reaching a conclusion.As to the current prompt, all the choices are dangerous as is anything when a stranger is interacting with an inquisition member. The question is which one has the greatest chance to hold against the scrutiny of the Vestals or Dosimetrists. I think>Ask to be scanned by a Dosimetrist. Hopefully, they will not ask you to take off your mask (or any other article of clothing), nor will they happen to point the machine at where your always active Strange-Staining scarification glyph is located on your back.Is the least worst choice since, from what I understood, they won't find anything unless they put it up against her bare skin compered to the other options which look like they could fall through if an especially inquisitive vestal were investigating them.
>>5002294>Ask to be scanned by a Dosimetrist. Hopefully, they will not ask you to take off your mask (or any other article of clothing), nor will they happen to point the machine at where your always active Strange-Staining scarification glyph is located on your back.Frankly, we're fucked. I don't really see away out of this, but I'll be damned if I let a Cleaner feel up our gal or strip naked in front of children, mark my words.
>>5002294>Ask to be scanned by a Dosimetrist. Hopefully, they will not ask you to take off your mask (or any other article of clothing), nor will they happen to point the machine at where your always active Strange-Staining scarification glyph is located on your back.Shiiieeet we made all the wrong choices with this guy. I actually voted contrarian in both votes so I can say I told you so, but I really don't want the quest to end like this.
>>5002434Hey, I wasn't expecting an autistic Sherlock Homes (even though I should've, given his position), and considering we have no personal experience with Dosimetrists, I think getting picked up from an unknown range was what anons were most worried about. Doesn't matter really at the moment, I think we're boned any way you cut it
>>5002434>>5002535I will say, had I known the Strange-Staining glyph could be picked up by the Dosimetrist, I probably would've voted to activate our Hide-Eyes from the get go.
>>5002301>>5002390>>5002410>>5002434Alright that's four votes for asking for the Dosimetrist. I'll get to writing. >>5002537>I will say, had I known the Strange-Staining glyph could be picked up by the Dosimetrist, I probably would've voted to activate our Hide-Eyes from the get go.I did not make this particularly clear, so I will just come out and say it - being detected is not a foregone conclusion, is just a possibility if the Dosimetrist and the Spot-Dosimeter are good enough. >>5002390>they won't find anything unless they put it up against her bare skinIt should not register unless it was at point blank range on bare skin directly above the location of the scarification glyph.>>5002390I'm glad to have you along for the ride, anon! As for the handedness vote, I thought I had closed that, but if I didn't actually indicate that I did then I see no reason to not count your vote, especially if it was still tied. When I get a second, I'll go back and check the archive. >Lastly, what does Chlotsuintha know about the Empire, the Principalities, the Outremer and the Old World? I have my hypotheses about what they are analogous to, but I would like to know more before reaching a conclusion.Well, that is a pretty big question. For now, here is the basics about the Empire. It is an amalgamation of dozens of quasi-sovereign states that are ruled and administered by core provinces, which are either ruled by Imperial Vassals or members of the Imperial Family. The Imperial City and its nation-sized demesne is directly under the control of the Emperor himself. I'll try to get more information up for you as I can. I don't know if you want me to explicitly tell you the analogs, so I won't (unless you ask, of course). But I will warn you: one of the tags that I used to archive the quest does - and now that I think about it, one of the definitions I give does as well, so stay away from those too. The actual clues that I give in the quest are a bit more subtle, but I don't think they are completely out of left field: olive oil and bread made from Emmer being typical foodstuffs, and a troublemaker on the frontier who is the governor of three provinces simultaneously and is illegally raising armies to deal with raids and incursions... yeah, there is definitely an analog I have in mind here.
>>5002585If the hand vote still counts, allow me to put my vote in for the left hand, if only for character and story reasons. I don't think it's necessarily balanced mechanics wise, but I do think it's appropriate given our character and the setting.
>>5002410I don't think a Cleaner or a child is gonna feel us up. The Abbot said we could be inspected in private by a Vestal. Considering this Setting's historical analog, I think it is safe to say he means a Vestal Virgin, or in other words a virgin holy woman.
>>5002833Oh. I probably would've been more interested in that than the Dosimetrist had I known. I guess it a bit of a forgone conclusion now, huh? It seems we've been making all the wrong decisions concerning Addot to be honest.
>>5002861I suppose so, but we are learning a lot about the inquisition's competence, I just wish it didn't come at the cost of making me more afraid than I've ever been for a character's life.
>>5002861Thing is, preferring to be strip searched over a simple dosimeter test is hella suspicious as well.
>>5002833Given that their superior is this overwhelmingly meticulous, I don't think it's unlikely that they would check our face.>>5002861We made the best choices under the circumstaces, the only definitive mistake was mentioning those gulls in the elevator which was what got us here in the first place.I am >>5002390 by the way, only on my phone.
>>5002971I literally say that in my post above your first post, I'm just saying they aren't going to grope us and that it isn't a random cleanser that is gonna be checking us out, nor are we stripping in front of some acolyte child.
>>5002972My apologies then. I misunderstood what you meant.
>>5002976No need to apologize, I was just clarifying that I'd already addressed this.
>>5002983I know you did. I apologized because if I had read as carefully as one ought to, I would have noticed it.Regardless, I pray to the Pattermaker that Chlotsuintha will make it out of this mess as soon as she can.
Okay, I'm still chipping away at the post. At the rate I am going, it should be up for an overnight vote. After that one is done, we might be able to get back to two posts a day - no promises though, my schedule can be kind of touch and go.
been reading this quest since the start but kind of missed a bit after one of my kittens died also our eyes normally are completely blank? as in no iris or anything or is it just white eyes.also he has such a mind for detail he would find it strange if our eyes where blighted but we see perfectly.and possibly strange we are a leper if our eyes where normal
>>5004025Sorry to hear about your kitten anon.As for the eye, yes, it they are completely blank. They also glow when when all but the lowest of intensity spells are cast. Pic related. As for the update, I am still working away it. Been a bit harder to write than I thought it would, largely because it introduces some very important information about how the Strangeness and magic works, especially at a higher level, and I'm still not 100% on all of the details. Don't worry, I don't have anything else on my plate for today, so I am going to get out. And to make sure that I do, I'll give you another lucky tenth-talent if I don't redeemable for one reroll.
You knew this was coming – from the moment that Ossavian asked you to deliver that fraying note, you just knew that something like this was going to happen. At this point, your nerves are completely shot, and your head feels like a spinning top. You are so damned scared that you cannot even think straight. What do you do? What do you say? Trying to calm yourself down, you to take a deep breath, but not only is it somewhat stifled by your mask, the air being pulled through the mask’s mouth makes a reedy, metallic noise – drawing attention to the fact that you just took an unusually deep breath, no doubt indicating to everyone around you that your are experience some level of distress. You are just about ready to start crying at this point – everything seems to just be getting worse and worse and worse. All of the Acolytes as well as the Cleanser, apparently named Sallust, are all still looking at you. The Master Abbot is once again looking at the Leadfire.Damn! Damn it all! Pull yourself together! What happened to being level-headed? What happened to thinking and acting like a man, huh? You have spent what is probably less than an hour in the company of the Inquisition, and you are about one glare away from completely breaking down. Your father managed to spend half of his adult life working for these fanatics, day in and day out! There has to be a way out of this, you just need to think it through. Now, of the two options given to you, what do you know about them? Start there. A physically inspection by a Vestal or a scan from a Dosimetrist. Well, first, you did not even know that the Inquisition had Vestals in its ranks – father certainly never mentioned anything about that. Setting that aside, you focus on the idea of a physical inspection. If the Master Abbot is going to go to the trouble of finding a woman to perform it in a private ‘spot’, then that almost certainly means you are going to be naked. But it remains to be seen just how intensive the inspection will actually be. You have no doubt that they would take a close look at your eyes, but would they physically attempt to touch them? That is an important question, because the glamor that Hide-Eyes produces, both the standard and the blighted versions, can be physically dispelled. If that happened, if they had definitive proof that you had some magical ability, then there is no talking your way out of that.
>>5004904Compared to that, getting a reading taken by a dosimeter seems to be safer, at least at first glance. Your glyphs were scrivened to be practically undetectable by a Spot-Dosimeter when inactive (or suppressed, in the case of the always active Strange-Staining); so, unless they managed to get the fraying machine right on top of the glyph, you should come up clean. But that is just procedure for someone they suspect as a Stranger, some poor soul exposed to enough Strangeness to cause some physiological response or mental disturbance. If they suspect you of being a magic user, then they might go as far as to draw your blood … which is why getting scanned is not your automatic answer. When a spell is said to not produce Strangeness, what that actually means is that it does not produce any Strangeness outside of the casters body. Internally, with all spells, some Strangeness is in fact produced, but even while the magic user is performing the cast, their body is at work, dissipating away the Strangeness into itself, where it will remain inert until they die. The amount that can be dissipated as well as the rate that it is dissipated at depends on how stable they are. As you are so exceptionally stable, you have never had to worry about the internal accumulation of Strangeness in your body – you know for a fact that you can dissipate the Strangeness created by Hide-Eyes and Strange-Staining faster than the spells can make it. But Salt-Remediation and Salt-Mitigation also produce Strangeness internally, and considering that they are moderate intensity spells, they produce much more Strangeness. Now, you are still able to safely dissipate all of it away, without having to perform remediations or mitigations on yourself (as a less stable magic user might have to subject themselves to), but because those spells produce Strangeness faster than your body can dissipate it, there is some internal accumulation that will take some time for your body to work its way through.What makes this an issue is that while the accumulation of the Strangeness from casting is spread evenly throughout your body, your ability to dissipate it is not. It is unclear why exactly this is, but for someone or something with magical ability, their blood, as well as the vitreous fluid of their eyes takes longer to dissipate away the Strangeness that has accumulated in them than anywhere else in the rest of their body. At the moment, the only way that you would be able to tell if there is still Strangeness in your blood is to cut yourself and examine the blood externally with Strange-Staining*. Obviously, you cannot do that in current company. That means you are going to have to guess. It must have been almost two hours ago since you cast the last spell back by those warehouses in Stickport.
>>5004905Is that long enough for all of the Strangeness to have dissipated itself away? For spells of their moderate intensity, Salt-Remediation and Salt-Mitigation produce relatively little Strangeness, as one would expect, considering their function. But ‘relatively little’ here still means quite a lot more than the very low intensity scarification glyphs that you have. If there is Strangeness in your blood, and the Dosimetrist decides to test it, the odds are good that it registers – which in your estimation would make getting scanned less safe than being physically inspected by the Vestal, because you really do not have a frame of reference as to how closely they are going to look you over, but you would imagine that it is not the most thorough of inspections. On the other hand, if the Strangeness in your blood has dissipated away already, even if the Dosimetrist decides to test it, you will come up as mundane as lead – which would make getting scanned more safe than being physically inspected by that Vestal. So, it all comes down to one question – has it been long enough that your blood will come up clean? You have no way of knowing for sure, but you do have an idea … “Master Abbot, i-if I may ask, what’s a Dosimetrist?” You are going to go with being scanned. The Vestal would no doubt be paying close attention to your eyes, and you are just worried that she would wreck the spell, and you are confident enough that enough time has passed that whatever Strangeness managed to accumulate in your blood has since dissipated. Confident enough to bet your life on it. Of course, you are not opposed to buying yourself a little more time to improve your odds. The turns his head away from the flames to look at you, and you wonder if he is going to be upset by you not giving him an answer, but after a moment, he humors you. “A Dosimetrist is an Inquisitor who has been trained in the use of the dosimeter, which is a mechanical device attuned to the presence of Strangeness. If there is any Strangeness in something, then they will be able to find it.”You are impressed – the Master Abbot managed to fit two huge lies into two little sentences. It makes you wonder what else he might have been fibbing about. The first lie is that neither type of dosimeter, the Spot-Dosimeter, which tests for the presence of Strangeness in a specific spot, or Ranged-Dosimeter, which tests for the spread of the Strangeness in a specific area are ‘mechanical devices’, like some new-model pocket timekeeper. They are both hermaphrodites – constructs that are part mechanical and part magical. Of course, the fact that the Inquisition depends so heavily on magical equipment is not common knowledge – you only know this through your father. The second lie was that they can find if there is any Strangeness in something. You know for a fact that past a certain threshold*, dosimeters are effectively useless. “Is … is it going to hurt?”
>>5004907“A bit. Ecgbeorht, if you would be so good, go pull one of the Dosimetrists off of the sweep.”So much for stalling. Ecgbeorht, a younger Acolyte with a Northern look to him, breaks ranks with the rest of the children to go off and find one, but before he can get out of sight, the Master Abbot raises his voice and calls out to him with an additional instruction. “And make sure the one you bring back has a newer model, if you please.” He then looks at the Acolytes crowded around him. “Children, it is time for you to return to your classes. Go find Saturno, and tell him I said to take you back to the chapterhouse.” After several of the older ones formally thank him for taking them out today to see the Leadfire, they head off, with the rest of their classmates filing behind them like ducklings, leaving you alone with the Master Abbot, Sallust the Cleanser … and of course, those flames. The die has been cast – whether you live, or you die, it is completely out of your hands at this point. You force yourself to breathe as normally as you can, stifled as you are by the mask. With nothing left to say or do, you turn to the flames, and begin to offer up silent prayer after silent prayer. Not all of them are for you – several are for your missing father, and several are for the mother that you barely know. You even have time to make a quick one on behalf of Vaclav, as you have indirectly involved him in your problems. You have just started another prayer on your behalf when the Dosimetrist finally shows up – tellingly, with three other Cleansers and no Acolyte.
>>5004910In his hands is the Spot-Dosimeter – and it really must be a newer model, because it doesn’t look anything at all like the remains of the one father took with him when he ran away from the Inquisition – a delicate, pole-mounted device. This thing here could almost pass as a lantern, were it not for its queer looking lens. It evokes an eye, which considering what you know about dosimeters is no doubt deliberate. Mounted on the other side of that leaded glass, no doubt in some sort of preservative, is the magical half of the hermaphrodite – a living construct made from the eye of a Witch, or an equivalently magical creature***. It was never clear to your father if the Reformed Priests of the Pattern had their Life-Weavers makes these implements for the Inquisition, or if they captured Witches to make them, but one way or the other, they are still being made new, two hundred and sixteen years after the Bull**** of the Great Hunt created the Inquisition to kill all magic users.The Dosimetrist walks over to the Master Abbot, and they start up a quiet conversation. As they do, the three Cleansers that came with him join up with Sallust, and they all take up positions around you. All of them, including Sallust have slung their leaded poleaxes over their shoulders, but they now have their hands at their belts, near pistols and leaded knives. You shift nervously while telling yourself to remain calm – they are just taking precautions here, you must not read any more into it then that. Do not do anything stupid. Do not say anything stupid. Do not even think anything stupid. As the seconds seep by, you can almost physically feel the tenuous sense of calm you have meticulously built up inside you disintegrate. Once more, it is all you can do to not shiver or tremble. Just when it is almost unbearable, the Dosimetrist nods, turns on his heel, and approaches you. As he does, he removes the lid off of the top of the Spot-Dosimeter, then stuffs it in a pocket. From another pocket of his uniform, he withdraws a medium sized glass vial, one that contains this bluish-black liquid. While he draws nearer, he empties the vial over his off hand, and then once it has been covered, he slowly inserts it into the hermaphrodite. He prods around inside the leaded body of the device, then suddenly, there is a clicking noise, not metallic clicks, but more like those you can make with your tongue and the roof of your mouth – wet and meaty sounding – and then lens begins to glow. You were definitely right, this machine is nothing like the one father stole. There are a few more of those wet clicks, then there is a mechanical whirring noise that starts and ends abruptly. Suddenly, the beveled pieces of glass at the bottom of the device, which you had thought were solely decorative, start to glow as well. But before you can figure out their function, the Dosimetrist speaks to you.
>>5004911“Roll up your left sleeve.” The thought that he is asking you to commit what is a capital crime for a Leper does not even occur to you until after you have finished rolling the sleeve up as far as it will go. And while you are complying with this order, the four Cleansers around you draw even closer, and the Spot-Dosimeter keeps clicking.“Now, please back up against the fire engine – that’s the wagon right behind you.” What? Why? You look over your shoulder. There is just barely enough room to get by Sallust and the other Cleanser without touching. You desperately want to ask why, but you cannot bring yourself to ask a question. Was this the right choice? Should you have chosen the inspection by the Vestal instead? What is he going to do? Openly trembling now, you walk backwards until you bump up against the rough wood of the ‘fire engine’. You swallow hard. “Good. Now, put your left arm out like a signpost, with the inside of the arm facing out, and hold it up against the wood.” What are you doing? You should be stalling, not complying – what if they draw blood? What if it has not been enough time? What if this – “Your arm.” What little warmth was in his voice is dead and gone. There is going to be no stalling here. Not understanding any of this, you just follow his orders. What else can you really do at this point? “Good. This is device takes a few moments or so to do its work. During that time, it will be pressed up right against you. It is delicate – delicate enough that it can be easily damaged if you move. If it is damaged while I am using it, I may be seriously hurt. For my safety, these Cleansers are going to restrain you.”
>>5004912Before the last sentence even started, the four Cleansers piled on you, with your arm still outstretched. You do not even get the chance to think about moving it, Sallust just grabs your left hand, tightly squeezing, crushing your fingers straight through the thick canvas your glove in his gauntleted hand as he wrenches your left arm out to its full extension. Another Cleanser gets his gauntlets around your throat, and with his entire body weight, presses you against the wagon, pining your there. The third one pins your left arm with one gauntlet on your wrist and the other on your bicep. The last one holds your right arm steady – he is not as forceful as the others, but it does not matter, the right arm is just as immobilized as the left. Now utterly scared out of your mind, and in no small amount of pain, you start to cry. The Dosimetrist waits until he is satisfied that you are restrained, and then starts to approach you with the Spot-Dosimeter as the wet clicks keep coming. Suddenly, over his shoulder, you notice the Master Abbot. He is staring at you, with the exact same intensity that he was staring at the Leadfire. You are transfixed by his gaze, at least until the Spot-Dosimeter is pressed into your skin, lens first. It is warm, warm to the touch, and getting warmer by the second. Suddenly, there is a louder, metallic sounding click from the Dosimeter, and then a searing pain in your arm. You are so panicked, that it takes you a second or so to understand what is happening. They are bleeding you. There must have been a blade of some sort, hidden in the ‘eyelid’ of the Spot-Dosimeter. No! It has not been enough time! Not enough! This was a mistake. This was such a mistake! The minute you saw these maniacs you should have dropped everything and run away. What were you thinking? You are not your father. You are never going to be like your father. And now, you are never going to see your –“She’s clean.”
>>5004914Once the Dosimetrist withdraws the Spot-Dosimeter, the four Cleansers let go. The one that had you by the neck actually apologizes to you, and after an awkward moment, Sallust does as well. You are too busy panting and sobbing collapsed on the ground to thank them for extending such courtesy to a Leper, but neither of them seems upset by it. The three Cleansers that came with the Dosimetrist soon head off somewhere else, leaving you alone with the Dosimetrist and Sallust – wait, where did the Master Abbot go? You look around with tear-stained eyes, but you cannot see him anywhere. You manage to stop crying and to finally catch your breath. While you do, you experimentally move the fingers on your left hand to see if anything is broken – and while it does hurt, it is not ‘broken bone hurt’. There is movement at the edge of your vision, so you look up and see the Dosimetrist standing right in front of you once more, but this time with a fresh linen bandage in his hands. You cup your hands, which are still trembling, and extend them out, so he may give them to you without risk touching your hands. Seems kind of silly, after you had just been manhandled like that, but some people are sticklers. When he drops it in, you are surprised by the weight. “That is from the Master Abbot. There is a four-talent in there, for the troubles we caused you. Wrap yourself up, and take all the time you need to recover. He’s sending someone to relieve the Inquisitor on the lift, so they can personally apologize to the South Sexton for delaying you. You head back to the South Burying Ground right now if you want, you could wait for the Inquisitor to arrive, or – and he stressed that this was your choice – if you were willing to wait around a little bit longer, he apparently had something to ask you privately. If not, well, he will send for you tomorrow morning.” >Please choose ONE of the following: >Get out of here immediately, even if it means that you will arrive before Ossavian can explain what happened. >Wait until Ossavian arrives so he can explain what happened when you show up at the internment temple. >Wait until the Master Abbot is done with whatever exactly he is doing right now to hear whatever he has to say.
>>5004915*Remember, Strange-Staining does not work on your body. This is done specifically so the scarification glyph does not ‘stain’ the inside of your eyes when you are casting. If it did, it would mean that you would have to choose between performing magic while effectively blinded, or dispelling the glyph while casting magic, depriving you of its assistance when you would need it most. **It was mentioned in passing in the first thread, but much like radiation, which the Strangeness is based off of, there are background levels of Strangeness everywhere. Below a certain threshold, the Strangeness is no longer able to dissipate, so it just remains there, effectively inert. The issue is that these very, very low levels are quite simply beyond the dosimeters ability to get decent readings from. They cannot accurately distinguish between a background level of Strangeness and a slightly higher than background level that could be associated with well concealed magic. It is worth mentioning that it is possible to mitigate or remediate things (living or otherwise) that have only background levels of the Strangeness present. In fact, since the appearance of the Strangeness, one of the few surviving schools of combat magic, Refragantibology – literally, the study of breaking – informally developed a new school; Strange Refragantibology – the study of breaking with Strangeness, or the weaponization of mitigation spells. Your mother is (was?) a student of this new school, and she got really good at it.***Like any magical creature, many of your body parts have magical properties, useful in constructs and powerful in spells.****A public decree, letters patent or charter issued by a religious authority. Not to be confused with the animal of the same name.Well, this is the single longest update that I have ever written. Hope it was worth the wait. For anyone who is curious to whether asking for the Dosimetrist or the Vestal was the smarter choice: Dosimetrist was definitely the better of the two options. Your glyphs and the glamors that they produce are designed - or scrivened, rather - to avoid detection from dosimeters, not physical disturbances from intrusive inspection. On top of that, you guys all completely forgot about all of the suspicious things that you are currently carrying: your lead-lined mask, the inexplicable amount of salt you have on your, or the blatantly obviously magical artifact in bloody gauze in your pocket. At least one of these would have been uncovered by the Vestal, maybe more, and you would have some serious explaining to do. It would not have been game over, but it would have prompted either a roll where a game over result was an option, or a vote where one of the choices would result in a game over. With the exception of the 'lucky tenth-talent' rerolls, there is no fudge, no mulligans and no plot armor - if anyone was around for Space Scrapper, my first big Quest, they'd know that.
>>5004915>Get out of here immediately, even if it means that you will arrive before Ossavian can explain what happened.Since we're already running late it would be best to get back ASAP, we can explain once we get there and get back to work, and have proof once Ossavian turns up.Turning over the money we just got to Vaclav seems like a good idea to help smooth things over.Tipping off the South Sexton that the Cleansers are looking into him, may also go some way to keeping our job.
>>5004915>>Wait until the Master Abbot is done with whatever exactly he is doing right now to hear whatever he has to say.It's dangerous but it seems like an interesting story to read for Chlot to be balancing on this knife's edge longer and more
>>5004915>Wait until the Master Abbot is done with whatever exactly he is doing right now to hear whatever he has to say.I don't want to go through this shit again just to meet him in the morning.
>>5004915>Wait until the Master Abbot is done with whatever exactly he is doing right now to hear whatever he has to say.Best get this over with while he is in an apologetic mood, if he is fresh in the morning he'll be clear-minded enough to go full-Sherlock again.
>>5004915>>Wait until the Master Abbot is done with whatever exactly he is doing right now to hear whatever he has to say.
>>5004915>Wait until the Master Abbot is done with whatever exactly he is doing right now to hear whatever he has to say.That was tense, good job QM.
>>5005682>>5005492>>5005488>>5004961>>5004937>>5004934Alright, that is five to one for waiting around for the Master Abbot. I'll get to writing.
>>5004915>Wait until Ossavian arrives so he can explain what happened when you show up at the internment temple.also don't forget our commitment to get Vaclavs ass out of the line of fire
Hmmm we should make a request that our fella is not punished for us not being there for the service.Also to explain the lead mask lead is known to block strangeness and or salt also does the samethings and how the lead mask is a gift from our father to protect us and that the spookyness about the strangeness scared us so we started carrying salt.And i dont remember this early in the morning what the steal ball is
>>5005738Yeah lets not fuck over a fellow leper
If your choice is between dealing with the Master Abbot now or dealing with him tomorrow morning, then you think that it would be for the best to see him while he still might feel apologetic. You tell the Dosimetrist that – excluding your reasoning, of course – and he nods, then leaves you with Sallust as you fumble at the linen to get it unwrapped. The cut you got from the hidden blade in the lens of that Spot-Dosimeter is clean and shallow, but it looks like it went straight across a smaller vein. Blood is beginning to flow in fairly serious quantities. Thankfully, you know what you are doing, so you get the wound dressed quickly. You probably could have done it even faster, if you had not packed it – it was probably unnecessary for a cut this shallow, but the risk of the wound closing and healing improperly is on your mind. Once it is on, you twist your forearm around a bit to make sure that it is secure. The dressing stays in place, and more importantly, it looks and feels like you have managed to staunch the flow, though at this point, the dressing is more blood red than linen white. As you roll down your sleeve and pick up the four-talent that you let fall to the ground in your rush to get the dressing on, you wonder if you are going to be able to climb with your arm like this. You spend the next minute or so, sitting on the ground, flexing your arm, then prodding at the wound. In the end you decide that you should be alright to climb, but you acknowledge that it is probably going to be noticeably more difficult for you the next few days. Just what you needed – another complication.Eventually, the Cleansers tending the fire decide that they need to use the fire engine, so you and Sallust stand clear as they use it to pump water at an absolutely astonishing rate on the debris surrounding the Leadfire, to ensure that it remains contained. Watching the water roar out of the hoses is really a sight to behold. Truly, the thing is a marvel of the instrumental sciences. But by the time they are through re-wetting the debris, you have notice just how ‘thirsty’ the machine is – how quickly it depletes the tanks of the water-wagons. It makes you wonder just how effective something like this would be in dealing with a real conflagration, opposed to maintaining a controlled burn like this.Any further reflection about the fire engine is abruptly cut short when another Cleanser in environmental kit arrives to relieve Sallust and escort you to the Master Abbot. He leads you further down the street to where the two liveried carriages that passed you earlier today are parked, alongside other wagons for men and for material.
>>5006099The horses are still yoked, but they are being watered and brushed by a Cleanser, while another one stands watch nearby. One of these carriages has had its door left open, and you can see that there is very, very little light inside. It is only when the Cleanser gestures towards the door that you realize that this is what the Master Abbot meant by ‘private’. Or is it? What if you actually did not come up clean on the Spot-Dosimeter? What if this is all just some elaborate trick just to get you under lock and key? No – no, that does not make any sense. If they wanted you in that carriage, or in a Lead Maiden, or even in that Leadfire, they simply could have carried you there and tossed you in while all of the Cleansers had you completely immobilized. These men are not Thief-Takers, they do not have to rely on trickery like that or exploit loopholes in the law – they can pretty much do whatever they see fit to whoever, so long as they are untitled. Feeling only slightly reassured about this, you climb up into the quiet gloom of the carriage. As you expected, the Master Abbot is sitting across from you, but you are surprised when the Cleanser that was escorting you over climbs in after you. You scoot over on the wooden bench, to make as much room for him as possible, but there is little need – this is a large carriage, large enough for four people to sit comfortably on each bench. You do your best to keep and look calm, though you cannot help but jump when the Cleanser that was guarding the carriage slams the door shut. Swallowing hard, you fold your hands, place them in your lap, and just wait for your eyes to adjust and for the Master Abbot to speak.“Did you get the coin?” “I did Master Abbot – thank you. It, it was so incredibly generous of you.” “Mmm.” He lapses back into silence. You are seriously considering asking him why you are here, when to your surprise, the Cleanser sitting next to you speaks instead. “By any chance, do you know what a ‘professional witness’ does?”Before you decide on how to answer that question, you peer at the man sitting next to you – who you had assumed was just here to protect the Master Abbot. You had assumed that he was Cleanser, because was in the environmental kit that they wear, but now you wonder if this man is a full-fledged Inquisitor. You do not come to any definite conclusions, so just to keep things moving you decide to lie, and double down on the articulate-but-ignorant gravedigger image that you have inadvertently started to cultivate. “Uh, I might have heard the term before …”“Do you know what an informant does?” “Aye …” “Well, that’s the sum and substance of what a professional witness is – an informant for a prosecutor, placed during the course of an investigation.”The Master Abbot speaks up.“And it just so happens that we are in course of an investigation right now.”
>>5006103You are on dangerous ground here – you have to make sure that you do not reveal that you actually were able to read the note, especially after so vehemently insisting that you could not just minutes earlier.“So … what then, you want me to … inform for you?”“Yes.”Half a second later, the man on your left provides the elaboration that you were waiting for. “Yes, on your current boss – the South Sexton.” “What? Why? What’s he done?” The two men look at each other for several moments. No words pass their lips, but when they both return their attention to you, it is obvious that they have come to some sort of unspoken understanding.“I can’t tell you anything specific unless you agree to work with us. And to be clear, we are genuinely asking you if you want to, not telling you. You have already done a lot for our case, with that character testimony that you gave Ossavian, and getting further involved could be dangerous. But, if you agree whatever the outcome of the investigation, we’ll take care of you – once this is all done, we will have you transferred over to apprentice under a leatherworker, or ... whatever job you want.">Please choose ONE of the following:>Agree to work for the Inquisition as a professional witness. This will no doubt further complicate your schedule for the next two days. Also, being in the presence of Inquisitors and Cleansers is a genuine risk to yourself. But clearly they are on to something serious, and this is almost certainly the only way to learn exactly what they know (or what they think they know). >Ask to think about the offer for a few days - which de facto declines the offer. Your tentative schedule for the next few days will remain intact. Unless the Inquisitors or Cleansers start paying you visits to convince you to join, you should be able to avoid them for the next two days. Unfortunately, you will almost certainly not be able to learn exactly what the know (or what they think they know).>Decline the offer outright. Your tentative schedule for the next few days will remain intact. After such a firm refusal, there should be no further interactions with them for the next two days (at least because of the job offer). Unfortunately, you will almost certainly not be able to learn exactly what the know (or what they think they know).>>5006084Don't worry, that's a given at this point. No matter what is chosen here, you will ask to for them to advocate for you and Vaclav.
>>5006111>Agree to work for the Inquisition as a professional witness. This will no doubt further complicate your schedule for the next two days. Also, being in the presence of Inquisitors and Cleansers is a genuine risk to yourself. But clearly they are on to something serious, and this is almost certainly the only way to learn exactly what they know (or what they think they know). Well, if Father is in trouble, we have to help him, even if it’s dangerous.Nice trips btw!
>>5006111>Ask to think about the offer for a few days - which de facto declines the offer. Your tentative schedule for the next few days will remain intact. Unless the Inquisitors or Cleansers start paying you visits to convince you to join, you should be able to avoid them for the next two days. Unfortunately, you will almost certainly not be able to learn exactly what the know (or what they think they know).Ask to know more about the Danger, Since Father is "Sick", we should run this past him to make sure that he is ok with it and that we know the South Sexton is busy for the next few days so if they need us for anything we may well be busy.For people that don't know the "spare" body we have may well be a good stand in, if it comes down to it, and play things right
>>5006111>Ask to think about the offer for a few days - which de facto declines the offer. Your tentative schedule for the next few days will remain intact. Unless the Inquisitors or Cleansers start paying you visits to convince you to join, you should be able to avoid them for the next two days. Unfortunately, you will almost certainly not be able to learn exactly what the know (or what they think they know).Nope. We are already in way too deep. After what she has just been through, this is the most in-character choice and it it buys us time we urgently need.
>>5006282You mean it puts a spotlight on our backs. Anon, I know working work for the Inquisition is risky, but saying we’ll think on it and then hightailing it away is still as risky, but with none of the benefits of steering their investigation or even knowing what the hell is going on so that we can avoid Inquisition hotspots in the next two days. I’d rather we give them a definitive answer rather than pussyfooting around the issue and putting even more interest on our activities (we didn’t even give them a false name to throw them off).Another thing to keep in mind is that if we’re not their hatchet man, somebody else will be, and we’re going to be in the dark about it and their investigation into us as well.Also, saying that yours is the most in-character choice is presumptuous, and I’d advise against bringing meta into this personally.
>>5006290>saying that yours is the most in-character choice is presumptuousI really think it is though. Imagine you are standing close to the people you fear most in your life. Being manhandled and probed and experiencing actual terror for your life. Then these people offer you a job. First instinct would be to find a way to get away from these people as soon as possible and as fast as possible, preferably in a polite and non-commiting way. We have no real indication that their investigation is in any way tied to Father's disappearance, which to me would be the only thing that could convince our girl to take such a crazy risk.
>>5006350> We have no real indication that their investigation is in any way tied to Father's disappearance, which to me would be the only thing that could convince our girl to take such a crazy risk.Besides all this happening when our Father went out for a job that he was uncharacteristically emotional about (only time in living memory that he called us by our real name)? The Inquisition specifically investigating the South Sexton, who both we and our Father were recently working under? The fact that this is really a small town to begin with, with only a handful of Witchlets living here, including us and Father, and that Father has (assumed magical) friends who might be related to this current mess being burned by Leadfire? Hell, if we were noticeably with the Inquisition it may keep the Thief-takers off our backs, or at least give them pause as to thinking we’re the wanted gal.I think that is sufficient reason to accept the risk, whatever comes next. I won’t begrudge anyone for not taking it, but taking it isn’t OC.
>>5006111>Agree to work for the Inquisition as a professional witness. This will no doubt further complicate your schedule for the next two days. Also, being in the presence of Inquisitors and Cleansers is a genuine risk to yourself. But clearly they are on to something serious, and this is almost certainly the only way to learn exactly what they know (or what they think they know).
>>5006111>Agree to work for the Inquisition as a professional witness. This will no doubt further complicate your schedule for the next two days. Also, being in the presence of Inquisitors and Cleansers is a genuine risk to yourself. But clearly they are on to something serious, and this is almost certainly the only way to learn exactly what they know (or what they think they know). At this point I've given up hope up of us having everything we need to leave on schedule with all the crafting tables. I think we'll have to make sacrifices and either leave a couple of the tables behind or use more time to safely accomplish our goals, we are getting too tied up in non-essential tasks. Like, what if we learn what this is all about, but to actually do something about it or find father we have to stay longer than he told us too, or it is too dangerous and there is no realistic means of us actually affecting anything or it turns out to be unrelated to father?Still, having more information about what is going on so we can make better decisions is probably good. And if father just set a deadline for us to leave out of caution rather than a certainty we'd be found, we may not even need to leave, getting set up as a leatherworkers apprentice may be good.
>>5006111>Agree to work for the Inquisition as a professional witness. This will no doubt further complicate your schedule for the next two days. Also, being in the presence of Inquisitors and Cleansers is a genuine risk to yourself. But clearly they are on to something serious, and this is almost certainly the only way to learn exactly what they know (or what they think they know).I don't believe they'll really let us not do what they want. I think he is gauging our intentions.
>>5006700>we may not even need to leavetown's already teeming with inquisition and once everything blows up it'll get worse. We should try our best to get gone by dad's deadline.
>>5006817Oh, I don't want to stay, but if we keep getting sidetracked I don't see us getting everything done by our deadline.
QUESTION: What would Entering A Strange Fever entail?
>>5007033Strange Fever is a state that Witches (and even Witchlets) can enter into - effectively, your entire body is turned into a living magical conduit, which makes casting spells much, much easier, like from DC 60 to DC 20 to 15 or 12. The downside is that in the process, the temperature of your entire body is raised to a dangerous level - and it glows like your eyes do, so it is not particularly suited for stealthy stuff. Anything that you are directly touching, or have ingested is automatically cooked off to fuel the conduit, so you steam and smoke too - and the steam and the smoke is Strange, potentially communicably. If you run out of fuel, your body will begin to cook off your own blood - and even if you have enough fuel to prevent your blood from cooking, eventually you will collapse from the fever anyway. Also, you would need to remediate yourself afterwards, or else risk a potentially dangerous buildup of Strangeness (even at your level of stability). Sorry I wasn't able to do any writing today guys, I don't know how it happened, but I just got buried under a bunch of work. When I am ready to write tomorrow, I'll close the vote. When the post goes up, I'll be sure to put something in the general, considering that we are no longer bumping.
>>5006111>>Agree to work for the Inquisition as a professional witness. This will no doubt further complicate your schedule for the next two days. Also, being in the presence of Inquisitors and Cleansers is a genuine risk to yourself. But clearly they are on to something serious, and this is almost certainly the only way to learn exactly what they know (or what they think they know).they think the sexton is a possible candidate for the Hook Gull device, which last we knew was associated with the university student, which IIRC was a possible lead for Chlot's Father. it's a little convoluted, and it is both a danger and a pain in the ass. but it also just seems interestingagreeing readily when offered a new job also gives the master abbot the impression that Sty wants a new job or some other favor and doesn't mind being around somewhat the somewhat feared and dangerous Inquisition. although he's sharp as sin and twice as entangling, I do think that his scrutiny will decrease after he thinks he has a firm grasp on who Sty is, who he now thinks is at least not all that Strange, even if he doesn't necessarily have no reason to suspect that
Okay, I'll try to get a post up for an overnight vote today. >>5006171 Agree 1 De facto 0 De jure 0>>5006251 Agree 1 De facto 1 De jure 0>>5006290 Agree 1 De facto 2 De jure 0>>5006442 Agree 2 De facto 2 De jure 0>>5006700 Agree 3 De facto 2 De jure 0>>5006816 Agree 4 De facto 2 De jure 0>>5007238 Agree 5 De facto 2 De jure 0Pretty overwhelming! I'll get to writing as soon as I finish eating dinner.
Hello, I found this quest and went to read the first thread. I think I will catch up and join you guys in timeSo far I can tell that I like the writing and the tone, and that our father was based
>>5007785I will say, it will be a sad day when this quests ends.>>5008014Welcome aboard lad!
To your surprise, you find yourself actually considering the offer, solely for the chance to learn what they know. Earlier today, just seeing a Cleanser driving this very carriage past you was enough to send you into a state of shock. You were so thoroughly panicked, that not only did you seriously contemplate just running away immediately, but the only way you could calm yourself down was by reminding yourself that you could take your own life before the Inquisitors got their hands on you. And here you are, just a few hours later thinking about working for these fanatics. Well, perhaps ‘working for’ is not the best way to describe it, as you are still planning on leaving the Mount, just like father instructed you to. ‘Getting involved with’ is much closer to the mark. And truly, you already are involved with them. Two of them have interrogated you, probably more than a dozen of them know your name and that you are a woman, and to top it all off, they have scanned you with that creepy lantern-like Spot-Dosimeter.Now that you think about it, that has to be the reason why you are only nervous right now, instead of having a complete breakdown. After being put through the wringer by these Inquisitors, and not only coming out of it alive, but alive and with their trust, how could you be as afraid of the Inquisition as you were earlier today? You have seen that in spite of their reputation, and all of their highly vaunted tools and training, they are still fallible, that they can be tricked and deceived – and more importantly, that you can trick and deceive them. But … and you are not sure about this … but perhaps you have become too confident. Too sure of yourself. Sure, they have not found any proof, or anything beyond the most circumstantial evidence as to what you are so far – but if you were to agree to work for them, if you were to spend more time with them, is it possible that they could pick up on something? That you would let something slip? Perhaps it would be for the best if you asked for ‘three or four days’ to think it over, or something like that. If they accepted that, then hopefully by the time that they came back for an answer, you would be long gone. Truly, what kind of information would be worth this kind of risk? Unfortunately, you know the answer to that question. Information about your father. It is possible that this investigation that they are trying to involve you in somehow leads back to him, or at least, is connected to him. If there is so much as a chance, then – you are going to do it. But you are going to need to be careful. Careful about how you accept the offer, to not let on that you are going to bail on them in just two days, and careful about how you conduct yourself while working for them. If you are too perceptive, then that is suspicious. If you are too oblivious, then that is suspicious too.
>>5008523And even if you are no longer physically quaking in your boots at the sight of Inquisitors, at the very least you still should be figuratively. “This … a leatherworker? You can do that?” The two men share another look, and now that your eyes have adjusted somewhat, you can see that the Master Abbot is smiling again. No doubt he is convinced that he has you. And to be fair, he does … just not in the way he thinks. And definitely not in the way he wants. The man you thought was a Cleanser but now think is an Inquisitor is the one who answers – if you had to guess, he will be your ‘handler’. “With a wave of the hand.” Should you ask for something for your father, or should you not? As far as the rest of the world is concerned, he is still in the belfry, sick as a dog. Once you have thought about it for a few moments, you come to the conclusion that you should. After all, what kind of daughter would ignore her own father? “What about my father? Once this is all done, can you make him a leatherworker too?” “Yes, yes – assigning two new leatherworkers is as easy as assigning one.”You open your mouth to ask about Vaclav, to fulfill the promise you made to yourself, when a terrible thought streaks across your mind like a bolt of lightning. No matter what happens over the course of the next two days, Vaclav is not going to be leaving the Mount. Vaclav is going to be spending the rest of his life in the Midden. If you were to mention him to the Inquisition, even in passing, just to make sure that the South Sexton did not unfairly punish him, and then, two days later, you were to disappear, would the Inquisition think that Vaclav might know something? Would they come for him? He would obviously pass a Spot-Dosimeter test if they gave him one, but you are more worried about the interrogation they would put him through. Would they torture him? Years ago, when father was going punish you for some fairly serious misdeed – you do not even remember what it was exactly, but you took something of his without asking and then proceeded to damage it by accident – you were begging him to not turn his belt on you. In what was no doubt a joke to him and one of the most terrifying experiences of your young life, he took out the kit of ‘interrogative implements’ that he used during his years as an Inquisitor, and graphically explained the function of each and every one of the remaining tools. Once he was done, he asked if you still had any objections to his belt. Obviously, you did not.
>>5008524You do not want to throw Vaclav under the wagon with the South Sexton, who will definitely be looking to come down on someone after being so thoroughly humiliated today. But you also do not want to throw Vaclav under the wagon with the Inquisition either. Once you disappear, and they realize that your father is gone too, the Inquisition is probably going to be taking a serious look at anyone and everyone that you knew. If you were to draw additional attention to Vaclav by asking for them to intercede on his behalf today, would that mean that he would become suspicious enough that they would consider torturing him for information? Possibly. After all, he is a Leper. It is not like anyone would really care if they overreacted. Or if they seriously hurt him in the process. On the other hand, even without exempting him, the South Sexton could quite easily make Vaclav's life absolutely miserable. Maker’s mercy, what should you do? >Please choose ONE of the following: >Stick to the original plan and ask for them to help him.>It might make you feel like a cur, but for his sake, you cannot ask for them to help him. I somehow managed to fall asleep writing the update - sorry about that. Anyway, I have quite a bit of stuff to do today and tomorrow, but I should be able to get a post or two out.
Oh, almost forgot!>>5008014Glad to have you along for the ride, anon!
>>5008529>It might make you feel like a cur, but for his sake, you cannot ask for them to help him.Without us mentioning him the Cleansers should have no interest in him at all.We should also be able to trade the knowledge of the investigation to the South Sexton to have him spare Vaclav, and potentially throw a wrench in the Investigation at the same time.The results of which won't matter if we do actually mange to leave on time, and may otherwise tie up resources because of the fallout.
>>5008529>>Stick to the original plan and ask for them to help him.
>>5008529>>Stick to the original plan and ask for them to help him.Don't phrase it so much as us wanting them to help him, more so that if they want us to inform on the sexton then they can't let him Exempt us today. And if they won't let him exempt us it would be unfair and suspicious to let him exempt V
>>5008529>Stick to the original plan and ask for them to help him.
>>5008529>Stick to the original plan and ask for them to help him.Just say the other leapers will need to avoid being Exempted for this to work. Or we can ask Ossavian to do it for us. Just avoid singling Vaclav.Bigger question is, how are we going to make this look like we were kidnapped and then killed for working with the Inquisition. It will throw them off our tracks, and may help them hyper focus on the South Sexton, as we are just a pawn in Inquisition’s game and will naturally assume they were on to something if their leaper informant suddenly goes missing in what looks like a bloody struggle.
Alright - I'll start chipping away at this, but I just want to warn you guys, I've got a lot of work to do, so I might not even be able to get an overnight post up.
Jesus fuck you guys are really bad at this "ignore the plothooks and run away" thing, are you.We had a plan, remember? steal money[ ] steal anti-gravity oil[ ] get out of the cityAnd now we're in all this shit.Why did it take me so long to catch up god damn it, maybe I could've prevented this T_TAlso great quest, don't overwork youself, qm
>>5010085>could have prevented a 5v2Honestly, de facto denying the Inquisition would gain us only their interest and ire, and none of the benefits of flat out denying them or actionable intel to avoid their operations. Asking for a few days to think it over wouldn't gain us intel or get the Inquisition off our backs. Next time you don't want to work for the Inquisition, just say no thank you.
>>5010100>just say no thank you.Yes. This is exactly what you should have done
>>5008529>>Stick to the original plan and ask for them to help him.Try to phrase it in a way that doesn't imply a connection.
>>5011828Other than work I mean.
Hey guys - Just wanted to give you all an update. I got unexpectedly buried under a bunch of work this week, but I have almost worked my way out of it. The next post will be up tomorrow by 6:00pm Eastern Standard Time. If it is not, then I owe everyone another lucky tenth-talent. Sorry for the unexpected delay here - after this I should be able to post regularly again.
>>5012043Don’t worry to much about it, shit happens. Thanks for telling us though!
Well, it looks like I'm going make like Chlotsuintha's father and completely overshoot my own deadline. I'm sorry to say that I won't be able to find enough extra time until Saturday. I really don't know what happened - it just seems like everything came due this week. Suffice to say, you get the lucky tenth talent, redeemable for one reroll. Thanks for your understanding.
>>5013197Take care of yourself TrashQM, we'll be waiting warmly. Thanks for updating us.
>>5013197awwww yissss free shit!
You made a promise to yourself that you would ask the Inquisitors to intercede on Vaclav’s behalf. It is possible that once you leave the city, the Inquisition might read something into this request, but … firstly, it is not a certainty that they will, and secondly, Vaclav is free and clear* of the Strangeness, not to mention, completely innocent of any and all wrongdoing. Even if they were to bring him for ‘an interview’, the Inquisitors would realize that he knows nothing. That should be enough to spare him from anything serious – or at the absolute least, it should spare him from anything permanent.*Remember, there is a 'background level' of Strangeness in just about everything, even present in inert materials. “Me, a leatherworker? Aye, I’d like that. I’d like that very much. But before I forget, one of my fellow gravediggers – he’s an older Leper, named Vaclav – I’m worried that South Sexton is going to come down him, after the … whole debacle of delays today. He might even exempt him, and with his health … it could be the death of him. Is there anything that –” “We will look into it.” The Inquisitor sitting by the door, who you assume is going to be your ‘handler’ speaks with such a dismissive tone that you wonder if they actually are going to bother, but you suppose it is better than nothing. Obviously, the employment prospects and general welfare of some long-in-the-tooth Leper is not a high priority for the Inquisition. Of course, you need to remember that even with the Inquisition’s working proximity to the Strangeness and just generally unclean things, many would consider them allowing you to sit in such proximity to them in their own liveried carriage to be a gross breach of propriety, if not explicit protocol. Doubly so for them giving you offers instead of commands. And trebly so for you making counteroffers and them entertaining them. Very, very presumptuous on your part. Especially because you have absolutely no intention of sticking around long enough to give so much as a syllable of testimony. “Then I am your woman, and my eyes and ears are yours. Just … what exactly am I looking and listening for?”The two men share another look in the gloom of the passenger compartment, and for a terrible moment, you are worried that you have overplayed your hand. But before you can get yourself all worked up again, the Master Abbot relents, and answers your question. “As a rule of thumb, anything suspicious, or even just out of the ordinary is a good start. But specifically, what we are looking for is evidence of graverobbing.”
>>5014858Underneath the canvas hogshead of the Spotted Cloak, the word ‘graverobbing’ makes you tense up to the point where you can actually feel your ass clench – though now that you think about it, perhaps you should have expected this. Unaware, or at least seemingly unaware of your reaction, the Master Abbot continues on. “Recently, we recovered a construct – a magical construct – that was made from, among other things, human remains. Furthermore, we have reason to believe that it was made just days, if not hours before we found it, and that Witch who made this ghastly device got the body parts from one of our city’s graveyards.” Once more, panic strangles your insides. The construct that the Master Abbot is describing is almost certainly one of your father’s creations. Even if there are other Witches living on the Mount, father is probably the only one of them with ready access to bodies – unless, of course, if he is selling bodies to other Witches … but that seems really risky, because if the Inquisition were to find any magical artifacts made out of body parts – like they have – the first place that they would investigate would be the graveyards – like they are. And as father happens to work as a gravedigger –Wait, wait! Pattern preserve him, just what in the Heights of Hell do they mean by ‘recovered’?! Surely not ‘recovered’ as in ‘recovered with a body’, right? Oh no, oh please no. You feel yourself starting to tremble and shiver again, and without thinking of how odd it must look to the other Inquisitors, you abruptly make yourself sit ramrod straight on the carriage bench, in the hopes that you are able to overcome any involuntary shaking or quivering. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Ask specific questions about how long ago this happened, and about how and where the device was recovered, as well as more general questions about the case. There is a chance that you making all of these pointed questions might come across as kind of suspect. [Requires Rolling: Moderate]>Ask general questions about case, such as why the South Sexton has come under suspicion, things you should look for – stuff like that. Because you do not ask any pointed questions, there is no real risk of looking suspicious here, but there is no chance of getting any real answers, either.I figure that it is worth saying this, unless you critically fail the roll, the Inquisition is not going to be treating you like they were earlier. But they will be keeping a closer eye on you than they might have otherwise.
>>5014862>Ask general questions about case, such as why the South Sexton has come under suspicion, things you should look for – stuff like that. Because you do not ask any pointed questions, there is no real risk of looking suspicious here, but there is no chance of getting any real answers, either.We need to get out of the city.
>>5014862>>Ask specific questions about how long ago this happened, and about how and where the device was recovered, as well as more general questions about the case. There is a chance that you making all of these pointed questions might come across as kind of suspect. [Requires Rolling: Moderate]The WHOLE reason we even accepted working for them was for information, we cannot make our life more complicated by agreeing to work for them and then not ask questions. We also have our lucky tenth-talent.I wonder how we should handle the contaminated coffin now. Should we still try and mitigate it and try and save the Sexton and only report legitimate findings to the inquisition? Should we deliberately implicate the Sexton or try digging up a grave or something? It seems bad to attempt to be moral by sparing the Captain and trying to save Vaclav only to fuck the Sexton and his family, but we may have to get our hands dirty top throw the scent off us and Father.
>>5014862>>Ask specific questions about how long ago this happened, and about how and where the device was recovered, as well as more general questions about the case. There is a chance that you making all of these pointed questions might come across as kind of suspect. [Requires Rolling: Moderate]moderate should be like dc 50 or something? should be able to pull one or two successes even if unlucky
>>5014862We really should've not even got that close with the inquisition(I'm still salty, reee), but as other anon said, the only reason to do so is to get answers>Ask specific questions about how long ago this happened, and about how and where the device was recovered, as well as more general questions about the case. There is a chance that you making all of these pointed questions might come across as kind of suspect. [Requires Rolling: Moderate]Fuck it, lesgo
>>5014862>>Ask specific questions about how long ago this happened, and about how and where the device was recovered, as well as more general questions about the case. There is a chance that you making all of these pointed questions might come across as kind of suspect. [Requires Rolling: Moderate]It's not like they're going to burn us for this, are they?
>>5014862>Ask general questions about case, such as why the South Sexton has come under suspicion, things you should look for – stuff like that. Because you do not ask any pointed questions, there is no real risk of looking suspicious here, but there is no chance of getting any real answers, either.
> DC 25: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is a Born and Bred Liar: making a Deception by Omission like this [Easy]> + DC 30: Master Abbot [NAME UNKNOWN] is Suspicious by Nature> + DC (30/2): [RANK UNKNOWN] [NAME UNKNOWN] is Suspicious by Nature (Trait already present in Hostile, DC effect halved)> + DC 10: Witchlet Chlotsuintha is Mortally Afeared> - DC 5: Witchlet Chlotsuintha’s voice is muffled by her mask> - DC 10: Witchlet Chlotsuintha’s face is hidden by her mask> - DC 3: Witchlet Chlotsuintha’s body language is obscured by her Spotted Cloak> - DC 3: Witchlet Chlotsuintha’s body language is obscured the darkness of the Liveried Carriage> - DC (20/4): Witchlet Chlotsuintha has Good Cause to appear Nervous (Hostile has Suspicious by Nature trait, DC effect quartered)> - DC 4: [BENEFIT UNKNOWN]> DC 48: Anything lower is a failure. [One re-roll available. No hostile re-rolls]>No passes: Catspaw got your tongue? You are not sure what exactly you did wrong, but once again, suspicion has fallen upon you. You do not get any useful information out of them at all. >One pass: A victory, but at what cost? You get a sliver of useful information out of the two men, but you get the sense that they felt that your questioning was just a little too pointed. >Two passes: You elude their suspicion, they elude your questions. As desperately as you need those answers, you reign yourself in, desperate to not give yourself away. It works – all to well. The information you get from them is incomplete, and you are uncomfortable asking further questions. >Three passes: Quicksilver tongued. You manage to get all of your most pressing questions answered adequately, without coming off as too interested or invested in all of this. >ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2): Out of the Cauldron … [AUTOFAIL]. While they have no reason to believe that you are a Witch, they start to think of you as a person of at least peripheral interest in this investigation. They answer all of your questions, but only some of them are truthful – the rest are misleading, or outright fabrications.>ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 99 or 100): The Hubris of the Hunter [AUTOPASS]. [BENEFIT UNKNOWN] is revealed, opening up the possibility for you to play towards it in the future, increasing the benefit provided. Receive ‘a Crumb of Trust’ benefit (DC + 2). The Master Abbot believes that he has accurately taken your measure, and he opens up a bit, answering all of your questions, and in doing so, he lets something very important carelessly slip. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure.Three seperate rolls of 1d100, please!
Rolled 13 (1d100)>>5016292You've really put the fear of the Patternmaker in me here QM.
Rolled 16 (1d100)>>5016292Critical success?
Rolled 82 (1d100)>>5016292May our luck be white.
>>5016355>>5016310So, time to redeem the lucky tenth talent to reroll one of these, yes?
>>5016432I'd say so, we want at least 2 successes. At least I rolled a success, so it isn't the end of the world.Also, I appreciate the enhanced breakdown of the DC and the factors that affect it QM.
I know this is similar to Forgotten's system, but are we also doing the thing where it is up to the roller to unilaterally decide to use their reroll for their roll at anytime, or is it up to us collectively to decide to use it?
>>5016435>>5016434I think it should be alright if we were to put it to a vote. To be entirely honest, I never understood his reasoning for vesting re-roll decisions to individuals like that. The only thing I can think of is that he didn't want votes to slow down his sessions, but he has so many players, I can't see how it would be a problem. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Use lucky Tenth-Talent>Keep lucky Tenth-Talent
>>5016453>Use lucky Tenth-TalentI think it is because rerolls are so much more common in his quests, you can get them from items or one time interactions or through the leveling up system or whatever. Whereas in this quest they are a rare meta-currency that seem basically impossible to obtain readily in-game, at least so far.
>>5016453>Use lucky Tenth-Talent
>>5016453>Use lucky Tenth-Talentgiveth and taketh
>>5016453>Use lucky Tenth-TalentI was arguing with myself at keeping it for a rainy day, but I'll take incomplete information over the Inquisition suspicion any day. I hope that we'll gain another lucky Tenth-Talent before we do something as dangerous as this again.
>>5016453>>Keep lucky Tenth-Talent
>>5016455>>5016466>>5016509>>5016519>>5016616>>5016618>>5016697Well, with the vote at 6 to 1, I don't think that is going to be flipped any time soon. I'll get to writing up the next update, but I doubt I will be able to get it up for an overnight vote. Just wanted to let everyone know where things stand.
>>5016958Don't we still need to reroll?
>>5017547It's an autosave skill I think?
Quick Reggie, duck behind that electrical box!
>>5017644It was before
This whole thing was stupid.>Put yourself on the inquisitorial watchlist for potential info>The only way we are getting info is rolling 3 successes with 50dc>In the end we need to burn our only auto-save not even to get anything useful, but just to save our teenage bony ass from the situation we put ourselves into in the first place>The result of the whole thing is minus our only auto-save, plus inquisitorial attentionTake the hint anons, IT'S NEVER WORTH IT. SAY NO AND LEAVE EVERY TIME
>>5017888Pleb approach to questing
>>5017958Patrician approach to staying alive
>>5018505yeah but staying alive and playing it safe makes for a boring story
>>5018505>Anon doesn't want to visit the inquisition dungeons
>>5018557..no it doesn't? We already have a corpse in our tower, bounty on our head, a deadline to fuck off from the city, a magic ball to study and a mystery to solve.Trying to outspy the FUCKING INQUISITION on top of that isn't "interesting", it's stupid/suicidal
>>5018573>Follow our mother footsteps and bang that cute inquisitor
>>5018596This Anon speaks the truth. Even for a skilled adult character it would be suicidal to try and outwit this Sherlock Holmes level Master Abbott, our character is a 14 year old girl.TrashQM quests are like old school choose your own adventure books, bad endings abound. High stakes. Gritty action. Tension. Suspense. Mystery. Consequences. No perceptible plot armor- every fight could be the last and even if you walk away unscathed don't count on that being true of everyone on your team.
yeah. Guys, can we just reach at least some semblance of stability before piling up more shit on our platter?
>>5016958You ok QM?
>>5019994Yeah, I'm still here. Sorry for just dropping off like that. The quest will resume tomorrow with an overnight vote, and then hopefully I can get back to the two posts a day that I was aiming for over the weekend. When the post goes up, I'll be sure to put something in the general. I'd like to thank everyone for sticking around while I get myself back on track. See you soon!
Thanks for updating us, it helps to know you're still alive and haven't abandoned us.
>Update: This Lucky Tenth-Talent is a Double-Headed Very Lucky Tenth-Talent. Instead of a re-roll, it provides an automatic pass for any dice roll. I was looking back on the previous thread, and I realized that while I intended for the Tenth-Talents to give you re-rolls, I just used it as an auto-pass instead. Considering that I have been away so long, just this once, I am going to wave my hands, and let this be an automatic pass. Going forward though, Lucky Tenth-Talents will re-rolls, and Double-Headed Very Lucky Tenth-Talents are automatic passes.>Two passes: You elude their suspicion; they elude your questions. As desperately as you need those answers, you reign yourself in, desperate to not give yourself away. It works – all too well. The information you get from them is incomplete, and you are uncomfortable asking further questions.Is it possible that they are on father’s trail? Have their paths already crossed? Has something happened to him? Do they know anything about what he has been doing these past few days? You strain your legs to suppress trembling, and after forcing yourself to breathe normally, you swallow in an uncomfortably dry throat. There are no two ways about it. You have to know. Even if that means you have to suspiciously ask pointed questions. You steel yourself, and once you are as ready as you are ever going to be, you start small, directing your first question towards the Master Abbot.“What body parts?”“…I beg your pardon?”“I mean, what parts of the body could a Witch even use?”“A better question would be what parts of the body couldn’t a Witch use. The ones that really know what they are doing can use - er, well, suffice to say, they can get really creative. In this particular case though, it was bowels, brains and eyes.”Bowels, brains, and eyes. If the primary material is brains and eyes, then that means that the construct is probably either a Creeping Peeper or a set of Cat’s Eyes, and you know that father can make both. But anyone with the right equipment could manage that. Even you have successfully managed to weave together a Cat’s Eye. But what caught your attention was that bowels were a primary material as well. That indicates that whatever the construct was, it was ‘fed’ – meaning that it could take in food and water to slake its hungers and thirsts, as well as any ingredients or catalysts that it might need for its operation, then expel the wastes, just like an animal would. ‘Fed’ constructs, also called simulacrums, are the most advanced type of flesh-constructs, followed by ‘fueled’ constructs, which use conventional fuels instead of food, and ‘finite’ constructs, which are the easiest to weave, but will only live for so long. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of them, but what is important is that ‘fed’ constructs are extremely difficult to make – and with good reason, as the weaver is effectively creating life from scratch.
>>5021873That is your father’s field of study – the work that he has devoted his life to. This absolutely has to be something that he made. You need to know more, so you push your luck, and ask another question. “When exactly did you find this … thing? For if you suppose that it was made shortly before you found it … I don’t know, it’s just that …” You trail off. Even overlooking the suspicious nature of the question, it is fairly awkward inquiry. There is a moment of silence, and you wonder if they are beginning to suspect you again, but eventually the Master Abbot answers again. “Four weeks. Or rather, in two days, it will have been four weeks since we found it.” You have to force yourself to not sigh in relief, and in the process, you actually start coughing. Thankful for the temporary respite, you cover your mouth to give yourself more time to think. If it was found four weeks ago, then that means that they did not recover it with your father’s body, as you had thought a minute ago in a moment of blind, senseless panic. But it does raise some new questions. Clearly, father made the Creeping Peeper or the Cat’s Eyes or whatever the Hell it was for someone else, and they were the ones who fell afoul of the Inquisition. Mulling it over for a moment, you conclude that father must have either trusted this individual completely, to have handed over to them hard evidence that he was a Witch … or he had no choice but make the construct for them, to settle some sort of debt or obligation. Nothing else makes any sense, considering what would be at stake for him – and by extension, you, his daughter. Not wanting to lose momentum, you ask another question, though this one is purposely obtuse. “Do you think the South Sexton made –”You do not even manage to get the words out of your mouth before both of the men are laughing at the absurdity, and not long after, you are laughing too at this secret farce of yours, as well as the mental image of that sot clinging desperately to a temperamental flying broomstick. And you laugh a little harder when you realize that in the gloom of the carriage you can finally see the faint resemblance between the Master Abbot and his grandnephew Ossavian, but only when he is laughing. Once everyone’s laughter subsides, to your surprise, you actually get an answer to the question. “Pattern’s Peace, no. At this point, we are simply looking at involvement – either he is providing this Witch with material, or more likely, he is turning a blind eye and allowing the bitch to desecrate the graves he has been charged to protect. Besides, He-Witches are rare, and He-Witches without deformities and irregularities are even rarer.”
>>5022097Jesus this is some creepy shit. Not for the first time I am wondering if the inquisition are actually the good guys here.
>>5022097You are taken aback by that last bit. You have never heard that before – and if it did not come straight from the mouth of one of the highest-ranking Inquisitors in the Principalities, you would have considered it to be some sort of old wives’ tale. You do not doubt that it is true, you just wonder why your father never made mention of it before. Did it truly just never come up, or was there some reason that – ah, forget it for now, you have to focus on the task at hand. “Did you find this … whatever it is … somewhere near the South Burying Ground? Is that why you are looking at the South Sexton?” For a moment, the only response you get to that question is the Master Abbot shifting in his seat. You get the sense that if you keep asking pointed questions like this, it is going to start to look suspicious. Blessedly, he does actually deign to answer your question. “Actually, no – it was found in the back office of a cockpit* in Stickport that was being seized by bailiffs for operating on an expired gaming license. But it just so happens that one of the people who worked in that office, the cockpit’s comptroller, who disappeared into thin air right before the raid, is a relative of the South Sexton. That, taken with what we found in the apartment across the street from his house … I have to believe that there is a Witch somewhere in his social circle.” That … that is a really queer coincidence. But setting aside the South Sexton for a moment, you finally have a lead on father – sort of. It sounds like this comptroller is either one of father’s professional friends … or they have something held over him that would compel him to give them something dangerously incriminating like an exceptionally well-crafted construct. Either way, they have to know something that you do not. Unfortunately, the prospects of you finding them are abyssal – especially if the guards, the Inquisition and presumably by this point, the men of the Thief-Takers guild have not managed to in four weeks. You do not even know what cockpit this relation of the South Sexton worked at, and after pushing your luck so hard for so long, you are not comfortable asking at the moment. Perhaps some opportunity will come from this, but … Anyway, back to the South Sexton. You know that the Inquisition is barking up the wrong tree here, and that despite being a complete ass, he has nothing to do with any of this. On one hand, the man has a title, an ecumenical title, so the Inquisition simply cannot haul him in and start interrogating (or mitigating) him like they could for some poor clod off the street, not on just circumstantial evidence. On the other hand, he would almost certainly want to know that he was being investigated. If you were to tell him, then maybe you could work out some sort of understanding with him.
>>5022142Something where he lets you take some time off so you can tend to your ailing father, something like that, to free up the next two days for yourself … would that work? Possibly. But would it be worth the risk? The additional complications? >Please choose ONE of the following: >Things have gotten complicated enough on their own, without you mucking about. Stay the course. >At the rate things are going, you are less and less certain that you are going to be able to leave the city by the end of the seventh day. You need more time, and you need the South Sexton in your corner, even if it does drag you further into a web of lies and deceit. [Requires Rolling: Easy] *Cockpit as in the place where game fowl fight cockfights, not a vestibule for controls.
>>5022146>Things have gotten complicated enough on their own, without you mucking about. Stay the course.fuck no
>>5022142>At the rate things are going, you are less and less certain that you are going to be able to leave the city by the end of the seventh day. You need more time, and you need the South Sexton in your corner, even if it does drag you further into a web of lies and deceit. [Requires Rolling: Easy] I went back and forth on this very briefly. On one hand, I feel like even attempting to get something over the Sexton reveals information about us that he could reveal to the inquisition or otherwise incriminates us, on the other hand we'll be leaving soon anyways and I doubt any such reveals will happen so quickly as to matter at all, as our disappearance will be odd enough.I also thought "don't complicate things more" and that we should get back to the essentials of getting the lifting oil and maybe pursuing leads regarding father, and we should forget about the coffin, it sounds like the sexton is screwed and we should avoid attempting to be so moral to our own detriment, the inquisition may not even discover the coffin or blame the sexton, they may be as detail-oriented as they always are and do their due-diligence and check out the morgue.But, we may not succeed at obtaining the lifting oil, or there may not be the right kind in a movable quantity available on the night we choose to steal it, or any number of other complications, we also still have to find time to gets appropriate clothes without seeming suspicious, there are probably other complications or tasks that we've gotten wrapped up in that I've forgotten about.We may also need to investigate that house, or the cockpit, or the comptroller, we may have late-night tasks like eventually deciding to transmute those precious metals and the inquisition may assign us specific tasks, plus we have a body in our home.In short, we need more time, and the siren call of [Requires Rolling: Easy] is too tempting.
>>5022146>Things have gotten complicated enough on their own, without you mucking about. Stay the course.
>>5022146>>Things have gotten complicated enough on their own, without you mucking about. Stay the course.
>>5022146>Things have gotten complicated enough on their own, without you mucking about. Stay the course.Nope
>>5022146Well that wasn't very useful. But it was interesting. >Things have gotten complicated enough on their own, without you mucking about. Stay the course. Although I think Chlot can probably win an easy roll without complications, success would in this case come with its own problems. The South Sexton does not strike me as the sort to take his investigation laying down, and if he makes a ruckus that makes it obvious that he learned about being investigated, then the Inquisition will immediately be aware of a leak that suddenly sprung after they inducted a certain Leper into their opsec. Which we don't really want. Chlot wants to give the impression of being a useful, silent witness to the Inquisition so they leave her alone and feed her information until she's gone.
Alright, with 5 to 1, I can comfortably close the vote. Writing! Also, my ID is going to have changed, but don't worry. I am not an imposter.
Tfw too late to vote for meeting a qt inquisitor to elope with
>>5022608>don't worry. I am not an imposter.that sounds like something an imposter would say, "Trash QM"
>>5022644Wouldn't work, our gal is a socially awkward sticc person. Not really a seducing type.At least it would be funny af
No. No, no, no. There is already enough that can go wrong for you over the next two days. The absolute last thing you need is to complicate things by sticking your neck out for that boor. And even if you did want to help him – if not for his sake, then for the sake of his wife and children – you have a pretty good measure of the man. You feel that odds are good he would immediately start to make a stink over the investigation, even though it would make it painfully obvious that you were the one who told him … and of course, that you would be the one that would face potential repercussions for telling him. You are not taking any more risks – or at the very least, any more risks than you absolutely have to. And you definitely do not need to take this one. With no more questions from you forthcoming, the Master Abbot speaks up.“If there is nothing else … then I believe we are done here, at least for the nonce. Tomorrow morning, or perhaps the day after, we will send someone to the Midden, at about half-past the fifth hour. They’ll take your oath, record your testimony, and give you some more explicit instructions. Now Ermanaric, I believe we have kept her long enough – would you be kind enough to see her back to her posting?”Whatever his rank or function, Ermanaric is at least polite enough to hold the door for you as you follow him out of the liveried carriage. To your surprise however, the Master Abbot does not follow you out. He remains in the carriage, in the gloom. As you step back onto the street, you look over your shoulder at him – and he is looking right back at you, watching you with those predatory eyes of his. You are considering thanking him again, but before you can find the words, he gives Ermanaric one final command.“Close the door, will you?”Something about the way he said that, while just sitting alone in the near darkness makes the hairs on your neck stand on end, and even as Ermanaric escorts you away, you find yourself glancing back at the carriage, wondering why. But soon the carriage passes out of sight as you and your escort navigate through the cluster of water-wagons by the fire engine. The once handsome house has been completely collapsed at this point, and what flames remain do not seem have the telltale color of a Leadfire. Cleansers are still throwing debris taken from the nearby houses into the fire however, so it is possible that the effects of the Leadfire are still ongoing, even if it does not look like it.Two minutes or so later, you and your escort, who insisted on seeing you all the way back to the internment temple, make your way out of the Old Section of South Burying Ground, and towards where you left the hearse, around the back of the temple by the entrance for bodies – and Lepers. As you do, for the first time, you lay your eyes on the relatives of the deceased, who are milling around outside the temple, seemingly engaged in casual conversation.
>>5023128Ossavian is among them as well, but you cannot see the South Sexton, though that makes sense, considering that his duties require him inside the temple. As you draw near, and you take a closer look at the gathered crowd, you suddenly get the feeling that something is off … > DC 50: Witchlet Chlotsuintha has no pertinent skills or issues for this kind of roll [Moderate]> + DC 10: Witchlet Chlotsuintha has a lot to Examine in a relatively short time > + DC 10: Witchlet Chlotsuintha’s sight is limited by her mask> + DC 5: Witchlet Chlotsuintha’s presence interrupts the scene, making it harder for her to Examine> - DC 15: Witchlet Chlotsuintha knows something Strange happened to the deceased and is Suspicious> DC 60: Anything lower is a failure. [No re-rolls available. No hostile re-rolls]>No passes: You are not able to put your finger on anything.>One pass: You notice something. [Gain Clue]>Two passes: You notice a couple of things. [Gain Two Clues]>Three passes: You notice everything. [Gain Three Clues]>ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Failure (Roll of 1 or 2): Have a Nice Trip [AUTOFAIL]. Not only do you not notice anything about the gathering, but you also do not notice that rock. You trip and fall, and in the process damage the brittle remains of the Graven Ball.>ONE of the THREE rolls comes up as a Critical or Near-Critical Success (Roll of 99 or 100): The Lucky Leper Lass [AUTOPASS]. Not only do you notice everything there is to see, you also find a Lucky Tenth-Talent in the internment temple’s yard. >A Critical Failure overrides a Critical Success and a Near-Critical Success, but a Critical Success overrides a Near-Critical Failure.Three separate rolls of 1d100, please!>>5022823I should point out, Chlotsuintha may be exceptionally tall, but she has filled out to the point where I would not consider her a stick. Refer to the first thread; >As you finish stripping down, and really get a feel for the moisture in the air and on the stones under your feet, you cannot help but feel ridiculous. Despite your commanding height, your build is still that of a woman. A very fit, capable woman, who happens to be six feet, four inches, but the build of a woman none the less. The muscles that you have are lean – tight, but lean. Your body seems much more preoccupied with growing curves than growing strength, and you will be the first to admit that it frustrates you.
Rolled 66 (1d100)>>5023156
Rolled 82 (1d100)>>5023156
Rolled 48 (1d100)>>5023156Oh Patternmaker...
>>5023159>>5023212>>5023214Two out of three possible clues - that's pretty good, for a CR like that. I'm going to get some sleep, but I don't have anything else planned for tomorrow, so expect at least two posts. I'll put a post up in the general when I get the update out.
>>5023261Would you kindly include a footnote covering what Chlotsi knows about leadfire? What is it? How is it started? What is the telltale colour?
Overslept a bit, but no matter, I'll get to writing as soon as I can. >>5023438I'll be sure to include it.
Good rolls. I do wonder what's up. Ossavian crashing the funeral for clues and being really obvious about it? People being unhappy, but not in the funeral kind of way and instead being unhappy about some detail about the event or the death?
You slow down as much as you can without being obvious and take a closer look at the score or so people clustered here and there in the walled yard of the Southern Internment Temple. As the only one in the yard dressed in red, as opposed to black, Ossavian stands out like a sore thumb, so naturally your attention goes to him first. He has removed his wide brimmed hat, and is holding it in his hands, standing with a few of the deceased’s relatives. You are not sure why he is still here – did he ask to attend the funeral and pray for the departed as a way to atone for delaying the burial? That … sort of makes sense, but looking at him right now, you get the feeling that there is something else going on. The way he is holding the hat, the way he is holding himself, he looks … sort of nervous, to be honest. As you draw closer, you can actually see that he is shooting glances towards the main gate and the service entrance, then along the perimeter wall, then towards the Sexton’s residence, then back to the main gate. In a flash of inspiration, you realize exactly what he is doing! He is … >There is one and only one correct answer among these three choices. Choosing the correct answer now will provide additional options and bonuses later, but you will not immediately know if you got it right or not. Choosing the wrong answer will not necessarily penalize you, though an incorrect assumption here could get you in trouble later. >Please choose ONE of the following: > … looking for someone hiding and spying on the ceremony. > … looking for signs of the Strangeness in this part of the cemetery.> … looking for ways that someone might sneak in and out of the cemetery. >>5023438Leadfires are among the most powerful mundane Mitigation methods. Specially prepared flammable fuel that has been heavily saturated with particulate lead is ignited on top of something expected to be Strange. As the fuel burns and destroys whatever held the Strangeness, that Strangeness is drawn into the particulate lead, where it is rendered inert. Leadfires are recognizable by their unusual, white-tinted flames, and are one of the few mundane Mitigation methods that do not require a change in pressure to work.
>>5023941>> … looking for ways that someone might sneak in and out of the cemetery.This is the most obvious answer yet it feels slightly wrong. But whatever.
>>5023941> … looking for ways that someone might sneak in and out of the cemetery.Is probably the most consistent with what was shared with us, on what the Cleansers are investigating.After all "if" body parts were being stolen from the Cemetery, and it was found to be happening "without" the knowledge of the Sexton; he would need to improve the security, and probably lose face publicly and the entire burial ground would likely struggle to recover from it ever got out that this had happened.If it isn't deemed possible to be entering and exiting the grounds, especially with whatever was needed to exhume and move the "recovered" material without alerting someone (mattocks, spades, shovels and the hammers that would be required to deconstruct, reconstruct and refurbish a grave properly are all pretty loud and heavy and so any activity would need to either be slow and even more time consuming or as far away from residences as possible.) or eventually having their activities be noticed by the "day shift" because of unusually damaged, moved, worn or lost tools and graves, eventually due to the constantly ongoing maintenance that is required. His compliance would need to be assumed for it to at all be successful, and even then anyone working for the Grounds would notice things being diverted or otherwise shifting around without the utmost care being used when planning what work to give out over the next few days as to lessen the chance that this would be noticed.Actually on that note what where Vaclav and Smil actually doing way back in the first thread, could they have been exhuming things on the side? though it would implicate the body that's in the belfry, and link back to Father if it does turn out to be Smil and raise a few further questions about what was actually going down, considering that we think that the device that was found was likely within Father's abilities to create and maintain.And this is assuming that the tools where procured on site as needed, and not taken with the perpetrators which would even further complicate the logistical side of things on top of having to move them all before people both wake up or nearby residences notice that activities are continuing after hours / curfew.This feels like far to elaborate a set of circumstances, when all they would need to do to get the components would be to;>Pay for a university student to do some destructive "experiments".>Knock over a few Lepers that no one would notice missing.>Find a failing Bucher's and obtain some organs for cheap.>Have someone work as an undertakers and "borrow" what they need slowly over time.>Invite some poor shmuck(s) out on a boat trip somewhere where they can do what they need to.
>>5023941Looking for ways that someone might sneak in and out of the cemetery doesn't explain the nervousness. Last time we met, this silent bastard jumped-scared us, and was confident. He wouldn't act nervous for no good reason.Strangeness would be a better answer, but why would Oss suspect it in the South Sexton, let alone not report it to the Inquisition to investigate further? The most dangerous option, but also the most confusing, unless he knew the deceased and found that suspect (or Strange).The only other option is the one we least have knowledge about, somebody spying on the ceremony. Could happen, but why? And how would Oss suspect something like this enough to be nervous about it?> … looking for someone hiding and spying on the ceremony. I'm going off of my gut here, as the other conclusions conflict with the information given to us previously. We should be on guard though- just because he isn't looking for Strangeness, doesn't mean he can't identify it when de does see it.
>>5023941> … looking for signs of the Strangeness in this part of the cemetery.pretty sure this is actually it. As anon said, it's the best way to explain him being nervous.
>>5023941>> … looking for someone hiding and spying on the ceremony.he wouldn't need to shoot repeated glances to find ways in or out. if he's making those glances repeatedly he's looking for changes, I think, and another living being is the only thing that would be changing fast enough to be relevant (because if the Inquisition thought there was Strangeness around, they wouldn't send an Inquisitor alone. they'd Clean the hell out of it)
>>5023941>> … looking for someone hiding and spying on the ceremony.Given that we know it was likely a similar creature to a Creeping Peeper or Cat’s Eyes was constructed and the fact that he has no reason to be nervous given the inquisition's general composure, the fact that his comrades are nearby, the facct that he should be relatively calm given he should be prepared for the fact that he is in the presence of someone they suspect of aiding and abetting a Witch beforehand and the inquisition is used to being in the presence of Strangers and danger anyways.It seems odd for him to be nervous if he is merely scanning for ways to sneak in or out or merely doing his usual job of scanning for Strangeness, no, in all likelihood he is wary of being actively spied on.
Rolled 3 (1d3)rolling
Well, I was just about to close and start writing, but it seems that there is now a tie, assuming that >>5024836 is for sneak in and sneak out of the cemetery. With seven votes, I don't know if there is anyone else to break the tie, and I definitely do not want to roll for something like this. Is anyone willing to change their vote?
>>5024887I'll change to hiding and spying then
Alright, then I will get to writing then.
… looking for someone. Someone who is not among the mourners, someone who is not even out in the open – that is to say, someone who is hiding. Specifically, he must have come to the conclusion that whoever is stealing body parts from the cemeteries must be staking out the cemeteries beforehand. And in that regard, he is right on the monies, but as the one who is actually responsible for burying the bodies, father would never need to go hide in the bushes like some dumb bird. Even the bodies that he did not personally bury, he would hear about from your fellows. And that would explain why pretty boy over there is so damned jittery – he thinks that there could be a Witch just a stone’s throw away from him, and he is all on his own. Concealed as you are by your mask, you indulge yourself with an exceptionally smug smirk. Still, as satisfying as it is seeing Ossavian look nervous and awkward after everything he put you through, inadvertently or not, it is not lost on you that the Inquisition is getting closer and closer to you and father. You can only hope that it takes them more than two days to start seriously considering the gravediggers as suspects in their case. And it should; as Lepers are interned in the Midden by armed guards and under the pain of death, it will probably take some time for suspicion to fall on any of the gravediggers. But after years of hearing about the Inquisition from father, and then seeing more than enough of them for yourself today, you are certain that eventually they are going to explore every single possibility. Having solved the mystery, you are about to look away when you notice something else – none of the men in attendance are armed*. Now, perhaps there might be one or two men who either did not know the deceased well enough to be comfortable making an oath or his behalf, or who were somewhat endistanced** and would not want to, but for all of them to forgo … The answer strikes you like a lighting bolt. The body of the deceased had been so badly mangled by the Coroner’s attempt to Mitigate it that it never even occurred to you to consider the condition of the body before it got to the Morgue. Does the family somehow not know he was shot? It is an intriguing question, and it poses another, even more intriguing one – are you absolutely certain that he was shot? You found the graven ball, and you are … well, you were certain that it was a graven musket ball, but now – could it actually be something else entirely? Is it possible that the graven ball did not kill him, and it was just a highly unstable magical artifact that he had on his person at the time of his demise? Perhaps. Or could have been a magical musket ball that kills without leaving any trace? Possibly … but wait, no, that cannot be true, because it did end up leaving a trace – it left itself behind! Pattern’s Perdition, you are going in circles, you need to lay off before you get dizzy.
>>5025110 Just … wait until you get a minute, and see if you can make anything out of the glyphs – you have some more pressing matters on your plate at the moment, like getting through this funeral. Your escort, the presumed Inquisitor Ermanaric, sees you to back to the hearse, which an aggravated looking Vaclav is pacing around, though he stops abruptly and deferentially bows his head as the two of you approach. Even after Ermanaric leaves without saying a word, Vaclav keeps his head down for a while longer, and you realize that he is making sure that you are the only one in earshot. When he finally does speak, there is more than a hint of resentment in his voice. “You were gone for so damned long, I figured they had gone an’ ameliorated you. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen them come for some oddity of a Leper, and I doubt it would be the last, neither.”Under normal circumstances, you might be inclined to correct him on word usage, or have been alarmed at being described as ‘some oddity’, but some much has happened in the past few hours, on top of a long day of work yesterday, then running around the Mount almost all of last night, you are just about at the end of your thread. So instead of hemming and hawing, you do not even break your stride as you ask him a question on your way over to the hearse.“You leave a pair of whites for me?” “Yeah.” “Alright then.” As you slip on the ceremonial gloves, you reflect that it has been a while since Vaclav was on internment duty, and for good reason – you can plainly see him struggling to get up on to the bed of the hearse, before he even so much as touched the coffin. Actually, getting the thing into the internment temple is a harrowing experience, and by the end of it the poor bastard is trembling like a leaf under the strain. Even though the gravesite is relatively nearby, you are now worrying that he simply will not be able to carry your client in procession. As you slide the sealed pine box on to the first bier, and Vaclav makes an almost comically loud sigh of relief as he shudders and rocks back and forth, stiffly rubbing his arms, you find yourself wondering if anyone has ever dropped a coffin on the foot of one of the bereaved holding the pall over the coffin. By the Red Thread, could you imagine what would happen if this coffin fell and broke open, with the condition that the departed is in?
>>5025111Pushing that dreadful thought aside for now, you and Vaclav make your way to the alcoves on the altar. In a typical temple, these are where the oblations would be brought – but internment temples are not typical temples. There is no sanctuary or screen dividing the altar, instead there are just stone biers rising out of the floor, fanned out in a semi-circle, with a larger, more prominent one in the center. The narthex is just an empty vestibule – there is no pillar to circle around in silent prayer before passing, no Eternal Starlight, no Virgin’s Walk – and for that matter, this temple has no Virgin’s Vault for Vestals to live in total purity after having been circumcised and stitched shut. The nave is about the same, pillars and rows of pews, but as a concession to practicality, there are actually windows all along the walls letting in daylight, where a proper temple would be illuminated only by the Eternal Starlight and a handful of lamps that had been lit in it. And there are no antechambers for the living to receive Ablution, or for priests to hear Confession. But perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that the dead, as well as Lepers who have been charged with handling the dead are allowed inside.With the deceased finally on a bier, his friends and family who were waiting outside begin to make their way back inside. The fully ordained Priest who somehow got roped into officiating a burial, clearly ready to be done with this, strides over to the bier and begins the ritual incantation to bind the mortal coil to the sealed pine box, so that when the Last Ablution is performed over the casket it is actually being performed on the body. The two Undertakers, who seem to be thrown for a loop by the sudden, if not premature start to the proceedings scramble to catch up. One walks over to the bier as well, and joins in with the Priest, while the other, seeing that he is not needed, heads to the back of the altar to grab the Ashen Water****. As you watch the pair continue their ministrations, as the mourners hustle as much as they dare into their seats, you find yourself already thinking about tonight. Among all of the other things that you are going to be doing, you are going to try to dig up the coffin – which is still Strange – and Mitigate it. During the burial, you are going to have an opportunity to make it easier for you to get to the casket by improperly seating and sealing the tent-grave on purpose. It could save you about an hour worth of work, maybe more – and it would make the process silent too.
>>5025116The only issue is that it would require a bit of slight of hand for no one to notice during the burial, though thankfully, almost all of the attention would be elsewhere by that point. There is also the chance that if you were not able to seal the grave properly after you were done with it, someone could eventually notice. Though even if that did happen, they would almost certainly just assume you were being sloppy trying to move things along. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Seal the new model tent-grave correctly. >Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy] *When someone is murdered, it is customary for the male mourners who attend the funeral to bear weapons, and in the presence of the coffin, swear an oath on them to see the murderer judged, in this world or the next. While many are inclined to take this oath as strictly ceremonial, or to interpret it as ‘assist in any ongoing investigations by answering their questions open and honestly, but otherwise staying out of their way’, there are those who take this oath deadly seriously, who treat it as if it was a legitimate vendetta***, though most Justiciars would reject that defense if the oath-taker were brought up on charges after fulfilling or attempting to fulfill that oath.**All words that contain ‘strange’ or any permutation of it have been changed, since the appearance of the Strangeness. Estranged has become ‘endistanced’, and stranger has become ‘whobody’, for example. ***In some places, in certain circumstances, a publicly declared vendetta can be used as a legal defense for a killing, though this is becoming less and less common. Killing for a vendetta is considered different from killing during the natural course of duel, as duels have mutual consent and agreed upon terms, and vendettas do not. ****To produce Ashen Water, ash from sanctified fuel and burnt oblations is sifted, then mixed into purified water. This water is brought to a boil over an Eternal Starlight. Once a third of the water has boiled away, the remainder is considered Ashen Water. It supposedly has magical properties, but you do not know what exactly it is used for.
>>5025118>Seal the new model tent-grave correctly.There is no guarantee that we will have the time to expended on fixing the body up, we've done the best we could and it will likely have to be enough, hopefully it either eventually gets caught early or never ends up becoming a problem.
>>5025118>Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy]Frankly, I don't know if we were right about Oss freaking out at being spied at, but I guess that we'll see if we're wrong later on.If the man wasn't shot, then did he die of 'natural' causes? Did the Strange do him in, or was that musket ball put on/in him after the fact, perhaps as an attempt of diversion for the Inquisition? Or maybe we're overthinking it and it was a simple assassination? If so, then what was with all the Strange sprayed across the alleyway from the window really from?It's times like this that I wish I had a whiteboard to lay all of our information and suspicions down on.
>>5025118>write-in: do not dig up the bodyI'd say circumstances have changed enough for us to chamge our plans here. Inquisition is looking for a corpse-snatcher so I would really RATHER NOT be caught digging up a freshly buried body. Theory concerning musket ball: maybe it's invisible to non-magic users.
>>5025250Given that it was put into a bag of salt and left in the coffin, I doubt that. The Strange-Stains are though. I think the more interesting thing is, who the fuck is the corpse?Unrelated, I loved that scene with the Coroner and the coffin bleeding in Strangeness.
>>5025118>Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy] if we are going to be robbing this grave, then might as well make it easy. >>5025250>>write-in: do not dig up the bodyI doubt we can change the plan established by a previous vote, but if we can I really would prefer to do so. it's not strange enough to spread iirc, and the Inquisition is now heavily involved in this cemetary and the fate of its residents, which they were not at the time of that plan. leave it to them...
>>5025250>>5025429I will accept this write in. I'm just about to fall asleep, so I will leave this vote up over night.
>>5025429I mean, we made this decision under vastly different circumstances. The reason for deciding to mitigate the body was mainly because we wanted to keep a lid on things but hooo has that ship sailed. They burned the whole freakin place down for patternmakers sake.
>>5025118Supporting >>5025250However, should that vote not win then I vote for...>Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy]We may as well make our job easier in the future, we are short on time anyways.I've already mentioned that I think we are too short on time to worry about every little thing or to worry about saving the Sexton from suspicion, we ought to look out for ourselves now and refocus our efforts.
>>5025118>>Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy]
>>5025118>>Seal the new model tent-grave correctly.
Alright, let me try to figure out the final tally on this one. >>5025207 SC 1, SI 1, SC-DD 0>>5025211 SC 1, SI 1, SC-DD 0>>5025250 SC 1, SI 1, SC-DD 1>>5025429 SC 1, SI 1, SC DD 2>>5025619 SC 1, SI 1, SC DD 3>>5025644 SC 1, SI 2, SC DD 3>>5026219 SC 2, SI 2, SC DD 3Assuming I figured the votes right, that means we are going to seal the grave correctly with no intention of coming back tonight (or ever) and Mitigating it.
>>5026373one anon would seal it incorrectly if we're coming back though. and there is no majority to not come back I think?
>>5026373Damn it, I was worried that I was going to bungle this. Okay, let's try this again. Between the prompt and this post closing the vote, there are ten posts. One of them is mine. Two of them >>5025496 and >>5025272 elaborate on positions, leaving seven votes total. >>5025207>Seal the new model tent-grave correctly. (1)>>5025211>Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy] (1)>>5025250>write-in: do not dig up the body (1)>>5025429Before I indicated that I would accept the write-in, the vote was for >Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy] (2)However, they go on to say in reference to the write in: >doubt we can change the plan established by a previous vote, but if we can I really would prefer to do so.>>5025455I announce that I will accept the write-in, retroactively changing >>5025429 from sealing the grave incorrectly (and returning at night) to sealing the grave correctly and not returning. >Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy] (1)>write-in: do not dig up the body (2)>>5025619Supports the write in on the condition that it wins>write-in: do not dig up the body (3)But if the write-in does not win, then they want their vote counted for >Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy] (1)>>5025644Here is (you), unconditionally supporting the sealing the grave incorrectly>Seal the new model tent-grave incorrectly. [Requires Rolling – Easy] (2)>>5026219Here is the seventh and final vote, unconditionally supporting sealing the grave correctly>Seal the new model tent-grave correctly. (2)Final tally: 2 votes (with one additional, contingent on the write in not winning) for sealing the grave incorrectly (and returning tonight), 2 votes for sealing the grave correctly (and returning tonight), and three votes for sealing the grave correctly (and not returning).Okay, so unless you or anyone else can see anything I missed, I believe the vote is for sealing the grave properly and not coming back.
Seems about right.
>>5026458This is why write ins should be banned unless specifically encouraged. One thing at a time, you freaks.
>>5026707Whats the issue? If we don't plan on digging up the body it makes no sense for us to put up a shoddy seal.
>>5026752Then just vote for sealing it correctly and spare the poor qm some trouble.
>>5026758but sealing it correctly and then digging up the body is very different from sealing it correctly and not digging up the body? I think Trash has been quite open to write in's so far which is a good thing, because it shows readers are engaged and think about the characters and the situations. Admittedly it made tallying a bit hard on this specific vote.
>>5026795Whether to dig up the body or not is another choice for another time.
I'm still working on the post, but I don't believe I will be able to get it done tonight. As for the issue with write-ins, going forward I'm going to have to figure out a better way to incorporate them into voting.
Once the binding incantation is complete, you and Vaclav are called over to move the casket, which is now an extension of the deceased’s body, to the central bier. After the two of you get into position, with you at the head of the casket and Vaclav at the foot, you pause a moment, to allow the older Leper a chance to ready himself. He looks at you with an expression that might be gratitude – it is hard to tell in the poor light, with his face shadowed by his hood and partially obscured by his nose-strap. But when he finally reaches for the handles, the two of you are startled when the silence in the temple is shattered by the priest suddenly and loudly starting the first round of incantations over the Ashen Water. Not wanting to delay the rites any further, you begin to lift up on your end, and Vaclav does the same. With a few muted grunts and groans from Vaclav, the two of you make your way with the coffin to the central bier, all the while being careful of your footing over the rough flagstone floor. You manage to get the pine box on the bier just before the priest finishes the first round of incantations over the Ashen Water, but as you set it down, you notice that one of the wax seals, which you had pried off in one piece earlier, to get inside the coffin, is beginning to fall off. Trying not to draw attention to it, you quickly look away and walk back to the alcove, as the priest begins the Internment Liturgy. “Blessed be the Maker of All Things, the Father of all True Prophets, the Husband of all Immaculate Seamstresses, the source of all Eternal Light, and the Master of the Great Pattern, who tries and challenges us all, so that the worthy may rise in Ascension, and perceive the full extent of the Wisdom of the Stars.” The two undertakers and South Sexton, who is sitting in the front row, lead everyone else in the traditional response of ‘blessed today, blessed eternally’. While you are unclear if you are allowed to, you whisper along with them. In the next alcove over, Vaclav does not – he is still noticeably shaking and breathing heavily from the exertion of moving the casket. This time, he is rubbing his hands and wrists as well as his arms. “When we receive our First Ablution, we are binding ourselves, body and soul, to the Covenant that our forebears made with the Piece That Fell. When we receive Ablution on Titheday, we are affirming that bond with the Covenant, and strengthening it by confessing sins and transgressions, then repenting for them. And when we receive this Last Ablution, those who we have left behind satisfy the conditions of the Covenant on our behalf, by confessing the unconfessed sins of the deceased to the best of their knowledge and then doing penance on their behalf, so they might be interned in an unblemished state.”
>>5027851As the priest asks those in attendance to come forward, and give confession on behalf of the departed, you stand stock still, relying on your mask to conceal where you are directing your attention, and get a good look at the loose wax seal. It is not really that bad, and to those sitting in the pews, you doubt that they could see it at all … but you are going to have to move that coffin a few more times before the ceremony is over, and you are worried if it is still going to be ‘not that bad’ by the time you and Vaclav have to carry the casket in procession to the gravesite. And that brings up another point. After seeing him struggling just moving the coffin just a few yards from one bier to another, you are pretty much positive that Vaclav is not going to be able to make it all the from the temple to the plot. Should you tell the South Sexton? Ask him if you could use the hearse in the procession, instead of carrying it on foot, as it is typically done? You doubt that it would go over well with him, especially after you were responsible for holding everything up, but on the other hand, you are worried what will happen to Vaclav if he just claps out and drops the casket. If you ask the Sexton, whether he accepts your suggestion or not, he will be mad at you about it – that is just the way the man is. On the other hand, if Vaclav drops the coffin during procession, then he will be mad as well. >Please choose ONE of the following:>Ignore the loose seal. Trying to fix it or doing something clever to explain it would just draw attention to it, even if it did work out for you. Best to let it be and hope that no one notices. >When you go up to the coffin next, you are going to have to spin it around. While you are doing this, pretend to bump into the seal and brush against it, which would explain why it is half off. This will not go over well with the South Sexton. >When you go up to the coffin next, you are going to have to spin it around. While you are doing this, try to press into the seal unobtrusively, to get it stuck back on properly. >Please choose ONE of the following:>If Vaclav is not asking for help, then you should not assume that he needs any. Keep your mouth shut and your head down. If anything does happen, it is on him, not you. >Vaclav is not going to be able to do this, but if you read in-between the lines, it is obvious that he is worried that he will be exempted if he asks for this kind of help. You should say something.
>>5027854>>When you go up to the coffin next, you are going to have to spin it around. While you are doing this, try to press into the seal unobtrusively, to get it stuck back on properly.>Vaclav is not going to be able to do this, but if you read in-between the lines, it is obvious that he is worried that he will be exempted if he asks for this kind of help. You should say something.We cannot have the coffin break open and reveal the corpse has been mundanely mitigated. (or was it remediated?)We should also not be afraid to risk mere social consequences, we have bigger things to worry about, and if we are exempted that only gives us more free time, and if we are yelled at, then who cares. The ire of some vicious petty man is not remotely a serious concern to us at the moment with the shit we have going on.
>>5027854>Ignore the loose seal. Trying to fix it or doing something clever to explain it would just draw attention to it, even if it did work out for you. Best to let it be and hope that no one notices.>If Vaclav is not asking for help, then you should not assume that he needs any. Keep your mouth shut and your head down. If anything does happen, it is on him, not you.let's keep our heads straight here, shall we? BTW really outdid yourself with the writing Trash, awesome religion!
>>5027877The coffin will be nailed shut at the end of the service, so it splitting open is not the most realistic concern. That being said, Chlotsuintha keeps getting in to tighter and tighter spots, so who really knows what will happen?
>>5027854>Ignore the loose seal. Trying to fix it or doing something clever to explain it would just draw attention to it, even if it did work out for you. Best to let it be and hope that no one notices.>If Vaclav is not asking for help, then you should not assume that he needs any. Keep your mouth shut and your head down. If anything does happen, it is on him, not you.We can only benefit if something goes wrong, if the casket happens to break open, the damaged seals can be explained away as having been damaged in the fall, and the body dealt with properly before actually being buried.Since Oss can vouch for the state of the Coffin / Hearse, when we made it to the lift we should be fine as long as they don't inspect the hearse in detail, and find the evidence of the mitigation(s) we had to perform and everything should fall back on the funeral parlor / undertaker.
>>5027854>Ignore the loose seal. Trying to fix it or doing something clever to explain it would just draw attention to it, even if it did work out for you. Best to let it be and hope that no one notices.>If Vaclav is not asking for help, then you should not assume that he needs any. Keep your mouth shut and your head down. If anything does happen, it is on him, not you.
>>5027854>When you go up to the coffin next, you are going to have to spin it around. While you are doing this, try to press into the seal unobtrusively, to get it stuck back on properly. >Vaclav is not going to be able to do this, but if you read in-between the lines, it is obvious that he is worried that he will be exempted if he asks for this kind of help. You should say something.Trusting in fate with a inquisition in the audience will lead to nothing but autism.>>5028025You mean the body will be investigated throughly, the Inquisition will be called in to investigate, and they'll wonder why the coffin is Strange but not the mangled corpse. If it falls, we're fucked.Oss can only vouch for the herse, not the state of the coffin, and it's clear that Coroners attempted a mundane mitigation, not a magical one, and that doesn't explain how the corpse is mitigated but the coffin isn't. Leaving the seal unattended to is a recipe in assisted suicide via Inquisition.
>>5028104correcting my failed post>Ignore the loose seal. Trying to fix it or doing something clever to explain it would just draw attention to it, even if it did work out for you. Best to let it be and hope that no one notices.>If Vaclav is not asking for help, then you should not assume that he needs any. Keep your mouth shut and your head down. If anything does happen, it is on him, not you.
>>5028117The coffin being strange is still an implication on the undertaker, not us and especially with the "Graven Ball" missing there is no way to tell which was of the body of coffin was actually what initiated the feedback loop or when they decided to start with the mundane mitigation.and even then it could have been a cover to remove some choice organs, and hide their loss from basic inspection, considering that anyone investigating where the body was found would probably have had a hard time missing the strange artifact if it was actually found on the body.It also throws shade at the undertaker for both not doing their job properly or alerting the Cleansers that it was untenable instead of causing this entire chain of events by passing it off as "clean", and not turning over the "Graven Ball" for destruction.
>>5027854>>When you go up to the coffin next, you are going to have to spin it around. While you are doing this, try to press into the seal unobtrusively, to get it stuck back on properly.>>Vaclav is not going to be able to do this, but if you read in-between the lines, it is obvious that he is worried that he will be exempted if he asks for this kind of help. You should say something.
Alright, let me tally these votes: >>5027877Ignore 0, Press 1, Knock 0 No 0, Yes 1>>5027989Ignore 1, Press 1, Knock 0No 1, Yes 1>>5028117Ignore 1, Press 2, Knock 0No 1, Yes 2>>5028121Ignore 2, Press 2, Knock 0No 2, Yes 2>>5028254Ignore 2, Press 3, Knock 0No 2, Yes 3 Alright, I'll try to get something up for an overnight vote after dinner.
>>5028888Ah, Trash QMs famous 48 hour dinners. just messing with you man, it's all good. Though if you want to throw out some more coins feel free, lol.
Several family members come forward to make confession on the behalf of the deceased, who was apparently named ‘Aldoin’. You listen for a little bit, hoping to catch something that would explain just who exactly this man was, but nothing is jumping out at you. From everything that you are hearing, he sounds to be a typical example of a well-heeled Imperial. Besides the fact that he was almost certainly murdered with a powerful magical artifact, the only thing that you have seen or heard so far that indicates he is not completely normal is the odd funerary wreath, made from some foreign black-leaf plant. Was he foreign born, and the plant was from his place of birth? You shoot a sideways glance towards the gathered family in the front rows. All of them look to be from Imperial stock … but you suppose that does not necessarily mean that he was not some half-breed. Maybe he was a merchant, or a retired captain, or something, and he found the plant during his travels. Or maybe he was a hobby-botanist, and bred plants at another property he owned? But whatever he was, why would he get involved with Witches? That you cannot figure out, and you doubt that the snippets of publicly offered confessions would satisfactorily explain that. It is possible that the private confessions that would be conducted after the burial until nightfall might shine a bit more light on who he really was, but those would be conducted in a proper temple. You listen for a few more minutes, but when nothing else is forthcoming, you shift focus back to wondering what you should do about Vaclav. On one hand, he has not asked for any help, and perhaps it is a bit presumptuous on your part to assume that he is going to need. After all, he has managed this long as a gravedigger, even with the Masticating Pox slowly but steadily pulping away all of the cartilage in his body. But on the other hand, everyone has a breaking point. You saw Vaclav struggle to move the coffin – he even struggled getting up onto the hearse! How could anyone possibly think that he could carry the thing all way to the gravesite in procession? What if he needed to stop? What if he dropped it? Of course, the Undertakers will nail the coffin shut at the end of the rites here, so you doubt that the coffin would crack open like a wooden egg, but the proverbial yolk is gristly and mangled enough that the risk is not one you care to take. Especially with an Inquisitor present, seeing that the body has obviously been mundanely mitigated …Oh, fray it all! How in the Heights of Hell did you overlook that?!
>>5030304The Morgue! The Coroners! Was it because you dealt with the Strangeness so easily that you did not realize the full extent of the trouble they were in, or was it because you had so much on your mind? Either way, how fraying oblivious can you possibly be? That damned steel ball did not just spread Strangeness in that unassuming looking residence – for the better part of at least two days, it was spreading the Strangeness in the Morgue, from inside of this Aldoin’s body. You saw firsthand just how fast the Strangeness spread from the ball – through a crust of Emmerloaf and on to your gloves in a matter of seconds. This ball has to have been Strange in the third degree*. *A rough (and dangerous) way to quantify the Strangeness is by communicability. The more communicable the Strangeness is, the Stranger something is. If something is Strange, but it is not Strange enough to be able to spread the Strangeness, then by this methodology, it is referred to as being Strange ‘in the first degree’. If something is Strange enough to spread the Strangeness, it is referred to as being Strange ‘in the second degree’. If something is Strange enough to spread the Strangeness – and the things that it spreads the Strangeness to are Strange enough to spread the Strangeness on their own, then the original object is referred to as being Strange ‘in the third’ degree.The Morgue is probably smothered in Strangeness right now, and those Coroners …Your stomach is rolling as you try to figure out the extent of this unfolding disaster, but you force yourself to focus, and figure out the number of people who have been contaminated by this ball before you dealt with it. Anything and anyone how came into contact with the coffin would receive a dose of the Strangeness. Nothing that would have short-term effects, but still significant enough to cleanly register on a Spot-Dosimeter, and possibly cause some mental issues down the road, if it did not dissipate away soon enough. How many people touched the coffin? Well … there would be the people who carried it, and the people who applied the wax seals. One person could put the seals on by themselves, but you would need at least two people to carry the coffin to the hearse. So, that is … two to three, or two to four right there.
>>5030307Then, there is the body. Anything and anyone who came in to contact with the body received a much larger dose of the Strangeness than those who just touched the coffin. Still probably not enough to have short-term physical or mental effects, but significant enough to cleanly register on a Ranged-Dosimeter, and without proper remediation or mitigation, there would be some adverse effect to sanity, within a few weeks. It is possible, but unlikely that any serious physical deformation would occur, but over time some odd lumps, bumps and spotting would be expected. And of course, the worst part – they are spreading the Strangeness to everything that they touch, until it dissipates below communicable levels, or they are mitigated. Now, how many people touched the body and are now spreading the Strangeness themselves? Typically, Coroners work in teams of two – an older more experienced Leper, paired with a younger helper. Best case scenario, that is two, right there, but who knows how many helped out for the mitigation? And there would be at least a few Handlers who picked up the body and brought it to the Morgue, so … six? At least? If they were wearing gloves, like they should, then they should have been spared the worst of it – they probably would not be that much worse off than those who simply just touched the coffin. But while Handlers work all over the Mount, and are constantly being watched, the Coroner’s who work in the Morgue are not that closely supervised. That one time years ago that you helped out at the Morgue, you were shocked and surprised to see how many were not wearing their gloves. Admittedly, the thick leather is not conducive to delicate work like autopsies and cleansing, but if anyone caught them, it would mean their life. So, that leaves your count at … what, another four? Finally, there is the ball itself. Anything and anyone who touched that thing received a massive dose of the Strangeness. There would be some minor adverse effect almost immediately to a person’s cognition, typically just confusion, but without remediation or mitigation, it would worsen until most of the Strangeness had dissipated away – and the person had permanently become a complete, raving lunatic. There would be some physical deformation as well – significant physical deformation – but the timeframe for that is much less predictable. It could be weeks. It could be hours. And not only would they be spreading the Strangeness to everything that they touched, but those things would also be able to go on and spread the Strangeness. Now, would anyone be so fraying stupid, that they would directly touch an unknown magical artifact with their bare hands? Maker’s mercy, you hope not.
>>5030308At this point, it is clear to you that it is beyond your ability to stop the spread of the Strangeness. Sooner or later, the Inquisition is going to realize that they have a massive containment breach on their hands, possibly the biggest one in the Mount’s relatively short history. When they do, they are going to be desperate to trace it back to the source – and if they manage to work their way back to the Morgue, and they interrogate the Coroners, then they are going to exhume this coffin, expecting to find the graven ball. When they do not, it is going to be painfully obvious that you took the damned thing. And even if you were to break into the South Burying Ground at night to put it back in the coffin, it is blatantly obvious the thing has been magically mitigated … so then the Inquisition would start looking for a Witch who would have had access to the coffin. It seems that the ground that had been shrinking under your feet for the past few days has just suddenly decided to blink out of existence. You are frayed. Completely frayed. Being wanted as Leper who changed out of their spots, or as an illegal ransomeer or whatever shit you have been charged with by the Port Authority is one thing. Being wanted as a Witch, or as someone in possession of a dangerously unstable magical artifact is another. And there is nothing that you can do about it now. You have two shit choices, and both of them lead to the same shit outcome – the Inquistion hunting for you specifically. A freakishly tall woman, traveling or living alone, recently departed from Scrimshaw Mount. That is a lot to work with actually. Even in larger towns, that would probably be enough to identify you – and it definitely would be enough in the smaller frontier communities that you were looking at. As much as you hate the idea, you might have to seriously reconsider living in the Great Gloom. You are on the verge of tears when suddenly, you figure a way out of this. It will take the Inquisition time to discover the breach, and more time to trace it back to the Morgue. If, in that time, you were to steal the entire coffin, and then somehow framed the theft on the South Sexton, then there would be nothing left to lead the Inquistion back to you. But … this would be magnitudes worse than negligence or willfully turning a blind eye towards graverobbing, which is basically all the Inquisition has on him at the moment.
>>5030310For interfering with an investigation like that, and in the process, aiding and abetting a Witch, they would probably have him executed – and his wife as well, or at least jailed, as an accomplice. Ralx would probably be indenturized, and sent to a workhouse to operate mechanized looms or something equally dangerous and unpleasant, while the two younger daughters would be placed in orphanages, where considering the infamy of their father they would probably age-out and be inducted as Vestals instead of getting adopted. But besides accepting being hunted for the rest of your life by the Inquisition, is there any other way out of this? Well … what if you were to make another graven ball, and then replace it, as well as the sliced open purse in the coffin? That way you would not be implicating anyone, and there still would not be anything left to lead the Inquisition back you. The tricky part is that even if you do not need to replicate the powers of the ball exactly, you still need to create an adequately unstable artifact. If you were to just scribble some glyphs on a steel ball without doing any casting, then the Inquisition would still be looking for the source of all of the Strangeness. And that is going to be tricky – really tricky, considering that you have never done anything like this before. It will take time, to study the ball, practice your Gylphery, then actually attempt to make it – best case scenario, it will take the better part of two nights – one to source the materials, study the ball, and practice, and the other set aside for the hours that it will take to attempt it. Which means you would be staying in the Mount well past your father’s final deadline. And that is dangerous. Especially if the Inquisition moves faster than you do, and gets the coffin exhumed before you have the replacement completed. You are sure that father had his reasons for telling you to leave after seven days – no doubt the Inquisition is not the only source of danger here – but he could have had no way of knowing the trouble that you would get yourself into. Of course, if you are unwilling to condemn the South Sexton, and you are unwilling of going at least one day, possibly two – or more – over father’s deadline, then you will have to stay the course, and accept that the Inquisition will inevitably be coming for you.
>>5030313About this vote: So, the write-in threw me for a bit of a loop, because I was planning on having Chlotsuintha realize how much trouble she was in, before having to choose between deciding that messing with the coffin is too dangerous (for a couple of reasons) or deciding that she absolutely had to do something to get the Inquisition off of her back (make a decoy graven ball, or frame the South Sexton). I was going to spring this on you all at the end of the funeral, or as she was walking back to the Midden. But then with the write-in, the decision was made before I could give you all of the information. I allowed it, because considering the information that you (and Chlotsuintha) had at the time, it was reasonable – perfectly reasonable. But now, here I am, two votes later, asking you ‘if you are really sure if you want to not dig up that coffin’. I don’t like it, because it feels like railroading, and probably, to an extent it is – but the only way to avoid it would be to completely ignore everything that happened for the better part of two days at the Morgue, while an unstable magic artifact spread the Strangeness there. It was off screen, sure – but it was an implicitly set up twist. I feel that handwaving all of that away would do more to undermine the quest than simply asking for a new vote based on all of the information. Anyway, sorry both the brush with railroading and the delay here. >Please choose ONE of the following:>You will frame the South Sexton by stealing the entire coffin, and then hiding it in his basement. This entails returning to the graveyard, to dig up the coffin.>You will create a decoy graven ball – powerful enough to spread enough Strangeness to convince the Inquisition that they found the source of the breach. This entails returning to the graveyard, to dig up the coffin.>You will continue as planned, accepting the additional risks you will be facing for the immediate future and beyond. This does NOT entail returning to the graveyard, to dig up the coffin.>>5029870>+1 Lucky Tenth-Talent, redeemable for one re-roll (not an auto-pass)Well, you guys do deserve it for putting up with my 48 hour dinners. And Chlotsuintha is going to need it with what I'm about to put her through.
>>5030320No, it is fine, as long as the "railroading" isn't too hamfisted and has plausible reasons behind it and the quest is still fun then it is okay.>You will create a decoy graven ball – powerful enough to spread enough Strangeness to convince the Inquisition that they found the source of the breach. This entails returning to the graveyard, to dig up the coffin.For me it is a toss up between this choice and simply continuing as planned.I don't want our newly acquired wealth to go to waste and I'd like a relatively easy time in some frontier town for us to develop our skills as a witch and get settled both materially and mentally, so I want to ensure we aren't being hunted to hard until we are old and skilled enough to readily deal with such a circumstance.That and I kinda wanted to experiment with the ball anyways, this is certainly sooner than expected and further complicates our situation and delays our escape but I'm fine with that given it is something we can at least learn from and expand our magical skills doing.I don't wanna frame the sexton. When I said we should refocus and look out for ourselves I just meant not going out of our way to be altruistic or excessively responsible with our choices, I didn't mean we should suddenly be willing to do anything in order to survive, if we die, we die and will be judged for our sins.Though, should we choose to continue as planned, at least we'll be cutting off a further complication, and if we are worried about living while being hunted with a decent amount of info out there about us, we can either simply find a very remote town to live in OR we could purchase a surplus or useful tools and supplies with our wealth to make transitioning towards a lifestyle in the gloom (should we choose to live there instead) easier, we could even potentially hire some people for a few months or years to help us set up a homestead and to have some initial security while we conduct our learning.
>>5030320>You will continue as planned, accepting the additional risks you will be facing for the immediate future and beyond. This does NOT entail returning to the graveyard, to dig up the coffin.If it is obvious that the Graven ball had been dealt with magically they can probably mange to tie the ball and corpse to one another, we only need to leave it somewhere to be found.I do have a feeling that we may need to cut our stay shorter than we need to, not take everything with us or create a massive distraction to get out ok.
>>5030320>>You will create a decoy graven ball – powerful enough to spread enough Strangeness to convince the Inquisition that they found the source of the breach. This entails returning to the graveyard, to dig up the coffin.Urgh, I felt that something like this was going to happen. That's why I opposed the write in. Remember folks, never try to second guess the QM.
>>5030320Oh Patternmaker it keeps getting worse>You will continue as planned, accepting the additional risks you will be facing for the immediate future and beyond. This does NOT entail returning to the graveyard, to dig up the coffin.Welp, Great Gloom it is.Shame to leave the city, country, father and qt inquisitor behind, but this just escalated beyond our control.
Making new convincing ball will be hard and will fuck us over on a falureSnaking to the graveyard will be hard(the criminal always returns to the scene, huh) and will probably instakill us on a falureWith the time we will need to spend on all this(+being an informant for inquisition) we won't be able to gather all the resourses to get out in time.Staying past our father's deadline is suicidal.Learn to cut your losses. Learn to say no and leave.
>>5030320>You will continue as planned, accepting the additional risks you will be facing for the immediate future and beyond. This does NOT entail returning to the graveyard, to dig up the coffin.let's stay the course and get gone ASAP. We are already wanted for armed robbery and we have a literal dead body in our bedroom (maybe we can somehow dump the ball with him? And slather the corpse in some other strange shit dad has lying around)
>>5030334 Decoy 1 Frame 0 As Planned 0>>5030450 Decoy 1 Frame 0 As Planned 1>>5030590 Decoy 2 Frame 0 As Planned 1>>5030816 Decoy 2 Frame 0 As Planned 2>>5031009 Decoy 2 Frame 0 As Planned 3I've already started writing the update, but I'm not going to be ready to post it tonight, and I don't know how much time I will have to work on it tomorrow. I'll update the thread when I have a better idea.
Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I am still here. Got kind of buried again under work, but I should be free and clear on Friday. When the next update goes up, I'll leave something in the general, as I know a few of you are regulars there. Thanks again for sticking with me.
this is a tense situation do we let the strangeness spread like it feels like the inquisitors are fucking idiots doing all the wrong things and going overboard on stupid issues but that makes sense mundies that they are non witches
>>5033356I got busy with work post thread 1 so rather than actively participating I've been lurking. This setting is awesome, thank you for running.
Next post coming up in a few hours. For now, have a .webm of Hook Gulls nesting naturally.
If you could just create a decoy … no. No. You have never attempted to create anything like this ball, so you would be relying almost entirely on guesses and intuition. And considering that you are trying to make a powerful and deliberately unstable artifact, so many things could wrong. You could decalibrate or even destroy father’s equipment, which you have no way of fixing or replacing. You could unleash more Strangeness in the process of making the decoy than you can handle. You could misjudge the requirements of a cast, and seriously hurt, or even kill yourself. And if you somehow managed to produce something in the two days, or however long it would take, there is the risk that the Inquisition sees right through it, and you would have wasted all of that effort, all of those resources, and most importantly, all of that time.How far away you can get from the Mount before the Inquisition exhumes the coffin and realizes that you must have the graven ball will determine your odds of successfully being able to make a clean getaway. Hours, possibly even minutes, could be the difference between life and agonizing death by piecemeal mitigation, so the prospect of taking an entire two days for something that you are not even sure you can pull off, or if you can make, will even fool the Inquisition … you just cannot justify that. You have to leave as soon as possible.The altar has gone completely quiet, now that the confessions have concluded. You and Vaclav are called up again, to spin the coffins around on the bier. You walk to the foot of the coffin, and as you make your way around, you ‘accidentally’ brush up against the loose seal, giving your self the opportunity to press the thing back onto the pine planks with your hip. Actually, considering your height, it was more of your thigh, but that is neither here nor there. The officiating priest and the two Undertakers have all gone over to an empty bier to distribute out the Ashen Water for the Last Ablution, so they could not have noticed anything. At the moment though, your back is to the nave of the temple, so you have no idea if anyone in attendance noticed you, but when you hear footsteps approaching behind you, you panic, until you realize that the South Sexton is simply walking over to the other officiants, as he has a small role to play in the Last Ablution as well.As he passes by, you realize that this might be your best opportunity to ask him if he is willing to use the hearse the in the procession, to spare poor Vaclav. You would be asking him in front of the priest and the Undertakers – and of course, Vaclav himself – but the only other option would be to try to catch him after the service in the temple here ended and as the procession was forming up, which would be in front of the deceased’s pall bearers instead. Who would he rather be embarrassed in front of?
>>5036055>Please choose ONE of the following:>Ask him now, in front of Vaclav, the priest, and the two Undertakers.>Ask him after the service in the temple has ended as the procession is forming up, in front of the deceased’s family.
>>5035962Cuute!>>5036057>Ask him now, in front of Vaclav, the priest, and the two Undertakers.
>>5036055>>Ask him now, in front of Vaclav, the priest, and the two Undertakers.there are sooooooo many decisions in this quest lmao, really does create a sense that chlot is constantly walking that tightropecreates a slightly grindy pace, even though this level of details is part of what makes the quest so wonderful to read and participate in
>>5036057>Ask him now, in front of Vaclav, the priest, and the two Undertakers.We at least need to give the appearance of things going smoothly.
>>5036057>Ask him now, in front of Vaclav, the priest, and the two Undertakers.>>5036461yeah that's Trash's style, super tense and glacial at the same time, with a sense of dread constantly in the air.
>>5036055>>Ask him now, in front of Vaclav, the priest, and the two Undertakers.
>>5036911>>5036827>>5036503>>5036461>>5036190Pretty damned unanimous. I'll get to writing this up.
Vaclav is making his way into position, looking at the coffin with trepidation and at you with some confusion. You threw him off a bit, when you switched positions with him to give yourself the opportunity to press the loose wax seal back into place. Typically, the gravedigger who lifted from one position at the start of the internment will continue to lift from that position until the casket is in the grave. The reasoning is practical, not ceremonial – it is important to keep things looking as professional as possible, and two Lepers heading for the same spot simply does not look professional. The ‘rule’ (if you can even call it that) is not that important in the South Burying Ground, because the South Sexton only offers four posts every month, and he has always done his internments with pairs, so it is pretty obvious who is going where, right from the start. But at the other Burying Grounds, there are always at least six posts every month, and only on rare occasions are internments not done in groups of four, with one Leper on each corner. And the Lichyard, which has vaults and mausoleums instead of graves, fluctuates between eight and eleven posts, and its Sexton maintains as a point of pride that he has never done an internment without a full compliment of six gravediggers carrying the coffin. Not for the first time, you wonder if the South Sexton is somehow pocketing the money that he is saving by running the South Burying Ground with a skeleton crew of four Lepers and his firstborn. But you push those suspicions aside for now. He has passed you by, on his way over to the priest and the Undertakers, but you would judge that he should be able hear you whispering for him for a second or two longer, if you were going to try to bring the situation with Vaclav to his attention before the rites in the temple ended. Making a snap decision, you decide that it would be better to do this now, rather than to wait and try to do it in earshot of the deceased’s family. Internments are uncomfortable affairs for just about everyone. In addition to having to wrestle with one’s own mortality, you would have to listen, or perhaps even confess to some of the unrepented sins of the departed – publicly. And even though it is considered a good act, and typically, all of the really serious confessions are made privately afterward, the public portion is still at best awkward – and at worst, embarrassing or upsetting. And on top of all of that, many people are just simply uncomfortable in cemeteries, even knowing full well that the bodies have been buried in as close to a spiritually unblemished state, and that the ground underneath them is as sanctified as the ground underneath a temple. This sort of person does not want to overhear any procedural discussion about carrying coffins, and they would certainly not want to hear about any risks of the casket being dropped during the procession – especially if they were one of the pall bearers.
>>5039041Having resolved yourself to this course of action, you quietly clear your throat, then in reasonable whisper, you turn to face him and call out to him as he heads over to his fellows who are fiddling around with the Ashen Water that one of the Undertakers brought out from the back during the start of the rites. “Master Sexton, sir?”When you see his back tense under the loose-fitting ceremonial linen robe, you know that he heard you, but he does not stop, or even look back – though you could swear you hear muttering. It seems that he does not want to talk right now, which you suppose is somewhat understandable. However, you are not so easily dissuaded. When Vaclav gets to his new position at the head of the coffin, and the two of you turn the thing around, positioning the head towards the empty navex of the internment temple for the Last Ablution (signifying that in death, the soul of the deceased must find their own way out of Hell, through Dark Oblivion and into Wisdom) you do not return to the alcoves in the altar. Instead, you remain at your spot, looking over your shoulder at the Men of the Cloth. Vaclav starts to head over to the alcoves, realizes that you have not moved, and then he stops. He looks back and forth, between you and the officiants, then between you and the alcoves. Figuring that something is going on, and not wanting to look like the odd one out, he returns to his position on the coffin. When the four are finished with the final preparations with the Ashen Water, and turn around to return to the central bier, they are all noticeably surprised to see that the two of you are still there. And one of them is noticeably angry as well. While you prepare yourself, and Vaclav cringes, the South Sexton stalks towards the coffin angrily, his face twisted into a snarl. The older-looking of the two Undertakers looks curious as he walks over to you, while his younger-looking fellow, following a step or two behind looks bemused. The priest just looks tired. You figure that it would be best to beat your boss to the punch, so as he closes the last of the distance between you, with his fingers curling into claws in his frustration, you speak first. “I am terribly sorry, Master Sexton. But this couldn’t wait …” Judging from the look on his face, you would think that you had slapped the man … though a half second later, you realize just how poor your choice of words was as your boss begins to splutter. “Oh? Oh? It couldn’t wait! But of course! Say no more! After all, we are all here to serve at your pleasure! If you just need another two, three-hour break, go right ahead! Just wander right off! None of us have anything better to do than to wait on the whims of a poxy brat with a derelict soul!” He might not be yelling at you, but he is certainly not whispering. Hoping to calm him down, you try another tact. “I meant I just need a word with you, Master Sexton, that’s all –”
>>5039044“Oh, you want a word, do you? Well, then, no worries, I’ll give you words! I’ll give you words like you wouldn’t believe! Starting with EXEMPTED! Followed by BRANDED! Maybe even followed by DONATED if you do not get back in your damned hole this instant!” His arm is outstretched, pointing towards the alcoves. Vaclav trips and falls in his rush to flee, and without thinking overmuch about it, you head around the bier to help him up, further infuriating the South Sexton, who is looking more impotent by the second. But before you can say anything else, and inevitably put your foot in your mouth, or your boss could offer you any more abuse, to your surprise the priest, who had been listening along with the two Undertakers, interrupts. “Rhteruges! What manner of Man of the Cloth calls even one solitary square inch of their own temple ‘damned’?” “I … I’m terribly sorry, Father. In my anger, I must have misspoke –”. “I think you have done a lot more than just misspeak, and on that, I would talk to you later … but now, Leper, what was so important that it could not wait?” “Well, I wanted to ask him if we could use the hearse in the procession today …” As you finish helping Vaclav to his feet, the South Sexton starts spluttering again, but quiets down this time after a glance from the priest. His attention returns to you, and you notice that he now looks more frustrated than tired. “The hearse? In procession?” “Yes. Have the pall bearers stand in the bed, while I drive it. Because I … I don’t think Vaclav is going to be able to carry the coffin all the way to the gravesite.” Now it is Vaclav’s turn to start spluttering. When he pushes you away, you can tell that he is angry, and from the way that he glares at you, you can tell that he feels betrayed. But above all, it is plain to see that he is scared. Really scared. His reason is fairly apparent – if he cannot carry a casket in procession, then he is on his way out. And if he is on his way out, then how long is it going to be before he is asked to train a replacement that still has some strength left to them? Or considering how unsentimental the South Sexton is, just exempted at will? Whatever time the poor man has left, if he was exempted, that time would shrink up dramatically. He opens his mouth to object, but the words do not come, and with a noticeable tremor in his lips, he closes it instead. The priest is the next one to talk. “And why is that?”
>>5039047>Please choose ONE of the following:>Tell the truth. Vaclav should not be in any danger of being exempted – despite his issues, he is still a capable worker, and it seems that the South Sexton is on the way out, one way or another. You were also considering giving him something before you left the Mount. You could afford to give him enough money to live out the rest of his natural life – exempted or not. Of course, that kind of money in the hands of a Leper would raise questions, and in the hands of someone as notoriously talkative as he is, it could hurt him more than it helps him. >Lie. It is not every day that you get to lie to a priest, two undertakers and a sexton, but today has been a pretty crazy day, if you do say so yourself. If you could convince them that Vaclav had injured himself recently, then there should be no risks of him getting exempted, no matter what happens. Of course, it would be a bit more complicated that you typical deception – Vaclav would have to play along, and that opens the two of you up to all sorts of potential complications. And if you get caught in a lie, that could complicate other things … [Requires Rolling: Moderate]
>>5039048>Tell the truth. Vaclav should not be in any danger of being exempted – despite his issues, he is still a capable worker, and it seems that the South Sexton is on the way out, one way or another. You were also considering giving him something before you left the Mount. You could afford to give him enough money to live out the rest of his natural life – exempted or not. Of course, that kind of money in the hands of a Leper would raise questions, and in the hands of someone as notoriously talkative as he is, it could hurt him more than it helps him.try to leave him with some money as it says. We have tried our best to protect the guy through all this but I have a strong feeling the whole town bill burn soon anyways.
>>5039048>>Lie. It is not every day that you get to lie to a priest, two undertakers and a sexton, but today has been a pretty crazy day, if you do say so yourself. If you could convince them that Vaclav had injured himself recently, then there should be no risks of him getting exempted, no matter what happens. Of course, it would be a bit more complicated that you typical deception – Vaclav would have to play along, and that opens the two of you up to all sorts of potential complications. And if you get caught in a lie, that could complicate other things … [Requires Rolling: Moderate]vaclav is terrible at keeping secrets, and at lying, but chlot needs the money. lying's not free (costs risk) but when both options expose chlot to the mercy of vaclav's jabbermouth, the risk allows at least the possibility of a clean getawaypicrel perfect captcha for this quest
>>5039048>>Lie. It is not every day that you get to lie to a priest, two undertakers and a sexton, but today has been a pretty crazy day, if you do say so yourself. If you could convince them that Vaclav had injured himself recently, then there should be no risks of him getting exempted, no matter what happens. Of course, it would be a bit more complicated that you typical deception – Vaclav would have to play along, and that opens the two of you up to all sorts of potential complications. And if you get caught in a lie, that could complicate other things … [Requires Rolling: Moderate]
>>5039048>Tell the truth. Vaclav should not be in any danger of being exempted – despite his issues, he is still a capable worker, and it seems that the South Sexton is on the way out, one way or another. You were also considering giving him something before you left the Mount. You could afford to give him enough money to live out the rest of his natural life – exempted or not. Of course, that kind of money in the hands of a Leper would raise questions, and in the hands of someone as notoriously talkative as he is, it could hurt him more than it helps him. Lets not get caught lying. We wanted to help Vaclav, lets not complicate it. He probably won't be exempted and if he is, well the sexton is on his way out soon anyways in all likelihood.In regards to the money there is plenty to go around, a ludicrous amount, and we don't have to give away a fortune, just a little bit to tide him by until he can find some other form of work or to make his life easier for a while, nothing he can't hide if he wanted to hide it.
>>5039048Finally got back to this quest and by the Patternmaker am I worried for Chlot.>Tell the truth. Vaclav should not be in any danger of being exempted – despite his issues, he is still a capable worker, and it seems that the South Sexton is on the way out, one way or another. You were also considering giving him something before you left the Mount. You could afford to give him enough money to live out the rest of his natural life – exempted or not. Of course, that kind of money in the hands of a Leper would raise questions, and in the hands of someone as notoriously talkative as he is, it could hurt him more than it helps him.
>>5039048>Tell the truth. Vaclav should not be in any danger of being exempted – despite his issues, he is still a capable worker, and it seems that the South Sexton is on the way out, one way or another. You were also considering giving him something before you left the Mount. You could afford to give him enough money to live out the rest of his natural life – exempted or not. Of course, that kind of money in the hands of a Leper would raise questions, and in the hands of someone as notoriously talkative as he is, it could hurt him more than it helps him.Lesbehonest
Alright, that seems to be a pretty solid lead at this point. I have a general draft of the next post, but I won't be able to start writing until later in the day tomorrow. For now, consider this closed.
Hey everyone, just wanted to give you all an update. The next post is going to be a really big one, going to take us through the Last Ablution, the rest of the internment rites, the actual burial and the walk back to the Midden. I've been pecking at it, but I don't have the four or five hours where I can just sit down and finish and polish it. Frustrating, but don't worry. It is coming. Monday, or Tuesday at the absolute latest.
>>5043868Looking forward to it, no rush.
“He … he was trembling like a leaf, just moving the coffin around here. I don’t see how he could make it all the way to the gravesite.” The priest just looks at you, tiredly. He rubs his temples and sighs softly, but does not ask you, or anyone else any other questions. For a second, it looks like Vaclav might actually take the silence as an opportunity to speak up, probably to defend himself, but as you watch him, you can actually see the very moment when his nerve fails him, and he resolves to remain silent, pursing his thin, bloodless lips together. In the end, the silence around the bier is broken when the priest turns to one of the Undertakers to give them instructions. “Paracelsus, make haste to the West Burying ground – I know for a fact that they don’t have any internments scheduled – and return with at least two gravediggers who are capable of standing in procession. We will sort this mess out later. The longer we delay the burial, the less time the family will have to make confessions in private.” Paracelsus, the older looking of the two Undertakers, politely bows his head, and leaves the Internment Temple through the Coil’s Vestibule. There is some murmuring at the departure amongst those gathered, but the priest pays it no mind. With a gesture, he dismisses both of you back to your alcoves. As you make your way there, you can hear the remaining Men of the Cloth behind you conferring amongst themselves, but even with your excellent hearing, you cannot make anything out – besides the tone, which is an angry hiss. By time you are in your place, once more facing the altar, the conversation is over, but you can guess as to what transpired from the expressions of the men – where he once looked tired, the priest now looks frustrated, the younger of the two Undertakers is trying and failing to not look even more bemused than he was earlier, and the South Sexton looks equal parts angry and flustered. It might be petty, Hell, it might be the epitome of pettiness, but you cannot lie – seeing your boss being put in his place for once, it feels pretty good. Unfortunately, whatever vindictive pleasure there is here for you pales in comparison to the shame and guilt that you feel over throwing Vaclav under the wagon. There was no real choice here though – considering the state of the body, and the presence of an Inquisitor who would immediately understand what had happened to it, you simply cannot accept the risk of Vaclav dropping the coffin. Thankfully, it seems that all of the heat and attention here is squarely on the South Sexton, and not your fellow Leper. And by involving another Sexton by requesting their gravediggers, he might have inadvertently saved Vaclav from exemption – or who knows, it might have been deliberate? Either way, the South Sexton cannot unilaterally exempt a Leper assigned to him, it needs to be agreed upon by all five of the Sextons.
I hope nothing's gone wrong with you qm
>>5045662And after being embarrassed in front of a priest, one of his fellow sextons, the family of a deceased friend, and presumably other members of his social circle, the last thing he is going to want to do now is to bring anything related to this ‘travesty’ up in front of his peers, or anyone else for that matter. Which rules out any discussion of exemptions for you or for Vaclav – at least for this.Meanwhile, the Last Ablution is finally underway. To your surprise, it is the remaining Undertaker who starts the liturgy. “When Aldoin was given his First Ablution, and was entered into our Covenant, his body was inspected by the Faith, to ensure that he was strong, sound and most importantly – clean. But before he entered our Covenant, his dispositions, his soul was unknown to us. And so, his parents, having already entered into our Covenant, stood as Guarantors, advocating on his behalf that his soul was as his body was – strong, sound, and clean. That even as the years and the Pattern would wear down on him, even as his Red Thread led him to greater and greater challenges, some which he would not overcome – some which none of us could overcome – that he would remain constant. Strong, sound, and clean, in both the mortal and immortal coil. “Now Aldoin is dead. His body remains here, strong, sound and clean –”Pattern’s peace. If they only knew. “– but now that he has passed, his soul is once more unknown to us. So, which member of the Covenant will now stand as his Guarantor at his Last Ablution, as his parents stood at his First?” A young, nervous looking man, presumably in his early twenties stands up. He is addressed by the priest, instead of the Undertaker, who along with the South Sexton are now bringing forth the Ashen Water up to the central bier. “And who are you, to stand for the deceased?” “ I – I am his grandson, born in his image … and named Aldoin in his honor.” “Aldoin, the grandson. Aldoin, the image. Aldoin, the honor. Are you clean, in body and in soul?”“Y-yes, I swear.” Oof. You have been on hand for a lot of internments, and it is not that uncommon to see the Guarantor slip up, but you have a feeling that this poor bastard is going to have a particularly hard time of it. He is not supposed to swear that he is until the priest challenges him. Luckily for him, the priest seems to have either ignored or not noticed it. “Do you so swear that you are? Under the pain of death? Under the pain of the Pits?” “Oh – Yes! Yes, I so swear!”“Are you in a state of sin?” “No!” “Do you so swear that you are not? Once more, under the pain of death? Under the pain of the Pits?” “No – ah, no, I mean … Yes! Yes, I so swear.” This is shaping up to be a real spectacle. Well, at least he was able to keep his name straight. “Then approach.” Everything is fine, just still reworking some of it.
>>5045747The grandson, who is visibly sweating, makes his way onto the altar. As he does, he looks over to the alcoves where you and Vaclav are standing, and when he lays eyes on you, he blanches. You know why – you are six feet, four inches, cloaked and hooded, wearing an almost featureless mask, and you are standing stock still, which makes it look like you are looming. When you are as big you are, you cannot help but loom. He quickly looks away, and presents himself before the bier and the Men of the Cloth. When he does, it is the South Sexton who speaks this time. “You have asked for the deceased to receive their Last Ablution, and you have stood as the deceased’s Guarantor. This means that in addition to attesting to the qualities of Aldoin’s soul, you are also accepting responsibility for his soul’s final condition before it begins its ultimate challenge. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?”“I-I do.” “Will you attest that you have done your best to gather here those that knew Aldoin the best, or those most likely to know any sins that might have gone unanswered, so that they might be answered?” “I do … attest.” “Will you attest that to the best of your knowledge, that in life Aldoin did not foreswear the Covenant, by words or by deeds?” “I do attest.”“Will you attest that to the best of your knowledge, that in life Aldoin advanced the Faith Ascendant, by words and by deeds?” “I do attest.” “Then for the sake of the Covenant, the entirety of Faith Ascendant mourns the death of Aldoin with you. Our will is the same as yours – Aldoin will receive his Last Ablution."With the preamble concluded, the actual ablution portion of the Last Ablution begins – and unlike the First or Titheday Ablutions, it is conducted in complete silence. Aldoin, the grandson, remains by the bier to stand witness to the proceedings. The coffin, which is now a font, or an extension of the body, is anointed. The priest dips his pointer finger into the Ashen Water, and then traces the Sign of the Star on to the wooden planks of the casket, followed by the Sign of the Flame and the Sign of the Cloth, dipping his finger back into the Ashen water as needed. Then both the Undertaker and the South Sexton dip their pointer fingers into the Ashen Water as well, and the three of them begin writing out appropriate verses and passages from the Compendium. As they work, the older Undertaker, Paracelsus returns through the Coil’s Vestibule, with three Lepers in tow. To your left, you can hear Vaclav choke down a frustrated cry. As it is considered ill luck to have an odd number carrying a coffin, someone here is going to have to be left out – and it seems that Vaclav has already come to terms with it being him. Whatever opportunity he might have had to prove you wrong has just slipped out of his fingers.
>>5045802The Lepers quickly and as quietly as they can make their way to their places in the alcoves surrounding the altar, while Paracelsus heads over to the bier and begins to assist the other Men of the Cloth with the Last Ablution. Soon, the four of them are satisfied, and the Ashen Water is returned to the back of the temple. Seeing as it was used in an internment, what is leftover will be boiled off in the Eternal Starlight of the temple that the family members and the closest friends will be adjourning to after the burial. As this is being done, the younger of the Undertakers removes from his robe a hammer and a small pouch of coffin nails. These are not common objects that have been sanctified these are blessed instruments, having been actually made by a Velchanos in a temple smithy tended to by a Vulcanalia. The priest leads his fellows in reciting some of the passages from the Compendium that they dabbed onto the coffin. After each passage is complete, the Undertaker raises his hammer up high, and in one fearsome stoke hammers a coffin nail home. The echoes roll up and down the temple, adding a sense of finality to the conclusion of the verse, though admittedly, you are not really that moved, at least until they get to Praises 23.4-9, which hits you like a long ton of bricks. “You have seen my body challenged by Your inexorable Pattern, and now You have seen my body defeated by It; You who have always guided me to the paths of Wisdom, for the sake of that Wisdom. Even though my Red Thread has come to its terminus, my soul still seeks to learn from You, to serve You, to belong to You. So even though I may pass from this veil, even though I may be blinded and unable to see your Light, even though I may have to linger in dark and soiled places – my soul will not be unmade as I leave this veil, my soul will never forget your Wisdoms, and my soul, having already be claimed by you, will not be claimed again. Not by the Pit, nor by the Heights, nor by Oblivion itself; even in death I will see it restored to you.” “I will reach Ascension, and by Your will, I will perceive the full extent of the Wisdom of the Stars.”Underneath your mask, you are blinking back tears, frustrated that you are not going to be able to wipe them away, as you start to seriously worry about your father. You have already come to terms with the fact that you are going to have to leave the city – and unless he turns up in the next day and a half, that means leaving without him. Which means, by extension you have already accepted the idea that you might not see him ever again. Now, that was a hard pill to swallow, but you did. In the back of your mind, there was the dark, nagging idea that he might dead, but you were able to push it aside – you seemingly had hundreds of things to do that required your focus, and you could just ignore that little voice. But now there is nothing for you to do but sit and stew and stare at a damned coffin.
>>5046518You take a deep, ragged breath. You really, really need to keep your head screwed on right. Whatever has happened to father, there is nothing you can do about it – and that is the way that he wanted it. All you can do is hope for the best … and perhaps, consider leave a clue for him as to where you might go. Which you are not entirely sure where that is going to be, considering that the situation has changed drastically since you first made up your mind to go no further than the Imperial Frontier. Desperate to distract yourself from dark thoughts, you spend the next several minutes weighing the pros and cons of both sides of the border once more. But before you could come to a decision, the priest begins the final invocation – the signal for the Guarantor to collect the Pall and for you gravediggers to get the casket outside so the procession may form up. You wind up at the left side of the head, standing across the pine box from an unmasked Leper that you recognize as Cunimund. The two of you exchange polite nods, and once the other gravediggers from the West Burying Ground have formed up behind you, on his mark the four of you lift the coffin off of the central bier and stand ready to go.Meanwhile, Vaclav is just standing around awkwardly, like a child that has been left out of a game. His expression is equal parts frustrated and embarrassed. Seeing him, the South Sexton breaks off from the other Men of the Cloth to angrily hiss at him to get to the gravesite. Vaclav nods, but for a moment, it looks like he actually might say something – until the South Sexton turns his back on him and returns to his fellows. Defeated once more, the poxy Leper softly sighs to himself and then leaves the altar. You wait until the last of the internment rites have concluded, and then you with the other gravediggers carry the coffin out of the temple through the Coil’s Vestibule to the front of the temple’s yard, where the procession is already forming up. The immediate family members are already clustered together, and towards the front, someone is holding that odd funerary wreath. Aldoin, the Guarantor, not the one you are hauling around, has gotten the pall out, the funerary tapestry that is held over the coffin in the procession, and is attaching it to some carrying rods, so that the pall bearers do not have to stand that close to the four of you – or the coffin, for that matter. Typically, a pall is just an embroidered linen sheet, quickly made to order for a funeral, but this one is clearly much more than that. For those who want (and can afford) an actual tapestry for their pall, they can place orders with some temple’s Arachne years, sometimes even decades in advance. Apparently, it is not uncommon for wealthier families to commission funeral tapestries as wedding presents.
>>5047058As the pall bearers struggle to get the tapestry facing skyward and raised so the four of you can stand underneath it, you marvel at the thing. What little of the designs that you can see are beautifully rendered. There are several plant-motifs that you can make out, something that looks like a grape leaf, perhaps? Was the deceased a vintner? The only wine you have ever had before is Retsina, which after being talked up as this bacchanal atrocity was surprisingly palatable. Maybe you just have low standards… The pall bearers finally manage to get the pall high enough for the lot of you to walk underneath it, so you and Cunimund lead the other two into position. As you do this, you look to your left, at the nearest pall bearer, and to your shock, your eyesight begins to blur. Strange-Staining activates! Pattern’s Perdition! Now that you approach them, you can see the shifting monochrome spots of the Strangeness all over the pall bearer – his hands, his shoes, the seats of his pants, random spots on his clothes where they presumably brushed up against something. And now that you are in range, you notice that all of the other pall bearers are similarly afflicted – and even worse, you can see footprints on the ground where at least two people, presumably from the group of immediate family members ahead of you, have been spreading the Strangeness onto the ground from their shoes. Your head spins as you gaze down at the blots. Entire portions of that house had been smothered with Strangeness, so why had you not considered that the mourners, some of whom no doubt lived at the house, would be afflicted? Staring intently at the Strangeness on the ground in front of you, you strain your eyes to see if it is spreading, but from this distance it is hard to tell, as the grass is not a flat surface. As seconds seep by, and no signs of spreading are evident, you feel marginally more comfortable, but still! At least two people in this procession have shoes that are Strange in the second degree, which means that is it practically guaranteed that those two people themselves are Strange in the first degree, potentially even Strange in the second degree themselves, or even worse. Now has there been anything to indicate that anyone present has been exposed to that extent? Anything at all? Oh, by the Heights of Hell, there has. Aldoin, the grandson. You had chalked him stumbling and bumbling his part in the rites as just plain nerves, but … in man or in any animal, the first manifestation of the Strangeness would be adverse effects on cognition – confusion. Where is he? He was just standing here a moment ago, passing out those rods for the pallbearers. Has he already gone to the knot of mourners ahead of you? They are standing just out of range of the scarification-glyph’s effect. Damn, damn, damn!
>>5047098There is nothing that you can do but wait for the procession to start as the pall merrily flutters and flaps in the gentle breeze. When it finally does, you walk with your eyes cast downward, making sure that you do not step onto the footfall of the Strangers walking just ahead of you. You get the sense that you are slowing the rest of the gravediggers down, but you are beyond caring at this point. While you awkwardly make your way to the gravesite, your mind is racing, trying to figure out what must have happened at the house, for this much Strangeness to be spreading. There are two possible explanations for these two pairs of shoes being Strange in the second degree. Either the shoes themselves are magical, and will release Strangeness continuously, much like the graven ball did before you mitigated it, or these shoes had to come in to sustained contact with something that was at least Strange in the third degree. The shoes themselves being magical is preposterous, which means by process of elimination that they had to have touched something sufficiently Strange for long enough to make them this way. There is no other reasonable explanation – and this is where things get really terrifying. Unless the two people whose shoes are spreading the Strangeness were the ones who killed Aldoin, then there is no possible way for the graven ball to be responsible for the state of their shoes – meaning that, somewhere in that unassuming looking house, there is something as Strange, or Stranger, then the graven ball. And even if you were to assume that the wearers of these two shoes were Witches, and the ones who did in the deceased, what possible reason would compel them to put their damned shoes on top of a musket ball that they knew was dangerously Strange?As the procession draws within sight of the grave, with Vaclav waiting there, looking immensely uncomfortable, your attention is diverted for a few moments as you make a wide turn around a row of graves. Your gaze returns to the ground just in time to watch Cunimund step directly on to a patch of grass that has been contaminated. Your hold on the coffin loosens for a second, but you are able to recover before any harm is done – probably before any of the other gravediggers even noticed. For the rest of the procession, you are now watching both the footfalls of the Strangers ahead of you and Cunimund’s right boot. By the time the pall bearers lift the funerary tapestry up so that the four of you may pass underneath, there is no sign the Strangeness has spread onto his boot, which is at least some small comfort. Aldoin the grandson is still just out of the range of Strange-Staining, along with most of the mourners that were walking ahead of you, who are perfectly happy giving the coffin and the lot of you as wide of a berth as possible.
>>5047124As the rest of the mourners who were behind you in the procession arrive, the four Men of the Cloth begin the graveside rites, which for the most part, are just abridged versions of the internment rites in the temple, as you alongside the other grave diggers begin the process of lowering the coffin into the grave, using the straps and ropes that Vaclav must have set up while you were out running errands earlier today. All together, you make short work of it, and before the first few verses are over, you have already lowered the pine box on to the hewn basalt below. Next, the exhume is brought back, the soil and basalt chips that were removed when the grave was dug, to bury the coffin. In a normal graveyard, this would be enough, but there is so little soil on the Mount, and the caskets are buried so close to the surface that graves would be too easily disturbed by the elements, the passing of time, or by your father. To rectify this, graves in the mount have stone tents assembled over them. The original design had a footer, a headstone and two long slabs. They worked well enough, but the slabs were brittle, and eventually, the ground around the grave would sag, and vermin would sometimes make their homes inside. To rectify this, a new model of tent grave was designed, comprising of a footer, interlinking arches, and a headstone that had a metal rod run through the length of them, that was mortared in place. Each of the arches weighed more than two hundred pounds, the footer more than three hundred, and headstone more than five hundred, so lifting oil is commonly used to get the stone in place safely. The lifting oil that you purchased is rated at five hundred pounds, so it will have to be diluted to be used safely on the lighter stones, otherwise, they will be forced upwards until the oil burns away. Cunimund has one of the other lepers from the West Burying Ground do the dilution while the rest of you shovel in the exhume. All the while, you are looking out the corner of your eyes at the knot of mourners. Strange-Staining has long since deactivated, as there is no longer any Strangeness within its range. You take your frustration out on the dirt and gravel, and angrily sling it on top of the pine box. At the very least, you were able to deal with the graven ball – and although it might come back to bite you, you have to admit that you feel good about yourself for stepping up like that. Once the exhume has been placed back into the grave, and mounded up, so that the arches can fit over it, it is time to assemble the tent – or it would be, had the Leper that Cunimund ordered to dilute the lifting oil knew what he was doing. You have to go over there and help him, but at the very least, he did not waste too much of the oil, and he is actually quite grateful for your assistance.
>>5047196Between the properly diluted lifting oil and having so many capable hands, erecting the stone tent is trivial. One of the other Lepers produces a snap-sparker from their Spotted Cloak, and once the oil has been applied to the flat tops of the arches, they use it to light it up. Funnily enough, despite being sold as ‘clean-burning’ this batch is as sooty and smokey as you have ever seen lifting oil – either this batch had started to go stale, and the South Sexton bought it, looking to save some money while not understanding just what it means for clean-burning lifting oil to degrade, or he paid for clean-burning and got regular. Knowing your boss, you would stake a serious bet on it being the former. Despite this additional embarrassment, you manage to get the grave assembled quickly and efficiently. Vaclav and one of the West Burying Ground crew run the rod and mortar it in place, then in the lifting oil fire that is still burning on the flat top of the headstone all five of you take turns burning your white ceremonial gloves in the fire, careful to not let them slip to the nadir of the flames, where the effect of the lifting oil is applied, otherwise the burning gloves would be flung skyward with five hundred pounds of force. You finish just as the last of the burial rites conclude. As the mourners begin to move around a bit and talk amongst themselves, Aldoin comes forth, approaching the grave with the wreath! He enters the range of your Strange-Staining, your eyesight gets blurry … and you breath a sigh of relief when you see that he just has some spots on his shoes, hands, and clothes. Nowhere near the level where he would be considered an imminent danger, though he is possibly still Strange enough that performing a remediation or mitigation on him could be fatal. As he stoops down to place the odd wreath, you get an opportunity to examine his shoes as well. Handsomely made, shiny black leather, and if the buckle is not silver plate, then it is pure silver – but the important part is that they are not Strange enough to be spreading anything. The Leper that helped Vaclav with the rod approaches Aldoin, his head bowed. Aldoin looks at him, with confused trepidation until he realize just what he is after, and he reaches into a pocket to take out a few coins. Not even bother to count them out, he just reaches out and drops them into the now outstretched hand of the Leper, then leaves. The other Lepers head over as you watch, too tired – and now that you think about it, too wealthy – to care about the tip. Vaclav on the other hand is openly seething. The tip that gravediggers receive is for everything, the whole process of digging and finishing the grave, not just carting the coffin in. Obviously, the other Lepers deserve something, but it would not be fair for them to give themselves and equal share. Unfortunately, you do not think you can do anything about it at this point.
>>5047218As the rest of the mourners head off, and Cunimund takes charge of doling out the shares, Paracelsus comes over. “Once you are done getting everything square, the West Sexton wants the three of you to check in before heading back. As for the two of you, you can just go. The South Sexton is going to be awhile.” As he hustles off to catch up with the rest of the crowd, you reflect how that might be the best news you have heard all day. Vaclav, trying and failing to not glower and seethe just nods. You accept your share without even looking at it, and then you move quickly bundle up the shovels under one arm. Heading towards the landscaping shed, you shout over your shoulder to the rest of them. “One of you is going to need to return the hearse, alright?” You are being a real cur here, but everyone has limits, and you are damned near yours. All you have had to eat today is a bit of Emmerloaf, and you are running on two hours of sleep, at absolute most – and you probably are not going to be able to get any at all tonight, what with everything on your plate. Your move here, however, was not just to get out of doing anymore work today. You have a very limited window of time right now to do two things – investigate Smil’s room before Vaclav or anyone else can report him as missing, or use the remaining daylight to sneak out of the Midden, and head to a dressmaker to place an order. >Please choose ONE of the following:>You will make haste to Smil’s room. For all you know, he might not have been the man who died trying to break into the belfry. He might just be sick. It all just could be a coincidence …>You do not know too much about dressmaking, but you know that it takes some time. You have no intention of fleeing the city wearing the Spotted Cloak. You could go later in the day tomorrow, but then it might not be done on time, if you were going to leave the day after. Well, it took longer than I thought, but at 5033 words, it was longer than I thought it would be. Anyway, this is going to be the last vote of the thread. If you have any questions or comments or whatever, please feel free to leave them here, I'll be sticking around until the thread falls off of the board. Thread is archived at: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Graverobber%27s+Daughter. The next thread is probably going to be sometime next weekend, as this weekend and next week are going to be kind of busy for me.
God, this whole series of posts was making me suuper nervous. Glad I checked for the last two story posts literally a minute after you finished posting them.
>>5047247>You do not know too much about dressmaking, but you know that it takes some time. You have no intention of fleeing the city wearing the Spotted Cloak. You could go later in the day tomorrow, but then it might not be done on time, if you were going to leave the day after.This is simply more important.
>>5047247>You do not know too much about dressmaking, but you know that it takes some time. You have no intention of fleeing the city wearing the Spotted Cloak. You could go later in the day tomorrow, but then it might not be done on time, if you were going to leave the day after.
>>5047247>You do not know too much about dressmaking, but you know that it takes some time. You have no intention of fleeing the city wearing the Spotted Cloak. You could go later in the day tomorrow, but then it might not be done on time, if you were going to leave the day after.this seems more important.
and thanks for running QM!
>>5047247>>You do not know too much about dressmaking, but you know that it takes some time. You have no intention of fleeing the city wearing the Spotted Cloak. You could go later in the day tomorrow, but then it might not be done on time, if you were going to leave the day after.
>>5047247This was great. Thanks for all of it! Looking forward to the next one.
>>5047393>>5047866Glad you enjoyed it!>>5047253Well, I can't continuously keep raising the tension forever. There has to be some release here and there.