Disapproving Poetry to Found a Nätion: 1d500+50-18 = 34 (rolled a 2!! Ritual kicks in!)
The first few days had been the worst in living memory, hunted by at least two armies for alleged crimes against Tömanity, lacking the resources and mon-power to put up a real fight should they be captured. More than once the iron noose slipped uncomfortably tight, with ex-soldiers out for revenge and mon-hunters out for glory surrounding their hidden encampments, but even then a well placed word or a worse placed sword saw them escape with their lives, if not their dignities, intact. After all, eluding authorities was part and pärcel for the monsterists rebels, and with the chaos and ruin of a fallen State around them, they eventually slipped into the unknowable night.
Soon the only signs of their passing were the stories of screaming butterflies in the night, and towns strangely bereft of their monsterist population. That is, until the broadcasts started.
Ritual Reroll: Disapproving Poetry to Found a Nätion: 1d500+50+10-18 = 493
Are you being oppressed? Is your life not all that it could be? Do you have more eyes than fingers, mouths where your hair should be? Know that you are not alone, and know that there is hope. Not the false hope brought to you by the baseline curists or the identity-thieving, potential draining mind-wiping brands of war-hungry breakers, no. Real hope, real c̡̨̀͘͝h̴̷̀a̶̴̕͘͢ǹ͘ǵ̢͜͝͝ę̛͢͡͠ brought to you by our growing Revölucíon! This is M̧͠Ó҉̀N҉̷͏͜S͠T̛́͢E͏́҉́R͏̨͜͞ RADIO! Coming at you live from Neötöpia!
[Snödis will be attending the Ball in her Butterfly Gown, with Tö-Päin in hand, only if the couple are granted Diplömatic Immunity, for whatever the wörd of the Regency Council is worth. Otherwise they will spend the intervening time (and probably the rest of their days) working to secure a future for Monsters, Wendingoes and other disenfranchised pöple like Vera, in a new nation born out of the ashes of old Frö's and Tö's monsterist population, out at sea, for as Tö-Päin himself once said: "I'M ON A BOAT!"]
|# ? Sep 14, 2018 08:33|
|# ? Sep 22, 2018 22:14|
Skills: Piracy +40, Grappling +25, Romance +15
Ah, what a feeling it was! Hearty breakfast, gambling, fine evenings... nothing like shore leave! Turns out, being a war hero gave you a bit of clout. After some wonderful time amidst some of the slightly seedier dockside districts, he had taken some time to consider what he could DO with all of the Unexpectables' success. With his reputation, he could certainly assemble a cutthroat crew, though the higher-ups all considered the war over... hmm. There was the beginning of an idea, rolling around in that head of his.
Terrasser the Quake had sailed off to parts unknown, right? Well, if he could perhaps get contact with navy, get some pardons for some unscrupulous folk, he could assemble a crew to go bring him to justice! There'd be a few criminal ports that a Commander could use to gather a whole lot of influence. Wouldn't want that kind of thing disrupting trade! So he headed off to Councilman Slate, posing his idea and set to getting the shipbuilders on creating his ship, ready with the latest of armaments and techniques!
He did, of course, make the rounds by the dock and recruited only the finest for his crew. He went around and asked the other Unexpectables too, of course, including the Wendigos if they wanted (everyone is equal at sea, of course!). With his sterling reputation in defeating the Frö, he was faithful that Tö high command would have complete faith in a heavily armed autonomous ship with the latest and greatest of naval technology. It certainly wouldn't cross their minds that they could go rogue. They wouldn't do that!
Of course, shipbuilding and such was a slow process, so he made sure to get a Very Gaudy Suit for his attendance at the royal ball!
Spending my time to get a ship and crew to go hunting for Terrasser the Quake, and of course any other Unexpectables are free to join!
Captainicus fucked around with this message at Sep 14, 2018 around 12:08
|# ? Sep 14, 2018 12:03|
Skills: A̵̕t̷͢͡͏̡h̷͟͡͏ļ̵̶̧̀ę̷̢͡t̨̧͘i̵̕҉̴͡c̢͘͜͠s͏̨́̕, Ą̀͠c̵̢͡͠͏r̴̸̛͝͡o͘͢͜͡b͜à̵̡̕t̷̢̀͜i̸̸͞c͘͟s̀͜͟, Laughing +40
HP: 1 Thanks Mason!
That final battle was too close. Without Mason's barricade, Dack would be dead, and without Noggin's heroism, the Horde might not have escaped at all. Dack's chair had shattered in the fighting, but aside from a few minor wounds, the Unexpectables managed to pull through almost unscathed. Which just left the question Dack had been dreading to face: what happens after the war?
The answer was quite a bit better than Dack expected. Sure, he had to wear a collar even when sleeping (but he had actual cushions to sleep on instead of grass or snow), and he was always under guard. But at least he wasn't in a cage...not that he was fine with seeing the fate of Wendigoes from the main army. Boarealis also seemed to be enjoying the new sights and smells of Tömate, and the other Unexpectables came by to visit every now and then.
Still, something was missing. Dack didn't have any sense of purpose, now that the war was all but over. He'd gotten used to taking orders, either from Grimper or the Captain, and wasn't used to the idea of doing whatever he wanted to do. The Neötypes were no more, as Snödis and Trinh made their escape during the chaos of the last battle. He did still have thoughts about joining up with his Captain, and trying to fight for Wendigo Rights. But to be honest, Dack never really agreed with the idea that Wendigoes were the next step of evolution or whatever. Waesh provided an alternative, going out on the high seas to bring a Commander-in-Exile to justice. That was also appealing, but in the end Dack had to decline. He had enough with killing people for a living, even if he was really good at it.
In the end, Dack decided to fight for Wendigo Rights on his terms. He started to learn how to write, and made plans to get an actual education. There was a lot that people didn't know about Wendigoes, and plenty of false rumors. Most thought that Wendigoes were always on the edge of losing control and going on a rampage, but the horde had five Wendigoes (although only four were "active" at a time), who were constantly placed under stressful circumstances, and none of them had ever lost control. People also worried about the possibility of being infected just by being near a Wendigo, but Boarealis had shown no signs of infection despite riding along in his harness wherever Dack went. Sure, Wendigoes probably shouldn't try to treat the wounded, and maybe any jobs handling food were a bit too risky, but Wendigoes were significantly safer than most realized.
Yes, trying to educate the ignorant would be incredibly difficult. Yes, there had never been a Wendigo professor specializing in Infection before, and no, none of Dack's cores were in any way relevant to teaching. But since when have concepts like "highly unorthodox" or "outright impossible" ever meant anything to an Unexpectable?
Of course, that was a long-term plan. He still needed to get ready for the party! No tailor had a suit that could fit Dack's strange body, but that didn't matter. Dack had experimented the most with using the weird properties of Infection in crafting his armor, and felt reasonably confident he could continue to "shape" the armor into a fancy, if slightly bulky, suit.
Shaping Wendigo Armor into Wendigo Formal/Gaudy Suit (depending on roll): 1d500+6 47
Now if only he had any idea what "fashion sense" was.
|# ? Sep 14, 2018 22:13|
Skills: Archaeology +25 using, Balance, CQC +15
Arrasher's sentence had not sat well with Cause. Mere jealousy was... too petty a motive, to him. Too neat an explanation, too convenient an opening for the vaunted regency council, too utterly absolving a scapegoat. The truth was still hidden, Cause was sure, and he would find it whether alone or with aid.
He played it brazenly, just like Tyranny Infiltration 402 taught him, a tourist fascinated with his adopted nation, visiting every aspect of the nation he could think of, and he quietly mixed in his true quarry amongst the tourist traps that were his chaff, sometimes pretending to idly notice and impulsively visit his suspects, sometimes open-facedly planning to meet with public figures.
There was a gamble he was willing to make, should those he might trust with the means support his rather foolish quest... he suspected that frightening 'One of Us' ritual might be subverted, turning him blue as a Toan, to be sure, but leaving his quest to uncover the truth intact within him. All that was needed was Toans loyal to the old queen, also searching for the truth. The thought of abandoning the Froish so completely churned his stomach more than he expected, but if it could be done, he would have a sudden and quite unpredictable disguise, or at least hopefully apparent proof that he was now 'loyal' to the council.
Whatever he found, he kept it secret until a true opportunity to expose the truth, knowing he was starting out on thin ice. Revealing Unwanted Truths 321 had showed him when to tell enough that he was being listened to very carefully, so he was, in fact, a jolly tourist, full to bursting with the myriad epics that were the adventures of the Unexpectables. Perhaps it was a fool's quest, doomed to the waiting claws of the council. But they would pay, for taking Arrasher to cover their conspiracy, for conspiracy Cause was sure beyond reason it was. They, or he, would pay.
Investigating Reina's murder: 1d100+25 119
e: .. He would be wearing a Plain Suit to the ball, the better to go unnoticed.
vorebane fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2018 around 19:52
|# ? Sep 15, 2018 01:42|
Glory: 11 -> 12
Skills: Mushrooms +40
Aspiring Nailsmith: Every Downtime, Sucy can roll 1d10 and spend the result in any combination to reduce the cost of the Ritual(s) of her choice.
Breaker’s Hands: Once per conflict, each individual Sieger can make an additional roll towards building fortifications or other sieging gear tailored towards the conflict. Additionally, double the bonus on consumables used for violent combat use.
When Sucy woke, the horde had descended from the Thumbscrew again. Getting back to her feet, she began walking through the city, recoiling whenever they came upon a group of Inhabited. She hadn't expected that exposure would set in this quickly, and her only solace was that it was likely still fewer deaths than the war would have caused otherwise. Because as far as she could tell, it was all over.
When they came upon the regular army, Sucy did her best to avoid any attention from the authorities, as it would be a lot easier to let Grimper take the credit for “all his glorious deeds”. She wanted to spend some time studying the curious case of Vera, but apparently in the confusion of the final push Trinh had absconded with her, so there was nothing to be done. Instead she spent what little free time she had (for some absurd reason the regular army insisted on such notions as discipline, which seemed to involve an awful lot of busywork) working with Qwäg to do some preliminary work on curing her condition.
Back in Tömate, Sucy exploded into a flurry of activity. There was just so much to do and so little time to do it in. There was a whole system of [Skipping Lanes] to begin reactivating, there was a cure for Wendigoism to be developed and a whole artisanal sector would have to be reworked to cut away the cruft of centuries of limited understanding and Spaghetthö code building on top of each other. She also started plans for an expedition to take place after the coronation to find the remaining administrators and gain a better understanding of the world and the rules it operated under.
Luckily she had help from the other members of the horde in these pursuits. Verika took it upon herself to work on nail smithing, so Sucy happily left her to mostly her own devices, loaning out her Mirror Shackle whenever she could spare it and helping her out with developing code.
The reactivation of the Skipping Lane network was a much easier and rote task on the other hand, any member of the horde could share the knowledge after all. She decided therefore to set the Nailbound to it, using them to teach small groups of people how to operate Skipping Lanes so they could be sent out to the various locations Sucy identified with the help of Neebs. Over time this should link up both Tö and Frö with each other, totally reshaping both societies. During that process, Sucy did her best to work through the royal palace itself, rather than the regency council, to avoid that any one of the regents might get control over the network.
Working with the Nailbound also reminded her of the fundamental amorality of nailbinding, which necessitated intervention. For the duration of the month, she worked on developing a way to remove their nails without killing them instantly. Luckily inside of the mirror scape minutes easily stretched into hours, which gave her all the time she needed.
The vast majority of her time was spent working on the cure for Wendigoism however. As the Skipping Lane network started to come online, Sucy, Gryph, Qwäg and Splutt went back to Föstis, to research how the Vile Mechanism had cured Hob's Wendigoism and ideally to hotwire it to apply it to a single person at a time or to replicate its technology. Applicability to more people was after all a requirement if the growing tide of Monsterism was to be stemmed.
Not all of her activities were however as public as this work.
During the night, when she wasn't working on the issue of reversing nailbinding, she was busy trying to locate Sikatris and Zapanda using the older sister's Esprit Corona. She hadn't fully developed a plan, but to her it was clear that prolonged Töan dominion over Frö was bound to be a disaster, as was already evidenced by the efforts to colonise Frö. (a colonial enterprise that was pushed by some incredibly convenient outbreaks of random Wendigoes, which was in itself suspicious as hell)
The most likely conspirators behind all this was the regency council, which had also been the group that had pushed for the war in the first place. If there was to be a reckoning, they would need more support, and Sikatris showing up uninvited to the coronation might just be the advantage they'd need. So at night, Sucy lay awake, trying to extend the ring's range to contact Sikatris and pass on the location of the closest Skipping Lane and how to operate it.
With Sucy's close association with the Skipping Lane reactivation efforts, it should hopefully be relatively easy to get access to one and use it to bring Sikatris into the city. Getting her into the palace and through the city would be a different task however, so she used her ring to get in touch with others who would hopefully be supportive of her cause. Cause, Humbug and Noggins would all likely be willing co-conspirators, and their coordination efforts would be aided by the apparent inability of everyone to intercept her ring communications.
Preparations for a future expedition mostly fell victim to other more immediately important tasks, as Sucy was forced to waste her time getting measurements taken for the dress she was to wear for the coronation. The waste of time didn't end after that either, as the shoes had to be broken in, the corset seasoned and whatever other terms the royal stylists were throwing around. Sucy didn't see the point in going through the lengthy changing process every time the stylists wanted to adjust or remeasure something, so it became a regular occurrence to see her rushing around town wearing her dress, huffing from running while corseted and cursing at whoever had invented heels.
So it was little surprise to anyone when on the day of the coronation she turned up late with her Fancy Dress slightly scuffed from regular use, but at least she had broken it in far enough that it was now actually comfortable to wear.
Running myself ragged doing all the science (and a pinch of treason): 2d100+60+11 167
|# ? Sep 15, 2018 13:07|
(Not to step on your fiction, but Arrasher isn't CURRENTLY dead just yet!)
Arrasher's execution had not sat well with Cause.
|# ? Sep 15, 2018 14:18|
Statuz: rear end ENDED
Skillz: Mason Hootin' an' Hollerin' +45 Mason Masonry MasonDirty Fighting+25
HeeP: Mason Mason Mason?
Glury: Masonx5 -> 6 -> 1
And Mason, the Dean of Masonry! Who else to instruct the secrets of the siege-hooch, all of its utility from recreation, emergency ration and chemical weapon? Who else to teach the art of emergency construction?"
How could Mason say no to such a cushy job? Making and drinking booze, and teaching how to make booze? It's perfect! Mason always wanted to dunk on nerds, and dunking on nerds while getting paid to teach them certainly didn't make Mason a nerd. No Sir Eee it did not at all.
Mason spends the rest of the month building the The Stårn Academy for Siege-Gifted Youngsters
Building the Stårn Academy for Siege-Gifted Youngsters: 1d4 1
Hootin' and Hollerin' to Build the Stårn Academy for Siege-Gifted Youngsters: 2d100+50 186
Mason also picks out a Not so Gently Used Plain Suit several decades out of fashion!
HiHo ChiRho fucked around with this message at Sep 15, 2018 around 19:01
|# ? Sep 15, 2018 14:21|
Skills: Pigilante Justice+30 (using), Gazing+10, Rolling+30
Item Cooldowns: Utility "Belt" (using)
Glory: 32 -> 33 -> 38 (Mason) -> 50!! (Nana)
Notes: Vile Mechanism Survivor
Snorkus spends the pigtervening month - sowprising no one at all - becoming the porcine shadow in the night that strikes back against the newly-rooted criminal underworld growing fat upon the spoils of war. Occasionally he swings by to press-gang Ringo into being his "sidekick" for particularly oinkdiferous targets. Nobody seems to have the heart to point out the obvious disparity in abilities.
...Canny observers might note that his flashy antics seem finely tailored to draw attention away from certain other Horde members' machinations...
Be Batman But Pig-Themed, Attacking the Criminal Underworld: 1d100+3+2+10+30+5+33 157
Going for a Gaudy Suit, as pigilante-themed as the tailors will possibly allow - and then some. And of course it'll have to fit his New Ascended Sizing!
EDIT: SPEAKING OF
Podima fucked around with this message at Sep 19, 2018 around 20:03
|# ? Sep 15, 2018 18:51|
Mason will transfer 5 glory to Snorkus
|# ? Sep 15, 2018 19:00|
(Not to step on your fiction, but Arrasher isn't CURRENTLY dead just yet!)
I will edit, I misread.
|# ? Sep 15, 2018 19:50|
Skills:Spreading Disease (+40), Cursing(+15), Patience(+30)
Grumbus trudged down the expansive tunnels of the Underneath to his old place. Ever since the city's waste treatment commission starting subcontracting out work in the sewers to its dwellers, a number of keys to the expansive systems maintenance rooms were parceled out to the Underneath's inhabitants. The rooms quickly became highly desirable as living spaces, as they had heavy steel doors with locks and were decently dry and insulated. Of course, every once in a while you had to let someone (provided they had a legitimate work order) in to mess around with the machinery or take some readings, but it was a small price to pay for the best places in the Underneath.
#AF-04 was Grumbus's place before the war; he had managed to win the key to it in a game of dice with its incredibly, INCREDIBLY inebriated owner. But when he got picked up by Health and Public Safety and thrown into quarantine, the key went missing. It had taken Grumbus most of the day to track it down, but he finally had it. He didn't even have to threaten anyone with his axe or eböla! The Underneath's residents were more than happy to help, one of theirs was a big hero now! In the few months Grumbus had been away, the key changed hands many times, eventually ending up in the hands of Espösitö the Knife, a notorious capö of the Blöödsucker Gang, named for the hideously large lëëches that prowled the outer reaches of the massive complex.
To Grumbus's great surprise, Espösitö gave up the key without a fight. To the capö's dismay, it was nigh impossible to find anyone who would pay to live in Grumbus's old quarters. No matter how much it was cleaned or the furniture replaced, there was no getting rid of the plaguebearer's stench. For a small "housekeeping fee", Espösitö handed over the key, no problem.
Grumbus finally reached the door. He took the key out and unlocked it, the heavy door swung open with nary a sound. Someone must've oiled the hinges. Grumbus stepped inside and took a big ol' whiff of Home, only retching slightly. Espösitö must've wanted to move the key bad; the furniture was all pretty nice by Underneath standards and it was obvious someone with a janitorial skillcore had made an attempt to clean the place. Despite the changes, the plaguebearer noticed with some delight that nobody had found his secret stash under some loose bricks! He pried it open and removed a bottle of pretty good wine; Lady Elwynn had given to him, among other things, in exchange for not crashing one of her famous garden parties.
Grumbus took a few good swigs of wine and plopped on his brand new cot. He was quickly lulled to sleep by the sounds of running water, rats squeaking, and the hum of distant machinery. Ahhh.
= = = = = = = = = =
One Week Later
= = = = = = = = = =
A hungover Grumbus was awakened by the sound of rapping on his door. He almost-reflexively shouted, "PISS OFF!" and chucked an empty bottle in the direction of the offending noise, but the knocker persisted. "Someone wants to talk to ya, Grumbus!", a young, cheery voice on the other side shouted back. Grumbus recognized the voice on the other side; it was Nosy Tömas. He made a living as a go-between between people on the surface (provided they weren't cops) and people in the Underneath. And Tömas made it his business to know where everyone liked to pass out. "Alright, alright, keep it down, gently caress.", Grumbus groaned, "Who is it?"
"Some guy calling himself Captain Stårn.", Tömas replied, "Said he was one of your war buddies or something." A few minutes later, Grumbus emerged from his nest in full uniform and passed Tömas a handful of thölers. "Sorry for yelling at you, kid.", the plaguebearer mumbled, "Thanks for the message."
Grumbus sat through Stårn's presentation with barely contained excitement! Wow! An opportunity to teach whatever he wanted AND in such a swanky mansion! Stårn wasn't even done yet and the newly appointed Dean of Warcrimes was already drafting a list of equipment the school's epidemiology department would need to flourish. At the end, Grumbus raised his hand to ask an important question.
"Can I get dibs on the basement?"
Patiently Help Stårn start a school: 1d100+30+15 110
= = = = = = = =
A while later
= = = = = = = =
Grumbus walked into the office of Humbug, ace sleuth, sipping a free beer from downstairs. (Thanks, Neebs!)
"I've finally got an idea for how you can repay that favor you owe me. And it's right up your wheelhouse, I think you'll like this'un." Grumbus placed a manila envelope on the detective's desk. "I don't know if you've heard, some of us siegers are starting a school, both for education and research. And I want a real showstopper to get us *really* going when it comes to the latter."
Grumbus cleared his throat, "I'll skip right to the sodding chase. A few days ago, I paid a visit to the military archives, both to stock our school's library and for a bit of recreational reading. Yes, I can bloody read, don't give me that look. While going through some books, I found this manila folder wedged hidden in the pages of another book. It's a heavily redacted military report detailing a virus with no name, only the designation #T3221996, with utterly fascinating symptoms.The report says that an outbreak about 40 years ago in some place called Slinker City is its only known occurrence."
"The primary symptom of this virus is referred to as 'Overclocked Skillcore Syndrome.' I've never heard of anything like this, but thankfully the clinical portion of the document is mostly intact. It has 3 phases. In phase one, the patients were observed to have gradually increasing performance and efficiency in their day to day jobs. The only behavioral changes noted were that the afflicted were inclined to work more than usual, some even missing out on sleep. This phase lasts for roughly a week to a week and a half, during which one patient, an upholsterer, was observed to have self-resonated his skillcore no less than six loving times. Can you believe that?"
"Phase 2 is where it starts to get scary. Patients started developing sweats and reported feeling a warm sensation in their gullets. They only continued to work harder and harder, but their work started turning out *wrong*. At first it was minor stuff, a transposed column here, a missing screw there. However, as this phase continued and as they missed more and more sleep, their thought processes became, uh, erratic. A afflicted baker started attempting to make cakes out of inedible materials and an architect started turning his home into some kind of bizarre maze, for example."
"After about 5 days under phase 2, they devolve into full blown psychosis, lashing out at anyone who comes near them. I suspect this is how the disease propagates itself between Tö. Provided they aren't killed, the infected suffer a most grisly fate. Eventually their skillcores *explode* out of them, spontaneously combusting them and they either bleed or burn to death."
"This disease has a 100% mortality rate and I simply must have it for my collection! And research. Of course. You're probably wondering by now how you figure into this, Humbug. This is where things go from weird to creepy. Slinker City isn't on any map. There's no census data, no documentation of any kind. I haven't been able to find anyone from Slinker City, nor anyone who knows anyone from Slinker City. Between how this document was hidden and the disappearing fuckin' city, I'm beginning to smell a cover up. Aha, I think I just saw you perk up a little there!"
"I want you to find this Slinker City for me. Hell, if you want to help me recover a sample of T3221996, I'd be happy for the backup. I have a couple of armored biosuits, the kind certain branches of the military use for exterminating wendigos, that fell off the back of a cart and enough antibiotics to kill a plodder. Of course if you were to join me, I'd have to owe you a favor. Maybe you'd like me to put in a good word with some people in the Underneath. Normally they don't take kindly to surface people snooping about, detectives especially, but I could convince them you're a worthy exception. So, what do you think?"
Grumbus will be wearing a plain, military suit to the ball.
paper bag with a face fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2018 around 23:55
|# ? Sep 15, 2018 21:22|
|# ? Sep 16, 2018 02:21|
Skills: Perception +65, Smithing +80 (using), Sniping +30
Equipment: Knight's Plate (+3), Zahn Trapper Hat (+1), Ruddy Charger, Blixthäst (+5), Tap Root [Proof-Scraper] (+5), Defender Shield
Cosmetics: Nail and Fist Token (Breaker's Guard), Agenou's Cape Sash, Sikatris Scarf, Basker Cloak, Slightly-Cracked Telescope, A Ring [Mirror Shackle]
Glory: 17 -> 18
Ritual Chits: 3 -> 5 (artwork bonus)
The Road to Tömate: In one fell swoop, the Unexpectables - comprised of Verika and her fellow rag tag group of four score soldiers - had, by taking over the enemy's Centralscrew from deep behind enemy lines, ultimately prevailed in defeating the entire Fröman military and securing an end to the Great Tö-Frö War. Through the clever use of the PoG Ring [Mirror Shackle] and expert Nailsmithing from Sucy, they had created a special Nail capable of subverting the majority of the enemy's soldiers. Through the use of this Skeletön Key, the Unexpectables turned the mind-controlled Inhabited against their Fröman masters, ending the war then and there. As Verika heard it, King Regis and his heavily outnumbered Kingsguard never stood a chance against the sheer mass of weaponized Frömen citizens organized against them, especially once they were backed up by the uncontested might of the invading Töan armies.
The Unexpectables were not just war heroes, they were the heroes of the whole damned war - the one's who had decisively ended the Great Tö-Frö War once and for all. Though Breaker Caver had been the one to land the coup de grâce on the Fröman King Regis, that move had been a political statement moreso than it had been a deciding factor in bringing about an actual end to all the fighting. Verika knew, and the Unexpectables knew, and the rest of the Töan Horde knew, that Grimper and his smattering of mismatched soldiers had ultimately and unexpectably succeeded where everyone else in the Army had failed.
On the snowy road back to the capitol Tömate, having such notoriety within the greater Horde bristled for Verika: she usually had a hard time warming to strangers. She especially didn't like those particular Töan soldiers who tended to stare at her Vile Mechanism scars for too long, but there was very little else she could do about that other than learn to wear her scars with pride. Having renown in the Töan Army also came with its perks, too. For starters, she got good portions at the chow lines, she had her own private Ascended-sized tent to sleep in, and - last but not least - while riding Blixthäst beside the Army's smithy supply wagons, thanks to her reputation as an Unexpectable, Verika was able to make the eager acquaintance of Garnör the Armorer, the army's apprentice armorsmith and quartermaster. Together, both she and he spent many an erstwhile hour on the road, locked in rambling conversation talking shop, trading smithing tips and tricks, and generally passing the time. Spirits were high in general, and without the threat of death looming at every corner, everyone else in the camps seemed happy enough to get along, even between squads.
It wasn't long before Verika and Garnör were sharing their meals together. At nights, when there were no real duties to worry them, Verika and Garnör spoke at length to one another over a campfire, swapping stories of soldiery, of camping under the stars, of forging metals and foraging meals, and of reclaiming skillcores from their dead. Never did Verika bring up her scars, and Garnör, having only earned ten Glory in all his time as a soldier, wasn't nearly bold enough a Töman to ask her directly. Instead, he seemed much more interested in her PoG artifact weapon, the Tap Root, how it worked and how it came to be. In answering him as best she could, Verika realized that, now that the war had come to an end, she'd finally have the time to properly study her impressive weapon and explore its peacetime applications further. [Proof Scraper], it had once been called, though Verika didn't mention this detail to Garnör. She needed to learn far more about the Tap Root's proper use before she let others know more about it, she resolved. Verika dismantled the Tap Root that night and placed its bundled pieces safely away in a sealed chest belonging to the Knights of the Order of the Nail and Fist. It would have its time to shine, later. Until then, it would have to remain a closely-guarded Knight secret.
When they passed through the old Tö-Frö border, the entire Horde gave out huge cheer of exultation: they'd finally made it home from a tumultuous war as the victors! From there on in, news began slowly trickling in from the capitol. Apparently, a Madmist attack perpetrated by Fröman sympathizers in a poorer district of Tömate had turned four people into full-on wendigos, resulting in a massive loss of monsterism-compromised property and the displacement of several hundred families in the process. Sure enough, as the army approached the capitol, they encountered several gloomy caravans and wagon trains bearing Frö-bound travelers from Tömate: settlers, pilgrims, refugees, and families alike. All of them were invariably stricken with Monsterism in some way or form, and all of them had been directly impacted by the Madmist attack in Tömate. Most of them seemed to brighten up marginally when they heard the rumors that the Cure for Monsterism was on the way, though, even if most of them didn't fully believe their ears. Verika tried her best not to discuss her involvement with with the Cure with anybody. She'd been the one who'd memorized how to Smith them, after all.
When Tömate's outskirts drew near, the topic of what came next for Verika entered her conversations with Garnör more and more. Clearly, the apprentice armorer had taken a vested interest in the Unexpectable war-hero, because soon enough the offer of a place to stay in Tömate came up. It would seem that Garnör's father owned and operated a family business on Craftman's Row, a well-sized smithy called Arnöd's Armors, and Garnör knew that his father could give Verika a place to work and perhaps a bed to stay in. Verika accepted the offer of a place to work, but declined the bed specifically, saying she'd prefer to secure her own temporary lodgings in a hötel with a proper wash basin. She didn't plan to stay in Tömate long, after all.
Tömate (part 1): A lot had happened in the month since Verika and the Unexpectables had marched triumphantly back to Tömate. Those first two days after their arrival had been nothing but bawdy parties and celebrative excess in the company of other soldiers, but then the meeting with Councilman Slate had sobered them all up. An invitation to the Queen's coronation?! When Verika had heard the news from the Councilman, she could barely contain her disbelief.
"This had got to be a joke..." she'd muttered under her breath as the shock and surprise of the invitation spread like wildfire throughout the crowd. Despite her incredulity, she'd still strained with her Perception skillcore to listen especially closely to the Councilman's words on the matter.
As far as Verika had Perceived it, secrecy was the name of the game. The Töan military considered the PoG Vaults and everything that came from them to highly-guarded state secrets. No one from the Unexpectables was to mention anything they had seen, heard, felt or experienced in any of the PoG Vaults they'd encountered, no matter what, and, as far as Verika understood it, disobedience in this matter would be met with swift and dire punishment. It came as no surprise, then, that those few Unexpectables that still held onto their PoG artifacts were doing so in secret. Verika, for example, was the only Tö in the world who knew where the various disassembled parts of the Tap Root [Proof Scraper] were buried. Verika didn't trust Slate for some reason - her scars had itched something fierce when the Councilman had looked her over.
At the end of the royal meeting with the Councilor Slate, Verika sidled up next to Sucy the Mushroom Farmer in the line for dress measurements and discretely asked her for access to the Ring in the upcoming weeks. Sucy nodded, and, without mentioning the Ring by name again, they covertly organized a drop-off schedule for the [Mirror Shackle]'s delivery and return.
In the month that followed, Verika spent a lot of time working on a secret project in Arnöd and Garnör's smithy. Using the Ring in between bouts of intense runic note-taking sessions, Verika was able to study the properties of Nails in far finer detail than she'd ever thought physically possible, even with her highly tuned Perceptions. By inspecting a wide collection of Nails and their code while wearing the the Ring, Verika began learning more about the "shapes" that people and artifacts and other coded objects made in the Ring's dark world. Soon enough, with all the time in the world available to her so long as she kept the Ring on, not only did she learn how to forge perfect Nails, she also learned how and why each Nail has to be Smithed in a certain way. It was a liberating and exhilarating discovery process for Verika, for her to finally cut through the nonsense of rote memorization and repetition of Nailsmithing and get to the very heart of the matter: that Nailsmithing was an art, and it had the power to heal the world.
As long as she was practicing her Nailsmithing, Verika made it a habit to work on making a steady supply of Cure Nails. She knew that they would become insanely valuable as soon word of their existence got out, but for the most part she only wanted to test her skills as a newly-awakened Nailsmith. Having gone through the Vile Mechanism, having spoken to the PoGs themselves, having worn the [Mirror Shackle] and forged the Cure Nails before, the things Verika knew now could potentially save the nation - no, the world - from the non-stop fear of Monsterism's corrupting touch.
When Verika wasn't busy taking exhaustive forays into the Ring's dark world on her self-guided crash-course in Nailsmithing, she was also steadily working on the deconstruction and reproduction of the Tap Root, [Proof Scraper]. By casting molds of the Tap Root's disassembled parts, Verika learned how to make a metal facsimile of the Tap Root in its weapon form, with surprisingly effective results. Once Verika had finally worked out the kinks in the device, the end result didn't use the Tap Root's strange blue, thrumming core - that was impossible to reproduce in mundane materials, anyway. Instead, what Verika used that wound up working well was a small amount of blast powder in the barrel's chamber, tamped down, to be used as an explosive propellant for manually-loaded ammunition. When properly loaded with blasting powder and one or more Nails, at the pull of a trigger the T.root-Mk01 could fire a Nail or a metal ball inscribed with Nail-runes at a distant target with amazing force.
Verika spends a month learning proper Nailsmithing and Gunsmithing using Mirror Shackle and Proof Scraper, in order to invent a "Cure Nail Gun!": 2d100+97 221
Three days before the the Queen's coronation, Verika was busy putting her final touches on a new chamber mold for the T.root-Mk01, when she was startled by the appearance of a messenger bearing a summons from the royal tailor. Apparently, her dress for the Queen's coronation was ready, and it needed to be tried on. Verika cleaned herself up and made her scheduled appearance.
Verika tried on everything she was given and looked at herself in the full-length Ascended-sized mirror. It was a plain military cadet uniform.
"Surely, you must have something a little more... Knightly?" she asked.
Prince of Space fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2018 around 04:40
|# ? Sep 17, 2018 08:36|
Skills: Rummaging (20), Cleaning (20), Mentalism (30) (in use)
Portha looked at the wreckage of her family home and cried. Another casualty of the madmist attack Her parents had "conveniently" moved everything out for renovation the day before but it was still heartbreaking, the bottle of wine she'd lifted from the palace and stashed in the rafters before going off to war had been shattered when they tore the building down.
"I went to all the trouble of decanting it into an empty bottle of cheap stuff," she complained to Neebs while drowning her sorrows at the bar, "Now it's gone, a rare vintage Duchy Tötemkin gone unsavored. Can't wait for the party, grabbed a plain robe of the rack instead of being fitted for a gown, going to line it with wineskins and sneak out as much as I can. Figure they owe me that much for smashing it in their false flag. If we could figure out how to access those Yot thingies the Overseer's fought for, we might be able to take charge and change..."
She paused and considered a different train of thought, "You know, Humbug has some dangerous knowledge. If I introduced him to the palace staff, I might be leading him to his death. Feel bad enabling him."
Portha's debriefing on the Unexpectables' tour of duty started out uneventful, the poison and crossbow she'd made were regarded with mild interest and checkmarks on a notepad. Capturing a deserter was met with a nod. When they finally asked her about the battle of Gateway, she described how she was able to convert Sikatris' thread into a conduit for the Bound to Us ritual that eased the difficulty. She spoke of her belief that the ritual worked by overriding the prisoner's esprit, talking of the Inhabited masks' ability to suppress it and Sikatris' weird esprit thread's properties as a conduit. Her only regret was the limited knowledge she had on it.
As she was leaving, she was approached by Minister Tureen, who had listened to her half-baked guesses with interest. He offered her a job with the research team dispatched by the Think Tank to examine the things the Unexpectables had returned with. She volunteered as a test subject for One Million Drops of Boiling Blood, curious to see if it could bestow common troops with levels of esprit control unheard of outside the Warlords and Commanders. Her Mentalism skillcore seemed perfectly suited for the task; so while the mook scientists were being prodded into activating it to further their studies and then visiting the medics, Portha instead opted for a much safer use. Meditating over the course of several weeks, Portha attempted to cultivate her esprit levels, growing her internal strength at a slow, measured pace that would strengthen her body instead of damaging it like fully activating the ritual.
Cultivate esprit: 2d100+30 219
Eventually they got fed up with her line of research and kicked her out, unceremoniously removing the nail. They did give her a decent recommendation and begrudgingly agreed to pay her wages as reward for the psychoreactive thread. Losing the nail's power felt like something was missing, but the newfound degree of strength and control she'd attained was still there. Maybe they'd see the value of what she'd done if she ever got to use it in battle, but screw risking her life and screw them for not appreciating what she'd accomplished.
Days before the Ball, Portha wrote Lady Yino a letter begging to be let back on at the palace, citing her ascent and acquisition of an actual cleaning core as suitable qualification, though she wouldn't be able to work the night of the Ball, being an honored guest at the event. Her request accepted, she went back to help with the final preparations for the event. The first thing she noticed was how strangely empty the palace was compared to the old days; heightened security after Reina's death and the new Queen's upcoming coronation had restricted more of the palace, though the strangest thing was the complete absence of the Handmaidens, not one of them was on site, which made it impossible to guess who the new Queen actually was.
The night of the Ball, Portha put on her robe and hoped no one would comment on the extra pockets lining it, then she left the room she'd rented from Neebs above the bar and went to leave for the party. She stopped in front of the fortune telling Space and looked at the Taxidermite. Looking at that thing made her feel like her old Imagination core still existed, but it gave her an idea. "Hey Neebs," she shouted, "bring that ugly thing along to the Ball and stash it somewhere. It might come in handy if whoever killed the old Queen decides to crash the party.
super sweet best pal fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2018 around 03:16
|# ? Sep 17, 2018 12:28|
Skills: Taxidermy(+50, corrupted), Jumping(+50), Engineering(+50, corrupted, using)
Glory: 21 -> 22
The sea was calm today. The waves betrayed no sign of the cold winter winds tearing through their clothes. Trinh tucked her hands into her armpits. At least the custom made jacket was keeping most of the cold at bay. She nodded thankfully at the man sitting across her. Slim, a deserter from the Frö army and a tailor by trade. Picking him up few weeks earlier had been a lifesaver for the wendigos. Improvised outfits only went so far in the face of the approaching cold season. A dozen others huddled together by them on the small fishing boat. Trinh looked over her shoulder. The coast was getting close. The boat's captain turned his wheel to avoid the skeleton of a destroyed naval trawler washed ashore. Behind it opened a vista of frozen fields, pocked with craters and exploded farm buildings. The footsteps of the Breakers. And further still, the ruins of a destroyed town. Slim pointedly refused to look there even as they stepped ashore.
From what the Neötypes had heard, the main force of Tö's army had crushed this place without slowing down their advance. That meant, hopefully, that the ruins had not been completely looted yet. A thin layer of snow covered everything, censoring the horrors of the battle. In the center of the town was a market. Unidentifiable white mounds lay all over, and behind them loomed a giant clock face like a setting sun. Fifteen past three, now and for ever more. The looting party spread around, with Trinh and two others walking along the side of the toppled clock tower. She crouched down to sweep the snow off something embedded into the street, a cannon ball. Whatever the Tö had been aiming at they had demolished every building in this corner of the town. Digging through the wreckage was hard work, but sure enough the cellars contained food stockpiled for the winter. Sacks of flour, jars of pickles. Hidden bags of strange Frö money. Trinh poured coins onto her palm. Did these metal portraits of dead kings have any value anymore?
Back at the market square, the other members of the looting party stood guard around five kneeling figures. Clad in dirty and ragged Frö army uniforms, their arms were bound behind their back, their gazes on the ground.
"Squatters, ma'am. Tried to take out my eye with an arrow."
One of the captives stared up defiantly despite his nose still pouring blood. Yet, as Trinh approached, fear creeped onto even his face. She considered the boy.
"Looks like you are at the end of your road."
The brave prisoner's bruised face trembled, but under his messy hair, his gaze remained steeled.
"Are there more of you?" No answer. "I don't know if you have heard yet, but Regis is dead. Frö is finished. There are no reinforcements coming for you."
She dropped down onto a knee to speak to the captives face to face.
"But this is your lucky day. There is a place for victims of this war, a place for you. We can always use another pair of hands around the camp."
One of the captives coughed. A portly, mustachioed fellow. He was shaking, but raised his voice to say something. He was interrupted by the brave leader of the bunch, now yelling from the bottom of his lungs.
"SHUT UP! That's bullshit, monster! This is our home, we'll rather die here than get dragged into your prison!"
From the look of horror on the other captives' faces, that wasn't something they had intended to say. Trinh kept her poker face.
"...Well, sure, you can stay here. Sooner or later someone from Tö will come around to take measure of their new territory. A new life awaits you then."
She placed a paper onto the snow where all could see it. The birth certificate of one Vera, 32 years old office worker from Frömage.
"Now, Vera." A woman with strangely discolored face took a step forwards.
"Imagine I were to ask you to gut these prisoners alive, these heroic defenders of your homeland. Please describe how you would feel about doing it."
The mustache man was throwing up.
"That's enough Vera, thank you."
The prisoners were properly horrified.
"As I said, a new life awaits you in Tö. With the same ritual Vera was subjected to, you'll be made to hunt down others who still resist this conquest."
"Unless of course, someone were to offer you a way out."
The looting party returned with a hold full of food and five new workers. More people were always needed to keep the Neötype camp prospering, yet Trinh worried if they could keep everyone fed. They'd managed to recruit a few professional fishermen to help with their food supply, but the camp was still far from self sufficient. The captain spoke of a new rising nation, but Trinh had hard time seeing how they were going to get to that point. The small island they were squatting on had no space for farms, no source of fresh water. If their settlement were to reach self sufficiency they would need a better place. Supposedly there were larger islands further away from the coast. That could be an option. Fishing villages wouldn't be able to resist a takeover from a force containing trained soldiers and branded wendigoes. Yet, even out there the same threat would find them as on the mainland. Tö. The new queen would not be happy with someone declaring they were founding a new nation on her land. There simply was no inhabitable place not already claimed by Tö. But then again, subjugating Frö was going to tie up Tö's attention for now. Maybe a remote island would get ignored for decades. Out of sight, out of mind.
Trinh sat on the improvised pier, staring out to the open sea. A few decades maybe, but what then? Her thoughts kept returning, time and time again, to her time on Queen Reina's Revenge. To how the Drenched Wendigo had appeared without warning, and after being utterly defeated, simply disappeared beneath the waves with nothing the horde could do about it. Free to keep living even if the surface world rejected it. In her quiet hours, she sketched.
In her time in the Unexpectable horde, Trinh had worked miracles. Gado's hands, the captain's wings, the return of Reina's Revenge. Yet when asked about them by the new Neötypes who understood the potential of monsterism, she had hard time explaining how she had done any of it. "-like one would... argh. Its art, not science, all right? Just get your hands in there and feel around." Art, not science. Unique pieces, not products. She had always dedicated her life to art, but now, she couldn't help but to feel that she would have to compromise. If the gill symbiote ended up being viable, she'd need way more than one of them if the Neötypes were to conquer the ocean floor. She'd need far more than one Taxidermite to amass personal power. They would need engines of destruction like Yacht-Sothoth to keep them safe from threats, and they'd need a steady supply of them. Trinh buried her head in her arms. A career in art was a dream come true, but it was time to get realistic. She would n̶̨͓̝̥̰̹̝̳̜̮e̵̫̻͖͘͢ͅe̥͜d̨̯̻̬̱͖̱̥͟-̯̹̞̰̪͚͖̦̦ n̡ee͏d́ nee̶d̕ need to apply her hard science background. Even though it was her skill as a builder that had gotten her made a Commander, she also had a through understanding of mechanical engineering and related fields.
She had been working by instinct this far, letting her feelings to guide how to shape monsterised flesh. Now that she thought about it, monsterised matter tended to fuse with anything it touched if given opportunity. Maybe a similar process took place whenever she touched something, allowing her to feel and understand her raw material as if it was a part of her? Illuminating, but still not helpful for setting up a production line. Whenever she was not needed for something urgent she spent her time experimenting animals. Trying to find commonalities among successful and failed pieces, seeking ways to guide mutations in a repeatable manner, and most of all, trying to boil her instinct and experience into a rigid understanding and notation of life. Down below, beneath artificial divisions, after everything the OGs built was broken down, there was a Truth, and she would find it.
No matter what it took to get there.
Then again, monsterised matter was alive. Maybe there was an easier way to produce beasts like Yacht-Sothoth. After careful deliberation, she wrote a question for herself in her notebook. "Can boats gently caress?"
Eventually Snödis expressed interest in finding a new look. Trinh wasn't surprised. A barbed wire armor was the thing to wear to a battlefield, but in peacetime it was kind of jarring. She couldn't even remove it. Trinh imagined it must have been infuriating to try to sleep in. The captain did go through bedsheets at alarming rate. Trinh herself had, after seeing her comrades fuse into their armor, grown paranoid about hygiene and clothing, lest she wake up one morning with something stuck into her body. Anyhow, based on what she knew, extracting the captain out of her outfit should be quite doable. She did however worry that they might need a supply of fresh skin to avoid the "ground meat and metal wire" look...
Even with everything else keeping her busy, the case of Vera was always on Trinh's mind. She had managed to bring the unfortunate convert along from Frömage. Blue Vera was still following orders of a hordemate, even if her smile had grown uncertain as it had become more and more clear that the Neötypes were not exactly on close terms with Tö. Whatever, she would manage. More urgent was that Vera was still in there, trapped within her doppelgänger. Trinh had a plan to fix that.
Monsterism broke things. It broke script, it broke boundaries, it broke limits of good taste. What they had was one person, divided in two. Trinh was certain that monsterism would break that divide, making two into one. Her accepting the path of the brand would be the easiest way there, but one fraud with risks. It was Vera's choice to make, and honestly, Trinh was more interested in the alternative. The plan was, open up the cranium (one of the recruits swore they had a surgery core), identify the line between Vera and blue Vera, and apply a solution laced with monsterism along the boundary until it was blurred away. Easy as that. Trinh was sure it would work, and she was never wrong. Vera would be whole and happy.
Yet, say that somehow it didn't work, if the Veras still hated each other despite Trinh's best efforts, there was always Plan B.
Together or separate, they would be happy.
Push the limits of Wendgineering: 1d500+50+21 141
That ended up kind of long. I've listed all sorts of goals but most of those are long term projects rather than something I'm racing to get done before the ball.
The roll description is little generic, but my focus for now is on perfecting a Carcharhinous Horror for my personal use. That'd be cool to have ready for the ball.
The crown was holding a ball? Snödis had been invited as an official representative of Neötopia?!?
"Hey Slim, I need a plain gown."
Jvie fucked around with this message at Sep 17, 2018 around 23:37
|# ? Sep 17, 2018 22:47|
Skills: Millinery (+25), Backflips (+35)
Squad: Infiltrator (Shares items with other squadmembers, gets double bonuses from consumables used outside combat)
Equipment: Knightly Spear (+3), String-Slayer Armour (+2), Defender Shield, Lucky Pearl; Torn Scarf, ThumbsCrew Mug
Glory: 31 -> 32
Hat was stationed outside, making sure no Inhabited mounted a counter-offensive while Sucy worked her magic. That seemed to work OK, but when it was Humbug's turn, the message was suppressed. Hat listened in shock as the truth was tuned out to just mere static. Wasn't this the centre of Fröan communications? Just who else would have access to that technology?
The thought made the taste of victory - Vic-Tö-Ry!, as the papers would have it - curdle on her tongue. The war was over, but the Horde still had enemies out there. Hat settled back into regular Töan Army routine with an ease that surprised even her; although, considering she was Ascended and the regular units weren't as
She hadn't killed anyone in days.
And so the Triumphant Horde crossed the border, and were feted by their countrymen, and then the capital loomed large on the horizon. Hat went on a drunken bender encompassing half the town, and left people wondering if she had an undeclared Drinking skillcore stashed away somewhere. The hangover was quite something, and so Hat was only half-listening as the restrictions the government were placing on them all were read out. More suppressing of information. Then the Councilman went on to the rewards. They wanted research on the artifacts to continue, hmm? Presumably that included Veilpiercer. But where?
Open a hat shop!
Hat let Neebs take charge of most of the setting-up of the new place. Her needs were modest; a shop-front, a show-room, a workstation near the window where the 'prentice could work and bystanders could watch, a bigger, private workstation for herself, a changing room, a back room, and the upstairs just needed a self-contained flat. She asked Noggins if she'd be willing to use her carpentry to build the fixtures and fittings. She also got two flagpoles erected on both sides of her part of the building; one to fly the Töan national flag, the other to fly a replica of the original Golden Slinker.
As the building work happened downstairs, Hat spent her days in her room - a room of her own! - closely studying Veilpiercer and the Mindbender helmets, as well as the crumpled tinfoil hats that countered them. She made copious notes, and made sure to lock them away at the end of each day, along with the artifacts themselves, and the start of her own notes of the whole Unexpectable campaign.
Around one week before the ball, Hat was working on the hats as usual. She scribbled a note into a corner of the page, tore it off and dropped it into her pockets. She locked all the sensitive information away, stepped out the shop's front door, waved at the porter across the road taking a smoke break, and headed into Neebs's bar for an evening meal and some light ale. While eating, she sneaked glances through the window. The porter was still there, still smoking, after an hour had passed. Either this was the best smoke break of all time, or it was some poor sap with a Smoking skillcore keeping an eye on Hat's movements. Not that there were many; between her shop and home, the friendly bar next door, and the occasional trip to the fabric shops, where else did she need to go? As the night was drawing in, she left the bar, making a show of her drunkenness and studiously ignoring the still-smoking sentry. She locked the shop door behind her and went into the back room.
The Infiltrators were waiting. It seemed the magic of sharing items between them still held, even this far from the battlefield. They'd all received her summons, a note found in their pockets, and had easily shaken their government-mandated tails. Hat smiled, passed around some bottles of beer from the bar, and spoke.
"It's good to see you all. So, this ball next week - what's our plan?"
Using Millinery to get a head-start on ball preparations: 2d100+32+25+10 123
Outfit choice: Military Gown.
|# ? Sep 17, 2018 23:13|
"Grumbus, this is clean. Actually, spotlessly clean. I'm impressed and salute your efforts. I'll have this passed on to them immediately."
Splut duly did exactly that. He tactfully refrained from commenting on the gender of the child in question: It was a genuinely impressive act from the Plaguebearer, and he for one wasn't going to rain on Grumbus' parade.
The risk assessor and the bluffer, the Wendigo and the Captain, the politician and the
"Sometimes I prefer it black, no sweetness, sugar-coating or amelioration of the underlying bitterness. There's truth in të like that. wakes you up and doesn't let you get too comfortable even as it refreshes and warms you. Të that reminds you that you're alive, and should intend to stay that way."
He listened as she went over her thoughts, her concerns. Of the Arcturiad, and their nefarious intent. Of what could happen, and what must not. He accepted the tome of risk reverently, making a note to read or transmit via mindbend hatlink the pertinent additions to Humbug.
Then the other Töbuchet projectile. Medical power of attorney, in the event that things went catastrophically wrong. An echo of an old family feud. A concern large enough for her to articulate, it was one bigger than he was comfortable with. After all they had gone through, how close they had both come to their demise at Nagel, it hammered home the enormity of what they were trying to accomplish, never before attained.
"I understand, and I accept. I will uphold the trusts you have placed in me, and I look forward to placing this book back in your hands when all is said and done. And if things don't go as we would wish them to, I'll see to it that you are well cared for and your wishes adhered to."
At the Infiltrator pre-ball confab.
Veilpiercer atop his brow, the captain took a small sip of beer and replied,
"Usual modus operandi, usual standing orders. Eyes and ears open, see what goes down, and do something clever that advances the Horde's objectives if the opportunity arises. Maintain our restrictions even here and now, we all know that which remains unsaid, and you know my position on the matter. Justice, one way or the other. But, and this goes especially for you, Humbug, don't throw your lives away. Don't let them get away with an additional injustice. Remember Old Tö-Town, remember who we're potentially dealing with and their favourite party tricks, and be prepared."
|# ? Sep 18, 2018 00:35|
Images added to last update! Click image to link!
I'll probably do a Skett post just for fun, but otherwise this week is going to be logistics stuff for the PAAAARTY! Tomorrow I need to update portraits to their final state pre-epilogue, including listing all the dead, and put all the fanart up! I'm very touched that you guys are so interested in this, still, and hopefully we can all bring this home successfully!
|# ? Sep 18, 2018 02:27|
|# ? Sep 18, 2018 08:13|
Skillcores: Carpentry +45, Precision +40, Leadership
It was over. It was over. For all her misgivings, for all that she had thought things would turn into an endless quagmire of rebellions, it looked, at least for now, like things had been decisively concluded, especially once Regis met his messy end. Frö had, against all of her expectations, bent the knee. And now, back in the fold of the army, there was peace. Peace of a sort, at least. There were times where it felt almost worse than the war.
She was a hero in the eyes of the army at large, and it wasn't too hard to understand why--she certainly looked the part. She was a Captain of the Unexpectables, she was ascended, she was wearing some of the finest armor that any of them had ever seen, wielding an OG relic that looked like something straight out of legend. She'd distinguished herself time and again in combat, whether it was holding off waves of enemies in the desperate last stand at the Inhabited Facility, holding the line against impossible odds at Noostra, setting a clever trap at Fostis, or simply being the Unexpectable that Grimper had acknowledged, back in the training field full of Stick Ogres. It felt like ages ago.
The soldiers heard all of this, and they wanted more. They pressed endlessly for more tales from "Noggins the Hammer". Noggins the Bold. Noggins the Warrior. Tales of bloodshed, and violence, and death. They didn't know or want to know about the Noggins who had built the field hospital. The Noggins that had painted funeral signs for every Unexpectable who had died. The Noggins who had warned enemy soldiers where to flee for safety, who had nearly torn the Horde in two defending Zapanda, who had been considered one step away from a traitor--if not a traitor outright--by the majority of her hordemates.
On some level, she knew, this was Splut's doing. One last favor, or cruelty. It was never easy to tell, with him. Either way, she was simply too tired to argue, too overwhlemed by the endless cheers and conversation. Before long, she'd commandeered one of the lumber carts, spending every moment she could spare buried in work, continuing far into the night. When they arrived in Tömate, she handed over Nailbreaker without comment--it was too large, too notorious to do otherwise, though by her expression, it was clear she was unhappy to do so--returned to her shop, and promptly began churning out work at a prodigious rate. The furnishings for Hat and Neebs's joint venture first and foremost, and free of charge, but also furniture, knickknacks, curios, all of truly astonishing quality. And as fast as she was making them, they sold even faster. With tales of the Unexpectables spreading, having some token from them was quickly becoming all the rage, rich and poor alike. And furniture made by one of their Captains who was also a master carpenter... why, that was a whole new level of status symbol.
It didn't take long to put together the funds necessary to secure Dovetail's release. It would take some time to filter through the system, war hero or no, but she was going to see him again. Eventually. When she was ready for it. Which was to say, not for a while. She’d been so frantic about getting back, about saving him, that she’d never really stopped to unpack how she felt about it all. But now he was a free Tö, or would be soon enough, and she wanted was space So she didn’t push to speed things along, though she probably could have. She just… worked. There was going to be the party in a month—well, three weeks—and from there… it was just going to be a matter of watching the war fade into memory, like a bad dream. There’d be a new queen handpicked by the Regency Council, and it could all be set aside as though the world hadn’t gone mad, as though so many people hadn’t been killed.
She slept fitfully that night,.
There is always a choice.
Despite her restlessness, Noggins woke feeling enormously refreshed. She reached out to Sucy, and they had a productive chat about the preparations for a campaign against rampant Monsterism, as well as some other, more immediate matters, party arrangements and the like. Noggins had long ago decided that she would attend in her armor; it avoided the need for drawn-out fittings, and it matched the heroic image she had to maintain.
When that was settled, she made a trip down to the Lumberyards, purchasing a truly immense volume of lumber, as well as a cart large enough to load it all, and an entire team of Öxn to haul that. There were adjustments that needed to be made, of course—she built a sturdy covering for it, a shelter for the journey ahead, made sure everything was in good repair. She turned the sign on the Joinery back to “CLOSED”, and left for Öxnyard. A display of Töan mercy, she’d explained to the guards. It had never sat right with her how much damage such a beautiful town had suffered at her hands. It was only right that she go back to make things right—they were Töan citizens now, after all. It was simply good PR.
The journey was long, but far shorter than she’d expected. Even with the veil of winter falling, even with the load that she was hauling, the fact that she could stick to the relatively clear roads, and that she didn’t have to be on the lookout for enemy forces, meant that she made excellent time.
Her reception in Öxnyard was… mixed, which was honestly better than she’d dared to hope for. It was her fault that the Horde had gone there, after all. It was her fault that the town had burned. It was her fault that Jaune had been killed. But there were still refugees there that remembered the message she had delivered after Noostra. And more importantly, she was helping. The people of Öxnyard were a practically minded folk. If tolerating Noggins was what got them shelter for the winter, they were going to put up with it. It was a solid week of work, and at the end of it her muscles ached with exhaustion. But the town would survive the winter. After that, she’d have the time to come back and do things properly.
The Öxn strained against their harnesses as they made the return trip. It was a funny thing—despite all the lumber that had been offloaded, the covered wagon certainly didn’t seem any lighter. Ah, well. They were probably just tired. No point overthinking things.
Setting Up Shop: 1d100+45+34 149
Setting Up Shop (Missed a d100): 1d100 28
Total: 177. Unfortunately, Noggins no longer has Nailbreaker!
Assuming willing participation, Noggins is going to be smuggling Sikatris and/or Zapanda into the city for whatever Humbug, Sucy, Cause and other co-conspirators have in mind
|# ? Sep 19, 2018 01:00|
Skills: Leadership +40 (Using), Defending
To say Skett was overwhelmed by the attention he received back in Tö would be an understatement. He was immediately taken into custody despite protests from the rest of the Unexpectables (who had come to trust the result of their Ritual, and some of whom even liked him) and questioned about literally everything they could think of. Naturally, Skett not only answered their questions to the best of his ability, he offered things they hadn't even thought to ask. Yes, Captain Splut was a trustworthy asset to Tö. No, Snödis was not - to the best of his understanding - an existential threat to the continuation of the country and the monarchy. Noggins had been nothing but kind to him when she'd spoken to him. How had the Ritual felt when it converted him? Like a cool pool of water on a hot day. Could he perform it again? He hadn't done a great job, last time, but he figured he could do a better job with some practice. Where was his convert? AWOL - he wasn't aware of where Vera had gotten to. No, that wasn't a lie. That wasn't a lie either.
Would he be willing to work with intelligence agencies to further refine the conversion Ritual?
Sure, he was glad to be of service.
Also he would wear a Military Suit to the ball!
Dog Kisser fucked around with this message at Sep 19, 2018 around 23:16
|# ? Sep 19, 2018 23:09|
Skill: Medicine (30), Wrestling (35)
"This won't be easy. We might never meet again."
Gryph awoke with a start. He wasn't in the insane OG world of an Inhabitree, watching it burn as a horde of Masked faces descended upon them. He wasn't watching Trinh and the Neotype squad make a break for the freedom that they craved. He'd been too stunned by everything happening to reply, to assure Trinh that there was no debt.
"Captain Gryph? The briefing's about to start."
That's right, he was sitting in a chair in a nondescript building, barely a short walk from the larger, much gaudier building that contained most of the Medical Military Training School. Gryph had rarely spent his time in the Military building, but the drab halls carried the same unique feel as the Academy, the civilian building that stood on the same grounds. In times gone past, Gryph would have been able to feel the stress and anxious nerves of students desperately wishing to become doctors, as he had barely a few months ago. the Military School carried with it an extra urgency, one that Gryph was unnerved to find comforting as he stepped into the lecture hall to begin the briefing.
The month marching back to To had been the quietest of the campaign, Gryph's medical duties reduced to hangovers, venereal disease and the odd bout that comes from having a number of heavily armed, twitchy warriors who were in the stages of celebration at their survival. His Captain duties had begun to take hold, however. Paperwork, meetings, Paperwork, logistics, Paperwork, science and somehow more Paperwork had begun to fill his days marching back.
Unconnected to this, and kept secret from the wider Horde were the general running plans of the Unexpectables, notably Neebs, Sucy and Humbug's plans. Gryph already knew that his position as Captain put him in a precarious position: there were a lot of plans happening, many of which Gryph had a tangential connection to, and his position made him both a useful ally for procurement to conspirators... and a useful scapegoat to those above him.
There were just over a dozen officers in the room as he walked in. A few hard-faced senior officers, probably captains in the regular army, but many had the fresh-faced look of the just-promoted, medical officers being moved up the rank to patch holes in the organisation. Gryph took a deep breath.
"Alright, so Rampant Mosterism procedure, containment and curative briefing #326 is in session. I am Captain Gryph, Commander of the Unexpectables Medic Squad, I'll be taking you through a short history of context relating to discovery and discussing uses and procedure changes."
A young officer raised his hand jokingly "Sir, how did you lose your nose?"
"My commander ripped it off because I asked stupid questions during a briefing." That cut the smiles from their faces.
"Anyway, as you should have read in the basic notes, The Unexpectables were a conscripted group under Breaker-09, tasked with delaying Fro reinforcements to the frontlines by occupying the Gateway Fortress. Breaker-09 was given discretion to recruit and respond to secondary objectives in the Area of Operation that he felt would increase his chance at success."
"The major breakthrough that occurred early in the campaign was the strike at Nagel, at the time believed to be a heavily guarded prison housing more dangerous individuals. In reality, it was the site of a Froman research project into possible Wendigo cures. Lead by Chief Administrator Zapanda, this research group were captured and their medical expertise plumbed to stem combat losses. Sadly, in the confusion of the assault on the Gateway Fortress, the medical team presumably escaped capture owing, in part, to the forced Wendigoism of our transport.
Nagel was also the site of our first encounter with rampant Mosterism..."
Gryph continued, giving a minor edit of the same briefings he'd given to multiple different groups of Medical Officers. Triage was important, don't let rampant Monsterism mix with general population, treat it like a disease, bring infected individuals to your Warlord for Branding or, failing that, a quick death. Avoid letting any Branded Wendigo's interact with hospital duty.
Being the preeminent expert on Monsterim cures, even by default, was exhausting. Having to explain to countless groups how his procedures and various methods had kept Rampant Mosterism from spreading throughout the Unexpectables had been told, retold, discussed, disected, put back together and autopsied for any single piece of new information, any explanation that could be turned to provide new perspective.
"Major acquisitions from Nagel were an important factor in the creation of a Wendigo prevention method, seen in your briefing materials marked as 'Compound Red' and 'Compound Blue'. Compound Blue is a typical Monster Inoculant, traditionally given to and utilised by our Wendigo Supression forces for protection when operation in high areas of chance Rampant Monsterism Infection.
Compound Red, officially Red Compound S256, is a minor monsterism curative that has shown to alleviate the cosmetic symptoms of benign Monsterism. When combined in the right qualities, they create a brand new substance known as AntiMon M-37, although Zapanda made strides in refinement later in the campaign. What is known is this: AntiMon suppresses the trigger for Full Wendigoism to occur, although this strains the host body heavily and can only be done a few times. More importantly, it can be used to purify skillcores and, if injected soon enough, protect the body from recent infections of rampant Monsterism. Research continues into the ..."
Gryph was tired. Endless briefings, Debriefings, Captains duties, all of these continued to fill his day, coupled with spending time as a live-in doctor down at Neebs' bar. Not that he'd ever give that up. But alongside Sucy and the others, still trying to discover the secrets of the OG, Gryph had his own project.
It was strange returning to the Academy. Gryph had never been a particularly noteworthy student, although competent enough, but being a hero changed a lot of that, and gryph found getting his full medical license a somewhat perfunctory task. Seems the Academy accepted his work with the Unexpectables as 'prior work experience', especially since his last semester was supposed to be Anti-Wendigo training. To the Academy, at least, his experiences were proof enough he knew the risks and procedures involved.
Being a hero was at least some help in procuring quantities of Red Compound S256 for research purposes, most of it focused either around distilling a more effective compound, one that worked on the effects of Rampant Monsterism, or testing its current viability. Gryph knew the uphill battle that awaited him. Splut had visited the bar one day with a request from Qwag, herself unable to join them. A live Wendigo offering herself as the sacrifice for an untested treatment was a huge boon. But Gryph didn't bet the lives of his friends if he could help it. Every successful Curing had occurred in non-Wendigoed individuals, and the effects of corruption were hard and unique to each body. If there were to simply remove Qwag's core and shoot her full of Antimon, there was no telling what kind of things could happen. It was unknown if her physiology was even capable of maintaining life without Wendigoism, and who knows what Antimon would do to a Wendigoed form. It could cause complete Core failure, burn out her body in its quest to fight the Rampant Corruption, possibly even cause seizures and spasms that would, in the body of a Wendigo, become deadly. Gryph had no wish to create a surgery with a two or three hundred percent death rate. And so work and research continued. Trips with Sucy and others to Fostis to examine the OG machine, research, doctoring, briefings, somehow, Gryph had become busier than ever.
Research Time! Let's try for a Monsterism Cure!: 2d100+30+50 212
A Military Suit with Medic patches and Captain's markings was waiting for Gryph at the bar one day, just a few weeks before the Coronation. Gryph couldn't help the feeling of trepidation that coursed through him. Something about the situation was setting off his warforged reflexes. He couldn't help but feel this was some sort of trap, but such was the life of an Unexpectable. He just hoped it was worth it, in the end. He owed Qwag, Trinh, Gado, Dack, hell, even Snodis that much. Wedigoism had done a lot for the Horde, but it had taken it too.
Gryph was planning to take at least some of it back.
Torchlighter fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2018 around 08:21
|# ? Sep 20, 2018 08:19|
Nana the Elder
Nana hummed to herself as she wiped down the counter at Neebs' General Goods. She had been only too happy to accept Neebs' kind offer, and quickly found herself moving from her temporary lodgings into an unused set of living quarters above the shop. It was a lovely old stone building, finely made and draft-free, with enough space to house several Unexpectable business ventures without fear of rubbing elbows. It really was perfect, and the handcrafted furniture provided by Noggins gave it an atmosphere that felt just like coming home.
It didn't take long for Nana to fit into her role as shöpkeep. Her advanced skillcore trivialized the relatively mundane tasks of running a small business, and thieves, (which had been her greatest worry) weren't nearly as scary as facing down a wrathful Commander or maddened Wendigo. She actually found herself spending a good portion of her working days with nothing to do but play with Bäbi. Not that she didn't have ways to keep busy, mind. She would relieve their regular cook if an Unexpectable was coming to dinner (or if she was asked nicely), and would even pop over to Hat's now and again to give her sewing core some use. Still, she always had ample time to spend with the little treasure that had been put into her life.
In this way the weeks had all but flown by, her days filled with honest living and her evenings filled with good people. Why, She could almost see Bäbi growing before her eyes! Speaking of...
Nana turned to Bäbi seated next to her in a high chair, rattling a small toy and cooing contentedly. "I know I've asked you so many times little one, but just once more... once more for Nana?" Bäbi pulled the toy out of her mouth and plopped it on her tray, her face taking on a look of concentration.
Nana squealed and lifted Bäbi high out of the chair, spinning her around as she laughed and clapped. She kissed her tenderly on the forehead and rocked back and forth, cradling her precious Bäbi in her arms.
--- Other Nana slice of life adventures! ---
-Nana visits Ringo's Fix-it! "I'm so glad we were able to reunite that poor dear with her parents, she was so frightened and they looked worried sick!"
-Nana sits in on a planning session for The Stårn Academy for Siege-Gifted Youngsters! "I think önager beds in the dorms are a wonderful idea dear, but I'm worried about what being catapulted to class will do to your student retention rates."
-Nana helps Gryph with a surgery! "Please don't hesitate to call on me, I'll be there whenever you need me."
|# ? Sep 20, 2018 15:54|
Today is the one year anniversary of the start of the game! Hurray!
Almost at the end, but not quite!
|# ? Sep 20, 2018 18:30|
Skills: Perception +65, Smithing +80 (using), Sniping +30
Equipment: Knight's Plate (+3), Zahn Trapper Hat (+1), Ruddy Charger, Blixthäst (+5), Tap Root [Proof-Scraper] (+5), Defender Shield
Cosmetics: Nail and Fist Token (Breaker's Guard), Agenou's Cape Sash, Sikatris Scarf, Basker Cloak, Slightly-Cracked Telescope, A Ring [Mirror Shackle]
Ritual Chits: 5 -> 7 (artwork bonus)
Tömate (part 2): Over the course of the month, while she was busy at work in the dark world of the Ring [Mirror Shackle], Verika would occasionally reach out through her own Nails' connection to the Warlord Grimper, to see how the Breaker was recovering. Verika had torn her life essence in half, after all, when she'd used the Breaker's Guard to bring Grimper back from the very brink of death. Her life essence was fundamentally apart of his now, and the Ring's power reminded her of that. Between her connection to the other Unexpectables through the Breaker's Guard, her Nails, and the Ring, it was easy enough for Verika to Perceive Grimper's general location and health.
While she was in the middle of inspecting various experimental Nails in the abstracted shapespace of the [Mirror Shackle]'s dark world, Verika was struck with a nagging thought.
She wondered: could she use the Ring and her Nails' connections to the Warlord Grimper to restore herself to perfect health? She'd lost some of her vital essence to Grimper when she'd healed him in the battle of the Gateway Fortress using the Breaker's Guard - maybe she could return that vitality to herself, now that he was doing better?
Verika tries to use the Ring to check in on Grimper's health and to restore herself to full health (2/2 HP)!
|# ? Sep 21, 2018 06:17|
|# ? Sep 22, 2018 22:14|
Portha decided to visit Grimper at the military hospital, mostly because she wanted to ask him a few things, but she was sure he'd appreciate some company. She approached the reception desk and politely asked where Warlord Grimper was staying.
|# ? Sep 21, 2018 10:46|