"B̔̑u̔͐̉̿́t̓ ̿ͣ̆ͫ̋̒̇wͧͯͬ̒ͣ̇ĥ͆ͩ̽at̓̇͗ͩ̈́͑ happened to Jeb the Gardener, the hero of the story?"
"I'm just about to get to that part. So after I outsmarted the thing in the basement..."
Slinker City, The Roof of Töhannes's Mansion
They were running low on booze and something had to be done. Unfortunately, the basement's lab was difficult to work in. Even when it was safe to work in because the Incubator was distracted or wandering aimlessly somewhere else in the subterranean complex, Sadomax the Trapmaker would find some way of fouling up any attempt for a cure for OCS. Whether it was calling in some feverheads to storm the basement or throwing poison gas bombs down the lab's ventilation shaft, the mansion's master demonstrated his ability to annoy anyone anywhere.
After the third botched attempt at synthesizing a cure for their affliction, Grumbus and Humbug had enough. Sadomax was going down.
Such a thing was easier said than done, of course, but after dealing with several deadly traps, many more annoying ones, a prisoner's dilemma puzzle, and two escape tunnels, the adventurous duo had finally managed to corner the
There was a *GLURP!* sound as the bucket propped on top of the door landed right on Grumbus's head. A curtain of
"Oh HO!", a smug Sadomax cackled as he effortlessly dodged a thrown bucket, "I GOT you, you putrescent peabrain! That stuff is our friend in the basement's LEAVINGS! With a dose that concentrated, I doubt your fun little cocktails will be able to hold the infection back any longer. How long will it take before you become just like my servants down below? Minutes? SECONDS?????"
"[redacted] longer than you [redacted] have to [redacted] live, you BLOODY [redacted] TWAT!", Grumbus shouted as he tried his best to get the Incubator's waste out of his mouth, "I've got a -pth- gently caress me that's vile sodding Spreading Disease skillcore! I got into a fight with a -pth- rabid Rubbish Burglar a couple weeks ago, and mind you, the next few days were bloody awful, but I came out stronger than ever, you DAFT [redacted]!"
Sadomax's face visibly fell at that information. Humbug cleared his throat, "Poor bit of luck there, Sadomax. I am not nearly so, hum, resilient. I'm not sure what your plan is here, to be honest. Even if that bucket landed on me, what would you do? There's no tubes up here you could command me with like you did the other feverheads. You'd either end up infected by me or axed by my cohort. Face it, you've lost. There's nowhere to run from here and nowhere to hide."
The trapmaker's face lit up again, "Ohohoho! That is where you are WRONG, my DEAR vexatious vigilante! It is YOU who has nowhere to RUN and nowhere to HIDE!" Sadomax cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted, "JEB! HELPPPPPPPP!"
From below, a chittering swarm of slinkers could be heard approaching. There was a sound of a dull thunk from the side of the roof as Jeb's claw rake found purchase on the shingles. The thudding of an ascended war-ticulturist walking up the side of the mansion spurred Grumbus and Humbug into action.
"Humbuddy, deal with the little shite! I got the gardener!", Grumbus said as ran towards the edge of the roof. He paused and took a look back, "And make sure you [redacted] leave some for me!"
The plaguebearer peered down at the slowly advancing gardener. His unfocused eyes burned with murderous rage, he carried his war shears in between clenched teeth, and below him, his pets *swarmed*. This looked bad, but Grumbus quickly realized there was a silver lining to this situation. He removed his last plague grenade from his bandolier and broke the glass separator between the chemicals inside. Normally it took around 2 seconds, give or take, for the pestilent mixture to react and the pressure from the resulting bacterial mist to break the grenade's glass housing. But it was rather cold out, so maybe 2 and a half, 3?
Grumbus poked his head over the edge, "Hoy, Jeb! Those are some nice bandages you got on there! Hate to see something get *in* them!" The sickly Tö dropped the cooked grenade over the edge. "Let's see you try and dodge THIS time!", he shouted after it. There was a breaking of glass, a hiss of gas. Screaming. A thud and squeals from someone large landing on a pile of slinkers. Grumbus looked down one more time, noting with some dissatisfaction that Jeb still wasn't dead. Soon enough though. Grumbus took his axe to the rope on the gardener's impromptu grappling hook just in case.
As he watched Humbug work over the cowering Sadomax, Grumbus removed the rubbing alcohol from their first aid kit and started downing it. Sadomax wasn't as wrong as he thought; he felt himself already starting to run HOT. And he was sure Humbug wasn't that far behind. Although they needed a cure ASAP, Grumbus figured there was enough time to have some fun with Sadomax first.
"Hey! HEY! WHAT IN THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU DOING, HUMBUG?"
"Don't hit him in the cores! That Traps skillcore is going to make a future SASGY instructor very happy!"
paper bag with a face fucked around with this message at Jan 9, 2019 around 01:15
|# ? Jan 9, 2019 00:58|
|# ? Jun 20, 2019 17:11|
(What else can be said about Splut? The spymaster and brains of the Unexpectable Horde continues to do what he’s always done - lie to people until things get done. His efforts and machinations continue to improve and stabilize Tö (and Frö, by association) in hundreds of small ways, from logistics to social well-being. In addition, his earlier work in securing the legacy of the Unexpectables goes on, ensuring that not only the loyalists but also those who have left the fold have access to whatever they need to fulfill their dreams. But what about Splut himself? We have heard much about what he wants for the others, but what does he want for himself?)
Many years later
Splut was busy, but he was happy. The Tö who had been thrown in a river once for selling dodgy pies, who had been conscripted into a trash horde beneath a disgraced Breaker, who had talked an unmanned dummy gate into opening, who had lied his way up from conscript to captain, from insignificant to infiltrator, from sly waster to spy master. He had decrowned a Queen to give the Unexpectables a glimmer of a chance once 'Please don't use weapons of mass destruction indiscriminately' had been flippantly waved away, and had convinced a Breaker to turn against the Queen that had empowered him. He had spent much of the previous few years getting obscenely wealthy over thawing international relations, and protecting the nascent new regime from any and all threats. Given that several years of peaceful development had occurred, it had to be said that that was a roaring success.
Hat had crafted a perfect mini-chapeau node in case anything requiring his immediate attention came up on MindBendNet or some congruence of happenstance registered a potential future to dodge via Veilpiercer, but it was mercifully silent. Qwäg was currently embroiled in one of her own projects, precluding the great pleasure of her company, but on the other hand, that meant that Splut was free to indulge in his biggest vice.
That's right, tonight was Pöker Night.
Around the table were some of the most phenomenal proponents of deception in the entire world:
Ruthven the Liar had Skipped over from Frömage, his mouth hidden behind his magnificent moustache.
Erwin the Ḑ̩͍̣̗̆̏͑ͩͫĭ́̌̐̋̐̚͞s̡̊͌͌̔̐̅s̢̰̞̯͈̝̱̅̾e̤͍̜̣ͅm҉̼b̴̪ͤ̋̎l̢ͭ͐ͥẹ̺̦̑̈́̍̽̓͑̽r̜͓͈̼̄ͭ̏͊͗͝ was visiting from Neötopia, holding each card in a separate individual tendril.
Ledley the Misleader was usually down in New Old Tö-Town, but wouldn't have missed this for anything.
Splut glanced at his cards, made one big heap of all his winnings, and pushed it into the centre of the table.
"All in," he said. His poker face was immaculate, but in his heart and in his core he was beaming.
What did he truly want? To use his core to its fullest extent in order to be rich and happy, to be together with Qwäg, to fulfil his promise to the Unexpectables, and to be the best damned Pöker player the world had ever seen. Mission accomplished.
|# ? Jan 9, 2019 02:41|
As for his question, it's pretty simple: where does Stårn go from here? What else does he want from life?
'The Heart of Sieging' is probably one of the most notorious books in existence. Not because of beautiful prose, not because of any particular insight, not even because of legacy value. No, it's notoriety stems from the fact that seemingly no two books carrying the name are the same, and from the almost shocking lack of commonality between them except for the contents being framed within the context of Siegecraft in some way. Some of the books are dry accounts on logistics and strategy, some almost rambling stories of various adventures ranging from plausible to implausible (could even the legendary Stårn really take a castle with just a bag of marbles and a spoon?) to downright impossible (even the legendary Stårn couldn't possibly have willed a catapult into existence via sheer stubbornness come on), and some still were dialogues between Stårn and his comrades in the famous Unexpectables and musings on what Sieging Insights could be gleaned from their aptitudes. Some seem to veer more into philosophy than anything else.
There is great debate on the veracity, canonicity and trustworthiness of the various volumes, if they could even be called 'volumes' due to any lack of actual numbering or continuity between them. It is not even known whether the books are biographical, autobiographical or just straight made up, and the consensus seems to be that they're most likely a mix of all three. Accounts of the late Siegemaster's life are also rife with exaggeration and contradiction, both from written account and from stories of those who claim to have known him, either personally or from the classes he held when he was still alive (and the stories from those are their own thing entirely).
Indeed, concrete details about Stårn seem elusive, but debate rages on ever fiercer because of it. Some have mused that perhaps this was the point all along, for where a Tö might die, ideals live forever, and where dogma degrades, curiosity perseveres. And as SASGY continued to ever fortify its position in the societal fabric, there was no shortage of would-be trailblazers with their eyes set on ever expanding the horizons of what Sieging could be.
Yes, where he was dead, and would eventually fade from memory to myth and legend, his Legacy would live on.
The stone likeness of Stårn on the current main courtyard of SASGY (it had a tendency to get Sieged down and then rebuilt) grinned his Sieging Grin.
A life well Sieged.
Theantero fucked around with this message at Jan 10, 2019 around 14:54
|# ? Jan 10, 2019 13:13|
A cursory glance at the History section of any well stocked Library or bookstore will reveal several tomes concerning themselves with The Last War. Whilst a few of the thicker ones try to cover the many skirmishes that led up to the fall of Frömage and the following coup in Tömate, most make due with concerning themselves over the august personage that, in a very real sense, made it happen.
Chief amongst these are the Biographies written by Hoglitzer Prize Winner, Peter Porker. a Journalist who at the time of writing was embedded in the legendary Unexpectable Horde, and ever on the best-sellers-list from from this already Select List of this esteemed authors works; : Decoronation Day. detailing the complex story of one of the most powerful individuals the wörld had ever seen, what drove her to act and the consequences thereof for the wörld as we know it.
What most readers fail to realize however, is that the treatsie was written from the ground up by Mr. Porker to be paired with its twin: Tyrant a book that - sadly - to this day remains rare outside of the Neötäpian Wildlands Exclusion Zone.
In this book, we follow the Queen of Monsters from her early beginnings in the Monsterist Movement, through the Last War and onwwards as Leader of Neötöpia, in a mixture of first hand re-tellings, second and third hand interviews, a series of letters and perhaps more notably an in-depth analysis of the Tyrants own personal discography. What follows is a brief overview of its contents.
Chapter 0: Pre-amble.
Brief philosophical statement of intent, including foreword by the Author.
Chapter 1: The Örphanage.
The Early life of the Tyrant, as gathered from historical materials such as newspaper clippings, judicial documentation ek cetera. Includes rare first-hand interview with then drafted recruit Snödis, set to the scene of burnt bread around a campfire during one of the longer stretches of the final campaign against Frö.
Chapter 2: The Monsterist Revölution.
Mostly monsterist propaganda gathered from various shady dives or generously donated from collectors, this section attempts to construct for the reader the atmosphere in which the Tyrant spent her formative years. Of note are several poems written by the Tyrant, including such hits as "Mad Mist Opportunities." "Glory to the Monsterland!" and the macabre digre; "Nägel".
Chapter 3: Interview with a Wendingo.
Second Hand accounts of the then-Captains action from one of her closests confidants, Dack.
Chapter 4: The Unexpectables.
Second and third hand accounts from various Unexpectable Horde members.
Chapter 5: Phönix.
Tying the story so far to his other work, Mr. Porker delves into the events surrounding the Coup in Tömate, the rise of Neötöpia and the early attempts at diplomacy that followed.
Chapter 6: Neötöpia.
Various official documentation and propaganda coupled with first hand accounts from rare defectors, spies, translated limited-mind-net sensoria, postcards and an interview with Privateer Commander Waesh.
Chapter 7: The Unwilling Tyrant.
One of the only interviews ever granted by the Tyrant, many years into her rule. This raw transcription discusses the various controversies surrounding the nation and the personal difficulties the Tyrant endured in making things run smoothly. The chapter ends with a brief retelling of Mr. Porkers stay at the Ryögöng Hotel, though it is hard to say if this last part is factual documentation of events or an accidental inclusion of a ghost-story yet to be published.
Chapter 8: Project Gäia.
Brief review of the Neötöpian Plan, sourced partially through propaganda and heavily redacted spy-reports, as well as excerpts from the interview in the previous chapter.
Chapter 9: The Wildlands.
First and second-hand interviews and reports from the Wildlands. Includes a fold-out-poster from the popular Wildland Touring Circus.
Chapter 10: Tension.
Minutes from diplomatic meetings both dry and heated; interspersed with running commentary from the author on various unspoken subtexts.
Chapter 11: Conclusion.
In this section, Mr. Porker attempts to weave together the various themes seen throughout the treatsie (monsterism, isolation, leadership and so on) with the conclusions reached in Decoronation Day.
Throughout the book, Mr. Porker attempts to Siege the Mysteries surrounding the reclusive Tyrant and her equally reclusive Nation, using an array of sources, hoping in this way to chip at the metaphorical Fog of War that occludes the otherwise ignorant mind. The sections detailing the every-day life of Neötöpians are a rare treat in these days as the Tö and Frö-born Monsterist populations decline in favour of emmigration or Curing; a glimpse into the world of our ancestor and, some would say, an indication of what the future might bring.
- Skellivanch Library, PhD, Skellivanch Library Academy, Skellivanch.
|# ? Jan 10, 2019 18:24|
One year later
Once again Sucy was rushing to an appointment. Over the last year the SLTA had expanded to incorporate all known and previously-unknown-but-recently-found Skipping Lanes within the territory of Tö and Frö. Skipping schedules had mostly been solidified and commerce as well as travel was booming. As a result, Sucy had had time to take on new projects.
In conjunction with Cause, she had begun to identify Skipping Lane locations in unsettled territory and had founded a settlement organization that was busy establishing new towns in close proximity to the Lanes.
Together with Gryph she had been monitoring the state of the Öans and providing care where she could.
The Order of the Fist had also requested her assistance on several occasions to clear out feral Wendigoes from abandoned settlements. She had also been honing her nailsmithing, after a particularly insistent plea by Verika and done her best to attend the regular conferences that the Order of the Nail organized.
Lastly the royal commission on the exploration of OG vaults had also requested her participation in opening up vaults found from the knowledge that Neebs had provided.
So her work kept her busy, and with the Skipping Lanes cutting most distances short, it wasn't too hard to keep ahead of her schedule. Sure, on average she had gotten 5.3% less sleep this month than last month (she had taken to precisely keeping track of her day to cut out inefficiencies wherever she could), but this trend would stabilize soon enough, and after all, her work was very important.
Five years later
“So what was it that you wanted to talk to me about Splut? I'm sorry, but I'm in a hurry”
Sucy stumbled into the Lampshade without looking, but when she did, she didn't see the impassive face of the bluffer, instead a small group of Unexpectables was arrayed in front of her. Her eyes were tired and she struggled to keep them open, but she could make out the worried faces of Nana, Gryph, Zapanda, Ringo, Hat, Hob and even Grumbus. Behind her the door closed and when she turned around, she saw Humbug and Splut.
The group exchanged awkward glances, and after a few seconds Nana was the first to talk:
“Sucy, we're here as your friends to tell you that you are overworking yourself. I mean look at you, you're pale as an Öan, you're nearly falling asleep where you stand and you are just skin and bones. When was the last time you had a full meal?”
Sucy turned around to leave, but Splut and Humbug were still blocking the door. “So there's no emergency? Then I need to leave right now, the royal commissioner for frontier settlements is expecting me!” she explained irritatedly.
This time it was Splut's turn to reply: “No, he is not, in fact I've canceled all your meetings for today. The world will keep on turning just fine without you for a day. Instead you will submit to a thorough examination by Gryph and then have a full night's sleep.” Growing more incensed, Sucy tried to push past the two, but was quickly subdued by Gryph's wrestling skills.
Forced into an armchair she submitted herself to the examination by Gryph and Zapanda, which mostly took place while she was asleep, as she was out within minutes after sitting down.
Ten years later
Sucy dusted off her hands as she stood up from the planter that she had been kneeling in front of. The newest crop of Amanita muscaria was coming along nicely and her other specimens were also doing well.
With her babies taken care of, she had a bit of free time before the Skipping Lane connection would be established and she could get started on her work.
Walking through her growing cave, she reminisced about how drastically she had changed her life in the last few years, after she had fallen asleep at the Lampshade. Looking back on it she clearly had been overworking herself, so to get away from the temptation of taking on any more projects she had commandeered one of the Skipping Lanes that had been found and set up her new home on the other side. Now the connection would be established for four hours every day in which she would use her ring to link up with the mindbender-net and reply to any queries, questions and petitions that had been sent to her over the previous day.
Drawing on Noggins’ and Sikatris’ experience at delegating, she had been able to pawn off most of the busy-work at the SLTA to subordinates and nowadays mostly appeared at official functions.
One of these days she'd have to start looking for a successor, but that was a problem for another day, Future-Sucy could take care of that.
Grabbing the ring from a countertop, she was already looking forward to getting some more time to work on new gadgets for the Black Truffle, a mysterious masked vigilante that was a sometimes ally, sometimes rival of the OG Pigilante Snorkus. Some days she wondered if Snorkus had realized who she was, but he seemed to enjoy it either way, and she had fun testing new inventions, so it seemed to work out for both of them either way.
She looked at her cave farm one last time before she closed the door and sat down in front of the Skipping Lane to solve some problems. Yes, this was the life.
|# ? Jan 10, 2019 19:10|
Statuz: rear end ENDED
Skillz: Mason Hootin' an' Hollerin' +45 Mason Masonry MasonDirty Fighting+25
HeeP: Mason Mason Mason?
Glury: Masonx6 -> 7
One year later
It was really loving weird. For a good solid 6 months Mason partied it up across every city, town and slum around the known world. Every bit of food tasted, every drop of hooch drank, and many hoots and hollers hurled at the undeserving people he met along the way.
Mason even spent a solid month afterwards at the Sieging Academy to party with the students and play pranks on Starn. Mason called it his "Colludge Theesus".
Then, just waking up in a drunken stupor, Mason started babbling again. Only this time his poo poo made no sense, like even more than usual. Mason bragged about beating a game set in a Tower with a level full of Masons, about becoming a God, a whole bunch of crazy poo poo. Whenever he met up with an old comrade of the Horde, they thought Mason was just drunker than usual and waved it off.
About a month ago, Mason passed by Ringo on his way to another party and they reminisced about the war over hooch and more hooch. Mason guffawed over his story about using his "ol noggin" to try and bash open a gate that one time. He wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes and stared at the sky for a minute. He turned back to Ringo and said "Welp, eye tink mai tyme hear es neering ets ennd. Eye hoap too sea yoo en sum uther wurld egain. Latur Rambo!".
Mason then swipes the bottle of hooch from Ringo's hands, smashes it against his own head, and let's out the biggest Hoot of his life, then turns to start heading back on the road.
It was the last time Mason was seen in the world. Some think he got so trashed he's just dead in a ditch somewhere, but others wonder if Mason truly was not of this world, and left when the time was appropriate.
Only time will tell.
|# ? Jan 10, 2019 19:39|
There was in fact a mystery to be solved here, but it was beyond Cause's grasp to solve it. An army of archeologists would be needed to sift what understanding could be found from these fragments. Perhaps there was enough to find to prove or disprove or even embellish the old Queen's tale, but he could not do it alone. That could well be enough for him to be a part of that..
But something else, far less sane called to him. It had happened so fast, the confrontation in that saferoom. It was only when he was caught in Dixi's influence that he had felt it. When Noggins asserted herself, it was merely one detail in many, overshadowed by the horror of what Dixi had admitted to.
A divine plan, its rewards sought by the old Queen, corrobated by the administrator, through Neebs. Then what had the OG intended? They had left such cruelty - could their reward even be trusted? They had made warriors and sent them against one another... so they had meant to use those warriors somewhere useful, unless it was merely play, or they had intended to use the methods they developed here elsewhere, from the ground up, or....
There was not enough information. He was not even entirely clear on where 'elsewhere' was. The places where he could get that information... they were as likely to hold the end of the world in their hands. Manipulators? Within their minds surely, the OG were unlikely to make a button that would need a physical limb to use to end the world. Probably.
And that was the crux of it - not enough was known about the OG. It could even be that there was a failure state - that some remnant watched for a sign that meant the world was truly beyond redemption, at least for the OGs' purposes - and that made even ignoring what the OG had left and building what lives could be built in their shadow a dangerous proposition.
These questions had not resolved themselves as the archeologist returned to To, and then to the Lampshade, where he hoped to confer with the horde. He had not yet found any easy answers from them. Eventually he would plan to seek out Neebs, as his best lead to understanding the OG, or make another harrowing descent into the OG ruin where Neebs had made that connection, but for now, he was drunkenly standing. Plotting to abscond with the fabled 'proprietor's chair.' Mostly because he wanted a place to sit, in the bar, but it could be a nice starter piece to his private collection too!
Cause returns to To, intending to share what he has found in the wilderness. He will meet with Neebs if he gets the chance and attempt to unravel what he can of the OGs' mysteries. But first....
Skills: Archaeology +25 using, Balance, CQC +15
Retrieving the famed 'Proprietor's chair' relic: 1d100+25+33 137
|# ? Jan 10, 2019 22:26|
So, some months ago I decided that I'd make some fanart before the game was over. I wanted to have at least something of each active player character, so I started going over them squad by squad, and drawing some doodles. And here they are. The quality of the pieces is all over place... I assure that the uneven level of detail is not due to favoritism but rather laziness on my part .
First come the pieces I made early on, around the time of the Gateway Fortress.
The infiltrator squad welcoming Skett into the fold. But Jvie, shouldn't there be snow on the ground at that point? Where did they find a wheelchair for Humbug?
Oh, but wasn't it a precious time?
Memories grow sweeter with time~
Mason get down from there!
Siege Team 6. The horde's best siege team.
Evolution! Future! Breaking ranks!
The Neötype squad. Gesturing Snödis might have turned out more imposing than I meant. Carrying the banner would probably have been a better choice. Oh well.
The Medics. Compiling information on the horde's health. But Jvie, what is that office? When would they have had the chance to do something like that?
Memories grow sweeter with time~
I regret drawing in Neebs in such undignified pose, BUT ITS TOO LATE TO CHANGE NOW.
"Welp. Here we are."
The Knights. This is where I stopped originally. After the neötype pic I just didn't have any good ideas for the next one, until finally Noggins and Verika both got into gardening and I suddenly had my theme. I had hard time deciding on what outfits to use here. The ball clothes didn't seem suitable for everyday wear, but it is also silly to have Verika still wearing a suit of Frö armor. Oh well.
Unaffiliated Unexpectables. People that I didn't notice belonging to any of the squads. I love how Snorkus turned out, the others I feel like I could have done better. Ruby in particular doesn't have any gimmick going for her... oh well.
Jvie fucked around with this message at Jan 12, 2019 around 03:27
|# ? Jan 12, 2019 02:43|
Name: Sir Verika (& Garnör)
HP: 1/1 (3/3)
Skills: Perception +65, Smithing +80, Sniping +30 (& Armorsmithing +10)
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
Glory: 25 -> ??+
Ritual Chits: 12 (artwork bonus)
Epilogue (part 2): Even though the transition from being a celebrated Knight of the Unexpectables to being the Grandmaster Knight of the Orders of the Nail and Fist was tough on her at first, Sir Verika the Perceiver had never known anything that seemed more natural to her than forging political alliances with other like-minded loyalists while also hunting down and poaching valuable talent to fill her Knights' ranks.
Through all her trials and tribulations, through all her dealings with Script, with the Admins, with the Artifacts, with the Vile Mechanism and the Players of Games, Sir Verika the Perceiver had glimpsed the very nature of the universe she was born into, and in doing so she'd found her purpose: Sir Verika had wished to enlighten the rest of world of the truth of [the game], safely, without taking advantage of others along the way. Unfortunately, when one is in control of two vast and powerful sections of governmental machinery, it can be very easy to lose perspective on who's taking advantage of whom.
For Sir Verika the Perceiver, Grandmaster of the Knights of the Orders of the Nail and Fist, the Last War between the Tö and Frö nations never truly ended - at least not on paper - at least not according to the leading conspiracy theories at the time. In truth, as far as Verika had discovered, the unfathomable Script-based machinery that made up [the game] required that there be some ongoing "war-state" between the peoples in order to award the requisite "skill points" necessary for the average members of the warring populations to grow stronger, Ascend, and thus achieve greater cultural, societal, industrial and scientific works for their respective nations. From these findings, Verika had learned that there always needed to be some level of conflict, tension, and competition between Tö and Frö, otherwise everything in the civilized world would regress into a [null] state or else fall to Rampant Monsterism.
A good portion of Verika's written works in her service to the Knights of the Order of the Nail were devoted to the breakdown, study, and analysis of Script and what that knowledge of Script-related phenomena meant for day-to-day honest living. Most of her early essays were largely predicated upon the concept that a variable known as "Glory" was a real and tangible factor in indicating a person's average aptitude in a variety of settings. Verika's first three published papers, "The Quest for Glory: Ascension Via Adversity," "Nails and Hammers: The Skillcore's Journey," and "Trial and Error: The History and Use of Proof Scraper" became widespread reads among Knights, squires, and scholars alike.
Based upon her findings, "Glory-worthy challenges" became a necessary factor in the Knights' daily routines as major parts of their jobs. Based upon her firm belief in the theory that Glory gained points one on the path to perfection, Verika continued to amass and obtain large sums of personal Glory, earned in her loyal service to her country, the Knights, and her beloved Queen Noggins.
Prince of Space fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2019 around 00:56
|# ? Jan 12, 2019 04:10|
Nice work Jvie!
|# ? Jan 12, 2019 12:57|
Some What If? Fan-art.
|# ? Jan 12, 2019 23:25|
One of the amusing things people have been doing the whole game is thinking of "what-ifs". What if so and so had become a wendigo, or NOT become a wendigo, or etc. For the last few days I've been drawing up an assortment of em', but I'll collect them here so people who aren't on the discord can see them too. Feel free to suggest others and I'll see if I can get to em' all!
edit: And let's not forget our favourite DLC character, Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Game himself, Rahdclyffe
Dog Kisser fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2019 around 14:38
|# ? Jan 14, 2019 17:02|
I'd get DLC for Break Down That Gate.
|# ? Jan 14, 2019 18:20|
Well, that was the darndest thing. The question had been silently floating in the air between them for a time before, but neither of them really had the courage to ask it. He'd fought wendigoes, Commanders, Inhabited... but this was a tougher foe that all of those. He'd been actively mulling it over in his head for at least a week, popping up in his thoughts over and again like an unwanted house guest. As it simmered away, he'd finally decided to voice it.
'Dearest, I know you're busy at the minute, but I feel like it has been hanging in the air between us recently. How do you feel about kids?' He ducked a slicing cutlass as it embedded with a thud into the railing behind him, and follow up with a vicious kick to their knee. 'Darling,' she started, 'I appreciate that you want to bring this up, but I'm kind of busy at the minute!' She stood across the orlop deck, hooking her foot behind a thug's ankle and shoving them hard out of a cannon port, quickly followed by a loud splash.
'Well I'm not necessarily opposed', called Waesh, 'but I never thought what kind of father I'd be. Could we really raise kids with our lifestyle?' He was temporarily interrupted as the melee intensified around him. 'I certainly love the excitement, but maybe we could take a holiday? My knee hasn't been the same since that incident with the Wendigo... maybe we could head back to Tomate and get Gryph to have a look?' There were certainly other doctors he could see, but it didn't feel the same seeing someone else. The Unexpectables were family.
She ducked and parried a wild, slicing swing, and responded in kind. 'Even so, you wouldn't give up life at sea, would you?' Maybe we could just take a few years off. With that big break recently, I'm sure we'll be set for a long time. We could just go and see the world, just you and me... and our family.' Her foe dispatched and sprawled out on the deck, she sauntered over as he picked up the last boarder standing over his head and hurled him overboard with a roar.
He stroked his moustache a moment, surveying the scene around him. 'It is settled then. I think I'd really enjoy a holiday...'
Waesh and his wife decide to take a few years off the excitement to start a family, but shortly set to sea again, slowing down on the adventures and instead travelling together to see the world.
|# ? Jan 15, 2019 15:14|
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, Torn Scarf, ThumbsCrew Mug
While handing over the comically large hatbox, Hat noticed Interim Leader Sikatris's eyes dart to Hat's right. Uh-oh..., she thought.
She'd hung her Knightly Spear high up on the wall behind the hat shop's till. Partly because she was mostly proud of her service, partly because such war relics brought in the tourists, and partly because a sharp weapon within easy Ascended-reach was an effective deterrent against thieves and other misbehaving customers. Someone (Hat swore blind it wasn't her) had written a tag and attached it to the handle, reading "The Key To The City Of Noostra." The last thing the recently-promoted leader of the country you'd just defeated in war needed was a visual reminder of a weapon that had done quite a lot of damage to her troops. (Frankly, she'd lost count somewhere around Teret.)
"Thank you," the Interim Leader said, an icy chill now in her voice. "Please forward the invoice to Frömage, *sigh* quoting Fröan Army Requisition Code Number Six-One-Three. Goodbye." She left the shop and the door's bell gave a little chime. Hat exhaled, then turned to her 'Prentice, Lotti. "OGs-damnit, I am not cut out for this diplomacy lark. Still, she is the Interim Leader. That means that the Ruler of Frö, the Queen of Tö, and even according to reports the Tyrant of Neötöpia all wear hats that I, personally, made! All three nations, three hats, one milliner!" Her face broke into a wide smile. "How's that for a hat-trick?"
Lotti chuckled, her eyes focused on the replica Neötype Squad beret taking shape in her hands. "Nice, I'd've gone with 'Triple Crown' myself."
"Ooh, that is good," Hat agreed. She took a sip of now-cold coffee from her mug (Another Noostra souvenir!). "Guess it's all downhill from here."
"Not necessarily," Lotti replied. "You could make a Masterwork. A rival to Veilpiercer, an artifact hat of untold power and mystery. A relic for the ages."
Hat shrugged. "To what end? What would it do? All artifacts have a purpose, and while I can make an excellent hat, I'm terrible at ideas outside of that frame. Also, after all that palaver with the old Crown, maybe it's for the best that there's no more superpowered headwear being produced. Best stick to what I'm- we're best at. Regular hats for regualr fölk."
"What about the Mindbender Network? You helped create it, that has to be one heck of a legacy."
"Nah, that's mostly Fröan War-tech atop an OG thingamajig. Besides, I taught a few wearers how to create new connections and now the whole network's got access to the info. The hardware side's pretty much self-replicating, doesn't need me anymore. And Hob's always taken the lead on the inside of it." Hat sighed. "Honestly? A legacy of excellent hats is all I need. Peöple all over Hür seeing that symbol, my symbol..." She gestured to the recently-installed shop sign, a wooden diamond-shape bearing a trapezoid hat atop a square-diamond head, with a semi-circle smile. "...and knowing that what they've got is a great hat. Tell you what, Lotti, that's enough for one day." Hat turned the small sign in the shop door's window to Closed.
|# ? Jan 17, 2019 00:37|
Name: Snorkus, aka Peter Porker, Mild-Mannered Reporter
Skills: Pigilante Justice+30, Gazing+10, Rolling+30
Who else accompanied him on his capers? Surely someone as inspiring as the Pigilante has caused many copycats to take up the cape alongside him… and perhaps even on the side of evil!)
Snorkus the Pigilante stalked through a seedy alley, rooting his way through scraps of discarded detritus. The foe he was chasing had come this way not too long ago - they'd all but wallowed in the garbage on their way, with the trail they were leaving behind. Turning back to his protégé, he gestured for The Piglet to watch and learn how a true hero boar down on their foe. As Ringo shrugged and leaned against a wall, hiding a quiet smile behind one large hand, Snorkus resumed the hunt. His quarry was close. He could smell it.
Wait. He knew that scent. Sighing in frustration, he shot a glare at Pig Pen. While he could appreciate his other sidekick's commitment to olfactory warfare on the battlefield of good against evil (to say nothing of his Pen Grenades), it did tend to leave his nose tingling for a while after they finished each patrol together. Come to think of it, why hadn't the Vile Mechanism reverted his slightly-Monsterized nose back to normal like it had his eyes? Oh well, that was a question for another day, another time. He shrugged and turned away from Grumbus, only to widen his eyes as a trio of shadowy figures appeared at the far end of the alley. At last, his quarry had emerged from their foul lair!
The Red Menace narrowed her eyes, surely preparing some sort of nefarious assault. It was strange that Snorkus hadn't encountered any other Froan villains, but she certainly picked up the slack for her countrymen! Her rolling offenses reminded him a bit of that peculiar waitress that had joined the Unexpectables for a bit... what was her name again? Rosy? Daisy? Ruby? No matter, there were more dire matters at hand!
The Hob-Goblin, his first and most frequent opponent on the field of JUSTICE, fondled the Mindbender helmet atop his head (the villain! Tapping into the precious network for insights to use for EVIL!) from atop a fluttering butterfly - proof positive that while his former allies like Hob had used similar insectoid mounts for justice, nothing stopped evil from laying claim to their tactics! How hogtrageous!
The Black Truffle - now there was an interesting one. He suspected that she had taken inspiration for her gimmick (far pigferior to his own, of course) from the heroic Sucy, yet another onetime Unexpectable ally that he had parted ways with after the war ended! The Truffle fought by his side, once - armed with the most inventive gadgets and tools that he had ever seen (not to mention a vicious kick). Truly, an asset to JUSTICE! But no longer... having thrown in with the nefarious forces of villainy, she had to be stopped at all costs!
As Snorkus shouted to his sidekicks and readied an assault, his gaze flickered up to the rooftops overlooking the alley... ah, of course. There he was. The Conversationalist. Such a mysterious figure. Always hovering at the outskirts of each heroic clash, sometimes assisting Snorkus and his allies in their struggle against evil, and other times giving counsel to his bitter foes such that they might better resist the hogslaught of Snorkus' JUSTICE. Shaking his head briefly, Snorkus shrugged. People like that - such as the infiltrator Splut - always had their own agenda and games to play, but it would all work out in the end somehow.
A manic grin spread across Snorkus' face as he charged his villainous foes, Pigarang held aloft. The world might have changed in uncountable ways since the Unexpectables ended their campaign, but one thing remained true - the single solitary constant in Snorkus' life...
"JUSTICE ALWAYS PIGVAILS!"
Podima fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2019 around 04:58
|# ? Jan 17, 2019 01:41|
Noggins flipped through the final pages of the report—a remarkably dry accounting of recent Wildlands containment efforts—then squared the loose pages on the polished bloodwood surface of her desk before filing them back in their folder. Neotöpia wasn’t skimping on their contributions, exactly, but it was clear they were having trouble with a particularly extensive and virulent monsterist mushroom colony, and that was causing issues on the Tö side. Not there was a lot that she could do about that right now but hope, given the diplomatic situation. She scribbled a note to reach out to Sucy for a consultation—she’d need to reach out first thing in the morning if she was going to have a response within the month. But that would have to wait. She was done for the day.
It had been hard, setting limits. She swiveled her chair, looking out at Tömate. The city had changed a lot in just a few short years. Its skyline was different, for one—the ever-changing turrets of SASGY, the proud spiraling towers of the Order of the Nail, the fortified walls of the Fröan Embassy—but more important than that were the changes you couldn’t see from this distance. That even besides SASGY’s hallowed halls there was a proper system of schools reaching out to every child, regardless of circumstance. That once-commonplace diseases had been practically eradicated. That “police” was no longer a synonym for “particularly nasty gang”. That the aura of fear—fear of Frö, fear of monsterists, fear of all that was unfamiliar—that had been so omnipresent that it was invisible until it was no longer being fed by the Queen, had diminished.
But there was still so far to go. There was so much still to be done. So much that she was responsible for. One day Tö would be a place where everyone could be happy—Tö, Frö, Ö, monsterist, Wendigo, stranger still—everyone, without exception. But that was a long ways off, and she’d sworn that she wouldn’t rest until she’d realized that goal.
Thankfully, Hob had been there to bring her back down to reality. It was the sort of thing that certainly sounded good for the start of a noble, epic quest. But as a way to live, it was frankly insane. She was never going to reach that dream if she was making herself miserable with overwork. She had an obligation to Tö, yes, but that didn’t mean she could just ignore her obligation to herself—to actually live her life to the fullest. So Noggins neatened her desk one last time, gave her bonsai a quick look over (from a distance, of course. It was too small to inflict real damage, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t hurt) and headed downstairs.
Hob was away on a trip at the moment—a Mindbendernet conference in Frömage—but that was alright. He’d be back tomorrow, and they already had dinner plans set up. It was funny how short a distance that seemed, now. No, she was going to spend the evening in the gardens. She’d been amazed by the extent of the palace grounds—it was one thing to see it from the outside, and quite another for it to be yours to roam. With that much free space, the course of action had been clear.
The workshop she’d built was the only place in the palace the servants weren’t allowed to touch. It was a space that was hers in its entirety, though as the Old Queen passed further into memory, that distinction felt less and less like something she needed to prove to herself—after a certain point, you are who you are, and worrying too much about why you’re that way would get you nowhere. Designed, built, and maintained by her own two hands. She changed out of her work clothes, into her work clothes, and began perusing her stocks of lumber. Nana had mentioned that Bäbi was going to need a proper bed soon. It was time for something new. Something… hm… a good cherry, perhaps. A nice, cheerful wood. She selected a few slats, and got to work. And she was happy. And one day, she’d share that happiness with her children.
That might make for a good dinner discussion tomorrow. But that could wait. Right now was a time for the quiet peace of the moment.
The Lord of Hats fucked around with this message at Jan 17, 2019 around 02:59
|# ? Jan 17, 2019 02:54|
Humbug stared blearily at the two white (well, once-white) lab-coated apparitions that had appeared in front of him. Grumbus? Impossible. Grumbus had gone off his rocker, had fallen, ironically, to the very disease he’d been questing after. He’d gotten too cocky, and run out the clock, punching out Sadomax's clock (and core), and then gone raving off. Although… given the smell, and the characteristic lack of pupils, who else could it be? He drunkenly shook off his gaping stupor. "Sho... hum,” urped the Sleuth, while trying to remember how to talk. He'd been forced into levels of alcohol poisoning he hadn’t experienced since his last dissatisfied days in the City Watch, simply to contain his current level of OCS contagion. “Shho... how'shn yu shane? You wuz goin’ all Fevhead shreamin' 'bout makin' the ferp... perfesht hangy cure dish... dishyeeze."
The pair of Grumbuses - Grumbi? No... definitely Grumbuses - grinned and shoveled something wet and rancid into Humbug’s open mouth, making him stagger back, coughing and hacking at the foul-tasting concoction.
"That’s just it. I did create it! My finest work - Dr. Grumbus' Fullbody Core Purgertive. 100% guaranteed to make you regret sobriety AND make that virus regret ever oozin’ into your body. Them military lab boys had some good poo poo on hand, let me tell you! Don't worry, that was your dosage I just shoved down your throat. Glad I managed to get it to you before you started sobering, really. Overclocked Humbug woulda been shite-bad. Last time you got us in a scrap with a Queen, so who knows, maybe you'd dig me up a bona-fide Player or some poo poo if topped up on OCS. Now, buddy, do me a solid and hold on to this."
Grumbus put a beaker into the Sleuth’s good hand. Humbug glanced in confusion at it, then felt the aftertaste of what he’d swallowed truly hit the back of his mouth. A shiver ran through him and all the way down deep into his gut, which churned while the rest of his body tingled unpleasantly. The Sleuth had once imagined what drinking Sacrifire would feel like. The feeling of a Dr. Grumbus’ Purgertive was not dissimilar to the result of that thought exercise. Pressure building, nerves flaring, gut roaring in pain and an overarching sense that this was IT - this was the end. The dam broke - or more accurately, the dam suffered a series of expertly placed breaching charges, forcing it to disgorge its poisoned contents upon the defenseless vale downrange.
Grumbus, still smiling, backpedaled slightly to avoid the backwash.
"There. Feckin' perfect,” he said after a minute or so of miserable retching, stepping up to pry loose the
"If you’re still feeling some OCS core burn, I can always up the dosag-" began Grumbus, only to see the Sleuth seize up in sudden panic, remnants of alcohol poisoning vanishing like dew before the morning sun. He seized the Plaguebearer by the arm.
"Just mentally! Cores are a-ok! We going to stand around dripping, or are we finally putting an end to this madness at its source? No time like the present! Hum! Let's go! and get me a towel"
“And here it is, Humbug," explained Grumbus, pointing a big, bubbling glass vessel he’d cobbled together in the abandoned lab. "While you were busy desperately rifling through alcohol cabinets, I used the OCS state to whip up the Purgertive and then used its leavings - and my leavings - to get an early start on the payload we're going to deliver to our big, blind friend down yonder."
Slinker juices, out-of-date medicines, drinks way past their best dates all roiled within, heated at a low boil. Below he’d scrawled ‘Warcrime Payload Prototype #2 - To be ingested’ in big red letters.
“Now, I’ve got the Incubator hanging around at the bottom of shaft #5, lured there by Sadomax’s sound system. We know it’s spewing out the virii-”
“Shouldn’t that be ‘viruses’?” interjected Humbug, eyebrows raised in alarm at the lethal-looking mixture that had been the base of what he’d been forced to drink. Grumbus managed to give him an offended glare - despite the lack of eyebrows or, for that matter, pupils. “Virii, Humbug - literally wrote the book on this, so I drat well get to decide. Anyway - we know the Incubator spews out OCS virii like nothin’ else. Luckily, we’ve scientifically - or some such - proven that it’s weak to alcohol and Dr. Grumbus’ good ol’ purgertive, so the obvious solution is to just give it some proper drat medicine. I’m pretty sure I’ve got the solution just about right for it, but I’ll also need some STRONG-rear end STRONG AS poo poo alcoholic beverage to top it off just right. “
“… that might be a problem, Grumbus. We’ve downed pretty much everything in range.”
“Haw, yeah we have. Still, shouldn't be a big. Waesh hasn’t gotten through his private stash yet, has he?” said Grumbus smugly and waved his hand. “Just do your Infiltrator hoodoo thing and ‘skip us back something strong.”
“Um… hum. That’s not how it works, Grumbus. I don’t just suddenly HAVE things from the other Infiltrators. It’s more that it turns out we foresaw and planned for this sort of necessity all along, and, hum... it's hard to explain. There's almost like this extended flashback sequence detailing just how-“ Humbug cut off when he saw Grumbus’ expression growing increasingly skeptical - and impatient.
Humbug, earlier that month posted:
”Hu--hum-huff.. hey Waesh? Glad I caught you before you left. I’m going to need a barrel of your best grog. For, hum… reasons. Sticky, and potentially ugly, reasons. Infiltrator business.”
“Oh fine. Here you go,” sighed the Sleuth, bringing out a small barrel of Bärthöl’s Breaker-Grade Grog from his inner coat where he'd, of course, kept it all along. The Plaguebearer cackled happily and cracked the lid of the barrel, rubbing his hands together as the smell of ozone and bitumen began to fill the room.
In true Unexpected fashion, the pair of them survived.
Past the disgustingly well-trapped mansion, past core-maddened feverheads still spreading the Overclocked Core Syndrome and all the twisted products of their cores, past being drunk off their gills to delay the onset of a deliriously dangerous disease - and past the Incubator nestled in a military tunnel network under the center of Slinker City, which they eventually Warcrimed into... Humbug wanted to say submission, but remission might possibly be more on the nose. Whatever. If it survived, it’d have a hell of a hangover when it finally woke up, and a desire to hide under a pillow for the next two to ten years. It should suffice.
Grumbus, of course, was more than happy and satisfied with the fact he had a wide variety of virii samples. The debt of figuring out what the red and blue goop was repaid in full. Humbug was mainly happy he had most of his sanity left. Solving another mystery and ending an existential threat - and that fuckhead Sadomax - was admittedly a bit of a bonus. Grumbus had solemnly promised something good would come of the whole debackled and he seemed oddly conscientious about securing his samples for the journey back, so Humbug trusted him to whip up a proper vaccine - or something the like - from it. Really, given all the work the Plaguebearer was putting into his SASGY efforts, the Sleuth suspected that the 'Dr. Grumbus' brand stood a fair chance of becoming a household name. Presumably to the future disbelief (or outright grief) of the medical community.
Humbug didn't plan to rest on his laurels either. Klörf, after all, still hadn’t found his friend. When the young Tö had come knocking on his office door, all snot and tears, he’d had no intention of resisting the littlest Unexpectable’s heartfelt cry for help.
From the second-floor window of the Lampshade, Humbug saw off an ecstatic pair - a tiny blue shape hoisted aloft by a massive, hairy, multiple-eyed, pot-bellied red figure. They left with a piece of Apricöt pie in hand, already animatedly discussing how else to celebrate their reunion. Klörf and Bölborf, Tö and Frö. The latter kept blowing gusts of flames into the air to pleased squeals of joy from Klörf and perturbed to curious looks from bystanders.
Humbug laughed. He was a piece of work, that Bölborf. The Sleuth had assessed him to be almost on the level of a Brandigo - an Ascended monsterist who’d somehow developed the ability to breathe fire. The Frömen war machine had certainly been pleased to use him on the frontlines, whether he’d wanted to be there or not, as part of the Inhabited project. Of course, Monsterist Inhabited were special, and this one even more so than most with his pyrotechnic displays. Standing out like that made you noticeable and the Inhabited Bölborf had been thoroughly sliced apart outside of Frömage. It’d been a pain and a half to figure out where all the pieces had ended up - and then it had taken most of the rest of the month to find the personnel, flengers and resources to force a proper jump-start on the re-assembly and De-Inhabiting of Inhabited so Bölborf himself could get restored.
Looking at the pair of them now, Humbug could see it had been worth the effort.
He didn’t feel too bad about kicking in motion the large-scale restoration of Inhabited War Prisoners either. It was one of the few places where both sides had been thoroughly in the wrong. Besides, the post-war kingdoms were going to need able hands soon - and those able hands needed to be told the incredible truth of the events that had passed them by. Imagine, if he hadn’t come along all those people might’ve been popped out into a world that would’ve made no sense to them! At least now they’d get to knew WHY it had stopped making sense, and had some help to deal with it.
All thanks to little Klörf’s request and just a bit of bribery and butt-in-gear kicking. If only doing the right thing was this easy, and felt this rewarding, all the time. Klörf and Bölburf vanished into the snowy distance. Humbug decided he’d give Splut a friendly call to suggest some extra support be sent their way. Whatever they wanted to get up to, they could make an excellent pair of EMFs - Emergency Madmist Firesetters. He'd told them as much. Little Klörf had immediately taken to the idea with all his childish heart, while Bölborf had seemed thoughtful - as if it hadn't considered such an unexpected utility to his unique skill.
Merely one of many, the Sleuth had assured him. That had felt right.
Humbug would not always be right, he knew. Nor might he be able to find all the answers to what was wrong with the world, to what had happened in the distant past, or find the right solutions to future mysteries, but... he could in no way stop trying. True, by leaving no stone unturned, sometimes you found some gross and gribbly poo poo. Sometimes, loosening a rock set off an avalanche of unintended consequences. Sometimes you had to deal with some real poo poo. And sometimes you put a pair of good friends back together.
Humbug had thought plenty about the irony of it all. If the Old Queen - it must’ve been the Queen - hadn’t had a certain nosy private detective hauled off to prison and conscripted to an all-but certain suicide mission, would the Unexpectables have turned the right stones and figured out the truth? He didn’t know. It was possible. But he had a feeling the Old Queen had set herself up. She’d assumed the pesky questioner (hah, how he’d smiled when he’d found out about his Frömen moniker) would die out there with the rest. By all rights he should have, several times over. Unfortunately for her, he was stubborn. And he’d had help. Friends who’d kept patching him back together and who’d followed him all the way down the slinker hole. Together, they’d caught the biggest and most slippery slink of them all - the truth. Any other combination of frö- and töfolk… Humbug suspected not many would have.
No, she’d set herself up good, hadn’t she? Humbug shook his head, chuckling softly… then gasped at a painful twinge in his chest. He let out a grunt of pain, then took a few deep calming breaths and steadied his breathing, straightened his posture. Just a reminder that he wasn't quite the young - or hale - Tö he'd once been, and one which he quickly shrugged off. There was vim and vigour in him still, at least if the last few months of misadventures had proved anything.
What’s next for Humbug? More cases? A more permanent position in government? How does he feel about the resolution of the great mystery? Elated or disappointed…?
So, though he’d been offered a position, he wasn’t going to accept a desk job sorting out Noggins’ legal woes. That wasn’t him - he would have to get out there, put boots on the ground, eyes on the scene. So what if that meant he was living life on the edge? He excelled at that. He loved doing it! He'd solved one of the greatest mysteries this world had ever not known it'd ever known - and despite doing so, he was still itching for more. He couldn't imagine there wouldn't be more mysteries and cases still left in the world for Humbug - Sleuth Extraordinaire! - to chip away at... so he would do it. He’d take on cases, as needed, as interested, big and small. Fellow Unexpectables would receive priority. He owed them as much.
Although - possibly, maybe - he’d act a little more responsibly from here on out. He didn’t want to upset Nana, after all. She’d already cut him off his Apricöt pie supply after the Slinker City debacle!
|# ? Jan 17, 2019 03:37|
Is Ruby daunted at all by her new position as Ambassador? Is it what she expected it would be? Is she happy with it, or does she want more out of her life?
It was strange, being able to say that she'd hit her zenith, her biggest opportunity and most important task in the public eye, period. Bigger than any role in any of the theater companies she'd aspired to join. A figure of possible historical importance. Ruby the Ambassador -- she realized, one day, enjoying a very modest blood törange mimosa and some Teret shrimp -- might, in some distant future, appear in a major production as a character. And that was a lot more intimidating than the work, which she'd finagled into going well with her developing geopolitical savvy and the backing of an entire government. Not even poorly placed, as it turned out.
Somehow, over the months with the Horde -- and then months as an Ambassador, working under Sikatris -- she'd converted Moxey's advice and a bunch of tricks for getting tips into a skillset which barely resembled the tricks of her old Waitressing work. Sure, there were vague aesthetic similarities, and tricks that transferred over -- her attentiveness, her rolling gait, her dedication to satisfying other people, the various self-important misers who didn't think she could possibly be important enough to avoid spilling secrets around and who expected her to top off their drinks, gaaah -- but the person she'd been, the effort she'd put in... there was no linear relationship between who she'd been and who she'd become, not really.
After all, what kind of Waitress moonlighted as a misunderstood antihero vigilante, hunting down those who would antagonize the disenfranchised Fröan population with methods that got results, dammit, no matter what Snorkus shouted/threw at her? None of it was what she'd expected, because Ruby the Waitress hadn't been the right person to expect any of this, with dreams limited to her name up in lights, the Glory of the stage. Ruby the Ambassador was, if only because she'd lived it, and had her expectations tempered/outdone by reality. Being big, as it turned out, was mostly little things, like well-placed words, good habits, and discreetly jump-kicking criminals through plate glass windows. They added up, sure, but they were still little things.
An Ambassador, she thought, sitting in her office, the Red Menace costume safely stowed in a secret panel beneath her desk, her mimosa drained. Ruby had gotten a bigger part than she'd ever dreamed thanks to the little things. Serving little cocktail wieners, delivering intelligence, fitting her square peg into a round hole, because too many round pegs had died in an attempted round-peg genocide, enacted by a set of four-dimensional peghorrors. It was, after a fashion, exactly what she'd wanted, and Ruby couldn't deny that it was nice to be a household name, to move materiel and resources across the nation with a few words. Terrifying, yes, though the terror had waned as she failed to destroy the world, but nice. If her discreet word with the remnants of the Commander Program went through, she might even literally get big, one day.
Even so... she couldn't help thinking she'd missed a step on the way.
A few years after everything had settled down, a small theater company in Föstis featured an understudy playing one of the secondary leads in Warlord Grimper's Tunneling Circus, a comic play about the legendary Unexpectable Coup (specifically, she played Doc, whose role had been somewhat diminished for the sake of not bogging down the action with tiresome murder mystery subplot). Her name, as listed on the playbill, was Urby, the Waitress.
Ruby's costume itched. Her makeup had been done by an intern whose Logistics Skillcore could not, in fact, be stretched to tactical cosmetic action. Her acting was decent, but she stumbled over a few lines, and barely suppressed a laugh at Cornbread's soliloquy, even as it moved the audience to tears. Critics panned her as a slipshod substitute for Bluxt the Intimidator, whose performance in When The White Latch Sprung had cemented it as a masterwork in Frö's swiftly growing postwar theatrical corpus.
Nevertheless, when that aforementioned intern cleared out
Poltergrift fucked around with this message at Jan 18, 2019 around 15:36
|# ? Jan 18, 2019 02:26|
(Dack is a respected (if from a distance) author and academic within Tömate, and his book is doing unexpectedly well among the youth of the city. Most of them just think it’s ‘cool’, too young or ignorant to recall the worst of the Madmist outbreaks and Monsterist Plagues, but for many young Monsterists and even a few baseline it represents a possible future, one they may never have conceived of alone. Even Dack as a public figure has gone a long way towards normalizing Branded Wendigo in public settings, and his evident public dismissal of Neötöpia in favour of ‘polite society’ has scored him further points. His life won’t always be easy, but it is getting easier. Has Dack accomplished what he set out to do? What else does he wish for in this life he made for himself?)
Name: Dack, Teacher of Theoretical Infection Application
In between his classes where he taught what he knew or suspected about Infection, Dack was busy with experiments to find out what he didn't yet understand. Cores were able to resonate with time, but infected cores could jump to near-peak efficiency, at the considerable risk of becoming a Wendigo. Was there a way to reduce the effect, boosting the core with infection temporarily without corrupting the core entirely? If you infected non-living materials like stone or iron, and then shifted their form before curing the infection, what would happen? Would it return to normal, break down, or would it be an effective way to "sculpt" buildings, tools, or even art? Would it be possible to localize infection in the stump of a missing limb, creating monsterized prosthetics? Would there even be a market for such a thing, or would people find that too weird?
Of course, progress in these experiments was slowed down massively from all the paperwork that needed to be filled out before there was even a chance that Dack could get permission. Neötöpia hadn't exactly done much to calm peoples' fears about unchecked infection, so strict precautions in Infection research was to be expected. Sometimes Dack would get frustrated at the comments he heard about the monsterist country, usually negatively comparing those that lived there to Dack and wondering why Neötöpia couldn't be "proper" like him. For as much as people listened to his lectures about baseliners, monsterists, and Wendigoes getting along, it felt like few bothered to ever try to understand what those lessons meant.
He had made significant progress, and the overall treatment of Wendigoes had improved considerably even compared to just a few months ago, but that didn't mean it was good enough. But for as much resistance Dack's efforts faced, it was yielding. Eventually, people would finally understand, even if he had to club them all over the head with his books. Wait, that's probably a bad idea. Well, he'll have to workshop out a less violent approach when he's less busy with paperwork.
|# ? Jan 24, 2019 23:32|
Portha locked herself away, trying to experiment with new plans for attaining the Yots the people were earning in an attempt to compete with the players. She eventually gave up on trying to get Tö's allotment and converted herself to an Ö and tried again, declaring herself the player of Ö's side and demanded the Administrator recognize her as such.
|# ? Jan 25, 2019 13:03|
Skett spent a lot of time painting, these days. He wasn't much good at it. The Queen had offered him a better position, Splut had offered him monetary support (which he used a fraction of to pay for paint and canvas), but he couldn't bear the idea of being the captain of the guard or the captain of anything. His Leadership Core cried out to be used, but he ignored it. He was in no position to be leading anyone.
He had no friends among the Frö. Surely he must have, once, the man he used to be. Indeed, he could remember many... but he'd killed several at the Gateway Fortress. Had been glad to do so, even, whipped into a frenzy by the Ritual. It was... difficult to think about. He knew logically that he should feel upset, but the Ritual was strong, and as loyal as he'd been then he was disloyal now. That's how it worked. They were all just factions in some careless god's game, and the deepest workings of his mind were just tokens that could be shuffled this way and that. He'd seen it with Cause when they fought the Queen, he'd felt it himself. He could the other deal with it? How could they just go on living, knowing - KNOWING - everything was fake, and everything was built on a foundation of lies built on a bedrock of manipulation of their very essences? He'd talked to Nana about it, been to the Lampshade to drink and think. The others all had their own ways of coping. He wished he could be like Stårn, soul as impregnable as Olivite. The Sieger had told him his own secret: not to care about it at all or ever think about it even for a second. There was a sort of mad wisdom to this: what could he do about it, after all? Also, if he'd never learned about it, it's not as though it wouldn't have been true. The secret had been there all along, they'd only just learned about it now.
And yet he couldn't not care! The world was a lie, the war was a lie, and a lie had been hammered into him, into his very being. He couldn't be a Leader because he didn't know where he was going. He couldn't go back to what he was, but he didn't know how to move forward, either. So he painted.
He slashed at the canvas. He cut into it, spilling forth deep wells of ichor the splash the page. It didn't make him feel anything in his Core, but he felt it somewhere else. Somehow, it helped. If everything was a lie, he'd just have to make something true.
|# ? Jan 25, 2019 20:17|
Hey, guys. Grumbus got me irl, too fevered out to really write. Just gonna drop the answers to DK's questions here for now.
Dog Kisser posted:
Will Grumbus ever bother with formal education, to better expand his knowledge?
Grumbus realizes that there are some gaps in his knowledge and he applies to a very specific university: The Royal Academy for Biological Studies, a very old and entrenched institution and one of the most vehement suppressors of germ theory. With Splut's help, he gets in with a minimum of fuss. Though he's a patient and attentive pupil, he's also a real dick about it.
Dog Kisser posted:
Will he ever clean up his act (and body) to better fit in with sterile lab conditions?
Bah, who needs sterile environments when you have resistance? Faced with his classes' high turnover rates (for obvious reasons), Grumbus tried to come up with a compromise. He takes a thorough bath at the beginning and end of every SASGY semester, and lets his stench slowly build over the course of classes, so as to not lose his plaguebearin' edge. It's like some kind of wonderful learning curve.
Dog Kisser posted:
What’s next for him?
Grumbus is more or less happy to teach the next generation all about sludges, slimes, ooze, and grime and all the delightful, filthy presents inside each globule. When he isn't teaching, Grumbus busies himself with his various projects. Currently the project he is most interested in is reverse engineering the Overclocked Core Syndrome virus to strip away or at least dull the negative side effects. Work is going slowly, but Grumbus keeps at it. He also has a side gig selling only slightly dubious vaccines and cures for various diseases. The reasonably priced concoctions are somewhat of a hit with the city's underclass, even if everyone dreads actually having to ingest them.
paper bag with a face fucked around with this message at Jan 26, 2019 around 02:56
|# ? Jan 26, 2019 02:52|
|# ? Feb 1, 2019 14:57|
Hey it's me Dog Kisser! I hope you liked the game. Now PAY UP.
I of course do this because I enjoy it, but if you feel like kicking me some pizza money (ramen money, probably) then you can visit my Patreon or tip me through PayPal. Regardless, thank you very much for playing and writing with me. This was an extraordinarily fun game to run, and you're all terribly, terribly creative. I'll keep you updated about the next game here, but if you're not already on the Discord, make sure to drop in and say hi!
|# ? Feb 1, 2019 15:24|
Thanks for the fun game Dogkisser! I enjoyed reading about the strange and funny world you created here.
|# ? Feb 1, 2019 18:41|
Thanks for the fun game Dogkisser! I enjoyed reading about the strange and funny world you created here.
Glad you liked it! Always fun to see when people have been lurking and reading!
|# ? Feb 1, 2019 18:48|
It's been said in discord a time or two before, but thanks for the ride Dog Kisser. This has been an absolute blast.
|# ? Feb 1, 2019 19:56|
Yeah! Kudos to you for the incredible effort put forth in art and writing. Utterly astonishing we managed to wrangle this into a what it became.
|# ? Feb 1, 2019 20:59|
I discovered this thread about halfway through and was always too chicken to ask if I could jump in. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed every glorious, insane, inventive page and hopefully I’ll catch the start of the next one! Thanks for a great experience, DK and all the participants.
|# ? Feb 5, 2019 17:22|
Glad you liked it! And you're absolutely welcome to join the next one!
|# ? Feb 5, 2019 17:57|
Everything in this thread is saved forever now muhuhuhahahha
|# ? Feb 5, 2019 23:24|
You inspired a truly terrifying amount of content, thank you for being awesome.
|# ? Feb 6, 2019 00:26|
yeah it was pretty good game
Now, make another one.
|# ? Feb 6, 2019 14:19|
|# ? Jun 20, 2019 17:11|
yeah it was pretty good game
Eventually! I can't hold off for too long, I like this too much. It will almost certainly be a totally different sort of game, too. I am (currently) thinking that I'd like to run a short one before doing another long form game.
But, well, we all know how well my time management gets!
|# ? Feb 6, 2019 14:25|