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dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

I'm interplanetary, bitch
Let's go to Mars




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Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A
B
C XX
D

Z
Y
X
W XX










Back at the Archive, everyone takes a rest in the Hidden Room. Miramie is pacing around and looking through the thesis. Natalia stands quietly. Leonardo is lying slumped on the bed with Jasper sitting next to him and clutching his hand. Chuubo is staring out of the window and Seizhi is sitting on the floor.

"I think I need to get Leonardo home." says Jasper suddenly. "Can someone help me?"

"Sure, I'll help!" says Chuubo. "Seizhi, how about you."

"Oh yes." Seizhi glances at Natalia. "Anyone else?"

"Sorry, but I very much want to discover where our work has taken us."


After Jasper, Chuubo and Seizhi have helped Leonardo get to his feet and walk out, Miramie pulls a few sheets out of the folder. "I don't fully understand this, but I think we can get a grasp of it if we do some research. Please don't tell anyone too much about this for the moment though."

Natalia nods, and Miramie starts to spread all the documents out on a table.

(Miramie Mesmer gains 1 Bonus XP for a 'Shared Action'!)
(Miramie Mesmer gains a point of Mystery!)
(For gaining her fifth point of Mystery, Miramie Mesmer regains 1 MP!)
(Natalia Koutolika gains 1 Bonus XP for sharing the moment!)

***

As he reclines on his own bed in his laboratory, Leonardo De Montreal seems to recover some spirit. "We... need to go... back."

"Not right now Monty! You're not in the state for another fight! Besides, I think we need a plan!" Jasper squeezes his hand. "In the meantime, we can start to do something about your problem." Leonardo starts mumbling to himself.

"Oh, that reminds me!" says Chuubo. "Seizhi, I think that I might have made a mistake building that Wish-Granting Engine."

"How's that?"

"I read this book by someone called Lord Entropy, and it says that wishing calls down the Outside." Chuubo frowns. "You know though, I used one wish to make you so it can't be completely a bad thing."

Leonardo snaps his head up. Seizhi closes his eyes. Oh well, I suppose he was bound to give the game away sooner or later...

"You... did what?" demands Leonardo. "I thought he was... your pen-pal!"

"Oh no, I made a wish for a best friend, and then he appeared, and he not only was my best friend, he had been my best friend!"

"Ah!" says Jasper. "That's why he wasn't with us on our adventures! Like when Monty' robots went wrong!"

"Oh... great." says 'Monty'. "You inserted someone into... existing history?"

"What's the problem?" asks Jasper. "That's what you did with me isn't it?"

"Yes... but you had a destiny... waiting for you. Otherwise... you would've turned out like... Billy Sovereign."

"Billy Sovereign?" says Seizhi sharply. "What's he got to do with any of this?"

Leonardo hesitates, then turns to Jasper and deliberately speaks to her instead of Seizhi. "I... made a mistake. I... made a monster... when I was trying to help... you. I... made Billy Sovereign." He shifts nervously. "He's... a person... without definition. He... tries to find one... but just spreads himself... like a disease." He gestures at Seizhi. "This one... must be... the same. When you make someone... they need a proper origin... to come from... or a proper destiny... to pursue. Or else... they lack... stability." He subsides.

(Leonardo De Montreal gains 1 Quest XP for 'Natural Scientist'!)

An option flashes up on Jasper's HUD. Can't he share my destiny? She turns a little pink. Should I say that?

"But what about his family?" asks Chuubo. "I've seen them!"

"Probably... some group of unrelated people... with altered memories."

A: Chuubo travels back to his house to make a wish to give Seizhi a destiny.
B: Chuubo apologises for foolishly wishing Seizhi into existence.
C: Jasper offers to let Seizhi share her destiny.
D: Jasper asks Seizhi how he feels about his existence.
E: Seizhi offers to get rid of Billy Sovereign.
F: Seizhi insists that he can fight the Outside as well as anyone else.






Rinley remembers...

Simon Brambles is a presence in our nightmares. He is a thing of thorns and secrets and snakes. When you dream of being lost, he is the one who's behind it. He brings us confusion and fear. In the Nightmare World, he reigns as of one of authority.

Oh, I get it. He's left the Nightmare World, and he's made his own little realm here, stealing bits from our own wilderness.

The snakes have closed in and surrounded Rinley. The cat elder growls.

Z: Rinley summons a Wish Spirit to distract the snakes. (Wish Spirit, spend 1 MP)
Y: Rinley convinces the snakes that it's too dangerous for them to attack someone with arms, and starts running before they have a chance to give the notion appropriate consideration. (There's a Tree in the Way, spend 1 MP, spend 2 Will)
X: Rinley beats the snakes into submission with her bare hands. (Spend 4 Will)
W: Rinley just runs through the snakes and hopes she doesn't get hurt too badly.

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


C > D
W > Y

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


D>F
W>Y

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

I'm interplanetary, bitch
Let's go to Mars




D > F
W > Y

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

No need to sign, we'll take care of that.


Lipstick Apathy

C > D
Y

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A
B
C XX
D XX
E
F

Applying secondary votes:

A
B
C XX
D XXXX
E
F XX

Z
Y X
X
W XXX









"Seizhi, how do you feel about your life yourself?" asks Jasper.

"Myself? About my life?" Seizhi frowns. "I'm... not sure. I'm forever worried about being 'fake'... But if I can forget about that, it's not so bad."

Chuubo blinks. That's how he feels? That's what I've done?

(Chuubo gains 1 Quest XP for 'Wishing For Ease'!)

"I think I think that one day all my moments will run out and I'll stop being what I am right now. There won't be anything left for me, and I won't be remembered when I'm gone."

He looks at Chuubo.

Chuubo drops his head and stares at the floor.

(Chuubo gains 1 Bonus XP for a 'Shared Reaction'!)
(Seizhi gains 1 Bonus XP for sharing the moment!)

The awkward silence is broken as the front door bursts open. Entropy is outlined against the light from outside. "BEHOLD! Look who walks among you! Be fearful of my sight." He scans the room and brightens as he catches sight of Jasper. "Finally! I was wondering how many more times I'd have to recite that spiel!" He strides inside, Simon Brambles following nervously.

"This one-" he points at Simon. "-has been telling me about a nefarious plot to grow a maliginant entity inside the Child of the Sun!"

"What?!" Leonardo makes an attempt to get up, but ultimately decides to remain where he is. "Principal, do you need... help with... punishing him?"

(Leonardo De Montreal gains 1 Quest XP for 'Relearning Friendship'!)

"No- " Entropy looks at Leonardo with confusion. "What's happened to your diction?"

"Oh, Monty got his insides frozen when we were trying to break into a building at the Bleak Academy."

"Really? You'll have to tell me all about that. But for the moment-" He grabs Simon's arm. "Kindly remove this Nightmare Seed from inside her."

"Oh, wait!" Jasper raises her hands quickly. "I know about that. And I'd prefer to keep it, I think we can use it to help Monty."

"Ah? How?"

"It seems to have a similar nature to that... thing, that's inside him."

"Oh yes, the Blasphemy." says Simon suddenly. "My own people would appreciate it if you could put an end to the thing, but that seems implausible."

"He... told me before." says Leonardo. "His world... is troubled... by part of my spirit. The Headmaster... made it so."

Jasper looks puzzled. "What does that mean?"

"Yes," says Entropy. "And if you know he's the source of the trouble, why don't you just kill him?"

Jasper gives an affronted gasp.

Simon coughs. "Well, ah, we discovered that the 'stable' element of him is acting as some type of 'anchor' for the rest. This is why he is troubled by it, and it means that eliminating this part of him that we see here-" He indicates Leonardo. "-will just let the other part reach its full potential. So, as we could not defeat our adversary, we started planning our escape."

(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Bonus XP for a 'Discovery'!)
(Jasper Irinka gains a point of 'Over Your Head'!)
(Entropy's Miraculous Will refreshes!)

"Please- " Simon pleads. " -let the seed sprout, if not in this way, in some other."

Entropy pauses. "What does it require?"

"It needs to grow inside a living medium, and be strengthened by anguish."

A: Entropy decides to leave the seed inside Jasper.
B: Entropy gets Simon to remove and destroy the seed.
C: Entropy gets Simon to remove the seed and hand it over to him.
D: Entropy gets Simon to remove the seed and plant it in Leonardo De Montreal.
E: Entropy gets Simon to remove the seed and hand it over to Jasper.






Rinley rushes the snakes. "Ouch! YOW!"

(Rinley Yatskaya loses one Normal Health Level!)
(Rinley Yatskaya gains the wound 'Bond: Snake-Bitten: 1'!)

Rinley keeps running through the forest, and reaches the full light of day, emerging from the trees. She sits down and checks the few bite marks over her legs and arms. Fortunately, whatever poison the snakes held is negligible. They're pretty itchy though.

Scratching irritably, Rinley tries to avoid the cynical gaze of the cat. I need to take my mind off all this...

Z: Rinley starts trying to find a way to the 'world of dragons' that Simon mentioned. (Start a new 15 XP quest).
Y: Rinley decides to go and visit the Prince of Cats.
X: Rinley decides to go and search Fortitude for more information about Sessily. (Spend 2 Will with Legends 1)
W: Rinley decides to go home and rest.

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


I'm not following exactly the seed will do.
Will it harm Jasper?

X>Y>Z for 2nd

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


Toughy posted:

I'm not following exactly the seed will do.
Will it harm Jasper?

X>Y>Z for 2nd

Entropy doesn't know exactly what it'll do either, but if you look back you can review what he knows.

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


Z
Y
X X
W






Rinley returns to Fortitude and starts to ask around about Sessily. She talks to the shrine families, the rats, the vampires, the foxes, and everyone else. The sun is shining and there's a light breeze. The wind carries the sound of the waves washing across Big Lake.










Entropy frowns for a while, but can't reach a decision. "All right, pull out the seed, let me take a look at it."

Simon hesitates, and then extends his hand towards Jasper's face. Shadows drip from his fingers. She flinches slightly as he dips his wrist inside her as if into a body of water. He fumbles around for a few seconds and then pulls the seed free and hands it over.

Entropy inspects it carefully. It's about the size of a walnut, and composed of black-violet material. It's still closed up, with an unbroken surface. "What happens when it sprouts?"

"I dont know." replies Simon. "We haven't made one before."

"DE MONTREAL!" roars Entropy suddenly. "Use this equipment! Make an examination of this thing!"

"Not... my project."

"Hey-" says Seizhi, raising his hand. "I might be able to help. Can I get a certificate of achievement or something similar?"

Noticing him for the first time, Entropy peers suspiciously. "You're one of my students?"

"Of course! What other type of student would have such a sense of civic duty?"

"Mmm. You have a point."

(Seizhi Schwan gains 1 Quest XP for 'Hide the Evidence'!)

"I think I can use Leonardo's equipment to perform the analysis you require, if you give some information about your specifications. And I'm sure he wouldn't mind me borrowing it..."

(Seizhi Schwan gains 1 Bonus XP for a 'Shared Action'!)

Chapter 7
Scene 4


The next day. Leonardo and Chuubo are both taking naps, Leonardo tucked up in bed in the next room, Chuubo in an old armchair in the corner. Simon Brambles is pacing nervously. Entropy is watching Seizhi work intently. Jasper is scrying on Fortitude.

Much to his irritation, Entropy's focus keeps being broken by pieces of Chuubo's dreams bumping into him, compelling him to spend some time fanning them away. Jasper notices, and looks sympathetic.

"Monty's nightmares kept escaping like that! He had to practice sleeping for a while before he could get it under control."

Surprised, Seizhi stops work for a moment.

"Leonardo's had that problem as well?"

"Oh yes." says Jasper. "But it only happened while he was actually asleep."

"Didn't Chuubo say that happens because of a shard of glass inside him? What's inside Leonardo?"

"No glass shard, I'd have spotted it." She pauses. "Wait, isn't that normal? Doesn't it happen to all mortals until they learn to deal with it?"

(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Quest XP for 'A Mortal Life'!)

"No, I thought Chuubo was the only one who made that happen."

"Back to work, back to work!" insists Entropy, clapping his hands.

After some analysis, Seizhi assesses that the seed will, when exposed to the correct conditions (inside dreams, fed with anguish), demonstrate explosive growth. Letting it sprout inside someone probably isn't a good idea.

He holds it in the palm of his hand and trains his Wish-Sense on it. He can feel it waiting to grow and burst forth. I should use this ability more often...

A: Leonardo De Montreal lets his nightmares leak out from his head, and they plant the seed inside them, outside of his body. (The Sickness Rises, one free use per chapter)
B: They plant the seed in Chuubo's floating dreams, outside of his body.
C: They smash the seed.
D: Entropy puts the seed in his pocket.








Miramie and Natalia have finished their assessment of the thesis. It seems that it was written after Melanie Malakh received the cornerstone from the Headmaster and was trying to work out how to utilise it. It speaks of a plan to create a 'hybrid' creature, with a body formed from things of the 'Inside' (an Outside name for Town?) and a soul of the Outside. The two key points of the thing were that it needed to have the shape of something 'Imperial', and be made of material that was magical.

The first of these points seemed to be more difficult to achieve, but Melanie seemed to think she'd achieved a solution. She believed that the old idea of people possessing a 'shoulder angel' and a 'shoulder devil' was a representation of mortals containing 'sparks' of divine natural, little pieces of the powers running the universe. She thought that she might be able to draw a 'divine dragon' from a person, and use its raw shape as a template for a fresh creation.

(Miramie Mesmer gains 5 Quest XP for 'Fascination' for making a sustained effort to study the works of Melanie Malakh!)

Ah. thinks Miramie. I think she was correct. I saw dragons inside Chuubo. But I think he'd have remembered something being pulled out of him, so she must have found one elsewhere.

"I think-" she says to Natalia. "-that I see what happened. From the looks of this, she received the cornerstone from the Headmaster before she conceived of the Glass Dragon, and I don't think he worked on this plan with her. I think he was only involved as far as giving her the cornerstone. And I think that the plan was stopped by Jasper Irinka. She's a goddess, but she's also the Headmaster's daughter. That makes her neither one thing nor the other, like the Glass Dragon. I think she made it break."

"It has been said, 'Poor Communication Kills'." says Natalia. "If they had co-ordinated their activities more efficiently, such a thing would not have happened."

(For resolving the mystery, Miramie gains 4 Bonus XP and regains 1 MP!)

What now?

Z: Miramie and Natalia go looking for Hideo Hayashi (he should be downstairs) to ask him some questions about Melanie Malakh.
Y: Miramie decides to help Natalia continue her attacks on Typhon.
X: Miramie decides that the two of them should just take a break.
W: A problem suddenly arrives for Natalia. (Frantic, Natalia regains 1 MP).

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


A > D
Z > W

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dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

I'm interplanetary, bitch
Let's go to Mars




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