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Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A
B XX
C
D

Z
Y XX
X
W



Jasper closes her eyes for a while, and searches out the Jotun and his family. It takes her a few minutes to find them, standing on a grassy hill.

"Mon- Leonardo, I need to go check on something. I think you're right, it is a good idea to search for my destiny."

"Hrm. Glad that someone appreciates me."

(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Bonus XP for invoking 'Gratitude'!)

"When Miramie gets back, please tell her that I haven't forgotten about her problems, and I'll return when I can."




Seizhi integrates himself with the fabric of Fortitude, feeling the flow of the place run through him.

"Excuse me madame, but my friend here, my best friend here has suffered a most alarming infestation of Outside Dust."

"Well, that's not-"

"I'm sure I don't need to explain to you the problems that this might entail, but what's even more appalling is that he doesn't even live in the area. Such problems have extended beyond the boundaries of Fortitude!"

"Oh? That is unusual th-"

"I wouldn't ask this for myself, and I'm sure that he wouldn't ask you for himself, but can you please let him have these to deal with the emergency right now and have him make full payment later?"

He drops his voice.

"No-one's seen his parents in years. Please."

The stall-owner thinks for a moment. "...It's okay. Just pay when you can."

Beaming, Chuubo gathers up the catchers.

"Now-" says Seizhi as they walk away. "Do remember that these aren't actually free. You'll need to go back to pay the debt some time. Oh yes, I didn't tell a lie by accident did I? You still haven't seen your parents?"

"Oh, they're around somewhere. Let's go see Miramie!"

Chapter 4
Scene 3


Chuubo knocks at the door of the Archive a few times. Receiving no response, he tries the handle and finds it unlocked.

The two of them wander through the rooms looking around. They bump into Kiri Sato, doing some reading about meteorology. Danny Kortov takes note of their presence, but avoids them.

They head up to the upper floors, but continue to fail to find Miramie.

"Where was her room?" Chuubo wonders.

Seizhi feels a little uneasy. He's more observant than Chuubo, and he can see that the layout of corridors here doesn't make sense. He switches on his Seizhi-Sense and he can feel that the upper floors of this building are out of line with reality.

"Chuubo, I need to go see if I can get that job I was after."

A: Chuubo decides to accompany Seizhi to the restaurant. Perhaps he can help him get the job?
B: Chuubo decides to go visit Leonardo De Montreal at his Fortitude residence.
C: Chuubo decides to go home and start setting up the dust-catchers.
D: Chuubo decides to stay here and do some reading. Miramie might show up later.




Miramie walks down the streets of Old Molder towards Leonardo's main base of operations.

She throws open the crude door and hurries inside. To her relief, she spots ALVIN almost immediately. While she hasn't met him before, it was easy for Leonardo to describe a robot dressed like a butler.

"Greetings. I require-"

"+ ENVOY OF THE OUTSIDE DETECTED. COMMENCING INTIMIDATION +"

ALVIN clicks and whirrs for a couple of moments.

"+ BEGONE PEST. THIS PLACE IS NOT FOR YOU.+"

"...Can you please show me the Kidney of Friendship?"

"+ BEGONE PEST. THIS PLACE IS NOT FOR YOU.+"

Miramie starts grinding her teeth.

(Miramie Mesmer is Innocent and Twitching! Miramie Mesmer gains 1 Quest XP for 'Under Siege'!)

Z: Miramie unmakes ALVIN's objections to helping her. (World-Breaker's Hand, spend 1 MP)
Y: Miramie starts searching the laboratory by herself. (Spend 2 Will, with Alertness 1)
X: Miramie casts a spell to conceal her nature. (Spend 1 Will, with Changeling 2)
W: Miramie starts reciting all the things she knows about Leonardo De Montreal in the hope of proving herself to be a friend of his. (Spend 4 Will, with Connection: Nightmares' Angel: 1)

Adbot
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super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

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


Lipstick Apathy

C
Z

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

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




A > C
Z

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


A > C
Z

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A XX
B
C X
D

Z XXX
Y
X
W



Miramie gestures at ALVIN. He vibrates. There's a sharp pop, and little puffs of smoke emerge from his head.

Whoops. Well, serves Leonardo right if he has to fix that.

"+ PLEASE MAY HOW CAN I YOU HELP. +"

"Kidney of Friendship. Where."

"+ HERE OVER HERE THERE IS. +"

Following ALVIN's awkward movements, Miramie locates a metal cabinet. Much to her relief, it isn't locked. Inside, there is a series of empty jars... And one which is occupied. It's filled with some sort of clear fluid, inside of which is immersed a black-brown organ.

Living tissue?

"ALVIN, is this it?"

"+ YES. +"

I wonder if he's cut pieces out of anyone except himself.




Seizhi and Chuubo arrive at the Ridiculous Seafood Restaurant, also known as Kakeru Hut. Seizhi goes in to talk to the manager, while Chuubo looks around in confusion. There's a strange mermaid mural drawn on the wall outside, and huge signs announcing specials, with multiple exclamation marks.

He peers at the mural, trying to grasp what's unusual about it. He thought that mermaids were kind and gentle, but this one seems to be snarling defiantly at him.

Seizhi returns. "Right, got it. I'm now a waiter!"

Chuubo blinks. "You're good at this, aren't you."

"With a sufficiently impressive level of knowledge, I can make myself quite the catch! ...You see, because this is where they eat fish... Anyway, let's see anyone claim I don't exist now!"

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

"So, you don't need my help?"

"Actually, you could help me get started, I'm sure that'd be okay. I think I'll need some assistance getting up to speed."

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





Jasper arrives at the place she spied. It takes a little while to get across Fortitude, but to her relief, the Jotun are all still there, continuing with their activites. They seem to be setting up a series of wooden constructions. As she approaches, one takes note, one of the men. He hurries over. He seems to be made of stone, his eyes glowing like sapphires.

"Child of the Sun! Thank you so much for attending."

(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Bonus XP for invoking 'Gratitude'!)

"That's no problem. But I'm sorry, I don't know what this is all about."

"Ah, well, it's a little silly of us, maybe, but we like to gather here on particular dates, and give thanks to our gods."

"How is that silly? It seems perfectly reasonable to me."

"Our gods are... Missing? Sleeping? And for a long time, since the end of the Third Age." He looks a little sheepish. "And we all know this, and we know that they can't appear to receive our thanks any more. But still, it brings us together." He pauses. "Please, could we give our thanks to you? You're not one of our original patrons, but I don't think they're coming back any time soon."

A: Jasper agrees to receive their thanks.
B: Jasper offers to join them in giving their thanks to the old gods.
C: Jasper starts asking questions about the old gods, trying to work out what happened to them. (Spend 4 Will, with Lore 1)
D: Absorbing his hopes, Jasper grows the Aura of the Grateful Goddess, a radiance of majesty! (Connect To Someone, convert 1 Normal Health Level)

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


Backstory!

Chuubo stands before the Wish-Granting Engine. He's been thinking some time about what to wish for, and he's been able to deduce what it is that he really needs the most. In the end, there's something more important than icecream, something more important than anything else.

"I wish- for a Best Friend! Let them appear here, right now!"

The machine springs into life. There's a whole series of crazy noises, and then a release of energy, a pillar of light scorching the sky.

A new entity is brought into existence. It extends through time and space, integrating itself into history. But as it tries to become fully real, contradictions creep in. The engine tries harder, but it's pushing against fundamental principles. In the end, the entity cannot be fully complete.

Seizhi Schwan peers at the engine.

"Huh. Looks like it didn't work. Sorry pal, but it looks like that was too much for it to handle." He turns to see Chuubo beaming at him in delight. He frowns. "What are you looking at me like that for?"

Scroll up for choices.

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


A

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


A > B > C

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A XX
B
C
D



Jasper stands in the centre of a large circle etched in the grass. Around her, the Jotun kneel as if in prayer (perhaps that's exactly it?).

(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Quest XP for 'The Light of Hope'!)

She can feel warmth flowing from them. Here, the best qualities of life are quietly expressed. She looks up to the sky and smiles. The day becomes brighter.

"Please, speak to me of yourselves."

(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Bonus XP for a 'Shared Action'!)

Chapter 4
Scene 4


It's an evening a few days later. Leonardo De Montreal has finished building his machine to view the Nightmare World. Miramie is pacing around the room, while Jasper is waiting patiently.

(Leonardo De Montreal regains 1 Will for completing the task!)

"Right, now, to see what they're up to!"

Miramie glares at him. "Ahem!"

"Huh? Oh right, that other thing."

Leonardo picks up the jar containing the Kidney of Friendship and stares at it thoughtfully.

If I put this back inside myself, I'll lose the powers I gained by removing it, plus I'll be able to have friends again. Bleh. But I can't think of anything better right now, and they're not going to stop bothering me.

He picks up a scalpel from a workbench, pulls his jacket open and rolls up his shirt.

Jasper's eyes widen. "Hey, what-"

Leonardo carefully opens up the right area, opens up the jar, and forces the kidney into the cavity. Miramie has to look away, while Jasper stares in horror.

(Leonardo De Montreal gains 1 Bonus XP for invoking 'Speechlessness'!)

He starts to sew up the opening. "Now, this should-" As he finishes, he pauses for a moment. "Hmm, I expected more. Perhaps I still need to heal up inside."

(Leonardo De Montreal gains a new Quest, 'Relearning Friendship'!)

Jasper frowns. "I still can't remember Chuubo."

"I wasn't sure if that would work." said Leonardo, grimacing. "And it seems that it hasn't. Well, there's nothing else to try. Go away."

Jasper flashes a quick glance at Miramie's face and hurridly speaks. "Can't you build a different machine? One to bring memories back?"

"Not right now, my brain's too tired."

Miramie groans and sits down on the floor, pressing her hands to her head.

A: Concerned at Miramie's despair, Jasper concentrates, and grows the Truth-Revealing Arm, a limb to uncover missing memories! (Limb to Create Hope, one free use per book, convert one Divine Health Level)
B: Leonardo performs some improvised brain surgery on himself, unlocking an ability to restore memories! (Empowered Wounds, one free use per book, convert one Divine Health Level)
C: Miramie suddenly remembers Chuubo's engine. They should go ask him if they could use it to make a wish.
D: Miramie decides that they're going to have to come back after Leonardo's had a chance to recover.




Chuubo has set up the dust-catchers at various places in and around his house. Satisfied at a job well done, he heads off to bed, and goes to sleep.

(Chuubo gains 1 Quest XP for 'Haunted'!)

He dreams of a day some time ago, when both he and Seizhi both ate icecream and talked about the disappearance of the old sun. But suddenly, something changes. Seizhi vanishes, and the sky and the ground turn to glass. To his great irritation, his icecream disappears.

Melanie Malakh rises up from the ground like a ghost.

"I'm not going to stop bothering you Wishing Boy. Use your engine. Free me.

Oh no. Am I ever going to have a quiet life again?

Z: Chuubo should lie, and say that he'll certainly do it as soon as he wakes up.
Y: Chuubo should truthfully state that he'll do it as soon as he wakes up.
X: Chuubo should try asking her questions again, stressing that he's not going to agree to anything unless she answers.
W: Chuubo should just run away.

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


C,X

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

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


Lipstick Apathy

CX

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


C,X

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A
B
C XXX
D

Z
Y
X XXX
W




"First, tell me who you really are."

Melanie Malakh howls and expands into a looming shadow. The sky shakes. Chuubo drops into a crouch. "I'm not budging! Tell me who you are!"

Gradually, the shaking stops and the shadow contracts back into a humanoid shape and form.

"I am Melanie Malakh. I attended the Bleak Academy. I made the Glass Dragon. I ended up here, and now I want to be free."

"Well, um, what are you going to do when you leave?"

"Why should I have to tell you that? I shouldn't be a prisoner. How would you like being stuck in that labyrinth?"

"Come on, tell me!"

"I don't know what I'm going to do. I've been stuck in here for years. But I imagine it might be a good idea to collect my other shards.

"Shards?"

"Yes. When the Glass Dragon shattered, so did I. That Miramie girl is one, I am another, and I imagine that there are more." She pauses. "Helping me is helping your friend. Wouldn't you agree?"

Chuubo starts to say something, then the sky starts to shake again. "Stop that!"

"It's not me."

The shaking grows stronger-



-and Chuubo wakes up. There's a loud knocking coming from the front door. Puzzled, he pulls himself out of bed and goes over peer through the spyhole. He finds himself staring at a wild-eyed Miramie Mesmer.

"Miramie?" He pulls the door open. "What are you doing here? Do you know what time it is?" As the door opens, he spots another girl behind Miramie. She had long red hair, and seems to glow slightly in the dark.

"Chuubo, this is Jasper Irinka. Do you recognise her?"

"Huh? Sorry, no. Have we met?"

Jasper stares at Chuubo intently, but she can't recognise him either. She drops her gaze, and suddenly notices a piece of paper has fallen from the door's letterbox. She picks it up.

"Chuubo, Leonardo has been editing everyone's memories for his own stupid reasons. We need to use your wish-granting engine to fix things."

"Um, what?"

"Look, just let us make a wish, it'll be faster that way."

"That might not be a good idea, it tends to go wrong if you're not careful. Like, I wished for icecream once, and the sun started to go out."

"What?!"

"You see, after I made the wish, I had to have the icecream, so the sun couldn't be allowed to melt it."

"All right, well, Leonardo used some special power to remove lots of memories from the world, okay? We just need you to make a wish to undo it."

"Memories about what?"

"Memories about you and he and Jasper being friends."

"...I, oh, he removed memories about that?" Chuubo looks unsettled. "Hm. Okay, we'd better fix it." He hurries outside, and they follow.

Both Miramie and Jasper slow down as they approach the engine. It's a large, ramshackle machine that looks as though it's been thrown together from junk from a dozen different sources. It's hard to see how it could work.

Chuubo raises his arms. "I wish-" He pauses. "Who lost the memories?"

"Everyone!" Miramie replies.

"Right. I wish that everyone regains the memories that Leonardo De Montreal took away from them!"

The machine heaves, beeps, and releases a flare of light. Miramie who was wearing a doubtful expression, takes a step back. Chuubo and Jasper freeze as sensation overwhelms them.



"Jasper, this is my great friend and rival Chuubo!" Leonardo proclaims proudly. "The two of us are the greatest inventors in the whole of Town! We're always pushing each other to new limits!"


Chuubo unfolds to his full height. His scales glow faintly. Looking up at him, Jasper wonders if she can ever grow so tall.


Leonardo removes Jasper's blindfold. "Sorry, but I have to keep the route a secret." She blinks to clear her eyes, and finds herself looking at a winged figure that somehow seems to be both human-sized and massive. It hangs in chains from the wall in front of her, unmoving. "Amazing, isn't it? And I think there's another in Town somewhere."


"Your father?!" "Yes, that's right Monty. The Headmaster is my father. Didn't I mention it before?"



The flood stops and Chuubo and Jasper unfreeze. Miramie taps her foot impatiently. "Well? Come on you two, I need answers!"

"Errrrr." Chuubo manages to straighten up. "That was lot to take in. What do you want to know?"

"Why is the Glass Shard inside you? I want to know that much at least!"

"Um." Chuubo throws a look at Jasper. "I think we... went to fight the dragon?"

"Yes, Mr Entropy asked us to help. I think he said that it was our 'civic duty'."

"'Mr Entropy'?"

"Yes, the guy who runs Horizon Academy." replies Chuubo. " There might have been some other people as well. But it all happened so fast. I don't know what made it break in the end." He frowns. "I think I tried becoming a dragon to fight the dragon. I don't know if I hurt it, but when it broke... Something came out of it, like a ghost. It snapped at me and I blacked out. Leonardo looked at me afterwards, said that part of the glass got stuck inside me."

Jasper trains her special eyes on Chuubo and she can see the glass inside him still, glowing with the Outside.

"Some time after that, I think he did whatever he did to make us lose our memories. I don't know why."

"I think I do-" says Jasper. "-I let him know my father was the Headmaster of the Bleak Academy and he didn't take it well."

Miramie boggles. "Your father's what?"

"Hey, he's just doing his job!"

Miramie closes her eyes.

Okay, so how does all of this fit together? How can it be that the Headmaster's daughter was fighting to stop an instrument of the Outside? Where's the sense in that?

She sits down and tries to think.

(Miramie Mesmer gains 1 Bonus XP for a 'Discovery'!)
(Miramie Mesmer gains a third point of Mystery!)
(As she gains her third point of Mystery, Miramie Mesmer regains 1 MP!)

Chuubo and Jasper look at each other and there's an awkward pause. Jasper glances at the paper she found.

"Oh, I think this is for you." She hands it over.

Chuubo reads. "'We didn't find any glass in your garden.'" Oh, they left me a note. "'You should have mentioned the cellar.'" Cellar? What cellar?

A: Chuubo and Jasper stay up and talk about the past.
B: Chuubo shows Jasper a spare bedroom and goes to try and get back to sleep.
C: Chuubo and Jasper go and look for this 'cellar'.
D: Chuubo phones up Leonardo to ask him some questions.



Leonardo has to stop working for a while, distracted by flashes of awakened memories.

Rrr, have to deal with that later.

Leonardo has been using the scope to examine the Nightmare World, trying to spot anything that might give him a clue as to what's going on. It looks rather similar to the Outside. He's noticed his own nightmares among the denizens of the domain. He's also noticed a lot of abandoned territory near the entity that the residents refer to as the Blasphemy.

According to Simon Brambles, that thing's... part of me?

What should Leonardo focus his attention on?

Z: The heart of the Blasphemy.
Y: His own nightmares.
X: There's some sort of great gathering going on. He should look at that.
W: The boundaries of the domain. How large is the Nightmare World?

Updated the Wishing Map.

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


A > C
W > Z

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A X
B
C
D

Z
Y
X
W X



"Okay-" says Chuubo. "-I think we've got a lot to talk about."

There's another pause.

"I mean- We've been friends for ages, but we don't really-"

"It's okay, I understand. Let's just talk about the last few days then go back from there."

(Chuubo gains 1 Bonus XP for a 'Shared Action'!)
(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Bonus XP for sharing the moment!)



Leonardo trains the scope on the boundaries of the Nightmare World. There don't seem to be any discreet borders. Rather, it seems to continuously blend into the Outside. To his confusion, it seems to defy methodical analysis. He can see great deserts and oceans, forgotten cities, slinking undead creatures, pits filled with swirling shadows...

Is this place inside the Outside? Does that make sense?

Leonardo keeps looking, trying to understand...

(Leonardo De Montreal gains 1 Bonus XP for 'Foreshadowing'!)

Chapter 4
Scene 5


"Hey! Wake up! Wake up!"

Leonardo De Montreal wakes up. He's sitting slumped over the scope, with Miramie Mesmer poking him with her foot.

"Is this how you normally sleep? Come on, I've written out something important."

Dazed, he pulls himself to his feet. Miramie is tapping a blackboard with a pointer. There's some sort of rough timeline chalked on it.

"I've been charting the important points in the activities of the Outside. Now, if I remember correctly, the Headmaster put something awful inside you. After that, you came here, and Jasper mentioned to me that you set up a machine to 'create' her, and she's the Headmaster's daughter. You also made friends with Chuubo at some point. When the Glass Dragon shattered, Jasper and Chuubo were helping to fight it, alongside 'Mr Entropy'. Now- what does all this mean?"

"I-"

"Why was the Headmaster setting up his daughter to help stop the Glass Dragon? Did he want it to break? Was Chuubo supposed to receive the glass? Was that the plan?"

Leonardo looks at Miramie doubtfully. She looks as if she hasn't slept all night. Or possibly all week.

A: Leonardo and Miramie need to keep Chuubo locked up so whatever plans the Headmaster might have can't come to fruition.
B: Leonardo and Miramie need to go confront the Headmaster at the Bleak Academy and get some answers out of him.
C: Leonardo and Miramie need to go visit the Outside again, look for clues.
D: Leonardo and Miramie need to go visit Mr Entropy, see if he can help.
E: Leonardo prefers to stay and watch the Nightmare World further, meaning that Miramie's going to have to work out what to investigate by herself.



It's a bright morning, and customers are coming in for breakfast at the restaurant. Seizhi is busy laying out the tables.

The door suddenly clatters open. Seizhi looks up, and blinks. There's a young man there, dressed in some sort of strange clothing. It's all black, and white, and purple, very elaborate. On his head, he's wearing a stovepipe hat, and in his hands, he holds a wooden box.

"Behold, I am, er, John Bull, Emissary of the Outside! All eating shall immediately cease! The enlightened can survive on the nutrients in the air! No further dissent from the, er, true nature of things will be tolerated!"

He opens the box, and sticks his left hand inside. He pulls out a mass of brown crumbly material. He holds it up to his mouth, and spits into it. He lets it fall from his hand, and it erupts into a shower of brown spiders. They scatter across the room, provoking shrieks from everyone present. He smiles nervously, and reaches into the box again.

Z: Seizhi hurls himself at John Bull, tackling him to the ground! (Spend 2 Will with Do Stuff 1)
Y: Seizhi explains to John Bull that food is a necessary part of everyday life, irregardless of what he might have been told. (Know Stuff 3)
X: Seizhi asks John Bull what he wants to order.
W: Seizhi starts directing an orderly evacuation from the building.

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


D,Y

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


C > D
Y > X

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A
B
C X
D X

Applying secondary votes:

A
B
C X
D X

Z
Y XX
X
W



"Okay Montreal, there's only one thing to do- Go and find this Mr Entropy and ask him some questions."

"Ah... An ambitious enterprise, but possibly unwise. He is known as the 'King of Evil', and he probably wants to do something awful to me. I've been playing truant. At least from his point of view."

"Well, there's no better way to find answers!"

"All right. I suppose it's my duty. The Outside must be opposed!"

(Leonardo De Montreal gains 5 Quest XP for 'The Outside Stirs' for taking responsibility for dealing with the Outside!)

***

Miramie and Leonardo arrive at Horizon Academy. It's an impressive set of shining buildings, with a sinister feel to them. There's no-one visible outside. The two of them fall silent as they approach, and feel trepidation consume them. They stop for a minute, then Miramie speaks.

"Okay, Leonardo, if you've been a student here, you know your way around, right?"

"Yes... If you want to see Principal Entropy, we need to reach the staff room. In that building, there. But the hall monitors will be on patrol, and we might get caught by ogres." He swallows.

A: Miramie casts a spell to take on the appearance of a student and goes to search out the staff room. (Spend 1 Will with Changeling 2)
B: Leonardo starts a fire outside to act as a distraction while they rush towards the staff room. (Spend 1 Will with Love for the Wicked 1)
C: Miramie and Leonardo ask the first person they encounter to take them to the principal.




"There are five food groups, and a balanced diet contains a mix of items from all five periodically. The idea that all the necessary nutrients can be derived from air is implausible, and an examination of the evidence confirms its impossibility."

"...Well, yeah, but that's all really just lies."

"So what's the truth?"

"The truth is, er, something that can not be shown but only exp-, exper-"

He flashes a look towards the back of the room. The manager is talking on the phone to someone in an urgent manner.

"Pleasepleaseplease, I didn't mean to do this, I just got carried away, pleasehelpme-"

Z: Seizhi decides to help him make a run for it.
Y: Seizhi decides to leave him to panic.
X: Seizhi decides to try and calm him down.
W: Seizhi decides to distract him from doing anything else until help arrives.

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


C,W

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


A > C
W > X

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

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




C > A
W > X

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A X
B
C XX

Z
Y
X
W XXX



The two of them enter the nearest building, casting glances in all directions. After a few moments, something appears from around a corner and starts to advance on them rapidly. It's wearing a school uniform, and it has two arms, two legs and a head, but there's a paper bag concealing its face, and leather gloves concealing its hands.

Miramie clears her throat. "Excuse me, could you tell us where-"

Ignoring her, the creature grabs hold of Leonardo De Montreal and starts to tow him away. He freezes in shock.

"Hey! Where are you taking him?"

The creature hisses something without slowing. "To the principal."

"Ah. Can I come as w-"

Someone grabs hold of her from behind.




Seizhi smiles brightly. "Well perhaps I spoke too soon! Tell me something more about the benefits of an air-based diet, and I'm sure that I can help you persuade everyone of your benevolence."

"Oh... Well, if you just look inside yourself, you'll find that deep down, you know that what I say to you is true. It's all part of the ever-present truth that connects all of us. It, er, it is all a waste of time that we expend effort on eating, when we should be confronting the great facts that support us."

"So, you still eat food yourself?"

"Yeessss, but due to the inter-connected nature of the different components of reality, I cannot renounce food in isolation. Rather, I must-"

He's cut off by a policeman suddenly pulling a sack over his head from behind him.

(Seizhi Schwan gains 1 Bonus XP for invoking 'Thumbs-Up'!)

John Bull rapidly has his hands tied and is led away. Following on from this victory, Seizhi Schwan is subsequently able to make a statement to the police, ensuring additional evidence supporting his existence!

(Seizhi Schwan gains 1 Quest XP for 'Hide The Evidence'!)
(Seizhi Schwan gains 5 Quest XP for 'Why Are You Here?' for establishing a relationship with the Walker In Darkness!)

As his shift comes to the end, Jasper and Chuubo walk in!

"Here he is!" says Chuubo eagerly. "My best friend, Seizhi Schwan!"

"Hmm." replies Jasper. "I don't remember him..."

Seizhi freezes!

What should Seizhi tell Jasper?

A: The truth. He's a product of the Wish-Granting Engine.
B: Lie. Make out that he's a just a friend Chuubo made recently and that they've become close very quickly.
C: Just say that it's a long story.

Irregardless, what should the three of them do now?

Z: They go on a walk through Fortitude.
Y: They go over to the Archive to do some reading.
X: They go to buy icecream.
W: Chuubo leads them over to the Hayashi shrine, he needs to make sure he isn't missing anything that they could tell him.

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


C>A

W

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

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




C > A

X > W


Okay, I'm a little petty.

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A
B
C XX

Z
Y
X X
W X

Applying secondary votes:

Z
Y
X X
W XX




Miramie and Leonardo are dragged into a dimly lit room. They can't see who's holding their arms behind their backs, but they can see a looming figure ahead of them. It's a female ogre, dressed as a teacher, clutching a pair of blackboard erasers and glaring at them angrily.

"Leonardo De Montreal." She snarls. "You have an outstanding detention." She points at Miramie. "You are an intruder. You will be held."

Miramie clears her throat. "I-"

The ogre makes a hushing motion. "DETENTION!" She roars.

Leonardo De Montreal is sharply pulled backwards into the darkness!

(Leonardo De Montreal gains 1 Bonus XP for 'Suffering Trauma'!)
(Leonardo De Montreal gains 1 point of Sickness!)




"It's a long story, believe me."

"Okay, be sure to tell me some time!"

Jasper smiles radiantly, and Seizhi feels warmed.

"Guess what?" Chuubo says. "Jasper's a sun goddess! And she's a lot like you, Leonardo made her wi-"

"ANYWAY." Seizhi interjects. "I'm at the end of my work shift, we can go somewhere!"

***

The three of them arrive at the Hayashi House of Crystal.

Seizhi looks around. "Oh! Weren't these the people who were checking your garden?"

Chuubo quickly spots Caiofe and goes over to talk to her.

"Hiya!"

"Oh, hello." She puts down her latest piece of glasswork. "You got our message, right?"

"Yes. So, there's no more glass in the garden?"

"No, and the bit in you isn't dangerous, so I think you're okay."

"That's good. But, I had a nightmare where that woman I met in the labyrinth appeared and started telling me to let her out. Could that mean that the glass inside me is dangerous after all?"

(Chuubo gains 1 Bonus XP for invoking 'Face-Palming'!)

Caiofe blinks. "Probably. But the glass passed our checks. I think it must be some sort of effect that's outside our area of expertise."

"Hey!" says Seizhi. "Perhaps we should go visit another shrine!"

A: Perhaps if he bathes in the pools maintained by the Kichi family that'll help.
B: The Titov family are dangerous, but they might know how to deal with dangerous things.
C: The Vasili family can command the elements. ...Chuubo can't see how that helps in this situation, but at least it should be interesting to meet them.
D: The Yatskaya family know how to shape dreams. They must know how to deal with this situation.
E: The Watanabe family makes sweets out of Outside Dust . Chuubo is absolutely certain that he needs to visit them.
F: Actually, they shouldn't just visit another shrine. Instead, they should try and work out a solution with their own abilities.

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

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




D > F

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


D>A

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


D > E

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A
B
C
D XXX
E
F




As they walk, Chuubo regales Seizhi with some of the forgotten adventures of he and Jasper.

"-so, we broke out of detention, and we ran and we ran and we ran, and then after that we went to Fortitude and while we were having lunch a Youkai tried to rob the place where we were eating, so we had to try and scare it off-"

***

Chuubo, Jasper and Seizhi arrive at the Yatskaya shrine. It looks like a more traditionally laid out temple than that of the Hayashi. There's a mist of incense everywhere, along with a proliferation of cats. Seizhi's senses tingle. There's something unreal about this place. But Jasper's eyes don't pick up any taint from the Outside.

Quite suddenly, they're approached by a terrifying crone. Her eyes are black pits, her skin hangs from her bones in thick folds, and her teeth are yellow and jagged. She hisses.

"Children..."

"Ah, hello!" says Chuubo cheerfully. "Are you part of the Yatskaya family?"

The crone looks irritated, and her appearance shifts into that of a young woman, dressed as a shrine maiden, with long brown hair. "Yes, I'm Caroline Yatskaya. And who might you be?"

"Oh, I'm Chuubo. My friends here are Jasper and Seizhi."

"Charmed. How might I help you?"

Chuubo tries to explain, but it's beyond his ability to do so succinctly, and Seizhi finally has to cut in and give a condensed version of the explanations that he himself has received concerning the situation.

"So." replies Caroline. "You want me to help you deal with a malicious presence in your dreams. What can you give me in return for my aid?"

A: Chuubo should offer to give Caroline a wish from the Engine after it's been recharged.
B: Chuubo should smile radiantly and suggest that he should be able to find a way to pay her later. (Spend 2 Will with Good Smile 2)
C: Chuubo should offer to do some jobs around the shrine.
D: Seizhi steps forward and starts to talk to Caroline about civic duty, infecting her with his essence, compelling her to help Chuubo. (Touch The Heart, Spend 1 MP)

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


C>B>D

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

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


Lipstick Apathy

A

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


B > A > D

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A X
B X
C X
D

Applying secondary votes:

A XX
B XX
C X
D

Applying further votes just results in further deadlocks, so I'm going to combine A and B.



"I have a machine that can grant wishes! When it's fully charged, I can give you whatever you want!"

"Really."

Chuubo smiles radiantly. "Yeah!"

Caroline regards him for a moment. "All right, I guess I believe you."


As Seizhi and Jasper hover anxiously, Caroline brings Chuubo over to a couch, and indicates that he should lie down.

"You need to fall asleep before I can help. Relax, and inhale the incense. It's everywhere."

She lies down on a couch on the opposite side of the room.

"See you on the other side."

Chuubo inhales deeply. He can feel the incense being sucked down his throat. As he takes breath after breath, he starts to get light-headed. He closes his eyes. His body starts to feel warm, and the room feels as though it is spinning gently.

Quite suddenly, he's inside the Glass Labyrinth again. Melanie Malakh is standing in front of him, glaring. But now, the crone he saw before is there as well.

Oh... wait. That was Caroline, wasn't it?

"Face me!" the crone croaks. "I-"

With lightning speed, Melanie Malakh spins around, grabs hold of Caroline and throws her down the corridor. She hits another wall with tremendous force and bounces off into another wall, continuing until she's out of sight.


With a shock, Chuubo wakes up. Jasper is holding Caroline's hands as she shakes uncontrollably. A man he doesn't recognise, wearing the same Yatskaya clothes as Caroline is crouched down next to him.

"Easy. Are you okay?"

"...I think so. What happened?"

"I was hoping you could tell me! Caroline just suffered some sort of seizure."

(Chuubo gains 1 Bonus XP for 'Sympathetic Action'!)

Caroline takes some time to calm down, but even after she's back to normal she's not inclined to try again. The man introduces himself as Kuroma Yatskaya.

"I think-" he says. "That we need a specific plan for this specific problem. And also, we might want to wait until Rinley's available."

***

A thick layer of smoke is filling the pipe shop. Piros Sūn beats his way through it, coughing.

"Jasper? What the heck is up with this? *cough* Is there a fire? Why are you just standing there?"

"Oh, I thought it might help draw- *cough* -in more custom if we had smoke just here, waiting to be inhaled."

"Are you crazy? *cough* People can't breathe in this!"

"Oh. What's the problem?"

"There's just- *cough* too much!"

"Okay, *cough* I'll put it out."

(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Bonus XP for 'A Mortal Life'!)
(Jasper Irinka gains 1 Bonus XP for 'A Slice of Life'!)

***

Seizhi Schwan is quickly becoming the most respected waiter at the Ridiculous Seafood Restaurant. He seems to have a brilliant knack for appearing in the right place at the right time, and never seems to run out of energy. He's learning a lot more about the culinary arts, and it almost feels as though he's been doing this forever.

(Seizhi Schwan gains 1 Bonus XP for 'A Slice of Life'!)

(Chuubo regains 1 MP as the chapter ends!)
(All characters regain their Will as the chapter ends!)




Chapter 5
Scene 1


Days have passed.

Leonardo De Montreal and Miramie Mesmer are dragged before Entropy II as he sits on his throne in the staff room. He grins madly at them both, his noseless face filled with delight.

"Dear, oh, dear, oh, dear. One who thinks that he can just waltz back into my academy after a protacted absence, and an intruder. Whatever am I going to do with the pair of you?"

Leonardo whimpers. He's already been given detention, and he has seen horrors.

Miramie's head is swimming. She has a sharp headache, and everything seems to be hammering at her senses. The smell from the ogres holding her arms, the bright light that seems to shine from Entropy, the giggling of unseen things lurking in the shadows.

(Entropy II gains 1 Bonus XP for invoking 'Shivers'!)

How will he punish them?

A: Leonardo and Miramie will have to join the sports team that Entropy's setting up to take on the Bleak Academy.
B: Leonardo and Miramie will have to join the mysterious hero, the Angel of Fortitude and help him with his duties.
C: Leonardo and Miramie will have to each write three hundred lines.
D: Leonardo and Miramie will be held inside the school indefinitely.

Added Entropy II's character sheet to the opening post, updated other characters sheets, attempted to fill in some additional details about miraculous abilities.

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


Backstory!

Hugh Rosewood, servant to Lord Entropy hurries through the corridors of Horizon Academy. The place is still being set up. All the classrooms need to be delineated, the staff interviews must be finished, and pupils need to be enticed or press-ganged. He's holding a prioritised list of all the most important tasks, and he needs to deliver it to his master and then hurry off to deal with further duties.

He turns a corner, and pauses. Entropy II, the heir to the throne, is standing there, clutching a bloody mass of torn clothing. Hugh peers at said mass. Isn't that the remains of the master's garments?

"Ah, Hugh. Father took off these, gave them to me to hold, then threw himself into the incinerator. He said he had to go away for a while. So, I'm in charge now."

Hugh thinks about it, shrugs. Makes sense.

Scroll up for choices.

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


B

Twiler
Oct 23, 2010


A
B X
C
D



"The two of you will have to give aid to the Angel of Fortitude, that great and mysterious hero. I'll just go fetch him!"

Entropy II leaves the room for a few minutes and returns wearing biker's gear and a prosthetic nose.

"Greeeeeetings! I understand from my friend Entropy that the two of you are going to be helping me with my work for a while!"

***

The three of them ride into Fortitude, Entropy on his trusty motorcycle Jenkins, with Miramie and Leonardo stuffed into a sidecar. Leonardo still looks pale.

Miramie decides to speak up.

"So, what are we going to be doing?"

"Well, because of your abominable crimes, you're going to be doing community service. I need the two of you to help me get the fountain in the plaza working again."

There's silence for a while.

"What about trying to stop the Outside from coming across Big Lake?" asks Leonardo suddenly. "I've, er, I've been doing work on that for a while."

(Leonardo De Montreal gains 1 Quest XP for 'The Outside Sitrs'!)

"Heh. Heh, heh, heh. Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh."

Another silence.

"I was going to ask you-" says Miramie. "What happened on the day the Glass Dragon attacked? Why was Jasper Irinka there to help fight it, when she's the Headmaster's daughter?"

"Bah! Best not to think about it! The Outside beguiles us with mysteries and paradoxes. It's not just a place but also an idea. You shouldn't let it inside your head."

Miramie's brain throbs painfully. All of a sudden, she can see the dragon in her mind's eye, floating against a blue sky.

Is he right? Am I playing into the Headmaster's hands?

A: Miramie should halt this investigation.
B: Miramie should continue this investigation.



The Yatskaya's won't help until their sister Rinley returns. Perhaps Chuubo should go looking for her?

Alternatively, he could just go looking in Fortitude for some medicine to help him sleep more soundly.

Or perhaps he needs to find Miramie and tell her about everything's that's happened.

Or he could just go read comic books at home and have faith that it will all work itself out.

What should Chuubo do?

Z: Go looking for Rinley. She's supposed to be friends with the rats of Fortitude.
Y: Go shopping for medicine. There's probably something herbal that would help.
X: Go find Miramie.
W: Go read comic books (after cleaning any remaining dust off them).

Twiler fucked around with this message at Jul 24, 2018 around 22:01

Toughy
Nov 29, 2004

KAVODEL! KAVODEL!


B
Z>W

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

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




B
Z > Y

golden bubble
Jun 3, 2011


B
Z>W

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super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009

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


Lipstick Apathy

B
W>Z

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