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The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010



“There you are. I was starting to wonder.”

There is darkness around you. Darkness, total, uninterrupted, and absolute, empty save for the Voice. No, you realize, that’s not quite right. There is a light above you, glowing, shining, a lightbulb, gleaming with the electric brilliance of the modern age. As you focus on the bulb, its light spreads outwards, pulling a ceiling, then a room into shape around you.

The walls are white, and for a moment they seem to shine from within, a light as blinding as the preceding darkness, but it soon resolves, and you quickly realize that they are entirely blank, unmarred by decoration, door, or window. With a sudden surge of panic, you look desperately for an exit, your gaze casting this way and that, passing over the figures lying prone on the floor, your own face among them.

Wait—

You stop, and look closer, desperately searching for the flaw that reveals this to all be some strange trick, that makes everything make sense. No, that’s definitely you, lying on the floor… unconscious? But… how? How did you get in here? Why are you dressed in some kind of robes? Why do you look older than you remember?

You remember.

It’s been a while since you’ve been you.

It’s been a while since you’ve been anybody.

As the pieces fall into place, you finally see, finally feel, the motes of light surrounding you, surrounding all of the prone, now-stirring figures. The other motes of light.

“Hurry it up. Free ride’s over. And as much as I’d love to stay and watch what happens next, I’m a busy man. So let’s cut to the chase.”



The smoking man—was he always there?—takes a long drag from his cigar, and though he has nothing even approaching a face, you can feel his gaze upon you—not the body you no longer inhabit, on you. The dark, thick smoke that billows forth from him stretches up to the ceiling, yet somehow doesn’t fill the room with its choking taint.

“You’re bound now. Whatever fates you were facing before, you can forget about them now. The failure of any one of you is a failure for all of you, for however long you decide to care about that particular distinction. The same goes for success, not that I’d bet on that happening. No, I expect you’ll have torn yourself apart within the week.”

The man reaches a gloved hand into his pocket and produces a golden watch, pondering it for a moment—at least, insofar as it’s possible to tell what he’s looking at—and returning it to its place.

“Three questions. That was the deal. Make them count.”



Welcome to The Pallid King’s Climb, a cult CYOA set in 1920s New York. It’s going to be a bit different in structure from past CYOAs, and a little similar as well. So it goes. This is the first CYOA I’ve run, so I’ll certainly appreciate any feedback and encouragement in the Discord channel. Also, while I’ll attempt to do art where I can, I’m not particularly quick (or good) at it! Also, while I will be doing my best, there will doubtlessly be a bunch of little details that are not factually accurate to our world, because I have never been to the 20s (or New York). This is a *different* 1920s New York, okay?

You’ll be playing as Monads, the ritually incarnated memories of the presently-nameless cult’s members! You might be something like “Dad’s Funeral”, or “A Minor in Latin”, or “That Street Fight Where I Broke A Guy’s Nose”. It’s both your name and the entirety of your being! Monads of all colors can interact with each other freely. You cannot, however, directly affect the world. That is the job of the actual Acolytes.

Character Creation

Name: As I said before, this is both your name, and what you actually are—it’s a (short) description of the memory you’re an incarnation of. Over time you’ll likely adopt nicknames amongst yourselves, but for now, you are what you are. The Acolytes are largely up to you to define, but there is one limitation: you do NOT remember anything related to the Cult from before you woke up here

Color: This is an indication of which Acolyte you ‘belong’ to. To kick things off, we’ve got Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple, and Red. More on the Acolytes shortly!

Clarity: How clearly you’re remembered. This is essentially your HP. If your Clarity runs out, you fade away, forgotten. Try not to let that happen! To start the game, you’ll all be at 3/3 Clarity. Or CP, if you prefer. Clarity can also be spent as Essence, in a pinch.

Essence: This is what you use to influence the Acolytes, or to bargain among yourselves if you so choose. As with Clarity, everyone will be starting at 3/3 Essence. Each turn that you’ve posted in, where you didn't spend essence, you recover one essence after your post—if you start the turn at 0, you won’t have any essence to spend that turn. Fanart gets you an additional essence recovered. Essence is used to get additional votes, to boost roles, or to establish people or places your Acolyte remembers.

Backstory: You *are* backstory! Give us a little vignette about yourself if you feel like it.

Conflict Resolution

Monads cannot affect the physical world. As far as it’s concerned, you guys don’t exist. The Acolytes barely know you exist—they can see you, if they focus, but otherwise you’re a vague presence felt in their minds, but they are inclined to follow your guidance. All actions will be determined by vote, but if you want to throw your weight around, you can spend essence to make your vote count additional times, unless a vote is presented as [Locked]

When an Acolyte takes action, they’ll be rolling their stat in that action. As with forum all-star game Wrecking Crew, unless otherwise stated, the target number is 4. The more that you surpass that success threshold by, the greater the narrative impact of your success.

Beyond the Acolyte’s base stats and any helpful tools they acquire for the task, Monads can spend Essence to upscale the die rolled by two stages. That is, to change the die from a d4 to a d6, d6 to a d8, to d10, to d12, to d14, and so on (Yes, there are dice with odd sides, because non-Platonic solids are spooky) The costs and limitations of boosting a roll will be listed in the Status post.
The Acolyte stats are Strength, Observation, Influence, Will, and Lore. The number in a stat corresponds to what die they would roll—a 6 would indicate a 1d6, for example.

Strength is a measure of overall physical prowess. It’s brute strength, yes, but also fortitude and agility.
Observation is a measure of how good the Acolyte is at noticing subtleties and incongruities.
Influence is a measure of the Acolyte’s ability to sway others to their cause.
Will is a measure of the Acolyte’s mental resilience, and their ability to reconcile the paradoxes that are inherent to magic.
Lore is a measure of the Acolyte’s ability to research and understand the world’s deeper secrets.

The Walkers in the Garden


Mack Campbell has been all over the city’s streets and alleys for his work. He understands Ambiguity.
STRENGTH – 7 OBSERVATION—8 INFLUENCE—6 LORE—6 WILL—4


Professor Walter Brandt has had a long career in academia. He understands Complexity
STRENGTH—4 OBSERVATION—6 INFLUENCE—7 LORE—8 WILL—6


Isabel “Izzy” Barnes moves through society like a fish through water. She understands Multiplicity
STRENGTH—6 OBSERVATION—7 INFLUENCE—8 LORE—4 WILL—6


Molly Zhong has long ceased paying active attention to the switchboard—she doesn’t need to. She understands Connections
STRENGTH—6 OBSERVATION—6 INFLUENCE—4 LORE—7 WILL—8


Jesse Owens has worked long and hard to make it to where he is. He understands Struggle
STRENGTH—8 OBSERVATION—4 INFLUENCE—6 LORE—6 WILL—7

And here's the Discord channel for the game!

And with that, the first orders of business are your Three Questions and The Name of the Cult [LOCKED VOTE]

The Lord of Hats fucked around with this message at Feb 9, 2019 around 17:15

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The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010



Monads

Mack:

Walter:

Izzy:

Molly:

Jesse:



Rituals

Rite of the Mahaligyon
Within the one, the many. From the many, one.

Allows Monads to Take the Boost Action

COST:

Same Color, Related Aspect (that is, what you're boosting relates to what you are): 2 Essence
Same Color, Disparate Aspect (You're boosting something unrelated to what you are): 4 Essence
Off-Color, Related Aspect: 4 Essence
Off-Color, Disparate Aspect: 6 Essence

Maximum Boosts Per Roll: 1

Resources

None

The Lord of Hats fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2019 around 03:32

Aabcehmu
Apr 27, 2013

Confusion As a Natural State of Being




3 CP/2 EP

Backstory: I spent a lot of time outside as a kid, maybe too much time. I had things to get away from, even then. The time I went out and got *really* lost one winter always stuck out to me.

Three Questions: "How can I work to help my Acolyte remember me?" +1, "How can I work to help my Acolyte grow and become stronger?", "Where is my Acolyte now?"

Name of Cult: Rust and Amber Society The Garden Party / The Walkers in the Garden

Aabcehmu fucked around with this message at Feb 8, 2019 around 02:21

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"

Name: The Trenches (Blue)

3CP/3EP

Backstory: I was a soldier in the Great War. The first time I went to the trenches, and saw the hollow, hopeless faces, the stench and rot of the place stay with me.

Three Questions: "How can we regain Clarity once lost?" "What does success mean?" "Are there other cults being led by other Monads?"

Name of Cult: Seekers of Worlds' Veins

Shogeton fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2019 around 02:56

Jvie
Aug 10, 2012



Grimey Drawer

Color: Yellow

Name: That Terribly Embarrassing Incident, At The University, With The Boys


...uld make it after all. We sampled the scotch by the fire, and the evening was most copacetic, until Westshire opened the box of liquorices.

That's when it all went terribly wrong...


Question: Your smoke! Where can I get tobacco so good that it makes my head erupt in smoke like a volcano??? (+++)
Using 3 Essence to boost my voting power from 1 -> 4!


Cult Name: The Family

Prince of Space
Apr 17, 2016

Cosmiq's entrant: Skipp Wiley Jr.



Dinosaur Gum

Character Creation

Name: The mingling aromas of Cigarettes and Whiskey, "Cigskey" for short

Color: Blue - Mack Campbell

Clarity: 3/3 CP

Essence: 3/3 EP

Backstory: Whether found at the dimly-lit bars and gambling dens or out under the city lights, no night for Mack Campbell feels complete without a shot of liquid fire to warm his gullet and a calming cigarette to soothe the nerves. He doesn't always drink when he smokes, but he always smokes when he drinks, and Mack's a man that knows his way to the bottom of a whiskey bottle. After years of smoking and drinking in his own office and at his own place of residence, the clothes in his closet have finally begun to smell like how his father's once did.

Question 1: For what works have you summoned us?

Question 2: How can we increase our Clarity and Essence?

Question 3: Your smoke! Where can I get tobacco so good that it makes my head erupt in smoke like a volcano???

Name of the Cult: Inner Choir of the Golden Lamplight, aka the Lamplighter's Guild

bonus hole boy
Aug 28, 2011


Name: The Taste of Victory

Color: RED - Jesse Owens

Clarity: 3/3

Essence: 3/3 -> 1/3

Backstory: Dripping fists thrust to the sky. The Championship belt around his waist. His opponent unconscious on the ground before him. The fruits of struggle are always the sweetest.

Question 1: What is our Objective? +2 EP
Question 2: How can we best accomplish our Objective?
Question 3: What is our Prize for conquering our Objective?

bonus hole boy fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2019 around 12:46

Astus
Nov 11, 2008


Name: The Knife Fight in the Back Alley

Color: YELLOW - Professor Walter Brandt

Clarity: 3/3

Essence: 3/3 > 1/3

Backstory: So much blood, hard to focus... and yet such an intense feeling. Fear of death, suppressed by the Thrill at being the last one standing...

Question 1: What's the greatest danger we face? [+2 from Essence]
Question 2: Who can we trust?
Question 3: What is our greatest weapon?

Cult Name: Casting my vote for Seekers of Worlds' Veins

Astus fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2019 around 08:08

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009



Lipstick Apathy

Name: All the time I wasted applying for grants that were rejected

Color: Yellow

Clarity: 3/3

Essence: 2/3

Backstory: The fools could never see the value of my work, how it would change the world, no matter how much I explained it to them. No matter how promising my results had been. Not having funds set my research back, I could have... oh, what was I even trying to accomplish? All I know is they wouldn't lend the help I deserved.

Question 1: Why were we the ones who were summoned?
Question 2: What is our purpose here?
Question 3: What is our reward for helping you? +1

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Secret Art: Toxic Crotch Whirlwind!

Name: A bittersweet farewell by the docks
Color: Purple - Molly Zhong
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Backstory: You can’t always get what you want, especially when what you want goes off to make good fighting in the war. Two shillings on the drum...

Questions:
1. How does this end?
2. What’s your role in all this?
3. What do I have to lose?

Cult Name: The Walkers in the Garden, sometimes publicly discussed as The Garden Party

Green Intern fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2019 around 00:19

Theantero
Nov 6, 2011

...they shall march out of my laboratory and sweep away every adversary, every creed, every nation, until the very planet is in the loving grip of the Pax Bisonica. And then peace will reign, and the world, and all humanity, shall bow to me in humble gratitude...

Character Creation


Name: Brother's Conviction

Color: Purple - Molly Zhong

Clarity: 3/3 CP

Essence: 3/3 EP

Backstory: Was it fair? Was it just? Who can say. But a poor bootlegger makes for a good Example, and so we are one less.

Question 1: What do you want from us?

Question 2: How do we stand to benefit?

Question 3: What do I have to lose?

Name of the Cult: The Lamplighter's Guild

Theantero fucked around with this message at Feb 9, 2019 around 10:30

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


Name: A Lingering Spite From When He Spurned Me

Color: Green - Isabel

Clarity: 3/3

Essence: 3/3

Backstory: How dare he! Anyone else would have begged for my attention, but no, he said he was too busy with his projects...

Question 1: Who are those other voices I can hear?
Question 2: How can I gain power over them?
Question 3: If this is all a game to you, how do I win it?

WereGoat
Apr 28, 2017




Name: Anticipation
Color: Green
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: The liner is so much bigger than I had imagined. He had described it to me- "World's largest", "A marvel of engineering" ... These words utterly failed to capture this moment. The voices of the crowd seemed to drop away as I stared up at it, exited, elated. For a few seconds, the world was full of possibility.
Father's hand on my shoulder jolted me back to the present, as the queue moved onwards.


Cult Name: The Walkers in the Garden
1) Why are we here?
2) How exactly were we summoned?
3) Tell us, what do you know about the pallid king?

WereGoat fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2019 around 18:44

sheep-dodger
Feb 21, 2013



Name: That confusing feeling of attraction to the young woman
Color: Green
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: Izzy has forgotten what the occasion had been, probably some ethnic celebration or another, but she remembers clearly that she had found herself in a ball room, on the invitation of the mayor, taking part in a masquerade. That was when she had walked in, a young woman, maybe in her mid-20s, wearing a sleeveless black dress, long gloves of the same colour, and emerald high heels. Her shoes matched the colour of the peacock feather mask that obscured her face and together with a gold headband they really made her long auburn hair stand out.
Izzy had been working New York high society for quite a while at this point, but most of the time this meant dealing with men and occasionally their wives. While she was an expert in making the men feel desired, so far most of her marks had been exceptionally dull and pompous know-nothings that had inherited their wealth and now believed that they deserved it.
Despite having other plans, she found herself gravitating towards the new arrival over the course of the evening. Sizing her up proved exceptionally difficult, as she didn't seem to belong to any of the regular cliques that attended these events and gracefully moved between the groups, only getting into brief conversations with people that seemed to know her.
After observing for a while, Izzy resolved to approach her, catching her during a smoke break on the balcony. Today she doesn't quite recall what they talked about exactly, but she remembers being absolutely charmed by her, with her knees nearly buckling from the butterflies in her stomach. Since then Izzy hasn't felt like this about anybody else and has kept an eye out for her at every function she attended, but that beautiful redhead has so far eluded her.

Question 1: What's the greatest danger we face?
Question 2: What is our purpose here?
Question 3: How can we increase our Clarity and Essence?

Cult name: The Haunting Specter

UnCO3
Feb 11, 2010

Ye gods!


College Slice

Name: The Nightclub Fire
Color: Purple
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: It all happened so quickly, and then so agonisingly slowly. An ember lit up the drapes and in a flash the fire spread overhead in every direction. Well, everyone tried to escape, but then came the crush. The owners boarded up the windows to keep people from sneaking in, and that nearly kept us from getting out. "Only" a dozen people died. I'll never feel safe in a crowd again.

Questions:
  1. How can we gain Clarity?
  2. How can we avoid "tearing ourselves apart"?
  3. What's your deal?
Cult Name: Seekers of Worlds' Veins

Half-wit
Aug 31, 2005
Idiot savant or just plain idiot? You decide.

Name: The Gut Instinct That Told Me When To Charge Forward If I Wanted To Live
Color: Blue
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: I was a soldier in the Great War. The first time I left the trenches was in a suicidal charge against the enemy line (the officers ordered it, we had to comply). Somehow, despite all odds, I made it through that battle, and all the rest, by following my instincts. I'm not sure if those instincts were drilled into me, or if they'd been within me all along, lying dormant and waiting for a chance to be awoken. Maybe it was both, maybe it was neither. Maybe I'll never know.

Questions: 1. What is our purpose here?
2. What's your role in all this?
3. What do you mean by "You're bound now"?

Cult Name: The Walkers in the Garden

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer

Name: Looking At the Stars
Color: Red - Jesse Owens
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: Young man, late night. Past curfew, mom would be furious, later. Power went out. City went dark. The Sky Was Full of Stars.

Questions:
1. What's the greatest danger we face?
2. How do I take over the world?
3. How can we learn More Rituals?

Cult Name: The Garden Party

Poltergrift
Feb 16, 2014



"When I grow up, I'm gonna be a proper swordsman. One with clothes."


Name: Neither Falling nor Standing
Color: Purple
CP: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: They called it a "sensory deprivation tank," said it was some kind of cutting-edge therapy machine, or something like that. Offered cash to volunteers willing to test it. I was a little short on rent, so I agreed, signed their waivers, the whole shebang. It didn't feel like floating, because there's at least some sort of sensation of up and down when you float in a pond or fall a ways. It was more like I'd lost track of the ground, and my own body, and this whole lousy benighted planet...

Questions:
What did we give you in exchange for your... services?
Is there anything that threatens us, directly, not just the Acolytes with whom we share a connection?
What happens when we're destroyed?

Cult Name:
The Garden Party / The Walkers in the Garden sounds good.

Poltergrift fucked around with this message at Feb 6, 2019 around 21:53

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker



Name: Horrifying Childhood Embarrassment.

Colour: Yellow - Walter Brandt

Clarity: 3/3 CP

Essence: 3/3 EP

Backstory: Everyone was watching, everyone. The shame, the heart-palpating shame! The world was reduced to me and those witnessing. The more I try to forget, the stronger the recollection.

Question 1: Who exactly are you, and, citing references, what is the nature of your work?

Question 2: What has been forgotten by those here that would otherwise have been useful?

Question 3: What are the exact steps in order that we need to take to attain the best possible outcome from our perspective?

Name of the Cult: The Kindness

AJ_Impy fucked around with this message at Feb 9, 2019 around 16:45

Cloud Potato
Jan 8, 2011

"I'm... happy!"


Name: Just The Right Hat For The Occasion.
Colour: Green
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Backstory: "Father just doesn't understand. Considers them a frightful waste of money. But these hats, really, when you wear the right one, just so, and with a get-up to match, well, it can make the whole city just open up before you like the Red Sea. Because, when people see someone they expect to see, they're much less likely to stop and think. And the right outfit, offset with the right hat, just makes the whole affair so... simple".

Questions:
What's the plan?
Who can we trust?
What's being concealed here?

Cult Name: Seekers of Worlds' Veins

GeneX
Sep 29, 2014

Pathetic.
Awful Games Done Quick 2018 Survivor




Character Creation

Name: The Joy of a Punch Once Thrown

Color: Red - Jesse Owens

Clarity: 3/3 CP

Essence: 3/3 EP

Backstory: A smoky atmosphere in the room, my eyes tracing from cigar to cigar as I block his punches, driven more by instinct than practiced skill. My gaze flickers to him, his coal-black eyes and roaring nostrils, and I smile. I strike, right, left, right, left, a jab, a swipe, a feint, and— he blocks low, but my fist has already roared on, high.

Question 1: Why have you forsaken us?

Question 2: Where are you going?

Question 3: What must we do to reign supreme?

Name of the Cult: The Price of Time

(Thanks for the pretty template, PoS!)

GeneX fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2019 around 02:56

Scribbleykins
Apr 29, 2010

Any scientist with the right background can brew his own booze.

...

What do you mean electrolytes aren't used for brewing booze? That's silly!

...

Well when all you have are chunks of TNE and an overly large water ration, all the world looks like a still!

Grimey Drawer

Name: A Crisp Sense of Wonder
Color: Yellow
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: I take it all in, to remember what not to forget.

An unparalleled view. Stars bright as fires, speckled infinitely across the firmament - just so, just right - with northern lights, like wind-shorn curtains, all coruscant weaves and waves among them. The quiet snow-covered valley, a green abyss - absinthe-like, the colour of madness - stretching out below the camp, shining like a ghost haunting the dark, reflecting the glow above. Cold air nipping harshly at nose and lungs, permeating through swaddling furs and skins. A distant wolf's lonely howls mixed with the slow whistle of the pot, rising to boil. A pleasant smell of ground coffee, soon readied. White fog rising with every breath and word. Tired, cracked voice muttering awed - my god, my god what a sight.

Questions:
1. What can we become?
2. Why did 'we' make a deal?
3. How do we prevent tearing ourselves apart?

Cult Name: The Walkers in the Garden

Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010




Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Content: There are limits to how long you can push a person without response. Rent is overdue by months, eviction is calling, and if you had to beat the money you were owed out of your manager? So be it. After this they wouldn't dare steal from you again.

Question 1: Why were we the ones who were summoned?
Question 2: How do we prevent tearing ourselves apart?
Question 3: What do I have to lose?

Cult: The Argent Authority

Successful Businessmanga fucked around with this message at Feb 8, 2019 around 02:22

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015



Memory: Those Piercing Stares About Who I Am
Color: Purple- Molly Zhong
Clarity: 3/3
Essense: 3/3

Content: I'll never forget how most people on the street look at me, at least the white folks. My pale skin, my dark hair, my eyes, especially. Those whispers-"Chinawoman", or "Pale skin", or "Slit eyes". I hated it. They hated me.

Questions: "How do we become famous, powerful, and accepted?" "What resources do we have at our disposal, monetary, socially, intellectually, anything?" "How do we become a physical thing, via possession or homunculus or machinery or somesuch?"

Cult: The Garden Party

Junpei fucked around with this message at Feb 7, 2019 around 03:47

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Fun Shoe


Memory: The second time I got shot
Color: Blue
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Backstory: The first time was in the war. The second time was in my own apartment. Shot by a woman who didn't approve of me marrying her sister. Ended up being a good thing in hindsight.

Questions:
Who's really in charge of this town?
What's the fastest way to get some cash? Who can we trust?
What does the cult need for the next few weeks? What is our greatest weapon?

Speleothing fucked around with this message at Feb 9, 2019 around 02:34

malbogio
Jan 19, 2015



Name: The constant sinking feeling which keeps me from sleep.
Color: Purple
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: The dripping noise is briefly interrupted by a rattling cough which in turn is lost to the dark. Sore limbs ache down to the bone. Dread curls up in my gut like a familiar friend to keep me company through the night. This life will grind away at me until I am nothing but dust.

Questions:
1. How was I bound?
2. Why was I bound?
3. How can I get out of this alive?

Cult Name: Seekers of Worlds' Veins

KhediveRex
Jul 11, 2016

A poster to surpass Bifauxnen!




Character Creation

Name: My Alter-Ego's Many Fake Séances "Madame Odde"

Color: Green - Izzy Barnes

Clarity: 3/3 CP

Essence: 3/3 EP

Backstory: No one pays for real mysticism. Real mysticism makes people uncomfortable. But, throw on something silky, don a couple gaudy rings, call yourself "Madame Odde" and talk about your gypsy grandmother - suddenly you're in business.

It's ussually swapping gossip with nervous old women. Most days it's exactly like having tea with the society types. Except the tea is magic. And the smoke filling the room is incense. Its all a performance.

But the séances! They were the biggest performance of all, and the biggest paychecks. But there was something beautiful about those nights. Hands clasped tight in dimly lit rooms so full of fear and anxiety and hope. It was the romantic paens of widows, the sweet affirmations of love from child to parent, the miserable joy of speaking to a childhood friend you'll never see again.

It amazed me how much people care about each other.

Question 1: Will any other Cults oppose us?

Question 2: How can we increase our Clarity and Essence?

Question 3: Your smoke! Where can I get tobacco so good that it makes my head erupt in smoke like a volcano???

Name of the Cult: The Garden Party

KhediveRex fucked around with this message at Feb 9, 2019 around 22:09

Murmur Twin
Feb 11, 2003

An ever-honest pacifist with no mind for tricks.


A Quasi-Religious Experience After Eating Mushrooms

Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Backstory: "I get it now. Human souls are made of musical notes, and songs are the connections we form as we dance in and out of tune with each other."

Color: Green

Cult Name: Garden Party

Question 1: How did we come to be here?
Question 2: How did you come to be here?
Question 3: Is there anything we can do to help you?

Infinity Gaia
Feb 27, 2011

a storm is coming...


Name: Endless Repetitive Days Of Training

Color: Red - Jesse Owens

Clarity: 3/3 CP

Essence: 3/3 EP

Backstory: ...ush-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 crunches, one hour run, one hour weight training, 30 minutes punching bag training, 30 minu...

Question 1: What is our objective?

Question 2: How may we become more powerful?

Question 3: Who is our opponent?

Name of the Cult: The Garden Party

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010





As the smoking man finished speaking, the swarms of monads explode into activity, shouting, arguing amongst themselves, each one struggling to be the voice that stood out, to be the one most satisfied, the one who received the answer to their own particular inquiry. In their midst, blind to the pandemonium that surrounded them, the acolytes rose. One of them steps forward—Mack, who was no stranger to having questions answered.

“Now what—“ The smoking man moves sharply, hand raised to silence the inquiry.

“Silence, Garden-walker. My obligations to you are over. Know your place.” The smoke billows outward suddenly, enveloping the entire room, filling it with a darkness, total but for the dull, distant red of some smoldering core. Just as quickly, it cleared, the room the same as before, save for the fact that Mack was once more spread out on the floor, still, but breathing.

“Now. If there are no further interruptions… Your questions, if `you will.”

The debate resumes, with a rather subdued intensity this time. Soon, a concordance was reached, a delegate chosen. A proud mote, this one, for how could it not be?

The Taste of Victory posted:

What is our Objective?

The man chuckles darkly.

“So fresh to the world, and yet already filled with such a sense of purpose. So eager. Perhaps this will be worth watching after all. What is your “objective”…? What is the objective of a bird? Why does a mouse crippled and half eaten by a cat, still attempt to crawl away? Why does man craft so many lies for himself?”

“Do not be mistaken. Your are not here on the behalf of some higher order. You are called forth the same drive and goal as everything else on this Earth. You are here to survive. Perhaps, once you have become secure in that objective, you will find yourselves with a greater purpose. But that’s hardly something to concern yourselves with now.”

Molly and Brandt stand with focused attention, as utterly lost as the others, but both quick on the uptake. Whatever this is, it is important. Every detail precious. Izzy kneels on the floor, clumsily bringing Mack back to the waking world. Jesse paces the outer edge of the room, looking for the exit that must be there, but find nothing. It is curious—he makes the full circuit, multiple times, and yet not once does he pass behind the smoking man. No further answer forthcoming, another monad speaks up. Yellow this time, as patiently observant as its progenitor.

A Crisp Sense of Wonder posted:

How do we prevent tearing ourselves apart?

“A practical question. Good. You are learning. A practical answer, then. Already, you are slowing. Decaying. It will be imperceptible at first. Perhaps you will feel it at the end of your vision, a swimming. A slipping. Truthfully, I cannot tell you how you will perceive it. But it is there. And unless you find the energy to push yourself up, well… I suppose you’ll have failed your ‘objective’.”

“There is an order to this. A method to be followed. You have lost it, but I am certain your dear professor can work it out again, crude though his understanding was. And once you have bought your further time, you can dig further. Refine your process, correct the glaring errors in your transcription of the Rite. Perhaps you will discover deeper secrets. We shall see.”

Mack has awoken. This time, he remains sitting, one hand raised to his aching temple. But he remains vigilant, practiced eye plucking out details where he could. An old habit, comfortable in its familiarity. The smoking man rises to his feet, circling the room in the opposite direction as Jesse. Still, they somehow never seem to meet. One of Molly’s monads speaks up, its ‘voice’, insofar as such a thing exists, tinged with a hint of the strange clarity of terror.

The Nightclub Fire posted:

What's your deal?

“My deal is the bargain we struck. You had the Rite, yet lacked the power and conviction to perform it on your own. Yet you could also not give it up. And so… you came to me. Negotiations were made, and an agreement reaches. I have extracted my payment.” For a moment, there is a decidedly bluish cast to the smoke that rises from the man’s collar. “And now, that deal is fulfilled. Now, you will excuse me—“

Anticipation posted:

Tell us, what do you know about the pallid king?

The smoking man pauses with a jolt, dropping his cigar, and then reaches across the room. His arm does not extend, does not change in any way. He is clearly on the other end of the room. And yet, he reaches out, across the intervening space, and plucks Anticipation from the air, pulling it closer for examination.


Anticipation loses one Clarity!

“Some things are best forgotten.”

Once more, the smoke swells forth, filling the room. When it vanishes, it reveals the room once more, the man gone. No, it’s not the same room as before, is it? The floorboards are not so cleanly cut as before. The walls not in so neat a state of repair. And importantly, there is a door, cheap and nondescript, and windows, looking out onto the city you know so well.

Mack rises once more, bending down to retrieve the cigar butt. He turns it over in his hands, sniffs experimentally, and then takes a drag.

“Chesterfields. Not the cheap kind, either.”

There are no introductions. There is no need for introductions. The figures do not know, do not remember each other, but there is the overwhelming sense of familiarity between them. They knew each other once. That is certain. And while the memories they once shared are gone, they now share far more than they ever could have before. It’s Izzy that breaks the silence, and even then with great hesitation.

“So… um… now we…” She gestures vaguely. “That was… a thing. What are we even doing? Now what?”

"I think," Brandt replies "That we have a lot that we need to figure out before we do anything else."

"We've got a lead on that guy. It's not much, but it's something. I can start asking around tobacconists, see what they've seen."

"What, ask if they've seen a guy with smoke for a head?" Izzy asks.

"Well--"

"We do not want to find him," Molly interrupts. "He is powerful. He is dangerous. Even if we found him, what then?"

"Whatever we do, we need to start doing it." Jesse has opened the window, and is taking deep breaths of the hot city air. "I'm not about to sit around letting the clock run out."

Now what?

The Lord of Hats fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2019 around 00:05

Shogeton
Apr 26, 2007

"Little by little the old world crumbled, and not once did the king imagine that some of the pieces might fall on him"



Clarity/Essence 3/3

"We need to survive. I don't want to die. We need to find the ritual. But we don't know what kind of ritual it was, or what it set out to do. But if we studied a ritual, there should be things left, right? Texts and tools and things like that. Do we remember where our homes are? Perhaps there we could find something."

He looked around. "There is something I would like to try. We cannot move the world, but we can see without being seen. If someone could open the window, without looking out of it, I could see if I could peer outside and see more than any of the physical bodies do. If we know that we have some extra pair of unseen eyes, that'll help us survive."

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015




Clarity/Essence: 3

One of Molly's Monads-the one known as Pierce-well, if it had a head, it would be shaking and rubbing it.

"What... happened? What did we do? I... only remember... what I am. Nothing before, nothing after."

GeneX
Sep 29, 2014

Pathetic.
Awful Games Done Quick 2018 Survivor






Clarity/Essence: 3/3.

Here's the info I believe we have, from Mr. Smoke:

The acolytes undertook a rite of some form, but required the aid of the smoking man to perform it in full. We lacked power and conviction, which must therefore be quantifiable or qualifiable in some manner, even if we don't know what.

The rite was in some manner filled with errors, and that the professor might be able to piece together something more functional.

I propose the following actions, to start getting a handle on our surroundings:

The Professor and Molly go see if they have any loose paper on their clothing or anywhere in the vicinity, since they seem the most likely to have info of some kind on them, Mack and Jesse go explore the building and learn what they can of it (Mack checking for oddities, Jesse doing any heavy lifting needed), Izzy tries to find someone outside to talk to.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Fun Shoe


The second time I got shot
Clarity:
3/3
Essence: 3/3

"Those aren't bad ideas. Find out what we monads can do and have our 'selves' find out what this room is all about. But no need to be so specific about who does what. There are enough hands here that we should be able to check the whole building pretty quick after we turn this room upside down.

"Someone take a peek at the hallway, let's be sure nobody else is about to bust in."

Aabcehmu
Apr 27, 2013

Confusion As a Natural State of Being



3 CP/ 2 EP

"I agree that getting a grip on the building is what we should do first. We don't know this building is safe, though, and even if there's nobody aren't who we want to avoid. Making sure we know how to get out of here fast if we need to seems like the best first step to me."

WereGoat
Apr 28, 2017




Clarity: 2/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: The liner ... "World's largest", "A marvel..." ... These words ...The voices of the crowd drop away.
exited, elated. possibility.

The Lord of Hats posted:


“Some things are best forgotten.”

Yes, something unknown, knowledge hidden. Meant to be hidden... but known? How do we know? Imprinted on our being?

We must find out more! Exciting! Enticing!

Infinity Gaia
Feb 27, 2011

a storm is coming...



Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

"A room in which a ritual was performed. Rituals are not easy things to do or learn. Much time must have been spent practicing each part of it. Acolytes do not seem ill at ease in the room. Familiarity or carelessness? Possibility that room is known and no threat. Communication with acolytes, possible? Not all memories are us. Maybe memories of room remain. Seek familiarity."

"Is this room known? Is this room safe?" Attempting to communicate directly with Jesse.

Infinity Gaia fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2019 around 00:55

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Secret Art: Toxic Crotch Whirlwind!


Name: A bittersweet farewell by the docks
Color: Purple - Molly Zhong
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

"Explore the building all you want, just nobody go off on their own. We've only just come back together, after all."

Jvie
Aug 10, 2012



Grimey Drawer


"The Incident"
CP: 3/3
EP: 0/3 -> 1/3

-managed to acquire a clean set of clothes for him. But it was too late. By the time we found him he was far too inebriated to listen to us.

Joy posted:

The Professor and Molly go see if they have any loose paper on their clothing or anywhere in the vicinity, since they seem the most likely to have info of some kind on them,

Y-yes! If the "ritual" took place here, there must be some evidence left over. And even if not, surely m... professor Brandt would have kept the information in his study.

We should look for it, so we can improve on the rite, and more importantly, prove that none of these "errors" were the professor's fault!

Voting that we look for information on the ritual.

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Scribbleykins
Apr 29, 2010

Any scientist with the right background can brew his own booze.

...

What do you mean electrolytes aren't used for brewing booze? That's silly!

...

Well when all you have are chunks of TNE and an overly large water ration, all the world looks like a still!

Grimey Drawer


Acolyte: Yellow - Willy Brandt
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3
Backstory: I take it all in, to remember what not to forget.
observation, fervor, awe

Junpei posted:


"What... happened? What did we do? I... only remember... what I am. Nothing before, nothing after."

The yellow monad who'd spoken earlier moves in an exploratory circular lap around the room, then swoops by a somewhat confused purple monad.

"A Rite of the Mahaligyon was invoked," it communicates, with apparent confidence, before continuing. "Imperfectly so, according to The Smoking Man. We Monads are the result. 'Within the one, the many. From the many, one', or so it goes - I think. That's all I know, though! Except for the sudden sweetness of what it's like 'to be'!"

Wonder - for it clearly is - spins another few excited circles, this time around Pierce, before settling into a hovering state close to the Professor in order to start echoing the sentiments of several other chattering Monads.

"I much prefer it to 'not to be', so let's find ways to keep it so. Acolyte Brandt, you worry over lost memories, but remember that you are a studious man. You should check for research notes at home or at work. Also... would it not behoove everyone to check their pockets for anything of interest? Who knows what you'll find?"

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