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Successful Businessmanga
Mar 28, 2010




Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Lacking a situation to well and truly be wrathful at, Last Straw flits around the room behind Jesse. Best to be ready to whisper direction to its new charge if needed, a fresh burst of anger ready to drip from its ethereal tongue.

Lack of information was still the greatest hurdle in front of the acolytes. Settling a weightless hand on Jesse's shoulder, the monad whispers an instruction "It would be best if you looked to the outside of where you have been stashed away. No telling what this organisation has done to you apart from popping us out into the open."

quote:

Instruct Jesse to look for information on the ritual

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Junpei
Oct 4, 2015




Clarity and Essence: 3

With the explanation from Wonder clarifying things, the purple Monad-Pierce-moved over to Molly.

"What you have in pockets? What you find in this room? Find. Search. Seek. Understand. Connect."

Prince of Space
Apr 17, 2016

Cosmiq's entrant: Skipp Wiley Jr.



Dinosaur Gum


Name: The Mingling Aromas of Cigarettes and Whiskey (Cigskey)
Color: Blue - Mack Campbell
Clarity: 3/3 CP
Essence: 3/3 EP

Amidst the bluster, the confusion and the chaos circulating the room like so much smoke and fire, Cigskey found itself at ease. While the rest were teetering on the brink of fear and paranoia he stayed afloat, steady like an ocean liner cruising through smooth waters. He glided towards the center of the room and commanded the other Monads' attentions.

"Ritual?" he bellowed, silencing the room with his mirthful incredulity. "Why, whatever Ritual could you fellows mean? You mean the very Ritual that brought us here, out from the minds of our Acolytes?"

Cigskey glanced around the room with his spectral body, seeking affirmations from his fellow Monads.

"We all owe our lives to that Ritual, if that's what you're all getting at. Maybe we shouldn't go poking around at things that could undo our very existence. Although..."

Cigskey paused for a moment to mull over his options, letting them tumble around in his thoughts like ice swirling in a highball glass. There was something the smoking man had said about his 'obligations' to Mack Campbell and the other Walkers in the Garden that was brewing up strange sensations in Cigskey's thoughts.

"If we learn how to reproduce the Ritual, we can make more of us. More Acolytes. More Monads. More eyes in more places at once."

A spark lit up in Cigskey's thoughts.

"The Professor Walter Brandt would probably know best where to look to find the right rare tomes. He could take Ms. Isabel Barnes along with him - I'm sure they'll have much to talk about between themselves along the way."

He felt he was heating up to something good.

"While they're out, Molly Zhong and Jesse Owens could get us all started by making this place a suitable base of operations. Mack can join them in setting things up later."

Cigskey laid it out: his thoughts on the matter.

"In the meantime, however I think it's important that Mack follow his instincts to pursue the lead we've got on the Smoking Man, at least while the trail is still hot. We can start by having Mack Campbell check the tobacconists in the area for any that sell Chesterfield cigars like the kind the Smoking Man left behind."

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009



Lipstick Apathy


Clarity 3/3
Essence 2/3

It was all happening again. Another failure. Back to square one. Worse, this was like that string of bad luck. The Monad glanced at Walter's others. The memory of the incident at university, it took him years to recover from that. Forget grants, not even regular employers would give him the time of day. The memory of the knife fight. How far he'd fallen. What did they see themselves as? Triumph Nostalgia? This Monad only saw them as more evidence of failure and rejection. Reach into a box labeled "Walter and you'd pull out more bad than good.

The Lord of Hats posted:

“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.”

And there it was, time to get back to basics, relearn everything to account for a failure, just like the early years of his academic career. It actually felt good to fail on his own merit after years of being passed over due to the politics of academia. These were problems that could be fixed.

"Way I see it, our best chance after we get our bearings is to get everything back to the state it was before. It's basic academics, we need to remember what we were trying to do and figure out what went wrong so we can fix it."

Yes, checking our pockets and gathering information would be a good first step to that.

Not Alex
Oct 9, 2012

Cut loose before the god eaters show up.


Name: The Stray Cat Stopped Coming to the Back Door

Color: Blue
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Backstory: "...been days now. Dumb beast." But he kept the saucer filled for days more.

A hollow presence which had been silent before the Smoking Man spoke up.

"We should get some of this taken down. Garden-walker and the like. Memory is the medium of this madness and we can't trust the facts not to go wandering off. Surely Mack has a pad in his pockets."

Take notes.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer


Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Woah woah woah! Hold on a second! Hold on one second! Let's just take a good look around us first! Where even are we? Don't be in such a rush! No need to go back home yet. Mom will be furious. Before we do anything rash, let's just... take a deep breath and see what we can see, yeah? Is that a floor? Wow! What's up with the ceiling? WHO ARE YOU? Why are you so pretty? Is this dangerous?

What is even going on this has never happened before does anyone have a telescope?

bonus hole boy
Aug 28, 2011



Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 1/3

A new place, a new beginning. The goal was hazy, their path unclear. First step: Settle ourselves (Breathe, Jesse. In and out.) and gather information.

What is our current situation? (Location, Time of Day, Safety?)
What assets do we have available to us? (Personal Items, Vehicles, Sources of Information?),

Essence: 1/3 -> 2/3

bonus hole boy fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2019 around 09:58

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


Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

I've got a bad feeling about following the Smoking Man. However, digging up the knowledge of our imperfect ritual won't let us perfect it. We'll have our ritual, but we won't know where we went wrong.

Despite the danger, we should try to find out more about the Smoking Man. Not to get in touch with him again, but to find out where he goes, what he does. See if any of the places he haunts can help us.

The only way out is forward.

I say we try to track down the Smoking Man using his cigar.

malbogio
Jan 19, 2015




Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Deals are just the masks wolves wear when dining on sheep. Today we were the sheep.

Without our past we know nothing. Let’s trace our steps.

malbogio fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2019 around 09:19

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...


E: 3/3 | C: 3/3


"Not so kind is this World to leave us easy clues", a heavy, monotone voice, "But perhaps, with effort, we can glean something from the scraps around us. We must get our bearings."

Theantero fucked around with this message at Feb 10, 2019 around 10:26

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker


E: 3/3 C: 3/3

"He's gone. He saw right through us, scorn and contempt clear, save for one moment where a careless question roused anger. Now, nothing but empty memory. So, what do all of you remember? What have you kept? If, er, checking isn't too shameful or embarrassing."

This voice echoed with a sharp weight, a memory that frequently rose unbidden and unwanted, trauma far removed from an adult context. It was almost painful to perceive.

Cloud Potato
Jan 8, 2011

"I'm... happy!"



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

"Yep, I agree, we need more knowledge. About this room, about ourselves, about this Garden-Walker name we were called. Gather information, the more sources the better."

KhediveRex
Jul 11, 2016

A poster to surpass Bifauxnen!




Madame Odde
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Now that was a spell I should like very much to learn. Shocking enough to thrill the old women. Macarbre enough to perplex the young women. A gypsy could make a lot of money with a spell like that.

And ... it appeared to be real. Which had it's own merits.

But this whole business of the smoking man unsettled Madame Odde. One must be in control of the illusion, or it will spin out of control. Maybe this wasn't an illusion but, the point remained. Izzy and the other Walkers shared their power, surrendered their autonomy, allowed the Smoking Man to play his own instrument in their chorus of mysticism. And now the music had become discordant.

Mysticism has enough unknowns. One should never invite another.

"We must find the smoking man!" Madame Odde declared dramatically to the assembled Monads. "Our ritual failed! We know our acolytes like we know ourselves and they would not have created such chaos with the mingling of their own essences. It is this smoking man! This stranger! This flippant agiteur who has corrupted our ritual! Follow not his words, they have already led us astray!"

"Let us instead ... follow his trail." Madame Odde orbited around Mack, carefully examining the smoking man's abandoned cigar.

"This one, the Detective. His purpose is clear. And there! The Professor. He can pursue the smoking man through his books of lore. The rest of us ... we must clean this stain. His smoke still floats in the air! We cannot call this our home while his presence can be felt here. Our rituals will hold his scent until everything of the smoking man is cleaned from this place.

Send Mack to the Tobacconist to try and find a lead. Send Brandt to look through the lore for any references of the smoking man. Jessie, Izzy and Molly stay to set up home base.

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

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



[Lingering | C3 | E3]

A stewing spirit, an angry twist of rotten psyche, Lingering watched and listened for a long time before speaking. "Yes. Let us learn more. Let us push these puppets out into the world and learn what we can before acting. Before we take action against those who would force them - force us - to go to such ends as this... splintering."

GeneX
Sep 29, 2014

Pathetic.
Awful Games Done Quick 2018 Survivor






CP: 3/3
EP: 3/3


I think Odde has it, but let me modify her choice.

Assuming we get an inventory check for free: Send the Professor scurrying around to find information. The former presumably finding his own address via his wallet, he can and should hunt through whatever books he might find at his home.

Mack should take the cigar and, again assuming he knows his own address from what he has on him, should go there and see who he has in terms of contacts. Izzy can follow with him to help him work with his contacts.

Jesse and Molly should spend some time hanging around and hunting for clues and the like at their current locale. The former can hunt through more annoying to reach areas, like behind furniture and so on, while the latter should collect and collate what we have and know.


(I'll be roleplaying with my votes once we have a more solid foundation, but for now, let's get somewhere, eh?)

Infinity Gaia
Feb 27, 2011

a storm is coming...


(I dunno, I think this initial part where we don't even know what we/the acolytes know is really interesting and I don't exactly want to rush past it. That's just me though.)

Murmur Twin
Feb 11, 2003

An ever-honest pacifist with no mind for tricks.



Acolyte: A Quasi-Religious Experience After Eating Mushrooms (Quasi)
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Quasi stands in the back, silently observing the others and listening to the Smoking Man, showing no interest in being heard over the louder voices in the room.

quote:

“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—“

The smoke turned from yellow to blue. Why?

quote:

"We do not want to find him," Molly interrupts. "He is powerful. He is dangerous.

She is afraid. Why? There must be more to this.

Cloud Potato posted:

"Yep, I agree, we need more knowledge. About this room, about ourselves, about this Garden-Walker name we were called. Gather information, the more sources the better."

Quasi listens to the other green Monad, nodding slowly in agreement, before quietly speaking up.

"I think that we should look for clues regarding the Acolytes' past interactions with each other. Perhaps looking into the past can help dictate their future."

sheep-dodger
Feb 21, 2013




Name: That confusing feeling of attraction to the young woman
Color: Green
Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

Cloud Potato posted:

"Yep, I agree, we need more knowledge. About this room, about ourselves, about this Garden-Walker name we were called. Gather information, the more sources the better."
"I concur, we must find out as much about ourselves and our cult as possible. Let's investigate this building and the homes of our acolytes!"

Astus
Nov 11, 2008




Name: The Knife Fight in the Back Alley

Color: Yellow - Professor Walter Brandt

Clarity: 3/3

Essence: 1/3 > 2/3

"It will be hard to defend ourselves if we have no idea where we even are. We need to search our surroundings, and find out if this place is safe, or if we should move. Having a sanctuary to fall back to should be our priority, everything else is secondary."

Poltergrift
Feb 16, 2014



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



CP: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

"Let's employ a little caution and keep out of sight while we investigate the building, yes? If we're recognized on or from the street, it'll mean working through a social encounter we may not know how to handle, and considering who and where we are, I wouldn't be surprised if a knife gets pulled to at least a fifth of our communal throats."

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010





“Alright. I’m heading out. Gonna follow this trail before it goes cold.”

Mack was out the door before anyone else had the opportunity to speak up, out the door and into the hallway—in even worse repair, he noted as he carefully made his way down the creaking steps. It was clear from a glance that it had been a long time since this building had been occupied, and even longer since it had been safe to occupy. The windows on the ground floor were all boarded up, as was the front door—it took a few minutes to find the exit in the basement, pried-up boards neatly stacked next to it. Whenever it was that they’d entered, they’d clearly been planning to cover their tracks. Not that Mack needed evidence to tell you that much.

This wasn’t about tracking down the Smoking Man, Mack reflected as he headed down the streets, getting his bearings—they were way the hell up in the Bronx it turned out, he could see Van Cortlandt Park from here—it was mostly about getting the hell away from… from… from whatever that was. poo poo! How had everyone else been so drat calm about it? Why had they called that thing up, anyways? Why had he called it up?

Why did he know he was going to go back to all of it?

The smart thing to do was to leave. The whole situation was bad news. And while Mack Campbell hadn’t survived the Great War by being a coward, that didn’t mean he didn’t know when to cut and run. And that time was now. But instead of doing the smart thing, here he was falling back into old familiar habits, asking questions he didn’t want to find an answer to. And when he found that answer, he knew he was going to go back to that drat rotting tenement and tell those familiar strangers what he’d found. Well, if he was going to fall on old habits anyways…

Vice: 1d4 2

A furtive glance, a furtive swig, and Mack was feeling a lot better about the situation. God bless Tennessee and its extensively talented backwoods.

The first shop was a bust—no English, though he did get a good price on a pack of Camels—second wasn’t about to answer questions about customers, and the third had the same policy, although they’d made it clear that money might clear up their sudden amnesia. Mack didn’t bother paying—the guy clearly didn’t have the right kind of stock anyways. Four was, once again, no English. And on, and on, and on. This was the life. Lots of walking, lots of getting turned away. But it was all worth it when—

Checking Tobacconists: 1d8 4

“Hey, Tony! TONY! C’mere!” the shop’s owner was burly and balding, his hair apparently fleeing the top of his head for the safer pastures between his eyebrows. “I want you to get a long look at this!”

“I’m coming, I’m coming” the shop’s tall, gawky assistant replied as he came in from the back room. “Alright, Bruno, where’s the fire?”

“The fire, Tony, is right here!” Bruno replied, waving the cigar stub in Tony’s face. “Tony, you tell me what the sign out front says.”

“That if you can smoke it, Bruno’s got it.” Tony replied listlessly. This conversation clearly wasn’t a first.

“That’s right! ‘Less it’s a reefer. Now, this man here comes in, askin’ after his buddy’s brand! Because Bruno, he’s got it all, right? And so I tells him of course we got it, I’m Bruno, I’m a man of my word. ‘Cept I take a look, and we’ fuckin’ don’t! Not a single drat one of these things! Not even an empty fuckin’ box! We’re not just out, we’ve never had one of these things!”

“So what—“

“You’re the one in charge of inventory, Tony! I trust you with that responsibility, and this is what you do? You make a liar outta me?”

Tony finally managed to snatch the butt away from Bruno. “Chesterfields… but that’s a cigarette brand. They don’t make cigars.”

“I got a cigar and a customer right here that say otherwise! You callin’ them liars?” Bruno was, at this point, quite thoroughly red.

“We just got a fresh shipment yesterday! You think they wouldn’t be yelling at us to carry their cigars if they made them? They aren’t, because they don’t! It’s not a thing!” Tony threw his arms out in exasperation, flinging the cigar out into the storefront, where Mack retrieved it before heading out. He wasn’t going to be getting more of an answer from here any time soon. But then, he’d already gotten something good.

Now if he just had any idea what it meant.

(With our first separation of Acolytes, the Monads learn an interesting fact! They can’t get too far away from the Acolytes in general, but the space separating the Acolytes doesn’t seem to exist for them—right now, for example, Monads can freely move from Mack’s orbit to one of the other Acolyte’s)
----------

A silence hung over the room after Mack’s abrupt departure.

“Should we go after him?” Izzy asked. It was good to start off with a question when this kind of thing happened. People liked easy questions. It made them feel smart. Comfortable. Like they had a grasp on the situation.

“Nah, he’s gone. Guy needs some space. Sounds pretty good to me, too.” Jesse replied. There. The silence was broken.

“I’m sure he’ll be back, once he’s calmed down. But… Jesse, correct? I’d ask that you stay a minute. I think we should all stop and get our bearings one the situation before we split up any further. Like you said, we’re on a clock right now. We can’t afford to waste time here.” Professor Brandt reached into his pocket and withdrew his pipe, only to discover he had no matches. He continued to hold it in his hand regardless. “We’re going to be working from first principles, here. What facts do we have to work with?”
“Well…”


“We knew each other.” Molly finally spoke up. She’d been staring at the floor for a while now. “We must have. I do not—“ she paused, hesitant. “We do not remember how. But we knew each other. We must have. And we worked together. On this.”

“What, you’re saying we did this to ourselves?” Jesse asked, incredulous.

Molly shook her head. “No… We weren’t able to. We lacked something. Power. So we contacted… summoned the Smoking Man, somehow. And he did it for us. And in return we gave him…”

“Something.” Brandt concluded. “That’s worth some thought. We were working together as… a fraternity of sorts. Well, I suppose that’s not quite the word. A society. “

“The Garden-Walkers. He called Mack that, right?” Izzy noted.

“I believe so. But we are verging into detail. Let us refocus. We were associates. The Garden-Walkers, perhaps. We created a ritual that tied us all together. We called that man to perform it. He took his payment, and put the process in motion. And now it is up to us to keep it going. Somehow. Have I missed anything critical?”

Silence.

“Well then. The portion that stands out to me is that we either created or discovered the ritual in the first place. And I cannot imagine that it was a simple thing. And that means there was work involved. Research. And while I cannot say so for certain, I believe that is a task that would have fallen to me.”

“Seems fair.” Jesse said.

“And if I did that, there must be notes I left behind, in my study. It only makes sense. So with that in mind, I intend to see what I can discover. If the rest of you have any avenues to pursue, I suggest you do so. Perhaps there are still clues to be found here. In the morning, we shall reconvene here, for lack of a better option. Is this acceptable?”

There was a general nod of assent.

“Good. Let us begin, then.”

----------
Izzy: Searching Surroundings: 1d7 3
Molly: Searching Surroundings: 1d6 2
Jesse: Searching Surroundings: 1d4 3

There were not, it turned out, clues to be found here. They weren't carrying anything out of the ordinary besides the robes they'd been wearing. The room was empty. No candles, no chalk circles, no anything. Just shabby walls, messy floor, lightbulb. And the same was true of every other apartment in the drat building. Well, one of them had a collapsed floor, which was another’s collapsed ceiling, but that wasn’t a clue towards anything but the entire place being an old dump.

Jesse had headed out early, when he’d started to get a headache from staring so long at nothing. He was restless, anyways. Energy to burn. Good time for some roadwork. That always calmed him down. Centered him. Sure, his vision was going kind of funny—flashes of red dancing across his field of view—but he could deal. He knew this neighborhood, after all.

----------

Brandt’s apartment was tidy. He was very particular about that with his housekeeper. A tidy house meant a tidy mind, and a tidy mind was a mind that was operating smoothly. He slipped off his jacket—they’d all left those robes back at the tenement—and slung it over his shoulder as he retired to his study.

His study was tidy as well, after a fashion. The piles of ashy sludge on his desk were all quite neatly arranged, some still folded between heavy, illegibly scorched cloth-bound covers. It was quite a prodigious amount of work. It had to have been. A single piece of paper didn’t amount to that much ash. And there was a lot of ruin piled upon his desk. How many days? Weeks? Months? Did that mound represent entire years of labor, all reduced to nothing?

My Work! My Work!: 1d6 6

Brandt stood quietly for a moment, then quietly pulled a volume at random from his shelves. It was untouched. Pristine. This was not the work of random chance. No, this was just another point of data in a long, long trend of his work being rejected and thrown away. He had coped with this before. He could cope with it again. He sucked on his unlit pipe—there’d been enough fire in this room already, he wasn’t about to add more—and then began his search.

The ash was a lost cause, he confirmed quickly enough. The Smoking Man had been thorough in that regard. But the Man, powerful and alien though he might be, was in some strange manner a man all the same. He walked, he spoke, he thought. And that meant there would be errors.

Searching My Office: 1d6 4

It was a break from the search that proved fruitful, in the end. He had eaten his dinner, taken his customary evening constitutional, and checked on his mail. And it was there, right there in his mailbox, that he found the invoice.

“BEDROS KELJIK AND SONS” the letterhead read. “RARE BOOKS AND ANTIQUITIES”

Brandt smiled. There was always a flaw.

Sorry if there's things I didn't address, but this was getting long as it is, and I'm still figuring things out. You’ve got a lead. Two, in fact. To narrow things down a bit for you (and because scenes with all of the Acolytes talking to each other take a long time to write (who’d have guessed?)), Who does Professor Brandt bring with him to Keljik’s?, What to make of Mack’s lead?, What does Jesse notice during his roadwork that's unusual?

The Lord of Hats fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2019 around 02:10

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015




Clarity/Essence: 3

Pierce flits between Mack and the main group as he leaves, nodding at this.

"They like... anchors. We move between them, and only them." He tells the other Monads.

He focuses mostly on Mack as he investigates. A faint feeling of understanding goes through him at the non-English speaking stores. When he picks up the cigar with "Chesterfield's" on it... well, the Monad would smirk if it had a mouth. Or a face at all.

Something similar happens when he goes to check on Brandt. The book store was a solid clue.

And so, Pierce moved to the other Monads, filling them in on what he had seen. About Mack's lead, and Brandt's location.

"I think... Izzy should help Brandt, and Mack should investigate where Chesterfield's factory is." Pierce offers a start.

Can't think of an IC way to state what Jesse saw, so I'm going to go for An arson.

The Lord of Hats
Aug 22, 2010



Also, have a new Monad picture

Not Alex
Oct 9, 2012

Cut loose before the god eaters show up.


Xie xie


Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 0/3

"It was not a man" Stray ripples slightly at the memory of the fiery... something within the wave of smoke that engulfed Mack. "This gumshoe routine is soothing to Mack. But that thing in the smoke was just man shaped. It may have plucked that cigar from a mirror world, it may have formed it whole from the aether. It might even have rolled it by hand and branded it cause it liked the look of Chesterfield's crown. We have a thread. Let's gather more, not try to climb out on this alone."

And speaking of alone, Jesse is right now. Both an opportunity and a worry. Stray wants to test the bond that sustains them. Needs to know how they can help their charges from being lost. Stray weaves about in orbit of Jesse. Can it see things that Jesse doesn't notice? Can it peer around a corner just before Jesse rounds it? Can it warn of danger there in a way more than a vague impulse?

Stray tests the limits of perception and communication thereof, spending 3 essence. It is possible Jesse's journey through the Bronx is plagued by flashes of what's around the next bend and an absence in the shape of cat at the edge of perception. Stray also councils against continuing on the cigar lead before hashing things out with the others. Izzy seems like a fine choice to help the Professor.

Not Alex fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2019 around 06:48

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...


E: 3/3 | C: 3/3

"Treasures locked in cages, antiques long forgotten. Left to rot, lest emancipated."

"Research is a matter of Complexity, and Connections, doubly so when one focuses on books of esoteric nature. Molly and Brandt are the natural pairing for the antiquary. Izzy can come to entertain the staff as the other two work, but her presence is not necessary."

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

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



[Lingering | C3 | E3]

A possessive twist of emotion. Izzy was hers, she was Izzy's. Let the other Monads reach out and play puppet with the rest, she knew that Izzy could only depend on her. Others would let you down in the end, and someone needed to be in Izzy's court. "Yes, Isabel ought to go with Brandt. Her mind is keen at plucking out the patterns that move the world of men. Would the rest of you be so dull-witted as to suggest she squander herself dawdling with the help? No, she should be on the front, proactive so that she cannot be taken advantage of again..." Oh, Isabel. She'd been hurt enough already, and Lingering wouldn't allow her to stand aside while men did the work!

GeneX
Sep 29, 2014

Pathetic.
Awful Games Done Quick 2018 Survivor





C: 3/3 E: 3/3

Izzy is best suited to convince any potentially reluctant booksellers into semi-willingly parting with information. However, keep in contact with Jesse, in case punches need to be thrown to convince any potentially reluctant booksellers into parting with information.

I, for one, hope punches need to be thrown.

Swedish Thaumocracy
Jul 11, 2006

Strength of >800 Men
Honor of 0


Grimey Drawer


Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3 -> 0/3

Hey Jesse hey Jesse hey Jesse hey Jesse HEY jesse jesse hey hey look up.
Look UP jesse, look UP hey jesse hey hey hey Jesse hey hey. Look. Up.
The Sign. It's a Sign. Look at it. You are missing the sign. Look at the sign. Use your SIGHT to LOOK at the SIGN.
HEY JESSE LOOK OUT. Look up. Look at the sign. Sign. Look.

1 Essence to boost my vote: To influence Jesse to be on the watch for Signs, mystic or otherwise, that might help our investigation. Spending 2 essence (same colour, same aspect) to boost any search-related rolls that might come off it.

Swedish Thaumocracy fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2019 around 17:05

Aabcehmu
Apr 27, 2013

Confusion As a Natural State of Being



3 CP/2 -> 3 EP

Regenerating an Essence

A Winter Trek remains mostly quiet, initially flitting from Acolyte to Acolyte like others before settling around Jesse.

"It does seem like going to the bookshop is going to involve more talk than research, so the professor taking Izzy with him makes sense to me. The Smoke Man's cigar not being normal seems...I guess it's what we should have expected. I get the feeling we're going to need to go deeper than talking to the average shopkeeper to really follow it up."

A Winter Trek looks around the neighborhood, his motions a parallel to the physical Jesse's. "I guess, it isn't unusual that it's not snowed in everywhere. I need to...it's, the future, I guess. I need to get used to it."

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Fun Shoe



Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 3/3

"Listen, Pierce, you haven't been in the snooping game as long as me. But the Chesterfield factory is in England and Mack doesn't have the patience or the dough to get to it. Could go to the docks, I guess ... But at best we're chasing the Smoking Man in circles picking up scraps along the way, and at worst Mack actually finds him. That's not a fight we're ready for yet."

"Nah. This trail is cold. Or at least the pavement side is. If Mack's gonna make progress here, it'll be from his desk making calls and setting up interviews. But one office is as good as another when it comes to storing notes and books. In fact, I'd bet a private dick might be a little more cautious about where he keeps things than the old professor."

Time to head to the office and check for ritual clues.

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

"The Professor should ask Molly to come to this bookstore to aid his search with greater understanding than before. Mack should follow, in case we need someone to dig deeper into these antiquarians' sources, or pick through yet more of the Smoking Man's leavings. These foreign men may have sold the Professor broken truths, but their origin were clear enough to create us, with help. And if one broken truth was sold, perhaps yet others exist? I wonder what else we can find, with a thorough search through their stock."

Wonder glowed with excitement, fervent emanations curling and dancing, like a halo of northern lights, around the professor's brow. They were heady - and motivating.

Upscaling the Professor's action; 3/3 essence ---> 1/3 essence.

Jesse sees a riverboat, aflame.

Scribbleykins fucked around with this message at Feb 14, 2019 around 23:17

Junpei
Oct 4, 2015




Clarity: 3
Essence: 3->1

Pierce... well, not quite nods, but if he had a head, he would, at Second Time.

"Fair... Let Mack go home and look around.."

Junpei fucked around with this message at Feb 15, 2019 around 03:50

super sweet best pal
Nov 18, 2009



Lipstick Apathy


Clarity 3/3
Essence 3/3

Walter's past setbacks left him feeling stoic in the face of this new problem; the monad assumed this was fulfilling its purpose as a memory in some small way. His work was gone but hopefully he had what he needed to start again. Too bad no memories of his career's successes had surfaced as monads, a little hope would be welcome right about now. No sense dwelling on that either. Best to take stock of what they had to work with.

Observable data:
Datum the first: five people who apparently know each other but have no memory of how they met. A disparate group with nothing in common, save the ritual. This wasn't just some group of thrill seekers chasing after palm readings and seances while mysticism was [i]en vogue[i]. Why had they all come together like this?

Datum the second: Their need was great enough to contact a less than trustworthy third party to help. A third party who, though willing to help the ritual succeed, didn't seem to want the goal of the ritual attained. Destroying research notes, being as vague and unhelpful as possible with the questions he was given, attacking a monad who thought about the wrong thing in front of him; their adversary had something of a mercenary streak. Did they summon some abomination and force it to do their bidding like in the trash stories they carried at the dime store? Also able to create cigars that don't exist? (Being a monad seemed to have its upsides)

Now that was an intriguing point of data. This Mahaligyon thing's purpose seemed to be the uplifting memories into their own individual entities. Each one connected to the entire cult as a whole and capable of strengthening their actions. Whatever their ultimate goal was, it needed the kind of utility the monads could provide. How powerful was this essence they used, could the cultists be capable of actions out of myth? Did Jesse have the strength of Hercules, for example? Maybe his monads would be interested in testing that if there was any time to spare.

Ok, let's circle back around for the final piece -- Five different people from all walks of life came together to do something important that was beyond them as ordinary people, so far beyond them they couldn't even do a basic rite to give them more power to work with, so they contacted that man because their desire was great enough to risk both the ritual and his interference. What could be so important to resort to these measures? The books related to their pre-ritual actions were the only avenue they had a real lead on. Go down to the bookstore, see if they had any spare copies of the books that were lost, replace them. On the way there, the monad supposed Brandt could spend some time considering what they learned of the rite so far.

Spending 2 Essence to help Brandt understand the complexities of the ritual.

Walter felt confident he could figure out the details of the Rite of the Mahaligyon with enough information, but gleaning their ultimate goal seemed beyond him. From what little he remembered, Molly seemed good at that, figuring out how things related to each other. If she came along she could probably figure out why they needed the books and could probably find something loosely related we passed over when we still remembered what we were doing. Though if Mack came along he could probably set his detective skills to uncovering some obscure lead among the texts, though he didn't seem the studious type.

Molly should come with Brandt. Neutral on Mack coming but he'd be an ok choice too.

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: 3/3 -> 1/3
Essence 3/3

The Trenches nods at Stray and Second Time's talk. "Let's not storm at this machine gun nest. We need to live, and this creature is able to hurt us. No, we need to gather strength. Hunker down, find information about the ritual. The ritual is what will keep us alive! Let's go home. Let's see hat we can scavenge up there. Knowledge is like food or good boots to us now. We need it to live! We can't die!"

Another vote for Mack checking his office for clues on the ritual. Trying to boost his roll to find things, spending 2 essence and working on memories of the scrounging for food and resources in the trenches, making him see the desperate eyes of a soldier going over the fresh corpse of a comrade just for his food Molly should come with Brandt.

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

A cigar that didn't exist. Figured. They wouldn't find anything about this cigar without a lot more trouble coming their way.

Except; now what? There wasn't a clear path forward, there wasn't a clear objective to chase. It was impossible to choose an option when none were presented. Their options were like the cigar, non-existent; but somehow present, none-the-less, if they could only find them. So, what, they were supposed to stumble around blindly in the dark hoping to find a light-switch?

There was no path that spoke to The Gut Instinct That Told Me When To Charge Forward If I Wanted To Live. So the monad said nothing.

Prince of Space
Apr 17, 2016

Cosmiq's entrant: Skipp Wiley Jr.



Dinosaur Gum


Name: The Mingling Aromas of Cigarettes and Whiskey (Cigskey)
Color: Blue - Mack Campbell
Clarity: 3/3 CP
Essence: 3 -> 1/3 EP

Cigskey was hovering by a table in the back of the abandoned building, leaning into a worn wooden chair.

"Relax, fellas," said Cigskey, mellowing in the smoky haze of his aura, "there's more than one way to roll a cigarette, or a cigar in any case."

He paused to draw upon his own thoughts, muted fire flickering into his form.

"We don't need to go to the cigarette factories - they won't help us anyway. We're looking for cigars, not cigarettes. We need to go to the source of the tobacco leaf that made the Smoking Man's cigar: Chesterfield, Virginia."

Cigskey swelled with a burgeoning pride as his spiritual Clarity burbled to the surface. Mack was out there on the streets somewhere, passing by a bar. Cigskey's Essence divided itself and bolstered Mack's spirits with resolve.

~ ~ ~

The Mingling Aromas of Cigarettes and Whiskey whisked past the surface of Mack Campbell's mind (+2 Essence):

"That's right: you don't need another drink, Mack, you've got plenty in your pocket and at the office already. You need to find the Chesterfield tobacco plantation - got to get to the cigar's source!"

Mack Campbell continued down the sidewalk past the bar's entrance, passing through Cigskey's transparent form without a second glance.

~ ~ ~

Elsewhere, back in the abandoned house with the rest of the resident Monads, Cigskey was laying out the rest of his plan for the other Acolytes' activities. His smoky form was billowing throughout the room as he explained his idea.

"So get this: Professor Brandt and Izzy go in together and do their high-society thing with the bookkeepers while Molly has been there for a good ten minutes already, all on her own."

"Miss Molly Zhong looks for anything good and mystical on the shelves that might catch her eye, Professor Brandt gets to retrace his steps with the book store's manager and Isabel can woo the bookkeepers into showing her things related to her experience as a medium as 'Madame Odde.'"

Cigskey looked pointedly at My Alter Ego's Many Fake Séances, and moved on.

"Miss Molly will get to snoop on these book store owners and tell us if they are good people or not while searching for books of value, and Walter and Izzy will likely get the "Very Important Person" treatment while they're there. Afterwards, we all reconvene."

The ghostly form of Cigarettes and Whiskey folded its spectral arms and nodded its head. It added one more thing, as if this was obvious:

"Oh, and Jesse is going to see a crime."

Cigskey took a deep and purposeful sip of himself before continuing. He stoked the flame behind his eyes with a curious glint of mischief.

"Maybe a burglary, maybe a mugging, maybe a petty thief or a pickpocket, maybe an arsonist or a street fight or gangs or a bank robbery gone wrong. Jesse's gonna be in a position to help, hinder, or hurt the people involved."

The Monad took a seat and leaned back in his chair, his piece clearly finished.

Blue - Detective Mack Campbell: Go to Office, locate the mailing address of the Chesterfield tobacco plantation in Chesterfield, Virginia, to make an inquiry about Chesterfield-made cigars. (+2 Essence)
Yellow - Professor Walter Brandt: Visit Keljik and Sons' Rare Books and Antiquities to inquire about recent purchases.
Green - Socialite Isabel Barnes: Visit Keljik and Sons' Rare Books and Antiquities along with Brandt to inquire about recent purchases.
Purple - Switchboard Operator Molly Zhong: Visit Keljik and Sons' Rare Books and Antiquities at the same time but separately from Brandt and Izzy.
Red - Boxer Jesse Owens: Witness a crime and get involved.

Cloud Potato
Jan 8, 2011

"I'm... happy!"



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

"Hmm, a visit to the bookshop? Perhaps the three of us should go together, the Professor can do the talking, I'll observe the people, and Molly can observe the other books in the joint. Ooh, that plain pillbox hat, with maybe a silver brooch?..."

Brandt, Molly and Izzy go to the bookshop. Mack goes to Chesterfield's offices or local depot. Jesse notices us, the monads, during his roadwork.

AJ_Impy
Jun 17, 2007



Yam Slacker


E: 3/3 C: 3/3

"Sure, take Molly and Izzy along. They've already seen plenty."

Horrify seemed distracted and uncertain.

bonus hole boy
Aug 28, 2011



Clarity: 3/3
Essence: 2/3

Victory floated slowly around Jesse's head as he jogged down the empty sidestreet, his rhythmic footsteps and measured breathing echoing off the brownstones around them. Jesse's instincts on this were good, Victory thought, there was a lot to take in all at once, and it always seemed like they did their best thinking while they were moving.

Jesse hit the streetcorner and stopped, dropping into his fighting stance. A jab flashed out, a rapid one-two. He ducked left and ripped a vicious left hook into the space where an opponent's ribs would be. A few punches later and it clicked for Victory. How could he not recognize it, it was as much a part of him as it was Jesse. He stopped in front of Jesse, transfixed, as he shadowboxed a flawless rendition of the round that won them the championship belt. He finished, as he had then, with a devastating series of close-range shots, his fist hanging in the air a long moment as the last punch came out. He let out a deep breath as he straightened up. His eyes settled on the space in front of him where Victory was floating...

The Lord of Hats posted:

What does Jesse notice during his roadwork that's unusual?

The Acolytes can perceive the Monads if they are focused on them, perhaps the unusual thing Jesse sees on his roadwork is one of us?

Essence: 2/3 -> 3/3

bonus hole boy fucked around with this message at Feb 19, 2019 around 03:10

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WereGoat
Apr 28, 2017




Clarity: 2/3
Essence: 3/3

Izzy should go with Brandt; two's company, three's a crowd. Suspicion, worry.

Secrets, mystery, excitement!

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