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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Once upon a time, a witch and a glass-maker made a dragon out of glass and taught it to hate the world. It raged and it would have destroyed everything; only, it shattered, instead.

    Maybe it found some reason to love the world.

    Maybe their hearts weren't really in it — not the glass-maker's, not the witch's.

    Maybe it was just that the dragon was made of glass.

    Fortitude: the Glass-Maker’s Dragon
    Book 1, Chapter 1
    The first week of Spring


    It's a beautiful day in Fortitude. The Sun is shining high, the wind is blowing softly and everyone seems to be taking things slowly, like is usual around here. It’s the first week of Spring, and it’s starting to show. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and the last traces of Winter have disappeared.

    And if there are any signs of greater things to come, whether in dreams or odd behaviors, they are not particularly obvious. Until they come to light, it’s just another day in Fortitude.

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    Well now, let's get this started. I don't want to presume that I know where you are, so you'll have to describe that yourselves.

    As an aside, it’s not only the first week of Spring but also the year, by the way. School vacations begin in two weeks’ time, for whoever’s interested. Along with the new year, I suppose new ambitions are in order. Any long-term projects that your characters are interested in are probably only just starting, like Miramie’s café.

    Finally, don’t feel rushed to meet up immediately, you have plenty of time, particularly given the format of PbP.

    OOC thread
    Last edited by Crinias; 2014-04-22 at 10:32 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Natalia Koutolika, the blond-haired daughter of Fortitude's latest immigrant family, is returning back home from school - the black and gold uniform should be an instant giveaway. As usual, the school was boring - all the classes covered either stuff she already knew or some irrational gibberish, and she spent the majority of it reading books covertly. She considers skipping it the next day - what is the point attending classes in a dream anyway?

    ...But then something distracts her, as soft mewling from above reaches her ears. Natalia looks up and stares at a darker shape among the thick leaves on a tree by the road.

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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Meanwhile, not far behind her, Rinley Yatskaya fell off a roof. She landed more or less gracefully, as far as one can gracefully fall off a roof, but she looked around her once or twice to make sure no one saw her fall before going "totally stuck that" to herself.

    She brushes off her unbuttoned blue-and-gold uniform coat, straightens her crown of strawberry leaves and pearl, and walks up to Natalia.
    "Hi! Have you seen a cat? It stole a friend of mine's hat and I'm looking to get it back. It should be about this big [motions with hands a medium cat], looks kind of grouchy, poor sense of humor?"
    She looks around, and then yells, "I know you're somewhere around here!"
    "Actually, wait, have we met? I'm Rinley Yatskaya. Did you move here recently? Where do you live? How're you finding Town? What do you think of class? Am I asking too many questions? I should stop, shouldn't I."
    She stops and catches her breath from speaking fast and having just fallen off a house.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    A dream, that was all it was. A dream. Of course most people underestimate dreams, and few knew that better than Leonardo de Montreal.

    Standing on the shores of Big Lake the young scientist suppressed a shiver. He wasn't here because of the dream. He wasn't! He was here because there had been an Outside Storm last night, and a few nights before that. They were getting closer together, and he needed to know why. The sheeple dismissed it as a coincidence, who can predict the outside they say. But Leonardo knew better, everything happens for a reason and Leonardo would find out what it was. For he was a scientist.

    After shivering once again he turned away from the lake and exclaimed. "It's too blasted cold, I can't work under these conditions!" And with that he marched off in search of hot chocolate.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    While Natalia and Leonardo were busy being melodramatic, or at least dramatic, in their own ways a rather odd sight played along the harbor. A tanned teenage girl with bright, red hair was running messages and making deliveries for various shopkeepers and shipowners, that wasn't the odd part though it was a job more associated with actual children. No, the odd part was the fact that she was dressed in an elaborate courtly robe that looked like something from an old painting of noblewoman from the Chinese Tang dynasty, yet had her hair hanging loose in a way you would never see on an actual noblewoman from medieval China.

    All of this was lost on Jasper, however, as the nuances of age appropriate chores were hardly something you learned in the heavens, nor was the history of east Asian fashion. Instead, she simply stopped to watch a ship unload boxes, trying to guess what were in them. The lower world seemed far too full of stuff being moved around, rather than spirits simply making sure it was in the appropriate place. At least she was pretty sure that was how it had been back home, maybe there was a lot of logistics that nobody had bothered to show her or she'd simply forgotten.
    Last edited by Terraoblivion; 2013-08-21 at 11:28 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "Er..." Natalia looks slightly overwhelmed by the constant barrage of questions for a moment. Only for a moment. "Yes, no, yes, Fortitude, strange, uninteresting, yes, and yes before you run out of air, respectively. I'm pretty sure the cat you're looking for is stuck on this tree and can't get down, like cats are known to do. See?" She points her finger at the dark shape for better identification and nods seriously, and then approaches the tree's trunk, getting ready to climb it.
    "My name is Natalia Koutolika. Hello.", she says without turning around.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2013-08-21 at 11:02 AM.

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  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "Nice to meet you."
    She turns to the presumed cat. "You'd better still have that hat! If you don't, Eduard will be very cross!"
    Rinley looks around her. "...Actually, where has Eduard gone off to? I'm sure you'll like him!"
    Spoiler
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    So for NPCs like Prince Eduard so on, who do we want narrating their stuff/giving dialogue? Should we leave that to the HG or should it be a mix of HG/PCs playing them?
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "What makes you think that?", Natalia asks as she starts to climb up the tree. She's pretty damn good at it - and she also has the common sense to wear bike shorts under her uniform's skirt.

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    Considering Natalia has a connection to the rats, do you think she'd know who Prince Eduard is?

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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    To either of the girls, it was easy to identify the figure among the branches of the tree as the cat described by Rinley, all brown with some black stripes and a small brown hat atop his head (the kind Indiana Jones wears). It was slightly too small, rat-sized, and it didn't fit him well, but he didn't seem like he cared much, for he looked more smug than grouchy, as he had earlier.

    Cats can be incredibly smug when properly motivated, although on the whole this particular cat would probably be more smug if he didn't look nervous - he evidently didn't think this through. 'This' being 'getting stuck in a tree'.

    As Natalia climbs the tree with ease (it's around four or five meters tall), she can see the cat look at her with a mix of relief and nervousness. She gets up to the branch on which the cat is on when everyone suddenly hears a sudden exclamation:

    "Why, I daresay you've found the villain, Rinley!" cried out a voice that was unfamiliar to Natalia, but not to Rinley. Turning around to see where the voice was coming from, the girls quickly spotted a Fortitude rat elegantly posing atop a nearby roof. Or rather, it would have been elegant, but the rat in question was posed in such a way that the wind blew unto his back and disrupted his balance briefly, making him stumble slightly. Prince Eduard Fujimoto was, alas, not very good at representing rats in general.

    After regaining his balance Eduard cleared his throat loudly and very suddenly jumped off the roof. He somersaulted twice before landing gracefully, impressing everybody around him (cat included) with how correctly and effectively he had done it.

    He then walks normally towards the girls. "Ah, Rinley, I see you've found someone to help us bring that cat to justice! I can't say I can tell humans very much apart, but she sure looks reliable! That was quite the climb!"

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    Most of the time you'll only control your own characters, but we'll alternate every now and again. Handle Eduard for the rest of the scene, if you want.

    As for Natalia, I'm going to say that she has heard of him. Also, I'm assuming you're using Martial Arts to climb up the tree or something, right? We can probably say your physical training is more than enough for that.
    Last edited by Crinias; 2013-08-21 at 04:50 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "There you are! Natalia, this is Prince Eduard of the Fortitude rats! As for why I think that, how to put it... You both have the same kind of feel, you know? Like catventures are just around the corner!"
    She smiles at her joke.
    "Oh, and try not to hurt the cat! I mean, it stole Eduard's hat, but I'm still a Yatskaya and cats are kind of our thing, so, you know..."
    Rinley and Eduard share a look, and Eduard responds, "Well, I suppose we can let it off this time. But beware, cat, should you cross Prince Eduard Fujimoto a second time!"
    He flourishes his tiny sword and wiggles his eybrows at the cat in an impressive manner!
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    What blue is that? I'm having trouble matching it and would rather not go through all the blueish text options.
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  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    The cat just narrows his eyes at Eduard and hisses. Then he moves closer to Natalia, as though half expecting her to pick him up.

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    It's Royal Blue, as befitting of a prince.
    Last edited by Crinias; 2013-08-21 at 05:44 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "Villain. Justice. I see.", Natalia repeats flatly, looking at all the participants in order. The situation in front of her is just so bizarre and yet cute at the same time. She knows the rats of Fortitude and that they can talk, but such cute stuff simply doesn't happen in her life. She chalks it up to everything being a dream as usual.
    "Don't worry, I would never hurt a cat. Come here. koshka, don't be afraid..." She gets closer to the animal on the branch and squats down to pick it up... But she also flicks her finger at the hat it's wearing, trying to send it floating down towards the rat prince. "Let's just return this thing to its owner."

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    If Natalia's default abilities are not enough, I assume I can use her The Prodigy special power to perfectly balance on the tree and flick the cat's hat off as described above? Hopefully this counts as mid-scene already.

    Geostationary: you can see text color in the code if you quote it. Also, keep up the puns and you'll get groan XP.

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Eduard catches the hat and puts it on with another dramatic flourish. "Thank you, young lass! If you ever need help, just ask!"

    "Hey, Natalia! Once you come down, would you like to go to the harbor with us? We were heading there before we were suddenly catbushed by that stray, and it stole Eduard's hat. We chased it all over the roofs, until we found you here! Anyways, we were thinking of maybe fishing and goofing around, maybe seeing if anyone else was there."
    It is obvious that Rinley has no fishing gear, and that this fact does not concern her.

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    Perforce, puns are the punitive price I pay for Rinley's terrible mastery over the wishing power of the heart! That and bouts of alliteration, it seems.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Natalia jumps down to the ground nimbly, the cat in her hands, and then puts him down next to her and pets the animal gently to calm him down.
    "It's alright. I actually heard about you from some of the other rats, and..." She trails off, listening to Rinley's invitation. And as she listens, she slowly grows more conflicted.

    Should I come? They are strange but also nice, this sounds like it could be quite fun. Maybe it could even turn into a small adventure...
    No, who am I trying to fool? Adventures are something that happens in stories. It will just be messing around on the beach - maybe fun, but certainly a waste of time. And I already wasted enough time today... I have my duty to fulfill. I can't afford this...


    "I'm sorry... I can't.", she says quietly, her face low enough that eyes are not visible behind her hair. "Maybe later, but I simply can't right now. Um... Sorry again. Don't mind me, I'll be going now. Bye."
    Natalia turns around and starts to leave quickly.

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Rinley watches Natalia make her excuses and walk away, feeling sad that she can't do stuff with this new friend.
    "Are you sure?! We'll be having fish! And the day's been beautiful so far, despite the recent storms!"

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    So, I'd like to use Heart-Reader because I'm curious and because Rinley naturally needs to see the despair of Natalia's heart.
    Invoke Heart-Reader to tell whether something is a labor of love, an ordinary act, or the dreary trudge of somebody just going through the motions. You can invoke this power real-time or after-the-fact, and you can even get a detailed sense of how much love is in something.
    Also, if this is the end of the scene, could we take an "A Shared Reaction" XP action? If you're going to reconsider my proposal or something, it can wait.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "...Yes, I'm sure. See you later.", Natalia says as she's already pretty far away. But she's not actually that sure, even if she doesn't want to admit it to herself - and that just makes her feel worse. She feels like she messed up somehow. And while she's stoic and only a bit sad on the outside, her heart is heavy and filled with pain, devoid of love.

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    That sounds good to me, unless Crinias has something else/something further planned. Also, I assume you don't need me to tell you Natalia is connected to Rinley's fate.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2013-08-21 at 09:52 PM.

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Rinley Emotes Sad!
    She picks up Eduard and, placing him on her shoulder, heads to the harbor.
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    I was going for "Oh, I the player know of Natalia's emotional turmoil, but now Rinley must suffer it as well! The joys of divinations- actually talking to your heart at this point would just be awkward for all involved. It just lends credence that I must now invite her to awkward social events.


    /Scene
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  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    As Leonardo walks away from the shore, he can't help shake off a feeling of trepidation, and of something to be done in the future. He can practically hear the waters call to him.

    There's few good cafes or diners around here. There's a lot of decent ones, one would suppose, but no really excellent ones. And there's probably none in Fortitude that could match up to the magnificence of De Montreal, but that's to be expected. Still, there are plenty in the general area, good or not.

    The coffee shop by Lakeside Avenue is closest, but it's only open on weekends. There's a great all-around shop over on Markovic's Crescent, but that one's at least an hour and a half away on foot. The owner of the diner on Apeldoorn Avenue, a block away, is away on vacation... somewhere, Leonardo's not entirely sure where you'd go to vacation in Town if you already lived in Fortitude.

    The only viable choice that this leaves and that he remembers is the Queen's Cafe coffee shop, which is a few streets away near Sunrise Street, and is, as far as Leonardo can tell, the definition of an average coffee shop. It'll probably do.

    It is as Leonardo walks by the harbor that he spots a young girl dressed in most unusual clothes.
    ---------------

    The arrangements and order of the lower world was certainly odd and not very intuitive. Jasper watched as the crates were unloaded, but only every now and again would she get a hint of what things truly were - the smell of spices, maybe, or a glint of something shining between the planks of the crates.

    The latest request was a message sent to an eastern clothing shop, to inform the owner that the latest shipment of clothing had arrived and that it'd be sent over soon. The directions were simple: it was a few buildings next to the cafe on Sunrise Street. There was no real need to hurry. Observing a few crates wouldn't inconvenience anyone.

    So it is as Jasper watches the crates that she notices a young scientist walk in her general direction.

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    Not sure if you've actually met one another, but if not then this is your chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geostationary View Post
    Also, if this is the end of the scene, could we take an "A Shared Reaction" XP action?
    You can technically take any of the Pastoral XP Actions at any point so long as you fit with their descriptions. You don't need to ask me about them.
    Last edited by Crinias; 2013-08-21 at 10:25 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Smelling the dry smell of spices coming from one of the crates, Jasper wrinkled her nose slightly. What was that? Some kind of thing to keep houses clean by keeping worse smells out? That actually kinda made sense, she'd been down here long enough to know that if a house smelled too much of anything that wasn't food, then it was dirty. So if you had something to drown the smell out, that might solve the problem. It sounded a lot easier than all the sweeping and scrubbing she occasionally saw people do, so it seemed like an obvious solution. Of course, then there was the question of why people still did all that work...

    As she was musing on the relationship between smell, cleanliness and spices, she was distracted by the appearance of a figure who seemed almost as out of place as herself. "Hi." Turning away from the crates, she met the scientist with a big, bright smile. Maybe he would know what the stuff in the crates were for and in any case, people here seemed to always say hi when they passed by each other.

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    I'm going with the assumption that Jasper probably doesn't know Leonardo yet. However, I can easily edit the post to have recognition if you prefer Sanguine. In any case, I imagine that they're both distinctive enough that there might have been rumors about them and that Leonardo at least would have noticed if he saw Jasper.

    Also, do you think that's enough to count as a theory about how the lower world works, Crinias?

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Oh the world was a cruel mistress, forcing the great and glorious De Montreal to debase himself with mediocrity. But such was the cost of magnificence. For when you stand above the world everything is beneath you.

    Leonardo is shaken out of his revelry by the bright smiling face of the Child of the Sun. For a moment he stands petrified, fear clear on his face. But no this was not the specter from his dreams. Shaking off his momentary terror Leonardo, for reasons he does not quite understand, smiles and replies. "Hello."
    Last edited by Sanguine; 2013-08-22 at 11:16 AM.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "Is something wrong?" Jasper looked on him, clearly concerned for what had terrified the scientist so much. Was it her clothes? Or had she been wrong about the smell being for cleaning and it was something much scarier? But then why did others not react the same way? "Can I do anything to help?" She glanced towards the crates. She probably couldn't do anything about it if it was them.

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "Help me? Help me!? I am the glorious Leonardo de Montreal! Do you truly think that you could help me? I, who have explored the primordial darkness of the world of nightmares. I, who has tamed the darkest recesses of the human psyche harnessing the power of nightmares. I, who rekindled the sun. No, I, Leonardo de Montreal, need help from no one!" As Leonardo makes his pronouncement a bolt of lightning and crash of thunder emerge from the otherwise clear skies, compliments of his Dramatic Gesture Gloves. After a moment though the young scientist looks slightly embarrassed and mumbles. "Besides, it was nothing. You just look like someone I used to know."
    Last edited by Sanguine; 2013-08-22 at 12:49 PM.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    There was a short pause as Leonardo rambled, with Jasper looking quite confused for a second before her expression suddenly brightened into an inquisitive expression. "You rekindled the sun?! You mean literally after mom was shot, right?" Hopefully this strange guy wasn't just bragging. But, really, could a human even do that? They seemed mostly concerned with eating and moving little bits of metal around in exchange for stuff? "Do you know why the new sun doesn't say anything when I try to talk to it?" She paused for a bit, looking slightly embarrassed before continuing. "Sorry...I'm Jasper Irinka. Jade Irinka was...Is my mother."

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    And have a speechlessness XP for that reply to an offer of help.
    Last edited by Terraoblivion; 2013-08-22 at 01:26 PM.

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Leonardo rolled his eyes affecting mock disdain. Though in truth he was ecstatic for the opportunity to talk about his crowning achievement. "Yes literally. The sun went out, plunging the world into darkness and all would have been lost if it were not for me. For I rose up to save a world that had shown me nothing but scorn and loathing. Tearing out my still beating heart I used it to build my Abhorrent Sun-Sustaining Superconductor and a new sun was born." At this point Leonardo took a moment to relish in his own triumph before continuing. "As for why the new sun doesn't talk, that is a good question..." Leonardo considered the question carefully before answering. "The life cycle of a sun is measured in the millions of years. Whereas the new sun is a scant eight years old. So it is entirely plausible that the sun is merely too young to communicate. Of course this is merely an untested hypothesis. I could perform a rigorous scientific examination of the subject. But to do so I would need to build either an Artificially Intelligent deep-space probe or a time machine. And unfortunately my Incomparable Nightmare Engine is currently being petulant."

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    Does that count as proposing a theory about something in the natural world?

    Also yay XP
    Last edited by Sanguine; 2013-08-22 at 03:04 PM.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "I don't think mom aged like that. She's the angel of the sun. Or was, this is a different one. I'd think that she's eternal. Probably at least." Jasper was a bit uncertain. Not only was it a lot of information to comprehend in a single monologue like that, she wasn't used to scientific terminology like that. And she couldn't really remember life in heaven that well, not to mention that she didn't have any idea how old her mother really was.

    "I'm thinking that maybe it hasn't learned to talk to the people in the world below. It's far away and being the sun has to be a lot different than being like us after all. I mean, humans are kinda weird with the whole sneezing thing and fondness for little metal bits, but they're still like me and talk and such." She paused for a bit, looking thoughtful as she did so. "Did you really use your heart to create the new sun?" Had her mother been born in a similar way? And did that mean the world had done without a sun until somebody gave their heart to give life to her or had there been another sun back then?

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    And it seems like a theory about the natural world to me. If a rather odd, metaphysical part of it.
    Last edited by Terraoblivion; 2013-08-22 at 02:51 PM.

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "Yes, I did. And it's a good thing too because there seems to be a disturbing trend of people stabbing me in the chest. A thoroughly uncomfortable experience I must say."
    Last edited by Sanguine; 2013-08-22 at 03:04 PM.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Jasper winced slightly at the whole chest stabbing thing, remembering that last moment before she fell. "That sounds really uncomfortable. So humans can survive being stabbed in the chest? I'm still trying to learn about this place." She looked around, her gaze once again falling on the crates. Really, there seemed to be a lot about humans she didn't know yet.

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "I can't think of many people offhand that have survived that. I do know how you can swap out people's hearts, but I learned that from a grumpy old cat in exchange for secret tales. It was fun when I tried it with my big brother. Took me a week to figure out how to undo it though."
    "...Oh, I'm Rinley. Don't mind me, I'm just listening."
    ***
    In a depressed mood after her encounter with Natalia, Rinley had gone to the harbor and fished with Eduard for a while. After a few catches (only two of which had small gold coins in their mouths!), she heard loud, dramatic exclamations and unweatherly crashes of thunder and lightning.
    That must be Leonardo. Wait, who's he talking to? She headed over, figuring that Leonardo being grandiose around... someone wearing courtly regalia? would at least be interesting, if not lighten her mood. Besides, half the harbor could hear his proclamations, and she'd not heard about his Abhorrent Sun-Sustaining Superconductor before. It's not like they were being private, and that's basically an invitation, right?
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    I figure I'd probably be at least acquainted with Leonardo, as he's not exactly a subtle person and he's only a year or so older than Rinley.
    Also, can I call 'Storytime' for either me talking about hearts or the tales of Leonardo and the New Sun?
    Last edited by Geostationary; 2013-08-22 at 04:24 PM.
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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    Another person talking about human hearts, someone looking a lot more normal this time. Were they really replaceable like that? It seemed like something people would have told her about before... "Wasn't it messy swapping hearts like that? There should be blood and stuff, right?" Or was that just fish? Maybe human hearts were different for some reason...This lower world was so weird.

    Rather than dwell on the weirdness of humans for too long, Jasper gave Rinley a friendly smile, trying to rely on general warmth to get by just in case. "Anyway, hi, Rinley. I'm Jasper Irinka. We were just talking about my mother and how Leonardo created the new sun."

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    Default Re: [Chuubo's] Fortitude: The Glass-Maker's Dragon IC

    "I mean, normally it's pretty messy and should only be performed by a trained doctor. The trick I learned is more... Spiritual? Like you switch the bits of them that make them them, rather than the actual heart, per se."
    "I didn't know Leonardo did that. But if you're Jade Irinka's daughter, what are you doing down here?"
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