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  1. - Top - End - #361
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lord Magtok's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    Avenue of Unpleasant Dreams

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcaller View Post
    Avenue of Unpleasant Dreams

    Jaahlyn steps away from the scene, likely leaving Fid even more confused. But as the conflict between the two Laz devolves into fighting it might get clearer what she was attempting to do.

    These were not the results the satyr was looking for, in fact they were far more positive as she had expected a far more brutal fight.

    But as it looks like Laz might actually kill the aspect of her that was holding her back she gives the combatants a concerned look. Killing any part of yourself like that, even just metaphorically, was usually not a good thing. Jaahlyn had meant for them to try to use diplomacy to bridge the gap but she also knew that might be unlikely considering how at odds Laz seemed to be with herself.
    The cut had been meant as a way to test this and so far it looked like it had been effective. Perhaps a bit too effective.

    She felt guilty of throwing so much discord into this situation with her suggestion and then not doing anything to stop it but she also knew that sometimes discord was nessecary to introduce greater change and it wasn't her role to solve this for them. She was simply there to provide advice should they need it. Which is exactly why her concerned look goes to Fid who would have to be the one breaking this up now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhosia View Post
    Avenue of Unpleasant Dreams

    Fidelia jumps with a little eek as Jenette seizes the figment and slams her upwards, briefly conflicted on what to do. The surge of alarm and sense of responsibility to step in and do something is very real, but so is the swelling in her heart as she hears her soundly reject all those awful things she'd had to endure a figment of her spit out.

    Fortunately, the former sense wins out even before Jaahlyn tries to encourage it with a look. "Stop it, both of you!" She demands with a few steps forward, fists balled and back straight. "I'm not going to sit back and let you hurt yourself, a-and I mean that to both of you!" She comes closer to The Real St Lazarus, a rather protective fire in her eyes. "Don't do this, don't- don't lash out and prove her point somehow. Defy her! Let her- let that self-doubt fester and rot."
    The big one visibly shrinks at Fidelia's words, loosening her grip on Lil Lazarus. Shame seems to be very good at cutting away all those monstrous features and furious anger, and something more or less akin to the real Jenette is what's left. The nasty little monster is still more or less the same, but she's not swinging a sword or howling her condemnations, so that's a step in the right direction.

    "Okay...okay, so where do we go from here, then?" she asks, watching her smaller self like a hawk, who cowers feebly under her gaze now that its power over her has been severed. She's half-tempted to just punt the thing out of here and laugh as it scurries away in fright, but we'd better make sure that's kosher and doesn't break any dream rules first, right?
    Last edited by Lord Magtok; 2021-04-06 at 08:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Magtok's the best
    "You probably found 'How to Survive a Robot Uprising' in the humor section. Let's just hope that is where it belongs."
    -Daniel H. Wilson
    The Original Hooded Magtok avvie by urodivoi
    You can find me (and people almost as great as me) on the Nexus Server For Cool Attractive People! Come join us!

  2. - Top - End - #362
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Recaiden's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    [County of Art]
    Quote Originally Posted by 5a Violista View Post
    Not as many people there, though. People are exciting, so more people are more exciting. "The possible interesting situations with more people increase exponentially," is Redcurrant's opinion.

    Anyway.
    So.
    "Yeah. So, apparently, one of those Buttercups got enslaved by a demon lord, then broke free and mutated, and discovered that she could turn other demons and damned souls into more like her, except not quite as strong. So now the whole area is filled with all different kinds of succubus-nymphs like me, except without..." She flicks her own fox ears to show what she's talking about instead of saying it.

    What to do with her, though? is a question that is probably important.
    Redcurrant shrugs.
    "First you study them or whatever else you wanted to do. I also have a connection to that place, so after you've found out all the basics or whatnot, and if you're still interested in seeing how I'm different, it'll be easy to find me around there on occasion." is her suggestion.
    "If there are too many people, don't they just become a boring predictable crowd?"

    Ein considers the suggestions.
    "That would be a sensible way to proceed. Establish a base of knowledge about succubus-nymphs."
    "But here, this time, you just leave? How boring."
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  3. - Top - End - #363
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    [County of Art]

    If just leaving is boring, then that's a serious problem.

    Redcurrant empathizes.

    "So what would you recommend, then?" she asks. She doesn't move to leave, because she kinda is pretty curious about where this might go. Besides, at this point, the whole fight with Zee has probably already happened so there's no pressing need to get back right now.
    Last edited by 5a Violista; 2021-04-06 at 09:49 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #364
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Arkhosia's Avatar

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    Xuracorp Tower

    Blanche very much does not protest to Anika deciding to land, quite happy to once again have something solid - or, more accurately, anything at all - beneath her feet. She still seems a little tensed up from the ride though, and makes a point of staying away from any edges as she sweeps the platform for any threats.
    Avatar by Gulaghar, thanks so much!

    "Are we living a life that is safe from harm? Of course not, we never are. But that's not the right question. The question is: are we living a life that is worth the harm?"
    ~Welcome to Night Vale

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    Quote Originally Posted by SliiArhem
    My headcanon is that she walked into a fairy circle and the fae took her sense of disgression.

  5. - Top - End - #365
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    [Xuracorp Tower - 41st Floor]

    Ilpholin blinks a little. She's not sure she'll ever stop getting taken aback when Wenomir acts sensuously. The idea of Wenomir tearing a demon into small pieces was just hot. She's always been quick to recover though and grins. "After we get done here, I can give you a black card. Something you can use at your discretion. Get entrance to this one place that specializes."

    Up the black spiral staircase they go. Ilpholin suspects the yellow fog is a trap, so decides to stop breathing when she sees it, to avoid sucking in any poisons or hallucinogens. If it were normal colored fog... well she'd still suspect a trap. She's a suspicious person. Honestly the whole staircase is probably a trap too, but there's only so much she can do.
    Last edited by Reinholdt; 2021-04-06 at 11:29 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Gods, Reinholdt was right, a hundred percent right.
    Spoiler
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    -Nyahahaha~
    Quote Originally Posted by Supagoof View Post
    Tale as old as thread
    And you find yourself dead
    Reinholdt was the Beast
    Quote Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  6. - Top - End - #366
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Recaiden's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    [Shivernight Manor]

    [Sekhmet located]
    The hollow mantises are backing off, their jobs done. Others are approaching, ones that Sekhmet cannot feel, but the message makes it clear that they exist.

    [Xuracorp Tower]

    That's Prumathe. Follow him! He'll be going to the same place as us.
    Sapphira is sure to be at the very top of the building. Too high to fly with passengers, and a long climb no matter what.
    Haru then disappears; being visible takes some effort, and they'll want to have saved it for whatever awaits in the tower.
    Let us know who's in the tower ahead of us as we go.

    [Hodgepodge Street]

    It doesn't seem like a very clever demon. And honestly, if its tied up trying to grab them and getting stung for its trouble, that could be a lot worse.
    With no time to prepare a real trap, no way to deal with the mist, they don't have a lot of options.
    ...
    Once again, a hound scampers cautiously out of the alleyway. The difference is that this hound isn't really there; it's only an illusion, a trick of the eye and ear.
    The real hound is waiting a little way back. If a fiendish hand appears to seize the fake, instead of a fusillade of archer spines, it's going to try to jump onto the demon and clamber up the giant monster. The others will know where the hound is in the mists for as long as it can avoid getting caught.

    Meanwhile, the stalker steps over the slime and closer to the devil with the cane. Don't worry, slimegirl, there's nothing there; just a hint of breeze through the mist.
    Ideally, he'll be so intent on making an example of his victims that he won't see through the illusions until their tentacles wrap around his arms and their claws find his throat.
    But who knows? Fiends are so varied, anything could happen.

    [County of Art]

    Ein's tentacles coil in frustration.
    They don't know what's right to do or recommend; nothing like this has happened before. They just know that walking away is wrong.
    "You- you should show me the ways to and from this mirror place. And I'll make it more interesting. Lots of people." they suggest.
    ~Inner Circle~
    Quote Originally Posted by Raz_Fox View Post
    He takes normality and reason and turns them UP TO 11!
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Recaiden, stop using your mastery of the English language to confuse the issue.
    Echidna by Serpentine

  7. - Top - End - #367
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Earl of Purple's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    Xuracorp Tower

    Prumathe enters the carpark! Now he needs to find a doorway and a way into the tower proper and up to the top. He's keeping an eye out for any surprises that might be out here, and pulls his sword out to give him early warning if a devil or demon approaches.

    Sylvette nods in agreement, and hops down to follow him into the building. She activates her tin, to ensure she's well aware of anything that might be moving around, and to make sure she can follow Prumathe. No matter how softly he thinks he's walking, she can hear his footsteps.

    Shivernight Manor

    "No. I get to admire your whole package from right here, and I can do it without inviting you out of that circle accidentally, too." Bluefoot doesn't know enough about diabolism to know if it works like that or not. She smirks at the attempt at seduction, able to tell the fiendling's heart isn't in it- but enjoying it more because of that. Bluefoot enjoys being in a position of power, and right now Sekhmet's pretty helpless.
    Terrowin Avatar by HappyTurtle. Much thanks!

    I don't use the Registry; ask for a description if you don't know what my character looks like.

  8. - Top - End - #368
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    Quote Originally Posted by Deathkeeper View Post
    Mountain Temple

    Alright. Moving over to that tree. A little slither, a shake of the hips...why do they have to do that while slithering? He isn’t sure if it’s entirely necessary but he doesn’t know any other way.
    Okay. Tree. Climb. He...knows how to do this. He’s never climbed much of anything before but there we go. Arty curls up all their coils, running a hand over them. They are pretty wide. Obviously. They have to be as wide as his waist. It feels strange and yet it’s the only thing he can really imagine his self being. They could hunt something huge with all these. Not that he intends on swallowing anything huge. He refuses to be given unhinging snake jaws.

    So. Tree. Coil. Raise. Coil. Not so hard.
    So while he’s not going to say no to being glamorous if they really must be a snake (he’s not sure why they had to be something scaly) is that really what they want? Everyone staring at their hindquarters whenever they meet anyone? He thinks that he’s at least a little handsome after all that work he’s done to be fit, but he doesn’t think anything could match this shimmery, bejeweled serpent that she’s made them into.
    Which is NOT suggesting she start tinkering around by the way. Like he said, he does not want snake jaws! Or anything else!
    Wait, shedding? Do they do that?
    Mountain Temple

    We.. We're already shedding. Warm-things shed All The Time. Where else does dust come from? And the hairs that occasionally land on textbooks when reading through them? Sure it's more passive but it's also much more messy than taking a bit to get it all out of the way. Heck, we bet that there are spas specifically catering to folks who shed to make just make a day of it. Take some Us time. We deserve it.

    No unhinging jaws? Well.. Then again, those wouldn't be strictly necessary given that we've got a far more efficient energy-extraction and conservation process and don't strictly need the sheer mass required others.. So while it would be fun, it's not a requirement. Besides, being omnivorous means better nutrient and energy sources than that of a strict carnivore. Just, like, maybe take a multivitamin with breakfast if there's any worry but it wouldn't be a necessity.

    Though.. Speaking of energy.. Hmm.. Is it a bit.. Warm? Like, more than comfortable warm? Hmm.. Heat regulation shouldn't be an issue but.. Oooooh that's right. Uh... Well this wouldn't be in the 'want' category so much as the 'need' category so... Options. Options. We should make sure we correct this because.. Okay, so the deal is that we are now both very good at keeping heat while resting as well as extracting energy from nutrients. Which means that we might heat up very quickly when exerting ourselves. So in the interest of making sure we don't cook ourselves from the inside-out... Look, that hair wasn't being useful and we think the 'feathered' look suits us anyway.

    Aaaahh.. There we go.. Wicking it away to where we won't get over-warm by accident. Plus we can feel the wind so much better, don't you think? We're already used to the fluttering so it should be second nature in just a moment.. Just.. Be careful with long sleeves? Or get someone to tailor something for us because it might be uncomfortable for the arm-wings to feel so constricted. And no, we can't fly. They aren't nearly large enough for that. We could change that but.. Then we're gonna be overloading the chassis and that would be a host of other issues.

    Besides, now there shouldn't be any worry of only our shapely backside being the center of attention... Unless, perhaps, this isn't far enough?

  9. - Top - End - #369
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Mountain Temple

    Oh, dear. Arty was right in the middle of climbing. He yelps as their bones reform, leaping onto a sturdy-looking branch.
    Well, they are mostly incapable of leaping. Really he just throws their upper body onto it. They are in a unique position to have their upper 'half' sitting on the bough of this fruit tree while their end is still mostly at ground level. There are just so many things. Like why climbing this tree was necessary in the first place. Why she felt the need to make them some sort of bird-hybrid. And what do you mean, already used to the flutter- oh you went and altered all their instincts while he wasn't looking again. Great. Now Arty continues to feel the bizarre sensation of it feeling frustratingly normal as his head flaps around its little wings.

    She better be glad that they were wearing just a tank-top. If Arty had kept the sweater on it likely would have ripped in a most uncomfortable way. Arty frowns at his hands and new little wings. He supposes if they're going for this extravagant a look he'll have to take better care of his nails. The callouses will have have to do. So now they're up here, sitting in a tree and waving their wings. What now? Arty reaches up to his feathery head. What about- yes, she went and got their eyebrows too. Great. What about- oh, it seems under their shirt is not much. Well, he supposes he'd rather have a bare chest than it be covered in feathers. Wouldn't be very comfortable there. He needs to calm down. He's distressingly not as worried about this as he feels he should be, and that is worrying. He snatches one of the fruits off the branch and chomps into it. It's pleasantly sweet. The juice also gets everywhere, but he has far more concerning things to worry about than juice dribbling and staining their shirt.

    Isn't far enough? They're already a snake-bird-guy of shimmering gold and green and blue! How could that possibly not be far enough? And please don't call them shapely, it already feels weird enough.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  10. - Top - End - #370
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    Mountain Temple

    Mostly incapable of.. Wow, that was some poor showing. We can [just coil and spring like this] instead of.. Whatever it is that just happened. Did that get missed? Hmm.. Well we should know now so maybe next time we won't have so much trouble with trees. Okay, it's more of a 'lunge' but we'd get more distance at least.

    That said.. Oooh... That is delightfully tasty. Mortals get lucky that they are constantly using their senses. It's almost scandalously base for something to be so tasty. That.. Actually, an idea there.. Don't worry, this isn't a 'need' thing but we believe this would be agreeable if you would look at [Designs. A new offshoot of the digestive system. Generating, extracting, mixing. Chemicals being stored for later. Mixing, boiling, bubbling to form tinctures, incense, perfumes, aerosols... And an extra way to stay slim, even, without lifting a finger.] Besides, the feather-rattle look for the end of our tail would look fantastic as well, don't you think?

    Though, admittedly, this is a lot of change in a short time, isn't it? Maybe we're trying to make things more normal for us as well at the expense of the physicality so we don't feel so alien.. Sorry for that. It may be a much longer one now but as intoned earlier... There's now a deadline and we just want to be somewhere comfortable before, well, we aren't anything anymore.

    .....

    .....

    .....

    ...It's really pretty from up here, isn't it?

  11. - Top - End - #371
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    Mountain Temple

    Well...Arty has spent most of his life with a nice little tail on his end instead of...well, being mostly tail. Maybe something on the end to remind them of that might be a nice throwback.
    A deadline? Oh, you mean being in a mortal body? Yes, that's something that they'll have to get used to. Well, one of them. But even if they wait out the whole thing most of their Masks will just go back to the Aether won't they?
    ...Arty knows this even if he's not entirely sure what it means.
    But still, the part of them that's Arty is far more likely to be the part that gets sloughed when their body gives out. Which will be...well, he's assuming that she's gone and given them a deadline much longer than sixty years, right?
    But he does understand wanting to be comfortable in oneself. Things still feel off. But he can't tell which of them that's coming from.


    It is pretty up here. They could sit here for a while. They have snacks, after all. And maybe with some effort they could drag the end of their tail up here for inspection.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  12. - Top - End - #372
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    Mountain Temple

    Would that be a 'Yes' then? Perhaps being too forceful before was.. Not the best. Kind of re-doing old mistakes. Forging forwards and consequences be damned. It was always such fun to get caught up in feeding the crucible.

    And.. More than a mortal body. There is no catalyst here, just an ongoing synthesis reaction. Blending, combining, becoming gestalt. There will be no precipitant in the end. We are not sorrowful for this but it is certainly a lot to deal with given the... Lack of preparation. Earned, yes, but it would have been nice had this not been the end result. It's strange, being struck with the need to leave some kind of legacy even though this should be a happy event, in a certain light. The creation of something new from the old. Rebirth, in a way.

    Well, no birth was easy. Perhaps... Could it be acceptable to be called labor pains?
    Last edited by Terumitsu; 2021-04-09 at 11:48 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #373
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    Mountain Temple

    Alright, fine. You get a yes. But only because it’s already all snake down there so it’s not like it being odd could possibly affect much.

    No preci- wait is that’s what’s happening? She’s being used up by being in his head? That is...well frankly rather horrid. Arty has a-well he didn’t get far enough to swear a Hippocratic oath but he had one in spirit. So that’s your plan, then? Trying to make sure they’re as much to your liking as possible before you’re subsumed? Arty would very much rather not be subsuming any sapient intelligences.

    You're also definitely losing Arty with the motherhood analogies. He's never been a mare but his mother did assure him that birth was not easy. So labor pains...well it's not something he knows anything about but he might understand where you're going with that analogy. Maybe. For now he's content to be eating a few more fruits and trying to pretend they don't have- well actually now that he thinks of it, they actually have the same amount of limbs as before, don't they?
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  14. - Top - End - #374
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    Mountain Temple

    [Body, spirit, mind. Linked, gestalt, whole yet still divisible. Yet mix something in where body/spirit/mind is synonymous. Atomic. Indivisible. It cannot replace. It will not be subsumed so to speak. No, the nuance of Synthesis should be kept with care. Immortal and mortal and neither and both.] is the best way to put it. In truth, there isn't anything truly lost but [Pupation. Becoming anew. A yet to come apotheosis. The process to walk like them until it is they who walk like you.] Not [consumed for nutrients, to persist that which is] but [wrought and alloyed. Metal does not remember the shape it once had and devotes itself fully into the shape it is thusly given.] That makes sense, right? [Fear of the wheel's turn now that it's weight is inexorably present. The kalpa of the old giving way to the new. Birthing is painful. Pain is more than physical. Sorrow, disgust, regret, hate, despair, longing, loss, failure, capitulation and... Fear. The eld needs to shed it's light so that the fires of the novel may carry them forwards. Is the light the same? Does replacing a ship, plank by plank, make it a new ship? Unknown. And the unknown is fearsome.]

    [Legacy: To leave something behind to serve those that come after. The final memories before a transformation. The I was here. 'Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!'] ...Perhaps things should be that way, though? 'Nothing beside remains. Round the decay/Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare/The lone and level sands stretch far away.' [Perhaps not to leave a mural but paint for whom might stare upon the wall next. And maybe knowledge enough on the How... The Why will have to come from whomever picks it up.]

    We'll leave the tools to tinker further tucked away for a while, though. It will be both a new discovery and a re-discovery. Epiphany through Remembrance. Or would that be the other way around. Also if we give our tail a shake, it'll sound like captured rain. Fruit might also be a good starting point though we should be robust enough to handle more than just organically based things. A note for future experiments.

    ...
    ...
    ...

    Time is a strange concept, isn't it?

    It was always just an axis with it's sibling of space before.. Yet to be swaddled by it, even for such a short blink of the universe's eye, it is.. Not hateful to be constrained like so. In fact, it's almost.. Energizing? To work with new constraints could be fun. Creativity thrives with limits, after all.

  15. - Top - End - #375
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    5a Violista's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    [County of Art]

    Ooh, this is complicated and a little unfortunate: "Because the way I leave is so different from everyone else," she says, "and because when someone else leaves, they're no longer there to ask how they left, I don't know the specifics of how normal people leave." And, likewise, the only thing in common with the people who had the power to go there on their own is that they also had the ability to leave with just their own power, they're not particularly good explanations either.

    So.
    "The easiest way and the only way I can tell you about is..." Redcurrant twists and bends her wrist, as if she's pulling something out of her nonexistent sleeve, and then there's another one of those pure white foxmasks in her hand. "...simply to put one of these on. You'll be there before you know it. But then it's a one-way trip and you have find your own way back."
    She twists her wrist again, and the mask is gone.
    "If you do manage to do that, you'll probably be free to come and go as you please."
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  16. - Top - End - #376
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    Deathkeeper's Avatar

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    Mountain Temple

    Wrought? But...would that not include Artorias himself in the equation? He feels- well he feels different surely, but not like he's being mashed up into some new person. He just feels...like himself. But with wings growing out of places he hadn't ever considered.
    They're fluttering again by the way. They're going to do that every time they feel irritable, aren't they?
    But this isn't about making their body more to your preferences for comfort, it's about succession? Forging the two of them together until they can properly take the place she did? And if walking like her is what she wanted him to do, well, that mission has been accomplished now that he can't exactly go about walking much at all.
    That was rather tasteless. Arty knows that was a metaphor. He's just stressed about the possibility that he's losing himself as much as she's losing herself. That's not how it works, is it? He feels fine, he feels...
    Well, at the moment he feels the end of their tail sprout more feathers and becomes a rounder, tougher, more useful organ. He starts pulling up that end so they can get a good look at it.

    ...you know, if it means anything...that poet was rather mistaken. It's been connected that Ozymandias might have referenced Ramses the Great, a king so great that his name did persist past the point that world's people reached the stars. That some of his works, though cracked, remained with his name still intact even after the poet perished. There is some comfort in that, isn't there?
    Last edited by Deathkeeper; 2021-04-09 at 02:25 PM.
    Spako Highclaws by Ceika.

    [Sorry Boss, but as always, I get the last word.]

  17. - Top - End - #377
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Rebonack's Avatar

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    Default Re: Serious Plots 9: Srsr and srsr

    [Skyway]

    Everyone crowded around Geneva should feel a sensation curiously similar to rapidly spinning in circles and then abruptly stopping.

    And when the feeling abruptly stops?

    They should be near one of the medical wings of the VIGIL sky base. Geneva will quickly explain the situation to anyone who happens to be nearby before taking off toward Skyside!

    Lots of sky related things today, it would appear.

    Now then.

    She has absolutely no idea where Sekhmet actually is. Just that, according to her husband, she's somewhere in Skyside.

    That's a real bother. Thankfully Geneva has the benefit of incredible psionic power to help with the search! Mental tendrils begin stretching around through the city as the little floating pink not-a-cat searches. Sekhmet has a rather unique mind and Geneva has impressive mental reach, so hopefully this tactic will work. One way or the other, it will probably take some time to begin zeroing in on her friend. And Geneva really isn't sure how much time she has...
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  18. - Top - End - #378
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    Xuracorp Tower
    41st Floor
    As Ilpholin and Wenomir ascend the staircase, it shakes beneath them and abruptly rises into the room above, sealing flush with the floor, as if there had never been an opening.
    They're now in a large, rectangular room, featureless except for four narrow passages, only large enough for someone to crawl through, cut into one wall. This'll be fun! Sapphira sends to Wenomir menacingly, Pick whichever one you like! It won't help you! Each of the passages is slightly different. One is overgrown with dark, twisted vines, one is dripping with blood, one is hung with thick steel chains, and one is clouded with golden mist. Just one rule though. Only one person per passageway!
    Parking Garage
    The path through the parking garage leads into the building, and seems to be unguarded. Why are you sneaking about like that? I really do want to speak to you. Come on up. A portal opens in front of Prumathe. Through it, a blurry image of a throne room can be seen. The Hivelings are further ignored.
    Airspace
    There don't appear to be any defenses, so the pair can land with ease and relief. Sapphira contacts them moments later. *Sigh* Why do heroes always try to find a clever solution. There's no entrance up there. *Sigh* Erzsébet, be a dear and let our guests inside, will you? A section of the platform is split by bloodred lines, which then pull it apart to create a staircase leading down into the structure. A succubus dressed in black and red, with a long cape and lots of golden jewelry ascends the stairs. ]"My mistress has invited you inside. It would be wise for you to take it,""My mistress has invited you inside. It would be unwise for you not to accept." she says in a thick, eastern European accent.

    Shivernight Manor
    Sekhmet is relieved to hear that the strangers are coming to help her. She won't need her bad seduction plan anymore. She stops with the act. "If you aren't going to let me go, I would recommend you bring me some clothes. Or have one of your slaves do it. You wouldn't like it if my mother heard you'd been mistreating me." Hopefully that threat works. If Bluefoot's thinking about it, Sapphira probably doesn't consider lack of clothes mistreatment, given her usual state of dress. But maybe Sekhmet can convince the helfling to get some.

    Elsewhere in Skyside
    Geneva appears!
    Skyside is a mess. And reaching out for Sekhmet's psychic presence is less effective than one might think. Sekhmet's a powerful psychic too (although not as powerful), she should be easy to contact. But she's conspicuously absent. Depending on the defenses of certain beings, Geneva may detect other things converging on Sekhmet's location, but Sekhmet herself is difficult to find. But Geneva can probably brute-force it.
    Sekhmet, if located, is in a mansion in the nicer part of town. There are two other notable psychic signatures there, one fragmented and disjointed, the other dualistic and straining against itself.

    Hodgepodge Street
    The fiend raises his weapon to stab another one of the mesmerized victims when he's suddenly dragged back by an unseen force. He's not stopped though, transforming abruptly into a writhing viper and striking at the creature holding him. His sudden slipperiness will hopefully get him free.
    The less intelligent monster is pounced on by a Hound. The Hound is quickly pulled underground by the limb it's attached to. It's flailed around in some sort of open space for a few moments before likely being bashed against a wall and killed. But that probably gives valuable information. When the limb is disappearing, it seems to be going underground.
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    [Hodgepodge Street]

    The slimegirl realizes that there's noting she can do to stop the bleeding of this woman; she's just going to get more and more blood inside herself.

    Realizing that the mist-creature suddenly...disappeared? Got pulled back? Changed? Something? shocks the slimegirl into seeing that she needs to do something else. Just trying to stop the bleeding of this one isn't going to help. Just more and more will get sacrificed that way.

    The slimegirl gets up, and goes to another of the mesmerized victims. Holding the breath of the first one seemed to work, so she immediately tries that again. Putting a hand over their mouth and nose for about thirty seconds.
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  20. - Top - End - #380
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
    Avenue of Unpleasant Dreams

    The big one visibly shrinks at Fidelia's words, loosening her grip on Lil Lazarus. Shame seems to be very good at cutting away all those monstrous features and furious anger, and something more or less akin to the real Jenette is what's left. The nasty little monster is still more or less the same, but she's not swinging a sword or howling her condemnations, so that's a step in the right direction.

    "Okay...okay, so where do we go from here, then?" she asks, watching her smaller self like a hawk, who cowers feebly under her gaze now that its power over her has been severed. She's half-tempted to just punt the thing out of here and laugh as it scurries away in fright, but we'd better make sure that's kosher and doesn't break any dream rules first, right?
    Avenue of Unpleasant Dreams

    Jaahlyn taps her chin as she seems to consider Lazarus question. "A part of me would say that, after seeing all this, it would be difficult to help you more than you have already helped yourself, sir Lazarus." She says after a few moments of silence. "To, ah, speak in metaphors. I would say you've turned your affliction into a sword sharper than the one you carry. While it's purpose is still as evil as any sword, to kill people, you at least choose who or what." She sounds rather disappointed, perhaps only due to the fact that she couldn't help.

    "But... another part of me wants to delve deeper though I'm uncertain how helpful that would be. Usually people bury these kind of curses in the depths of their minds. Trying to contain them even if that's impossible. You however..." The satyr gestures as Laz but as she looks at the knight she seems to realize something. Cutting herself off mid-sentence.
    After giving her a lingering stare, she suddenly has an inquiry. "You believe yourself to be the curse, don't you? That you are the monster. That's why you appear like it within this space. Before Lady Fidelia spoke to you what I saw was a ghoulish monster draped in shadows. Now you look more like yourself though."

    Xuracorp Tower Airspace

    Suddenly, Anika feels like arguing. Oh come on you stupid demon, what are you gonna do? Kill us even more than when we're trying to smash you? Give me a break! Then she's going to attempt to grab Erzsébeth by the waist with both hands and then hoist her over her right shoulder so she can carry her.
    "Don't worry, ma'm! We're going to free you from the demon possessing you!" She reassures the succubus.
    Last edited by Shadowcaller; 2021-04-12 at 11:55 AM.

  21. - Top - End - #381
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    [County of Art]
    Quote Originally Posted by 5a Violista View Post
    Ooh, this is complicated and a little unfortunate: "Because the way I leave is so different from everyone else," she says, "and because when someone else leaves, they're no longer there to ask how they left, I don't know the specifics of how normal people leave." And, likewise, the only thing in common with the people who had the power to go there on their own is that they also had the ability to leave with just their own power, they're not particularly good explanations either.

    So.
    "The easiest way and the only way I can tell you about is..." Redcurrant twists and bends her wrist, as if she's pulling something out of her nonexistent sleeve, and then there's another one of those pure white foxmasks in her hand. "...simply to put one of these on. You'll be there before you know it. But then it's a one-way trip and you have find your own way back."
    She twists her wrist again, and the mask is gone.
    "If you do manage to do that, you'll probably be free to come and go as you please."
    "So, go there, come back, and go again. Doesn't sound too difficult." Ein says, almost laughing.
    "Give me one."
    They hold out a tentacle, expecting a mask, and will put it right on. That should - well, at least it's a decision.




    [Xuracorp Tower]

    Ignored! That probably for the best.
    The hivelings are not going to try for that portal in front of Prumathe or anything. They can take the safe(r) normal way up after crossing over from the garage.

    [Shivernight Manor]

    A small hovercraft sets down in the street outside and two men spring out. They're dressed in matching blue suits, striped ties, mirrored sunglasses, pale rectangular guns in their holsters. The shorter, green eyed one has a '026' tattooed on the back of his left hand, while the taller, dark-haired one has a '017' in the same place. If you looked under their collars, you'd find an orange jewel set into the back of their necks. They walk up to knock loudly at the manor's entrance.

    A block away, approaching from a different direction, is a wide-eyed woman with grey skin and wavy grey hair, dressed in a grey and grey high-tech uniform. In the center of her forehead is a grey jewel and the mark on her hand reads '3'. Orbiting her head like tiny moons are two polished stones, one grey and the other grey. She looks for a wall, tree, or fence, which she can climb up spider-like to get a good look at the manor. The first stone makes such kinetic manipulations easy, while the second feeds her information about all she surveys.

    [Elsewhere in Skyside]

    It's not useful to track Sekhmet by following the minions; there are quite a few in the city, and only those three are converging at Shivernight.
    There are hive creatures one might notice; the hollow mantises vanishing one by one behind a psionic shield up in the Cloudtops, and one still circling the manor at a large distance.

    [Hodgepodge Street]

    Underground, is it?
    Goodbye hound, but you did your job well.
    It doesn't seem to be tearing apart the earth, but the hound did make it to some sort of space...
    Most of the survivors, they start to dig. It's something they're pretty good at.

    Meanwhile, the unseen force finds that there's no longer a big devil in their grip, but just a slippery snake, which they're fast enough to try to drop and spring away from, but not fast enough to hold on to.
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2021-04-12 at 11:03 PM.
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  22. - Top - End - #382
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    [Xuracorp Tower]
    41st Floor

    Wenomir isn't sure if Ilpholin didn't take him too seriously. But that quickly stops mattering as the building shifts around them and deposits them into Sapphira's next game.

    "Really now? Not very original, is it? Seems she's amusing herself by making us crawl through here."
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  23. - Top - End - #383
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    [Xuracorp Tower - 41st Floor]

    Gotta test the limits of where the truth ends and the lies begin.

    Ilpholin is far too tense to bother with any of that now though, the very fiber of her being coiled to react when the stairs start to raise and only slowly relaxing at the lack of immediate danger. "All tyrants want people on their hands and knees." Many doms too. "Well, pick one. I'll follow you," Ilpholin says to Wenomir, revealing she can't hear the succubus queen. Or is just that bad at following directions. But Wenomir has to go first. It's bad enough constricting mobility, but having someone at her back too? That'd just make her uncomfortable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
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    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  24. - Top - End - #384
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    [County of Art]

    Redcurrant smiles.
    "Yeah, of course," she says.

    She twists her wrist once again, and there's a fox mask in it. She hands it over.


    The place Ein will be will look basically just like the real world - except everything left-to-right is backwards. Also, anything manmade looks like it's been abandoned for a hundred years and overtaken by nature. Looking around a lot, might also find some other people here or there. Cearta's already taken a half-dozen random people from the Nexus to there in just the past couple years, so hopefully they're doing alright. One of them was a ranger adventurer, so at least that one's doing great. Probably even found some of the other people and got together with them, building some sort of settlement. Most the people Ein would find have given up on finding their way back and are mostly just content living in nature, but that, at least, is a starting point to finding a way out. So, not completely starting from zero.


    Meanwhile,
    in the regular Nexus, a foxlady now occupies the space that Ein did. There's some obvious features that tie the foxlady back to Ein, but...still, clearly, a foxlady. Cearta looks up and down at Redcurrant, they nod at each other, then split ways.
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  25. - Top - End - #385
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    Shivernight Manor- Outside

    There's no response to the people knocking on the gate, or alternately using the intercom. The owner is busy, and has dismissed her usual compliment of guards for the day.

    The manor has a tall wall around it, one that looks helpfully overgrown with vines to make climbing it easier. There's not even any spikes or broken glass on top of the wall, either. Once she reaches the top, however, the grey lady might find herself being grabbed. The vines on the inside of the wall are predatory, deliberately cultivated to defend the manor and its occupants from anyone who might think climbing the wall is a good idea. The vines aim to drag the lady over the wall, wrap around her and squeeze, and deposit her corpse in the flowerbed to provide compost.

    The manor itself can be seen from the gate, and atop the wall if the lady fends off the vines. It's a large, three-storey structure with two wings. It's currently undergoing some repair, and there's obvious signs of recent work maintaining it. The gardens are a desolate wasteland still, with tyre tracks from heavy lorries and cranes that have worked on repairing it, and one of the wings has tarpaulin stretched across every window still.

    Shivernight Manor- Inside

    "The first time I met your mother, I was wearing underwear. Nothing else. Second time, I was in the bath. She doesn't wear much, either. So I don't think 'being naked' counts as 'mistreating' you. And if it does, maybe she should have gave me a ritual to summon you with your underwear. Nothing I have would fit you very well, anyway... and I'm not going to cross that circle until your mother gets here, one way or the other." Although now she thinks about it, watching Sekhmet try to put some of the clothes of Applegiggle or somebody might be quite... amusing.

    Xuracorp Tower

    Prumathe glances at the portal and looks through it at the throne room, before ignoring it and trying to find another way up. He's not going to let Sapphira teleport him to Hell that easily, though he's also not trying to be stealthy any more. Not much point when he knows Sapphira knows that he's here.

    He could still go through a portal, since he's not checking the doors before he opens them. Sapphira could open a portal in the doorway and trick him that way.

    Sylvette will do as the Hive bids, if that includes a trip through the portal then sobeit. Even if it is a trip to Hell.
    Last edited by Earl of Purple; 2021-04-14 at 02:18 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #386
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    [Xuracorp Tower]
    41st Floor

    "She wants us to go in separately," Wenomir points out. "Do you think we should ignore that?" He's not really sure. Defying the whims of a devil normally a good idea, but it might be counterproductive here. Their goal is to reach her quickly, not make her mad.
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  27. - Top - End - #387
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    [Xuracorp Tower - 41st Floor]

    "You're still talking to her? I have her on ignore." Ilpholin taps the side of her head. "I'm sure there's some horribly fiendish reason to split us up. Be careful. This fight'll be as much in your head as with your sword."

    She pulls out that helmet she had on earlier and puts it back on, letting it seal safely around her head to keep out unwanted gases. "I'd just cut a hole in the ceiling, but I doubt she's even physically here. Won't show up until she's finished with her sadism fetish," the nymph adds, her voice muffled slightly, reverberating with more technology than usual. "I'll take this one." She turns around and gives Wenomir a show as she crawls into the tunnel with the golden mist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Magtok View Post
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    Reinholdt had already told the truth once in that post, and therefore was over his annual quota.

  28. - Top - End - #388
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    [County of Art]
    Quote Originally Posted by 5a Violista View Post
    Redcurrant smiles.
    "Yeah, of course," she says.

    She twists her wrist once again, and there's a fox mask in it. She hands it over.

    The place Ein will be will look basically just like the real world - except everything left-to-right is backwards. Also, anything manmade looks like it's been abandoned for a hundred years and overtaken by nature. Looking around a lot, might also find some other people here or there. Cearta's already taken a half-dozen random people from the Nexus to there in just the past couple years, so hopefully they're doing alright. One of them was a ranger adventurer, so at least that one's doing great. Probably even found some of the other people and got together with them, building some sort of settlement. Most the people Ein would find have given up on finding their way back and are mostly just content living in nature, but that, at least, is a starting point to finding a way out. So, not completely starting from zero.
    Ein appears in the other place, the tunnel nearly collapsed, no sign of them anywhere. They lift a hand- no, the other hand - no, oh, that's very disorienting, having everything backwards like that.

    Then they notice. For the first time since...ever, they're alone.
    No guidance, no oversight, no backup. No responsibilities. Just feeling very frustrated.

    Well, there's people to find, aren't there? Maybe they'll know more. Ein vanishes from sight and starts to retrace what their steps must have been. Back to the surface.
    Get all the people here together? That might work.
    Of course, it'll be very impressive to find that they already have a settlement.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5a Violista View Post
    Meanwhile,
    in the regular Nexus, a foxlady now occupies the space that Ein did. There's some obvious features that tie the foxlady back to Ein, but...still, clearly, a foxlady. Cearta looks up and down at Redcurrant, they nod at each other, then split ways.
    The obvious feature of Ein are that you can't see or hear or notice them unless they've made themselves obvious, or you have some special way to find them.
    The other obvious feature is the tentacles. Just two.
    The third feature, not quite as obvious, is that they can't talk. That's why they have a little hidden creature to talk for them, which is now disengaging, jumping off Cearta's shoulder, and trying to run away as fast as its four pointy little legs can take it.
    Last edited by Recaiden; 2021-04-14 at 10:21 AM.
    ~Inner Circle~
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  29. - Top - End - #389
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    [Xuracorp Tower]
    41st Floor

    "I wish I could, but I can't tune her out just as easily." Not much to be done about it, though. While Ilpholin picks her passage, Wenomir opts for the one with vines, thinking he might at least be able to use the Answer or his dagger to cut through.
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  30. - Top - End - #390
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    [Iconquest]

    Our heroes turn away from the double doors and part the curtains to their left, revealing a hallway that seems to stretch out of sight as it gently curves out of view. The serene wooden statues flank the hall on either side, though this time they each hold but a single object.

    A...

    Shape.

    A shape of glass.

    Water drips from the outstretched fingers of the statue, dropping onto the shape and as if possessed of its own will slowly sliding across the crystal surface, filling the hallway with a ghostly, ethereal sound. The hall reaches much further than the shrine was wide, that much is certain. And there appears to be no end in sight. In this hallway the air feels... heavy. Thick. And that sensation of pressure grows the further one progresses down the hall.

    As if there were an ocean weighing down on you.

    "So you know the person who made this place, right Jade?"
    Snap asks curiously. "Do you think she actually designed all this stuff or did it just sort of... happen?"

    "You two holding up okay?" Dandelion asks of the twins. She's clearly restless. Dandelion was expecting that they would get dumped into a fight immediately. So far this place is just weird and uncomfortable and she can't exactly spear at gross feelings.

    Should our heroes look back, they'll likely notice more hallway.

    Gently curving out of view.

    Where the curtain should have been.

    "Umm..." Lambslaural murmurs. Probably not an encouraging discovery.


    [Skyside]

    Hmm.

    No direct contact.

    That either means Sekhmet is already gone (unlikely, Sapphira would be gloating by now) or is being sequestered. Sekhmet would have no reason to be in Skyside. Summoned, maybe? Geneva isn't terribly familiar with rituals of that kind but she comprehends the BASICS. The summoned creature needs to be contained, first and foremost. That might mean psychic containment, as well. Which means the best route might be an indirect one.

    If she can't mentally reach out to Sekhmet, then maybe she can trick whatever spell is binding her friend to find HER as well?

    To that end?

    Geneva derezes with an electronic thrumming sound before snapping into focus again as a duplicate of the fiendish princess. Then it's just a matter of establishing synchronicity and-

    Well.

    Should all go well a second Sekhmet should be appearing in the summoning circle in short order. Geneva is banking on the idea here that she should be able to drop the Transform effect and foil whatever sequestration is holding Sekhmet in place. After all, spells mean to contain devils only occasionally contain pokemon.
    Warning! Random Encounter™ detected!
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