Previous threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Devil%20Summoner%20London%20Quest
Character sheet: http://pastebin.com/4keHKgX4
You'd like to say that you're glad to be home – even if that innocent statement has its own share of implications – but you're too tired, and too frightened of your own body, to feel much of anything. It's the simple strength of the world weary that carries you back to the fairy kingdom, the kind of strength that no girl your age should ever have to rely upon. That thought is shortly followed by another, more bitter realisation. It's been a very long time, you think to yourself, since you thought of yourself as a child.
There have been times, of course, when you missed Marco – the simple, childish desire for a parent to rely upon – and there have been times when the others have sought to protect you from this world's cruelties, but you thrust away as many of these concerns as possible. No matter how rough you feel, how beaten down and exhausted, you can't let your friends down now. Not when you're so close.
So close, you murmur as the gates to the fairy kingdom rise up before you, and yet so far. You have two of the divine fragments – two down, but three left to find. You've still got a long way to go.
News of your success in the North, it would seem, has already spread to the fairy kingdom, the word carried by quick and cunning messengers. Within the first few minutes of your arrival, a gaggle of drunken Pixies – what, exactly, is the term for a group of Pixies? - has fluttered past, pausing only to throw a garland of flowers around your neck. Shrugging to yourself, you continue through the palace until you reach the banquet hall.
Never before has the name seemed quite so appropriate.
Great cuts of meat, glistening with rich glazes and sauces, are skewed above cooking fires, while cold platters of beef, pork and stranger things aside are assailed by the hungry fairies. Mountains of smoked cheese rise up above arrangements of exotic fruit, while wine and ale flow like rivers from every jug and flagon. Thick slices of dark bread are used to mop up succulent juices and to carry all manner of spreads to waiting mouths. At the centre of all this indulgence are plump cakes, golden yellow and soaked in honey. Never before have you seen so much food in one place, or such extravagant fare.
A shame, then, that you've never been much of a heavy eater. If your hesitation slows the others, they give no sign of it. Leon and Elliot split away from the group and seek out their own pleasures – ale and meat for the Scotsman, wine and song for the slender gentleman. Even Joseph is lured away, stacking his plate high with various foods. Petra takes a flask of wine – or some other, stronger alcohol – and retires, pleading tiredness.
That just leaves you. Alone, with no idea of what to do with yourself.
>Stay at the feast. Maybe you could have some fun?
>Follow Petra and keep her company
>Find somewhere quiet and have some alone time
>Follow Petra and keep her company
This time, it's not for her. Mia needs some help.
Good thing she ISN'T a heavy eater, she could eat herself to a heart attack at a banquet like that in that state of mind.
You hated seeing that, Petra slinking away quietly, and you hate the idea of her brooding alone even more. Sure, she might just want some privacy, or some peace to rest – in that case, you'll leave her to it – but she might have other plans. Plans, you suspect, involving that flask of alcohol. With that thought in mind, you slip quietly out of the banquet hall and steal through the deserted palace corridors like a thief, tracing the uneven sound of Petra's footsteps. You're not sad to leave the mounds of food behind – you were never really one for parties. You were always the one to stand in a corner, complaining that the music was too loud or that your feet were sore. Something like that, anyway.
Besides, depending on how deep into that flask Petra is, you might be able to squeeze a little information out of her. You're still curious, really, about why she's refused all help for that arm of hers. It's about time you got to the bottom of things – and it looks like you might just get your chance. The bedroom door is ajar when you reach is, and a quick peek through the crack reveals the redhead herself, sitting on a windowsill and peering out the window.
Letting yourself in, you cross the room to lean against the wall, standing opposite Petra. You're not sneaking, not making any attempt to conceal yourself, but it still takes her a moment to notice you. She gives you a sloppy wave with her left hand, before reaching out the remains of her right arm to grab the flask. The crooked smile on her face falters a moment, there, before she recovers.
“Hard to adjust, yes?” she explains, without too much of a slur in her voice. Not totally drunk, then.
You think about consoling her, but stop yourself. Pity won't do her any good. You ask, quite simply, what the worst part is. She seems to appreciate the plainly worded question, drinking deeply as she mulls it over.
“Hair,” she says after a few moments, “It is hard trying to tie it back with one hand, yes? Ah, but you could probably guess that. I feel odd, with it flapping around in the breeze.”
She looks a little odd, you offer, not like you're used to seeing.
“I should cut it,” Petra muses, “The practical option. Ah, but practicality isn't everything, yes?”
Murmuring a wordless agreement, you step away from the wall and move behind Petra, slowly combing out her long red hair with your fingers. She stiffens slightly at your touch, but soon relaxes and lets you work. Working carefully, painstakingly, you begin to weave her hair back into the familiar braid. You both fall silent as you work, and the atmosphere grows... strangely comfortable. Well suited for asking painful questions, perhaps.
At least, you consider, you wouldn't have to look Petra in the eye when asking her something difficult. A small blessing.
“Something on your mind?” the redhead asks suddenly, her voice pitched low. You realise, then, that your hands had grown still.
>It's nothing, really.
>Is there really nothing you can do about that arm?
>I've had some... health problems lately
"Can I ask you something? When I came back after you got injured Joseph said Scathach could have done something for you arm but you refused. How come?"
After she talks about that
"We are going to fix this, but in the meantime to you want to see if we could find something that could restore some function to your right arm? No demon transplant or anything, I figure you don't want any of that, but maybe some magic prosthetic or something? Something noninvasive but useful."
>I've had some... health problems lately
Fit this in wherever I guess.
You've had some... health problems lately, you begin tentatively, and they might be pretty serious. Or they might not, and you're just getting freaked out over nothing. Haltingly, you describe your symptoms as best you can, just like how you told Joseph about them. Petra is silent for a moment as she considers the new information.
“And you've told the doctor about this, yes?” she asks, “Because I'm not so smart about medicine – even if I DO spend most of my time in the hospital.”
Trying to smile at her attempt at a joke, you confirm that Joseph told you. A minor problem, exaggerated by stress and too much exercise. The problem is, you don't know if you believe him or not. Even if he has the best of intentions, you'd rather know the truth.
“And you are wanting my advice?” Petra asks, “Or merely venting?”
Both, perhaps. It's something you wanted to get off your chest – you wince a little at your poorly thought out choice of wording – but you'd take any advice she had to offer.
“Then I would say...” Petra takes a slow, pensive sip of her drink, wordlessly offering you the flask. You shake your head, and she speaks up once more. “Ask your father. He might be the one to know, yes? Of course, if he was keeping this from you all this time...”
It might not be a nice thing to discover, you finish for her. Sighing, you concentrate on weaving strands of hair for a few moments before speaking. Can you ask her a question? Joseph mentioned that Scathach could have done something for her arm, but she refused. You just wondered... why?
“It would have been...” Petra trails off, “Useless. Pointless. No strength, no feeing in it. A dead thing, for appearance alone. I would not want that. Touching her with a hand like that-” She cuts herself off, then, with a violent cough. “Ah!” she blurts out, “I said nothing, yes?”
Silence, then, for a few moments. Not quite sure of what she was just talking about, and not sure if you should ask, you settle for patting her weakly on the shoulder. You're going to fix this, you tell her softly, but in the meantime there might be some small thing you can do for her. There might still be something that could restore some function to her arm. Maybe some kind of magic prosthesis?
“I see,” Petra says, her voice carefully devoid of any feeling, “You would be willing to do something like that? To find – or make – a suitable replacement?”
Of course, you tell her hastily, of course you'd be willing!
“It... could be done,” Petra decides finally, “No, I should say, I would be willing. I know little of such matters, so what can and cannot be done is beyond me...”
Then you'll ask around, seeing what help could be offered. You've got a few ideas of where to start, in fact. You're a little wary about sending Petra to Scathach as a new “research subject”, but is there any real harm in asking? Then again, there might be others capable of building a new limb. After all, you're not looking for a perfectly functioning replica – just something practical.
“But later,” Petra suggests, “Now, it is late. We're all tired, and too much stress is not good.” She turns around, looking at you with her single blue eye, “For you, especially.”
>I understand. Better get some rest
>I want to check on the others first
>I'm not tired yet, I want to make a start on this
It's okay, you tell Petra with a brave attempt at a smile, you're a big girl. You're not going to exert yourself much, speaking with the others back at the banquet hall. They might all be passed out by the time you get there, anyway.
“Very well,” Petra concedes, “But this isn't like last time when you took some time off, yes? Last time, you brought back a severed arm!”
You manage a weak smile, at that, but nothing more. This time, you definitely won't be digging up any severed limbs – you promise. Giving Petra a goodbye wave, you leave her to her drink and stroll back to the banquet hall, feeling a little happier about things. Nothing has changed, yet, but you feel like you've made progress. In fact, you're even smiling a little as you enter the great, raucous hall and look out at the surging party. Leon is easy to spot – he has dragged a chair onto a table in imitation of a throne, and sits with Leanan Sidhe gently fanning him – while Elliot has his usual circle of fools playing cards.
It's been a while since you talked properly with Leon, so you make your way over to him first. He grins broadly when he sees you clamber up onto the table, pointing towards you with an overflowing mug of some brown ale.
“Hey, look who it is!” he declares, before leaning over and shouting across the hall to Elliot, “Hey, Ellie, look who's here! Anyway, what's up?”
Well, you were just here to see how he was-
“Fuckin' great!” Leon shouts, “This is the fuckin' life, aye? Better than all that miserable shite with loudmouth fuckin' “demon kings”, right?”
“Man, if I'd known...” he shakes his head with a weary smile, “Fuck 'em, right? Kings, tyrants, all those bastards – this is the good life, right here!”
You're... glad he's happy. Even if you have no idea what he's talking about. Maybe Elliot will make more sense.
Making your excuses, you hop down from the table and scurry past pulsing groups of Pixies and other fairies, eventually reaching Elliot's table. He winces a little as you sit, as if expecting you to make some unwelcome comment.
So, you begin, Leon just called him “Ellie”.
“Ah, well,” Elliot cringes, covering his face with a tense hand, “Our, ah, friend does so like his demeaning nicknames, doesn't he? I wonder what I did to deserve such a... strange epithet.”
That's hardly something you'd know, you tell Elliot, after all you're not the one spending so much time with the rough Scotsman. In either case, maybe it's an affectionate nickname?
“Affection?” Elliot coughs, “Ah, I can't see what gave you that impression. We might not be mortal enemies these days, but that doesn't mean we're falling into bed with-” He shuts up sharply, his lips forming a thin white line. “My, Mia, I HAVE been drinking. You know, I tend to let my mouth run away with me at times like this, so you shouldn't really pay me any attention. Ah... can I offer you a game of cards?”
...You're pretty sure that he just changed the subject there.
>Have you seen Joseph about?
>Leon's not such a bad guy, once you get to know him
>Don't drink too much. It's business as usual tomorrow
>Leon's not such a bad guy, once you get to know him
The mask is slowly slipping
>Have you seen Joseph about?
I figure we might be looking for the book tomorrow, which would have to be a solo mission so they nurse hangovers during that time.
Leon's not such a bad guy, you offer, once you get to know him. Certainly, he's not quite the villain that people make him out to be.
You couldn't say why Elliot's face goes through such a sudden twist of different emotions. Amusement, exasperation and desperate denial all flash across his delicate features in quick succession, no single expression sticking around for long. In the end, he simply clears his throat loudly. “Well, I don't know much about... ah, what girls like you think,” Elliot offers lamely, “But I suppose some might find the “rough and rugged” types to be quite charming. And, I suppose, that accent could gather quite a few fans. Really, that tattoo he has is rather attractive as well – objectively speaking, I mean...”
A tattoo, you ask, does Leon have a tattoo? You don't think you've ever seen him with one, and you're pretty sure you've seen him with his sleeves rolled up before. So if not his arms, then where?
“Ah,” Elliot falters, “Did I say tattoo? What I meant to say was... was...”
“I'm sorry,” Elliot says eventually, his cheeks burning red, “I've QUITE forgotten what we were talking about. The wine here is very strong, don't you think?”
You stare at the fop for a moment longer, trying to puzzle him out. Eventually you look away, defeated by the impenetrable shield of his poker face. Don't drink too much, you tell him lamely, because it's business as usual tomorrow.
“Oh my, of course,” Elliot nods quickly, turning his glass upside down, “See? No more wine for old Elliot here!”
That's good, you nod. You smile, then, as a sudden thought occurs to you. Has Leon ever given you a nickname? It might be something better than “little worm”...
“You know,” Elliot says, tilting his head as he thinks, “I don't think he ever has. That's a shame, isn't it?”
Maybe, you say with a slight shrug, but it's not the end of the world. Early days yet. But anyway, you ask, has he seen Joseph about?
“I believe he went outside for a bit,” Elliot is quick to tell you, “With his angelic friend. Ah, a moonlight stroll together...”
Maybe the full moon has come early. That would explain why everyone is behaving so oddly.
Thanking Elliot again for his time, you make your way outside. As you're leaving, you notice Elliot turning his glass back over, shooting Leon a particularly dark glare as he does so. Perhaps those two will never really be friends. A shame, really.
You find Joseph just outside the palace, sitting atop the front step and gazing up at the sky. Gabriel is nowhere to be seen, but the plate of food sitting beside the young man is empty. It could be that his companion was fetching more, and you only just missed her. Regardless, you sit beside Joseph and follow his gaze, tilting your head back towards the stars.
“They're all wrong, here,” Joseph says softly, pointing up at one particular gathering, “That should be Orion, see? But there are extra stars in the constellation, around what we would see as the head.”
Like antlers, you suggest.
“Of course,” Joseph laughs lightly after a moment, “It makes sense, I suppose. Still, I can't help but miss OUR stars. I do hope we get to see them again.”
He'll see them again, you tell him with sudden certainty.
“That's good,” Joseph smiles, “Ah, I had something I wanted to ask you. Gabriel, she wanted to know if you were going East. Rather, she wanted to know if you were going to kill her brothers.”
>I'm certainly going to try
>Just Michael. Only him
>Only those two fallen angels
>I'm not planning on going East at all
You know, I don't think we ever asked. How does Elliot cover some of the most obvious...parts that would break his image?
Binding or is he one of those really unlucky ones that are flat as a board?
>Only those two fallen angels
"I don't have anything against Michael, though I bet he won't share the same sentiment. So no, I don't plan to fight him if we can help it. I just want the fragments and to set things right. The other two though...they are Nyarlyothep's lapdogs now, who is our real enemy in this fight. If they get in our way, I won't hesitate."
>Only those two fallen angels
If we do come to blows with Michael, against our better judgement we could spare him if she wants. We owe Gabby that much for doing what she has for us.
You don't have anything in particular against Michael, you begin cautiously, even though you doubt he'd share the sentiment. So, no, you don't plan on fighting him if you can help it. You're certainly not about to go hunting him down, in either case – you're after the remaining fragments, not to pick a fight with everything in the Wasteland.
“I see,” Joseph nods, contemplating your words, “And the others?”
The others two, you reply with a harder voice, are Nyarlathotep's lapdogs now, servants of your real enemy. If you stumble across either of those two, you won't hesitate to fight them. If you can destroy them – you'll do so.
“A noble answer,” a voice calls out from behind you, causing you to turn hastily. Gabriel waits behind you, her hands pressed together in front of her as if miming prayer. “You have a good heart, Mia.”
You decide against mentioning that little irony, merely settling for a humble nod. Michael, you offer tentatively, it's against your better judgement, but you'll try to spare him if you ever come to blows. After everything that Gabriel has done for you, it's the least you can do.
“That's a kind gesture,” Gabriel says after a moment of hesitation, taken aback by your offer, “I fear that he would show you little mercy, however. There is one thing I can do, though, if you plan on heading into his territory. One small gift to offer you.” Gabriel parts her hands, a soft white light glowing within her palms. The light twists, solidifying into the shape of a white rose. “This will protect you from Michael's holy light,” the angel explains, “It will wilt, but you will remain safe. I offer this to you – a kindness in exchange for a kindness.”
You reach out to take the rose, and then hesitate. You feel like you've been here before.
>Take the rose
>Do not take the rose
>Take the rose
"You know I should have taken this a long time ago, but I was looking at Gabriel, Archangel of the Lord instead of Gabriel the individual back then. So I apologize for that and thank you for this now."
You nod solemnly and allow Gabriel to hook the stem of the rose into the blackened metal of your hell-forged armour. A divine flower decorating profane armour – it seems odd, somehow, but you're not about to complain. At least it doesn't immediately burst into flames or anything.
Looking up at Gabriel's gentle face – serene, even with the wounds on her back still open and weeping – you are struck by a sudden melancholy. You should have taken this a long time ago, you murmur as you brush your fingers across the rose's petals, but things were different back then. You saw her as Gabriel, archangel of the Lord, and not as an individual. For that, you apologise – and for the gift, you have to thank her.
“I'm glad we could reach an understanding,” Gabriel smiles softly, “Not just with you, but with all of you. I was always close to humanity, and it does my heart good to walk amongst you once more. It is... impure of me to say so, but the days I have spent with you all have been some of the happiest of my life.”
You know, you tell her with a shy smile, she'd make a good mother. Although, and your smile wilts a little here, you're not sure if it really works that way...
“That's a kind thing to say,” Gabriel tells you, as Joseph coughs and splutters in the background. He must have choked on some food or something – there's really no need to eat so quickly. “But perhaps that is a matter for another time. Remember – that rose will wilt so please, don't rely on it too much.”
“Well,” Joseph rasps, clearing his throat one last time, “I suppose you've got places to be, things to do...”
>Ask Gabriel a few more questions (Write in)
>Check up on someone else
>Get an early night
>Ask Gabriel a few more questions (Write in)
"Do you know why the Great Will lost contact with you all? I feel it has nothing to do with the fragments because He didn't have the cosmic power last cycle and He was as strong as ever. I feel what Cass and Michael are trying to do won't actually solve the problem. Do you think Nyarlathotep had something to do with it?"
There is one question you had, you say tentatively, one last question. Glancing up to Gabriel's calm face, hesitate for a moment. When she gives you a permissive nod, you continue. Does she know why the Great Will lost all contact with them? When Gabriel doesn't immediately answer, you forge ahead. You're not convinced, you tell her, that it has anything to do with the divine fragments. From what you know – which is, admittedly, incomplete and unclear – the Great Will didn't have that kind of true divine power in the previous cycle, but He was still capable of communicating with them.
“That is... correct, yes,” Gabriel says slowly, discomfort creeping into her voice.
What you're saying is, you don't think these plans that Cassandra and Michael have been brewing up would actually do anything. They're just wasting their time, and risking their lives in the process.
“Mia,” Joseph warns you, “Is there a point to this?”
Is it possible, you ask, that Nyarlathotep has something to do with this? Could he be, perhaps, shutting out the Great Will from this world?
“It is possible,” Gabriel sighs, “that you might be right. I cannot say for sure, but the possibility is there. It could be that Nyarlathotep, our mutual enemy, created a barrier with the divine power he stole. What I cannot say, though, is why he would do such a thing. What purpose would it serve?”
Easy, you answer, to spread chaos. To watch the forces of Law turn upon each other and scrabble around for help. It was all a massive joke, with Gabriel and her brothers as the punchline.
...No offence, you add a moment later.
“None taken,” Gabriel sighs, sitting upon the stone steps, “I'm sorry, but I need to think on this. Could I ask you to leave?”
Of course, you tell her awkwardly, you'll just... go. You wanted to get an early night anyway.
When you arrive back at your room, Petra is either asleep or making a very convincing imitation of a sleeping person. Taking a moment to straighten her sheets a little, pulling them ever so slightly up around her, you start towards your own bed. It's only a whim that stops you, leading you over to the same window that she had been looking out of earlier. The scent of alcohol – it smells, in fact, like rubbing alcohol – still colours the air here, but you put that out of your mind.
The moon is almost full, you realise as you look out into the night sky. You hadn't noticed that when you were out with Joseph, your attention drawn to the alien stars instead. Tomorrow night, you guess, will be the night of the full moon. It seems like you've been waiting forever for it to arrive, but now you feel... intimidated. Uncertain about what might happen. Cassandra, of course, is the weak link in the equation – will she really turn up?
You'll have to see, you tell yourself, and that's something that requires waiting. Get some sleep, and see how the situation looks in the morning. You're still not entirely sure, though, as to what your plans are. What should you do first thing tomorrow?
>Head East on your own for some stealthy scouting
>Talk to Scathach about prosthetics
>Start investigating the Southern fragment
It's probably best, you decide, to speak with Scathach about prosthetics. She's the closest source of information, so you're willing to put aside whatever misgivings are stirring in your heart. It's too early to make a concrete decision – and, really, it's Petra's decision to make – so you can always get a second opinion if you need one. Moloch ran a forge, after all, so if anyone could make something...
Before you can finish that thought, you fall gently asleep. You have a strange dream that night, a dream in which you walk through fields and cities, surrounded by grasping, groping arms that reach up from the ground like flowers. As you walk, they clutch at your legs, grabbing you and pulling you down into a familiar darkness. Blind, all you can hear is heavy breathing and a thunderous, faltering heartbeat. Your own heartbeat, you realise, just as it falls totally silent.
You wake soaked in sweat, gasping and clawing at your sheets. It's been a while, you realise when you've calmed down, since you had a nightmare like that. You certainly hadn't missed them. Scrubbing your face with cold water from the washroom, you take a shuddering breath and composure yourself. It wouldn't do to visit the archives when you're trembling like a leaf.
Taking one last look at your hands – steady at last – you slip out into the corridor and leave Petra in bed, sleeping off last night's indulgence. Walking feels good, as if you're burning away the last of those nightmarish visions. So much so that, by the time you've arrived at the archives, you're able to crack a smile.
Your smile falters though when you spot a pile of shattered wood by the entrance. One of the woodcuts Scathach had been looking for, thrown against a wall in a fit of fury. Nervous once more, you press on into the library.
Scathach is where you expect to find her, but the sight of her offers little relief. Books litter the surrounding area, spilling out of their disordered piles to form a crude wall around the witch. Her workspace was never the neatest, but this is something else – this reeks of desperation, and long hours spent pouring through aimless avenues of research.
Things, you realise, are not going well.
“I'm BUSY,” Scathach snarls when you approach, not looking up from the scrawled sheath of notes she holds in claw-like hands. “Stop wasting my-” she stops there, finally looking up at you. “Oh, it's you,” she forces a note of patience back into her voice, “I apologise. I thought it was another drunken fool begging for healing magic. I keep telling these idiots to use protection, but they just don't listen!”
Protection, you ask, what does she mean? A moment later, realisation dawns. They were fighting, you deduce, without armour or shields – of course they'd need healing magic afterwards!
“...Sure,” Scathach laughs, her mood lifting slightly, “We'll go with that. Well then, what can I assist you with?”
>Is there a problem with your research?
>I wanted to ask you about prosthetics...
>I wanted to forge a demon
>Protection, you ask, what does she mean? A moment later, realisation dawns. They were fighting, you deduce, without armour or shields – of course they'd need healing magic afterwards!
>I wanted to ask you about prosthetics...
I'm curious as to why she seems so obsessed over this. This seems to go beyond just scientific curiosity. Don't know when would be a good time to ask her about it though.
>Nyalarhotep likely made the shards amplify the negative aspects of their holders personality like a certain crown
I guess that's a theory, but I don't think that's the case. This seems personal.
Well, you just wanted to ask her about Prosthetic. Hypothetically speaking, is there anything she can do to replace a missing limb without resorting to any... extreme methods? You fall silent as you realise just how lame this whole attempt at remaining vague sounded. You thought, perhaps, it would be best not to immediately bring up Petra – you don't want her “vanishing” from her bed like some of the fairies Cernunnos was talking about – but your excuse is so flimsy that anyone could see right through it.
“You're looking for a convenient, decently functional replacement for an arm,” Scathach says, summarising your request.
That's right, you reply before pausing, or a leg. An arm or a leg. Hypothetically speaking.
Scathach stares at you for a moment longer before sighing heavily. “I understand. An insurance policy, just in case you get injured. Let me show you something.” Beckoning you closer, Scathach sweeps her sheath of notes into the folds of her voluminous cloak with a quick and careful hand. Not quick enough, though, to completely hide them. You catch a glimpse of an underlined passage - “immortal blood, to stave off mortality” - before they vanish entirely. Before you can think too much about that, Scathach places one of the woodcuts from before on her desk. It shows an arm – a gauntlet, rather.
“There is a story, among our people,” Scathach says, “The Phantom King. He was a great warrior, but he lost his hands in a battle. The blade that took them was cursed, so that his wounds could never be healed. He would never fight again, and there was no magic that could help him. I won't bore you with all the details – and the stories vary, in any case – but in the end, he had replacement hands constructed out of his old armour. Crude things, incapable of anything other than swinging a sword, but they worked.”
So these gauntlets could be used to help-
“An entirely hypothetical person missing a hand?” Scathach asks, “Well, perhaps. I don't think these particular gauntlets would help – they're lost to history – but this woodcut might offer instructions to construct a similar version. A pale imitation, perhaps, but it would certainly offer hope to someone with a missing limb.”
So, you ask, what does she need?
“Hypothetically, you mean?” Scathach asks, a hint of amusement in her voice, “A suitable piece of armour. Find something, build something, it doesn't matter. I might be able to scavenge something up here, but it wouldn't be particularly good. We don't use much armour, these days. I did hear an interesting rumour though, about a shrine that once held a suit of famous armour. It was left as an offering to some minor frog deity – something like that, at least. That was a long time ago, though, and I believe another shrine was built above it.”
You think of the map Cassandra gave you, still buried within your pocket, and gesture for Scathach to continue.
“Yes, well, there was a minor religious war some time ago. Not really anything to do with fairies, but I take an interest in such things. A snake god overthrew a frog god, something like that. These oriental gods...” she waves her hands in a vaguely dismissive gesture, “I'd look for a snake shrine, anyway.”
A snake shrine. The same place Cassandra suggested looking for Mister Black's book. A strange coincidence – if it really IS a coincidence. Putting that out of your mind, you cautiously ask Scathach if she has a problem with her research. Anything you can help with?
Scathach grunts, the note of good humour vanishing from her voice. “Deadlines,” she says simply, “They're drawing closer – but I don't need to tell YOU that, do I?”
Ah. So that's the issue.
“I'm not beaten yet, though!” she warns you, holding up a fingers, “I have a few other things to try that might just offer a clue to cracking this mystery. This isn't over until I've tried everything – and I WILL try everything, don't you worry about that.”
You weren't worried about that. If anything, you WERE worried about her trying everything. How long, you ask yourself silently, before Scathach throws out any trace of ethics or morality in pursuit of... whatever it is that she's trying to do. Transcend morality, or... something.
“Anyway, run along now,” Scathach flaps her hand at you impatiently, “Go and find me a suitable bit of armour, and I'll see what I can do. A right gauntlet, I presume?”
You nod meekly, no longer able to deny it. Really, who were you fooling?
>I'll get going then
>Can we get this made as quickly as possible? Even if it means using weak parts?
>You need to stop this research. It's gone too far
>I'll get going then
"When is the last time you ate something?"
If its been awhile
"I'll send one of the guards down with some food."
"Look I don't know why you are so dedicated to this, but I won't pry. Just don't let the cost get too high or destroy yourself in pursuit of it."
Well. You'll just... get going then. As you turn to leave, you pause for a few seconds and turn back to Scathach. When exactly, you ask, was the last time she ate anything? There was a big feast last night – she probably heard all the commotion – so there's probably lots of food left over. You could easily ask one of the guards to bring something down. It's no trouble at all.
“Eat?” Scathach sounds genuinely surprised, “Food, you mean?”
You're going to assume that it's been a while. Look, you say as you linger by her desk, you don't know why she's so dedicated to this – and you're not going to pry, either. You're just warning her right now not to let the cost get too high. If she's not careful, she'll destroy herself in pursuit of this... unnamed goal. You don't want that to happen, and you don't think anyone wants that to happen.
Cernunnos might be the exception to that, but you won't tell Scathach about that. It's probably safer if she doesn't know about that.
“Scientific progress should know no restrictions or boundaries,” Scathach tells you archly, “But... perhaps you're right about this. It would be... unfortunate, if I achieved my goals at too high a cost. Certain sacrifices are-” She cuts herself off, here, before speaking up in a more cheerful, artificial tone. “Yes, if you could send for some food, I would very much appreciate it. Just please, don't hang around and watch me eat.”
A shame. You wanted to see how she ate with that mask of hers. Nodding to her, you retreat from the archives and stop by the banquet hall. One of the Pixies – wearing a crude imitation of Scathach's hat – is only too happy to deliver a meal. With that out of the way, you've got your next move to plan.
>Check Cassandra's map of the slums
>See if you can rouse someone else
>Go somewhere else (Write in)
You're already in the banquet hall, you figure, so you might as well grab a meal while you're here. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all. You scrape together some of the leftovers – mostly dry foods, like smoky cheeses and paper thin slivers of meat, with a lump of the usual rustic bread as a plate – and sit down at one of the tables. Picking at your food, you take Cassandra's envelope out of your pocket and tear it open.
It's clear to you now that Cassandra is no artist.
The map is a crude thing, scrawled in ballpoint pen on a sheet torn from a notepad. Most of the buildings are rough boxes, with certain areas marked off by dotted boundaries. Marking out territories and vague patrol patters, you think. The fallen archangels, it seems, are nearly mindless – following a strict routine and timetable unless something catches their attention. Good to know, but Michael is still the uncertain element. If you didn't already know where to look, though, the map would be useless.
Almost useless, you correct yourself as you flip it over and read the note scrawled on the back. This note was the real reason she gave you this awful map:
“Mia,” the note reads, “I understand that things are difficult between us right now. You know that I cannot speak freely. My convictions are as strong as ever, but I'm starting to doubt that my vision will ever be realised – or that it was ever possible in the first place. Soon, I feel that we will know one way or another which one of us was right. I hope you can forgive me for any unpleasant moments that lie ahead.”
Huh. You're not sure exactly what Cassandra might mean by “unpleasant moments”, but you don't like the sound of it one bit. Still, reading the note gives you a flicker of hope. She's not some deluded fool, not yet.
Quickly finishing your breakfast, you tuck the “map” back into the envelope and slip it into your pocket. You'd be best off moving quickly and lightly – speed and stealth over brute force – and making a move before it gets too late. Cassandra's map did include rough times, estimates based on the light levels, along with the patrol routes. If you move early, you'll have a chance of getting to the shrine while Uriel and Raphael are elsewhere.
Still, you can't help but allow yourself one last diversion. Pulling your phone out, you dial Cassandra's number and press the device to your ear. It rings and rings, but there is no response. Nothing at all. Sighing, you return the phone to your pocket. You'll call again later – maybe.
Brushing a few last crumbs from your clothes, you stand up and square your shoulders. The sooner you grab this dumb book, the sooner you can be cashing in your new favour with Mister Black.
>Take the trip East
>There's something you need to do first (Write in)
>There's something you need to do first (Write in)
Tell someone where we are going, why we are going and why we are going alone (its safer, its a sneaking mission). Have them tell the others when they finally get up. If they need to get into contact with us have them TEXT us. I don't want to recreate a cheap horror movie when our phone rings when we are hiding.
>Take the trip East
You realise, as you're about to leave, that you're probably the only one awake this early. If the others got up to find you missing, they'd probably worry – or worse, they'd go rushing into danger in an attempt to rescue you. Even if you just let one person know, you can ask them to spread the word around so that everyone is on the same page. Really, it's the same sort of courtesy that you'd expect from the others.
In the end, you settle for leaving a note by Petra's bedside, giving the details and reasons for your absence. You stress the fact that you went alone – it's quicker that way, and quieter – and tell her not to worry. With that done, you also thumb your phone onto silent. You've seen enough horror movies to avoid that one simple mistake. Never let your phone ring when you're hiding from the monsters.
Nodding, congratulating yourself on your smart move, you stroll out of the palace and into the early morning sunshine. It's just a shame that you won't be able to enjoy it for long, as the snowy wasteland beyond awaits. Stepping out into the chill air, you force down a shiver and start walking, heading East towards that lonesome cathedral prison that once held Joseph. You'll stop there and get your bearings, looking out over the slums from the vantage point of the tower. From there, you can locate the tallest building, and then the snake temple adjacent to it.
Humming softly, tunelessly, under your breath, you draw closer to the looming building. Striding past gates once defended by a furious archangel, you enter the building and take the winding staircase up to the tower. There, looking out over the ramshackle streets of the slum district, you spy a slash of green paint. The snake, its tail pointing straight down at a generic looking building.
It's true, you weren't expecting anything particularly grandiose, but you were hoping for something a little nicer than the rest of the rotting husks that are crammed into the tight streets. Those same streets, you remind yourself with an inward groan, are the ones that you'll need to squeeze through sooner or later. How... delightful.
Frowning and softly chewing your lip, you descend the tower and exit through a discrete back door. You can't really imagine why a cathedral would need a well hidden exit, but you won't complain about the convenience. The door takes you, almost immediately, into a hellish maze of streets. Groaning softly – this time out loud, before you can stop yourself – you start to creep through the dank pathways. Bits and pieces of broken wood poke and prod at you, snatching at your clothes in grim imitation of last night's nightmare, but you push through the worst of it.
Navigation, you realise, is almost impossible here. In many places, the taller buildings have crumbled to the point where they lean over the streets, meeting in the middle to block out the sky entirely. You have to settle yourself with snatched glimpses of the sky and make do, correcting your course as often as you need to. The scent of rotting garbage pervades here, even when you can't see any source for it.
This place, in other words, is miserable. If Cassandra has spent most of her time fighting through it, it's no wonder she's so bad tempered. Worst of all are the tremors, coming from deep beneath the earth. Your burrowing friend is here – and it seems restless. That's quite possibly the last thing you need right now.
And then, all of a sudden, you find yourself standing outside the shrine you were looking for. A rugged, two story building, with a frail looking door. Through a broken upstairs window, you can see wooden struts running back and forth.
>Take the front door quietly
>Break through the front door
>Blink up into the second floor
>Blink up into the second floor
Lets get in quietly. If we do encounter something and it isn't some mindless demon we should try diplomacy first. I assume they don't want Archangels busting in just as much as we don't.
Pulling Midnight from your belt, you feel the soft leather mould itself to the shape of your grip. Fixing your eyes upon the wooden struts, you close them for a split second. When you open them, after the brief and dizzying moment of travel, you are balanced cautiously upon the dank, decaying beams. From below, they looked far more... stable than this. Creeping forwards a few steps, you grab onto one of the central pillars. Much safer – until you need to move again.
From this vantage point, you look down at the shrine below. From outside, you couldn't hear anything but now there are choruses of murmurs and mumbles, coming from the cultists below. They wear a kind of armour – although it looks more like pieces of oversized insect carapace from here – and carry cruel looking swords. They don't look particularly religious – more like a gang of thugs than a sect.
At least they seem to be looking down, studying the ground or each other. If one looked up, you'd be easily seen. The thought makes you shiver.
No, it's not that that causes a shudder to run down your spine. The air here is cold and damp, as if you're walking through a rain cloud. That might explain why the wooden beams are so damp and rotten, but what could be causing it?
Then the chill in the air gets sharper still. With stiff shoulders, you twist yourself around as best as possible, some sixth sense alerting you to a presence behind you.
“Plop,” the glowing blue serpent says, in a curiously friendly voice, “Hello!”
>Keep your voice down!
>Are you... is this your shrine?
>Go away, I'm being stealthy
Hello there, you whisper to the watery snake that is currently turning lazy loops in the air. But, you stress, maybe you should both use your inside voices?
“Bloop,” the snake says, blowing a little bubble out of the corner of his mouth, “It's okay, they won't mind me!”
It wasn't him you were worried about, but... Never mind. Is he... is this his shrine?
“Sure is!” swooping closer, the snake brings his aura of cold wetness right up to you, “I'm Mizuchi – pleased to meet you!” Backing off again, the demon floats beneath the strut you're balancing on, winding around the pillar with playful grace. “I don't get many worshippers these days. Very sad!”
So are they... were those demons down there his worshippers once?
“Once,” Mizuchi tells you regretfully, “Now all they do is drink and fight.”
If Marco was here, you think to yourself, he'd make some snide comment about all religious people being the same. As much as you miss him – although really, it's not like you can't visit him whenever – you have to admit that Marco can be pretty rude at times. So... those demons down there are pretty much just squatters in Mizuchi's shrine, right?
“Very right,” Mizuchi nods, bobbing his head up and down, “Ah, but even so – a god needs his worshippers. If they leave, I'd have nobody – very lonely!”
You grunt a vaguely sympathetic noise as you start to draw your plans, shifting ideas about in your mind. Would he like it, then, if they left and he got a better class of worshipper?
“I would like that,” the small god agrees, “If only I could wash them away. A little bit of rain would do the job – little cowards!”
>How about making a deal? Join me, and I'll worship you
>Just wash them away, I'm sure you can find some fans elsewhere
>Well, good luck with that
So if my guess is correct we can get Mizuchi to force all the cultists out of the temple with a rainstorm. I see two possible problems with this:
1. The rain might damage the book we're looking for.
2. The rain might attract attention.
I'm still in favor of recruiting him though.
You'll do him one better than a worshipper, you whisper boldly. If he joins up with you, he'll be your friend! Not only would be never need to be alone, but he'd get the chance to see the world with you – and show the world his splendour. Not an opportunity that he'd want to pass up, right?
“The world is very big!” Mizuchi agrees, “The further I walk, the more worshippers I might get – and you could act as my shrine!”
There's just one condition, you say in a warning tone, holding your finger up to delay his enthusiasm. You don't want him making any flashy gestures until your business here is finished. Also, if he could order his cultists to back off while you go about that business, that would be greatly appreciated.
“Plop,” Mizuchi says, with a smile on his broad, snake face. You've never seen a snake smile before, but you can immediately recognise the expression. “That's two conditions,” he scolds you, “But, I agree – it's nice to make a friend for once!”
Making friends IS good, you agree, and-
“Then I get to drown some heretics!” Mizuchi adds, in the same cheerful voice, “Strike them blind! Cast plagues down upon them!” As he rattles off a loud and colourful list of curses, you start to see a few heads below tilting up to glance your way.
So much for an inside voice.
“Beyond, worms!” Mizuchi bellows, in a surprisingly powerful voice, “As proof of my divinity, I shall summon my prophet before you all! So... don't kill her, got it?”
A few grumbles of discontent come in reply, but there is no open revolt. The cultists merely glance up, listen for a moment, and then turn back to their business. You sigh heavily at the weak display – this, you mutter, is not going to work out as smoothly as you had planned.
“Behold!” Mizuchi howls, glancing up at you and nodding quickly, “BEHOLD!”
That's your cue. Triggering Midnight's magic once more, you blink down to the centre of the shine, appearing before the crowd of unimpressed demons. A few of them reel back – perhaps amazed that Mizuchi's miracle actually got results – but most of them just glare at you with sullen petulance. You glare back at a few of them, desperately hoping that you look even remotely threatening, until even those few cultists lose interest in you.
“Plop!” Mizuchi cries, in a note of deluded triumph, “Very done!”
Sighing softly, you step around a knot of grumbling cultists – most of them seem to be complaining about a “loudmouth” - and scan the first of many stacks of books. You wince a little at the sight of so much water damage, ruined books always send a sad dagger into your heart, but you force yourself to keep going. At the bottom of one particular pile, you find a single perfectly intact volume. Leather bound – but the leather shows no sign of age or distress – and stamped with a metal design. Two snakes, just as Mister Black had asked for. Allowing yourself a quick grin, you tuck the book under your arm and step back into the centre of the room.
Scathach suggested the old shrine – the frog shrine – should be below this one. In that case, you'd be looking for a staircase, or a breeze that might indicate a tunnel beneath the floorboards. As you search, testing each board for weakness or some other irregularity, something catches your attention.
A pair of the cultists have started to shove each other, barking and growling in a guttural tongue. An air of almost palpable aggression is starting to colour the atmosphere, and soon a fight will be inevitable. A loud, disruptive fight – the kind you really don't need.
A certain degree of haste enters your steps as you march back and forth across the floor, listening out for any creak of groan. Nothing by the entrance, or by either wall. Frustration, and a deliberate lack of stealth, leads you to kick the altar. It can barely be called an altar, in fact. More like a pile of crudely nailed together planks, with a cheap looking tin icon dangling above. Looking at that dismal altar, you get the impression that Mizuchi never had very good followers.
Or any followers at all, in fact.
Cursing, you kick the altar again – and this time, your foot breaks right through the cheap thing. From the splintered hole, a single frog hops out, bouncing away into the room. It makes it a few meters before one of the bored looking cultists can summon up the effort to stamp on it, squashing it flat.
“A sacrifice!” Mizuchi shouts, his words echoed lamely by a few effortless voices. You'd roll your eyes at the pathetic display, but you're too busy tugging at the wooden floorboards around the altar. There's a rough staircase hidden beneath, and you've almost broken your way into it. When the hole is finally open wide enough, you crawl down into the tunnels beneath. They're about as dark and dismal as you'd expect, and every so often you feel the slimy touch of a frog hopping past you. Gross, you mutter bitterly.
Further still, and the tunnel opens up enough that you can stand. Walking down the rough stairs – the transition between rocky slope and carven path is so gradual as to be unnoticeable – you notice something on the walls. Carvings, of some kind.
>Take the time to study the carvings
>Press on. You're in a hurry
>Take the time to study the carvings
On the bright side, if the Archangels do come we can stay underground until it blows over. And when I say 'blows over', I mean after they kill everything on the block and nuke it with fire, as is their MO.
You can take the time, you decide, to see if there is a warning in these carvings. If they happen to be talking about traps laid up ahead – or an ancient evil that you might wake – then you don't want to ignore their information. If the Archangels arrive while you're down here, well, you'll just hide here and wait for them to kill everyone and move on. No skin off your back.
Taking quick photographs with your phone camera as you pass each one, you peer at the old, gloomy carvings. They actually seem to depict humans – real, genuine human beings. There are other figures depicted, inhuman ones, that you take to be demons. The first few carvings depicts humans, armed with books and staves, binding and summoning the squat, lumpen demons. So do these pictures depict the very earliest humans capable of summoning demon as you do? These carvings offer no answers, so you move onto the next.
The next carvings are stranger, depicting humans that summon demons using ornate, graven gauntlets. It was a rite of passage, or some other kind of ceremonial event, when young men and women were given such gauntlets – and the power that came with them. Those are the last carvings that you can read, the others are far too damaged. With your mind full of strange thoughts, you move further into the cave, up a short set of steps. There, sitting atop the crumbling remains of an altar, is a single gauntlet. A right hand, cast in articulated metal.
You reach out to touch the beautiful thing as the first sounds of a brawl erupt from up above. Sounds like trouble. Snatching up the gauntlet, you tuck it under your arm with the book and run back towards the surface.
Whatever the problem is, the Archangels are not responsible. If that was the case, there would be more fire – and more screaming, probably. This just sounds like a common brawl, with some of those grumpy cultists picking a fight with their rivals. You couldn't imagine why they're fighting – maybe they don't even need a reason – but that's hardly important now, is it?
Dropping down into a crawl, you put the pair of looted treasures before you and start pushing them ahead. Wriggling and writhing through the tunnel – the nickname “little worm” surfaces absurdly in your mind here – you make slow progress towards the surface. The higher you get, the louder the various shouts grow. The sounds of battle fill your ears as you emerge, quickly ducking back into the tunnel as a body is thrown past. When you can finally emerge, the sounds of thunder fill your ears. Mizuchi roars with laughter, cackling wildly as he summons a thick sheet of rain.
Yelping and wailing, throwing their hands above their heads, the cultists begin to flee the temple. You struggle to your feet, sweeping up the bundle of stolen goods, as a tremendous crash echoes through the building. Everything, even the cultists, freeze. Silence, then, for a moment, before there is a shrieking howl of shattering wood. The roof – a chunk of it, anyway – is torn up and cast away by a figure of churning metal. You look up, your eyes struggling to follow its alien angles, and fight back the urge to crawl back underground. You'd be an easy target, wriggling away like that.
You need to get out of here. Now.
>Stand and fight
Leave, exfiltrate, get the fuck out!
>>Stand and fight
I am sure this will go well.
You came here, alone, for a reason.
That reason was not to fight a Nyarlathotep corrupted Archangel.
You're getting the hell out of here. If you're lucky, the monstrous angel looking down upon you will linger here for a moment as it slaughters the cultists. A few of them remain, lingering in confusion as they try to grasp what, exactly, has just happened to their shrine. One of them, amazingly, is actually praying, desperately shrieking Mizuchi's name in hope of deliverance. He's the first one to die, speared on the curious spear and shredded by some unseen force. A wind, you realise. A killing wind that stripped the flesh from his bones.
Raphael. Reborn as a machine designed purely for killing.
Like you said, you're getting the hell out of here. You run, pushing past lingering cultists and fleeing into the cramped streets beyond. Whenever you hit a blockage, a barrier, you use Midnight's magic to blink past it. Anything to avoid slowing down. As you run, an awful tremor rips through the ground and sends you stumbling. As you pick yourself up and run, a deafening roar fills your ears. Turning back, you stagger and scream aloud as you look up at the sky. A vast worm, the colour of something long dead, has broken through the ground to thrash in the air for a moment.
Not a worm, you correct yourself, as you see limbs writhing on the thing's bottom. Not a worm at all.
The distinction becomes meaningless, then, as the beast comes crashing back to the ground. The impact sends a ripple through the ground, a ripple followed by a shuddering roar. As you're struggling to rise, the ground starts to drop away from beneath you. Crumbling, cracking away and collapsing, the earth begins to fall. Screaming again, you feel yourself beginning to fall – and as you fall, the book and the gauntlet slip from your grip.
Down you go.
>That's where I'll leave it for today. Next thread on Sunday, and I'll stick around for a while.
>Today, I have a bonus episode featuring Cassandra. I'll start posting it in a few moments!
Your name is Cassandra Einhart, and... and you don't really know what's going on right now. Or maybe you do know what's happening to you – maybe you realised the truth from the moment you woke up in this white void – but you can't bring yourself to admit it.
You failed. The world, and everything you sought to protect, is ending.
Numb, you can barely feel your body as you rise up and look around at this awful, blank place. There is nothing here, nothing save for the pair of flimsy chairs and... her. Amelia Bishop, slumped in one of them. You approach, but that's about all you can manage. Sitting is out of the question.
“Never a dull moment, huh?” Amelia offers, with something that approaches a smile. More of a crooked grin, bitter and regretful, but a smile nonetheless. How, you desperately ask yourself, how can she still be so flippant? Perhaps something of your concern shows on your face – or perhaps she skims the thoughts from your mind – because Amelia's smile drops at an instant. “Hey Cassandra, c'mon...”
No, you interrupt bluntly, not this time. She can't just offer you a charming smile and a quick comment, expecting you to fall meekly into line. This is her fault, everything that has happened has been her fault.
“That's HARDLY fair,” she protests, frowning hard. The conversation, you realise, is not going as she had planned. “Look, I made some pretty bad decisions – I won't deny that – but it's not like I wanted this to happen! It's all HIS fault, you understand that, right?”
Him. That savage, murderous thug that she thought loyal. A bloodstained monster, driven by a gleeful love of violence and a hatred of boredom. The kind of monster that would tear down the established order, throwing the entire world into chaos, just for a moment of amusement. What, you cry desperately, did she expect to happen?
“I made a bad call,” Amelia says bitterly, struggling to keep her voice even and calm, “That's what I said, wasn't it? A bad decision. Now come on, we don't have long to talk. What I need you to do is-”
No, you say again, she can save her breath.
“What?” Amelia snaps, her brow furrowing with a momentary flash of fury, “That's not... that's not how this works! I brought you here, I kept you safe – safe from that same monster that caused all this – so you can just sit down and listen!”
What's she going to do, you shoot back, force you? Take away your free will, and force you to obey her laws? Is she willing to become a tyrant, just to hold onto her power for as long as possible?
You thought better of her.
Emotions war on Amelia's face, anger, confusion and sadness all fighting for dominance. It's such a human sight that you almost forgive her, giving in to her wishes, but then you harden your heart. This isn't something she can just brush off with a quick smile and a glib comment.
“I'm not trying-” Amelia scowls hard, falling silent for a moment as she changes track, “So you've got a better idea, have you?”
Maybe, you murmur to yourself. As your lips form the word, a sudden realisation takes hold in your mind. Amelia, the divine girl sitting before you, never earned her power – she stole it, through strength and ruthlessness. She has power, but none of the wisdom that such a position demands, none of the perspective or responsibility. Perhaps no human deserves the kind of divine power that she stole. Maybe only a god, a TRUE god...
“Cassandra,” Amelia warns you, “That's a dangerous path to start going down.”
Silence descends as you give her a hard look, an uncommon decisiveness burning in your eyes. Maybe so, you say quietly, but you're willing to take that risk.
This time, you're going to walk your own path.
And that's that. I hope to get back into the rhythm of writing up bonus episodes in future, but I can't make any guarantees. Regardless, I'll lurk here in case of any questions - and I'd like to thank everyone who contributed today!
>Amelia, the divine girl sitting before you, never earned her power – she stole it, through strength and ruthlessness.
What the fuck do you think Law or Chaos was doing Cassandra?
>She has power, but none of the wisdom that such a position demands, none of the perspective or responsibility.
Correct, but humans can grow from strife and conflict. There is no way she isn't learning from her fuck ups and if she isn't we'll make her learn.
>Perhaps no human deserves the kind of divine power that she stole.
This the first cycle that human guardianship has ever occurred. Yes it needs to be revised for sure but Rome wasn't built in a day.
>Maybe only a god, a TRUE god...
Thanks for running Moloch.
Yes, I meant to clarify earlier, but Mizuchi did join our party. He made it out with us, but he's also part of our party.
An oversight that I meant to correct, but it never quite made it into the posts.
She'll be considerably less annoyed if we bring her back a cool robot arm! Really though, considering Mia didn't go out looking for a fight, I think this one can be forgiven.
That's something I overlooked until now, actually!
I'll probably have all her demons transferred over to the new device and hand the old one down to, say, Marco. Having the ability to summon double the demons everyone else can would be pretty crazy.
Hah too bad.
It would really mark home the transition from frontline fighter to summoning general.
I just realized that Mia is like a hybrid of Amelia's and Petra's fighting styles.
Tactical summoning and fighting viciously up close and personal.
Well, spoilers for future content ahead:
All the characters are going to gain the ability to summon two demons soon
So Petra having double the number of demons would really be out of control!
She is, actually. She's not stupid, but she is very direct and prefers to handle things herself. I always imagined her as similar to the type of person who just can't get used to new technology. They might be very smart, but they still use a typewriter because they don't trust computers. That sort of idea, at least, but with magic.
I imagine she could, although at this point the black outs have mostly stopped. Petra's memories, I imagine, have more or less reached a natural balance.
I had an idea based around that, actually, but I lost the notes I made for it. Quite irritating, to be honest.
I see Petra as quite similar to Joseph, in a way. She has two forms of memory, but they occasionally get muddled or confused. Compared with Cass, who has merged both versions of events in a much more natural fashion.
So Petra does remember her family and her old life, but there are times when they feel like someone else's memories.
It might be a little difficult to drag large chunks of dead worm back, but it's certainly possible! Not sure what it might create, but that's half the fun, isn't it?
That's the spirit!
Mia goes off on her own for a bit
>Drags a Archangel's arm back
She does it again
>Comes back with blackened armor and a Succubus
>Drags a ice worm carcass back.
Can't take your eyes off that girl for a minute I tell you!
Well, that's what happens when kids don't have proper supervision - they get into trouble!
On the worm front, I have had an idea of what might be possible to create using some bits of its carcass.
Regenerating armour. It negates the first hit taken in combat, but breaks until the end of the battle.
Now I think about it, all this carving up monster bodies is a bit Kingdom Death, isn't it? A bit of Monster Hunter as well, perhaps.
more Kingdom Death than MH, although I confess I having played KD yet.
MH is a lot more techy and surprisingly not very improvised about the whole thing. They also focus more on a very selective number of effects: can I make this kill good? How can I make this do the elemental thing that kills good? Okay, we're good, next!
Armor was a bit more complicated, but it was pretty much just fashion shows with the rare connection to armor skills.
I like that spoiler, though.
You know many problems could have been fixed due to Amelia having access to her full power huh? And Nyarly not leeching on it. But she sealed it away so she wouldn't misuse it but for that reason she is powerless to do something when its called for.
Another reason I think multiple Gods might work well. Don't seal the power, split it. That way one person can't do huge world altering events but together they can fix issues that need full power as they crop up.
I've not really played either, to be honest! I like the Kingdom Death aesthetic, but admiring the models is as far as I'm likely to get. I'll stick with Dragon's Dogma for my fashion show/monster killing needs.
I always imagined Amelia as being so cautious about hubris that she went too far in the other direction. Inaction can often be just as bad as reckless action!
With that, though, I need to head off. It's pretty late here! I appreciate all the contributions today, and the next thread will be on Sunday.