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>Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Blood%20Moon
>Champion info: http://pastebin.com/bNditXfG
As the limousine speeds away you peer out the open door to see if anyone is giving pursuit. You'd think the van would be coming for you, but a plume of smoke is billowing out from underneath its hood.
"What the hell happened there?" You ask.
"Oh, that?" Tasha asks. "That was me. Couldn't have them giving chase and scratching my limo any more than they already have"
You're about to ask if that's against the rules, but you realize that it was only against the rules when Kyla was around.
"In any case, thanks for the save" You say.
"You had that handled" She says. "I was just in the neighborhood and decided to help out"
"I really don't think I did" You say.
"I thought that you two were the dream team" She says.
"Saif..." Safi says. "Are we..."
"Yeah, we're okay now. Tasha is a friend" You say.
"Ah, sorry" Tasha says. "I don't believe we've been properly introduced. I'm Tasha Polovi, otherwise known as the Traitor"
Tasha extends her hand, and Safi responds by mumbling something as she falls asleep on your shoulder.
"She's uhh... a little tired" You say.
"I can see that" She says.
>Ask where you're going
>Ask what she was doing here
>Ask who is driving this thing
"Where are we going?" You ask.
"My... house" She says.
"You hesitated there. That kind of bothers me" You say.
"I am unaccustomed to living in a house" She says. "I used to make myself a temple, but such things have stood out too much in the past few Blood Moons"
"Are you always a real estate agent?" You ask.
"Landlady" She says. "Last couple times I was here, owning land was something that made you noble. Now it's money or something, so I've been working on that instead"
"Why did you still buy the land then?" You ask.
"By the time I learned that owning land didn't make you any more important, I already had several buildings" She says. "I was disappointed, to say the least"
"Huh" You say.
You let the conversation die off as you check out the back window to see if anyone is pursuing. Still nothing, thankfully.
"So" Tasha says. "You get it on with the young lady yet?"
You whip your head back around.
"Oh, that look" Tasha says. "You did, didn't you?"
"It's not that" You say, as you pull out your cellphone. "You just reminded me that I should let her know what's happened"
"If you're worried that she's in danger, don't be" Tasha says.
"Why?" You ask.
"Your apartment was probably only targeted because you're the only one dumb enough to not have any defenses" She says. "In fact, I'm surprised that this is the first time you've been hit"
"Yeah, well..." You trail off as your phone starts ringing.
"Saif?" Abigail asks when she picks up.
"Heyyy" You say. "Is everything alright over there?"
"Yeah, just a bit of an awkward conversation with mom and dad" She says. "How about over there?"
"My apartment was just attacked" You say.
"WHAT?" She shouts. "Are you okay? Is Safi okay? What about Moriarty?"
"Everyone is okay" You say.
"Meeow" Moriarty says.
Abigail lets out a sigh. "Thank god..." She says. "What's happening now?"
"Tasha swung by and saved our asses" You say. "We're on our way to her house now"
"Oh" She says. "What should I do now?"
"Well, I would certainly advise against going to my apartment" You say. "It's currently a mess of broken glass and bullet holes"
"Yikes" She says. "Any idea who did it?"
>Mention the sigil they wore
>Tell her to stay put
>Tell her to come by later
"No, but they all had a sigil. I've seen it before but I don't know who it belongs to" You say.
"What did it look like?" Abigail asks.
"Like a gold triangle that's missing its bottom" You say. "I called it a peak, but-"
"Sacred Mountain" She says. "You were attacked by Sacred Mountain"
"Is that who that was?" You ask.
"Yes" She says. "I'm surprised you're still alive. Those guys are not slouches"
"Well... they might've been gauging my ability when they were in the Arena" You say. "I have improved significantly since then"
Thinking back, that was the night you first got into contact with the Scholar... who you then discovered was living next door.
"Good point" She says. "I guess their info was a bit flawed"
"It won't be next time..." You say.
"Not if you're living with a goddess" Tasha says.
"Right" You say. "You should come by. Your house is probably pretty well protected, but..."
"But you want me with you" She says. "Where abouts is it?"
"Hand me the phone, I'll give her directions" Tasha says.
You hand the phone to Tasha, and she talks to Abigail for a minute or so before handing it back.
"Okay, I should be all set" Abigail says.
"Cool" You say. "When will you be coming by?"
"Later" You say. "Still more awkward conversation to be had with the parents"
"Good luck" You say, pausing before adding. "I love you"
"I love you too" She replies.
You hear her blow a kiss into the phone before she hangs up.
"You two are simply adorable, by the way" Tasha says.
"Oh... shut up" You reply.
The car rolls up to Tasha's "house"...
It's fucking bigger than any other house you've ever seen. Bigger than Abigail's and Claire's houses combined.
"Impressed?" Tasha asks.
"Sort of" You say, shifting Safi in your arms to make carrying her more comfortable. "If you were a man I'd say you were compensating for something"
"I'll take that as a compliment" She says. "Come on"
Tasha leads you up the long stone pathway leading up to her front door. You see the limousine keep going up the roadway into her garage.
"How do you even have a house this big?" You ask.
"I've been here longer than most of the other gods" She says. "But then, I keep a more careful eye to this world"
>No wonder Kyla didn't like you
>Are pets allowed?
"Why?" You ask.
"I'd grown rather attached to it- or rather, to its people" She says. "I enjoy the fact that a single human can be intelligent, creative, strong, and still manage to be a complete idiot from time to time"
"I feel like I'm being insulted..." You say.
"Relax, darling. I meant it as a compliment" She says. "But aside from that, humans have accomplished some very interesting things that make them worth watching"
"Like what?" You ask.
"Space flight, for one" She says. "Drawing power from nothing but light and heat, connecting the entire world to one another, time travel, storing a human mind on a hard drive, the list goes on"
"Hang on, has someone actually managed time travel?" You ask.
"Yes" She says. "You did"
"Wha- but that experiment was a failure" You say.
"It was" She says. "But it was also a success. You did get back, didn't you?"
"Yeah, but then-"
"Then you were transported forward, yes" She says. "But you did go back, and that is what's important"
"And then I never tried again" You say.
"Yes, I know" She says. "You gave up. A pity"
"How so?" You ask.
"You betrayed yourself when you decided that was a complete failure and gave up on it" She says. "If you remember nothing else, dear. Remember that when no one is opposing you, your only enemy is yourself. If you accept defeat when you have not been beaten, then you're letting the weaker you win and becoming weaker for it"
Tasha winks, and continues up the path.
You take a moment to shift Safi again before following.
You meet Tasha at the front entrance, with Safi in your arms and Moriarty padding along beside you.
"Welcome to my home" She says. "Any questions before we go in?"
"I got one" You say. "Are pets allowed?"
Tasha smiles, and goes down to pet Moriarty. "No, but I will make an exception for Moriarty here" She says.
"Oh, thanks. I-"
"Because Moriarty is not a pet, is he?" She asks.
"No, I guess not" You say. "Is the difference that big?"
Tasha chuckles. "Back in the old days, when familiars were more common, calling someone's familiar a pet was a great insult"
"Wow" You say.
"Moriarty is a part of you" She says. "Were I to ask you to part with your hands before entering, how would you react?"
"I'd probably be pretty pissed" You say.
"And that is why I will not force you to part with your familiar" She says. "Or your sister, for that matter. You do seem to have a lot of parts, don't you?"
"Seems so" You say.
"Well then, come in" She says.
You go in the front door, and you're kind of dumbfounded. The interior is not what the exterior would suggest.
The walls are all stone
It's lit by pyres
There are religious figures and symbols carved into the stone walls
"I thought having a temple stood out too much" You say.
"On the outside" She says. "The inside can look however I want it to"
You sigh. "At least tell me you don't have like... stone chairs or something" You say.
"Why would I have stone chairs?" She asks. "Then I'd have to sit in them all the time too"
Tasha is about to add something to that, when a young girl in a maid outfit scampers down the hall. She has black hair, pale skin, and purple eyes, and she isn't wearing any shoes or socks.
"Ah, there you are Zee" Tasha says.
"Sorry for being late" The girl says in a dull tone, you notice that she's slightly out of breath. "Shall I show our guests to the sitting room?"
"No, I can do that" She says.
"Very well" The girl says. "Is there anything I can get for you?"
>Ask Tasha where she found a maid
>I could use something to drink
"Tasha... this raises so many questions" You say.
"I know, cute isn't she?" Tasha asks.
"Like that, isn't she like... 12?" You ask. "Why do you have a 12 year old working as a maid?"
"You're not that old, are you Zee?" Tasha asks.
"I have been alive for approximately 4 months" 'Zee' says.
"Did you... create a person?" You ask.
"Yes" Tasha says. "I always make Zee whenever I come to Earth"
"But why?" You ask.
"That's a long story" She says. "I may tell it later, though"
You feel something tugging at your sleeve, and look over to find 'Zee' still standing there.
"Oh... uhh, I guess I could use some water" You say.
'Zee' nods and turns to Tasha.
"The usual, darling" Tasha says.
"Very well" 'Zee' says, before scampering back down the hall.
"Come on, my sitting room is this way" Tasha says, as she turns and makes her own way down the hallway.
>I'm gonna need to hear that story
>You make her every time?
>What happens to her when the Blood Moon ends?
You follow Tasha into the sitting room, and find a spot where you can set Safi down. Then you sit right where you did when you were in your apartment, letting Safi rest her head on your lap.
"How long is she going to sleep for?" Tasha asks.
"A while" You say. "She hasn't been able to sleep for a few days, so I'd rather not wake her if I don't have to"
"Do you think she might be more comfortable in a bed?" Tasha asks.
"No, I think she'd be more comfortable with me" You say. "No offense, I'm sure your beds are comfy"
"They are" Tasha says. "You can stay here for now, if you want. Though I'd rather not put you up forever"
"That's fine, thank you" You say. "I'll probably be needing a new apartment... maybe I'll have to leave the country at this point..."
"I wouldn't worry about that" Tasha says. "For all their idiocy, the Coven has its uses. Given that Sacred Mountain was involved in this attack, I have no doubt that there will be a cover up"
"Well that's a relief, at least" You say.
"And as for finding a new place, I have a few that are pretty affordable" She says. "But we can talk about that later"
'Zee' scampers back into the room with a tray in her hand. She walks over to you and hands you a glass of water, then she walks over to Tasha and hands her a glass of wine.
The way she looks sort of reminds you of someone, but you can't quite seem to put a finger on it...
"Thank you, dear" Tasha says, as she ruffles the little maid's hair.
"I'll be nearby if you need anything else" 'Zee' replies, before scampering back out of the room.
You watch her go, and then turn to Tasha. "So what happens to her after the Blood Moon ends?" You ask.
"I 'absorb' her" Tasha says. "Making her flesh and memories my own, so that I can make her again with those same flesh and memories when the next Blood Moon rolls around"
>Who does she remind me of?
>Why not just make a new servant each time?
>If she has her old memories, why does she think she's only 4 months old?
"She kinda reminds me of someone" You say.
"Short, purple eyes, black hair" Tasha says.
You furrow your brow as you think. There is someone that fits that description...
"Kyla" You say.
Tasha smiles, and takes a sip from her wine glass. "Bingo" She says.
"Why does she look like Kyla?" You ask.
"I made her back before I knew Kyla" She says. "I saw her when she had first been made by the Creator, and I decided that I'd try my own hand at it"
"At... creating a person?" You ask.
"Yes" She replies. "Shoddy work, I'll admit. But she was alive"
"Shoddy work?" You ask.
"My attention to detail was lacking so she doesn't age, she has no genitals, and she is almost incapable of showing emotion" She says. "But on the bright side, her not aging is nice because that means she gets to be cute forever, she doesn't really needs those dirty parts, she still feels emotion, and she has proven herself to be quite the mage, though nowhere near as potent as the original..."
>What kind of magic?
>How do those things count as 'details'?
"The original?" You ask.
"Ah... that would be the long story" She says. "The original was a bit better made than the one I have now... She was... I was unable to bring her with me when Kyla forced us all off the planet..."
"What happened to her?" You ask.
"She died" Tasha says. "Many people died at the end of the Golden Age. You may scoff at Golden Dawn's ideals, but you don't know the times that they were born from. After we were forced to leave, things became harsh"
"I could imagine" You say.
"Could you?" She asks. "There was about... 5 days where people were unsure about what had happened. Once it was clear that we were not coming back, there was panic, and then there was anger"
Tasha shifts herself and takes a sip of her wine before continuing.
"They went for their Kings first. The Palaces were ransacked. Buildings that had stood for hundreds of years were burnt to the ground" She says. "They went for the Temples after that. Priests and Priestesses who once held respect were slaughtered, raped, sold onto slavery..."
"Zee was spared the worst of it, but she was still sold" Tasha says. "You see, she was a skilled naturomancer. She used to tend the gardens of my temple. They used to say that only the goddess of nature had a more beautiful garden... but because of her talents, they used her like a farm animal. They..."
Tasha stops and reigns her emotions in, as even you can hear the anger seeping into her voice.
"They worked her to death" She says. "And she was not alone in that regard. In just a few months the greatest civilization ever to grace this earth descended into savages who would slaughter each other over scraps of mud"
"And it was those brutal times that gave birth to the Golden Dawn" She says. "The few who actually knew what happened grew to hate the Guardian, and rightfully so"
"Because Kyla did nothing" You say.
"Precisely" Tasha says. "My own mistakes had made her hate us all for our meddling, to the point where she refused to intervene even as her own people were slaughtering each other in droves"
"We haven't exactly come a long way since then..." You say.
"The methods have evolved, but the slaughter remains" She says. "There may be kindness in the hearts of a man, but cruelty is in his nature"
"You could say the same about the gods" You say.
Tasha smiles. "That you could" She says. "I enjoy talking to you, Saif. You have a frankness that I find refreshing"
"It's easy to be honest when you honestly don't care what you say" You say.
"It's not that" She says. "I suppose I've gotten too used to being revered by those I speak to. It's nice to be hated, for once"
>I don't hate you
>You earned it
"I think hate might be too strong of a word" You say. "It's more that I just don't care what you think of me, so I don't really watch what I say"
"Ah, there's that honesty again" She says. "Speaking of hate, I hear you had some fun today"
"Some fun...?" You ask. "Ah, right"
"How did it feel to put a close on that?" She says.
"Pretty good, to be honest" You say, giving Safi's hand a squeeze. "Doing it right in front of Abigail's parents probably wasn't the best idea, but it feels good to be whole again"
"Oh!" She says. "That reminds me. Now that the Hart boy is dead, his house is going to be up for grabs. Zee!"
After a few seconds, you hear the patter of Zee's bare feet on the stone floors. When she enters the room you notice that she is no longer in her maid outfit. Rather, she is dressed as a chef now.
"Yes?" She asks.
"Oh, good. You're already starting to cook" Tasha says. "If you have a minute, could you bring me my work phone? I have some calls to make"
"Roger" Zee replies, before scampering back out of the room.
"The Hart house isn't being passed down to someone?" You ask.
"Nope" Tasha says. "No next of kin, no will, no nothing. Closest thing to an inheritor that he had was a steward, who was a slave"
"You sound like you've done your research" You say.
"Oh, please" She says. "You don't become rich by not preempting opportunities. I've had my eyes on that house ever since that boy became a Champion"
Before you can answer, Zee comes back in with Tasha's phone.
"Thank you" Tasha says. "Excuse me, this shouldn't take too long"
After Tasha leaves the room, you sink back into the couch.
The only sounds you can hear are the crackling of the fires that light this place, and Safi breathing. It's sort of a calming combination.
You end up leaning your head back and closing your eyes, before the patter of footsteps draws your attention back to the room.
You feel your water glass leaving your hand, and look down to see Zee holding it.
"No spilling" She says.
"Oh, sorry" You say. "I forgot it was there"
"No problem" She replies.
This is kind of awkward.
A beeping from outside the room draws her attention, and she gives you one last glance before running off... with your glass...
A few seconds later, she runs back in and puts your glass on the table next to you, then she runs back out.
You chuckle at the spectacle, as Tasha pokes her head back in.
"Sorry dear, this is taking a bit longer than I thought" She says. "Feel free to occupy yourself"
"Oh, okay" You reply.
Tasha leaves, and you-
>Try to locate Moriarty
>Read up on Familiars
>See if you've got any books on the end of the Golden Age
Literally don't give a single shit about the end of the golden age, not relevant to anything unless we're going to travel all the way back then and convince kyla to make things not shit.
You think back to when you went through the Archive with Abigail, and think about whether you had anything on your new enemies.
You think you did...
Still better to check, so you draw out the Archive and pull out a book.
"The Sacred Mountain" You say, reading off of the cover. It's not really a book, but more of a collection of information on the organization itself.
According to this, they used to worship the Guardian. Until about 150 years ago when there was an internal divide. The Sacred Mountain that is best known today are those who abandoned the worship of the Guardian, and instead devoted themselves to bettering humanity by 'trimming the fat'...
Those who continued in the old ways remained on the mountain, continuing their worship and their fight against Golden Dawn...
This all sounds familiar.
This all sounds very familiar.
The mountain. The Sacred Mountain. It was your mountain. The one that you used to climb every morning to watch the sun rise.
They raised you for the war against Golden Dawn. They were training you for this Blood Moon. It's almost comedic how you still wound up fighting for the Guardian even after all that's happened...
So they're killers AND fanatics. One or the other would have been bad, but both of them together is even worse.
And on top of that, Judge and Muse now know that you aren't as weak as they thought you were. When you meet them in the arena, they'll be better prepared.
A part of you wants to go in next time you see them, to show them how little you appreciate being attacked in your own home. But you know that's probably not the best plan...
Better to fight them when Claire is there so you can have some "back up". You don't think you can count Claire as an ally, but you think she'd be willing to work with you... if only so she can kill you herself...
You look at the ceiling and sigh.
Things have become a bit simpler now that you have Safi back, but not by much it seems.
You aren't alone in here...
You look down and see Zee standing directly in front of you. You try not to look surprised, but your face betrays you.
"H-hey... what's up?" You ask.
She eyes you curiously. "You are distressed?" She asks.
"No more than usual, given the circumstances" You say. "I'm actually feeling pretty good, since I got to get rid of someone who's been a thorn in my side for a while, and get my sister back"
"Okay" She says.
"So what brings you back in here?" You ask.
"Oh yeah" She says. "Supper is almost ready. You might want to wash up"
"Am I... dirty?" You ask.
"Yes" She says.
"Really?" You ask, as you bring a hand up to check. Sure enough, it comes away dirty. "How come no one told me?"
"I thought you knew" She says.
"I probably should have" You say. You were kind of in a firefight before you came here. The dirt on your hand looks a bit like drywall dust...
Come to think of it, you probably should have looked yourself over. Your shirt is torn, and you have a few cuts on your torso and arms from jumping through the window. Safi looks fine though...
"Is there a bathroom I can use?" You ask.
"One moment" Zee says, before running out of the room.
About a minute later she comes back, no longer dressed as a chef. Instead, she seems to have put her maid outfit back on...
"If you'll come with me, I can show you" She says. "I can also have a change of clothes made ready for you, if you'd like"
Ugh... clothes. With your luck that grenade probably destroyed your dresser...
"Is there a problem?" Zee asks.
"No... it's nothing..." You say.
You slip out from underneath Safi's head, and replace your leg with a pillow. "I'll be right back, okay?"
"Don't leave the refrigerator open..." Safi mumbles.
"I'll take that as a yes" You say.
>Change of clothes [y/n]
>Do you always change outfits like that?
>Are you the only one who works here?
You follow Zee out of the room.
"So do you always change outfits like that?" You ask.
"What do you mean?" She asks.
"Back there, you left and changed outfits" You say.
"The job was different, so I got into the right uniform" She says. "Is that not what people do normally?"
You stop yourself before replying, as this is a conversation you do not want to get into. You get the feeling that you could end up being convinced to do things her way, and that would not be a good thing...
"Here is the washroom" She says. "Will you be wanting a change of clothes?"
"Yes, please" You say.
"Understood" She says.
Zee bows before scurrying away. Seems like none of her uniforms include shoes...
Once she's gone, you shut the door and start discarding your clothes. Your only dress shirt is completely ruined, but you might be able to save the pants. After looking yourself over, you see that the only wounds you sustained from the fight were the scratches you got from jumping out the window.
Fortunately, they aren't very deep and they're quickly sealed up with a bit of regenerative magic.
With your wounds healed, you turn the shower on.
As you step out of the shower, two things become clear.
1- Tasha's shower has a lot more kick than yours does.
2- Zee is sneakier than you thought.
When you come out, a fresh set of clothes is waiting on the counter for you. You dry yourself off quickly and put them on. Simple jeans and a t-shirt... both of which fit you perfectly...
Did they just have these laying around?
No socks, though. Which is fine. The floors here are pretty warm.
"Meew" Moriarty says, greeting you as you step out of the washroom.
"Hey, fuzzball. Where'd you get off to?" You ask as you pick him up and rest him on one hand so you can pet him with the other.
"He was exploring the house" Tasha says.
You turn to face her. "I figured" You say. "Find anything interesting?"
"Mee" He replies.
"A hidden torture chamber?" You ask. "Well that does sound bad"
Tasha laughs. "No, I'm afraid he didn't find the torture room" She says.
Tasha laughs again. "Relax, darling. I was only kidding" She says. "Physical torture isn't my thing"
"Y-yeah... right" You say.
"Anyway, dinner is being served" She says. "Come on"
You follow Tasha to her dining room, where you see Zee (dressed casually), Safi, and... Abigail?
She must have arrived while you were showering...
>Ask Safi how she's feeling
>Ask Abigail how it went with her parents
>Ask Zee what uniform this is
Abigail stands up as soon as she sees you, strides around the table, and kisses you.
"Hey" She says.
"Hey" You reply. "I take it things with your parents went well?"
"Well enough" She says. "They're just... worried"
"Rightfully so, you are involved in a fight to the death after all" You say.
"I guess you're right..." She says.
You both head back to the table, and you sit down next to Safi. Abigail sits on your other side.
"How are you feeling?" You ask.
"Weird dreams" She says.
"I know how that feels" You say. "Still tired?"
"Ahem" Zee says.
"Yes, but hungry too" She says. "More hungry than tired. So I'm awake until I'm not hungry, then I'll sleep again"
"Good plan" You say.
"More importantly, how are you?" Abigail asks.
"Still alive. Beyond that..." You shrug.
"Ahem" Zee says.
"I'm glad you're still in one piece" She says. "Even if you can die... it's still not a healthy thing to do often"
"I've gotten used to it" You say.
"That's not a-" Abigail begins.
"AHEM" Zee says again, finally drawing attention to herself. She looks a little frustrated.
Tasha lets out a giggle.
"Oh, sorry Zee" You say. "What's up?"
"Dinner is served" She says.
Tasha snaps her fingers, and several dishes appear in the middle of the table. A very tantalizing smell fills the room.
"How did you do that?" You ask.
"I'm a goddess" She says. "Now start eating before you ask further stupid questions"
"Can't argue with that logic" Safi says.