PREVIOUS THREAD: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/45201058/
CHARACTERS AND PLACES: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19gNVgtevar647l4ZumUaVH6GlJzvxLlDNKaH8DrQMWE/edit?usp=sharing
WEBCOMIC 'CAUSE Y'ALL ASKED: http://wildwestscifi.net/gallows-humor/13683-gallows-humor-prologue
You are Brianna la Croix, journeyman necromancer, and these stairs are a lot harder to climb drunk. It's a good thing you've got Amy and Jewel on hand, 'cause this was a /poor idea/.
Somewhere along the way, while Nathan was catching his breath, Amy put Sir Fetch on her head and your familiar keeps fixing Jewel with the most over-the-top looks at random. The assassin stifles her giggles whenever she looks up to see the bird's exaggerated expression of shock.
"Hey Nate," you slur, gesturing. "Just one more flight of stairs to the top."
"So," Fetch intones, with deep gravity. "It has come to /this/."
Jewel loses it laughing.
Though everyone's having a good time, you're fairly certain that going to see Cherry drunk ranks somewhere in the region of using someone's dead sibling as a marionette in front of them, so the four (living) members of your band decide to find a clearing in the Lichyard and camp out. Fetch and Kat sit on watch while you enjoy your pipe and Amy sets about making food.
This hangover's gonna suck.
> Tell a story
> Talk to someone (who?)
> Go to sleep
'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy your journey through the archives, anon. I'm taking critique if you have any; if not, I hope you find somethin' to read that you actually enjoy.
I may not be able to update again before work, folks. I'll try, but, y'know. No promises.
As suspected, update's gonna have to wait until after Gainful Employment. Vote'll remain open until a little after 8 PM EST.
As always, questions, comments, discussion, and criticisms remain welcome. I'm gonna reiterate that last one, 'cause I did just ask an anon to expand on his critique and there's not a lot of need to jump down his throat for it, aight?
Thank you all for reading and participating!
So like, instead of actual flaws having some negative effect I feel like most are usually nipped in the bud, not by player input, but because you have either Bri of Fetch or some other 'wise' person give a chiding lecture before anything happens/before things get out of hand.
Hmm. Thanks for the input; I can see where you're coming from.
In other news, that feel when you wrote your schedule wrong and showed up an hour early. I'll be updating just after 9 PM, and I'm sorry for the mixup.
I also feel we were kind of handed an out for Nathans leg being crippled right away, and there hasn't really seemed to be any mechanical effect on him participating in the fighting despite being recently crippled.
Just to give another perspective on this, I don't think that kind of thing is necessarily bad.
Most of the time when I read a story, characters who should know better /allowing/ flaws or disagreements to spiral into something horrible really pisses me off. The fact that Vox's characters are more-or-less halfway intelligent enough /to/ nip that shit in the bud is a breath of fresh air.
If you want characters acting stupid, getting in shit for it, and then alternating between wallowing in their stupidity and futilely trying to improve the situation, check out Planefag's Kant-o-Celle Quest, or Deculture's Magical Girl Noir Quest. Plenty of examples of flaws having negative effects and what should be reasonable people instead being gibbering idiots over there, even independent of the players' own stupidity.
Well, no, in that case I feel it was fair. It does make sense for there to be a forge beast in the Mines after all, and honestly all the luck in the quest shouldn't come just from the dice rolls.
That awkward feeling when I like KCQ.
Alright folks, shift is starting. I'll update just after 9; if you still have discussion or critiques, please feel free to share. I'll address what I can on my break.
The chiding lectures, as they have been presented in this quest, have either been wrong, off-kilter, over the line, or fucking stupid.
Maybe your personal experiences have been kind of shit?
ehhh, here we go.
"Going around behind Brigette's back to help her out isn't necessarily good either, you minx. She's a grown-ass woman and it's not your right to dictate what she does or doesn't do. Being there to help? Great. Being supportive and concerned? Also great. Treating her like she can't handle her own problems and needs a fucking babysitter? Less great. Next time I catch you doing that shit I'm going to dump you in Split with River and make you help her for a month so you can see what it looks like when the situation is /actually/ so fucked that only outside help will resolve it. We clear?"
Over the line
Chiding lectures don't work if you're an ass about it. Which most people are, because they're more interested in making the person feel bad than in explaining why they were incorrect.
From my own personal perspective, I have an incredibly difficult time actually recognizing when I'm in the wrong unless I can sit down and actually /talk/ to the person I'm having a disagreement with. And I've noticed the same thing in reverse; believe it or not, there are plenty of people out there who are perfectly reasonable when you aren't riling them up with an argument.
So saying Vicky was right to be worried but it wasn't okay for her to try to solve Brigette's problems for Brigette without Brigette's knowledge or input is 'over the line' and 'stupid'?
...are you aware of how healthy human relationships work?
I can maybe see your problem with the threat at the end, but that came across to me more as hyperbole for emphasis than an actual thing, and even if it was I doubt that Brianna would be so goddamn stupid to do it without Brige's say-so, which Brige would never give.
Are you aware of how healthy human relationships work?
Engaging the problem directly is NOT always the best option, no matter how many times romance movies may try to tell you open and honest communication is key.
It is in the long run.
But more often than not looking to a friend or an outside influence/mediator/someone with better perspective for advice or help is understandable.
The fact that both you and Vox and Bri don't understand this makes me doubt your own life experiences.
> scold or rebuke.
"she chided him for not replying to her letters"
synonyms: scold, chastise, upbraid, berate, reprimand, reprove, rebuke, admonish, censure, lambaste, lecture, give someone a piece of one's mind, take to task, rake/haul over the coals;
So your complaint is that the person wracked by guilt who sees us as an authority source and possibly a saviour should refuse to listen to us because we aren't giving her a compliment sandwich when she's sneaking around behind her lover?
Or that the person trying to save the dungeon should always be perfectly polite and proper no matter how exhausted they are, or how petty the bullshit they're being given is?
Anon, I think you might have been coddled as fuck if you've never had someone correct you like this before, and if think you've never deserved it.
The amount of righteous fervor in how right you think you are in your own goddamn post showcases the exact problem I'm talking about.
If you think this is how communication works, you have some problems.
Here, I'll link you to>>45257506
So you can stop making baseless assumptions and claims.
> Engaging the problem directly is NOT always the best option, no matter how many times romance movies may try to tell you open and honest communication is key.
Romance movies pretty much never do this, in fact I would say the majority if not nearly all of them rely on poor communication to create the kind of conflict and tension required.
So, you don't understand how human relationships work OR how romance movies work, is what I'm getting out of this.
Engaging the problem directly isn't always the best thing, no, like say when you're both fighting and stop dealing with the problem and start just fighting then you need to back off and cool down. But that was completely not the situation here where someone was coming around and asking us FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION ON THEIR BEHALF TO SAVE THEM FROM AN AWKWARD CONVERSATION WITH THEIR SO.
And looking for a friends opinion is pretty much what Victoria was doing there? So I'm not sure why you're suggesting doing what she was doing as an alternative to what she did.
> Thinks tone policing is a real thing that people always do IRL
I'm saying it's less believable to have characters always be perfect, than it is to have them make social faux paus like this.
Think of Brianna as a tired doctor who is burnt out and probably dealing with PTSD and then has people coming and asking for relationship advice AND being fucking stupid about it.
> The amount of righteous fervor in how right you think you are in your own goddamn post showcases the exact problem I'm talking about.
None of your post is an actual answer to mine, you're just tossing out statements at this point and making accusations.
Your concept of idealized social interactions always occurring must cause you a significant amount of dissonance IRL.
>FOR DIVINE INTERVENTION ON THEIR BEHALF TO SAVE THEM FROM AN AWKWARD CONVERSATION WITH THEIR SO.
That's not what happened though.
Victoria realized Brigette was going through some major fucking problems.
Both Lora and Bri are people who are her friends/know her well/have already made a decision to be involved with her life and asked them to help out or handle things she felt unequipped to deal with herself.
The fact that Lora is a divine agent is actually rather unrelated.
Again, only if you're an ass about it.
You can scold someome without grinding them into the dirt, and 'real, helpful' lectures don't have to be emotionless. Notice that Bri has never gone into full-bore castigation; she explains herself thoroughly, gives the other person a chance to explain themselves, points out when they did something right, etc.
I was only recently able to start speaking to my brother again, after several years, because we had problems with one another that we never directly confronted, that just kept growing worse and worse, until it reached a point where he tried to stab me.
Outside mediation DIDN'T help, before or after that little incident. Calling him up and hashing things out directly, while keeping our tempers in check, DID.
I'm willing to acknowledge my bias here, but in my life, I have rarely seen any relationship, of any kind be it romantic or plationic, go anywhere when the people involved depended on outside sources to solve their problems for them.
But its not really being treated like its as social faux pas. It's being treated like this is the right way to go about things. It really isn't. Maybe it's unrealistic to have a character go 'woah, this is not the proper way to go about things' but like, then we're in agreement that Brianna isn't right here in giving a chiding lecture?
Like you said, Vicky came to Bri for help. So Bri is going to help her, even if that means calling her out on being a fucking moron for going to Bri for help before even trying to talk to Brige.
I never said she was right to be chiding about it. But it's not like people don't give chiding lectures IRL and given Bri's life I can see how she would be predisposed to them. If you've ever worked with specialists, then you should have experienced this. And the fact that it's a chiding lecture doesn't mean that she's wrong, just that she's being kind of an asshole.
As for people taking that sort of thing, sometimes they'll get angry. Other times, especially if it's something they already feel guilty about and it's coming from a perceived authority figure, they'll let it slide.
I'm not saying that it's "right" as in it's the best tactic to take, I'm saying that it's a common thing to have in normal human interaction.
And often times people do let stuff like this slide because it's not worth having a huge fight about unless it's ongoing and consistent, or groundless.
Neither of which has applied yet. Also, they're kind of occupied with more serious concerns and stresses than being polite as possible.
I would like Bri to get called on her "I'm the responsible one and that means I'm always right" but the fact is that when she DOES fuck up, she's just as harsh to herself as she is to others. And she's only harsh when she's correcting people, and even then not always.
What, you expected us to NOT shitpost for the next 8 hours?
> Fucking people talking about tone-policing and the meaning of the word chiding
I like to alternate between making reasoned posts and calling people a faggot, personally, so stop being such a little bitch about this and just don't post at all.
Do not respond to bait, unless you're just shitposting as well.
Victoria shrugs. "You can always fob the lamia off for a bit until you can consult with the angel yourself." She sighs and quietly pulls a dagger from her boot sheath; she toys quietly with it, more to occupy her hands than anything else. "I don't ask you for your sympathy, Brianna," she murmurs. "I...I suspect that you, too, will out-live me. At the very least, your line, and your heirs, will do so. Can I ask you to look after Brigette? She has Lora and the Caretaker for company, and the old lich has been very understanding, but..." she sighs. "Without real living company I doubt she'll last with her sanity. And the staff of the Atheneum will not be kind to her. Please. You fought to save her. Don't leave her to rot."
You suck a quiet drag on your cigarette.
Can I remind you all that this was the request? 'once I'm dead make sure she's okay.' Something we sort of just accepted. If we were going to give her the chiding lecture about not going behind people's back, why did we not do it then.
Yeah, just bailing on your relationship and giving up like it's already over wouldn't upset someone who lost everyone she loved in a flood or anything.
Oh, and THIS is the next post after what you posted http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/44953714/#p44953823 from http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/44915312/#p44941216
>"I saved her. The proverb goes that it makes me responsible for her, but I'm a little more responsible for her than normal in this particular case," you tell Victoria, your voice soft and understanding. "No one ever became a good person by getting the evil beat out of them. And...honestly, I wouldn't have fought for Brigette if I thought she was a bad person at heart. Lost? Yes. Responsible for heinous crimes? Certainly. Evil? Not so sure."
> Victoria looks down at her feet. "I could only wish she was here for you to say that."
> "Wallowing, is she?"
>"Like you would not believe."
> "I buried an entire town by myself. I lived in the town. Try me."
> Victoria winces and gives you a brittle, sympathetic smile. "Fair. Th-"
> You hold your hand up. "Don't thank me yet. Actually, just don't thank me. This isn't a favor, for you or for her. This is for me." You take off your hat and set it on your knee. "This is for me not being the person I know I could become. You understand?"
> "I understand," Victoria murmurs. Nathan and Scribbles come back, the Hero smiling broadly with the flush of victory high on his cheeks while the lamia scrawls furiously in her book. Amy starts serving out the breakfast while Scribbles catches up to her own listening; you take a peek, and the prose is surprisingly detailed and elaborate, and you can almost hear Nathan saying the words.
>Your author friend has a good memory, it seems.
Because at that point in time we didn't know that neither Lora nor Bard were aware of how Victoria felt. Bri was under the impression that Lora was back sliding and being overly harsh to Bard without realising. Then we find out Victoria had never brought her concerns to Bard let alone Lora.
>Yeah, just bailing on your relationship and giving up like it's already over wouldn't upset someone who lost everyone she loved in a flood or anything.
But Victoria didn't even do that.
The request was' I will die and Brigette will live forever'. Brigette is sad. Once I'm dead, make sure Brigette is alright. This is a problem that Victoria is almost solely unable to handle.
And what would bringing this up actually accomplish. This problem is all about after Victoria is dead. Being the best girlfriend/wife you can be is unrelated to immortality of one person.
I really think the chiding lecture at the end was uncalled for because this seems like something Lora NEEDED to be involved in.
Which requires Brianna talking to her since Brianna saved Brigette and has the ear of the Angel.
Again, the chiding lecture wasn't about going for outside help.
It was about going for outside help WITHOUT TALKING TO BRIGETTE ABOUT IT.
Even if it wasn't something Brige could have directly dealt with, it was something Vicky should have at least informed her she wanted to do.
Yeah, and her response to that was the one I posted with the location of the posts themselves if anyone wants to look.
So I'm not sure where you're going with this? She didn't give her a chiding lecture in response to what you posted here >>45258066
Somewhere in thread 40.
There is a strong chance that talking about the immortality issue with Brigette would have made things worse. You can't really 'talk out' immortality and living forever.
Brianna accepted being an agent that would help out Victoria because it was her duty. She then gave Victoria shit for going to her instead of talking it out with Brigette first, which again, I'm arguing isn't really a viable option.
>you can't really talk out immortality
No, but you can say "Hey, I'm worried about you and this, I want to (get you or Brianna to) talk to Lora about it", because then Brige would have a chance to explain that (and why) she'd hidden Vicky's existence from Lora.
Again, our problem is not that she went to Lora/Brianna for help, it's that she went for their help without telling Brigette she was doing so. Thus causing us to stumble into the fact that Brige had hidden Vicky from Lora, which rather observably hurt Lora when she herself found out, and rather observably hurt Brige when she found out Vicky had gone behind her back.
So a lot of that is Brigette's fault for hiding Victoria from Lora, which she was unaware of.
Again, what was stopping us from commiserating with Victoria first before involving Brigette.
As far as I'm aware, the agent that has led to all these moments of going behind people's backs is Brianna getting involved, which she did of her own volition.
The request was "I want you to look after Brigette." That was Victoria's request. And we were the ones who decided to inform Lora first and then decided to inform Bri and Vicky about what we told Lora.
>what was stopping us from commiserating with Victoria
Not sure where the hell this comes from, but Vicky showed no interest in doing so, and we had no reason to assume that we should.
> the agent that has led to all these moments of going behind people's backs is Brianna getting involved
Haha fuck no. Victoria went behind Brige's back in the first place in order to gain our agency.
>we were the ones who decided to inform Lora
Because we wanted to verify whether she'd intentionally made it so that Brige would outlive Vicky or if it was an unintended side effect, and through that the manners in and level to which we could fulfill Vicky's request. If Lora had /intended/ a part of Brige's punishment to be the isolation Vicky was worried about, then (we and she) would be shit out of luck.
>Victoria went behind Brige's back in the first place in order to gain our agency.
Victoria asked us and our heirs to watch after Brige once she had passed on. These types of statements are said all the time in fucking fiction. This is not 'going behind a person's back'. This is a standard fucking request. You don't need to give a heads up to all your loved ones that you care about them enough to ask others to care about them when you are unable to. Which is the reality Victoria is currently living in.
Again, we were the ones who made all these choices without informing everybody in the first place
I could argue Brianna La Croix is the one in need of the chiding lecture about not going behind the backs of her confidants and friends just as much as you could about Victoria.
FACT: Brianna should have told Victoria she was going to inform Lora. I do not believe this happened.
FACT: Brianna should have asked Victoria how much Brigette already knew about this if she cared so much to give a chiding lecture in hindsight. (Hate to say this, but I could tell from the way that post was written that Victoria hadn't told Brigette she was making this request of us, I just didn't think this was some betrayal like some of you are acting it is)
Brianna is projecting her own fuck ups onto an individual who made literally the most basic of human requests.
"Care for my loved ones"
Now I have to go, so you get to get the last word in. Enjoy it.
Thanks! Being able to read all the posts really contexualizes it. I was looking too far back at the original post.
Victoria deserved some shit for going to her first instead of talking to Brigitte about it. Yeah, we probably should have gotten her to do that before talking to Lora, but we also didn't know that Lora had feelings for Brigitte so it made it a pretty risky situation when we brought it up and put us on the spot.
And she gave her shit right after giving Brigitte shit, right before they started fighting about Brigitte not telling Lora about Vicky. So that way they don't have to resent the other person for pointing out what's wrong and the matter is also dealt with and they can move on.
And as for the tone, like I said it's believable not ideal, which in my opinion is better. We just fought a war and had some drinks. Also they're being frustratingly stupid and putting us on the spot several times because of it.
>Brigette's gaze flicks from you to Victoria, then back. "She was worried about me?"
VICTORIA NEVER TOLD BRIGETTE SHE WAS WORRIED ABOUT HER.
/That/ is the crux of the problem we're having, and the crux of the 'chiding lecture'.
Victoria decided, rather than informing Brige that she was concerned about her, to assume that Brige was just always going to be like that, and that if Brige didn't have somebody caring for her after Vicky died then she'd just keep spiralling into a worse and worse state.
We told her that doing so, that making that assumption, was fucking stupid even if her intentions were good.
The fact that she came to us and made the request wasn't bad. The fact that she did so without talking to Brige about Brige's problems /was/.
>>45250377 → #
>Going around behind Brigette's back to help her out isn't necessarily good either... Being there to help? Great. Being supportive and concerned? Also great. Treating her like she can't handle her own problems and needs a fucking babysitter? Less great.
>putting us on the spot several times because of it.
they didn't fucking do that, we volunteered several times.
We volunteered to deal with the wallowing brigette.
We volunteered to tell Lora
We volunteered to tell both Brig and Victoria.
I honestly don't know how you did not know that Victoria didn't tell Brigette she was worried about her. That was obviously implied in the way the dialogue and the request was written. If you didn't pick up on that, I'm sorry, but you're being dense as fuck. That was when the chiding lecture about not going behind someone's back should have been given.
ANd you're acting like not immediately telling your partner you're worried about them is some betrayal. It is not. It is not only normal, it's okay. You don't need to give them a heads up on everything, especially when you're unsure of how to handle the situation yourself. Most people are not trained fucking mediators or psychotherapists. Brianna apparently appears to be. And she did not advise having Victoria meet up with Brigette.
She said she'd handle it and then proceeded to fuck everything up.
If you want to both agree that Brianna sucks at handling relationship problems, then fine, we're in agreement.
But the universe and y'all are acting like Brianna is handling this correctly in any way shape or form, which she isn't.
Chiding lecture was uncalled for and Brianna needs to check herself before she starts stomping on people because they care enough to tread on fucking eggshells with a depressed immortal.
Well, you're apparently the only person here who thinks that way some I'm going to stop giving a shit about your opinion.
You apparently have a problem with getting called out on your shit with your whole obsession with Chiding Lectures when any reasonable person would have just let this shit go.
So, there we are. I'd recommend Vox just ignores you, because my concern is you're going to try and obnoxiously push your view of how Brianna should change. Seriously, it's starting to come off like you're taking this personally.
Ironically, your entire series of posts is condescending and chiding.
> Most people are not trained fucking mediators or psychotherapists. Brianna apparently appears to be.
Honestly, she sounds more like someone who's had to deal with a lot of people dying to me. I could easily see her as a doctor or nurse who had worked in trauma. Or a paramedic, but that's really a whole new level of cynicism right there.
Also not everyone is a fragile flower who can't be called out on their failings.
I see you decided to double down on the condescension instead of trying to fix it, despite claiming it's not the right way to do things. How do you reconcile your actions with your stated position on that?
Or should we skip the walls of texr and just call each other faggots and move on then?
As a namefag, I feel qualified to call everyone a faggot if that'll start the healing process.
So, you're all faggots. So am I.
>Also not everyone is a fragile flower who can't be called out on their failings.
Its more about the hypocrisy/unwarranted aspect of the situation than it is that Victoria can take it.
Just because a trained boxer can take a punch doesn't mean I get to just punch Pacquiao for funsies.
Hey, if you want to keep it to the story, let's keep it to the story.
But if you're going to tone police my posts I'm going to give you an honest evaulation back, bro.
You're a giant faggot and probably autistic.
Bri gives a lot of people advise and calls out their mistakes to their faces, and some anons think that that doesn't normally help people and some anons think it does.
Personally I think it wouldn't work in almost any other situation, but Bri has gathered enough respect and is seen as such an authority figure to a lot of people that It's pretty reasonable that they'd actually listen.
I don't remember where in the archive it's been said, but a lot of other characters have said things along the lines of Bri becoming a living legend in the dungeon.
This. Exactly this. I get so sick of every character in ever movie, game, novel and tv show, ever, having the Idiot Ball welded to their fucking hand. It's /nice/ to occasionally read something where people /don't/ constant do the obviously stupid thing just so they can get the obvious bad outcome to milk some cheap drama out of the bad situation at the cost of completely wrecking any chance of having any sympathy for the characters. There's not even the dramatic payoff, cause there's no drama in seeing things go badly for someone if they so blatantly brought it on themselves.
That, and the criticism is valid if given rather abruptly. Denying valid criticism just because you don't like how it's phrased is a pretty stupid fucking thing to do.
Yes, I know a lot of people do it anyways, but like you said not when it comes from an authority figure.
I'm sorry, I don't really have a dog in this fight, but... am I reading correctly that the anon who complained about being tone policed is the same anon who's saying Bri should really watch her tone when she gives advice? Because if so, that is fucking golden.
So let's start with what I THOUGHT happened in the previous threads.
When Vic mentioned the stuff about punishment and Brig outliving her, I assumed that Lora specifically told her OR Brig and that the punishment was deliberate, and that Brig accepted it out of guilt and sheer drunkenness. Not wanting to leave it at that, but knowing that contesting the punishment is probably not going to work, she goes to Bri in order to promise to be there for Brig. Confused/Curious to know more about the issue, Bri goes to Lora to get more details on the whys.
Then we find out that Vic didn't talk to ANYONE about this, AT ALL.
Bri confronts her about this because that shit is not cool. It's understandable that she didn't communicate, but in this case she really should have. For Bri, before even acting as an authority figure, Vic's actions drew Bri into this mess.
Now as for Bri giving relationship advice....she really shouldn't be. But people go to her, or she's the only one who CAN. So even when she's aware that she can and will fuckup, she has to give support and advice.
Other anon here, I honestly don't give a fuck what vox does with bris personality, I'm just a lore junkie, and voxes lore writing is fantastic.
Granted, I was able to stomach PGQ because archelons lore writing was acceptable also, so as long as it isn't literally magical girls, shitty fan fiction, blatant smut, or all three at once, I'm pretty much fine
Haha wow. PGQ was painfully railroaded. Really, it belonged more on /lit than /tg/. Or /b/.
Personally I think Bri's personality is fine and the one anon is either retarded or baiting.
He's posting confused snippets and complaining about being condescending then being condescending, tone policing then complaining about being tone policed, etc.
And even then his original problem was that he didn't think it was "realistic" for people to act this way, or for people to listen to the advice even though it's "chiding". Which honestly is pretty fucking mild compared to how people often get dressed down IRL.
It's just one person who apparently has very limited interaction with other people. It was pretty funny when he claimed that Rom-Coms are based on clear and effective communication.
Not to mention that when we DID pull Vicky up short, it was right as she was starting to dig into Brigitte for hiding her from Lora, and we had enough of this insecure shit from the both of them at this point. They're adults, not pre-teen girls.
Yes, from a quest perspective it was a terrible waifu seeking piece of crap, however the world it built was an interesting one with a complex political dynamic, a relatively interesting relationship between species (albeit a bit fetish based at times, and an interesting formatting for how magic worked, although it was annoying at times. Still, fuck you archelon for all the shit you pulled, this includes his other quest which he half killed by doing what he did. Also, it belonged in /a/ if anything, it was a steriotypical anime waifu seeking thing.
You know, while a lot has been said on all sides of the argument, I'd like to propose an alternative interpretation of events: Bri, having just chugged a bottle of booze, was a bit more prone to bluntness and carrying on a lecture than she normally would. Like, the classic "An' YOU" moment in a drunken tirade, coupled with the equally venerable "and one more thing", where they just kind of keep piling on whatever complaints or observations come to mind, and the people listening to this take the empty jug of moonshine into consideration when they respond.
You know you're doing something right when someone analyses your quest like that guy just did. If you were actually fucking up it'd be people telling you to kill yourself. The only guy who did that appears to be an anti-quest thread guy.
Well, it was his test-run for his VN so yes it definitely belonged on /a/. As well as being 100% weeb. Goddamn it, who was it that ran that Devils Bible or whatever quest where he pretty much did a time-skip after the MC was forced to fight the BBEG and was pretty much railroaded into becoming their minion. And 10 years later time skip it's SURPRISE YOU'RE SUPER EVIL AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS HATE YOU.
Vox, you flatter us.
I'm glad you're embracing the shitposting though. Because I'm probably not going to stop.
Mentioned it >>45259843, don't forget we're drinking because we just had a small war and got pulled in to an assassin Brigitte had made even more difficult to deal with by turning her into a 14 year old.
Nothing shuts the salt-fag up.
Clearly he should be happy that a player is identifying so strongly with his characters that he takes umbrage on their behalf for a "chiding" lecture from the person who's saved them all several times and has a reputation for being both intelligent, honest, and caring in addition to being hypercapable. Oh, and who openly holds herself to the same standards as others.
I mean, she called Victoria a Minx! How rude.
Well, I never got to get to the other annoying Bri lecture, but I can't seem to find it. It was when she started giving Nathan shit for not wanting to hear about Amy's sexual history with Talon. Which was another stupid and wrong lecture out of nowhere.
"You like coffee?" you ask Jewel. She blinks when she looks at you; that pained haze floats across her eyes, not as bad as you've seen in your previous talks but enough that it colors her furrowed expression of puzzlement.
"Coffee...is...a weakness?" she hazards.
"Sure," you agree, with a shrug. "So is forgetting how to live instead of just exist. All that lives must die. All that is strong is also weak. Now, I'm not tryin' to guilt you into picking up my vice here, 'cause it /is/ a vice and it'll end up part of your life if you cotton on to it. What I'm saying is you've got the chance to pick your poison."
"I'll pass for now," Jewel decides. "...But thanks. It's not anything like liquor, is it?"
"Nah," Nathan assures her. "Coffee kicks you up. Liquor tends to bring you down."
"Preach it," you mutter, as you get some of the rose hip tea going for the four of you. Scurvy's a bitch, and you don't need it in your life.
After about twenty minutes, you have three things: tea, dinner, and enough of a sense of sobriety to want to /do/ something.
"Anyone want to hear a story?"
Instantly, Nathan and Amy's eyes are on you. Jewel looks at them, looks at you, then back at them. When her eyes go back to yours her expression is amazed. "Their ears are almost /erect/."
Out of the circle of firelight, Fetch says, "/Language/."
"...Did I just get bitched at by an undead cock?"
"Welcome to my life," you tell her. "Do you want to hear the story?"
"Is it the one you were telling me about earlier?"
"Nah," you say, shaking your head. "That's way too on the nose right now. Nah, I wanna tell you about necromancy and how it developed. Obviously a lot of it is ancient history, more guess than fact, but it's fun ancient history. Interested?"
"Sure," the assassin agrees.
>hiding things from you when you've gone behind their back several times?
This didn't happen.
Victoria did not 'hide' anything from Brigette.
Victoria has not gone behind Brigette or Lora's or Bri's back multiple times.
You take a long drink of your tea and set it aside. You grin, because you love this story, and spread your hands in the time-honored and heartwarming gesture most often translated as 'the story is starting', but which is more accurately expressed as 'shut the fuck up, I'm talking now'.
"Necromancy's an old word. An old practice too, but the original necromancers weren't really magic users, per se. They were people who spoke with the dead."
"What's the difference?" Amy asks.
"The difference is the First Necromancer lost a coin flip and was forced to negotiate with the rampaging spirit wrecking his family's house," you tell her, amused. "Legend has it no one was brave enough to talk to the dead before then, you see. They either fought them with iron or fled, and ghosts reigned over vast swaths of lonely land. But this adolescent loved his family's house and didn't want to leave it, and he'd lost the flip anyway, so he asked the ghost what she wanted. And she was so shocked that she /actually answered/. Different stories say different things about it, but all agree that the art of necromancy began when that kid shared his story and inspired others to set off and attempt to negotiate with the dead."
Jewel shifts in her place and gives you a curious look. "So how did necromancy become a sorcerous discipline?"
You grin. "It was a bit of a bitch, actually. For the longest time, people thought that some of the things we did to, or with, ghosts were just part of ghosts being ghosts, and that it was them extracting the toll of life. In a lot of cases the ghosts didn't know any better either. Eventually someone got the bright idea to try and ask around for more information on the dead. We asked the gods but the gods weren't talking about it. We asked the Secondborn and they didn't know anything either. Finally we went and asked the dead and it turns out we maybe should have just started there, because the truly Dead were eventually able to teach us the rudiments of necromancy. Early practitioners had a tendency to, ah...follow advice that made them keel over and die?"
Everyone else winces.
"It wasn't anything malicious, it's just that the Dead had no frame of reference for what would or wouldn't kill the living," you tell them. "Eventually we started, y'know, thanking them for their time and trying to feel our way along ourselves. It was a lot slower, but we got a lot less dead motherfuckers out of it. Unnnnfortunately that's also how we got zombies. Mortals, am I right?"
Amy snorts. "Somehow, I'm not surprised."
"You shouldn't be," you agree. "We do some brilliant shit sometimes. We do some stupid shit sometimes. Sometimes it's the same shit. I can't exactly sit on a high horse about zombies, I have undead hands in my backpack."
"Wait, /what/?" Jewel asks.
> Show her
> Lora scene
> Cut to the visit
> Why would we ever not take a Lora scene?
I dunno, I worry that I'm taking too much time on this interlude. It's been more main-segment-like in nature since we're getting some stuff done between Point A and Point Telling Nate The Bad News. So I figured it would be good to offer anon the chance to turn down the Lora scene.
You grin and flip open the top of your pack. "Vim, Vigor, introduce yourselves."
Jewel screams like someone jumped her in the bath when the undead hands hop out of your pack; she scrambles away in shock, staring at them with wide eyes. "/Holy shit why/?"
"I wanted spares in case Nathan tries to become the snake whisperer again," you joke.
"/Bri!/" Jewel protests.
"They're gonna operate Amy's new wings?" you offer.
Nathan and Amy are both dying of laughter while Jewel stares at your newest servants. You click your tongue, and they hop back into the pack.
"I'm a necromancer, Jewel. I make undead servants, it's part of the job description. Frankly, the shadow's a bit creepier once you know the details."
"...Do I want to know the details?" the assassin asks.
"Jewel, /I/ don't even want to know the details," you tell her. "Unless you're feeling a yearning to learn necromancy, don't ask."
"What if I was?" the teen challenges.
"Then we'd have a long series of conversations about what I'd expect from you, what you want your future to look like, and if those have anything in common," you say, seriously. "A lot of people get into necromancy for really shitty reasons, and if you're on that list I'm not gonna teach you a damn thing. Maybe, /maybe/ the Caretaker does, but I think you'll find that he's just as demanding a master, in his own way."
Jewel nods, thoughtfully. "I'll keep that in mind."
Eventually, everyone gets into their bedrolls - quiet agreement keeps the cuddle pile apart, since Jewel's here - and drifts off to sleep.
Lora's pacing the room when you get there.
Oddly, she doesn't seem upset, as such. Just energetic; she looks at you, nods, and keeps moving, brow furrowed in thought.
"Something up?" you ask.
"Not exactly, I just - ever since that fight, and starting Brigette's lessons, I've wanted to be /active/. The years of waiting were bearable but now this room that felt like a breath of fresh air when it was built feels like a choking vice. I want to /move/, to /work/, to /create/ or /shape/. I think some of it was being reminded of making the Dungeon - not that you did anything wrong," she adds, looking at you again. "Not what I mean at all."
"Not a great night for a conversation?"
"I can try," she offers, her wings drooping slightly.
> Offer to spar with her
> Offer to play some chess with her
> Choose another activity (what?)
> Talk to her about Natalia
> Ask how she's feeling
> Update her on the Brigette situation
> See what the hell happened to Jewel
As foretold in prophecy (see: my last post), I'll be leaving the votes open until morning. Archiving the thread now.
As always, questions, comments, discussion, & criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.
Thank you all for reading and participating!
> Offer to play some chess with her.
This is a small room and Bri is definitely not in a position to spar with an angel of death. (You don't wanna wake up with your soul beaten up either.)
> Talk to her about Natalia
She just told us how she's feeling, so trying to look together for weakpoints in Natalia's prophecies seems like a sensible thing to do. I bet Lora can appreciate some tactics talk, too.
So guys, what if amy is actually Nathens mother this whole time, she was under capture of the Vinter so its possible she killed amy and stole her skin during that time. It'd explain everything!
You stand, stretch, and then take up your sword cane. "If you're feeling stir-crazy, we could spar while we talk," you offer. "I'm not a swordswoman...yet," you add, guiltily. "Nathan wants to teach me but I kinda dropped his lessons the last time I had a chance to partake."
"I'd be careful of that, were I you. No teacher likes that feeling," Lora advises. "I'll admit that I haven't seen your weapon."
You draw the sword cane, and she gives it an amused look before taking up her blade. It shifts in her hand, narrowing into something a lot like your own.
"That's a neat trick," you note.
"One tries. Shall we?"
You've got enough experience in battle to know you're out-classed, rusty skills or no rusty skills. Lora's bigger, stronger, faster, and seemingly impossible to feint or distract. She walks you through the motions the way Nathan did, with gentle criticisms and quiet praise.
You look up at her on your first break, trying to find where you set your breath down. "You're sure you're feeling okay?"
"Not /okay/, but not /bad/," Lora admits. "Just...pent-up. That little taste of freedom and valor reminded me of what it's like to not live in a tiny room. Though having something to occupy my time again is helping."
"Yyyyeaaah," you agree. "About that - what in the fuck happened to Jewel? And how?"
"I assume Jewel is the assassin the Brigette reverted?" Lora asks.
"Yeah, that's her."
Lora grins. "I've been teaching Brigette to use and control the power she gained for herself. Jewel is an object lesson in the dangers of the Divine Tongue; without sufficient knowledge of the word's meaning, and thus preparation to contain it, it got away from its speaker. "Revert" is meant most fully to indicate changes wrought by the Tongue being un-done and restored to their original state, but once spoken, the Word must act. Faced with an out-of-context problem, it started reverting anything it could find on the subject of its invocation."
> That's /horrifying/.
> What else happened?
Headin' to work, folks. I'll see you after 8 PM EST or so.
Questions, comments, discussion, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated.
Thank you all for reading and participating!
Today is either going to be really slow, or really awful.
Art and science funding in public education. I couldn't give a flying fuck what group of highly agile millionaires triumphs over what other group of highly agile millionares while the ones not agile enough to play shoot off at the mouth about it.
I'm so happy to be free from this hell. Last year I was delivering pizzas.
>orders 40 minutes late before they get out the door
>full-retard traffic from the grocery store that shares the parking lot
>ruined pizzas stacked five deep on the floor because they're coming out of the oven faster than they can be boxed and fall off
>uncooked pizzas falling on the floor on the other end of the oven, because they're being made faster than space in the oven clears
>no fucking boxes for anything
>no fucking ingredients for anything
>fucking mexicans boxing in my car while they hang around and wait for their order
>finally get out the door with an order and have to wait fifteen minutes at the guy's door because he WENT FOR A FUCKING JOG
>he doesn't even tip
I cry for you even while I laugh at you.
Not giving a fuck makes it a lot easier. Not caring and fucking around when fucked with - even in a shit job - makes it a lot better and saner. Just be sure to be good at what you do.
The two of you face each other to continue your spar, and you're feeling comfortable enough to attempt to talk while Lora, not to put too fine a point on it, whips your ass like a mouthy stepkid.
"Did anything /else/ happen?" you ask, stepping aside from the angel's lunge.
"Well, yes," she explains. "The thing is, no Word can undo time. To return her to a previous state, it altered things about Jewel...but those things still happened, and she still did them, for good or for ill. She's not the person she was any more, but that person's shadow will hang over her life for some time to come."
"I could kinda tell," you admit, exchanging a series of blows. "It doesn't seem pleasant."
"It's not, but there are worse fates," Lora tells you. "In time, as she grows back into her own life, the old one will become more like a dream and less like a reflex. Additionally, the use of a Word creates ripples in the reality around it. For every action, including the act of creation, there is a reaction. I handled those already, however."
"What might happen if you're not on hand to take care of it?" you ask.
"What happens to the mountain when you subject it to the ceaseless gale?" Lora replies, with a shrug. "/A/ Word's side effects may not be notable. Many Words' side effects may not be notable. But they happen, and I have the long term to think about."
You're remarkably un-bruised for a sparring session, though when Lora did tag you she wasn't fucking around; you get the feeling that she was holding back as much as she thought she needed to and had to gently correct her way down to something more reasonable.
You sit heavily and let out a long breath.
"Thank," Lora says. "I needed that."
"Don't mention it," you say wearily. "Could Brigette use the Words to keep Victoria immortal?"
"She could," Lora answers, softly. "Victoria might not thank her for it, though. Mortals are /meant/ to die."
> Sounds like some bullshit to me.
Hey, if anyone would know and acknowledge this, it's a La Croix. Death is for the dead, and it comes for us all. Rich man, poor man, king and beggar. All are equal before the scythe.
You tilt your head, curiously, and manage to avoid scowling at yourself when you realize you're copying Amy's expressions. "Can you expand on that?"
"Death...is..." Lora gestures, frowns, and then finally stands. "Here, let me show you something." The angel turns around, and the section of her robes between her wings ripples and parts like water. On her skin, between her wings, is something you think is a brand at first, and then realize is a birthmark - five symbols, arranged in a star.
Lora turns and sits back down. "That's my maker's mark. Angels, as you know, are not born - we are created, each unique, each for a particular purpose served with and around our Choir. We are permitted to die, and sometimes it even happens, but our design does not assume death. Death is a choice for us."
"Implying we're non-functional without death?" you ask, quizzically.
Lora wobbles her hand. "You're made to die, yes. Immortality is something that mortals don't always or even often handle well. It takes a very...particular...mortal to adapt to eternity with something approaching sanity. Very often they take death as an option instead, when they can no longer bear seeing a world that doesn't resemble the one they remember from earlier times. A few don't, and my Choir watches them with interest. The exceptions to the rule tend to be very fascinating people."
"Do you think Brigette can handle it?"
"I don't know," Lora admits. "There is much about her situation that is unique. If she should choose oblivion, I will release her to it. Her soul can be re-forged."
"You still haven't told me what that means."
"Nor will I. It is not my secret to share."
"...Could I order you to?" you ask, quietly.
Lora's dark eyes flash. "You could," she answers, evenly.
> Final thoughts/questions?
I've seen Nate's hands after your fight. What does it take to block one of your swings, and what would it take for you to let go and go for (comparatively) less dangerous unarmed?
It's clearly something she doesn't want to tell us.
I think it's a bad idea. It's an interesting question, but not a needful one right now.
>Who did Natalia betray?
It's a darker thing to end on then I'd like this to, but again. Info, info info.
I like storytime with Lora. It's interesting to hear fables from the lips of angels.
>"I don't mean to be intrusive or take advantage, but the things this Master and his cronies are after is some seriously bad stuff. It's better I know now, rather than later when it could be too late."
You look at Lora's wary expression, at her tension and the sort of held-in-place anger you see on people expecting to hear something they'll despise, and you decide that, on this subject, you should tread carefully indeed.
"Has anyone /else/ ordered you to?" you ask.
"No," Lora confirms. "It hasn't come up. I've no doubt that if the Diviner or the Daughter had reason to suspect, they'd command me to divulge it. The Master certainly would, out of sheer curiosity if nothing else. It is not relevant to the others...actually, it's not relevant to any of them, though I'm sure the Diviner would spew it all over the world anyway, just to spite me."
"Sounds like a charming person."
"It takes a particular sort of mind to willingly claim the Broken Jaw as your domain, yes," Lora agrees. She lights a cigarette, and you take the time to pack your pipe and light the bowl.
The two of you puff quietly for a moment.
"Would it be too much to ask whose secret it is?" you say at last.
"I...am...unsure," Lora admits. "Not even in the sense of interpreting orders, but in the sense of respecting the privacy of others. I will say that of the two parties entitled to divulge this secret in good faith, the gods themselves - my creators - are one of those parties, and have chosen to remain silent out of respect for the other party. The knowledge is not dangerous, but it is...sensitive. I appreciate your tact in the matter."
"I understand about keeping secrets," you murmur. "...Mind, most of mine are awful shit from the dark days of necromancy, but..."
Lora grins. "What's a zombie army between friends, no?"
"That," you laugh in spite of yourself, "that's uncalled for. Hey, I've been wondering - how the hell did you cut Nathan's gauntlets? That's adamant, it's supposed to be uncuttable."
"It is adamant," Lora agrees. "Where you err is in presuming that my weapon is steel. It is not."
"What is it?" you ask, leaning in curiously.
"Her name is Grief. She has a sister blade - Requiem - that was given to another, in days long past. Requiem is far from here, but both were made by myself and a rather talented representative of the Secondborn. This isn't metal, heritor. It's folded sorrow, beaten into physical form. And you know the saying, do you not?"
"All are doomed to sorrow," you muse, thoughtfully. "What prompted you to have her made?"
Lora sighs, and twitches her wings. "You remember the lost empire, drowned beneath the waves for attempting to breach the Sunless Lands?"
"Aye," you agree. "The legends call it Folly, though I doubt that was its original name."
"It wasn't," Lora agrees, a little wistfully. "They made fine wines, there. I was tasked with its destruction. I needed a weapon that would enable it with a minimum of suffering."
You /stare/ at the angel.
"Enjoy your day, Brianna," Lora tells you, sorrow in her voice. "And thank you again for the spar."
You roll over and immediately attempt to die. Brigette needs to drink weaker rum, swear to the fuckin' gods.
> Talk to Jewel before you go to the shrine
> Proceed without comment; let her observe without bias.
Alright folks, I'm hittin' bed. Votes will stay open until the morning. I've got tomorrow and the next day off too, so, y'know, look forward to that. Assuming Shadowrun doesn't eat me but the bonus campaign is only SO LONG, right?
As always questions, comments, discussion, feedback, and criticisms remain welcome and appreciated. My thanks go out to the folks that have voiced 'em thus far, negative & positive. The time you've taken to offer review has been helpful to me.
Thank you all for reading and participating!
> Proceed without comment; let her observe without bias.
Hmyeah, let her stare at the proceedings. Get an impression of what is happening there. We can talk to her afterwards about what she thinks of it all.
Lora destroyed Atlantis? Nice.
>Proceed without comment; let her observe without bias.
Brianna may not get along with her cousins, bet they aren't bad people. Not really. Jewel can form her own opinion easily enough, though I would warn her about Cherry, given the little ghost tyke is probably going to bum rush the party to give Momma Bri a hug.
Bullet dodged, imagine, if someone had the ability and power to literally reforge peoples souls in the image of whatever the fuck they felt was useful. You could make an army of intelligent and fervantly loyal people who would obey you on a level comparable to a literal god on earth. You could take farmers and forge scholars out of them, or soldiers, or, hell, even adventurers and create an army that would truly be unstoppable.
Now, the even more scary question, if this ISN'T the masters end game, what the fuck is it?
Perhaps controlling the Dungeon, then wipe out the outside world. The Dungeon as his ark, he'll be the master of a new age, the whole world under his control.
But this is just baseless conjecture.
I'm betting that (aside from Nate's unfortunate but inevitable conflict with his mother) there's going to be some serious game-changing revelations delivered, and we might have to cross some lines to get the job done.
>You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
That doesn't require controlling literally everything, he probably could've done that with god speak alone, or hell, necromancy and some clever usage of elemental iron/wraithsteel.
>"Would it be too much to ask whose secret it is?" you say at last.
>"I...am...unsure," Lora admits. "Not even in the sense of interpreting orders, but in the sense of respecting the privacy of others. I will say that of the two parties entitled to divulge this secret in good faith, the gods themselves - my creators - are one of those parties, and have chosen to remain silent out of respect for the other party. The knowledge is not dangerous, but it is...sensitive. I appreciate your tact in the matter."
The second party is the Secondborn. Reforging something (a sword, for example) effectively amounts to making another of that thing (another sword) out of the materials of the old one. Do that to a soul, in the established cosmology of this world, and what do you get? The knowledge is "...sensitive" because of the Secondborns' collective inferiority complex over having been made out of leftovers.
Your groan wakes up the others, and after two tries you manage to make your sound of agony resemble the word 'coffee' enough for Amy to get the hint.
Jewel stares at you in fascination while you pick yourself up and cradle your aching skull.
"If this is what it's like when you drink, why drink?" the teen asks, curiously.
"Lots of reasons. Some of them are really shitty reasons that I need to stop having, but welcome to people. Sometimes we do dumb shit for dumb reasons and can't even be assed to excuse ourselves."
"Jewel, it is too early for you to be asking me to dig up all the graves I went and buried people in. Later."
Nathan puts a hand on her shoulder and smiles warmly. "Don't mind Bri. She badly needs her coffee in the morning, even when she's not hung over. Honestly I've gotten sort of attached to the stuff too. It was a good question but it's also one of those ones you ask when we're all marching back up to the Basement and bored as hell, yeah?"
"Sure," Jewel agrees. She looks up at Nate, blushes faintly, and looks back at the embers of the fire that Amy is coaxing back to life. Nate goes to help with breakfast while you give the teen a wry look.
"Cute, isn't he?"
You ruffle her hair. "It's a big Dungeon, Jewel. Let me guess - love was another one of those weaknesses you weren't supposed to have?"
She nods, making a face.
"Yeah, that's some horse shit right there. I'm gonna have some words with the Daughter when I get down there. I mean, obviously there's some difficulties with trying to romance /Nate/ but, y'know, he's cute. I'm not about to jump down your throat for validating my good taste."
"Am I being comforted or made fun of?"
"You say this like it can't be both."
Breakfast is a quick affair - Jewel turns down the coffee, though she does comment that the scent of it is enticing - and you set off for the family shrine in short oder.
Only a skeleton crew (heh) of Rose soldiers and the non-combat staff are present at the shrine, and its usual air of reverent quiet is more like the silence of emptiness.
"You're gonna meet someone here shortly," you warn Jewel. "She's a bit dead. By which I mean completely dead. I helped her out a little while back and she's sort of...attached to me. I need you to not panic."
"Is she particularly scary?" Jewel asks.
"No, but the people she hangs out with are."
"Mommy!" Cherry's voice calls to you from one of the trees in the shrine; the little ghost hangs upside-down from one of the branches, waving at you with her still perfectly in its somewhat messy, somewhat loose state in complete defiance of gravity. Her young friend grins at you from another branch.
"I'll give you some privacy," the other ghost says, before she zips off in a stream of mist.
Cherry drops to the ground and gives you a flying hug. "You came back!"
"I told you I would, Cherry," you reassure her, stroking her hair. "How's it been?"
"...I dunno," she says with a frown. "I like your family but a lot of times they're gone. They take turns watching me and playing with me but sometimes I wanna talk to someone and they're in their grave an' they won't come out."
> They're Dead, sweetie. They can't be here all the time.
> Cherry, this is Jewel. She's a new friend of mine.
> What've you done for fun?
You sigh and step back from Cherry so you can get a better look at her.
"Sweetie, they're Dead. All-the-way dead, like you're supposed to be. They can only visit this world."
Cherry frowns and looks down at the ground. "They tell me stories and stuff. Especially when Susie's gone. She always comes back lookin' like she had a bunch of fun without me, but she won't ever tell me what happened."
"She can't," you tell Cherry. "The dead aren't permitted to speak of the Sunless Lands, Cherry. You have to see it for yourself."
"I don't wanna be dead!" Cherry yells, stomping her foot. "It's not /fair/! I didn't get to do /anything/, anything at all! I didn't - I didn't get to go anywhere, or do anything, or have any /friends/, or fall in love or ANYTHING! It's not fair! I wanna /live/!"
You spare a glance for Jewel, and are surprised to find that the teen is blinking back tears. You sigh, dig out a cigarette, and light it.
"I'm sorry Cherry," you murmur, before you take your first drag. "The scythe doesn't know and it doesn't care. You're not going to make yourself any happier sticking around this world, little one. You belong in the Sunless Lands."
"Liar! You just don't wanna deal with me. Like /daddy/." Tears streaming from her eyes, Cherry goes running towards the mournstone, where her lantern still rests.
Jewel's giving you a questioning, tear-struck look.
> Go after Cherry
> Talk to Jewel
> Summon the ghosts of the shrine
> Go after Cherry
Tantrums are a call for attention, we should speak to her and deal with her, she does belong dead and its about time we try to deal with her. If susie enjoys it so much there clearly it can't all be terrible.
> Go after Cherry
I feel like this was a bit of a dick move on Bri's part. When someone's in Cherry's situation, acting like you don't care about them isn't likely to help.
We should probably say something along the lines of "I fucked up and need to go fix this." to Jewel.
> I feel like this was a bit of a dick move on Bri's part. When someone's in Cherry's situation, acting like you don't care about them isn't likely to help.
I...I was kinda aiming at "I know it sucks but this is the way it is." Can you elaborate on how you read it while I sit poised over my notebook and scribble furiously?
>> Go after Cherry
While yes that is one way to deal with tantrums, I have to say that one other way to deal with them is to quite frankly ignore them to show that tantrums won't get them everything they want. I'll have to side on your part in this situation though as being ignored is what the problem is rather than being spoiled(what tantrums usually end up about).
Though she is being a bit 'spoiled' in this instance as she's not wanting to die and has a litch-o-lantern to herself.
The way I'm thinking about it is a child throwing a temper tantrum. Bri can be blunt, but considering that she's talking to a six-year-old child who was abused and eventually left to die before being able to experience life, I thought she would have been more sympathetic. It just seems somewhat out of character.
She will? You'll have to refresh my memory on how as, I recall the lantern only just keeps her from 'dying' and granted her no real powers aside from that. I don't remember any horrible powers from her ever arising.
... You know what I just realized? We are standing with Cherry who never got to experience life, while standing next to Jewel who just got a second chance at it.
That's rather ironic.
Cherry is a little girl and sometimes "this sucks and it's the way it is" isn't what they want. They know that, but they want to be held and empathized with.
> go after cherry
Let's go listen to her.
> mfw possession is a thing we've done before
I mean, it would be pretty unethical to get cherry a part time living situation to deal with the things she missed out on, right?
You let your smoke out through your nose. "I'll be right back, Jewel. I need to go attend to my daughter. Try not to piss off anyone wearing a rose."
"/She's your daughter/?" Jewel asks, shocked.
"She adopted me," you explain as you walk towards the mournstone.
You find your lantern still sitting on it, filled with the foggy swirl of sobbing ghost child.
You sit down on the flat surface of the stone and set your hand on top of the lantern, and you wait.
"It's not /fair/," Cherry says at last, sniffing miserably. "What'd I do wrong?"
"You did nothing wrong, Cherry," you murmur. "You didn't deserve what happened to you."
"Then why'd it happen? Why'd I have to die?"
"I know it's hard to hear, little one, but everyone has to die one day. For some people, that day is early, and for some it's late. But everyone, even very old people, dies with /something/ left undone. Something's still there to do, to say, experience. The world is big, but our lives...our lives are short. There are children that die before they're born. There are old men who die with their families there to usher them in to the next world."
You set Cherry's lantern on your lap. "You shouldn't have had to die how you did. Your mother shouldn't have had to die before she could see you, and know you, and love you. And I'm very sorry that these things happened, but I can't make them unhappen, honey. All I can do is try to take care of you."
Cherry sobs softly. "I don't wanna pass on, Mommy. I'm /scared/."
"Does death really seem so bad? Susie seems to like it. Passing on doesn't happen all at once, Cherry. You'll slip to the Sunless Lands slowly, like you're falling asleep over many years, until eventually you're there, when you're ready. But to do that, I need to smash the lantern."
"If...if you did, could I come with you?" Cherry asks.
"That's...complicated," you admit. "Not just for me, but for you too. You might be forced to see things you don't want to see. I have a hard job, sweetie. Sometimes I do stuff that isn't awful, but it's hard to do - like when I'm treating hurt or sick people."
"Why would that be hard?" Cherry asks.
"It's easy when you give someone with the sniffles tea. It's a little harder when you have to ask someone to hold their guts while you're working inside of them."
"Oh /eww/," Cherry exclaims.
"Not just eww. They're dying there on that table, Cherry, and it's my job to save them. One wrong move and they're like you. How do you think that feels to do? Does that sound like something you want to watch? Do you want to have to see me hurt people? Kill them? Raise the dead?"
"I'm scared to just...drift," Cherry whispers. "I don't wanna not have a home. If you smash the lantern, I won't have a home any more."
"I could bind you to the shrine," you offer.
Jewel's voice, clear and solemn, interrupts before Cherry can reply. "Or to me."
> Jewel, you don't know what you're offering
> This was a /private conversation/, Jewel
> ...That's also an option, yes
>> ...That's also an option, yes
Yeah, let's fucking do it!
Also, I wouldn't say Bri being blunt as fuck to a six year old is out of character.
Sometimes she shits on people who really can't handle/ don't deserve it by accident. It's a character flaw and I like seeing it happen.
> Jewel, *do* you know what you're offering?
Like the first option, only not saying "no," more saying, "this would be a Very Big Thing, and no one should go into it without knowing exactly what they're getting into."
Well, it'd be giving Jewel the problem River has, though with an innocent girl instead of an ancient-ass trollfaced Dead spirit, for starters. Though Cherry could probably exercise some of her power on Jewel's behalf, the binding would make Jewel susceptible to possession by Cherry, voluntary or otherwise. Additionally, carrying Cherry around means Jewel pings on death senses and may be mistaken as a necromancer on the surface.
On the plus side, Cherry would begin dying as normal and, again, may be able to weild her power on Jewel's behalf.
> ...That's also an option, yes
> But wait until you have all the facts before deciding, BOTH of you, to make sure you both understand what that would mean.
Cherry has just as much in this as Jewel. She's a kid not a thing, and that means she won't want to be a monster.
I'll go with this too.>>45309134
> Jewel, *do* you know what you're offering?
I could see this like what we did with Kells
(or however its spelt)and the crocodile. It was his choice.
As long as they are both informed with what's going on and no 'bad' side-effects occur, I don't really see much issue here.
>> Jewel, you don't know what you're offering
She doesn't. I'm quite certain she doesn't. That doesn't mean "no," but it does mean "sit down and listen to me before you go offering to do things you don't understand."
>Jewel, *do* you know what you're offering?
Uh, yea, this. The first option, as written, is totally wrong: we really don't know that she doesn't know what she's offering, Bri doesn't know that much yet about the details of what all things Jewel does or does not have tucked away in her memories. But knowing what Jewel knows about this particular process just very suddenly became /very/ relevant, so we need to ask, and not go any further with anything until we get an answer.
Your certainty is completely unwarranted. Familiarity with possession is fairly uncommon among non-necromancers, granted, but she knew it was possible, in order to assert as much in making the offer, so Jewel at least knows something of what possession is and how it works. We don't know a lot of detail about every bit of info provided by Jewel's dream-memories of her old life. It's entirely possible that she could know a great deal about the implications of her offer. Or she might not. We need to know, and we don't know it yet.
You look steadily at the dark-haired teen; her expression is solemn, earnest, and without fear, and she holds your gaze quietly.
"Do you know what that would mean for you, Jewel?" you ask her.
"I'd be haunted, right? I wouldn't have much, or any, privacy, and Cherry wouldn't be able to move very far from me."
"She'd also be able to potentially possess you, and not necessarily need your permission to do it," you warn. "What if you two don't get along? What if you disagree on what you want to do, or where? What if, gods forbid given your current age, you want to /get laid/ and Cherry hasn't passed on yet."
Jewel stiffens - you can almost hear her biting back the automatic 'I'm not a fucking child - but remains resolute. "I can be patient."
"Jewel, you've been up and about for, what, eight days since Brigette got you? You're rushing in to this awful fast -"
"So what?" Jewel challenges, irritated. "It's my life, and I can do what I want with it. You've been telling me that, haven't you?"
"I've also been telling you that people do dumb shit for stupid reasons!" you protest.
"What, so this is more dumb than Brigette's drinking or your coffee?"
You take a deep breath and flick away the butt of your cigarette.
>...Alright, if Cherry agrees.
> You're gonna have to find another necromancer, girl.
None of these things, sadly. I wish I could afford an English major but after my last attempt at attending college was interrupted by moving across the continent (the commute is a bit of a bitch now) I'm reluctant to go into further debt. I got picked up early by a now-defunct writing group run by some English professors, a published author and a perpetual student and they were a strong, positive early influence on my writing. Everything else has been the result of experimentation, being willing to accept critique, learning from authors I read, and failing repeatedly.
Glad you like my writing, though.
>> You're gonna have to find another necromancer, girl.
Teenagers always think they know what they're doing, but they don't, and it's the job of a responsible adult to say no to stupid ideas. There's a reason that teens don't have all the rights adults have.
>This isn't something you should rush into especially because you're not a necromancer Jewel. I want you and Cherry both to think about this for at least three days, ok?
>Cherry isn't getting any deader and Jewel isn't going to disappear. If you two decide that this something you both want, before I bind anyone to anything I'm gonna ask that you get to know each other, see if either of you can stand constantly being around each other for an extended periodi of time and then if you're both still set on this option, I'll do it
>...Alright, if Cherry agrees.
I still feel like this is a stupid decision. Ultimately, it's up to Cherry, but we'd be chaining an un-aging child who never got to live to a newly teenaged girl who wants to live a new life. I have never witnessed with my own eyes two girls who would be "best friends forever" /forever/ with one exception.
>...Alright, if Cherry agrees.
Jewel might be a teenager, but she's got an old soul, literally. Cheery probably reminds her a but of her current situation and it's a but of a chance at personal redemption for her, in an odd way.
>You really want to do this? Fine. Hold onto the lantern for a week, don't let it leave your side, and then ask me again once you have some idea what you're getting yourself into. If Cherry agrees to it, of course.
>>45314947 is a good idea.
"I want you to carry Cherry's lantern with you for a few days before you're permanently bound to her. If you're really sure you want to be stuck with her permanently after being stuck with her temporarily, fine."
I know vox didn't ask for write ins, but this isn't a binary choice of absolute no or absolute yes.
>> You're gonna have to find another necromancer, girl. ...But alright, if you still wanna do it after talking to her.
Can I kinda combine them? Ask her to go see River and see if she still wants to do it after talking to someone who just got possessed?
>>You really want to do this? Fine. Hold onto the lantern for a week, don't let it leave your side, and then ask me again once you have some idea what you're getting yourself into. If Cherry agrees to it, of course.