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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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529070 No. 529070 ID: 8fb35b

thread 1: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/448327.html
thread 2: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/456798.html
discussion: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questdis/res/59466.html

I think it’s only been six days since I ran away. Counting the day I ran away on. I think the sixth day is coming. Maybe the seventh. I don’t even know anymore. After getting back to the House Doxedn city, Kehfn set me up in a real nice stranger’s inn and I passed out. This is the first time in a while I got to sleep in a real bed.
Expand all images
No. 529072 ID: 8fb35b
File 137511423840.png - (63.92KB , 500x500 , 144.png )

So I know I’m still in bed. I know I am.

I know I’m asleep. I know this is a dream. I know I’m not really in this forest.

But with how often dreambugs get into my dreams, I’m like, just a little uncomfortable. The forest is super-dark and really dense and I can’t see where I’m going, and I feel like someone’s watching me. Or like, chasing me. It feels like someone’s trying to find me.

No. 529073 ID: 8fb35b
File 137511427602.png - (92.40KB , 500x500 , 145.png )


Those are—yeah, those are the Family Hefehxn dogs that ambushed us a few hours ago. I remember them.

The girl’s pulling her neck-wound open and the guy’s got half his head missing. We uh. I mean, that’s what happened to them.

The girl gargles something out. I can’t like, understand it. It’s just a really sick, wet gurgling.

The guy translates it for me, though. “You killed us!

I mean Madohkikil and Laikadehn were the ones who killed them but, like.

Uh. I know I’m dreaming but.

No. 529076 ID: ca1c58

give 'em the finger and just say "fak u"

It isn't even a thing. I mean, maybe if it was people who you gave a shit about, but these dumb fuckers were trying to murder you and your face and grind you up into illegal drugs so you wouldn't even have a ghost, so like, who gives a shit if they're all pissed off or whatever. You shouldn't even really feel bad about it.
No. 529077 ID: cf49fc

"No, that was Madohkikil and Laikadehn. I killed the OTHER guys."
No. 529081 ID: 762100

can tombdog ghosts haunt dreams? maybe they are just having a bit of spiteful fun. If tombdog ghosts can't haunt dreams then maybe it is more SPOOKY DREAMBUG TRICKERY to make you spooked out ? ? maybe regretful ? ? ? but that would be silly because they were totally tryin to kill you and they even got one of your friends so whatev also is your nose maybe itching a little bit
No. 529083 ID: 60bf07

Tell them that they aren't even really the ones we fought, since they are in a dream and they aren't dreambugs. OR ARE THEY? (Seriously, those two might be GeofhBug up to a new scheme.)
No. 529084 ID: 5fd94e

I don't think it would be Dream bug trickery as it would not know the exact injuries......probably
No. 529086 ID: 60bf07

He doesn't have to if he can use a general idea get our subconscious to fill in the details for him.
No. 529089 ID: 9b37ac

Strong agreement with the earlier suggestions to tell them off. No need to reason with these losers, they attacked you and tried to kill you, and you don't actually CARE about these people. Show confidence and disdain, as if the image they are presenting is beneath you!
No. 529090 ID: 8fb35b
File 137511770943.png - (59.14KB , 500x500 , 146.png )

>I mean, maybe if it was people who you gave a shit about, but these dumb fuckers were trying to murder you… You shouldn't even really feel bad about it.
>"No, that was Madohkikil and Laikadehn. I killed the OTHER guys."
>Tell them that they aren't even really the ones we fought, since they are in a dream


“No no, not even!” I say. I put my finger up and get it all in the girl dog’s face. “You were trying to sneak up at us in the middle of the night to kill us and do who-knows-what after! I’m not even the one that killed either of you! On top of it all? You guys are just a dream, so slough off!”

I push past the dead dogs and keep wandering through the forest.
No. 529092 ID: 8fb35b
File 137511773309.png - (52.78KB , 500x500 , 147.png )

I run into another dead dog.


“Why did you kill me?” he asks.

Okay, this guy I guess I actually did kill. I stabbed him in Meandraxix’s house. But he was coming to abduct me or something, so. So.

“I was only doing what my family told me,” he whines. “You didn’t even give me a chance to talk. You took my whole life from me. Why did you kill me?”

What do I do about this one?
No. 529093 ID: 9b37ac

Strong agreement with the earlier suggestions to tell them off. No need to reason with these losers, they attacked you and tried to kill you, and you don't actually CARE about these people. Show confidence and disdain, as if the image they, or the dreambug, or whatever, is presenting is beneath you!
No. 529094 ID: 9b37ac

This third one is a bit tougher. But you can still deny the apparition the benefit of an answer, "I'm not in a point to give you a good answer on that, come back next night." is totally a valid answer. You should think on that when you are awake and don't have the apparition staring you in the face. Alternately, the reason I vaguely recall was that you thought he was coming to assassinate you, right? And had immediately received a warning to that effect? And when someone is going to kill you, the most effective way for someone untrained in fighting to neutralize them is explosive unexpected extreme force.
No. 529095 ID: a4b6b4

Sigh and say it was just business, yanno? Besides, you just lost your body-you can still serve as a ghost. It's a pity, but that's just how things ended up. You were in our way and well, we didn't see another option.
If we could have had our choice about it, you mighta only been disabled or something.
No. 529096 ID: a23afd

Okay this guy maybe you can feel bad about. You probably could've dealt with him without killing him- like, just plain running, but you panicked and chose the most violent way of getting away instead. Tell him you're sorry.
No. 529098 ID: ca1c58

you pretty much know for a fact that it was literally the only way to not be murdered yourself. The dream vision was all "only one path didn't lead to like, total darkness and such" (paraphrasing) so, you know, you wouldn't even have gotten to be a freaking ghost if he'd taken you. Tell him not to be a whiny butt baby. He was working for a criminal enterprise of evil badguys and he had to know this kind of shit could happen. baby.
No. 529099 ID: 762100

You were panicked, and trapped, and felt like if you didn't act immediately that even if ~he~ didn't kill you that he was going to take you to someone who was. He may have deserved better, but you can't waste time thinking about that; it's dwelling on things you can't really change or do anything about. His family is partly to blame, also, for not understanding how desperation affects people and that if they wanted to capture you without casualties they should have sent more than just one little nerdling to take down the great Sabhaxlia.
No. 529101 ID: 3e4b6e

You still have plenty of life ahead of you. Just not corporeal life.
No. 529102 ID: c95833

...I'm sorry. I was cornered, and afraid, and I didn't have a better option. I killed you because I thought I had to, not because I knew for sure you deserved it.

Besides, what would have happened if I hesitated? You had three relics. You could have out-stacked me. And if you'd taken me in, I would have probably been tortured for information, killed, and then made into copse paste. Your family would have made me disappear.
No. 529104 ID: cf49fc

"Your family told you to drag me off to be ground into chalky paste and eternal torment. Fuck you."
No. 529108 ID: d3f29d

It's unfortunate, but you believed it was him or you. If he had been in your place he would have done the same thing. Besides, he was armed.
No. 529114 ID: 929606

This is the dreambug fishing for information.
Once it has a better idea of exactly what you've done, it will be even easier for it to find where you're going.

Try lying about the circumstances surrounding his death. If he can't correct you, there's a good chance its the bug. Something feasible though..
No. 529118 ID: 8fb35b
File 137512150479.png - (64.71KB , 500x500 , 148.png )

> you pretty much know for a fact that it was literally the only way to not be murdered yourself. The dream vision was all "only one path didn't lead to like, total darkness and such"
> Alternately, the reason I vaguely recall was that you thought he was coming to assassinate you, right?
> He may have deserved better, but you can't waste time thinking about that
> Sigh and say it was just business, yanno?
> You still have plenty of life ahead of you. Just not corporeal life.

“Okay, look,” I say. “I had a dreambug imply that killing you was my only way out of that. Like, I’m sorry you weren’t married yet and stuff, but it was you or me. I don’t like that I had to do it but I did what I had to do. Besides, you’re a tombdog, you’re just a ghost now. You can’t have children but if you stay strong you can have a century of life ahead of you.”

> ...I'm sorry. I was cornered, and afraid, and I didn't have a better option.
> Okay this guy maybe you can feel bad about.

“… but I still feel bad about it, I mean. I’m sorry I couldn’t really think of anything else.”

I walk past him, still further into the forest. There’s like, some compulsion making me walk. It’s just what I know I have to do.
No. 529120 ID: 8fb35b
File 137512153981.png - (45.37KB , 500x500 , 149.png )

The forest is getting a bit darker, but not much. I don’t know, maybe I’m getting closer to the center, or just getting deeper, or the “sun” is setting or who the butt-relic knows.

And oh, of course. I run into my mother.

“Sabhaxlia,” she says. Her voice is firm and terse. “What are you doing out here?”

“I’m dreaming,” I say. To her, and myself. I know this is a dream.

“Is this where you wanted to be with yourself? Those dead dogs back there—is that why you left? Is this all worth it? Is it what you hoped it would be?”


“You’ve doomed us. All of us. There’ll be no one left to look after the ghosts now. If House Geofahn can’t find you, you know their anger will turn on me, and your father, and the rest of us. Do you even know what they could be doing to me right now?”

I don’t think House Geofahn would actually hurt my family, right?

“All we asked was you be an adult and take responsibility for your family. To do what thousands of dogs have done before you. I didn’t run away from my responsibilities to this family, when I was the very last one alive. You insult everything I’ve done with my life.”

I try to talk but she isn’t done with me yet.

“Even if this family was collapsing, even if we couldn’t call ourselves a house anymore, folded into House Geofahn we could have saved every ghost that was left. We could have revived our history and you could have had a life without sleeping in the dirt and avoiding being murdered!
No. 529123 ID: ca1c58

But that guy was a butt!
No. 529124 ID: 762100

"Yeah but grandpa had extramarrital relations and abandoned those. Just trying to keep with tradition, like you wanted." though you probably shouldn't mention that it is the beggar :v it might still be geofahn bug trying to glean info
No. 529126 ID: c95833

...I'm sorry, Mom. I don't expect you to ever understand, but I couldn't do it.

Everything dies, in time. Even ghosts. Even houses. Even worlds. I couldn't keep ours going any longer.

I don't know what I want. This certainly isn't everything I hoped for. But I'm going to keep going. I can't turn back now.
No. 529129 ID: 3e4b6e

It was totally worth it.

Don't mention grandpa or Iaxio that is the worst idea. This is a dream, we must account for our words.
No. 529132 ID: bb8aa7

Things fall on their own.
I just think they're faster when pushed.
No. 529137 ID: 735f4f

Yeah don't mention anything about where we are or what we are doing. And avoid talking about "grandpa" or anything of the sort.

Just say that everything ends eventually. While you do not know where your choices will take you at least they are yours to make. Live or die your fate is in your own hands.

Then leave quickly because moms tend to talk to much and you don't want to get stuck listening to her all night.
No. 529138 ID: 9b37ac

Avoiding being murdered? Sounds like a suggestion to wake up to me!
No. 529142 ID: 57a559

You should have raised us better then huh? Given us a better education maybe, one that isn't just suited to getting on a nobles good side for marriage?

And don't you fucking talk about doing the selfless thing. You got to marry that damn stud of yours, you know, the one that decided selling everything IN the mansion except for the mansion itself was a good idea. The one who wouldn't understand family if the concept bit him on the ass because he fucking threw his family name to the side? Your mother and you were probably fucking ecstatic about that, such a fine man willing to abandon so much for his love. Your mother was all supportive I bet, you and her giggled about things, bought things, she talked to you about your feelings and concerns. Where the fuck was that with US? How could I give a single shit about you and Dad and the rest of this fucking family if it never gave a shit about me besides for my womb and ring finger?

You didn't teach us how to survive, you taught us to be a wife. The most useful skill taught to us wasn't even paid for by you probably, it was taught by a dreambug who cared about us. You and Dad could have just sold the mansion, got an easier to maintain cozy little house and buy a business while still taking care of the crypt. But no, we had to keep that fucking dying eyesore of a house for the most pointless reason. YOU SOLD ME, YOU BUTTJERK! SOLD ME OVER THAT FUCKING MANSION! SOLD ME FOR THE CRYPT! SOLD ME FOR YOUR LIFESTYLE! SOLD ME FOR THIS FAMILIES LIFE AND HONOR!

No. 529151 ID: 57a559

oh, and this was never a family, a family actually cares for each other. So I'm just carrying on the family tradition.
(Which is also a subtle reference to Iaxio without dropping specifics, in case this is another dreambug trap)
No. 529154 ID: a23afd

They won't hurt your family. They had nothing to do with you escaping. Anyway, tell her you'll try to find another option to save them. One that doesn't involve marrying that buttjerk they set you up with. Maybe you can find someone down south to marry instead?

Dude, harsh.
No. 529165 ID: 57a559

Before my computer crashed just before I was about to post my finished edited post, I had an even harsher one (it was long).
I said that Sabbs should burn that mansion down while her Mom and dad watches if she ends up marrying Geofahn.
No. 529170 ID: a4b6b4

Guys! The Dreambug! he's still around and he's probably trying to get a lock on what Sabhaxlia's like through this dream!
No. 529192 ID: 9ddf68

maybe replace dreambug with friends as if this is another dream trap they may us that against Maexiks

anyways your mom just said it herself, the house was dying and nothing we would have done would have changed that. So instead of trying to save a sinking ship that would only end with us sinking down with it we chose to leave the ship and try start anew. While I'm sure whoring your daughter out to save face is completely selfless We decided to finally live our own life, and no matter what happens, no matter what may come, at least we can say it was our own damn choice.
No. 529200 ID: cf49fc

"I don't care."

And just keep walkin'. That'll teach her how you felt when she decided to marry you off to some random guy!
No. 529221 ID: 8fb35b
File 137513051528.png - (44.61KB , 500x500 , 150.png )

> Just say that everything ends eventually.
> Everything dies, in time. Even ghosts. Even houses. Even worlds.
> Things fall on their own. I just think they're faster when pushed.

“Mom, and I know you’re not even really mom, but mom? Everything ends eventually. Ghosts die, houses fall, I mean we’re even living on a remnant of a world that’s dead. There isn’t a single house that’s lived forever. I’m not giving up my life to keep our house living for a little bit longer.”

My mother doesn’t buy it. “The house—the family—would have survived if you had sacrificed half as much as I had. Of course it won’t all last forever—but if you think like that, Sabhaxlia, really think it doesn’t matter because it will be gone someday—why do you bother staying alive, if you’ll be gone someday too?”

The forest gets a bit darker again. That’s. Ominous?

> While you do not know where your choices will take you at least they are yours to make.
> I don't know what I want. This certainly isn't everything I hoped for. But I'm going to keep going. I can't turn back now.
> So instead of trying to save a sinking ship that would only end with us sinking down with it we chose to leave the ship and try start anew.
> It was totally worth it.

“Mom, look. In the end, it’s not what I wanted. I don’t like how things are, I don’t like being scared and being on the run and feeling terrible all the time, and having my life in danger, but even if I end up dead in a ditch? At least it was my choice. Everything I’m doing is my choice. It isn’t the situation I want to be in, but at least I’m free to do what I think is right.”

She doesn’t say anything.

> "Yeah but grandpa had extramarrital relations and abandoned those. Just trying to keep with tradition, like you wanted."

I’m tempted to bring up Iaxio and granddad but like,

> Don't mention grandpa or Iaxio that is the worst idea. This is a dream, we must account for our words.

I gotta be safe if this is the dreambug messing with me again.

> You and Dad could have just sold the mansion, got an easier to maintain cozy little house and buy a business while still taking care of the crypt.

“And on top of all of it? You tried to keep up your reputation as a house and keep that alive more than you did the ancestor ghosts. If you’d sold the mansion and the lands and took up a house in the town we wouldn’t be anyone important but the ghosts would have all survived anyway! It isn’t my fault you made the wrong choice and want me to fix things for you!”

> Anyway, tell her you'll try to find another option to save them. Maybe you can find someone down south to marry instead?

“And maybe I’ll find someone to marry who’ll look after everything anyway, someone I want to be with! And last thing?”

> But that guy was a butt!

“That guy was a butt! I’m done, you’re done, out of my way.”

I push past mom and keep walking.
No. 529223 ID: 8fb35b
File 137513054771.png - (63.13KB , 500x500 , 151.png )

I come to a clearing. The dreambug sky is up overhead again.

The Geofahn dreambug is waiting for me in the center.

“That is how you really feel about everything?” he asks.

“I guess so,” I say. “So was that all you?”

“I only sent you the nightmares. You gave them the shapes they took.”

“So are you done? Do you get that you’re not going to convince or trick me?”

The dreambug is quiet for a while. “I had really hoped I could get you to come back to us.”

“Well, I guess you’re not gonna.”

I don’t feel anything keeping me anymore. I feel rested enough, too, I can probably be awake for the rest of the day. Do I have anything else I want to say to or talk about with the Geofahn dreambug?

Or do I just wake up?
No. 529226 ID: ca1c58

Moon him.
No. 529228 ID: cf49fc

Just tell him to go away. He's an annoyance. And trying to get us dragged off to a fate worse than death.
No. 529229 ID: 9ddf68

ask him "you're not going to stop following me are you"

and unless anything important comes up that you feel you should ask him I guess wake up and leave as I'm sure he is doing this to know you better to be able to track you better if he hasn't already tracked you down.
No. 529230 ID: 3e4b6e

So... seen any good plays lately? How's the weather, grey and wet?

But seriously Just wake up whenever you're ready to. Don't let his presence bother you.
No. 529231 ID: a4b6b4

Nah, just wake up. Maybe wave goodbye to the Dreambug.
No. 529232 ID: c95833

>I had really hoped I could get you to come back to us.
Look, whatever-your-name-is. I know you're just doing your job, and being loyal to your family. But I was never one of you. Not really. This isn't going to work. I'm sorry.


And then wake up.
No. 529233 ID: 735f4f

Tell him the best way to get you to come back is to let you decide on your own. Might never happen but you wont be forced into something.

Also the guy you were going to marry would have to prove he was worth it. The thing he did to try to impress you was stupid and childish. Maybe if he came after us himself instead of sending his goons we could respect him. If you are going to get married its going to be to someone you like not because of some arranged family thing.

Long story short tell the guy if he wants us that badly then stop being such a butt and come prove it by finding us himself. Also he should work fast because at this rate in 6 months we will be dead in the swamp or the queen of our own empire.
No. 529235 ID: 57a559

At least thank him for a proper opportunity to say no and explain your feelings. He's just a guy looking out for his house, he harbors no hatred for you, he only follows his duty and you respect that.
You don't care to insult the Geofahns. You just wanted a fucking choice, a real choice. It was never the Geofahns. It was your family. They don't deserve what you can give them. Not with the way they act or think. Geofahns should have just laughed in their pathetic faces when they were out peddling your ass. Your family has no honor or respect left.
No. 529238 ID: eaa372

Wake up, don't trust the dreambug while you're still in his territory. It's fairly likely that this situation will escalate further. Using the dreambug is House Geofahn's way of quietly suppressing defiance, the moment other houses find out about this their authority gets undermined and they have to use less subtle methods to deal with the defiance. Tell the dreambug to expect more trouble if House Geofahn tries to follow.
No. 529255 ID: a23afd

Tell him you're gonna find out how to deal with invading dreambugs, so if you ever see him again he'll be sorry.
No. 529256 ID: cf49fc

Don't, that'll give him an unnecessary advantage in future confrontations. Wake up. Now.
No. 529258 ID: a23afd

OH and don't forget to tell him that your relationship with Maexiks was not actually what he thought. You were just friends, and all that kissing was to freak him out.

What? How?
No. 529260 ID: cf49fc

If there's a Defense Method to protect against dream invasion, then there are counters. He can prepare, and potentially subvert any defenses. Maintaining an edge is more important than threats or bravado.
No. 529267 ID: a01b62

No. 529269 ID: 91c1b3

Go with this. The guy is doing his job and now is the perfect time to explain why you don't want to go there. (I don't support the laugh in their faces part though) Maybe mention that if they stop trying to abduct/kidnap you that maybe you'd eventually come back on your own. The way things are going now though, you'll never join them.
No. 529292 ID: 57a559

How about instead of saying that the Geofahn's should have just left your parents in the dust. I would at least like to establish our low opinion of our own family and push that perspective onto the Geofahn faction, so that they may better move on and possibly realize that Sabbs running away was them dodging a shameful bullet. Metaphorically. There's no honor in that house, and there are ghosts in there that just... you don't want them as part of the Geofahn's crypt. You just don't. Trust us, we're from that family. You don't want that dirt coming into your family.

And I don't just mean they'll make awful sports in the ghost cribbage games in those crypts. They don't deserve to fade away into nothing, because no one does, but... they don't deserved to be saved either. Your not going to support that behavior anymore, not from your family. The Tashikoxix have a history of this kind of thing, abandoning family. And I'm comfortable sharing with him that one fact. Because we're trying to scare him off.

The only reason to hunt Sabbs is because of the insult now, not to gain a good family member and a good crypt. It needs to be clarified the only insult intended was towards your own family. I mean, yeah, your fiance is very dumb and a bit of a jerk, but you don't hate him or mean to insult him, you just wanted a choice. And he wouldn't be it. Maybe another Geofahn, but not the one your parents paired you with. Your fiance probably cared a bit more about you than your parents, but went about it the wrong way, just like they did with raising you. You'd like to actually, you know, go courting a bit instead. Much better and fulfilling.
No. 529383 ID: a01b62

Also when you wake up Iaxio was touching your nose again so flail your arms at him in revenge
No. 529584 ID: 01531c

>You were just friends, and all that kissing was to freak him out.
Are you trying pull a double-fakeout to further confuse him? It's a bad idea.
No. 529585 ID: 01531c

>Trust us, we're from that family. You don't want that dirt coming into your family.
I can support this wholeheartedly
No. 529587 ID: 01531c

Sabhaxlia should totally hang out with Geofahn-bug right now.

She's in the right frame of mind to just hang out with someone quiet and sensible, at least for a few minutes.

"Know Thy Enemy"
No. 529589 ID: a01b62

Unfortunately, the better you know your enemy, the disproportionately better he knows you and can sic a bunch of Geofahn Housedogs on your ass. Skedaddle.
No. 529601 ID: 8fb35b
File 137521378202.png - (61.03KB , 500x500 , 152.png )

>At least thank him for a proper opportunity to say no and explain your feelings.
>Go with this. The guy is doing his job and now is the perfect time to explain why you don't want to go there.

“But thanks at least for like, listening to how I might actually feel about all of this.”

>Look, whatever-your-name-is. I know you're just doing your job, and being loyal to your family. But I was never one of you.
>You just wanted a fucking choice, a real choice. It was never the Geofahns. It was your family.

“I don’t even hate your house or anything, I just wanted to choose my own life. So. I’m gonna keep doing that. No matter how much you try, you’re just making me want to go back to you less.”

The bug says, “Do what you feel is necessary. I will do the same.”

>Sabhaxlia should totally hang out with Geofahn-bug right now.
>Unfortunately, the better you know your enemy, the disproportionately better he knows you
>just wake up.
>But seriously Just wake up whenever you're ready to.
>And then wake up.

… I have a lot of thoughts of like, saying more stuff to him. Try and get to know him better, or fake him out, feed him stuff, or just let my anger out on him. But in the end, too many of my thoughts are to play it safe and just wake up. So I’m just gonna do that.

>Also when you wake up Iaxio was touching your nose again so flail your arms at him in revenge

He what
No. 529602 ID: 8fb35b
File 137521381013.gif - (40.42KB , 500x500 , 153.gif )

I wake up flailing. Iaxio jumps back because that dingus really was poking my nose this whole time.

“Good morning!” he says.

I rub my face. The cut on my muzzle really itches, but we cleaned it and I guess all there is to do about it is let it heal. “Morning. Is it morning?”

“It’s closer to noon, but you needed your sleep.”

“Yeah well the dreambug still isn’t leaving me along. The Geofahn one. So every night’s turning into a fun adventure.”

“You can’t convince him to leave?”

“Haven’t had the luck yet. He’s really invested in bringing me back.”

“What a fellow! So are you awake-awake?”

“I’m awake-awake.”

“What are we doing today?”

It’s a good question. It’s almost noon but I have all of today to spend here, and all of tomorrow, too. The plan was to get to know McTrinkets a bit better, since I won’t be seeing her in a long while after this, and to find some solution to the whole dreambug-night-invasion-thing.

So, I mean, I guess I should do one of those things.

I can hop up to the Hefehxn manor where McTrinkets is staying—which totally isn’t weird at all with them trying to like, kill us last night—and we can busy around the city and enjoy ourselves without worries for once.

Or I can make today about trying to get rid of that dreambug, so I don’t have to deal with another nightly invasion thing. I don’t even know what I can do about him, but that’s why I need to find stuff out, right? Either Kehfn or Akilfhren Doxedn can probably point me on my first step towards figuring this deal out.
No. 529603 ID: cf49fc

We need to know about our destination. Let's chat with the Doxedns.
No. 529604 ID: ca1c58

If you can talk to both Doxedns about dreambugs then do that first. It's noon, and a proper date with McTrinkets should be in the evening anyway.
No. 529606 ID: f208be

Dreambug. The faster you get him off your tail, the less waves you'll need to make to steer clear of house Geofahn, since they can't forgive you enough to bring you in to get the crypts and what not, right?
No. 529607 ID: d3f29d

Take care of the dreambug situation first. Keep Geobug out, and get Maexiks back in. There must be someone in this city who knows how these things work. Marketplace, library, Tempurpedic store...

If you get to know McTrinkets better, who knows, maybe that could make it easier for Geobug to pinpoint your location. He's dangerous, and he's not going to just leave you alone.
No. 529610 ID: 3e4b6e

Deal with dreambugs. Visit Kehfn, he probably has more sway as the living heir.

Don't forget to hug your ghostbro. He's really only looking at/out for you~
No. 529903 ID: be1de0

Quick, Sabby, that dreambug knows a lot more about you, now! You need to do something unexpected to throw him off. Start making out with Iaxio immediately.

Afterwards, try to talk to Kehfn or Akilfhren and see if they know what up.

You can hang out with McTrinkets in the evening. Maybe get a little drunk. Stray close to where you're staying, and politely invite her to stay the night instead of stumbling drunkenly back to the Hefexn house.
No. 530003 ID: 8fb35b
File 137531093487.png - (117.53KB , 500x500 , 154.png )

“We’re definitely taking care of the dreambug situation first. We can go see if either of the Doxedn dogs can point us at a cure for my nightly invader.”

>Don't forget to hug your ghostbro. He's really only looking at/out for you~
>Start making out with Iaxio immediately.

Iaxio’s staring at me almost expectantly.

“What?” I ask. “Want a good morning kiss?”

“That’ll do it!”

“We’ll, it’s like, noon, so it’s too late for one of those.”

“A good-noon kiss?”

I flop my arm at him. I don’t even know how serious he is. Or like. How serious I am. There’s other stuff to worry about right now I mean.

The stranger’s inn is at the bottom of the big bridge up into the city proper, so it takes Iaxio and I a good bit of time to actually walk all the way up the thing. The sky is gray and drizzling lightly, just enough to keep the ground wet.

I buy a meat-bun from a cart outside the city gate for lunch and we wander our way through the maze of buildings until we reach to Doxedn manor. There’s only ghosts watching the big gate door today, but they seem to be ready for me and they let me in.

Kehfn and Akilfhren are playing a miniatures game. Miniatures are weird, because they’re originally a prayerman religious tradition that the birddemons turned into a game, which tombdogs turned into a different game. It’s doubly-foreign, but at this point it’s so popular around here you aren’t a real housedog if you can’t play.

So of course dad’s ghost made sure we played it for like, four hours, every day. I kind of hate it.

I interrupt their game and they don’t mind. We do pleasantries and stuff and then start talking serious.

“So how is everything going?” I ask.

Kehfn answers. “Family Hefehxn is cooperating well. It will be a few more decades before they can challenge us again. We didn’t reach it like I thought we would, but it’s the victory I had expected.”

I’m not sure that’s like, nearly as satisfying as the goal of “Destroy the entire family” I came at this with, but like, I guess that’s politics? I guess? Kehfn explains that House Doxedn is grabbing a lot of goods and properties from Family Hefehxn with the “surrender” deal thing so I guess it’s something. Also they won’t be trying to kill us. I think that’s what really matters.

“While I’m up here, I got a question. I knew most of what was going on because I had a dreambug-friend who was giving me sleep-time prophecies, but uh. There’s another dreambug who’s forced his way into my dreams and is trying to like, hunt me down, and I’m trying to figure out how to get him out. Would you uh. Any clue?”

Kehfn stares at me for a bit. “Oh.”


“I never took it seriously when people said strangers lived strange lives. I guess I was wrong.” Kehfn rolls stuff in his head a moment. “There’s a dreambug doctor who came into the city recently. He says he’s a physician, but if you’re having dreambug trouble, he might have some advice.”

Akilfhren chimes in. “You mean the one the Larkarden-Kilhren family was planning on running out of town? For cutting their kid’s arm off?”

“That’s how amputations generally go.”

“He had a broken wrist. Stranger, if you want help, check out the prayerman district, over by the north walls. I hear lots of dogs go to them and bribe their priests for blessings from their gods. They’ve been in this city for decades and haven’t had any mobs get riled up at them.”

Well, okay. I guess I can check out one or both of those things. A… suspicious dreambug doctor might know a thing or two about like, how anything dreambug related works, no matter how bad a doctor he is. The prayermen aren’t really at the level of dreambugs when it comes to dreams, sure, but I mean, if I’m dealing with foreign magic, I might as well get some more in, right?

Who do I check out, or who do I at least check out first? Do I want to ask Kehfn or Akilfhren about anything else while I’m here?

I’m probably going to have to pay for whatever cure I get—I have 120 points of currency with what I stole from Meandraxix and what Kehfn gave me last night. No one’s told me to give Meandraxix’s money back so far, so…
No. 530007 ID: a01b62

...but you probably should, anyway. She's poor and lives in a crappy, super-cramped house. So look, here's me telling you to give it back. Eventually. Most of it, at least. Before you leave.
No. 530008 ID: cf8f63

Bad Dreambug doctor or Prayermen known for working-
It's strictly a Dreambug problem, so another Dreambug is the guy to talk to I think.
No. 530011 ID: ca1c58

Eh, that's your money and you deserve it for almost being killed and sold out by her and all that shit. So keep it. Also go talk to dreambug doctor he seems legit.
No. 530012 ID: 5fd94e

Dream bug, If what he suggests or does feels off you can always back out.
No. 530013 ID: 9ddf68

hey no harm no foal, it's your money now. I really don't like how shifty the dream bug seems but hey at least he'll have first hand information on how to combat dreambug magic. Failing that lets try the prayermen since some kind of protection is better then no protection right?
No. 530014 ID: cf49fc

Provided you don't allow him to attempt surgery, I think the Dreamer is the better option. You can always have your friends kill him later if he does something stupid. Just make sure he targets the CORRECT one, not Maexiks.
No. 530022 ID: 6aaa9d

Why cant we just check out both?
Ask the Dreambug doctor for advice (hopefully get that out of him for free) and then go see about bribing us a Prayerman for a blessing.

But, uh, you sure the Prayerman gods' blessings actually work? And that their prayers work? OR their gods are real? We've seen proof of most everyone's religions working aside from theirs' so far.
No. 530024 ID: a23afd

I think visiting the dreambug might backfire. He appears to be unscrupulous so he might betray you to gain favor with Geofahn if he figures out what's going on.

Let's just see if the prayermen can give you a blessing that blocks any male dreambugs from invading your dreams. Or a blessing that lets you choose which dreambugs can do it. Or a blessing that lets you fight dreambugs in your dreams, so you can eject him forcefully.
No. 530066 ID: eaa372

Going to the prayermen for an alternate view seems like a good idea to make your future look more muddled to the Geofahn dreambug. Don't expect any priests to actually provide significant assistance but it seems unlikely that the dreambug could compromise you through the prayermen.
No. 530071 ID: cf49fc

My gods, he's right! Going to a Dreambug is the SENSIBLE OPTION!

Change my vote to the Prayermen, we cannot afford to do anything rational or sane.

I am being completely serious.
No. 530074 ID: 5fd94e

Vote change to prayer man now.
No. 530078 ID: d3f29d

Go chat up the prayermen.
No. 530089 ID: a01b62

Prayerman, by the way.
No. 530091 ID: 91c1b3

A Dreambug claiming to be a doctor (and failing horribly) that came into the city recently? That's kind of suspicious. Ask about his color/other physical descriptions. Go with the Prayermen first though.
No. 530096 ID: be1de0

Explain that you were thinking about going up north, but you've heard that Geofahn was going nuts up there, and you're curious what's up.

Also, go see Mantisdoctor first and get deets. Go see the prayermen afterwards if it doesn't work out!
No. 530167 ID: f0357f

Sab needs to ask for details or rumors about the dreambug doctor, like what house is he supposedly with.

Sab should also totally go to the prayermen, because Dreambugs know other Dreambugs, and if it's not the Geofahn dreambug, he'll still probably spread word about you via Dreambug Dream-Messaging.
No. 530500 ID: 8fb35b
File 137540772631.png - (160.00KB , 500x500 , 155.png )

The dreambug seems like the most useful guy to check out, but also the most risky. If he like, slips anything to the Geofahn bug, or is the Geofahn bug…

“Did either of you see the doctor dreambug?” I ask.

“I talked to him for a bit,” Akilfhren says.

“What color is he?”

“Huh? He was green.”

Okay, so it’s not the Geofahn but at least. I’ll still check out the prayermen first.

I get directions and head over in the direction where the prayermen live. The city is mostly the same all throughout—a lot of round and squared buildings, nestled together with accidental alleyways and roads. There’s the occasional open square or stone-and-dirt yard.

The prayermen area is like the rest of the city, but the buildings are all a lot more colorful. Domed houses with faded colors on their clay sides, rectangle-buildings with painted wooden supports. There are little shrines in the open spaces between buildings, but instead of housing corpse-relics they have statues of gods.

There’s prayermen writing around, too, on buildings and stuff, right up alongside tombdog writing. I can actually make sense of most of it, so that’s neat.

There are prayermen around here, mixed in with dogs. Most of the prayermen are wearing tombdog-style clothing, and a lot of them even have local colors. What conversations I hear are pretty much all in the tombdog language. The prayermen even have local accents. It’s pretty weird. I haven’t honestly ever seen many non-dogs before.

There are a bunch of shops for food or crafts mixed in among the homes. Some of the houses themselves have signs outside offering the services of the gods.

I wander around a while. It’s still drizzling, but my mantle is water-repellent so I stay comfy. Wish I brought my rain hat with me out from the inn though. Iaxio’s a ghost so he doesn’t get wet at all. I check out all the places there are to see, looking for something helpful.

Outside of a dome-house painted with bands of dark blue there’s a big plaque that says “Nel, Servant of Illosi, Mysteries of Night and Dreams Revealed, Open To All Mornings and Afternoons.”

Iaxio and I stop at it.

“That’s lucky,” I say.

“It reads like a scam,” Iaxio says.

“And the dreambug doctor sounded so much better. Let’s try it.”
No. 530501 ID: 8fb35b
File 137540775187.png - (83.12KB , 500x500 , 156.png )

We knock and the door opens. There’s a prayerman girl way younger than me behind it. She’s in tombdog clothes. She asks if we’re here to bribe the gods and I say that we are (I mean, I guess that’s what it’s called if that’s what they’re calling it, right?). She lets us in and takes us through the house. In cubby-holes in the wall there are little statues and stuff, instead of corpse-relics like you’d expect.

The girl leads Iaxio and I up a cramped ladder into the room at the top of the dome. The whole thing is painted really dark and there’s a big bed nestled in against the curve of the dome’s ceiling. There’s like… a big doll in the bed? It’s twice the size of a real person. It’s made of wood and cloth and has fake hair and stuff. It’s supposed to be sleeping I guess.

There’s a prayerman woman kneeling at the side of the bed. She has an animal mask on, made of actual animal fur and hide and it looks old and really worn.

It’s seriously kind of like—I guess not creepy, but it’s bizarre. I look at Iaxio and he definitely feels the same way.

Then the prayerman girl slips around the two of us. “Hey, mom, wait,” she says. “How long were the biscuits supposed to bake for?”

“Half an hour, dear. Didn’t you set the water-clock?”

“Yeah and it’s been half an hour and they still looked gooey last time I checked em.”

“If you keep opening the oven and poking them you’ll let all the heat out.”

“But how do I know when they’re done then?”

“When they look ready they are ready. Do you mind now, I have to…” The mother gestures at Iaxio and I.

“Yeah yeah,” the girl says. She slides down the ladder and closes the trap-door behind her. We’re left alone with the mother in the mask now.

“So uh,” I start.

“I am Nel, servant of Illosi, Goddess of the Night. Although we are in a land foreign to her, I am a chosen priestess and interpreter of her endless dream. Through me her powers can be worked, even here, even on you. Why do you come?”

Iaxio whispers in my ear. “This is such a scam.”

I brush his face away. “Well, yeah, okay. It said Goddess of Dreams, too, right? Because I’m having dreambug problems in my dreams.”

“Dreambug problems?”

“Yeah like. There’s a dreambug who’s invading my sleep every night, and keeping my other dreambug friend from contacting me. Is there uh. Anything you can do about that?”

She’s wearing a mask so I can’t see her face but it’s pretty clear she wasn’t expecting something like this. Her dramatic voice slips. “A dreambug is invading your sleep? And keeping you from speaking to another dreambug?”


She hesitates. I wonder what kind of things she’s usually asked to do. She goes back to her business-voice though. “I have only once before been called on to work against a dreambug. This will not be easy, but I can give you two hopes. I can intercede in your dreams and keep any unwanted invaders out. This I can do without worry—but this is a nightly favor I must pass to you, and cannot be sustained forever. In that time you can speak to your other dreambug friend and make what plans you can.”

She explains this is about 10 points of currency per night to do this. I have 120 right now, so that’s a maximum of 12 nights she can shield me. Wait, no, I bought lunch earlier. 119 points of currency. 11 nights.

“If you do not think there is any other solution waiting, I can enter your dreams on behalf of Illosi and attempt to defeat this dreambug. Illosi would glory at a victory over one of them—and never forgive a defeat. I put myself at risk to do this, but if I succeed, I can blind this dreambug to you forever.”

She explains being defeated in like, dream-combat or whatever, would really screw her up, so she’s charging 100 points of currency to try it. That’s like, a lot of money. But this is a priestess of the prayerman Goddess of Dreams, so if anyone’s going to be able to beat a dreambug forever it’d be her.

I guess I can also tell her I’ll think about it and check out that dreambug doctor first, before I make up my mind, I guess.
No. 530507 ID: 57a559

Okay, ask is these options still available later? You'd also like to get dreambug counsel on this as well, however the dreambug doctor has a... reputation as she might have heard, which is why we came here first.

Now, this fight she would have with the dreambug, would this actually kill the dreambug? He's been polite, I mean we're adversaries, but he's also been trying to compromise his objectives with our own in a way, but the compromise still was unacceptable, but we imagine he has to follow his full duty now which means he won't leave willingly.

As annoying as this is, hurting him is a last resort since he doesn't deserve to be hurt, we just want to butt him out of our head and business.
No. 530509 ID: 9ddf68

kinda want to see what our options are so I guess try the doctor and see if you like what he is selling and if not we can come back here.
No. 530511 ID: a23afd

Hmm. So, either a temporary solution or a risky one that would accomplish nothing if it failed, and also result in losing basically all our currency.

I have an idea. Pay for one night, so you can touch bases with Maexiks, and ask HER how to get rid of the dreambug more easily, rather than asking the suspicious doctor. We would still have enough money left over to try the 100-coin solution, if we have a way to guarantee it with Maexiks's help!
No. 530514 ID: cf8f63

Tell her you will think on it and talk to dreambug doctor.
Bit of a rant here that's probably better meant for the dis thread, but I'm betting prayer preistess here will lock BOTH dreambugs out of Sabby's mind here, as opposed to just the Geobug.
No. 530515 ID: a01b62

No. 530520 ID: 91c1b3

Go with this one. We still have another day here, right?
No. 530523 ID: 01531c

Ok, since we've got her invested and interested in Sabhaxlia's fate, let's start chatting.

>What does Illosi have against Dreambugs? Professional competition?
>Has the priestess ever traveled the Dreambug Remnant?
>What do people's dreams look like from the outside?
>Do birddemons dream?
>Illosi can talk to the Priestess, but can Illosi talk to anyone else, even non-prayermen?
>Has the priestess heard anything about that Dreambug Doctor?

Also, try saying a few words in Dreambug, see if the Priestess recognizes it. Worst case, she'll react violently and throw you out.
No. 530558 ID: 3e4b6e

Keep in mind, we've only been at this a week and gotten so far. Even one or two days Geobug free with her intercession will buy us considerable distance and break up his ability to divine our location.
Though we'd get more out of it going straight-shot south instead of southeast because lord knows house politics will cause an extended stay.
No. 530562 ID: 5fd94e

I vote try the lock-out for a night and speak to your friend.
No. 530568 ID: 929606

It is best to assume that at least SOME prayermen have some kind of spiritual assitance or other exceptional abilities.
I strongly approve of this idea. Ask if there are other things that can be done to aid the prayerwoman's success..

And realize that if she succeeds, and the geobug is blocked, they may take more extreme measures to find you.
No. 530606 ID: be1de0

Pay for one night, try to contact Maexiks, see how she's doing, find out what she suggests. If you still have a good deal of time today before nightfall, check out the doctor, too.
No. 530628 ID: 60ad76

plan: have her block the guy for a night then fight him the following night. during the first night you can plan with Maexiks and maybe get her to help in the fight.
No. 530658 ID: ca1c58

Pay for one night, consult with the doctor, then consult with maexiks. THere is no reason not to talk to everybody first.
No. 530659 ID: ca1c58

Hell, if you really want to do the blinding thing, maybe you could convince Maexiks to help out on that same night or something.
No. 531664 ID: 8fb35b
File 137572460692.png - (52.74KB , 500x500 , 157.png )

I’m gonna pay for one night’s protection right now, and try to talk to Maexiks in that night, and see if we can’t come up with anything. I always have tomorrow to do more plans with this stuff if we can’t.

I pay the woman the 10 points of currency, leaving me with 109. The Doxedn coins are brown because they let them rust after they cut the house symbol out of it. It’s kind of cute.

I also ask her some questions, before I leave. Just things that come to me. She seems happy enough to answer now that I’ve paid her something already.

>What does Illosi have against Dreambugs? Professional competition?

“There is no animosity like that. Servants of Illosi have chosen to make dreams their purpose. All dreambugs are born to it. Are those born to it better than those who have chosen to dedicate themselves to it? That’s what victory over them proves.” After a moment she adds, “They also can offer the same services that I do. So yes. But Illosi is also goddess of the night, and of fears. Dreambugs use dreams to guess the future, and we do not. The dreambug ability to see the future is usually very weak, anyway. Most cannot see more than a day ahead, and all they can see are possibilities, which anyone waking could guess at themselves. If you ask a dreambug if a certain thing will happen, they will say it might. Something of a waste.”

>Has the priestess ever traveled the Dreambug Remnant?

“Only once, when I worked against a dreambug.”

>What do people's dreams look like from the outside?

“There is no outside to a dream.”

>Do birddemons dream?

“Everything with a mind dreams. Everything is under Illosi’s will.”

>Illosi can talk to the Priestess, but can Illosi talk to anyone else, even non-prayermen?

“Illosi cannot speak to anyone. She is forever asleep. Before she went to her forever-sleep, Eyaj granted her clever animals who could speak for her. They sit around her bed.”

“So that’s why the uh, cow head?” I ask.

“Yes. I wear this so that I am one of the many animals that kneel at her bedside and listen to her snores.”

“Yeah okay. Can I uh, ask who Eyaj is or?”

“He is the god of animals that are tamed.”

>Has the priestess heard anything about that Dreambug Doctor?

She does like, a snotty laugh that she tries to force down. “Oh I’ve heard things about him. It won’t be long before he’s run out of the city I think.”

I thank her and we go to leave. On the way out the girl gives us one of the biscuits and asks us if we think they’re done. It’s like. A charred, crackly thing by now. I tell her it might be just a bit burnt.
No. 531665 ID: 8fb35b
File 137572463003.png - (113.02KB , 500x500 , 158.png )

Iaxio and I go out looking for the mantis. He’s on nearly the other side of the city, and, I don’t know, it feels like it takes an hour to wend our way there. It’s still drizzling gently. I like the noise it makes on the buildings. The stone ground shines a little.

We find the dreambug doctor in a clearing between some houses and a woodcarving shop. He’s hanging around a cart that looks like it’s made for him to pull. He’s got this thing on his head and I swear there’s some blood drying on his spines. He looks like he’s just waiting out the rain. He isn’t wearing a mantle, though, he’s like. Entirely naked. I can see his shoulders all out there. His mantis shoulders.

We go up to him. “Uhm, hi,” I say.

He snaps his head around to me and looks really startled. “Oh! Oh no! Oh hello!”

“Uh, hi. You’re the uh, dreambug doctor?”

He rushes over to me and takes my hand in his raptorials. He’s pretty delicate about it though. “Yes yes I am a very real doctor! Do you have an affliction?” He looks me over. “You seem healthy! Is it your friend? But he is dead! It is far too late for him.” He shakes his head slowly. “I am very sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Iaxio says. “I was probably dead before you were alive.”

I try to keep things on track. “Look, I need help, but I’m not sick. I actually need like, dreambug help.”

“Oh! Well, my being a doctor is irrelevant to my species. I am able to perform to the standards of any—”

I wave my hand and like, cut him off. “I just need like, advice. There’s a dreambug who’s invading my dreams, and he’s keeping another dreambug friend of mine out of them. And there’s not really anyone else at all I can talk to around about something like this.”

He’s a dreambug so his face really has only one expression. I stare at it while he stares at me. Finally he answers. “Unwanted dream invasions? That is not very ethical! Tell me, does it affect your sleeping habits? Have you noticed a decrease in your daily energy? Lower your head, let me see your eyes. Oh! And this cut on your face is fresh! Improperly treated it can lead to an infection and it’s very difficult to do an amputation on a muzzle! Well, it’s difficult for a patient to recover from a muzzle amputation.” He clicks his forelimbs together. “I am a very talented doctor and perfectly capable of performing the operation itself. Considering the difficulty some patients have with their survivability after surgery I would offer you a generous discount on the procedure. You’d be unlikely to find another surgeon willing to do so much for so low.”

I have to cut him off. “No, look, it’s about the dreambug. Every single night he’s in my dreams harassing me.”

“Oh yes! It would explain your insomnia and laxity in taking proper care of your injuries. Now, another dreambug, no matter how unethical, isn’t a medical problem, but if he is causing medical problems we can do something about that!” He grabs my head in his raptorials and tugs it around, peering into my ears. I feel his finglets brush the fur inside. “I can absolutely perform the required brain destruction.”

“The what?”

“A proper brain destruction procedure. I will destroy a very small portion of your brain—that is the organ responsible for thoughts, if you did not know, and not your heart or liver like I have seen some cultures believe—and interfere in your ability to dream. Your sleep will return to you without issue.”


He taps me on the side of the head with his arm-spike. It’s sharp. “If you are sufficiently survivable there is a reasonable chance of recovery. I can almost assure you that at the completion of the surgery you will be not only immune to any dreambug invasions, but completely removed from their prognosticative sight! A simple thing, a day or two of rest.” He offers to do it for 30 points of currency.

“And I won’t… die?”

“I am a very talented doctor with many surviving patients. That said, you stand a reasonable chance of losing motor functions or some higher brain functions. This depends on your own personal survivability, which I cannot vouch for. I will do all in my considerable talent to keep you safe.” He runs his tarsus through his mouth and cleans some of the dried blood off it.

I mean—I mean, if that surgery did work, that’d mean the Geofahn bug couldn’t even see my future anymore at all, right? But it’d also mean I’d never be able to talk to Maexiks again. And that’s like. Assuming the surgery that involves destroying part of my brain doesn’t kill me.

“But I have another dreambug friend I don’t want to lose contact with,” I say.

“Hmm. Hmm! Yes, the surgery might interfere with your desired standard of living. Well! I suppose—in the interests of your continued health—I can enter your dream and lecture this other dreambug on the harm he is doing to your health!”

“He’s keeping other dreambugs out though.”

“Well, he couldn’t do that without talking to me first. I will inform him of the necessity of a good night’s sleep.”

“Do you… really think that would work?”

“If he is behaving unethically and in a harmful nature, I will have him reported.”

“To the, what, like, dreambug authorities?”

“Oh, well, no, but. I will certainly lodge a complaint.”

Well, I guess those are my options with this guy. I could probably ask him any questions I have about dreambug stuff too.

So, what’s the big plan gonna be then? I already bought one night’s protected sleep either way.
No. 531666 ID: ca1c58

Can you ask him just like, what kind of things dreambugs can do, both in and out of dreams? Like, what are their dream powers and how do they work? Mention seeing the stars making a pattern and the lights off of their wings/eyespot dealios.
No. 531667 ID: 60ad76

pffffhahaha brain destruction.
no. just no on everything.

don't let him near the Geofahn bug. hell, don't let him touch your head anymore, just in case. that guy is way way too clever for the doc to keep any kind of secret from.

do ask him how to kill a bug during sleep. what happens to bugs if they die in sleep and about the dream rules and such. offer to pay him a little if he keeps changing the topic.
No. 531671 ID: a01b62


Yeah this guy is useless just forget about him. Go get some more sleep.
No. 531674 ID: cf49fc

I see we have encountered the Mantis equivalent of Zoidberg. No amputations, no brain surgery, we'll handle this using god-powers.
No. 531677 ID: d87442

... Yeah no. That guy? Complete lunatic. Although lunatics tend to make alright doctors? Either way. No. Do ask about what happens to dreambugs in dreams though. Like if they are killed or something.
No. 531678 ID: 60bf07

Do dead dogs dream?
No. 531679 ID: 57a559

Can we talk to you as a person, and not as a customer please? Like, do you have a non-doctor version of yourself when the day is done?
You want to have a drink sometime? So he can unwind and be a dreambug and a friend? We kind of want to talk to him outside of a work mindset.

I guess, we're looking for a dreambug dreambug, if he knows anybody in neighboring cities we'd be willing to give him a small finders fee, or a beer if he'd take it instead. Because beer is the trade of men friends for friendly services, usually.
No. 531691 ID: 3e4b6e

Let's not take Zoidbug up on his offer of surgery. We have a night paid for by the priestess so let's just enjoy the rest of our day.

I think they dream their past until they forget everything and die. Again.
They talk about it somewhere in either thread 1 or on FA. Don't remember.
No. 531693 ID: 9ddf68

... I have absolutely no faith in his skills but I still can't help but like the guy for some odd reason.

Tell him you'll think on it and to have a nice day. Other then that is there anything else we can do for the day or should we just call it a day.
No. 531703 ID: a23afd

Oh god is this guy for REAL?!

Hang on a second.

>"He’s keeping other dreambugs out though."
>"Well, he couldn’t do that without talking to me first."

Is he saying that in order to block a dreambug, the blocking dreambug has to interact with the other one? It sounds like all we could do is annoy the Geofahn dreambug and also give him a clue as to where we actually are.

BAD IDEA. Let's not do anything with this guy, and specifically tell him to stay out of your dreams thank you.
No. 531737 ID: 3e38db

Do tombdogs dream of electric dreambugs? ...Lets not go in for a lobotomy. This guy is completely out of his tree and not likely to be of any use at all. We'd be better off trying to locate a dreambug outside of the city than rely on his advice.
No. 531753 ID: d3f29d


That also raises the question of what Geobug is doing or saying to Maexiks to keep her out.

Ask if a dreambug is being kept out by godly powers, would they know it? Because it belatedly occurs to me that either way we're taking a risk. If Geobug figures out how we're keeping him out tonight, all he'll need to do is direct Geofahn's agents to the nearest city with a Prayermen population and/or servant of Illosi - i.e., here.

Any supplies you need to get for the next leg of your hegira, get them today, in case you need to blow this royal-turtle-meat-stand tomorrow.

Give Zoidbug a coin or two for his trouble, tell him you'll call him in the morning, and then avoid him for the rest of your life and afterlife.
No. 531807 ID: 4e26ea

I wouldn't trust this guy to talk to the bug. He's clearly not all there (or, at least, not versed in mammalian surgery. We dont know how dreambug bodies work) so he might inadvertently tell our dreambug stalker where we are.
No. 531819 ID: 9dba7d

don't let him lobotomize you, stupid dog!
No. 531945 ID: 8fb35b
File 137580681486.png - (88.73KB , 500x500 , 159.png )


Yeah let’s totally do this and pffffffft no this is so stupid.

>... Yeah no. That guy? Complete lunatic
>... I have absolutely no faith in his skills but I still can't help but like the guy for some odd reason.
>Oh god is this guy for REAL?!
>He's clearly not all there (or, at least, not versed in mammalian surgery. We dont know how dreambug bodies work)
> hell, don't let him touch your head anymore, just in case.
> No amputations, no brain surgery, we'll handle this using god-powers.

“Yeah, no,” I say, backing away a little. “I don’t think I need anything. I’m happy with all of my parts staying where they are.”

He takes a step towards me and stops. “Oh. You have heard about it too, then? Is that why? Did you just come here to laugh?”

“Heard about what? Laugh? No, look—”

He flexes his forelimbs, clenching and unclenching. “The surgery with the Larkarden-Kilhren child. They were very angry I took off the entire arm when they had called me in to treat a broken wrist.”

I don’t really say anything because this guy is kind of like, obviously insane, and he’s basically admitting to it, so like—

“The broken wrist was only the most obvious of the damage the boy suffered in his fall. The radius bone—” he grabs my arm and runs his raptorial along the side of it “—this, here, was broken, and I suspect splintered internally. Having been left untreated for a week, I had expected and found an infection within the arm itself. Because of the inefficiency of tombdog medicine I knew I would be unable to acquire a counter to the infection, and deemed it necessary to amputate the forearm before the infection spread further up.”


He takes a step back and sways a little. His voice takes a listing, meandering tone. “And then I tried to explain to them the very basics of infection but they thought it was made-up nonsense! I know your remnant has a reputation of being medically backwards—why I came here in the first place, mind you—but I had never expected such ignorance! The boy had excellent survivability, and so long as the site of amputation is well cared for he should be fine.”

Iaxio and I stare at him.

“I really am an excellent doctor, you know.”

Iaxio looks at me and shrugs.

“Well,” I say. “I mean, is our medicine really that… bad?”

“Your society’s nudity taboo has your native doctors refusing to look at another person’s body until they are dead!”

Well, I mean, that’s also true. Most of the best doctors in the remnant aren’t tombdogs to get around that exact reason—I mean being a doctor is like, one of the few things outsiders are really celebrated for. I mean. That doesn’t say anything about this guy’s medical skill, but he seems like, to not actually be entirely crazy. “Uh. Yeah, okay, sorry. I didn’t come here to laugh though, I really am having trouble with a dreambug invading me and stuff. I just. Don’t want to risk losing my dreams entirely, you know?”

I guess I can at least ask him important questions still. Even if he is a good doctor, and even if the ~brain destruction surgery~ went well, it still would mean I couldn’t talk to Maexiks, so like. I’ll just ask him some questions about dreambug powers for now.

> Can you ask him just like, what kind of things dreambugs can do, both in and out of dreams? Like, what are their dream powers and how do they work? Mention seeing the stars making a pattern and the lights off of their wings/eyespot dealios.

“So like, I’d at least be able to sleep better if I knew what this guy was doing to me. What can dreambugs do? What—I mean?”

Bringing things to wanting to be able to sleep better, and it being about a dreambug misusing his powers, at least gets the doctor bug to tell me the deets.

He puts his own spin on things but he tells me a lot. The future telling, he says, he thinks isn’t anything magical. Or at least, nothing to do with fate or destiny. He thinks the dreambug just looks into the minds of the people involved, and then day-dreams what might happen based on what everyone who will be involved would most likely do.

A dreambug can tell you’ll be ambushed on the road because he knows you plan to go down that road, and he’ll also see that there are people planning to ambush travelers on that road. Knowing how the ambush would go, though, is mostly guess-work on the dreambug’s part.

A person even just learning something new, or having an unexpected thought, is enough to throw a dreambug prophecy off entirely. Things out of the control of any person—things that don’t have thoughts to guess the futures off—can come out of nowhere and toss a future-telling off course too. He tells me to also not trust any predictions that involve something no one would imagine happening, because the dreambug is probably making it up.

When I ask him about telling the future to figure out where I am in the present, he says it’s a clever idea, but he doubts it could really work. Unless the dreambug was very skilled. I tell him the one I’m up against might be, and he says it might work, then.

All in all he doesn’t seem to have a high opinion of future-telling, though. He says he doesn’t bother using it to tell surgery successes, since he already knows what could go wrong in a surgery, and he can give those predictions without help.

I ask him what else dreambugs can do and it’s a lot.

The doctor himself can use his powers to force people to fall asleep and then arrange pleasant dreams for them so they don’t freak out during amputations and surgery and stuff. He says entering their dreams is sometimes necessary, and that’s basically what the Geofahn bug is probably doing to me.

He tells me there are dreambugs and then dreams of dreambugs, and then a dreambug’s dream, and these are all totally different things. Maexiks left a dream of herself with me, which is apparently not her, but is constantly updated from her waking self, and it relays back everything that it does to her, so it actually is her in every important way?

When Maexiks is asleep and I’m asleep then her actual dream enters my dream and that’s Maexiks for real. I ask him if Maexiks’ dream can tell the future or if she needs to be asleep at the same time to tell the future and he says he isn’t even sure.

He says the Geofahn dreambug can keep other dreambugs out of my dreams if he’s good enough, which apparently he is, but he has to set up an actual barrier that other dreambugs get stopped at. He says the constellation I saw was just an artifact of the dreambug using his power on me. I tell him what the Geofahn bug did with the fake Maexiks tricks, and the nightmares, and he tells me the Geofahn bug is probably pretty good at dreaming. He also says the Geofahn bug sounds rather immoral.

He says nightmares—dreambug ones—is a dreambug taking things that are bothering me and forcing them to take shape and go after me. He says “losing” to them is really dangerous and could give the dreambug control over my mind. I remember the night Maexiks showed me the other dreambug, she also warned me that a Geofahn dog I was dreaming about was a nightmare and it was good I didn’t let him see me—so I guess he’s been trying this stuff on me since the start.

I ask him if it’s possible for a dreambug to be entering my dreams a lot and slowly implanting thoughts in me, and teaching me the dreambug language. He says it is, but it’s really unethical. He says he learned the tombdog language through dreaming. He asks me to try to talk to him in the dreambug language and I do for a bit, and he says my mouth can’t do the noises well, but it’s a good effort and it’s nice to hear his own language again.

I ask him if the Geofahn bug can start leaving thoughts in me and he says he absolutely could do that. He tells me there isn’t much I can do about it directly, like.

I give him 5 points of currency in thanks for explaining it all to me, and now I’m like.

I don’t think I’m going to ask him to actually help out, though. Getting advice is nice enough. I have too many thoughts warning me against letting him get involved in any way.

Looking at the dim gray sky, it’s sometime in the afternoon. I’m kind of hungry. I guess I could see if McTrinkets is free for having some food, although the plan was more that I’d spend a whole day with her—but maybe spending a day and a half day extra is nice too. Or I could maybe talk to Iaxio about hanging out—we haven’t really had any friendship time in basically forever. I could check out House Doxedn and see what they’re up to? I dunno.

I suddenly have free time, I guess.
No. 531950 ID: ca1c58

Best spent with McTrinkets. We dont' have to worry about Dreambug stuff till tonight.
No. 531951 ID: a01b62

Well it is true that you guys sort of suck at medicine. I guess you just accidentally a racism, Sabhaxlia. How does that make you feel?

Even if he's not really that crazy, dammit Jim, he's a doctor, not a dreamer. He probably couldn't best the Geofahn dreambug.

Why don't you go explore the place with Iaxio?
No. 531961 ID: 3e4b6e

Iaxio time! You need to spend time with your ghostbro.

Mctrinkets can wait til tomorrow.
No. 531963 ID: c23ab0

Dogs sort of suck at medicine, whatever. You don't need to be good at medicine. The portion of time you guys spend alive is nothing compared to how long you spend dead. Why take care of mortal bodily functions, when you have corpse paste to worry about?

Still, what he's saying is totally legit. I don't know your policy on child ghosts, but that kid would have been one if he kept his arm. When meat goes bad, the whole meat goes bad if you don't cut off the bad part.
No. 531980 ID: 57a559

Well, I guess with this guy's dreambug perspective and explanation added to the mix, even though the Geofahn dreambug has been seemingly respectful, he's really not at all. What he's been doing is very wrong and dangerous for us, it's very possible that he was lying about getting Geofahn to reaccept us. I mean, we had that paranoia in the first place but the Geofahn's reportedly lacking morality when it comes to Dreambug culture increases the probability he was trying to lure us back home to die.

Really glad we didn't do the deal now. Really, really glad. Funny that Maexiks has been potentially immoral for dreambugs, but we kinda guessed that. Maexiks is probably a very scared girl with social problems if she's really been doing all that. Obviously she really wanted a friend (or girlfriend) and she found that opportunity in you.

You know, learning some first aid from the doctor while we're here might help a lot, we could pay him for his tutelage. Ask him how much that would cost. Or think about it, at least.

All well, speak with Iaxio and get something to eat with McTrinckets so we can girl talk.
No. 531984 ID: 91c1b3

Go with Iaxio. Spend tomorrow with McTrinkets.
No. 531998 ID: 60bf07

So he isn't crazy but is just the worst salesman (salesbug?). Lobotomies are still something you should avoid if you can though

Also keep in mind that we are almost out of usable money if we still want to hire the priestess tomorrow.
No. 532009 ID: 9ddf68

Iaxio was here first so spend some time with him for today, tomorrow we can hang out with McTrinkets when we have hopefully dealt with our little dreambug problem.
No. 532037 ID: a23afd

He mentioned the cut on your muzzle, and having it properly treated. That might be a good idea, actually. Also, we could do him a favor and start spreading the word that the amputation was actually necessary. It also sounds like all the doctor could do is talk to the geofahn bug, so I still don't think asking for his help is a great idea even knowing that he's a real doctor.

It sounds like hiring the priestess to fight the dreambug would end in failure, because there's so much evidence that he's highly skilled. I think we might be forced to just pay for another week or so of protection.
No. 532045 ID: cf49fc

The Priestess did seem quite devout though, and Prayermen Gods are extremely powerful. For example, a cheap blessing their priests can mass produce can provide an impenetrable mind-shield for a day.
No. 532062 ID: 57a559

You know, in exchange for first aid training, instead of money, you could help him with tombdog etiquette and bedside manner. If he was clearer with the tombdog patient and his parents, he might not have gotten the eputation loss, that or he asked the parents for their opinion on what they should do first.

Because of how ghosts work, the boy might've preferred having a two-armed ghost to having one arm for the rest of his natural and afterlife. Explain that to him. That you would also love to help him with dealing with tombdogs.
No. 532066 ID: 2f4b71

We're leaving the city. The dreambug is about to be 'run out of town'.

Let's bring him along and vouch or him at his destination.

Find him some appropriate robes, teach him some basic dreambug etiquette (our speciality!) and when we arrive explain that this totally isn't that crazy dreambug from Doxedn! This is my good friend Dr Whatsisname, a respectable surgeon from (someplace that we've never been) that I've met in my travels.
No. 532069 ID: ca1c58

This is a super excellent idea.
No. 532075 ID: cf49fc

I support bringing Zoidbug along.
No. 532095 ID: ca1c58

I support not calling him that.
No. 532100 ID: cf49fc

I support YOUR FACE.
No. 532105 ID: 5fd94e

I will register support of trying to recruit him however I would just like to point out that he did still consider brain destruction a perfectly legitimate way to stop the other dreambug so I would not put to much faith in letting him do anything complicated.

If we get him along we defiantly want to teach him proper etiquette.
No. 532117 ID: 91c1b3

I have to say that the partial lobotomy would solve the medical issue of not getting restful sleep; but it doesn't take into account the mental, social, and standard of living issues that would arise from that solution. He just needs to learn to take his patients wishes into account when he operates instead of just the medical results. (In other words, he needs to stop thinking of them as just symptoms and solutions on a page)

Also a go on plan team doctor and letting him look at the cut.
No. 532129 ID: 57a559

But no amputations please! Let us know if you see a significant problem, but it seems to just be a cut. We respect your work and interpretations of wounds, but we would just prefer, at most, a salve or stitches. And something to cover it up. If a muzzle amputation is absolutely necessary for survival, well... we'll think about it.

A dreambug and his posse is hunting you, you don't want to risk having notable scars or amputations. It's not advisable. We want to have the ability to hide and blend in, if he understands. You're not a criminal, you just... offended the wrong people that gave you an invitation to join them and they've become hostile because of it. That's all you're willing to say about that. Can he promise doctor-patient confidentiality on that information? He seems... alright to trust if you can befriend him like you've done with the bandit, McTrinckets, and Maexiks.

Ugh this is my second sage and I feel guilty. But I feel this is important to clarify since he might not really... like the fact you're being hunted and it's important to tell him the inconvenience you've possibly brought him to some degree. I mean, bandit girl knows your hiding something I'm sure, and I'm sure Doxedn can put two and two together.

Umm... sabbs how would you react if you accidentally matchmade this doctor and maexiks by befriending both of them and the doctor decides to visit your dreams for ethical reason? Would you feel betrayed or giddy? Well, if you did that you wouldn't have to feel guilty about you cheating on her by licking McTrinckets boots now would you?
No. 532151 ID: d5c820

Thank him profusely, and promise to put in good word for him if you can. Say you think he is a really nice doctor.

Oh, and uh, make sure to mention the dreambug bothering you is a stalker and to NOT say anything to him about your location, if he ever does end up in your dream.

Did we ever get this doctor guy's name?
No. 532152 ID: 41690e

Recruiting the crazy doctor is crazy.

Also, the other dreambug is crafty. If we let this crazy talk to him, there's no way he won't get useful information out of him that gives away our location.
No. 532568 ID: f0357f

When offering to recruit, mention that you hear the town is planning on running him out of the town, like within the next day or two.

Offer your curiosity of his medical knowledge like offering a mentor-student relationship. Doctor Zoidbug seems like the sort who really appreciates a tombdog with less doofiness and more intelligent sensibility.

It would be so awesome to learn even some basic medical stuff. Ghosts can learn stuff too, right? Iaxio would finally have someone else to talk to incessantly about stuff no one else cares about, and he finally may get a practical excuse for poking your nose! In tradeoff, you would have an loyal ghost buddy with a great memory that would help backup any medical knowledge gained!

Ghosts can stack with tombdogs as an excfeption to the laws of physical interaction, but can they look inside the bodies, or feel the condition of the bodies they are combined with? Would be awesome skills for ghost-doctoring!
No. 533027 ID: 8fb35b
File 137609533822.png - (71.34KB , 500x500 , 160.png )

>Let's bring him along
>This is a super excellent idea.
>I support YOUR FACE.

“So uh,” I say to the dreambug. “We’re leaving town soon anyway, and the talk is this town kind of doesn’t like you.”

“It always ends up like that,” the dreambug doctor agrees. “I do some surgeries and some patients die—which is a risk that every surgery carries, and one I inform every patient of before we begin—and the town or city gets up in arms and I have to go someplace new.”

“Right! So why don’t you come with me and my friends when we leave town?”

Iaxio slaps his cheeks. “What?”

The dreambug nibbles on his tarsus. “Oh?”

“I mean, I can help explain to people wherever we end up more about the surgeries, and make sure they uh, know what they’re getting into, and smooth things over if they go wrong.”

“A public relations assistant! I had never really thought on getting one!”

“So is that a yes?”

The dreambug thinks. “Yes. I have a few more surgeries to carry out here, and then I think it will be time to go along.”

“I’m leaving, like, the morning after tomorrow.”

“The is exactly as soon as it should be.”

I tell him the stranger’s inn I’m staying at and tell him to come by for a visit later so we can plan things out. I ask him what his name is and he says Doctor Mantis. I give him Taliaxix as my name, still, since I should keep things consistent for now. All that settled, Iaxio and I head off.

“Uh,” he says. “Why are you having him come along?”

I shrug. “It seems like the thing to do. He’s a dreambug, we have dreambug problems. Having more friends doesn’t hurt. I mean, most of my life my ‘friends’ were romance novels, a ghost I’d pass by on the road, and a merchant bug I saw once a month. Let me have this.”

Iaxio has this stupid smirk. “Your bug-lust is incredible.”


“Is the Geofahn bug cute? I never get to see him.”

“What, do you wanna kiss him?

“No—I mean, if you think—I’d watch you make out with a bug.”

“Yeah, well,” I say. “Any kissing I do in my dreams is something you can’t perv over.”

“Shame! So are we done with this business for the day?”


“What was that you asked the doctor bug about implanting thoughts? Has that been happening?”

I stop mid-step. Crap-lined ditch-grave I didn’t. Actually. Tell. Iaxio. About what the Geofahn bug said about Maexiks. I mean, Farttown’s festival day was last night, and I haven’t even really have the chance to chat casually with Iaxio since like. Uhm. Since we got to the Doxedn city, really.

>Iaxio was here first so spend some time with him for today
>Go with Iaxio.
No. 533028 ID: 8fb35b
File 137609536173.png - (143.77KB , 500x500 , 161.png )

Iaxio and I hang out at a kind of park and I fill him in on what he’s been missing out on. Every detail of all the dreams and stuff. He slaps me on the head for not telling him these things earlier, and I slap him back, because like, we were busy with that big fight scene in the forest right after I found out and then I was asleep.

“So I only really know what I’ve seen, and what you’ve told me,” Iaxio says. “I just assumed Maexiks was your friend, and you talked about her like she was. How long’ve you known her?”

“Like, only casually, for like, five years,” I say. “She was a merchant in town who was cool, we hung out when I was hiding from my parents sometimes.”

“I remember those days! You would come running up the road all in a huff, and I’d stop you and we’d talk bad about your family. Hah! I didn’t even know I was part of it back then. Or that I had such a reason to be angry at them.”

I scuff the ground with my boots. “Yeah… my grand-whatever was kind of a dirt-grave huh.”

“I still don’t remember too much about my life,” Iaxio says. He slaps his hands on his lap a few times. “Wandering around. Begging for food. Gambling? A few fights. Some more wandering. I think I can finally remember dying. Most of what’s worth remembering was sneaking talks with you on the crossroads. I wish I could say this adventure’s been fun, but mostly it’s been worrying.”

“Yeah, well, like, a week or two of just relaxing and traveling coming up,” I say.

It’s late afternoon, and I wonder what Iaxio and I should do before I get ready for sleep. I have 104 points of currency right now, which is a lot, but the dream-battle-thing that prayerwoman wanted was going to go for 100 points. Still, there isn’t much that would actually bring me below 100, and the stranger’s inn’s meals are all provided for, so like, we can goof off a little. I was planning on doing stuff with McTrinkets tomorrow, too, but that doesn’t have to be anything pricey and she could like. Maybe pay for some of it. I don’t know.

I could take him to the gambling squares across the little pond here, he might enjoy that. Gambling really isn’t a dangerous pastime, so like, it isn’t like we stand any chance of losing more money than we’re willing. Gambling is sometimes done with like, fractions of points’ worth of currency, anyway.

We could go back to the stranger’s inn and talk to all the strangers, too. I mean, Iaxio has only really had me to talk to for forever, and meeting a whole bunch of new people could be fun for both of us. He could have a chance to like, hang around like a normal dog instead of a beggar on the street or a fugitive’s accomplice.

We could also just wander the streets and hang out together privately too. There are some neat things to look at in the city and we could just enjoy being here together.
No. 533029 ID: ca1c58

Go to the stranger's inn and also don't ever go on a date with your dead relative. What the fuck Sabby. You don't even like men.
No. 533032 ID: cf49fc

Hang with Iaxio in the inn. Just chat and relax.
No. 533033 ID: 01531c

>don't ever go on a date with your dead relative. What the fuck Sabby.
What you said here was confusing until i re-read Sabhaxlia's last thoughts:
>We could also just wander the streets and hang out together privately too.
>we could just enjoy being here together.

What the hell, Sabby? You're talking like Iaxio's your dead boyfriend or something!

I'm pretty sure Sabhaxlia still likes guys over girls, since as far as Sabby's heart is concerned Maexiks doesn't really 'count' as guy or girl, instead falling into the subconcious categories of 'would fuck'/'would fuck with bag on'/'would cleanse with fire' same as everything else gets judged.
No. 533034 ID: c23ab0


It's you who doesn't like men! Sabhaxlia makes her own decisions.
No. 533037 ID: ca1c58

I'd like to point out that Sabby has never even hinted at liking guys, and has only expressed romantic feelings for chicks for the entire run of the quest.
No. 533039 ID: a23afd

Meet new people!
No. 533040 ID: be1de0

Wander around a bit, enjoy the scenery, try to relax with Iaxio. Maybe gamble a bit, but don't spend all your time on just one activity. End your evening back at the inn, maybe not ~too~ late. Free meals are free meals.

Iaxio's been your friend for like ~years~, and only now is he finally getting a handle on his ~life~. You guys have a lot to talk about.

He obviously likes you, and you like him. Besides, he's cute and he's risked his corpse to help you escape. He's watched over you and helped you every step of the way. I mean, you don't have to go after him in a ~relationship~ way, but you could be closer. You can't give up on men without at least trying ~one~ that you actually like, right? It's not like it prevents you from getting together with McTrinkets or Maexiks later. It just gives you some experience.

And I mean, he's barely related to you anyways.

And he's a ghost.

It's not creepy.
No. 533048 ID: 9ddf68

I say hit the inn as I really don't like the idea of spending money we may or may not need for tomorrow with a good chance we'll get nothing in return, also if we go to the inn we might her some good rumors, like what the hell is going down with House Geofahn.
No. 533057 ID: a01b62

I'd like to point out that this is probably almost entirely the fault of the obnoxious suggesters who constantly suggest to make out with or lick the feet of any female characters we encounter. Everything suggested is a thought that runs through Sabhaxlia's head. No one has suggested to crush on any male characters, so she hasn't, because she hasn't thought about it. If the tide of suggestions suddenly turned away from gay interspecies relationships, then yeah, she would start expressing interest in men.

ANYWAY, take Iaxio to the gambling place (if he wants!) and let him see how much he can make off of 4 points of currency.
No. 533061 ID: 91c1b3

Hang out at the Inn, I think he'd like talking to people more than gambling. (though you could ask him yourself)

That statement... has just a little bit of merit. We talked about this before I think, but how do you feel relationship wise towards Iaxio now? He's helped you out a lot. I don't think you being blood related needs to come into play since at this point he no longer *has* blood.(as in, being related is only a name at this point) It's really based on how *you* feel though.
No. 533062 ID: 3e4b6e

Wander with Iaxio. Explore the city
No. 533063 ID: 5fd94e

No. 533067 ID: 01531c

>as in, being related is only a name at this point

That brings up a point: is there some benefit to stacking with relative ghosts?
No. 533072 ID: 92d34d

Go with Iaxio gambling, see how much he remembers. May as well get to know him better, get comfortable and all. Since he's been helping you ghost stack, keeping you alive and will be with you for all your journey, best to trust him without hesitation.
No. 533074 ID: 57a559

I think we should give Meandraxix's money back before we spend it carelessly. We can properly budget after knowing that. Maybe make an apology or two, but make it quick I really want to go gambling and shooting the shit with strangers that will probably get our asses in trouble because what if they're like bounty hunters there?
No. 533077 ID: 78bb01

Gallavant about town.
No. 533700 ID: 123d74

Id do a bit of gambling, but not much. Be ready to wander off if Iaxio gets in over his head.

Also, steal that turtle and make it our team pet/mascot.
No. 533930 ID: 8fb35b
File 137635482636.png - (82.44KB , 500x500 , 162.png )

>Also, steal that turtle and make it our team pet/mascot.

I don’t really have the kind of resources to take care of a turtle, but I make sure to pet it before we leave. It looks at me with its single waterface expression. Turtles.

We agree to go back to the stranger’s inn and hang out there until sleep-time. Down across the big bridge. I have to stop mid-way to catch my breath. Iaxio tells me about this one thing he remembered where he accidentally cheated at gambling because he didn’t notice one of his tiles fell on the ground.

We get back to the inn as it’s getting real dark outside, although it isn’t that late—there’s just no way the sun is getting through this thick healthy cloud-cover going on.

The stranger’s inn is cute. The common room deal has a bunch of half-circle couches in uh—I think it’s the birddemon style? I don’t even know. This isn’t really native tombdoggy.

There’s a bunch of people around. They’re mostly dogs in strange colors. There’s a few birddemons over at one side, with their demons hanging around with them. It’s kind of weird seeing demons again after the last one was like, trying to kill us. The birds have cheap mantles with some logo on it—I think they’re from some foreign merchant deal and they just wear those to not look weird here.

The arrangement of the seats forces everyone to sit near one another, and everyone’s moving in an out of conversation with each other. A short corpsebound girl is going around giving and taking orders, and the guests have ghosts mixed in with them.

I’m a bit uneasy about the idea of just putting myself right in the middle of all of these strangers, but Iaxio sidles in and soon we’re—mostly him, though—are in the middle of a big, living conversation.

I don’t keep track of all of everything they’re talking about—for a bit they’re talking about a gambling strategy, and then it’s about this little river-road that flooded, and then it’s about local politics.

I pay attention to that.

Apparently, when House Geofahn killed House Aifix’s heir, it was because House Aifix wasn’t going to let House Geofahn search all outgoing traffic for me. But, all the dogs’ here think that House Geofahn was just using it as an excuse to take over the city. After we snuck out, and House Geofahn failed to find us, it sounds like Aifix called Geofahn out for excessive use of force. Geofahn refused to apologize and just moved their search elsewhere. All the dogs around agree that this is the problem with a house as young as Geofahn being this powerful.

Everyone—even the birds—have a good laugh at House Geofahn’s guys being so ugly the Tashikoxix heir would rather run away than marry one of them. It feels really weird hearing so many strangers talk about me like that.

Iaxio asks if anyone knows what Geofahn is up to now. One dog says there was a big thing that happened in the old Tashikoxix town but no one can agree what it was. Someone says they tried to execute a dreambug but someone else says that happened like a week ago and it was something else.

One of the ghosts says he has a relic near someone who has a relic in that very town, so he disappears for a bit to find out what the story is. The corpsebound girl brings me something to eat in the meanwhile. It’s pretty tasty for cheap stranger’s inn food.

Eventually the ghost comes back and says Geofahn had returned to the town and accused a dreambug there of helping the Tashikoxix girl escape, but it was the same one they tried to pin the blame on the first time, and the town wasn’t impressed. Geofahn dogs tried to push into the town and some of the towndogs threatened to empty the crypt on them and Geofahn retreated.

So I guess House Geofahn came back after their dreambug found out Maexiks was involved and tried to get at her, but the town defended her again. I’m really out of the loop.

Now, the ghost says, there’s talks that the Geofahn running around causing problems are in trouble with the main branch of the house itself, and some of them think there’s going to be civil war and the house might collapse.

The birds seem upset with this, because most of their exports go to Geofahn cities. In a few minutes they’re talking about birddemon sugar crops and which remnant has the best sweets and I stop paying attention again.

Iaxio seems to have fun though. So.
No. 533931 ID: 8fb35b
File 137635487117.png - (74.27KB , 500x500 , 163.png )

Eventually I end up asleep in bed. After a while.

I wake up in the old town I lived near. Maexiks’ town. The sky is barred with these big, twisting bands of silver. I think this is the prayerman blessing going to work on me.

I get up on top of Maexiks’ house (I’m not even sure how. I just walk up it. It’s a dream.) and I can see Maexiks’ constellation between the bands. I guess I’m gonna be letting her in, right?

When I do it, what am I going to say? How am I going to say it? There’s a lot of stuff we have to talk about. A lot.
No. 533936 ID: 735f4f

Start off with a few question tests to make sure its her and not the other guy sneaking in.

Avoid accusing her of anything but mention what the other dreambug said and try to find out if there was any truth to it.

Also find out what the latest news is and how things have been going for her.
No. 533961 ID: 76f779

Call for Maexiks.

If she does/doesn't show, call for that priestess. She said her name was Nel. It would be interesting if she was actually around while invoking Illosi's blessing.
No. 533970 ID: 9ddf68

well if you let her in you're going to have to ask her some things only the 2 of you will know to make sure the Geofahn bug isn't trying to pull a fast one on you again. Start up a simple conversion like you found a quick fix for the other bug but are looking for a more permanent solution and ask her if she has any ideas. After trying to figure out a way stop the Geofahn bug from being a thorn in your side then move on to some of the crap he's done in your dreams, like pretending to be her, sending nightmares at you,... that she's be manipulating you since your childhood for some reason. Then start trying to figure out just how much truth there is to that little claim and why she would do that.
No. 534047 ID: ca1c58

kiss her you fool!

Then tell her all what is going on. I think even though it may bankrupt us, getting the prayerwoman to try and just axe the geofahn dreambug is kind of the best solution right now.
No. 534062 ID: 3e4b6e

Always with the kissing... No.
We can't even trust her right now. Too many bugs in our brain.
Let her in, get the info from her side, but don't reveal your full hand.
No. 534065 ID: ca1c58

I'd like to point out that kissing revealed the fake last time. Her reaction will inform us as to whether or not it's really her better than some random questions that somebody who can get inside our head may or may not know the answer to.
No. 534074 ID: 58c979

But the fake may be ready for kissing this time, now that he might be expecting it.

If you want to speak to her, call Maexis and go with question asking.
No. 534104 ID: 96c896

Oh just ask her where you slept at her house. The Geofahn bug still doesn't know the correct response.

As for what else to say, tell her the Geofahn bug is a huge jerkbutt and has been sending nightmares at you the entire time, but he did bring up one thing that you're curious about. Tell her you can't remember who taught you the dreambug language, and ask if she knows who did. Optimally she will admit to being your tutor, and that she was hired to do it. If she denies it, press the issue- we were ONLY taught the dreambug language, and the Geofahn bug got into your dreams via a well-used door.

If it turns out she wasn't hired to teach you, then press her even further. Tell her that the Geofahn bug accused her of implanting thoughts about not wanting to marry your fiance, and if that's true it would certainly explain why you can't think of a real reason to hate him. If she admits to THAT, ask her WTF, WHY.

Also no kissing until you're sure she hasn't been mind-controlling you.
No. 534368 ID: 3b69fe

First priority is establishing it really is her. Second priority, making sure she's okay. Third priority, status update regarding your location and Geobug jerkiness. Fourth priority, future plans. Fifth priority, kisses.
No. 534468 ID: 8fb35b
File 137653176098.png - (77.54KB , 500x500 , 164.png )

>Call for Maexiks.

The moment I feel like I’m asking for her to appear she does. The silver aurora opens and Maexiks just kind of drops down on top of the house with me.

>First priority is establishing it really is her.

“Is it… you?”

She’s like, already hugging me. “Sabhaxlia! What is this?”

I’m not going to tell her what it is without confirming who she is first. “Are you really Maexiks this time?”

“What do you mean?”

I explain about the fake Maexiks thing happening like, non-stop. I ask her some questions about stuff she would only know, and she like, pulls out answers going years back. She answers how we met and tells me how she had to buy a weird mix of dyes to get my mantle’s color. There’s basically no way this isn’t her. Unless the Geofahn bug can overcome the prayerman magic and draw up my memories of Maexiks and. I don’t want to think about the situation being that hopeless.

>kiss her you fool!
>Fifth priority, kisses.

I’m about to, but, like.

>Also no kissing until you're sure she hasn't been mind-controlling you.

I need to know this first. I need to know what’s up with this.

>Second priority, making sure she's okay.

I ask her how she’s doing.

“I’ve been terribly worried! The Geofahn bug has been keeping me from the dreams like you had said. He has even hid you from me, and it has not been easy to look at your future without him interfering. I had so little idea what was happening to you.”

>Then tell her all what is going on.
>Third priority, status update regarding your location and Geobug jerkiness.

I tell her what’s been going on—with the Hefehxn, with meeting up with the bandits, fighting the guys, Hefehxn giving up, the dreambug attacks (again), the prayerman thing. I tell her all of those details. She sounds legitimately upset at all of this, I mean, and she asks me what I’m planning to do next. But.

>that she's be manipulating you since your childhood for some reason. Then start trying to figure out just how much truth there is to that little claim and why she would do that.

It’s hard to focus my thoughts on it. I want to just pretend like things are okay, and start planning with Maexiks the next steps, but I have to ask this.

“So like, but the Geofahn bug, one of the things he did, he said uh. That I only knew the dreambug language because you’ve been invading my dreams since I was a child. And that you’ve probably been like. Manipulating me. Those are just more lies, right?”

“What! Of course they are,” I want her to say. “He will say anything to trick you!”

“Oh,” is what she actually says. “What exactly did he tell you? How did he find out these things that he told you?”

It isn’t the answer I was really hoping for. “Just. That. That you’ve been invading my dreams most of my life and have been uh, controlling me. Through them. That you like, made me run away.”

Maexiks lists away from me. “He said that.”

“But it’s. He’s just. Trying to. Turn. Me. Against. You’ve been doing it haven’t you.”

Maexiks starts backing down the side of the house.

“Maexiks, no. What happened? What was—”

“I didn’t mean to,” Maexiks says.

“Yeah, no, stop,” I say. “Stop walking away. What’s. What’s anything?”

I know Maexiks well enough to know she’s trying to compose herself. “I first saw you in town fifteen years ago. You were a child and I was too. You seemed to have no friends, and I was too afraid to approach you, but I found you in your dreams that night and spoke with you there. Most nights you did not remember me, and I would introduce myself to you each time.”

“I don’t even remember anything like that.”

“Most dreams are not remembered, Sabhaxlia. But thoughts can linger, even from dreams you forget. Very soon I was moved away from you, but I kept in contact with you through dreams. It was not every night but it was many nights. Eventually we could speak in my language in the dreams. When I was free to, I went back to the town I had met you in. I set myself up as a merchant and influenced you to visit me, so we could speak outside of dreams too.”


“For years, each night you would talk of how unhappy you were with everything. I never felt happy in this remnant either. But I was happy to finally have a friend in the waking world, even if you did not know how much I cared for you. But I think you understood, at least, how uneasy I felt in this remnant. Even while you were awake you knew that.”


“When you started to dream about running away I encouraged it. I helped make dreams for you where you escaped and were free from your family and your remnant. I was never terribly good at controlling dreams, but I did help them stay pleasant for you.”


“In the last few months I saw you struggling with the engagement. That you were afraid of taking the weight of your family’s crypt. I knew that you had always wanted something other than being a housedog’s wife. To be more than another generation in a family line. I knew that this remnant was unpleasant for you.”


“And it was so much worse for me! I could never be one of you dogs. When your town accepted me they gave me a mantle with stripes on it to show that I could never be more than a stranger! So.”


“So I did everything I could to ensure you would run away. You would find some place for yourself, and.”


“And when House Geofahn found out that I was responsible, they would kill me, and I could be with you forever in your dreams. But you hid my responsibility, and when Geofahn tried to kill me, twice now this awful town has kept me alive.”

I. Uh.

No. 534469 ID: 57a559

Is... is it really an awful town? I mean they defended you so it's like really weird. Does she really feel that way still? She could try and run away to find a town she likes too, a home. Though she'd be in grave danger.

Tell her that the both of you basically have started a civil war within the Geofahn's. They probably won't be back ever. The main branch and I guess your local branch that was going to have the marriage are fighting because reasons the strangers told you.

Maexiks, I ponder, can you speak with the Geofahn dreambug? Ask if he knows anything about the disputes between the branches? We have to sit and think how to get him off our backs. Tell him maybe it'd be wiser to get the branches working together again by getting them to forget about Sabhaxlia. Retrieving Sabhaxlia to appease the local branch's outrage will prove far too troublesome to be done quick enough to quell the damaged relationship between the branches. No, they must focus their efforts entirely on diplomacy and making peace, forgetting about Sabhaxlia and forgiving her and leaving her be. Only the Geofahn Bug can do this, through his manipulative dream powers. He has to manipulate the local branch. It is the best way to ensure his house's survival, which I'm sure he wants. This is as close we'll get to advising the Geofahns like he wanted, assuming he actually wasn't just saying that because his real goal was to retrieve and kill us so the local branch would calm the fuck down.

Maexiks would have to do that because well, honestly, he'd probably be the most honest with the dreambug than actually us. Maybe even reveal more. And blame his inability to block her for a day is because she's gotten more powerful, I don't know Maexiks you're a merchant how is your bullshitting skills?
By the way, we forgive you, because it sounds like you just help push us towards a direction we were already going. (Assuming she's not lying here either, I don't fucking know)

Oh hey Maexiks, we met a really cool nutty dreambug doctor would you like to meet him?
No. 534472 ID: 3e4b6e

Well now I feel justified for calling her a creepy stalker bug chick.

Anyways, now you know the extent of the crazy you wanted to stick it in. Let's assess the situation, Geobug was right in that she was manipulating you, your friend is clingy and has a death wish, Nel's powers work, Zoidbug was also right, the star signals are a good way to figure out who's in your head.

I suggest getting angry.
No. 534474 ID: cf49fc

Well that was an... insane and horrifically unethical thing to do. Quite possibly one of the worst crimes it's possible to commit. Tell her off for rejecting the townspeople when they clearly like her and want to protect her, and have done literally everything they could for her to make her be one of them. It's on her head, not those of the Town.
No. 534475 ID: 3677de

So basically she was lonely and friendless and a little kid when it started and so were you. It isn't like she was some sort of dangerous mastermind, and apparently a lot of this was stuff you talked to her about in your dreams that you just don't remember.

So it's not like some kind of evil scheme, or even her being evil, you were just way better friends than you knew because you didn't remember a lot of the conversations from when you were kids.

She didn't implant the idea to run away in your head, all she did was help convince you that you were capable of doing something that you wanted to do all along anyway.

She cares a lot about you, and was only trying to help you be able to make your own choice. Your decision to run was stacked against a million generations of tombdog society and culture that tells you you don't have the right to make your own choices against your future was balanced by her making dreams that you wanted to have anyway, so honestly, you're still the one who chose to run away, she just helped balance against your cultural pressures anyway.

She needs to know that you aren't mad at her for doing that. Just think about everything you've accomplished since you've left. Sure, a lot of stuff has been really unpleasant, but you've also actually accomplished stuff. You've made a real difference in the world. And you're only just starting. That's thanks to her help too.

I don't think there's anything sinister here. It's just a friend from a totally different culture, who maybe didn't make the best decision in her way to advise and approach you, but it wasn't out of any sinister motive, it was only out of love, and I think that's nothing to get mad at her about.

So, yeah. Also tell her the fact that the village has shown support for her those times proves it's not so terrible after all. Also that you don't want her to die she needs to get over that crap. She needs to practice dream powers so she can help you out more in the future, if she's really invested in your success, she should train herself to be better at dream powers.
No. 534477 ID: 55539d

Well that sets a few cogs whirring.

Despite apparently being utterly butterly batshit bug-girl raises a point; no matter where you go you will never fit in. Accepted, yes. Perhaps even genuinely liked, but never quite one of the pack. Geofahn isn't going to give up or call off their bug it seems.

Perhaps getting out of the remnant entirely wouldn't be a bad idea. You decidedly do not seem like the kind who would be happy pinned under the ettiquet and strictures of Tombdog society, which is all you're going to find no matter where you go in the remnant. Maybe the life of an adventurer would suit you better? You're already well on the way. Look, you even have a scar!
No. 534478 ID: 9ddf68

...OK then first off, never talk about how you want to comment suicide or I'll beat the stupid out of you. I didn't run away Just so you could be my scapegoat and die, if anything that would have turn me into a hopeless wreck or something.

Second I'm not mad at you for 'making' me run away. You said it yourself I was the one who wanted to run away you just acted on something that was already there. I'm not pleased at what you did but I'm not mad either.

Lastly if you want to make this up to me you're going to help me get rid of the Geofahn bug. I'm not mad that you invaded my dreams when I was young, we were both lonely and I got a good friend out of it. I'm not mad that you made me run since, truth be told I probably would have down it anyway and if not before I got hitch likely after when I found how miserable I would have been. You just made the choice easier. What I am mad about is how you did all of this just so you could KILL yourself. I mean come on, you can still visit our dreams when you're alive and how do you think I would feel if I found out that my actions resulted in the death of my best friend. Don't care if you would still be with me in my dreams just how do you think I would have been if I found out my best friend had me murder them?
No. 534479 ID: 96c896

Okay, look. The more we hear about Geofahn the more it sounds like not being with them is a good thing. They are immoral bullies. And we've established that your family is mostly dying out mostly because they wouldn't swallow their pride. So it's probably a good thing you didn't marry that guy.

That said, Maexiks what the HELL?! She was invading your dreams regularly as a child, because she was too chicken to talk to you in the waking world! She's been manipulating you just because she feels uncomfortable in the tombdog remnant, and can't accept that the tombdog culture has NO WAY of accepting other races into a town other than a striped mantle. That is the best she can get. The doctor told us future-telling is done by looking at how personalities react. Maybe the reason why she expected to die is because she thinks the town wouldn't protect her. Yet they did. Maybe it's time she reevaluated her relationship with the town. They adopted her, she's not a stranger. If she were to wear your new family's colors, they would be striped too. Unless I guess she marries you? Is that a thing that can happen? If she's so shook up about the town protecting her, why doesn't she just admit that she helped you! Geofahn would definitely kill her then.

Also now it's impossible to tell if these feelings you have for her are legitimate or if it's because of her regular presence in your dreams. Also she totally lied to you in that first dream we can remember of her.
>"This was much harder to do than I had expected. I’ve never been a tombdog's dream before."
How come you've been remembering all these dreams now, anyway? It's weird that you didn't remember even a single one of her before then. Was she making you forget, because she couldn't live up to what she was doing? Then all those conversations you two had, between what should have been friends, were taken from you because of her selfishness and cowardice.

That said, she has saved your life with her future-telling. Try not to be too hard on her. It would be nice if you could remain in contact, so that you don't lose her help. Romance is right out, though, and friendship is a stretch right now- she has a lot to make up for. It wasn't even your choice to run away. She made that choice for you, just like when your mother set you up with that Geofahn guy.

I would like to ask her about the plan to fight off the Geofahn bug with the prayerman dream magic lady. How likely is that to work, and is there any way we can improve the odds?
No. 534482 ID: ab1da0

Hrrrm...I have a thought.
Maexiks wants to be with us right?
What's to prevent her from just-packing up and leaving and coming here exactly again?
No. 534483 ID: 55539d

House Geofahn. If she was caught outside of the village they'd probably kill her. They already tried but the villagers stopped them. Twice.
No. 534485 ID: 6a694e

Yeah, dont dreambugs have wings?
No. 534488 ID: 13b599

Do we have any evidence that this sort of behaviour is abnormal among dreambugs? Their dreams have to do something. Why not reach out to people? If her description of events is accurate, her visits weren't even unwelcome at the time.
No. 534489 ID: 41690e

Okay. So. Um. The trying to make friends with you in your sleep thing you could deal with. You guess. She is a dreambug after all.

But her deliberately influencing one of the most important decisions of your life? That's... a lot harder to accept. And this whole suicide plot to be with you is just nutters.
No. 534495 ID: 735f4f

Aww she was a lonely kid and wanted a friend. She did get a little stalkery there but mostly just encouraging you the only way she knew how.

First yell at her for trying to kill herself. Tell her if she wants to be with you she should pack up her stuff and head your way once its safe. Live your life the best you can before you get stuck as a ghost or in dreams. Also the town does care because they are sticking up for her at great risk to themselves.

Secondly tell her while all this stuff is a big surprise you don't hate her. Might take a bit to get used to the idea but you will cope.
No. 534497 ID: e3aff6

Ok... this gives me more of a feeling of disappointment than anger. She does seem to care about you, but caring about someone isn't the only thing that makes a healthy relationship. A relationship needs respect as much as caring, and controlling someone's life without telling them because you know best is the complete opposite of respect.

And you know? Even though she saw all your troubles when you were young, she doesn't seem to have really understood them at all. Your family cared about you in their way, and even the buttjerk suitor showed some concern for you, but the reason why you couldn't get a long with them was largely about that need for respect. Your mother pushed you towards what she though of as a successful path in life, simply assuming that her idea of success was the same as yours. The suitor attempted to trick you to make you like him more, trying to make you feel better without considering how utterly demeaning it was to your autonomy and intelligence. They were all trying quite hard to 'help' you, but it just wouldn't work because of their complete disregard for your actual thoughts and decisions. Maexiks's attempts to help you with your problems had exactly the same thing wrong with them as your original problems; someone trying sincerely to help you with what you surely want without ever thinking to actually ask or discuss it with you.

I feel like forgiveness is not completely out of the question, but it will take some time and need some serious changes in the nature of this relationship.
No. 534536 ID: c23ab0

So on the bright side, it appears Maexis accidentally made you a lesbian.

On the dark side, it appears Maexis accidentally made you a lesbian.
No. 534570 ID: be1de0

When you think about it, the worst that she's done is been clingy, encouraged you to be independent and follow your heart, and given you pleasant dreams. What a horrible person. ;Y

Yeah, she's a little weird, but. Whatever. She may have influenced you to be more of who you are right now, but it's not like she's brainwashed you into being someone who you weren't.

I think, honestly, the problem here was a lack of communication and a lack of consent. But she obviously cares for you a lot, and didn't mean for any harm to come to you.

Give her a big hug. Point out that being alive and talking face to face obviously means ~something~ to her, otherwise she wouldn't have wanted to meet up with you outside the dreams. And it means something to you, too. You want her to be safe, to be alive, and to see her again in person someday.

She shouldn't be angry at the town dogs for protecting her. She may be a "stranger", but that's a technicality of a tombdog culture that's centered around biological relations. She's been marked as an outsider-under-license and for all intents and purposes "adopted" by the town as a whole. There's obviously a sense of community there, and they must like her and consider her a member of the town in good standing. She's obviously accepted, so what's her complaint? What more does she want? Would she rather be part of an actual dog family? Does she want to be part of ~your~ family? The fact that you're running away from them should be enough to show that being part of a family isn't always a good thing. :Y

Find out more about how she feels about you. Does she love you? Does she want to be romantic with you?

Can she run away and meet you? Is that too dangerous? Tell her to be honest. Threaten that you'll never forgive her if she gets herself killed on purpose.

Honestly, if you wanted to, you could probably blame everything on Maexiks and go back to Geofahn and save your family and... but you still don't want to do that, do you? Even if Maexiks got what she wanted and lived in your dreams, the Geofahn bug would probably want to do something to prevent Maexiks from ever seeing you in the dream wold again. She'd be cut off.

Oh, and while you're at it? You kinda need some help. A little bit of dreambug-vision might be useful when it comes to your future. If she's got any good ideas how to deal with this geofahn bug, and whether or not the Prayerman stuff would work, that would be helpful.
No. 534585 ID: 41690e

Also, how awful can the town be if they care about her enough to protect her? And if this Geofahn business were over, she'd be free to hang out in your dreams whenever she wanted, without these crazy die for you scheme!

...I mean, just cause dogs can ghost and bugs can dream doesn't mean either of you should rush to get your life over with.
No. 534688 ID: 26d11e

Since when have these dreams been pleasant? You know she's still hiding things from you and how do you know she hasn't been sending nightmares at you to control you? Control you into running away. control you into liking her.
I wouldn't be surprised if she's done worse.
No. 534757 ID: da4ec6

Congratulations guys, you have just allowed an enemy agent to successfully turn us against one of our only allies.

What Maexiks did is more than a little creepy, but she's also valuable enough that we can't afford to lose her.
No. 534789 ID: cf49fc

What Maexiks did was done out of loneliness, fear and rejection. It was also quite literally thought-control. It is POSSIBLE to forgive Maexiks, but she must realize that what she did was ABSOLUTELY WRONG, and come to terms with her feelings of rejection and sadness.
No. 534790 ID: 01531c

Meaxiks is a horrifically unbalanced person.

Let's fix that.
No. 534792 ID: da4ec6

Yes, I get that. But if we react too aggressively we might scare her off, and that will probably not end well for either of us.
No. 534844 ID: ca1c58

Yeah it's pretty obvious she doesn't feel great about having done it. Also keep in mind a lot of it was from talking to us in our dreams. She wasn't just, out of whole cloth, implanting things in our dreams. I think she probably knows she was in the wrong anyway though. Yelling and shouting and being all pissed off won't help anything and only serves to lose us an ally.
No. 534860 ID: af8414

Hug the bug
No. 534885 ID: 91c1b3

I agree with this entire post. Even if she did it to help us she never asked or even mentioned it to us. It's not right to manipulate people, even if it's for something they want. I also agree that Maexiks needs to admit what she did was a really bad thing before she should be forgiven. But I think we should help her to get to that point if she needs it.
No. 534890 ID: ca1c58

It wasn't actually thought control though. From what Maexiks said, she was more or less talking about Sabby's problems with her while Sabby was asleep. She was reacting to fears and troubles that Sabby was bringing up, it's just that Sabby didn't remember them. Although it wasn't necessarily the right way to do it, it definitely wasn't "literally thought control."

>For years, each night you would talk of how unhappy you were with everything.

>When you started to dream about running away I encouraged it.

>In the last few months I saw you struggling with the engagement.

>So I did everything I could to ensure you would run away.

But that is not making her run away. She pushed Sabby, sure, and Sabby didn't remember it when she was awake, sure, but she didn't literally control her thoughts at all.
No. 534918 ID: e97f9d

She most certainly influenced them, though, intentionally. Which she probably should not have done. It may not be exactly mind control, but it's still creepy. Not that I think we should cut her off.
No. 534923 ID: 96c896

Okay so we've boiled it down to "Maexiks manipulated Sabhaxlia into doing what she already wanted to do but wasn't doing because of cultural pressure"? Also, Maexiks cared a lot about Sabhaxlia but never told her in the waking world, instead electing to live out her relationship in the dreams that would always be forgotten. It's depressing, really, but also disappointing. Why didn't she just SAY something?

Lastly, did she say she was trying to get Sabhaxlia away from her remnant? What remnant is Sabby supposed to go to, then?
No. 535200 ID: 8fb35b
File 137677923047.png - (71.10KB , 500x500 , 165.png )

This is a lot to take in. I’m not even sure where to start. I can’t even think about the other stuff first. The way she talks about the town snags in my head.

>Is... is it really an awful town? She could try and run away to find a town she likes too, a home.

“I mean.” I stumble on my words. “Is the town that awful for trying to protect you?”

>how awful can the town be if they care about her enough to protect her?

“They risked themselves to protect you, that’s not. I can’t.”

>>Tell her off for rejecting the townspeople when they clearly like her and want to protect her, and have done literally everything they could for her to make her be one of them.

“They obviously want to accept you! That striped mantle means they accept you as one of them. What more could you want?”

She’s just clinging to the side of the house. I can only see her face and forelimbs. “I thought you would have understood. I am an outsider-under-license, a stranger they have all agreed to not be afraid of. They protect me because they protect their independence. They do not care about me. There is no place for me among them. I have no ghost to give them, so I am an intrusion. You are a dog. Even if you are uneasy here, it is your remnant. You don’t understand. You don’t understand what it is to be an alien.”

>Do we have any evidence that this sort of behaviour is abnormal among dreambugs?
>The trying to make friends with you in your sleep thing you could deal with. You guess. She is a dreambug after all.

“Speaking of alien, is what you did to me okay by dreambug standards? Is that just something else I don’t understand?”

>Maexiks what the HELL?! She was invading your dreams regularly as a child […] She's been manipulating you just because she feels uncomfortable in the tombdog remnant

“Because, what I’m understanding from this, you were manipulating me? You were actually seriously trying to control me?” My voice is starting to break. It’s getting hard to keep speaking clearly.

> Also now it's impossible to tell if these feelings you have for her are legitimate
> control you into liking her. I wouldn't be surprised if she's done worse.

“So what about all these… feelings I’ve been having for you? Wanting to like. Aaaaah. That kissing? Touching? Am I only doing that because you trained me to? Dig me a grave I licked you the first night I ran away it just felt natural was that only because you trained me to do it in my dreams? What sort of things have we done in dreams that I don’t remember?

Maexiks’ voice is a little whistle. “I didn’t.”

“What have we done that I don’t remember?”

“I didn’t.”

>How come you've been remembering all these dreams now, anyway? It's weird that you didn't remember even a single one of her before then. Was she making you forget

“How come I don’t even remember the other dreams? Was that something you were doing on purpose? Maexiks?”


>Then all those conversations you two had, between what should have been friends, were taken from you because of her selfishness and cowardice.

“So you were okay with just having a one-sided friendship? You wouldn’t even let me remember that we were friends? I meant so much to you but all I knew you as was a merchant I talked to sometimes! Why? Why?”

“Because it was too late. I knew if I told you, at any time I told you, it would have been too late. I had been doing it all your life. It was always too late to tell you the truth.”

>So basically she was lonely and friendless and a little kid when it started and so were you.
>Aww she was a lonely kid and wanted a friend.

“My… entire life.”

>So it's not like some kind of evil scheme, or even her being evil, you were just way better friends than you knew

“I wish you had told me. After a certain point, we were both too grown up to not. I.”

>Maexiks's attempts to help you with your problems had exactly the same thing wrong with them as your original problems; someone trying sincerely to help you with what you surely want without ever thinking to actually ask or discuss it with you.

“Was it even my choice to run away?”

> Control you into running away.
>But her deliberately influencing one of the most important decisions of your life?

“Did I even decide anything in my life?”

She’s hiding herself entirely on the side of the house now. I can’t really see her. “I don’t know.”

>Despite apparently being utterly butterly batshit bug-girl raises a point; no matter where you go you will never fit in.
>She didn't implant the idea to run away in your head, all she did was help convince you that you were capable of doing something that you wanted to do all along anyway.
>She did get a little stalkery there but mostly just encouraging you the only way she knew how.
>When you think about it, the worst that she's done is been clingy, encouraged you to be independent and follow your heart
>The more we hear about Geofahn the more it sounds like not being with them is a good thing.
>You just made the choice easier.
>She pushed Sabby, sure, and Sabby didn't remember it when she was awake, sure, but she didn't literally control her thoughts at all.

“… no. This was still my choice. I can’t believe you’ve completely made me who I am. And who I am, it isn’t someone who was okay with how my life was going. You encouraged me to do what I wanted to do, when it was already what I wanted. Maybe I wouldn’t have had the courage to do it without you. I wish you had told me all those nights, though. Had let me remember them.”

> Romance is right out, though, and friendship is a stretch right now- she has a lot to make up for.
>It is POSSIBLE to forgive Maexiks, but she must realize that what she did was ABSOLUTELY WRONG
>Yeah it's pretty obvious she doesn't feel great about having done it.
>she obviously cares for you a lot, and didn't mean for any harm to come to you.
>Ok... this gives me more of a feeling of disappointment than anger.

I sit down on top of the house. “But I mean. I’m just. More disappointed. And upset. I’m angry, but. I think you did a lot of things wrong, but I don’t think it was for any wrong reasons. Just. I’m not going to be okay with this right away. But I mean. I guess of all the people manipulating me—my family, Geofahn, the whole remnant—at least you were actually doing it for my own good. So. Get back up here.”
No. 535201 ID: 8fb35b
File 137677925990.png - (76.03KB , 500x500 , 166.png )

Maexiks comes up next to me.

>Hug the bug
>Give her a big hug.

I want to, but… I can’t. Not yet. “I’m not okay with this all yet,” I say. “And we have a lot of talking to do before we’re friends again. That you were planning on getting yourself killed so you could be in my head forever is creepy and upsetting even if what you were doing was just helping me with my problems, okay? But like. If we want a chance to talk about anything ever again, we need to deal with the other dreambug.”

“Yes,” she says.

“The prayerman who’s keeping the other dreambug out right now—she offered to fight the Geofahn bug. For like, a lot of money. But if she can beat him, that means he’s out of my dreams and mind and everything forever. What do you think?”

“I don’t know.”

“Look I know we’re all upset but we have to focus. We got this night and this night only to plan, so. Please. Help me again. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter if we make up or not. We just won’t see each other again anyway.”

“I don’t know if a prayerman can defeat a dreambug. I do not even understand what that would involve. I do not know prayermen. I do not understand prayermen. I do not understand this barrier that is around your dreams.”

“So. No advice at all?”

“You can speak to him. You can convince him to leave you alone.”

“I don’t. I uh. I don’t think that’s going to work.”

“You have seen the Geofahn bug?”

“Well, yeah?”

“His mantle is solid colors.”


“It is nothing important to tombdogs like you. But it is very important to strangers who can never be tombdogs.”

“Oh? Oh. Oh! You mean—”

“My dreams of me do not wear my mantle. In his dreams, he wears a mantle he does not own. On his waking shoulders I think his mantle must be blue barred by green. When I spoke to him, he seemed very sure that he could earn more acceptance by returning you.”

“He wants to be a full member of the house? And he’ll only ever be an outsider-under-license?”

“I am not sure what you need to say to drive him away. But I am sure if you speak to him, and press him on the house he wishes to belong to, you may find something. But maybe the prayerman can simply defeat him. It is powerful enough magic to do this.” She tilts her head up at the sky. “It might be enough to simply remove him entirely.”

>What's to prevent her from just-packing up and leaving and coming here exactly again?

“So why don’t you just. Come and meet up in person?”

“I don’t know.”

I tell her where I’m going, and where I’ll be, and what my plans are, anyway. I think I trust her enough that, if I can’t solve the dreambug problem, I’d like to at least see her in person and see if things can be worked out or not.

We sit and watch the silver aurora for a little bit. Maexiks announces she’s going to leave, and then she’s gone, though, before I can even say anything else. It’s. It’s still a lot to think about.
No. 535202 ID: 8fb35b
File 137677928139.png - (71.69KB , 500x500 , 167.png )

I wake up, eventually.

Iaxio’s ghost isn’t here right now, so I guess it’s asleep or back at his corpse or something. It feels like it’s really early morning.

I’m still supposed to hang out with McTrinkets today and get to know her better. But before any of that, I have to decide.

If I pay the prayerman to fight the dreambug, that’s almost all my money, and I have a week+ long trip coming up. House Doxedn is paying for the transport—well, Kehfn is, out of his own pockets—but anything I want to buy along the way, including food, I’d have to work out some solution for. If I don’t go with the prayerman, the 100+ points of currency I have right now is a lot of money. But I’ll have to find some other way to be free of the Geofahn bug.

It’s the time to decide.

Almost all my money for the prayerman dreambattle, or not?
No. 535205 ID: c23ab0

Man, bugs are clingy. Oh, don't you dare get that prayerman to battle the dreambug. She said it could make her a complete invalid or kill her if she fails! And what do you think happens to the dream bug if she succeeds? I bet it's the same thing, except to him! That's why he can't mess with your dreams anymore is she's asking money to burn his brain to cinders.

At leeeeeeeast request clarification. You don't want to sink to Geofahn's level, no matter what they resort to, to apprehend you. Remember dreams are as important to these bugs as ghosts, so it's better you kill him than let some meddling man take away his dreams.
No. 535206 ID: f6094d

...We should have asked Maexiks if two dreambugs could hold out one skilled one.
Good back-up plan at the least, if the prayerman duel doesn't work. But I think it will, seeing how it held out Maexiks until we let her in.
Now, I think we should have the Prayerman battle happen. BUT, we should ask Zoidbug if he can do anything to help, and to contact Maexiks so she can help.
Two dreambugs and a prayerman versus one skilled dreambug? If he wins he is an epic Dreambug Hero on the same scale as Scars of Yesterday.
No. 535215 ID: 3e4b6e

Fight the dumb bug. It'll be entertaining.
No. 535218 ID: 96c896

I think almost-all your money is too much, here. How about instead you pay for 4-7 days worth of blocking him from entering (to give us a good head start), then after that's over just try to convince him to go away. You could also possibly let him in at some point before then to talk. Like tonight, before we leave.

He's already given up on convincing you to go back to Geofahn. All he's left with is tracking you through your dreams and keeping Maexiks out. Both of which won't grant him enough favor with Geofahn for them to betray their culture and grant him full membership of their family. He has already failed. Can't we convince him to at least let Maexiks have what he already has? His mantle is fully colored in his dreams. She has NONE, and will have none so long as he interferes.

Hey, maybe we should ask the prayerman priestess about how prayermen handle the family thing. Do they ever adopt other races? If we moved to a prayerman town, maybe Maexiks would feel more at ease there.
No. 535219 ID: 2f4b71

>Almost all my money for the prayerman dreambattle, or not?
Not, unless you can make some travel-money while you're still here.
No. 535221 ID: 41690e

...I'm thinking we might have better luck playing the social manipulation angle. We now know something about this bug. We saw just how desperately important belonging is to Maexiks. We see his colors in our dream. That gives us insight, and a card to play, if we play it right.
No. 535223 ID: 57a559

Still have to return Meandrixix's cash, sorry, but no fight.
You've gotten this far with your friends, tongue and hands alone. You can get farther on them in this regard.
No. 535224 ID: eaa372

The Prayerlady's assistance was appealing since we had no means to fight the Geofahn bug. We'll be able to save money by confronting the Geofahn ourselves now that we have an angle to attack him from.
No. 535230 ID: 96c896

I do not want to return the money. Nobody asked for it back, that implies we don't need to.
No. 535251 ID: 94d65e

Iaxio was pretty good at gambling, right? Perhaps we could stack him and try to win some additional cash. Trade a few points of the local currency for something that will be more valuable where we're going and try to make it snowball.

Also ask around and see if anyone needs a courier for the route you're taking. Picking up a bit of cash on the side to deliver things isn't a bad idea.
No. 535253 ID: 01531c

Meandraxix has not told the other dogs, either because she does not care, or she is so ashamed of her situation and mentioning the money would only make it worse.
No. 535255 ID: cf49fc

Do the Ritual.
No. 535288 ID: 9ddf68

the way I'm seeing this is do we want to get screwed over in the dream world or in the waking one. If we go with the prayerman option I have a good feeling it would work which would let us sleep in peace again but we would be kind screwed up the butt in the waking world since we have a week worth of traveling and unless we can find a way to make some cash we would be S.O.L. real quick. However if we keep our money we could easily make it to wherever we're going with some cash to spare given we don't spend it on useless things or get robbed or something but then we still have the bug chasing us every night and to get him to stop we would have to actually have to find him in our dreams to talk to him and even if we can pull that off we still have to try and convince him that hounding our butts isn't worth it.

Given the choices I say keep your money since we have little to no way of actually getting more of that (at least right now) and we still have a chance to talk the dreambug away, even if it's a small one it's still a lot cheaper.
No. 535317 ID: 034b75

Don't give her all your money.
No. 535412 ID: 33a4f2

Geofahn bug might be an ally in the longer run if you help him out. And FWIW, I'm feeling kinda sorry for the guy.
No. 535423 ID: 5af25b

an idea! it's still really early morning right? talk with the Geofahn bug now and see if you can convince him without spending the money
No. 536092 ID: 8fb35b
File 137702933098.png - (94.62KB , 500x500 , 168.png )

I decide it’s just way too much money, and even if it succeeds, like, I can do this. I can do this on my own. Without killing the Geofahn bug or something.

When I tell Iaxio he’s happy I’m not wasting my money on a clear scam.

I consider returning Meandraxix’s money, but no one told me, and she was opposing Hefehxn because she was a big name in shipping or something like that so I’m sure she’ll be fine.

When I tell Iaxio he’s happy I’m scamming her out of her money.

I make a note to see if there’s any money-making chances along the way and get myself ready to visit McTrinkets.

When I tell Iaxio he asks me if her and I are going to make out. I ignore him.

A small breakfast and wash later, Iaxio and I are at the Family Hefehxn manor. It’s. Super weird. Two days ago we were trying to kill each other and now we’re all friends? And McTrinkets is just hanging out with them.

A Hefehxn ghost lets me in and he’s really courteous and there’s no mention of the four dogs that are dead because of me. I only wait a few minutes before McTrinkets comes out.

She’s wearing full Hefehxn colors. Uhm. Okay.

Before we go out anywhere, while I’m still in the manor, I guess, if I want, I can ask if I can talk to the ghosts of the dogs I killed/helped kill. But from how it went in the nightmare, I don’t think I feel super guilty about it.
No. 536096 ID: ca1c58

Nah, don't talk to dead dogs. Today is for living dogs. Living dogs to go on dates without their relatives watching to see if they kiss, especially since they really want to kiss.

Ask her about the colors.
No. 536100 ID: 32e092


oh uh what's up with the colors I guess
No. 536104 ID: d2ad4a

Pure mantle.
So I suppose this is her 'home house' so to speak?
That makes things interesting!
Well, I suppose we could consider this being our premanent place of residence, or at least a possible place to return to and live if we end up destitute/ Sabby learns Geofahn is done chasing her.
No. 536116 ID: 8fb35b
File 137703681219.png - (60.60KB , 500x500 , 169.png )

I don’t want to overstay whatever welcome I have here, so McTrinkets and I head out the manor.

“So uh, you’re wearing their colors.”

“Well, that’s true. My old clothes needed a wash.”

“Were those other clothes your actual colors? Or was that just a disguise too?’

“Disguise! I have a few still stashed out in the coracle.”

“So Hefehxn just gave you some clothes to wear?”

“Oh, these are mine. I told you, Family Hefehxn and I didn’t always have it out for one another.”

“Are you… part of their family?”

“Oh no, not at all. Well!” she says. “A whole day to relax. Neither of us indebted to the other. How do you want to do?”

I’m not sure if I want to press her on just how she was involved with Hefehxn, or what kind of attitude I want to take with it. I’ll think about it for a moment. And anything else I want to talk to her about. This is the one day I have with McTrinkets without interruption, so it’s time to actually get to know her and decide what I think about her.

We talk about a few of the things that there are to do in this city for strangers who want to relax or have fun.

We’re apparently south enough there’s an actual theater around. Theater is kind of more popular in the south and it’s like, super “old fashion” tombdog that even grandma’s ghost makes fun of for being out of date. But I never actually saw it, so it could be neat to go and check out with McTrinkets.

There are always the public game tables. Gambling and other board games are the most common pastime in the entire remnant, so we can hang out and play games like that real casually.

McTrinkets mentions there’s a menagerie a family runs in the city, and the weird things they got there are worth gawking at sometimes.
No. 536121 ID: ca1c58

Say "like this," and put your tongue in her mouth.

Don't press her about colors right this second.

Also best date spot is the zoo. Go to the zoo zoo is awesome go to the zoo.
No. 536125 ID: 092337

No you fool don't go that fast! You might not even like her after today! Seconding not hassling about colours just yet, though.

We already did gaming some time ago, so let's go zoo for a break from the norm. Let us marvel at the weird and wonderful creatures of this land and others!
No. 536127 ID: 26d11e

Don't be a perv. Go to the zoo or something.
No. 536142 ID: 41690e

If she wanted to give you a strait answer about the colors, she would have already. Don't push it anymore.

Let's just go hang out or something.
No. 536143 ID: d2ad4a

I'd rather see the theater-seems like that would be a more interesting time, though I guess with Sabby not liking stuffy tombdog culture (Or just getting the absolute worst treatment of it for her personality) she wouldn't care so much about it...
Ehh, who knows.
I wanna see the theater though!
No. 536144 ID: 9ddf68

did you ask her if she has any ways of making money yet?

Sure lets gawk at the weird things for now, It's different and harder to track. But for future reference let's not always pick the oddest thing on our least of things to do because then it would become predictable in that we always chose the new thing. Of course if we can fix our bug problem then the hell with it, it don't matter anymore.
No. 536148 ID: 96c896

Ask how she made good with Hefexn, anyway. Did she stick up for them when they were confronted with the evidence?

Also, go see the play. You're gonna be living in the south, so it's probably best you get a sample of what to expect.
No. 536153 ID: d3f29d

Yeah, just let the color thing drop. It's clearly not a big deal to her.

Go to the theater. If your family didn't care for it, that should be good enough for you.

Sit in the back. Hope the matinee is a romance.
No. 536195 ID: bec0df

Don't bother asking about the colours. Its highly unlikely she would give you a straight answer anyway- she seems tricky like that.

Gambling sounds nice; Iaxio will be able to help us a bit there and maybe we can win some cash on the side. In life he was a good gambler so stacking him will improve our chances.

Perhaps the menagerie would be more interesting than the theater, since people find it boring they probably do so for a reason. With luck they might even have critters from other remnants.

Don't try to find the ghosts of the dogs you helped kill/killed. They probably think you're a butt for killing them already so there's no need to fart on them further.
No. 536217 ID: 96c896

...hang on a second, she's wearing their colors, but she's not part of their family? Isn't that like... totally improper? I mean, at the very least, she must've been adopted into their family to be given permission to wear those colors. Unless she was given those colors so that wearing them would be a visual lie to those she deals with? Like, so that people would trust her more as a Hefehxn merchant? It does sound like the sort of shady thing Hefehxn would do, and it would be pretty smart for McTrinkets. That reminds me, see if you can get another name out of her, something we can use on a more permanent basis. After all, you'd like to send her letters in the future!
No. 536299 ID: bec0df

>...hang on a second, she's wearing their colors, but she's not part of their family? Isn't that like... totally improper?

Mc Trinkets shifts name, house and appearance whenever she feels like it, so I guess changing her mantle wouldn't be too different. Posing as a full member of the house would throw a lot of confusion into the works if someone was asking after her.

Then again she is very casual about it, which is very contrary to Tombdog norms. Something tells me she isn't from around here.
No. 536671 ID: d2ad4a

Maybe just goggle a bit of at the weirdness of those 4-legged tombdogs...Or maybe just dogs? Like, they come from the prayerman remmant, so maybe they don't have ghosts like tombdogs do?
No. 536679 ID: bec0df

Ask her if she is involved in anything that would possibly get you into trouble for hanging out with her. Like the last time.

As for what you actually think of her... she is shady as hell but as long as that isn't directed at you negatively it could be benificial. She scratched your back, you scratched hers, the world turns and the balanceis restored.
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