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562329 No. 562329 ID: 5ce288

Save Yourself Quest, Part VI

Previous Threads and Information – http://tgchan.org/wiki/Save_Yourself_Quest
Sister Quest Information – http://tgchan.org/wiki/Kill_Yourself_Quest
Author Contact – http://knitifine.tumblr.com/ask
Expand all images
No. 562330 ID: 5ce288
File 139227865547.jpg - (225.68KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 2.jpg )

Your name is Ella Isplore.
You are currently dreaming, all you can see is darkness and webs.

Words as well. You can see words.
Perhaps you should answer.
No. 562359 ID: 4a75fa

You're yourself. Beyond that, it doesn't matter.

Unless the words move or change in responce, push through the web and keep going.
No. 562375 ID: 7400f2

You're Ella, and you aren't going to lose sight of yourself like some of the others here have.
No. 562425 ID: 5ce288
File 139233614497.jpg - (254.17KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 3.jpg )

"I'm myself. I'm Ella."

You can't seem to move, you can really feel, or hear anything.
No. 562427 ID: 7444d6

I certainly don't intend to be.
No. 562433 ID: 4a75fa

I gave you the truth that matters. How you choose to see that is your problem.
No. 562478 ID: 5ce288
File 139235624496.jpg - (283.55KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 4.jpg )


"I'm not a liar, I told you the truth. "

No. 562479 ID: 5ce288
File 139235625739.jpg - (227.17KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 5.jpg )

No. 562482 ID: 4a75fa

...I'm not interested in ruling anyone, Nan.

(If this decision isn't one we can weasel out of, based off pure ascetics, I like upper right the best, lower right next best.

...also, since there's four of them, I assume they're each supposed to be associated with a humor? Kind of doesn't make sense for Ella to choose in that case, since her whole thing has been balance, and white is all colors, favoring none. It's the other characters who lean).
No. 562492 ID: 7400f2

Now that I think of it, this is definitely the work of the spider demon. Best to be wary. (Though we already are, kinda.)
No. 562507 ID: 5ce288
File 139237508243.jpg - (245.01KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 6.jpg )


"I don't want to rule anyone... Wait. You... you're that spider demon! The one from Jordan's journal! I’ve seen pictures of you!"
No. 562508 ID: 5ce288
File 139237509474.jpg - (256.78KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 7.jpg )

No. 562509 ID: 5ce288
File 139237510587.jpg - (238.68KB , 800x516 , SYQ-FC 8.jpg )

You should probably say something...
No. 562513 ID: 759db3

Forgotten? What happened that you were forgotten? With powers like this, how did you disappear into myth, Nan?
No. 562535 ID: 4a75fa

...she's as reluctant to call herself a monster as you are. I find that kind of amusing.

What is it you want from me, Nan?
No. 564250 ID: 5ce288
File 139331060977.jpg - (179.06KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 9.jpg )

"Forgotten? How? With all this power you how could some- …one like you be forgotten?"
No. 564251 ID: 5ce288
File 139331065213.jpg - (216.90KB , 800x556 , SYQ-FC 10.jpg )

Nan puts on her mask.
No. 564252 ID: 5ce288
File 139331067916.jpg - (134.15KB , 420x577 , SYQ-FC 11.jpg )

"What do you want from me?"
No. 564253 ID: 5ce288
File 139331069247.jpg - (467.17KB , 1024x768 , SYQ-FC 12.jpg )

No. 564259 ID: 4a75fa

>core motivation: save your friends
...I get the feeling that we've got a problem that crosses our core motivation, here. Agreeing to rule over them will directly conflict with saving them.

We could argue that we're accepting ruling them in order to get them out. Or that we're sacrificing ourself for them. Or that in ruling them we'd be saving them from worse alternatives.

But ultimately, those all sound like compromises. The first steps to compromising ourself, and letting this place make us into what it wants us to be. The same trap that could have turned father into what he is today. The path to hell is paved with good intentions, after all. And it's all the shorter when you're already here.

I'm sorry, no.
No. 564265 ID: 7a4bfa

Maybe. But it sounds like Good ole' Nan's going to work us over no matter which path we take, and I wouldn't be surprised if she DOES have mind-messing powers...
The trouble is...I don't think it's necessarily all that wise to refuse, or rather-if we accept...We'd be in a position to make things better. Theoretically.
At the same time though...It's all about if Good Ole' Nan's going to want to call in 'favors' from us for making us into the ruler of the human realm. Would we truly be free? Or would we simply be her puppet?
In circumstances like that, we have little reason to accept- it's just the choice between a plain cage or a gilded one.
No. 564272 ID: 4a75fa

I don't think she means ruler of the human realm. She means the house.

>We'd be in a position to make things better. Theoretically.
The biggest problem is I'm thinking that's exactly the kind of logic that ended up turning Abraham into father. It's a subtle trap for the good person. While in a tight spot, they accept the office with the intent to do good, to change the system, but the system changes them instead.

Jordan warned us that deals are fundamentally dangerous. And this seems like the biggest one we could possibly make.

I suppose if we wanted to waffle we could ask what it means or entails to lead. Or what happens if there is no leader. (Does the house break down and let people escape, or does it collapse inwards?).
No. 564572 ID: 5ce288
File 139352137523.jpg - (118.23KB , 344x537 , SYQ-FC 13.jpg )

"No, I won't."

The blade is searing hot.
No. 564573 ID: 5ce288
File 139352139089.jpg - (105.01KB , 659x392 , SYQ-FC 14.jpg )

You awaken. You can feel consciousness immediately begin slipping away from you again.

Your seams have torn open... there's some dark ink the feels like it's boiling on your skin.

You hear shouting, or is it screaming? Other voices, the voices of your friends...

And your chest still feels like it has a sword in it, a sword that's sinking deeper and deeper.

You can still feel the webs, and slowly it the darkness is collapsing around you again.
No. 564574 ID: 5ce288
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Your skin is glowing... you hear the other voices fading, in favor of Good Ol' Nan's.

You're not really surprised Nan is attempting to force your hand. On the bright side, it seems like she can't actually make you agree.

Go out fighting with your pride intact, or compromise in order to help your friends?
No. 564578 ID: 5ce288
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Ella is not strong enough to survive Good Ol' Nan's direct assault, and Nan is not one to compromise.

If Ella agrees, the story will continue to follow her, though the 'promotion' will take a great psychological toll that she is unlikely to fully come back from.

If Ella does not, she will die and the story will follow her friends as they attempt to escape from the ruler Nan puts in place instead of her.

Discussion thread here >>/questdis/79922
No. 564580 ID: 947d2d

On the one hand, if we have Ella in charge, even a damanged one, we'll have more characters, and levers to pull in bringing down the house.

On the other hand, more characters isn't actually a good thing in itself-it can be hard to manage and co-ordinate people in here, especially with all the weirdness.

But as a counter arguement, there's also how the others will respond to this-Jordan would be the least surprised, but probably would be the most hostile to Ella post-coronation.
Yet, this 'Thorned Bride' will probably make things harder for the gang to escape as well...
Save the others, by saving yourself.
Sam'd fare badly if you died, the Thorned Bride would be hostile, and...By the sounds of it, Ella's a half-blood anyway-might as well see what powerset she gets.
Yes, accept. Nan can't FORCE us to do things, she can lean, but she can't control unless she makes a deal, and that would bind her as well. If we can get our friends out, we can then fight for our own freedom without worry.
No. 564588 ID: 4a75fa

Well, old Ella would have chosen to survive. That's not the priority anymore.

There's the option to die for principle. But our pride or moral purity aren't the priority either, or the principle we care about.

If our goal here is to do good by our friends, we have to look objectively at which path serves that better.

If we die, we can't help them in any way. We can't pass on any knowledge (something happened in the basement last thread- Ella had some kind of epiphany or revelation we weren't completely privy to. "I... see the way out."). We'd be breaking the commitment we gave to Sam, minutes (?) ago. And we we'd be putting them under the thumb of someone we already know to be... kind of unhinged. And with known hostile intent to at least one of them. But we wouldn't be a threat to them, either.

If we live, we're theoretically free to help them. Barring restrictions our post and altered mental state places on them. We also run the risk of becoming an actual threat (unless our core motivation is more powerful than any promotion or deal? Can you be forced to act against a core motivation? I suppose in the right circumstances it can be perverted- suicide was a perversion of "stay alive"). Especially if Ash finds a reason to call in her deal. You probably still hurt Sam either way, but at least you're in the position to say goodbye.

Either way, you're dead. Either you die now, or you die getting them out, or being destroyed by what you become, or trying to escape it. So your own survival is a moot point (and irreverent to the motivation of saving the others, anyways).

...actually, does our deal with Ash come into play, here? If she's the other candidate, aren't we "replacing her" if we accept this post? Does that make us unable to accept, or does that give us an oath-strength with which to challenge Nan? (We make lack the strength to survive or oppose Nan normally, but maybe we have it if we draw on the terms of that deal?).

Failing that idea, on balance, compromising looks like it has better odds of helping them. The threat Ash poses is known, the threat you pose is unknown, and uncorrupted you, at least, has a better interest in them.

Give her a single word answer. Terms.

If Nan expresses amusement or content or asks why: because if I don't like what I hear I'll tell you to Jam that sword back in my chest.

Complicating things: we the players know there's another Ella out there. It's possible the doppelganger survives while the original doesn't. Is there any way we can use that? Ella sacrifices herself, but then memories or essence could be passed on to make the changing whole? Kind of like the craziness in Children of the Mind.
No. 564596 ID: 92b67d

I think Ella would choose to try to live for her friends' sake. After all, there're things she hasn't told them.

That said, her motivation can be used against her. If she views it as dangerous to try to escape, a part of her might want to stop them to save them. But the important counter to that view is that this place is killing them all psychologically (and in some cases apparently physically as with what happened with Taylor).

I'm bringing this up, because I think that needs to be kept firmly in mind throughout whatever happens when Ella agrees. Remember that key point and hold onto it. Whatever else Ella might compromise on, she can't compromise on this one.

And also, don't make any deals. Ella doesn't need additional contract complications. Just let Nan do it.
No. 564600 ID: 92b67d

Or to put it another way: preventing escape might save them short-term, but it'll only doom them long-term.
No. 564617 ID: 88960e

Oh, I don't think the terms of what.we'd be agreeing to will be negotiable at all. Just that it will be useful to know what they are upfront, rather than having to discover them the hard way (like everything else). That, and there's the slight chance the terms will be so bad that death starts looking like the better option.
No. 564686 ID: 5ce288
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"Wh-what do I have to do? "
Nan says you have to agree.
"If you're not going to tell me to what, then kill me. "
Nan pauses.
"What do I have to do? "
Nan explains you must take responsibility for your land and subjects. And you must keep quiet (in words and other expressions) about your own weaknesses, including the weaknesses of your land.
"And the other things, what about... the... madness? "
Nan believes you are incredibly rude, and perhaps she should choose someone else...
"You... don't seem to think like humans. Rules, what are the rules? "
Nan says there are none.

You are suspicious, but you also have a sword going into your chest.

"Fine. Just... Just do it. "
Nan informs you it's not that simple, you have to choose a path. A title to accept, which will take the physical form of a mask. You don't have to wear the mask, but you must keep it on your person or your powers and life will slowly fade.

Expansive Details

The Stitched Lady
Defining Trait: Brutal
Power: Disassemble

The title of the Stitched Lady leaves one more prone to violent brutal outbursts in the face of opposition or misunderstanding. The Stitched Lady can freely disassemble and reassemble her own body and the bodies of others, this ability becomes less usable the closer one is to the mortal world.

The Queen of Mirrors
Defining Trait: Capricious
Power: Steal Powers

The title of the Queen of Mirrors leaves on more prone to her owns whims, unfocused and taken to rather decisive, extreme actions given little provocation. The Queen of Mirrors can steal the powers of her subjects or other fair folk by touch, this ability always works but can be unreliable against enemies with many powers if the touch is not extensive.

The Mistress of Night
Defining Trait: Cruel
Power: Vampirism

The title of the Mistress of Night leaves on especially prone to sadistic and abusive tendencies, but rarely does this manifest as violence. The Mistress of Night can steal the life of her enemies, allies and subjects and then use that life to heal herself of any injuries she has been inflicted with, this power always works but can sometimes kill the subject.

The Duchess of Aether
Defining Trait: Emotionless
Power: Incorporeality

The title of the Duchess of Aether leaves one unable to understand the emotions of others and unable to recognize their own emotions as anything other than a complex reasoning beyond the understanding of lesser creatures. The Duchess of Aether can become incorporeal, fading through the material of the natural world and the fair lands. This power does not allow the Duchess to pass through pure iron or silver in either world.

Choose your- personal hell - path of ascension - title.
No. 564699 ID: 4a75fa

Reviewing the terms: (personal reflection, not things for Ella to say)

>you must take responsibility for your subjects
Well, we've already been trying to do that, really.

>you must take responsibility for your land
...that's actually not bad language, either. If you're responsible for something, that means you're responsible for the harm it does. For trying to control it. To put it down, if necessary. (Ella, take Lassie your horrible demon house out back and shoot it). I think Ella would have preferred to escape over taking responsibility for it, but we can do that.

>And you must keep quiet (in words and other expressions) about your own weaknesses, including the weaknesses of your land.
That's more restrictive (if the way out was revealed to Ella in the basement, she's likely not going to be able to communicate it anymore). Still, it could be worse. If you're compelled to stonewall certain things, silence can itself be an answer. (Provided our friends are smart and ask the right questions). And we're not compelled to protect those weakness once discovered (to the extent that doesn't overlap with take responsibility).

>The titles
...is there a reason they all require me to sacrifice or change a significant part of who I am? I thought you wanted me to rule. (I don't expect any protest to matter at this point, but that's the only argument I can think of that approaches' Nan's concerns).

Brutal seems to be an unacceptable trait. Ella can kill all too easily, and there's no way there won't be misunderstandings between now and the end. Even if you can reassemble people you main, you don't have the ability to reverse death.

Cruel is similarly unacceptable. Your core motivation is to protect your friends, but the would be the most available and obvious target of your cruelty.

Capricious... has obvious risks, but might be more manageable. It's not dissimilar to the effect our controlling characters has on them anyways. And it's possible the worst of it could be controlled or mitigated if Ella put her trust in someone else. (Rely on Sam to reign her in, say).

Emotionless is obviously the worst toll on yourself. You're cutting out your heart in order to remain in control. Possibly the safest route for our allies, although there's the serious risk you forget why you're trying to help them. And interacting effectively at all could be seriously hampered. (Although, it is still possible to have a meaningful life with goals and relationships even in the absence of emotion. Data sure as hell pulls it off).

Sam is, rather obviously, going to be hurt by any of these. More than an of the others, she's going to bear the brunt of a fundamental change in who you are. Cruel and Emotionless would probably be the worst for her, though (you start abusing her, or becomes physically incapable of returning her feelings).

>final count
I say The Queen of Mirrors. Capricious is the best balance of controlling the risk you present to people, still giving yourself some chance at a life, and still giving Sam a chance.
No. 564700 ID: 947d2d

Mirror sounds like what we want. Subject to our whims, so if we get the whim to escape? Besides, power jacking probably would be a great way to really mess up anyone in our path.
No. 565373 ID: 5ce288
File 139406865016.jpg - (387.18KB , 1510x1296 , SYQ-FC 18.jpg )


"I don't suppose any of these could be more like me, huh?"
Nan informs you they're all very prominent aspects of your personality, regardless of whether you're mature enough to admit that.
"Whatever... Queen of Mirrors."
Nan is pleased with your choice and leaves you to your dominion.

Mechanics of the Fair Folk

White Plasm Humour: You now have new humour. White Plasm measures your humanity and can be used to control your unnatural impulses. When White Plasm grows to level 5 you will enter a crisis where you become all too aware of how inhuman you've become. White plasm can be used to generate more white plasm. By expending one level of white plasm you will regain two levels of white plasm the next time you sleep. Your maximum level of white Plasm is 2, due to your normally half human nature.

Create Changeling: You can create a changeling out of pieces of the human soul and objects or animals. You must expend a level of white plasm to do this and have a human nearby to rip the soul from. You can extend the process to create a more convincing changeling. A changeling's humanity (and thus white plasm) is based on how much of a soul it has, you can create changelings from 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or one whole human soul.

Unnatural Aura: You have an aura of the supernatural about you, this gives you protection against the mind and body rending barriers between the fair lands and mortal world, but can cause mortals to suffer emotion imbalances. Whenever you raise a mortal's humours by four levels (whether through your aura itself or by tormenting them), you gain an additional level of White Plasm.

Appearance: The Queen of Mirrors has a mirrorlike flesh, this manifests under your current skin, which is no longer necessary for your health and somewhat uncomfortable given the unnatural tears from your stitches coming undone. You can choose to remove your extra layer of flesh, a rather horrifying process for any who witnesses, or keep it. If you keep it you gain an additional maximum level of White Plasm, but your unnatural aura increases the choleric humour of those around you. If you remove it you lose both the aforementioned benefit and drawback. You can disguise yourself as mortal if you so choose, but you cannot use any of your supernatural abilities if you do.

Mask: You can wear your mask in a number of ways. Whenever you uncover your face your maximum and current white plasm level increase by one, this reverts when you put the mask back on. As long as your mask is off your unnatural aura increases the sanguine humour of those around you.

Weaknesses: Silver burns your body, so silver weapons are especially harmful to you. Iron has the same effect, but additionally stops the healing process all together. You can not heal wounds made by iron except through powerful magic. The mortal world's very nature is harmful to you. You may acquire other weaknesses as your power grows.

Dominion: You can warp the the small bit of the fair lands under your rulership. Including the size of your dominion. The smaller your realm the harder it is to escape from, and the less straining it is for you to leave. Realms come in three sizes: small, medium, and large, which require one, two and three levels of white plasm for you to leave respectively. Your current realm is small, but this can be changed.

Glamour Grafting: Humans you rip souls from will die if their soul doesn't have glamour grafted to it. The process of glamour grafting can be executed in a number of ways, but requires you to force the essence of the fair lands into the soul-torn human somehow. This process leaves humans with unshaped glamour which will eventually react to an outside stimuli and change them internally and externally. If you wish you can direct this change.

Please choose an outfit and appearance before proceeding.
No. 565377 ID: ae43f7

We maybe the Queen of Mirrors, but we're also half and half. The mask may warn others of our fey nature, but the uncovered face reminds them that we are only half-fey.
No. 565378 ID: 5ce288

I feel it's important to point out that the mask positions in the image are just examples, any mask position can be used with any outfit, natch. Mask position is it's own mechanic, clothes are just clothes.
No. 565380 ID: 88960e

Outfit-wise, I like B the best. It's kind of a chic and simple take on the Fay thing. Almost theatrical. The tattered rags thing is too old and depressing, and the knight outfit feels like it's trying to hard. Like she's covering up, or trying to hide in fantasy.

As for the other, the increased humanity is probably worth keeping our skin. Although I kind of wish there were a less restrictive option to play with our mirror aspect (seriously, that's fun character design).
No. 565381 ID: ae43f7


Still want 2, since it sounds like it'd be very hard to get that back if we lose it...
But now this is an interesting set of choices.
A- the Queen's formal.
A appears to be a dress that seems to emphasize the mystic, probably good if we wanted to act like a good little fey who knows her place, since it would play right into the role Nan wants from us.

B- The Queen Errant.
This seems like something of an adventurer's garb, or maybe something worn to be sneaky. It suggests a wanderer...And thus slightly brews mistrust, but could play into the role Nan wants us to be.

C- The Warring Queen.
Straight-up warrior costume. Nan probably won't like this period, because it suggests a more direct method of dealing with things, and not only are the fey typically more tricky, Nan herself has shown that she is of that type...

I personally am not so fond of A, and while I like C, I feel like B fits Ella best.
It looks fey, and suggests secrets, but at the same time, it ALSO looks fairly practical and cool, and suggests a 'wanderer' feel which might make goodbyes easier...
Soo, in short? 2B
No. 565382 ID: a05595

I'm a fan of the middle outfit, it's aesthetically pleasing, simple as that.
Skin is skin. It should probably be kept, even if it's a little itchy, poorly-fitting, and makes other people a little more prone to bad humours. Also it sounds like we can get rid of it later if we really felt like it, since it is in effect just ripping it off.
No. 565383 ID: 88960e

Haha, thank you for the reconsideration. Hasn't considered what the outfits might mean in terms of acceptance or rebellion. What I saw as hiding something, you saw as striving for a different role. Interesting.
No. 565388 ID: 4a75fa

All right, changing my vote. After asking a bunch of questions in dis, I think we want mirror-skin. White levels aren't the end all and say all in how human we behave or think, and if we're skinned and masked we won't be emitting any harmful humor radiation. (Meaning we're capable of being in our allies presence for extended periods of time, able to talk things out, or directly assist to the extent we're able. Also, Sam has more of a chance if we're physically able to exist in the same room as her for extended periods of time).

...of course, their witnessing what we do to ourself is going to be horrifying, and there may be other drawbacks (like a loss of sensation? Or giving Sam more of a chance may not mean much with creepy cold mirror hands. Although maybe the human disguise includes touch).

Feel free to join me in my flip-flop or not.
No. 565405 ID: 92b67d

1B. The skin feels uncomfortable and it's going to aggravate our friends just being around us and we can explain it to them. Right? Right?

Anyway, I like outfit B the best.
No. 565900 ID: b187de

Right, I'd be willing to swing to 1B, provided we first take the time to explain why we're going to remove our skin to whoever's in the room prior to removing it, then telling them to get out so as to not watch. I think we lose a lot of persuasiveness once the skin is gone so I'd like to explain our reasoning while it's still there and we retain some semblance of humanity.
No. 565932 ID: 4a75fa

Well, we'll have the chance to do explaining of some sort. To what extent we can get into exact details may get hung up depending on how the no talking about weaknesses thing is interpreted.
No. 566072 ID: 5ce288
File 139465380670.jpg - (373.16KB , 1600x1200 , SYQ-FC 19.jpg )

You awaken and sit up, Sam is attempting to bandage your tears.

You tell her to stop and move your hand to grab her arm. It feels fragile in your grip, you could probably snap it in two if you wanted...

Sam pulls away and you let her go, glamour surges around you and begins to weave into fine cloth, you suppose you’ll let that finish before you remove the itching layer of flesh so your clothes aren't bloodstained. As you assess yourself you see your mask sitting comfortably on your shoulder.
No. 566073 ID: 5ce288
File 139465384108.jpg - (148.16KB , 1024x627 , SYQ-FC 20-0.jpg )

"What do you want?
"... Are you all there?"
"Where else would I be?
"…Maybe you should lie back down."
"No, I shouldn't."
No. 566074 ID: 5ce288
File 139465386324.jpg - (321.91KB , 1440x768 , SYQ-FC 21.jpg )

"Mistress, would you like an update on the current status of your land and subjects?"
"Yes, that'd be helpful."
"What would be?"
"Quiet, I'm talking."
"Very well."


Alex is dying.
No. 566075 ID: 5ce288
File 139465387834.jpg - (151.12KB , 1024x627 , SYQ-FC 20-1.jpg )

"Sam, maybe you should leave..."
"No, you're not going to do that."
"You can't stop her."
"Quiet. I need to attend to some things. You two are going to stay put until I get back."
"Did I say you could speak?"

Sam looks shocked, the expression amuses you a little.
No. 566076 ID: 5ce288
File 139465389282.jpg - (197.44KB , 1024x627 , SYQ-FC 20-2.jpg )

"Ella, get a hold of yourself!"

Your hands twitch. You could snap Jordan's neck and get him out of your way, but... you wouldn't do that. You need to save your friends, not kill them. Even if Jordan only barely qualifies... Still, he's in your way, and you have important things to do.

You feel compelled to incapacitate him, what do you do?
No. 566078 ID: a9813e

Jordan, you can try to detain me, but Alex is dying-his changeling was made, and recently too.
No. 566084 ID: a97618

>You could probably snap it in two if you wanted...
Why would you want to do that? Your objective is to save your friends, not harm them. And on a personal level, Sam's someone you care about. Who or what you are hasn't changed that, has it?

What you should be focusing on, instead of your ability to harm Sam, is your new-found ability to not harm Sam. Did you notice? You touched her, bare handed, and your necro touch had no effect. You can control it now, and you unconsciously chose not to hurt Sam. You can touch people again. You can touch the person who professed love to you. Doesn't that mean anything to you? It would have, once.

>The expression amuses you a little
Why? That it shows you're capable of hurting Sam? You were always physically stronger than Sam. That's nothing new and superior for you to be proud of. And you know Sam has put a lot of trust in you, made herself emotionally vulnerable. Attacking from that direction doesn't prove your superiority, or even achieve anything interesting or unusual or amusing. It's a cheap shot. One anyone could take. That's beneath what you are, who you are, and the position you've adopted. It's a betrayal of your motivation. And of the trust Sam placed in you. And of the commitments you've made. Do you think a change in status means you no longer need honor those?

>be quiet, I'm being in control here
Drop the attitude. It does not serve you well. You are still the mistress here, no matter how you choose to behave (and it is completely in your power to choose how you behave). Trying to dominate your friends in this manner will cause them emotional harm. It will degrade relations, and impede your attempts to save them as they come to mistrust and fear you. And worst of all, it will inevitably lead to conflict, which will force you to harm them. You're compromising your objective with the way you act.

...what interest are broken, dominated slaves, anyways? Aren't people more interesting when they speak up, and do things? Again, it's not as if allowing them to do so changes the fact you're in control. You've been making the decisions here, even when you were human.

And what of your own, selfish perspective? Being the ice Queen is fun now, but it won't entertain you forever. There are times you'll want personal contact. You still have emotions. Needs. Things and people you care about. If you isolate yourself from them, you're only hurting yourself later. You've been hurt enough. Don't think you can't cut that new shiny skin.

>Jordan barely qualifies as your friend
He's protected others you care about. That alone should be enough.

>You feel compelled to incapacitate him, what do you do?
You know Jordan's motivation. The easiest means to incapacitate Jordan is to to remove his reason for resisting you. Meet his demand. 'Get ahold of yourself'. Make him see that opposing you is not justice. And give him a reason why justice would be served in letting you pass.

[Burn a white humor if that's what it takes to stay in control]

I... I'm sorry. I'm still in control. I could either agree to this or die, and I almost refused. But it would have been Ash otherwise, and I thought you would fare better with me. And I didn't think it was fair to Sam. Not that I'm sure this is, either.

But I really do have to go. I'm not done changing, and I don't want you to see the last step. And Alex is dying. I need to patch the damage before it's too late. (Jordan will be compelled to allow this by his pact with Taylor).

You might also want to don you mask before you irradiate their sanguine humors.

Is white the only color we have now?

>an update on the current status of your land and subjects?
...I didn't see anything about the status of our land in there. Unless the land is wholly dependent on the subjects who inhabit it?
No. 566142 ID: 92b67d

If those other reasonings don't work, think of it as humoring them. But ultimately, if necessary spend white humor. You can't afford to get into a fight and alienate them.

The full explanation can come later. At the basest minimum tell them that Alex's dying from having a chunk of his soul missing, and you need to graft glamour onto him to save him. Explain that'll cause changes like the others've experienced--you don't want them to misunderstand when they see him.

Also mention that you'll look a little different when you come back.
No. 573459 ID: 5ce288
File 139943961768.jpg - (334.58KB , 1600x1200 , SYQ-FC 22.jpg )

You take a deep breath and put your hand over your heart.

You spend one white plasm.

"Sam, I'm sorry. I-I was going to die, and I... was offered a choice... a choice that's going to make me... different from now on."

The look of fear in Sam's eye breaks your heart.

"Jordan, you need to move aside. I found out that Alex is dying, and I'm the only one who can help."

"Dying? How? Alex seemed just fine a moment ago."

"You have to trust me, it's not something you can see. It's a problem with the soul and after I fix it, I..."

You look back to Sam.

"I need to be alone for a while. When you next see me... I'll be different. You need to let me do this."

Jordan stares at you suspiciously for a moment, but then moves aside. You don your mask and leave to find Alex.
No. 573460 ID: 5ce288
File 139943965136.jpg - (253.84KB , 1440x768 , SYQ-FC 24.jpg )

>...I didn't see anything about the status of our land in there. Unless the land is wholly dependent on the subjects who inhabit it?

No. 573462 ID: a95b2e

>Jordan stares at you suspiciously for a moment, but then moves aside.
Thank you.

>The look of fear in Sam's eye breaks your heart.
Be thankful you still have a heart to break.

>need to find Alex
That should be trivial, right? It's not as if someone can hide from you in your own realm. If you want to know where Alex is, you'll know. If you want a door to lead you there, it will.

The real problem is Taylor. She'll be protective, and I doubt she's going to trust your new appearance. You'll need to move fast, so you can be there, and talk your way past her before your white humor wears off.

The obvious approach is to tell her Alex needs your help. Father did something to you. To all of you. And he didn't have a chance to finish with Alex. It can't be left a job half done- an open wound.

If she still doesn't trust you: you saved my life a short a while ago. If there's one thing I owe you for that, it is my complete honesty right now. Alex is dying, and I can fix that. Please, let me help.

Okay... ground (with fence), first floor, second floor, other second floor, no further details. Because we don't have them, or they're transitory, epidermal, and irreverent?

That we're not the owner is problematic, although that makes sense in retrospect. Unfortunately that means we're not fully in control- we're Nan's regent.

Later we could see about changing the size (if that helps our objective) or the theme (although if we can't make a conscious choice of theme, bringing about our own worst nightmare would likely negatively impact our allies. We might be better leaving that as is). I'd be interested to see what
the gate actually looks like.
No. 601929 ID: 72c7be
File 141585834254.jpg - (169.22KB , 880x635 , SYQ-FC 25-0.jpg )

What does the gate look like?
You don’t remember? The gate is a circular mass of flowing plants that are tangled and twisted together. These plants are infused with the essence of this world and shouldn't be touched by humans."
No. 601930 ID: 72c7be
File 141585836852.jpg - (249.14KB , 1280x1024 , SYQ-FC 26-0 - Illusion of Freedom.jpg )

You can go anywhere in the house on a whim. It takes no time at all to locate Alex and Taylor.
No. 601931 ID: 72c7be
File 141585838665.jpg - (178.95KB , 1024x768 , SYQ-FC 27-0 - Minimal Detail Returns.jpg )

When you arrive in the room you find Taylor looking very wound up and tense. Alex appears to be asleep.

"Taylor, I-"
Ella? You’re awake? What’s with the mask?"
"It’s a long story, but listen… Alex is in trouble and needs my help."
What? Why?"

Taylor nudges Alex shoulder but Alex remains asleep.

"It’s complicated. It has to do with what Father did to us, to all of us. He… started on Alex but didn’t finish. So now there’s this open wound and if Alex isn’t treated…"
Alex… Alex wake up."

Alex doesn’t move.

Fine, whatever, just do something."

You begin the process of glamour grafting to save Alex’s life. You can choose an idea to infuse the glamour, if you don’t it will become infused over time. Either way will eventually result in physical changes to Alex.

Do you direct this change?
No. 601983 ID: 7c58ae

>Do you direct this change?
Do we know the risks or drawbacks to either method?

Off the top of my head, I'm guessing that leaving it 'open' means it has the opportunity to develop into something natural, or that better suits the person (less chance of dissonance, complications?) but with the drawback that something significantly worse might end up influencing them before that happens. Guiding it might be safer, or more certain in results, but would depend on us understating the individual well enough to make a good decision.

Problem is I'm not sure how safe this environment is for development (look what happened to us!) and I'm not sure we know Alex well enough to make a good choice. (Maybe freedom would work as an idea? It's one of the few things to come out of our first ill fated conversation, although that was with their doppelganger. Not sure that's representative, though).

Then there's the added problem is a young child. Does leaving it open when they're still developing so much make it more volatile? Would choosing for them limit or constrain development?
No. 602044 ID: 72c7be
File 141589258039.jpg - (121.42KB , 444x768 , SYQ-FC 28 - Wyrd Shaping.jpg )

You know firsthand that you can develop rather unpleasantly if left to your own devices. It's a risk on its own, but so it choosing another individual's wyrd for them. You're certainly not in a safe environment, but you don't know what further complication could be caused by performing the process on a child.

Both options have their risks but you must choose one.
No. 602059 ID: 462fe7

So the thing we need to think about here, is who he is as a person (Which we don't know all that well), and how this wyrd to shape him...
But I'm thinking...
Jordan can fight. Sam can sneak (and trick), Taylor can zap...Let's make him a 'healer' of sorts...I've got it.
"He was the source of conflict before, but now he shall be as a fountain, reminding us all of the goals we carry with us."
Suitable for humor-raising, but likely to also give Jordan a hint as to what to expect in terms of powers.
No. 602066 ID: 7c58ae

Bid to try and squeeze more information: failed. Looks like this is gonna be another blind call.

*sigh*. We don't really know the risks of fixing something for Alex, not do we understand how their being a child complicates that. We do however understand the risks of being undefined in this place, and there are almost certainly going to be conflicts and complications trying to protect and/or free your friends.

I'm definitely wouldn't word the idea as 'healer' (honestly, the way this place works, the mechanics or application would get ugly, and traumatic, very fast).

The idea isn't bad though. Define it as... hope? Bonus in that something that general kind of still leaves room for his or her own development, and that the idea intrinsically allows for growth and change (qualities we might otherwise be worried about constraining on a child). Hope has to leave the option for things to get better.

Granted, hope could sour and get ugly too, but I think that's true of anything we could pick. Would probably depend on how active the use was, or how much Alex was forced to support others. Which I think we can count on that being minimal, since we have two people in a pact to protect them already.
No. 602359 ID: a08ba8

"As you've noticed...Overtime, people replace each other in terms of purpose.
You were to replace the Thorned bride. And when Father was destroyed, there needed to be a replacement chosen. And Good ole' Nan gave me that choice. The Thorned Bride, or myself, and if the Thorned Bride had the position, I was to perish.
Tell me, what would you have chosen?"
No. 602360 ID: 88960e

>What’s with the masquerade outfit?
Nature abhors a vacuum. And so does this place, apparently. Father's gone, Taylor. And I...

If I'd refused it would have been Ash. She came after you before.

Linger long enough to hear her reaction (understanding? Horrified? Moving to protect Alex from you?). Then thank her for helping you in the basement, and say you're sorry, you have to go.

Remember, you're going to effect their humors negatively just being around them. Can't stay. If there's nothing pressing that needs your attention, you need to go somewhere and shed.
No. 602369 ID: 72c7be
File 141602821525.jpg - (146.16KB , 444x768 , SYQ-FC 29 - How to Save a Life.jpg )

You wonder if Father knew more than you when he was doing this… You shake the thought from your mind and continue your work. No conflict, just hope… Hope will work. After you’re done Alex begins to glow and slowly opens their eyes.
W-who’re you?!
Relax. It’s just me…
…Thank god.

You step back now that you’re done helping Alex. Besides the glow there doesn’t seem to be any negative side effects. At least not yet.

So… What’s with the masquerade outfit?
No. 602370 ID: 72c7be


Post are out of order due to editing the text colors in the previous panel to fix a mistake.

Following update follows the input listed in the above posts.
No. 602371 ID: 72c7be
File 141602840446.jpg - (189.02KB , 1024x768 , SYQ-FC 30 - Blinded by Light.jpg )

Alex yawns and sits up.

When Father died… the monster that owned this place… choose me as a replacement. Like when father tried to replace Ash with you…
It was either take his place or die, and… now that’s what gave me the power to save Alex.
…Oh. I see.
Anyways, thank you for saving me… in the basement.
You’re welcome, but… now we can leave right?
… Sorry. I need to go. There’s… something I need to take care of.

You depart, and find somewhere safe. Somewhere where you can be alone.
No. 602372 ID: 72c7be
File 141602843735.jpg - (256.47KB , 940x1024 , SYQ-FC 31 - Unbecoming.jpg )

It doesn’t hurt…
No. 602373 ID: 72c7be
File 141602846736.jpg - (37.41KB , 173x314 , SYQ-FC 32 - Recovery.jpg )

Your white plasm expenditure wears off.

Nothing hurts.
No. 602374 ID: 72c7be
File 141602850711.jpg - (137.57KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 33 - The Long Haul.jpg )

Choose your path.
No. 602378 ID: 172e9b

...Let's see how Alex is doing, yeah?
No. 602381 ID: a7efea

>When Father died
I kind of didn't want to say that, since we haven't actually seen proof he's dead. Yes, he's no longer in the picture at the moment, and his death is likely, but it's bad to assume stuff here.

Overall, I'm kind of impressed with Taylor. She didn't take that too badly, considering. Although she still thought this means they can leave now. I'm not sure how easily our responsibility will allow that now, but we'll see.

>who choose
Tyler? I kind of want to see her reaction to all of this. We know Jordan's, already.

Sam... is probably a mess right now. She's going to be torn between grief at what we've become, and wanting somehow to help us, anyways. Not sure we can do much there, yet.

I kind of hope the next thing the four of them get together and talk about this, next. It would make sense, and we've been trying harder to work as a group recently, but Ella was the one holding that together. Might break down, now.
No. 602799 ID: 72c7be
File 141614565598.jpg - (102.80KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 34 - A Companion.jpg )

Your name is Alex.
You’re out here, alone, in a place you’ve never been before while the adults discuss plans and scrounge for extra clothes in the closet.
What will you do?
No. 602800 ID: 172e9b

Take a look at that doll?
No. 602805 ID: 72c7be
File 141614718473.jpg - (74.58KB , 345x575 , SYQ-FC 35 - Morgan.jpg )

The doll is dressed in a dress, so you think they are probably a girl.
There is a feather in the doll’s dress. A small feather, the same color as your hair.
You wonder if it belonged to the bird man.

What will you do next?
No. 602850 ID: a7efea

What did the adults tell you? Anything? Seems kind of weird they're looking for extra clothes.

(I can't believe they left Alex alone, we can't even overhear the planning).
No. 603268 ID: 72c7be
File 141626860501.jpg - (108.03KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 36 - Voices.jpg )

They said that you should wait here. But you’re not out of earshot, or eyeshot for that matter, with only the open closet separating you.
In fact, despite their attempts at whispering, you can overhear their conversation pretty clearly.

I understand that you want to wait for her, but we need to leave.
We’re going to, but we have to do it together, not just with us four.
You’re… not really thinking of leaving without her are you?
… You saw her, and talked to her. She’s different, they did something to her. She’s…
She’s what?
She’s not one of us anymore. We need to worry about Alex.

Do they always fight like this?
I do- Wait you can talk?
I’m more surprised you can hear me.
No one else can hear you? Why? Oh, you’re glowing… like me. A-are you alive?
That’s a very rude question to ask someone.
O-okay sorry.

Alex… are you talking to someone out there?
Don’t tell her, she can’t hear me anyways. She’ll just think you’re making something up and worry.
No. 603270 ID: f378a2

How long have you been here Alex/how much do you know about this place?

As far as what to tell Sam...I guess be up-front.
Trouble is, talking to yourself isn't much a better sign here than talking to a doll...But you both glow though. Maybe it's connected?
No. 603272 ID: 88960e

Be honest without being worrisome. Answer that you're talking to your doll (is it presumptuous to call her yours?).

...and for the record, you don't need to worry about me! The mask lady wasn't even scary.
No. 603540 ID: 72c7be
File 141634521828.jpg - (102.48KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 36-0 - Voices.jpg )

Fixed an art mistake
No. 603541 ID: 72c7be
File 141634524427.jpg - (111.56KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 37 - Doll.jpg )

You have been here less than a day. Everything is still strange to you. Or has it been more than a day…?
Your memory is getting a little fuzzy, it’s hard to tell the time of day when the sky doesn’t change.

I’m just talking to my doll.
Oh, alright.
Oh and uhm… I’m okay. You don’t need to worry about me, masked woman seemed pretty nice too so maybe you shouldn’t leave her behind?
… Thank you.
I think that settles it.
So we’re just supposed to wait here?

I’m beginning to like you again, child.
We met before, but not you, the other you.
… What?
Don’t worry too much about it. If you survive you’ll find out soon enough.
No. 603548 ID: 88960e

>the other you, from before
Come to think of it, some of the adults acted like they already knew you too, didn't they.

Ask if the doll has a name.
No. 604977 ID: 72c7be
File 141684835090.jpg - (143.06KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 38 - Choices.jpg )

They did act that way, it was quite unusual…
What’s your name?

This coat itches.
You could always put it back.
It’s fine.
So… Ella wasn’t anywhere downstairs. We should check the garden next.
What about the tower?
No one knows how to get in there.
We might be able to search the library for clues.

I remember the tower. That’s where I was imprisoned.
You were in prison? But you’re a doll.
It’s a long story, child.

The adults come out of the closet.

Alex are you alright?
Huh? Oh! Yeah. Sorry was just… day dreaming.
That’s fine.

Whatever we do we should stick together.
Flip a coin?
I don’t have one…
Me neither.
Taylor checks her pockets, “Nothing.

Speak up?
No. 604993 ID: 172e9b

Offer to check the tower with... *flips a 3-sided coin* Sam?
No. 604995 ID: eda819

Check your pockets for a coin.

We have Morgan, but flipping the doll to see if it lands face up or not seems rather rude, considering she can talk.

But if you're going to speak up, say you should probably stick together. Splitting up in a terrible horror movie bad idea. Even you know that!
No. 605933 ID: 72c7be
File 141705939425.jpg - (589.30KB , 2016x1200 , SYQ-FC 39 - Knowledge At A Price.jpg )

You check your pockets and find nothing.
Maybe searching for the tower would be a good idea.

Jordan and Taylor exchange glances, you don’t quite catch the meaning behind it though.

Alright, let’s do that.
Library is probably the best place to look then.

You all shuffle into the library.

This plant is really unsettling…
I wouldn’t touch it if I were you.

The box under at the bottom of the far shelf is full of treats, help yourself.
You go to check the box.

So what made you think there would be anything pointing us to the tower in here?
Well it has the most books in the house… I thought there was one about the layout around here but I can’t seem to find it…
Your friend has the right idea. I recognize some of these books.
This box won’t open…

Jordan looks over.

That’s… probably for the best, you shouldn’t really touch things without knowing what they do first.
It’s just a box.

Jordan frowns.

What will you do?
No. 605937 ID: 3a7e96

>What will you do?
There's a mask there. Is there a book of masks near it? Maybe we could look up the lady's mask. See what it means. Seems important, since the adults were all bothered by it enough to consider leaving her.

>Jordan frowns.
He's acting like something's dangerous. If something were dangerous, you wish they would just tell you.

You could ask Morgan, maybe, if she remembers how to open the box.
No. 607917 ID: 72c7be
File 141756517812.jpg - (238.36KB , 1600x600 , SYQ-FC 40 - Book of Masks.jpg )

If it’s dangerous you could tell me…
Everything here is dangerous.
That’s true, but that shouldn’t stifle your curiosity.

I wonder how to open it.
I must have locked it…
But you forgot?
No, I never knew. It’s a long story.

You look up at the mask near the top of the shelf and notice a book labeled “Masks and Masques”. Out of curiosity you decide to check it. The book seems to cover a wide variety of masks, each accompanied by a short story instead of a description.

“Dead Bird”
“Sly Fox”
“Grinning Serpent”
“Crying Elf”
“Queen of Mirrors”
“Fearsome Beast”
“Mistress of Night”
“Sentry of Ruin”
“Grandmother Spider”
“Stitched Lady”
“Radiant Roost”
“Duchess of Aether”
No. 607926 ID: 88960e

There. Middle of the top row. That one's it. What's the story that goes with it?
No. 607950 ID: 60619a

Hrrrm...Hey, Grandmother Spider? Wasn't the person in charge here called 'good ole' Nan', as in Nana which can mean grandmother?
No. 608048 ID: 4c5cf2

So that's father's mask, the person that father / Abraham shot, all four of Ella's possible Masks, Nan's, and 5 masks we haven't seen before.

Looking at just color and theme, there's one for each of the other human characters, too. Including Morgan, the doll.

I really want to read this cover to cover now, except I doubt we'll have the time, and Alex wouldn't have reason.

There's not one for the Thorned Bride / Ash though. Unless she and Taylor are both eligible for the same one? That would sort of fit with the whole being replaced thing. Nor one I can assign to Terry, but I assume he's dead. (Or are other people eligible for the 3 roles Ella didn't chose now?).

The problem is this is real-Alex. Father swapped them out for the changeling rather late, and I'm not sure he or she has even heard Nan mentioned in passing by the others. Unless it happened off screen. So while reading up on her might be a good idea, I'm not sure Alex will.
No. 608056 ID: 4c5cf2

Also, it occurs to me we have a character who's property is hope trying to open a locked box, with all the evils of the world outside.

That might have some unfortunate repercussions if Alex actually got it open.
No. 608150 ID: 0de40a

"grinning Serpent"-Garden of Eden...
And mixed with the already existing Pandora's Box mythos?
No. 621043 ID: 72c7be
File 142163648843.jpg - (139.79KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 41 - The Golden Bird.jpg )

You step away from the box and sit down with the book. Since you’re a fast reader and it’s not too long you decide to read the whole thing cover to cover as the adults talk.

Dead Bird

Once upon a time there was a bird of great stature that towered over all of the other birds. His coat was the color of pure gold, his claws shone like polished silver and his eyes reflected the light as perfectly as emeralds. When he moved and danced it was with a grace no other bird could match and his voice was more beautiful than the songs of all of nature’s creatures.
He kept his coat pristine and flawless, so that its golden shine could be appreciated by all his peers. His prey was larger and more deadly than that the other birds could capture, and he always made a point to fly above them so that they could all see his grace and glory.
Eventually the bird would grow old enough to choose a mate. But, who among his peers could possibly be appropriate for someone of his status? He looked far and wide, judging each of his potential mates in turn. However he found there was none as beautiful, none as graceful and none whose dance matched the glory of himself.
And so he left, uninterested in his peers to find a mate worthy of him elsewhere. He flew higher into the sky than he ever had before, crossing into the heavens that were the domain not of birds and sky creatures but of the clouds and spirits. There, for the first time, he found a creature that was larger and more beautiful than even himself.
She was a dragon with scales as white as pearls, her hair was a beautiful ebony and her eyes glowed with the light of the sun. She moved unlike any creature he had seen before and the prey she felled was larger than even himself.
The bird determined that no other bird could be worthy of him and so danced for the ivory dragon. His golden feathered flashed in the sky, catching the attention of the dragon who turned her eyes upon him and found herself intrigued. To see a creature so small and weak dancing for her attention she knew that he would have to have a truly brave and noble heart.

No. 621044 ID: 72c7be
File 142163650319.jpg - (130.68KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 42 - The Ivory Dragon.jpg )

The ivory dragon was not like the bird, possessing a tender heart, a humble disposition and a compassion that was uncharacteristic of a being so great and powerful. And so instead of making the tiny bird a snack between her meals of sheep and goats, she choose to go along with him and see what he had to offer.
The two danced and flew together, united by a common misunderstanding. For the dragon could not see how foolish the bird was, nor the bird how kind the dragon had been to him. The more time they spend together the more the bird began to worry. The dragon would fly lower, so as to not hold her abilities over the bird, and she would eat smaller prey so as to not make the bird uncomfortable. But the bird saw only the dragon becoming less and less impressive, and despaired that his lover might grow too weak and unfit for a glorious bird such as himself.
And so the bird lost interest in the pearlescent being and flew away. He could not fly any higher, so he decided there must be nothing further to see up above, therefore he went down below to find a mate worthy of himself.
He flew through hills, forests, swamps, and valleys until finally he found a cavern that led further down. He flew through the caves not minding the bats or the monsters that lurked beneath, avoiding them with grace as he continued seeking an equal to share his glorious life with.

No. 621045 ID: 72c7be
File 142163651855.jpg - (110.36KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 43 - The Black Dragon.jpg )

Eventually he had flown too deep, past the land of earthly creature and mortals and into the pits of the underworld where only monstrous things and the spirits of the dead lurked. He grew tired and weary and found a thrown made of polished bone, atop of which he sat to regain his strength.
Around the thrown was coiled a great black dragon, who took notice of the bird that had wandered into her lord’s lair. The dragon was large and beautiful too, with ebony scales and glowing red eyes. It looked upon the bird, amused at the sight and asked how he wandered so far into the earth. The bird twirled and danced and sung his story, from sky to heaven and now to depths had he came all in search of a mate worthy of him.
The dragon was amused by the strange golden bird and took pity on him. She warned the bird to go back, to be happy with the birds that had first sought him. If he would not do that he could at least go to the dragon, who had so generously lowered herself to his level, and be happy with her. But the bird would have none of it, his peers were beneath him and the ivory dragon soon would be too.
The dragon laughed told that bird that they were not the ones who were sitting in the underworld while their peers flied high in the sky. She warned the bird again, she was not swayed by his dance and if he remained in the world of the dead he would find nothing but a cold grave. The bird scoffed, thinking it was a test and stayed dancing on the throne until the end of his days.
Eventually the lord of the throne would be return to find only a skeleton remained. It was a beautiful skeleton to be sure but so strange that it had made its way all the way down. He took it from his chair and asked his servant where it had come from. The dragon told her lord the tale of the bird who had ventured so long and so far to find that which was equal to himself.
The lord only laughed, hoping the in his union with death the bird was finally satisfied. He kept the skull of the bird to serve as a token, an example to all what happens to those who desire more than they deserve.

No. 626520 ID: 72c7be
File 142484438826.jpg - (103.90KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 44 - The Sly Fox.jpg )

Sly Fox

There once was a sly fox who roamed the verdant forest that grew over the border between the realms. He had a beautiful grey belt with bright red markings, and in his eyes reflected an intelligence far beyond that of ordinary foxes.
One day when roaming the forest this fox happened upon a treasure, a white-gold amulet left at a shrine to some long forgotten god. The fox slid the amulet around his neck, happy to have such a treasure. As he was walking away he found himself compelled to look backwards, the light had changed and he was certain a predator was upon him.
But instead he found a fox that looked just like him, standing several feet away, looking back at him. Curious, the fox went back and batted at the new fox who had followed him. In a moment the other fox vanished, leaving only a tuft of fur in his place.
And then it occurred to the fox that it hadn’t been a different fox at all, but instead a duplicate of himself. But how? He wandered around the shrine, every now and again the duplicate would appear and he would return to bat it. Perhaps it was the shrine? He thought.
When he left towards him home and the duplicates continued to follow him. He then realized what it was, the trinket that he had snatched had bestowed this ability upon him. He was inspired, thinking of all the things he could do with this new found ability.
First, he went to the nearby village, attracted to a house by the smell of cooking meat he stole a fish from under the nose of the humans with no fear of reprisal and fled back to his den, where he shared the fish with his mate and kits.
He went to steal again the next day, and again the day after that, taking fish and little golden baubles. Though they never proved to have the magical power of the amulet they did entertained the fox and his family. He piled the treasures he acquired around his den, so all the other foxes could see his talent.
The humans were less than impressed by the fox’s success. Many of their hunters set out traps in hope of catching the fox, but the amulet made the fox swift and left the hunters with a duplicate fox who turned into not but tufts of fur when liberated from the trap.

No. 626521 ID: 72c7be
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The village sought out a great hunter who could finally trap this fox, and found help in a foreigner who was passing through. He had hunted beasts small and large and thought that a simple fox chase would take him only a day. He asked only for a few gold coin, which the villagers were happy to pay him with.
The great hunter set up a group of traps around the farm’s parameter, covering more ground with his handmade traps than all of the hunters in village could. He then made himself some tea and retired to him room at the inn.
The fox was not bothered by the number of traps however, but the challenge delighted him, and so in the night he set off every trap the hunter had laid down. Afterward he went into the village and stole a fish, and then returned home happy.
The great hunter was impressed by the foxes’ arrogant display, but he resolved to be the victor in the end. He collected his traps and set them outside the village, along the tree line. Then he found a hiding place, made himself some tea and waited to watch the fox in action.
The fox was thrilled to see the hunter had a new challenge for him, and so went about triggering trap after trap. The great hunter leapt from his hiding place and attempted to catch the fox with his bare hands. The fox jumped free, and though the hunter caroled him into trap after trap he continued to allude the hunter.
The great hunter was enraged, he was as fast and strong as a man could expect to be, and yet each time his hand curled around the neck of the fox, it slipped out leaving nothing but a few tufts of fur. The fox danced through all the hunter’s traps and then led him into the village, where he snatched a fish before finally exhausting the hunter. Victorious, he returned to his den with food.
The great hunter wandered into the forest some time later and a brilliant idea struck him. He left to collect his traps and sleep at the inn. He woke in the afternoon and spent it setting up his traps within the forest. Then he made himself some tea and found a place to hide.
The fox saw the traps, closer to his home than ever. He decided he had had enough fun with the hunter. He triggered each trap, the loud snap of their jaws echoing through the forest, but the hunter did not come for him. Perhaps the hunter had given up?

No. 626522 ID: 72c7be
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The fox went into the village and stole. He stole and stole until it was nearly dawn, gold trinkets and fish, all put into a bag at the edge of the forest. The fox then took the bag in his jaws and with pride trotted home.
He came to his den and laid the bag down, the spoils of his grand thievery spilling onto the floor of the forest. He let out a call for him family to come and see what he had brought. Enough food to feed a bear, and plenty of lovely trinkets for them to play with.
But they did not come out. Curious the fox entered the den and found a horrifying sight. The pelts of his mate and his kits laid in the foxes’ collection of treasures, their blood seeping into the roots of the tree his home rested under.
The fox was horrified and distraught, he turned and ran into the forest in the dead of night. He shook his head fiercely freeing himself of the amulet that had brought its fickle treasures to the fox’s life. The fox went to the village one last time.
There the fox watched as dawn approached, and he found a trap laid not by the great hunter but by a small girl just attempting to help the village. He ran willingly into the trap, dying in its jaws. When the humans finally rose the girl’s family presented the pelt to the town. The great hunter came from the inn to see what the commotion was about, but he was met with spears, rocks and fire. They chased the foreigner who had swindled them out of town, and he never returned.
Eventually the village fell on dark times as all communities do. The girl, now grown went to sell the pelt of sly fox to gain the community some money. She met an odd man with a white-gold amulet who hastily offered her a fortune for the pelt. She took it and thanked the man for his generosity, but the man only smiled and dismissed her thanks. He walked away with the pelt knowing that he was the only true victor of a tragic story, and for the odd man, that was the true fortune.

No. 626812 ID: 72c7be
File 142502215993.jpg - (114.41KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 47 - The Grinning Serpent.jpg )

Grinning Serpent

Once there was a peaceful village built around an oasis in the desert. The people living there were polite and kept to themselves. They never watched their neighbors and they worried little about those who were not close to them.
In this village there was an orphan girl. Her parents had been killed in a bandit raid along with the rest of her extended family. The tragic event left her without close ties to the rest of the community and so she was abandoned to the streets.
While searching for food one evening the orphan girl wandered outside the dominion of the village and into the desert that surrounded it. Out in the desert, not far from the village she saw a tree, and at the top of that tree was a large orange fruit that she hoped to acquire.
The sand stung her eyes, and the bark tore at her skin as she did her best to climb the large tree, coiling around its bark like a serpent. She persisted climbing though she fell again and again. At last, as the night began to fall she found herself just inches from her prize, she reached out and attempted to snatch the fruit.
But she had gotten too eager and reached too soon. Her fumbling fingers, too far away to get a good grip, knocked the fruit down to the ground, where the fruit hit a rock and burst. The sandy wind swept in and ruined the contents released. Carefully the orphan girl climbed back down, sobbing at her loss.
Once she on the ground she picked the fruit up, hoping that there would still be something on the inside to eat. But the fruit was cleaned out, and inside there sat a coiled snake with blue eyes, pale scales and a grinning face.
The snake thanked the orphan girl for knocking the fruit down so that she could eat the insides and find shelter from the wind within. The snake had been living under the rock the fruit smashed on and she was very happy to accept the gift the orphan girl had given her.
The orphan wept and told the snake that she did not mean to help her, she was simply lost and forgotten by the people of her village and attempting to get some food for herself, food that the snake had gladly eaten the remainder of.
The snake looked at the girl for a long moment and then thanked her again. Promising to return when she was needed the snake slithered away under the rock from whence she came. The girl ran back to her village and found shelter in an abandoned box, where she stayed hungry and thirsty.

No. 626813 ID: 72c7be
File 142502218325.jpg - (95.83KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 48 - The Tall Woman.jpg )

Just when it seemed that the girl might die a tall woman came to talk to her. She was beautiful, with pale skin, strange hair and long pointed ears. She wore a dress that was decorated with luxurious white feathers.
The woman told the orphan that she would take her to a place where the food and water were abundant, and leave a reminder to the people of the village what happens when you forget the things curled up in your alleys.
The woman offered her hand to the girl who was awestruck. She could barely believe the woman’s words, but reached out a trembling hand to accept the abrupt blessing of fate. It was not meant to be, however, out of the garbage in the alley the grinning serpent burst forth and bit the arm of the tall woman.
The woman recoiled and screamed at the sudden assault. She shook her arm, but the serpent remained firmly latched. The woman slammed her arm against the war and the snake let go in shock, falling violently to the ground. The tall woman ran from the alley, leaving the poor orphan with only the company of the snake.
The girl screamed at the serpent with what little breath she had left in her body. Telling the serpent that now that the woman was gone she would die. The girl cursed the day she went past the village and inadvertently saved the serpent’s life.
But the serpent simply tilted her head and then turned, slithering away into the garbage. The girl chased after the serpent, moving the garbage out of the way, but when it was all strung across the alley there was no serpent to be found.
In the pile of garbage the serpent had been laying in a massive jug of clean water, and scraps of cooked food. The girl quickly forgot about pursuing the snake and ate and drank for the first time in days. Then she went back to sleep in her crate, still upset at the interference of the serpent and angry that she had not shared her food with the orphan earlier.

No. 626814 ID: 72c7be
File 142502219578.jpg - (108.25KB , 800x600 , SYQ-FC 49 - The Burned Village.jpg )

The next morning the orphan struggled to wake against an onslaught of smoke, the screams of burning victims filling the village. She pulled herself up, body weakened by the smoke that she had inhaled in her sleep and stumbled out of the alley. The orphan ran as best she could trying to find a way out but as the fire spread more streets became impassable.
Then the orphan saw something fleeing out of the corner of her eyes. The serpent who had gotten away from her! She chased the serpent who slithered and crawled through the village. The snake proved to be too fast for the girl to catch as she chased her through the village.
Eventually, the two escaped the village, and with the fresh air invigorating her the orphan leapt forward and caught the serpent in her hands. She yelled at her, demanding to know why the serpent had chosen to torment her so, when all she did was provide it food by accident.
But the serpent merely turned and grinned. She told the orphan she was simply paying her back for her generosity. Since the orphan had saved her life when she was waiting for death under a rock in the desert, the serpent had defended her from a monster, led her to food, and finally led her away from her home as it burned.
The girl thought these favors small, telling the serpent the woman was no monster, the food was close by and with the village destroyed she would not die in the desert. The serpent simply grinned, and replied that the girl was blind with naivety and so couldn’t see the woman as she truly was. She was made numb by despair and so couldn’t find the food fight beside her, and she was made dumb by her panic and couldn’t have found her way from the city.
The serpent grinned and told the orphan that with so many lost in the fire, the people of her village would look upon each person left as precious, and once the fire subsided she would have a family again. Having finished lecturing the girl the serpent fled, leaving the girl bemused and alone.
In the years to come the community would pull together just as the grinning serpent predicted, and though they were no longer polite, nor minded their own business they took care of those within their borders, even the poor orphans.

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