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File 143518358364.png - (272.19KB , 800x600 , reformationtitle3.png )
650491 No. 650491 ID: 556f64

thread 1 : >>/questarch/428036
thread 2 : >>/questarch/471394

discussion : >>/questdis/57038
wiki : http://tgchan.org/wiki/Reformation
Expand all images
No. 650493 ID: 556f64
File 143518381178.png - (288.72KB , 800x600 , 231.png )

What... where am I?

What is this place? Is this a dream? An illusory trick?

[A dream.]

I see the time marble drifting in front of me.

"You speak?"
[I am a mirror of my owner's desire and ambition. You have sought the answers I can provide. I will provide them.]
"I didn't know you spoke. Can all of the marbles talk?"

No response.

"Who are you, marble?"
[An aspect of yourself. Without a holder, we are inert artifacts, useless. With a holder, we are the holder, and the holder is us. I am weak from the transferal from holder to holder. To pass me to you so willingly, the tower keeper had to diminuish their own link to me, weakening me. In time, we will be synchronous, and I will be useful once more.]
"Does that mean any marble I take is going to be weak?"
[If you take a marble from one who treasures it deeply, it will be more powerful for you.]

I shiver on hearing that spoken.

[By our design we were made difficult to take. An unfortunate fact that has caused much anguish and woe.]
"Who made you?"
[This information has been lost even to myself.]
No. 650494 ID: 556f64
File 143518382272.png - (409.16KB , 800x600 , 232.png )

The time marble shines brighter and I see what I somehow know to be seven doors, each different, inscribed with a number above each. The first and seventh "doors", largest of them all, towering over the rest, don't actually appear have any visible seams, looking more like carved slabs.

[Seven ages of the world. I will spare you the pain of the first and seventh age. In our current state, we cannot see the first age. In the world's state, we cannot see the seventh age. You know by now we dwell within the fifth age.]

The time marble drifts closer to my face.

[Each of these doors can take you to a discovery about yourself or the world and its history. Entering a door with a specific question to answer will be helpful. If you enter the fifth door, you will be witness to something you may not have seen otherwise at some point in the current age.]

It slowly bobs up and out of sight.

[I tire. My voice fades. You may select only one door. I will show you all I can until I fall back into dormancy. Farewell for now, Typhon.]


Here I am, drifting in an eerily familiar space, with seven doors adrift with me.

I don't even know enough about most of these ages to even think of questions to ask. Thanks, time marble.
No. 650495 ID: ab7529

Pick door five. Current information about the world you live in, that you could not otherwise observe or know, has real world tactical value. Information from any of the past ages might be useful, but the problem is we're very likely to lack the context to appreciate, understand, or use, it.
No. 650501 ID: c9f250

The sixth age could show us more clearly the danger we face, but it's a tricky choice.

Age 1 is labeled the godswar (well it's probably an R)

Age 7 is nothingness
No. 650504 ID: bd8b82

parhaps think how the age ends with the fifth door. see how it happens.
No. 650507 ID: 350a50

Yeah. Let's see... we need a question to ask.

There was that place west of Fell territory, that they're in conflict with. We don't really know anything about that yet.

We also know little about the Sun, Moon, and Space marbles or where they come into play in the world.

I'd favor the question, "What has become of the remnants of Sannersoon?" They're a faction we know OF, but we don't know anything ABOUT them. They may or may not have some kind of marble of their own. It also sounded like the Sannersoon of old rejected the idea of using ichor and other magic like the marbles, meaning they might know the dangers of the Shatterer being unleashed and seek to prevent it.
No. 650508 ID: 556f64

[ wow it's early to need another terrible clarification so soon but, uh, questions asked about the future of the fifth age are gonna get wildly inaccurate or unreliable answers what with the details of the fifth age being pretty heavily influenced by reader suggestions! This isn't so much a "please don't do this" instruction so much as a "you may be unhappy with how vague the information ends up being for reasons I never fairly warned you about, keep this in mind" warning. ]
No. 650512 ID: 350a50

Fair enough.

In that case, I think looking into the past of Sannersoon may help us as well. Typhon explained some of it but that's from an enemy and an outsider perspective.

The one thing we know for certain is that they were the technology versus Wintermol's magic. So perhaps the third age door would be most informative when asking about Sannersoon, what with its technological design.
No. 650513 ID: e114bc


Wait what how did you do that? I didn't think that script was translated! TELL ME YOUR SECRETS
No. 650514 ID: 57d76a

Not immediately relevant, but I don't think I've mentioned this before: we should try to get the space marble soon, since I'm fairly sure having one marble without its opposite makes people/races go crazy.

'Course, all the ones we've seen to evidence that have had the marbles for centuries, so there may not be any rush. And I'd be more worried about, say, the chaos marble than time. But still, something to think on.

Anyway, I doubt there's much of use in age II or III. IV is your past, VI your future. V will have immediately actionable information but I don't think that's worth giving up a look at a different era. We can get present day information all the time, but we aren't going to get another chance at the future, and we probably won't get many at accurate information of the past.
No. 650516 ID: c9f250


1 4 7
2 5 8
3 6 9

Each word is a block like this, every other letter is tilted.

Because Cirr was getting uppity about nobody having solved the script with no new info that was only used in one image.
No. 650517 ID: e114bc

If the Seventh Age is nothingness, and the Sixth Age is the battle against the Shatterer... that strongly implies we can't win once it enters the world.

...maybe our objective should be to prevent the Sixth Age from ever happening... at least until everyone is dead anyway from other problems. Find out how the Shatterer enters the world, and sabotage that somehow in a lasting way. So, question: "How can we delay the arrival of the Shatterer for as long as possible?" You'd have to enter the fifth age for this. The resulting answer should in theory be helpful.

In retrospect, that seems obvious.
No. 650526 ID: c26e88

If things go as planned for us then future ages won't be relevant. The present age may be strategically important but that's stuff we'll eventually find out anyway if we keep exploring. The past ages are the most interesting. If we look at the fourth age we could see our immediate past. Possibly we could look at how it ended last time and both give us context for how we got to where we are now and what exactly happens to cause the end of the world (so we can stay far away from that). What we're trying to do now isn't necessarily new, and for all we know you try to do the same thing every time and fail repeatedly. Seeing the past might help make sure we're not running straight to our doom.

Alternatively, it would be very informative to look early in the second age, to see how the world first reacted to everything getting wrecked. It would also give us the closest thing we can get to understanding the first age, which is presumably the age where Typhon and most of what he still remembers is originally from.

If it comes down to a vote I'll vote for the end of the fourth age.
No. 650541 ID: 350a50

A good argument, I'll support that. Fourth age, with the question "How was the Shatterer released prematurely?"
That should tell us for certain at least one event that can trigger its release.
No. 650543 ID: e114bc

Let me go over the description of the ages we got last thread, or at least how I think it winds up:

First age:

Second age:
IN ITS (SP*T=spite? spat?), THERE BECAME FOUR. (not sure what this is about)

Third age:
IN THEIR AMBITION, THERE BECAME EIGHT. (the two empires messed with the marbles)

Fourth age:
AN AGE PASSED, AND EIGHT REMAINED. (two shining empires)

Fifth age:
ONE BECAME FIVE AND SEVEN REMAINED. (the void marble was split up AFTER Typhon broke the world)

Sixth age:

Seventh age:

The end of the Fourth Age is when Typhon broke the world, pretty sure.

...I wonder if the solution is to merge the marbles again?
No. 650544 ID: d3be40

The current age for intel sounds good, but I was hoping to see the third age. A lot of technological inspirations get lost as the age of ambition ends, so we might get unique research from an age of enlightenment and war.
No. 650625 ID: 57d76a

Maybe it's "spate"? That doesn't mean what I thought it did but it still kinda makes sense. Other (unlikely) possibilities: spot, spit, spat, spout... Depending how strict the consonants are, aspect or split might work. Do we know for sure that the s and p are together?
No. 650635 ID: e114bc

The * indicates a pronounced (long?) vowel. There can be vowels not indicated but they should not be important to the word. It shouldn't be split, there's no symbol for the l sound. There's also no K symbol so aspect is double out.
No. 650638 ID: 9ddf68

I kinda want to see the fourth age or the sixth. Fourth because I'm hoping to see how it ended exactly and the sixth to see if we could pick up how the fifth aged ended so we could try to work around that. I'm good with either or really.
No. 650681 ID: 556f64
File 143526175265.png - (281.68KB , 800x600 , 233.png )

I look to the third door. The allure of the promises of untold secrets and technologies long since forgotten is strong, but perhaps another time.

I look to the fourth door, and recognise the symbols of Wintermol and Sannersoon emblazoned upon it. Yes. This door would let me know how the fourth age ended, but, as I contemplate further, gathering more ichor will likely also let me remember things directly.

Nothing I have access to would let me see into the future, however.

I stare at the shattered sixth door, and walk towards it. Let me know how it ends by knowing how this age begins. Maybe, maybe there is something to gain from this.

I hope I am making the right decision. I have only myself to blame if I am not.

I walk through the door and feel as though as I leave my body behind, and I feel myself slip away. My thoughts fade. I sink into nothingness. I hear an earth-rending explosion--
No. 650682 ID: 556f64
File 143526176724.png - (242.57KB , 800x600 , 234.png )

The Shatterer is dead. The fifth age has now ended.

Whether the Shatterer fell by its own hand or by the desperate efforts of all that stood against, it no longer matters. We sought to prevent it, and when that failed, we sought to destroy it.

Destroying the Shatterer was as cataclysmic as allowing it to wreak its own havoc. We were given a false choice, and both roads lead to the same awful dead end.

Ichor and ether has ceased to be. Every marble lies in a thousand fragments. All we knew has gone. We. I. The collective shifts but the figurehead remains.

By all rights I should have died with the Shatterer, but something, something burned so deeply, burns so deeply, some spark of fury kept me adrift when everything else sank into oblivion.

I am the Reaper Imperator. No other name from the past matters now. I served my function, and I was expected to end. I have not. My anger and fury remains. Anger at my failures, anger at the injustice, sad bitter rage at my treasured comrades' ultimate fates.

I reform once more. The medium has changed but the process remains the same. I remember precious little of the proper shape from the results of what has happened to me, but I remember enough.
No. 650683 ID: 556f64
File 143526177827.png - (256.58KB , 800x600 , 235.png )

A creature immediately seeks to prey on me, crawling amorphously out of the singed rock I stand on. I know without thought that this is Doubter-Worm, and that it delighted in causing misunderstandings in the past age.

Doubter-Worm slithers over to me, wide grin as always.

"Leave me," I say.
"You won!" says Doubter-Worm. "You managed to defeat the Shatterer! It's everything you ever dreamed of, yes? Look at how beautiful the never-ending red sky is! How coarse and dry the lands are now!"

I growl.

"Do you think any mortals survived? Hahaha, of course not. Mortals need things like water and air, yes?"
"Not all of them."
"No, you're right. I just need to squint harder to see all the flourishing civilisations left among the barren rocks, yes?"
"What do you want?"
"Why, only to serve the Reaper Imperator, the most bloodthirsty slaughterer of us all! It's that or run for the rest of my time. I don't have many friends amongst the harvesters or the faithful."
"You will betray me."
"Hahaha! Ahahahaha! Yes! Yes I will! That much I can promise! And besides, a traitor deserves a traitor, yes?"

The thought of destroying this nuisance once and for all, after all the grief it caused me, is prominent within my mind.

But I have caused so much death and destruction already.

"You are uncharacteristically silent, Reaper Imperator! You never were one to shy away from constant talking before! Your diplomatic efforts sure were useful in the end, weren't they? Ahahaha! Well? Shall we pick over the bones of the world, Imperator? Or shall we join in the revelling of the celebrators?"
No. 650685 ID: 9ddf68

who are the harvesters and the faithful?

As for this guy, give him one warning, fire a warning shots of sorts to get him to back off, if he ignores that shot to wound as a last warning, if he still refuses to leave destroy him.

Also how did you destroy the shatterer and what did it do that tore the world to shreds?
No. 650695 ID: ab7529

Hmm. Is this an inevitable or possible future, I wonder? I guess the commentary of the being who saw all the different ways we produced the shatterer proves the future isn't completely fixed.

>Shall we pick over the bones of the world, Imperator? Or shall we join in the revelling of the celebrators?
No. There is nothing I want I could gain by defiling this tomb of what was once the world. And I have little reason to revel.

...it seems very cruel to fail, and yet to persist, again and again. Is this a deliberate form of torture, or is there still some good you can somehow do in this even more ruined world?
No. 650696 ID: d3be40

How are you still alive? Sanity has fled. Perhaps there is something to be gained from analyzing its corpse and constructing a detailed report. If not, then what else have you got to live for?

You've failed this world. Time to go crazy with experimentation and record the findings.
No. 650699 ID: eac8be

I don't suppose we can recall what the things the Shatterer required to be collected were?
No. 650701 ID: e114bc

Robots could survive in such a world, assuming fuel sources are still available. Perhaps Odon had the right idea after all.

Go on and check out the celebrators.
No. 650711 ID: 46df9e

How about neither; I would prefer understanding your current self. What is this spark of fury that keeps you existing? What are you made of now if ichor does not exist? Try looking within yourself to find these answers as they could be useful.
No. 650730 ID: 0d5aae

See if you can still form a ring out of this material, if there are no reserves to pull upon then use a small part of yourself. Otherwise try looking below you for a way off this floating chunk.
No. 650802 ID: e114bc

Ah. I almost disregarded the scenery. Look up in the clouds- are those Chaos/Void creatures? I guess it makes sense that they don't require much for their own survival. What's that glowing on the nearby island? Some other survivors?
No. 651473 ID: 556f64
File 143552158459.png - (301.22KB , 800x600 , 236.png )

Is this an inevitable future? It means nothing to me. It is the here and now, and I can't change it.

How did the Shatterer emerge? We thought it needed all of the ichor. We thought it needed all of the marbles. It needed neither. All it needed was a moment. Nothing we tried could avert its grand, terrifying entrance into the world.

Perhaps, if not a moment, it needed a circumstance, but we never had the chance to understand what that circumstance was. Typhon, me, I had stayed away from Nyx. We were miles apart when the Shatterer became Typhon became the Shatterer. She was one of the first to fall in a futile effort to destroy it singlehandedly. Our coterminous nature no longer applied. I was not taken down with her.

How did the Shatterer fall? It is hazy. I remember vague scenarios that seem mutually contradictory. I remember being the Shatterer, learning how much we were the same after all, and finding my every errant twitch would wreak untold devastation, yet I could not keep still. The pain became unbearable if I did not destroy. I turned my destruction onto myself, ripping my body into pieces, dying and writhing in death agony.

I remember also not being the Shatterer, splitting myself from it, and knowing how bestial, how unguided it was without my presence. My allies fought alongside me to bring it down, to save the world by destroying the greatest threat it had ever faced.

All for naught. On its death, all the remnant ichor and ether was ripped from the world and into its dying form. All ichor and ether consciousness ceased to be save for the Shatterer's fragmented, tumultuous hivemind.

And then, the annhilation. With that, an explosion of incomprehensible magnitude. It broke the world, it charred the sky. All ichor and all ether in existence had been consumed for the blast.
No. 651474 ID: 556f64
File 143552159685.png - (341.83KB , 800x600 , 237.png )

But I remain.

Wrapped in the substance of chaos, I remain. My senses are dampened but my ambitions are not.

My situation is not new. The nature of many beings in my situation is one of refusing to surrender, and of some singular obsession defining the hollow ghost that lingers when all else has died to smoking embers.

My fury sustained me. My anger at the nature of how things had to be. To continue may seem like needless self punishment. Perhaps it is. But if I wished to rest, I would not have persisted.

There is no world to save. All that remains is vengeance.

I wish to destroy the one responsible for this. It is my will that has brought me to this world. It is my will that has survived this far. If I was the one chosen to begin this, let me be the one to end this.

I know you are out there, entity. I could feel your insidious grasp, much as you tried to hide. I know you are there, and I am coming for you. And when I find you, I am going to make you wish you had never made me the tool of your vile harvest.
No. 651476 ID: 556f64
File 143552161856.png - (212.52KB , 800x600 , 238.png )

"Reaper Imperator?"

I find I can manipulate this raw essence the same way I could manipulate ichor, but more fluid. It is far more yielding, but to a fault. Maintaining structure requires I do not push too hard.

I flick a wrist and Doubter-Worm is pinned to the ground by unseen force. It yelps in surprise. I pull it into the sky with another gesture and manipulate it in the air without issue.

"Answer me, Doubter-Worm. Who are the harvesters, and who are the faithful?"
"Yes! Answers! The harvesters feed indiscriminately! The faithful collect for a grand sacrifice!"

Doubter-Worm squirms slightly in my phantom grasp. I tighten it.

"Gh! All other chaos beings are the prey of those who hunt! This is the Age of Harvest! There is no haste beyond the competition between the harvesters and the faithful, and while the prey are so bountiful the faithful celebrate this world's fate!"

I see chaos creatures in the sky circling and snapping at each other as they fly to parts unknown, and chaos creatures swaying in a dense congregation on a rock fragment below us.

Well, it sounds as if the faithful will be more useful as an information source. I will drag Doubter-Worm with me. If things go terribly, perhaps I can take parts of its essence to repair myself.

The thought of devouring chaos creatures simultaneously repels and intrigues me. It is a stranger, deeper hunger than I once had for ichor. Something almost fundamental. Almost... natural.
No. 651477 ID: 556f64
File 143552163188.png - (221.12KB , 800x600 , 239.png )

I lift myself into the air, trying not to think too hard about how impossible this should be, and drag myself and Doubter-Worm to the gathering below.

Beneath a strange fluctuating symbol of light, entirely meaningless to me, I approach the faithful.

"Praise we all our True Creator, the First Creator, for providing the Basin to contain the Vitae, the Earth to allow it to Grow, and us, the Collectors, to gather the Vitae when the time became Right. Praise to the True Creator!"

I see what I know to be the Faith Imperator hovering above a raised dais, amongst a rapt crowd hanging on its every word. Its voice is gravel and coarse, but carries far and authoritatively.

"Praise to the True Creator!" The crowd echoes the Faith Imperator's words and sentiments in uncanny unison.
No. 651478 ID: 556f64
File 143552163905.png - (351.26KB , 800x600 , 240.png )

"Praise to the Genius of the True Creator, for providing us, the lowly Collectors of Vitae, the Means of gathering the Source of Life through the Divine Instruments. The Shatterer, now broken, has lead us to this final Age of Harvest. Praise!"

"Praise! Praise!"

"Detest the False Creator! Detest the one that would Trap the Essence within a Mortal Shell! Detest the Lost who strayed from the True Path of the Collector! Detest especially the Lost who sought Mortal Form to avoid their Sacred Destiny as Collector! Detest!"

"Detest! Detest!"

"Embrace this ruined world! Rejoice in knowing the True Creator unravels the world of its Creation! Rejoice in knowing the True Peace draws near! Fear not the end, for it is only a new beginning! Rejoice!"

"Rejoice! Rejoice!"

Well, I strongly doubt I can get answers without addressing the Faith Imperator directly, and all eyes will fall on me instantly if I interrupt whatever speech is being made here. I have many questions, but I know asking anything is going to immediately single me out as a stranger to the congregation.
No. 651485 ID: bd8b82

steal the mind of one from the back.
No. 651486 ID: ab7529

>Typhon, me, I had stayed away from Nyx. We were miles apart when the Shatterer became Typhon became the Shatterer
Well, that's useful intelligence. If avoiding physical proximity doesn't avert it, there's no reason we can't be working more closely with her in an attempt to understand this.

Geeze, you blow up the world and there's already knew crazy cultures waiting for you.

>I have many questions, but I know asking anything is going to immediately single me out as a stranger to the congregation.
Well, the patient response would be to wait, and see if any of your questions are answered.
No. 651487 ID: e114bc

>shatterer did not need all the ichor to arrive
>all ichor and all ether in existence is consumed for the explosion
The solution is to remove the ether and ichor, to reduce the explosion that ends the world. We can do this by exploding it prematurely. If reduced enough, a sufficiently reinforced structure has a chance of surviving. Once the Shatterer arrives, it won't really matter how we kill it, but with low reserves of ichor, self-destruction would probably be easier.

Alternatively, we could just spend the rest of the fifth age researching chaos creatures to see if we can tie everyone in the world to the chaos, so that when the sixth age arrives everyone can transition to it.

Now, for the issue at hand... you are the Reaper Imperator, this is the Faith Imperator. This implies your role is to take the essence being collected. It also implies you are a figure of authority. Maybe interrupting the sermon isn't the best idea though, wait until after it.
No. 651488 ID: 9ddf68

from what I'm gathering they're a doom cult. Ones who worship the end of times and the end of all things. So in short, crazy bastards that go around killing people and do so because they believe god wants them to. Taking this their's probably no way to actually negotiate with them but if you play your cards right you could probably manipulate them into doing what you want.
No. 651571 ID: 350a50

>Detest the Lost who strayed from the True Path of the Collector! Detest especially the Lost who sought Mortal Form to avoid their Sacred Destiny as Collector!

Wonder who these are, and if either of them is you.
No. 652702 ID: 291f0a

Could everything be just a cycle, an endless loop, constantly repeating?
No. 668811 ID: 1b9701
File 144189270041.png - (292.04KB , 800x600 , 241.png )

I cannot steal the minds of other creatures. I also recall that the lost referred to are the ones who do not follow the faithful, and the ones who somehow became mortal to flee the omnipresent influence of the spiteful entity I wish to end.

"Beneath this Sigil, we stand United, with One Task before us! To Collect! Collect the Vitae of the Mindless! Free it from the Mortal Shells that yet remain! Devour the Heretics that Shun the True Creator! Now we shall go forth, and Collect!"

The crowd erupts into cheers and chaos-song. The Faith Imperator turns its head towards me, silent. It moves on with its crowd, floating above the deafening rally. It is clear to me that the last thing the Faith Imperator wants is to talk with me.

I set Doubter-Worm back on the ground. "What do you make of this Creator?"
"A mad force ripping its creation apart to suck out the delicious life essence inside! I always thought this world was crazy, and now we all know why! Haha! I'm surprised it all lasted as long as it did! Even the gods are broken!"

I know what I think about the Creator. I want to break it.
No. 668812 ID: 1b9701
File 144189271240.png - (392.01KB , 800x600 , 242.png )

I fly around aimlessly, Doubter-Worm following me for no other reason than inertia at this point.

Avoiding the gaze of the frenzied harvesters and the zealous faith, I try to find anything, any sort of remnant of the world before.

There must be life in this broken world for the Faith Imperator to warrant mentioning it. Maybe there is purpose beyond vengeance in this world after all.

But I can't find any life no matter how I try to search. No trace of anything in the past. No trace.

The Tower remains where it always has remained, closed and sealed and isolated for eternity. Light flashes around it as chaos creatures do their best to break into it, totally in vain.

I find myself faltering. I find my rage beginning to slide into numbness. Doubter-Worm smiles the widest it ever has.

"Looks like all we ever strove for didn't matter, did it? Predator or prey, our ultimate fates are to be eaten by our creator. It's all so delectably worthless!"
"Nihilism is the most pathetic of all worldviews, Doubter-Worm."
"In our case, Imperator, I'd say it's the only rational one! Our purpose is to kill and to die! Better to let such a hopeless dream die, yes? You do not yet have the following the Faith Imperator does, but there are those out there you may sway. Come! Serve your purpose as the leader of the harvest."
No. 668813 ID: 1b9701
File 144189272393.png - (420.44KB , 800x600 , 243.png )

I stare out into the horizon. Some of the chaos creatures I know to be harvesters spy me in the sky and come towards me, not with malice, but with cautious anticipation.

The hunger I had for ichor is gone, and a newer, stronger thirst for the essence of what life remains swells within me.

"Reaper Imperator!" The harvester creatures come closer to me, circling me, eager and energetic. "We await your guidance, exhalted one! Lead us! Lead us to glory!"

I did not think I would have followers after my betrayal in the last era. Doubter-Worm has not stopped smiling, and watches me with high expectation.

New plans weave themselves.

If I take the remnant vitae of the world for myself, if I deny the faithful, if I can take it all for myself, perhaps. Perhaps I can become an equal to the Creator. Perhaps greater. And then, then, I can destroy it. My revenge will be complete.

I will turn these monsters against my enemies, and when they cease to be useful, against each other.

I nod wordlessly, and, still adrift in the air, the creatures all bow their heads to me.

It is time for the final harvest.
No. 668814 ID: 1b9701
File 144189273869.png - (183.54KB , 800x600 , 244.png )

I'm jolted awake by the sound of the time marble rolling onto the floor with a dull clink.

For a second I worry it might have broken. It takes a second to remember they survived at least one end of the world totally intact. Even the void marble shard looks purposefully broken.

I hear Colin's voice in my head. -Typhon? Are you alright? The diplomatic mission, uh, well, Akar said we don't get to have the deposit unless we do something for her first, and pretty much every task she asked about involved an attack on some strategic target in soroi or Fell territory, so I said I'd have to get back to her on that.-

"five more minutes," I say to myself.

-Can I come in? I didn't even know you had a personal quarters.-
-It's a prototype. Didn't need much but an empty room and a soft ichor lump. Come in.-

Colin enters the room while everything I saw and felt rolls around my head.

"Hi Typhon-- uh, Typhon, are you okay?"
"Bad dream. It's getting distant, though."
"I, uh. Okay."
"Don't worry about it. Just apocalyptic visions of the future, nothing we didn't already expect."
"Huh. Maybe you shouldn't sleep next to ancient objects of power."
No. 668815 ID: 1b9701
File 144189277366.png - (223.93KB , 800x600 , 245.png )

Colin looks around. "Y'know, the low lighting makes this place seem kind of, I dunno, comfy. ...is that water?"
I stand in the corner of the room, icy cold water falling onto me. "Yes, why?"
"What do you need a shower for? We don't sweat and dirt just falls right off."
"It's refreshing."
"You look like you're in pain--"
"It's refreshing. Very refreshing." This was a terrible idea and I don't know why I thought a cold shower was smart. Well, at least I'm not thinking about the dream anymore.

The ceiling stops dripping and cold air blasts from it. I dry to a shine in seconds, shivering slightly. Colin rolls his eyes. I make a note to perhaps make some sort of heating system next time.

"When you're done there, boss, maybe you'd like to spend a few minutes focusing on the comfort and relaxation of things that aren't yourself or your latest mortal crush."
"You're showing Nashi a lot more fondness than Taja ever got, but enough about that. Skimmy's still moping around. I think he's over the shock and is more just beating himself up over failing his first big assignment. He's the youngest ichor consciousness here, come to think of it. The rest of us have been around, well, for a while. Also, question. What's up with Errol?"
"I have no idea."
"I've been treating you all like machines and Errol's started acting like one. Which is why we're going somewhere for a break. We're not under attack, I haven't been contacted by anyone demanding me to stay off their land or go stomp on someone else's land, and we're not going to get many opportunities for peace and quiet. There's only one loose end I should probably chase up. I know you just got back, but if you could go figure out what everyone's done in my absence, that would be incredibly convenient for me."
"Actually I've been back for a few hours. I already did. I'll spare you the huge report until you want it."
"Thanks. I appreciate it, Colin."
"Oh, and, uh, Typhon? Errol said she heard some noises from the Fell habitat. Scary noises. We've been waiting for you to go check it out because, uh, quite frankly, none of us want to go in there right now."
"I'll go investigate."
No. 668816 ID: 1b9701
File 144189278905.png - (273.50KB , 800x600 , 246.png )

I make my way to the Fell habitat.

Keya is still naked, for whatever reason. She glances at me briefly, leaning on a wall. Arrow is nowhere to be seen.

"Where's Arrow?"
"That's the first thing you noticed, huh. I'm almost disappointed. Here."

Keya produces a black box about the size of her fist, carrying it carefully. "As I expected, just another vatgrown soldier not intended to work past its initial parameters. I took him apart for parts, and I'll be giving him an improved body later."

The box flickers purple light briefly. "Oh, don't worry. He's alive, of course. I'm not Odon. Right now, all he is is frozen memories waiting to thaw. A sharp impact could ruin him."

She sets the box down gently on the floor.
No. 668818 ID: 1b9701
File 144189308732.png - (451.34KB , 800x600 , 247.png )

"Took... took him apart for parts?"
"I'm tired of giving you answers for free. We are not allies, Typhon, and we never will be while I'm still your prisoner."
"Why are you naked? What is going on?!"

Keya stares intently at me. "When you faced me in my disguise as an elite soldier, I was weary from a battle more fierce. This is how much hate I have for you. Hate enough that, exhausted, broken, with a handful of my original forces, I would still charge after you. But you have given me time to recover, and for the wires to return."
"Witness a warmind of the Fell, and know that this is a fraction, a tiny nothing in comparison to any of the warminds at full strength."

Wires burst out of Keya's skin and fur as she stands, a frozen statue of what I thought was a flesh and blood entity tearing its surface apart and becoming a boiling mess of wires. Her voice doubles in volume and screeches like static.

"We are armies ourselves when the need arises. I am going to make the question very, very simple. Are you going to let me go, willingly, or am I going to have to destroy your base to do so?"
"You-- you couldn't have asked me first?"
"I am asking now."

Keya raises a hand towards the wall furthest from the entrance. The entire base shakes as a chunk of the wall boils into ichor and miasma vapour, and purple crackling sparks line the air. She doesn't break her eye contact with me.

"I am through with this imprisonment farce. We are not allies, but we are not yet true enemies. Keep me here against my will, and it's war. Your decision."

She moves her hand in front of my face.

Well, I, uh. I wasn't expecting this.
No. 668819 ID: c9f250

Whatever. Tell her to stay in touch and not get herself killed.

She need a ride?
No. 668820 ID: 074eac

If she's that determined to not be here, then, just... whatever, yeah.

Maybe mention something about hoping she could be an ally but being concerned about her trustworthiness and viability on her own? I mean, you managed to take her prisoner without much effort, and she had actual forces that time.
No. 668821 ID: 3663d3

let her go, but warn her "the marble is the cause of everything bad currently happening to your people. it's purpose is to corrupt and destroy, even it's users"
No. 668824 ID: 1cebc8

You did install some tracking devices in the cell, right?

Just let her leave, you can kill her later. Your remaining forces might mutiny if you don't give them the choice to leave.
No. 668836 ID: e114bc

Ask her to stay and talk for a few minutes. First, ask why she showed nothing of this power in the battle where you captured her. Did she get captured on purpose?

...with no army she risks being hunted down by Odon. Does she have forces to return to? Oh right also tell her you're planning to eventually ally with one of the warminds. You would like to work with the Fell to bring stability to their civilization instead of the infighting nonsense they have right now.

In the long term it seems this world cannot be saved, but we should at least make it as pleasant a place to be before the end... while researching the True Creator. Find out how we can kill it.

I'm also wondering if the timeline is malleable enough to stop the coming of the Harvest altogether... wait can we use the Tower as a shelter against the apocalypse? Or research whatever powers its shield, and make an artificial Tower Shield? It could be our Ark.
No. 668840 ID: 9ddf68

weren't we going to drop her off anyways? I mean after we agreed to actually team up and seeing just how fucked in the head some of the other warminds can be it was kind of agreed upon that she would make the best candidate to be leader of the fell. Now tell her to put her damn toys away as if we really did want to turn this into a fight that we could just open up a massive hole and drop the whole habituate straight into the void we're currently flying over.

I can't help but find it sad that the you, the so called "destroyer" is the only one in this world that seems to be try to find peace that is achieved through rivers of blood.
No. 668855 ID: 2e804c

Tell her to go ahead, and ask if the wires are also good for flight or if she would like a lift back to solid ground.

>The tower survived the Shatterer explosion
Well that's a lead worth pursuing. If the tower's barrier can keep a world ending explosion out, perhaps it could be used to keep such an explosion in.
No. 668873 ID: 149da0

Well that's annoying. Didn't really plan on keeping her prisoner long anyways, but we botched things with her and stalled long enough she forced our hand.

>"What do you need a shower for? We don't sweat and dirt just falls right off."
Psychological comfort, Colin.

Then you may consider yourself longer a farcical prisoner. You are free to leave.

Would you prefer I drop you off somewhere, provided immediate transport to the surface, or do you plan on simply jumping overboard? Or now that your status has been resolved, would you prefer to continue this conversation on less unequal footing?

Please drop the theatrics. The destruction of ichor every structure in this base would not permanently harm me, and I suspect you would survive even if I dissolved the base under you and let you fall to the earth. By your own admission, the only being in this room who would be put at risk by our conflict is Arrow.
No. 668893 ID: e114bc

>keep the explosion IN
I like this idea! Lure the Destroyer into the Tower somehow and we'll have like infinity Typhons all ready to rip it to shreds. Then when it blows up, the world outside is unharmed. We don't even need to research it.

Question is, how do we accomplish that? How do we get the Destroyer into the Tower? Optimally we'd summon it inside the Tower, but I suspect the weird timeline fuckery involved with the Tower would prevent that.

...oh! That's right. One of the ways that the world can end involves Typhon becoming the Destroyer: internalizing its essence, but unable to control the power he destroys the world by merely idle movement. If Typhon were to do that, then enter the Tower, the power would be contained, and he can... I dunno, either learn how to control the power, or blow himself up inside the shield. Blowing himself up inside the shield would have the side effect of disrupting what seems to be a temporally locked point, which might allow the timeline to change for once.
No. 668894 ID: 1cebc8

I dunno, all explosions are nuclear. What if the actual method of destruction is something that can't be standardized? You've seen the alternate-self brawl, what if the destroyer had other means to destroying the world all packed up in a single blast?
No. 668896 ID: 350a50

"The primary reason you were being kept here was worry that you would be killed or captured by another warmind en route to your territory. Our first meeting didn't inspire confidence in your ability to defend yourself."

"Clearly you are no longer vulnerable. I can provide transportation to shorten the distance if needed."
No. 669909 ID: 1bf6dd

Also, ask if bubble or something less ballistic would be preferred. Worst case scenario is riding shotgun in a skimmer vehicle...
No. 678337 ID: 0a7e48
File 144537636638.png - (196.92KB , 800x600 , 248.png )

"Well, okay then. You're free."
"Wait, what?"
"You can leave. I can show you the door. Do you need any help getting back?"
"You can go home. You're not my prisoner anymore. If you're this determined to break out, then I don't want to invest the time and resources into keeping you here. My only concern is how you're getting home. I mean, you don't have an army, and Odon's looking for you, and--"
"That's it? No fight? Feh. How anticlimatic."

The glow in her eyes flickers out like an extinguished candle flame. The wires wrap around Keya into some form of uniform. Perhaps armour. I wouldn't have any way of knowing, apparently, given how deceptive Fell appearances can apparently be. The base repairs the missing chunk in the wall almost immediately. It was only minor damage, it seems. Not even a mark left.

"This isn't the first time I've had to remind people who I am to be taken seriously." Keya sighs. "Maybe I should just throw away this clearly unintimidating body and walk around as machine and wire. Worked for Odon. I don't see Odon getting shit for making a mistake."
"What are you? I thought you were flesh and blood."
"Along with an interwoven, tightly integrated smartfibre system capable of detaching and reforming into whatever I wish. Karx and Renz have more robotic replacements in their bodies in a far more crude fashion. My work is far more subtle in many, many ways."
"You couldn't have stopped me before with this?"
"How many times am I going to have to repeat how drained and ill-planned my attack was before you actually retain a damn memory? You weren't my first fight of the day. Of the hour. A scouting mission gone horribly awry with chaos attack after chaos attack, capped with some giant ichor monstrosity erupting. Not you. Something else. I threw almost everything I had at it and destroyed all of its hulking guardians and even more chaos forces."

Huh. I don't remember Monolith having guardians or chaos guards when I fought it. Thanks, Keya?
No. 678338 ID: 0a7e48
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"But it took so many of my forces and resources that I cut my losses and started trudging back home and I was fucking furious that I was having to deal with all of this from every direction. Attacks from Odon and Renz, attacks from chaos creatures, and now ichor itself had it in for me. So then I see you, livid already, burning with more rage from your existing after what you did, and I figure, hey, you've been shot down before without much difficulty. Easy pickings, maybe a fight I could win. And you know what? If your weird doppleganger wasn't there, I would have. I took out half of your forces with a single shot, Typhon!"
"You still didn't win."
"Story of my fucking life. Always just not good enough to win. If I was as big a pushover as you think I am, I wouldn't still be here. Do you know how long it's been since the last warmind kicked the bucket? Name was Tekne. Never much for being on the battlefield in person. Sort of like Odon if he wasn't fucked up on superiority complexes. He wanted to cover the remnant world in steel and wire, and create from it an entirely new artificial world. Like Locus started with the miasma. He'd provide new enclaves for those who needed different environments, but provide the best benefits to those who could breathe miasma. Create a pressure for people to be adapted to Fell conditions without outright forcing them. Maybe he was just as bad as Odon philosophy wise, I don't know. He wasn't as ruthless, though. Odon ran him through and took what was left of him."

I nod. "Yes. I'm aware of Tekne." I don't say any more than that.
"Huh. Less clueless than you look. Still. My second in command, Cyph, is a similar situation. Except, well, I didn't cripple her so much as, well. Salvage is probably not the word to use, but she was in a bad state. I fixed her up, gave her a place in my tower, and her loyalty to me has always been well tempered with the same skepticism that eventually lead to her current status. I suspect, if she thinks I'm gone for good, that she's probably not being nearly as attentive to things as I'd like her to be."
"Is she likely to rebel and take your territory as her own?"
"We both know my territory's only still independent due to the privileges of a warmind in the succession conflict. She was a warmind, but, well, that part of her was very thoroughly crushed by Kanzi. And then Kanzi went after Karx and Karx didn't leave a trace of Kanzi when he was done. It's all very complicated, but those two had a special emnity, I've heard. From Cyph, who barely remembers the details. Ugh, this is a fucking trainwreck. You don't want to hear about dead warminds. There's no trace of them save records anyway. Records I keep, because I'm the only one who gives a fuck about history."
"I care about history too."
"Yeah, the parts you're in."
No. 678339 ID: 0a7e48
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Keya tucks Arrow's brain-box into her outfit. "So, I'm officially free. Odon's probably looking for me, because apparently I'm the easiest target at the moment. If it was just me, I could probably risk self-destruction and reassembling back in my tower, but I made a promise to some soldier with potential who put his life on the line. Out of trust and not just programmed obedience. Honestly, with training and improvement, I could see him making battlelord. What a weird anomaly."

I shrug. "I can prepare a transport."
"You'll be shot down in seconds. Full disclosure, Typhon. Even I'm stepping up on anti-air defenses after we realised your base could just start flying over us at any time. And it's been shown to be effective so far. Renz made a special broadcast to us all to boast about it."
"Noted. Are you planning to walk back?"
"Are you offering to escort me?"
"Well, I, uh."
"Your forces aren't prepared for Fell attention. You've been blundering into us by accident or executing raids on our territory when we weren't expecting it. I can tell you now that Renz is more than prepared for you, and that's if Odon doesn't have something set up. And Karx? Karx is increasingly impatient about never having caught a glimpse of you. He wants to fight the old champion of Wintermol just for the sake of the battle. He even sent me a transmission the other day asking whoever next sees you to just tell you to arrange a time and a place. I mean, I didn't tell you because I just know Karx is going to be incredibly disappointed with how powerful you actually are."
"What? I'm the former guardian of Wintermol! I'm literally a living weapon! I'm not that much of a weakling!"
"Yeah, yeah, you're the king of the ring or whatever the fuck. Karx is still out of your league. He could literally smash you flat. I mean, damn, if you gave me the chance, I could show you you're not even in my league either, but you wouldn't have a base left standing. And I don't think your soroi, ahem, friend will come back as easily as everything else will."

I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and let it go. "Okay. Point taken." Still wrong. "So, you can't go home without an escort?"
"Well, I don't want to risk breaking a promising new addition to my elite guard. If it was just me I'd just go underground. So, yes, in practice."
"You know, I don't even know what I meant by that myself. Don't worry about it."
No. 678340 ID: 0a7e48
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"I didn't have a trip to Fell lands on my agenda for today, unfortunately. I was going to take a break to soroi or akari lands, actually."
"Soroi lands, hm. I've been curious about what they're actually like firsthand-- wait. Break? Akari? What? You're planning a fucking vacation?"
"Well, for my forces, really."
"A vacation in the fucking death forest? You were seriously thinking of going to Akar's forest to relax? There's a few dozen plant species that only exist to kill anything next to them in a variety of creatively horrible ways! And the locals? You piss one of them off and they all want you to die very quickly! I tried to negotiate with them as a mutual enemy to Renz but no, apparently I'm too unnatural or something, says some arrogant marble-clutching hypocrite who created every fucking thing in there! There is nothing natural about that forest! It's as natural as you and I. That is, to say, absolutely not natural in the slightest."
"Okay, so, pass on akari lands, then."
"I'm not done yet. You know what Akar's problem is? She can't stand anything being better than her. Absolutely can't stand it. Anything she makes turns out better than her? She breaks it. Tramples it into the fucking ground. Four different species of personal servants just because she can't take being shown up! She's a fucking wreck, Typhon, and you know what else? She stabs you in the back."

I see Keya's fists clenching so tightly they're shaking. "She'll string you along making you think everything is fine and then, before you know it, she's ordering a strike on your squad because you were never a real ally, and then she'll fucking get down from her throne of fucking vines or whatever, stab you through the heart, and the last fucking thing you'll see is her serene fucking face like everything she does is a fucking divine act of fate and can't be helped and then she'll lecture you about shit she is the last fucking person in the world to be talking about, and, and."

Keya makes inarticulate frustrated noises, pauses, sighs and adjusts Arrow's box in her pocket. "Whatever. So, you'll escort me back to my homeland after this inane little diversion, correct? There's something I wanted to do in soroi territory anyway." Her fist remains clenched. I can hear the synthetic material creak.

I don't think Keya was as angry about me when she was screaming at me before. She didn't even raise her voice so much this time. Well, uh, the choice of going to soroi or akari lands still stands. Theoretically.

No. 678351 ID: 5ad4a7

...underground? She has given me an idea for a new mode of transport. They have anti-air defenses so let's make a tunneler for transportation in Fell territory. It will only need to carry you, since you can surface somewhere isolated and summon up troops there. Heck, if you want to get REALLY clever with it, we can fly under the world then tunnel straight up once we get below our destination.

Hmm. We will need Akar's marble eventually, I expect... Keya is extremely powerful on her own apparently AND she has a grudge. We can go vacation in Soroi territory and then assassinate Akar. Well, once we get our wayward researcher back.
No. 678361 ID: 350a50

Say, if everything is in floating chunks, and we build some tunneling things and carry them with flying things, couldn't we burrow up from underneath continents?

Anyways. Soroi lands it is. If Keya didn't already know, Odon seems to have some miasma soroi captives/associates. Might be something for her to look into?
I also suggest that the two of you both get a lesson on soroi culture from your special friend. They're all about rules and regulations. Don't want to walk around with two left feet in the land of Flow.
No. 678365 ID: 025c3c

>investing in anti-air defenses
So... they're being forced to divert resources to cover multiple fronts. That might actually be a good thing for us, making it easier to punch through on one front.

>I don't think Keya was as angry about me when she was screaming at me before.
I'm sorry, personal history there?

>There's something I wanted to do in soroi territory anyway.
So long it's nothing the Soroi themselves are going to be upset about.
No. 678403 ID: d9cdf6

>There's something I wanted to do in soroi territory anyway.
If she wants to come with us she will have to tell us what that is, since we wouldn't want to bring her there just for her to start blowing things up or whatever.

>Air defenses
Since we fly by levitation rather than wings or hot air, is there anything to limit how high up we can fly? Air defenses become less effective the higher up you go and often have a maximum height.
No. 678405 ID: 350a50

We should ask if her 'something' might provoke the soroi, so we can be prepared for that eventuality. What her business is exactly is her business, not ours'. If we want to earn her trust we'll have to take the first step at some point and offer the same trust.
No. 678505 ID: 0ed6e9

I'm guessing she's met Akar then at one point. Best drop this subject so she actually calms down.

But she does have some points, our army as it stands is... a little small. I feel like if we're actually going to help anyone we might have to do a few more raids for more ichor. While I don't regret passing up any of the ichor in the pass as I don't want to become a slave to the stuff the fact still stands that we do rely on the stuff for many things.

She also let a few things slip during her rant. It seems the current warminds have fallen warminds under there control and from what we saw from Tekne not all of them are loyal. If we could learn a bit more about Fell politics we could possibly start some infighting among the other warminds. Of course I doubt it would be easy since I'm sure others must have tried something similar in the past but we still could gain contacts or like Tekne info if we can find more rebellious fell.

As for the anti air. That could actually work to our advantage if we play our cards right. If we could create fast flyers and this subterranean trooper we could distract the fell with the flyers and have the diggers just destroy the enemy from underground. And once they figure out that trick then we can actually arm the flyers and have them bomb the hell out of the ground troops.

Anyways as long as she isn't looking to start trouble I say head towards the Soroi lands since they seem to be mostly neutral with the fell except for those miasma ones. Maybe ask Keya what she knows of them. Besides if keya and Akar do have a history it might turn a (hopefully) calming vacation into a shit storm.
No. 678787 ID: 350a50

>then assassinate Akar
This got me thinking. Is Akar immune to miasma? Typhon and ichor creatures appear to be, but are she and her creations immune to it?

If Keya happens to know she's not, I've come up with a plan that might be crazy enough to work. So, with Typhon's malleable biology, we take a huge, concentrated, several times over lethal dose of miasma. And then we stick it in his junk and take Akar up on her offer.

Since his most marketable skill appears to be pimping himself out to everything with tits, we might as well turn it into an assassination method.
No. 689960 ID: f63c85
File 145083116225.png - (276.17KB , 800x600 , 252.png )

Personal history? Most of my first conversations with Keya were with her screaming at me. If you mean whether Keya has personal history with Akar, well, it definitely sounds like Akar backstabbed her pretty badly.

Underground units are something that never even occurred to me, which given the worm motif of my units feels especially embarassing. Tunnelling through and flying back up under the world. Hm. Then again, we don't even have any sort of airpower aside from transports. I do like the idea of misleading fronts. I'm not strong enough to shy away from army-scale trickery at this stage. Most of our battles have gone better when the enemy had no idea what we were or what we were doing, either way.

As far as ichor levitation goes, it is fantastic at maintaining height and less good at climbing and falling. I don't think I've ever tried to see how high it goes. There's some almost instinctual aversion to going too high, and that was before I fell to my death that one time. Also, not just unique to me alone. It's hard to estimate what the theoretical maximum is.

I'll talk to Keya about assassinating Akar some other time, if it comes to it. Part of me wonders if there could be some peaceful resolution to the problems Akar is causing. I've barely spoken to her personally. Of course, I know I'm not exactly the diplomat to solve this problem, but maybe if I find the right person somewhere else? There's no immediate need to earn the undying hatred of an entire species just yet.

I wonder if Taja is doing alright.

"Soroi lands it is! What are you planning on doing, anyway? Something related to the miasma soroi? I mean, it's your business, mostly I just want to know if it's going to provoke them."
"Miasma soroi? What? No, I just want to set up an outpost for further investigation! And no, not something that's going to start spewing miasma out into the water. An observation post, more than anything. Miasma soroi. That's... well, now I want that outpost constructed more urgently. If that provokes them, so be it. The entire area's an uncomfortably blind spot to my intel. I have got to stop telling you everything going through my head. Feh."
"Well, I'll leave you with those thoughts! I need to go speak to Nashi."
"Don't take forever."

The ichor seal retracts. The miasma stays as I leave.
No. 689961 ID: f63c85
File 145083117151.png - (340.60KB , 800x600 , 253.png )

I head into the soroi habitat. Nashi stirs awake as I enter.

"We're going to head back to soroi territory."
«I am exiled from there.»
"Yes. I know. This is the problem."

Nashi stands up, and looks thoughtful.

«The punishment for rulebreakers varies depending on rules broken. But I don't know what the punishments are, because no one breaks the rules. And a rulebreaker looks like any other soroi. If all soroi follow the rules, then an exiled soroi walking around in plain sight simply cannot happen.»
"Wouldn't they recognise you?"
«The akari are homogenised as a consequence of their hivemind. The soroi are homogenised as a consequence of a series of rules that strip away the burden of individual choice and responsibility. I would not stand out any more than any other female soroi of wind, unless I said the wrong things. I did not know many soroi well enough to tell them apart.»

I begin to suspect the soroi society might actually be the most broken one I've encountered.

"What wrong things?"
«Anything in contradiction to the rules. I do not fear judgement from my kind, Typhoon. That is not what is worrying me.»
"What is?"
«I'm worried I'll lose who I am the moment I breathe the rules in the air. But, if that happened, I suppose I would not even care what I had lost. I would join the pointlessness of the rest of my people, dancing to the call of pointless conflicting instructions older than us all. I wouldn't have to worry about making a choice ever again.»

She puts her wing to her beak. Snout. Beaksnout. ...Mouth.

«I have lived in a subconscious fear of straying too far away from the path chosen for me for my entire life. No, I will go. There are places I never would have gone that I have to see now.»
"Uh, well, I hope that's good. Do you, uh, happen to know of any hot springs, or anything like that?"
«There is an intersection between the flow of fire and water close to the east of the lands.»
"Can you lead us there?"
«From the skies, yes.»
"Good. We're flying there in ichor bubbles."
"You'll see."
No. 689962 ID: f63c85
File 145083118040.png - (212.25KB , 800x600 , 254.png )

Errol scooches up to me as I leave the soroi habitat. "Sir, I've gathered a report on the intel we gathered on Skimmy's scouting missions, and the new unit, and--"
"No, Errol. For now, we're going to ignore all of that."
"Well, the report's not going anywhere, I guess. Typhon, with all due respect, this is a really bad idea. The entire world isn't going to just sit there waiting patiently for us to come back. What if we get attacked?"
"If? Errol, I fully expect to be attacked during this break. It's just how the world works. You let your guard down and someone is there to take advantage of it."
"What? Then why aren't you setting up an army?"
"The last time I was in soroi territory, it didn't matter. I'd rather just keep the spare ichor floating around for emergencies. No one is going to be doing any research, anyway."
"Typhon, I'm worried about this."
"Oh, don't worry about it. I have the feeling that if anything's going to go wrong, it's going to single me out anyway. Just relax. For Skimmy's sake, at least."

Errol pauses, nods, and wanders off. "I'll go gather everyone else."
"Oh. Before you go, what purpose does your eyewear serve?"
"No more detail?"
"You want reports, I'll give you full reports, not excerpts. See you on the surface."

Right. Well.

That's everyone accounted for, then. I'll get the geists to lock the base down.
No. 689963 ID: f63c85
File 145083119083.png - (343.13KB , 800x600 , 255.png )

An ichor bubble trip later...

Well, here we are! Soroi lands! I asked Nashi if they had an actual name, and she shrugged. The ichor bubbles collapse and disperse. I have the ichor free for any other emergencies.

The rest of the group head off towards a bubbling pool, led by Nashi. I don't see any soroi around, and clearly neither does Nashi, as she's happily explaining the local geography and the reason for the bubbling pool.

«--soroi don't often have need to refer to many places, but this overlap of fire and water is important as one of many official meeting points referred to by the rules for different kinds to confirm and resolve any conflicts between rules--»

I half-listen as I watch Keya walk off in a totally different direction, purpose in her eyes. I consider following her from a distance, but decide it's not worth the risk of being caught spying on her. Let's maybe not sabotage one of the incredibly few positive relationships I have with someone with influence.

I hear the others jump into the bubbling pool with various sounds of satisfaction. Nashi comes over to me.

«As there haven't been any conflicts between rules for some time, this place might as well be ours. Typhoon, can you follow me?»
"Hm? Yes, why?"

I follow her away from the pool as I hear Colin and Ladon having some kind of splash fight in the distance.
No. 689964 ID: f63c85
File 145083121711.png - (305.71KB , 800x600 , 256.png )

Nashi leads me down and around into a more quiet part of this elemental crossroads. She looks around anxiously and fidgets with her body.

"What's wrong? Is this area actually unsafe?"
«What? No, this place is fine. ...Typhoon, I've noticed that every time we've mated, uh, you've taken great pains not to see it through to the very end.»
"Wh-- what? Nashi, I'm sorry, I didn't know you weren't getting anything out of--"
«No, no no! I've had a lot of fun.» She seems flustered by something. «But you've never, well, made me pregnant.»
"Yes. This is intentional." I am suddenly and deeply not liking where this conversation may be heading. "Why?"
«Isn't that the purpose
"You want me to make you pregnant? Why? I don't exactly have the free time to be a father, and you don't really strike me as being ready to be a mother--"
«I am! I'm a healthy, fit, young female perfectly capable of childbearing! Was that your concern?»
"No, I don't doubt you're physically capable, but I don't, I mean, haven't you said yourself you were never exactly raised properly? How would you even know what to do? I don't know. I don't like the idea. Given how frequently my base of operations is attacked..."

«Oh.» Nashi stares off into the horizon. «I had an idea, well, more of a dream of starting more of a colony than a family. Just imagine. You've spoken about bringing peace to the world, but you're just one being. You could help start a new civilisation and show the world how you think things should be.»
"I'm not a leader. Well. Not a leader of societies. I'm a soldier. A general. Nothing more. My place is not to govern the masses. I don't think it's a good idea, Nashi, and I don't understand why you feel that this is the best way to achieve your aims. Wouldn't you be better off trying to find other exiled soroi?"
Nashi shrugs. «I'm going to have a lot of time to do that either way. If you won't help me here, I'll have to find a different male for the purpose--»

I put my hands on her.

"No. Don't."
«What?» Nashi stares at me in confused alarm. «But then how--»
"I don't know how much of this is your plan and how much of it is the idiotic rules about procreation in the Sannersoon-damned water, but either way, it's a terrible idea."
«I don't understand, I'm not asking you to contribute anymore--»
"Don't just go behind my back like that. Don't do it."
«Is-- are you-- is that an order?» Her head feather crest rises and falls a few times and her breathing seems quicker. She's confused and upset. «Is-- is that a rule?»

If I tell her it is a rule or ruling, she'll likely follow it, and I'll be setting an incredibly, incredibly horrible and oppressive tone for both our personal and working relationships. This is probably closer to what Wintermol Typhon would do.

If I don't tell her it is, she's likely to go off and find some other male in her ridiculous unadvised 'colony' plan. I'm not sure I can explain the concept of monogamy to her very well in a way that isn't also going to upset her either at the prospect of being tied down or at my refusal to comply with her wishes. I guess this is entirely my fault. I got too close to a mortal again and now this is a situation again.

Obviously my baser instincts are telling me "what's the harm, go on" but my baser instincts can take a long walk off a short cliff. I don't want Nashi to do something this stupid. She's spent her whole life blindly following commands and told me as such. Her colony idea is a pipe dream at best and self-destructive at worst.

Then again, who the hell am I to say any of this? I shouldn't have involved myself in any one mortal's affairs so closely. Maybe I should just let her go and try to forget I ever encountered her.
No. 689965 ID: c9f250

Surely there's no rush? Ask her to wait until tomorrow to talk about this, promise to help one way or another. You're supposed to be relaxing, dammit.
No. 689966 ID: 350a50

It's not like we even know if it's possible for you, or what a mortal-ichor hybrid might be. Go for it.

You want to change your fate right? If 'Wintermol Typhon' and 'General Typhon' are telling you not to do this, then go for it. If the game is going to change it needs a wild card who's not afraid to break the rules.
No. 689969 ID: 2ccbb3

Just explain to her that you have no intention of bringing more life into the world that will not be your mindless, soulless thrall if the whole universe go boom in a matter of years. Wait until the end-of-the-universe threat has passed and focus on your mission, otherwise you're BOTH unfit for survival.
No. 689979 ID: 4780ef

She isn't one of our solders, we can't order her to do anything really but that doesn't mean we can't offer her advice. That's what this is, Advice. If she doesn't want to follow it it's her choice but ask her some questions, like where does she plan to set up this colony? Almost all the land that's left in the world has been claimed and all the races have proven they are willing to kill to gain more land and keep what land they have left. Where can she start a village that won't be torn apart by the locals?
Where is she going to find a mate?
How is she going to start a village with only herself and a mate? I mean she said it herself, we're only one person, but then again so is she.

It's an admirable idea but in this day and age the world doesn't really care about how noble something may be, if you want to do something you're going to have to work for it, plan it out, prepare for everything including the unexpected. Even if you do all that it's still posable it will just blow up in your face. If she's set on doing this then at least make sure she has an idea on how to actually pull it off instead of just "I'm sure it will work out."
No. 689985 ID: 8896fc

>Then again, who the hell am I to say any of this? I shouldn't have involved myself in any one mortal's affairs so closely. Maybe I should just let her go and try to forget I ever encountered her.
Typhon; you need to get more comfortable with idea of a relationship falling between "literally an extension of yourself" and "puny mortal of no personal significance". As a friend, it would generally not be your business what she does with her love life, but in this case there is a partial exception since she was just telling you about how she was worried about the rule-air changing her. Point this out and request (not order) that she waits until the two of you can discuss this later somewhere away from the rule-air.

As a side note, why should you care about monogamy? Non-exclusive relationships are honestly more compatible than monogamous ones when one or more of the people involved are immortal, and non-exclusive relationships are only balanced if it goes both ways.

>Colin, breifing
Can't you communicate with your units at a distance? Next time maybe you could do the briefing thing during a flight if you are in a hurry.

>I don't think I've ever tried to see how high it goes.
We have flying scout units; let's find out.
No. 689995 ID: 5ad4a7

Tell her it is not a rule. It is advice. If she does that, she will regret it.

Also, it is an expression of your feelings. Tell her how you feel, Typhon. Tell her you want to be the only one for her, but you're not ready to start a family, and it's not a good time anyway since you're essentially at war. With the entire world.

...how long does pregnancy last for Soroi, though? If the campaign is soon to draw to a close, you could do it, and it would not be a problem.
No. 690069 ID: f63c85
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I can communicate with my units at a distance. The point is more that I didn't want to worry about it for now. As for having flying scouts, we, well, unless I am forgetting something, don't have any. Skimmy can glide for fair distances, but is entirely reliant on wind patterns for sustained flight. He doesn't have any means of going up of his own power.

"No, this is not a rule. You are not one of my soldiers. I have no right to command you. This is advice. I don't know where you can find a safe place to start a village. In this age, everywhere is taken and held with bitter force. There are no safe places left for anything new."

Monogamy. What the hell is going through my head? Why do I suddenly feel like I want to tie myself to someone I've known for a couple of days at best? I can't trust my own feelings on this matter. Why should I chain down someone who I will outlast? I don't know why I suddenly had that notion fly through my mind. I can't make such judgements based on raw emotional impulses. I will wait and consider how I feel. But the rules in the air and the water are a factor I should have considered sooner.

I have no idea how long this campaign against the entire world at large can even last. There's an entire continent I haven't seen with my own eyes, and three out of eight marbles I have no idea as to the whereabouts of. I have the time marble, Akar has the growth marble, the decay marble is somewhere in Fell lands and the flow marble is somewhere in soroi lands. The void marble is in pieces, and I have one of those pieces. That leaves the sun, moon and space marbles. I could be waging this war for months, years, or even decades.

It isn't even a war. I don't even know what I'm doing anymore. Gathering ichor, reinforcing my base, plotting to recover the marbles that I can claim without killing anyone or ruining entire civilisations. This is probably a fine time to reassess, well, my entire purpose of being. What am I even doing? Trying to stop the Shatterer? Do I think I can defeat something I'm an intrinsic part of by punching it? Maybe Echidna was right. Maybe the best thing I can do for the world is to seal myself away in something external to the world.

I'm snapped back out of my head by Nashi speaking in her almost flutelike voice. «Advice. Yes. I'm sorry.»
"No. I'm sorry. I shouldn't be giving you commands. Besides, we're here to relax. Can we discuss this some other time?"
«Yes. I have been feeling very tense lately. I suppose if I had not been randomly selected for messenger duty I would be breeding by default around this point in my life otherwise. The rules are quieter but present again. I do not feel compelled to follow, but they are making me tense. Anxious. I feel like I am failing to be soroi.»

I walk around Nashi and start rubbing her gently. Her blue patterns remain, but shift paler. "If being soroi means living your whole life for someone else's benefit, is that what you want?"
«I woke up out of the soroi dream. I have dreams of my own.»
"And your dream is admirable, but it is too soon. I also have no desire to personally bring more life into a universe while I dream of its death."

Nashi tenses up and I curse my tongue. "A death I am devoting my life to ensuring never comes to pass!"
«Do you think even you can prevent the end of all things?»
"Even if I can't, I can tell you for definite that this world keeps on going. I mean, the end of all things already came once, and yet the world's still filled with life." I try to put the red sky and shrill cries of the scavengers of the future out of my mind.
«Do you know how the soroi came to be?»
"Hm? I, uh, no. Do you?"
«I heard the story once, but only accepted it without thinking about it. Do you want to hear the story?»

Nashi leads me to one of the smaller satellite pools. I briefly check in on the others via mindlink, who are having a fantastic time and appear not to be surprised that I'm off spending time with Nashi instead of them. Some of my unsummoned personalities, mostly Mannimarco, are incarnating just to have the experience. It's a drain on my ichor reserves, but I'm not concerned. Everything is quiet for now.
No. 690070 ID: f63c85
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"Nashi, I reacted too strongly. I think if you want to find another male to help you form that colony, I won't stop you--"
«No, no. I would prefer your help. I think you're right. We can wait.»
"How long is a soroi pregnancy, anyway?"
«I am not sure. Many full moons?»
"I don't suppose the soroi keep records?"
"Information on what happens? ...Do you know how to read?"
«The currents?»
"What do you read from the currents?"
«Events from afar that matter. Conflicts. Congregations. Always what is happening.»
"What about what has previously happened?"
«Is it important?»
"Well, it'd let me know how long soroi are pregnant for."
«The seasons all pass from start to end?»
"What are the seasons here?"
«Four. Storms, swells, placidity, torpor. It's currently the season of torpor. The flows are sluggish and the rules bring soroi into closer groups. The contact mating rule is rescinded until storms. Soroi are usually more spread out.»

I had noticed less soroi and only now realise that the water we're walking through has barely any motion to it whatsoever. It's also not even foot deep. Just acres of the largest puddle in the world.

"So soroi pregnancies last a full year? That's a little longer than I expected."
«Sometimes a little longer, sometimes five, even six seasons.»

Now that I think about it, I vaguely recall pregnancies and egg incubation times for magical creatures taking longer than non-magical creatures. I vaguely remember some lecture from Wintermol on magical creatures taking progressively longer and longer to breed as the mystic force of the world diminished, and no one was sure why. Soroi are probably flesh and blood enough that it doesn't affect them too strongly. No wonder the soroi rules are worrying about breeding so much.

We sink into one of the pools. Now this. This temperature. This is what my shower should have been. I'll keep a note of that. Colin will know what I'm talking about too. Actually, maybe we should just shuffle part of the soroi habitat to have one of these bubbling pools.

Nashi brushes her wing along the inside of my thigh under the water. I reciprocate. «Maybe not the full path, but how do you feel about walking most of the way?»
"Like I could get there and back for some time." That sounded so much better in my head.

We move in a little closer.

...actually, as you advisors mentioned, perhaps I could go all the way here. I mean, for tenuous reasons like "it isn't what anyone would be expecting" and "you might have solved the world's problems by then". I wonder how Nyx would react. Probably with offended indignance and a lecture on how I'm ruining the world even more. Hm. No. Let's not. Never mind. I wish I knew why I cared. I'm going to outlive any children I have, and I'll just be introducing weakpoints within my social structure for enemies to exploit. Also, they'll be freaky ichor hybrids and will possibly be the cause of my downfall.

Anyway. Any requests for where I reassing you, advisors? I feel like me and Nashi are going to be, well, accounted for for some time, and I don't need, or, well, more accurately want your advice or input on how to proceed from here. Colin, Ladon, or Skimmy? Maybe Errol for a change? I can't really be sure that they'll need advising, though. I. Uh. Hm. What to do with you, what to do with you...

"A moment, please."
No. 690074 ID: d4a2dc

>What am I even doing? Trying to stop the Shatterer? Do I think I can defeat something I'm an intrinsic part of by punching it?
We have a lead. We know the Shatterer can be defeated; just at the cost of causing a cataclysmic explosion. And we also know that there is at least one thing that can withstand that explosion, the Tower. Our mission then is to discover how to use the second of these to deal with the first, whether from fighting the Shatterer inside the Tower, replicating its shielding effect, or trapping ourself as the Shatterer inside if it comes to that. The marbles and such are ultimately useful only as far as they further this, but they will probably help if we go with one of the options involving fighting the Shatterer.

>possibly be the cause of my downfall.
A downfall not involving the Shatterer is kind of the least of our worries.

>What to do with you, what to do with you...
I vote visiting Colin. We have briefings to talk about and research involving drills and stuff to consider.
No. 690076 ID: 5ad4a7

>I wish I knew why I cared.
Like you said, you're getting attached. You like her. Part of being alive is the instinct to pass on your genes. Then there's the whole "having a family is nice" thing.
Optimally, after this is all over, you can live a normal life.

I don't see any reason not to go with Errol this time.
No. 690117 ID: 367b17

Alternatively we could attempt to stabilise the Shatterer's form while it is trapped in the Tower, the fact that time appears to be inconsistent for creatures inhabiting it may prove useful for any plans that require determining what the Shatterer actually is.
Using the Tower to trap it could result in it using all of your apparent alternate selves to fuel it with even more ichor than what it could gather outside the Tower , this is both a risk and an opportunity for us.

In regards to Ichor hybrids, I agree, we don't know what could happen, and you have encountered differing grades of Ichor in the field, making me think it is the result of magical contaminants...
I think we would need to capture a Chaos entity before we can be sure of hybrids and effects, it's likely that it is a result of energy from the marbles leaking into the Ichor during use, which could also make areas of high magic like Locus dangerous to explore.
I think a normal life is not an option even after this current crisis is dealt with, though not bouncing from conflict to conflict while the world slowly becomes unfamiliar sounds like a worthy objective for an immortal.

And probably best to hand us to Errol or even Mannimarco, I suspect Colin and Cadmea may be doing their own things as well.
No. 690125 ID: 4780ef

>It isn't even a war. I don't even know what I'm doing anymore. Gathering ichor, reinforcing my base, plotting to recover the marbles that I can claim without killing anyone or ruining entire civilisations. This is probably a fine time to reassess, well, my entire purpose of being. What am I even doing?
There's going to be blood shed, if we could talk everyone into holding hands and stop killing each other someone else would have done so by now. Right now the whole world is teetering over oblivion and if we where to strike even on nation it would have a domino effect that would bring the whole world down with it. So right now we're probing all the nations because but when we strike we're going to have to hit everyone at once. But not even we have the power to do that alone so we're building alliances within all the territories to aid us. Keya was right in a way, we where not made to save or build but to destroy, so that's exactly what we're going to do, we're going to destroy the world again. But this time not in a mindless rage, first we're going to set up safety nets for people to fall back on and rebuild upon. We already have two in the works. We have Keya and her empire to as allies to take control of the fell lands after we remove the other three war lords, Nahsi's plan may be rash but if we can build upon it we might be able to set up a real Soroi civilization that isn't held together by bat shit insane rules that would fall apart once everyone stops following said rules. The world is hell right now but there are a few bright spots that give me hope, if we can preen the bad and leave only the good the world might finally be able to start rebuilding itself instead of tearing itself apart with this constant gridlock it seems dead set to remain stuck in.

>perhaps I could go all the way here.
After you went through all that effort to say no, seems a bit hypocritical to me. Beside if you ever do want to have kids with her why now? couldn't you wait? It's not like she's going to die of old age in the next 10 minutes and even if you did pop out a kid with her could you really find time to be a father when the fate of the whole world rest with you? Now probably isn't the best time to start a family.

>I wish I knew why I cared.
Because outside of your forces you have very few friends that actually care for you and you're lonely. You're not just a weapon Typhon, you're also a person, a person who has needs just like every other living thing. The old rulers of wintermol failed to see this and treated you as nothing more then there personal toy until it broke you and in turn you broke the world. You're more then just a weapon but at times you seem to forget that yourself.

>Any requests for where I reassing you, advisors?
Errol. haven't really had time to get to know her yet and see does seem kinda pissy that we're taking a brake. Might do us and her some good to talk to her.
No. 690163 ID: 350a50

Agreed on all accounts.
No. 690274 ID: 91ee5f

All right, Typhon! You go, dawg! Er, I mean, lizard?

Oh, shit! I just realized something! Did we remember to bring Cadmea with us? Typhon has mentioned everyone made of ichor being present, but he didn't mention if Cadmea came with us or not! I hope we didn't leave her behind, she deserves a break just as much as everyone else!
No. 690369 ID: 80fae4
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No, Cadmea came with us. Colin wouldn't have had it any other way.

Yes. I don't know what I was thinking. No complicated, messy family issues. Ichor hybrids are definitely possible, from what I dimly recall of my former life, but the exact nature is definitely an open mystery. Maybe for the best we aren't investigating it.

I should revisit the Tower someday to ascertain just how indestructible it is.

Anyway! Enough chat! This is an intimate situation and I really could do without an audience. Colin's sending out do not disturb signals, anyway. I shan't question why. To Errol with you all!
No. 690371 ID: 80fae4
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Ah, invisible, intangible advisors! I've felt you but you've only now deigned to look at me so closely. Hi. My name is Errol. You probably already knew that.

We're all linked and a part of the greater hive of intellects that compose the ichor mindswarm, but, you know. It's weird to think of it like that. None of us are really well equipped to appreciate how alien that is to our mentalities. We're individuals, and when we let that go all we are is crashing and conflicting opinion and noise.

Sorry. I'm in a, uh, contemplative state of mind. I can recall the report from the mindswarm later. Right now I'm musing on everything I've seen and haven't told Typhon. I only report what I have substantial evidence for, but.
No. 690372 ID: 80fae4
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Advisors? There's something that's been weighing heavily on my mind. I saw things I wasn't intended to see, both in the inside and outside world. I made these lenses to help me focus more on what I was supposed to observe.

Firstly, I have seen the lands to the east. I have seen an empire of light far larger than anything I would have thought this world supports. I have seen platforms hanging from sky rails of light flying at impossible speeds, transporting armies of a size and scale that make the entire Fell seem primitively small. I have seen scorching columns of fire fall at the command of leaders with simple gestures.

I have seen, most surprisingly of all, civilisation. Roads. Farms. Housing. Trade.

This empire is waging war and conquering the lands around it at alarming speed, save for two frontlines. One is the Fell. The other is a mountainous region inhabited by what looked like living shadows.

And to the southeast, all I can see are stars where the land should be. It's just too far away to see any more detail.
No. 690373 ID: 80fae4
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Secondly, my role was never simply staring into the stars and the world at large, but to observe, well, everything. Everything including the ichor collective consciousness.

I found my past lives within the ichor collective. In a former age, Optosi, intel specialist and high inquistor for Lord Typhon of Wintermol. Ages before that, Watcher-Worm, the form responsible for determining the motions and patterns of suitable targets.

That second one made me afraid.

Me and Ladon? We're both far older than Typhon is. And I don't know who we worked for.

I'd need to collaborate with Colin on more dedicated research except that would involve Colin finding out his past. Advisors, I apologise. I should be telling you these secrets. But I can't risk it. I absolutely could not allow Colin to know how he entered the ichor collective. It would with absolute certainty lead to rebellion. For the sake of the cohesion of the group, and because Colin is my friend, I can't let him know.

I am a little high strung. I was using my work to ignore most of these revelations, then Typhon has the ingenious idea of going on holiday to clear our minds. Sometimes I don't think that's a good idea. After all, if we clear our minds too much, I might leak some of these secrets to the others. I can't allow that.

-Errol?- Skimmy's mental voice pops into my head. -Are you alright?-
-I'm fine, Skimmy. I'm fine.-

I fidget with my lenses.

-You don't sound fine, though.-
No. 690376 ID: 5ad4a7

You keep secrets, huh? Keep this one. We have seen via the Time Marble an entity in the far future, where everything is drastically different. Typhon exists there in a new form, and referred to another of his minions by the name "Betrayer-Worm". He caused/will cause some trouble for us.

Find Betrayer-Worm with your new abilities, so that we may be forewarned, and possibly prevent a major betrayal. If it's you... well, I'll be honest. Betrayer-Worm is not going to make a difference in the long run. Keep that in mind too. You say Ladon(Or Colin? Two foreign minds were mentioned but three names?) was the other foreign consciousness? What was he called before?

Also, if you know what time period exactly you were called Watcher-Worm, we can go back and revisit that time period, even if it was before Typhon existed. We can find out what you were used for, to ease your troubled mind. Or confirm your fears. Either way, it'll be informative. We can keep this a secret from Typhon until we use the Time Marble again, and not tell him the real reason why we're visiting the time period you were in.

Why are you so certain this would lead to rebellion?

Tell Skimmy you're just thinking about your work, you're worried about the area to the south where all you can see are specks of light. You should keep in mind that they might not be stars...

As for your observations of the Sun civilization, it sounds like they have full control over the Marble's power but have only accessed it recently. We will need to rally the Fell against them to stop their advancement, I think. Or at least distract their troops enough that we can get in to steal the Marble and neutralize their military might. I expect their civilization can go back to the state it was in before without all of them dying or something stupid like that. Same for the Life Marble to the west of Fell territory. Pretty sure we're going to have to fight Akar, by the way. Maybe we can convince the Soroi to attack them at the same time as the Fell, to distract her forces. Also, we've seen that Soroi can survive without the influence of their marble... which means they CAN live in Akar's territory. We just have to worry about the hostile Chaos creatures, because the Soroi marble is all that's keeping them in check. This world is in a precarious balance, but we can still work through it. Only the Fell seem to be completely reliant on their Marble to survive, so far.
No. 690378 ID: 350a50

>Also, if you know what time period exactly you were called Watcher-Worm, we can go back and revisit that time period, even if it was before Typhon existed. We can find out what you were used for, to ease your troubled mind.


She said Colin might rebel if he learned who he was. Is he Betrayer-Worm, maybe?
No. 690380 ID: 4d8d2c

Re. the shadow civilization and star field: You've likely found the users of the Moon and Space marbles, respectively. Good job.

The entity in the future was called Doubter-Worm, though it did indeed have a penchant for betrayal. Does that name ring any bells?

Re. your secrets: This is a dangerous game to play. What we're missing at this point, more than anything else, is understanding of how this world works. You risk depriving your side of information that's essential to finding a way to prevent this world being destroyed by the Shatterer.
Let's see if you can answer any of the following:
1. Would the rebellion be Colin's, or that of other elements against him?
2. Is there anything we can do to make it safe for this information to be shared, that you can talk about? Push his mind (or those of other people) into different states, find other information to put it into context, something else?
3. Is there something else we should be doing - some information we should specifically look for - that you can identify from the secrets you're not willing to share, which is itself safe for you to talk about?
No. 690383 ID: 0777f3

Errol, I have to ask you two things. The first is could any of these secrets have strategic value? The second is whether or not you trust us advisors? It could be possible that this information could be vitally important to future plans, and we would never do anything that could jeopardize what we are trying to accomplish here.
No. 690388 ID: 4780ef

alright I'm going to ask some questions. First off I don't find it all that strange that you and your boyfriend are older then Typhon. I mean he was created by Wintermol to be there ultimate weapon. It makes since that he's younger since he was created only one age ago while Ichor was only found one age ago. But the thing I'm most curious about what you have said when you said
>I absolutely could not allow Colin to know how he entered the ichor collective.
what do you mean by "enter the collective"? You make it sound like he was someone else... something else before before become an Ichor being... Oh god he's not one of those hybrid children that Typhon made right before he snapped was he?

Anyways about those nations to the east, can you tell us any more about them or is that going to be something that we're going to have to send a scout out if we want more information. I ask because this world (while falling apart) is in a odd state of balance where everything is pushing on each other that keeps everything from falling apart. We remove one piece and the whole thing collapses so before we act on the sun nation we need to know how they balance the world. If we're lucky we might be able to just focus on the 4 nations/marbles we have now before we move out the try and gain the last 3.

Oh and let skimmy know that you're just talking to us and if he wants he can come on over. I know that you probably want to be alone but it might be easier to not let anything slip if you're speaking to him in person then within your own head. Plus he could use the company.
No. 690392 ID: 5ad4a7

Whoops, Doubter-Worm. Yes. ...actually, such a designation makes it sound like they were made to cross-check actions of some ruler. A kind of foil for an overconfident king, like a court jester. The vision makes them out to be something more disruptive though. Maybe that future involves Colin/Ladon finding out they're Doubter-Worm and deciding to fully embrace that role?

Hmm. Also, if there are entities in the Typhon collective that existed before him, would that mean they were made of ichor, so that the merging was possible at all? Typhon was likely not the first ichor creature created, but... I wonder, did ichor and ichor-creatures exist since this world's creation, and Typhon was created via technology effectively stolen from the gods?
No. 690447 ID: 91ee5f

>Attacking the Akari.

But what about Taja? After we let her stay in our base and we gained her trust, we're just going to attack her and her people? This is going to crush her emotionally! Sure, we could try to warn her and tell her that Akar isn't as nice as she looks, but that's going to cause a genocide! Since Taja's entire species is linked, if we try to tell her then everyone will know, including Akar! And, if what everyone that's told us about Akar is to be believed, she will destroy her entire species and start over again! If we're going to take Akar's marble, then can we please find a way to do it without risking a genocide of an entire species?
No. 690467 ID: 5ad4a7

The attack's meant as a distraction to take out their leader and seize control of the Marble. We have enough information at this point that we can conclude Akar isn't to be trusted. Whether we can convince her servants of this is irrelevant, because after she's dead they won't be able to continue fighting. We can just tell them to shut up and deal with living under our rule, because we'll have the Marble. We can tell the Fell and Soroi forces to try to minimize casualties if that makes you feel better about it, but either way we'll still be saving lives in the long run because the fighting will end.
No. 690469 ID: 5ad4a7

...oh! I thought of an alternative.

We could somehow trick Akar to come with us personally on a mission into Soroi territory and assassinate her while she's isolated. My initial thought was Fell territory but she'd refuse to enter the Miasma for obvious reasons.
No. 690489 ID: 350a50

In my opinion, Taja isn't to be trusted either. She's too brainwashed into Akar's cult thing, and was probably sent to seduce and spy on us in the first place.
No. 690494 ID: 4780ef

dude they're whole race is a hive mind. Anything they know Akar knows. Hell if the stories are to be believe she can kill the whole race on a whim. Honestly the biggest problem with Akar and her race is going to be getting them to join us over Akar and trying to keep her from finding out we're trying to back stab her.
No. 690495 ID: 350a50

Our only option if we want to spare the Akari is to bypass them completely and kill Akar without their intervention.

She's not stupid, she's not going to be drawn out. I still think the best assassination plan is installing a miasma generator in Typhon's dick and pretending to take her up on her offer of impregnating her with freaky ichor hybrids. Even if it doesn't kill her, maybe the shock of it would weaken/distract her enough we could pry the Marble from her.

It's not exactly gentlemanly, but who would expect a guy to weaponize his junk?
No. 690497 ID: 4780ef

alright... so let's say that somehow works, what stops her people who worship her from trying to kill the shit out of us for killing there god/mother?
No. 690500 ID: 350a50

Once we have the Growth Marble, we can nuke them if we want/need to. Or if we need to attune to it first, we can still use it as a threat. They may not necessarily know that. If Akar is as vain and narcissistic as she sounds, she likely wouldn't tell them how it really works.
No. 690504 ID: d4a2dc

>Me and Ladon? We're both far older than Typhon is.
How many of the ichor-minds are from the same era Watcher-Worm is from?

>I absolutely could not allow Colin to know how he entered the ichor collective. It would with absolute certainty lead to rebellion.
If you were Watcher-Worm, would that make him the Doubter-Worm we have heard of in visions?

>Pretty sure we're going to have to fight Akar
Why are we so sure that she is beyond negotiation? I forget what it was she did that was all that much more assholish than half the major powers around here.

>This empire is waging war and conquering the lands around it at alarming speed, save for two frontlines.
If they are just conquering instead of exterminating the locals or turning them into cyborg slaves, is that even our problem?

>And to the southeast, all I can see are stars where the land should be.
You know, about the whole floating landmases thing, do we know what is under them? I think we should get a pre-conscious or volunteer ichor worm and drop them off the world's edge to see what happens.
No. 690534 ID: 5ad4a7

>Why are we so sure that she is beyond negotiation?
Here's what Odon (a known liar, but still) had to say about her:
Keya confirmed the jist of that story. Akar has committed genocide FOUR TIMES because she didn't like her troops.
She's never gonna just give up the Marble, and I don't want her as a ruler anymore anyway.

If you REALLY want to super double confirm Akar's history we can view it either tonight or tomorrow night. Depends on what our priorities are when night falls.
No. 690585 ID: d4a2dc

Oh right; I had forgotten that part. Yeah I guess we will probably be killing her eventually then.
No. 690646 ID: c970fe

Errol, thank you for bringing the issue of past identities up again. Unfortunately all that have past incarnations will likely feel the influence of them as time goes on, so it is inevitable that Colin will learn of his origin, is there any changes in mindset that could be used to help soften the blow or circumstances that could be arranged to alter his perspective when he learns of this?
If possible could we use distance to avoid Colin being able to make use of the base when this is revealed to him?
Also, in spite of the issue of not having substantial information, small facts like this are useful to us, from what you say it sounds like Sannersoon came out of the apocalypse with less harm to infrastructure than its counterpart, while the so called "sects" that the Soroi originate from may be the shadows you have seen.

Also to all of you bent on the death of Akar, I would not be suprised if each genocide coincided with a major attack by outsiders and a contraction in the size of her territory. The extent of "industrialisation" and apparent lack of desire to attack by Warminds makes me think that Akar's mindset of "turtling" brought the genocides upon her creations.
I'm tempted to offer her escape, namely to those mountains Errol mentioned to see if she still has the compulsion to stand her ground and fortify no matter the cost to the forms of others.
No. 725044 ID: b024e9
File 146388738958.png - (289.16KB , 800x600 , 263.png )

Whether or not I trust you, you serve Typhon, as do I. And clearly, Typhon trusts you. So, more information, then.

I've told you all I know about the east. We would need to send a scout there. I have no idea what this empire of light is doing.

Doubter-Worm. Can't say I recognise that name at all. Ladon's second age name was Shaper-Worm. Now he's shaper-drone. His third age name, I think, was also Ladon.

I know the relative ages involved for my former lives. This is the fifth age of, uh, well, that's for the sixth age to decide. The fourth age of the empires of Wintermol and Sannersoon, Lord Typhon's time in the sun and moon, that was the age of Optosi. Watcher-Worm must have been before then. I have vague memory glimpses into an age of hazy dusk where machines rise and tower into the sky, and of an age of magic so raw and wild the world was alive with dreams. A far cry from the shattered rocks it is now.

The rebellion would be entirely Colin's. He was an ichor creature created outside of and forcibly integrated into our ichor swarm. Against his will. A library assistant turned military scientist. That's all I'm comfortable sharing now.

The information we have on Akar have come from predominantly her enemies. She has been difficult to work with, but perhaps we should not rule out diplomacy completely yet. Maybe Skimmy should take a trip to the forests next time.

-What, Skimmy?-
-Why are you all alone under the water?-
-I'm thinking about things.-
-Ladon wants you to look at something for him.-
-Can't you go look?-
-I already did. He said he wanted your expertise.-

I paddle over to Ladon.
No. 725045 ID: b024e9
File 146388741432.png - (309.08KB , 800x600 , 264.png )

Ladon points into the horizon. "See all of that?"
"I don't see anything."
"Exactly. No soroi for miles."

I stare into the horizons into soroi lands. True to Ladon's words, I can't see anyone.

"Well," says Ladon, "Any ideas why?"
"It's torpor season. Sort of like winter."
"When did you learn that?"
When Typhon did. "Dunno. The vague weird consciousness thing?" Shouldn't Ladon know that? Was he not paying attention? Am I the only one here with any sort of vigilance?
"Huh. Alright then. Think soroi hibernate?"
"They clump together, I think, for whatever reason. They might just be in places that aren't open floodplains."

Ladon shakes his head. "Something else has to be up. It isn't winter anywhere else. Well, uh, huh. The forests, well, bad example, I'm not sure the forest has weather, and Fell territory is just constant overcast smog clouds. ...Does the world actually have weather patterns and seasons anymore?"
"Some places, yes."
"Huh. Where?"
"Mostly the east."
"What about the west?"
"Constant rainstorm to the southeast where Wintermol used to be. No idea why. Constant lightning storm over Fell skies. That's probably defenses. Constant clear skies over the akari forests. Light showers at most. Only this place seems to change, and all that changes is how fast the storms are."

"Storm continent," says Ladon. He ponders. "Y'know, if a place is always changing and that's a constant truth, is it ever really changing?"
"I'm a scientist, not a philosopher."
"Aren't you always seeking answers though?"
"To questions that actually matter, yes."
"Rude! Try to relax, okay?"
No. 725046 ID: b024e9
File 146388743969.png - (442.47KB , 800x600 , 265.png )

It's hard to relax when I have an idea of just how unstable the world is. Forget the Shatterer. I don't think the current age even needs a Shatterer to fall apart and blow itself into even more pieces. Let's revisit Akar. Let's think how things would happen if we kill her.

Akar, the resident pretender-goddess of a forest that never sees the sun, waging war against the Fell and the soroi. The soroi, beset by akari attacks and invasions by what we've come to call chaos creatures. The Fell, fighting two fronts, the akari and the eastern empire. The eastern empire, fighting the Fell and a mountain range's shadowy dwellers. To the south west, a frozen wasteland with an indestructible tower, and to the south east only stars or other points of light.

We remove Akar from the equation. The akari, a species that has only known one ruler and one unifying thread binding them, are thrown into disarray. Perhaps their hivemind will remain, but I suspect removal of the marble of growth is going to show what happens when an unnatural forest has its existential support removed. The survivors will pose no threat and will likely die out from starvation and exposure as Akar's forest dream faces harsh reality.

The soroi and the Fell now fight against each other to claim what was formerly akari lands. Both of them are interested in increasing their numbers, which both requires and only makes sense for further expansion. Either the Fell are victorious and continue to conquer the entire eastern continent, or they're set back by this.

Say the Fell win. They now have the entire eastern continent. Odon is likely to systematically wipe out all of the soroi, save for the miasma adapted ones, as far as I can guess. They turn to their one remaining front, the eastern empire, which they've been only barely keeping defended. They throw everything they have at the eastern empire and the tide of conquest turns against the eastern empire. Beset by a newly aggressive Fell empire in addition to their southern enemies, the eastern empire puts up a strong fight with its superior forces but ultimately can't fight against the miasma, the Fell's greatest weapon of all.

When the eastern empire falls, that's it. Nothing else is left to put up any sort of resistance to the Fell. For all intents and purposes, they have the world. And we better hope Odon hasn't won the succession conflict at that point. If he has, the Shatterer arriving would be a mercy at that point.

Say the soroi win. The Fell have taken significant losses, and pose no threat to the eastern empire. The miasma generators will be destroyed as the eastern empire advances, and the Fell will be wiped off the face of the map. The soroi pose little threat to an organised empire, and are easily defeated. With only one remaining force of resistance left, other than us, they crush the mountain dwellers.

Altogether, I think we can wait to assassinate Akar. We really either need more ichor or more efficient ways to use ichor. Colin tried last time to get some from Akar, but she's clearly turning out to not be particularly co-operative. I could be at home scanning for more deposits, or more marbles, or anything else. Instead I'm here in some dumb bubbling pool. And everyone else loves it but me. Blegh. I'm more relaxed when I can see what's happening all around me on a screen.

I guess I can take these goggles off. I'll, uh, just put them in my pockets. There we go--
No. 725047 ID: b024e9
File 146388745276.png - (265.67KB , 800x600 , 266.png )

«This is a meeting point for fire and water soroi. During torpor, none convene here. You are neither fire or water. State your intention.»

Oh a soroi behind me. I. Uh. Hm. Ladon is the first to say something. "Oh! We, uh, we didn't know that! We'll, uh, head off!"

The soroi walks on the water's surface as though it were solid. Um.

«There is no departure for rulebreakers save exile or destruction. Exile is reserved for the first rule violation of soroi. You are not soroi.»

Uh oh.

-See, I knew this was a bad idea! How did we miss this guy?!-
-No idea. Look. We can't fight this guy. Stall. I think I can throw together a worm for him to chase or something.-

I hear a splash as Ladon submerges himself.

"So," I say, "are we supposed to stay here forever?"

«None convene here during torpor.»
"So what are we supposed to do?"
«Not be here.»
"Then what do we do after that? We're not soroi, we don't know the rules."

The soroi stares at us coldly, but doesn't look like he's about to strike.

«We find your kind to be an affront. Your mere existence stifles our growth, and the forest monstrosities multiply with no such harm. We are plagued by the stains of chaos preying on our weaker-willed, a sickness threatening to tear apart our way of life. You come here, to our lands, to our waters, and rest as though innocent in torpor springs. You break rules you say you do not know, while basking in a sanctified place of negotiation and resolution.»


«You would remain here for me to rend you both into ichorous ribbons, if such an act was sanctioned.»
"Does that mean it's allowed or denied--"
"But exile is for soroi, you said--"

He breaks into a run! I start paddling backwards HELP ME ADVISORRSSS
No. 725065 ID: cb8282

dive under him and appear behind him. It probably won't work twice but if you're in trouble then wouldn't everyone else know you're in trouble and come to your aid? You just need to avoid him until they show up.
No. 725068 ID: 398fe1

This is a place of negotiation, ask to negotiate.
No. 725130 ID: 3663d3

ask if it wishes to turn this place of peace into a battleground.
No. 725131 ID: 094652

Do the dolphin! DO THE DOLPHIN!
No. 725532 ID: 0d6c82

Say that if he lists the rules for us we will know not to break then next time.
If we can't get this guy to back down or negotiate our goal will be to minimize political problems that could ensue. So that means first of all absolutely no hurting this guy (the currents will very likely let others know if we harm a soroi in soroi territory). Second, it would probably make things worse if Typhon and Nashi are also seen here, so if its a fight we should message them to sneak away, then distract this guy until they are gone and we can de-form and re-form back at the base.

On Colin, by rebellion do you mean leave and/or refuse to follow any more orders, or do you mean actively trying to destroy us? I kind of feel like he is bound to find out eventually, so things might go better if he finds out from us on our terms rather than from some enemy at a time where his rebellion would screw us over. Of course, if telling him ourselves would still lead to the worst case scenario of him running off to use the hive link against us that won't be a very good option.
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