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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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953725 No. 953725 ID: d9acdc

Deep in the eastern Wyld, where the element of wood is warped into strange fractal growths and unrecognizable produce, a group of travelers spot their destination. A massive dome nearly four miles high twists over a disk of water, it’s mile thick walls illuminated from within by an orichalcum sphere suspended in midair. The dome seems to be split into four sections, each one mirroring an element of Creation. Directly above the gentle waters, a massive growth of branches and leaves form the ceiling of the dome. An earthen cliffside dotted with caves is flanked by a wall of snow and ice on one side, with flowing sands hugging the other. At the center, barely visible from the waypoint, a pillar of white jade sits, edged in orichalcum and marked with moonsilver, the huts and walkways surrounding it no doubt glad it enforces the rules of creation within this land.

This is the Solar Sanctuary. Hidden somewhere within the perimeter are five priceless statues, forged in the image of the sorcerer who cast this spell. The bull-woman Ironhorn, an Eclipse caste who brandishes a grand grimcleaver, has served as a guide, procuring food and offering protection from the dangers of the Wyld. Her companion, Riv Maheka, stands guard, a former lookshy scout and Chosen of Pasiap. They have ventured here on a quest to disrupt the sanctuary by doing away with the statues forming its borders. To those who agreed to help, whatever riches were stored in the sorcerer’s panoply would theirs for the taking; treasures from the first age, no doubt, their kind nigh impossible to make in the time of tumult. So, who are you, why did you come here, and what sort of magical oaths did you swear before coming?
112 posts omitted. Last 50 shown. Expand all images
No. 956155 ID: d9acdc

No roll, which means there's not going to be a lot of mapping or strategic stealth. Comes back in less than a minute to report that just beyond the walls there's a whole sort of factory system set up, filled with these little winged metal constructs. Lots of tight compact spaces, so it was hard to get a number on exactly how many there were, but with the nasty stuff filling up their guts, there's probably enough to swarm everyone and generally pose a threat. Acid, poison gas, that horrible devil powder, and a substance that smelled really similar to Szoreny's quicksilver. Also, there was another spirit, looks just like that guy we're humiliating, only he seemed a lot stronger, and so when he saw me I came to tell you.

Upon hearing that there's something you want, he perks up, interested in perhaps offering a trade. Starts to explain that they're hidden in these rooms with one way walls, set up to be opaque from the outside but transparent from the inside- but dissolves into a splash of bile before giving useful directions, as the spirit releases the commitment on the motes required to sustain the copy.

As discussed in the discord, we'll resolve this as you heading down the hatch marked with green jade, as depicted here:
Hatch closes behind you, and you head down a flight of marble stairs, wound tightly against a marble pillar. About two feet wide all the way down, ending in another hatch, identical to the one you entered from. Go in by yourself, or rejoin the part?

>"What manner of trade would interest you, Lord of the Dome? I carry rations of perfected food, exports from the Celestial City of Yu-Shan."

"Finally, someone sensible!" a voice booms, seemingly originating from behind everyone all at once. Diana can hear him much more clearly now- he's entered the room properly, but is still immaterial, just sticking part-way through one of the four pillars. "You all are invited in, and respond with what? Rummaging and insults? No no no, this will not stand. I was going to offer you each a boon- complete one task for me, and receive a blessing of your choosing! Now however, I think I shall see fit to only give out one. Should you, archer of green and white, seek my knowledge and power, I ask not for your cordials and or heavenly exports, but instead, for a simple game! It has been quite some time since we have hosted any sort of challenges or sports, and I would be oh so overjoyed to witness skill and nobility from someone once again. I can give to you and you alone the location of the statues, should you wish to obtain wealth beyond that of this drabble, or potentially something else you desire? Strength, cunning, a chance to live within the palace as a champion? All you would need to perform is thus: The Manse offers a maze of puzzles to test you- if you can find and complete them all before the guards devour those who remain here, I would see you granted your desire. Since not all have offended me, I would allow you to take one companion with you as you seek to explore the depth, or nominate two other champions to enter in your stead while you bear the brunt of the onslaught up here. What say you, then, to this friendly competition?"
No. 956166 ID: f57349

Our whole team, minus a scout or two, fighting the manse's entire bound servant force seems like it might be time to break out the Mass Combat rules. We've been working closely together for several weeks in hostile territory, that should be enough for nonzero Drill, right?
No. 956307 ID: afdebc

rolled 3, 4, 4, 10, 9, 2, 8, 7, 8, 5, 1, 4, 3, 4, 1, 9, 2, 8, 6, 8 = 106

It would seem gods in this sanctuary share a similarly warped perspective when it comes to granted boons. Ah well, at the very least, this simplifies matters.

"I accept your challenge, and as my champions in exploration name Shatters Crime in Darkness and, to assist him, Suuzen's bound creature composed of tar. Grant us leave to prepare, and we shall engage your champions in gladiatorial sport."

Speaks the Reckoner, calmly and formally accepting the invitation, before drawing from the great starmetal bow from across her shoulders, and beginning to move through the opening katas of Wood Dragon Form. To her senses, the music of the ancient Powerbow beings to swell and rapidly increase in tempo- exulting as it is allowed to sing and dance once more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-xhqldl_mw

Rolling for a social attack, attempting to persuade the lord to give us the breathing room to ready weapons and activate scenelong charms- as this is a formal match, not a sudden, unexpected outburst of violence. I'll spend an endurance off of The Rising Smoke to activate Record-Obtaining Inquiry and add Essence to the roll.

Charisma 5 + Presence 1 + Essence 3 + Stunt
No. 956489 ID: d9acdc

rolled 2, 8, 9, 5, 7, 4, 2, 10, 8, 5, 3, 8, 4, 3, 8, 3, 6, 1, 2, 3, 8, 4, 7, 7, 3, 5, 9, 5, 9, 4 = 162

>3, 4, 4, 10, 9, 2, 8, 7, 8, 5, 1
two dot stunt and six successes there. Motivation, appearance, and intimacies might be relevant to see whether or not that hits, but the God of the Twisted Sphere happily agrees, no need to resolve it as an attack.

However, when Ironhorn approaches, somewhat perplexed as she looks around around for a source to the voice, asks to shake on it.

"It seems that my companions feel confident, and wish to engage you. We shall join them, so if you are happy with the terms, would you allow me to sanctify them?"
Charisma five, presence zero.
No. 956505 ID: ac57f8

> Shatters Crime in Darkness and, to assist him, Suuzen's bound creature composed of tar.

As SCiD is flying through the hatch, his cloak reaches out and grabs the creeper, his feet never once touching the stairs as he flies down the spiral staircase, his hands wrapped in shadows shaped like claws guiding him all the way down as chains rotating as fast as he can force them to reach out to help him knock down the other hatch, snapping to cover as fast as a shadow after he breeches.
No. 956617 ID: d9acdc

>2, 8, 9, 5, 7
Three successes doesn't hit, and thus everyone starts preparing for battle without further negotiations.

Scoop up the tar baby, speed around the staircase and down the second hatch, finding that the stairs continue in a similar fashion, ending at another identical hatch. How long is SCiD willing to spend, either in measured time or in hatches opened, going down the spiral staircase?
No. 956619 ID: ac57f8

rolled 8, 5, 4, 3, 7, 7, 6, 2, 4, 10, 10, 1, 10, 8, 5, 9, 5, 4, 3, 6, 2, 5, 9, 7, 9, 6, 2, 9, 10, 1 = 177


He's going to go down exactly three sets of spiral staircases. At the entrance to the fourth one, he's going to rasp his knuckles against the center pillar. If this thing was a puzzle as opposed to JUST a staircase, he was going to have to get a good idea of what's going on with it, and if that's hollow.

"So tell me, you're a weird magic thing, what do you know about weird magic things like this?"

As he asked the tar creature, his clothes started out and started tapping every surface, transfering the sound of the vibrations back into his skin where he didn't really feel them, not being able to feel and all, but he was put together solidly enough that he could still hear them better than with air. He was looking for a particularly thin section of wall, or if the walls were thin everywhere, a thick section of wall to indicate hidden passages (such as might be found for the threshold of the secret door).

"Of course, I'm not 100% sold on not just breaking the script and going around the puzzles, the big bad 'ghost' never said anything about that."

Perception 3+ Awareness 3 + 3 automatic successes from 2nd excellency (6 personal motes down to 10 personal motes 24 peripheral) + Stunt + WP (9 WP remaining)
No. 956620 ID: afdebc

Flashing back to the week spent before entering the manse.

Mid-afternoon's light (or what passes for in, under the false sunlight of the imitation Celestial body at the heart of the sanctuary) finds Diana Maku and Shatters Crime in Darkness on the parapets of Suuzen's raised fortress. They converse calmly in Rivertongue as she instructs him in the fundamentals of magic- while the sidereal did not specifically plan to act as a teacher on this trip, her supplies were not lacking. Scattered before and between the two are scrolls with notes and diagrams scribed in two different hands (one neater than the other) and an assortment of thaumaturgical ingredients- the lesson today apparently touching on apprentice level Arts.

"...and so you see, it's much easier to summon ghosts than other kinds of spirit."
No. 956621 ID: ac57f8


"Well, I may not be an expert on much of this magic stuff, but I did know that much. After all, gods are treacherous scheming wretches, only worth trusting as long as you remember that they're always aiming to stab you in the back to accomplish some petty personal goals and demons are all a bunch of spineless cowards who never come when you call and will abandon you just as quickly as they pledge loyalty to you.

"But a ghost is easy to keep in line, just remind them of where they're headed," as he said that, his eyes were particularly deafeningly quiet, "and you can make them as easy as ripping someone's souls out of their body, typically by their heart. I've had to do that a time or two. Set both of his ghosts to create a diversion."

He didn't particularly care for the choice of seating, so instead, he sat on the finest chair he could imagine, it appearing as a warped throne of blackened bone and litter that would look at home in the caverns below Nexus, but close enough to the ground that it wouldn't be disruptive to the actual lesson.
No. 956677 ID: afdebc

Cocking her head to the side, Diana cannot help but correct the misapprehensions (and it was her duty to so as his teacher, besides).

"Gods, at least those beyond the threshold of sapience, are simply people- they have goals, and they pursue them. Difficulty in understanding or predicting deities largely derives from the alien perspective of lacking human needs, and seeking to promote their domain. It is correct that, for the most part, they are not bound to service.

"Demons can be bound by sorcery- which is a call that cannot be refused. Once bound loyalty is usually less an issue than the terms of the binding and understanding of the spirit's nature. (Though there are certainly consequences that can make relying on such spirits a less attractive option)."
No. 956686 ID: ac57f8


"Well, I can definitely see how someone listening to a god's perspective on the issue would think that, and I definitely agree they behave like most of the worst people I've ever met, conniving manipulative monsters who will go to no end to stab whoever they need to in the back until they're right there at the top of the pyramid.

"After all, isn't the most widely known and celebrated story in all of Heaven the story of the gods rising against their masters and breaking a giant Oblivion shaped hole in reality so that they could have their turn in unearned positions of power over the heavens looking down as their weapons got to rule over the broken and ruined kingdom that the gods left in the wake of their ambition?

"Does the sun not hide, content in his knowledge that he remains unassailable at the top of the pyramid with his masters dead or chained as long as he doesn't allow his lessers to get the same ideas of turning exalted weapons against him the way he did?

"And if Demons really were as loyal and useful as all that, then obviously they'd hear the voices screaming for them."
No. 956695 ID: d9acdc

>8, 5, 4, 3, 7, 7, 6, 2, 4
Central pillar is definitely hollow, as are the rest of the walls, stairs, ceiling, and space behind the doors. Could probably punch through the stone with a single solid strike.

Sense of touch being lost doesn't stop your inner ear from feeling you moving around, as you did when you were in the long passage to the interior. Even when you're standing still, you can feel that you're definitely shifting around within the manse. Every time you go down the hatch it seems to start up again, before coming to a halt a moment later. Direction seems to be consistent, rather than at random- you're rotating around essentially, although you don't feel like you're actually managing to get any deeper.
No. 956696 ID: ac57f8

rolled 4, 10, 7, 6, 7, 6, 1, 2, 2, 9, 2, 9, 10, 9, 4, 4, 7, 4, 10, 1, 10, 6, 7, 9, 5, 3, 4, 7, 9, 3 = 177

> Every time you go down the hatch it seems to start up again, before coming to a halt a moment later. Direction seems to be consistent, rather than at random- you're rotating around essentially, although you don't feel like you're actually managing to get any deeper.

Well, if that's the case, then that just means that I've got to gear up and tear through the central pillar, breaking open a bit, and then slinking into it like a shadow, climbing down by force and seeing if this breaks the script he was supposed to follow.
No. 956795 ID: afdebc

Diana frowns. "It seems as if this conversation has moved from occult facts to the realm of politics. I would caution you not to confuse the two- if you rely on prejudice and opinion to inform your understanding of magic or spirits, it will be to your detriment when you fail to account for their nature or predict their actions. Misunderstanding can be more dangerous than ignorance.

"You would condemn the actions of the gods and the Exalted host at the very dawn of history? I do not see the purpose in this. The world is not what it was, and bemoaning this will not help you today. You would rather the gods remained slaves, that the exalted had never been created? You and I would not exist, twice over, and the masters of the demons you so scorn would rule."
No. 956797 ID: ac57f8

"Far from it, I don't care that the meat blimps are rotting closer to the Abyss than anything else, but you can't deny that betrayal and politics are the names of the game when it comes to gods and that they left a big festering wound in reality with those games that they're still playing today, or do you intend to tell me that the gods have worked around their petty technicalities and heaven runs like clockwork like even the Guild can manage when I'm not breaking the gears."
No. 956807 ID: afdebc

>but you can't deny
"I can absolutely deny falsehoods- in fact it is my duty as your instructor to do so. Your assertions are incorrect in magnitude and in specifics, distorted from a kernel of fact. To conflate political circumstance with fundamental nature is a crucial misunderstanding."
No. 956809 ID: d9acdc

Let's assume ten health levels, with that 6L soak internal armor.
You can get those perfect tiger claws, hit with thirteen dice of accuracy- three from claws, ten from dex and MA, and against DV 0 you get to add all that to the eight dice of lethal damage- three from strength, five from claws. Assuming we divide by three and round up as we've been doing against the manse defenders, you've got seven damage, so it takes you six seconds on the first attack, six for the second, for twelve total. You can move five yards per tick, meaning it takes you about six seconds to get down each staircase, so you've broken into the central pillar at about tick thirty in the current combat.

What you find is a sort of chute, leading you to another passageway, much like the one you walked in on, only this one seems sturdy- it's not moving, feels like it leads you to the center of the manse. Passageway ends up splitting into a T-junction, only it's more circular- definitely two other rooms, maybe one more at the far side. The central pillar here is a lot bigger, but still hollow.

Reason you don't end up exploring everything is because the hallways splitting off in front of you have a bunch of nasty looking metal- baby type monsters- look to be fashioned after demons, or raksha, with bulbous heads, tiny wings, a huge protruding gut and horrible gnashing teeth accompanying the tiny razor-claws.

Disembodied voice seems to come from right behind you, begins gloating.

"Well well well, looks like you found somewhere you're not supposed to be. As much as I'd love to see you fools humiliate yourselves on the koans and traps you were supposed to explore, I'll be happier still to ensure you two never report back and take away my bargaining chips."

With that, a mob of bile-imps is going to descend upon the Tar Baby and SCiD.
No. 956890 ID: ac57f8

"Well, I can only hope to meet whatever god gives you a high enough opinion of them that you would trust them further than you can realistically threaten to kill them if they stabbed you in the back.

"Of course, we're at a bit of a direct contradiction, since you're saying that politics isn't the name that all the gods play, and in my direct personal observation of over a dozen spirit courts all over creation, and the only to get anything done was to play into their goal to collect the most worshipers and lord their superiority over all the other gods in their circle of influence.

"Hell, even right here in this circle, in your words, we're dealing with a rogue god who's used politics and the image of someone better to assert themselves at the top of the pyramid. So even if that desire isn't literally baked into their core, direct observation and common wisdom holds that it's still one of the most important aspects in their lives, and putting any trust in them without being so dangerous that it's never going to be worth it to stab you in the back is a bad idea. Of course, that applies to most people as well."
No. 958073 ID: afdebc

>Three successes doesn't hit, and thus everyone starts preparing for battle without further negotiations.
Summarizing Discord Combat

The battle is short lived. Four exalted (and two swamp-creatures) form up, and meet a talon's worth of chittering mechanical monstrosities- airborne defenders that die in bursts of toxic chemicals, unless dispatched with care. In mere minutes, the golden area is filled with scattered and broken metal carapaces, amidst slowly dispersing clouds of gas, puddles of mercury, and a new-grown miniature forest. Ironhorn's soul still burns brightly, illuminating the area, the sign of Saturn burns brightly upon Diana's brow, and Suuzen's assassin sits cross-legged in mediation.
No. 958535 ID: d9acdc

Still separated from the away team, there's about seventy five brassy orbs, bigger than a fist but smaller than a head, all sealed air tight. Sesselja confirms that they contain various harmful substances as previously described- 8-Scream Devil Powder, quicksilver, acid, and tear gas. Attempts to properly organize them all with some sort of helpful marking to denote what kind of chemical is inside will probably require crafting or bureaucracy, in addition to time- otherwise you'll have a harder time keeping track of what substance exactly is in any given payload.

The metal they're made out of seems to be some sort of alchemically treated orichalcum- looks different enough that it probably won't be a suitable substitute for the base product, but it might be useful for various other crafting projects. Without much expertise in the creation of artifacts or the metaphysical aspects of lightning, no one has much of an idea what role exactly it might fill in such a project, but it would likely be worth resources two to a curious buyer looking to experiment, maybe resources three or four in large enough batches for someone familiar with the substance to work with- someone studying first age materials or with some sort of nostalgic connection to the material would likely be the best kind of buyer to sell to. For the common merchants and artisans, it might not be worth more than iron or brass, even in a big city.

How much time are you spending in the main hall? The five hatches marked each with a separate symbol and color of jade, (depicted, not to scale, here: >>955946) have a peculiar trait- the door at the top will allow any number of people to descend into the tightly wrapped staircase, but it appears there's a few conditions under which the hatches won't open:

If there's more than two people on a staircase, the hatch at the bottom will not open.
If the hatch at the top is open, the bottom hatch refuses to open- the inverse also appears true.

Further experimentation seems to indicate that wind carried words does travel through at least a single hatch, so they're not air tight.
No. 958631 ID: f57349

Suuzen's going to quietly ask the rest of the group whether we really NEED to be exploring the manse, or if it might be more efficient to simply taunt The Lord, make him choose between facing us all personally or hanging back like a coward while we knock out load-bearing walls.
No. 958827 ID: d9acdc

Riv is in agreement- the spirit haunting this place must surely have something worth hearing, and is the only lead which doesn't involve hunting endlessly around miles and miles of unmapped tunnels. Not to mention they might be able to discipline it into doing it's job properly, preferably under oath.

Ironhorn on the other hand, seems apprehensive.

"This place provides sunlight, and perhaps many other important features. What if we endanger the locals who already live hard lives here? I fear taking our impatience out on the manse or it's capricious ruler may have consequences for those below us who cannot protect themselves. That's not right. We must move carefully here."

Do Diana or Suuzen's Assassin want to chime in the that front? Or does Suuzen perhaps whish to press the issue with a join debate roll?

Speaking of, both Dances ended with the scene, officially done as of this post >>958073 SCiD counts as being part of a separate scene- one of the benefits of splitting up, since everyone will get more XP more quickly as we switch back and forth to different events.

The boglings have a hundred and twenty motes left in the pool Mother Bog supplied them with, and will need to return to her before they can refill it. Do you care to activate any dances now? Her mote pool was emptied by activating Dance of Influence and Dance of Death back to back, so she'll either need to wait and recharge, or spend motes from the shared pool to do so.
No. 958828 ID: afdebc

rolled 1, 6, 4, 1, 9, 2, 2, 6, 6, 8, 1, 8, 10, 9, 6 = 79

>brassy orbs, bigger than a fist but smaller than a head, all sealed air tight
Large enough to be inconvenient to carry, then (too large for most pockets). We'd either need to collect them in larger containers. Perhaps a few could be carried as grenades on a bandoleer of sorts- although if the spheres are uniformly round, that might prove challenging.

How much do they weight?

>If there's more than two people on a staircase, the hatch at the bottom will not open.
>If the hatch at the top is open, the bottom hatch refuses to open- the inverse also appears true.
Which would either force us to split up, or to slowly traverse the stairs two by two, opening and closing hatches as we go.

>if it might be more efficient to simply taunt The Lord, make him choose between facing us all personally or hanging back like a coward
Hearing Suuzen's suggestion, Diana stands from her crouched examination of the harvested orbs, spreads her arms, and addresses the empty air in the center of the chamber. "Well? We have dispatched your challenge. Do you intend to grant the agreed-upon boon?"

Making a social attack against the Lord of the Dome, if he's listening, using natural mental influence to attempt to Compel him to uphold the bargain.

Charisma 5 + Presence 1 + Stunt. Appearance modifiers may not apply if he's got ears but not eyes on the chamber (not entirely sure), his motivation or intimacies might affect MDV (if complying would go against his motivation, for example, or if he has a negative intimacy against sidereals, assuming as he has the persona of the ghost of a first-age solar).
No. 958885 ID: d9acdc

>although if the spheres are uniformly round
>How much do they weight?

They are, but they were built into the bodies of the imps, and many have twisted pieces of metal or other such spurs and barbs from unclean breaks; those could easily serve as handles or otherwise make it easier to affix them to bandoleers and such.

As for weight, I didn't have a set idea in mind, but the ones with gas and 8-Scream Devil Powder probably weigh less than the ones with acid and quicksilver- let's say ten pounds a pop, about the same weight as a human head, since they're a similar shape but made of a higher density material than bone and flesh.

>Which would either force us to split up, or to slowly traverse the stairs two by two, opening and closing hatches as we go.
Also unclear if communication will be possible deeper inside, if this place doesn't have a set layout- may be possible to walk into airtight rooms later on or otherwise get separated.

>Making a social attack against the Lord of the Dome, if he's listening
No response, but a two die stunt.
No. 958917 ID: afdebc

>What if we endanger the locals who already live hard lives here? I fear taking our impatience out on the manse or it's capricious ruler may have consequences for those below us who cannot protect themselves. That's not right. We must move carefully here."
>Do Diana or Suuzen's Assassin want to chime in the that front?
(Emphasis mine).

"Have you considered that may be a consequence of our mission succeeding, regardless of the state of the manse?"

In more practical terms, Diana would be against taking action that would seriously endanger the structural integrity of the manse whilst inside it, much less while their companion lies deeper inside.

Knobby grapefruit grenades.

Regrettably, that means the Orbs are too large to be compatible with Generalized Ammunition Technique, unless broken down and disassembled into smaller doses (which we hardly have the time for at the moment, much less adequate equipment or safeguards). Might remain useful as grenades for anyone with dots in thrown (or very long arms) or as a possible source of materials in the future (especially in alchemy). Perhaps Suuzen's largest minion should carry a few? (Shatters Crime could easily take some in his pockets, which are regrettably absent).

Could leave most of the supply here, although if the manse has any cleaning systems it may not be here when we return.
No. 958918 ID: f57349

rolled 8, 10, 6, 10, 8, 2, 5, 3, 3, 2, 1, 5, 3, 6, 3, 10, 6, 6, 8, 3, 8, 5, 5, 9, 8, 7, 8, 9, 9, 7 = 183

>Perhaps Suuzen's largest minion should carry a few?
Rolling to forage material from the temporary forest and construct a crude backpack for the big lug, then load it with chem grenades. If it's possible to distinguish by slosh, density, etc., but we can't carry the whole batch, I'd like to prioritize acid and/or devil powder. Former seems most likely to be useful against a broad range of enemies, and for alchemy, while the latter is the most selective and nonlethal and has respectable resale value.
No. 958919 ID: afdebc

Diana's willing to assist (ID-ing and sorting the orbs seems like it would be bureaucracy, and she has basic competency in Craft (Wood) too), so you can add +1 to... whatever dice pool Baldy is using there.
No. 958990 ID: d9acdc
File 158422070192.png - (13.66KB , 500x790 , chute.png )

rolled 9, 4, 3, 10, 8, 7, 8, 7, 6, 10, 6 = 78

Shatters Crime in Darkness, after being set upon by a troupe of Bile Imps at the behest of the Lord, was able to quickly and effectively block though out, a dangerous shadowy barrier effectively sealing him away from harm. Able to casually stroll about the room below the chute, he found three doors, surrounding a central chamber. The top door was quickly and easily broken into, despite the password requirements and trick floors disrupting the process.

The inside of the room somewhat mirror that of the chamber the lord first greeted them in- a dome, of roughly the same dimensions, although lacking the plethora of entrances and exits, seemingly having accessible through the door SCiD broke into. The key feature here seems to be the scattering of artifacts strew about the room.

The wall has a series of hooks upon which you see about two dozen circular bands, made from black and white jade, alternating in stripes like the hide on an animal. Iron clasps seem like they would allow the bands to close tightly- they're too large to fit around someone's wrist, but look as though they could worn around the neck or bicep, depending on the person.

You also see a single brush, dangling from a hook, with a mahogany handle and silver bristles. A pair of boots with black jade soles and decorative engraving of waves are situated near a large suit of black jade armor, which has been left dumped in a heap unceremoniously, rather than being hung, displayed, or stored carefully. A third artifact incorporating black jade sits near the other two- a box, roughly one foot long, six inches tall and wide, with a long strip of white jade sandwiched by black along the bottom. It has a picture of a boat inscribed upon it's side, and the sides of the box are made from a gold tinted wood. Finally, there's a mismatched pair of fans- one is made from a magical material alloy, and has a somewhat morbid scene painted onto it. The other is about fifty percent larger, but still made from a magical material alloy. In the base a honeycomb pattern is adjoined with seven gems. While there are several more hooks, the room seems mostly empty, bereft of the contents it might normally hold.

"I see you have found what remains of my panoply! In times ago, this would allow us to store a great deal of artifacts as new comers traded out daiklaves for dueling torcs, to participate in the games and challenges here. You're very lucky, to scavenge the bones of my remaining treasures. Might I offer you a suggestion? We should join forces! Tell me that which you desire, and I can grant more than just these treasure. You are fast, quiet, and strong, overcoming each challenge I place in your path, and yet you've gained nothing of value from these efforts thus far- let me make your time here worth your while."

This is a Manipulation+Presence attack, supplemented by Harrow the mind, giving it bonus successes equal to temperance and, if successful, creating a crippling effect that would make SCiD believe that you are working together with the Lord of the Manse for the next five days.

Eight dice, three automatic successes, and lets use the third presence excellency, just to try one out since I don't think we've seen a third excellency used thus far.
No. 958993 ID: 5b9680

rolled 8, 1, 10, 5, 2, 10, 4, 4, 2, 3, 4, 1, 5, 9, 10, 1, 7, 10, 8, 8, 4, 5, 1, 1, 3, 3, 4, 8, 2, 5 = 148

No. 958996 ID: 5b9680

rolled 7, 4, 7, 4, 6, 4, 9, 3, 4, 2, 8, 9, 2, 1, 7, 5, 6, 9, 6, 1 = 104

Sorry, I hit send by accident.

"Nah, don't care about whatever you're offering. I already know you're not a ghost, I scanned the whole thing with necrotic energy to try and map it, and so you're something else, either a god or a demon, and I don't have a good opinion of either. Hell, since you've already spent the entire time lying about that."

As SCiD was talking, he was already stuffing some expensive looking things in his pockets as he mostly ignored everything that the god said.

Spending 1 wp to boost Dodge MDV up to 8 +stunt for likely 10.
No. 959012 ID: d9acdc
File 158424209881.png - (114.85KB , 339x455 , harrow.png )

>At least stunt 1 for the dialog. Going through the trouble of describing the pile of unidentified artifacts in detail is certainly adding detail to the environment, which should be stunt 2. I don't think it resonates closely enough with his motivation to upgrade to 3.

Two dot stunt means
>9, 4, 3, 10, 8, 7, 8, 7, 6, 10
Ten rolled successes, plus three autosux from temperance, for thirteen total.

Building off previously established details, your hatred for gods, is a good pull, but a two dot stunt isn't enough to get you above the threshold. Attached is a picture of the charm text- what the Lord of the Manse wants you to believe is that you should be making deals with him, working together. The charm states that you need to spend one willpower per relevant scene and per day to avoid the effects of the crippling illusion, meaning you'd need to spend two will power now- one for the day, and one for the scene, if you'd like to shake the effect. This doesn't seem related to your motivation, although the god might be able to help you with that. I'd also say it doesn't seem to interact with any of your intimacies- slavery is arguable, but he's actively offering you goods and services in exchange for a partnership. None of the people have been actively in chains or made to do labor or anything in front of you, so while it's clear that they're subjugated, I don't think you can boost your defenses there either. You'd also gain resonance for resisting Unnatural Mental Influence, but I think that can only happen once per scene. Make sure to keep track of spent WP and motes, preferably here so there's a public record we can all see.

Boots, black and white bands, fans, and brush could all fit, the suitcase seems borderline, armor almost certainly not. How big is the opening for the IRA pocket?

>Rolling to forage material from the temporary forest and construct a crude backpack for the big lug, then load it with chem grenades.
Counting this as an int + craft (wood) roll, one dot stunt, meaning you rolled:
>8, 10, 6, 10, 8, 2
Six successes! You can also take a couple motes- keeping track of that is still relevant, since you're still in somewhat hostile territory. In conjunction with the bonuses provided by sprawling marsh indulgence to move around in/spot useful parts of the foliage means you can have it be about as big and sturdy as you want for a mundane backpack. Time frame and tools seem like they'd be relevant constraints, but your skill should overcome that, give you something which would hold up. If you want to do some math, give your guy a GURPS based set of lifting, that'd be really nifty to heave, but I know there's no easy conversion. Going by pathfinder rules, at least strength twenty- a blood ape is probably stronger than a regular ape though, so maybe strength twenty two, or twenty four? Also not sure how adding a backpack affects carrying weight capacity.

>If it's possible to distinguish by slosh, density, etc., but we can't carry the whole batch, I'd like to prioritize acid and/or devil powder.
Sesselja can peak into each one while dematerialized, tell you exactly what's in it. Not knowing the payload is primarily important if things become time sensitive, and you don't have a few spare seconds for your stomach bottle bug to inspect the payload for proper delivery. If you'd like to prioritize a specific payload, that's fine by me- I honestly don't really have a good grip on how many you could carry at one. Arms alone, maybe ten each, dropping them in a pile if you have to use your hands for anything? Big lug probably double that before the back pack, but the sesselja probably can't move more than one while material.
No. 959036 ID: ac57f8

"Alright, you want to deal, I guess I can make an exception for you. Normally, I'd just kill you for being a lying tyrant piece of shit that treats their subjects like shit, and I don't know if you can guess, but everything you're pretending to be, some remnant of a usurper's glory twisted by the passage of their death, I'm the living reality of it.

"So, I've got a lot of reasons to kill you, but we both know that would be pretty pointless at this moment. So, here's the deal, you stop bothering me with those dumb bugs, be cooperative, come clean to those little creatures down there, and don't stop me from grabbing things, and I won't take some classes on taking your last breath with my bare hands."

As SCiD was talking, he started feeding each part of the armor into his foot long pockets, squeezing the chest as it was a bit tight, and slinging the briefcase over his shoulder.

"All things considered, I'd say that's about working together. After all, fuck if I ever work under someone's orders."

As for current mote and WP costs, I believe that's 2 for WP (I just spent 1 picking the lock and 1 to boost my DMDV to 11, but I've gotten 3 1 dot stunts in the meantime.

Same concept with motes since I've been supplementing everything with 2 dot stunts, so it's gone back up to max of 16 Personal 24 Peripheral 11 committed Peripheral.
No. 959158 ID: d9acdc

> So, here's the deal, you stop bothering me with those dumb bugs, be cooperative, come clean to those little creatures down there, and don't stop me from grabbing things, and I won't take some classes on taking your last breath with my bare hands."

"We're both after the same thing! I've got no reason to hinder you- it's true that I find such spectacles titillating, but I'm not an animal. If you're willing to put aside feelings and help me, of course I'll extend the same to you. No harassment, and whatever tools you need from the dregs of my storeroom you're welcome to use as you need. Now, I know what I need help with- see, my flock is I'm very well informed that I am but a ghost of my former self, because they're the ones who killed me. I dealt with the wolf who had stolen some hide but he didn't get that sheep's skin alone- there's a rogue God here, patreon to one of my test races. No doubt he wants to finish the job, usurp me and take what is left of my home. Gods have grown so full of hubris, you'd think the Daystar passed the mandate to rule onto the terrestrial divinities! If we're working together though, I'd like to help you achieve your goals as well. Why did you all come here, and what boons can I provide to you?"

What's Tar Baby doing during all this? Hidden somewhere on SCiDs person, roaming freely alone somewhere, maybe perched on a shoulder like a pet or carried underarm like a sack of flour?

>"All things considered, I'd say that's about working together. After all, fuck if I ever work under someone's orders."

As the storyteller, I am ruling that this is an unsatisfactory interpretation of the illusion. At minimum, SCiD must believe there is one or more shared goals they are working towards. The Lord has provided one, but SCiD could also supply his own, just so long as there is something they are collaborating together to achieve. Think of a group project in school. You don't have to like each other, or provide equal levels of engagement, but you must at the very least admit to a shared objective that relies on some baseline cooperation and input for one another.

Meanwhile, the warband is having similar discussions about what they actually want to achieve.

As the discussion blossoms, Riv and Ironhorn seem to be diverging somewhat as to what the highest priority should be.

"I did not know there would so many innocent lives at risk here! In truth, this whole situation makes me anxious, and I am unsure if we should continue. I expected hobgoblins and a ruin fortress, not some sort of feudal village. I think that we need to change priorities, and ensure these people are going to be safe first and foremost. Whatever reason Cain dispatched us here cannot come at the expense of so many lives- it is our very duty to serve and protect the people of creation!"

"We didn't come prepared for a rescue mission Ironhorn. Would you have us steal them from their homes one by one? We were sent here for a reason, and if we can ensure that everyone here will be safe that should be a priority, but we can't abandon our goals. If we can discipline this wayward God, ensure he is looking after his domain properly, we may yet achieve both goals!"
No. 959204 ID: ac57f8

"Well, that's definitely an interesting story though if you are actually a ghost, wouldn't it be whoever had your shard be the owner of this place? After all, the big Usurper in the sky didn't tell Ghosts they could run the world, and I think that big bull in your foyer is just the Diplomat Usurper you're looking for to run this place properly under Exalted care." He was, of course, violently bluffing since he only knew what little he did from his time with the First and Forsaken Lion, but he did know that Gods and Ghosts alike weren't fit to rule in a world of Exalts, and this delusional god would have to deal with that soon enough.

"But, big picture, I'm looking to violently murder the concept of slavery and tyrants forever. So point me to the biggest super weapon that could help me kill a creation wide organization and all five of the statues of 'you' or whatever those are supposed to be and you've got a deal."
No. 959222 ID: f57349

>What's Tar Baby doing during all this? Hidden somewhere on SCiDs person
Curled up and stuck on like a camel's hump, posture inspired by how those thumbnail frogs lay flat, trying to blend in with the Compliant Umbral Panoply as if part of it was being kept in reserve as a backpack, whispering contextual advice and random occult trivia in a continuous running commentary.
No. 959229 ID: afdebc

rolled 10, 5, 6, 4, 3, 7, 8, 10, 5, 1, 9, 10, 6, 9, 7, 10, 5, 5, 3, 3 = 126

Diana's assigned mission was to see Ironhorn successful in her task- while the vizier did not expect to need to nudge the eclipse back on track after losing faith, this makes doing so no less mission relevant.

"You considered this mission important enough to assemble a coalition of heroes and journey to the edge of the world, far from peoples who could have benefited from aid or protection.

"Has our task become any less pressing, simply because the obstacles are not those you expected? Problems of logistics and infrastructure can be overcome as sure as goblins, if by different means."

Trying to re-inspire the solar's faith in her mission, and consider that higher stakes or different challenges aren't a reason to give up. Spending 1 Endurance from my Resplendency of the Ewer to enhance the social attack with Sweet Flirtation Smile. Relative appearance applies -2 to Ironhorn's MDV.

Charisma 5 + Presence 1 + Sweet Flirtation Smile 5 + Stunt
No. 959269 ID: d9acdc

>wouldn't it be whoever had your shard be the owner of this place?

"By all means, if you're aware of the inheritor of my legacy, send them out this way and I shall be able to pass into lethe with my work here finished. If that bull-woman has come to claim this place as rightfully hers, she's welcome to return it to the glorious place of refinement and entertainment it once was, the place my cohorts and I could relax and break from our work to enjoy each others company and the thrilling spectacles of sport and athleticism. You'll want to deal with the plotting, traitorous usurpers though, otherwise they may render any would be ruler a ghost like me.

If what you want is a weapon to wipe whole ideologies and the people who believe them off the map, the exalted host is the greatest tool there is. Surgical precision and unlimited power, what more could you ask for? If you just want to point something big at the people you don't like though, you'd best head towards the Sword of Creation. You know the former isle of the gods, pole of earth, big mountain and all that? If you pass those, you've gone too far. Now, why don't I offer you some help out of this place, back to your friends? It's somewhat of a maze in here."

Lord starts to lead you back to chute you came in form, towards the spiral staircase.

"There's a trick to navigating these you know- once I show you it'll be very simple to get where you'd like to go. I won't be able to come with you though, they only permit two at a time to cross a threshold.

Tar baby whispers that if you're going after the sword of creation, there's definitely a time limit on that mission, since it's due to become a swamp any eon now.

> 10, 5, 6, 4, 3, 7, 8, 10, 5, 1, 9, 10, 6
Thirteen dice (and a two dot stunt) means you're looking at nine successes, far better than her MDVs.
She acquiesces- of course there would be challenges they could not anticipate. Alleviating suffering of mortals was not one she expected on this mission, but as the ranger states it is nothing those chosen to rule cannot handle. They'll just have to monitor the God of this place carefully before making their move.

That said... how long should we all wait here? If we use the cache egg, it would be possible to stay inside this place for an extended period. Ensuring that Shatters Crime in Darkness isn't endangered is of concern, as is actually continuing efforts to liaison with the spirit running this place. If we split up, an ambush may actually threaten us, but if we sit here exhausting supplies while a comrade is in need of aid deeper within, that's potentially worse. All of us at once may be a large enough force to split up any remaining defenders, or find SCiD if he's been singled out and attacked. We can agree to meet back at the cliff side in a day if we don't hear from each other sooner.
No. 959443 ID: ac57f8

"You've been cooped up in here too long. The Exalted host is dead, and creation is a broken mess. And I'm living proof of that, or did you miss that I'm everything you claim to be, a specter of the weapons of the gods run through the underworld? Anyway, I don't think there are any Dragonblooded, or other Exalts, for that mater, are actually around, so nothing that's done any meaningful Usurping.

"Also, if you're a dead usurper ghost, why don't you just use the charms you had in life to kill any gods in your path? All of the other Solar Ghosts I've met can do that."

But, regardless, since he can't shake the God's copy of his delusion, he would pay attention to the trick on how to navigate the Manse.

And while it's not relevant to the moment, he does appreciate the advice of the strange golem.
No. 959579 ID: d9acdc

Shatters Crime in Darkness finds himself on top of a hatch, in a room he doesn't recognize. In front of him, two statues sit, carved out of the wall, one with a golden body and silver left hand, one with a silver body and golden left hand. A golden door with five silver locks sits between them. In the center of the room sits a pedestal with two spheres inlaid into it on opposite sides of each other, one silver and one gold.

Each statue begins to "speak", talking in turns.

"We offer you a selection of riddles." The golden bodied one says.
"If you answer correctly, we shall open the way forward" Intones the silver.
"Choose- do you speak to the qualities of fire, air, water, wood, or earth?" They speak in unison.

The last thing you remember is rushing forward down a hatch as the others prepared to do battle with the Lord of the Manse. You know that you're working with him to accomplish something, but you can't quite grasp what. Why are they fighting him, again? Are you hiding something from them? These questions begin to weigh on your mind as you consider the nature of the oath you swore. You can feel that you're safe for now, but if you don't update your comrades on the nature of your relationship with this guy, there's going to be problems down the line.

What do you do?
No. 959824 ID: f57349

rolled 5, 1, 2, 7, 1, 9, 9, 1, 5, 4, 7, 8, 5, 3, 4, 10, 2, 6, 6, 8, 9, 3, 1, 9, 5, 2, 7, 10, 6, 2, 1, 4, 9, 8, 1, 4, 8, 4, 10, 4, 9, 5, 5, 5, 2, 4, 8, 8, 1, 1, 3, 9, 8, 2, 3, 2, 6, 10, 2, 4 = 307

Once injuries are patched up and chem grenades identified, I'm going to send my sesselja back out to resume searching for the manse's hearthroom and/or Lord's sanctum entrance - and to remove the temptation of it rematerializing to sneak a taste of the grenades.
No. 959828 ID: d9acdc

rolled 7, 1, 6, 1, 5, 1, 10, 3, 10, 3, 4, 7, 9, 7, 2, 10, 5, 7, 6, 6, 10, 4, 6, 10, 6, 6, 3, 2, 10, 9 = 176

After about an hour, you all hear the god announce his presence, although he doesn't materialize or otherwise make himself known.

"So sorry to leave you all unattended. It seems you've made short work of those creatures, which means I owe you a boon. Your companion and I have come to an agreement, and he says you all came here looking for weapons, which, unfortunately, I cannot help you with, as my stores of artifacts were taken by interlopers some time ago. I have reason to believe they're still within the dome though- I can see those coming and going you see, and they haven't left yet. If you'd agree to hunt them down, I'd happily acquiesce all the treasures they carry. It's more about the principle of the matter you see, not letting people get away with stealing from me and all that. I can also grant boons, make your bodies or minds stronger, make you more skilled- if you're traders or craftsmen, the old forge doesn't work anymore, but you all might be able to get it running again, make something useful out of the spare materials we have around here."

Lord of the Manse is making a social attack, asking you to agree to kill to thieves who stole his store of artifacts. Manipulation five, performance three, appearance five but that's likely unimportant given you can't see him.

Additionally, you all are being awarded fifteen experience each for SCiD finding the "panoply" but have not completed the objective to locate it.
With the end of SCiD's scene you are also awarded one XP for the end of the scene.
No. 959832 ID: f57349

"Wait just a damn minute," says Suuzen, increasingly sick of all this. "How in the hell does your owing us a boon mean that we're supposed to go hunting down your enemies on spec?"
No. 959833 ID: f57349

rolled 3, 3, 6, 10, 6, 8, 3, 10, 6, 4, 1, 6, 7, 7, 3, 5, 7, 10, 10, 6, 5, 7, 3, 3, 3, 9, 6, 4, 6, 3, 6, 2, 2, 7, 9, 5, 5, 2, 4, 6, 1, 10, 8, 5, 1, 3, 4, 6, 1, 8, 4, 10, 1, 8, 1, 1, 10, 5, 5, 2 = 312

Once SCiD gets back, I'll claim the folding boat and jade obelisk as Suuzen's share of the loot, load the latter into the former, spend a few months reconciling with my Unwoven Coadjutor and training Integrity, Sail, and Survival up to at least 3 dots each, then leave.
No. 959840 ID: d9acdc

"Nothing of the sort. I thought you wanted weapons, was going to point you in the right directions, but look, if that's not what you need, don't sweat it. You might want to tell your buddy that- I agreed to help him, and gave him some pointers about where to find the weapons I think would fit his needs, so if you're going after something else, then you might want to keep him in the loop. Now, what can i offer you, in return for what i'm sure was a great performance for the audience of none? Actually, hold that thought for a second- are any of you here with the guild? Because that's a lot of soldiers out there."
No. 960034 ID: afdebc

rolled 4, 1, 7, 2, 2, 6, 1, 10, 4, 9, 3, 3, 4, 2, 4, 5, 1, 8, 8, 3 = 87

>Manipulation five, performance three
>7, 1, 6, 1, 5, 1, 10, 3, 10, 3, 4
Stunt 0: 8 dice, 3 success
Stunt 1 to 3: 9 to 11 dice, 5 success

Parry MDV 4, Dodge MDV 7, Diana successful ignores the request of a second god that she hunt down its enemies as a 'boon'. What is wrong with the spirits in this backwater, that they consider additional labor a reward?

>Now, what can i offer you, in return for what i'm sure was a great performance for the audience of none?
A cone of violet light shines forth from Diana's caste mark, stretching across the gladiatorial arena, illuminating the Lord of the Golden Dome, and making the dematerialized deity in the center of the room visible to all present.

"As I recall, I alone[/e] was offered the privileged of a boon, and I named Shatters Crime in Darkness my champion, not my spokesman." (Followed by a beat for Lying Cat to intone veracity or falsehood). "I request the following: tell us how we might reach the four golden statues that bear your image. What paths must we follow to find them, and what obstacles lie on those paths?"

That's a presence based social attack, compulsion keyword. Natural mental influence, but Diana may have enough successes to count as UMI by end.

Charisma 5 + Presence 1 + Sweet Flirtation Smile 5 + Record-Obtaining Inquiry 3 + Stunt + 1 auto-success from Mark of Exaltation + 1 auto-success from channeling willpower

Appearance delta (3 to 5) means the Lord gets +2 to his MDV.

That's 3m personal committed to Mark of Exaltation, 1 Endurance spent from [i]each
from resplendent destinies of the Ewer and the Rising Smoke, and one wp spent.

Taking into the hour (+4m) and the previous stunt award (+4m), that brings Diana's pools to
13/16 personal (3m committed), 20/37 peripheral (15 committed), The Ewer 16, The Rising Smoke 17, Willpower 9/10

>Actually, hold that thought for a second- are any of you here with the guild? Because that's a lot of soldiers out there.
Lying Cat?

If such an action is attempted, it would not go unchallenged: it does not seem an equitable division of loot for Suuzen to claim the two most valuable artifacts for herself. How does the sorceress propose to address this imbalance?
No. 960050 ID: ac57f8

rolled 2, 3, 9, 9, 6, 5, 7, 1, 1, 6, 4, 2, 5, 10, 5, 6, 5, 4, 5, 4, 9, 6, 4, 8, 9, 5, 5, 4, 10, 9 = 168

"Well, technically I'd probably represent Death, but I'm starting to feel tired of this place, especially since I seem to have some unexplained feelings and a missing gap of time."

SCiD drew the obvious conclusion that him agreeing to work with something that he hates with literally zero memories that it happened, so, he was going to start tunneling out. Fuck the puzzles, fuck the structural integrity of the building, fuck everything else, he wanted right the fuck out.
No. 962162 ID: f57349

rolled 3, 10, 9, 10, 1, 2, 8, 10, 3, 2, 6, 2, 10, 4, 2, 10, 1, 8, 2, 8, 8, 5, 6, 9, 4, 7, 2, 1, 10, 9, 9, 6, 1, 3, 7, 10, 1, 4, 8, 5, 6, 10, 2, 7, 4, 6, 8, 2, 2, 10, 5, 2, 3, 2, 2, 2, 6, 1, 7, 5 = 318

Assuming Factual Determination Analysis confirms the truth of a Guild-backed army's arrival, Suuzen's eyes go wide as she turns to Riv Maheka. "Though I lack your Lookshyan technique to speak through the wind, I have friends in low places. Tell the Guildsman leading that army..." She purses her lips, mentally compiling what she can recall of appropriately menacing legal formalities into the fewest possible words.

"Client number Mother Bog claims territory here, holding any aggressors to account. Local beastfolk not for sale, other assets negotiable. Acknowledge within one hour or depart."
No. 962820 ID: 343d06

rolled 10, 2, 4, 9, 1, 5, 6, 1, 7, 8, 1, 6, 6, 8, 9, 6, 6, 2, 10, 2, 4, 6, 8, 8, 5, 9, 10, 10, 1, 7, 10, 6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 3, 6, 8, 4, 3, 9, 4, 6, 5, 8, 9, 7, 7, 6, 5, 2, 7, 1, 3, 3, 7, 3, 9, 10 = 355

The droning of the statues is tuned out as Shatters Crime in Darkness starts beating on the floor, attempting to tear through it with tools of shadow. Almost as if in response to your dissatisfaction, the floor opens underneath you, ready to plunge you into the clockwork bowels of the manse if not for your makeshift wings and quick reflexes. Still, as it seems you've got the hole in the floor you wanted, it would be wasteful not to take it.

Creatures of brass with the bodies of grotesque misshapen babies follow you eagerly, but don't seem to bother you otherwise. They seem to fill the space between spaces, pressing against you and making it difficult to see or move, but they don't actively blockade your progress. When you eventually find a wall, you are once again let through as a hole opens up for you, leading you out to the air above the artificial lake before closing behind you.

How bright is it when you emerge, and where do you go while the matter of your unsure allegiances and missing time sits irritatingly in the back of your mind?

The Tar Baby finds itself alone and forgotten in the room with the two statues, confronted by their "riddle", if it can eve be called that:

"You return to your homeland as the season ends and the air grows cold." Says the gold statue with the silver hand.
"You find that in your absence, a plague has struck, and your family has grown ill." Says the silver statue with the gold hand.
In unison, they deliver the question: "Your travels have left you with rare medicine, enough to cure your mother or your son, but not both. Who do you save?"

What does Tar Baby do?

Two dot stunt and six successes would normally break through the lord's defenses, but a stunt or WP expenditure probably negates that. Not sure at what point it becomes UMI, so I'm unsure how to adjudicate that.

In plain view now, the "ghost" waves his hand dismissively, hardly looking at Diana.
"Yeah yeah, statues of me, got it, sure thing. First age beauty is hard to come by these days, so I can understand why you'd want to take some to go, but I kinda got something a little more pressing to deal with right now- maybe I could autograph your bow for you at some point, and you can come back for the silk pillow with my face on it after I deal with all the boots stomping around my lake."

Three dot stunt as reacted to by Magey- one XP is a valid reward at this point and time.
Soon afterwards, Riv relays to you that she's received a response in turn:
"Account number recognized. Please meet at the dome's outskirts to negotiate details. Failure to appear within one day will forfeit any right to claimed goods."
Riv confirms this was sent via Wind-Carried Words technique, meaning there's at least one dragon blooded in the camp.

So, who's coming to the meeting, how soon do you set out, and what preparations do you make beforehand? From your current distance it's hard to make out details, but they appear to be setting up makeshift docks and fortifications at the edge of the dome you entered from.
No. 962834 ID: f57349

rolled 9, 1, 2, 9, 3, 9, 3, 2, 3, 8, 9, 5, 4, 7, 5, 3, 2, 7, 10, 1, 1, 2, 9, 4, 1, 3, 3, 7, 9, 10, 10, 10, 2, 1, 8, 10, 7, 10, 3, 6, 8, 10, 2, 6, 5, 5, 6, 5, 6, 2, 9, 3, 9, 3, 6, 3, 2, 7, 5, 6 = 326

>What does Tar Baby do?
Ignore the insoluble moral dilemma predicated on an alien cultural context (likely spoken in an unfamiliar ancient language), retrace steps back toward the entrance hall as stealthily as possible while remaining alert for traps.

Assuming successful escape, dutifully notify Suuzen that SCiD pocketed several artifacts from a treasure vault, left the manse, and was acting sorta like doing so was part of a pre-existing arrangement with the Lord of the Twisted Sphere.
No. 963341 ID: d9acdc

rolled 6, 9, 2, 6, 4, 4, 2, 2, 6, 8, 7, 4, 2, 7, 2, 4, 3, 5, 8, 7, 10, 9, 10, 5, 4, 3, 3, 10, 6, 9, 9, 4, 5, 7, 7, 4, 10, 7, 10, 10, 4, 3, 10, 10, 1, 3, 5, 6, 2, 5, 7, 7, 3, 5, 1, 3, 9, 6, 7, 7 = 344

>retrace steps back toward the entrance hall as stealthily as possible while remaining alert for traps.

>Assuming successful escape

That is not something which can be assumed because, in the same way dodging a sword or summoning a demon isn't guaranteed, neither is navigation through a puzzle manse.

However, after some deliberation, I think allowing you to move on as a non-repeatable stunt would be in the games best interest, so long as it's clear that in the future you'll have to find some other way to navigate or circumvent that feature of the manse.

Upon the tar baby's return and subsequent retelling of events, Lord of the Manse grimaces and is notably displeased to anyone paying attention to that sort of thing. He does his best to keep his composure as he addresses the situation:

"You all have earned your boon, and I have had my entertainment, as dry as it was, but as it seems there is some pressing business I must attend to, I would ask you all take your leave post haste. I shall send an attendant with you to ensure you received your payment, but any further hospitality would be strained and I may require those who stay to make services available to the house."

With that, Diana hears his unstrung essence briefly come into harmony before splitting into two songs, a second set of inidentical music now making its way towards you.

This would be a social attack, attempting to convince you to leave and rely on the conjured double to fulfil his obligation to you.

Appearance five, manipulation five, performance three, and any stunts if you're all feeling generous.

Invoking host of spirits for three motes to make one copy.

As you all have found the location of the panoply, that objective is considered complete. After we finish this debate, or jump ahead to the meeting, you all will earn two XP.
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